Pluto transits

Sunday inspiration: Why me?

Art by NC Wyeth

Art by NC Wyeth

I have two good friends with cancer, so this question is coming up a lot these days. And recently I did a reading for someone who was taken ill with pneumonia and since then suffered a seemingly never ending series of health problems and pain.  I’ve had clients who have been in terrible car accidents that paralyzed them.  Horrific abuse as children. Being fired from a job at which they excelled.

These events may seem terrible on the surface, and it would be easy when undergoing a drastic and terrible time to feel like Job in the bible on whom Jehovah visited a never ending series of trials.  But hidden in nearly all of these events is a kernel of magic that can transform our viewpoint and the way we see our world.

Cancer has been much on my mind lately because of my friends.  The last thing they want to hear from me is that there is a gift of magic hidden in their cancer.  I’ve never had cancer, so how do I know?  And is that really helpful?  What if they can’t find that gift, does that make them somehow a lesser person?  And yet there are many stories of people with serious illness who have found a new way of looking at their lives that completely transformed them.

Nine years ago I wrote this article about “the bright side of cancer.”  In this article I quote a number of people, including Lance Armstrong who said “Cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “I don’t know why I got the illness, but it did wonders for me, and I wouldn’t want to walk away from it.”  But clearly, not everyone is able to look at their life from that perspective as you can see here.

We typically see these dramatic events under the influence of Pluto or Uranus.  Pluto is, after all, the planet of death but also rebirth – the regeneration that comes when we must leave behind every known aspect of our life and emerge into the Sun, naked and alive, transformed by the power that comes when we face the end of consciousness that we call death.  Uranus is the Awakener – he brings events to shock us out of our sleepwalking through life and bring us into a heightened state of consciousness.

Tony Robbins always says “If you’re getting the wrong answers you’re not asking the right questions.”  The question “Why me?” will only serve to anchor us into a spiral of negativity.  Better questions may be “What can I learn from this experience?”  “What practices will help to heal me?” “What do I need to change in my life to promote healing and remove fear?”

When we examine our lives from inside of ourselves, all we can see is the story and feel punished by life.  But there is a different story unfolding at every moment – the story of a personal journey of inner transformation.

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By | 2016-10-08T12:17:06+00:00 August 14th, 2016|Favorite posts, Inspiration|2 Comments

Transits and Transformation: Turning Crisis into Healing

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

As humans, we tend to think that happiness is better than sadness, that good luck is better than bad. We may avoid difficult confrontations and pursue more comfortable situations. When tragedy strikes our well-protected lives, we shout out to our god of choice: “How could you do this to me??” We believe that our birthright is the pursuit of happiness, and we spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from sorrow.

The soul, however, has a different journey. The soul travels an ancient evolutionary path that seeks wisdom and connection with the divine. Often in our desire to defend ourselves from discomfort, we erect barriers within ourselves. Often we become so effective in compartmentalizing our emotions we become cut off from our very selves, our soul and our spirit.

In astrological terms, the orbiting planets form geometric angles to our birthchart planets, or “transits.” Each transiting planet has its own nature, its own personality and its own purpose-calling upon us as the ancient gods they represent to bring forth something in ourselves that has been lost. The inner planets move quickly: a transit of Venus will encourage relationships and creativity, a transit of Mars demands that we defend ourselves appropriately. Easy Jupiter transits can bring financial opportunity, or liberate us from difficult situations, whereas the challenging transits can cause reckless and risky behavior. The outer, or transpersonal planets, including Saturn which acts as the bridge between the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter) and transpersonal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), take much longer to traverse the zodiac and therefore their effects are felt for a longer period of time.

The planets in our birthchart also “progress” through time, particularly the inner planets which move more quickly. The placement of the planets in our “progressed” chart offer additional information about the person that we have become; this serves as a transparent overlay that defines us at this moment in time. The relationship of the planets in our progressed chart to our birthchart offers additional information about our current situation.

These transits can initiate great opportunities and personal distress for us, but even in the most difficult of crises, hidden in the pain is a gift that opens the doorway into the realization and connection of the soul. Each planet can be identified as a god demanding us to delve deep within ourselves. Encounters with these gods through the challenging planetary transits (squares and oppositions) bring burdens, but also offer great gifts. In making an offering to these gods, we are better able to receive their gifts of transformation.

Saturn

The myth: Saturn was the son of Uranus (heaven) and Gaia (earth). During his rule he created the division of time and the seasons, establishing cosmic order and history. Saturn, fearing that his children would depose him, swallowed each child at birth. His last child, Zeus, eventually overpowered Saturn in a great war and imprisoned him in the Tartarus, a dark gloomy region at the ends of the earth.

The burden: Saturn places restrictions and obstacles before us, making it difficult to move forward in our desired direction. We may feel sad, lonely, and weighed down by an overwhelming sense of inertia. Saturn is the god of time, telling us that time is fleeting and we must take our lives seriously. He wants us to be responsible, to respect society’s structures. He is the difficult father that can instill insecurity and self-doubt. During a Saturn transit we often feel dark and lonely, mirroring Saturn’s gloomy imprisonment. The structures and rules that Saturn values so much can feel oppressive. We are likely to experience difficulties in our daily lives: back pain, dental problems, automobile breakdowns – events that limit our ability to move forward as we desire.

The gift: Saturn is like the Beast in old fairy tales; behind his ugly and fearful exterior lies the Handsome Prince. Herein lies the alchemy over which Saturn presides: the psychospiritual process in which pain and difficulty leads one to greater wholeness and integration. Saturn is not stingy in his rewards when we delve deep and obey his call for introspection and discipleship. The limitations and obstacles are simply tools to encourage us to look within and convert the lead of our existence into the gold of increased awareness.

The offering: When we enter into discipleship with Saturn, we discover the truth about ourselves and our nature. Saturn demands that we look deeply into our motivations, our desires, and our truths. Spend as much time alone as possible, journaling, examining the structures of your life and look at ways they can be improved. Offer up a plan for the future and Saturn will reward you with spiritual and material success. Open gently the doors to feelings of sadness and insecurity; this is the base material for the alchemical process. When you face your darkness with courage, you allow the light to enter and Saturn’s blessings will certainly follow.

Uranus

The myth: Uranus was the sky god married to Gaia, the earth mother-god. Uranus ruled the limitless space of the heavens. He and Gaia had many children, all of them odd and deformed: the giant Titans, the Cyclopses, and monsters with multiple limbs and heads. These children did not meet his ideals, and Uranus forced them back into Gaia’s womb (the earth). Ultimately his son Saturn castrated Uranus , symbolizing an archetypal battle between these two gods.

The burden: Uranus demands freedom of expression, revolution against repression, an idealistic utopia. Uranus rattles our cages, pressuring us to remember that we are creative and unique individuals. If we cling tooo tightly to Saturn’s structures and the security they bring, the challenging Uranus transits can increase anxiety and shake our very roots. We may suddenly crave changes in all structures of our life and experience insomnia and restlessness.

The gift: Uranus offers the gift of individual freedom and new beginnings. Uranus often provides brilliant insights and breakthroughs of awareness. A veil is lifted, and we are able to see past our fears to more freedom, an ideal life that better suits the person we have become.

The offering: Uranus requires us to let go of old habits, routines and structures that keep us from actualizing our potential. It demands that we open our minds to new ideas, new visions. It floods us with electrical energy and asks that we channel it into new pathways of thought, of feeling, and of living. Think outside the box; imagine new ways of structuring your life that serve your own unique potential.

Neptune

The myth: Neptune was the brother of Pluto and of Jupiter, and after the three brothers overthrew their father Saturn, Neptune received dominion over the seas. Neptune was known not only for his watery domain, but also for his legendary rage which caused him to create great storms with his trident and gave him control over earthquakes. Neptune had many lovers, but fell desperately in love with the water nymph Amphitrite who later became his wife.

The burden: Neptune commands the dissolution of ego and the yearning of the individual for a divine experience. During a challenging Neptune transit, the dissolving process can be confusing and disorienting and leave us vulnerable to fantasy and deception. In our search for the divine we may seek solace in drugs or lose ourselves in excessive media exposure. We are more likely to be deceived at these times due to a temporary inability to discriminate between fantasy and reality. We may be overly empathetic and lose our sense of self.

The gift: Neptune unites the soul and the self with the divine and facilitates the ascension process. During a transit of Neptune we have a direct doorway into the wisdom of the unconscious. Our dreams speak loudly to us if we listen, and provide information from the collective unconscious as well as our own subconscious mind. Neptune also offers the gift of empathy, psychic ability, artistic creation and music.

The offering: Neptune calls upon us to dissolve the boundaries of our individual ego and merge with the consciousness of the divine. We can honor Neptune by spending time in meditation and contemplation, and in body/mind/spirit activities such as yoga or tai chi that will unite and align us with the wisdom of our inner selves. We can ask to recognize where truth lies so that we can follow Neptune’s higher road of spiritual awareness. Neptune’s gift is none other than realization of the individual soul.

Pluto

The myth: Pluto is the god of the underworld, of death. Pluto owned a helmet that rendered him invisible, and he left no traces on the earth. Pluto is also the god of wealth and bestower of riches. He was often portrayed as being deaf to prayers and unappeased by sacrifices. He fell in love with Persephone and abducted her into the underworld, making her his queen and demonstrating that he wasn’t completely without heart.

The burden: In psychological astrology, Pluto represents the will of the higher self, the transpersonal self. Pluto’s realm is empowerment and transformation; he is unconcerned with our individual desires and plans. Transits of Pluto instigate death and rebirth, endings and beginnings. A Pluto transit can feel like a tornado in which one’s entire world is picked up, spun about, and dropped in a completely new and different place. Pluto takes us into the underworld and forces us to view emotions and qualities that have long been buried in the unconscious.

The gift: Pluto offers nothing less than complete spiritual evolution, the release of the caterpillar into the divine destiny of the butterfly. Pluto is the god of buried treasure – he reveals the ugliest aspects of our nature: jealousy, aggression and rage, revealing our true inner power that lies beneath. He forces us, often kicking and screaming, to let go of those aspects of our life that no longer serve our empowerment process, freeing us to realize our greatest potential.

The offering: Pluto insists that we step aside to let him facilitate our transformation. He demands that we trust the process, to let go of our own desires and plans for our future and allow the transformation to take place. Surrender is the key here, and a desire for wisdom. A Pluto transit may bring us the ultimate power struggle – that between the will of our higher self for transformation and our own individual desires.

The synchronicity inherent in the cycles life offers us many opportunities as well as challenges. Understanding the nature of these cycles provide insight that can assist us in our own evolutionary process.

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By | 2013-08-16T14:05:46+00:00 August 16th, 2013|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Lessons|5 Comments

Pluto Transformations

I am on vacation until November 12th and will try to post as internet access permits.  Meanwhile I am reposting some interesting articles from the past.


empowerment.jpg

My husband Rich is a very laid-back guy, nothing bothers him very much. He [was in 2007] in the middle of a transit of Pluto square to his Sun, a transit that can be very difficult as we are forced to face the dark side of our psyche as we enter the Underworld of consciousness that is Pluto’s domain. Pluto transits to the Sun can strip our lives down to the bare essentials. Jobs are often lost under these transits, relationships can end as we are forced to realize that those relationships do not feed the deepest hunger for soul connections.

Because Pluto retrogrades every year, Pluto transits nearly always occur in a cycle of three or five hits making them intense and long-lasting. Pluto transits can be like a tornado strike: The first phase is sometimes called the “breakdown phase” in which anything that doesn’t serve our ultimate soul evolution is broken down and stripped away. During the second phase we survey the damage to see what is gone and what remains. The third phase brings reconstruction and often a sense of relief as we recognize the freedom that results from liberating ourselves from experiences in which we have become stuck and stagnant.

This transit of Pluto square his Sun has been an amazing process for Rich and he gave me permission to share his experiences here. A few years ago Pluto squared Rich’s Moon (emotions and safety) and he went through quite a bit of emotional upheaval. He experienced a surge of emotions and memories surrounding his fear of his own power, something which had limited him throughout his life. Old memories of rage during infancy, ancient past-life memories of abuse of power – these erupted with clarity and focus as he relived his past. It was really a shamanic experience that shifted his perceptions and clarified his focus and understanding.

Rich never thinks about death. For me, with Pluto conjunct my nadir and Moon, death is always lurking, but not Rich. For him, death is something that happens to other people. When Pluto first approached a square to his Sun, Rich’s uncle died a year after a stroke paralyzed him completely. This week, as Pluto hit the second square to his Sun, a co-worker died. Pluto often exposes us to the raw experience of death, the raw material that teaches us about life.

Pluto also is concerned with issues of power. Often when Pluto squares our Sun, we find ourselves in power conflicts with authority, or seeking more power for ourselves. If we have unresolved issues that keep us from becoming fully empowered we will find ourselves thwarted and challenged at every turn. Once we have resolved those issues, however, Pluto opens the doors to the depth of the power that lies within us. This is what has happened to Rich under this transit, demonstrating that so-called “bad” transits can act powerfully for the good.

It’s really time to put aside our concepts of what is bad and what is good when it comes to planetary transits, and let the gods bring to us what they have come to teach!

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By | 2009-11-07T12:05:43+00:00 November 7th, 2009|Astrology|Comments Off on Pluto Transformations

Pluto changes direction today, September 11, and Astrology in my world

Today is the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but it’s also the day that Pluto changes direction.  Planets don’t really move backwards, but they appear to do so because we observe their motions from our vantage point here on earth.  When they do, we call that “retrograde motion” and Pluto has been retrograde since early April of this year.

Pluto was the god of the Underworld, and he takes that role astrologically as well.  He brings us into the realm of the subconscious, the dark and frightening, the secret rage and desire and shadowy obsessions that lurk beneath the Sun of the conscious Self.  But Pluto has another role as well: aligning our intentions and our Will with our higher self.  He is a god, after all.

Our fear of Pluto correlates with our concept of the Underworld.  Some writers call Pluto the “Lord of Hell.”  But the Underworld that Pluto presided over was not a hellish place.  The dead and the living commingled there and communicated with each other.  In addition, Pluto had another role in Roman mythology – he was also the god of wealth that came in the form of gold, silver, and other treasures that were mined from beneath the surface of the Earth.  So we have a correlation here of gifts and divine treasures that are provided by Pluto when we have the courage to enter the Underworld.

Pluto transits can be hell, and they can also be divine experiences of the empowerment of the soul.  For at its core, Pluto is the god of ultimate Power.  Where Mars rules war, Pluto rules nuclear war.  But while Pluto’s power is destructive, it is also the power of the Soul to transform us in an alchemical process that burns off anything which is holding us back so that we can begin anew.

I won’t repeat the astrology of the September 11 attacks here, you can read about that in my earlier article.  Suffice it to say, though, that Pluto was exactly conjunct the Ascendant of the US astrological chart, signifying a total transformation (Pluto) of the identity of the nation (Ascendant).  Geeky astrological detail:  I use the Sagittarius rising “Sibley” chart for the US and it is certainly supported by the astrology of September 11. Pluto was also in opposition formation to Saturn at the time and a faceoff between the Lord of Karma (Saturn) and the Lord of Death (Pluto) is rarely pleasant.

When Pluto travels retrograde, which it does every year along with the other two outer planets Uranus and Neptune, it can be difficult to get things moving.  Retrograde planets turn our attention backwards – it’s more about going over old ground than starting something new.  Now that Pluto will be heading in the right direction again we are likely to start seeing some progress both in our personal lives and in the structures of government that have been affected so greatly by Pluto’s shift into Capricorn.

For me personally this station of Pluto (as Pluto prepares to turn direct it slows down to a crawl and almost stops)  has been particularly intense because it is sitting right on my Capricorn Mars.  I wrote about this last spring when Pluto made its second of what was to be a total of four hits to my Mars.  During the third phase, I ended up in the emergency room in Sedona with severe abdominal pain (Mars is tied to the solar plexus and Pluto was rooting out a lot of old issues).  But I also got the Beliefnet gig at that time which has expanded my reach and visibility, empowering me in my work.  This is what Pluto really wants – to empower us at the highest level.

I confess I looked forward to this Pluto station at zero degrees, exactly on my Mars, with trepidation. I planned a light client week and plenty of time at home for yoga and meditation.  But apart from experiencing a deep and intense energy that is keeping me awake, I haven’t experienced any life challenges or physical problems so I suspect I’m in the clear now.

Which leads me to my final point, which is that planetary transits do not always bring about the same result which is why we can’t predict the future with any specificity.  The experience of the final phase of a transit cycle depends upon what happens in the first phases, and how well we are integrating the experience of that planet.  Pluto wants us to be empowered and fully connected to our higher self.  If we’re not, we might get creamed.  If we’re holding back from expressing our power fully, or locked in fear (which we hold in our solar plexus), then like me last summer, we may end up in the emergency room with abdominal pain.

I’ll end this rather long post with my favorite Pluto comparison.  Years ago when I lived in Colorado we used to go tubing in the white water creeks.  I am not good at surrendering now and I was even worse then, so when the fast-moving water started carrying me in the tube I reached out to try to hold onto the brush that lined the bank of the creek.  I soon realized that every time I tried to hold on I would get smashed against the rocks, but if I just let go the current of the creek took me through the path of least resistance and I had a marvelous time. Pluto transits are exactly like this.  There’s no way to control them, we can only relax and enjoy the ride and trust that we are being carried in exactly the right direction for our ultimate soul path.

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By | 2009-09-11T07:41:12+00:00 September 11th, 2009|Life|Comments Off on Pluto changes direction today, September 11, and Astrology in my world

Pluto transformations

My husband Rich is a very laid-back guy, nothing bothers him very much. He is in the middle of a transit of Pluto square to his Sun, a transit that can be very difficult as we are forced to face the dark side of our psyche as we enter the Underworld of consciousness that is Pluto’s domain. Pluto transits to the Sun can strip our lives down to the bare essentials. Jobs are often lost under these transits, relationships can end as we are forced to realize that those relationships do not feed the deepest hunger for soul connections.

Because Pluto retrogrades every year, Pluto transits nearly always occur in a cycle of three or five hits making them intense and long-lasting. Pluto transits can be like a tornado strike: The first phase is sometimes called the “breakdown phase” in which anything that doesn’t serve our ultimate soul evolution is broken down and stripped away. During the second phase we survey the damage to see what is gone and what remains. The third phase brings reconstruction and often a sense of relief as we recognize the freedom that results from liberating ourselves from experiences in which we have become stuck and stagnant.

This transit of Pluto square his Sun has been an amazing process for Rich and he gave me permission to share his experiences here. A few years ago Pluto squared Rich’s Moon (emotions and safety) and he went through quite a bit of emotional upheaval. He experienced a surge of emotions and memories surrounding his fear of his own power, something which had limited him throughout his life. Old memories of rage during infancy, ancient past-life memories of abuse of power – these erupted with clarity and focus as he relived his past. It was really a shamanic experience that shifted his perceptions and clarified his focus and understanding.

Rich never thinks about death. For me, with Pluto conjunct my nadir and Moon, death is always lurking, but not Rich. For him, death is something that happens to other people. When Pluto first approached a square to his Sun, Rich’s uncle died a year after a stroke paralyzed him completely. This week, as Pluto hit the second square to his Sun, a co-worker died. Pluto often exposes us to the raw experience of death, the raw material that teaches us about life.

Pluto also is concerned with issues of power. Often when Pluto squares our Sun, we find ourselves in power conflicts with authority, or seeking more power for ourselves. If we have unresolved issues that keep us from becoming fully empowered we will find ourselves thwarted and challenged at every turn. Once we have resolved those issues, however, Pluto opens the doors to the depth of the power that lies within us. This is what has happened to Rich under this transit, demonstrating that so-called “bad” transits can act powerfully for the good.

It’s really time to put aside our concepts of what is bad and what is good when it comes to planetary transits, and let the gods bring to us what they have come to teach!

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By | 2007-07-29T14:04:00+00:00 July 29th, 2007|Astrology in my world|Comments Off on Pluto transformations
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