Uranus and Pluto have received a lot of air time since 2012 when they began to form their lengthy square that is currently fading into history. The impact of this square, which has shaken up countless peoples’ lives, has been impossible to ignore. For many, looking back to life pre 2012 is like watching a different person, barely recognisable in some cases. So much has changed, within and without, that the notion of total rebirth is not too drastic a description of the events of recent years. Many people have been shaken awake by this square, forced to confront themselves and their lives, the consequences of choices previously made and the impact of living a half-life in the shadows of possibility for so long. It has been a time of both trauma and ecstasy, challenge and liberation. Few have been left untouched. The initiation into the Aquarian Age has well and truly begun.
Like all initiations, however, it is just the beginning, not the whole story, and true strength is born of knowing how to respond after the intensity has passed and the next phase has begun. This is where we find ourselves now. The energetic themes of the past three years are lifting and changing, morphing into something altogether different. Uranus and Pluto are parting ways, releasing their grip each upon the other. This signals a parting within us too, for as above so below. Change comes in new guises now and we need to recognise it when it arrives at our door.
Uranus and Pluto are hugely powerful planetary heavyweights. Together they augur the birth of global cycles and massive societal change. When two planets square each other we are forced to take action or endure mounting intensity and frustration. Our environment constantly blocks and obstructs us, pens us into a corner, pushes us away from where we need to be until we take responsibility for our own lives and make the changes necessary for true progress and deep transformation. Pluto rules the shadow, those parts of ourselves we avoid and ignore, deny and project on to others. In its square with Uranus we have been faced with the consequences of doing so as our shadow has repeatedly risen up to meet us from the outside, confronting us with the consequences of trying to be someone we’re not, of refusing to claim our sovereignty, of living small and safe when we needed to break out and risk freedom. Uranus, the Great Awakener, creates radical disruption. It demands nothing but truth, no matter how shocking. It perceives a future in which there are no lies, no fear and no constriction. This prospect may seem dangerous in our world as it stands, but Uranus is not of this world and will not abandon its agenda to accommodate our earthbound aspirations.
This is the truth of working with cosmic forces: they demand of us largesse and greatness, not in terms of egoic acclaim and narcissistic absorption but of being big enough, wise enough, powerful enough to see beyond the limitations of the egoic mind to something beyond our imaginings. They demand that we live on the cliff-edge of life, the very boundary of possibility where we are forever challenged to go further. They demand profound integrity, searing honesty and a willingness to change in ways that may seem impossible from where we currently stand. When giants such as Uranus and Pluto square each other, despite the incredible intensity of their action, we are somehow more able to respond. We simply have no choice. We find what we need inside to do what they demand. Even, and especially, when we believe we won’t. For all the stress and pain of their action in our lives, the outcome is also beyond our wildest imaginings as we discover strength we never knew we had, options we never imagined could be ours and a life awaiting us which reanimates those parts within previously left to wither and die. It is tough, for sure, but the changes we undergo when we offer ourselves up to these processes of deep and enduring transformation make the offering worthwhile. Sacrifices made are repaid many-fold in the currency of wisdom, freedom and true presence in the midst of our mysterious life. What started out as tragedy and trauma becomes rebirth and new life. Against all the odds we arise from the flames to live another day.
This has been the story for so many in the past three years. This month that story begins to change as the Uranus/Pluto square dissolves. As these commanding planets part ways their impact is modified and we will meet them in different guises on the path ahead. No longer is it the case that in meeting one we meet the other. They’re no longer a team. Yes, Uranus still wants to throw everything up in the air and Pluto still reveals the darkest depths to shed the brightest light upon them. But they’re doing things in their own way now and that means we must adapt accordingly. Life won’t force us quite like it has been. It won’t so much be the case of ‘I can’t bear another minute I simply have to change no matter what’. We’re going to have to make some conscious, risky decisions born not of utter necessity (change or die!) but out of a deep inner knowing that if we are to play a full part in the evolution of this planet, we simply have to do what needs to be done, end of. It is both our birthright and obligation as custodians of this time and place.
From this point on it may become easier, gradually, to avoid change, to find excuses not to do it, to sink back into old habits with plenty of justifications for doing so. The choice is ours now, more so than before, simply because it won’t be so hard to stay stuck. It really is up to us. Pluto will still come along and stir up the darkness and Uranus will still be hitting us over the head screaming ‘WAKE UP BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!’, but they’ll somehow be easier to ignore. Our defences will be stronger, our denial and/or self-deception more effective. If we simply want an ‘easy life’ we’re more likely to get one now. But easy is not necessarily better. And after a few decisions to stay safe, step out of the ring, stay stuck rather than change, we may begin to look around and realise we have been left behind, companions on the path gone ahead, potential withering on the vine, possibilities once close now out of reach.
The urgency fades as the square between Uranus and Pluto does. Which doesn’t mean change is not needed, only that we have more choice in our role as its agents. We can step back from the cliff edge if we choose. Step out of the fray, batten down the inner hatches and stick our feet into the mud refusing to move again. ‘Those last three years were a heck of a ride, so I’ve done my bit now thank you! Over to someone else!!’. But you are that ‘someone else’ and so am I. So is everybody. We are all the someone else to whom is handed the baton now for the next lap of the race. If we discover the pressure is off and life offers a ‘get out’ clause when the going gets tough, that doesn’t mean the clause is the best option, only that the challenge is met now in the choices we make not in our ability to endure when change is inescapable. It is up to us to decide how we proceed from here, whether we settle for what we have or embrace our role as Evolutionary Agent for the long haul. We always have a choice and there will always be different forces and factors which influence it. Uranus and Pluto have driven us through the flames but now they take a different tack. Still as powerful, still as transformative, still as liberating, they come individually, inviting us to enter into their shadow dance and scary ride of freedom. But they are less insistent, less demanding. Their intensity will rise and fall as ever, but the imperative that felt like ‘change or die!!’ is lifting. We’re entering the next phase now, where we choose radical change because we know it is the only way to fulfil our evolutionary potential, not because we simply believe we have no choice. We have a choice, always. And never was it more vital than now that we make the wisest one.