Pluto Opposing Jupiter (Jan. 17, Jul. 8, Nov. 20)
In 2011 we face another, perhaps our greatest, challenge and opportunity, the Opposition of Pluto to our Jupiter. Jupiter rules the principles, beliefs and laws of a nation. Venus is the value "behind" the law, but Jupiter is the law itself as well as other embodiments of what we have discovered to be "True", as in Science, Philosophy and Religion. Jupiter also rules how we relate to one another and to the rest of the world. Essentially, Jupiter does this because it rules the beliefs we hold that determine our attitudes and actions towards one another and the world.
Pluto rules the power of transformation, of death and rebirth and the great struggle of powers with one another as they exercise their will. The opposition of Pluto to Jupiter signifies a great moment in our history when we must make absolutely clear, (the opposition should be the moment of revelation), what are the principles we understand, stand upon and project out among ourselves and into the world as a nation. To help us see how this might play out in 2011, let us look at Pluto's previous transits of our Jupiter.
Pluto's previous alignments to Jupiter
The previous alignments of Pluto with Jupiter may provide us with some insight as to what is being demanded of us now. The first transit of Pluto to Jupiter was a square that lasted from 1827 to 1829. During this period a fundamental shift in the character of the Nation was experienced as exemplified by the beginning of the era of Andrew Jackson, which heralded the end of the so-called "era of good feelings" and the re-emergence of partisan politics. This was in part the consequence of the empowerment of the general white/male population who now were given the right to vote directly for the electors for president. As a result, Jacksonian populism stoked the fires of the battle lines that had been forming between the wealthy financial, merchant and manufacturing interests as against the vast agrarian and laboring groups. An example of this, and one of Jackson's signature accomplishments, was to do away with the US central bank at that time, (sound familiar Mr. Bernanke?), as he stood for the "common man" against the wealthy special interests.
The next transit of Pluto to Jupiter was a conjunction from 1918 to 1920. President Woodrow Wilson's vision of what the world should be after the debacle of World War I fell on deaf ears, both at home in Congress, and with the world leaders who met at Versailles, France. American idealism, as embodied in Wilson's view of a new world order, the putting forth of our "truth" (Jupiter), was rejected by the old guard in Europe and at home. America retreated into itself and did not participate in the League of Nations, and, as a result, sowed, some would argue, the seeds for the next great World War.
Internally, the progressive movement's attempt to "reform" America led to the enactment of morality by fiat as embodied in the 18th Amendment, (Prohibition).This led to the most flagrant disregard of "law" since most Americans ultimately did not agree with that expression of social virtue (value). Yet, at the same time, the forces of progress finally achieved the enfranchisement of the "other" half of the US population with the passage of the 19th Amendment, (Women's right to vote).
The last transit of Pluto to Jupiter was a square from 1973-1974. As before, Pluto's transformational energies as well as its signature effect to bring about a great struggle of wills played out in various spheres of American life and with the World. Politically this was exemplified by Watergate and the fall from power of a president for the first time in our history. All three branches of government struggled with what had been unleashed by a "simple" break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in Washington, DC. Socially, one of the most divisive issues to this day was enacted into law in a Supreme Court decision that protects, as a private decision, a woman's right to decide the question of abortion.
In international matters, seemingly, one could argue, as a some kind of karmic counterpoint to the attempt by the US to promote and push its vision at Versailles in 1918-20, the struggle in the Mid-East and the Arab-Israeli conflicts led to the Arab Oil embargo, as OPEC attempted to force America and other Western powers to yield to their point of view by choking off the life-blood of what drives the modern world economy.
2011 Pluto Opposition to Jupiter
So what is to be our opportunity and challenge this year? What are we faced with as a nation internally, and what is the nature of our cooperation or struggle with other willful members of the world of nations? It seems that at each alignment of Pluto with our Jupiter, we as a nation are challenged to relate to one another with or through a new understanding. Likewise, at each alignment there seems to be a similar demand to shift the manner in which we relate to the world around us.
Within our borders, the fundamental question of the balance of powers between the Federal government and the States, a question that has been put before us again and again, is certainly a key aspect of the struggle over our principles now. As Venus rules our values, Jupiter rules those values in operation, seen in our principles of conduct between one another which we have certified, agreed to and codified into the Law of the land.
Whereas the Pluto opposition to Venus raised this question in a personal manner in 2009-10, (the struggle over values was personalized in the crescendo of rhetoric that bordered on screaming "Fire" in a crowded theatre at times), Pluto opposing Jupiter will now move these same questions to the stage of an argument over principles, over "the truth", which will lead to a struggle over our rules of conduct, over the law itself. Certainly, one example of this struggle is the attempt to provide some form of universal medical coverage for all Americans, with the immediate reaction among a number of states to challenge and seek to void that Federal statute. This conflict will ultimately lead to a Supreme Court decision that will certainly please only part of the population.
Echoing the Jacksonian era, the calls to "reign in" or "do away" with the Federal Reserve Bank could shake the financial markets as new uncertainties are added to the economic order still recovering from the shock of 2008-09. Yet the Federal Reserve chart seems to indicate that it may have weathered that storm for now. This story seems more of convenient distraction to turn attention away from a bigger story.
Veiled behind the front of populist fervor, powerful corporations led by financial capital seek to turn back any attempt to impose any sensible regulation on "the market", whose fevered bubble bursting we have yet to recover from. The calls to bring to "Justice" (Jupiter) those who led us over the precipice have been met by the manipulation by the powerful (Pluto) as we are all made to feel guilty (Pluto) since, "well, didn't we all behave badly?"
Will the opposition of Pluto to Jupiter smash through the "smoke and mirrors" and reveal the depths of deceit by those who have been entrusted to preserve and protect our values; or will Pluto's power to veil the truth by those who can and will manipulate the system lead us from this last crisis into the next "big one" in the not too distant future? This is one of the questions that must be addressed as the United States struggles to balance Jupiter (Truth) and Pluto (Power). Truth is Power, but Power can corrupt the truth. Which will it be?
Challenges from abroad may bring some of our internal struggles into focus. Certainly, the power of the individual to challenge the larger order, (by digging into the secret depths (Pluto) of any system), by exposing "the Truth" (Jupiter), has played out this last year (and into this one) with the phenomenon known as Wikileaks. Although many of us have been made aware of the revelations about Iraq and Afghanistan policies that were contained in diplomatic and military documents, there are other revelations that have been promised that expose malfeasance or corruption in the economic centers of power. Perhaps this will not indirectly expose some players closer to home.
Whereas in 1918-20 the theatre for willful struggle played out between a rising America and the old world of European powers, and the 1973-74 battle of wills featured an America as a superpower facing its very real vulnerability over the control of oil, it would appear that the "test of wills and principles" in this period may feature an America that has stumbled wondering how it might hold its own against a new power asserting itself in the East. We have become a debtor nation whose "consumer" society depends upon the willingness of our provider of goods to keep extending us credit. We wish to promote our Truth (Jupiter), but there seems little Power (Pluto) behind it. To many it seems our time for "greatness" is past, and that we are in decline and that we do not understand how or why this has happened.
Our True Source of Strength and Value
To begin to understand, we must come back to the Natal or birth chart and remember that America's greatest strength, (with the two "benefics" of Astrology, Venus and Jupiter, Values and Principles, in the 7th house of relationship), is to be found in our great generosity of spirit towards one another and the rest of the world. Our strength, our real wealth, lies in our continuing contribution to the evolution of a greater spiritual understanding of the mystery and power of freely formed relationships with one another.
The dynamic, quickening nature of these voluntary relationships, the very special "free" associations that were observed by de Tocqueville in the 1830's in his "Democracy in America", have been a challenge for us throughout our history. We seek to find a way to balance the efforts to fulfill our selves as unique individuals, (to be "free"), while, at the same time, we must honor, support and sacrifice for one another in those very associations we have with each other. To some who may believe in a form of "absolute libertarianism", we must understand that you cannot be alone to do whatever you want and be free. Freedom is a social reality that is created through mutual understanding, tolerance and forgiveness; it is founded upon the knowledge that our true potentials are discovered, expressed and extended through our mutual support of one another.
Where two or more are gathered together, acknowledging their uniqueness, yet seeking through their association to develop one another in and through that relationship...there is Freedom. Not freedom "from" something, but Freedom "to" become what we will be. We are not human beings; we are truly human becomings. We can become what we will become because we agree to turn to one another and create the future...together.
Our Challenge Now
Pluto opposing Jupiter asks nothing less of us than to understand, truly understand and articulate, our shared root principles that we must now affirm and ask each of us to honor and fulfill. Pluto will force this as we experience the exercise (or mis-exercise) of power either within our country, or between us and another nation. This drama will play out as a confrontation of Will or Power (Pluto) with Truth or Principles (Jupiter). It will appear "out there", but the true struggle and hope for us all rests upon each and every one of us to do the work within ourselves.
What each of us must do is look within and find what values/principles bind us one to another; and seek, affirm and secure our foundations in one another. Do not be distracted by the noises outside; instead, listen to your inner voice, which will always guide you to the realization that you are never alone, and there is hope for a better world. That better world is founded upon our coming together and understanding that it is this illusion that we are separate from one another, whether within our nation or between our nation and the world, that has always been our self-limitation.
The greater Truth is that we are all one in Spirit; we are sparks of the divine seeking to understand ourselves and our companions in this great journey. As our founding fathers so eloquently inscribed upon the Seal of the United States, "E pluribus unum"... "Out of many One".