Pluto: Planet of Lord Shiva, Part 1

The heart of evolutionary astrology lies in the analysis of Pluto, the planet of transformation and intense cataclysmic cycles, with its relationship to the south (Ketu) and north (Rahu) nodes of the Moon, mathematical points in space where the Sun’s apparent orbit (ecliptic) crosses the Moon’s orbit, in the natal chart. Every sign in astrology has a natural ruling planet and then both sign and planet have very similar qualities. Pluto rules Scorpio, a deeply yin and fixed water sign and both have similar manifestations. The water nature is not like the flowing stream or still river but like ice or the gushing, uncontrollable gurgling of a spring.

Plutonian energy is basically the energy of Lord Shiva, God of Death and Rebirth. In Hinduism, Shiva is the cosmic force of destruction where Lord Brahma initiates creation and Lord Vishnu maintains and sustains. Lord Shiva is also Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. Having grown up learning Indian classical dance, I feel an intense intimacy with the imagery and stories of Shiva and his consort, Parvati, the embodiment of Power. Shiva and Parvati are often depicted in one body, showing the equal embodiment of both the masculine and feminine halves of the Universe.

Nataraja is often depicted in a dance pose with one leg bent across and one standing on a demon, showing the destruction of ignorance and evil. There are snakes wrapped around his neck while the Ganga river flows from his matted locks. He holds a hand drum while a circling ring of cosmic fire encircles him showing the cycle of death and rebirth.

We often see descriptions of the ‘dark’ or egotistical side of Scorpio expressing its’ baser emotions of jealousy, greed, revenge, violence and psychosis in various ways. It’s often represented as a poisonous snake, a creepy scorpion, a scary vampire and a host of other blood curdling depictions. Lord Shiva’s pre-Vedic roots describe his origins in Lord Rudra, embodiment of the wild and known to cause much fear through his wrath and ruthlessness. However Shiva’s Light and evolved side is the courageous eagle who flies with integrity and great penetrative insight and the soaring phoenix, who breaks egoic attachments and attains wisdom. He is also ultimately, Lord Shiva, the Compassionate One.

Death and rebirth often occur intensely with anger, both positively channeled anger and negatively. Shiva’s enraged side is described in some Hindu mythological stories as being violent with Parvati even to the point of cutting her up into pieces, which all fell on Earth. Out of each piece of Her bloomed sacred spaces and Hindu places of worship. But Shiva is also the Eternal Yogi and all Pervasive One, within every minutest particle to the greatest, unfathomable vibrations and thus, represents that which is atomical in nature through Pluto.

Destruction and darkness often take us on a path where we dig deep into the trenches of life and experience, into the gunk and shit of this world, to uncover clarity and wisdom. The Plutonian process is experienced viscerally as it submits us to death and not just as an intellectual exercise. Plutonian death is an actual force required for evolution, a concept more accepted in Eastern philosophies than Western.

Whether it’s due to my dance and love for Lord Nataraja, my Pluto stellium in the 8th house house or some other mysterious reason, it is often difficult for me to contain my connection and love for Shiva/Parvati. Even writing that sentence seems odd because I feel I am one with Pluto so how can I love something that is perceived to be outside of me? How can I love That which I Am? Our innermost, essential and formless nature is desirelessness, a state of peace from which we are not constantly acting but are in eternal stillness.

One of the basic Hindu beliefs is that we live many lives due to our desire to separate from Source/Consciousness/God and act out our desires in order to actually exhaust them to some fruition so that we can finally then merge back with Consciousness and become desireless. This life after life play of activating and evolving our desires is the heart of evolutionary astrology philosophy and the principle of Pluto. The founder of evolutionary astrology, Jeffrey Wolf Green, had a dream in Sanskrit received by Swami Sri Yukteswar, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, which relayed the evolutionary astrology paradigm to him. Greenspent years translating this dream astrologically and was immersed in Eastern philosophies throughout his life.

I remember growing up learning about this belief and discussing it with regards to various aspects of our lives. The careers we aim towards, the families, things and journeys we want and all the good, bad and ugly are all part of our desire nature. Hinduism, say as opposed to Buddhism, believes in a Soul. Green emphasized that Pluto is the Soul, which carries lifetimes of memories, behaviors and karmic patterns and imprints of past forms and desires and the potentials for yet to be forms as all a part of our Evolution. The Pluto keywords are confrontation, change, transformation and metamorphosis, processes the Soul continually undergoes to confront what gives it security and stability to evolve to the next level. The level of confrontation and intensity we experience during evolution is to a certain point up to us depending on how much we resist the change. The more we resist, the more friction we create. The butterfly does often collapse upon itself within its cocoon, as it changes and confronts itself, but ultimately becomes the free butterfly that emerges from its’ chrysalis.

Pluto: Planet of Lord Shiva, Part 2 up next.

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Uranus in Taurus: Stunned in Despair

Over the last few months, as much as I have tried to pull myself out of a bottomless pit of despair, hurt and woundedness, I regrettably have not been able to get out of it. My body has also suffered through one too many extra pastries, lack of exercise, the usual hormonal imbalances and an idly stagnant mental health scene. Until I reached out to my life mentor who as usual put me straight in her firm yet gentle and compassionate way (she is a GODDESS), I was not able to pull myself decently together and reevaluate what the heck I was doing (or not).

Of course you can always look to the intense transits in the sky and one’s evolutionary karma to understand why there is a ton of gunk sitting in front of you, there from whatever reason, through your fault or another’s. Because I am not yet an enlightened monk, I unfortunately cannot dissolve it with the laser focus of my inner light so I need the help of various methods to help me through and astrology is at the end of the day, a big one of those methods.

The pain I’ve been feeling has been so literal, so in the body. Uranus in Taurus has been one of the main culprits with it transiting my Moon sign, and Taurus, in addition to Aries, is the body. Taurus is the physical and emotional needs of a person from which it relates with itself and others and which contribute to survival. It teaches self-sufficiency, foundation-building and learns to draw boundaries. The evolutionary journey starts in Aries, when the Soul is propelled from the womb and experiences the initial spark of life and instinct but it then forms attachments with its surroundings through Taurus, coming to some understanding of what is a part of Its survival and values.

Uranus forces us to rebel and become our Authentic self. It electrifyingly initiates our spiritual liberation in unexpected ways, being that it is also the planet of trauma and shocks. Its continued transit through Taurus means we have been jumpstarted into a journey of digging deep and uncovering the truth of what we need to physically and emotionally survive and be our True Selves. And if we aren’t aware of what our needs are or even the concept of having needs, especially in relationships, then we are up for some surprises.

A divorce, betrayal, loss of income or injury are just a few of the many examples of situations that would force us into learning about why what was didn’t survive and what it is that we will need moving forward to build solid foundations that will last longer. The Taurus bull sure loves sweets so instead of reaching for that pastry, we can focus on what is internally missing in the first place even if it’s painful, go for a brisk walk and make a smoothie instead.

Simultaneously occurring Chiron in Aries makes the stress on the body more difficult, especially the head area, where stress headaches, migraines and general inflammation in the body can become worse. Chiron is a comet similar to Uranus in that it shows us the nature of our wounds. The theme of these wounds is ever present throughout our lives but Chiron is known as the ‘wounded healer,’ so it becomes a great healer after transforming from them.

Aries instinct is masculine in nature, but it exists in everybody regardless of sex or gender, and where we have not been able to exercise our primal self produces pain. Pluto, the planet of intense death and rebirth, has drudged up a lot around our world systems through its transit in Capricorn so intense rage is sure to come up especially given the historical existence of patriarchy over thousands of years with many human beings repressed in so many ways. The collective effects of Chiron in Aries are violence, impulsive behavior and tremendous fear. Repressed rage and anxiety results from separation anxiety (initially from the womb), being cutoff from the primal psyche and unactualized identity.

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And as we are uncovering ways in which our Taurean survival needs are traumatized, you can imagine the effect on the body and mental health. Are we not being forced into taking care of our physical vessels and reevaluating how we manifest our willpower? Do we still have a willpower? I myself have repeatedly imagined my natural brown-skinned self and how she would have felt surviving in nature, killing animals and collecting nuts for food, while adorning herself with natural paint colors taken from flowers, leaves, etc. Sure this imagery has a bunch of connotations but from my view, I get such a feeling of peace and sensual satisfaction from it. Alas, the only option I have is going into a pharmacy with rows of packaging and pick out a ‘beauty’ option to feel hopefully vibrant. I’d rather vomit.

In any case, the uncovering of our independence and earthly selves is paramount, especially if we are quite literally physically to survive and isn’t survival the primary concern in our world after all? These transits will continue for another five years. Instead of eternally saddened about the upsets currently in life or falling into despair, maybe I should realize that indeed there is a ‘basic’ part of my evolutionary journey missing and for much of humankind and it’s up to me to bring it into existence to fulfill the journey. There is no other choice.

Dancing towards Uranus: Lessons in Freedom and Harmony

A Uranus and Venus conjunction happens once almost every year. What a conjunction manifests depends on the nature of the sign the planets conjunct in, or the degree of the zodiac they both ‘collide’ at. On April 22, 2021, they both collided at 10° Taurus. Traditionally ruled by Venus, Taurus energy is determined, devoted and materially creative and resourceful, often the sign of fashion, design, gardening and singing given that it rules the throat chakra and neck. Its’ Venus rulership merges it with Libra territory, giving it artistic ability, such as in dance, and skill in creating harmony, as art is an expression of harmony, symmetry and agreement.

Uranus still has another five years to complete its transit through Taurus. Uranus is an outer planet that guides part of your spiritual journey in evolutionary journey. Its’ mandate is to liberate yourself from the existing structures in your life and to innovate with a spirit of rebellion as you find freedom and new ways of expression. But Uranus’ lightening, electric energy often fulfills its mandate erratically, forcing radical and instantaneous changes and tipping you off your balance and routine.

I felt this transit more intensely because my Moon is in Taurus, it was inconjunct my natal Venus and I have a bunch of planets in Libra. I felt lots of creativity wanting to express itself but was having trouble getting it to flow. It felt as if something new and exciting was coming but hadn’t come yet and the friction kept brewing underneath the surface.

Classical dance is my Libran expression, specifically Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, and now classical Flamenco. Libra is also cooperation and collaboration and there’s nothing more I love than collaborating with others, artists and non-artists, in creating new works and ideas. This is really my life’s breath, and recently I had a chance to get back to my classical Indian dance roots as a couple dance colleagues and I were commissioned to do a video performance for an upcoming virtual convention this summer.

At first my colleagues and I thought we had a couple months to work on our performance but a couple weeks before the Uranus-Venus conjunction, a very early deadline was unexpectedly thrust into our faces and we found ourselves working day and night planning, choreographing, rehearsing and editing video. Having to coordinate the video recording of our performance during a continuing pandemic while a couple of us were still waiting to get our second vaccination shots was an additional challenge. There was venting and complaining along the way while feeling shock as we needed to complete everything with electric speed. I realized that the sudden nature of this whole event was Uranus at play and its conjunction with Venus in Taurus played out in my artwork.

Interestingly, after joyously dancing for two whole days outside amidst alternating shades of light and dark in the sky turned out be an otherworldly experience and we found ourselves feeling light and beautifully fulfilled afterwards. Professional and amateur dancers got a chance to work their artistic muscles and create together after a long time. Longstanding ideas were being exercised and inventions for the future were stirring. Friendship felt stronger and initial planning around creating with different resources such as film and media was occurring. Most importantly, we felt free.

Such is the nature of Uranus – this awesome planet wants you to do something unique and stand out in your authenticity as you experience liberation. It forces you into new experiences, painful and joyous, to experience the different. I had never worked with a drone before and was as happy as a delighted little kid when holding dance poses for a flying, buzzing camera above my head even though I couldn’t feel my legs and arms afterwards! Amidst the craziness of these unforeseen circumstances, I was gleeful with a newfound self. The lesson of Uranus is to attain your freedom with some fun. And with like-minded people.

Instead of focusing on the stress of something unexpected, we can focus on how the experience might lead us to a newfound self. Can we use it to manifest a different part of our selves and even dissolve an outmoded way of functioning? Can we evolve spiritually from it and step into our authenticity? If you can, then you’ve fulfilled a spiritual teaching of Uranus and that’s an accomplishment worth (Taurus) creating for.

Happy Dancing!

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