The Sprint to 2012

Photo by Dani Voirin from Small World Stories. Dani has more than 60 new photographs in the 2008 annual edition of Planet Waves.

THE ASTROLOGY of 2008 puts us onto the final approach to 2012. Turn on your radar, buckle up, chuck the ginger ale and drop your landing gear: the Age of Technology is approaching the runway.

The year 2012 has been tossed around as something special since Jose Arguelles created the Harmonic Convergence in 1987. With that event, he called attention to the Mayan Long Count, a calendar of approximately 1.87 million days used by the Maya in what is now Mexico and Guatemala. Something called the 13th baktun ends on Dec. 21, 2012, concluding a 5,125-year cycle. Notably, this cycle predates the Maya themselves, whose mathematicians dealt in very long spans of time extending before and after their own existence.

More recently, author John Major Jenkins proposed an astronomical theory for why the Mayans chose our particular era for the cycle to end. He suggests that it involves the alignment of the position of the winter solstice Sun with the dark band that runs through the center of the Milky Way galaxy (called the Road to Xibalba).

Detail showing three columns of glyphs from 2nd century CE La Mojarra Stela 1. The left column gives a Long Count date of, or 156 CE. The two right columns are glyphs from the Epi-Olmec script. Pic: Wikipedia.

Due to the precession effect (that is, the very slow wobble of the Earth on its axis), the winter solstice point gets a little earlier every year (advancing a bit more than a degree per century). The same is true for the first day of all the seasons. The precession effect is usually used to measure the astrological/astronomical age. We are familiar with the concept from the Age of Aquarius theme, wherein the Aries Point (the first degree of the Western zodiac or the first day of spring), is moving into the constellation Aquarius.

Jenkins asks a very good question. Maybe it’s not the constellation that Aries Point is in that’s the true marker of our cosmic alignment, as we usually think. Maybe it’s the point 90 degrees away, where Capricorn begins. Maybe that’s where we need to be looking for information about an accurate calculation of the age we’re in. Most Planet Waves readers are familiar with the Aries Point and its astonishing connections between personal and global events.

Jenkins proposes that we have one of the cardinal points (the first degrees of the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) aligning with something tangible: the dark band running through the Galactic Core. Notably, it is the last of the four points, involving Capricorn — the sign of corporations, government and the structure of society. All of the 2012 theories, whether friendly, cataclysmic or both (most are not so friendly, by the way), involve changes to the structure of society, whatever else they may touch upon.

This is a cool theory. It helps explain why the Aries Point (which is shorthand for all four of the cardinal points or the four directions) is so hot these days. When events focus on the Aries Point, we get an idea of why it’s so dependably connected to events that ripple through the lives of millions, and which we tend to feel so personally (an example of an Aries Point event was Sept. 11, 2001). Jenkins’ theory provides a comprehensible link between Western and Mayan astrology, something that has been lacking throughout this whole discussion. Some astrologers have looked at that 2012 chart and claimed it contains nothing special, hence, 2012 cannot be that important. (Just because someone does not understand a chart does not mean it does not have meaningful information.)

Enter: Pluto in Capricorn

What has not been discussed so widely are outer planet movements leading up to that date. The first of them — and perhaps the most significant — is Pluto entering Capricorn, a process which begins in about two weeks. That is another way of saying that Pluto is aligning with the position of the winter solstice Sun, i.e., the first degree of Capricorn. This places it on one of the cardinal points, as well as in aspect to the other three.

Will Pluto in Capricorn restructure the corporate world? It would take less than you think. Photo of the New York Stock Exchange courtesy of

Obviously, Pluto in Capricorn is going to have a profound effect on the structure of society: on all Capricorn institutions, from corporations to the government to the banking system. True, this will affect individuals, but individuals tend to learn faster than groups and companies. We will all go through a series of individual initiations, but the key to some form of success here will be awareness about group initiation.

There are some companies, institutions and some governments that will do very well — the ones that can loosen up their structures, both physical and ideological, and flex with the changes. These will surprise you — when you hear the story of something that seemed stuffy and old suddenly becoming a progressive leader of some kind. Indeed, Pluto in Capricorn is all about leadership. It is about building and acting on the vision that has been developing during the years of Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-present).

Pluto’s ingress to Capricorn is attended by some interesting Mars transits. At the time of the ingress in late January, Mars is in a loose (but significant) opposition — in the process of making three exact ones. The third contact is March 7. So we get Mars and Pluto working the solstice points (from Cancer and Capricorn), which feels a little like flint on a piece of iron.

Then, shortly after Pluto ingresses Capricorn to stay (no more retrogrades into Sagittarius), Mars makes an exact conjunction to Pluto around the winter 2008 solstice. So we get a lot of personal fire (of Mars) added to the cosmic and hormonal fire (of Pluto) aspecting the 2012 region of the sky.

Lunar Nodes in the Middle Fixed Signs

The Aries Point usually involves the cardinal signs. But something called Uranian astrology says that 135 degrees away from the cardinal points, we have the middle of the fixed signs. This is the sesquiquadrate aspect, which is described as a trigger aspect. A 45 degree aspect works in a similar way. The lunar nodes are now working their way backwards through Leo and Aquarius. The annular eclipse on Feb. 7, 2008 falls right in the middle of Aquarius, setting off the Aries Point from 45 degrees away in Aquarius.

Saturn in Libra 2009-2012

A contemporary white wedding cake decorated with sugar bows. Will Saturn in Libra remind us it’s time to re-think our ideas about marriage? We can only hope. Photo courtesy of The Wiki God.

Here is an exciting one. Saturn has just entered Virgo, so we’re not quite ready to be thinking about Saturn arriving in Libra — but it’s not so far away. Saturn arrives there for the first time on Oct. 29, 2009, i.e., late next year. A planet entering one of the cardinal signs puts it into direct contact with the Aries Point and the Capricorn solstice point — in this case, directly opposite. Pluto is still in very early Capricorn at that point, which means we have a Saturn-Pluto square aspecting the Aries Point and the Cap solstice point. This will be positively thrilling, all the more so because Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn and has extraordinary power in Libra (it is said to be ‘exalted’ in this sign).

This is a turning point, one that will call attention to the overall theme of the Pluto in Capricorn era. It is a kind of catch-up point. The Saturn-Pluto trine (involving the earthy signs) does not necessarily mean that the two energies are not going to combine in some volatile or provocative ways — trines can be incredibly influential. But the Saturn-Pluto square is a dimension shift, one that will emphasize a major shift in structure of some kind.

What we generally fail to recognize when we look at changes in society is that society is all about the relationships that people have with one another. We are good at pretending that our relationships with our coworkers has nothing to do with the relationships between companies or nations, but these things are holographic models of one another. With Saturn in Libra involved, we need to consider how the structure of our personal relationships relates to Capricorn — the structure of society. Marriage, for example, is primarily an economic structure, based in law, not emotions.

Saturn in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn is — among other things — about feeling the connection between our relationships and the structure of society.

The Changes of 2010

In 2010, there are three changes that mark a watershed. The first is that Saturn continues its ingress to Libra, retrograding back to Virgo and then making a final ingress in July. This means that the Saturn-Pluto square unfolds throughout this year.

Second, Chiron ingresses Pisces. The last time Chiron ingressed Pisces was on the day past the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, commencing the Sixties. Chiron will have spent about six years in Aquarius, a very different energy. Chiron, a potent focus of awareness, will be shifting from the most airy air sign to the most watery water sign — a difference we will be able to feel.

Then for the most interesting change of the year, Uranus begins its ingress to Aries, going right over the Aries Point. Uranus is the planet of revolution, invention, disruption and forward-thinking. Contact with the Aries Point strongly implies some kind of cultural revolution. In other words, the natives will be getting restless.

The Uranus-Pluto Square of 2012-2015

Will everything old, like the groovy spirit of revolution, be new again? Astrology from the era between 2012-2015 bears an uncanny resemblance to the Sixties.

All of this is just a warm up, believe it or not. The grand finale is the Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-2015. That is to say, Pluto will be in early Capricorn and Uranus will be in early Aries. That is a 90-degree relationship, and by mid 2012, it is exact. Most meetings between the outer planets make three exact contacts over about nine months. Somewhat incredibly, the Uranus-Pluto square beginning in 2012 makes seven exact contacts through 2015 — something that I have never seen or heard of before with any outer-planet aspect.

In other words, the two planets will remain in exact square for three years. Based on his story of the history of the Western world, Richard Tarnas in his book, Cosmos and Psyche has demonstrated that quadrature alignments of Uranus and Pluto — the conjunction, squares and opposition — are times of social upheaval, progress and even revolution. This is indeed one of the most predictable combinations of planets, and one of the most powerfully focused on actual progress. The Sixties, a time of artistic, social and economic process, is perhaps the best and fortunately most memorable expressions of this aspect. Though there was more to the Sixties than this, the alchemy of that time was typical of what happens nearly every time these two planets align.

Based on the historical data he presents in his book, Tarnas gives this aspect a window of action that begins this year. So it is part of that final approach to 2012. Yet based on this highly unusual event of Uranus square Pluto, 2012 itself seems to be a beginning rather than an ending — a time when we will finally see something vaguely equivalent of power to the people.

The only problem is, the people are going to have a reason to revolt. The years immediately ahead of us do not appear to be a time of equity and harmony, but rather a time of corporations and governments consolidating their power, even as they collapse under their own weight.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, January 11, 2008, #696 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
If you experience a social injury or insult of some kind, consider the gift that it gives you. There is one, as long as you’re willing to find it. You can do that, rather than feel emotionally injured. The opportunity could be about learning to understand your vulnerabilities. And here is the razor’s edge. To be close to people, we need to be vulnerable, but that is different than hypersensitive. Anyone who is sensitive is open to both pleasure and pain. Anyone who is hypersensitive is basically vulnerable only to pain. That should be a pretty good incentive to make a sane decision. Meanwhile, bear one crucial thing in mind — your feelings are currently extremely powerful transmitters. People are going to feel you, and they are going to respond. When two or more are gathered be mindful what you project onto one another. Or for that matter, what you project onto the world when you are alone.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
An unusual professional opportunity this weekend may arrive in the form of doing something “pro bono” — specifically to assist someone else. Money is not the issue in this particular experience; rather, all you need to focus on is opening up your inner channel and allowing your creativity to flow. The flow is what you are after; allowing your true creative energy into the environment. Regarding another aspect of your work, there is a commitment involved, though you’ve already made it. There is also money involved, but it emerges not through any one endeavor but more through the sharing of resources in a long-term experience. The keynote here is that everyone’s horizons will expand, not just those of one individual involved. Honor that one idea and you are in for some pleasant surprises.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mercury has made its way into Aquarius, and this means adventure. If you can’t get on an airplane or the Space Shuttle, try taking a road trip of at least two hours and one overnight. You may be busy, but this will help you focus your ideas and clear your head. If you think a kid is holding you back, take the kid along too. What you need is movement, the expansion of your geographic horizons, which will key right into the expansion of your psychological horizons. I guess in a pinch, getting together with some good friends and tripping will suffice. But after a rather close and stuffy experience of someone or something the past few weeks, you really seem to need some fresh air and the sound of tires humming beneath your feet.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The recent New Moon in your opposite sign will start to show you some results this weekend, though it would help if you would get yourself out of the house, out of the shell, and into the mood to take some chances with people. You like to think of yourself as cautious by nature, but we both know that’s only a small aspect of who you are, and certainly not the dominant aspect of your character. Now, if you choose to take a chance, be mindful that any interaction with others you don’t know can bristle you the wrong way. You don’t need to wear your raincoat or a suit of psychic armor, but do be mindful of the fact that you’re open and receptive. If you choose who to be receptive to — mainly by who you notice feels you — the possibilities for unusual pleasure, exotic dalliances and the kind of stuff you only read about in Kama Sutra books is possible.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
There must be a lot going on. That feels like a statement from my first year of writing horoscopes, looking at a chart with seven planets piled up in one house — your opposite house Aquarius — perplexfully wondering what on Earth is going on. This is your house of relationships. Has a whole mob arrived for the weekend? Have you been stumping in the New Hampshire primaries? Have you opened a charm school? Have you gone to Utah and become polygamous? Are you contemplating all of the above? The key is to not let any of this distract you from what work you are so intent on completing. There is someone else around who can play host or hostess while you take care of the important stuff. You don’t need to dive into the social scene. Making the occasional cameo appearance will suffice.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Keep track of how your body feels. This is the Big Yoga of this lifetime for you; Virgos are some of the smartest people around, but generally need to be dunked under water to have their body speak to them; I refer to the Virgo Moon as well. But your body is talking and if you listen, you will see that it’s making sense. There is a long-range healing issue that is ready to cough up some of its secrets, and reveal the truth of its being. This will surprise you in its simplicity, transcending your other complicated theories about what has been going on for you. It will surprise you in its complexity, being so connected to many other subjects of your life. Just listen to yourself for the next few days, listen to your fingers, toes, nose and pantyhose. If you do, you’ll hear whispers of many subtle truths that have, in recent weeks and seasons, slipped through your hands.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
How is your home improvement project coming? Now is the time to knock down walls, pull down old curtains, pull up old rugs, clean out closets and generally get the show on the road. Perhaps rent a dumpster or get a deluxe ticket to the local transfer station. Don’t worry if you lack the plan or the funds to finish the job — start with starting the job and you will clear the energy sufficiently to let the funds, the plan and the time come in. I see the image of making things not only bigger from the inside, but substantially better. This astrology lasts throughout the year, but the coming week or so (preferably this weekend) is unusually magnificent for starting projects that get greater-than-possible results. The issue is precisely one of how you use, arrange, organize and work within physical space. Try making some small adjustment and see what happens.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
A loved one may seem like he or she is on an adventure; and if it happens to be with someone else, take the chance to do all that introspective stuff that you know you need to do. If it happens to be with you, make sure you get some time to yourself the next couple of weeks (and I extend this idea to all who are born under Mars-ruled signs, including Aries and Capricorn). We are in the final weeks of a rare Mars retrograde. There is something deep in your psyche that is striving to heal itself, to mend and join with itself. It is surely possible to do that in a sexual context with another person, but the more meaningful journey at this point will be allowing the hemispheres of your own mind to mend and heal into one unity. You need to see the opposite viewpoints you have about yourself, review your agreements with yourself, and see yourself from both sides of the mirror.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You may not feel like you need to do any financial restructuring, but in a few weeks it will be obvious why this will benefit you. But closer to the point is some deep question that has arisen where your values are concerned. You seem to be caught in a maze where you feel certain things at certain times, and then you turn a corner and it’s as if all those things were suddenly no longer true. You might value the quest for perfectly unnecessary real estate (or purchases) one minute and unmitigated altruism the next. The two seem to have no meeting place, and worse they may be at odds. Plus, at the moment you have so many ideas about life it’s impossble to tell what is really true, what is meaningful and what is real. I suggest you dance with the confusion for a while. Soon enough, you will discover an organizing principle around which to make your decisions about what counts, and what doesn’t.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
This must be an intense moment of anticipation for you: if it’s not, meditate and tune in, because the planets are moving, in particular, Pluto. The world is vibrating with the approaching shift of Pluto into your birth sign. Even the slugs on the political slime trail in New Hampshire and Iowa have been talking about change, change, change. For you, this is a moment of release from a kind of vacuum that you don’t necessarily know you’ve been in. You are likely to discover that the spell breaks, and you can suddenly feel yourself existing, living, breathing and changing. But not quite yet…the moment has not arrived. The planets depict you in your chrysalis, stirring to life, but not quite at the moment of cracking open the case and emerging in your new form. Yet it is only a matter of days, and you know one thing at least — after so many changes, you are still alive.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
By now, you know how complex you are and how comfortable you are being that way. What has been added to the mix lately is Mercury, which has added the ability to communicate your thoughts and notions. What is soon to arrive is your ability to feel other people’s responses to you. Notice, you are glowing like a halogen lamp…not just on the visible spectrum but also on many of the invisible ones, the ones that people like to call psychic or supernatural, but which are every bit as natural as a tree or a dog. Navigate carefully, and use your awareness to sense the influence and impact that you have on others. Watch their faces and feel their emotions. You will learn a lot about them, and even more about yourself.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Feed your dreams. Your house of dreams, the 12th house (and the one most often attributed to Pisces) is full to the brim right now, and your imagination is likely to be more vivid than the walking and talking world. Search those byways of your inner consciousness and memorize their messages, feel their colors and sense the different moods. What is in those secret spaces will slowly start to emerge and take up its role in the world, animate itself, and take up life in your waking psyche. For now, it’s possible that you cannot share much except with one or two intimates, or with yourself. Try to document what you can in art, writing or music. Forget about understanding; rather, give yourself a few gestures of the feeling, and that will be enough to evoke the entire experience again when you want to, or need to.

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