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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Transit update for the US

Unfortunately to many astrologers, the current upheavals occurring in mainstream life are not surprising and have been predicted for some time. The Pluto Saturn conjunction in Capricorn in Jan 2020 along with the shift of Uranus solidly into Taurus this last year was portended to bring intense crises in order to facilitate the changes and evolution required by the larger forces of our Universe. Taurus rules resources, how we handle money, hard work, labor and literally the Earth while Uranus is the planet of trauma and shocks as well as rebellion and individuation from the status quo. Thus unexpected events and situations will occur in Taurus areas for the remaining six years of its transit in order for authenticity and revolution to be revealed. Uranus first entered Taurus in May 2018 for six months, retrograded back into Aries, then reentered Taurus in March of 2019. Taurus also rules the throat chakra including the neck, thyroid, vocal tract and even the ears so there could be issues in these areas if you are prone. You can wear green, particularly a green gemstone, or copper to stabilize and harmonize these areas.

Specifically for the US, the Uranus transit will affect the health sector and institutions that house people in isolation or silence such as prisons, hospitals, religious and spiritual centers, etc. We can see for instance, how there is a dire shortage of face masks for health care workers who need to protect themselves from covid-19 as well as ventilators for patients and other supplies needed, prompting needed invention and accelerated production by small and large companies around the US. There are also crazy instances of people hoarding supplies and taking advantage of the situation. Uranus is such an erratic, lightening energy and can manifest from the most positive to the negative. On the positive side, Uranus gets us deeply in touch with our intuition and brings ideas into how we can overcome challenges, specifically by exploring technology. The ultimate spiritual lesson of all this from an evolutionary astrology perspective is to shatter thought forms and delusions that no longer serve us, become detached and objective and create interdependently while respecting each other’s values, needs and talents.

The solar and lunar eclipses in 2019 hit the US planets in the 2nd house of survival, namely the Sun, Jupiter and Mercury Retrograde, portending rebirth but low well-being for some time. Saturn/south node conjunctions in 2019 in the 8th house of finance/debt/shared resources also emphasized strain in this area. The Pluto and Saturn conjunction in January 2020 was a climax point to the pressure building up over the last few years and will continue to unleash after effects into the next few years. Plutonian topics include those of atomic measure or lacking internal structure such as viruses, bacteria, transformational and metamorphic processes, power and powerlessness, and essentially creation and destruction. Saturn rules structure, that which is of time and space and the lens through which we understand and interact with our world. An incredibly intense death and rebirth energy colliding with solid, systemic structures in various aspects and levels of life can have a wide and unpredictable impact.

It’s interesting that the Full Moon that occurred on March 9, 2020 was just three degrees away from the US Neptune, highlighting the US Neptune/Mars square. Robert Gover, a renowned journalist and astrologer who researched the US economy over a few centuries, found that historically the triggering of this square aspect has been associated with stock market crashes or panics. Transiting Neptune has been closely approaching this square providing a subtle trigger and will remain in close aspect until February 2022. This full moon provided a momentary trigger and its possible that despite some improvements, there will still be some dips and falls along the way. Saturn will be moving into Aquarius, the sign most compatible with Uranus, for the next three years, and will provide more than ample opportunities to create new, innovative structures that also deal positively with finances and that lend themselves to humanitarianism in our world.

The best advice is to proactively make the required changes in your life with regards to your survival and health as your intuition tells you to do and as the opportunity presents itself. Don’t delay your inspiration to change or follow a new path and save some money if you can because you don’t want a crisis later on to force you to do so. The overall lesson is to learn to create and use resource and talent in innovative, sustainable ways and in balance. Modern technology and improvements particularly being developed by the younger generations will also be a saving grace and a guiding light in our world. Let’s follow their example. Peace.

Transit update: Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio

One of my conference speakers @lisa.m.perez was asking about the impact of Mercury Retrograde this month (Nov 2019) and I have to say unlike maybe most people out there, this particular transit is giving me a sense of reprieve rather than fright and fear. It might be because I have Mercury retrograde natally in my chart and because I have a shit ton of planets in my 8th house, the house of Scorpio, so I’m used to the scary stuff and there’s not much that surprises me anymore. What I do feel the important element in this transit is that it will require us to above all else: get real and be honest. Maybe that will be the solution to dealing with the scary, intense energies some are feeling and to cutting through the bullshit we are pervaded with in our lives.

Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio, an outer spiritual planet whose energy is atomic and obsessive, and governs death and rebirth, metamorphosis, good v. evil, the dark side, destruction, violence and of the like. In evolutionary astrology, Pluto is also the Soul that houses our unconscious desires that want to manifest in this life, the path of evolution that we may not be always conscious of but which nevertheless dictates our choices and manifests through Mars, the ego-drive and conscious desires. As Mars transits the later degrees of Libra during the entire Mercury retrograde, we are essentially being directed to take an honest look at how we are or are not manifesting harmony and balance in our lives particularly in relationships and this may involve getting real about what our limits are or where we need to take more risks in life.

We have relationships with everything, from the people in our world to the paperwork sitting at our desk and our desks. Where are we not at peace? Where do we feel isolated, disconnected, suppressed or over-involved? Where are we tolerating too much bullshit and what have we been ignoring? Are we scared, even petrified, to change? And where are we disconnected from our intuition and truth? With Mercury’s higher octave Uranus transiting Taurus for the next six years, we need to take a hard look at our finances and the resources we use in our lives. Money, debt and shared resources in partnership is a Scorpio topic so maybe it’s time to take advantage of this transit and reevaluate how these are constructed in your life.

Begin to at least think about adjustments that may need to be made because it’s better to be proactive when the cosmic energies are supportive of such reevaluation and one’s intuition may be indicating so instead of being forced to do it later after a crisis occurs. Uranus is after all the planet of trauma and sudden surprises, the lightening bolt that shatters everything so that you become the real you, separate from the status quo. But its’ electric energy also provides those flashes of insight and genius that propel the necessary changes into action.

And if we aren’t getting what we truly need, even after we ask or strive for it, then it’s time to negotiate. Negotiate with others and with yourself. This is how you strike a balance and achieve momentary levels of harmony along the way as you continue the process. And always be clear about what your needs are. Not just the physical ones but the emotional and psychological ones too. Take time to understand what those are because clarity is priceless. We can’t be clear with others until we are clear with ourselves first, thus time spent achieving clarity is never time wasted. From a woman’s point of view, I can’t stress this enough.

Well it seems like I definitely got serious by the end of this post. I guess there is something definitely eerie to this retrograde. But it may be something eerily good if we are aware, probing, passionate and resilient, all Scorpio and Taurus qualities that can easily be harnessed at this time if we are focused and determined.

Love and Peace ~ Anjali

Transit update: Venus Retrograde in Scorpio/Libra

Venus, the planet of reconciliation and harmonization, began its retrograde motion on Oct 5 at 10°Scorpio and will go direct on Nov 16 at 25°Libra. This is not an easy transit as it asks us to enter spaces that haven’t been grasped yet and to face vague fears as they come up. As we go through this process, emotions and experiences start to congeal into some coherency and understanding, and we are then pulled again to go deeper and integrate along the way. This transit is about exploring unknown spaces and there is great potential to expand the psyche combined with Jupiter’s continued transit in Scorpio.

Scorpio is a sign that wants to get to the heart of the matter, and has very low tolerance for confusion and bullshit. Venus as balancer will slowly help synthesize the reality coming to the surface while Scorpio’s presence won’t let it fall into its tendency of superficializing the reality away and keeping things ‘peaceful’ and ‘nice.’ Venus as natural ruler of Libra also brings relationships and intimacy into focus so issues around control and manipulation can surface internally and/or externally. Where is Venus Retrograding in your chart? This is the area that becomes activated and because this transit works in 8-year cycles, the last time it occurred was in Oct 2010. Are certain matters coming up for you now that were relevant at that time? Mercury’s current transit through Scorpio will also naturally align our thinking around these topics.

As we surrender to the depths, Jupiter’s influence will help us develop new philosophies as well as a view of the bigger picture behind the events in our lives. There is a greater potential to also merge and unify the separated parts within the psyche. Unification (Libra) is the theme underlying all this, also accented by the new moon in Libra on Oct 8. The Full Moon in Taurus on Oct 24 may provide some inspiration as to how we can ground this energy and actually apply it in our lives. Understanding Truth involves realizing what we need to actually become honest about and the journey is by no means an easy process. Scorpio is a fixed water sign so it’s best to just flow with the energy and make necessary adjustments along the way.