Last week, before the attacks in Paris, I was speaking with a friend about what the Uranus/Pluto squares had put in motion in my personal life, as well as how the series of seven squares has affected how we live as a collective. (For those new to this column: From Spring 2012 until Spring 2015 there were seven exact Uranus/Pluto squares. A delineation of each can be found in the Archives on this site.) I quoted Dickens to my friend, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
A quote many of us remember from school. But what I didn’t remember at all, and neither did my friend, was what followed that famous opening sentence:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…. Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. (1859)
Dickens was writing about the French Revolution, nearly sixty years after its end, but he could just as easily have been writing about our current situation. History repeats itself. Endlessly. Some learn from the repetition. Some are oblivious to the idea that there is anything to learn.
One benefit of an astrological perspective is the ability to contextualize personal and collective events as part of these greater cycles. As Rick Tarnas explains in Cosmos and Psyche, the cycles of history correlate to planetary cycles. From his perspective, the interactions of planetary archetypes are indicators of change. In many instances those changes are multidimensional, occurring on different planes of existence, from the mundane to the profound. The cycles of revolution, rebellion, breakthrough, and breakdown might also be understood as evolutionary cycles, where a concentration of planetary interaction facilitates or catalyzes a process that in some inexplicable way moves us forward, even though we seem to face the same issues with every new cycle.
A few weeks ago, when the sky was relatively quiet—as it was last week—I wrote that we were entering the season of reflection, a time when it would be wise to contemplate all that has transpired during this last year of tremendous shift. This week I’m amending that advice: I think it would be wise to contemplate the last seven years; from the Saturn/Uranus oppositions of 2008-2010, an astrological cycle best characterized as the dissolution of the status quo, as well as the seven Uranus/Pluto squares of 2012-2015, a phase best understood as a time when the issues of social justice, specifically economic inequities and racial/gender discrimination can no longer be denied.
For those not fluent in the complexities or mechanics of astrological configuration and interpretation, astrologers calculate a range of influence between two planets, and that range determines the date of exact contact. But it’s important to understand that exact contact also includes a range of influence that can extend for a year or more beyond the actual interaction, particularly in the case of Pluto, which signifies change at the core. That’s why it’s possible to say that the 60s really took place in the 70s. The effects of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction of 1965-66 needed to be digested and metabolized by individuals, of all ages, sexes, races, and religions, as well as by cultures around the world. It takes time for the messages of change to pulse through the mundane goings-on of the day-to-day, and to eventually transform the obsolete patterns of the past.
From an astrological point of view, this week is once again relatively quiet. Neptune is the only big news: It goes direct today. I don’t know if Neptune’s forward motion will shed any light on our current situation. I have a friend who dubs Neptune “the destroyer of illusion.” Perhaps. I think of Neptune as the vastness of the imagination, the part of the mind that melds with the soul and allows us to envision and to create. It is the part of each of us that yearns to belong to the undifferentiated oneness of being.
Use Neptune Direct to sharpen your ability to envision a planet that learns from history and grows from its mistakes. As John Lennon sang: You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. Perhaps someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Neptune moves forward in your Solar House of the unconscious, inviting you to focus more on your internal efforts to create a healthier perspective. Accept this invitation by increasing your participation in contemplation and meditation. If sitting still is difficult—and why wouldn’t it be with Uranus transiting your Sign—investigate the possibilities of movement meditation—T’ai Chi or Qigong, to name but two.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Neptune is in your Solar House of community, fueling a longing for spiritual connections with like-minded people. As you search for these “soul mates” be discerning—don’t be fooled by the intensity of surface interactions. Keep probing the deep and you’ll find the comrades you’re looking for.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Neptune goes direct in your Solar House of career and recognition, so don’t be surprised if your ambition shifts slightly to the spiritual side of things. I’m not suggesting you give up the need to succeed, but you may find Neptune inclining you toward altruistic pursuits than simply attempting success for its own sake.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Neptune turns around in your Solar House of spiritual search, and as it does, you are likely to experience a deeper level of curiosity about the many philosophies that guide the hearts and souls of the world. Pursue this inquiry and allow yourself to become acquainted with, if not versed in, a wide variety of traditions and beliefs.
Leo July 23-August 22
Neptune goes direct in your Solar House of transformation, stirring a need to delve deeper into your personal process. This sector of the chart is also the place where we recognize that we have no control at all over anything—and this is a challenge for all of us, but particularly for you. Give yourself time to adjust to Neptune’s diffusion and you’ll learn to let go with greater skill.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Neptune moves forward in your Solar House of relationship, and while I can’t guarantee clear vision, you’re likely to find yourself reexamining partnership issues you thought were long gone. As you make your way through this process, try not to point a blaming finger at anyone, including yourself. Simply acknowledge yourself as the constant in all your relations, take responsibility for your part, and the dynamic will shift.
Libra September 23-October 22
Neptune goes direct in your Solar House of service, stirring your interest and involvement in all things related to healing. Yes, its presence could catalyze a hypersensitivity to those unwilling to respect the interconnectedness that binds us all. But I wouldn’t let that lack of awareness disturb your equilibrium.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Neptune moves forward in your Solar House of creativity and self-expression, inviting you to explore your gifts and talents. Surrender to your imagination and indulge your deep need for beauty. Don’t worry about getting lost in a Neptunian fog. Art is never extravagant or superfluous. It feeds and nourishes body, mind, heart and soul.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Neptune turns around in your Solar House of the home, the sector of the chart that indicates both the external and physical home, as well as the internal and metaphysical center. Anticipate increased sensitivity to your surroundings, coupled with a need to feel connected, outside and in, to something greater than yourself.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Neptune goes direct in your Solar House of communication, and while that could manifest as the need to be more concise, I can’t really see that as a problem for you. What’s more likely is that you will be drawn to a more poetic way of expressing yourself. Good—metaphors are always welcome because they invite the speaker and the listener to stay open to new ways of understanding.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Neptune moves forward in your Solar House of personal resources, inviting you to explore how you value yourself. It is through your bank balance? Creative endeavors? Physical prowess? Allow Neptune to dispel any illusions or delusions about what matters most to you, and you’ll make strides in recognizing your true worth.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Neptune goes direct in your Solar House of individuation, and the result is an increase in sensitivity. Yes…I know…you’re already pretty sensitive as it is. Use this increase as an opportunity to refine your susceptibility to your environment as well as to others, and you’ll emerge from this process with a stronger sense of how to manage your intuitive self.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail email@example.com.
Copyright © 2015 by Ralfee Finn