The Book of Threes

2012: Year of cosmic destiny

 

Says Shirley Bose, spiritual diviner, “2012 is a period of higher consciousness. People on a high spiritual plane will ascend to the next level, while people who live primarily on the material plane will seek spirituality. People will turn to New Age healing techniques besides using traditional medicine.”

Says Sunita Menon, tarot card reader, “2012 will see the start of a completely new era. Astrologically, it is a difficult time but I do not foresee the end of the world. It will certainly be a time when human perceptions will change and spirituality will be heightened — a time when we will understand that miracles happen.”

According to Larra Shah, crystal ball gazer, the earth will face numerous natural calamities during this period. “Some countries will experience major changes in weather patterns and cities surrounded by water will face natural calamities. So it’s important for our disaster management systems to be in place.”

Many international astrologers are predicting everything from the seas rising, to the collapsing of the financial system, to the demise of western civilisation and the drama of a new consciousness that will sweep the planet, as well as ascension to higher realms during this period. Says astrologer Lizia Batla, “It is a year of dramatic changes that is accompanied by pain, and definitely a landmark year.”

An Alignment for Our TimesPart Two: The Aftermath of 2010

The 1960’s may seem like a curious anomaly in these rather conservative and even-tempered times. However, astrology illuminates the cyclical nature of history and demonstrates the recurrence of archetypal patterns that lie beneath the stream of cultural evolution. Given this perspective, the 1960’s must seen as a seed or birth time, a time which rebelled against cultural norms of the day and which liberated, awakened, and excited new potentials to replace dying and outworn modes of expression. If the conjunction between Uranus and Pluto is to symbolize an origin of new values and modes of expression, then the subsequent square alignment between Uranus and Pluto—occurring between 2008 through 2018—is symbolic of the struggle to manifest and midwife the potentials of the conjunction in a more enduring and effectual manner.

 

Of all the recollections that are to be evoked of the 1960’s by those that experienced the decade, quite possibly the easiest and most accessible memories are attached to the music and art of the time. It is truly through art and music that archetypes receive their greatest and most vibrant expression, and the decade reflects the combination of Uranus and Pluto remarkably. In music, one only need to conjure reminiscences of the beginning chords to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” the thunderous opening riff to “Layla,” the tumultuous crescendo to the Beatles “A Day in the Life,” or the passionate, soulful voice of Janis Joplin. All these instances capture the power and creative brilliance of the Uranus-Pluto synthesis. In the visual arts and film, unforgettable images pervade from the period: The harnessing of technology in the “Dawn of Man” sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the wild editing and camera movement in Midnight Cowboy, the explosive color in Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art, or the shocking experimentations from Andy Warhol.

Through both visual arts and music, we see the combination of Uranus and Pluto expressed transparently: The creative, rebellious mental fire of Uranus meets with the passionate, soulful, and intense vibrations of Pluto. The composite effect is extraordinary, leading not only to revolutions in art and music, but to the most powerful and brilliant creativity possible. It is no wonder that, aside from its chaotic wildness and frenzy, that Uranus and Pluto are so associated with peak experiences and collective mania.

The preceding hard aspects between Uranus and Pluto before the 1960’s also show the powerful and creative stirrings of the combination. In the dancehalls of Harlem was birthed Swing, a genre, like Rock, that would profoundly influence pop culture. As the Uranus-Pluto square of the 1930’s reached its tightest orb, Swing possessed American culture. As critic Gary Giddins writes, “Swing music was an electrifying development in American popular culture…It…unleashed forces that, I think, people didn’t know existed.”(3) The start of the century witnessed an opposition between Uranus and Pluto and, like Rock and Swing after it, Ragtime was a musical phenomenon. With its infectious syncopations and incredibly catchy hooks, Ragtime started a short-lived but undeniable cultural obsession.

The combination of Uranus and Pluto—mesmerizing, powerful, and wickedly creative—creates a sort of phenomenal grip on the popular imagination. More than just correlating with fads or trends, Uranus-Pluto times are associated with manias (as in“Beatlemania”) crazes(“the latest craze”), and rages(“it’s all the rage”).Thus, the archetypal energy of the combination is very much responsible for injecting a pulse into dormant or dying cultural expressions. Given its Promethean intensity, the Uranus-Pluto phenomenon is undeniable in its extraordinary genius and force.

 

When Uranus makes hard aspect to Pluto, our collective relationship to sexuality changes. Pluto may be thought to rule the sexual centers inside of us. Physiologically, we may think of Pluto as having association with the reproductive and limbic systems, with their biological imperatives to procreate and reproduce. More esoterically, we may think of Pluto as having an association with the lower charkas, particularly the second chakra. When Uranus forms a hard alignment to Pluto, awareness, stimulation, and excitation occurs in our collectively owned sexual energy and the reverberations and manifestations are profound. Uranus aligning with Pluto acts doubly as a liberator of sexual energy—the release and excitation of sexual centers—but also makes us profoundly more aware of our sexual natures as well.

A look at the last two eras in which Uranus and Pluto were in hard aspect will illustrate the sexual dynamism of the alignments. Certainly, one of the first associations one has of the sixties was the sexual experimentation and liberation that was occurring at the time. The repressive and strict codes of conduct that ruled sexuality and gender throughout the decades prior to the sixties were rebelled against as a burgeoning libido and primal life force began to culturally intensify. This rising tide of sexual liberation could be mirrored everywhere in the cultural discourse of the time. The sixties commenced with the introduction of the birth control pill which allowed sexuality to be cut from the umbilical cord of reproduction. To compliment the sexual liberating technology, attitudes and mores toward sex shifted rapidly and deeply at this time. What once was taboo became tolerated; What once was prohibited now became permitted. Promiscuity and free love experimentation were no longer relegated to a small underground minority but were embraced by an entire generation of youth.

However, more than just a decade of sexual liberation and awakening, new levels of heightened eroticism could be witnessed in the entire cultural panorama of the time. Most noticeably, mainstream cinema began to integrate material that was much more sexually erotic and explicit in nature, ultimately leading to the creation of the rating system at the end of the decade. Eroticism in movies was not reserved for the exploitation films of the era but was incorporated into all genres: from action movies (the popular James Bond series) to science fiction (One Million Years B.C.); from horror (Psycho; Hammer film productions) to comedy (The Graduate). Yet movies were arguably only a reflection of what was going on a deeper level of the collective psyche as all outlets of popular culture were, as author Aurthur Marwick suggests, “rejoicing the natural attributes of the body.”(1)

Witnessing a square between Pluto and Uranus, the 1930’s, like the 1960’s, also was remarkable for its heightening of eroticism and challenges to sexual mores of its day. As the androgynous “flapper” style of the 1920’s went into the decline, a new, more sexually potent fashion—and the birth of the moniker “bombshell”—gripped the collective. Due mainly to nude scenes of famous starlets like Hedy Lamarr and Myrna Loy and the sexual explicit monologues of Mae West films, The Hays code was a moral backlash which strictly enforced what could and could not be shown in movies.(2) However, even as the movie industry controlled a new sexuality that was emerging on onscreen, they could not repress the emerging cultural eroticism. The 1930’s saw the birth of the two-piece bathing suit for women, the acceptance of sexual investigation in academia through the Kinsey Report, and an escalating but temporary leniency toward sexual behavior.

 

When Uranus receives a major aspect from the other outer planets of Neptune and Pluto, technological innovation tends to take a large leap forward. That is, the acceleration of technological progress when Uranus is in alignment to Neptune and Pluto is noticeably heightened and quickened. During these times, novelty and technological improvement take a discontinuous leap forward, and societies have to adapt very quickly to the radical technological and scientific advances that are occurring. Uranus alignments to Neptune and Pluto tend to revolutionize technology; the steady and staid progress of evolving technology during typical times is overturned and overthrown.

Reviewing the last two conjunctions between Uranus and the other two outer planets, we can observe the increasing velocity of technological progress. In the decade of the 1990’s, Uranus and Neptune formed a rare conjunction. During this time and seemingly from out of nowhere, a technology that had its origins in the 1960’s, the Internet, literally revolutionized global culture and economics. Although the integration and development of the Internet and its potential is still very much evolving, the liberation and creative birth time—the extraordinary novelty and originality of the Internet—has occurred.

Like the 1990’s, the Uranus conjunction to Pluto in the 1960’s also witnessed extraordinary technological revolutions and quantum leaps forward in innovation. The most stunning and obvious example of this period is witnessed in the golden age of space exploration. Unparalleled in terms of its scope and advancement, the 1960’s saw incredible breakthroughs in space exploration from the deployment of the first satellites to the crowning achievement of sending a man to the Moon. However, the 1960’s also realized science and technical accomplishments that had more bearing on day-to-day reality. Commercial computers became viable for the first time, the workforce in Europe, Asia and the United States moved increasingly into white-collar jobs demanding technological skills, and consumer lifestyles embraced to a higher degree than ever before a hi-tech world.

When reviewing cycles involving Uranus and the outer planets, the conclusion can be drawn that technological and industrial progress take giants leaps forward in their momentum. In particular, the Uranus-Pluto cycle makes sweeping changes in the technological and industrial landscape and the backdrop in which we live irrevocably changes.

In last month’s essay, we focused upon a challenging and stressful aspect that has grabbed the attention of many astrologers, a t-square involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto occurring in 2010. Given the symbolism involved and drawing from ancient and intuitive wisdom, this time represents both a turning point in history and a crucible of socio-culture forces. The alignment suggests that old structures and traditional modes of being will clash—and potentially clash violently—with new ideologies and social organizations that have reached their point of needing collective manifestation. If the 2010 t-square alignment is to be the fulcrum of change, then what are the emerging possibilities that will surface from the wake of this time?

The main astrological alignment that informs the next decade involves a square, or ninety degree, alignment between Uranus and Pluto. Essentially, as Saturn moves out of alignment with both Uranus and Pluto, the two outer planets remain in the configuration. Given an orb of ten degrees, this square between Uranus and Pluto will remain in effect through 2018. As a pairing, Uranus and Pluto correlate with times of societal change, upheaval, and revolution. When these two planets join forces, cultural structures are challenged and often transformed.

Instead of predicting what changes may come from the Uranus-Pluto square alignment ahead, it is advisable to look at historic precedent, to see how the Uranus-Pluto cycle has manifested through history. Through scrutiny of the cycle, it is apparent that these alignments have a foundation-rocking, evolutionary, and progressive vector; it may be argued that this cycle is the true engine and catalyst for the tremendous push on cultural evolution that occurs from time to time. The following represents only a small sampling of the potentials that occur under this cycle, however, through focusing in on this short list of possibilities, one can extrapolate the forthcoming potentials that wait in the decade ahead.

Technological Innovation and Changing Infrastructure

The Return of Eroticism and New Levels of Sexual Expression

Brilliance in Artistic Expression and the Revitalization of Pop Culture

Holding the Larger Framework

As exciting, dynamic, and creative are the potentials of Uranus-Pluto times, they are also highly chaotic, destabilizing, and even destructive. This essay has highlighted some of the more positive potentials of the Uranus-Pluto combination, however, as extraordinarily powerful and profoundly liberating these eras can be, they are also “crazy-making,” undermining, and highly disorienting. The sciences of chaos and complexity teach us that in order for a system to evolve and survive, stasis and equilibrium are not the answer. On the contrary, when pushed far-from-equilibrium, systems are forced to experiment, challenge, and create, often coming up with brilliant and novel solutions and new ways of relating. Uranus-Pluto times push cultures to the edge of chaos, forcing growth, change, and novelty. May you live in interesting times!

(1) Marwick, Arthur. The Sixties. (18)

(2) In his book, Pre-Code Hollywood, Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, author Thomas Doherty argues that Hollywood films between 1930-1934 were at their wildest, sexiest, and most violent.

(3) http://www.pbs.org/jazz/time/time_depression.htm

The 1960’s may seem like a curious anomaly in these rather conservative and even-tempered times. However, astrology illuminates the cyclical nature of history and demonstrates the recurrence of archetypal patterns that lie beneath the stream of cultural evolution. Given this perspective, the 1960’s must seen as a seed or birth time, a time which rebelled against cultural norms of the day and which liberated, awakened, and excited new potentials to replace dying and outworn modes of expression. If the conjunction between Uranus and Pluto is to symbolize an origin of new values and modes of expression, then the subsequent square alignment between Uranus and Pluto—occurring between 2008 through 2018—is symbolic of the struggle to manifest and midwife the potentials of the conjunction in a more enduring and effectual manner.

Of all the recollections that are to be evoked of the 1960’s by those that experienced the decade, quite possibly the easiest and most accessible memories are attached to the music and art of the time. It is truly through art and music that archetypes receive their greatest and most vibrant expression, and the decade reflects the combination of Uranus and Pluto remarkably. In music, one only need to conjure reminiscences of the beginning chords to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” the thunderous opening riff to “Layla,” the tumultuous crescendo to the Beatles “A Day in the Life,” or the passionate, soulful voice of Janis Joplin. All these instances capture the power and creative brilliance of the Uranus-Pluto synthesis. In the visual arts and film, unforgettable images pervade from the period: The harnessing of technology in the “Dawn of Man” sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the wild editing and camera movement in Midnight Cowboy, the explosive color in Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art, or the shocking experimentations from Andy Warhol.

Through both visual arts and music, we see the combination of Uranus and Pluto expressed transparently: The creative, rebellious mental fire of Uranus meets with the passionate, soulful, and intense vibrations of Pluto. The composite effect is extraordinary, leading not only to revolutions in art and music, but to the most powerful and brilliant creativity possible. It is no wonder that, aside from its chaotic wildness and frenzy, that Uranus and Pluto are so associated with peak experiences and collective mania.

The preceding hard aspects between Uranus and Pluto before the 1960’s also show the powerful and creative stirrings of the combination. In the dancehalls of Harlem was birthed Swing, a genre, like Rock, that would profoundly influence pop culture. As the Uranus-Pluto square of the 1930’s reached its tightest orb, Swing possessed American culture. As critic Gary Giddins writes, “Swing music was an electrifying development in American popular culture…It…unleashed forces that, I think, people didn’t know existed.”(3) The start of the century witnessed an opposition between Uranus and Pluto and, like Rock and Swing after it, Ragtime was a musical phenomenon. With its infectious syncopations and incredibly catchy hooks, Ragtime started a short-lived but undeniable cultural obsession.

The combination of Uranus and Pluto—mesmerizing, powerful, and wickedly creative—creates a sort of phenomenal grip on the popular imagination. More than just correlating with fads or trends, Uranus-Pluto times are associated with manias (as in“Beatlemania”) crazes(“the latest craze”), and rages(“it’s all the rage”).Thus, the archetypal energy of the combination is very much responsible for injecting a pulse into dormant or dying cultural expressions. Given its Promethean intensity, the Uranus-Pluto phenomenon is undeniable in its extraordinary genius and force.

When Uranus makes hard aspect to Pluto, our collective relationship to sexuality changes. Pluto may be thought to rule the sexual centers inside of us. Physiologically, we may think of Pluto as having association with the reproductive and limbic systems, with their biological imperatives to procreate and reproduce. More esoterically, we may think of Pluto as having an association with the lower charkas, particularly the second chakra. When Uranus forms a hard alignment to Pluto, awareness, stimulation, and excitation occurs in our collectively owned sexual energy and the reverberations and manifestations are profound. Uranus aligning with Pluto acts doubly as a liberator of sexual energy—the release and excitation of sexual centers—but also makes us profoundly more aware of our sexual natures as well.

A look at the last two eras in which Uranus and Pluto were in hard aspect will illustrate the sexual dynamism of the alignments. Certainly, one of the first associations one has of the sixties was the sexual experimentation and liberation that was occurring at the time. The repressive and strict codes of conduct that ruled sexuality and gender throughout the decades prior to the sixties were rebelled against as a burgeoning libido and primal life force began to culturally intensify. This rising tide of sexual liberation could be mirrored everywhere in the cultural discourse of the time. The sixties commenced with the introduction of the birth control pill which allowed sexuality to be cut from the umbilical cord of reproduction. To compliment the sexual liberating technology, attitudes and mores toward sex shifted rapidly and deeply at this time. What once was taboo became tolerated; What once was prohibited now became permitted. Promiscuity and free love experimentation were no longer relegated to a small underground minority but were embraced by an entire generation of youth.

However, more than just a decade of sexual liberation and awakening, new levels of heightened eroticism could be witnessed in the entire cultural panorama of the time. Most noticeably, mainstream cinema began to integrate material that was much more sexually erotic and explicit in nature, ultimately leading to the creation of the rating system at the end of the decade. Eroticism in movies was not reserved for the exploitation films of the era but was incorporated into all genres: from action movies (the popular James Bond series) to science fiction (One Million Years B.C.); from horror (Psycho; Hammer film productions) to comedy (The Graduate). Yet movies were arguably only a reflection of what was going on a deeper level of the collective psyche as all outlets of popular culture were, as author Aurthur Marwick suggests, “rejoicing the natural attributes of the body.”(1)

Witnessing a square between Pluto and Uranus, the 1930’s, like the 1960’s, also was remarkable for its heightening of eroticism and challenges to sexual mores of its day. As the androgynous “flapper” style of the 1920’s went into the decline, a new, more sexually potent fashion—and the birth of the moniker “bombshell”—gripped the collective. Due mainly to nude scenes of famous starlets like Hedy Lamarr and Myrna Loy and the sexual explicit monologues of Mae West films, The Hays code was a moral backlash which strictly enforced what could and could not be shown in movies.(2) However, even as the movie industry controlled a new sexuality that was emerging on onscreen, they could not repress the emerging cultural eroticism. The 1930’s saw the birth of the two-piece bathing suit for women, the acceptance of sexual investigation in academia through the Kinsey Report, and an escalating but temporary leniency toward sexual behavior.

When Uranus receives a major aspect from the other outer planets of Neptune and Pluto, technological innovation tends to take a large leap forward. That is, the acceleration of technological progress when Uranus is in alignment to Neptune and Pluto is noticeably heightened and quickened. During these times, novelty and technological improvement take a discontinuous leap forward, and societies have to adapt very quickly to the radical technological and scientific advances that are occurring. Uranus alignments to Neptune and Pluto tend to revolutionize technology; the steady and staid progress of evolving technology during typical times is overturned and overthrown.

Reviewing the last two conjunctions between Uranus and the other two outer planets, we can observe the increasing velocity of technological progress. In the decade of the 1990’s, Uranus and Neptune formed a rare conjunction. During this time and seemingly from out of nowhere, a technology that had its origins in the 1960’s, the Internet, literally revolutionized global culture and economics. Although the integration and development of the Internet and its potential is still very much evolving, the liberation and creative birth time—the extraordinary novelty and originality of the Internet—has occurred.

Like the 1990’s, the Uranus conjunction to Pluto in the 1960’s also witnessed extraordinary technological revolutions and quantum leaps forward in innovation. The most stunning and obvious example of this period is witnessed in the golden age of space exploration. Unparalleled in terms of its scope and advancement, the 1960’s saw incredible breakthroughs in space exploration from the deployment of the first satellites to the crowning achievement of sending a man to the Moon. However, the 1960’s also realized science and technical accomplishments that had more bearing on day-to-day reality. Commercial computers became viable for the first time, the workforce in Europe, Asia and the United States moved increasingly into white-collar jobs demanding technological skills, and consumer lifestyles embraced to a higher degree than ever before a hi-tech world.

When reviewing cycles involving Uranus and the outer planets, the conclusion can be drawn that technological and industrial progress take giants leaps forward in their momentum. In particular, the Uranus-Pluto cycle makes sweeping changes in the technological and industrial landscape and the backdrop in which we live irrevocably changes.

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Three is the Magic Number

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