In my last post, I mentioned the third exact square of Uranus and Pluto. This week I want to look at these two archetypes in more depth, particularly in their current relationships with another two of the planetary archetypes, Mercury and Venus. Let’s start with the Uranus and Pluto square.
For those unfamiliar with astrology, I am referring to the planetary alignment that began in 2007 and will last until 2015 between Uranus—the planetary archetype of sudden change, insight, liberation, rebelliousness, genius, future thinking, and the trickster—in a 90 degree relationship with Pluto—the archetype of the underworld, the taboo, the unconscious, the raw evolutionary forces of nature, sex, birth, death, and power. The last time these two planets were in dynamic aspect was in the turbulent 1960s, as Richard Tarnas explains:
“The Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s and early 1970s, coincided with that volcanic eruption of revolutionary and emancipatory impulses, accelerated historical change, social and political turmoil, and heightened creativity and innovation in all spheres of human activity that has shaped the global zeitgeist ever since. Much like past axial alignments in the Uranus-Pluto cycle, such as the French Revolutionary epoch of 1787–98, though in this most recent case with greater global extent and intensity, the 1960–72 period brought an overwhelming and often violent collective drive to make the world radically new.”
– Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology
In our current Uranus-Pluto alignment, we can see many similar themes reappearing, especially through revolutionary activity such as the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, and the current protests in Turkey. We’re also witnessing accelerated historical change on the same-sex marriage front, in women’s rights, and on environmental issues, especially in regard to climate change. There has also been an increase in violence and warfare, and heightened attempts by those in power to clamp down on the public’s emancipatory impulses through control and surveillance.
In terms of recent events, Mercury—the archetype of communication, information, and technology—moved into an opposition (180 degrees) with Pluto, and a square (90 degree) relationship to Uranus. On Sunday, June 9,The Guardian revealed the source behind their articles on the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Verizon phone calls and accessing the central servers of nine major Internet companies, as well as a program called the Boundless Informant that has been harvesting information from all over the world.
The source of these stories is Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee who decided to blow the whistle on domestic surveillance programs that he sees as an abuse of Constitutional rights. Here we see the Pluto-Mercury opposition manifesting in the covert (Pluto) gathering of information (Mercury), along with the Mercury-Uranus combination of the lone informant standing up for the rights of an unwitting populace by communicating (Mercury) the truth (Uranus), so that citizens might become more empowered (Pluto) to demand an end to these governmental abuses, or at least bring them out into the open. The revelations are a game-changer, because even if the NSA continues its domestic spying, it no longer has quite as much power (Pluto) under the light of awareness. There exists some measure of choice and freedom (Uranus).
Looking at Edward Snowden’s birth chart, we see that when he was born on June 21, 1983, when Mercury was in Gemini opposing Uranus and Jupiter (both conjunct in Sagittarius). With his lifelong Mercury-Uranus opposition, it’s not too surprising that Snowden has had an interest in information technology, and we can safely assume he values truth telling (Mercury-Uranus) in service of the greater good (Jupiter) and an increase in freedom, choice, and rights (Uranus). Rick Tarnas likens Uranus to Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to give to the people and was punished by being chained to a rock and having his liver pecked out daily by an eagle. Does this story parallel Snowden’s actions?
In a Democracy Now! interview, Snowden was asked, “Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?”
“I’m no different from anybody else. I don’t have special skills. I’m just another guy who sits there, day to day, in the office, watches what happening—what’s happening, and goes, ‘This is something that’s not our place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.’ And I’m willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity of them and say, ‘I didn’t change these. I didn’t modify the story. This is the truth. This is what’s happening. You should decide whether we need to be doing this.'”
At the time Snowden leaked documents to The Guardian, there was a world transit of Mercury-Uranus-Pluto. In terms of his personal transits, Jupiter was conjunct his natal Mars and North Node, and now is conjunct his Sun, which is opposite his Neptune. Jupiter expands, celebrates, and uplifts whatever archetypes it touches in our charts, and in this case it seems to have emboldened (Mars) Snowden to make a take a stand for his beliefs (Jupiter) and fight (Mars) for a worthy cause. Naturally, these actions are not without risks, as Snowden himself explains:
“And that’s a fear I’ll live under for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be. You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk, because they’re such powerful adversaries that no one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you, in time.
But at the same time, you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you. And if living—living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept—and I think many of us are; it’s the human nature—you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. But if you realize that that’s the world that you helped create and it’s going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.”
– Democracy Now
With Jupiter opposite his natal Neptune (spirituality, idealism, imagination, boundaries, illusion, and escapism) Snowden may be more capable of seeing through the illusion that our government is simply doing its job to protect us. Natally, Snowden has a Mars-Neptune opposition, which provides a spiritual warrior energy that is currently being expanded by Jupiter. Jupiter is also conjunct his Sun (the way we shine in this world, our creativity, our central identity), providing more energy and optimism as well as fame, with Snowden suddenly become a household name and a hero to many. The shadow side of Sun-Jupiter is overextension, over-inflation, and heedless risk-taking. In any case, it seems that Snowden—like Prometheus—has decided that the benefit to the people is worth any potential consequences.
Another person currently gaining prominence is Ben Haggerty, better known as Macklemore, born two days before Edward Snowden on June 19, 1983. You may be wondering: what does this white hip-hop artist have in common with Snowden, the NSA whistleblower?
They are both truth tellers.
Born only two days apart, their charts are quite similar. Most relevant is that they both have Mercury opposite Uranus-Jupiter, which is the archetypal combination of the truth teller. Macklemore has gained enormous popularity in the last few months (during his Jupiter transits, similar to those of Snowden) with his catchy songs, but what makes him unique among hip hop artists is his reputation as ‘conscious rapper’ who explores themes of consumerism, marriage equality, homophobia, sexism, racism, white privilege, and the challenges of addiction (Sun opposite Neptune). Far from being preachy, however, his lyrics are extremely self-reflective and honest, allowing the audience to relate to his vulnerability.
In interviews, Macklemore seems somewhat surprised to be called a conscious rapper, as he never set out to be one. Rather, he sees himself simply as an artist who shares his personal experiences in order to learn and grow. Yet he is conscious of being a role model, so he strives to set a good example through maintaining truthfulness and integrity. A friend of mine who recently attended a Macklemore concert was amazed by the number of young people in the audience, all enraptured by the performance and singing along to every song. She was moved by the idea of a whole generation being exposed to such open-minded lyrics:
“A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself”
– “Same Love”
Both Macklemore and Snowden uphold truth and freedom as paving the way for a more just world. They recognize that bringing normally hidden issues to light leads to collective empowerment. As Macklemore says,
“I got my city right behind me, if I fall, they got me
Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching I said”
– “Can’t Hold Us”
Whether you help to reveal truth through technology like Snowden, through words and music like Macklemore, or in other creative pursuits, you may find if helpful to have Venus (the archetype of love, beauty, relationships, art, aesthetics, and values) now taking Mercury’s place in the T-square with Uranus and Pluto. Venus and Mercury are continuing to travel together as well, so keep spreading the messages (Mercury) of love (Venus), truth (Uranus), justice (Jupiter), and freedom (Uranus) in all the ways that you do!
Originally published on Annabelle’s blog, Aquatarius.