Collapsing Cultural Cornerstones:
The Imperative to Change
Saturn in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn:
New Rules for Partnership In the 21st Century
The Four Cornerstones of Our Lives:
(1) Aries: one’s personal identity (who we consider ourselves to be and who we are becoming)
(2) Cancer: home-family-roots
(3) Libra: partnerships and relationships (of all kinds)
(4) Capricorn: the man-made rules that govern our lives (for better or for worse) and the people who make them; also career, contributions to community, honors and reward for a job well done. (NOTE: For most of humanity’s sojourn on Earth, the rules have been “man”-made, i.e., made by men. Absolutely as soon as possible, these rules must become human-made, created by man and woman, absolutely asap.)
These four cornerstones hold in place the very foundation of our world and our lives, and the strength or weakness of that foundation determines our ability to engage the other eight archetypes or arenas in a way that generates a sense of fulfillment. The nearly three-year transit of Saturn through Libra and the sixteen-year transit of Pluto through Capricorn signal a seismic shift occurring in two of these cornerstones, Libra and Capricorn (and by reflex, Libra’s polar opposite, Aries, and Capricorn’s polar opposite, Cancer).
Saturn and Pluto reach an exact square three times. The first occurred on Nov. 16, 2009, the second will occur on Feb. 1, 2010 with Saturn retrograde, and the third on Aug. 21, 2010 with Pluto retrograde. During these transits we’re challenged to accept and participate in major transformation of all four cornerstones, Libra-Aries and Capricorn-Cancer, but the real potency of this energy is anchored on the Libra and Capricorn angles of that cross.
Many astrologers make the judgment that a square (90-degree) aspect is “bad” because of the tremendous tension between the planets involved. The reality is that this is the tension that produces growth. Saturn and Pluto are two very intense, very insistent energies even when they make no aspect to another planet, so when they are in square aspect to one another the tension becomes extreme, unavoidable and undeniable and will eventually reach a point where something (or someone) has to give (surrender and change). The energy of this transit is immediate and powerful, growing daily in momentum and intensity, affecting all of humanity at every level — personal, national and international, corporate-governmental-political, economic, religious, and social.
In the song “Closing Time”, the great songwriter Leonard Cohen speaks of something that he says “looks like freedom but it feels like death, it’s something in between I guess”. That sentiment applies to this transit. It’s clear that major changes are occurring in these two arenas, Libra (relationships/partnerships) and Capricorn (the rules that govern our everyday lives, including our relationships/partnerships), so for many people the quest and the question regarding these two is, are we being set free, are we dying, or something in between. Pluto does The Dance of Life And Death – someone or something is born, then it dies, then it’s born again, then it dies again. Everyone and everything does this. People are born then we die, leaves on trees are born then they die, animals are born and then they die. The days of the week, the minutes of each day, stars and whole galaxies are born and then they die. In this very moment, as you read this you are simultaneously living and dying. The moment we’re born and enter the Earth plane we begin living and dying and we continue to live and die all day long every day until our sojourn on Earth is done. That’s Pluto. For us the issue is not fear of Death, the issue is our fear of the feelings associated with Death. Pluto is those deep feelings and emotions, the very deepest feelings and emotions that humans experience, that’s Pluto.
Saturn is the law-giver, the rule-maker, the human-made rules that govern everything we do, from how we drive cars to how we educate ourselves to how we eat to how we shop to how we participate in relationships and partnerships. So this Saturn-Pluto square is powerfully and dramatically impacting the rules that govern our relationships and partnerships, all of our relationships, not just intimate ones.
In this writing, let’s take a closer look at Saturn in Libra, the rules that govern our relationships/partnerships, whether for better or for worse. In subsequent newsletters we’ll zoom in tighter on Pluto’s role, the transformation (death and rebirth) of those Saturnian rules and the dynamic of the square between the two planets, the tension that is forcing us to change and grow – to die and be reborn in these two arenas.
It’s possible that Libra is the most overlooked, underestimated, undervalued, and devalued of the twelve signs or archetypes. Libra (and the seventh house) is more than just “relationship”, it is the human potential and possibility for True and Real Partnership — not just relationship. The sooner we engage, explore, understand and create true and real partnership, not just any ol’ sloppy relationship, the sooner we succeed in this human experiment. The longer it takes us to do that, the more we risk catastrophic failure. Libra is a very, very important key; it could be the key to the whole experiment.
One primary factor leading to a more evolved expression of Libra is to realize the need for discernment, to begin to discern, to critique our relationships to see whether the potential exists to develop the relationship into a true and real partnership, or whether the interaction is intended to remain a relationship. At this stage of our evolution, a true and real partnership is a rare experience, for most of us it might happen only once or twice in our lives, or we might not experience it at all. True and Real Partnership requires and even insists that the interaction be completely just, utterly fair and balanced, harmonious, equal measures of give-and-take, a fifty-fifty proposition. One person is a “part”, and the other person is a “part”, and the two come together as equal parts, equal part-ners in a true and real partnership. On the other hand, a relationship can be anything, can fall anywhere on the map. It can be wondrous and exhilarating or it can be treacherous, devastating and completely disastrous. It can be all give and no get, all get and no give, all out of balance.
We’re not very good at true and real partnership. Now, the good news is that we’re not supposed to be, not yet. We’re in the process of awakening the Libra part of our Selves so that we come to the realization (soon!) of the power and importance of true and real partnership and how to create it.
There are a number of factors that make this process mildly to overwhelmingly difficult. The number one problem is that we live in a culture that actually discourages true and real partnership! What do I mean? In every culture and society there are laws (Saturn), both written and unwritten, that govern and regulate the way the people live, including the way we participate in and conduct ourselves in relationships. Those laws/rules either limit or expand our ability to do this. In the U.S. we’re told that these laws are to be found in the spirit and the letter of documents like The Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Bill of Rights, etc. For the most part, these documents are expressions of high and worthy ideals, however they are not the laws we live by; it might be good if they were, but they’re not. The fact is most of the 300 million people in America have never read a single word, not one word, of any these writings. Have you read them? Then how could these be the laws we live by if hardly anyone even knows what they say (and this could include many members of the U.S. Congress – the lawmakers).
So then, what laws do we live by? There are four, and they’re gritty, grisly, growly laws that govern both our personal and impersonal lives. They are:
(1) “Every man for himself!” (women don’t even get a mention)” and,
(2) “It’s a dog-eat-dog world!” (everybody devour somebody) and,
(3) “I got mine, you get yours!” (see what I mean about actually discouraging true and real partnership?) and,
(4) “It’s the survival of the fittest!” (if one “makes it”, and the other doesn’t – oh well, too bad)
The reality is that this nation is not propelled by “laws” at all. America slogs along on the backs of “slogans”; the four slogans listed above are the pistons that pump the engine that runs this nation. They actually discourage True and Real Partnership, yet they strongly encourage sloppy, shoddy, any ol’ kind of relationship based primarily on what one person stands to gain from, not give to, another, or vice versa. Saturn says, “C’mon, get real here! Grow up!” If and when we muster the courage to get real about how we participate in and conduct ourselves in relationships, as the great Bob Dylan said, “It’s easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred.”
Now, obviously not all Americans consciously, deliberately, and intentionally enter into and participate in relationships with this discouraging intent in mind. What happens is that cowboy capitalism (aka raw and rampant greed, competition, covetousness and self-ishness) is an extremely powerful subconscious, undercurrent, involuntary urge and motivation that influences, in varying degrees, almost every relationship in America – business, family, intimate, et. al. (again, Libra is all relationships, not just intimate ones).
A second key factor is this: Many, if not most people never even think about true and real partnership. For most Americans, we learn to spell the word “partnership” in the fifth grade or so, then we forget about it, it simply vanishes from our consciousness and is not thought of or discussed ever again. When was the last time you heard someone even say the word “partnership” (much less true and real partnership)? When was the last time you said it. In spelling class in the fifth grade? We speak of “relationships” often, you might hear that word several times a month, or more, but almost never “partnership”.
Living under the influence of these four slogans, blind to the power and importance of true and real partnership, we wander around dazed and confused about ourselves and one another, in and out of sloppy, shoddy relationships and we never grow up. Instead we grow old with little to no idea of the Libra reality.
As Saturn moves through what astrologer Steven Forrest calls our inner sky for the next three years in Libra, we’re feeling (Pluto) the pressure to awaken to and Trust the Truth: that true and real partners and partnerships are an absolutely indispensable key to our sustenance and success as humans, that it is not possible to succeed in our human experiment without this Libra part of ourselves being activated, experienced, understood and integrated into our being, our lives, our world. Our current plight on Earth provides the clear evidence that this is so, and this Saturn transit is the time to take a hard, brutally honest look at the paradigm of relationship we’ve created, allow it to die and be reborn as something new and better.
The Universe is powerfully supporting all of the effort we put forth in this direction.
Almost every day in every reading I’ve done since this square has been active, I see people stretched to the breaking point as a result of this tension between the old and new ways of doing relationships. The traditional way of doing relationships is feeling (Pluto) more and more unhealthy and unfulfilling, and increasingly people either want out or they want to find a new way to stay in the relationship. The question is this: Who will breakthrough to new horizons and who will breakdown? It’s a choice each of us must make for ourselves. The new way requires a willingness to investigate new rules and generate a major shift in our understanding. This is a big change, not a small one.
As these cornerstones quake and rumble and crumble, our challenge is to shift relationships into the Universal Spirit and the Cosmic Law of Aquarius – “One for All, All for One” – true and real partnership. Try saying that softly and slowly – “One for all, all for one”, and notice the difference between that and the four grisly, death-oriented slogans mentioned above; how much sweeter, how much more pleasant and pleasing, comforting and confirming that is. We have to find our way along the path that leads us to “One for all, all for one.” Cooperation trumps competition. That’s our challenge.
Usually Saturn gets a really bad rap because in Saturn cycles we’re asked to grow up, not grow old, but grow up, and we’re in a culture that is allergic to growing up, to maturing, to being wise (evidenced by the billions of dollars spent every year on cosmetic surgery in order to appear young). Saturn asks us to step up to the next level of maturity (whatever that step is in any given cycle of our lives) and accept the new responsibilities associated with the new level of maturity. In the case of Saturn transiting through Libra, the challenge is to accept that to a great degree we have been and still are more than a little immature in the way we initiate, engage, behave and participate in relationships. It’s time to grow up.
But Saturn is foundations, skeletons, the bare bones of a structure, as in the bones in our bodies, the structure on which all the rest of the body is built and depends. So our charge over the next three years is not to build the whole new paradigm for true and real partnership, but rather lay the foundation, the skeleton, the new rules for the new paradigm. After that we’ll have about a quarter of a century to add flesh to that foundational structure. We have time, yet no time to waste. Time does not wait. Ready or not this has already begun.
As Martin Luther King said, “Either we live together as brothers (and sisters), or perish together as fools.”
It can be difficult to imagine the degree to which Life on Earth, and especially in America, will transform over the next fourteen years and beyond. These are times of radical and prolonged change, changes that have their origin in the depths of the Cosmos. True and Real Partnership is a fundamental key to A New Way of Being on Earth. We’ve only just begun.
Expect the Unexpected and Trust Truth.
Coming soon: Part 2: Pluto in Capricorn: Carrying our collective denial to the mountaintop to surrender it to Love so that the new rules for relationships and partnerships are based in how we really feel (Pluto).