Transcript of Radio Show: The Path of Light, The Way of Will and Purpose
I wanted to talk today and I titled the show, “The path of Light, the Way of Will and Purpose”, and what I meant by that is that we find ourselves here on Earth, and we are all part of this great cosmos, and involved in all these experiences of energies and energy-forms that we are partaking in or influenced by. Astrology is the study of all these different cosmic influences from very near at hand like the Moon, and we see the tides rising and falling, and the cycles of night and day and everything else that goes on that have framed our existence and formed our sense of time and space, and from this we began to notice patterns as we became self-aware.
So what I would like to do is go into this understanding of Astrology and the study of cycles and see how we might understand it, or how Astrologers understand it and help you understand it too. Astrology in many ways can be largely understood as the study of cycles. From the daily revolution of the Earth moving from day to night, to the Moon's orbit around the earth in 29 days, in waxing and waning, and the planets orbiting around the sun, and on to the Sun’s cycle around the Milky Way, Astrologers have always sought to understand these various and hierarchical “wheels within wheels” that map out the reality of we call Space-Time.
When trying to understand the life of an individual, or a group of individuals, or smaller or larger organizations, it really is important to keep in mind how varied and interrelated all these cycles are. Depending upon what you are trying to determine, you may focus upon just the immediate factors forming the conditions for a person. Or we may pull back to consider the fate of nations and civilizations that span the range of many centuries. These varying influences are a wonder to behold but making sense of them and understanding the true nature of what is happening can be confusing and often humbling, but ultimately and reassuringly comforting to see that there is an order to the universe. It is what I like to call the “Music of the Stars”.
I thought it would be useful to consider the hierarchy of influences that we should always remember are working together to influence what happened before and what is happening now. Taking it to the highest level, the first level is Galactic. Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, rotates in about 250 million years, which in effect becomes one Galactic Year. As we spin around with the sun, our planetary system moves up and down within that galactic plane, weaving and bobbing. It is beyond our mortal limits to know what are the different divisions of space that we encounter in these 250 million years, but there are those who speculate that it would probably illustrate or form long wave geological changes and other changes upon the earth. And we know that our very Milky Way Galaxy rotates within a vaster collection of local galaxies, which in turn are moving in an even greater rotational cycle, “Wheels within wheels” indeed!
The second level is our solar system. We have all seen models of our planetary system, with the concentric ring of planets around the Sun, from the planet Mercury to Venus to Earth, and then beyond the Earth to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The phenomena of cycles astrologers use are focused upon the cycle of relationships of the planets to the Earth, and their cycles with one another. This is what I principally use in my readings for individuals, and for examining the world of Mundane or Worldly Astrology too.
Precession of Equinoxes
But there are other cycles within this realm, and one that many of you may have heard about. The Precession of the Equinoxes is formed by another motion of the Earth relative to the local area of our Galaxy. We all know that the Earth tilts in one orbital year, having the northern then the southern hemisphere be more directly pointed towards the Sun. It is the cause of our seasonal experiences here on Earth.
But the Earth also “wobbles” in such a fashion, that looking to the North Pole, we find it aligns with a different star overhead over the course of some 25,000 years or so. For Astrologers, this precession of the equinoxes moves backward through the Signs in about 2,000 years per Sign. This creates a division between the Sidereal (starry) and Tropical (local) astrology. Where exactly a Sidereal Sign begins or ends is not easily determined, but the study of these precessions is certainly something intriguing.
When we look at these Astrological Ages let us begin at 12,000 years ago, (and there is a reason for that), in the Age of Leo from around 10,500 to 8000 BCE. That was the age that is critical to our understanding as to what is happening now. That was the period when humanity took the fateful step of moving from hunting-gathering lifestyles to ever more sedentary ways of a pastoral and agricultural life. It was at that time that we began to alter our world evermore significantly. And here we are, one half of a cycle of precession later dealing with the end result of that choice, which is the mounting threats of Climate Change.
From 8000 to 6000 BCE, we had the Age of Cancer, because the precession moves backwards through the signs, which witnessed the age of domestication and what became known as the worship of the “Great Mother”. From 6000 to 4000 BCE, we had the Age of Gemini, and writing and trade routes were flourishing, and polytheistic religions were prominent. From 4000 to 2000 BCE, the Age of Taurus came to be, and we see the rise of the first true empires and of Bull worship and imagery. Then from 2000 to O BCE, the Age of an Aries, we see the beginning of the move away from Polytheism to Monotheism, and there is an eruption in this Age of Aries, the first sign, of new thoughts and philosophies seeding the world. This was the age of Confucius and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Zoroaster and Pythagoras and many, many others.
Then from 0 to 2000 CE, which is our time, this was the Age of Pisces, the Age of Monotheism, or some would argue spiritually and psychologically, the Age of the Individual and the Ego.
And now we find ourselves here, whether it has already happened, or is happening or about to happen, now from 2000s to the 4000, we are now moving into the Age of Aquarius, which I argue will be the age when humans move beyond egoic limitations, and form an ever more inclusive and communal based consciousness. It is when we begin to manage ourselves and our relationships to one another, and with all life on this planet, in a holistic and healing manner.
Now, when we want to understand what has been driving our history of late, I would certainly want to begin with this observational model of the precession of the equinoxes as a big framing of understanding. But then I would want to consider what various planetary cycles are currently in play and compare them to previous moments in history.
Jupiter/Saturn, The Great Mutation
Of course, nothing is ever a repetition as all these cycles move at various time frames and though we can measure repeating alignments of planets, when looking at all the planets together, there is never going to be an exact repetition between them. Of interest to us, considering the possibly that we are in or at the beginning of the Age of Aquarius is another cycle astrologers study, the pattern of Jupiter and Saturn, which every 20 years move from conjunction to conjunction, and those conjunctions occur in a series, aligning in one element for 200 years or so before the next 200 years in the next element.
The most recent ages as determined by this cycling of Jupiter and Saturn were as follows: We were in a Water Age from 1425 to 1663, that would be Jupiter and Saturn each time they came together every 20 years aligning in either Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces. And I call that Age of Water from 1425 to 1663 an Age of Faith. The previous Water Age was 571 to 809. Then the next period is the Fire Age from 1663 to 1842, called the Age of Explorations, (and the previous Fire period was 809 to 1047). Then we have the age that is now ending, the Earth Age from 1842 to 2020, and this is an Age of Materialization, (and the previous time was 1047 to 1226). And what we are moving into or we have just entered is an Age of Air, the Age of Idealization from 2020 to 2219, (and the previous Age of Air was 1226 to 1425, which was also the time of the 12th century renaissance, it was called the “little renaissance”).
What this means for us is that we are moving from a materialistic age into another, and what we will know or name it is yet to be determined. Again, this Age of Earth is ending with the existential threat of climate change, wherein our worship of the material life has been the very creator of our present challenges.
But we must remember the planets do not create the manifestation, they inform it and they time it. We made choices, we discovered how to release energy that had been locked away for millions of years and we released it in a geological “second”. And now we see the consequences in the loss of life, the narrowing of diversity of all life forms, the extremes mounting in climate and weather, and indeed the Novel COVID-19 pandemic, all of these reflections and manifestations of what we have done by bringing about climate change. We are crafty, we are highly intelligent and capable with our tools of science and technology. But we lack wisdom and humility. To remind us of this, we are being humbled by the teeniest of life forms, a simple virus.
Planetary Orbits and Alignments
The orbit of the planets and their alignments with one another form a very intricate series of influences, and some of these orbits are far longer than any individual's lifespan, with Pluto being 245 years to get around the solar system or Neptune 164 years. So, they can only be partially experienced by any person. We then have Uranus’ orbit of 84, and Saturn 29 years, and Jupiter 12 years.
But then we have the synodic cycles of the planets to one another, like that Jupiter-Saturn pair, and we look at all the pairs from Pluto to Saturn. For Pluto, the cycle with Neptune is 492 years, and with Uranus is 127 years, and Saturn is 33 years. Then for Neptune to Uranus is 171 years, and then to Saturn is 36 years. Finally, for Uranus the cycle with Saturn is 45 years.
With so many cycles interweaving and intersecting one another, what I like to call “The Dance of the Planets”, it is quite a challenge to ascertain exactly which influences are more relevant or revealing in any period. So, what I like to do is proceed in an orderly manner, from longest to shortest, so I always look to Pluto and then to Neptune and then Uranus, to see what the three Long-Wave Evolutionary influences might be.
Pluto in Capricorn
As many of you know, I have been examining the role of Pluto’s cycle through the signs, and the significance of its series of passages through the Sign of Capricorn, the sign of Institutions, Reality and Structures, and looking at history. Our moment from 2008 to 2024 can be understood as the next step after the previous times of 1762 to 1778, and before that 1516 to 1532, and then 1270 to 1287. In each of these periods, we saw the end of a particular form of Political-Cultural and Economic order and the emergence of a new one, along with a shift in the character and qualities of the kind of human that would exist in that period.
I am sure that the people in each period that were going through this change felt that their world was coming undone, that it was for them like an “end of the world”. But given the challenges that have been created and presented to us, by us, in our time, this Pluto passage seems more consequential given the existential threat of climate change. Perhaps it is because we are at the end/beginning of a Jupiter-Saturn cycle, or more likely (or certainly) because we are at the end of the 2000 year-long Age of Pisces, and the Age of Aquarius is upon us.
All the above is looking at history with regards to the general phenomena and cycles of the planets one to another. But there is also what many of you are more familiar with, the study of the planets with regards to individual charts. In mundane astrology, we look at the charts of leaders and nations and governments and companies and other forms of organization. With regards to the USA, I have been noting how once again how Pluto is so instructive here.
Pluto in USA Chart
What the USA is experiencing now is the very first return of Pluto to its Natal position. Pluto rules many things, but for me its root nature concerns the Third Principle of Divinity, the Divine Will, and then all the lesser wills that are formed from the One. As Uranus drives the principle of humans developing ever freer minds, to become ever more individuated, and Neptune rules the principle of Unconditional Love that holds the whole of Creation together by the love of the One in all us lesser ones, Pluto holds these two together in the Energy-Form of the “container of spirit”, a Centered Will and Consciousness.
Pluto is significant in the chart of the USA as it is its rising planet, leading the nation and the chart in this case, and it is placed in the Second House, which is the House of Value, and for a nation reveals the value of a nation and its source of wealth. For me, Pluto here spiritually means that the USA is endowed with the value and power of Alchemy, of the root power of Combination and Transformation, the power of Rebirth and Renewal, and there is much to be said for the spirit of renewal and transformation that the USA has demonstrated.
But I would also argue that what truly constitutes the value of any human organization, from a family to a corporation to a country, is the value of the human beings who formed that group. Their intelligence, their love, their wisdom is the measure of a country's wealth, and therefore how we treat one another, how we encourage and support or deny and limit the self-fulfillment of each and every person in the USA, is the measure of how far we have come and how far we need to go with regards to fulfilling our promises to one another.
But when Pluto is channeled or experienced in a negative manner it becomes the vehicle for manipulation, domination, and enslavement. It is the will misused and breaking the barrier of another person's will is the spiritual crime of Trespassing. Given the history of the USA, founded upon genocide and slavery, it is quite telling that Pluto is found here.
Pluto & Mercury in USA Chart
The USA Pluto is opposite to Mercury, and Mercury rules a nation’s means of communication, like a being’s nervous system. It rules the thought-form patterns and the development (or lack) of intelligence. Each time Pluto has aligned with Mercury and then with itself in history, the USA has confronted the nature of how we value one another. The previous times in the late 1840s and into the 1850s witnessed the struggle over new states being allowed to enter as slave or free states; the 1930s with FDR and “The New Deal” in the attempt to provide some greater support to the general welfare after the Great Depression; and the 1980s and the Reagan revolution, which in the succeeding 40 years since then, has led to the most unequal distribution of wealth in the USA since the 1920s, a factor which led to the Great Depression.
Now we are here in 2020 and 2021, with Pluto opposite Mercury and Pluto returning to its Natal position too. The planets do not determine what will happen. We are the creators and instruments of Action and Will, and the content of what we made and the pain and joy we face is formed by us not the planets. They time the unfoldment of patterns, they guide our steps with meanings and underlying causality, but we choose well or poorly.
The choices made in the 1980s and beyond, within the economic structures themselves and within the legal and tax structures of government, led to the great divide we face between one another now. For example, from 1980 to 2020 the gross domestic product of the USA rose by 80% in 40 years, it almost doubled. But the manner in which that growth was distributed was far less equal than the previous period from 1940 to 1980. In the last 40 years, the bottom 20% of the USA population gain 20% more wealth; the middle 40% gain 50% more wealth; but the top .01% gained 420% more in their wealth.
In terms of wealth distribution, the USA is one of the worst of all the so-called “advanced societies” and this inequality is even greater when distributed and defined by race and ethnicity. This is the principle reason why the USA has appalling life expectancies and health outcomes compared to much of the world.
Once again, here in 2020 and 2021, we are being asked to look at how we treat the value of our nation, of how we care for the true wealth of the land, which is our people.
By many measures we have been failing and the crises of the pandemic and climate change, and the rising call for social justice and the various conflicts between groups, all of this is calling on each of us to decide what kind of world we wish to leave to those who come after us.
Will we be the ones that made a better choice for the future? Will we sacrifice for one another and for our children's children?
We are at the end of an age; all these crises are really one.
We are going through a Spiritual Crisis.
It is a choice but let us choose to make this a Spiritual Awakening and Rebirth too.