Daykeeper Journal Online, Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation
Saturn-Pluto Opposition, Part II
by Maya del Mar

This year’s major planetary aspect is Saturn opposing Pluto, which happens about every 35 years. The last time it occurred was in turbulent 1965-66, accompanied then by rebellious Uranus.

On its own, Saturn opposing Pluto is a repressive, slowdown influence. Saturn always gives us cold, hard reality. No pie in the sky with Saturn. Saturn is restrictive, and we tighten our belts. We peel down to the bare bones of a situation. And plutonic change tends to be slow and deep. Saturn and Pluto work together intensely and deeply to permanently transform structures. They need time and solitude.

Our current recession is an example of Saturn and Pluto at work.

The exact oppositions occur in August and November of 2001, and May of 2002. This is an intense 9-month period of a very big turning in our lives. It is, in fact, effective for several months before exactness, and several months after.

It was in November 1982, at the last Saturn-Pluto conjunction, when the seeds were planted that have bloomed into the affairs occurring now. In the August issue, in Part 1, I discussed that conjunction which laid the foundations for current events.

The conjunction occurred in late Libra, in a Scorpio energy field. Libra encourages power balancing and social justice. Scorpio will go all the way to accomplish its ends. Neptune in Sagittarius then was a major player. The defining opposition in the chart was Chiron in Taurus opposing Pallas Athena in Scorpio. Pallas at 26 Scorpio was at the midpoint of Pluto-Saturn and Neptune, and the outlet for a Finger of God, a fateful point. This Pallas was in almost the same placement at the inauguration of GW Bush, a fateful placement for fulfilling the promise of the Saturn-Pluto for the United States.

All of these Pluto-Saturn energies closely aspected the U.S. Pluto in Capricorn—the plutocrat—and the U.S. Mercury in Cancer—the people—which oppose one another. The balancing aspect in the 1982 chart, Chiron opposing Pallas, occurred in Taurus and Scorpio, the resource axis. This places resources as a central concern of this cycle.

In 1982 the Reagan Administration was beginning a vast transfer of wealth from ordinary people to the wealthy, from public to private pockets. Environmentally sound policies, which were developing nicely, were peremptorily dumped in favor of massive assaults on the environment. Star Wars was begun. Convincing propaganda (Pluto in an air sign) accompanied all of this development, and made it palatable to the general public.

In Europe it was different. The Green Party, which has changed the face of politics in Europe, was just beginning. Helmut Kohl, a major force in developing the European Union, was elected chancellor of Germany. Pluto in the European chart is in Aquarius, showing a different urge to power than that of the Capricorn Pluto of the U.S. Capricorn wants to be boss, and Pluto holds the power.

Now we are at the midpoint of that cycle. Any planetary opposition is like a full moon, where the situation begun at new moon, or conjunction, comes to light. We can see it clearly, and thus can make changes as we move into the last half of the cycle. We can now see the action of this cycle clearly in the U.S. Personally, each of us can return to 1982, and become aware of what themes we have been developing since then. It is now time to take a turn in that pathway.

At midpoint in the U.S., we have Wall Street raiding the Social Security Trust Fund, heretofore considered sacred. Notice each of those four words—social, security, trust, and fund—all now under attack in a million ways by the current Administration.

Pluto is the Lord of Evolution. It is deep power, the power of birth and death, of transformation, of recycling. A seed, holding the power of growth, is plutonic. So is a volcano. And so is nuclear power. Pluto destroys, but it destroys in order that something new can be born. Pluto is the power of regeneration, the phoenix. Pluto has a 250-year orbit, so none of us complete a Pluto journey in one lifetime. It takes a long time to learn to work well with Pluto, both within the course of one life, and within the history of humankind.

Pluto was God of the Underworld, and much of its work occurs in the dark, unseen. It penetrates to the essence, to the secrets of nature, to the secrets of our nature. It is associated with the underworld, with mass movements, with all kinds of secretive activity, with DNA, cloning, and gene manipulation. Pluto is completely amoral. Its drive is to transform whatever is at hand, with whatever means is required. For instance, when one person’s Pluto conjoins another person’s planet, Pluto will inexorably change the expression of that planet. The other person may struggle against that change, but Pluto is the great power of life and death, and it always triumphs.

Saturn is the last out of the "inner" planets. It’s the most distant planet which we can see with the naked eye, and just as it circumscribes the visible planets, it circumscribes our lives. It is the LAW. It is the order of the physical world in which we live. It is the active principle in the basic structures of nature and in the structures of our lives. Saturn builds, defines, and orders. It is conservative and careful, because if things are to endure, they must be built right—"first things first." Saturn pares away the extraneous, and shrinks things down to their essence. It also hardens, so that a strong structure endures, one which can withstand the storms of life here on this stormy earth. Mountains, rocks, land itself, and the skeletal system are Saturnian. Socially, all enduring systems and hierarchies are Saturnian, including government and business. Just like the skeleton, the system survives even though individuals pass away.

Pluto and Saturn are both testing energies. Pluto tests each of us to find the center of our authentic selves, and we rail against, or try to prevent, the peeling away of false selves which are the thrust of that process. Saturn tests the soundness of our structures, carefully built and protected. We tend to resist Pluto’s push for change, and Saturn’s constant shoving of earth reality in our faces.

Saturn and Pluto each ask, "Is it real?" Together they are tough. They both have big work to do, and can’t afford to mess around. When they come together, in whatever aspect, life is not easy. But on the other hand, big things can be accomplished.

Famous researcher Reinhold Ebertin, in The Combination of Cosmic Influences, says that the principle of Saturn-Pluto is "hard labor; cruelty." Neither Saturn nor Pluto gives an inch.

Ebertin says that the positive psychological correspondence is tenacity and toughness, endurance, the capability to make record efforts of the highest possible order—magicians and adepts.

The Bush Administration is the instrument for this powerful turning point in the U.S. It has steamrollered enormous change in every facet of U.S. society with barely a glitch. The effects will be very long-lasting.

Ebertin gives the negative correspondence of Saturn-Pluto as cold-heartedness, severity, tendency to violence, fanatical adherence to principles.

Negative tendencies of the conjunction, according to Ebertin, are violence, or mass murder. We had conjunctions in 1914, 1947, and 1982.

1914 was the start of WWI.

1947 seeded the partition of Palestine, the reorganization of the U.S. military into the Defense Department, and the setting up of a huge and complicated U.S. security apparatus, including the CIA. UFOs came into public consciousness then, and many people now in power were born around that time.

1982, in the United States, laid the groundwork for a harsher life for the people, as well as increased destruction of the earth herself. That killer idea, Star Wars, was introduced to the public then. Since 1980 life has been much more serious and challenging.

In general, planetary manifestations are used more negatively in the public arena than individually. It takes a long time for the system to respond to events, and to change and grow.

Israel and Palestine are a textbook example. They were partitioned during a Pluto-Saturn conjunction. This conjunction was in Leo, and Israel and Palestine also have Moon and Mars in Leo. With Leo you only have one ruler. Big problem. Moon, the people, and Mars, aggression, are caught in this Pluto-Saturn dominated birth chart. Harsh aggression, hardship, and hard work are conditions under which the people live. Every time there is a hard Saturn-Pluto aspect, war activity manifests in the Holy Land. The current opposition is an example.

Another example occurred in Lebanon in 1982. Christian Falangist militiamen entered two Palestine refugee camps and massacred 1300 men, women, and children. The Israeli army, which had troops in the area, was blamed widely for not preventing the killings. In 1983, an official board of inquiry found Ariel Sharon, the defense minister, along with 3 generals, guilty of neglect of duty. It was at this time that Ariel Sharon, currently prime minister of Israel, earned his nickname of "The Butcher."

Oppositions are essentially awareness of the other. Both sides are brightly illuminated. They can manifest as conflict and struggle, but they can also manifest as cooperation. The opposition provides an opportunity to have both sides come together in full consciousness of the other’s needs, and agree to make compromises so that they can both get along. The opposition has great value, even in the midst of conflict, of bringing relevant issues into focus.

This current opposition lasts until May 2002, and for several months after. We have several more months, perhaps a year, to complete changes in what we can now see as developments of seeds planted in the years around the 1982 Saturn-Pluto conjunction. For instance, Israelis and Palestinians could begin a real rapprochement, Europe could set an example for the world in sustainable development, and the grassroots movement in the U.S. (and elsewhere) to put people before profits could change corporate policies.

Saturn is the system. Pluto is transformation. At the opposition they come face to face with one another. There is sure to be conflict, disruptive crises, and obstacles to overcome. At the same time these challenges represent a golden opportunity to face Saturn and Pluto head-on and help them to work together rather than in conflict. After all, this is their cycle, and their job together is deep change in the system—structural transformation.

The signs in which their opposition occurs are Gemini and Sagittarius. This is the mental polarity. It combines thinking and information with understanding and vision. Our challenge now is to learn to focus our minds, to combine information with perspective so that we move steadily towards our ideals. Mind is but a tool for spiritual growth, and we have now a golden opportunity to educate, guide, and discipline our minds.

Crystal Pomeroy is back with us just in time to help us with this endeavor.

And we are now in the Virgo energy field, another help. Virgo likes to work, needs to work, and aims for improved circumstances. Saturn and Pluto like Virgo’s groundedness, her desire for order and efficiency, and her need for productivity. Virgo is excellent at refining skills and fine-tuning behavior. Read the Sun Sign Virgo section.

(Virgo is also associated with the military, the "services," and they will be featured now.)

Take advantage of Saturn-Pluto’s capacity for hard work now to train your mind to focus correctly, in line with those ideals you nurtured during Leo time. Notice your thoughts. Don’t be judgmental. Simply hold in your mind the goal of thinking about those conditions which you want in your life.

During Virgo time the power of analysis is deepened, both mind and intuition are strengthened, and sensitivity is heightened. We can learn now to better use our minds to help us along our pathways. This is indeed vital structural transformation.

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