Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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Grabbing the Brass Ring

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’m going to change the format of this blog, as of today. Instead of the “Magickal Monday” updates, I’ll be looking at the upcoming transits once a month, just before the New Moon. The other three weeks, I’ll be writing on other astrological and astro/magickal topics. I particularly want to investigate how Pagans, Witches and other magickal people can understand our own birth charts well enough to time personal spiritual and magickal workings, and determine how the current astrological “weather” affects us on both a spiritual and a mundane level.  While astrology is a complex and many-layered topic, the basics are no more difficult to learn than Tarot — maybe less! — and learning to use your own chart as a tool for spiritual and magickal growth is an investment of time that pays off generously.

This week, I want to look at an ongoing flowing relationship between Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto in the upcoming year that is worth considering carefully, so we can weave its energy into our lives in a creative and beneficial way. Here’s what’s happening:

  • Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn are in mutual reception (each in the sign the other rules)
  • Neptune is strong in its own sign, Pisces
  • Saturn is trining Neptune and sextiling Pluto three times over the next 10 months

Now, what does that all mean? As always, a planetary configuration like this heralds a process, both culturally and individually. We can look on the progress of Saturn through Scorpio over the next 2 ½ years as an initiatory undertaking  — a deep, transformative time when, if we will discipline ourselves to fulfill the requirements of the body and the Earth, we can create with power, insight and spiritual awareness.

But there needs to be knowledge and intention to leverage the energy of these aspects. They are flowing, easy aspects that offer us a harmonious way of managing the profound, shocking energies released by the Uranus-Pluto square, but, because they are easy, they don’t force anything. We need to make a choice to tap into their energy and use it to help us navigate through the times ahead. So, here’s how to grab the brass ring…


First, consider the elements of the signs we are working with — Scorpio, Capricorn and PIsces. Two Water, one Earth. The Uranus-Pluto square (hereafter known as the UPS — no offense to Big Brown intended) is in Earth and Fire — scorched earth — and the need for the nurturing, cleansing, connecting powers of the Element of Water in our fiery, consumerist global culture is urgent. A good place to start working with these aspects is by consciously incorporating more Water and Earth into your daily life, in whatever way your personal spiritual tradition prescribes for Elemental work. For instance, your showers should not be just about getting your body clean, but a time of meditative re-connection with Water, of psychic cleansing, and of attunement with whatever larger spiritual forces you work with.Be more aware of where your water comes from, and how you use it. Make sure you stay emotionally connected, not overwhelmed, and approach others with compassion.

Stay connected with the Earth on a physical level -- time spent outdoors. Also, focus on the practical side of things -- keep your home and finances organized, and carefully consider what structures in your life are old and outworn -- either you can dismantle them, or Pluto will do it for you. (Trust me on this -- it's better to do it yourself) There also may be new structures you need to create to support you as things change around you. Stay aware of what needs to be discarded, what will replace it, and never lose sight of how the Earth supports your life.

Now let’s consider the planets involved — Saturn, Neptune and Pluto. Saturn is the planet of structure, of government, of time and space and the physical business of reality. Since working within the framework of time and space requires a certain amount of discipline and an acceptance of restriction, of limits, Saturn also rules those things. But it’s important to remember that limits are not prisons. Limits define the canvas of the artist,  and limits we set for ourselves allow us to create consciously. What limits and boundaries do you set on yourself and your life? Are some of them restricting you unnecessarily? Are there other areas of your life where stronger boundaries are needed so more of your energy can be poured into what you love instead of being frittered away because you can’t say “no” to the demands of others? What are your real responsibilities — to yourself, your soul, the collective? These are transformative questions that Saturn in Scorpio will present for you to answer, and answering them will allow you to rid yourself of unnecessary restrictions and create, instead, a scaffolding to support your further growth.

So where do you find the answers to these questions that Saturn brings? With Neptune in Pisces, new dimensions of consciousness are opening up for us, which can help us awaken and expand spiritually. Unfortunately, playing around in new dimensions of consciousness can also lead us into delusion, deception, substance abuse, and an unhealthy disconnection from reality. But certainly, following one’s spiritual path into a more expansive understanding of reality and the Oneness that underlies the Universe is an important part of finding those answers. It also helps guide the restructuring of our lives that is being demanded by the UPS.

Nothing says “ground and center” quite like Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto is the planet of elimination and transformation, ruthlessness and power, deep insight and fanaticism, intensity and passion. Pluto asks us to look deeply within, to root out toxins of shame, guilt and fear, to look at how we claim and react to power, how we control, or are controlled. If you do not have a daily routine that involves energetic cleansing, grounding and centering, develop one now. Add in a little meditation and connection with your ancestors and/or other spirit allies, and you’ll develop some control over the direction of your life through the inevitable upheavals of the upcoming years.

Because of Saturn's emphasis on discipline and structure, and Pluto's fearless determination to plumb the depths and reveal the mysteries, the combination of the two planets symbolizes the work of the renunciate, the magician, the adept. Whatever magical path one follows, the mutual reception of Pluto and Saturn offers us a chance to improve our magical skills and abilities. With Neptune in Pisces, we are provided opportunities to expand our spiritual understanding. The combination of the three suggests that, with hard work and determination, we can build new lives for ourselves based on deep spiritual truths. But we must be willing to change. This is Tower Time, folks.

Which areas of your life are most affected by this process depends on your individual chart — the houses through which the planets will be traveling during this time, and any aspects they will be making to your natal planets, particularly the planets ruling the houses they are transiting. I will cover how to determine that in upcoming posts.

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com


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