Pluto Retrograde & the 2015 Conjunctions of Venus and Mars
ERIS (RESPECTFULLY) CRASHES ANOTHER WEDDING PARTY
As if to rest from his recent encounters with Uranus, Pluto will retrace his steps in the sky from 15° to 12° Capricorn from April 15th to September 25th, 2015.
Retrograde planets, whether natal, by transit, or by progression facilitate Soul growth and evolution. They provide the time-space to “take a step back” to revisit issues, circumstances, and relationships and offer the opportunity to make different choices. The prefix “re” means back, or again. The words, review, reconsider, remember, relive, reflect, rework, reallocate, reframe, resolve, and so on, can all describe the astrological dynamics of retrograde planetary motion.
Retrograde planets take on an Aquarian dynamic, as their effect is to strip away our many layers of conditioning. We acquire these psychological skins as a result of all of our past life peak experiences, both trauma and triumph; add in the ethical and moral standards inherited from our families, religious and educational institutions; and overlaid by the cultural and societal mores of our community and nationality, and so on. Each of us is psychologically encapsulated in layers of crystallized thinking, believing, and behaving.
Pluto represents the Soul’s deepest unconscious desire for security. Pluto is the engine that drives the Soul’s constant state of becoming. In order to facilitate this Soul growth, it is the nature and function of Pluto to metamorphoses an individual past their self-imposed limitations. Pluto manifests the need to psychologically penetrate to the core causes of any of our existing limitations.
DANIEL FIVERSON, Painted Desert
Pluto’s drastic, often negative reputation, results from its correlation to our most intense and transformational periods of life. The determinant of the degree of challenge is the individual’s resistance to the changes that Pluto is requiring.
Because Pluto is retrograde 6 months of every year, approximately half of all the people on the planet have natal Pluto retrograde. Individuals with Pluto retrograde in their birth chart have a more intense focus on their Soul’s karmic and evolutionary necessities. There is potential for the lessons, on both ends of this axis, to have greater intensity, because in the Pluto retrograde lifetime, the Soul has chosen to understand, at the deepest core level, where they have been in the past, where they are in the present, and where they have intended to go in the future.
When Pluto is retrograde by transit there is widespread questioning of the status quo from a subjective perspective, relative to the evolutionary state of the individual. This is how the entire planet evolves, because half of the people are questioning the status quo in some way during this retrograde transit. This is an introverted, subjective time psychologically. We are drawn more inward, and we pay more attention to what is at our core, each in our own way.
According to his or her nature, not everyone will actively work with this impulse to withdraw. They might just be more reflective and adopt a more distant posture from others, but not know why they are feeling this way.
For others this will be a time when they will deepen their desire to connect with Source. There will be an increase in the purging of the separating desires, with an increasing sense of dissatisfaction; a sense that there “must be something else… there must be more than this”. All of this psychological response will be relative to the dynamics of natal Pluto for each individual, in the context of the entire birth chart.
We have to remember that every planetary placement, aspect, and configuration is exactly what is needed for us to leap our next evolutionary hurdle. There are no such things as bad planets or bad transits. What makes them good or bad is how we work with them when they happen. We are born exactly at the time that reflects the energetic matrix that is perfectly consistent with our evolutionary life path.
Pluto will add to the intensity and significance of the rare occurrence of the 3 Venus Mars conjunctions in 2015. The first union was last February. There will be 2 more, one in the early hours of September 1st, and the last on November 3rd. Please refer to my article Karma Mates into Soul Mates: The 3 Venus Mars Conjunctions of 2015 for details of this important cycle.
Dwarf planet Eris is predominant throughout this Pluto retrograde cycle leading up the 2nd Venus Mars conjunction of September 1st. Pluto Rx, remains in his waning 1st Quarter Square with Uranus and Eris in Aries, throughout the period.
PETER PAUL RUBENS, The Judgment of Paris (1639)
Eris was only recently discovered on January 5, 2005, from images taken on October 21, 2003.1 Beyond the orbit of, and larger than her nearest neighbor Pluto, Eris has an orbital period is 558 years. The outer planets have such intense impact because of their slow motion though the sky. Eris is roughly twice as slow as Pluto.
Mythically Eris is known as the Goddess of Chaos and Discord There are a number of versions describing her mythology, including being the sister of Mars. She was the only goddess not to be invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. When she turned up anyway, she was refused admittance and, in a rage, threw a golden apple amongst the goddesses inscribed "To the fairest." Three goddesses laid claim it, and in their rivalry brought about the events, which led to the Trojan War.2
Eris adds a distinct note of discomfort to whatever she touches. It is human nature to resist change. We hold on to what is familiar even when we know that it is not working. In addition to the stimulus provided by Pluto to remain in evolutionary motion, Eris adds a note of discomfort to facilitate this process. When circumstances elicit more pain than fear for us, we make different choices and allow the situation to change.
The Astrology of Pluto Retrograde and the Venus-Mars Cycle
In the chart for April 16th, as Pluto stations retrograde, Eris is conjunct both the Sun and Uranus in Aries, relative to Mars in Taurus. Pluto in Capricorn squares Eris relative to Saturn in Sagittarius. She is in an exact semisquare with both Neptune in native Pisces and Venus in Gemini relative to Mercury in Taurus. Pluto is squaring the Lunar Nodes stationary in the first decan of Aries-Libra.
Venus moves through an opposition to Pluto before she mates with Mars, making a Gibbous sesquisquare and quincunx before the opposition on May 21st and then repeats the pattern in reverse in the Disseminating phase, this time with 2 sesquisquares and a trine. As Venus travels through the subjective realms of Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo, we will need to realize that we have to take a harder look at how we are relating to others and recognize that it is not all about us.
On September 1st, as Venus, now also in her retrograde cycle, will pair up with Mars in Leo, Pluto is in a close Disseminating trine with the celestial lovers. The Sun in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces and conjoins Jupiter. The Moon waxes in a Disseminating trine to the paramours.
What does this mean for us here on Earth?
Relationship needs are exhibiting a tendency to remained polarized needing to find more balance and equanimity between self and others. There is pressure to break up the potential for stagnation in our rapport with others. We are prompted, sometimes rudely, to listen, and be more considerate of the needs of others, without sacrificing what we essentially require from the relationship. We need to let others be heard, and allow their opinions be valued.
Mars passionately chases Venus, running his own Pluto pattern of 1st Quarter, Gibbous, Full, and Disseminating phases as he races to catch up with her. They will meet in September when she will hand off her baton of priorities for Mars to initiate. He too must come to terms with what he needs to do to act upon his intentions with his fair maiden, eliminate his behavior that is no longer working, listen to what Venus is asking of him, and integrate what he has discovered.
VERONESE, “Mars and Venus United by Love”
Venus’s retrograde posture is reflective as she re-evaluates the meaning and purpose of her relationship with the God of War. She turns around to focus and observe if he is truly listening and giving her the recognition she is expecting. Does he value her as his equal? Does he provide her with the support and space of unconditional love in which to self-actualize and complete her self in their relationship? She asks herself and her lover, have you learned anything from all of the experiences we have shared this far in our journey together? Eris, though still reflected in Pluto’s intense vibration, has lightened up as she wanes in 3rd Quarter Trine. She too, now more relaxed in her pose and bearing, in a more gentle way, encourages the lovers to find their passion together.
This 3-part wedding has not yet reached its climax. The party still carries on, into the night, but the pair is engaged in the process of identifying the new fertile fields of their relationship that will be the foundation that can be established at the culmination of the relationship cycle in November
"The most important thing in all human relationships is conversation, but people don’t talk anymore, they don’t sit down to talk and listen. They go to the theater, the cinema, watch television, listen to the radio, read books, but they almost never talk. If we want to change the world, we have to go back to a time when warriors would gather around a fire and tell stories."
— Paulo Coelho