Change Will Come: Uranus Pluto Hard Aspects



Last Uranus Square Pluto


We are currently witnessing a square of Uranus and Pluto; the last exact square was on March 16, 2015.  Variants of this aspect have occurred before, and various commentators recognize this fact, even though they are unaware of the underlying astrology.  During the Arab Spring, the various Occupy movements, the sit-ins in Wisconsin, several people compared those events to the Sixties, the unrest of the Thirties, the  actions in the first part of the Twentieth Century, and even  to the wave of revolutions that swept Europe in 1848.  No one that I know of compared those events to the French Revolution or the English Civil War.  And no one remembers the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.  But all these have something in common.  And then I heard Glen Greenwald – who helped release the Edward Snowden revelations – complain that the information released was known years before,  but suddenly it became a topic of interest.    And then he said that it was like “something in the ether changed”.  And as we shall see, if not exactly something in the ether changed, something in the heavens changed.



The Sixties

Before this opening square of Uranus and Pluto, the last quadrature aspect of those two planets was in  1964, 1965, 1966.   Those were  the years it was exact, but of  course the influence extended beyond those years.  The first noticeable “Sixties” action that I  have been able to find is the lunch counter sit-in at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960.  Part of this lunch counter is in the Smithsonian.  Lunch counter sit-ins had been done before, but this one was different.   More people came to sit-in on following days.  The idea spread and was practiced in other communities.  In hindsight we can see this was the start of something big, and it is justly celebrated.  Another event took place that year – the release of the movie Psycho.  This was an unusual kind of a movie from a famous director – the main star appeared in her bra in the opening scenes, and this main star was killed well before the movie ended.  These things were not done in mainstream movies, and suggested (again, hindsight is very helpful) that a major changes in the cinama of Hollywood  was in the offing.

I  could go on and on about the Uranus/Pluto nature of the Sixties, but the phrase has almost become a cliché, and many people either love  or hate – neutral is hard to find – the decade.  But the things that people either love or hate about the decade very well show the influence of Uranus and Pluto, so when you think of the two planets together, think of that decade.



The Great Depression

The square of those two planets, the closing square before this conjunction, was in 1932, 1933, 1934.  This  was the depth of the Great Depression.  In the United States, people were extremely upset, and we had  a near Revolution that leaders were worried about.  Huey Long was making waves in Louisiana.  Roosevelt took office  in the midst of this and was able to relieve some of the pressure and “save capitalism from itself”.  Also in America there was another potential revolution that very few people know about.  This  is a fascist revolution that would replace the government of the United States.  See, for example, The Plot to Seize the White House by Jules Archer  (republished a few years ago as a paperback) and The Plots Against the President by Sally Denton.  But in several European countries,  things took a different course, with the rise of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain.  In the Soviet Union, Stalin gained power the same year the the Depression hit and Japan was invading China.



Birth of the Twentieth Century

The opposition before this square took place in 1901 and  1902.  Many events happened in this period before World War I, which has been discussed  more in a previous post.  The Progressive Movement in the United States, the formation of the International Workers of the World – Wobblies – the First Russian Revolution, which  was  not successful and led to the second, more well know revolution, and  Gandhi’s  development of non-violence, announced on September 11 in South Africa, were some of the appropriate events of this period.  There was a rise in feminism at the time, and rebellions appear in several countries.  The book Vertigo World  by Phillip Blom outlines the changes that went on at this time.  There were other important aspects at the same time, and as  a result the changes in this period at the start of the Twentieth Century were quite complex.  In the United States this decade saw the rise of the Progressive  Movement, that claimed politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, architects such as Frank Lloyd  Wright, and historians such as Charles Beard.  Possibly the most important development in this period for the future of the world was the rise in popularity of the automobile, which has been developed several years earlier.  Spurred by the availability of Henry Ford’s Model T – unveiled on October 1, 1908 – America started its continuing love affair with the automobile, but Europe, where the automobile was invented, had loved cars even earlier in the decade.



The Great Railroad Strike

The square before this opposition was  in 1876, 1877, 1878.  The Great Railroad Strike of 1877  was the biggest labor action of that year.  There was many other labor actions in these years, partly because the Panic of 1873, a major financial depression which  may or may not have ended before the Panic of 1893 hit America.  Even though this was called the Gilded Age for wealthy America, for most of the others – the 99% of that age – life was not so rosy.



Year of Revolutions

The previous conjunction was in 1850, 1851, and 1852.  Mostly famously, 1848 was known as the Year of Revolutions in Europe, in which almost all countries in Europe underwent revolutions, though most were short-lived.  This was the year that a journalist named Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.  In the United States there was the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention, which marks the first stage of feminism.  There were revolutions in other countries around the world in the next few years.  Hardly known by Americans, but extremely well known in China, was the Taiping Rebellion, which  started in December 1850 and went on for almost fourteen  years.  The Taiping Rebellion is considered one of the most deadly violent events in history, with an estimated twenty to thirty million civilians  killed.


French Revolution

The opposition before that was 1791 through 1795.  This marked most famously the French Revolution, especially the Time of Terrors which occurred when the conjunction was most exact.  There was also a rise of feminism, indicated by the publication of the book A Vindication of the Rights of Women by prominent feminist Mary Wollstonecraft,  who is  not as well known among among the general population as her novelist daughter, also named Mary.


Beginning of Industrial Revolution

The conjunction before that was 1709 and 1710.  This marked the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in England.  The English restricted any release of the ideas that they developed into the outside world, so the Industrial Revolution did not exist elsewhere for almost 100 years.  During this conjunction Thomas Newcomen developed the first steam engine, that was later refined by the more famous James Watt.  Abraham Darby developed a way of making  pig iron using coke (instead of charcoal), which paved the way for complicated machines.



English Civil War

The opposition before that 1648 and 1649, which saw the height of the English Civil War.  Many radical groups formed  at this time, such as the Ranters, the  Diggers, and the Quakers.  Elsewhere in Europe saw he end of the Thirty years War, a shockingly brutal war that lay waste to much of the continent, especially Germany, and marked the end of religious conflict that had  grown out of the Reformation.  This war ended with the Peace of Westphalia, whose notion of sovereign states has been a basis  for international law in the centuries since.  The organizational work for the Royal Society (of London) was done during this  period, indicating that the Scientific Revolution was truly established.



Beginning of Scientific Revolution

The conjunction before that was in 1596, 1597, 1598.  This marked the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution, with Kepler and Galileo introducing Copernicus’ theories to a Europe that hadn’t know of them, and Galileo using a telescope to lead to a new understanding of the solar system.  Francis Bacon laid down the basics of Science, essentially advocating for what is now called the “scientific method”.  This time also saw the height of drama in Elizabethan England  with such writers as Shakespeare, Jonson, Marlowe, and Spenser.  At this time people’s way of looking at the world changed, as shown in a recent book by Philip Bell titled Curiosity.



Beginning of Printing Revolution

The conjunction before that was in 1454, 1455, and 1456.  This saw the end of the medieval Hundred’s Year War between England and France, the beginning of the War of the Roses, a popular subject to Shakespeare  and the first war of the modern era,  the fall of the Byzantine Empire, which sent many Greek scholars to the West, and the publication of the 42-line Gutenberg Bible, which was the first major book printed in the West.  It is hard to overestimate the importance that printing had to the developments of the next 500 years.

More details can be found in the book Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas, Section IV.

The First Red Scare

Red Scares are a prominent feature of American life that have happened before there was a Communist Party in the United States.  But the first full-scale red scare took place in the aftermath of World War I, under a Democratic Administration. This happened with Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who was Quaker and had great concern for the underprivileged in keeping with the progressive Democrat under whom he served, Woodrow Wilson.  The Palmer raids of 1919 and 1920 were notorious, but their longest lasting legacy was that Palmer’s young assistant, J. Edgar Hoover,  learned the basics of Communist perfidy at the time.

By 1920 the Communist Revolution in Russia was only a couple of years old, and anarchists and radicals, many from foreign lands, were especially taken with the revolution in that backwards country, Russia, and hoped that such a revolution could happen in more developed countries.  They were extremely enthusiastic with the Revolution that had taken place, and their beliefs had not yet been tempered by the passage of time and experience.



First Palmer Raid

The first Palmer Raid took place on November 7,  1919, two years to the day from the Russian Revolution.  This raid set the pattern for others to come, not only in that period but also after World War II.  In the chart for that event, we see the transiting Uranus squarely on the natal Moon; as we have explained before, such a combination indicates that the people are disturbed, upset.  Such a conjunction happened just before the United States went into Afghanistan earlier this century.  We see that Pluto is conjunct natal Jupiter and thus moving through the core of the United States.  But also notice that transiting Saturn is opposite transiting Uranus;  This opposition, as can be seen by the graphical ephemeris below, was exact in early August (black arrow) and would be exact again in late Spring and early Summer of 1920 (red arrow).   This opposition sets two forces in conflict:  Saturn represents law and order, stability, conventional thinking, whereas Uranus represents unconventional ideas and actions, the promise of the new.  This describes the conflict that was going on then, in the conservative times after World War I.  The Amendment to the Constitution requiring Prohibition had just been passed and was to go into effect on January 17, 1920.  Republicans would replace Democrats as President during the decade of the Twenties, lasting until Democrat Franklin Roosevelt took over after the Great Depression had already started.  Another example of the Saturn Uranus opposition took place in 1965 and 1966, when newly elected, as President, Lyndon Johnson faced a “credibility gap” over the increasing involvement of American soldiers in the Vietnam War.



Saturn Opposite Uranus

As a result of the First Palmer Raid, a converted troopship left the United States with famous anarchist Emma Goldman and almost 250 others.   This so-called  “Soviet Ark”  was cheered by patriotic Americans, though the massive violations of civil liberties involved in gathering the deportees was ignored by the masses.  The ship left New York harbor on December 21,1919, and arrived in Finland on January 17, 1920.  The deportees were then conducted to the Russian border where they would hopefully be taken, because America certainly did not want them.

Another famous case from this time involved Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti who were eventually executed for the murder of a guard during the robbery of a shoe company in Massachusetts on April 15, 1920.   This case was a cause célèbre for many years, involving letters from all over the world and many famous jurists and lawyers.  Eventually Michael Dukakis, then governor of Massachusetts, declared in 1977 that the two men had not received a fair trial.




In he chart for this murder,  we see clearly the opposition of Saturn and Uranus;  Uranus is no longer on the Moon of the U. S., but Pluto remains in the same position. There is a close conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune, which Ebertin links to idealism, and indeed there was much idealism and hope for a better world among the radicals that were so active in this period.

Another powerful movement at this time was the International Workers of the World, called the Wobblies, who had grown in the first decade of the new Century.   There was much persecution of them at this time, the most glaring happened in Centralia, Washington on November 11,  1919, which involved the hanging of a Wobblie who had been removed  from his prison cell  and the deaths of five others.  This happened during a parade celebrating the first anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I.  The  newly-formed American Legion was not happy with the presence of the Wobblies.  The chart for this riot shows many of the same planetary placements we’ve  seen before with Pluto and Uranus and  the Saturn-Uranus opposition.   What is new is the position of the two fast-moving inner planets:  Venus,  the patriotic gathering for the parade, is at the Midheaven, and Mercury is at the Ascendant, and indeed this event is one of the more famous and well-communicated incidents of the First Red Scare.



Armistice Day Riot

There was much labor unrest during this period, which further worried the owners of industry.  It has been estimated that 20% of the workers had gone on strike by the end of 1919.  After the war was over, many workers wanted the back pay and raises that they had not received during the war.

Wilson, who had run on the campaign slogan “he kept us out of war” when he ran for re-election in 1916, and then promptly got the United States involved in World War I, did not want dissenters from the war effort, so he got passed the Espionage Act shortly before America entered the War; this Act was designed to prevent talk against the war.  This Act was used to send Socialist Eugene Debs to prison for speaking against the war, and that is where he campaigned for President in 1920.  While the Act has mostly  been against people giving aid to enemies of the United States, this is the same Espionage Act that has been used most against Americans who were not dealing with enemies by our current President to sentence whistle blowers to prison.



Espionage Act

In the chart for the Espionage Act, we see that not much had changed in the two years between this  chart and the one for the Palmer Raid.  Saturn is approaching a conjunction with Neptune, signifying the remorse many Americans would feel for the involvement of the country with a European War.  There is also transiting Saturn opposite natal Pluto, always a bad combination which has been discussed before.   A transiting Saturn transiting Pluto conjunction had occurred at the start of this very war.

There was strong dissent among the judiciary to these attempts against free speech. One of the better known was Schenek v United States (Charles Schenek was in the Socialist Party in Philladelphia) in 1919  (where the Court unanimously declared that the Act did not violate the Constitutional protection for free speech), and where Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously declared, regarding other cases, that free speech would not allow a man to shout fire in a crowded theater,  but also declared that the government must show that any speech presents a “clear and present danger” to bring about evil that the government must prevent  before it could be limited.   This decision was handed down March 3, 1919.