One of the big controversies in astrology is what planets should be included in reading charts. In particular, what do we do with the planets that have been discovered since the 18th Century, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. We have already established that these planets are not a part of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos. One of the difficulties with Modern Astrology is that it abandoned the traditional model of the cosmos and traditional techniques in favor of new “discoveries.”
Traditional Astrology has been gaining ground in the past decade or so, which tries to retrieve and relearn techniques that have been long lost from Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance times. Current practitioners of the craft of Traditional Astrology are not in agreement as to whether the modern planets should included in chart reading. Some will argue that the modern planets have no meaning at all; others will argue that they DO have meaning, but that they should not be given rulerships or dignities in the signs of the zodiac. In my own practice, I will have to say that it took me a while to formulate a theory regarding these planets. For many years, I did not use then at all, and I hardly missed them. Yet, when I included them in my readings, I did find that there was an added dimension to the chart by including them. I did notice that they did not have the higher spiritual meanings ascribed to them by New Age astrologers. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were malefics, pure and simple.
It was only recently, after reading The Feminine Universe, by Miss Alice Lucy Trent that I began to understand a possible new approach to these planets. The Feminine Universe described three poisons of the Modern Era. These poisons are atomization, deracination, and deformation. It is axiomatic and generally agreed by astrologers that give any meaning at all to the modern planets is that their meaning is informed by the social and political conditions taking place when they were “discovered,” and most would agree that they did not have any meaning whatsoever until after their discovery. If this was the case, then any meaning ascribed to them would have to be unique to the modern world. As I thought about the meanings ascribed to these planets and compared them with the description of the above mentioned poisons, they fit almost perfectly together. Below are the definitions of these poisons, as described by The Feminine Universe.
This is the force that separates us from one another. In societies before the Modern Era, people lived most of their lives in community and in family. One’s identity in the world was based on one’s community and family connections. People did not make major decisions on their own. In Modern times, we are very much cut off from each other, even our own families. People live alone. We have complicated governmental programs and insurance to help us in cases of emergency, whereas, in the past, one might rely on one’s family and community to care for us. In many ways, the United States and other democratic nations are founded on atomization, and it is glorified as “rugged individualism.” Interestingly enough, the meaning ascribed to Uranus is that of individualism, that which makes us separate and different from one another. Uranus was discovered in 1781, around the time of the American and French Revolutions.
Deracination is the force that cuts us off from our roots and from our traditions. This poison affects us in many different ways, from the way we dress to our manners and our furniture. We no longer understand or care about our traditions. Our understanding of our place in the world and in our community becomes confused and unclear. This very much fits with the meaning ascribed to Neptune, confusion and lack of definition or clarity. Neptune was discovered in 1846. Interestingly enough, the Theosophical Society, which had a huge role in separating traditional sciences, such as astrology, from their roots, was founded in 1875. In the last half century, deracination has become quite rampant and is most noticeable in the deterioration of our clothing choices and our manners since the mid-1960’s in the West.
The last, and probably most destructive of these three poisons is the poison of Deformation. This poison is one of inversion, an intentional creation of dark and disturbing images. One can hardly watch television or consume any modern media without encountering rampant deformation. The meaning ascribed to Pluto is of death and destruction, a fitting meaning to a planet named with the name of the Lord of the Underworld. Pluto was discovered in 1930, the time period in between the World Wars, and right before World War II. It is about 30 years later that Western civilization began a rampant deterioration that the Feminine Universe describes as the Eclipse.
Now, if the Traditional Planets represent the Higher Cosmological Spheres, it is not hard to extrapolate that the three Outer Planets represent Lower Spheres, or the Outer Darkness, referred to in the Christian tradition. Interestingly enough, these planets may have very well been known about in Ancient times. Certainly, Uranus was. Our Ancient forebears knew enough not to intentionally invoke these planets, however.
In my own astrological practice, I have begun to look to these planets from the viewpoint of places where a Native is most vulnerable to the poisons of atomization, deracination and deformation. In so doing, I have found that this reading has given me far greater accuracy than any other reading of these planets that I have ever tried.