Every age has its own flavour and feel. Looking at the world around us these days, it’s hard to avoid the sense of chaos, upheaval and general decay. History is pockmarked with revolution, interspersed by periods of relative tranquillity. Have you ever wondered how these times of change come about?
One way to attempt understanding is to look at events from a symbolic or mythical perspective. The zeitgeist can be seen as the activity of interacting archetypes animating the psyche of humanity. Using astrology we can gain insight into the changes erupting within and around us, plotting a path through the chaos to the calm, clear waters beyond.
At the moment there is a major alignment taking place between Uranus and Pluto. From our perspective on earth, these two planets currently appear to be square – or at a 90 degree angle. They will be in this configuration from 2007 to 2020, forming an exact alignment between 2012 and 2015.
Why is this significant? Well, the last time these two planets got together was the 60s, when they were conjunct (i.e. they appeared to be right next to each other.) Can you spot the similarities between that epoch defining time and our current situation?
The 60s are often compared with the French Revolution of the 1790s, and it’s interesting to note that Uranus and Pluto were forming an opposition (180 degree angle) at that time.
The 60s were characterised by great revolutionary upheaval in many areas. It saw the peak of the civil rights movement and the rise of women’s liberation, student marches and demonstrations with outbreaks of violence, and a surge of interest in socialism and Marx. There were a huge number of technological breakthroughs with the Moon landings, advances in computers, agriculture, medicine and satellite technology. And an explosion in scientific understanding with Mandelbrot’s fractal mathematics, Lorenz’s chaos theory, huge advances in quantum physics including Bell’s theory of non-locality, as well as systems theory and the Gaia hypothesis.
It’s also interesting to note in relation to the moon landings, that the airplane was first invented during another Uranus Pluto opposition between 1896 and 1907.
If you look back through history you can plot the changes that take place during these archetypal alignments. Times characterised by a Uranus Pluto alignment all seem to carry the same mood, with similar events taking place:
- radical and political upheaval
- revolutionary impulses against oppression and a desire for freedom
- intense surge in artistic and intellectual activity
- advances in technology and innovation
- huge demographic changes
- shifts in the balance of power in society
- rise of nationalism and mass immigration
- changes in mass communication
- empowerment of countercultures and youth movements
- revitalisation of environmental causes
Does any of this sound familiar? We are currently living through such a time.
21st Century Revolution
From 2007 to 2020 we will participate in and bear witness to an intensified drive for freedom and individuality, as well as experience the opportunity to liberate possibilities and elemental forces held in the dark for too long. It goes without saying this isn’t always an easy or positive process.
As I write (in March 2011), revolution is sweeping through the Arab nations in the Middle East and north Africa. Despots are being overthrown by their people using mass protest fuelled by years of oppression and the rise of social networking technology. All the violence and courage we are witnessing was unleashed by one individual setting fire to himself in Tunisia, subverting the established order and inspiring others to rise up in defiance of oppression and exploitation.
Other current Uranus-Pluto style happenings include the credit crunch and collapse of the banks, corruption in governments around the world coming to light, the disintegration of trust in politicians and the established order, the rise of wikileaks and the social networking explosion. In the UK we have seen mass student protests reminiscent of the 60s. Around Europe austerity measures are starting to bite as incomes fall, inflation takes hold and thousands lose their jobs. And all over the world protests have broken out over rising food prices.
There have also been breakthroughs in medicine and science, including the first face transplants, and the building of the large hadron collider and the search for the lesser spotted boson*, as well as a rise in awareness of climate change…
And the alignment hasn’t even peaked yet. Strap yourself in for the next couple of years – it could be a bumpy ride.
To find out more about how you can use astrology to understand cultural change I would recommend Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas. It is packed with detailed analyses of planetary alignments and how they correlate with the events of history. I guarantee it’ll blow your mind. Go to www.cosmosandpsyche.com for more info.
Read my review of this book here: Cosmos and Psyche
*since I first wrote this article the Higgs boson has been found and the scientists who posited its existence have received the Nobel Prize. Also, the revolutionary uprisings around the world have proven to be fragile with people still fighting for basic human freedoms. These things take time…