You Know Your Karmic Goose Is Cooked When Pluto and Saturn Are Dancing with the Dragon’s Tail
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“The impermanence of this present life will force you to leave all wealth behind, but by giving it away, you can take it with you as good karma.” The Dalai Lama
For more: “Teachings to Surprise and Inspire“
In preparing for this newsletter, I first ruminated on the rare ongoing triple conjunction in Capricorn of Transformational Pluto, Karmic Teacher Saturn (both going RX later this month) and the Moon’s South Node, also called the Dragon’s Tail, which embodies our karmic past.
What came to me was a teaching I received from a very reclusive enlightened Vedic master on a spiritual pilgrimage to India in 2007. The subject of his darshan was: “Greed is the single most challenging problem facing humanity today.” This quote perfectly epitomizes what is being activated by this triple conjunction as one of the major astrological themes of 2019 and beyond as it affects us personally as well as on a global scale.
Saturn first moved into pragmatic Capricorn on December 19, 2017 for a two and a half-year sojourn. At that time, I wrote about how Saturn’s transit could affect us in my newsletter:
When I shared the topic of this newsletter with a dear friend, he responded, “It’s a shame we live in a time where placing love before money is even questionable.” So true!
Now, with Pluto and the Karmic South Node seriously feeding into the potential negative effects of Saturn in Capricorn, all our choices have much deeper karmic implications. For, while we’re always either unwinding our samskaras—i.e., habitual mental and emotional karmic grooves—or winding them in deeper, this period could exponentially accelerate the rate of our spiritual evolution or devolution.
Consequently, before we take any major actions, it may very well be a good idea to learn by heart the immortal words of Sting, paraphrasing the Lords of Karma:):
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you
Since November 2018, when the transiting South Node of our karmic past moved into Capricorn and the North Node of our dharmic destiny moved into Cancer for eighteen months (the Moon’s Nodes always move RX), I’ve been keeping an eye on this nodal transit to see how it would play out.
And now that Saturn, Pluto and the Dragon’s Tail are moving together in very close orb until the Fall, I can clearly see how one of the major leitmotifs of the year is whether we move forward spiritually by choosing the heart-centered selflessness epitomized by the Cancer North Node or backwards by choosing the ego-centered selfishness of the dark side of Capricorn.
This challenge is typified by the schism in the mass consciousness over the current refugee crisis on a global scale. Our major karmic exam as part of the curriculum in Earth School is to examine how we feel and what we believe is the high road on this theme and many other similar ones.
This is an ongoing testing of our heart/mind’s level of conscious awakening and growth in how we act, speak and vote and, while affecting us for over a year already, this triple conjunction, as it is getting closer and closer, will continue to ramp up these issues through October and beyond.
Since the Moon’s Nodes take nineteen or so years to return to these signs, it’s a rare opportunity for those of us with karmic issues around these themes to choose the high road. This is especially so for those of us who have a natal predisposition to misuse power for selfish gains, even if it harms others, until we wake up enough to choose differently.
Anyone with a natal Mars, Pluto, or Saturn conjunct the South Node or having a Capricorn South Node (meaning they’re having a nodal return now) may experience this karmic test the most, especially if they haven’t fully dealt with their shadow side.
But for ALL of us, wherever we have the third decan (20-30° of Capricorn), we’ll be experiencing a karmic final exam. That means, between now and October, we have a golden opportunity to heal more karmic poo-poo on deeper levels than ever before in this incarnation.
If you’re not familiar with your birth chart, you can get it here for free: Astro.com
This three-way conjunction is occurring in Capricorn which rules structures in the Earth plane: From our belief structures, to our physical body’s structure, especially bones and teeth, to buildings and infrastructure, societal and cultural structures, all the way through to the earth’s tectonic plates.
For me personally, with a Cancer South Node on the descendant in the 6th house of service, I’ve always erred on the side of taking care of significant others, at times at my own expense, literally and otherwise. And this transit is forcing me (or at least encouraging me) to grow up and take care of my own needs first and be my own parent. It’s never too late!
As always, with the Nodes, it’s about finding the perfect balance, so it’s never just “either/or” but rather “and—and both.” This means that I can still enjoy nurturing others and see all beings as my children with my Cancer South Node, as long as I also take good care of being a responsible, mature, grown-up adult to my own inner child. I’ve had to learn, the hard way, to put the oxygen mask on myself first, before I take care of the “baby” on my lap.
In my twenties, before my first Saturn return at age twenty-eight when I cleaned up my party girl act and got sober, I thought that discipline, delayed gratification, hard work and maturity were some of the dirtiest words in the English language. This is a perfect example of my resistance to moving towards my North Node in Capricorn and choosing to grow up.
Just as for all of us, whether we ever have our birth charts interpreted for us from a karmic perspective or not, you can be sure that whatever we resist and fear developing in ourselves the most is where the North Node—by sign and house—resides. And this placement tells us what we’re working on evolving towards on the personality levels in this life. Remembering, of course, that the journey towards the North Node is a life-long one, with infinite layers of depth.
Wherever the South Node of our karmic past lies—by sign and house—is the place in our development where we feel most comfortable, safe and secure. But now, with all our stagnate comfort zones getting blown up with Trickster of Awakening Uranus in comfort-loving Taurus, the journey towards our North Node is getting some accelerated Uranian “inspiration.”
This triple dance could mean choosing to tithe a percentage of our income or resources in the form of time or heart energy to loved ones in need, be they in personal relationships or trans-personal, meaning sharing our abundance with those on the planet who are suffering and with whom we feel called upon to assist. This could also mean devoting a portion of our resources to investing in our own need for healing and spiritual growth.
This does not mean using our resources to try to buy love. For love is priceless, as is our health and our time here on earth, and cannot be bought or sold, controlled or manipulated, only freely given, graciously received and appreciated in the Eternal Now. I have had clients with a natal Saturn or South Node in Capricorn who tried to buy or bind romantic love interests with cash and prizes as a sort of lower-chakra power play and, as you can imagine, the results are never karmically pretty.
This also does not mean placing love for another before love for ourselves when it comes to essential resources if it causes us undue deprivation, unless the feeling to give comes from a place in us in which there are no strings or conditions attached. As selfless love is also love of Self, in that everything we do for others is always for ourselves as well in the bigger picture. How could this not be so? Therefore, maintaining an attitude of healthy selfishness balanced with a heart-centered commitment to do no harm to ourselves or others is the way to go.
The reason that establishing a foundation for a new philosophy of life is so important right now is because Saturn, Pluto and the South Node’s journey through ambitious, earthy Capricorn, which rules the 10th house of career, will be shifting our attention more towards “getting ahead” with persistence towards long-rang goals.
While our focus will be geared toward success with a willingness to work hard, delay gratification and have patience for long-range results, these energies can also be cold-hearted and mercenary, especially if personal relationships are getting in our way “to the top.” With Pluto and the karmic South Node in the mix, we might feel like blowing up anybody or anything that stands in our way to success, especially if we have a karmic predisposition to misuse the power at our disposal.
So, for instance, if a loved one is going through a rough patch, financially or otherwise, through no fault of their own, the heart-centered high road of our new priorities would be to choose to support them by creating and sustaining a safe, sacred container or space for them to go through whatever they need to go through, without trying to control or fix them on our timetable.
This may also mean offering them some financial assistance or a loan, with no emotional or other strings attached even and, particularly, if it slows down our plans for expanding our business or world domination, (two things the shadow side of Capricorn loves :)).
Wherever Capricorn resides in our birth charts, transiting Pluto, Saturn and the South Node’s karmic lessons will inspire us to grow up and act in a more spiritually and emotionally mature way in all our endeavors in that area of our life. This is especially true for those of us with our ascendant, midheaven or personal planets in Capricorn—the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus or Mars—in addition to the other earth signs of Taurus and Virgo, which will also be positively affected by trine.
Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn will bring in an abundance of karmic lessons, or what I call FGO’s, i.e., f**kin growth opportunities, in whichever area of life, or house, we have Capricorn in our birth chart. To make the most of these opportunities we’ll need to embrace the soul qualities that are the most character building: patience, hard work, impulse control, delayed gratification and responsibility and with the North Node in Cancer to learn to enjoy more heart-centered nurturing and giving with no strings attached.
Traditionally, when transiting Saturn and Pluto cross the angles of our birth chart, i.e. the cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th houses, major life changes “inspire” us to step into more power and accountability. For example:
1. In the 1st house, it means it’s time to grow up, be more mature and take responsibility on new levels. And if we don’t want to, you can bet that Saturn, Pluto and the South Node will create circumstances to “encourage” us to.
2. In the 4th house, childhood “stuff” will come up to be healed in our emotional bodies, giving us the opportunity to let go of our wounded inner child as a default victim identity. This is an exceptionally good time for some psychic counseling.
3. In the 7th house of committed partnerships, we may feel as if it’s time for a serious relationship that will stand the test of time and that frivolous romantic affairs lose their interest. If we’re already married and the relationship is feeling stagnant, it may be time for some couples counseling, as Saturn, Pluto and the South Node’s energies in the 7th house teach us that we must “grow deeper or die” as we learn how to enjoy selfless giving more.
4. In the 10th house of career, it’s a fabulous time if we’re workaholic by nature. For, if we’re willing to put in the long hours with no let-up, we’ll find ourselves reaping the fruits and stepping into our power in our profession like never before. But if we take any shortcuts or engage in any illegal monkey-business, watch out, because with Saturn, Pluto and the South Node there, we could get whacked! (Nixon was impeached with just Saturn transiting his 10th house:)).
5. In addition, if we have Capricorn in the 2nd house in our birth charts, our finances and personal value system are up for a major review as it may mean we’ll need to “tighten our belts” and evaluate what gives authentic meaning to our lives, beyond the cash and prizes. Then we can start investing more of our energy and focus on value fulfillment, as we contemplate the true nature of abundance on all levels.
6. If we have Capricorn in the natal 5th house, while risk-taking, vacations and romance may be put on the back-burner, it can be a very productive time for putting in the hard work on a creative project or dealing with the demands of being a responsible parent.
All these karmic challenges strengthen us by helping us develop maturity and wisdom. For a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about Saturn and Pluto to help you prepare to make the most of what’s to come, I urge you to check out:
If you’d like to make the best use of this triple-threat transit in a conscious, empowered way, rather than feeling like a victim of circumstances beyond your control, an astrological reading from a soul-level karmic perspective is a highly useful tool.
So, if you’ve been thinking about gifting yourself or a loved one with an astrology reading from a unique psychic perspective—or are due for your yearly transit update—there couldn’t be a better time!
A reading allows you to be more awake and alert to the timing of your internal and external challenges and embrace them as teaching tools for character building, endurance for the road ahead and cultivating soul qualities that are eternal. Now that’s spiritual pragmatism!
For more info: ASTROLOGICAL SERVICES
Here are some higher truths to contemplate to help us take the high road going forward with our ongoing Saturn/Pluto/South Node lessons:
I. The Universe is made up of energy.
II. All energy is CONSCIOUS.
III. Heart energy is the gold standard of the currency that motivates all our desires as co-creators.
IV. There is only ONE inner teacher . . . And he resides within each of us.
In other words:
“The body dies, but the spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death.” Questioner: “How should we treat others?” “There are no others.” Ramana Maharshi
Added to all this, we’re building towards the exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto which occurs every 33-37 years. On January 12, 2020, Saturn will conjunct Pluto at 22° Capricorn. This Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn will be transformative in the extreme, although because annihilator Pluto is in the mix, sometimes it can be very destructive first, as old structures need to fall away so something new can be reborn from the ashes.
In hindsight or, as astrologers call it, a recurrence theme, conjunctions, squares, and oppositions of Saturn and Pluto generally coincide with very negative and disruptive occurrences such as the beginning of WWI (conjunction), WW2 (square) and 9/11 (opposition).
This Saturn/Pluto conjunction could bring about the breakdown of important economic, corporate and political power structures and the downfall and disgrace of those who occupy positions of power in those institutions. But in the short term, these power players and structures could become even more oppressive and tyrannical as they desperately try to remain in control. Is this good news or bad news?
Debt-burdened major corporations, governments, banks, and other economic institutions could experience their karmauppance. There could also be, at least the beginnings, of the Plutonian passing away of outmoded political or economic power structures, such as the electoral college or the health insurance industry as they presently function. Is this good news or bad news?
When, on January 12, 2020, Saturn conjoins Pluto at 22° Capricorn for a single and dramatic pass, we can expect this cycle—from the year leading up to the conjunction and for approximately two years following it—to have an exceptionally powerful long-range effect.
The worst-case scenarios could occur when aggressive Mars in warlike Aries retrogrades later in 2020 and squares the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, as serious political and military conflicts are considered the traditional interpretation of this transit historically. Is this good news or bad news?
Our perspective on upcoming disruptive events in evaluating the “good news/bad news continuum” depends on whether:
1. We’re looking at a very-long range picture of what needs to fall away for the spiritual evolution of humanity to break through into the Light in this, the spiritual Dark Ages of the Kali Yuga.
2. Or, we’re only thinking about the short-sighted, selfish effects on ourselves and our safety, security and comfort zones.
For more: “Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga”
One of my teachers, the renowned astrologer Robert Hand said: “Pluto is about power, but not just any kind of power. It is the power of the transformations that result as things come into being and pass away. The planet Saturn is not usually considered a force for change. It is often seen as resisting change—as being conservative, stubborn, even reactionary. These are qualities of Saturn, to be sure, but that is not the complete story. Saturn has to do with our experience of what underlies all order and structure.
“The Saturn-Pluto combination represents crises that come about as the normal, lawful, and predictable manifestations of Saturn are challenged by the need for deep and fundamental changes in the system, which are indicated by Pluto. Saturn-Pluto change is likely to impose some kind of restriction on our freedom of movement or upon our resources.”
Because of all the dire predictions that go along with Saturn/Pluto transits, it’s especially important now to place the Pluto/Saturn conjunction of January, 2020 in context with another much more positive conjunction, that of expansive Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius in December, 2020.
While the 2020 period of Saturn/Pluto’s conjunction will likely be constricting so that we feel as if we’re all in a psychic pressure cooker, Jupiter and Saturn’s conjunction will help to offer up new solutions which can lead to fresh approaches to managing economic, social and political challenges.
So, if we can look beyond the Saturn/Pluto conjunction and consider Saturn’s conjunction with Jupiter in Uranus-ruled Aquarius, this will help ameliorate some of the catastrophizing as we witness the falling away of old structures so that a new order can emerge.
Instead, we can focus on envisioning Aquarian Age-type visionaries and Uranian rebellious geniuses creating incredible technological inventions which will help catalyze new paradigms and structures on a global scale. For example, these innovators will perhaps find brand-new solutions for global warming and pollution through renewable energy sources and other new technologies, which will help alleviate the current ominous future probabilities about mass migration, as a case in point.
And while the negative side of Saturn/Pluto transits is about as bad as it gets in terms of abuses of power and corruption at the highest levels, I have faith that the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction coming on its heels in 2020 will offset the most heinous misuse of power from being sustained for any protracted period and thus bodes well for humanity in the long-term picture.
In closing, here are some final perspectives to ponder on the good news/bad news continuum theme:
I. Life just as it is presented in the Earth Game—in all its horror and splendor—is the perfect vehicle for our awakening.
II. Our true nature is ultimately one Being with billions of faces.
III. Not distracting ourselves from being fully present, moment by moment, to whatever is presented is ultimately the goal of the Earth Game.
IV. There’s nothing left to do once we’ve embraced the above truths except to pass them on viscerally to others with an open heart.
Once we own our power and consciously choose to only manifest what is for our highest spiritual good, this always equates into the highest good for all concerned as an immutable Divine Law. How could it not be so?
Laughing and crying with the cosmic humor of it all,
J O A N
STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT by Joan Pancoe
“The magic moment is the moment when a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’ can change our whole existence.” Paul Coelho
For more: Notes from an Alchemist
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