planetary alchemyA friend of mine died on Friday.  I had known him casually for many years and worked closely with him for about five.  His death at the age of 65 came less than a month after a diagnosis of a return of melanoma shocks and saddens all in our community in which he was well-loved by so many people.

Before John’s first diagnosis he had been in the throes of the square from transiting Uranus to Uranus in his natal chart.  He confided in me that he longed to change his life and to let go of some of the materialistic trappings that he felt kept him bound to the lifestyle he had created.  This is a fairly common experience during Uranus cycles since Uranus is the planet which  demands that we live a life that is completely authentic and free of meaningless attachments.  Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with melanoma and had to have an eye removed.  I believe this is when transiting Pluto began working through his chart, followed shortly by Saturn.

The real estate market tanked during this period and John and I no longer worked together although we talked occasionally, so I don’t know what kind of changes he was able to make in his life, but I do wonder how big a role the inexorable pressure of financial personal responsibilities played in the re-emergence of his illness which ravaged him so quickly when it returned.  At the time of his death and during the weeks leading up to it transiting Uranus was exactly square to his Sun, providing him with the liberation he craved.

Understanding the planetary nature of behavior doesn’t always free of from the pressures of our instinctive reactions.  With lots of planets in fixed signs and no mutable ones, the only thing that saves me from rigid muscle tightness is (nearly) daily yoga.  Knowing that I have a fixed nature itself doesn’t help me to cultivate a more flexible and adaptable nature; it takes constant reminders and lots of meditation.

When it comes to illness and death, I’m pretty sure that these are part of the Ultimate Plan anyway and not easily avoidable through planetary alchemy (the art of anticipating and working through planetary transits).  We all know people (and perhaps have been one) who were desperate for a break in their overcrowded life and developed a serious illness which had the effect of giving them that longed-for relief.

The Universe works in mysterious ways to give us what we want and what we need.  There is nothing that we can do but trust in its wisdom.

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