Astrologers view time differently. We pay attention to the cycles within the great wheel of life known as the zodiac and these endless cycles within cycles do have points of ingress and conjunctions which we term ‘beginnings’. These new starts have little to do with the calendars used by the vast majority of peoples around the globe, however. Keep in mind that each sign represents a sphere of qualities and life experiences. As planets pass through these signs their energies both influence and are colored by one sign after another beginning with the most individual (Aries) and ending with the most universal (Pisces) before starting the cycle all over again. A planet entering a new sign marks a point of beginning, or ingress.
Planets also come together in what is called a conjunction and then move in a cyclical dance with each other culminating in an opposition before moving back together. These rhythmical cycles occur over and over again as both planets move around the ‘great wheel’. J. Lee Lehman recently pointed out in her excellent article ‘Sustainability Issues in 2012 and Beyond’ in the Dec/Jan issue ofThe Mountain Astrologer that the decade from 2010 to 2019 has no major outer planet conjunctions, therefore those types of ‘beginnings’ have already occurred.
We had the Neptune/Pluto conjunction in Gemini way back in 1892 heralding a new cycle of civilization which takes 493 years to completely unfold. Gemini themes of information, communication, and travel are still evolving as we speed along in this highly digitalized time with increasing momentum towards artificial intelligence as one of our scientific goals, and space travel and exploration as another. Gemini is not exactly known for its ability to focus on meaning or philosophically comprehend all the data that it loves to collect, or analyze with care all the modes of travel it loves to engage in. Variety and dualism are hallmarks of this sign. Bear in mind that we are just a little over 100 years into this nearly 500 year cycle!
The Uranus/Pluto conjunction of 1966 in Virgo heralded yet another new beginning whose broad themes of social justice and civil rights, the peace movement, and women’s liberation and the sexual revolution are now reaching a heightened crisis point, or ‘point of no return’ as Bill Herbst has characterized it with their first quarter square between them beginning and reaching exactness by June 24, 2012. The new technologies that were born in the mid-60s using computers (Virgo) have enabled millions and millions of users to have instant access to each other through all those Gemini means of connection and communication like mobile phones, e-mails, and social networks.
Uranus entered Aries in March of 2011 coinciding with the movement called ‘The Arab Spring’. Uranus in Aries symbolizes a new beginning in individuation and independence. How will this urge for freedom of individual rights handle the Plutonian pull towards greater and greater control of the collective by the few? This is one of the great crises of our times: the ‘we are the 99%’ versus the ‘1%’ elite, ruling class. 2012 is the year when this crisis begins to really heat up with two exact squares between Uranus and Pluto; the first on June 24th, and the second on September 19th, though these square aspects continue through March of 2015.
So where is the bright ray of hope, the fuel for optimism here? I would say it has something to do with how each one of us chooses to work with the cosmic energies rather than passively accepting a type of collective fate. There are several ways of doing this which I would like to outline next.
Let’s start with the ingress (entrance) of Neptune into Pisces,which officially began back in early April of 2011. Take note that both Uranus in Aries and Neptune in Pisces entered new signs quite close to each other back then, and gave us a foretaste of what in 2012 will be solidly strong for both. Neptune in Pisces correlates with themes of oneness, universality, and the next ‘collective dream’. The positive use of this energy seems to be an inward journey of tuning in through some means of meditative, reflective communion with nature, the mysterious realm of the ‘divine’ in all of life, as well as the celestial and vast cosmos that we are all a part of. Pisces is the final sign in the zodiac; therefore it symbolizes both universal understanding and completion of a great cycle. Inner work is needed in this sign, as well as service to the whole. The pitfalls of both Neptune and Pisces are too much fantasy and escapism in whatever form. The devouring aspect of the collective can swallow up and disintegrate consciousness if these paths are taken to their extreme. Anything that becomes addictive will assume this shadow land for the naïve or unwary soul. That is why mass manipulation of consciousness is even more dangerous during this passage over the next 14 years.
Thankfully we have Uranus in Aries for another six years to antidote any further tendency to sleep-walking provided we use its active energy to awaken and become active, not passive in pursuit of our ‘Neptunian visions’. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and therefore demands a lot of energy to move and get going. Uranus with Aries is the primo cry for freedom and independence. Combining the two, Neptune and Uranus, got easy for us when they were in each other’s signs, called mutual reception. Now we must continue the coordination of yin and yang and STAY IN BALANCE. We can’t afford to fall asleep, nor can we afford to go off half-cocked and crazy with impulse. True vision needs to guide our actions.
Saturn in Libra has certainly been trying to teach us about balance and fairness, once again. We’ve certainly not seen much of that in political arenas, nor in the upper echelons of hierarchical institutions, but nonetheless it has been a major theme for the past two years as certain glaring inequities were brought to light with the help of Pluto and Uranus. In 2012 Saturn traverses the 3rd and final decanate of Libra and continues to trine Neptune awhile longer. Neptune and Saturn balance each other out when in trine aspect, because neither tends to outweigh the other. Manifesting vision could be a reality when these two are in harmony. Saturn will enter Scorpio by October of 2012 and will continue its trine with Neptune a bit longer. From Air to Water heralds another shift.
With Pluto in Earth/Capricorn, Neptune moving into Water/Pisces, Chiron already in Water/Pisces, and Saturn eventually moving into Water/Scorpio we will have much that is YIN to work with. Rather than thinking ‘Contraction’ feel how we might utilize this energy to further resource from within.
Let’s not forget this principle in what seems to be a time of contraction and scarcity, for it can actually be a time of turning to both ancient and new forms of resourcefulness within our separate lives and within community. The key, I feel, is smaller collectives and groups of people uniting together to help and protect each other. Smaller, lighter crafts are needed now to navigate the collective waves. If you’re hooked up too tightly with institutionalized, large collective bodies you are going to be further controlled and suppressed by them. They are not going to serve you because they are linked with the closed systems of a ruling class designed to control larger and larger components of the population on this planet.
We have Mars in Virgo awhile longer to actually help this idea of ‘small is beautiful’. Mars in Virgo is actually punctuating and catalyzing, again, the original theme/beginning of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. It was a revolution of the tiny, was it not, with the entrance of computers into our lives? But it was also a revolution of minorities. All those ‘minorities’ are asserting themselves more and more now. We have civil rights of different races, we have gay rights, we have women’s rights, we have children’s rights, we have animal rights, etc. Working classes are also represented by Virgo; in other words, those 99% who serve and support the 1%. Sheesh! Will the hard-working, humble ones yet ‘inherit the earth’? Before it’s too late? 2012 does seem to be the tipping-point year. Mars in Virgo can either help or hinder (via militarization) that which deserves to enjoy the fruits of their labors, including pretty much all of the natural world. Doesn’t it have ‘rights’ as well???
Finally we come to Jupiter which has been expanding on these themes of the ‘haves and the have nots’ in the earthy/material sign of Taurus. On one side there is the growing movement to protect our environment and the earth resources which sustain us; on the other hand there has been the opposite movement to exploit even more the resources that are non-sustainable and increasingly more difficult to obtain through mining and drilling of the earth. Greed is rampant like never before as is awareness of the planet’s ever dwindling resources. 2012 finds Jupiter moving forwardthrough that entire sign and on into Gemini by early June to its 16th degree before turning Retrograde on October 4th, right around the same time that Saturn enters Scorpio and certain realities begin to sink in where the world financial and energy systems are concerned. Again, the themes of survival will be enormous and if plugged into too much of the closed control systems, fear will be rampant.
I don’t profess to know what lies ahead in terms of events and collective realities. There are so many probabilities and variables which even statistical analysis can no longer predict with great accuracy. What I can see are themes and cycles of energies, and more Yin times are coming. Yin is not as popular as Yang in the Western World. Yin requires more right brain, more feeling, and more empathy. Yin is more inner directed than outer. Survival will depend more on intuitive knowing perhaps, and trusting one’s inner voice and sense of timing. Those who have learned to utilize their right brains may possibly be better equipped to weather the coming crises which will undoubtedly heat up in 2012. Those who have learned to rely on inner counsel and have a clear, strong inner compass will possibly sail through the turbulence by staying centered and calm from deep within.
Here’s a run-down of the planet’s movements for 2012:
Pluto in Capricorn 7-9 degrees
Retrograde April 10th to September 17/18th
Neptune from 28 degrees of Aquarius to 3 degrees of Pisces
Retrograde June 4th to November 10/11th (3 degrees Pisces to 0 degrees Pisces)
Uranus in Aries 0-8 degrees
Retrograde July 13th to December 13th (8 degrees Aries back to 4 degrees Aries
Saturn from 28 degrees of Libra to 9 degrees of Scorpio
Retrograde February 7th to June 25th (29 degrees of Libra back to 22 degrees)
Jupiter from 0 degrees of Taurus to 16 degrees of Gemini
Retrograde starts October 4th at 16 degrees of Gemini
Mars from 20 degrees of Virgo to 4 degrees of Aquarius
Retrograde from January 23rd to April 13th (23 degrees of Virgo back to 3 degrees)