Saturday, February 02, 2008

Eras of Pluto, Tropical & Sidereal

Reaching a clear conclusion about whether the sidereal or tropical zodiac is more accurate isn't easy. Using natal charts as a yardstick seems not to provide sufficient difference, in most cases, when the whole chart is considered. Using mundane astrology (how the world at large is affected) and the outermost planets is another method worth trying. Pluto is farthest from us, it completes a cycle of all signs in around 248 years, so this is a good planet upon which to focus to get a birdseye view of its years in each zodiac sign.

Numerous astrologers have written about the various tropical "eras" of Pluto. There's a concise assessment by Adrian Ross Duncan HERE, for quick reference. Let's see how I fare, using the sidereal zodiac. Will it be wildly off mark? Something to keep in mind is that Uranus and Neptune also have their relevance, and their cycles and signs vary from Pluto's. This is capable of muddying the water - nevertheless it's still an interesting experiment.

(My dates are not exact, to the month, because I don't have a sidereal ephemeris for reference, and my mathematical ability is negligible!)

Using extracts from Adrian Ross Duncan's article (in italics) as a guide, I've added my own contribution, using the sidereal zodiac, in blue.

"The Pluto in Cancer period, from 1913 (just prior to World War 1) to 1939 (as World War 2 started) brought the upheaval of hierarchies and families, as a great levelling factor transformed society. Men in Europe were slaughtered in their millions in the initial phase of this transit, elevating the role of women and preparing the ground for the beginning of political equality. Similarly the privileged classes lost much of their influence – no more so of course than in Russia , where they were eradicated."

Pluto in sidereal Gemini covers the years between (approx.) 1908 to 1934 - most of the same midle-ground as above, with adjustment at start and finish. Without contradicting any of Mr. Duncan's tropical assessment, we could say that during the period of Pluto in sidereal Gemini, communication blossomed and was transformed in every way, from economical mass reproduction of magazines, illustration, and books, to the rise and mass production of the automobile, a very important development, enabling wider travel and, consequently, transforming communication and life in general.

This is rather like looking into a multiple mirror in a clothing store's changing room - look straight ahead and you see one view, turn to a miror at the side or behind, and see a different version, equally valid.

So, on we go:

"Pluto in Leo from 1939 to 1957/8 brought the rise of the superpower, based on the destructive power of the bomb. Schoolchildren practised hiding under their desks, as the spectre of intercontinental ballistic missiles brought the possibility of destruction to each individual on earth. On the other hand this was the time when colonial powers lost their power, as individual countries asserted their right to be independent. The Pluto in Leo generation is obsessed with youth and self-indulgence. This first generation to grow up under the shadow of the bomb was the first to confront the fact that humanity really could be destroyed, that Armageddon could be a reality, and therefore they seized life with all their power."

Pluto in sidereal Cancer covers the years between 1934 to 1954/5, again the same middle-ground with adjustment at both ends. World War 2 is the most important, transforming event and is included in both eras. I could argue that during this time Pluto radically transformed the home (Cancer). Children were left without fathers for years, sometimes for ever. As Mr.Duncan mentioned, children "hid under desks". The whole population of my homeland, Britain, hid at some point during the war in bomb shelters. Hiding in fear under a tough protective layer brings Cancer the Crab clearly to mind! There was an abiding fear that life in the home would be forever transformed in a disastrous way, stripped of freedom and all warmth. Because of heroic action by military forces from Britain, Europe and the USA , mercifully this didn't happen. Towards the end of this period, home-life resumed for those lucky enough to have survived. For most, wherever they lived, a transformation of some kind had occurred.

"Pluto in Virgo from 1957 to 1971/2 brought the transformation of work, medicine, agriculture and the service industry. With the introduction of the first computerised robots, employees performing nightmarish tasks in heavy industry were released (into traumatic unemployment) and service industries began their rise. Farms became automated, pigs and chickens became production units, so we could have egg and bacon every day. The Pill enabled women to gain control over their biology – sex was on the rise, but, for the first time, birth rates started falling. Pluto has its own medical solution to the so-called population explosion."

I find that Pluto in sidereal Leo from around 1954/5 to the end of the 1960s much better describes the period than Pluto in tropical Virgo. It was as though the sun (Leo) had begun to shine once again after the dark years of fear, depression and war. The youth of Europe and America found a voice, and in the 1960s we heard it loud and clear. The hippie era seems now almost like a stage musical (very Leo), the fashions and fads, even the long manes of hair common at that time seem to me to fit Leo's image far better than Virgo's.

I'll not venture further today, but intend to finish the journey after the weekend. Thus far, I think an argument could be made for both tropical and sidereal viewpoints. I suppose one could cherry-pick items from any era to support almost any argument though, and there's the problem of mixed influences from Uranus and Neptune to consider. It's a matter of how we each see the overall flavour of a particular, well-defined era.

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