Francis BaconThe desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall.
On April 30th at the New Moon in Taurus, Pluto, which is inexorably traversing the last degrees of Capricorn, stations retrograde. Until the 9th of October, it will “appear” to be moving backwards, a phenomena which astrologers refer to as retrograde motion., before turning direct and moving out of Capricorn and into Aquarius, which happens on March 23rd 2023, and owing to Pluto’s slow progress, it is an event which has not occurred since the mid 18th century. The last time that Pluto was traversing the final degrees of Capricorn the U.S was in the midst of the Revolutionary War whilst in Europe, the wealthy often lived in large palatial homes, leaving those at the lower end of the social scale struggled to stay out of the poor houses. Europe was then on the brink of the Industrial Revolution, a time when production began to transition from handmade to machine made, reflecting the advances in mechanization and the increased use of fossil fuels.
Today, three hundred and fifty years later, we are, according to Klaus Schwab, leader of the World Economic Forum, on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will witness the increased use of AI, robotics and other advanced technologies which aim to further reduce the worlds reliance on human effort. The transition of Pluto from Earth to Air signs has roughly defined all of the “Industrial Revolutions“, the first taking place in the latter part of the 18th Century as Pluto transitioned through the last decan of Capricorn into the sign of Aquarius, the second, also known as the Technological Revolution, took place at the end of the 19th century whilst Pluto moved through the last decan of Taurus and into Gemini, a period which was defined by a huge push to develop extensive rail and telegraph networks, facilitating the movement of people and ideas around the world. The third, also known as the Digital Revolution, occurred as Pluto transitioned from analytical Virgo into Libra, where the use of the binary system facilitated the growing dominance of computers and witnessed the birth of the internet.
The Last Decan of Capricorn
In the Tarot, the last decan (10 degrees) of Capricorn, is governed by the three cards above; The Devil, the Four of Discs and The Prince of Swords. Today, this trio of cards seems to poetically expresses the “desire for dominance and control” that on many levels, is tearing our world apart at the present time, and also the apparently “cold” and “unfeeling” steps necessary, as shown in The Prince of Swords, that ultimately need to be taken in order to move the next era.
No doubt, in the next year or two, as the world witnesses the dying breaths of Pluto in Capricorn, the whispers of the new era of Pluto in Aquarius, will sound frightening and discordant. It is likely that many, if not all of our time honored institutions will go through radical changes at this time, crumbling perhaps in the face of what is to come. Governments, and media organisations are already funded, sponsored and perhaps even controlled by gigantic faceless industrial and tech organisations, and, like in the card of The Devil, we mere mortals struggle below, whilst capitalism smiles down at our futile struggle in the pit. It seems that on some level, not much has changed since the 18th century, with the divide between the people at the top and the people at the bottom, even wider with the advent of the super rich, or Plutocracy.
The center card, the Four of Discs, ruled by the Sun in Capricorn, speaks of the need to assume “personal power”, which is where I believe the current challenge lies, if we are to escape from the “inferno” depicted at the bottom of The Devil. Too long enamored of the opinions of those “at the top”, “in the know” or “in authority” maybe the time has come to assume control of own lives, because in truth, we are not, how can we be? Raised for the most part to think small, fit in, and to remain within sharply defined parameters, the ones we were passed by our parents, The Devil smiles down on us, the little people; terrified of our own power, we give it away to those who we believe to know better.
As the patriarchy of Capricorn gives way to another Saturn ruled sign, Aquarius, our task is to employ the tactics of The Prince of Swords. This card represents the dispassionate, cool and intellectual mind of Aquarius, which aids us in the drive to disassociate from unhealthy influences and to cut ties with situations that do nothing but undermine us. This process enables us to step into our own power and to be clearer about what we want to see happen in our world, as it seems perfectly clear to me at this stage, that those who we have been bowing down to, do not for the most part, deserve the positions that they occupy.
Unlike some, I do not see the arrival of Pluto in Aquarius through rose colored glasses, signalling a “New Age Party”, in fact I sense that it could be a difficult time, with a growing sense of disconnection as we witness the crumbling of modern capitalism, all that we have ever known. This is something which is already happening, and to those of us who have been raised deep in consumerism, a new message has been broadcast. The idea has been emerging for the last few years where “services” will replace property, something summarized in the “8 Predictions for the World in 2030”, published on November 16th, 2016 by the World Economic Forum. (extract shown below).
“I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes,” Shopping is a distant memory in the city of 2030, whose inhabitants have cracked clean energy and borrow what they need on demand.Danish MP Ida Auken.
It sounds utopian, until the author mentions that her every move is tracked and outside the city live swathes of discontents, it is the ultimate vision of a society split in two.
Since this article was published, many of the issues it refers to are becoming more talked of, even accepted, as the inevitable way forward; we are midwives to a brave new world, a world that has been envisioned by famous authors throughout the last century and even before that.
Whether we get to enjoy the “after-party” of capitalism remains to be seen, for that will depend on the networks that we build for ourselves. Relying on those at the top to create our networks, does not inspire me; following dictates that have been laid down “for my own good”, smacks of the dystopian futures envisioned by Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and many others, futures towards which on many levels we are rapidly approaching. The networks that I can see developing around me seem to be evermore digitally inspired and increasingly detached from the physical, challenging the very essence of what it means to me to be human.
In ancient civilizations, the arrival of Aquarius after the depths of winter, signaled the return of the Sun, so there is reason for hope! Traditionally associated with the cleansing power of water to purify, and to rid the world of sin, Aquarius envisions a world of social cohesion, humanitarian ethics, equality and peace, high ideals that can sometimes fail to take into account the inconsistencies of humanity in all it’s forms.
I would rather be free to choose a path and hold my own opinions than be safe in a cage of another persons making, singing the rhetoric mantras of my overlords.
Today, the sun has been shining and I have been writing this post, in between carrying loads of gravel into the back garden. I lack a wheelbarrow, mainly due to space restrictions, so I have carried every scrap of stone in two small trugs. Seven shovel loads of gravel into each trug I can manage, eight is too many, load by load, paragraph by paragraph, the deed has been done. With all that stone carrying it has felt like a very Capricorn day, whereas tomorrow I have an astrology webinar to enjoy, how Aquarian! I have been delighted to find that all the seeds that I sowed just after the last New Moon have sprouted and also that the two apple trees that I planted are coming into blossom. These humble processes of lifting and carrying, planting and watering, link me to my very earliest ancestors. The prolific stands of kale that I planted last year, have kept me going through the winter, and are now starting to go to seed, their yellow flowers covered in bees and other insects; I feel somehow complete.
Grounded in toil, I can forget the world around me, disappearing into the birdsong and the early evening light. At home in the garden, here, I am the queen of my own domain…. until the slugs arrive that is!!
The numerical addition of the cards above are 15 for the Devil plus 4 for the Four of Discs plus zero for The Prince. This gives me 19, which reduces to 10 and which further reduces to 1. A magical trio of numbers, for we stand on the brink of a new world, uncertain of what shape it will be, but knowing that the labor pains will be hard to bear. I finish with words from Thoth Journey’s The Magus:
Accepting what is beyond your control, brings a greater understanding of your position. There is a light and a dark side to all situations, and you are a walker between worlds, a builder of bridges, a translator of language and a writer of fate. Travel, gather, observe, search and understand; garner and harvest, shape your findings and your experiences into something meaningful, therein lies your power.JoannaKate Grant
Joanna Grant is an astrologer of some 30 years and was awarded the Diploma at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in 2012. Weaving her knowledge of the stars together with intuitive tarot techniques, she crafts highly personalised guidance for clients who are often navigating difficult life transitions. She has lately been very excited to breathe new life into her astrological practice through her study of Horary.
Joanna holds the STA’s Practitioners Level Certification in Horary and is currently completing the STA’s Advanced Level Horary Diploma. You can read more about her here.