Soul, Form and Fear: New Moon square Pluto

Medillin, Colombia. Photo by Nicole Hanhan.

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. Today the Moon is new in Libra at about 7:09 am EDT. This conjunction of the Sun and Moon has some serious company. Not only are there four other planets in Libra, but the Sun and Moon plus Mercury are making a square to Pluto in Capricorn.

This aspect indicates a potent turning point of some kind; you could say it’s got an ominous feeling, though there is also a sense of clarity about this chart, something focused and with clear intention. This could manifest many ways, personally and as a collective event. Remember, it’s sitting right opposite the Aries Point, where there is currently a planet — Uranus, which is about surprises and inventions. So there’s some psychic tension in this aspect, and it would be fair enough to get the feeling that something big is brewing. If you’ve noticed a more-pervasive-than-usual sense of anxiety or doom in the air, this aspect structure illustrates the feeling. If you’ve noticed that you’re feeling like you can actually make decisions, it’s the same picture.

Yes, fear is pervasive in our cultural messages anyway. Pluto in Capricorn has been shaking our social, cultural and institutional foundations for a couple years now. And Pluto in general, for many people, carries a feeling of what they think of as imminent death: the fear of change, of surrender, of anything compelling.

So why is this heightened now?

For one thing, having the Sun and Moon together in a perfect square to Pluto is shining the light of the solar system onto the planet known as ‘the irresistible force’. Irresistible force has a ring of inevitability to it; and that feels like one is powerless to do anything about it — that is, except dance with the idea and ultimately the experience. Culturally, we’re not trained to see powerlessness as a comfortable place. We struggle with surrender and tell ourselves stories about how in control we are, how decisive and independent and goal-oriented we are. But ultimately we are powerless against death, despite all the ways we can put it off, make it nicer or mold our conceptions of it.

The energy of the New Moon is lighting up Pluto from Libra. Libra’s all about beauty and balance, right? So what gives, with all this fear? Alice Bailey (1880-1949) had some thoughts about this, expressed in her book Esoteric Astrology. In asking what exactly Libra is balancing, she posits that it is soul and form. That is, spirit and body are seeking their balance in Libra, and this can be scary for an eternal soul existing in a body that will die. In her view, this calls for deep meditation and reflection, which is why Libra can seem so mellow, even though what it’s thinking about can be profound.

Mercury conjunct the Sun and Moon is transmitting this whole vibe as though we’ve just turned on the radio of the collective consciousness. We knew all those stations were there broadcasting all the time, but now that planets have come into alignment, we can actually hear what they’re playing. Apparently they’ve all switched to a 2012 ‘uneasy-listening’ format, with weather updates from the still-building Uranus-Pluto square. Except for one thing: Mercury is perfectly tuned to Uranus right now, and that is actually about bringing in news, an idea, an innovation.

Libra New Moon, which is exact just past sunrise on the East Coast of the United States. You can see that the Sun and Moon have the same degree value as Pluto, at the bottom left. Uranus, not shown, is in Aries, exactly opposed by Mercury.

Yet turn the dial a little and we’re listening to Mercury square Pluto. This is where we get fanaticism or fear feeding itself. Witness, for instance, the doomsday freak-out some have engaged in over the comet Elenin’s current close approach of Earth. You’d have thought we’d managed to shake the idea that comets spell the end of the world back in the 1700s at least. But a group called “The Truther Girls” dubbed Elenin’s approach an “Extinction Level Event.” It’s a perfect illustration of this New Moon contemplation of fear — or of life.

And here’s the thing: when we have our so-called leaders in Congress pulling moves like waiting until just yesterday to approve the disaster relief spending, it does start to look like everything we count on is about to come crashing down. And ‘everything’ comes to mean anything from the actual bridges we drive over to our country’s political process to any shred of trust in our fellow humans.

No wonder we’re on edge. But we don’t need to teeter over it. For one thing, the Sun and Moon and even Mercury will move through Libra and out of this particular square fairly quickly. More importantly, we have access to this idea of spirit and body seeking balance. We have a square aspect, which locates this tension within us and asks us for action. And we’re at the start of a new season, giving us an organic template for pausing, grounding and resetting our intentions and rhythm. Put all those together, and the idea of powerlessness can shrink a bit.

Change may still feel scary. If you’re someone whose buttons were pushed by last week’s astrology, unleashing long-repressed fury or desire like an eruption, the prospect may feel violent. But leaves don’t change color and fall off in one day. Feel within to gauge where your soul/form balance is. If you can make a choice that brings them closer to alignment, the decision itself may be the most radical part of the process. That is about taking over the power to choose — the only power we really have.

Looking for insights on how this week’s astrology affects your personal Sun and rising signs? Try out Planet Waves Light, our streamlined horoscope service. For deeper cultural context and astrological investigation, the premium Planet Waves subscription includes the same horoscopes, plus extensively-researched articles on Fridays.

16 thoughts on “Soul, Form and Fear: New Moon square Pluto”

  1. I didn’t notice the bottle because I was trying to figure out if the arm growing out of the chap’s head was soul, form, or my own fear!

    That is until I enlarged my screen size and saw the image of another child behind him.

    With Libra rising, I am as out of balance as the sky. Wish I could always attribute my lack of balance to a planet party.


  2. too funny everyone caught up in the bottle. 🙂 yes, it looks like a fun toy kind of bottle-bomb. Like a water-balloon.

  3. Thank you a Daily Astrology blog that resonates with the ages. Thank you especially for the insight from Alice Bailey and an excellent, holistic interpretation that is as timeless and universal as the greatest legends and myths.

  4. friendly, for sure — check our that impish gleam in the eye and grin! and that tongue poking out kills me every time.

  5. It’s not a bomb, if you think it’s a bottle. A Molotov cocktail must be held upright, or it will spill out. So I vote for bludgeon, but if it is, it’s a friendly one.

  6. interesting — i did not even think of the coke bottle in the photo as a “bomb” — i saw more of a bludgeon. haha — i guess my aggression is a little primitive?

  7. my eyes saw four CAPTIVE girls being pepper-sprayed.

    yes, we need to keep movement as vital to this life FLOW.

    spirit flows through body, does it not?

    yes agree, “uneasy listening” in sync with the TED discussion posted yesterday too – let’s choose to be out of our perceived comfort zone.

    Excellent article and dialog today. Thank you everyone. Today is full of new beginnings, new sight; life MOVING again. Really great. xo

    the children’s bomb-bottle in pic makes me think of these light-bottles…..i’m playing with ways to use this light-source in my apartment:

  8. Thank you Daily Astro Team, like mystes, I really love the “uneasy-listening format” phrase. Let’s not lose that one.

    And ‘well done’ Half-I-mean-Alexander! Do you remember that Mercury was at 5 Leo in the US Solar return (Sibly) chart? It was the focal/release point of a yod fueled by the sextile between Pluto (6 Cap) and Chiron (5 Pisces) with Neptune in support at 0 Pisces and all 3 in retrograde motion. Now that Pluto is newly direct and Mars has replaced Mercury, there is a motivation and drive to the yod message that was ‘just talk’ in July. At that time Mercury was trine Uranus, both were direct, and apples were being tossed about in the apple cart but it had not yet been upset.

    Also in the SR chart Mars at 10 Gemini was trine Saturn 10 Libra and today Mars forms a quintile aspect to Saturn, an aspect of self-expression and sensation. It is still protest but it is essentially under the influence of the government rules. Perhaps Mercury opposite Uranus retro in today’s NM chart reflects some of the shock (Uranus) on the part of a naive (Aries) society not yet totally aware of the ability it has to awaken the power and wrath (Pluto) of the gods of finance.

    As Mercury and Uranus are in cardinal signs but, in the chart for Washington DC, they are in cadent houses. It could be that the seedlings first taste of a stormy day will better prepare them for the day when Mercury squares Uranus and trines Jupiter in January and will have just sextiled Saturn.

  9. ..Check out the picture.. see how all the kids play together?… this is us..

    We’re smarter, and cooler than we think…

    ..We’ve lost something when we grow into programming…

    ..but,.. de-programming is a task. (one I know well)

    Enjoy the aspects… We’ll be here for a while…

    Love ya all,


  10. “spirit and body are seeking their balance in Libra, and this can be scary for an eternal soul existing in a body that will die.” I find that concept liberating in many ways.

    I spent much of Sunday afternoon listening to the live feed from #Occupy Wall Street. Very moving (even the mundane housekeeping announcements) and reassuring to an aging albeit disguised hippie. It is exciting to see the next stages of the Uranus-Pluto dance that started over forty years ago, even if they are stepping on each other’s toes and both are trying to lead.

    And, I was not surprised yesterday to see the footage of four girls getting pepper sprayed for no apparent reason.

    Perhaps this New Moon in Libra will bring focus and creativity to those out there, and the same for those of us not out there, especially in a supportive role.

    Thanks to whomever of the great PW writers who posted this. (Posting info and bylines are missing, and I’m not well enough versed in each writer’s voice to be certain whose it is.)


  11. Alexander, while sending positive energy to the protesters, i actually saw in my mind’s eye, protesters flowing like a river, circulating around and through the streets and police blockades like water. In constant motion, osmosis holding the flow together, and unstoppable.

  12. half – i mean, alexander 😉 — great points, esp the idea of keeping a protest moving & flowing. yes – avoid intractability and you’re less likely to get your butt kicked by pluto.

  13. Just to add a Taoist principle here too, as I think on.

    Resistance breeds resistance. A ‘sit in’ or ‘occupation’ protest is like a blockage – it curtails flow and movement and ultimately stagnates. These guys would really benefit from making this into a constant march, with people almost running a shift system in doing so. Keep the energy moving – it is harder for the irresistible force to kick in when you do not shape up as the immovable object…

    Noticing Mercury directly opposite Uranus here might also lead us to ask in this regard about disruptive communication. Is the media blackout the sole essence of this disruption? At what point does the exposure that IS coming in become liable to portray/convey/communicate an unfavourable image of the disruption – and at what point might the protest itself begin to communicate the ‘wrong’ message to the people who are sat on the fence, out there in the mainstream?

  14. I get the feeling here (with Uranus opposite this New Moon) of censure for speaking out and retrograde Uranus may, pictorially, be considered a little ‘in retreat’ on the activism front. The New Moon itself would usually offer a seeding possibility for new archetypes – exactly what Pluto in Capricorn is blowing the bugle toward.

    Of course, there is no more vulnerable time than a moment of birth…

    Occupy Wall Street would appear to be just such a seedling time. Because we are dealing with a Pluto driven t-square there is a sense of violation/violence too along the Uranus/New Moon axis. The seedling archetype is going to have to begin to internalise, right from birth, just how hostile the world it seeks to enter really is – fancy having to be reborn as soon as you have been born…

    It seems to me that this whole configuration is subsumed into this realm of ideas – ideas about freedom and emancipation, ideas about global consciousness shifts, the individuals and institutions, the nature of money and exchange (and trust as a bottom line) – all have this sense of struggle (dialectic). Unfortunately, this can trap the energy and neutralise its most radical potential. Protest and reaction can become highly toxic and counter productive.

    Of course, Mars at 5 Leo, sextile the New Moon, is the release point for this ideological ‘constipation’.

    The point, to my reckoning, is not to misidentify this one key moment of occupation/protest as the fulcrum, but to see it as a magnifying glass – that which sets the agenda in one’s personal life – something that gives Uranus in Aries a deeply personal and active unction, that gives the energy form and direction, rather than remaining on the level of restlessness or an impulse that Pluto could render toxic or spoiling.

    Get in touch with your cardinal energies, wherever they are to be found in your chart. Step out… The Plutonic energy can be channelled via the Martian vector.

    You do not NEED to march anywhere but you do NEED to march… somewhere!

  15. “Apparently they’ve all switched to a 2012 ‘uneasy-listening’ format, with weather updates from the still-building Uranus-Pluto square.”

    //Very funny…//

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