Sunday, May 19, 2013

Uranus Squares Pluto Again: Two Down, Five More to Go!

Plenty has already been written about the implications and manifestations of the notorious Uranus square Pluto in effect between June 2012 and March 2015, including on my own blog (check my June 2012 archives): the wars, the various collapses and brutalities, the global economy and climate in a tailspin. Well, it's back again on May 20, for the second of seven exact squares.

The last era we experienced this square was back in the early 1930s, the peak of the Great Depression and birth of the "New Deal," the rise of fascism in Germany, and -- on a more positive note in the United States -- exciting new developments in architecture, automobiles, home furnishings, and everyday objects that we now call "art deco" but back then signified a conscious move away from the more ornamental French deco style of the '20s in favor of a sleeker, more streamlined, "modern" look. This may sound frivolous in the context of such harsh realities as the Depression, soup lines, and dust bowls, but it was inarguable that the "look" of things changed beyond mere necessity. (There was also the WPA, which merged pragmatism and technology with aesthetics.) Radio (Uranus) came into its own during the '30s, and "talkies" as well as the implementation of the Hays Code (basically a refutation of the decadent Jazz Age) transformed the cinema from their silent, morally ambiguous days. Interestingly, this code was broken about thirty years later, during the mid-1960s conjunction between Uranus and Pluto; one of the first films to flaut the code was appropriately entitled Blow-Up.

Today's cultural markers include the Internet, but I believe that we are now on the verge of important breakthroughs in this medium. Television has entered a new Golden Age, with articles being published in such serious publications as the New York Times about binge viewing, "Netflix infidelity" (i.e., watching a TV series behind your SO's back), and how a show like Breaking Bad has for many bookworms become the equivalent of Great Literature -- in some cases supplanting the act of reading books altogether (you know, those square things with pages that kill forests). Just like the Depression, people are in need of escape -- but unlike the Depression, this escape can be indulged in without ever leaving home or seeing friends face-to-face. (Who needs to, when we've got Skype?)

Also, such seemingly everyday things as smartphones, iPads, and Kindles are not nearly as affordable as other "modern" things, relative to inflation, of the 1930s. What is pretty much a "want to have" is now considered a "have to have" -- otherwise, you'll be out in the figurative cold and unlikely to keep up with the middle class (whatever that means -- someone making only half a mil a year?). Just like today, in the early 1930s, Uranus was in hotheaded Aries -- but the square was to Pluto in Cancer, so the emphasis really was on survival, on having a home and food (both Cancerian concerns). Now Uranus squares Pluto in Capricorn, which emphasizes authority, power, and status. As a Sun in Cancer, this not surprisingly rubs me the wrong way.

The second Uranus-Pluto square falls on the Sun's entrance into Gemini and the Mercury-Uranus sextile. This means we have a wonderful window in which we can communicate with our siblings, neighbors, and friends -- with potentially far-reaching positive effects in the very high numbers, the cosmic equivalent of chain mail in which no one breaks the chain because it is important enough to keep alive. In other words, May 20 would be wasted on binge-viewing five episodes of Mad Men.

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