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Saturn Opposing Pluto Leaves its Mark

By : N. C. Syminghton 10/25/2001

In an article on the astrology underlying the terrorist attacks, An Astrological Look at the Terrorist Attacks on the WTC, I discussed somewhat briefly the effect of Saturn in opposition to Pluto. Because this combination has shown itself so unmistakably, I would like to take a closer look at the relationship between these planets. Whether as a transit that reappears every 35-36 years, as an aspect you have in your birth chart (which many children born this year and next will have), or as a future transit to your birth chart, the impact of these two planets together usually is noticeable-and permanent.

Saturn represents things that are traditional, that have been in place and prefer being that way. It is the laws that serve to protect (and restrict) people from outside influences. In a word, Saturn means security-or the need for it. Wherever Saturn appears in your birth chart (its house position) is typically an area of concern: here you likely must work harder for results because you may doubt your abilities to achieve them. Often this area of your life tests you over and over as you grow and develop. In time, by meeting and learning from the challenges Saturn provides, wisdom emerges from the experiences you undergo. Whether by transit or in its position in your birth chart, Saturn brings responsibilities and obligations that require your attention. Discipline, which is the capacity to focus, is essential for doing well-to pass any test that Saturn presents.

Like Saturn, Pluto can demand much but to an extreme. With Saturn, you have some degree of choice as to whether to accept the test or not, although this simply delays the inevitable and can impede your progress. Pluto typically leaves no room to negotiate. It pushes you-often beyond your comfort level and the boundaries you have imposed (or had imposed by others) upon yourself. Pluto is relentless in its efforts to bring about changes that endure while leaving behind what is outmoded and nonessential, even if you don't necessarily agree with the changes. Like Saturn, the effects of Pluto are far-reaching and take time to manifest their true impact. Pluto tends to reach much deeper into you than Saturn and brings out the best and the worst that you possess. As the god of the underworld, he represents power that is often unconscious or untapped. When activated in your horoscope or involved in a major transit-like the current one with Saturn-Pluto can manifest outwardly an awesome display of force that can create as well as destroy. Even in its destructiveness, however, Pluto brings the promise of a new birth.

Now let's put these two together and see how they look when in opposition as they are this year and into 2002. An opposition can signify a tug of war between two planets, and as we have seen, both Saturn and Pluto are strong, thereby producing tremendous tension between the two as they battle one another for supremacy. Being at odds with each other can cause a separation and a breaking apart. Yet, having to face one another can bring a clearer awareness and a better understanding of their respective roles whether in regards to the world or in your birth chart i.e. in your life.

So here we have security represented by Saturn opposed by the force of Pluto. Law and order is tested to the extreme and what once was deemed safe can no longer be depended upon because of the inexorable pressure that Pluto applies, causing a fundamental change to the status quo. Change is a natural consequence, and - some would say - the only constant of life. But because Saturn tends to hold on to the past and to proven strategies, the opposition from Pluto can bring adjustments that threaten what is familiar. While such pressure can manifest as violence and physical harm, this tends to occur when the resistance to change is unyielding, leaving Pluto no other recourse to effect its deep transformation of established patterns and structures-of a family, of an individual, of a nation.

The chart of the United States that I use for this and a previous article shows transiting Pluto on the Ascendant of the USA chart (and transiting Saturn opposed to both). The Ascendant is the face that the USA shows to the world and the self-image that is projected. Clearly the face of the United States has been altered irrevocably by the events of 9/11/01. As a country, adjustments with far-reaching results are, and will have to be, made. Sagittarius is the sign of the Ascendant, or rising sign, and the Saturn opposition Pluto shows the country's optimism and faith in itself (Sagittarius Ascendant) being tested to the max. The power of foreign elements (Pluto in Sagittarius on U.S. Ascendant) has a profound impact on the nation, and foreign policy itself should undergo a major revision due to events of this time period. Enemies are intractable and difficult to dislodge (Saturn in the 7th house). What allies the U.S. does have are likely few-although loyal (again Saturn in the 7th house).

On a personal level, some of you are experiencing challenges of a lifetime that literally have turned your world upside down, leaving an indelible mark while forever altering your course. Obviously, many in New York City, Washington D.C., and Afghanistan are affected in such a way. But even outside these and other war zones that dot the world, the effect of this opposition can impact anyone who has planets in his or her birth chart that are contacted by transiting Saturn and Pluto. (To learn more about yourself and transits affecting you, register for free at our Site.)

Judging from the world-shattering events of September 11th, it would seem that the Saturn Pluto opposition provides nothing but terrible news with no redeeming value. While it can represent the depths of despair, it destroys what is weak so that the strong remains and can grow stronger. Loss creates space for something new to emerge that ultimately replaces and can enhance what is gone. Although you, or a nation, may resist, or reject as unfair, what is permanently taken away, the necessary process of rebuilding can create more enduring structures as well as a better understanding of what truly is secure.

Because the power of Pluto manifests to an extreme, the best and the worst of an individual, or country, can appear. One role of Saturn in this opposition is to focus Pluto's power to produce stability that takes root rather than merely to react out of fear or a need for retribution for what has been forcibly removed. This opposition demands much from each of us and from the world. It teaches that less is more, that quality outshines quantity, and that essentials are just that-essential. This is a time to rely on the basics and build upon them so that future success comes from a solid foundation made to last.

The opposition between Saturn and Pluto will continue into May of 2002, though the ramifications of it will persist for much longer. Over the next 6 months or so, faster moving transits, especially of Sun and Mars, can serve as "triggers" to set off the opposition in various guises from overt actions to under-the-radar-screen policy changes. Be alert to the news on these dates since it can help you learn more fully the nature of these two planets in combination as they affect the world and yourself.

The trigger dates, or periods, are: 12/03/01 to 12/07/01; 12/22/01 to 12/31/01; 2/26/02 to 3/08/02; 5/03/02 to 5/09/02; 6/06/02 to 6/09/02.

- end -

  theFutureMinders Articles - by N. C. Syminghton
1. Image is Everything, or is it?
2. A Degree of Connection
3. George W. Bush
4. Astrology and the Flow of Life Part I
5. Astrology and the Flow of Life Part II
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