seeking wisdom before a bloodied sea

I thought this might be a good time to look at the sky again, and for this snapshot I have taken today at noon (fairly arbitrarily), and simplified the chart somewhat. I have kept the asteroids and centaurs to the minimum that seem to be really engaging*, and I have taken out the Sun and Moon as they will quickly be moving on, and this isn’t a point such as Full or New Moon, and have also erased the Mars-Jupiter opposition which is about to end.

10th January 2015

10th January 2015

Seen this way, the sky appears to be dominated by several aspects, especially two sets of squares, which are aspects of tension, testing and resistance.

The first one (though it actually started coming into play before Saturn went into Sagittarius last month) is a square between Saturn and Neptune, and here Saturn is joined by Pallas. Caught up in this is Mars, which is within range of conjunction with Neptune (and square Saturn), and presently closely conjunct Nessus. Add to this that there is a tight T square formed by Neptune, Black Moon Lilith and Pallas.

With things like the recent religious terrorist attacks in Paris it is easy to see things in retrospect, but there is quite a bit to be seen in this chart, so what would the essentials be?

Saturn in Sagittarius is very much in the realm of religion and philosophy, and while with an individual it would tend to demand that a person work to find what is true for them in terms of philosophy or religion (or avoidance of), collectively it also relates to those parts of belief systems and outlooks that become rigid and fossilized, highly structured or dogmatic. Such things don’t ultimately work out well unless they are reviewed and reformed (the structure and longevity of Saturn working with the mutability and movement of Sagittarius’ fire), and it is characteristic of Saturn that the interface between the personal and the collective becomes critical in the working out of the processes it pushes. Pallas here adds a certain militancy, but of a very intellectual, strategic sort, and if there is battle, it is never literal by choice. Pallas is extremely smart.

Neptune in Pisces is very different. This could be a very humanitarian, universalist placement, highly conscious of mass suffering, but it could also be really flipped out. This is enormous collective feeling, about as pure as it gets. The square with Saturn and Pallas in Sagittarius is really mismatched, and it looks to me like this points to a potential for collective irrationality. Saturn will deal with it, because Saturn always asserts the necessary, but it’s not an easy combination. Add to this though that Mars is coming into conjunction with Neptune and it adds a  further layer of mismatch, of potentially delusional emotion, of directionlessness, of dodgy motives unless there is considerable purification from negative emotions such as anger and fear. Pallas and Saturn are a quite benign pairing here, but in mutable, overreaching, far shooting Sagittarius they are not best positioned to be able to direct or contain things. Apply the Neptune-Saturn square individually and consciously though, and of course there is a lot more scope for creative resolution (so don’t despair if this plays out in your own chart!).

But this is not all. Mars is very closely conjunct Nessus, which is still in amongst the applying Mars-Neptune conjunction. Nessus has a connection with abuse and atrocity, usually spanning several generations, but it is also associated with things coming to a close, or a head. “The buck stops here” is one of the key phrases for Nessus.

So there are issues of collective emotion and its potential negative manifestations, and collective emotional issues of violence and control which may come to a head through this pattern, become explicit to the point of coming to an end finally. Part of this pattern also concerns religion and philosophy, and structure/dogma versus movement and revision. The hope in it is the resolution of something really very poisonous which has been going on for a long time.

The other square which dominates the chart is of course the Uranus-Pluto square which we are familiar with by now. We are now heading for the last exact square of this entire series, which occurs this March. This aspect has formed the backdrop to the last 4 – 5 years, and it has been a very long haul for quite a few people, and can be thought of as a “generation defining” aspect in the same way that the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 60s, or the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the 80s were. I think for a lot of us, life “before and after” seems quite distinct already. It has been a  testing aspect, and it will have strengthened some things and destroyed others, in a way which changes the zeitgeist, or at least gives us a much clearer picture of what, how and if things are possible in terms of social change. We’re heading for the last exact square of the series, so don’t breathe out just yet, but after March it will be the first time in 5 years when we weren’t heading for a Uranus-Pluto square. It will be about 2071-2 before we see another one, when Uranus will be closing in on a future conjunction with Pluto, rather than heading away from a past one.

The Nodes are always a good thing to look at, and here they line up with Uranus-Pluto to form a close T square. So this square is mining a vein of karmic growth (or challenges), and where it is telling us to look is Libra. Not that individualistic, liberational Uranus in Aries is irrelevant or “bad”, but at the South Node it is an already developed resource in this pattern, one that we can call on, but that we have to apply with reason and awareness of relationships and interrelationships, otherwise growth and transformation don’t take place as they could. With Pluto straddling the axis, there is not going to be much choice. It is probably only after March that we will slowly get a better sense of what it’s all been about.

And I think we should then take a well earned breath.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, Poppy installation art at the Tower of London. Detail of poppies hung on fence with individual dedications – by The Land (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

* there is actually also a yod pattern formed between Chiron, Pluto and Juno over in Leo, which has some deep bearings on the subjects of marriage, partnership and partners, I would think culturally, in a way which calls for transformation and healing, probably of roles and freedoms, but I did not included this in the main post as though it is important, I wasn’t sure where to fit it in. But given the role of religion and philosophy in the formation (and distortion) of our ideas of marriage, who and how we can marry, and what being a spouse means, I think it is quite possible to also link this in to the Neptune-Saturn square, and the passage of Saturn through Sagittarius.


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