Vesta-Pluto: The evolutionary necessity of real service

Among this week’s central events is a square between Vesta in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, exact today at 8:54 pm EST. This is Vesta engaging with the Uranus-Pluto square (Vesta opposed Uranus on Friday), bringing a sense of purpose to the upheaval we’re witnessing in the world around us (and the world within us).

Simplified chart showing (clockwise from top): Pluto in Capricorn, Mercury in Sagittarius, Vesta in Libra, Pallas in Virgo, Uranus and the Moon in Aries, and Chiron in Pisces.
Simplified chart showing (clockwise from top): Pluto in Capricorn, Mercury in Sagittarius, Vesta in Libra, Pallas in Virgo, Uranus and the Moon in Aries, and Chiron in Pisces. View glyph key here.

It may be no coincidence that Nelson Mandela’s death and our collective celebration of his life accompanied this astrology, and that his memorial service is today.

While squares (a 90-degree angle between planets) are generally thought of as internally felt tension that must be resolved through action, Eric has pointed out that squares can also be about the integration of the themes represented by the planets involved.

In this case, we get the progress of Pluto and the total devotion of Vesta. As we know, Mandela was absolutely devoted to his cause of ending apartheid — tackling institutional racism and poverty as a young activist; then while a prisoner; and finally when released from prison, as the president of South Africa and then continuing as a statesman.

His life also illustrates the ‘sacrifice’ aspect of Vesta, having sacrificed his freedom for 27 years. In his famous four-hour speech opening the defense’s proceedings at his Rivonia trial in 1964, Mandela stated, “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Thankfully, he was able to live many decades for his ideal and actually achieve tremendous change though his devoted service to progress for all citizens in his country. Certainly racism has not died out entirely in South Africa, but neither is it the official law of the land.

So what are you devoted to? Perhaps not to the extent of being willing to die for it; but what are you willing to live for, in terms of making genuine, foundational, systemic progress within your life and in the world around you?

Those questions actually allude to a second astrological aspect, as well. Mercury in Sagittarius is in a T-square with Chiron in Pisces and Pallas in Virgo. On one level, this echoes or develops the themes of the Sagittarius New Moon just over a week ago. (You can review that event here.) Both Chiron and Pallas are about focusing the mind (Mercury), but they’re doing so from different points of view.

Mercury square Chiron is also about “getting real about your spirituality,” according to Eric. Consider the possibility that ‘spirituality’ has an action component to it — walking your talk — and the resonance between Mercury-Chiron and Vesta-Pluto is clear. Eric’s take on Pallas in this configuration includes being aware of “faux religion used in politics,” as well as “real” religion being used as a tool for manipulating the masses, one individual at a time.

To what, exactly, are you devoted? What do you serve, and how do you mark your progress in the world? Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither did apartheid fall in a day. We’re all part of this work in progress — but it needs us to get real about it.

With Eric Francis

4 thoughts on “Vesta-Pluto: The evolutionary necessity of real service”

  1. Oh look at that, it’s a Vesta return. My Pluto and Vesta are close together above my ascendant. I think they challenge my Capricorn goat herd to apply their kung fu for more than personal benefit and maybe had something to do with introducing abdominal breathing as a gateway to a more relaxed and polite approach to other sentient beings. My Chiron in Aries adds the non-violent martial arts that enable me to be strong enough to relax in a flipped out society; my violence is broken. I used to see it as a debility but as the squares mellow into their adult forms it’s more like a source of strength. Violence hurts the abuser, curses curse the curser, hate harms the haters. It’s just as well my violence doesn’t work, ala Chiron.

    Then my air planets provide a kind of air trine where the aspects are loose, but Pluto sits on the midpoint of Moon in Gemini and Venus in Aquarius: give me the space to practice and I can coax beautiful sounds out of anything made to make music and even quite a few things that weren’t. Left to their own devices they dissipated and went fallow. As the sqaure structure mellows out my devotions coming from the air triangle containing Vesta provide the flesh on the skeleton, the movement of the integrated structure. I want to help humanity reach its next level and not crash the whole project by killing all the apple trees to save the oily apple carts.

  2. Amanda: Thank you for your stellar honor of the great Nelson Mandela even as the luminaries of world politics gather to do the same. Pitch perfect and deeply touching, your tribute is a match for any and all.

  3. My mercury in Aries is within a degree of my chiron in Capricorn. This report feels pretty spot-on for me regarding the pursuits of my life – where I’ve invested my energy, time and money. For me this is a get real moment about our food, energy, and environment. I saw this link on FB today, and it tells quite a tale of shifting baselines. I’ve been wondering lately what science will say about diet colas 100 years from now, or even cell phones. Dr. Oz even showed an x-ray of a woman’s breast irradiated from her cellphone (presumably) because she wore it in a carrying case on her breast. We know all these things are poison, but like the Tang substitute for orange juice in the story below, we love our food and electronics and think they are good, and aren’t about to give them up.

  4. I have Vesta in Libra in the 7th house at 2 degrees (trine Jupiter, square Chiron and square Uranus), and I am devoted to the people I work with. I am devoted to workplaces I love, and I want to serve my community in a manner that is right for me (I feel so alive inspecting gage stations and going into streams to do discharge measurements…I want to get a full-time job there). I am devoted to my family because they help support what I do. I am willing to do what it takes (get whatever skill, education, and/or experience) to support workplaces I love.

    I am a very spiritual person (by looking into astrology, the philosophical foundations of martial arts…), but religion is not the way for me (sure, I follow a few cultural rituals, but I get my spiritual nourishment elsewhere because religion constricts the spirit). The Golden Rule and doing what is right for me (and ultimately for others) is what is appropriate.

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