Astrological Musings

Art by Lynette Hensley

Pluto turned retrograde (appeared to move backward) at the end of March, and as it slowed down before changing direction (the “stationary retrograde period”) the issue of secrecy regained prominence with the disclosure that the National Security Agency had been collecting the phone records of millions of Americans.

Pluto, like his mythological namesake, rules the dark Underworld of secrecy and that which is hidden. In the journey of human evolution, Pluto’s role is to expose anything from which we are hiding that keeps us from achieving our higher purpose. Pluto is also associated with issues of power, and the Bush administration, more than any other in recent history, has built their power structure on the need for secrecy. Even before September 11, VP Cheney allowed himself to be sued rather than reveal the identities of those on the task force which helped to shape the energy policy. When Jupiter entered Scorpio last year, the sign ruled by Pluto, Administration secrets began tumbling into public view beginning with the indictment of Cheney Aide Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame investigation.

Uranus, often called “the awakener,” changed direction on June 19 leading to additional revelations by the New York Times of spying from the Bush Administration, this time on bank records of American citizens, leading to furious condemnations by the Republican spin machine. When the Washington press corps began reporting on leaked information this week about planning by US commanders in Iraq to begin withdrawing troops by September, the Administration comfortably discussed these national secrets publicly. But the revelation of the secret program to monitor banking transactions of private citizens drew down the wrath of the Administration and its spokespeople.

Also under Uranus retrograde, the recent rash of stolen records affecting the privacy of millions of Americans reached epidemic proportions this week:

  • On June 19 ING Financial Services announced that 13,000 District of Columbia workers were affected by a theft of a laptop computer from the home of one of its employees.
  • It was announced June 20 that medical records of over 10,000 patients at the University of Alabama were stolen along with a computer from a locked room.
  • On June 21 it was revealed that personal details on over 26,000 people were stolen when the USDA computers were hacked.
  • Computers containing personal data on 4,000 participants in a study at the University of Waterloo were stolen yesterday.

The outer planets are associated with transpersonal issues and the expansion of human awareness. When multiple outer planets are in retrograde motion (currently Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all retrograde), humanity as a collective deals with issues that are larger than one’s individual personal life, and this trickles down to the level of the individual as well. While events are occurring over which we have no control, we retain the gift of free will to make choices that will empower and enable us to continue to grow and evolve. As Nick Campion writes (quoted in an article by Clare Martin):

Perhaps in the Age of Aquarius we will recognise the presence of the Divine within us, rather than projecting it outward onto various superhuman gods and goddesses. Human beings will have to acknowledge themselves as the source of both good and evil, and of all the other possibilities on earth. Change depends upon individual free will, and the development of the individual capacity to make independent choices. The ‘new age’ will therefore come about not as a result of a preordained pattern but as a result of the ability of humanity to realise its full potential.

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