Saturn-Pluto Opposition, Part I
by Maya del Mar

What's Happening

Saturn and Pluto are dancing around in opposition to one another for the next 10 months. The peaks of this process are displayed in their exact aspects, which occur three times—on August 5, 2001, November 2, 2001, and May 26, 2002.

Saturn is a guardian of preservation, one who wants things measurable, exact, ordered, and familiar. Pluto is the Lord of Evolution, ready to do whatever it takes to destroy the outdated so that new seeds can be planted. Their principles are thus opposed—preserver and destroyer.

But they also share characteristics. Both of them have a need to control. Saturn does it with laws, regulations, boundaries and measuring devices. Pluto does it with a combination of manipulation and ruthlessness. Both of them are also bottom line planets. With Pluto it’s the survival of life, with Saturn it’s the survival of its carefully-built structures.

The Full Moon is the prototype opposition. It is the culmination, or flowering, of seeds planted at the conjunction (or New Moon). There is maximum light then, and we can see and feel the process of the cycle. Understanding is at a peak.

Another way to think of an opposition is the image of two people on a teeter-totter. When the teeter-totter is balanced, and the riders are opposite one another, they can really see and feel a sensitivity to their partner.

Two people sitting across from each other at a table for two are an opposition. Two fighters in a ring are an opposition.

An opposition provides the maximum awareness of one another for two bodies, and they can choose to listen and respond and cooperate, or they can choose to fight. One way or another, they must relate.

One thing is certain about a Saturn-Pluto opposition. Pluto WILL transform Saturn’s carefully built structures, and Saturn WILL resist. This tends to be a difficult combination, with often harsh measures (which neither Pluto nor Saturn shy away from) necessary to effect the transformation, or needed growth.

A process of major STRUCTURAL CHANGE always accompanies a Saturn-Pluto opposition, which occurs at 31-38 year intervals. The last one occurred in 1965, and the one before that in 1931, the beginning of the Great Depression.
Great historical movements occur with this opposition.

How It Began

The nature of this particular Saturn-Pluto 38-year cycle was set when the seeds were planted on November 7, 1982 when Saturn and Pluto joined at 28 Libra, near the U.S. midheaven and exactly square the U.S. Pluto, giving the process a strong plutonic vibe for the United States, especially re its role in the world.

The controlling aspect in that 1982 chart was Chiron at 26 Taurus opposing Pallas Athena at 26 Scorpio. The Taurus-Scorpio polarity in itself means powerful material transformation.

Chiron refers to entering new dimensions, often through technology. Its degree here conjoins the degree of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in May 2000, which set us on a new 20-year path of managing our business in the world. Taurus, which refers to tangible resources, money, and Earth herself is the focus of business now. This 2000 conjunction set in motion the grounding and expanding in the real world the promise of that Chiron.

Pallas Athena in late Scorpio is the keynote of the current Bush Administration, as I have discussed in prior issues of Daykeeper. Pallas is an excellent strategist who knows what a system needs and how to make it work. Defense is her forte. In Scorpio she can play politics ruthlessly. Think of a master chess player.

This powerful Chiron-Pallas opposition was acted out by President Reagan, who had taken office in 1981. He quickly began to tear down environmental regulations, and set in motion financial policies which have resulted in increasing the disparity between haves and have-nots. On November 22, 1982, President Reagan proposed construction of the MX missile, consisting of 100 multiple warheads at a cost of $26 billion. In November 1982 Jonathan Schell’s classic Fate of the Earth, about the threat of nuclear war, was published.

28 Libra, the degree of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, is conjoined by Black Hole Pele. According to expert Alex Miller-Mignone, black holes mean sudden, dramatic reversals of the status quo reality. "Black holes function astrologically as indicators of a fundamental shift in progress; what has gone before is no more." He says that they represent major life passages, the loss of control or energy, and the experience of alienation. The results can be negative or positive.

Pele was the ancient Hawaiian goddess of volcanic fire, who personified the female power of destruction. She has been involved, for example, in the charts for the Oklahoma City bombing, the Waco debacle, and the first atomic explosion in Almagordo, NM.

Alex reminds us of her benefits: adding to the land mass of Hawaii, volcanic ash as fertilizer, and beautiful sunsets.

Libra is about balance and partnership. For all of us, then, this cycle of Saturn-Pluto is about rebalancing our own self-expression, as well as creating relationships which are balanced for us. In life, as soon as we achieve a balance, there is another stage. New challenges pop up for us. Rebalancing is frequently necessary—and this is a big one.

What were you doing around November 1982? I had entered a new partnership in 1981, which turned out to be very difficult. I was literally afraid of my partner, but I was unable to leave, although I was aware of the need by 1982. It was truly a black hole. Not until 1988-9, when Pluto squared my Ascendant, was I able to leave, and then with great difficulty. Pluto broke through my curtains of denial (Neptune ascendant), and I was able then to begin a long, arduous process of healing my victimhood. Thank god for Pluto and his bottom line survival help.

In summary, the foundation of the current changes was set down in November 7, 1982. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction was in late Libra, and the energy field for that date was Scorpio. The Scorpio influence adds strength to Pluto. Structural rebalancing is the goal, with a special emphasis on relationships.

In future installments, we will look more deeply at the current Saturn-Pluto opposition, which occurs in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, and its implications.

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