Pluto in Aquarius – it’s not really all about technology backfiring is it?

It’s no surprise that astrologers are getting anxious.

In 2023, Pluto leaves Capricorn where it has been since 2008 and makes its way into Aquarius where it will remain until 2044.

Much of what I’ve been reading in the blogs, et al, about what this transition is likely to be about, focuses on technology (Aquarius) and because Pluto is involved, the idea is that where we’ve gone too far with technology and this is the period during which it  will backfire (Pluto) on us, bigtime.

OK, that’s one interpretation.

But how about digging deeper?

Getting to grips with what Aquarius is and always has been, all about?

One approach might be to look at the ancient star lore connected with Fomalhaut, the Ottoman miniatrure from the 17th century (Istanbul University Library)fixed star associated with the zodiac sign of Aquarius. According to the Greek astronomer, Aratus (270 BC), Fomalhaut is at the Pourer’s (Aquarius) feet where it forms part of the fixed cross of the four Royal Stars of Persia – the ‘watchers’ or guardians of the sky (angelic powers).

rudabeh-letting-hair--stBernadette Brady considers Fomalhaut rather like the legendary Persian warrior, Zal, who although seriously out of step with society (a white-haired man who’d been raised in a bird’s nest), managed (through his usually considerate behaviour) to win the heart of the beautiful princess, Redabeh. Even though the odds were against the couple, Zal persisted and, eventually, they were allowed to marry.

A lovely story complete with high ideals and lofty visions. Hence those with Fomalhaut strong in the horoscopes will often have to clash with mainstream thought (tradition) to achieve their ideals (progress). Let’s not forget that Aquarius is ruler by two very opposing energies – (1) Saturn (authority) and (2) Uranus (rebellion).

It should thus come as no surprise that the very last time that Pluto was in Aquarius (1777-1796), we suffered both the French and American revolutions. Most certainly that was a time when mainstream thought was challenged to achieve some pretty lofty ideals, and for the greater (communal) good, too. Because Fomalhaut (Aquarius) is in opposition to Regulus (Leo), the by-word during this time will be ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.

thIndeed, when Pluto was in Aquarius prior to that (1532-1552), Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church and established the Church of England. In 1536, the dissolution of the monasteries began: quite a rebellious break with tradition. Whether this was for the communal good is questionable. But let’s not forget that this period saw the birth of  Elizabeth I, who by all accounts was a gifted poet, as well as a much-loved sovereign and a savvy diplomat.  Sure, she wielded immense power, but she was no dictator. Not only did she encourage her country to begin an era of cultural experimentation and scientific advancement, but she handsomely rewarded her subjects for doing just that.

In summary, with Pluto in Aquarius, we can expect upset of the status quo in order for humanity to pursue new and progressive ideals. No longer will be focus be on ‘me’ but instead, on ‘we’.

Quite what this has to do with technology backfiring, I honestly don’t know. But I’d be more than happy to discuss it.

Happy Birthday Aquarius

What might those with Sun in Aquarius expect this year?

  • Goals and values serve each other. With Venus and the Sun conjunct (in Aquarius), you can look forward to a harmonious period. Enjoy music, the arts, anything and everything that not only makes you feel good, but also that is in keeping with your personal values. Not certain what those values might be? Great time for some ‘soul-searching’! You might even have a go at some standardised tests – for example,  Key words for Aquarius: dispassionate, impersonal, nonconformist, observant, idealist – sound familiar?animal-orange-aquarius
  • Motivations of self and others. With Pluto conjunct Mercury (in Capricorn), you can look forward to some serious conversations. If ever you’ve needed to get to the bottom of things, now is the time; the motivations of self and others become perfectly clear. The only problem is that you might not like what you find. Power struggles and manipulative behaviour are rife with Pluto/Mercury in combination. Perfect time for counselling or other similar personal work. Even consider coaching if you’ve got a specific goal in mind. The point is that the more self-aware you are, the better your chances of achieving it (Capricorn).
  • Unlimited Potential. With Jupiter conjunct Mars (in Scorpio), you’ve got the power – creative power, that is. Mars in the planet associated with taking action and Jupiter is associated with vision. As long as you’re being (1) true to yourself (Mars) and (2) ethical (Jupiter), the potential is great for you to be hugely successful. The problem comes if you’re tempted to sacrifice one for the other. The task of Mars/Jupiter is to resolve ethical, moral, and philosophical dilemmas.  Prioritise! Believe it or not, there are limitations on your time, energy, and resource.

Based on moment when the Sun enters Aquarius in 2018, the above comments pertain to all Aquarians. But if you’d like to find out more about what is in store for you specifically, a solar return chart would be perfect.

Today and Tomorrow are 3 of Swords Days

With the Sun in Virgo (critical) and the Moon in Aquarius (wilful), today and tomorrow are Three of Swords days.

  • Three stands for past, present, and future,
  • Three is behind manifestation,
  • Things do come in threes.

With the Three of Swords, that which has been set in motion in the past has come to fruition in the present and, as is clear in this card, the result is not pleasant. This is the stuff of which curses are made – hurtful words hurled willy-nilly – come to roost later in unexpected and painful ways.

Your work does not succeed in filing our expectations. You are beset by family quarrels. Ill health and/or physical harm might loom large. This is a card of trial, trouble, and tears. Do you feel unloved, misunderstood, and/or deliberately targeted?ThreeSwords


The good news  is that the poison is out. This is as bad as it will get. The past may have impinged on the present but it’s up to you to decide about the future. You may feel resentful, but that doesn’t mean you need to act on it?

The following card, the Four of Swords, advises seclusion. Retreat to a safe place with a nice cup of tea. Think long and hard about how this came to happen. Avoid blame and fault. Contemplate. Meditate. Rebuild your strength and stamina. When the Moon moves in Pisces in a couple  days time, you’ll feel more like forgiving and forgetting. By the time the Moon moves into Aries, at the end of the week, you’ll feel like getting up and out – back on  the road to adventure.

Today is a Prince of Wands Day – please, think before you take that leap…

With the Sun in Aries (action) and the Moon in Aquarius (progressive ideals/ideas), it’s going to be a Prince of Wands day.

The Prince of Wands is a fiery character; his youth and daring are readily apparent. Clearly, he is embarking on a journey of great importance. See how he radiates his passion? He’s a free & original thinker – inspired by his ideas of what might – someday – be.

But upon closer examination, something about this picture doesn’t look quite right – and I suspect that this because our prince is a bit too cocky, too quick on the draw. Undeniably, original thinking is a positive asset; it frees us from the status quo. On the other hand, if untampered by the practicalities of the situation, such thinking could well doom our plans to failure. Is this prince about to trip over his own feet in his race to the finish line? I fear that he might be…

On a Prince of Wands day, it is likely that we will learn an important lesson in regards to naïve assumptions of ‘good luck’ – just because we have a good idea doesn’t mean that we will – or even ought to try to – make it happen.

c588b6504745a6c0cc8e4bf470c60795Tomorrow the Moon shifts into Pisces – and the bright, shiny plans of today just might overnight melt into disillusioned dreams.

So, don’t be like Don Quixote in Cervantes’ famous tale and tilt at silly windmills.

Instead, stand back for a moment and take the perspective of the wiser, and more quietly self-confident Queen of Wands (Moon in Leo) – and ask yourself honestly if the proposed course of action will validate your true sense of self-expression. If it won’t, then don’t do it. Save your time and energy for those courses of action that will do.

Today and Tomorrow are Phlegmatic/Sanguine – but take heart!

With the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Aquarius (hot/wet) it’s going to be a Phlegmatic/Sanguine couple of days.

You may recall that humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen – it’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments:

Fire Hot/dry Yellow Bile Choleric
Earth Cold/dry Black Bile Melancholic
Water Cold/wet Phlegm Phlegmatic
Air Hot/wet Blood Sanguine

Often we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the more balanced between the four humours – the better and the good news is that with this one, it won’t be hard to get it right.

About a week ago, when the Moon was in Libra we also had Phlegmatic/Sanguine energy – and according to his 16th century translation of Galen’s Art of Physick, Nicholas Culpeper advised that such energy was frustrating – but only so-so.

If you will also recall, Libra was in square aspect (90 degrees) to Cancer. Even more importantly, both energies were cardinal   – representing a direct, unrestrained outpouring of energy in keeping with the change of seasons – the cross-quarter days of the summer equinox (Cancer) and vernal equinox (Libra).cross quarter days

The relationship between Aquarius and Cancer is different; although Cancer remains cardinal, Aquarius is fixed in the sense that it preserves the balance. In terms of the Jungian Functions, Aquarius (air) represents the thinking function and so when Cancer (feeling function) overwhelms (as it is apt to do), you can drop back, re-group, and gather much needed perspective.

No longer feeling pushed/pulled by the energies around you, you can now take a decision and stick with it – that’s what fixed energy like Aquarius is all about.

Today you can win back your dignity and self respect

With the sun in Aquarius  (breakthrough and reform ) and the moon in Libra (  harmony and peace), today is Six of Swords Day.  It is also the first day we’ve seen the sun in Oxford for some time.

The Six of Swords is not a happy card.  Yet it does suggest some sense of harmony resulting from coming to terms with yourself.  Each of us has strengths and weaknesses.  But in today’s world of constant competition, it is all to easy to identify with what you do wrong rather than what you do right.

The serene state suggested by the Six of Swords does not spring from the tranquil heart as it might do with the Six of Cups, but rather from a tranquil mind.

In his essay ‘Answer to Job’, Carl Jung suggests that physical reality is just one kind of reality.    If someone holds a belief (regardless of whether it is possible or not of physical manifestation) and such belief holds meaning for that person, then that belief is as real as anything else.

Scary – when you come to think about it.

Even scarier if you’ve come to believe that you don’t measure up.

I win – you lose.   For better or worse, this is the world in which we live in today.

On a Six of Swords Day, you can utilise your mind’s capacity for understanding to help come to terms with the negative beliefs you’ve piled on about yourself.   On a Six of Swords Day,  you can win back your dignity and self-respect.

Astro-dynamics of My Knight in Shining Armour

In yet another characterisation exercise for my new memoir, I’m digging into the astro-personality of my husband, JWM.  He plays the knight in shining armour who rescues me from the Wicked Witch of A ‘dam.  

Although he won’t admit it, JWM’s father is a huge influence in his life.  This makes the nature of the bond between them even more important because it operates unconsciously.

The key astrological configurations in  father/son relationships are (1) Saturn (discipline and control), (2) the Sun (validation of Self) and (3) Mars (survival instinct).  The concepts here are clash, struggle, opposition, fear, defeat, and betrayal.

In myth, Saturn and Mars are mortal enemies.  Yet they absolutely need each other.  It’s interesting that Saturn functions not only as the father figure in a young man’s life but also as the unavoidable aging process that eventually brings the young buck to his knees.

But back to the Wicked Witch of A ‘dam.  JWM was a young man then.   He had not yet undergone his Saturn return during which he would gain his sense of perspective.

JWM’s Saturn (structure/perfection) in Aries (sense of omnipotence) sits on his father’s Sun/Uranus  (break w/ tradition) in Aries; JWM never stops judging his father.  His father doesn’t know how to react.  Their interactions take on a decidedly defensive tone.   The young ram must butt against something if he’s to make any progress at all.

A young man’s sense of direction must come from his notion  of the ‘father figure’.  Because his Sun is in Aquarius, JWM needs his father to be a visionary who accomplishes nothing less than transforming the free world.  Whether his father achieved this isn’t the point.  The point is that with JWM’s Sun square Mars/Neptune conjunction (dissociation from action), he needs to see his father that way.

So not surprisingly, when I first met JWM in A ‘dam he was an unfocused drifter.    His father had failed to unleash JWM’s Mars energy  (there’s no synastry there).   But I did.*

According to Liz Greene, the energy of Neptune/Mars often manifests through romantic heroism.   That’s just what it did.  Enter my knight in shining armour whose Neptune/Mars in Scorpio formed a perfect trine with the Mars (Cancer) of Alieke, the Wicked Witch of A ‘dam.


* My Uranus (liberation) in Cancer (nurturing) trines JWM’s Neptune/Mars in Scorpio (passion).