July 2012: A Call to Awakening and Action
An alignment of the Uranus-Pluto square, combined with Pluto in Capricorn, can be a time full of new surprises and unexpected events. The key, says Eric Francis, is to practice deep self-awareness and find the courage to stay awake and not go back to sleep. For this month's horoscopes, see Planet Waves Horoscopes: July 2012.
This month is the first exact alignment of the Uranus-Pluto square. We’ve been watching this one develop for a long time, as both a cultural and astrological event. For those individuals born in the 1940s and 1950s, this astrology may be reminiscent of an exciting time in your life, a time when it seemed possible to change the world. For those born in the 1960s through the mid-1970s, you may be noticing your spirit called to awakening and action like nothing you’ve ever felt before.
Sometimes I’m concerned that we’re giving this Uranus-Pluto aspect too much emphasis, though it’s something that’s influencing everyone personally to some extent, and many people to a great extent—especially those who have natal planets in early Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn. These are the cardinal signs, the ones that provoke change and progress.
Much like the Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001-2002 was a setup for the decade to come, the Uranus-Pluto square is truly a sign of the times and is setting the tone for our current era. We live in a transitional phase of history, a time when many problems will come home to roost and we will need to be at our most cooperative and inventive. Enlightenment is not a luxury now. It’s a form of maturity that will allow us to keep a handle on our lives and gently guide human society to a better place.
While the qualities of the Uranus-Pluto cycle are well documented, each time it happens there are new surprises. That’s another way of saying unexpected events.
The Uranus-Pluto square will make seven exact contacts, starting around June 24, 2012, and ending with the square of March 16, 2015. Studying the sequence of these charts, a lot is going to happen between then and now, much of it seeming to happen around us, with plenty of developments seeming to come out of the wild blue. Because we are among a relatively few people on Earth with access to the deeper levels of astrology, we have another gift that Uranus grants: the gift of foresight.
That’s one of the properties of Uranus, the faster moving of the two planets involved. It’s essential that we apply this power of foresight starting right now, because we need to be able to look ahead and, even in an atmosphere of the unexpected, consider some of the possibilities and how to work with them constructively. Uranus also connects to developments in science and art, which is another way of saying that we can think in new and radical ways under its influence. Taken consciously, life is indeed part science and part art—with “consciously” being the operative idea.
Yet in Aries, we have some cause for concern, because to access the better nature of this sign (which each of us depends on in our charts) is going to call for the kind of self-awareness that doesn’t grow on trees. Lacking that self-awareness, there can be a kind of militancy or aggression. Uranus is the planet of revolution, and through history, most revolutions have involved weapons (even when Uranus isn’t in Aries). So we need to focus on the other kind of revolution, the one that starts within.
This is a matter of personal choice, upon which much depends. There may be a good few situations in your life that boil down to the choice between aggression and awareness—in particular, self-awareness. You could say this is about slowing down a bit and looking where you’re going when you turn a corner.
Let’s consider Pluto in Capricorn, which we’ve been experiencing since 2008, when the transit began. Capricorn is one of the signs about the past. We humans tend to drag around a ton of material from both our personal past and our ancestral history, without considering the effect that so much dead weight has on our vitality.
Pluto in Capricorn is about revitalizing the places within us that are stuck somewhere in ancient history, refusing to observe and engage with the present moment as it really is. Being stuck in the past, including the ancestral past (living out the hopes, pain, and frustration of our ancestors) is a common condition on the planet. Speaking as an astrology consultant, I can tell you that bringing up the topic of family or parents with a client is often like lancing a boil that never seems to drain. Carrying these dead cells is a serious tax on our energy. Pluto in Capricorn is here to help.
Then there are the structural themes of Capricorn. We like to think of it as dependable ground we can stand on, though Capricorn is a cardinal sign. Like the Earth itself, which twists and thrusts and shakes, this deeper nature of Capricorn is being instigated by the unstoppable force of Pluto.
Now, put these two forces together: the revolutionary power of Uranus meeting the evolutionary drive of Pluto. Imagine this has been warming up for about three years, that it’s going to be exactly aligned for three years, and will have after-effects lasting at least another five years.
If you’re wondering why so many people are living through desperate times, that’s one side effect of so much tension and movement—and the threat of progress when the forces of Uranus and Pluto make direct contact. Anyone clinging to the past has a serious problem on their hands.
There are lots of ways to describe this tension (for example, the drive for radical progress of Uranus in Aries versus the fear of cataclysmic change described by Pluto in Capricorn). The square 90-degree aspect that we’re experiencing has its roots in a conjunction that happened in 1965 and 1966. By that time, there was obviously something going on. The Civil Rights movement was active through much of the 1950s, and the March on Washington happened in 1963. Clearly, there was something in the air, but could anyone have predicted the turns of events over the next 10 years?
That’s about where we stand today. We know how precariously balanced our lives are, and what a fragile state the world is in. People are actually starting to notice that exceedingly few political “leaders” and even fewer heads of multinational corporations are involved in solutions to any of the problems they’ve been so busy creating. Their game is to maintain the status quo, because it works for them, even as the system they’ve built threatens to crumble under their feet.
We actual humans are being invited to participate in a different experience—that of waking up. One of the first signs of awakening is noticing that you’ve lived unconsciously in the past, and one of the next signs is noticing how many people seem to be sleeping. Don’t stop there. Awakening is something that you have to do every day, and the continuity of thought and progress that you develop from day to day and year to year and moment to moment is called awareness, or mindfulness.
As we go through this, I propose that we never underestimate the lure of go-back-to-sleep influences. The prescription pills, the mind-numbing work, the corn syrup, and the gratuitous violence are still flowing freely. Many people go through life gradually becoming their parents, pretending to be unaware of that fact. Many people say over and over again that they’re going to go for therapy, never receiving the incredible benefits that can offer them.
One last trap is awareness going no further than a slight tickle in one’s brain and the vague hope that “things will get better,” which can easily be numbed out by the fear that if you dare to make a move, life will get worse. Part of the Uranus-Pluto aspect involves noticing and questioning the role of fear in our lives. That’s another way of saying it’s time to pluck up some courage.
There’s a good chance that the Uranus-Pluto square is working directly on your chart. Nearly everyone has some significant planets or other factors right in line with this aspect, which become the focal point of evolution, growth, and progress. Learn something about your chart and you can spot the places where you’re under the most pressure to make changes. The chances are you know it, too—and you’re getting direct information about what, exactly, needs to change.
Yes, it’s time to stop being poisoned and voluntary poisoning ourselves and being ripped off and voting for people who steal from us. It’s time to stop passively watching the destruction of the Earth. It’s time to stop wishing we “had a life” and actually get one. And as you know, it’s time for a lot more than that.
Action is the fruit of knowledge—and I mean this literally, not as some philosophical metaphor.