Dharmaruci wrote a post yesterday citing my comments about the return of the outer planets to the earth element after nearly ten years, and noting the connection to the lack of achievement and accomplishment on the world stage since then:
it is no surprise, for example, that it has been impossible to establish an international agreement on the environment and climate change. The earth element is concerned with the facts on the ground (to borrow an unfortunate Israeli expression). If earth is lacking, then these facts don’t count for very much, they don’t impact. The Kyoto protocol was agreed in 1997 – the last gasp of Neptune in Capricorn – but has since proved impossible to implement.
Incredibly, in 2003 the US went to war in Iraq without a proper plan as to what to do afterwards, and without reasons that could be backed up by facts. During the 90s, with Neptune and Uranus in Capricorn, the US had been able to restrain itself.
Since 1998, we have had 2 financial bubbles: the dotcom bubble of 2000, when stocks prices in the newly established dotcom sector went way over the top, causing a hangover for the US economy . . . ; and now there has been a credit bubble, in which banks have lent huge amounts of money in irresponsible ways and passed the buck all over the world, so no-one knows who is liable; and in which consumers have also built up large amounts of debt.
The downside of earth is that the imagination can get stifled, everything becomes defined by what seem to be fixed practical limitations and traditions. This time of no earth has also been the period in which the internet has taken off in all sorts of ways that couldn’t have been predicted, unhampered by too much legislation or financial limitations (it can still be pretty much free to get your stuff out there). So this has been a positive outcome, the imagination has had free rein. It can be seen as the result of the mutual reception between Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius, which still has a few years to run.
The return to earth brings not only stability and practicality, but a deeper connection to life on earth and the needs of the natural world which is so crucial at this time of climate change. Earth is quiet and possesses a deep wisdom that connects us as humans to the other members of the Earth community. Under the influence of earth ideology becomes less important, as do personal opinions and philosophies that have ruled the Pluto in Sagittarius era. Earth tends to slow everything down and bring a more deliberate approach to life.
The earth element is considered “feminine,” or yin, and sometimes termed in astrological texts as “negative” because of its more receptive quality. The downside of earth, as Dharma writes, is the tendency to become bogged down in detail or too attached to routine. There can be a dislike of the mystic or subtle experiences that are not based in what is commonly perceived as material reality. In most magical traditions, the element of earth is associated with gnomes and the direction North. Midnight is its time and winter its season.
We’ll be entering this earthy period while still in the visionary Uranus/Pisces Neptune/Aquarius period, so there’s not too much danger over the next few years of becoming too routinized.