The Tyranny of our Time, pt II
5 years, 3 months ago Posted in: ., Astrology, Decolonialism, The Storm 0

As promised in my previous post, I want to discuss what I see in the stars regarding this coming year, as well as a bit about what happened last year. It is ironic to me that in spite of having little personal attachment to New Year as a holiday, I am taking on a very similar action as the two-faced Roman god Janus who looks both forward and backward through Time and for whom January is named. But the swell that has been generated by our collective transition into another calendar year has a particularly potent frequency this year, much as last years’ did. Many people experienced extreme hardship and loss in 2014, and indeed some of those who’ve had the worst of it are making international news, stirring the winds of change and fomenting revolution. The storm is here. The deaths of so many innocent people of color at the hands of police and the lack of accountability for their brutality has shown that institutionalized racism is still alive and well. And on another level, it has been revealed that the heads of state during the Bush years were well aware of the torture being executed in the name of the American people- also with little sign from this government to hold those responsible accountable. The centuries-old push for profit at the expense of indigenous people has also been in the spotlight with the Keystone XL pipeline debate raging on- to the point where Native American tribes have declared it a violation of their sovereignty and therefore an act of war. It is clear that democracy and justice in America are failing in the face of an increasingly militarized industrial state. 

If we look at the start of the new year at 0:00 hours on January first and think of this as the natal chart for the year, there is an fascinating pattern that both last year and this year share in common- both years are starting out with a Grand Cross combined with the infamous Pluto-Uranus square that many other astrologers have noted is a particularly vexing aspect. More on that in a bit. It should be noted that it is not common for a year to be starting off with a Grand Cross- in the last 20 years it only occurred twice in 2006 and 1993, and in the next 20 years it won’t occur at all. The Grand Cross, an aspect of at least 4 planets making a square pattern in the chart (at least four 90 degree angles and two 180), is noted by astrologers as a particularly powerful though challenging pattern that shows up. It generally presents with incredibly dynamic and powerful forces fraught with obstacles, resistance, and friction. It is often referred to it as the “make it or break it” planetary constellation. Does this mean that last year and this year are our most difficult years in a while? Not really. I see it more as an uncomfortable opportunity being forced upon us to confront our shadow and rise above it. 

Last years’ Grand Cross was a mutable one, which implies a certain tendency to want to live a comfortable life and not deal with the difficulties manifesting before us. But because the pressure of such difficulties becomes so great, we are compelled to take action. This was certainly true for me, and I think many others. The injustices and lack of accountability that came to light this year were certainly nothing new. But it seemed that they just kept coming to the forefront of our awareness like never before. And the nation responded. Unfortunately, the wheels of the American justice system turn slowly, and there will be more work to do. Given the preponderance of clashes with authorities from last year, it is likely that it will boil over into this year. And on top of it, the Grand Cross this year is predominantly a cardinal one, meaning that the discomfort presented by the Cross will be met with greater resistance from figures of authority, requiring great self-confidence to overcome and realize the true potential of the opportunity presented.

A potent facet of the 2014 Grand Square is that the Sun, Moon, and Mercury were all critical members of this configuration, in conjunction with Pluto- thus making the Pluto-Uranus square one arm of the Grand Cross. More than any other aspect, this poses the energy of the year as particularly conflictive and prone to upheaval. The Pluto-Uranus square is an aspect that comes around only every so often and is associated with major revolutionary events, last occurring at the twilight of the 60’s counter-culture revolution (65-66). Pluto, as Lord of the Underworld, rules over all areas of our life where we have unacknowledged or hidden baggage- and Uranus, by astrological reckoning, is the revolutionary who moves swiftly (and sometimes erratically) to bring all that to light and institute change. This square between these two giants, who orbit very slowly and therefore represent longer cycles than do the inner planets, represents the penultimate struggle to deal with whatever skeletons we’ve hidden in the closet. The Sun/Moon/Mercury/Pluto conjunction gives extra weight to those skeletons as well as emotional potency, but also shines the light on them, revealing the scary truth of what we thought was long since past. They’re all in Sagittarius in the fourth house, thus the battle ground being that of our highest philosophies and ideals as they regard domestic issues- all very fitting for the conflicts we witnessed in 2014. Also, present in the Grand Cross is Mars in the first house, the house of it’s rulership, adding a boost of aggressive energy to the mix, guaranteeing that conflict will be extra spicy. Interestingly, Venus is completely unaspected in this chart, lending no soothing touch to assuage the harsh tone of the fight invoked by this configuration. 

Sidereal Chart for January 1, 0:00, 2014:



By contrast, the Grand Cross that kicks off 2015 is only slightly less menacing. The Sun is still conjunct Pluto, and the Pluto-Uranus square is still very much in effect, but now it is not forming one of the legs of the Grand Cross, instead now cutting through it at a nice 45 degree angle. The revolution is still hot, only now it has- contour. Mars and Jupiter are now in opposition, indicating more social unrest, but now Saturn is squaring off with both of them to make sure the establishment (i.e. government, corporate elite, etc.) is fully in the conversation- expect some serious push-and-pull politics this year. Mars is in the fifth house- another fiery house- and under Capricorn in which it is exalted. The difference between exaltation and rulership in astrology is an important one- all planets work well from both, though rulership is more powerful. It implies duty, responsibility, and burden, whereas exaltation bestows power without the responsibility. In Mars’s case, this is not necessarily a good thing, implying that the active and aggressive nature of Mars may be goaded into extremism. Jupiter in Cancer is also exalted, thus the extravagant nature of Jupiter/Zeus is likely to become more obvious. And on the other end of the Grand Cross, the Moon is in the eighth house, on the cusp of Aries into Taurus, the later of which it is exalted in. The emotional hotheadedness (Moon in Aries) expressed by Michael Brown’s stepfather’s exclamation “Burn the bitch down!” that echoed through the political fervor, is in transition to a more stable and calm state in Taurus. But, it’s in the house of Death, Sex, and Transformation, so nonetheless has a particular sting to it that will continue to rile people to emotional volatility. Given the set of circumstances this is not unwarranted. Only now, I expect to see the emotional state of things take on a deeper tone and become increasingly effective in it’s ability incite change. 

Sidereal chart for January 1, 0:00, 2015:



If there is one word that I could use to sum up all Grand Crosses, it is dynamic. On a psychological level, they represent areas of our life (the planets) operating from fundamentally different and generally antagonistic view points. As a collective reading for the undercurrents of our society, the planets come to represent different groups and agendas- for example Saturn almost invariably represents the establishment and that part of our collective story that wants to keep things as they’ve always been- and also typifies the “fiscal conservative”, a term which has lost it’s meaning in the American political landscape. Mars on the other hand can be seen operating on both sides of the conflict- in hyper-weaponized police indulging in unnecessary violence thereby landing in the spotlight (Mars in the first house), and in the angry protesters who take to the streets to make a point that things are not right with the world (Mars in Capricorn/5th house). Between the two Grand Crosses, Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter are constant, though shifting in their positions and signs, and thus sum up the commonality between 2014 and 2015; society (Jupiter’s realm) experiencing conflict (Mars) that has us reflecting on these core issues that strike a deep emotional tone (Moon).

What this year may see different from last year however, is a softened, and possibly more artful expression of the emotional volatility in response to the establishments stubborn agenda, with Venus-conjunct-Mercury in trine with the Moon, working together to mediate a peaceful resolution through Mercury’s sextile relationship to Saturn. Practically speaking, I see this manifesting as is more and larger peaceful marches with theater, puppetry, music and eloquent speeches expressing the outrage so many are feeling. While riots and such dramatic actions may strike at the wallets of business-as-usual and have resulted in change at times, creative solutions that speak to everyones’ humanity have an incredible power that is not to be underestimated. As Lao Tsu said in the Tao Te Ching “the soft overcomes the hard”- just as water wears down stone. May 2015 be a year of dynamic change through continued fluid and soulful expression of the kind of world we want. It will require courage, persistence, fortitude, and no small amount of humor to make it through and see that new world, but it is possible if we are individually and collectively willing to step up and face the storm. 


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