Comments on the Grand Cardinal Cross of August 2010 and the Uranus/Pluto Square
by Gary Lorentzen
Now that we are more than five years past the Cardinal Grand Cross and have experienced the last of the exact Uranus/Pluto squares, I thought it was time to assess what has happened, what is happening and what is likely to happen based on what we now know.
Because so many planets were involved in this configuration, and they impacted so many sensitive points in the US chart, we can assume there are multiple ‘fronts’ upon which the US has to struggle. The historical evidence with Saturn/Uranus/Pluto in T-Square is difficult to ignore, then include Mars and Jupiter and it looks even more ominous. However, what concerns me most, is the fight between extreme authoritarian, non-democratic, non-secular movements that fight against open, secular, democratic institutions and countries. It’s true, the 1932 configuration clearly underlies the Great Depression, but the great minds of the era were able to cope–it was much harder to combat growing fascism, Nazism, Stalinism and Japanese Imperialism. Clearly, we have our environmental, ecological and geological crises today, which we can assume are related to the building tensions of the T-Square. The globalized economy is stressed because of the collapse in oil prices, currency issues, the internal structural weaknesses of the E.U. , and the pace of globalization, which ultimately impacts traditional culture in non-Western societies creating international conflict and problems with immigration/emigration. We can assume that will intensify in the short term, and it is quite reasonable to predict doom and gloom, but with Jupiter involved in the Grand Cross, I always thought there would be some very creative problem solving. But, in many ways, these issues are ‘academic’ and we have seen the intellectuals and leaders of our own time cope with the economic problems to a much better degree than anyone might have thought in 2009. It is much more difficult for the world to cope with autocratic, authoritarian, non-democratic, extreme religious mentalities that will strengthen and attack international structures of social and political organization (Pluto in Capricorn).
The US Chart has Venus/Jupiter conjunct in early Cancer, which in my opinion is the signature of the American sense of optimism, abundance, personal socio-economic freedom, patriotism (which easily turns into jingoistic nationalism), as well as beneficence in relation to the outside world, when its related to US security issues. This conjunction was ‘ground zero’ for the transiting T-Square with Pluto exactly opposing it. The transit of Pluto in Cancer over the conjunction in the early 20s, transformed and modernized the country and the culture in what became known as the Jazz Age. Women were granted the right to vote and a great social liberalization began, in spite of the prohibition on alcohol that happened at the same time. Within a decade, a conservative reaction took hold and forced us to moderate our extremes in personal, economic and social freedoms, then to restrain them (new drug laws, etc., eventually economic and corporate rules/regulations, and the end to Prohibition in efforts to prime the economy and reduce organized crime). As Pluto moved through Cancer and over the US Sun Square Saturn combo, the ‘underworld’ reaction to the restraints had created networks of organized crime and the FBI to combat it, as well as new ‘moral codes’ and bureaucracies dedicated to limit extremes in behavior and freedom of expression in an effort to cope with the new media (Film and Radio). Thirty some years later, the UR/PL conjunction opposed by SA in ’65 set up large scale challenges to the cultural restraints put in place in the 20s and 30s and marked the ‘social revolution’ of the 60s. We are now back in the cycle to the T-Square and we are facing echoes of the challenges of the early 30s. (economic, social, geopolitical, etc.) Because of the Grand Cross, we must be prepared for the possibility of large scale shocking events (Jupiter/Uranus) that oppose our social, political and economic structures (Saturn) and that lead to power struggles against democratic countries and institutions (Pluto in Capricorn).
On the other hand, the Jupiter/Uranus influence in the Grand Cross also indicates a drive for expanding human and civil rights. Saturn squaring these planets resists the efforts to expand civil rights, and liberal movements can run afoul of the conservative, traditional elements in society. It creates a ‘culture war’ within countries and between countries. We are seeing this development in the U.S. with the conservative religious factions in politics and society resisting general acceptance of sexual minorities and equality of marriage for LGBT. They are also resisting reasonable immigration reform and they are attempting to limit the freedom of women to control their own bodies and plan their families. We see similar developments, but much more extreme, in Uganda, Nigeria and Russia. In Uganda, there was a new law that criminalized gay people and punished them with imprisonment, but their courts ruled it unconstitutional on procedural grounds only, still giving the government the right to discriminate and persecute, even if long-term imprisonment is no longer an option. In Middle Eastern countries, imprisonment and execution for homosexuality is standard and the suppression and oppression of women continues. In Russia, a new law passed in June of 2013 makes it a criminal offense to display any signs of homosexuality in public that might be seen by children under the age of 18. Its purpose, theoretically, is to protect children from propaganda that might influence their sexuality. Apparently Russians have a very different, and obviously archaic, theoretical understanding of homosexuality and human nature than Western European and most North and South American countries. This law effectively eliminates any possibility of a Pride Parade, open discussions on sexuality that include homosexuality, symbols for the LGBT community, public demonstration and freedom of speech for gay rights, etc. It puts gay Russians back in the closet and locks the door giving full reign to the authoritarianism of the Russian government and its leadership.
In the Middle East, you see the same struggles between those who want greater personal freedom and the authoritarianism of their political systems and religious ideologies. (Jupiter/Uranus/Saturn/Pluto in the Grand Cross) “The Arab Spring” and its aftermath brought that message home loud and clear. The situation in Syria has been nightmarish in the fight between the authoritarian Assad regime and the other Muslim sects and Christians who are not Ba’athists and don’t support Assad’s National Socialist Resurrection Party (Ba’ath). Because of Syria’s geopolitical situation, it is crucial for the flow of oil and any country wanting to do something about this catastrophic civil war is stymied and helpless in the face of Assad’s crimes against humanity. Syria has become a bone of contention between Europe and the U.S. on one side and Russia and Iran on the other, with Russia and Iran supporting Assad and the ‘West’ giving moral and material support to the rebels. The ‘rebels’, however, have become infiltrated by elements of Al Qaeda and mercenaries, which complicates the situation for everyone. It gets more complicated and bizarre as Russia now moves in with troops on the ground attacking ISIS and protecting anti-Assad rebels from ISIS. Al Qaeda, itself, has been rather neutralized by international efforts as well as its own internal conflicts. The new Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an evil, virulent spin off of Al Qaeda, is even more extreme in its religiosity and brutality and, astrologically, is a product of the added Jupiter (religious) influence in the tension created by the Grand Cross. Their brutal attacks on everyone who doesn’t believe as they do has created a tsunami of refugees and a humanitarian crisis. The resulting massive flow of refugees into Western Europe will change Europe forever.
The world seems to be polarizing itself again just like it did in the 1930s. And although it is no longer about fascism vs communism vs liberal democracies, it seems similar political issues are in play. This time, however, there is also a strong element of religious rivalry that is in the mix. Muslim vs Muslim, Muslims vs Jews, Christians vs Muslims, and Christians vs Secularists. If history is any guideline, the traditionalists, conservatives and authoritarians eventually always lose in favor of expanding rights and liberalizing societies, in spite of any temporary successes they might have along the way. In the U.S. this has become popularized as ‘being on the right side of history.’ We can only hope now that the intensity of transiting Uranus and Pluto, having made their final square in March of 2015, will start to lessen, leaving us with the ability finally to exhale and to gain some perspective on the last five years. Remember that the Uranus/Pluto square was the core aspect in the Grand Cross of 2010, and that since then, authoritarian and theocratic political views have become louder and more insistent, if not brutal and violent. Once Uranus begins to move beyond the ninety degree relationship to Pluto, we should see with a little more clarity how things have developed regarding the original statements of intent at their conjunction in 1965 and 1966. We will see if the promises made regarding fairer politics, social justice, civil rights, and increasing democratization, which have come under attack over the last five years, have any real traction in the world. If yes, then there will be more focus on the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people and acceptance of pluralism and growing diversity in all societies as a result of the massive migrations under globalization and war, and the growing movement to better integrate women and sexual minorities into the social fabric of our lives. Anthropogenic Global Warming deniers will hopefully give up their flat-earth mentality and begin to join the right side of history and reason. (I hope I’m not be a Pollyanna with that statement!)
Although we should be able to see these developments more clearly, we will still be in the middle of the struggle for those outcomes and we can expect continued resistance, violence and conflict over the short term. We won’t really see the final outcomes until the late 2040s when Uranus and Pluto are in opposition bringing things to a real head–either the fruition of the goals set in the mid 1960s where, under the current Uranus/Pluto square, we see progress being made now, or complete collapse of the effort in the areas where we now see a failure to make progress. In the latter case, reactionary conservative forces are seeking to return to a pre-conjunction social-political order that is infused with an antiquated religious dogma hell-bent on forcing those religious values on everyone, whether it be the radical Christian Right in the Americas and Africa, ISIS in the Middle East, the conservative party in Israel, or Putinism with its ideological ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. These anachronistic social values are part of the mentality of those who deny climate change, as well as those who seek to bring their religions into the political life of nations threatening secular institutions and values.
Global problems with climate change, women’s rights, gay rights, minority rights, emigration/immigration, religious rivalry and theocracy, as well as economic globalization won’t ultimately be resolved until the Uranus/Pluto opposition beginning in 2047. As we see the conflicts play out under the current Uranus/Pluto square, we also see real progress in the Americas and in Western Europe regarding those original statements of intent that were made in the mid 1960s. The Middle East, most of Africa and Asia are lagging behind. Keeping this fact in mind, the coming Uranus in Taurus trine Pluto in Capricorn should prove helpful in getting things on the ‘right side of history’. The opposition in 2047 will probably bring a final resolution to the social, economic and ecological problems for most in ‘the West’, given that there is progress and growing awareness of what needs to/should be done. In the West, the role of reactionary, anachronistic religion in creating social and political problems will likely come to a gradual end, but not before a serious political struggle to return to straight, white Christians the traditional privilege to control the social, political and cultural narrative. Other areas of the world will probably see an extreme culture war at the opposition as minorities of all kinds, as well as those who are victims of radical religious movements, rise up to challenge the status quo and their oppressors.