Salon posted an article the other year entitled “The year in Misery, 2013.”

As a year marked by revelation (and authoritarian attempts to quash revelation), 2013 was a big year for misery — making known and felt our troubling state of current of affairs.

This quote accurately describes one aspect of the intense square (90 degree) aspect between Uranus and Pluto that has been driving the global astrology since 2011.  Uranus in Aries breaks down the status quo and creates a desire for change and revolution, and Pluto in Capricorn breaks down power structures that are corroding from the inside, while consolidating power at the same time.  It’s a big cocktail of breakdown and regeneration that can be extremely unsettling.

In fact, the Misery Index reached a peak in 2011, the highest point since Reagan was in office in the early 1980s.  Since 2011 the Misery Index has continued to decrease, but we are not out of the woods yet.

Under the Uranus/Pluto square we have seen the revelations of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, civil liberties violations and the killing of Trayvon Martin, bombings and school shootings, typhoons and earthquakes, civil war in Egypt, Syria and the Sudan, the first resignation of a sitting pope in hundreds of years.  But we have also seen the election of a new and amazingly progressive pope, technological advances (Uranus) such as 3D printers and Google glass, and revolutionary cultural events such as the  unprecedented number of films made by and starting African Americans.

2013 marked the peak of this Uranus/Pluto cycle and here’s no doubt that 2013 was a difficult and challenging year for many people on a personal level as well.  This process of deconstructing one’s life and having to rebuild it again from scratch can be extremely upsetting and astrology cannot provide the answers.  In my own practice some clients have become frustrated that I can’t tell them “when will it stop.”

I can only encourage them to change their perspective – to look through the distress and anxiety and try to let go of the hold they have on their hopes and shattered dreams and allow the new reality to take root and flower.  This requires tremendous trust, and after years of challenge it can be difficult to find that faith that when the storm is over the day will dawn again.  This has been a particularly challenging five years that began when Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and began the deconstruction process over the structures that provide the very foundation of our lives.

What we often fail to realize, though, is that our lives are often rooted in shifting sand, like a house at the beach that is built too close to the ocean and is eventually swallowed into the sea.  These challenging astrological periods force us to rebuild a stronger foundation that may be less romantic and idealistic, but which we can depend on to support us throughout the rest of our lives.

2013 has had some very supportive astrological alignments as well: Saturn harmonizing with Pluto to aid in the reconstruction process; both Saturn and Pluto harmonizing with Chiron to facilitate healing and understanding.  A trine from Jupiter to Saturn has lubricated the wheels of the financial system which is helping to improve the lives of many.

The fourth exact aspect of the Uranus/Pluto square occurred last month, in November of 2013.  We have crested the wave, and having survived the crisis we are adjusting to the new reality and building new structures to support ourselves in new ways.  That is not to say that it won’t be difficult, especially in the spring of 2014  (stay tuned for my 2014 forecast), but we will be rebuilding and adapting to the change.

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