The Outer Planets – To Use, or Not to Use

mountain and sky
Photo by Aviv Perets on Pexels.com

I may have touched upon this before, but I have been experimenting leaving out the outer planets in astrological interpretation.

I have to confess it has not been easy. The school which I studied with thirty years ago fully incorporated Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, if not some asteroids and Chiron.

So when I began to leave out these outer planets, it felt a little bit like riding bare back. It felt uncomfortable, as if I was missing something. Right now I’m not entirely sure which way to go, which isn’t good, because I want to affirm my astrological philosophy after all these years. But it is good to remain open minded.

Deleting?

However, I think I am gradually coming around to the decision to leave them out. What is the reason for this?

I have never been comfortable with the interpretation of the outer planets, their supposed influence. Of course, as far as we know, the ancients did not know about them, so they were not used.

Then boom! Uranus (called Herschel at first after the astronomer who had been tracking him) was discovered in the late 18th century, around the time of the American, French and Industrial Revolutions. Hm, so Uranus is associated with revolution, sudden change, right? Well, perhaps.

Revolution, Mysticism, Extremism

Then in the mid 19th century, Neptune was found, around the time of further revolutions around 1848 to do with socialism and what is now called Marxism. There was also a sudden surge of interest in the area of mysticism. Around 1850, it really did seem like a new world was being born.

Come 1930, little Pluto was discovered. And we know what was to follow after that. Pluto has ever since had dark, underground associations of hidden extreme power and violence.

Gradually each of these new planets were seen by many astrologers as higher octaves of the planets. Uranus was thought to be the higher octave of Mercury, the planet nearest the sun on our solar system model. Uranus was therefore was about mental breakthrough, inspiration, invention.

Higher Octaves

Similarly Neptune was seen as the higher octave of Venus (love, unity) through meditation and Pluto was associated with Mars (energy) in a more transformative pose. I have never been completely comfortable with this thinking.

For one thing, we know these luminaries are there but they are not visible to the human eye. Are we not in danger of ascribing them too much astrological influence? Yes, invisible things can be very powerful. But astrology is about luminaries, things you CAN see. Simplicity can be a blessing.

Some use the outer planets in a lesser way, see them as purely negative, revealing by sign and house position where we will experience problems, perhaps a bit like a negative fixed star. For example, Uranus might reveal where we feel alone, isolated; Neptune warns us of deception and confusion; Pluto where we might be in danger of self destruction. The difference, of course, is that you can see a fixed star.

Bad Influences

If we return to the time of the discovery of each of these planets, we could strongly argue that if the finding corresponded with a major shift in human activity as seen through the accepted historical narrative, such as revolution, then maybe these planets’ ‘influences’ are indeed negative.

And as well as all the above, didn’t the old ‘system’ with seven luminaries have a certain beauty, balance or resonance about it? The discovery of Uranus in 1781 and its incorporation into astrology, did indeed disrupt everything.

What is more, it is my contention that Uranus is not the ruler or even co-ruler of Aquarius. The nature of this sign has been subjugated over the last two hundred years, from a serious minded forward thinker, to a wacky professor or flower power hippy – all because of the so called cranky ruler Uranus. Aquarius is traditionally the sign of hopes, dreams and wishes and group objectives. How are these Uranian?

Difficult Associations

Similarly, mystical Neptune has been associated with ‘dreamy’ Pisces and powerful Pluto with the much maligned Scorpio. The tradition of assigning two signs each to the planets, Mercury through Saturn, is ancient. I now believe it should stay that way. Tradition is important whilst remaining open minded.

So at this juncture my purpose is to leave out the outer planets, including Chiron (which is what… a comet?), along with the asteroids.

With each interpretation, if any outer planet does indeed form a major aspect, I will consider mentioning it, but will not include it on the chart. Treating the outer planets a bit like fixed stars might indeed be the way to go – but that is not decry those clearly visible luminaries, which have had a place in many forms of astrology for millennia.

Nevertheless, I feel the outer planets do seem to have influence on us all in a transpersonal sense – though not necessarily in a benevolent fashion. I intend to highlight this is in a number of forthcoming articles.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

 

Haiku: Aquarius

brown-book-page-1112048
Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels

Water carrier
Positive Saturn enshrined
Prosperous future

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Lunar Eclipse, July 5 2020 – Tension, Change, Fireworks… and Healing?

lunar eclipse
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The up and coming lunar eclipse on Sunday July 5 falls on a very sensitive point of the USA independence chart.

This will be almost exactly conjunct the Sun’s position in the eighth house in that 1776 chart, activating the important second and eighth house axis, which is all about national security, money, finance, investment, banking. The USA would appear to be at a significant point of change in these affairs.

Intriguingly, the Sun at this time is exactly conjunct the fixed star Sirius, Canis Major, or the ‘dog star’, which is thought to be largely beneficial, his effects ranging from guardianship (protection), honour, perhaps even to spiritual healing and rebirth, some believe. Sirius is obscured by the Sun from early July until the second week of August, these are the so called ‘dog days’.

This might be highly significant, especially as this period will last until Sirius’ rising at the beautifully termed Lion’s Gate in August. We could all do with some spiritual, mental and physical protection and healing right now.

Dichotomy

In the chart for the eclipse itself, set for Washington DC, the tenth and fourth houses are particularly activated, highlighting the dichotomy between the government and opposition in the United States, the Sun and Moon also squaring the ascending degree of the chart.

And talking of ascendants, Aries is rising and therefore Mars is the chart ruler, who happens to be powerfully placed in his own sign. The whole situation is therefore energised, even bellicose, so we might expect some ‘fireworks’. Mars is in difficult aspect to Mercury, so expect caustic commentary and irritation too.

Energised

That said, Mars is in positive aspect to Venus in Gemini the third house – potential here for some ‘good news’ – we could do with some of that.

Interestingly, the Sun and Moon make a positive aspect to Uranus in Taurus in the second house, indicating the potential for positive change in regard to the economy, money, finance and banking. There are likely to be a few surprises here.

It certainly has the potential to be a weekend we won’t easily forget.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020