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The“Opposition” in the Saturn-Pluto Opposition
….Other Mundane Points

The problem with mundane astrology is that it defies astrological interpretation and analysis. The astrology of mundane events is so obvious that there is little for the astrologer to say, except simply list the specific indications. In the case of the attack on the World Trade Center, for example, what else needs to be said but that Saturn is opposite Pluto (along with a few other various and sundry planetary themes and triggers)?

The other problem with mundane astrology is that its obviousness comes after the fact; at least until the day that astrologers have nothing else to do with our lives but keep a constant eye on the charts of famous buildings, leaders and cities.

What’s often neglected in our mundane studies, however, is the larger astrological context of the event. I’ll leave the interpretation of this event, itself, to social commentators; but here is some effort to detail the interpretation of the astro-significators of the World Trade Center tragedy.

For instance, we know enough of the keywords for Saturn and Pluto to get the basic idea of what happened on 9/11; but not enough has been made of the opposition aspect in their cycle. We can associate with that such themes as “face-to-face” (although, ironically, we can’t even see the face of our Plutonian perpetrator). “Make-or-break” is another good expression for the aspect (although not much choice in the matter has appeared to Americans so far). “Breaking point” also applies because, in an opposition, things have gone as far as they can go; the waning or returning phase begins here.

“Something that comes from the outside in.” That certainly describes this Saturn-Pluto experience, at least from our point of view; but how about from bin Laden’s?

The images of the opposition aspect come from the sign of Libra, the first opposition in the zodiac. So we can associate words such as harmony, balance and cooperation; but let’s remember that Libra is the sign of all partnerships, including open enemies. (Interestingly, this sign correlates with the Catholic religion’s sacrament of confirmation, the passage in becoming a “soldier in Christ’s army” in order to spread His word. The holy and warlike correlations are self-evident.)

This sign also begins autumn or harvest time in our agricultural year, so an opposition can also be interpreted as “reaping what has been sown” or “seeing the results of one’s labors” particularly in relation to the previous square in the cycle. An opposition is not the start of interaction between two planets; instead, it’s the start of “payback.” This implies a “coming to awareness” of what has been created. For this, then, we need to examine what occurred on that previous square, and in this instance, unfortunately, that is all too easy to see – the World Trade Center bombing of February 26, 1993 (at 12:18 P.M.)

Here is the major point of this article, which should come to no surprise to astrologers. The world was given fair warning of bin Laden’s intent and resources eight years ago. We had this time to approach a position of cooperation with him (and all that he represents); or to let our dealings continue as they had been, leading us then to this current opposition. We had eight years to accept him as a viable enemy; and he had these years to prepare for war.

Remember that Saturn is exalted in Libra too; so in an opposition, responsibility must be taken for actions past and future, although no blame is laid. (Blame comes later in the cycle on the closing square). The current events are not the fault of Bush or Clinton, nor the FAA or the CIA, nor Wall Street or Main Street. Nor can we play “shoulda, coulda, woulda.” It is you and me, and each of us. It is the Collective. It is a function of the outer planets, in this case Pluto and His mad obsession with growth and expansion in the sign of Sagittarius. And straight in His face, from the sign of Gemini, Saturn is saying, “Stop! Stop this wild pursuit of wider horizons until it has some meaning that includes even the Everyman.”

Or is it the other way around? In an opposition, it is very difficult to tell who is who. Pluto in Sagittarius can just as easily represent bin Laden’s fundamentalist principles confronting the Establishment, as symbolized by Saturn in a civilized air sign? And how civilized of the Western World to believe that we are the Establishment! There in the face of the enemy lies the Shadow of one’s self.

For those who think Doomsday is upon us, think again about cycles. It is the closing square that is the climax between two planets. That is the final result of their interaction. That’s Judgment Day (and there is still some say at this present opposition point as to the degree of doom that might or might not be). On the closing square, the destiny between two planets is made manifest and they see what role they played in it. And the planets are us!

This might be a good opportunity also to mention the conjunction, which, of course, is the “seed planted.” In the case of this Saturn-Pluto cycle, the conjunction took place in 1982-83. Richard Tarnas lists many interesting social events and trends that are mirrored by the beginning of this cycle. Most notably, in relation to current events, the Beirut crisis occurred, and in America, there was a great uprising against nuclear arms. Remember when Ronald Reagan borrowed the “Star Wars” title? Today, the Pentagon is borrowing Hollywood writers to conceptualize the possibilities of this “new” kind of war.

A more precise correlation from the time of this conjunction was the awareness of AIDS in the United States, although back then, AIDS did not have a name. It, too, was a faceless killer. “Insidious” was the word we used to describe it then. No one knew where it came from, what to expect from it next, and whether its power could ever be stopped. People were terrified. Sound familiar? From the frontlines of that war, there are astounding similarities with this war (especially since the weaponry of anthrax). Even the officers of the CDC and the NIH have not been in the news since the 80’s as much as they are now. (On a similar note, China, which long denied even the existence of AIDS within its territory, recently admitted its lack of effective treatment for the disease.)

Another interesting correlation between AIDS and the currents acts of terrorism is “the system turning against itself.” Airplanes, the post office and skyscrapers being used as weapons against the system itself is like an autoimmune disorder. Perhaps, in years to come, the World Trade Center tragedy will do for safety measures what AIDS has done for safe sex practices, and the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance industries; as weak they tend to be, they are still significantly improved in recent years.

Returning to the themes of the opposition aspect, they are repeated in the eclipses too. The Solar Eclipse prior to the bombing of the World Trade Center took place at 2 CAP 28 on December 24, 1992. This is within orb of a direct opposition with the Solar Eclipse of June 21, 2001, the one which is so indicative of the present situation.
Much can be said about the power of these two eclipses in their own charts as well as in aspect to the charts of the key players, i.e. Mars on 9/11/01 was at 1 CAP. In true mundane astro-lingo, “Need anything else be said?” However, the point here is the significance of an opposition or reversal in the eclipse cycle.

Be it in mundane astrology or in the horoscopes of individuals, this eclipse reversal is often a time of meeting up with fated events with an emphasis on relationships. One can argue the definition of “fated,” but it is clear that at such a time, life-altering events occur because someone is coming into or going out of the picture with a punch that only an eclipse can bring. And after such an eye-opening meeting (or a separation), we are just never the same again. “Once you know something, you can’t not know it.” Eclipses bring that kind of awakening, and a little like Uranus, it is “out of the blue” and said to be about fated connections.

A little off the topic of oppositions and cycles are these other points which have not been much mentioned so far in the mundane comparisons of these two World Trade Center events.
Each of them occurred shortly after Mars’ retrograde phase. Mars stationed at 8 CAN 40 on February 15, 1993, and He was recently retrograde in Sagittarius with aspects to Saturn and Pluto. Mars was also retrograde at the start of the war in Kosovo in 1999, and Desert Storm broke out on the day of a Solar Eclipse (1/15/91) just two weeks after Mars’ direct station. Perhaps a way to look at Mars’s retrograde phase is a building up of pressure, followed by an explosion of energy.

Secondly, let’s not forget that first World Trade Center bombing also took place within days of the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn. In 1993, astrologers were making a great deal of that cycle in the interpretation of the bombing as an event in the “changing world order,” as we called it back then. Although this conjunction is not especially prominent in any of the charts of the current situation, we should keep an eye on it for future developments. Let’s not be fixated only on Saturn and Pluto.

Finally, Jupiter plays a key role in this comparison of event charts. At the bombing, Jupiter sat at 13 LIB 24 Rx (just a few days past His station at 14 LIB 41). This, of course, is the degree of the Ascendant and Mercury (and not far from the closing square aspect to Jupiter) in the chart of the recent attack. This astro-indicator emphasizes the notion of a “holy war,” which is already so stressed by Pluto’s passage in Sagittarius.

This might also be a good example of the closing square as “the final outcome.” If this closing square in Jupiter’s cycle since the World Trade Center bombing brings such devastation as the September 11th tragedy, then indeed this astrological cycle is telling us that something has gone terribly awry in the principles of generosity, faith, morality and all other functions of Jupiter, including the search for meaning and truth. (That doesn’t imply that Jerry Falwell has a good point; but it does mean that the process of reaching out to others has failed and it calls for rectification the next time around.)
It is possible to have a failure in the cycle of one planet, in this case, Jupiter, while we wait a number of years for the final outcome of the dynamics of Saturn and Pluto.

By the way, anyone who recalls Pluto’s entry into Sagittarius and who has an eye on the other headlines from September probably saw that while war and terrorism were escalating with Pluto halfway through the sign, ironically, O.J. Simpson went to trial again for charges of road rage; and he won the case due to lack of evidence.

With all of the overwhelming news of the day, terror in the world, and even the horror of the upcoming pages of the ephemeris, what’s an individual to do? Well, I will share with you the sentiments of Carl Jung when confronted with the tragedies of the Holocaust and a generally pessimistic view of the decades ahead from then. He said the solution for the Collective lies in the individual’s search for truth and meaning in his or her own life.