Pluto and Saturn, and the Rising of the Feminine Part 1.
(First published Sept, 2019; still relevant for all of 2020).
It's been a long winter (here in the southern hemisphere) of retrograde Saturn, indicating our re-visiting, re-doing, re-membering, re-evaluating (you get the idea) all things Saturnian in our lives: structure and form, where we do fear and separation, guilt and limitation. Refer to the list of Saturn's significations in my previous blog if you want to ponder further on how this has been pertinent for you. Saturn will not pass the 'retrograde shadow', moving beyond the degrees it went retrograde at, until Christmas Eve, so in a sense there is still tying up of loose ends and perhaps even discomfort, if not a level of difficulty until then. Today Saturn still sits with the South Node, both at 13 degrees of Capricorn (do you have any planets or points there?), meaning we have another week of being well-facilitated to look at how we play out our past hurts and wounds and attribute them to the present. I am reminded here of A Course in Miracles' teaching "I am never upset for the reason I think" (Workbook, Lesson 5). Of course we can always work on this; that Saturn travels with the South Node at present is offering us a chance to look at how much we drag the psychological imprints of our past along with us, making for a 'crunchier' period. A perfect saying for this Saturn-South Node conjunction is 'fear is but a memory'. The messages are getting louder and many of us have had months of our past being pushed in our faces for us to finally take responsibility for it, rather than making other people or situations responsible. From the 1st of October, Saturn will move away from the South Node, and we are likely to feel a shift from any past-orientated focus to a more forward-looking period. The opportunity here is to let go of the past. Saturn can actually help us do this because in it's direct motion we can draw more heavily on Saturn's gifts of responsibility, discipline and perseverance to see that our fears need not have any power over us. Looking at how the Pluto-Saturn cycle has manifested in our recent world history (in my next blog), it is not hard to feel concern for, if not resistance to that information. Typical responses are 'I don't want to look at the negative' or 'I only want to focus on the positive'. However I want to reiterate that to look at our history can be very useful in seeing how we have erroneously perceived the world and in bringing a new level of consciousness to our previous unconsciousness. The good purpose of any difficulty or suffering is simply to understand the lessons, to not make the same mistakes, but to choose again with new awareness. So I want to start turning things around and look at Saturn and Pluto's gifts for us. One way to do this is via an archetypal approach. From this perspective, we see the planets as archetypes; which is to say different representations of human expression. In this sense the planets indicate a quality of time, i.e.right now we are in a quality of Saturn-South Node time, building to a quality of Saturn-Pluto time. And the way to make sense of that with astrology is with word-pairing as I stated in July's newsletter, providing the keywords for each planet. Some examples of these could be: the collapse (Pluto) of structures (Saturn) deep (Pluto) depression (Saturn) powerful (Pluto) oppression (Saturn) discipline (Saturn) to re-invent (Pluto) responsible (Saturn) use of power (Pluto) transmutation (Pluto) of our fear (Saturn) transformational (Pluto) mastery (Saturn) We can see that, despite these two planets symbolising darkness and death, we can also express positivity and a greater awareness. Of course; everything in duality on this earthly plane. Our collective psyche at this stage has very embedded ideas about 'darkness' and 'blackness'. We speak of fear of the dark, of being in the dark (not knowing - no 'logos'), of nighttime terrors, of the black dog of depression, and dark times. Conversely we speak of the purity of white, when the light comes, the clarity of bright daylight, the cleanliness and innocence and goodness of white. We are all aware of the Yin-Yang sign above, and in astrology, both planets and signs are also seen as either yin or yang. The Yin-Yang is not concerned with good or bad, but polarity. The dark swirl represents yin: feminine, passive, emotional and cold. The white swirl represents yang: masculine, active, logical and hot. This philosophy is ancient and underpins every facet of our world and lives. However, with our collective psyche perceiving black generally as a negative and white as a positive, we can also see that culturally and historically, there has been and still is a deep fear of the feminine. Only fear represses, denies, separates, suppresses, denigrates. The dark mysterious feminine has not been trusted, her wisdom ridiculed and her voice silenced. In men as much as women. The preference for the light can be seen as a consequence of the patriarchal system, and a denial of the dark having racist and sexist consequences throughout our history. This desire for the light is deeply embedded in the collective unconscious whether you personally have this view or not. We even speak of 'enlightenment' in our rejection of the dark. However, we reject a powerful aspect of ourselves when we do. Of course I am not talking about men and women, I am talking of archetypal masculine and feminine qualities and the deep consequences of the denial of the feminine in society and humanity as a whole as a result of the fear. Our collective fear of the feminine is insidious and it is everywhere. It can certainly be seen in the downgrading of Pluto 13 years ago. Although Pluto is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Hades, a powerful and masculine god, Pluto also represents the dark feminine, sexuality, internal power, transformation through deeply emotional processes, the power of raw emotion, death to rebirth, profound illogical processes...things that society is not comfortable with. So Pluto's demotion can be seen as a deeply unconscious: "Maybe we can make this all go away". I find it interesting that since the Pluto-Uranus conjunction of the 60's, and the sexual revolution giving further traction to previous era's of women's liberation movements such as the suffragette movement, women have been able to more readily move out into the world, hold position, have choice and be autonomous. This has usually meant going out and operating in a man's world and therefore having to down-play feminine qualities such as emotion and 'softness'. One has needed to be proactive and strong (in a masculine way) and logical and tough! Women have often denied their feminine in order to move out of the kitchen and succeed 'out there'. And we still do. I am well aware that if I am emotional at work, if I am illogical because I am operating from a world of deep feminine wisdom, if I am honouring my inner life or making no 'sense', then I would be probably be allowed (asked) to go home and come back when I 'feel better'. Even by women. Women, thinking it is the way to survive, have denied the feminine so much that we have needed the 'goddess movement', so evident in workshops and practices, in books and in gathering in circle, to remind us that the feminine is worthy. Not only worthy; the feminine is necessary for humanity's wholeness. Marianne Williamson writes in A Woman's Worth, "Womanhood is a mass pain of unspoken depth; and when we try and speak it, we're liable to be told, "There you go - complaining again!" As long as this is true, not half but all of humanity is obstructed in its journey..." ''Mass pain of unspoken depth' is so very Saturn-Pluto. Claire Douglas writes, in The Old Woman's Daughter, "Patrifocal culture splits connection into opposites rather then creating a sense of oneness: me and you, for instance; or male and female; them and us." Isn't this 'them and us' exactly what we see in the difficult world events of the Saturn-Pluto cycle? Exactly what we still see on the news? Exactly what we see everytime we suffer? Claire speaks of the feminine as representing an archetypal image emerging strongly in people's psyches more and more, with the need to reclaim it, revalue it and all it's images including it's chthonic power - so apt for Pluto as lord of the Underworld and Saturn as the Grim Reaper. With consciousness becoming conscious of itself, the rising of the feminine is a move toward wholeness. It is now and it cannot go away. I will go further into detail as to how this Pluto-Saturn conjunction, despite indicating great periods of difficulty in our history, is giving us a huge opportunity. All of us, men; women; those who identify as neither; those who identify as both, all of us are being called. The dark planets of Pluto and Saturn moving toward each other is not only a call, but the symbolic possibility of a leap forward in our awakening.