Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times
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Squares and Synthesis
In the last couple of posts, we’ve considered the best ways to work with Uranus as it transits Aries, and Pluto's transit of Capricorn. In this post, we'll look at how to make the experience of the square between them — which will be happening through March of 2015 — a bit easier, or at least constructive.
If you’ve studied astrology for any length of time, you know that the square is considered to be a difficult aspect, both natally and in transit. But if you’ve been actually interpreting charts, you’ve come to realize that a square can be challenging, but is by no means intrinsically “bad”. It is an aspect which demands that we confront our conflicting beliefs, and change.
Most of us who follow a Pagan path know that our thoughts and feelings impact our lives in a very real way, and we use that knowledge to work magic. The thoughts and feelings we experience are, in large part, due to the beliefs we hold about reality and our place in it. Not all of these beliefs are conscious — in fact, many of them are buried deeply in the subconscious matrix of an unhealed childhood. Part of our magical practice is what is often called “Shadow work” — seeking out unhealed and unloved parts of ourselves that we have hidden and denied, in order to understand the source of destructive beliefs, so we can change them. We do this work because we know that trying to repress or deny a belief just gives it power. From its hiding place, that belief still presents us with thoughts and feelings that frequently contradict some helpful change that we are working to manifest through magic. A crucial part of any magical working is identifying and transforming any beliefs we hold that conflict with our magical goals.
Here’s an example. Let’s consider a woman who was raised in a Bible-oriented household where money was a frequent cause of fights between her parents. By the time she was in her teens, she had decided that “money is a tool of Satan that separates people from God and each other.” By the time she is 30, she has changed her religious beliefs and personal values, and is even a bit embarrassed by what she believed in her teens. Now she is all about “moving on” and “getting past” those times. Now she believes money is what you use it for, just another form of energy, and she’s open to having some. But she’s still broke and in debt.
Finally, she does some shadow work, and discovers, as she monitors her thoughts and emotions and dives deep into the ocean of the unconscious, that there is an active part of her that still believes money is a tool of evil and separation from the Divine. This is how the square manifests psychologically — the conflict of beliefs, each held closely by a different area of the psyche. These clashing beliefs can create great uncertainty and crises of consciousness, for a resolution is demanded, either by reason, or by outer circumstance. The outer strife and problems associated with squares often manifest in response to conflicting and disordered energy within us that we project into the world.
When outgrown beliefs play hide-and-seek in our psyches instead of just dropping away, that means they are still holding energy we need to assimilate. Often, for instance, problems with money are tied to questions of self-worth and the ability to give and receive love. Our hypothetical 30-year-old probably has a whole lot of healing to do around issues of parental love and support before she will be able to shift her belief about the evil of money. Old beliefs are powerful because they are intricately constellated with deep emotional needs and wounds. They can’t be simply dropped — they must be transformed and assimilated. Problematic beliefs are not something you can shake off your shoe — they are a part of your personal energy, and must be actively worked with and consciously changed.
So, Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn actually offers us some valuable energetic tools to utilize in transforming ourselves, if we are willing to do the work. How the square will manifest in your life, specifically, depends on how this transiting aspect fits into your chart. If you study astrology, you might want to look at which houses in your chart are currently occupied by transiting Uranus and Pluto. What planets rule those houses? How are they being aspected — by transit, progression or solar arc — right now? Are transiting Uranus and Pluto making any aspects to any of your natal planets?
We can also make some generalizations about what this aspect will offer to us all. It provides the courage to transform, and to take calculated risks for a better future. It also makes available the knowledge and wisdom to build social structures that are sustainable and just. To use these gifts wisely and well, we seek out the resistances we have to change, our deepest fears, and transform them into the courage and strength we need to expand into our potential. We embrace both innovation and practicality, realizing that one does not negate the other. We track down and confront the conflicting beliefs within us, so we can move into the future with a coherent vision and compassionate presence that is based in a combination of practical knowledge, optimism, and appreciation of renewal.
If we can bring the unconscious beliefs we hold into conscious awareness, if we can unravel our emotional knots enough to free and use the energy trapped within them, this square can super-charge our lives. The square represents a challenge to expand, to take a conflict and find a broader perspective that allows synthesis.
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