The Astrology of 2010
by AA Member Alison Chester-Lambert
2010 hit the ground running since most of the major astrological aspects had already been tuning up in 2009. During that year we had been filled with hope and euphoria at the election of a new American president, feared mass death from a pandemic, grieved the death of Michael Jackson, raged over a newspaper scandal about how MPs claimed expenses and become horrified at the war in the Middle East.
However, there were much graver issues percolating in the Collective, and some of these are almost irresolvable dangers. Such problems as melting polar ice-caps, over-consumerism which will exhaust all raw materials, over-population, and uneven wealth distribution in a hugely flawed world financial capitalist system, which spawns massive excesses in a fragile Western banking industry.
This article will cover 4 major aspects: the Neptune/Chiron conjunction, the Uranus/Saturn opposition, the Pluto/Saturn Square and the resulting T-square in the Summer, plus the previous ingress of Pluto and the expected ingress of Uranus. You really have to take a graphic ephemeris back to 1988 to find so much fun happening on the cusps of the Cardinal cross and with respect to 2012, the sky has a lot more to offer in this, the first year of a new decade. (Go to the end of this article for a time line of aspects with dates.) The T-square and Neptune Chiron conjunction occupy all our transpersonal planets in what could prove to be the Cosmos' answer to those flawed world systems.
Neptune Chiron Conjunction in Aquarius
Chiron describes crippling and unfair wounds that generate bitterness and rage against something we can do nothing about. Our pain and impotence when faced with something humiliating or cruel. Perhaps he represents the deep guilt and suffering that humans must endure for taking bodies and leaving spirit.
Neptune represents the watery immenseness of the primordial substance of origin and our pining, yearning and longing for a return to this matter-less state and one-ness with the Divine Source. This energy dissolves structure, human resolve, form and will power; offering instead the oblivion of compassionate and sublime feeling; the comfort and loneliness of soft and misty fusion.
In 2009 these two planets came together in a near conjunction, which didn't finally go exact until 2010. For a while in 2009 they had Jupiter with them and in many ways he protected the Collective from the worst of the pain with his confidence. However, the actual planet of Jupiter paid a price for this when he was struck by a comet in the lower side, causing a great hole in the surface of the planet, which looked just like the wound inflicted on the thigh of the centaur Chiron in myth.
The conjunction is in Aquarius, a zodiac sign that is in many ways the most difficult energy for a human being to express. For Aquarius seeks to separate from the imperfections of stupid, human fumbling and the crassness of heavy and imperfect bodies. It seeks the perfection of a geometric, flawless design; a clean, neat, ethical and civilised brotherhood; striving always for separation from the primordial Feminine with her feeling, bestial, engulfing and smothering ways. Like Uranus, Aquarius has unemotional, visionary concepts, high ideals and the coldly critical analysis of scientific philosophies.
Neptune has been in Aquarius since 1998 and in transiting astrology has described a Collective yearning for salvation through science, technology and the Internet - not in itself a bad thing. However, in personal, psychological astrology, her influence has introduced natal Aquarian Suns to an underworld of profound feelings, which in many cases resulted in a painful and mushy depression as she went conjunct. This is because Neptune causes difficulties in the Air element which is her natural enemy. Here we see the age-old, primordial battle between our feeling, emotionally-needy, human condition and the need for transcendence, separation and perfection. However, when Chiron joins her, this pain becomes so much more obvious, both personally and in the Collective.
On a personal level, a human is reduced to bewilderment, disillusionment and distress over feelings and attachment/detachment issues. These become archetypal experiences and express as Why can't I love them? or I am unloveable or They don't love me, So why can't I stop loving them? issues. Chiron intensifies the anguish, and those souls affected will face the challenge of their personal underworld, in which the ego may find the nirvana of unconditional surrender or not. Whether or not the ego submits or strengthens, the potential for a delicate and sublime healing or enlightenment exists, for both planets can bring emotional healing.
What about Chiron conjunct Neptune in the Collective or trans-personal level, as described by transiting astrology?
Here we have history to inform us, for on the 4th September 1945 these two were exactly conjunct at 5° Libra. Two days earlier Japan signed its own act of unconditional surrender and brought to an end 6 years of World War. Hundreds of thousands had died and terrible atrocities had occurred. But somehow, in the blood and carnage of the Dark Night of the human race, the collective heaved itself back from the grip of destruction and General Douglas MacArthur was inspired to speak these words on behalf of the shattered Collective:
It is my earnest hope and, indeed, the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past; a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfilment of his most cherished wish, for freedom, tolerance and justice.¹
He gave an unconscious nod to Libra when suggesting an equitable system should be sought to resolve the matters of war since the developing of the atom bomb had brought Armageddon to the door of civilisation. The United Nations Organisation was founded a few weeks later to supposedly prevent the supreme international crime of aggressive war ever happening again. However, Great Britain and the USA invaded Iraq in 2003, and it will be interesting to see how this crime will be dealt with by the Collective when these 2 planets finally go exact on 16th February 2010. Will another MacArthur emerge?
Since they hardly part all year, they remain a very significant influence, becoming almost conjunct again for the last time in October. Of course, they were extremely close in May of 2009, but Jupiter was conjunct at the same time and his 'no worries' effect cushioned the Collective from the full horror of the war.
Looking back at the World War of 1945, it seems that before the Collective could accept the need for and develop a wisdom to correct the wrongdoing that existed in the world, it had to suffer. It had to be laid low and stricken with the pain of human savagery or failure. Terrible atrocity and misery had to happen before the human race stopped in its tracks.
This time around we have been spared a World War, but still we have aggressive war, death and failure to find a peaceful solution on our hands. On the 16th February 2010, someone should read aloud MacArthur's words, his heartfelt desire for a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfilment of his most cherished wish, for freedom, tolerance and justice and ask what we can do to make this dream come true. Whilst our situation may not be as bad as that in 1945, the Neptune/Chiron conjunction in Aquarius in 2010 should still send a chill of disquiet, for our world and our government has failed to achieve MacArthur's dream. But perhaps then, down there in the darkest of abject sorrow, we may finally see the possibility. For let us remember, the promise of the conjunction aspect is re-birth, a new beginning and maybe this time we will turn wounded suffering into wisdom, compassion and enlightenment for the brotherhood of mankind.
Pluto's Move into Capricorn. A Little History.
It takes Pluto 248 years to go around the Sun once, (the Earth takes 1 year) so, over the last century he has only moved into 7 different Zodiac signs on his slow way around the Sun. Sometimes he has been more than 20 years in a Zodiac sign, but more recently he spent about 12 years in Scorpio and then about 13 years in Sagittarius. When he changes Signs it indicates that all the things associated with that Sign will have to undergo adjustment, deconstruction/reconstruction and transformation as the ruthless, evolutionary process rumbles on. When he moved into Sagittarius it was the turn of spiritual beliefs, higher learning and space exploration, and the internet provided a fascinating tool for the sharing of knowledge which could take all Seekers into higher awareness. Discovery is now shared amongst discoverers at an unprecedented rate, facilitating faster discovery and gnosis. World commerce enjoyed rapid growth and expansion at break neck speed, which is another Sagittarian gift.
However, the Zodiac sign after the Fire sign of Sagittarius is the Earth sign of Capricorn, for earthy realism must follow the rapid and careless consumption of Fire. So in January 2008, when Pluto first moved into Capricorn he tested the ground that the edifices and structures of the expansive previous decade were built on. He found them pompous and over-inflated, with much audacity and confidence, but a disregard for underlying substance. Capricorn requires solid ground, strength and rugged foundations upon which to forge solid growth, so Pluto set to work routing out the weak structures.
It didn't take him long. In July 2007, whilst Pluto was still in the last little bit of Sagittarius, the Northern Rock Bank issued a press statement gloating that it had lent over 10 billion pounds to home owners in the previous 6 months, its assets were worth 113 billion and it was all low risk. (Yep, they really did that!) Six months later, Pluto had moved into Capricorn and the Northern Rock Bank (Capricorn represents rock and mountains - tee hee!) had been forced to borrow 25 billion from the Bank of England. It had been removed from the stock market FTSE 100 index and there had been a bank run as customers desperately tried to get their money out. Finally in February 2008 the bank was nationalised and the shares were suspended as MPs identified a history of reckless lending, but this was only the beginning and the rest, as they say, is history. Banks and financial institutions world-wide had to be bailed out, with trillions of dollars being given by the I.M.F. and governments. It turned out that they had all been lending money to those who couldnt afford to pay it back, based on house values that were over-inflated and unrealistic. Growth at all costs had been built on sand.
When we need to change something we need Pluto. We need the most powerful energy in the box. In order to get rid of a boil we have to destroy it first. No point in sticking a plaster on it and expecting new growth on top of that. So before Pluto could begin transforming the world ??s financial edifices, he had to take them apart and the amount of de-construction would depend on the amount of rotten, unsubstantial material he found at the base of them. Obviously quite a lot then!
But we can have faith in his riches and healing potential, for at his heart is an evolutionary process that will ultimately maintain our world. Pluto will remain in Capricorn, the Zodiac sign responsible for the highest of earthly attainments until 2023, by which time he may have sorted out the over-indulgences to be found in pharmaceutical companies, football clubs and the 'worth' of corporate and financial bosses. Yippee!
Uranus Opposes Saturn. Vive la Revolution!
During the aforementioned monetary crisis Pluto was being assisted in his work by a planetary formation between Uranus and Saturn. Uranus represents revolutionary uprising, sudden revelation and enlightenment. Saturn has similar hang-ups to Capricorn (he rules this Zodiac sign), so he represents the structure of establishment, authority, order and the fear that we might loose those things. He describes our ability to cope with the fear of limitation, deprivation and denial, and the fight for justice and necessity. From October 2008 until July 2010, these two planets were on either side of the Earth, duelling and lobbing stuff at each other, with us caught in the middle and the often un-reasonable demands of each.
As usual with these things, the Zodiac signs that the 2 planets were in got caught up in the drama, and those of us with Pisces and Virgo sun signs had an 'Annus Horibilis' involving 'Significant Others'. The first of these clashes occurred on November 4th 2008, followed by 5th February 2009, 15th September 2009 and 27th April 2010.
In the Collective, this whole period was subject to the breaking down of the seemingly solid towers of institutions by sudden revelations, (MPs' officially sanctioned expense claims were exposed and vilified) and (en)lightening strikes. (British Airways cabin crew voted to strike when their bankrupt airline allegedly tried to save their pensions by reducing the amount of cabin staff on each flight.) People were shocked at how weak the edifices such as Lehman Bros. were and how quickly they fell. All this was frightening to Mr String Vest, so it is no surprise that the fear about 2012 should emerge at this time and find fertile ground on which to spawn.
The last hit is on 27th July 2010 and it will be interesting to see what emerges, for when Saturn and Uranus go into battle there isn't a clear winner, although in myth Chronos (Saturn), overthrows his father Ouranos. Usually the last hit of any transiting aspect is quieter and has an air of tidying up, or putting things back together in a way that will produce the best for the future. The unwillingness or unruly-ness has usually been played out by then, and healing begins. The main issues to emerge on a personal level from the 2009 hits were frustrations and hold-ups, mental crisis, electrical breakdowns, plans going awry, unreasonable demands being made, or the need to be free from demands.
In the Collective in the April 2010 hit it continued to be about the British Airways cabin crew strike with the added surprise (Uranus!) of hecklers breaking up the talks on the day of exactitude. Other events included how science (Uranus) is shattering the preconceived ideas of atoms or solid matter (Saturn) as the Large Hadron Collider `breaks ground` and smashes atoms together. Uranus represents electromagnetic waves and scientific and spiritual understanding of these energy forms is growing rapidly.
The need for revolution remained strong during the 27th April 2010 hit which occured in the run up to the British election, so the result was interesting when a whole new revolutionary approach to government emerged.
Saturn Squares Pluto
During the last couple of months in 2009, another formation was taking place with Saturn beginning the first of 3 hits in his square to Pluto.
Although Saturn makes a sharp major aspect to Pluto every 7 years or so, we still need to remember that when these two start a dialogue, the matrix of existence in the 4% is going to be thoroughly scanned. Pluto's unrelenting, evolutionary machine will undermine Saturn, forcing him to remove the rose-tinted glasses and begin a realistic appraisal of what's-not-right-with-the-world. Harsh reality will emerge, for at the end of the day, Saturn will concede to the superiority of the Pluto's strength and his/her ultimate control over Saturn's dominion' the 4%. Saturn will recognise that if he ignores his paranoia and takes part in the Plutonian urge for purification and deconstruction, then his world will re-built more strongly than before. But first he has to stop being paranoid, and that is easier said than done, for the structures and foundations of his society will have to be examined for potentially weak areas, although this should have been made much easier by having Uranus hammer at them for the previous year. The second hit (31st Jan 2010) was at the beginning of the run up to the British election campaign and this become the outward expression of society's deep need to make changes and rout out the inappropriate growth of the recent years. There was an emerging deep need to address the dis-satisfaction and dis-affection regarding the rotten structures in society. Saturn's lifelong ambition for better standards and self improvement will eventually work together with Pluto's re-generative strength, so although there will yet be times when the house appears to coming down, we should have faith and deep trust in the process, for they will not let us down in the long run' we have let ourselves down' they are putting it right!
Pluto loves to re-cycle and Saturn likes to hang on to stuff, so at least we will get better at re-cycling resources.
Three Universal Forces are Brought Together to Hammer Out Action and Results
To get a sense of what the period of the T-square of the Summer of 2010 is all about, imagine a gun fight at the OK coral. Saturn is on one side of the street, trying to hang on to archaic institutions, entrenched social hierarchy and past achievements. Opposite, Uranus representing awakening, discovery, reform and up-rising is shooting at him from the other side of the street from behind the water butt. His demands seem revolutionary, un-feeling, unreasonable, exposing and frightening.
With 2 more clashes to come in 2010, the decade and 2009 draw to a close and Christmas rides into town. The 2 sides take time out to stuff mince pies, drink the Advocaat and sherry that no-one else wants, burp and fester. During the festive period though, whilst Uranus was sleeping it off, Saturn slinks down the street for a second meeting with Pluto on his own. They go exact on Jan 31st and then Saturn finishes his dialogue with Pluto and moves back down the street for another clash with Uranus. He takes with him a more pliant attitude after his discussion with Pluto and he will resist change less. This will make it easier for Uranus to bring about an atmosphere primed for ground-breaking change and new-ness. Fossilised, past-its-sell-by-stuff will have to go, but on the other hand the genius of the Collective can be revealed. Inspiration, awakening, power and light can flow freely in the Ether, bringing new concepts in innovative technology, democracy and the future.
During the second half of May 2010 it was apparent that something was poised for birth, for futuristic Uranus reached the end of the Zodiac and arrived at the beginning again at 0°Aries. This is a crucial point in our 3-dimensional world of matter, space and time. Our solstices and equinoxes all occur on a cardinal cross that begins with 0° Aries. It is fundamental to the fabric of our existence. This is the symbolic birth of all that is innovative and revolutionary. Sentimental clinging to past, out-worn ideals and methods will have to go. Fundamental cornerstones of how-we-did-it-before will be questioned and rightfully so. The rut of squandering and lethargy must give way to original, futuristic and revolutionary concepts for the brotherhood of mankind.
In July 2010, Uranus, Pluto and Saturn are in a T-square hovering over the cusp of the cardinal cross, Zodiac signs renowned for their initiating, leadership qualities. And in came Libran David Cameron and Capricorn Nick Clegg to say just that!
Ok, things are in a deconstruction phase, but behind it is a sense of onwards and upwards, with a surging forward and dynamic leaps into both new purpose and the un-known. The predominating signature is one of intense dynamic movement. Nuclear science and technology will be `breaking news` areas but the whole thing has a Berlin Wall feel to it; the blue print for a Brave New World emerges. Certainly David Cameron are Nick Clegg are mouth-piecing such dynamic change. There is an honesty about these energies. Ok, things will have be forced kicking and screaming into this revolution, but when it comes, it will put us right back on track by taking into account the needs of all the god/desses or energies that have a say in our dimension.
This trio holds sway until June 2011 when Saturn breaks away and moves on to more peaceful places, leaving Pluto and Uranus at a challenging, but potentially productive angle to each other until 2016. This seems to connect the aspects of 2010 in a seamless dance that leads on into 2012 and it should be understood that regarding that year, the astrology starts now.
Before I wrap up - a curious fact. The Neptune Chiron conjunction in 1945 that accompanied MacArthur's peace speech was at 5° Libra. Both Saturn and Pluto spend time at 5° of the cardinal cross this year, along with transiting nodes. Perhaps between them they can release his message of a better world "founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfilment of his most cherished wish, for freedom, tolerance and justice."¹
Bring it on!
A Rough Timeline for 2010:
Saturn/Pluto square exact 31st Jan
The Neptune/Chiron conjunction exact 16th Feb (then very close all year, especially in Oct.)
Loose Saturn/Pluto/Uranus T square in place from March to Sept.
Uranus/Saturn opposition exact 27th April
Saturn/Pluto/Uranus T square within 5° orb from Jun to Aug
Uranus/Saturn opposition exact 26th July
Saturn/Pluto square exact 21st August
¹ANON, (1945) 1945: Japan Signs Unconditional Surrender; BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/2/newsid_3582000/3582545.stm