Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

August 13
Ceres retrograde

August 26
Pluto direct

R E T R O G R A D E   W A T C H

Retrograde Watch
Powerhouse Pluto turns direct on August 26.

Every year the long-awaited directional change is that of Pluto turning direct, breaking free from its underground alchemical chambers and bursting afresh into the social scene, ready again to encourage us to play with power, to help us move on our evolutionary pathways.

Within a month of the direct turning of Pluto, big power moves emerge around the world. As individuals, we begin to empower ourselves in new ways. We have seven months to work actively with the fires of power—catharsis and change—before Pluto turns retrograde again.

For the last ten years, Pluto has turned direct in August, and will continue to do so through 2004. August is the eighth month, a month of re-organizing and managing earthly affairs. It’s a take-charge month, and Pluto strong here helps us to take charge of our lives.

Pluto turns direct on August 26. At that time, fire and air elements dominate the skies. This combination is outgoing, extroverted, and electric. Pluto’s power will be initiatory, and visible. With Pluto and his friend, Mars, both in fire signs—along with an impulsive Aries moon—power will be expressed directly, and with passion during the next seven months.

Planets most directly involved with Pluto now include Vesta, protector of home turf, safety, and investments, Moon, the people, Pallas, the strategist, and Venus, concerned with money, relationships, and values.

Even more importantly, Pluto conjoins the South Node of the Moon, which is a major point of release. The Moon’s Nodes correspond with our deeper evolutionary journey, and this conjunction means that we, humankind, will be using this cathartic Pluto power to release outmoded ways of expanding ourselves into the world.

This is certainly very major work at this time!

Pluto turns direct at 15 Sagittarius, and all planets in all charts at 15 degrees will be particularly empowered.

It turns on the U.S. Ascendant, which is 14 Sagittarius. This is the most personal place in a chart, and shows how we see and express ourselves. Pluto here expresses power very directly. (Example: GW Bush, born with Pluto on his Ascendant.)

Pluto is also the Recycler, the sewage plant, the garbage man. It ruthlessly destroys the old dead wood so that the new can be born. It rules birth and death. It has been transiting the U.S. Ascendant since December 1999, bringing up the toxins so that the nation can be cleansed.

This is a first-time experience for the U.S.A.—really looking at its dirt, one might say. It will be another 250 years before such another opportunity for cleansing upheaval returns. If not attended to with increased consciousness, a Pluto transit can become destructive to self and others. Ignorance and power do not make good bedfellows.

Pluto has a 250-year cycle. It moves slowly, averaging only a little more than a degree per year. Every time it moves into a new degree, new power issues come into our lives. (And then it turns retrograde and we can assimilate those new energies.) In December, Pluto will move into the new degree of 19 Sagittarius, and in January 2003, it will move into 20 Sagittarius, where it turns retrograde again in March.

(These are Black Hole degrees for Erishkegal, Mesopotamian Queen of the Underworld and her sister Inanna, Queen of Heaven. Look up the story of Inanna’s descent to the underworld. It is a fascinating story, and shows how the conscious mind is ultimately at the mercy of the subconscious. Baghdad lies in the heart of Mesopotamia.)

The next seven months are a major, and unique, opportunity for the U.S. to look honestly at itself, and change course so that it begins to use its immense power for the betterment of the world.

Dishonesty may fool ourselves and others, but it never fools Pluto—the inexorable bottom line of survival, of birth and death.

Ceres, the Great Mother, turns retrograde on August 13.

Ceres is the ancient goddess of the earth, not the wild earth, but earth as it is planted, tilled, and made productive by human effort. She relates to all parts of the food and nurturing process, including the labor of making a living.

In the myth of Demeter-Ceres, Ceres’ daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Pluto, who took her to his underground realm. Jupiter, King of the Gods, was unwilling to return Persephone to her mother, and Ceres struck. She made the earth fallow, and nothing grew. Jupiter finally made a deal with Ceres. He would return Persephone for nine months of the year, if Ceres would bring the fields back to life.

There are many levels and connotations to this myth, but the one I think of now is the plutonic destruction of life (including millions of children) to which earth is now being held hostage.

We see this particularly in the food chain, where the quality of food is being destroyed by the huge plutonic food, chemical, and biotech corporations. And millions, particularly children, are starving—even though there is enough food produced to feed everybody.

Ceres is a peaceful goddess. After all, we need stability to produce good harvests. But she has got to be very upset about how her dear earth is being mistreated.

She fights back by striking, by making the land—and seas—unproductive.

Ceres turns retrograde at 19 Aries, a fire sign. She trines Mars in Leo, a fire planet in another fire sign. Fire danger is high now. This includes all forms of fire, including that made by weapons.

Fire is hot and dry. We’ve had a massive, windswept drought throughout south central United States, similar to the dust bowl. We’ve had many huge fires throughout the nation. When Ceres turned direct last August, we had historic fires in northern California.

Fishing is mostly shut down along the West Coast, and great invasions of jellyfish are ruining the fishing in the Gulf.

We have in the Bay Area a Mercury warning re tuna: Don’t eat it.

In Aries, the sign of the warrior, Ceres nurtures the military. She entered Aries last May 15, when the Pentagon announced that missile defense building would start on June 14—which it did.

Also in mid-May the Resources Committee of the House held hearings on Chronic Wasting Disease (also known as Mad Cow disease), which is wildly sweeping through the deer and elk populations of central and western United States—apparently due to conditions spawned by game farms. In Wisconsin, hunters are now given carte blanch to shoot deer, simply to help get rid of them.

With Ceres in Aries, the military has been receiving enormous amounts of money, and building bases and moving supplies into many places in the world. During the last few months, there has been a huge ongoing buildup in the Middle East of personnel, material, weapons, and supplies.

So what will Ceres do as she backs up into this retro-review time? Watch the news around August 13 for clues—especially at the First Quarter Moon of August 15. For one thing, she may well be preparing the military for war—which would be apt to begin when Ceres turns direct on November 23, still in Aries.