Aquarius is Coming: Will we Manifest Anarchy or Cooperation?
For those who understand astrology, the battle of principles in the world is clear as the stakes and the tension mount almost daily. The sky is our clock and calendar. The outer planets of our solar system are primary keys to our understanding of our evolving planet, earth. But even long-term students of astrology sometimes need to remind themselves of what these outer planets represent.
Saturn and Uranus met three times in 1988 in late Sagittarius. Ray Merriman calls our present period the “Capricorn Climax,” when up to three of the outer planets have been simultaneously in Capricorn. It began with Neptune entering the sign in early 1984 and it ends when Neptune leaves in late 1998. Saturn and Neptune met three times in Capricorn in 1989, the year being celebrated for the “fall of Communism.” There is some reality to the association of communism with the Saturn-Neptune conjunctions which occur about every 35 years. Karl Marx issued his Communist Manifesto with one. The Russian revolution in 1917 occurred with another. Stalin died with the next, and the Berlin wall came down with the last one. Another year for outer planet conjunctions comes when Uranus and Neptune meet three times in Capricorn in 1993. But the Capricorn Climax is already ebbing now in 1991. Saturn has moved into Aquarius (which it co-rules) and Uranus, considered the primary ruler since its discovery, enters its own sign in 1995-6. In the meantime, the issues remain unresolved as the costs of the battle of principles continue to escalate. With our outermost (known) planet Pluto in its own sign of Scorpio, that principle is also part of the deadly brew which humanity is stirring over a fire that is getting hotter.
Pluto, Scorpio and the eighth house represent the last of the interpersonal sides of life. The rest of our “deadly brew” (as humanity is currently expressing the principles) involves the transpersonal parts of life. Despite its outer position in the solar system, the fact that Pluto has a Moon almost as big as itself is one of the reasons for identifying it as one of the interpersonal parts of life (involving face-to-face contacts) rather than transpersonal (dealing with the “big scene.”) With Pluto and its variants we are challenged to learn to share possessions, pleasures, and power with our fellow humans in face-to-face encounters. When greed triumphs over caring and sharing, whether for money, sensual appetites, or power, we manifest crime (theft, rape etc.), brutality (whether by police or soldiers or “legally defined criminals”), or indifference (ignoring the homeless and hungry, personal drug use when it is self-indulgence at the expense of the needs of others, etc.). The latter includes pregnant women whose cocaine use produces addicted babies, tobacco use which produces illnesses that burden the society, irresponsible sex that leads to illness or to unwanted children, the blind pursuit of personal wealth for its own sake, for more than anyone could spend, rather than putting the surplus back into productive use for the society, etc. The goal of the Pluto side of life is the attainment of self-knowledge which we gain partly through the mirror of a mate (close associates) and self-mastery which we learn partly out of respect for the rights of those close associates.
Jupiter, Sagittarius and the ninth house of the chart symbolize our search for a belief system that can give meaning to our lives, for an Absolute in which we can put our trust, on which we can base our value hierarchy, set our goals and make our choices. Astrology is pragmatic, based on observations of patterns in the sky and events on earth, so it is a sad commentary on human values that many astrologers still see Jupiter as wealth. Humanity has often seemed to make money into God. Our ethics are determined by our values which are based on our beliefs. The three conjunctions of Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius called us to examine our beliefs, values, and ethics.
Saturn, Capricorn and the tenth house of the chart symbolize the LAW, including natural law (time, gravity), cultural regulations (traffic lights, speed limits, property rights, human rights and duties), authorities who enforce the law (Presidents, police, employers, parents), and our inner law (one’s conscience). If our beliefs, values, ethics etc. are in harmony with the law, we function successfully in the world. Saturn and its variants (planets in its sign and the rulers of its house) signal our report card times when we get feedback from life on how we are doing in handling the “rules of the game.” Saturn can, therefore, be considered our major teacher about “limits,” what we can do, what we can’t do, and what we have to do to survive in this world. Saturn and its variants mark our lessons and our rewards, whether painful or pleasant. Saturn in Sagittarius (its placement for the conjunctions with Uranus) indicates a lesson involving beliefs, goals and ethics.
Uranus, Aquarius and the eleventh house of the chart symbolize the refusal to accept limits, the urge to go beyond any limits. When we have internalized the really necessary limits in a functional conscience, we can safely express the Aquarian ideal—“you are free to do anything you want as long as you give me that same freedom.” Personal freedom guided by an effective conscience and “common sense” will not try to drive on the right side of the street in England, will not steal or be brutal except in justified defense of self or others, will not indulge excessively at the cost of the rights of others. Aquarius with a conscience leads to voluntary cooperation without coercion. Aquarius without a conscience is only interested in personal freedom and leads to lawless anarchy. Saturn without Uranus can lead to rigid power hierarchies that resist any kind of change. Uranus without Saturn can lead to rebellion without any responsibility or order, making it impossible to plan anything, to a potentially ruthless, intellectual detachment devoid of empathy.
There are astrologers who condemn the Piscean Age, noting only humanity’s perversion of the Pisces potentials, our abysmal failure to attain the goals of Pisces. Frequently, these self-styled experts can’t wait for the Aquarian Age, anticipating only the positive potentials of Aquarius. They had better be glad that we have a few hundred more years in the Piscean Age to develop the awareness of the connectedness of all life before we get to the cool, scientific detachment of Aquarius. The Ages, which are based on earth’s precession, go through the signs in reverse order. In our personal evolution (as astrology pictures it) we grow from our start as a self-centered child (symbolized by Aries and Taurus) to our potential as a saint (symbolized by Pisces.) In the process, it is imperative that we develop an appropriate inner conscience, the inner Saturn, at which time we no longer need an outer authority to force us to be responsible.
The positive potentials of Uranus and its variants do include new knowledge, new technology, openness to change, tolerance, equalitarian principles, and freedom for all with the avoidance of any coercion. But for a society (or any collection of life forms) to function, there have to be some accepted limits which protect the rest of the members of the system. The illness of cancer is life-threatening precisely because the proliferating cells ignore the needs of other body cells. There are so-called “conservatives” and “libertarians” who rail against taxes but who want police, jails, roads, an army, hospitals, etc. without having to help support them. We can safely enjoy the freedom of Aquarius only if we have as individuals passed through Saturn’s school of self-discipline and personal responsibility or if during this Piscean Age we open to the mystical experience of Neptune where we realize that there is no separation, that life is ONE.
Neptune, Pisces and the twelfth house mark the end of our personal journeys which start with Aries, but for nearly 2,000 years our earth has been called toward the empathy that could not hurt anyone else because such action would be experienced as self-injury. As we observe the world of 1991, it is hard to notice much improvement from the end of the Arian Age. Mostly slavery has been outlawed. Torture is no longer approved by most people but it is still all too common. Limited “safety nets” for the helpless are endorsed in our world of triumphant capitalism, but even in the U.S., a recent study testifies that as many as 11.5 million children go to bed hungry as the money runs out near the end of the month. Hungry and sick children do not do well in school or, later, as employees. So we hire more police and build more jails, substitutes for our failure to develop skills and personal responsibility, internalized Saturn principles. If communism actually lived up to its ideals, “from each according to his/her ability and to each according to his/her needs,” it would be a Neptunian system. Unfortunately, since (except in a few small spiritual communities) its execution has always been totalitarian, it has not differed much from other forms of government where one powerful individual or a relatively small elite group control the system. Democratic socialism seeks to find a middle ground with mixed success. Until we have “golden” people, we are not going to have a “golden” age. In the U.S. we have political democracy and an economic oligarchy which manages the masses through the media, as has been graphically demonstrated in the recent war. Do you really believe that 85% of our citizens are delighted that we killed over 100,000 Iraqis? Do we really need to defeat a third world country that is a little bigger than California but much smaller than Texas in order to feel good about ourselves? Will all of these U.S. citizens really vote against anyone who opposed the war and wanted to give sanctions more time?
President Bush has asked for $57 million dollars to do more about U.S. infant mortality (the highest in the developed world) and hungry children. He is getting $54 billion dollars from our allies for the Gulf war (which is not over, despite our cease fire) and says that it cost more than that. Of course, now we have to replace all the million dollar missiles we used and get new, higher tech, more expensive Uranian war toys which will blow any hope of a “peace dividend” that could repair roads and bridges, lower the classroom load of teachers, or provide homes for the homeless. One day, Bush says we must discourage selling arms to the Near East and the next day he asks Congress to approve a billion dollars in loan guarantees so our allies in the Near East can buy our weapons and keep our defense industries going. Even Sweden, famous for its neutrality, is a major supplier of weapons to the world to help to pay for its social services to its people. Nearly half of Czechoslovakia’s hard currency earnings come from arms sales though last year they pledged to abandon the field. The April 1, 1991 issue of U.S. News and World Report lists dollar figures for arms sales by different countries. I assume annual figures. U.S. $10.76 billion. U.S.S.R. $11.65 billion. Britain $1.62 billion. France $2.73 billion. Germany $780 million. Brazil $183 million. China $779 million. Where are you Pisces?
An astrological theory proposed in the 1930s by Barbault of France suggested that the intensity of life was ratcheted up when many planets were bunched close together in the zodiacal signs. Such periods tend to coincide with the “four horsemen,” war, famine, plague, and death. A computer program developed by Rob Hand graphically demonstrates the patterns and their correspondence to historical times like the Black Death, the 30-years war and the two world wars of this century. We have such a period for most of the last two decades of this century and the first fifteen years of the next. As our weapons become more deadly but also more widespread while our distribution of the world’s wealth becomes more imbalanced, will we learn the lessons of the Saturn principle and/or experience the empathy of the Neptune principle? Either one could save us from the very real dangers of the negative potentials of the Uranus principle as the major planets move on through Aquarius. Might the coming Uranus-Neptune conjunctions in 1993 mark a showdown or a turning point in our handling of social needs versus individual greed? We are doing more talking about ecology (the needs of the planet and other life forms), about the breakup of countries (which is a very Uranian action as smaller units demand more freedom) and about the breakdown of civilization in the hearts of our large cities. Can we as individuals do anything? We can at least pray for love in the world and set a personal example by being a loving and peaceful person, by living up to the positive potentials of all of our twelve sides of life.