Uranus, Neptune & Pluto Transits
Backup reference pgs. 128-136 in ASTROLOGIK book
© 2004 - 2021 Antero Alli
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."
- William Butler Yeats
Our Twisted Fates & Shining Destinies
Fate and destiny are two words commonly mistaken to mean the same thing. I look at fate as whatever happens. Fate is inevitable; nobody controls or escapes fate. Destiny, on the other hand, is ours to create and develops through our personal responses to fate. Look at fate as the cards you're dealt; destiny, how you play them. Our sense of destiny can be strengthened by exercising a certain ability to respond - our "response-ability" - to our lot in life, to our fate. The Nodal Axis in the natal chart points to where (the Houses) and how (the style of each node) this dance between fate (South Node) and destiny (North Node) constantly plays out, with or without transits.
Realizing our destiny expresses a creative act. The more we embrace our fates, our lot in life, the more opportunities arise for responding to that fate. This very responsiveness can deepen our sense of what is most personal to us and what distinguishes us from the herd mentality of consensus reality. Realizing our destiny expresses our process of individuation. This process demands a willingness to accept our fate as it is, not as it should be - or could be, if only this, that, or the other were different. Do not confuse this idea of accepting fate with fatalism. There is nothing fatalistic about accepting one's lot in life for the greater purpose of increasing self-accountability. There's nothing fatalistic about responding to fate and realizing our destiny.
"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
- Joseph Campbell
The Truth about Transits
I understand transits as a technique for measuring the timing of change - but not its causes. Though our interpretations of the transiting planets can symbolize certain changes we experience in our lives, the transiting planet itself does not cause those changes nor do the planets control our fates or destinies. The planets, the Earth included, may also be under the influence of greater and unknown forces and causes, vast rotations of fixed stars, black holes, distant galaxies, and other interstellar events beyond astrological categorization. The universe is not only more mysterious than we think; it's more mysterious than we CAN think.
The inner forces (Sun out to Saturn) in our natal charts represent many ways we respond to whatever fate comes our way. The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn symbolize as a spectrum of response to what happens to us. We respond with our presence (Sun), our emotions (Moon), our ideas (Mercury), our aesthetics, likes & dislikes (Venus), our actions (Mars), our beliefs (Jupiter), our fears and commitments (Saturn). As we come to know and express ourselves through these responses, we mature as human beings. As we accept more personal accountability for our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, actions, etc., we are integrating the forces that the planets represent. Everyone also has areas of self-denial, blind spots, where personal development is stunted. These blind spots can be symbolized by any of the personal forces (Sun out to Saturn) we have neglected and left unintegrated. Sometimes we neglect entire parts of ourselves by over-emphasizing one kind of response (planet) over another. Maybe we fixate on over-thinking (Mercury) or doing too much (Mars), or being overly dogmatic (Jupiter) or taking everything too personally (Moon). These fixations can sometimes act like shock magnets, synchronized by the timing of transits from Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
OUTER PLANET TRANSITS
~ November 2021 ~
URANUS (11-12 degrees Taurus)
NEPTUNE (20 degrees Pisces)
PLUTO (24 degrees Capricorn)
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto: 3 Types of Shock
Just as the inner planets symbolize a spectrum of personal responses, the outer planets - Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto - represent evolutionary imperatives through transpersonal experiences: intelligence increase and sovereignty (Uranus); compassion and inspiration (Neptune); and empowerment and regeneration (Pluto). In relation to the ego-personality, these transpersonal forces also symbolize three types of outside shock, each delivering a kind of one-two punch: one to the sleeping ego and one to the awakening soul.
Those still identified with their ego live in cocoons of self-preoccupation until
the sleeping chrysalis of soul awakens and escapes through the cracks.
Uranus corresponds to shocks of oppression and freedom; Neptune, with shocks of isolation and unity; Pluto, with shocks of impermanence and death/rebirth. Do the planets shock us? No, the planets do not shock us. Perhaps we attract shocks to ourselves as a way of meeting deeper transpersonal needs for waking up to what's oppressing us (Uranus), dissolving arbitrary barriers that obscure the experience of unity (Neptune), and resurrecting our lives from stupefying stagnation (Pluto).
Shocks of Oppression, Freedom, & Uncertainty
Textbook astrology tells us that Uranus is "the freedom planet," yet I have found nothing in traditional astrology books explaining what is actually meant by "freedom". Though the need for freedom pulsates strongest in the hearts of slaves and prisoners, we are all oppressed in some way. When we are in denial of oppression, we can be shocked by its sudden appearance. The shock of oppression can sometimes incite disruptive reactions, knee-jerk reflexes of revolt against the perceived oppressor. However, if our rebellion merely compounds the oppression, we are bound to what we resist. Though anger can vitalize action, true freedom requires knowledge of precisely what is oppressing us before we can truly be free.
Freedom, as defined here, expresses a natural state; once we remove oppression, an innate autonomy prevails. This kind of freedom can be shocking at first. How much true freedom can you live with? The house that Uranus is transiting through represents an area of our lives where we may be ready for more freedom. But this freedom may have to be earned by facing patterns or habits of oppression, either self-imposed or those inherited by the default culture at large, the public schools, teachers and parents, religions, and books we've read. For example, when Uranus transits the 3rd house, we may wake-up to patterns of intellectual oppression embedded in how we use language: how we think, speak, write, and interpret experiences. 3rd house Uranus transits coincide with (but do not cause) shocks of intellectual oppression and also, freedom of thought. We might discover ways of talking that ring false, or we may register shock at our inability to tell the truth. We may even be shocked at telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
The shock of Uranus transits can wake up the sleeping ego to the objective truth of uncertainty and how facing that truth can increase anxiety. However, uncertainty is not the same as anxiety. Uncertainty expresses an objective truth, whereas anxiety expresses our threshold of uncertainty, of how much uncertainty we can permit before behaving like nervous monkeys. Uranus transits awaken the ego to uncertainty as a creative state. By learning to permit more uncertainty, we alleviate anxiety while expanding creativity. How can uncertainty be synonymous with a creative state? As almost any child or artist intuitively knows, creation requires discovery not knowledge. Knowing too much or being too sure acts on the creative state like a wet blanket. In any genuine state of uncertainty, nobody knows what will happen next -- it's a fluid moment, full of possibilities, ready to be discovered and shaped into whatever we want. Creative response to uncertainty makes artists of us all.
Transiting Uranus aspecting natal planets can signify unexpected accelerations in that area of our life; everything seems to be speeding up. When Uranus conjuncts Venus, relationships jump onto the fast track. We discover how free or smothered we are. The degree of disruption and chaos that ensues during Uranus to Venus transits may be a measure of how oppressive or liberating our love has become. The greater the oppression, the greater the disruption and chaos that follows in any Uranus transits to any of the personal forces. Uranus transits can also coincide with times when we are stimulated towards experimentation. We might discover a second chance to reinvent ourselves in an area previously over-regimented by too much structure or obsolete habit patterns or social tyranny - our own or someone else's. Overall, Uranus transits are synchronized with a destabilizing influence in those areas that have grown too rigid. These transits can be as upsetting as they can be exhilarating; as rigid structures and redundant habits wobble and careen, we can experience a new freedom to reinvent ourselves; uncertainty as a creative state.
Impersonal species stupidity (not personal stupidity) may be the greatest cause of human oppression and suffering on Earth. Once we awaken to this dreadful enlightenment, we must decide whether to wise up or become part of the problem. Uranus transits don't automatically increase intelligence. However, Uranus transits can expose our transpersonal need to evolve by facing our oppressions and awakening the birthright of our innate autonomy. We are more free than we realize. Meeting that transpersonal need for awakening can increase species intelligence, one person at a time. Intelligence, as defined here, is not limited to I.Q. (Intellectual Quotient) but includes many other functions such as Imagination, Intuition, Body wisdom, Emotional and Social intelligence, and Inspiration from the world of Dreams. This expanded view of intelligence belongs to Uranus which also symbolizes the higher octave of Mercury, the mundane intellect.
Shocks of Isolation and Unity
At the most basic, inorganic level of existence, we are all made from the stuff of stars. Though this may be not something we ponder often enough, there is a consciousness within us that allows for this thought, and this consciousness is called Neptune. It is easy to overlook the underlying unity of all life when our differing ideas and beliefs create the arbitrary divisions that sustain our illusions of separateness from others and the world. When these illusions become crystallized (when taken too seriously), we suffer increasing isolation. Even though we may be surrounded by friends, family, and admirers, we may have internally cut ourselves off from the greater whole we are a part of, the universe. When this isolation reaches critical mass, we may unconsciously attract Neptunian outside shocks exposing the pain of our separatist egos in the face of the objective truth of unity. Or God, Goddess, Divinity.
Neptune transits herald eras of boundary breakdowns and gradual dissolutions of defenses, assumptions, and expectations that have been obscuring the experience of cosmic unity, or indivisibility. Like any of the three transpersonal transits, these "Neptune shocks" are neither positive or negative but neutral. How we respond to these shocks determines whether the experience will become negative and painful or, positive and pleasurable. Neptune transits can befuddle any separatist ego with disappointment, disillusionment, and heartbreak. Neptune transits can also arouse waves of mercy, compassion, and inspiration for anyone ready to stop being so defensive and start opening up to the cosmos; the Mystic within. To be clear, Neptune doesn't shock us. When self-imposed and culturally conditioned barriers cause us to suffer the illusion of separateness, our brittle egos are more easily shocked by the objective unity of life; Neptune transits simply express the measure of this timing. It's genuinely mysterious to me.
Neptune transits can also signify an emerging transpersonal need for restoring a lost sense of the sacred in our lives and sometimes by what has divided us from the spiritual. To sacrifice is to make sacred. During Neptune transits, we can be exposed to the sacrifices necessary for restoring the sense of the sacred. Neptune transits can also bring about a blurring of personal boundaries in the areas (houses and aspected planets) where fixations and prejudices have been sustaining an arbitrary sense of separation from others and from nature itself. Like the political borders dividing one country from the next, we lose track of the one planet and the one human race we are all part of. Neptune transits can bring about a kind of fog effect creating confusion and disorientation as part of the process of dissolving obsolete divisions in the psyche. Like a ship adrift in a massive fog bank, we lose visibility and the perspective to understand what might be happening. Ships navigate the fog use their sonar to escape shipwreck. As individuals, we can navigate Neptune transits with the human sonar of intuition and the compass of our five senses. This Neptune fog expresses non duality; it's of one piece! The more we rely on intellectual comparisons and deductions, the more befuddled we become.
Neptune transits can also inspire ineffable beauty and idyllic experiences in the House it's passing through and the natal planets it's aspecting by transit. Neptune transits coincide with a kind of gentling influence, taking the edge off previously harsh situations. Transits from this highly complex transpersonal force can also accompany heady experiences of self-delusion where we confuse a gorgeous illusion for reality. The mirage in the desert. The dream lover who turns out to be a jerk. The ideal business venture that goes bankrupt. However, these types of disillusionments can evolve us as we learn to live with less illusions about ourselves, each other, and the world while tuning into the higher frequencies of pure potential -- within us, in others, and the world. Neptune symbolizes oceanic consciousness. As the waves crash on the beaches shaping and dissolving the borders of the shoreline, so do our own boundaries shift, disappear and reappear again, transformed. Neptune also represents the higher octave of Venus' personal love, evolving us towards compassion.
Shocks of Impermanence, Death, Rebirth
Pluto takes about 250 years to orbit the Sun and when the transit of Pluto conjuncts or opposes a personal planet, it's often a once in a lifetime event. Pluto seems highly synchronized to expose a specific point and area of your life that has ended or is about to end. When something has ended, something else is beginning, yet there's this interim zone between them, a kind of limbo zone where nothing seems to be happening. In this interim limbo great changes are occuring beneath the surface as Pluto works its alchemy in the Unconscious. And then, gradually or all of a sudden, everything changes. These transits can last 2-5 years and in this time period, many stages of transformation take place, stages reflected by the multiple totems assigned to Scorpio (and Pluto and the 8th House): the scorpion, the spider, the serpent, the vulture, the eagle, the dove, the Phoenix. Pluto transits expose the reality of process, that real life is not black and white or meant to be understood in any empirical absolute way; life is meant to be experienced.
Pluto represents death, not as a finality but as stage in a complex process leading to rebirth and resurrection but -- not before the exposure of what is dying. Life and death are real. To remain aware of death in daily life - especially in any overly sheltered life - can be difficult. Though the processes of death exist everywhere, they are easy to overlook since death takes on so many forms. Inertia, stagnation, corruption, decay, and degeneration all express forms of a death. When Pluto enters a House and aspects natal planets, we may be exposed to something that is dying or has already died. We may be as shocked by our naivete about death as we are by the reality of death itself. We exclaim, "I can't believe this is happening!" as if death requires belief to occur. Death does not require anything from us at all. There may be a feeling of unstoppable inevitability about this ending and when this happens, we are wise to pay close attention and discover the best way to consciously participate in this ending - so we do not resist and cause ourselves more suffering than necessary.
In any exposure to death, whether it's death of a person or a dream or a relationship, we discover the objective truth of Impermanence; nothing lasts forever. We discover how attached we are to what or who has died (or is dying) by the suffering our clinging brings. Whether it's the death of old feelings or beliefs or a friendship or our reputation, or the actual physical passing of someone dear to us, the shock of impermanence devastates our illusions of control and illusions of permanence. Pluto transits show us how good we are at surrender by our choice to let go of control where no control existed in the first place. When we are wizened to Impermanence as an ongoing awareness, a deepening gratitude is born for the preciousness of every moment.
Mere control, it turns out, is a dime-store replica of real power. And the underlying evolutionary imperative of all Pluto transits aim to empower us if we choose to face adversity head-on and experience triumph. However, this victory is not for the ego but for the soul. Pluto transits can expose the futility of our self-centered behavior and habits resulting in the defeat of the ego. Sometimes, we experience ego-death when our previous self-concept disintegrates and we are left reeling in a kind of limbo bardo state not knowing who or what we are until, like a snake molting its old skin, we grow a new version of ourselves -- stronger, more powerful than before. Perhaps we become a bit more plutonic ourselves. Pluto represents the higher octave of Mars, the force of our personal will, evolving to align with the will of the cosmos itself; not my will but Thy Will.
On Integrating Shocks
Outer-planet transits can sometimes arouse anxiety and fear which are natural responses to any sudden influx of energy bigger than the ego. In hard-hitting transits, such as Pluto crossing the natal Ascendant, it may feel as if our very bodies and personalities are incapable of containing the transformative forces coursing through us; we may freak out and believe we are literally dying. Transpersonal energies are bigger than our body and bigger than our personality. They require a larger body or vessel, such as a transpersonal cause - i.e., any organization or mission that benefits more than your personal interests, survival, and happiness. Transpersonal means beyond the ego but also inclusive of the ego. Worldwide suffering and nonstop tragedies have given birth to countless transpersonal causes: the Peace Corps, the Red Cross, womens shelters, Greenpeace, suicide hotlines, homeless food distribution, and so on. These larger bodies of causes act as mediums that can circulate the big energies of transpersonal forces. If you have served in a transpersonal cause you know how you become a vessel for the powerful collective currents of awakening (Uranus), compassion (Neptune), or transformation (Pluto). As we absorb and integrate our shocks, we become as human shock absorbers and transmitters of shock to others. As we are initiated, so we become as initiators of experience for others.