Uranus/Pluto Square: Part One 

For the week of May 23-29, 2012.

This week — and for many, many weeks to come — the planets remind us that history actually does repeat itself. But don't confuse this cosmic repetition with the ongoing retrograde review of recent personal relationships patterns; that retrospective continues for another few weeks, and then recedes. The deeper repetitive pattern we're in is part of a much older cycle, a cycle whose signature is rebellion and revolution, turmoil and disruption, and, if we're willing to learn from history, a cycle that provides a much deeper way of understanding our human situation. It's a celestial dimension that adds new meaning to the cliché about living in "interesting times": We've just entered a three-year cycle of seven exact squares between Uranus and Pluto that are certain to accelerate the already rapid pace of personal and collective transformation.

Astrology sees interactions among all the outer planets — Jupiter to Pluto — as repetitive patterns that make it possible to recognize specific collective cultural trends. From that perspective, all Uranus/Pluto interactions signify intense processes of change and revolution. Uranus represents a catalyzing force that disrupts the status quo. Pluto represents the principle of death and eventual rebirth. And when they interact, their combined presence manifests as dynamic and dramatic chain reactions that engender shifts in attitudes and action. The movements for civil rights, gender rights, and workers' rights can all be identified as manifestations of Uranus/Pluto contacts.

The current series of squares began with a Uranus/Pluto conjunction that occurred from 1965 through 1966. The beginning of a cycle sets the tone for what will follow. The Sixties were a time of disruptive upheaval, as a deep desire for freedom moved many to search for new, creative answers to the same disturbing circumstances that always tend to mire us in the worst of what it means to be human: the need to exploit others on the basis of race, gender, religion, and economics. The violence of this exploitation can be seen as desperate attempts to assuage our existential anxiety by creating the illusion of safety through the delusion of superiority.

The first square takes place on June 24. On June 6, 1966, in Cape Town, South Africa, Bobby Kennedy delivered a Day of Affirmation Speech to the National Union of South African Students, in which he referenced the notion of living in "interesting times" and what is required of those who do. He calls those interesting times — nearly fifty years ago — times of "danger and uncertainty," but also times that are "more open to creative energy" than "any other time in history." His words still ring true.

Many cultural paradigms shifted during the Sixties, but the crucial issues remain the same today. And because they do, the next several years of Uranus/Pluto squares are sure to inspire movements for social justice. Those movements will reflect the current cultural syntax, but they will also express the same concerns about the well-being of our fellow humans. If you haven't already, now would be a good time to contemplate how you want to respond to the challenge of those concerns. Remember: Our collective reality is created by our combined individual efforts.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.

ARIES Create greater strength, internal as well as external, by reaffirming your commitment to integrating your deepest values. Sounds like a no-brainer, but walking your talk always requires effort.

TAURUS The secret is learning how to visualize the outcome without falling into the traps of negative thinking or fantasy. Focus your efforts on what will ultimately be the most soul-satisfying picture of reality.

GEMINI You've changed, and there is no reason to doubt your process, so take your time emerging from your cocoon and simply enjoy flexing your new, beautiful wings.

CANCER Choose your partners wisely, because no matter what the surface focus may be, the underlying context is all about your alliances, personal as well as professional.

LEO Rather than becoming confused by mixed messages, deepen your commitment to keeping your own counsel. I'm not suggesting you ignore the opinion of others; I'm simply advising you to listen to your heart.

VIRGO Instead of squandering your energy on insignificant matters, save your efforts for important endeavors. Yes, the details contribute to the overall situation, but it's the big picture that determines the outcome.

LIBRA You're still in a deep process of revolutionizing your relationships — all of them, including how you relate to yourself. Once again, pay attention to what you need in order to feel safe and secure from the inside out.

SCORPIO You are uncomfortable, but only because you're in training, preparing for deeper, more consistent daily interactions with friends and family. Embracing this phase will be much easier than resisting it.

SAGITTARIUS Move into your creative energy and be bold, innovative, and confident in your choices. Not every idea will fly, but you'll gain solid, tangible momentum that will boost your enthusiasm and soothe your anxiety.

CAPRICORN You're not in danger; you're in process. And as the bottom of your psychic pond continues to be disturbed, you'll have more opportunities to see what lies beneath the surface of everyday interactions.

AQUARIUS Consider it a challenge of imagination: Can you allow yourself to envision the necessary next steps without the fear of doing or saying the wrong thing? It may sound easy, but it will require awareness and skill.

PISCES It's all about attitude: If you embrace your responsibilities, they won't feel so burdensome. If you're willing to speak the truth about what you need, you'll find it much easier to release your anxiety about being left out.

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