Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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The Autumn Equinox Chart: Uranus and Neptune and Pluto, Oh My!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Casting a chart for the exact moment the Sun moves into 0 degrees of Libra — the Autumn Equinox — is part of a predictive method within astrology known as Solar Ingress. The 2 Equinoxes and 2 Solstices are considered to be points of inception in astrology, for this is when the Sun enters (ingresses) into one of the Cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Solar Ingress charts are cast for the moment of an ingress, at the capital of a country, and interpreted both as a single chart as well as in synastry with the chart of that country to predict events in the coming quarter-year. Solar ingress charts are commonly used in a branch of astrology that looks at world affairs, known as mundane astrology.  The Libra Ingress chart cast for Washington, DC this year is powerful, and shows cause for hope as well as for concern. 

The following is a brief first look at the Libra Ingress chart (click here to see it) and how it might play out on the national stage. I’ll be referring back to this chart as I explore other national events, like the upcoming election, in future posts. Later in this post, I’ll also look at how we each can approach the Uranus-Pluto square — essentially exact in the Libra Ingress chart — in a way that minimizes upheavals and problems and maximizes personal and community health and growth.

Note: I’m going to put most of the astrological heavy-lifting in italics, so readers who just want the interpretation can skip over the most arcane stuff.


The military symbolism in this Mars-rising Libra Ingress chart is inescapable, as are indicators of foreign policy challenges for the President. My guess is there will be much saber-rattling, but I suspect any direct military action (in other words, not just troop movements for show) will be secretive, targeted strikes, like the bin Laden assassination, that become known only after the fact, if at all. There will be a lot going on behind the scenes — the whole situation in the Middle East, for instance, is like an iceberg, with only a small percentage visible — and there may be a surprising diplomatic coup for the administration. Questions of embassies, consulates, ambassadors and diplomats will continue to be front and center during this time.

I’ll unpack the above paragraph a bit: Looking at the chart, we see that Mars rules the Aries 6th house of the military and public service, is strong in the sign it traditionally rules, secretive Scorpio, and conjunct the Ascendant. Mars is square Venus (diplomacy) in Leo conjunct the Midheaven (and Barack Obama’s Descendent as well) from the 9th house of foreign countries and in mutual reception with the Sun (national leaders). Uranus in the 5th (a country’s ambassadors), in Aries, opposes both the Sun and Mercury (communications) and sesquiqadrates Mars. Jupiter, the planet of diplomacy, is in its detriment, in the 8th house of espionage.

There are a number of other scenarios that would be covered by the above placements, of course. Jupiter in its detriment in the 8th suggests events centered around debt and foreign investment — Jupiter can breed over-confidence and over-expansion. The Uranus-Sun-Mercury configuration on the 5th - 11th axis strongly hints at ongoing conflict regarding teachers, and the schooling of children, as well as an emphasis on the entertainment industry. Given the aspects involved, the distractions offered by the celebrity machinery are likely to be…well, quite entertaining. Mars rising sesquiquadrate Uranus may well indicate a rebirth of the Occupy movement (the Ascendant always rules the people, the masses), but, if so, the demonstrations may take a more violent turn. Given the Ascendant sign, the violence, should it occur, would likely be the result of infiltrators with a separate agenda.

The chart also shows the Moon in late Sagittarius with Pluto in early Capricorn in the second house. In a mundane chart, the Moon always signifies the people, as does the Ascendant and its ruler, so both indicators of the people are together in the same house. The second house rules both national values and the economy — banks, currency, consumer spending, investments and the stock market. What does this all mean?

The Pluto-Uranus square is within minutes of exact in this chart, and the violent, incendiary protests and random violence that have marked the progress of this aspect are not going away. There will be a lot of national discussion and pontificating on debt, taxes, and resources — both natural and human — and concerns of children and schools. The entertainment industry may be subject to abrupt shifts and changes (Uranus in Aries is in the 5th house). Congress is likely to be fighting over budgetary and banking legislation in a big way (#fiscalcliff). Expect campaign fireworks, major breakthroughs of one kind or another, and profound transformations. There is also the potential for some large-scale watery weather (Neptune in the 4th)

The Moon is also square the Sun, and both are in approaching aspect to Uranus and Pluto. This ties the people of the country in closely with the U-P square, which suggests a heated national discourse — and probably some major events — related to the topics of religion, methods of government, corporations and corporate “personhood”, debt, terrorism, freedom, technology and the military. Major upheavals and disagreements over the November election seem quite likely.

The suddenness and often the violence of events and the depth of change and transformation in the structures of civilization that we are seeing planet-wide are exactly what is indicated by the Uranus-Pluto square. It manifests in individual charts, as well, and we are all affected to some degree, but those with planets or chart points in early- to mid-Cardinal signs will be affected most strongly.

This is a big wave of powerful energy, and if you are aware enough to catch the wave and surf it, it will carry you to a brand-new shore. There is no question that some people will get pretty well tumbled by the wave, but most of my readers have probably learned some form of meditation and self-inquiry, as well as how to work with etheric energy, and spirit allies.  These practices will be your surfboard. Let’s take a look at how to approach this transit constructively, through the meanings of Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries.

To begin, it’s important to have a goal. The Cardinal signs, Capricorn and Aries in particular, are very goal-oriented, and setting a goal is the first stop on any magickal journey. Where do you want to end up when this transit is over? I suggest you think in broad and spiritual terms (Neptune in Pisces) about your goals, because the sweeping changes that are unfolding will change the details of everyone’s life in ways that are profound but not easily foreseeable.  To do this, you’ll need to think clearly about what you value, and what you stand for.

Two other qualities that will be needed during the time of the Uranus-Pluto square are the courage of Aries and the discipline of Capricorn. Use some of that meditation time to explore and move beyond your fears, and to strengthen your connections with your ancestors and spirit allies for guidance and protection. Create a structure for your life that supports your goals, your health, and your spiritual practices. That structure will probably need to be changed, rebuilt, or tweaked in any number of ways in response to changes in the external world, so pay attention, and make adjustments as needed. You want to function within a structure you created, not one imposed upon you from outside, because self-created structures (even simple ones, like to-do lists, or regular attendance at a yoga class) allow you some freedom to steer instead of being herded along by events.

Personal freedom, particularly freedom from limits imposed by government and big-business, will be a big theme during the years of this transit, and there is an implied challenge to think in terms of the needs of the community, not just personal will. Spend some time thinking about what freedom means to you, what structures support instead of hinder everyone’s freedom, and how to work within community to create new ways of living in harmony with others. Given Pluto’s destructive and Uranus’ explosive tendencies, I don’t doubt that we will see some people going over the edge and embracing the “nothing left to lose” definition of freedom, trying to destroy any and every structure, law or person that they perceive as standing between them and their personal or their group’s freedom. If those people have access to weapons, it will get nasty, as, in fact, it already has. We can keep reminding ourselves and others that peace always brings more freedom than war.

Aries is the sign of the pioneer, Capricorn the sign of the builder. We’ll be moving into new territory psychologically, physically (climate change), and emotionally. Once we've seen where we need to move, we'll need to build the structures required for us to survive and thrive.  We know things have to change — our current way of life cannot sustain the Web of Life on this planet, which means that we are not nurturing and sustaining our own lives and the lives of our children. Our relationship with the Earth  and with each other is in critical condition, and the Pluto-Uranus square can — and will — bring needed change. Those who face the changes with courage, strength and optimism will find that the lessons of these planets will support the founding of a new and better way of life. The choices are, as always, yours to make.

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com


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