in the Saturn-Pluto Opposition
….Other Mundane Points
problem with mundane astrology is that it defies astrological interpretation
and analysis. The astrology of mundane events is so obvious that
there is little for the astrologer to say, except simply list the
specific indications. In the case of the attack on the World Trade
Center, for example, what else needs to be said but that Saturn
is opposite Pluto (along with a few other various and sundry planetary
themes and triggers)?
The other problem with mundane astrology is that its obviousness
comes after the fact; at least until the day that astrologers have
nothing else to do with our lives but keep a constant eye on the
charts of famous buildings, leaders and cities.
What’s often neglected in our mundane studies, however, is
the larger astrological context of the event. I’ll leave the
interpretation of this event, itself, to social commentators; but
here is some effort to detail the interpretation of the astro-significators
of the World Trade Center tragedy.
For instance, we know enough of the keywords for Saturn and Pluto
to get the basic idea of what happened on 9/11; but not enough has
been made of the opposition aspect in their cycle. We can associate
with that such themes as “face-to-face” (although, ironically,
we can’t even see the face of our Plutonian perpetrator).
“Make-or-break” is another good expression for the aspect
(although not much choice in the matter has appeared to Americans
so far). “Breaking point” also applies because, in an
opposition, things have gone as far as they can go; the waning or
returning phase begins here.
“Something that comes from the outside in.” That certainly
describes this Saturn-Pluto experience, at least from our point
of view; but how about from bin Laden’s?
The images of the opposition aspect come from the sign of Libra,
the first opposition in the zodiac. So we can associate words such
as harmony, balance and cooperation; but let’s remember that
Libra is the sign of all partnerships, including open enemies. (Interestingly,
this sign correlates with the Catholic religion’s sacrament
of confirmation, the passage in becoming a “soldier in Christ’s
army” in order to spread His word. The holy and warlike correlations
This sign also begins autumn or harvest time in our agricultural
year, so an opposition can also be interpreted as “reaping
what has been sown” or “seeing the results of one’s
labors” particularly in relation to the previous square in
the cycle. An opposition is not the start of interaction between
two planets; instead, it’s the start of “payback.”
This implies a “coming to awareness” of what has been
created. For this, then, we need to examine what occurred on that
previous square, and in this instance, unfortunately, that is all
too easy to see – the World Trade Center bombing of February
26, 1993 (at 12:18 P.M.)
Here is the major point of this article, which should come to no
surprise to astrologers. The world was given fair warning of bin
Laden’s intent and resources eight years ago. We had this
time to approach a position of cooperation with him (and all that
he represents); or to let our dealings continue as they had been,
leading us then to this current opposition. We had eight years to
accept him as a viable enemy; and he had these years to prepare
Remember that Saturn is exalted in Libra too; so in an opposition,
responsibility must be taken for actions past and future, although
no blame is laid. (Blame comes later in the cycle on the closing
square). The current events are not the fault of Bush or Clinton,
nor the FAA or the CIA, nor Wall Street or Main Street. Nor can
we play “shoulda, coulda, woulda.” It is you and me,
and each of us. It is the Collective. It is a function of the outer
planets, in this case Pluto and His mad obsession with growth and
expansion in the sign of Sagittarius. And straight in His face,
from the sign of Gemini, Saturn is saying, “Stop! Stop this
wild pursuit of wider horizons until it has some meaning that includes
even the Everyman.”
Or is it the other way around? In an opposition, it is very difficult
to tell who is who. Pluto in Sagittarius can just as easily represent
bin Laden’s fundamentalist principles confronting the Establishment,
as symbolized by Saturn in a civilized air sign? And how civilized
of the Western World to believe that we are the Establishment! There
in the face of the enemy lies the Shadow of one’s self.
For those who think Doomsday is upon us, think again about cycles.
It is the closing square that is the climax between two planets.
That is the final result of their interaction. That’s Judgment
Day (and there is still some say at this present opposition point
as to the degree of doom that might or might not be). On the closing
square, the destiny between two planets is made manifest and they
see what role they played in it. And the planets are us!
This might be a good opportunity also to mention the conjunction,
which, of course, is the “seed planted.” In the case
of this Saturn-Pluto cycle, the conjunction took place in 1982-83.
Richard Tarnas lists many interesting social events and trends that are mirrored
by the beginning of this cycle. Most notably, in relation to current
events, the Beirut crisis occurred, and in America, there was a
great uprising against nuclear arms. Remember when Ronald Reagan
borrowed the “Star Wars” title? Today, the Pentagon
is borrowing Hollywood writers to conceptualize the possibilities
of this “new” kind of war.
A more precise correlation from the time of this conjunction was
the awareness of AIDS in the United States, although back then,
AIDS did not have a name. It, too, was a faceless killer. “Insidious”
was the word we used to describe it then. No one knew where it came
from, what to expect from it next, and whether its power could ever
be stopped. People were terrified. Sound familiar? From the frontlines
of that war, there are astounding similarities with this war (especially
since the weaponry of anthrax). Even the officers of the CDC and
the NIH have not been in the news since the 80’s as much as
they are now. (On a similar note, China, which long denied even
the existence of AIDS within its territory, recently admitted its
lack of effective treatment for the disease.)
Another interesting correlation between AIDS and the currents acts
of terrorism is “the system turning against itself.”
Airplanes, the post office and skyscrapers being used as weapons
against the system itself is like an autoimmune disorder. Perhaps,
in years to come, the World Trade Center tragedy will do for safety
measures what AIDS has done for safe sex practices, and the medical,
pharmaceutical and insurance industries; as weak they tend to be,
they are still significantly improved in recent years.
Returning to the themes of the opposition aspect, they are repeated
in the eclipses too. The Solar Eclipse prior to the bombing of the
World Trade Center took place at 2 CAP 28 on December 24, 1992.
This is within orb of a direct opposition with the Solar Eclipse
of June 21, 2001, the one which is so indicative of the present
Much can be said about the power of these two eclipses in their
own charts as well as in aspect to the charts of the key players,
i.e. Mars on 9/11/01 was at 1 CAP. In true mundane astro-lingo,
“Need anything else be said?” However, the point here
is the significance of an opposition or reversal in the eclipse
Be it in mundane astrology or in the horoscopes of individuals,
this eclipse reversal is often a time of meeting up with fated events
with an emphasis on relationships. One can argue the definition
of “fated,” but it is clear that at such a time, life-altering
events occur because someone is coming into or going out of the
picture with a punch that only an eclipse can bring. And after such
an eye-opening meeting (or a separation), we are just never the
same again. “Once you know something, you can’t not
know it.” Eclipses bring that kind of awakening, and a little
like Uranus, it is “out of the blue” and said to be
about fated connections.
A little off the topic of oppositions and cycles are these other
points which have not been much mentioned so far in the mundane
comparisons of these two World Trade Center events.
Each of them occurred shortly after Mars’ retrograde phase.
Mars stationed at 8 CAN 40 on February 15, 1993, and He was recently
retrograde in Sagittarius with aspects to Saturn and Pluto. Mars
was also retrograde at the start of the war in Kosovo in 1999, and
Desert Storm broke out on the day of a Solar Eclipse (1/15/91) just
two weeks after Mars’ direct station. Perhaps a way to look
at Mars’s retrograde phase is a building up of pressure, followed
by an explosion of energy.
Secondly, let’s not forget that first World Trade Center bombing
also took place within days of the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune
in Capricorn. In 1993, astrologers were making a great deal of that
cycle in the interpretation of the bombing as an event in the “changing
world order,” as we called it back then. Although this conjunction
is not especially prominent in any of the charts of the current
situation, we should keep an eye on it for future developments.
Let’s not be fixated only on Saturn and Pluto.
Finally, Jupiter plays a key role in this comparison of event charts.
At the bombing, Jupiter sat at 13 LIB 24 Rx (just a few days past
His station at 14 LIB 41). This, of course, is the degree of the
Ascendant and Mercury (and not far from the closing square aspect
to Jupiter) in the chart of the recent attack. This astro-indicator
emphasizes the notion of a “holy war,” which is already
so stressed by Pluto’s passage in Sagittarius.
This might also be a good example of the closing square as “the
final outcome.” If this closing square in Jupiter’s
cycle since the World Trade Center bombing brings such devastation
as the September 11th tragedy, then indeed this astrological cycle
is telling us that something has gone terribly awry in the principles
of generosity, faith, morality and all other functions of Jupiter,
including the search for meaning and truth. (That doesn’t
imply that Jerry Falwell has a good point; but it does mean that
the process of reaching out to others has failed and it calls for
rectification the next time around.)
It is possible to have a failure in the cycle of one planet, in
this case, Jupiter, while we wait a number of years for the final
outcome of the dynamics of Saturn and Pluto.
By the way, anyone who recalls Pluto’s entry into Sagittarius
and who has an eye on the other headlines from September probably
saw that while war and terrorism were escalating with Pluto halfway
through the sign, ironically, O.J. Simpson went to trial again for
charges of road rage; and he won the case due to lack of evidence.
With all of the overwhelming news of the day, terror in the world,
and even the horror of the upcoming pages of the ephemeris, what’s
an individual to do? Well, I will share with you the sentiments
of Carl Jung when confronted with the tragedies of the Holocaust
and a generally pessimistic view of the decades ahead from then.
He said the solution for the Collective lies in the individual’s
search for truth and meaning in his or her own life.