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Transforming the Social Order

Uranus reflects the greater community – the social order. Pluto transforms whatever it touches. These two planets in a sextile aspect presents deep creative exploration and discovery within the greater, global community of humanity.

This article was originally published in 1996, discussing a planetary aspect that took place in the mid-to-late 1990s, as well as the early 1940s.

Uranus sextiles Pluto in 1996 and 1997. (A sextile aspect means the planets are 60 degrees apart.) With orbits of 84 years for Uranus and 248 years for Pluto, aspects between these planets don't happen every day! We get five passes in total: April 10/95, August 8/95, March 8/96, October 20/96 and January 5/97. This is a rather long contact period (often there are only three passes of an aspect), suggesting that this evokes a longer term process.

Uranus conjoined Pluto three times in 1965 and 1966, bringing enormous social upheaval and change in the 1960s. The current sextile represents a time of building resources through creative effort (waxing SXT) to support the changes that began at that time.

Uranus and Pluto both recently changed signs into Aquarius and Sagittarius, respectively. Out of the five passes of the sextile, all of them take place in these new signs except the second pass. This suggests the Uranus-Pluto sextile is challenging us to build on the changes begun in the 60s by answering a renewed call to freedom, truth and a higher collective vision.

When Pluto changed signs in 1957, 1971 and 1984, Neptune changed too, being locked in a sextile relationship since the 1940s. This period saw a gradual evolution of social change (as compared to the social explosion when Uranus conjoined Pluto.) However, Pluto and Neptune are slightly out of sync now (until the early 2000s) and Uranus has briefly taken Neptune's place in sextile with Pluto. Since Pluto is changing signs with Uranus this time, a more unpredictable, unstable and agitated energy prevails.

The Uranus-Pluto Challenge

Uranus aspires to an enlightened, humanitarian perspective, while Pluto demands that we face the harder, darker realities of our times. How we combine these energies at the sextile will fuel and direct our journey toward our personal and collective spiritual evolution.

Every day the media shows us fresh horror stories of the desperation with which we are attempting to transform our economic structures, and the subsequent harsh consequences for our unemployed and disadvantaged, as we try to balance hard economic realities against compassionate ideals. These issues illustrate our struggle to transform the social order and manifest higher ideals since the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. Although many of us strive to see the highest potential in those around us, our collective opinions are becoming quite fragmented in terms of HOW those potentials can best be cultivated.

Increasingly, it isn't enough to tend our own little corner of the world and leave it to government to meet the needs of the anonymous masses. Each of us must, in some way, answer the challenge to take a personal stand about our values, priorities and beliefs, be it through conscious choice or resigned apathy. Do we, for example, give a "loonie" to a panhandler when we can, or do we tell ourselves they are the creators of their own struggle and therefore don't deserve our compassion or help? Do we even dare make eye contact or say hello, or do we hurry past pretending we don't see them?

Transpersonal Implications

I'm not suggesting there is only one optimal answer to these questions. However, Uranus and Pluto tell us that these and other seemingly minor decisions have far-reaching implications in the broader perspective. The personal decisions and attitudes we embrace today become tomorrow's composite reality and shape our personal integrity. Collectively, they become the compass that determines our direction into a foggy future.

Something was set into motion at the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that cannot be undone or stopped. It can and must, however, be shaped and directed. Each of us can use the sextile energy to aspire to the highest vision of social change we can imagine. What does YOUR ideal world look like? What can you do to help create it? It will be different for everyone.

Collectively, this can have a cumulative effect of speaking to our highest common denominator. We can build a foundation that will support and contain our highest potential and the best future world we are presently capable of creating.


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