Originally published: New York, Oct. 11, 2018 | Return to Main Directory of Articles
The Long View: Saturn Conjunct Pluto, Square Eris

Dear Friend and Reader:

Last night as Hurricane Michael was roaring through the Florida panhandle, making landfall as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, Donald Trump was holding a pep rally in Erie, PA. At that rally, as the stock market lost 800 points in a tech selloff, Trump was leading the crowd in a chant of, "Lock her up!"

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Mr. Friendly -- Trump campaigns in Erie, PA, on Wednesday night as Hurricane Michael pounded the Gulf Coast of Florida. Photo by Evan Vucci.
Then he revved the crowd by calling Democrats "an angry, left-wing mob" who he said is unfit to govern. He is, of course, campaigning for the midterm elections less than one month away. Don't be surprised if there is no blue wave, and if one of these days this year or next, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, passes a confidential report to a Republican Congress.

Is it obvious what's happening? People are angry -- or many people, anyway. Strange, given that we're told that the unemployment rate is the lowest since 1969. Oh wait, that's irrelevant. Real wages are stagnant, and the cost of living is higher than ever.

The economy is going beautifully for the 1%. There is real economic frustration coming from the background in that most people cannot call the United States the land of opportunity.

But there's something deeper going on. Trump is harvesting frustration rooted on an existential level, and he's using it to whip up authoritarian impulses in people. Frustration and pain are commodities, for those who know how to harvest them. He would not succeed at doing this if people felt better, if they had satisfying relationships and reasons to feel good to be alive. We live in cranky times of virtual sex and virtual food and virtual friends and virtual assistants and virtual trips to Italy or wherever.

Things are going pretty well for most people (who have food and shelter and flush toilets today -- often much more), but it seems there is always something to complain about. There's always someone to complain about, that is, someone less pure, less American, less worthy, less whatever.

Venus Retrograde, Square Mars

Venus is retrograde, and Venus and Mars are in a tense and aggressive square aspect. I say aggressive because the introspection and the emotional contact and healing called for on the Venus-retrograde-in-Scorpio side of the equation so rarely happens. It is, instead, often projected outward as rage on the Mars-in-Aquarius side of the equation (remember the connection of the internet to Aquarius).

The less that inner life is respected and honored and treated as something deserving of healing and attention, the angrier Mars in Aquarius will seem. Yet we live in times when there is an increasingly vapid notion of what interior reality is.

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But is it art? NO! Photo by Devin Yalkin, for a New York Times article on how to take better Instagram photos of your food.
The digital revolution has turned society and most individuals inside out. Think of how many people cannot enjoy a meal until they've sent a picture of it out on Instagram (called "gramming your food"). You could easily come up with a hundred examples of this in a few minutes.

Private inner space is fragile even when it's supported. Digital consciousness bursts it outward, which is another way of saying bursting us out of body.

And in a similar way, inner tension and frustration is easily projected outward when the intensity gets to be too much to bear.

This is not just about the devices you use, though like any habitual activity, relating to these drug-like objects must be moderated. When it's not, it represents some failure -- I don't use that word lightly -- to be with our circumstances and the people around us.

Each is a lost opportunity to address what is concerning or ailing us, what needs love and attention, or what might bring the pleasure of true human contact. And much of what people are struggling with includes the constant dragging around of, and being ruled by, ancestral matters: the problems, the fears, the resentment, the shame, the animosity, of our forebears.

Virtual existence is a dangerous form of being out of body, which results in being disoriented on the physical plane. When people lack an inner frame of reference, they are easy to manipulate, particularly on a mass level. Humans have a tendency to attempt to find themselves through conflict and aggression. It's more readily available than art, love, nature or sex, all of which you have to work for if you want them to be worth anything.

Venus and Mars: Preparation for the Future

My take on the Venus and Mars retrogrades of 2018 is that they are preparation for the deeper, longterm transits that are coming: Uranus in Taurus, Chiron in Aries, and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, which by all indications is "the big one."

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Photo of unidentified family. Family is considered a pillar of society and is an 'institution' closely related to Capricorn.
Venus and Mars are revealing of personal tendencies, dynamics of sex and gender, and emotional needs and wants. These retrogrades are a shakeup, revealing the feelings and emotions behind the smug, self-satisfied air that many people project these days.

Capricorn is one of a few signs distinctly associated with history, and the establishments of family, government, corporations and related elements of society: the pillars of what we think of as worldly existence, passed down to us from antiquity, and taken for granted.

At the center of this is family, the microcosm that precedes all macrocosms. Think of family as the miniature government, which is usually run on authoritarian terms. Before there is family, there is ancestry, which contains and conveys more information than your DNA report can tell you. Yet just like we carry the DNA of our ancestors, we're also dragging around their pain, their loss, and their unresolved issues.

This situation presents us with problems that can be worked through and even resolved, though this must be done consciously. It's not the kind of thing that just happens, like YouTube on autoplay. No app will do the work for you. No drug will do the work for you.

And there are no fast results, only the satisfaction of knowing that you're taking one step at a time to heal yourself, to embrace and live from true self rather than not-self, and the faith that your progress will eventually add up.

The Saturn-Pluto Conjunction, Square Eris

On Jan. 12, 2020, there will be a one-time conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. This is an approximately 35-year cycle (it varies based on how long Pluto spends in a sign in any given era). The last two experiences of Saturn and Pluto were the most recent conjunction, in 1982, and the most recent opposition, in 2001-2002.

Saturn to Pluto describes what Richard Tarnas calls a cycle of contraction. It tends to lead to reactionary politics, the rise of conservatism, and the experience of fear as a way of life. For example, there was a conjunction in 1947, soon after the end of World War II and at the dawn of what became known as the Cold War (think: the House Committee on Unamerican Activities, blacklisting, etc.).

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Former Pres. Gerald Ford, with future presidents Reagan and Bush the first, at the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit's Joe Lewis Arena.
There was an opposition in 1965, representing the rage, tension and strife aspect of the 1960s, rather than the peace and love aspect. Under this influence, the Johnson administration (using the false-flag "Tonkin Gulf Incident" or "Maddox Incident" as a pretext) committed to plunging into the Vietnam War in August 1964, resulting in tens of millions of boys being sent to murder people in Southeast Asia. This ripped through American society, creating a wound that has yet to heal.

Then there was a conjunction in 1982, at the time of the "Reagan revolution," the merger of church and state (Evangelicals + Republicans), the U.S. participating in both sides of a 10-year war between Iran and Iraq (that has, in truth, yet to end), the U.S. funneling money into an illegal CIA war in Nicaragua, and other elements of modern conservatism.

Next came the opposition of Aug. 5, 2001, which occurred the day the infamous CIA presidential daily brief was being written: Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S. -- that one. This opposition, too, crated a rift in society that has yet to heal.

Note that on the last three stops of this cycle were false-flag or otherwise fraudulent events that dragged us into seemingly endless war.

Beyond Pain and Frustration

The square of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction to Eris is not a cause for optimism. It is a cause for constructive action. It is a calling to awaken to the bloodthirsty property of human nature, and to pay close attention to what drives us to be that way.

Whether we're talking about a psychopathic dictator or a hapless population, I think the thing that drives us is emotional pain and frustration. Needless to say, there is little you can do about your neighbors and how they feel. But there is plenty you can do about yourself, and how you feel.

It's likely that just about every element of the environment will seem to drag you away from focusing on your healing process, and on feeling good about who you are. You will have to take care of that yourself.

Whether we like it or not, we're being pushed and dragged into a false individualism, a fraudulent condition of "every man for himself." We'll have to address that one, too, which will begin with consciously healing our severely wounded ability to trust.

And that particular healing agenda is being chronicled in the current movements of Venus and Mars, distinctly personal planets, which describe how we relate to others, how we treat others, and ultimately, how we treat ourselves. As part of this process, we must reclaim our inner space. I will have many ideas about how to do that in the coming weeks and months.

With love,
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Eric's Assistant: Ellen Dockery. Client Services: Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa, and Carol van Strum.

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