The anticipation has built over years, maybe even decades, and now finally the year 2012 is here. “Is this the end of the world or civilisation as we know it?” It may be surprising to some that with such a focus on this particular twelve months, the coming year doesn’t really produce the earth shattering astrological configurations we’ve been led to expect. That’s not to say though that there’s nothing of significance being enacted in the heavens during 2012.
An Unfolding Story
A major part of an astrologers work is to study and translate the “story” that’s being told as the planets move through our skies making their aspects and alignments. An advantage the astrologer has through watching the “signs and portents” is that it becomes obvious there’s a continuous unfolding of events occurring in cycles and series that stretch out over differing periods of time. The Sun cycle takes about 365 days to complete, our measurement of a year. Our Moon has a 29.5 day cycle and this in turn has a larger pattern of about 19 solar years. Mars takes around two solar years, Jupiter twelve and so on. Pluto’s slow progress takes 248 years to complete one full turn. It’s from the idea that we are about to complete a very very long cycle that has given this year its apocalyptic status.
Much of the emphasis on 2012 comes from the Mayan long count calendar which covers a cycle of thousands of solar years. Calculations have suggested it will complete on 20 December 2012 with a new long count starting on 21st December. Others have claimed it ended on 28th October 2011. Although an Astrological event may take place at a specific time we experience the effect from the configuration of slow moving planets over several years. Within such huge eons of time an exact date becomes a minor issue and we are actually no more likely to notice anything tangible on those dates than we are at the Solstice or Equinox each year. What we are experiencing now though is the culmination of many cycles and the beginning of a new era. But as with the nature of time, it doesn’t all happen at once!
The last few years have been dominated by several major configurations featuring planets in cardinal signs making stressful cross and T square formations, notably a series of five Saturn Uranus oppositions. From 2008 to 2011 we experienced a dramatic period of upheaval and a turning point for the majority of the world’s population in which the political, social, cultural, and economic challenges of the last decades reached a peak. Global financial, political and religious structures crumbled as systems of government failed the ordinary people they were meant to serve.
Uranus Square Pluto
By mid 2011, Uranus, planet of idealism and revolution had moved into Aries whilst Pluto, planet of destruction and renewal became firmly established in Capricorn.
The powerful effect of their interaction is seen in the great evolutionary upheaval they initiate amongst the various population groups around the world.
The influence of these outer planets on any of us as individuals depends on where they fall into our own birth chart.
These two heavyweights of transformation started to form a challenging square aspect during July 2011 and we got a taste of things to come. This volatile combination is the signature of the next few years.
The Uranian archetype is altruistic and wants unrestricted freedom of expression. It is innovative and breaks through the constraints of established order. Whilst in Pisces it was prey to self delusion and couldn’t grasp the truth amongst the smoke and mirrors. Now, and for the next seven years, it’s in feisty Aries and we have a call to action, confrontation too if necessary. It serves to overthrow complacency and disrupt the status quo. It may bring chaos and apparent anarchy which will be more difficult for some people than others, but this too happens regularly in cycles. It last occurred 84 years ago during the early 1930’s.
Pluto differs in its expression but also represents an archetype which ultimately works in the interests of our combined evolutionary development. Through the process of degeneration and decay something new can emerge. This is a principal of life and death and an ongoing cycle represented all around us. We often fear this undeniable force and attempt to control its effects but that only creates stress and often pain, emotional or physical. Eventually we all have to let go to a greater force. It has the effect of overthrowing personal agendas in favour of the “good of all”. The Pluto archetype is about a journey which somehow transforms us into something further along in our shared evolution. Whilst in Capricorn, Pluto will be at work on our structures, systems and organisations. Thus we see it working to undermine the control of governments, religion and the judicial systems. Everything that we have built up over time that has crystallised or fossilised, keeping us within its constraints, must now be broken down and rebuilt.
When the forces of Uranus and Pluto come together we can expect some rapid and comprehensive changes. The last powerful combination was during the 1960’s when there were mass demonstrations and social upheavals. There was a lot of experimenting with communal living, mind blowing drugs and anti establishment attitudes. Social norms were overthrown, rigid class divisions dissolved and the “modern” social era emerged.
This current square aspect is the first major challenge to the changes that came out of that social revolution. It first became exact during late June 2011 and will continue its influence until early 2016.
The challenge we have to face is rooted in our sense of individualism. There are serious questions to ask about our own personal integrity. It is rapidly becoming obvious throughout the world that those who we have entrusted with power are now exercising a very questionable authority. But it’s easy to see it in another person. During the coming years the spotlight will eventually turn inwards and we have to look at where we’re in conflict with our own standards of behaviour. If we want to have freedom from material restraints (Uranus) we have to be purged of self importance and become honourable (Pluto).The struggle will be acted out on many levels as we are forced to face ourselves. We have to question what is really true and appropriate and what have we blindly accepted as a convenient or comfortable assertion.
Human rights, individual freedom and choice will be confronted by those who desire to hold power. Suppression, force or manipulation is likely to be used in an attempt to achieve supremacy and we can choose to go along with it or not.
We can expect a build up of increasing pressure until sufficient power exists to crash through the established political, financial and religious structures and remove the outmoded ways of being, within them.
This time period will seem chaotic and disruptive but it is essential to clear away systems, governments and social divisions that no longer serve us. The next few years will be both exciting and confusing. We still don’t know exactly how things are going to take shape and there may have to be several changes before it settles into something workable. Focusing on personal integrity, core values and removing obstacles to social co-operation within your community will help keep you connected to something dependable.
Rare Occultation of Venus
Another completion takes place this summer echoing the theme of new beginnings. On 5th June Venus passes over the Sun at 15 degrees Gemini, in what’s known as an occultation. As with an eclipse the planet passes in front of the Sun and can be observed from earth, a phenomenon occurs in pairs about eight years apart approximately every 121 years. Previous occasions have been 1631, 1639, then 1761, 1769, followed by 1874, 1882. The first of the current phase was on June 8th 2004. This once in a lifetime event often coincides with a period of social and economic reformation and is the herald for a new set of personal and social values. The last few years has seen a shift in values of all kinds, personal yes, but also financial and with how we relate to physical resources like food, water and land use.
Venus, goddess of love and beauty and planet of attraction tells us about what we value. We have an innate desire to interact with others and to be attractive and desirable so we can “belong” to a social group, partner or family. She uses the energy of attraction to bring what we value to us through a kind of magnetism of likeness. When Venus joins with the Sun in such a spectacular way their energies are combined and it’s as if Venus becomes infused with the brilliance of the Suns power, like a light getting turned on, in a big way. It’s as if the Sun, our solar heart, is imparting its message through our social values. The expression “hearts desire” comes to mind with this symbolism and I would expect that whatever yours is, it will be magnified by this conjunction. If you want to know what your true hearts desire is then take time during this rare event to tune in and find out. In Mercury ruled Gemini the emphasis is on communications and making connections. We could see a change in the way we use social media this year. Venus also makes a square to Mars and this event will bring to light the methods used to get what we want and at what cost on a deeper personal level. Expect to experience a heartfelt reaching out to others in direct challenge to those who choose conflict as their form of communication.
Neptune in Pisces
The third major influence this year is Neptune starting a 13 year journey through its own sign, Pisces. It’s been in Aquarius since 1998 and made a temporary move into Pisces from April to July 2011 when we got a taste of its potential. Neptune is another of the evolutionary planets and acts to break down barriers and dissolve physical boundaries that divide us. The sign of Pisces is the last in the Zodiac cycle and represents the return to a spiritual state beyond material limitations. Its territory is the realm of dreams and mystical experience as well as chaos and disorder. At worst we will be prey to deception or a refusal to accept stark realities preferring to remain in a comfortable denial. Potentially though, we can expect a growing wave of compassion and upsurge in yearning for connection with our spiritual home. The principals of brotherly love and human kindness are easily characterized in this combination.
2012 is probably the year when we finally see that real and profound changes are taking place. It’s happening so fast now that we cant fail to notice. This is a necessary change because we’ve gone as far as we can down a particular path and the systemic problems are deep and entrenched. The very way people relate to each other will need to evolve before the transformation is complete. The next few years will teach us some hard lessons but humanity will survive. What’s happening now will teach us that individual survival is dependant on co-operating with each other, not opposing, or controlling, but through mutual respect. It will also become apparent as we re-organise our societies that everyone will need to take equal responsibility for the society we live in and it can no longer be delegated to someone else. Humanity is about to “grow up”.
“Become the person who you would like to have around if your well being depended on you” (Anonymous)
2012 The year ahead for Ireland
Using the 1949 chart for Ireland we can see that transiting Saturn opposes the Sun and Venus from late December 2011 until late September 2012. This is certainly going to make any financial progress hard work and we can’t expect the prospect of renewed prosperity, or regaining independence from higher authorities yet. Property prices are likely to continue to devalue. Saturn restricts and delays whatever it touches so any declaration of economic recovery can be dismissed as spin or misplaced optimism.
As Saturn passes through an area of Irelands chart which represents our outer image or political status it shows that national reputation and autonomy is compromised and we’ll see further restraints on the way the state can operate. The low points will come during late December 2011, late March and mid September.
Saturn’s job though is to make sure we have put down a solid foundation for building on in the future. It teaches us the hard way by making us face the sometimes stark reality we have been avoiding and we finally realise no one else is going to take the responsibility for our future.
During March and April there could be a serious disquiet and upheaval. We can expect to see strong opposition to the government and maybe even a sudden change in the ruling power or state. This influence emerges again in November around the time of the lunar eclipse so if we haven’t already seen changes in government then this might be the time.
Saturn moves into Scorpio in October and as the emphasis changes we could experience isolation from other countries and perhaps find that getting support from abroad is harder to achieve. We may find we have more firm restraints placed on us from abroad.
The Uranus Pluto square directly affects the area of the chart which represents Ireland’s economy and financial policy. It may take several years before we see the financial sector working in favour of the ordinary people. It is quite likely that the ruling government is at “war” with the people during this period.
This year we’ll experience increasing disparity between those who believe in taking and holding the power, wealth and control for their own personal enhancement and those who choose to share power and resources, contributing to the well being of others and trusting in them as a sustainable way of ensuring their own long term well being. Two very different approaches to taking care of oneself.