Dear Friend and Reader:
We can count everything happening now as the Pluto return of the United States. Though it technically starts in 2022 and extends a few years, we are presently in the vortex of this once per 248 years event. Current circumstances are, due to the rarity of this aspect, much more meaningful and influential than they may seem, especially in an era where everything is considered irrelevant.
There are three main elements to the U.S. Pluto return. One is the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of Jan. 12, 2020. I described this cycle in a few paragraphs in the most recent Monday Morning edition (third section).
In order to understand what is happening now — assuming you want to — this is essential reading. I have a couple of other pieces on the Pluto return that I will add in the P.S., below my signature.
The first element is the alignment on Jan. 12: Saturn and Pluto are joined by Mercury, the Sun and Ceres, all within about two degrees. That is how 2020 starts off. The second element is that this whole pattern forms a square to Eris in Aries.
Eris is not always as simple as discord (her Roman name was Discordia, patron saint of sci-fi author Robert Anton Wilson). In my 2007 monograph about Eris, I talked about the problem of personality fragmentation due to over-involvement with the internet. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
The Pluto-Eris Square
The third element, related to the second, is that Pluto-Eris square lasts for years, and is directly involved in the United States Pluto return: Eris will be square the U.S. Pluto, and Pluto will be conjunct its natal position. The position of the U.S. Pluto is that at the outset of the American revolution. So by current transits, the revolution that began in 1776 is being activated like it never has before — not even close.
The current discord of Eris involves living in a world where there is an epidemic of disembodiment. We are haunting the planet like ghosts in the machine, rather than fully inhabiting our bodies, our lives, our relationships, our work, or even our buildings. You can read more on this in my invisible environments article; I won’t go on about it here for too long, except to say that it’s a problem, and one that we can solve if we want.
Disembodied people tend toward violence. They also tend to be horny and don’t know how to connect with others, or trust them enough to do so. Disembodiment is the essence of the isolation we are feeling here in the digital age. The sexual desperation of our times smells like shorted-out electrical wiring getting hotter and about to burst into flames. Sexual desperation is so pervasive as to be environmental: it disappears. Like any environmental toxin, it is ubiquitous.
Guns and mass shootings are in the discussion again. This keeps happening, and it tends to go nowhere. We all thought that Sandy Hook Elementary School was going to be the shooting to end all shootings. That did not work out.
I grew up among gun lovers and NRA members, so a lot of what I’m hearing these days, I’ve heard over and over again and have had decades to analyze. Also, I’ve been tracking the mass shooting issue in Planet Waves for about 12 years. You don’t need a Ph.D. in psychology to understand that the greater the seeming threat, the more people think they need weapons, which increases their sense of threat, and therefore, the potential for violence.
Lesson 135: This Insane Belief
Students of A Course in Miracles will recognize the same principle applies to all defenses, as summed up in Lesson 135: If I defend myself, I am attacked. That is the fundamental logic of the ego: the very basis of its existence, and the place to start the unraveling. This is probably the “hardest” lesson of the 365, though the concept is simple enough to demonstrate to yourself. It just takes a little self-awareness.
Here is a paragraph, split in two for readability:
“You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgment of an inherent weakness; a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you to make appropriate defense.
“The world is based on this insane belief. And all its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and heavy armaments, its legal definitions and its codes, its ethics and its leaders and its gods, all serve but to preserve its sense of threat. For no one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking at his heart.”
This is a picture of the endless loop in which we now live, guns or no guns. There is no political solution to this troubled evolution. It’s going to be a spiritual one.
It would seem that the first step toward the new American Revolution is going to be deciding to trust, and setting down our defenses. An essential step in this process is that you be trustworthy. That means keeping people’s confidences, showing up when you say you’re going to show up, and keeping your agenda transparent.
It’s About Trust
Various spiritual and other groovy traditions talk about love, and rarely talk about trusting and being trustworthy. The entire concept of love is so rooted in trust that without it, the notion of love is meaningless. But here is the challenge: once you open yourself up and trust, and show up, you will be disappointed: sometimes, occasionally or usually.
This is where the real work happens: of working out relationships, and cultivating trust. There is an art to this, which is a little like taking care of house plants, getting to know a cat, or learning a musical instrument.
Keep your expectations to a minimum. Give people some room to be themselves, and practice not being offended by trivial stuff. Notice who comes to you, and who notices you, and reward people for being friendly and generous (rather than punishing them, which is the world’s usual thing). Usually, you don’t know what you have until you offer it. Try making yourself available rather than avoiding people.
Have real conversations, and perhaps suspend categorizing things like friend, lover, date, not a date, interested for this, but not for that. See where the experience of a person takes you. If someone is mean, talk about it, and if that doesn’t work, then distance yourself.
One last thought. There will be no trust (particularly between men and women) until the sexual environment relaxes a little, or a lot. That specifically means until you relax. For that to happen, you will need to know yourself (as an active, daily, ongoing process). You will need to attend to your own injuries and wounds, so that they don’t become armor that keeps people away from you. This is a game of its own, and it has to stop, if we want any peace at all.
Part of what happens is we tend to project our negative experiences and expectations onto others, which is alienating. You cannot get to know someone this way. If you distrust someone merely for being attracted to you (or thinking that they are), you have the work to do, so do it.
There’s the real revolution: the mantra, “It’s not about them, it’s about me. It’s not about her, it’s about me. It’s not about him, it’s about me.” By that I mean your fears, your insecurities, your needs, your concerns, your untrusting thoughts, your jealousy, your fear, whatever. The people you can discuss this with will be potential friends and partners in healing as we wade into the future, or as it crashes over us like a wave.
With love and trust,
Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 (#1256) | By Victoria Emory
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’ve had to fight for your right to party. Like a hawk soaring on an updraft, you’ve had a few recent moments to catch your breath and take in the view from a higher perspective. If you’re feeling optimistic one minute, vaguely anxious the next, remember that even calmer waters call for skillful navigation. After several rocky months and withdrawn focus on past or domestic issues, you’re emerging to train your sights on the future. This includes reviewing changes in material security and adjusting what’s necessary to create the freedom you seek. Professional and domestic concerns might have been so overwhelming lately as to eclipse an underlying need, now ripe for attention: to free your mind; to feed your soul; to seek truth. Inner prompts toward study, spiritual development, writing or travel should be taken seriously. Make the quest real by homing in on one idea you’re really drawn to, and take the first step. With focus, the creative potential in such a path is immense. — By Victoria Emory
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Each evolutionary process has milestones, and Uranus moving through your house of self-identity can deliver some memorable jolts. But the revolutionary changes this transit implies take seven years to play out (give or take), and you’ll have six months to review what’s been stirred, after Uranus (the Great Awakener) stations retrograde on Sunday. Jupiter turns direct the same day, lending powerful support to what looks like a propitious stage of integration. A nine-month cycle involving relationships also wraps up now, on fertile soil to sow seeds for a new stage of relating: to partners, your past, your family and to your own desires. Your foundations, literal and psychic, are well synced at the moment. A lot’s going on inside and below ground, so take a few weeks to turn within and re-group. If your living space needs an upgrade, resources should be easier to tap. Envision goals with an eye toward practical strategies, and you’ll soon emerge with considerable creative fire to take deliberate action. — By Victoria Emory
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — After months of ponderous focus on personal security — and how other people factor into it — you can finally begin to make progress in important relationships with less overwhelming emphasis on power dynamics, or mercantile concerns. The game changes on Sunday, though you might have picked up a few recent, uplifting clues. Both your mind and schedule look pretty jammed, but the tempo is set to accelerate, so guard against overwhelm. Communication and relationship patterns are in re-set mode, in a sense, and opportunities to re-energize key relationships, personal and professional, hold significant promise. New connections are also possible now, if you’re interested. Just proceed with eyes open. There’s a potential for over-idealized projections, or compulsion/obsession, in all relations, including career-related. Would you prefer enriching, creative partnerships or vagueness and fantasy? Honesty and discernment will steer you right. — By Victoria Emory
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re an alchemist. You may not realize it, but the challenges you’ve faced this year, the bruises as well as victories, have all been integral to a heroic transformation of your self-identity: the dissolution of old patterns, and distillation, refinement and re-creation of how you manifest in this world. A stage of re-building and solidification clicks in now, and magnificent power is at your disposal to establish the material base you require. To channel that power most effectively, you’ll need to clarify priorities and systematically focus on specific facets of your overall project. Map out practical, step-by-step strategies, and stick to the outline. If you need a job, or an assistant, or additional skills, The Force is with you. Just be disciplined in your approach. A pitfall to avoid is the potential to scatter your energies in far-flung schemes, or getting sidetracked by dreamy projections far into the future. Use that wealth of creative vision to identify concrete objectives. Then stay on course. — By Victoria Emory
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your power to work creatively and courageously through any challenge is infinitely more accessible than it’s been for months, so don’t let a stalled professional project drag your speed. Whatever’s in play needs to be re-worked in some way, and you’ve got plenty of mojo to do your own thing. You’re emerging in a personal renaissance, and seeds planted now are charged with a fortunate ray. Mercury exits the shadows to enter your sign this week, so prepare to accelerate. The more you focus on creative projects, self-expression and objective self-examination, the less you’ll dissipate forces through buzzing all over the place. So much fire’s flowing through you these days; capture sparks of inspiration and put them to use, just don’t burn yourself out. Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, your life is your canvas, and more optimistic, invigorating winds are headed in your direction. Note: Play and creative exploration should be potent, revitalizing elixirs now. Excessive indulgence would have quite a different effect. — By Victoria Emory
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Where do you feel most connected; that inner sense of belonging and security at the root of your being? For nine months you’ve had the opportunity, perhaps necessity, to consider the question from a higher perspective. It’s been a powerful cycle of inner growth, making peace with your past, your family, and your own sense of self. Externally, Jupiter’s transit through the foundation of your chart can express in terms of ‘home improvement’; if you’ve wanted to get that ball rolling, this week’s direct station will help clear that path. The real action in your chart is very much internal, however: primarily focused in terms of working through a specific relationship issue. A great deal of your energy’s been wrapped up there. It’s human nature to romanticize the past or idealize partners, but the more honest you are with yourself, the more you allow emotion to move, the more you’ll reclaim parts of you that have been trapped. Several convergent cycles support this process; you cannot lose what is truly yours. — By Victoria Emory
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your approach to future goals has expanded this year. Previous frameworks of thought have evolved, and you’ve developed a higher level of perception. Key relationships in your community could factor directly in to what you hope to achieve, and after months of rumination, you should have a clearer sense as to how to proceed. A new start in such relationships is possible now, and you’ll do well to look at the history between you through that lens of greater wisdom now available. Communications in general, especially with allies you may have lost touch with, or involving long-term projects that have been on hold, are powerfully supported now. Express yourself as honestly as you can, with generosity of spirit and self-confidence. This might require transcending idealized scenarios, or insecurities you’ve held in the back of your mind. If writing is on your agenda, get real about discipline. You’ve got a message to deliver that will benefit others — trust your need to do so. Just strive for clarity; first within, then without. — By Victoria Emory
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Momentum is set to pick up this week regarding professional matters. If projects or negotiations have been hanging in mid-air, you should be quite well positioned to move forward and advance your interests. You’ll be most effective, however, when bringing your fine-tuned sensitivity to all communications. Your drive to succeed is intense, but potential ego clashes can be avoided with a little diplomatic intelligence. Feel into the environment and be very honest with yourself about your objectives. Brainstorming about creative ideas may indeed prove worthwhile, but the more methodical an approach you can take, the less power you’ll waste by getting side-tracked by fantasies or risky schemes. Relationships with employers or other authorities connected with your career seem especially highlighted this week, and it’s possible to establish new frameworks within which to operate. A metamorphosis in your relational environment overall is just getting started, but if recent fireworks caught you off guard, Uranus’ upcoming retrograde should tamp down that heat for a while, giving you plenty of time to adjust. — By Victoria Emory
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Jupiter resumes forward motion in your sign this week, with the house most conducive to their expression hosting a fiery power-panel of planets. The flow between them is electric, and when Mercury ignites that rocket the same day, you’re headed into a few weeks of Super-Sagg. With an encouraging wind at your back, the quest for truth hits Mach speed and adventure calls. It’s a rare, peak season for rewarding travel and study. The seeker of knowledge faces many tests along the path, however, and this epic year has delivered. Over-arching themes include freedom versus security, and withstanding the tension of evolving values and self-identity. Another challenge is trickier to pin down, and may be the hardest of all: to remain open without falling for tempting illusions. The process is deeply personal, and for a while longer, understand that you’re traversing a type of liminal realm. You’ll emerge soon enough, with greater clarity and understanding. Note the terrain, and trust that the journey is worth it. — By Victoria Emory
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You’re plenty familiar by now with the challenging side of Saturn’s conjunction with Pluto in your sign: the weighted, serious introspection; confrontation with unconscious shadows and drives, the works. But as your tribe knows instinctively, where there’s challenge, there’s reward. And the immense evolutionary rewards include the kind of wisdom gained only through deep exploration of inner dimensions; intimate self-knowledge; psychic transformation. This week some juicy juju provides powerful support to help tap these rewards. Jupiter’s whispering guidance to your inner being from off stage, and this benevolent teacher’s direct station lines up with your psychic receiver to turn that volume way up. To maximize reception, take time out and intentionally relax your body, quiet your mind and tune in. Gently turn your focus inward and try to let go. If you haven’t remembered dreams lately, just thinking about doing so helps. This is a dialogue between You and you; fortifying nutrition for your psyche and soul, that will serve your progress down the road. — By Victoria Emory
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Complex astrology this week expresses in your chart through exciting alignments between your cherished goals for the future and meaningful relationships that help you achieve them. Projects you may have been hoping for, or which required the right people, might spark to life to the mutual benefit of all. Conditions are very right for meeting friends who will help you realize ambitions, and more — who you relate to as part of the same tribe, in the sense of shared ideals. The light turns green under fortunate skies, so get ready to roll and get out there. A note to the wise: whatever’s involved has enormous creative potential, but keep an eye on any fuzziness around the financial component. Tension exists between needs and dreams. It’s also possible that a friend may become something more this week, or an intimate partnership gets re-negotiated. You’re integrating revolutionary changes in the deepest strata of your being: your roots; your past; your home. This is a work in progress. — By Victoria Emory
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You’ve had a vision of something of great significance that you’ve wanted to manifest in the world. It may seem as if that vision has drifted beyond your ability to actualize, and slippery friction has made gaining traction toward achieving that goal a genuine challenge. The time has come to banish self-doubt, however; to summon your will and get clear with yourself about how to make that dream real. Jupiter’s direct station this week can re-ignite faith in your power to do so, and you seem prepared to put in the work necessary. The more you direct your attention toward organized, tangible steps, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel by what may have become an over-idealized concept that needs to be brought into focus. You can access precisely the grounded, process-oriented commitment necessary. This is your key to mastery. But you must gather your intent and actively tap into it. Assistance is available; quite possibly in the form of allies you respect, who recognize your talent and potential. — By Victoria Emory