At last, we have reached the point where I began–Pluto’s shift in apparent motion to direct again. And with these shifts to retrograde and direct, back and forth like the pendulum swings–yes, a direct reference to Edgar Allen Poe for who better than he could describe the horror we often feel when Pluto makes its presence known in our lives?–we see the transformations of Life itself before our very eyes. We don’t always recognize the impact of the moment as it fits into the broader perspective of the world beyond, which brings me to Omar Khayyám and his Rubáiyát, whose verses have been analyzed by Paramhansa Yogananda in Wine of the Mystic and offered in many languages and interpretations including perhaps the most famous by Edward FitzGerald.
(A sample of FitzGerald’s translation of Rubáiyát)
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
But helpless pieces in the game He plays,
Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days,
He hither and thither moves, and checks… and slays,
Then one by one, back in the Closet lays.
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted— “Open then the Door!
You know how little time we have to stay,
And once departed, may return no more.”
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou,
Beside me singing in the Wilderness,
And oh, Wilderness is Paradise enow.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out of the same Door as in I went.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d—
“I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”
Into this Universe, and why not knowing,
Nor whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not whither, willy-nilly blowing.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help—for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return’d to me,
And answer’d “I Myself am Heav’n and Hell:”
Events like the December 16, 2014 massacre of students and teachers at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan; the November 26, 2008 siege on Mumbai, India; the nightmare of September 11, 2001 that took thousands from around the world, and the countless other events that have happened throughout history remind us of Pluto in the roles of Shiva and Kali as the natural zodiacal chart’s 8th house ruler.
In the days leading up to Pluto’s shift to direct, we saw Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States (September 22), marking a momentous occasion not only for the the pontiff himself since it was his first trip to the USA, but also for the United States in welcoming this greatly beloved head of the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps the timing shouldn’t surprise me: Pope Francis has Pluto in the first house in Cancer. (Please note, I didn’t look too carefully to see whether I had analyzed his chart in the article as well as I often do. If I didn’t, and you’re interested, please do ask, and I’ll find time to do so.)
Events surrounding Pope Francis’ travels through portions of the United States were joyous. On looking back now, I’m reminded of 9th house Jupiter when I think of the cheering crowds clinging to his words as he spoke in gentle paternalistic, dulcet tones. While some might attribute such moments specifically to Catholic thought, my own perspectives are more linked to this truly blessed kind of man who seems to be capable of instilling the context of the word “holy” in all, regardless of their religious beliefs–or not. That, for me, is the epitome not of Pluto but of Jupiter.
Jupiter and Pluto seem to be the most unlikely couple, yet both are used in reference to the world’s concepts of our Higher Powers, however we do or don’t call them. Greek mythology refers to the Roman Jupiter (king of heaven) as Zeus while Indians say Brihaspati–Guru–“teacher, lord of light, teacher to the gods.” Yet they’re siblings and very much paired as gods with Jupiter tending to the heavens, Neptune whose realm is the waters (all, not just the oceans), and Pluto watching over the netherworld.
But then there’s the world’s sorrow that Pope Francis must surely feel as the deeply compassionate individual he is. So in the midst of the transits of the approaching mutable squares, T-squares and Grand Crosses we’ll begin to see now, he arrived in the United States. Mars in the late degrees of Leo and Saturn still in the first degree of Sagittarius had already formed their square and were moving toward what would become the Neptune square to Saturn and in opposition to both Mars and Jupiter while the Moon would move in to complete the Mutable Grand Cross from its position in Gemini. As for Pope Francis, beyond the first house Pluto in Cancer chart he possesses, Neptune sits in his second house in opposition to Saturn, the Peeling of Life’s Onion. His fatherly smile over all he can see in his travels is a empathetic one that may or may not tell the secrets of his heart, steeped surely with the pain of the world.
Pluto moved to apparent direct motion on the 25th, just three days after Pope Francis had arrived, and here in the USA, Mars rose in the 1st house, conjunct Jupiter already in opposition to Neptune. But Mars was also squaring 4th house Saturn, which set the stage for the Mutable T-square in place as you can see in the angular positions. In the United States, the Pluto direct chart showed the Sun-ruled Leo rising almost as if to herald the pope’s journey, and Pluto perhaps didn’t want to miss the action in such a grand event. Take note of its presence in the 5th house while the Sun itself fell in the second in a 56-minute conjunction to the North Node.
Neither the East nor West were dominant in this chart while the first quadrant was part of the below-the-horizon emphasis. But there was a second T-square in action in the Pluto direct chart, and that fell in Mercury Retrograde’s third house position in square to Uranus Retrograde in the 9th, and Mercury fell in a 21-minute partile square to Pluto in the fifth as if to say, watch! He’s amused and is just waiting for all of the fanfare to be done.
And yes, the Sun forms an undecaquartisextile (UQSXT) to Uranus (2°15) and another to Chiron (1°41) while the Moon and Jupiter show one more (2°02), Venus and Neptune another (2°41), and Mars and Chiron (3°28), Saturn and the Midheaven (00°06), and Neptune and the ASC (00°29) all followed suit with still more. There is a two-edged sword coming out in the Blooming Undecaquartisextile between 8th house Chiron and the Sun-Mars semi-sextile. This particular Blooming UQSXT points to an especially interesting combination in which the people work together to develop their spiritual understandings–obviously through the Pope’s visit itself–and then find themselves confronted by a killer’s values (October 1) that demand the lack of group association through organized religion. On one hand, it would seem the pope’s visit triggered the tragedy in Roseburg, Oregon, but don’t believe it.
According to the news, the killer was inspired by other murders that included the recent deaths of two television anchors. I’m not fully convinced of that either, however. I’m more convinced by the Isla Vista massacre in California on May 23, 2014. For me, the parallels are uncanny–the general age range of both killers who ended up taking their own lives (although the one from Roseburg initially appeared to have been killed by law enforcement, he took his own life), the lack of a girlfriend, and both possibly born in England although the one in Roseburg may have been born in California. Where he was born seems to be in the air depending on which news source one is using. But both left what authorities referred to as a “manifesto.”
During the Isla Vista massacre, an angular Cardinal Grand Cross was in place with first house Pluto in opposition to Jupiter in square to the Moon-IC conjunction in opposition to the Mars-MC conjunction. But take note that the Sun and Saturn were making a 1°04 UQSXT while another formed from Mercury to Pluto (2°44) and Venus and Mars form another in a partile 00°11-minute orb. I mentioned the MC/IC in this case with some reservation since the time is less accurate than the event in Roseburg. But I’m not lingering on these two charts since they just came to mind through the examination of the USA Pluto Direct chart.
Moving on to the UK Pluto Direct chart, the angles change, of course, but the Blooming UQSXT remains steady, only shifting Chiron to the 5th house while the Mars-Sun placements move to the 11th house cusp (within a 2°15 orb to the cusp) where Mars sits in semi-sextile to the 12th house Sun. Here, we see the shift away from the below-the-horizon dominance to the East and a strong focus on the 4th quadrant, implying more about public event quite possibly in the governmental and political arenas since Venus and the Moon are involved in interceptions from the 10th and 4th houses, respectively. But the Moon rules the Midheaven, indicating to me that this is about the nation and its roots, the Monarchy, and issues perhaps related to children and their best interests. It would seem, however, there is a question of who actually is making the decisions about what is best for the children at this time.
Take note of Libra on the Ascendant: It seems as if this is ultimately the question at hand. Can it also mean in relation to the focus on the quality of life for the infirm, the elderly and even mental health? Absolutely! I’d tend to say there are still surprises coming up next that will perhaps shake up how the public views those who hold legislation in their hands.
In India, Pluto rises in the chart, establishing the only above-the-horizon dominance between the three charts with a Western emphasis on the 3rd quadrant. While Uranus sits now in the 4th house, conjunct the IC, warning that nothing here is stable. “Expect the unexpected” as only Uranus can bring it. It would seem we’ll see India in the news a lot, and that already began with the announcement of AstroSat, the first space telescope launched by a developing country, just two days after Pluto went direct.
We must remember, however, that Uranus conjunct the IC cautions us to keep those words “expect the unexpected” in mind because it’s definitely one of those periods. The Cardinal aspects show Pluto now at the arm of the angular T-square with Mercury at the apex of the chart, conjunct the MC from the 9th house side of the cusp. Keeping that philosophical focus in mind that life throws us a lot of surprises along the way, and keeping a sense of humor (Mercury in opposition to Uranus) is important as well. But Pluto’s first house presence does make it more than a little challenging.
Every nation has its annual rising and falling challenges. The global community will witness these events with intense interest at some times and with complete apathy at others even though these will all be important if it’s our nation–regardless of which–in the camera’s eye. If the nation in question happens to belong to the observer, the observer will tend to be selfish in wanting to know more. That’s human nature. But the Pluto shift back to apparent direct motion will always be there to nudge us into remembering we still must be “for the good of all.”
Namaste, I love you.
©2015 Michelle Young