Sunday, July 12, 2015

Saturn in Sagittarius and the Consequence of Progress

‘As far as your self-control goes, as far goes your freedom’Marie Ebner Eschenbach, writer
The contradictory forces of Idealism (Neptune) and Realism (Saturn) butt heads this year, thanks to Saturn’s entry into the constellation of Sagittarius on 23 December 2014, squaring Neptune in Pisces. Fortunately, the volatile Uranus-Pluto transit has moved into a separating phase, offering us Earthlings an opportunity to observe the interplay of Neptune’s nebulous idealism with Saturn’s blatant reality check.
Saturn’s once-in-thirty-year cycle in Sagittarius raises issues around freedom, growth, and humanity’s perpetual search for meaning. On the transit’s closure - 21 December 2017 - we will have endured a considerable test of faith, both personally and collectively. Saturn equals boundaries, discipline, responsibility, and mastery of skill. Sagittarius, on the other hand, represents expansion, belief systems, spirituality, and the call to adventure. Questions surface in regards to how we master our faith and freedom, and the way society currently manages growth fetish.
Saturn in Sagittarius argues that true freedom comes from discipline. With the square to Neptune in Pisces, the principles we currently live by need to be scrutinised in order to create valuable life experiences. Society needs to examine the ethics behind some (most) decisions made by the current political and corporate forces supporting uncapped economic growth. In the midst of overwhelming materialism, Neptune in Pisces asks benevolent questions: does success by society’s standards come from an honourable place? Is the human race functioning at a lower vibration and is concerned only with what it can get away with? And how long can we continue to function in this concentrated alpha state before we cannibalise? Saturn tells us that growth requires boundaries and responsibility if it is to continue and benefit the majority (as opposed to the ‘one percent’).
The last Saturn-Sagittarius transit - November 1985 to February 1988 – saw the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR) destroyed by fire in April 1986, leading to long-term health, economic, and social difficulties for the region and parts of Western Europe and Britain. The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere that diffused over western USSR and Europe. Classified as a level seven event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, it involved over five hundred thousand workers and cost an estimated eighteen billion rubles. The after-effects are expected to endure for at least a century. There was a substantial increase in human digestive, circulatory, nervous, respiratory and endocrine diseases and cancers in Belarus and Ukraine. The disaster became a key factor in the Soviet Union's eventual 1991 dissolution and a major influence in re-shaping Eastern Europe. Unsurprisingly, the cosmic lesson of tragedies like Chernobyl is that expansion beyond a responsible limit brings consequences.

It was around Saturn’s ingress into Sagittarius that I picked up a copy of issue six of New Philosopher magazine, the theme aptly titled The End of Growth. It opens with editor Zan Boag asking the rhetorical question of whether our unquestioning commitment to ‘progess’ is destroying all that sustains us. Boag makes the analogy that our society parallels the ancient Greek myth of Icarus flying into the sun. Soaring to great heights (Sagittarius) on wings made from wax, Icarus ignored his father’s (Saturn) warning of flying either too low or too high, and instead flew towards the sun where the blazing heat melted the wax on his wings causing him to plunge to his death. Likewise, we continue to soar in our quest for unlimited growth at any cost.

Saturn in Sagittarius exposes a broken economic model where perpetual growth results in the depletion of natural capital. It’s prudent to look to Pluto’s ingress in Aquarius (2023 - 2024) for clues on how to move forward sustainably. Transiting Pluto offers us the chance to let go of things that aren't working to rebirth and evolve. Pluto in Aquarius is symbolic of people power; the transference of power from an oligarchy to the masses begins at the ingress (the last Pluto-Aquarius transit in 1789 triggered the French Revolution). Possible experiences with transiting Pluto in Aquarius may include: robust reactions to duplicitous use of technology; a resurgence of egalitarian principles; people power gaining political clout; increasing unorthodox lifestyles as conventional forms of housing and employment become unobtainable; the mainstreaming of alternatives to money such as bit-coin and bartering; developing complex human relationships and an intolerance for superficiality; breakthroughs in psychology; progressing abstract thought through astrology, metaphysics and other higher forms of learning.

Bring it on.