In this corner: Uranus in Aries! In this corner: Pluto in Capricorn! Squaring off May 20 in the third round of their historic seven-round bout, these two titlists are punching for change and battling for dominance until their final round in early 2015. It's the barnburner of the century, with no way to know who will walk away as champ after the final round.
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Uranus in Aries: Fight Your Own Fight
The first article in this series, "Uranus and Pluto 2012: Mid-'60s come of age, demand 'report card
,'" showed how the current Uranus-Pluto pattern began when these planets came together in the health-conscious, perfectionist earth sign Virgo in the mid-1960s. Now, Uranus has moved forward to the brash, energetic fire sign Aries, while Pluto has reached the sober, ambitious earth sign Capricorn. Together, they form a difficult 90-degree angle called a square, which can bring challenges and clashes that force change.
Uranus in Aries is a southpaw: an unorthodox, left-handed fighter whose power punches come from the "wrong" direction, according to the majority right-handers. Uranus in Aries is asking us to fight our own fight by letting go of false identities, borrowed goals, and outworn obedience. Now is the time we must dare to be different so we can examine who we really are (Aries), accept our genius and uniqueness (Uranus), and reclaim our freedom so we can express our true selves fully and aspire to become spiritual champions.
Pluto in Capricorn: KO What Needs to Go
Pluto in Capricorn is right-handed, an orthodox fighter who throws a straight right and expects the same from an opponent. Pluto in Capricorn bristles at the unorthodox, declaring, "All southpaws should be drowned at birth." This ring general is asking us to KO what needs to go by releasing all the clutter and corruption we've accumulated, all the people, places, and things that have lost their usefulness and simply weigh us down. Now is the time we must discipline ourselves to examine our true power (Pluto), our spiritual evolution, and our inner depths so we can embrace truth and re-invent all structures (Capricorn)--especially large institutions--to serve the highest good.
Round Three: Uranus Direct, Pluto Retrograde Increase Uranus's Odds
The second article in this series, "Uranus and Pluto's Transformation Timetable: Sept. 19 Square Forces Issues Around Virgo, Health
," explained how either Uranus or Pluto will be retrograde during each square, except for the final one in 2015, when both will be in direct motion. When a planet is retrograde, it appears to move backward through the sky, disrupting the planet's expression on the outer plane. If we resist this experience and keep trying to push ahead, we can experience intense frustration, but if we flow with the process, we have an opportunity to review and re-think how we're expressing the planet's energies.
In round three on May 20, Pluto will be retrograde, suggesting the odds favor Uranus in Aries. This situation may feel like a large dose of impatience, with Uranus wanting to rush forward to create quick change on the material plane, while Pluto will feel like an awkward slowdown, pulling our evolutionary quest inward to explore Pluto's energy of destruction, evolution, surrender, and hidden power. Given these conditions, our best course lies in taking innovative (Uranus) action (Aries) to understand our true identity and freeing ourselves from outworn personas or roles we have played to please others.
Meanwhile, Pluto retrograde in Capricorn gives us an opportunity to take action on the inner plane. From now until Pluto's retrograde ends on September 20, we can continue our evaluation of power (Pluto) and large institutions and hierarchies (Capricorn). We also can pay attention to secrets, manipulation, corruption, and other unpleasant truths (Pluto) that have been revealed in recent months. What has become rotten and therefore ripe for transformation? In our personal lives, we can evaluate our true power and consider how to reclaim it if we have ceded it to others. We also can benefit from looking at all structures in our lives--from our houses to our bodies to our daily routines--to see what works and what needs renewal.
Sun's Sign Shows Uranus-Pluto Squares' Underlying Purpose, Process
Throughout Uranus and Pluto's seven-round bout, the Sun will occupy a different sign for each round:
The Sun occupies a different sign for each Uranus-Pluto round. Image by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
These Sun placements, elements, and modes indicate why Uranus and Pluto have matched up for this fight and how it's likely to play out:
. Round one arrived when the Sun occupied Cancer, giving us a strong push for action because Cancer is a cardinal sign--meaning it's one of four signs that start seasons and bring strong energies that initiate the new.
. The first, fourth, and seventh rounds occur while the Sun occupies water signs. These solar placements occur in exact zodiacal order, from Cancer to Scorpio to Pisces. Combined with Saturn in Scorpio (until September 2015) and Neptune in Pisces (until January 2026), we have a significant emphasis on the water element, suggesting that we have an opportunity to tap our intuition to help us navigate during these times of dramatic change. To take advantage of this resource, we will need to slow down and take a break from change and fighting so we can notice our feelings and deal with whatever imbalances we discover based on our emotions. We can help ourselves win each round by setting aside time for solitude and engaging the inner battle via prayer and meditation. We'll need to draw on Uranus in Aries's desire for freedom and innate courage in order to face our feelings and take constructive action to ensure balance and harmony in our lives.
. The fourth and fifth squares occur while the Sun occupies Scorpio and Taurus, strong fixed signs that resist change. The squares' relentless demands for change may bring up feelings of anger and resistance (Taurus) and even scheming and obsession (Scorpio); in both cases, awareness can help us recognize when such feelings begin to build and take steps to address them quickly and constructively. For example, deep anger may indicate a deep imbalance in our lives that must be fixed; if we can prevent impulsive reactions to intense feelings, we can figure out innovative (Uranus) actions (Aries) to restore balance.
. Four out of seven squares occur while the Sun occupies the zodiac's four mutable signs, which come at the end of seasons and help us be flexible and adaptable so we can let go of the old and welcome in the new. These placements suggest we can benefit by keeping our schedules somewhat loose to allow for last minute adjustments and our attitudes receptive so we remain open to new ideas and opportunities. The mutable signs also give us powerful opportunities to tie up loose ends, clear out old emotional baggage, let go of unneeded belongings and ideas, and generally clean and freshen all aspects of our lives.
Round Three: Sun, Three Other Planets in Gemini Can Help Us "Float Like a Butterfly'
On May 20, the Sun enters airy Gemini at 4:11 p.m. CDT. It will join Gemini's ruler, Mercury, as well as Venus and Jupiter, already occupying the lighthearted, fun-loving sign of the Twins. Then, at 6:03 p.m. that day, Uranus and Pluto duke it out as they reach their exact square.
With so many planets in air--even the Moon will be in the air sign Libra--we have an opportunity to lighten up, even as we must accomplish the difficult work indicated by the Uranus-Pluto square. Taking our cue from boxing champ Muhammad Ali can help bring fresh air and lightness to our ongoing transformations.
Although he was born a hard-working, sober Capricorn, Ali brought style and showmanship to boxing and won world fame as "The Greatest" (he has Leo rising, giving him a superstar's smile and persona) by embracing uniqueness and innovation (he has three planets in quirky, independent Aquarius).
Ali also has Jupiter in Gemini, right around the same positions that Mercury and Venus will occupy on May 20, which gave him an expansive, exuberant (Jupiter) way of communicating (Gemini). Perhaps his most famous quote is "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." Butterflies, long associated with the sign Gemini, offer a wonderful image to inspire us with lightness, playfulness, and bright colors.
During our time of global change, we can ease our transition to a new world by embracing Gemini's curiosity and love of getting out and about to explore what's new and find fun in unexpected places. After so much heaviness in recent months, Gemini invites us to feel young again and enjoy laughter, wordplay, and creativity. By letting in fresh air (even literally opening our windows at home or at work), we symbolically allow in the new and let the old and outworn flow easily out of our lives.
Along the way, we'll bring air's refreshing, fizzy fun to our days. Like soda pop or a root beer float on a warm day, Gemini brings the effervescence we need to lift our spirits and make us laugh. Even if life sometimes "stings like a bee," we can keep floating anyway and emerge as champions from round three.
NOTE: This article's boxing theme was inspired by the memory of Joyce Brothers, PhD, who died May 13. A mild-mannered Libra, Brothers won fame in 1955 for her appearances on the TV game show The $64,000 Question, during which she proved herself a boxing expert and became the only woman to win the show's top prize. Thanks to this media exposure, Brothers went on to a long, successful career as a television psychologist and columnist.