Astrology is a powerful tool in the quest for self knowledge. The birthchart, when accurately read, is a mine of information – revealing character, strengths, weaknesses, karmic legacy, soul intentions….. It objectifies the subjective. The interior world of the psyche is crystallized into a symbolic mandala; an object of sacred significance.

And yet, when we mention astrology, most people think immediately of ‘the future’; of astrology’s power as a predictive art. It is true, astrology was born out of man’s desire to ‘know the future’. He learnt, through empirical observation, of the correlation between cosmic and terrestrial activity and through this, was able to anticipate future cycles and events. He knew the best time of year and phase of the moon to plant his corn. He later observed that a child born when Mars was rising would grow up to be energetic, hot tempered, impulsive, competitive, fierce.

“The dance along the artery

The circulation of the lymph

Are figured in the drift of stars” (T S Eliot)

As astrology has evolved – like everything else – it has shown itself to be infinitely richer than a mere ‘predictive tool’. Lumping astrology in with psychic and tarot card readings, is to do the art/profession a grave disservice – no disrespect to psychic and tarot readers, who are valuable in their own right.

But in any form of prediction – the best you can be is right.

Then what? Surely, to be of any real service, the consultation needs to be much deeper than an ‘educated guess’ as to what will unfold in the future. If we are of a mind to take responsibility for the development of our own consciousness, we will ask more – of the consultation and of ourselves. How can we best align ourselves with the energy that lies ahead? What are we supposed to be learning from it and through it? How can we negotiate this passage of time most adeptly?

If it is a more challenging transit, how can we ease this time; make it less onerous? If it is one of growth and buoyancy, how can we take advantage of it and make the progress, fulfill the potential, that is promised?

If we are in a relationship – what is the purpose of this coming together? What is the karmic legacy we have brought with us? Where will our challenges lie? What are we intended to resolve, in this union? What business is unfinished?

And of course – where is the beauty of our connection? How do we feed and nourish that beauty? What fuel does our relationship need to grow and evolve in harmony? Ultimately, how am I evolving through this relationship? What lessons am I meant to be getting here?

These are the questions astrology can answer. These are the questions that join personality with soul – and bring about a shift in awareness, an alteration in consciousness. We see, in a flash, that we are not ‘skin encapsulated egos’, living quiet lives of desperation in a random Universe that doesn’t care about us.

We are an integral aspect of the creative, evolving universe and we have a part to play. We are not here by chance. Our lives are not an accidental occurence.

We were born at a precise moment in time; the one that most perfectly suited the needs and intentions of our soul. The word hora from which the word horoscope comes, meant the ‘correct moment’. So our ancestors understood that our moment of birth (symbolized in our horoscope) was the right one for us to be born in. And in another sense, the Universe had a need for the energy of the cosmos, at a particular moment in time, to be embodied in us!

“Whatever is born or done this moment of time has the qualities of this moment of time.” (Carl Jung)

Astrology helps us to see how we ‘fit’ into the Universe.

Astrologer Gregory Szanto says: “Everything that occurs in the Universe reflects it at any particular moment of time. We can realize the quality of the moment simply by being in tune with the Universe, by being in Tao. We don’t need astrology any more than we need glasses to see it. But astrology can, and does, help us to experience the meaning of the Universe, just as glasses can help us to see it.”

The cosmic cycles that symbolize the potentials of our individual lives, are the signatures too, of the evolving collective. The slower moving, outer planets symbolize generational influences and demarcate collective transitions and developments.

Currently, we are nearing the end of a series of oppositions (180 degrees) between the planets Saturn and Uranus. Themes related to a link up of Saturn and Uranus include the old (SA) versus the new (UR) authority (SA) versus the individual (UR) the status quo (SA) versus overthrow/rebellion/change (UR) traditional (SA) versus modern (UR), resistance (SA) versus awakening (UR).

When the ringed planet Saturn, and Uranus, the planet symbolizing shocks and sudden ‘awakenings’ come together, they signify a time of exacerbation of tensions as the existing order clashes with the emergence of a new one. The opposition is associated with sudden breakdowns, grim awakenings, conflict between order and freedom. Widespread political and economic destabilization is another signature of this planetary linkage. I think we can all relate.

Saturn taken alone signifies fear and anxiety. It symbolizes father time, and all structures and forms in the physical world are eventually cut down by time (the grim reaper). It also symbolizes the need for order, discipline and control – all vital to life – but if overdone leading to oppression, abuse of authority and erosion of freedom. Uranus is associated with sudden, shocking awakenings and desperate, rebellious grabs for freedom. We can anticipate then some of what can occur when these two come together in the heavens in the challenging opposition aspect – a geometrical energetic pattern that itself represents tension and conflict; until it is integrated.

These two serious players in the planetary line-up have never let humanity off lightly. Interestingly, the opposition became exact on the day of the American Election (November 2008). We can see how the ‘themes’ were played out in the respective characters of the presidential candidates. The status quo (McCain) versus change (Obama), the old (experienced) (McCain), versus the new (Obama), traditional (white man, McCain) versus radical (black man, Obama). America opted for Uranus – the new – and elected Obama. It remains to be seen just how much of a ‘change from the status quo’ he represents. At this stage, the much vented ‘promise of change’ appears to be just that – a promise. (An examination of his ‘inner circle’ confirms its business as usual at the White House). (For more on this subject read this article and watch this movie).

But the ‘promise’ of the Saturn Uranus aspect is not over yet. The final opposition occurs in August 2010 when it becomes exact again. At this time, it will be intensified by the presence of Pluto. The t-square, as it is known, between these three, was last seen in the years 1929 to 1933 – the years of the Great Depression.

Have we learnt the lessons of history? Many of the powers that be, which control these ‘events’ (such as the US Federal Reserve) seem to have held their grip.

Will we allow this state of affairs to carry us through to 2010 and another great depression? Or will we dismantle the power structures that clearly serve vested interests (the elite) and the greed, as George Bush so tellingly put it, of ‘the haves and the have mores?’

Saturn’s current configuration is bringing up many of our deepest fears: security is paramount. As the external structures crumble in the economic collapse, we feel our very survival is threatened. At the same time, Uranus is saying: “do not resist, the time for change is here. You must become more inclusive, bigger of heart than you were. Become conscious of your connection with all of life.” (Uranus is the awakener).

It becomes apparent that the status quo has not, in an ultimate sense, served the greater good of the whole. The changes, most of them economically based, may be hard to cope with – but an enlightened vision would see they are a push for us to become more internally integrated, more aligned with spirit than matter.Space_Consciousness

It seems, no matter how much the ego rails, and it will, loudly, the times we are living in are demanding we change. The challenge we all face is to become larger, less ego driven. We are being asked to break with tradition, to dismantle the status quo in places where it hasn’t served us and transition to a new way of being. There is, as always when the ego is feeling threatened, a sense of impending doom. We resist the call to change; we stubbornly stamp our feet and say we want life to go back to how it was. There can be no going back to how it was.

The challenge we face, with this energetic pattern prevailing, is to find the balance between dependence on the past and over-radical transformation. There are parts of the past that still serve us and that need to be brought forward; but the danger of these times could be that of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The status quo is being challenged – and it needs to be, the times demand it. But can we do so without sacrificing the positives we have gained? Equally, can we relinquish our resistance to change and free ourselves to let go and trust the process?

The intention of this opposition series seems to be the wake up call to transformation. The new is pushing to be born, but the old is not ready to give way just yet. (The planets signify the work is not yet complete). The forces that control the world through corporations and international business (the elite) represent Saturn – (the grim reapers!) and they are holding on for dear life. The equal and opposite forces for change, is the awakening that is occurring across the planet. The infusion of consciousness coming in now is penetrating far and wide; we are seeing the translucent effect of enlightened individuals in every sphere. The flood of new babies coming in now will embody this consciousness. We are all in the process of becoming.

There is confusion in this time as the old energy struggles with the new, and the prevailing mood of ‘I don’t know’ may well continue until the series of confrontations between Saturn and Uranus is complete; the final showdown coming with Pluto (transformation, annihilation, rebirth, regeneration, cataclysm – take your pick) joining in on the act, in August. Who knows what that little gem will add to the mix? One thing’s for sure – none of us will sleep through it.

By the way, the last time Saturn and Uranus were in opposition, it was 1966. The song, “The Eve of Destruction” was playing on the radio. Sometimes, it all feels a little too familiar……. Cycles within cycles, echoes of past echoes. But we didn’t destruct then, and we wont this time. Innate in us is a vastly creative and adaptive spirit; and an impulse to evolve and grow. Besides which, we are infinite consciousness, and infinite consciousness is indestructible.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is. Infinite.” (William Blake)

Comment:  Please share your thoughts on how the Saturn/Uranus opposition has impacted on your own life – if at all.  And do you think astrology is most useful as a predictive or a psychological tool?