Haiku: Saturn Meets Pluto

woman in black dress standing in front of pile of bricks
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Pluto will tear down
Saturn is the status quo
So you go figure

(on January 12 2020, the long awaited meeting or conjunction of Saturn and Pluto becomes exact in Capricorn…)

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Dark Times of Intensity – Saturn Meets Pluto

person wearing red hoodie
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The long awaited conjunction between Saturn and Pluto becomes exact on January 12 2020, which also includes the Sun and Mercury, increasing its significance.

There is a Saturn Pluto conjunction very 33 to 37 years or so. Examples of others occurred in 1914, 1947 and 1982 and much has been written about these ‘coinciding’ with the beginning of WW1, The Cold War and the economic depression of the early 1980s.

However, this one seems especially dark to me. Put simply, in astrological terms, this planetary activity is taking place in Capricorn.

The goat represents the milieu of the status quo, business and politics. Saturn is in its own sign, very powerful, and represents authority and establishment.

Pluto’s Power

Pluto, so much demeaned by astronomers for now being classed as a ‘minor planet’, shows no signs of having any corresponding minor impact in astrology. Most positively, the Saturn Pluto conjunction could be said to symbolise restructuring.

Pluto is about power and it tears down, exposes, transforms, brings forth what has been long concealed, but also intensifies. From this it isn’t difficult to see that is just the kind of thing that has been happening, particularly in the world of politics and it hasn’t been pretty.

In the UK we have Brexit, Britain’s exit from the EU apparently recently endorsed by the Conservative’s landslide win in the General Election. The country stands to leave at 11pm on January 31 2020.

Political Chaos

There is much corresponding unrest in other European countries, violent protests and people questioning the future of the EU itself.

We have political chaos in America, where the President has been impeached, yet the process has not yet passed fully to the Senate – perhaps because it doesn’t stand a chance of being ratified, although at times the proceedings on all sides seems to beggar belief.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that I think the best outcome from all this is that we shall see the foundation of new political structures in the ensuing weeks, months and years.

I just hope and pray that this process of political transformation occurs as peaceably as possible and that we, the people, come out of it properly represented and wholly informed.

copyright Francis Barker 2020

 

2020 Vision: Astrology Musings

person holding terrestrial globe scale model taken
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Much has been made of the up and coming conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, exact on January 12 2020 – and rightly so.

Jupiter ‘joins the party’ in 2020 too, to finally form its 19+ year or so ‘great conjunction’ with Saturn at the very beginning of Aquarius on December 21 next year. Mars too will be involved in the spring, probably ruffling a few feathers and possibly causing some serious conflict along the way.

There are other things I could mention but these are mere musings. So what does it all mean and why all the fuss?

Rare astrological line ups

Well, ‘meetings’ of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are pretty rare, the last one being nearly four thousand years ago (as far as I can see), but we can’t say for sure what was happening then.

Capricorn is a pretty important sign for us all. It’s all about structure, the political and to some extent economic structure of the world and in our own lives. Capricorn is pretty important to certain countries to, the UK and China, for example, so all this activity is likely to affect these countries especially.

Saturn is very powerful in his own sign (he rules the Goat) and wants to set things straight. He’s fairly conservative, strict, maybe cruel at times, but usually fair. There may be a ‘karmic’ side to him, presenting us with what we have reaped, so to speak.

Sword of Damocles

Pluto, on the other hand, is the very slow moving ‘minor’ planet, with the big impact. He is at best transformative, which is probably an overused word. He brings change, sometimes drastic change and can present the truth to us, warts and all, dragging up stuff some people you’d rather not see or know about. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 doing exactly this kind of thing and it hasn’t been pretty.

Put Saturn and Pluto together, as they are now and will be throughout most of next year, and you get a Sword of Damocles situation, where those in power seem to face imminent ruin, replacement or both.

The upsurge in alternative politics and perhaps in ‘right wing’ parties too, is probably a symptom of this, like a return to some form of fundamentalist belief which necessarily wants to clear the ground and start again… though this might well interest the ‘left’ as well. I think we are entering a period in history in which the old labels of left and right are becoming meaningless.

January 12 2020, hold on to your hats?

So whether we are to expect some crystallising event around January 12 2020, which might encapsulate all that which is deemed ‘wrong’ in the political/economic world, I’m not sure.

Some think we may see a huge economic crash (Uranus is in Taurus as well, indicating financial change), or another big political scandal which could envelope more than one country. It’s always difficult to predict such things and I’m not into prediction. Suffice it to say that we are likely to see more of the same political shenanigans but with the heat cranked up to eleven.

After this we have Mars (in the spring especially) and Jupiter joining the fray. Mars entering the stage in an already volatile situation is not a good sign, and at worst could lead to some kind of conflict, quite possibly arising (or used as an excuse) from a very serious political and economic situation.

Crisis brings opportunity

However, I think Jupiter’s involvement in Capricorn next year is key. Jupiter is fundamentally expansive and may represent a real opportunity amid scenes of potential panic in places like stock exchanges and governments.

It’s difficult to see what this might be, but perhaps a few years down the line, we might see that some ‘organisation’ founded next year as a result of the chaos begins to play a clearer and more beneficial role in steering us forward.

What is more, by the end of the year 2020, namely on December 21, both Jupiter and Saturn shake hands in early Aquarius. This is the so called ‘great conjunction’, a meeting of the two so called planetary giants, symbolising some kind of course correction, or minor reset which we go through every twenty years.

Silver lining

I might be wrong but I can’t help but see this as a possible silver lining of the year, a year which might go down as a whole as one of the most momentous in all our lives.

When I was a child there was much talk of the Age of Aquarius and this is (apart from a brief conjunction in Libra in 1980/81) the first time it has occurred in air since the late middle ages, a long time ago.

This begins an extended run of great conjunctions in air signs for the next century or more, following on from a period of well over a century with the great conjunctions occurring in earth signs. So what am I saying?

A less materialistic era?

Whilst this may not be the inception of the Age of Aquarius, what it does symbolise is the end of a particularly materialistic age and the true inauguration of a more rational, even more ‘spiritual’ age, where there will be a free flow of information and huge leaps in thought – maybe a new ‘renaissance’ of some kind.

So that’s my take on it. 2020 is likely going to be difficult, but we’re used to that. Yet, by the year’s end the light at the end of that long tunnel we’ve been travelling along, may be just that little bit brighter.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Tanka: 2020 Vision

adventure amusement park carnival enjoyment
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The super fun ride
Saturn conjoining Pluto
Hold on to your seat
The world is about to change
I hope your view will be good

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Tanka: Saturn and Pluto

round analog clock
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Saturn and Pluto
come together in the Goat
Stuff hitting the fan
pulling the plug on the swamp
Who said it would be easy?

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Moon trine Saturn and then Pluto – Astrology Musings

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Later the Moon exalted in Taurus, once again trines Saturn dignified in Capricorn. This sounds reasonably positive, in a dour kind of way. As Taurus is the sign of money, finance and security, these issues could be affected more beneficially.

The general Taurean lunar mood will be of steadiness, encouraging us to appreciate the good things of life, though as the trine applies, maybe particularly for Taureans and Cancerians, there will be a more serious air as the weekend starts, which will encourage the acceptance of duty and conducting oneself in more responsible ways – not exactly weekend party time.

Loosen the air

Nevertheless, with Venus in Gemini and Jupiter retrograde in Sagittarius in their loose opposition, social conviviality, plus encouragement towards a more philosophical appreciation of life, will continue to loosen the air somewhat.

However, later the Moon trines Pluto once again; there is potential for more changeful happenings, maybe something ‘underground’ from fall out from political situations, which could easily turn out to be beneficial.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Time and Transformation, ‘Draining the Swamp’: Saturn and Pluto Musings

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Saturn and Pluto probably have the darkest associations in astrology.

In mythology Saturn or Chronos (Ancient Greek), devoured his own children for his own protection. Yet it didn’t help him in the end.

Saturn was, until the discovery of Uranus in 1781, the outermost known planet. He sat on the limit, marking time, he was perhaps the ‘lord of karma’, taking nearly 30 years to return to the same part of our birth charts. This is the Saturn return, probably a testing time, but also one of re-evaluation, growing up, taking stock – and looking forward too.

Underworld

Pluto or Hades, has obvious associations with the underworld of myth, leading astrologers to signify such words as ‘deep working’. Further analysis has led many to associate Pluto with Scorpio, the 8th house, though there is still much debate.

In recent years Pluto has been demoted astronomically to minor planet status, along with his twirling sibling, Charon. Yet, despite this there does not seem to be any lessening in the interest and conjecture on Pluto’s astrological significance.

Generational

Like a growing number, I stick to Mars being the ruler of Scorpio. I think the outer planets, so called, are significant but not as fundamental as the Sun to Saturn. They are generational influences.

Yet if Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are prominent by aspect or placement, then these apparently deeper influences come in to play and can be hard to understand and difficult to come to terms with.

Unsettling

Take Pluto’s present transition through Capricorn. At the very least, Pluto’s ‘influence’ can be unsettling, wherever he is found. And right now Saturn is in Capricorn too, approaching conjunction in January 2020.

In mundane astrology, as Capricorn is all about culmination, the establishment, politics, so we perhaps should not be surprised with the political chaos we witness all over the world at the moment. Established parties and political structures do seem to be under threat. In the final analysis, they either change – or die.

Pluto may also be asking us fundamental questions about what politics is for. Who does it serve? Isn’t it all just a charade, a game? If so, get rid of it.

The up and coming conjunction next year might well signify that most of the political crises will reach their apogee early next year, though it will all take years to fully work out, like it has taken years to get to this particular point.

Revolutionary Times?

It is interesting to note that the last time Pluto was in Capricorn was in the lead up to the American Revolution.

But what about Pluto in personal birth charts?

I know someone who was born when Saturn and Pluto were exactly trine, that is, in a harmonious 120 degree aspect. Saturn happens to be her ruling planet too and is angular, strongly placed.

Transformation

We could say that she was born with the potential to harness practically Pluto’s deeply ‘transformative’ influence in her life. Pluto is in her 9th house, so there is a deep interest in different cultures, philosophical matters, like religion and spirituality, a yearning for the quest, so to speak.

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Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Nevertheless, right now, both Pluto and Saturn are transiting together in Capricorn, in her first house. I have explained to her about the forthcoming conjunction next year. Here we see symbolised the coming together of the stock taking nature of Saturn and the deep seated need for change, as represented by Pluto.

This has not been easy for her. Some astrologers use words like ‘elimination’ for Pluto; politicians may use phrases like ‘draining the swamp’. But who is to judge?

Existential Need

Yet, I have talked to her about this ‘existential need’ (as she describes it) for readjustment in her life. Saturn is cautious, especially in Capricorn, the sign it rules; Pluto, it would seem, insists on change. So what gives?

Is Pluto really about necessary change? This person is uncomfortable, every avenue that seems open to her appears daunting. So if we do ‘drain the swamp’ in our lives, it is likely to be most uncomfortable. Even bad things, like bad habits, can give us comfort. Routines are Saturnian. The tried and tested.

Have you noticed how quickly time goes with a routine? When you go on holiday for a few days, somewhere different, where you’re doing different things, notice how slow the time appears to go those first few days.

Pluto won’t leave Capricorn until around the middle of the next decade. Our world will be quite different by then. And so will the world of the person I’ve mentioned here. But it will probably be a better world for her and all of us.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

The More Things Change

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The moment I saw the new Royal Baby’s birth chart, the first phrase that leapt in to my mind was something like ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’.

What led me in this direction? It was the basic details of the chart that all those interested in astrology look for. The Sun is in Taurus, close to the Taurus’ ascendant. I felt solidity, physical strength, sensuality, steadfastness, dependability, tradition, and also stubbornness and determination.

However, a further glance showed that the ‘outer planet’ Uranus is in the first house. I use the whole house system and generally treat the so called outer planets like some might treat the fixed stars; if they are strongly placed then they come into play at a more personal level. Well, Uranus, over the the period of time since its discovery in the late 18th century, has come to symbolise sudden change, the breaking down of existing structures, often violently, and the imposition of more radical authority. The baby’s Uranus in the whole house system falls in the first house, in Taurus.

The transition of Uranus (sudden change) through Taurus (structure, finance, banking, security) over the next few years, strongly suggests that we will indeed see many, often drastic changes in the world of money, what we think of it, how we use it etc. With this Royal baby, here we have symbolised an embodiment of the forces which wish to stay exactly as they are, versus the irresistible force for change.

Maybe we can also see here symbolised the controversy of wanting to have a ‘modern’ home birth, which is actually a reversion to the past, versus the existing Royal protocol. And all of this exemplified in the persona of a new arrival in to the world. Either way, Uranus in the first house indicates someone who is very individual, unique, and all of the planets (except Jupiter in its own sign interestingly) on the so called ‘I’ side, or ‘eastern hemisphere’ of the chart emboldens the tendency for the person to strongly believe in himself.

So what else can we see? My head nodded tellingly when I saw Saturn in Capricorn close to the Midheaven (MC). Once again we have here an indicator of earthy solidity, this time revealing itself in the career path of the individual. There will be huge demands of responsibility placed upon him – well, he will be a Royal after all. Classically this is not a ‘good’ position for Saturn and the burden, or the weight of the task of his role, whatever it might be, will be highly demanding.

However, once again, we have an outer planet messing around close to Saturn and the MC, namely Pluto. Now a few years ago poor Pluto was demoted to a ‘minor planet’, something which I understand, but as I said above, I look at the outer planets a bit like fixed stars. Nevertheless, Pluto is still deeply powerful, I believe. He is a bit like Uranus in that he denotes change, but Pluto has come to symbolise deeper transformations and darker forces behind the scenes. So here again we have conservative forces in Saturn/Capricorn, being deeply undermined by transformative Pluto. He will have a highly interesting role in public life.

Next we have the Moon’s north and south nodes coming strongly into play, the south node being conjunct Saturn and the Midheaven. He brings with him an inheritance of deep public responsibility, but the way forward in his life is showing a need to become more involved in family, his roots and also his siblings. This will be a true challenge.

As you can see, the new Royal baby very much personifies the present political situation, not only in the United Kingdom but throughout the world. It will be fascinating to see how this dichotomy within his personality plays out over time.

night sky over city road
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So on a lighter note, what else can we see? When he was born the Moon had just skipped over into airy and mutable Gemini, showing that he will have a lighter, quick witted and vivacious side to his personality too. In the whole house system, this Moon is in the second house of finance and security and may indicate many changes and fluctuations in this area of life.

What is more, there is an exact opposition between Mars and Jupiter in the 2nd/8th house axis. Gemini and Sagittarius are not stable, and this tug of war between fiery Mars and generous Jupiter in his own sign, could well indicate a tendency for financial affairs to get out of hand, either through circumstances constantly changing. There certainly might be a tendency to be cavalier here, though the caution of Taurus and Capricorn will tend to put the breaks on.

His Mercury in Aries means he will probably be a very vocal personality, with much wit and charm. This tendency will probably be increased by his Venus in Aries in the 12th house, indicating ardent emotions and impatience too, but this may usually be hidden from public gaze.

So, in essence, I think he will be an imposing, unique presence, with the Sun and ascendant in Taurus and Uranus in the first house. This combined with his fiery, versatile side, indicated by the Mars Jupiter opposition, may well make him a very fine sportsman with great strength and skill. He embodies both the deep traditions of Royalty and also the irresistible force for change within it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out not only his own life, but in all of ours too.

 

Lipstick

She still puts on lipstick the same way,
calls it ‘lippy’ like it was a toy

One time she was his Venus
emerging fresh onto the shore of him

Now it’s Saturn who looks back
from the mirror

smeared,
croaking lame words of age

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

Article ‘Astrology, the Mother… and Saturn’

English: Auroras on Saturn. Français : Des aur...
Image via Wikipedia

Astrology, the Mother… and Saturn

Around twenty years ago, I completed an astrology correspondence course. I had long been fascinated with the subject and this school stood out for me because of its distinctive approach, combining astrology with psychology, with a very holistic way of looking at individual birth charts.
Now, of course, astrology to most people is merely the sun sign nonsense we consume every day in papers, magazines, on TV and online. This too was my understanding of it until my grandmother died. I remember some of her magazines came to our house, and in the astrology section at the back of one, the astrologer discussed the position of other planets and in particular, the Moon, which, among others things, was considered to be a major significator of the mother in an individual’s chart. From this point I was hooked, and read all I could despite the derision from those who thought they were more logical than me.
Maybe for this reason, it wasn’t until I was well into my thirties that I decided to study the subject more seriously. Once my decision of school and which Diploma to study was taken, I became aware of their different stance in regard to the mother significator. They believed that Saturn and not the Moon was important in regard to the mother. The Moon was in fact the child, Saturn the mother and the Sun, perhaps logically, was the father.

Deutsch: Der Vollmond, fotografiert in Hamois ...
Image via Wikipedia

At first, I was a little perplexed. The Moon, with its associations with the menstrual cycle and its ever changing nature, is perhaps more obviously feminine and thereby ‘motherly’. And then Saturn (Greek Chronos), who according to mythology was the lame god who devoured his own children! Yet, when I fully digested what was said, I saw the ‘logic’ of this stance, because it was all about the mother’s traditional and perceived role in our upbringing and not necessarily to do with gender at all.
Saturn, we must remember, until the late 18th century with the discovery of Uranus, was the farthest known planet and represented, to the ancient and medieval mind, a boundary, a necessary restriction of our universe and therefore our psyche, hence its often very grave and baleful astrological reputation, as the English composer Gustav Holst’s take on the planet elucidates. The ancients’ saying ‘as above, so below’ typifies this belief that outer events mirror our inner worlds.

English: Gustav Holst (1874–1934)
Gustav Holst. Image via Wikipedia

If we think of the mother’s traditional role, she (or this function she performs) is the fundamental teacher, our first contact with the world, as well as nourisher and provider. She makes us see and feel – experience – a version of reality. So, if we forget the gender of myth, which after all, has a lot to do with astrology in its grand summation of all the world’s mythology, we can equate the understood Saturnian role with the mother.
I realised that this so-called ‘gender bending’ wasn’t exclusive to astrology. The German language, for instance, sees the Sun as feminine (die Sonne), the Mother as masculine (der Mond). And we should also remember that Old English (Anglo-saxon) being a germanic language, also reflected this in regard to the Sun and Moon until the three genders melded into one in Middle English. Incidentally, quite what this might mean for the ‘collective psyche’ of the English and German nations, I’m not sure.
Unfortunately, Sun sign astrology has only cheapened what is a very old (the oldest!) science based art. A planet, let’s say Saturn and its association with the mother, must be understood by sign, house position, quadrant of the chart and its aspects. Nothing can be taken out of context with the interpretation.

Saturn astrology
The astrological glyph for Saturn. Image via Wikipedia

One extreme example I thought of, using this methodology, would be Saturn in Cancer, said to be in its ‘fall’ because it would be opposite the sign it rules, Capricorn. Wherever Saturn appears in a chart by sign, house and aspect, we might impute that’s where there is a sense of lacking, restriction or difficulty. In Cancer, one interpretation might be that there is a problem dealing with emotion or maybe the family.
If Saturn was also found high up in the chart, not considered too helpful as it is a grounding, formative principle, then this person might feel very exposed and insecure through his life. If Saturn was also unaspected, that is, it had no relationships by degrees with other planets in the chart, then this would only compound the sense of isolation and vulnerability.
Now this would be where the good psychologically attuned astrologer would come in. If we accept that Saturn stands for the mother, then he/she could tentatively ask question about the his/her relationship to the mother, and thereby, a relationship of understanding and exploration could be formed between the astrologer and client. They could explore avenues, looking at the birth chart as a whole, ways of compensating perhaps, if indeed the experience of the mother was difficult for the individual. It might well be found, that this person did indeed have a very difficult (perhaps wholly absent) experience of the mother and that this led him/her onto high achievements through much hard work as compensation for this feeling of something missing.

A horoscope calculated for January 1, 2000 at ...
A fully cast birth chart. Image via Wikipedia

This is the key, taking the chart as a whole, and not as a guessing parlour game. To create an individualised birth chart, an astrologer needs the exact (if known) time, date and place of birth, so it is a commitment from the client.
So, in the final analysis, do I believe that Saturn represents the mother more closely than the Moon? Perhaps. Of course, there are many who’d say that it’s all nonsense. To be honest, after completing the course, I have only occasionally delved into astrology. It’s a matter of frustration for me. The media have a lot to answer for, leading the ‘public’ to wrong expectations. ‘Tell me what I’m like, what is going to happen?’ – this was what I found most of the time and I don’t believe astrology can predict the future with any certainty. I firmly believe it does have a role to play in helping people as an aid to their mentality. Even the great Carl Jung thought it might have a role in this regard and others since have thought so, too.

*In my next piece, I shall attempt to self-analyse, astrologically, my artistic tendencies.

© copyright dfbarker 2012