After Hours Goes to the Stars

Intro / Revolutionary Fervor / When Titans Clash / What Does This Mean for Me? / An Aside About The Celebrity Death Epidemic

Intro

Have you wondered lately whether we're having a collective nervous breakdown? Look at what's happening in your life and the world around you. The economy is collapsing -- or maybe it isn't; we're told so many different things about it -- and everyone has a keen eye on their employment (or lack thereof), their benefits (ditto) and above all their money (ditto again). Civility has disappeared in public discourse and taken meaningful fact-based discussion with it. The political has become fiercely personal in many a family, friendship and social group. Differences of opinion have become so polarizing that little room remains for rational conversation (and, in some cases, continuing the relationship.) What is going on?

Astrology has some answers. If your opinion of that is based on the generalized fluff that appears in newspaper sun sign columns, indulge me and keep reading. A more productive use of this tool is looking at what happened the previous times current astrological configurations occurred. A couple are going on that have individually coincided with massive cultural and political upheaval. Only this time, they're happening all at once.

Revolutionary Fervor

We're in the first recurrence of an influence that was last around during the American and French Revolutions. The time before that was when a cleric named Martin Luther tacked his 95 Theses on a cathedral door in Wuerms and set off a firestorm that led to Protestantism breaking off from the Catholic Church. The overseer of both eras, when someone(s) in a perceived lowly position took out entrenched power, was Pluto in Capricorn.

Ignore its recent demotion to dwarf planet. No matter how you label it, Pluto represents penetrating, inescapable transformation of whatever terrain it is crossing. It starts with exposing rot, decay and secrets in big institutions and behind the scenes, and it often triggers terror, obsession and other monsters from the psychological depths. (Hence so many accusations and epithets being screamed in public; fears and rage are erupting that can not be stilled by use of reason.) In Capricorn, the objects of Pluto's scalpel include governments, financial institutions, corporations, the monetary system, agriculture as well as agribusiness and the infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels and the like). And how stable have they been lately? You see my point. They have been within his metaphoric sights since Pluto moved into Capricorn at the end of January 2008 (ducking out from May till the day before Thanksgiving). His influence intensified this month after he returned to the first degree of the sign and turned around on September 11, when his forward march begins in earnest and the true transformation gets underway.

Everything on the above list -- including this country itself-- is in for a profound metamorphosis over the long haul. Pluto remains in Capricorn, stripping and streamlining our collective and individual infrastructures, until 2024. In 2022, he reaches the position he occupied when the USA was founded, an event called a return. When any planet comes full circle, a cycle ends and a new one begins. This one will be dramatic. Will Pluto's transit in Capricorn bring a collapse of our monetary system? A splintering of the union? Further entrenchment of multinational corporate political power and overt implementation of corporate feudalism? A return to local focus and control? The only thing that's certain is that our country and culture will be radically different in a dozen years or so. The early warning signals of what this might mean will start in November, when Pluto hits a harsh aspect with the ruler of the sign he's in, Saturn.

When Titans Clash

Saturn is involved in the other major aspect shaking things up. He's in a five-part aspect called an opposition with Uranus, which is ongoing from November 2008 through July 2010. It's a face-off between order and chaos, structure and demolition, rigid rules and liberating insight, the way we've always done it and the winds of change. The process is bumpy, inexorable and always leading to revolution in the status quo.

The last time this happened was 1965-1967, a span of years that saw race riots, the civil rights movement and the appointment of the first black cabinet member and took our culture from "Leave It To Beaver" to "Easy Rider." (For a five-minute crash course on this aspect and its recent history, watch my video "Why Things Are Falling Apart" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q84JHO5Y5q0 on YouTube.)

This time around, the shake-up began on Election Day. The second exact date was February 5. With the third one on September 15, we're smack in the middle of the process right now. This time, Jupiter and Neptune are also involved, in an interlocking aspect that makes it possible to see the big picture and benefit in all the changes erupting within and around us, at least on a personal level. Each of us should have a pretty good idea of what is being restructured in our personal life. By this point, most of us are ready for the breakdown of the old and arrival of the new (whatever that might be for us personally). Two more dates in the process remain: April 25 and July 26 next year. Whatever is unfolding in your life, it may well be next summer until the new structures are solid and in place.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Even though people tend to react with apprehension at the prospect of change, what's happening now is greatly to everyone's personal benefit. No matter where you currently stand on the changes that are at work in your life, every shift and break and twist and redefinition is liberating you from outmoded situations and thinking and opening you to living more in the moment and truly to yourself.

The aspects of the past couple of years have been strengthening your ability to do just that. As the cosmic change agent aspects have been moving into place, other astrological influences have been empowering and emboldening us as individuals. We've had lessons in tightening and protecting our personal boundaries, focusing on our own well-being and leaving other people's business to them. The summer's eclipses prompted many a realization that no one else can really make you feel secure and nurtured but yourself, as well as many a sharp and permanent redefinition of family relationships, both blood and chosen. (Not just marital breakups, either; I've observed unforeseen and drastic shifts in sibling dynamics, too.) We've been encouraged to get to know and commit to our true selves, to honor, value and express our special and unique talents, to pursue our passions, wherever they may lead, and to stop wasting energy on people who simply don't get us.

And, most of all, the year's aspects signal that it's time to treat the mind as only one of several guiding faculties and no longer the controller. The imperative is to trust nonrational impulses -- whether you call it your heart, your intuition, your gut -- even, and especially, when there is no empirical data backing it up. The change agent aspects are helping everyone arrive at a personal bottom line: what you need to feel alive, safe and nurtured; the people who see, appreciate and support you for who you are; the talents and passions that your soul must pursue; even the possessions that are most critical to you. Everything else is falling away as we streamline and focus our time and energy on what truly matters to us, and nothing else. Live within those narrowed parameters and enjoy each day. It's really that simple.

An Aside About the Celebrity Death Epidemic

I'll leave it to the statisticians whether the number of celebrity deaths since June has been unusually high or not. What is certain is that their status as icons has left many people feeling personally touched and bereft. Defining cultural figures of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s have departed, and each passing has closed the door more firmly on our past. This is part of the astrological changing of the guard that started this summer when June's new moon in Cancer made a brutal aspect to Pluto in Capricorn. Since this took place just before the solstice, the aspect colored the three months that have followed. It has coincided with the deaths of people we have looked up to as leaders (Ted Kennedy, the last of the Kennedy brothers), as cultural figureheads (Michael Jackson and Mary Travers), and as avuncular, trusted guests we regularly invited into our homes (Walter Cronkite and Ed MacMahon). These departures mark the end of an era. Ten years into this century, the last one is now well and truly over.

© Kathy Biehl 2009. All Rights Reserved.