Astrology · Film & TV

Changing of the Gods – Review

Many of you may have spent the last week watching the astrology documentary Changing of the Gods – a ten-part series about archetypal astrology through history that focuses on the alignments of Uranus and Pluto. It was inspired and based on the book by Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, which is essential reading for anyone interested in astrology.

I can’t say the same for Changing of the Gods, although I enjoyed the series and made lots of notes and even learned a few things! The graphics are great and they did a fantastic job showing how these alignments manifest in similar patterns through history. But I doubt the series would convince anyone who wasn’t already on board with the whole astrology thing.

My feeling by the end was: this is just a history documentary with a tiny bit of astrology tacked on. It raises more questions than it answers, which is probably inevitable considering our current puny understanding of reality. And to be fair, this is the whole point of Cosmos and Psyche: the need for a new cosmology. Perhaps my questions are answered in the final episode (A Conscious Cosmos: Energy, Matter and Meaning) which I haven’t seen (only the first 9 were free).

Update: I’ve now seen the final episode and my questions were answered. It may be the best episode of the series, covering what our new cosmology may look like, and touching on the Saturn Uranus alignment and what we’ve got coming up. However, it still suffers from the same problems outlined below…

Overall, I would recommend Changing of the Gods, with some reservations, and give the series 4 stars. It loses a star thanks to its partisan position – you can’t avoid the ‘liberal/progressive’ politics of the filmmakers. Some of the recent history is presented without context so it comes across as politically naïve. It misses the ‘conspiratorial’ angle which would allow for a more nuanced take on events.

The series also gives the impression that we’re about to experience a breakthrough into a wonderful future where all our problems will be solved courtesy of the ‘moral arc of the universe.’ For example, in the introduction to episode 9, Kat Merritt mentions the chaos we’ve seen in the last few years and asks what the universe says about “the better world we’re about to step into.”

This assumption of progress is typical of the ‘western’ perspective on reality – a fantasy of the ‘rational’ ego that can’t cope when it loses. I explored this problem in the Collective Context post of the Mystic Warrior series here. The myth of progress causes serious problems because it makes us complacent. We assume things will get better so when a solution is offered that looks good, we assume that it is.

For example, episode 3 presents the Green New Deal as wonderful. There’s no realistic look at how it actually works (or doesn’t work) and the environmental and humanitarian problems it’s going to cause around the world. It’s another plutocratic scheme to siphon off more wealth from the rest of us, dressed up as a shiny, hopeful, progressive panacea – a polished turd.

lovely ‘green’ technology hard at work despoiling the environment…

To be fair, counter-revolutions by the ‘elites’ does get a mention. In part 2, Thomas Linzey talks about problems with the US constitution and how it limits the power of the people, making it easier for corporations to rise and conquer all. He explains that “the system is all about exploitation” and that it works like a hungry ghost, consuming and destroying everything in its path.

That sounds closer to the truth. We clearly have a long way to go before we can manifest the energies of Uranus and Pluto without getting ourselves in a right old pickle!

Changing of the Gods says it’s a revolutionary series for a revolutionary time and it presents the Uranus Pluto alignment as a current event. This is misleading. The square alignment was in place while the film was in production but it faded out by 2020, so the series is already a little out of date. However, it does a good job of updating the history of these alignments from Richard Tarnas’ book.

Uranus Pluto alignments coincide with periods of revolution, scientific and technological innovation, social and economic justice, women’s rights and black liberation movements, and new paradigms that transform how we see ourselves. This is not what we’re experiencing now – Saturn Uranus is a different kind of disruption. The next Uranus Pluto alignment will be the trine in 2026-28, followed by the opposition in the 2040s. More on that here: Uranus Pluto and the Cycle of Revolution and Freedom

Each episode in the series covers a different area of the manifestation of these alignments, including politics, civil rights and othering, the sexual revolution, drugs, technological disruption and scientific paradigms. There’s a lot of detail and information and some great interviews with knowledgeable people.

I particularly enjoyed the contributions of Luisah Teish, a Yoruba priestess, who talks about the or-i-shas, the gods and goddesses of the Yoruba tradition of West Africa. She describes the or-i-shas as archetypes that aren’t just psychological concepts, but active energies in the universe. We give these energies images so we can relate to them through our imagination.

In Yoruba, the goddess Oya is like Uranus. She is lightning, earthquakes and change, and you can’t control her – you can only control your response. Pluto is the god Ogun, the wild man of the woods, who is untamed but also a master toolmaker, used to create civilisation. His energy has to be tamed by the priestess otherwise his tools can become weapons.

Episode 4 looks at the history of the women’s rights movement and our need to honour the divine feminine. Luisah Teish tells the story of Oshun, the goddess of love and sweet water, sensuality and compassion, and how important she is. Here’s the clip with fantastic artwork:

Our ecological crisis is a crisis of cosmology, so we need to transform our worldview to solve the problem. The transformation of our cosmology would change how we see ourselves and how we fit into the universe. This process has been ongoing for centuries, with the shift from religion to science bringing us to our current predicament.

But it’s not a simple fix. In episode 9 Richard Tarnas describes how this would require an initiatory humbling to dissolve the ego and our superiority complex that makes us think we can control nature – and reality. It would also mean a confrontation with deluded ideas, such as the myth of progress.

Astrologers really should know better. History doesn’t go in a straight line – it goes in cycles. We only imposed the idea of a forward march of progress, a straight line rising to the stars, relatively recently. The idea that we can keep progressing indefinitely without consequence is absurd, and a few technological tweaks aren’t going to save us from ourselves. Without a radical transformation of our values and consciousness we will destroy ourselves.

I also have some doubts about Pluto being evolutionary, or perhaps we don’t understand what evolution is for or how it works. Our ‘western’ perspective is so skewed and limited by materialism we’re too stupid to understand anything – the downside of the kali yuga, I guess.

spiralling through space – the sun should be spiralling too

Anyone still believing the myth of progress is going to have a hard time in the coming years as the ‘West’ implodes from self-inflicted wounds. Our karma is catching up with us. Nemesis will answer our hubris.

Nobody wants to hear this. We want to believe things will keep getting better. But there’s only one way for us to transform this situation and that involves going through some kind of dark night, a confrontation with the shadow of our own evil, and an integration of the opposites. You don’t do that by starting wars.

“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.”

Martin Luther King may’ve been right, but the future isn’t guaranteed. If you think you can sit on your arse and wait for the next Uranus Pluto alignment to sort out all our problems, you’re going to be disappointed. Contrary to the message of Changing of the Gods, things are going to get worse before they get better.

As Pluto enters Aquarius, every individual will need to change. And that means you!

More on Transits of the 2020s here

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21 thoughts on “Changing of the Gods – Review

  1. Thanks for your review! Always good to get your balanced perspectives on things. Watching the series I couldn’t stop thinking about the naive approach to history and astrology. Isn’t it supposed to help us get a birds eye view of the world!? The liberal/progressive lens was very present the whole time. It almost seems like an unwillingness to actually look at the world and history with open eyes. I agree that Richard Tarnas book is better for anyone interested in the actual astrology but even that is very much focused on history as an in general positive upward arc rather than a cyclical current.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this review!!!! I had to quit watching after the 2nd episode for all the very reasons you detail here. The myth of progress, the partisan – and therefore extremely limited – viewpoint, the self-righteousness and divisiveness. Plus, I found it somewhat tedious. Overall this series was a great disappointment and felt like a huge missed opportunity to really help people understand astrology, cosmology, the need for mythology, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really like your summation on this series… I didn’t get beyond episode 2 it annoyed me so much; although I did watch the last one. Very disappointed to see this even branded as an “Astrology” item… it promised a great deal but did not deliver. “Anyone still believing the myth of progress is going to have a hard time in the coming years as the ‘West’ implodes from self-inflicted wounds. Our karma is catching up with us. Nemesis will answer our hubris.” Absolutely!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for the Tarnas reference, Jessica. Once a Philosophy student, I have long strayed from it. By the time of my student era (1970s) Oxbridge Philosophy had gone hell-for-leather with Wittgenstein’s ‘Philosohy is language and logic’. So had the rest on the Anglosphere. But not so the Continentals. Tarnas seems to have a grasp of both traditions. I am really looking forward to the book’s arrival in my letter box. At least intellectually (which may not amout to much!) his work promises to be a breakthrough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cosmos and Psyche is a great book. It’s worth reading the book he wrote before that too: The Passion of the Western Mind – it covers everything that has brought us to this point.


  5. Really nice write-up, thank you for this! Totally agree on the cyclic nature of the universe and energy which gets overlooked often. And it seems like, with Pluto’s work, when it enters a sign we get the hope of the sign (which is what we feel as it nudges towards Aquarius, along with the dregs of Cap) the middle of the sign is the sign at its utmost/apex, and the end of the sign is what comes home to roost. Again, cycles. To that end, I wonder how we will be feeling about A.I. and other Aquarian offerings in 50+ years.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jessica,

    Thank you for this recap. I stopped watching Changing of the Gods after 2 episodes. Just could not take all the hype/theatrics. I love astrology and what it can share about ourselves and our world. This documentary didn’t feel right to me. You did a good job recapping it.


    Victorea Luminary Holistic Health Practitioner-Teacher-Writer 254-931-5441 ________________________________

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wow, thanks for this! I have a few thoughts. I wish it would have taken us closer to the present but that was not possible. I also think you may appreciate the work of Astrologer Bill Meridien who is an American astrologer. He specializes in finances and predicted our recession with Uranus in Taurus which at the time I did not want to believe. But I am speaking of his recent work on the US Pluto return. He goes into Pluto cycles and the length of time an empire lasts over time. So in some ways it aligns with Tarnas’ work but Bill’s slant is very conservative and he does not hide it. Politically I am not with him, but I appreciate viewing concepts from many angles.
    I am going to reblog this so my readers who saw my Changing of the Gods ( or guard) post will have access to your fine review.

    One more thing, while I can skew towards pessimism and cynicism, I do not think it is necessarily naïve to see a path towards evolutions of consciousness. I do agree we will see continual implosion for a while however one’s spiritual beliefs and inner knowing can help us towards more light and peace and the lovely type of Uranian awakening.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. good job.
    agree with your analyses, generally,re how we do, have no watched.
    between this world situation and my personal situation i just want to be dead but apparently i’m supposed to be strong and brave for something or other. idk what.
    anyways, colour coding 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. you’re doing great stuff. no idea what i should be doing + relationship stuff that got worse partly with the ”war” thing.
        and i don’t know anybody irl who is not taken in by this.
        just realised lidl is all yellow/blue. i might just go mad.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sablemouse, what colour is Zelensky? I hear that little puppet has scarpered to Poland. That should be felt by the warmongers like a hefty kick in the rear. And in that I see a glimmer of evolution.

          Liked by 1 person


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