Intensified Intensity 

For the week of November 11-17, 2009.

Saturn/Pluto Square, Part One:

The planets strike a serious chord this week, with aftertones that will linger for quite some time. On November 15, the first of three squares between Saturn and Pluto will be exact. Saturn represents the order of the physical world. Pluto represents the process of death and regeneration. And when they clash through the aggressive interaction of a square, Saturn's systems suffer under the thumb of Pluto's unrelenting insistence on transformation. Their struggle tends to manifest in our lives as cold-hearted cruelty, violence, or martyrdom. Normally, we wouldn't feel the full effect of such a pernicious interaction until after the planets separate. But given the current individual and collective climate of emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual stress, that rule won't hold fast or true, which means all the days leading up to the square, as well as the days after, we are likely to experience an intensified intensity. As I write this, the shootings at Fort Hood have just occurred, and I can't help but feel that even when we acknowledge the unprecedented levels of intensity, our souls are still shocked by violence.

So the question becomes how are we to handle this next round of change represented by Saturn/Pluto square, in our individual lives, as well as in our collective milieu? First, it's necessary to recognize this Saturn/Pluto square is another piece of an astrological mosaic of planetary patterns taking shape over the next several years. We've already been experiencing one part of the pattern through the Saturn/Uranus opposition that began last September. As most of you know, that opposition represents a challenge to and the dissolution of the status quo. The first exact contact in a series of five exact oppositions between Saturn and Uranus occurred on election day, November 2008, and will forever by symbolized by the election of President Obama. We just passed the midpoint of that series on September 15 (and there are two more exact oppositions left: April 26, 2010 and July 26, 2010). This Saturn/Uranus opposition is rattling much more than economic structures. Like its predecessor opposition that happened in 1965-1967, Saturn/Uranus is disturbing all sorts of cultural assumptions.

Now, in the midst of those disturbing Saturn/Uranus waves, Pluto provides another dimension. Pluto is all about issues of power and control; its focus is on the causal level — it reveals the unconscious shadows, personal and collective, which inform behavior. Often those shadows are revealed through events that are unforeseen and uncontrollable. Events that express the power of unconscious forces, events that are often experienced as destructive convulsions that destroy and demolish.

But Pluto's power is also about rebirth and its regenerative force is unsurpassed, which is why it symbolizes transformation. Pluto provides the potential to rise from the ashes and be reborn, just like the phoenix.

During the coming weeks, as structures continue to dissolve around you, use Pluto's power to see through the shadows. Envision a new way of approaching your personal situation, a way that will simultaneously improve our collective circumstances. Remember, we can only create what we can imagine.

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

ARIES You're distilling wisdom from your experiences, a process that will give birth to a new persona. This is neither capitulation nor surrender; it is a chance to access a deeper level of creativity.

TAURUS One of the ways through the waves is to take an objective approach to everything that occurs. Observe the symptoms and then diagnose the remedy.

GEMINI You have a choice: Dwell on negativity or work toward an awakened consciousness that sees the suffering for what it is, but is resilient enough to stay positive about the possibilities of change.

CANCER You have an opportunity to look at issues of safety and security through a new framework. The question of "enough" doesn't disappear; your understanding of what's enough shifts.

LEO Consider how you can better align thought with action and word with deed. Although this sounds simple, the actual process of walking your talk takes determination, discipline, and skill.

VIRGO The best way through the intensity is to make peace with what is. Once you've accepted the situation, you can move into action, modifying certain facets of your situation according to your vision.

LIBRA Saturn invites you to step into your authority, as Pluto simultaneously raises doubt about whether you have what it takes to be a true leader. Use those doubts as a guide for growth and you'll accelerate your transformation.

SCORPIO Rather than defining your personal power on the basis of external accomplishments, try thinking about power as emanating from an internal source. You won't lose any outside ground; you just might gain some.

SAGITTARIUS Make emotional authenticity your guide and apply it to all your interactions. Show up, be honest about how you feel, and then, expect others to do the same and respect them when they do.

CAPRICORN The mission is figuring how to step into your authority as you simultaneously encourage others to do the same. If you keep in mind that all of us learn best by example, you'll do fine.

AQUARIUS Rather than getting lost in a tape loop of self-recrimination, turn negative thinking into the next set of lessons to be learned. Take an accurate inventory and use that assessment for greater self-awareness.

PISCES You don't have to solve every problem simultaneously. So rather than make that a goal, take your time. Find a comfortable pace and you'll make consistent progress.

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