August 2001
The Mirror of the Cosmos

This month sees an interesting astrological configuration - an opposition between the planets Pluto and Saturn. For this month we will use this configuration as a metaphor for what is occurring in the cosmic energies, the global energies, the personal energies. What we say may or may not agree with usual astrological interpretations; we are using the language to describe an energetic pattern.

First of all there is the energy of opposition. These two very powerful planets stand directly opposed to each other. Certainly many powerful forces oppose each other these days. One has only to look around the world to experience that growing sense of opposition, powerful forces in confrontation with each other, not yet directly fighting, but standing off, beginning to battle. People can feel this in themselves: the old versus the new, health and sickness, love and anger.

One can experience this sense of opposition in relationships, especially with authority figures, or people who remind one of authority figures from the past. This is a time when in the area of personal relationships the issue of projection is huge. One's partner or best friend or boss will suddenly become the sum of every authority figure one has ever known and one will feel oneself in opposition to that person, oppressed by that person or in rebellion against that person. It's an important time to step back and notice one's projections, to be aware of the unconscious forces.

From a certain point of view one could say that Pluto represents the unconscious forces coming into consciousness, breaking through the barrier of forgetting. One becomes aware of undercurrents in oneself that may not be comfortable and one may attempt to reject this awareness, to project it onto another. This pattern of projection of course affects the energies at a national and global level. Forces that find themselves in opposition will be intent upon blaming the other, overcoming the other, and that blame and aggression obviously contain the seed of even greater conflict.

So the first challenge at present for individuals and hopefully for nations as well is to begin to re-define what it means to be in opposition. Ancient astrologers defined opposition as a maleficent aspect. If you re-define opposition, it becomes balance, exchange, dialogue. The two opposing forces are balanced by a fulcrum in the middle. What is that intersection, that center, that point, through which the communication can flow evenly between two seemingly opposing forces? One can say that center, that fulcrum, that intersection, is awareness. That awareness in the center is able to see both points of view. That awareness facilitates communication between opposing forces, and slowly begins to penetrate the old pattern of battle, where one side has to dominate and win and the other has to lose, and where that which is caught between the forces also loses - whether it is children, the earth, the atmosphere, animals, plants, water, the life force, creativity.

Pluto in Sagittarius, its present location as defined by traditional western astrology, is not only about power and authority issues, but also about transformation. It is about the transformation of teachings, philosophies, belief systems, the transformation of beliefs about power and authority. It emphasizes the importance of a change in perspective. Pluto can be oppressive and authoritarian when it insists on the rightness of one point of view. Sagittarius represents change, exploration, innovation, the wisdom of change. And so, it is a time to experiment with point of view, lifestyle, beliefs. How does one take a firm stand in the world when necessary without clutching to a point of view as a weapon, a shield?

In the traditional Western system, Saturn is now opposed to Pluto in Sagittarius and dwells in the sign Gemini, in the sign of the twins, of duality, the search for unity, Wholeness. Saturn in Gemini emphasizes the search for oneness through communication, dialogue, interchange. Saturn is a very powerful energy. It can feel restrictive. Traditionally it is often associated with limitation. There can be a strong feeling at the present time of being blocked, unable to move forward, and it can be quite likely that one feels blocked by some strong internal or external power - whether it's a pattern of old behavior, an institution, a situation, or a person. One can feel blocked by some negative aspect of power that one experiences either as a projection from the past or a reality in the present. The response to this that brings transformation and change is open communication and a willingness to shift point of view, to be open to the new, the innovative, to new wisdoms and philosophies. In communication and exploration, Pluto and Saturn begin to come to balance, to come to peace, to stop fighting each other.

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The appropriate use of power in the material world is another theme of this opposition: how to use power effectively to bring transformation and communication into situations and break through old restrictive patterns and authoritarian modes of response. Whether world leaders and nations can do this is a great question. And if they do not, tensions between the opposites increase, and battles intensify.

Each individual person can ask - "How am I experiencing these issues in my life? How am I working with them?" Depending on your unique individual karmic pattern, this cosmic pattern will impact you in different ways. Because there's this issue of power in this opposition one may find there's an extra charge of significance to what one does, experiences, feels and thinks. This can lead to a great deal of energy and creative activity and a heightened sense of the meaning of life. It could also lead to depression, as one feels the restriction of one's patterns, as one searches for a greater meaning in life but experiences difficulty finding it. In that energy of Pluto opposed to Saturn, there's the real possibility of experiencing a depression, the sense of being weighted down by the duties of the material world and the weight of old authoritarian patterns that say "You can't do this....you must do this....you have to do this.....but you must never do that." These patterns can be experienced very intensely.

The clue to finding one's way through this lies in the signs in which the planets dwell. Gemini -communication, the search for oneness, wholeness and unity, the spiritual search. Sagittarius - exploration, creative activity, wisdom, philosophy, the sharing of knowledge and understanding. Getting together with friends and discussing a book, taking a class, painting a picture, joining a group, sharing a meditation, going to a party, traveling...celebration of life, connection, communication, exploration in consciousness, dialogue, education. These are the energies that create a balance rather than an opposition.

To continue the astrological metaphor, the sun after all is in Leo. The life force is strong, the creative energy is strong, the expressive energy is strong. Connecting with that energy sustains one through a time of challenge and opposition.

So this month perhaps one could find it helpful to reflect on these things, to see how they play themselves out, to know that certain struggles and conflicts one may be experiencing are not only personal. They are reflected in the mirror of the cosmos.

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May all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.

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