Uranus Square Pluto by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
This angle typically brings challenges that force change in areas represented by the planets and signs involved. In the case of Uranus and Pluto, we are being pushed to upgrade or even revolutionize our identity (Aries) to enable greater freedom, awakening, and genius (Uranus) and to transform all structures and large organizations (Capricorn) to bring truth to light and permit spiritual evolution (Pluto).
Uranus and Pluto 2012 cycle began in the mid-1960s
This cycle began in 1965, when Uranus and Pluto came together in Virgo (see diagram below). On October 9, 1965, they reached the same degree in Virgo, creating a relationship called a conjunction; they formed two more exact conjunctions in April and June 1966. In astrology, a conjunction joins or merges the energies of the planets involved and expresses them in areas represented by those planets and the sign they occupy.
Uranus Conjunct Pluto, Mid-1960s by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
In this case, Uranus's electric, erratic nature and energy of sudden change, revolution, awakening, and genius combined with Pluto's deep, transformative nature and energy of destruction, evolution, surrender, and hidden power. Together, they created explosive energy that demanded change, and they ushered in a new historical cycle. In the decades since, the seeds Uranus and Pluto sowed at their conjunction have had opportunities to sprout and take root, and some have created tremendous change.
Because Uranus and Pluto occupied Virgo at the time of their three conjunctions, many of the changes we have seen since the mid-1960s have involved Virgo themes: health, purity, independence, pets, service, jobs, daily routine, practicality, food, and the connections among mind, body, and spirit. In addition, because Virgo is a mutable sign, it comes at the end of a season and represents energy concerned with clearing out the old to make way for the new (as opposed to cardinal energy, which begins a season and creates the new by initiating new efforts , or fixed energy, which comes at the middle of a season and maintains what once was new by putting order, systems, and routines in place).
Virgo energy analyzes and then takes practical steps to improve daily life in order to serve the greater good. In the mid-1960s, Uranus and Pluto in Virgo helped adjust or eliminate old ways (discrimination, pollution, colonialism) to permit independence and protect health. Virgo's ultimate goal is perfection: for example, during his presidency Lyndon Johnson (a Virgo) sought to improve America and create a "Great Society" that would eliminate poverty, hunger, and illness.
Where are we now?
As of June 24, the Uranus-Pluto combination has reached a turning point. These planets' movements through the zodiac since the 1960s have brought them into the first of seven exact squares (see diagram below) that will occur through 2015. Astrologically, a square consists of two planets in a 90-degree angle, a relationship that tends to bring clashes and turmoil (especially on the inner plane) in order to raise awareness and motivate us to make difficult yet beneficial changes.
Uranus Square Pluto, 2012 - 2015 by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
These two planets represent the major astrological factor making 2012 a pivotal year in history and human evolution. Their current square angle indicates a time of significant change is at hand, and their combination offers an opportunity to renew the idealism and urge toward improvement and better health (not just physical health, but emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness) that these two planets seeded nearly five decades ago.
Unlike the mid-1960s, when Uranus and Pluto occupied mutable Virgo, today these planets occupy powerful cardinal signs that demand the new instead of fixing the old. Uranus in Aries expresses its electric, exciting energy in pioneering, independent ways. At its best, it uses Uranus's trademark computers and other technology to benefit not only humanity as a whole (Uranus) but the individual (Aries) and the need to blaze new trails (Aries). Uranian insistence on freedom can help us awaken to our true, spiritual identity (Aries) and our unique genius (Uranus).
Meanwhile, Pluto in Capricorn is bringing deep change (Pluto) to large structures (Capricorn). Those that do not adapt may fall: already, we have seen major corporations disappear in the wake of Pluto's transformative energy. At its best, Pluto in Capricorn expresses Plutonian power and hidden energy not only to expose truth and find unrecognized riches in dark or unexplored places but to reinvent all structures and re-create all hierarchies (Capricorn) to enable greater evolution (Pluto).
What does our "report card" say?
This first Uranus-Pluto square comes while Pluto is retrograde, indicating an outer-inner, push-pull quality. Uranus in Aries wants to rush forward (Aries) to create quick change (Aries) on the material plane, but Pluto retrograde is pulling our evolutionary quest (Pluto) inward (retrograde). This situation suggests we go deeply within (Pluto retrograde) to evaluate all structures and boundaries (Capricorn) and use what we learn to inform our efforts to free (Uranus) our personal (Aries) and collective (Uranus) identity (Aries).