imagesNatal combinations of Mars (personal will) and Pluto (raw power) make them a force with which to be reckoned. Individuals with this natal combination function (consciously or not) with such an intensity of purpose that they are able to (consciously or not) transisition their desire into reality.

Because Mars acts in conjunction with Pluto’s evolutionary drive for transformation, it’s little wonder these two are the co-rulers of Scorpio – and –  as anyone with first- hand experience of Scorpio knows, these waters run deep.

It’s also little wonder that – throughout the centuries – a large number of well-known ceremonial magicians, witches, and occultists have Mars/Pluto aspects in their charts – for example:

 Aleister Crowley  (Golden Dawn) – Pluto (23 Taurus) TRINE Mars (22 Capricorn)

Israel Regardie  (Golden Dawn) – Pluto (23 Gemini) TRINE Mars (21 Aquarius)

Carlos Castaneda (shaman) – Pluto (13 Cancer) TRINE Mars (28 Scorpio)

Starhawk (Wiccan) – Pluto (17 Leo) SEXTILE Mars (18 Gemini)

Zsuzsanna Budapest (Wiccan) – Pluto (22 Virgo) SQUARE Mars (16 Sagitarrius)

William Yeats (Golden Dawn/poet) – Pluto (13 Taurus) SQUARE Mars (12 Leo)

William Westoctt (Golden Dawn) –  Pluto (24 Gemini) TRINE Mars (21 Aquarius)

Robert Fludd (occultist) – Pluto (26 Pisces) TRINE Mars (28 Scorpio)

Emanuel Swedenborg (alchemist) – Pluto (22 Cancer) SQUARE Mars (21 Aries)

William Blake (occultist/poet) – Pluto ( 20 Sagittarius) TRINE Mars ( 20 Leo)

So does that mean that if you’ve got Mars/Pluto aspects in your natal chart you will be an occultist?

Of course not.

But what it does mean is that – for better or worse – you have a tremendous power for bringing about purposeful change.

 

8-StrengthWith a serious stellium (Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, and Venus) in Capricorn (not to mention the last hours of a waning moon) at 0:00 AM 1 January 2014 (GMT), the prevailing energy of the entire of calendar 2014 for everyone will be one of Strength.

CAPRICORN = ambition, concentration, determination, authoritarian

STRENGTH = courage, commitment, enjoyable acceptance of life

Without renewed passion, this year you will not be able to continue in your chosen direction. You will have difficulty enduring the challenges and could be forced to drop back and regroup.

Because the Strength card relates to Leo, this year your experience a ‘lust’ for creativity and self-expression. Like the sap rising in spring, life-force surges through your veins. Hopefully you will direct this passion into meaningful projects and not waste it or worse – allow it to convert into a destructive force.

StrengthIn ritual magic, this is akin to raising a ‘cone of power’, which when released must be directed toward a specific purpose else it wreaks havoc.

During the whole of 2014 you’re called to look carefully at what you’re doing because quite honestly, you will be ‘playing with fire’. Like fire, your emotions can be a great civilising force or a source of destruction. The key to getting this right is to embrace what you feel to be ugly or beastly in yourself, because in a year of Strength, is only through acceptance that you build character.

You will be challenged to persevere through difficult situations perhaps in career, health, or family. You will be challenged to balance your needs with those of the people you love. You will be challenged to stick with it no matter now rough the going gets because this is the only way to discover what it is that you really want.

Strength

The following enchantment may help:

Light a red candle representing your carnal or animal nature. Take a white candle (representing your higher ‘self’) of equal size and touch it to the burning flame. By mixing the red and white waxes together, the pink power of love will manifest. Let the two candles burn down together and repeat the following:

“With the loving strength of my Higher Self, I will make an ally of my instinctual nature”

Keep a piece of pink wax with you in a sealed envelope to help you remember your pledge.

Pisces-Sept07-DE7863sAR800Is the urge to spirituality innate?

Carl Jung certainly thought so.

He suggested the need to make connection with something greater than yourself is only make you feel truly alive.

One way to look for this connection is through your natal birth chart. You must be prepared, however, to look further afield than Jupiter and Neptune –  the ‘usual’ astrological significations of spirituality. Remember that every planet represented in your chart, was once a god or goddess in his or her own right.

Naturally this isn’t easy – getting in touch with the numinous. It could even be dangerous. As Liz Greene has always been quick to remind us, personally expressing the energies of outer planets like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto can not only be overwhelming but pathological.

So for now we’ll stick to the inner planets – are you up to the challenge?

To get an idea how this might work for you, look at your strongest and most influential planets (by sign and house placement)– and don’t forget the ruler of your ascendant – your chart ruler. For example, with Libra rising focus on your Venus. If your Sun is in Leo (the Sun rules Leo), then look there. If your Jupiter is in Cancer (where it is exalted) then focus on that.

While reading the rest of this post, lease keep in mind that for these purposes, ‘spirituality’ = finding a sense of meaning and purpose through connecting with that which lies beyond your ken.

 

Sun Solar energy is key to how you bring spiritual urges into personal expression  – this is accomplished not by sacrificing your ego, but by honouring it. You are every bit as much a part of creation as everyone – and everything – else. Because, as myths of ancient Egypt remind us, the Sun passes through the underworld (below the horizon) each and every day, your solar experience of spirituality could even manifest as a life and death struggle.

 

For example, with Sun in Scorpio you might undergo psychoanalysis –or act as a therapist (or shaman) for others in this way. That which you extract from working with your unconscious (for example, by dream work) may give you a sense of that which lies beyond.

Moon Lunar energy manifests through feelings of belonging and shared experience. Get tactile – get earthy – even organic – the lunar experience of spirituality is not about flying off to some lofty place – but about embodiment. The connection here is through the circle of life – in this earth plane.

 

For example, with Moon in Taurus you might  go to classes in yoga, undertake communal gardening, or even practice Zen Buddhism. The more you get in touch with your shared physical world, the more you’ll feel in touch with the lunar version of the divine.

Mercury With Mercury, spirituality is about discovery, solving problems, and making connections.  This doesn’t have much place in Piscean religions like Christianity because to question too much is considered to destroy faith. But as the great astronomical shift from the Age or Pisces into the Age of Aquarius progresses, Mercury can be expected to again take centre stage. For the power of ‘comprehension’ was worshipped as a god by the ancients– through the development of language and the discovery of how to harness ‘tools’ like the wheel.

 

For example, with Mercury in Gemini you might take up blogging – not just the kind where you shoot off the first thing that comes to mind, but that which takes research and serious consideration.

Venus The key to Venusian spirituality is not only that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but also it can be found everywhere. In this regard, beauty is not just pretty or cute or nice – but that which literally brings tears to your eyes. Real beauty (once a key component of the ‘sublime’) by the very nature of the experience takes you ‘out of yourself’. Take your cue from the Renaissance whence art was considered not only the most natural expression of spiritual feeling but also the containment of the quintessence of reality.

 

For example, with Venus in Libra, you might take a course in art history or even learn to paint and draw. If it’s beautiful to you, then it carries some aspect of the divine for you and your job is to appreciate that for what it is.

Mars Most are familiar with the image of an angry god – just have a look at the Bible’s Old Testament. But Martian spirituality can also manifest in heroic undertakings like ‘fight’ for what is ‘right’. The trick here is to make sure you’ve really got a grip on whatever it is that for which you’re fighting = with Mars, it easy to get lost with  ‘might’ makes ‘right’.  Important civilizing qualities like tolerance and understanding are not Martian things.

 

For example, with Mars in Aries you might volunteer to work in a rape crisis call centre or train to work as part of an ambulance or other rescue team– anything what will get you into touch with the many manifestations of violence and aggression will help you to understand that the divine truly has many face.

Jupiter Astrological Jupiter can function as your personal connection to the ‘divine plan’ – however it is that you perceive it.The idea is to plug into the ‘global context’ – to become connected with that which is truly outside yourself. When you find meaning in the greater patterns of the world, you’ve found the path to your own spiritual growth.

 

For example, with Jupiter in Sagittarius, you might take up the study of comparative religion – with the expectation that learning about the many manifestations of ‘Divine’ across time and cultures might will help you to get a grip on what’s right for you.

Saturn Saturn is oft associated with the teachings of traditional religions because it is so keen on ‘following rules’. But don’t forget that Saturn can also focus its quest for spirituality through other types of laws like those of science or society.

 

For example, with Saturn in Capricorn, you might  become involved with your local church. Not just in a superficial way like as an usher, but perhaps as a layman or Sunday School teacher.  Similarly, if you don’t already have a career in law, you might want to become a magistrate or justice of the peace. You’re looking for anything that takes you out of your ordinary sphere of influence while still retaining structure.

Uranus Uranus imparts the need to get a glimpse of what lies beyond the veil (i.e. the tarot  High Priestess).  The mystery lies in how all the parts fit together – the here and the now and the above and beyond – there’s a connection for certain – and it’s the job of Uranus to find it. Unlike with Saturn, Uranus can never do this through organised religion. Structure and form are merely bonds for Uranus to break – it its urge to greater and more powerful revelations.

No example is given here because the energy of Uranus is considered too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Aquarius rising, look to Saturn as the traditional ruler.

 

Neptune

 

Neptune searches for unity through ‘meltdown’ and dissolution of the ego/self. Christianity is perfect for Neptunian seekers – especially the mystical side of the tradition.

 

No example is given here because the energy of Neptune is considered too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Pisces rising, look to Jupiter as the traditional ruler.

Pluto Pluto represents the face of spirituality bound up with evolutionary processes – this is the ultimate of the survival of the fittest.  Read the work of Teilhard de Chardon – who not only was a Jesuit priest, but also a first class philosopher and palaeontologist.

 

Again, no example is given because the energy of Pluto is too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Scorpio rising, look to Mars as the traditional ruler.

   

 

In a recent essay, philosopher John Gray suggests that John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of the 20th Century, would not have supported the ‘simple minded’ view that the only way forward is through government stimulation of the economy to facilitate a return to growth.

The problem, Gray notes, isn’t just a deepening recession, but instead the breakdown of modern capitalism itself.

He suggests that complex interaction of the collapse of debt-based finance, fatal faults in the euro’s design, and an on-going shift of economic power from the west to the east and south, have created a 21st century crisis that 20th century Keynesian policies cannot fix.

Transiting Pluto in Capricorn (2008 – 2024) suggests exactly the same thing.

Astrologically, Pluto symbolizes natural cycles of evolution.  Pluto’s message is to let go of anything past its ‘sell-by’ date.  If you don’t, expect the worst.

Astrologically, Capricorn symbolizes structures – especially those put in place to create political order and economic stability.

The last time Pluto was in Capricorn (1762-1778), it addressed (1) the rearrangement of the power structure between individuals and their government, and (2) the start of the Industrial Revolution which so altered patterns of production and consumption as to give birth a ‘modern’ economy characterized by sustained and continuous growth.

Two hundred years later, Pluto returns to Capricorn and we’re forced readdress the same things.

Gray reminds us that Keynes was first and foremost a skeptic and that his most important message was to know when to let go of outmoded ideas.  Based on this, Gray suggests that with our ageing populations and overhang of debt, there’s little prospect of developed Western societies keeping up with the past.   He asks whether we’d be better off thinking about how to enjoy life in conditions of low growth?

Considering my experience with Pluto, I have to agree.

Conflict exists between the face you believe that you present to the world and that which you actually do.  If you don’t wish to take yourself at ‘face value’, then dig deeper.

Astrology offers a way to do just that.   Like artists, astrologers seek to capture the essence of their subject – that unique signature style that sets one apart in the sea of humanity.

The best place to start is with the 5th house.  It’s here that you find your potentiality for self-expression.  Keep in mind however, that you could choose to use this energy to camouflage your real Self.

The 5th house is a place of enormous complexity.  It symbolises not only that in which you take pleasure (Venus ‘delights’ here), but also it’s home to your heart chakra.  The 5th house channels your life’s vital energy.   It also symbolises your ability to give and receive without strings.

If your 5th house energy is inhibited or blocked, you’re unable to fulfil your promise.  In this case, the ruler of your 5th house (and any planets residing there) provides clues.  Societal attitudes toward self-expression are also synthesized in the 5th house.

I have Scorpio on my 5th house cusp.  This makes Pluto (in my 2nd house in Leo) and Mars (in Virgo conjunct Venus in the 3rd) the co-rulers of the face I present to others.  As Scorpio is renouned for being guarded and suspicious, it’s little surprise that, for my own protection, I hide myself away.  Perhaps early on I learned that expression of the ‘real me’ was dangerous?  I realise that under my easy Libran smile, my teeth are always clenched.  Clearly something intense is going on under the surface.  Maybe it’s the ever-present survival concerns (Pluto in Leo in 2nd house) especially in regard to financial security?  Or maybe I’m mistrustful of life in general?

People have told me that I have a piercing gaze.  I hold eye contact with them longer than is comfortable.  What am I looking for?  My Mars in Virgo squares my Moon.  This suggests my playful Gemini Moon is seeking a way to relax and let ‘go’.

Can others see this in my face?  Can I?

Buildings burn across Britain.  In the Middle East, dictatorships crumble . The Euro-zone is in meltdown and the political system in America brings the world’s largest economy to the brink of default.

What gives?

The current Pluto Capricorn/ Uranus in Aries Square symbolising that which we’re going to experience for the next six years.  Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents.  It’s going to be a rough ride.

It all started in 1965 and 1966 when Uranus and Pluto were three times conjunct in Virgo (wholeness/integrity).  During that time, the revolt of students in Berkeley ignited a series of similar events all over the world – remember the Negro riots in Watts?  I do.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

The divide between the haves and the have not’s had been widening and the ‘powers’ that be weren’t doing enough.  We’re now living through the opening square of that 1965-66 conjunction.  This brings a significant manifestation regarding unfinished business.  The issues represented by that 1965-66 conjunction are erupting yet again – but this time on a broader and more dangerous scale.

The Uranus/Pluto cycle has to do with radical restructuring and destructuring.  The vision is of a freer and more meaningful life.  Our unquestioned acceptance of authority is broken.  We’re fed up with petty materialism and mindless obedience.  The systems of our society aren’t working.  This is what the youth are trying to tell us.   Yet because the Uranus/Pluto cycle takes 127 years to completion, don’t expect an all-encompassing solution soon.

Just when you thought things were going to get better,   Pluto and Uranus are coming together – in square – yet again.

We’ll feel the initial effects of this in July and August of this year. But the finale won’t come until March 2015.   What on earth might this mean?

An astrological square is just like it sounds – tension – rock rubs against hard spot – wounds fester, fear dominates, and tempers fly.

Pluto is the great timekeeper of the collective.  He destroys anything and everything that is old and outworn.  Uranus symbolises the eruption of ideas that seize the minds of visionary men.  Yet the voices of the prophets have never been welcome when they bring bad news.

The last square between Pluto and Uranus was in 1933-34.[1]  Then, attempts to reactivate sagging world economies after the crash of ’29 led to Hitler’s rise in Germany (he was seen as both a reformer and national saviour).  In the US, it led to Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ (a progressive social program that heralded the start of big government).

1933-34 was the opening of the square.  Now – nearly 82 years  later – as Pluto moves through Capricorn – with the closing square comes fruition. [2]

Through Cancer, we surmise that fear of rejection underlies the suppressed tension of the aspect.

Through Capricorn we anticipate the energy to be released by the square.  Capricorn symbolises the fear of inadequacy  – of failing to achieve.

It is precisely this fear that will drive Capricorn (in the guise of big business, governments, and global economic institutions who are indeed failing to achieve and in fear of rejection) into overdrive.

Enter Uranus in Aries – the energy of the warrior – the crusader – the saviour – the impetuous child.   Might we expect the rise of another Hitler or Roosevelt?  I wouldn’t be at all surprised.  The vacancy is undoubtedly open.

And whoever fills it will rise to power as the result of the collapse and disintegration of that which Capricorn best signifies –  big government and capitalism.[3]


[1] Uranus was in powder keg Aries and Pluto was in maternal Cancer.  The current 2011-2015 square also features Uranus in powder keg Aries.  But Pluto has moved on to oppose maternal Cancer in paternalist Capricorn.

[2] 84 years is roughly the time through which it takes Uranus to make a complete cycle through the 12 zodiac signs.  Thus he has returned once again to Aries to complete the square.

[3] Astrologers may want to take a look at the chart of Karl Marx, who born on 5 May 1818(2 AM in Treves, Prussia) was himself a product of a Uranus/Pluto Square with an opposition of Jupiter in Capricorn and Mars in Cancer across his 11th and 6th houses.