Pluto, Saturn, Uranus and COVID19

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New Zealand is now in our first official day of lockdown. Only grocery stores and service stations are open; only essential service workers are allowed to continue to work together. The human world is in crisis and we are trying to pause the effects of the pandemic here before it’s too late. I have to say, New Zealand is doing an exceptional job on this. It’s the most organised emergency I’ve ever experienced. We must be embracing Saturn.

I’ve seen a lot of articles about the astrology of this pandemic, about the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn – crushing society into transformational restructure, about the technological responses being very Uranus in Taurus.

Ever since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, along with the last financial crisis, the economy has been under the crunch of Pluto’s penetrating and deep-reaching transformational machinations, and now with Saturn in its home sign of Capricorn, the restructure has been expedited.

Those of us who are sensitive can feel it in our bones. The earth, the earth signs, and the planetary forces are pulling us, compelling us to change. It’s painful, but it’s necessary. We cannot continue frittering away in these unsustainable systems. A crisis brings all our fault-lines to the forefront and exposes our shadows. Our collective darkness is leeching out, into full view, and so is our collective goodness.

On a personal level we can, and many of us have, been looking at how these outer-planet nexuses of transformation affect our own charts. What houses do they fall into? How do they relate to our personal planets in aspects.

As Saturn heads into Aquarius there’s also the wide open possibility of further revolution brewing. Many people are welcoming the social initiatives put in place in response to the pandemic to protect people and encourage better labour practices, banking and rental protections and so on. Insight Astrology has recently shared this piece on Saturn in Aquarius: activists and visionaries getting organised!

What are we learning from this challenging and potent time?

On a personal level, I’m learning to restructure my routine, working from home, caring for my child and writing fiction. This is a very Saturnian – hard work! I’m getting up at my usual time, even though I could sleep longer, so that I can do my regular routine (5 minutes of stretching and writing) before work, and I’m fitting in a walk (which we are allowed to do as long as we avoid other people), and then I’m making the most of the extra time in the evening from not needing to walk home from work, by fitting in a bit of extra writing. I’m used to fitting my writing around a hectic schedule, so I’m finding ways to maximise the new opportunities that come with working from home.

Also, on an even more personal level, I’m working with my wonderful Gestalt therapist on processing childhood trauma that has been triggered for me recently. This trauma has a particularly Plutonian quality. Pluto is not aspected in my natal chart, which makes it harder to access that particular shadow work, but I have Saturn and Mars in Scorpio, and the latter squares my Sun, which is a painful natal aspect to carry. This is a great opportunity to process my Pluto shadow stuff. It’s heavy and deep and terrifying, as only Pluto can be. I’m hoping to emerge from this with a new level of calm and a new level of awareness.

How are Pluto, Saturn and Uranus affecting you, and how are you coping with and/or making the most of this extraordinary time?

Eating death: Pluto, the underworld, and petroleum based pesticides

Because of my research on food sovereignty, I have thought a lot about pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. People talk a lot about ‘organic’ food, but this mostly means food that hasn’t been grown with petroleum based products. These products are designed to either kill insects, bacteria and fungi, or to add nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous to the soil to compensate for the depletion caused by intensive agriculture. It’s obviously not very sustainable, but it has become ‘normal’.

On a symbolic level this is interesting because for several reasons. The first is that pesticides were primarily developed during World War II for purposes of chemical warfare (Mars/Aries)… so the obvious thing to do, after the war was to put this stuff on our food, and eat it, right? The intense driven energy and economic activity had to be channeled somewhere after the war, and it tended to veer towards the domestic sphere (Cancer/4th house), into more advanced home appliances and into the ‘green-revolution’ of industrialised mono-cultural agriculture. Women became the main consumers, along with the rise of the middle-classes, and the modern ‘traditional’ housewife was born. Meanwhile our food has become more uniform, ‘cheap’ in comparison to the energy expended to attain sustenance at any other time in history, and imminently more toxic.

The second reason it is interesting symbolically is related to petroleum itself, which is connected to Pluto, Hades and the underworld. Fossil fuels are exactly that – the fossilised remains of an old dead world. It it the world’s stored energy and it’s intensely powerful. We are extracting it, burning it up and making all kinds of useful things out of it (plastic, for example), in order to ‘advance’ (Uranus) at unprecedented levels. I have a feeling that we have no idea what we are really doing here, but it doesn’t seem very wise. In putting petroleum based pesticides and fertilisers into our food we are symbolically eating death. Thoughts?