The Dark Side of a World in Flux Part 1 (through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology)
Updated: Jul 14
In an earlier article Our World on a Threshold of Change, I began to decode the archetypal forces in a play centred around the emergence of Covid 19 and its spread around the world, as a catalyst for systems changes, tied into the cyclical culmination and subsequent re-birth of the recent Pluto/Saturn conjunction in late Capricorn.
As a first offering, I focused on the growth opportunities at both a collective and personal level, in an attempt to establish a grounded orientation within the archetypal matrix underpinning reality. In this article, I am going to dig a little deeper and look more to the challenges we now face, with the aim to propose key areas for developmental consideration that might bring more balance, in order to optimise positive outcomes at both the personal and collective levels. Before I go deeper into the archetypes, it is worth explaining how astrology works. There are a few key principles that are helpful to keep in mind that will assist you in grasping why understanding the archetypal energies in play is so important. Firstly it’s of value to realise that the planets do not work in a linear mechanistic manner; their power is not specifically linked to energy such as magnetism or gravitational force; it’s not that they are exerting a force over us. Instead, it helps to consider that the universe is profoundly integrated: the celestial is deeply connected to the terrestrial, the human with the more than human world, and the psyche is inextricably linked to the cosmos. For this reason, the movements of the planets have an ongoing orchestrated correlation with the archetypal patterns and movements within the human experience, which are clearly apparent through observation and correlation. As Jung said, “ our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche.” Archetypal energies are very powerful; they are numinous; they shape and inform things both in the interior psyche and the outer world. Each archetype has a distinctive complex character but each has a vibrant spectrum of variable possible manifestations; they are multivalent, meaning they can be enacted in multiple ways. Our capacity to exert personal will, to engage our intelligence, and to utilize insight and understanding, plays an active role relative to how archetypal energy manifests. As such we are participating in a co-creative system, and how we meet the challenges of today has either a positive or negative influence over what happens next.
A Summary of the Archetypal Bigger Picture It is useful to recognise that the current astrological symbols fit into an ongoing evolutionary movement. Let’s get a sense of how what’s going on now, fits into the archetypal landscape of the last decade or so. The Pluto/Uranus Squares Over the last ten years, Pluto and Uranus have been moving in and out of a 90˚ angle with each other, known as a square aspect. Squares represent highly charged relationships between archetypes, which are generally not easy to integrate. In the 1960s Pluto and Uranus last conjoined in the sky in Virgo, and the liberal, freedom-loving, humanitarian, and future forward qualities of Uranus re-birthed through the Free-Love Hippie movement (remember that the symbol for Virgo is an Earth Goddess) and associated activism of that time. Ideas, movements, and the progressive values seeded then, have ever since been developing within global society, and began to take on an urgency and intensity when Uranus moved into the first quarter square with Pluto towards the end of the first decade of the new millenium. It has been a challenging time ever since, because of the evolutionary push toward, on the one hand, a shift in collective consciousness sometimes referred to as global awakening and the totalitarian tip-toe toward a dystopian New World Order - a Technocracy or Plutocracy where the most rich and powerful people rule the world through technology. Even today, Pluto and Uranus are in a waning square with each other, although the phase is now passing (for collective issues an orb as wide as 15˚ is used). As a general overview, the last decade can be summarised as a battle between those that wish to remain powerful and dominant (what we have come to call the Elite, Illuminati or the 1%) and the vast majority of an increasingly disenfranchised global population, who want simply to live in a better more loving world that benefits everyone.
The Pluto/Uranus/Saturn T-Square Meanwhile, in 2008 Pluto entered into Capricorn and as we know, shortly afterward the financial system was in trouble. At the time Pluto was making a loose T-Square aspect with Uranus and Saturn. A T-Square is when two planets (Uranus and Saturn) are in opposition (high energy tension/conflict) and a third planet (Pluto) is simultaneously square both the other planets. It is a super-highly charged alignment that creates a lot of tension driving change. With these archetypes, the T-Square represents a conflict between existing structures and authorities (Saturn) and future-forward humanitarian impulses (Uranus), which is intensely energised by the evolutionary power of Pluto. [Notably financial crises are sometimes connected to these three planets in a T-Square e.g. The 1929 Great Depression, and the 1873-76 Long Recession.]
The Saturn/Pluto conjunction January 12th 2020 in Capricorn 22˚ 46’ In Evolutionary Astrology, the Saturn/Pluto cycle maps the evolution of systems that define society. This last cycle, rooted in Libra culminated after a 38 year period, and now rebirths in Capricorn. Libra as an air sign relates broadly to both communication and social relationships, and there is no doubt that in the last 38 years there has been a significant change in the way we communicate and relate to each other; social media platforms were born during this period and have shown themselves to be significantly powerful influencers over human behavior, especially in the way that we now relate to each other; social life is radically different now from the early 80’s when the previous Saturn/Pluto cycle began, when most of us had no idea that the internet was about to be given to the world, or that the telephone would become mobile and change how we communicate. Half way through the last Pluto/Saturn cycle, when Saturn was in direct opposition to Pluto, the world experienced the 9/11 terrorist attack, which has lead to changes in the world, which are still in place today, such as the obsession with airport security. In the new cycle, we are faced with the challenge of choosing responsibility and maturation at an individual level as a means to effect change at a collective level. So what happens if we resist the evolutionary necessity of maturation? And what does it mean to grow up at a societal level? I believe the key to these times at an individual level is to step up and put effort into taking personal responsibility for the evolutionary impulse. Put more simply, we must strive to stop resisting personal growth. We all know that the world is on the brink; there are many indications of this, the most notable being that we have entered a 6th Extinction, which if we do nothing will eventuate in terrible times for future humanity. As such we need to view the emergence of a pandemic as a very necessary opportunity to install key structural changes within society that will turn the tide on pollution, deforestation, inhumane industrial farming, and the indiscriminate fishing of our seas, etc. And yet this can only happen through individuals realising their part in the problem, and in particular how the majority of us are avoiding the natural maturation process simply because psychological healing requires us to face and integrate our unresolved inner-pain. This avoidance leads many to merely compensate for it through reactive patterns of behaviour, e.g. addictions of all kinds but in particular to consumerism and escapsim.
Responsibility implies an ability to respond; individuals need to find the courage to overcome societal expectation and survival pressures and learn to live the life they were born to live. Pluto as an evolutionary force is very intense, and at times very forceful, and when it is combined with Saturn, quite often we can be faced with our own mortality (or those close to us) as a wake-up call. The wild Plutonian energy often causes people to try and control things more, and to put up boundaries and restrictions in an attempt to stave off unwanted change. Today we are seeing this on a massive scale, where many are confined to their homes, stuck behind physical walls, forced into a kind of retreat where ironically the necessary self-reflection has a greater chance to occur. At the same time with these two archetypes there is a strong potential to project the shadow onto the outside resulting in demonization (e.g. racism or homophobia), negative judging and scapegoating; more than ever we need to take ownership of our own projections and refrain from acting out because of unconscious fears.
The Dark Tribe Pluto in Capricorn has been unveiling our systems and authority figures over the last ten years, and more and more of us are wondering who is really in control, because our elected leaders appear not to be, in the way we have been led to believe. Nowadays the concept of conspiracy and hidden agenda is not just familiar but more commonplace even in mainstream minds, as more and more researchers have undertaken to expose hidden information not disseminated in the mainstream media (MSM), and with most of the world in lockdown, it is not surprising that there are concerns over what is true and what is real. There is little doubt however that ‘predator’ opportunistic individuals and groups will attempt to maximize on the opportunities inherent to a world in confusion, fear, and uncertainty. The term conspiracy theory was promulgated by the C.I.A. as a means to discredit anyone who dared to question the official narrative, and it has been quite effective as a meme, but only because many people are not practicing critical thinking (which I think is a prime responsibility). There is nothing theoretical about a conspiracy within humanity; we have plenty of historic examples of conspiracies such as the failed gun powder plot of 1605 that the UK celebrates on Guy Fawkes Night with bonfires and fireworks every year, and the Lincoln assassination conspiracy of 1865. So to reject the possibility that some people may be conspiring to take the world in a certain direction that benefits them at the expense of everyone else is a reaction that I think has much to do with the way such a disturbing idea feels, should it would be real; it’s emotionally safer to rationalise away the possibility. At the same time, it is very easy to get sucked down a rabbit hole of endless conspiratorial scenarios sufficient to leave the average person feeling confused, overwhelmed, powerless, paranoid, and fearful. We live in an era where the information ecology is so polluted it is hard to know truth from fiction, and it is hard to resist the temptation to over simplify reality or to project simple answers into complex situations in order to get some kind of respite from the existential angst we are all feeling under the surface or to make sense of the "them and us" reality we find ourselves in. In the mainstream, astrology is actively debunked, and despite respected thinkers such as C.G. Jung, Stan Grof, and Richard Tarnas being proponents of astrology, most people in the world know virtually nothing about it and are unable to access its wisdom and benefits. My suspicion however, is that very rich people use astrology all the time because it is effective. With this in mind, as I talk about the collective astrological picture, as a means to help others navigate more effectively and make the most of the times, it must also be assumed that nefarious groups and self-serving individuals are also using astrology to plot and plan their actions. In this way, some global events could be the result of negative intentions such as false flag events, terrorist attacks, random shootings, etc as well as the real possibility that COVID 19 is a designed bio-weapon (or at least manipulated in a lab), or that the death numbers are exaggerated in order to further the interests of corporations and investors. For example, the race to produce a vaccine for Covid19 represents potential profits in the trillions if the global population can be pursuaded to accept it. The recent conjunctions of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars with Pluto in very close succession are rare astrological events, and because the Pluto/Saturn conjunction represents the birth of a new world (in a literal birth, Pluto is the force pushing the baby out, while Saturn is the contractions), we are most profoundly on a dual threshold or a fork in the road, where one path leads to a dystopian future and the other to a better world for everyone. But this is not a time to rest on one’s laurels and sit it out and hope for the best - your active participation is very much needed now. It matters what you think. It matters whether you choose love or fear. It matters if you take courage within your own personal journey and choose growth over stagnation. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are in the world, or how old you are; everyone has a positive role to play if they so choose. If you are elderly and feeling too fragile for heroic deeds, become an elder and actively support those you know and help them feel strong. If you are ill and out of action, you’re still here and you still count - maybe it’s time to surrender, maybe it’s your time to do something different, to go deeper in trust. If you are young and you think the world is already ruined or you just feel insignificant and powerless, just remember that all epic journeys happen one step at a time, and there is one rule of thumb for everyone: the more you know yourself the more effective you can be in the world. Real change happens on the inside. Through understanding the archetypal currents shaping world events, it becomes easier to see that the last ten challenging years have been reflecting powerful movements toward global transformation on the social, political, ecological, and psychological levels. Many are aware that environmentally and culturally we have been undergoing a rite of initiation for some time now, and right now we are in the crucible. Our current time offers a profound sense of uncertainty that always accompanies any kind of transformation on a large scale. Everything has to feel like it is on the line, otherwise, there won’t be enough psychological power to produce the profound moral reconfiguration that might be needed in the world right now, given that we are well underway toward a 6th great extinction and burdened by corruption on a global scale. I surmise that although most of us don’t quite see it, the world is in the midst of a titanic struggle between opposing forces; behind the obvious media propaganda something bigger is happening and because we don’t have all of the information it is currently difficult to make sense of anything with certainty. Thus we must cultivate a tolerance for uncertainty, and allow the current circumstances to propel us into the necessary changes we all need to make on the inside. Learning to stay in the present moment, and cultivating an appreciation for all the good things life has to offer, without spinning off into fearful possible futures, will stand us all in good stead as we put our attention on a vision of the world we want to see.
Stay tuned for Part 2 when I will further unpack the archetypal patterns in play.