Pluto: Its Discovery, History, and Meaning

2020 promises to be a year of big changes astrologically, culminating with a Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction, also known as a Great Conjunction, in Aquarius at the Winter Solstice. This will mark the end of a two-century era in which the Great Conjunctions fell in Earth Signs and the beginning of a new two-century era in which they will occur in Air Signs.

As if this were not enough, before Jupiter and Saturn can come together, they will both have had to cross the path of Pluto. Saturn closed in on Pluto on January 12, 2020, and Jupiter will meet with Pluto three times, on April 4, June 30, and November 12.

For a detailed discussion of the Transits of 2020, see 2020 – An Earth-Shattering Year.

While all astrologers agree that the Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction has great significance, what about the meaning of the conjunctions of both of these planets with Pluto?

Answers to this question will vary widely by who you talk to. A Modern Psychological Astrologer or an Evolutionary Astrologer will attach deep meaning to these transits, while a strict Traditional Astrologer might say that they have no meaning at all.

In order to examine this subject, it might be helpful to take a closer look at Pluto, its history, and the significance that has been given to it by astrologers.

The History of Pluto

Before we delve into the astrological and metaphysical meanings of Pluto, let us step back and look at what we know about the discovery of this planet, its demotion, and its current place in modern astronomy.

Clyde_W._Tombaugh
Clyde Tombaugh

Pluto’s Discovery

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh when he was 23 years old. He worked at the Lowell Observatory, and his job was to search for Planet X. A century had not yet gone by since the discovery of Neptune in the mid-1840s.

Apparently, in the late 19th century, some astronomers believed that the orbits of Uranus and Neptune were not what they were supposed to be and speculated that there was another planet causing the anomaly. This undiscovered planet was called Planet X.

Percival Lowell was a wealthy Bostonian and scholar who was interested in a variety of subjects, including mathematics and astronomy. He founded the Lowell Observatory, and searching for Planet X was one of his pet projects.

Percival Lowell did not live to see his dream become a reality, but one of the glyphs that is commonly used for Pluto has a combined P and L, which in addition to being the first letters for the name of the planet, were also the initials of his name.

Pluto’s Demotion

Beginning in the early 1990s, barely 60 years into its discovery, Pluto’s status as a planet was beginning to be called into question. Part of the reason for this is that astronomers were finding out just how small Pluto really is. It is about two-thirds of the size of the Earth’s Moon.

Pluto,_Earth_&_Moon_size_comparison
Pluto, compared to the Earth and Moon

Another difficulty is that Pluto’s orbit is quite messy. Like the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Pluto’s orbit is filled with other space objects and is now known to be a part of a region that has been named the Kuiper Belt.

Pluto’s final fall from grace happened when another body larger than it was found to be further out into the Kuiper Belt. This body eventually became known as Eris, after the Greek goddess of strife and discord.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially determined the definition of a planet to be a celestial body that 1) is in orbit around the Sun; 2) has enough mass to be round; 3) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.

Celestial bodies that have only met the first two criteria are now known as dwarf planets, and there are now 5 bodies that belong in this classification, among them, Pluto, Eris, and Ceres.

Pluto’s demotion was highly controversial. In his book, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium and one of the key players in Pluto’s reclassification, tells the story of the popular outcry. Apparently, Dr. Tyson received quite a bit of mail complaining about the demotion, which included letters from elementary school children. One letter even included a picture of Pluto crying.

pluto-1315109_640

Pluto’s Heart

It turns out that the elementary school children discussed above may have been right to be concerned about Pluto’s feelings. Unbeknownst to anyone, Pluto apparently has a heart.

In 2006, the space probe, New Horizons, was launched to explore the outer Solar System. This probe arrived at Pluto in 2015 and mapped this celestial body along with its largest moon, Charon. Charon is so large in comparison with Pluto that Charon does not actually orbit Pluto. Instead, these bodies orbit a point between them.

New Horizons sent back a great deal of data about Pluto. Some of the most interesting discoveries were that the most prominent feature of Pluto’s landscape is a large heart-shaped region and that there may be water beneath its surface.

Pluto in Astrology

Pluto’s role in astrology has also taken many twists and turns. At the present time, Pluto is just as controversial in the astrological community as it is in the scientific one. For the most part, Indian astrology does not incorporate Pluto or any of the modern planets, but for such a small celestial body, it has become a very big bone of contention among Western astrologers.

Below are some of the views of Pluto based on three of the main branches of Western Astrology.

Traditional/Classical

Strict Traditional or Classical Astrologers ignore Pluto altogether. They also ignore Uranus, Neptune, and all of the asteroids. They primarily use the Seven Traditional Planets and see no need to make room for any of the planets discovered in modern times. This is, in part, because of the doctrine of visibility, which is that only the bodies that are visible have meaning to our lives.

Yet, there are many astrologers, some of them quite well-known, that use mostly traditional methodology and still incorporate Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in their readings.

In general, though, these astrologers do not assign the planets the rulerships of any signs, and instead, stick to the traditional rulership scheme.

Modern Psychological Astrology

The most common branch of astrology that is practiced in the West can be loosely described as Modern Psychological. Actually, this is far from a unified or organized school of thought, but there are some common themes.

The reason it is often termed psychological astrology is that its primary purpose is to describe people’s personality traits and internal psychological dynamics. Often, practitioners do not try to predict events that will happen in people’s lives but instead focus on a person’s Free Will.

Planets and celestial bodies are often incorporated into the system shortly after they are discovered. Innovation is welcome and even encouraged by practitioners.

In Modern Psychological Astrology, Pluto governs deep internal psychological forces. The associations for Pluto are often quite dark, although, it is also termed the planet of “transformation.” Pluto is assigned the rulership of Scorpio, sometimes alongside Mars, the traditional ruler, and sometimes in place of Mars. Areas assigned to Pluto are the areas of the psyche are ugly, violent, and that most people try to keep buried.

On a global level, it has been noted that Pluto was discovered as we were discovering atomic power, and the element named for it, plutonium, was used in the first atomic bomb detonated in war.

Pluto’s demotion has not changed its usage by most Modern Psychological Astrologers, although some have included other dwarf planets, such as Ceres and Eris, into their readings.

pluto-2677026_640

Evolutionary Astrology

Evolutionary Astrology takes Pluto even further, teaching that it is central to a person’s soul. Indeed, it points to the soul’s karma and its intentions in this present life. One of the major schools of Evolutionary Astrology is known as The Pluto School.

This branch of astrology also combines a sign, its ruler, and the house whose number corresponds to that sign, and gives them all a synonymous meaning. In this system, Scorpio, Pluto, and the 8th House all mean approximately the same thing.

Interestingly enough, this system places a heavy emphasis on Free Will. The chart is just a reflection of your past up until the point that you were born, and you can decide what to do with it in this life.

Even so, in many cases, Evolutionary Astrology often takes a close look at the traumas and unpleasant experiences that one has encountered in this and previous lives.

Further Discussion and Research

Last spring, on the Astrology Podcast, hosted by Chris Brennan, there was an interesting episode titled How Did Pluto and the Outer Planets Get Their Meanings. The panelists were Chris Brennan, Kenneth Miller, Sam Reynolds, and Lisa Schaim.

You can watch this episode on YouTube here.

This was a very good discussion, and I highly recommend it.

One of the more interesting parts of this video was a discussion by Kenneth Miller about a study he conducted regarding the views of astrologers concerning Pluto since its discovery.

According to his research, for the first few decades, most astrologers were unsure of whether Pluto did have meaning and if so, what that meaning was. Sometimes it seemed to impact people and sometimes it did not.

In most cases, astrologers from the early decades of Pluto’s discovery seemed to think that Pluto was only relevant in a birth chart if it impacted other planets or chart points in the chart.

In modern times, however, Kenneth Miller observed that astrologers who use Pluto are convinced that it does have meaning, are confident of that meaning, and see evidence of its influence whether or not it is connected with the more personal planets.

In the episode, he pondered what that might mean, assuming that both the astrologers of the past and present astrologers were faithfully reporting their professional observations. Could it be that Pluto actually is more influential now than it was in the past?

Also discussed in this video was the practice of ascribing meaning to Pluto and other celestial bodies based on the name given to them by astronomers as well as by what was going on in the world during their discovery. The basis for this practice is the doctrine of synchronicity. One of the observations made, however, that there did not seem to be any discussion of the significance of Pluto’s demotion according to synchronicity.

Pluto and Free Will

One of the central controversies in astrology concerns the roles of Fate and Free Will in our lives. This is not just an abstract philosophical discussion. For astrologers, it has profound practical implications. Our position on this issue governs how much we think that a person’s astrological chart can tell us and what we believe that we are able to predict by the movements of the planets.

Ultimately, every astrologer must come to terms with this question for themselves, but the different branches of Western Astrology tend to have different beliefs the interplay between Fate and Free Will.

Modern practitioners of Traditional/Classical Astrology tend to fall heavily on the side of Fate. There are a few who go so far as to think that our entire lives can be predicted with mathematical precision from our charts. This is an extreme view and is not held by many practicing astrologers, however.

Astrologers in the Hellenistic Age seemed to have a more nuanced view and in general, believed that some things were fated and some were subject to Free Will. I have found that most modern Traditional and Classical Astrologers would agree with this. Yet, I think that almost all would say that Fate plays at least some role in what happens to us and that we can predict our present and our future to a certain extent from our birth charts.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are Evolutionary Astrologers who do not believe in Fate, but ascribe everything to Free Will. As discussed before, in this branch, our birth chart only reflects the choices that we have made in past lives. Our present and future paths are up to us.

Most Modern Psychological Astrologers fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

For my own thoughts on the subject, I refer the reader to the article below:

Fate, Free Will, the Cross, and Wa

One of the things that I have noticed is that it seems that there is a correlation between how much astrologers believe Pluto and the Outer Planets impact us and how great of a role Free Will plays in our lives.

I do not think that this is a coincidence.

Thoughts and Reflections

When I first read, The Feminist Universe, by Miss Alice Trent, I learned about the modern poisons of atomization, deracination, and deformation. Atomization separates us from each other, deracination separates us from our Source, and deformation twists and inverts that which is good and beautiful, making it an ugly parody.

If you are interested, you can purchase a copy of The Feminine Universe here.

When I was reading about these poisons, I was struck with how similar they were to the accepted meanings of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Pluto

I wrote about my thoughts in the article below:

The Outer Planets – A Theory

In a later article, I discussed my thoughts on the notion that the Outer Planets were “Higher Octaves” of the Traditional Planets. The article is linked below:

The Outer Planets: the Pseudomythos of “Higher Octaves” and “Transcendence”

Based on these reflections, and in monitoring my own chart as the charts of my clients and others I know, I have developed my own practice as to how I use Pluto and the Outers.

I do believe that they can have an impact on people, but that this impact is almost entirely the result of Free Will.

 

I believe that the Traditional Planets, which we can see with the naked eye, cannot be avoided. We do have some Free Will with respect to how we interact with the principles they represent, but we are fated to deal with them as Axial Beings in the material world. For example, a mortal cannot avoid Saturn. We will all face the ravages of time and will eventually die.

We can, however, avoid delving into the depths of Pluto. In order to see it, we must go to substantial lengths and effort to do so. I think that is a metaphor for the Pluto principle as well.

On the other hand, no one is an island, and if our society has embraced Pluto, we will be impacted by it at some level whether we want to be or not. I find it interesting that there has been an outcry against the demotion of Pluto, and that many astrologers have ignored it completely.

If synchronicity was involved in its discovery, surely its demotion was meaningful as well. I think that, perhaps, we have been given the choice to reject the principles that have been associated with it. Maybe, over time, our society will be able to make that choice.

NH-PlutoCharon-Color-NewHorizons-20150711

Perhaps, we can use this year of changes to stop employing Pluto as a symbol for the principle which encourages us to dig up parts of our psyche better left buried or to take apart the building blocks of matter giving the power to destroy ourselves. Instead, we can let it alone to be a teeny world at the edge of our Solar System. We can enjoy its dance with its partner, Charon, let it have its heart, and speculate about what might be in the oceans beneath its surface.

I think that we have that choice if we want it.

Saturn 土星

Saturn is a difficult planet. She is the Greater Malefic, and her associations are the banes of human existence. Hardships, difficulties, blockages, the passage of time, old age, and death are all in her domain. Yet, these are all essential for manifestation. Saturn is necessary for our existence.

The Janya of Saturn: Sai Rhavë

sairhaveThe Janya or Great Angel that governs Saturn in Filianism is Sai Rhavë.  Sai Rhavë is one of the three Janyati associated with the Feminine Trinity. Sai Raya is associated with the Mother, Sai Candre is associated with the Daughter, and Sai Rhavë is associated with the Dark Mother.

One of the big debates in monotheistic religions is whether God is imminent and with us in our daily lives, whether God is a Creator who is apart from Creation, or whether God is so far beyond us to be incomprehensible to us. In Filianism, this is not a debate, but all three are true. In order to help us understand this, we use the model of the Feminine Trinity. I say, model, because the full Truth is beyond our capability. For this reason, in a sense, all religious doctrines are models. Just as we cannot truly see the Solar System but use models and pictures to understand it, in the same way, we need models and pictures to comprehend the Divine.

In the Trinity, the Mother is our Creatrix. She made us and loves us unconditionally. Yet, we became separated from her. In the Filianic tradition, like the physical Sun, She is “too bright for us to look upon.” Because of this, She gave birth to the Daughter. The Daughter is the aspect of Dea that is with us and cares about our earthly needs. When we experience the presence of Dea, it is always in one of the forms of the Daughter.

The Dark Mother is the aspect of Dea that is completely beyond our comprehension. While the Mother is too bright for us to look upon, the Dark Mother is beyond our perception altogether. She is the holder of the Mysteries that we cannot understand from an unEnlightened state, such as why suffering and evil exist or how Evil and Good are both necessary parts of manifestation. In the Filianic Tradition, she is “the Darkness beyond the Light and the Light beyond the Darkness.”

Of Her, not much can be said, but this passage from The Gospel of Our Mother God may help a little.

She that hath no beginning nor any end; She that did stand in the heart of chaos and make all things harmonious, She that doth bear the worlds within Her hand; the maid that knoweth Her is truly free.

She that is the maker of being and of unbeing; She that is all that is and all that is not; the maid that knoweth her in truth hath left all worlds; hath left in truth the body and the mind.

The Clew of the Horse, 45-46, Authorised Version

For obvious reasons, there can be no images of the Dark Mother. On the other hand, even though She is associated with the Dark Mother, Sai Rhavë is also one of the Seven Great Angels, and there are some feminine images for her. These include Kali from the Vedic Tradition and all “dark” and “crone” forms of goddesses. Filianism does not recommend direct devotion to the Dark Mother or to Sai Rhavë.

Saturn Returns

The Saturn or Rhavic principle is a paradox. On one hand, it is beyond manifestation, and its highest level is no less than Enlightenment itself. On the other hand, it is deeply wound up with the material world and what binds us to it. One of the ways that the Rhavic principle/Saturn binds us to materiality is through time. Saturn is the great timekeeper of our lives.

The Saturn cycle marks all of the natural ages for our rites of passage towards maturity. The first time transiting Saturn squares our natal Saturn is at the age of seven, which is considered the Age of Reason. We have our first Saturn opposition at the age of fourteen, which is the average age of puberty. Our second Saturn square is when we are twenty-one, which is the common age when children are considered full adults.

The first time that Saturn returns to the position it was in when we were born is when we are around 29.5 years old. The age we are during our first Saturn return can vary, however, from age 27 to 30, and because of retrogrades, it can last for a couple of years. This marks the end of the first stage of our lives as we move towards full maturity.

Our second Saturn return happens between 57 and 60, and it is at this stage that we move from “mature adult” to “honored elder.” If we live to age 87-90, we will have a third Saturn return. A very small handful of people may live to their fourth Saturn return, which would be around 117-120 years old, but that is very rare indeed.

For most people, Saturn divides our lives into three parts: childhood, maturity, and old age. Of course, a 25-year-old is not a child and a 62-year-old is not exactly old, but the Saturn boundaries are real. Once they are crossed, we change dramatically.

The Material World and the Soul

Each Janya and her planet have the same glyph. All of the glyphs are made from a combination of three symbols, the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World.

Saturn GlyphAs in the glyph for Sai Thamë, the Circle of Spirit, or the connection with the Solar, is absent. There is just the Soul, or the connection with the Lunar, and the material world. In Sai Rhavë glyph, however, the material world is sitting on top of the Soul. This seems an apt depiction. Unlike in the glyph for Sai Vikhë in which the cross is off to the side, in this glyph, the cross is directly over the Soul and dominating it.

Astrological Associations of Saturn

Sect: Day

Oriental Element: Tsuchi 土 (Earth)

Rules Aquarius, Day House

Air Aquarius

Rules Capricorn, Night House

Earth Capricorn

Exalted in Libra

In Detriment in Leo and Cancer

In Fall in Aries

Daytime Triplicity Ruler of Air

Participating Triplicity Ruler of Fire

In Joy in the 12th House

Temperament:

Oriental (in front of the Sun): Cold and Wet

Occidental (behind the Sun): Cold and Dry

Day of the Week: Saturday

Orb: 9° (Moiety 4.5°)

Colors: Indigo, brown, and black

Plants: Hemlock, fern, poppy, moss, mandrake, hemp, willow, and pine

Animals: Cats, dogs, serpents, mice, eels, tortoises, and bats

Metal: Lead

Stones: Sapphire, lapis lazuli, all black stones, and all stones that are unpolishable

The Way of Renunciation

All of the non-Luminary planets have a spiritual path that is associated with them. The spiritual path associated with Saturn is that of renunciation or releasing oneself of all social status and material belongings. This is a hard path. It is the way of the hermit or the spiritual beggar.

See Also:

Sleeping Beauty and the Three Faces of Saturn

The Astrology of Sailor Moon – Part VI: Sailor Saturn

Jupiter 木星

Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. She is the Greater Benefic and is the planet of generosity and good fortune. Jupiter governs the rhythm of the Music of the Spheres, as well as the harmony that weaves through our laws and social order. Jupiter’s influence on manifestation is usually positive.

The Janya of Jupiter: Sai Thamë

Sai Thame dollIn Filianism, the Great Angel, or Janya, that governs Jupiter is Sai Thamë, and She is associated with the element of Earth.

In many Creation mythologies, the Universe was created by forming Cosmos, or Order, out of Chaos. This is the fundamental principle of Sai Thamë. While there have been many different religious traditions throughout history, in many pantheons, the chief deity is either the one associated with Sai Raya, the Janya of the Sun, or Sai Thamë. The reason that Sai Thamë often functions as the chief deity is that She is the Intelligence that governs the movements of all of manifestation.

In Traditional cultures, human laws and social order are seen as an extension of the Harmony of the Cosmos, or the Music of the Spheres. In Filianism, the word thamë refers to the subtle principle of harmony that is a part of the fabric of the Cosmos and that can still be found in remnants even into the Late Iron Age that we live in now. In Japanese, the word for this is 和, wa.

Scientists will tell us that it is fundamental to the nature of the workings of the Universe that entropy, or chaos, can never decrease in a closed system. It takes an effort from an outside entity or force to reinstate order as things naturally disintegrate into disorder. On this point, Modern Science is actually in agreement with Traditional teachings. The reason for rituals and religious celebrations was to regularly and intentionally realign a culture to the celestial harmony so it did not fall into chaos.

A good description of the Divine Harmony that is associated with Sai Thamë can be found in Feminine Scripture:

For there are ways and rhythms in the course of life, of day and night, of seasons and the moon, by which all life, all thought, all work are governed and these movements are the breath of the Divine, reflected in the highest spheres and every living thing.

All nature is a vast and subtle music to which the innocent soul is close attuned.

The profane assay to sever themselves from this music, fixing new laws of gain and self-advantage against the law of universal love.

Honour in all things the times and the seasons, keeping fast in times of fast with diligence and care; rejoicing in times of feast with generous outpouring.

No tree may blossom out of season, nor any flower greet springtime with austerity, but a maid lacking inward control is broken from the rhythm.

For her shall there be nor warmth nor cold, shall there be neither light nor darkness.

Thamelic life is danced within the music of Eternity, and the pattern of the dance is Wholeness

The Gospel of Our Mother God, The Way of Simplicity, 3-10

Some feminine images for Sai Thamë are Justitia, or Lady Justice, from the Roman tradition, Sri Saraswati from the Vedic tradition in her role as the Divine Musician, and Our Lady Mary as Queen of Heaven.

Jupiter Returns

Jupiter has an orbit of approximately 12 years. This means that on a personal level, every 12 years or so, Jupiter comes back to the same place that she was in when you were born. This is called a Jupiter return.

Jupiter returns are considered to be a time of good luck, fortune, and opportunity. How fortunate they actually are will depend on the position and condition of Jupiter in an individual’s Nativity Chart.  Yet, regardless of what happens on a material level, on a spiritual level, Jupiter returns are a time to reflect upon your own personal thamë, or where your life fits into the general harmony of the Cosmos. They also provide the perfect opportunity for you to realign yourself with that harmony if you have fallen away from it.

Soul and the Material World

Each planet has a glyph which is the same as the glyph for the associated Janya. These glyphs are made using three symbols, the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World.

Jupiter GlyphIn Sai Thamë’s glyph, the Crescent of Soul, or the connection with the Lunar, is on top of the material world. While the soul is dominating the material world, the Circle of Spirit, or the connection with the Solar, is absent. The reason for this is that for there to be harmony, there must first be separation.

Feminine Scripture says, “Earth moves, but Heaven is still. The rim revolves, but the Centre remains without motion.” The Clew of the Horse, 1-2. Harmony involves motion, so it is not completely One with the Divine. It is, however, the closest that we can come to the Divine while still in the world of flux and change.

Astrological Associations of Jupiter

Sect: Day

Oriental Element: Ki 木 (Wood)

Rules Sagittarius, Day House

Fire Sagitarrius.png

Rules Pisces, Night House

Water Pisces

Exalted in Cancer

In Detriment in Gemini and Virgo

In Fall in Capricorn

Nighttime Triplicity Ruler of Fire

Participating Triplicity Ruler of Air

In Joy in the 11th House

Temperament:

Hot and Wet

Day of the Week: Thursday

Orb: 9° (Moiety 4.5°)

Colors: Blue, purple

Plants: Mace, nutmeg, oregano, basil, daisies, cherry-trees, birch-trees, and pines

Animals: Elephants, sheep, oxen, eagles, bees, and larks

Metal: Tin

Stones: Amethyst, sapphire, emerald, topaz, crystal, and marble

The Way of Good Works

Each non-Luminary Janya has an associated spiritual path, which will lead to the Divine if followed fully. The path associated with Sai Thamë is that of good works. These good works can be in the form of the performance of the rituals necessary to keep a society in tune with Divine Harmony. They can also be in the form of acts of charity and justice. While in modern times these are often seen as separate and even in competition with each other, in a Traditional society, they were all part of the same principle and both were necessary to maintain the Divine Order.

Mars 火星

Mars is the first planet that can move independently of the Sun, which is integral to her meaning. Mars is the planet that is the most deeply associated with Free Will, or the power to choose between the Light and the Dark. As such, she is heavily enmeshed in materiality. Mars’ influence in manifestation is usually harmful, and she is known as the Lesser Malefic.

The Janya of Mars: Sai Vikhë

durga-mother-godThe Great Angel, or Janya, that governs Mars in the Filianic Tradition is Sai Vikhë. Sai Vikhë is associated with the element of Fire.

In many Traditions, there is a Fall, when our Souls became separated from the Divine. In the Judeo-Christian Tradition, this was when we were driven out of Eden after the disobedience of Adam and Eve. In the Filianic Tradition, it was when the First Maid was tempted by the Snake to call Darkness upon the world in order to experience rest. In a sense, this can be viewed as something bad, but in another sense, manifestation as we know it would be impossible if this did not happen. We could not be Axial Beings without the Fall, because the power to choose is also the power to disobey.

After the Fall, the Great Vikhail, or War between Light and Dark, began. It is deeply embedded in our lives and the way we view the world. For example, conflict is a necessary part of any story. Indeed, a story without at least some conflict would be boring. No one would read a tale in which the protagonist was happy every day and nothing bad ever happened.

A good description of the Great Vikhail is found in Feminine Scripture:

Truly, the world is a field of conflict between the powers of good and the legions of the Dark One. In the cycles of civilizations is the conflict manifest, and in the soul of every maid.

For the servants of the Dark One fasten upon the false self like to the bindweed upon a growing plant. And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.

The Gospel of Our Mother God, Thoughts of the Mind, 25-26

Sai Vikhë is our protector in the Great Vikhail, which always starts within ourselves. Each one of us has a True Self who is turned to the Light, and a False Self who is facing the Dark.  In most cultures, Sai Vikhë is depicted as masculine; however, one very powerful feminine image for Her that has survived into the modern era is Sri Durga in the Vedic Tradition.

Mars and Gender

In the Modern West, Mars is associated with the masculine gender. Does this make Mars masculine? I tend to think not. There are many other things that Mars is associated with, such as the metal iron. This does not make Mars itself iron.

In the Western astrological tradition, as it has been passed down to us, the planets are said to have gender. The Moon and Venus are said to be feminine, Mercury is said to be neuter or androgynous, and the rest of the planets are said to be masculine. There has been some interesting work by the astrologer Charlie Obert that suggests that originally Saturn was feminine.

While I find the research into Saturn fascinating, in practice, I believe that the gender classification of the planets is no longer useful, if it ever was, and it may even be harmful. This classification comes to us through the Hellenistic tradition, which was highly patriarchal. There seems to be a strong impulse towards gender classification in the Indo-European tradition as a whole. For example, most Indo-European languages assign gender to nouns. This has been dropped in the English language, but it is still very much a part of other Indo-European languages such as Spanish, French, and German.

At one time, the gender classification of nouns may have had deep metaphysical meaning, but whatever that may have been, it is lost in the present era. For example, in German, a fork is feminine and a maiden is masculine. Mostly, this just serves as a headache for foreign learners of the language.

Warrior WomanIn astrology, by contrast, the meaning of the gender classification of the planets has become so solidified and taken so literally that many people, including experienced astrologers, believe that femininity is defined by and restricted to the Lunar and the Venusian and that masculinity is defined by the absence of these planetary principles. As both men and women clearly have all the planetary principles, this has morphed into the strange notion in Modern psychology that we all have a masculine side and a feminine side.

As astrology is a language, and like all languages, change and adaption are sometimes necessary. I think that it is perfectly legitimate to use either masculine or feminine imagery and language for all of the planets. There is nothing wrong with using masculine imagery and language for Venus or feminine imagery and language for Mars. On the other hand, I do think that there is a strong tendency to take these classifications literally, and for that reason, it seems best to use one gender or the other for all of the planetary principles. I use feminine imagery out of aesthetic preference and because part of my work is trying to restore the Divine Feminine. On the other hand, when I am working with the chart of a man, I use all masculine imagery.

The Material World and Spirit

sign-of-sai-vikheThere are three symbols contained within all of the glyphs of the traditional planets. These are the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World.

The symbol for Sai Vikhë is the Cross on top of Spirit. The Spirit is burdened by the Material World, but the Cross is turned 45°. This is because it is impossible for the Material World to dominate Spirit.

The glyph for the planet Mars has evolved to the point that the Cross has become a Spear. At this time, near the end of the Iron Age, the Vikhelic principle has become much harder and stronger. It could be that the patriarchal revolution came about because of the overbalanced state of the Vikhelic principle that is a defining feature of this Age.

Astrological Associations of Mars

Sect: Night

Oriental Element: Ka 火 Fire

Rules Scorpio, Night House

Water Scorpio

Rules Aries, Day House

Fire Aries

Exalted in Capricorn

In Detriment in Libra and Taurus

In Fall in Cancer

Nighttime Triplicity Ruler of Water

Participating Triplicity Ruler of Earth

In Joy in the 6th House

Temperament:

Hot and Dry

Day of the Week: Tuesday

Orb: 7° (Moiety 3.5°)

Color: Red

Plants: Nettle, onion, garlic, pepper, ginger, hemlock, chestnut tree

Animals: Tiger, horse, wolf, hawk, vulture, shark, scorpion

Metal: Iron

Stones: Adamant, loadstone, bloodstone, jasper

The Way of the Warrior

Each of the non-luminary Janyati has a spiritual path, which if followed, will lead to the Divine. The Path associated with Sai Vikhë is that of the Warrior. In the modern age, this Path can be seen in the various Martial Arts, all of which teach mastery of self in addition to the skills needed to fight an opponent.

Generational Astrology, Great Conjunctions, and Pluto

After planetary rulerships, one of the biggest divides between Traditional and Modern astrologers is in the area of Generational Astrology. In Modern Astrology, generations are marked by the Outer Planets, particularly Pluto. In Traditional Astrology, generations are marked with the Great Conjunctions, or the conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn, which occur every 20 years.

To be honest, before I was convinced to use Classical methods, one of my biggest objections was over Generational Astrology. Pluto in Leo really seemed to describe the Baby Boom generation very well, and Pluto in Virgo seemed to describe Gen X, my generation, as well. Yet, when I looked at the chart for my generation from the perspective of the Great Conjunction, the detail was incredible, far richer than what I could glean from just knowning the sign of Pluto at the time of my birth. That is one of the things that convinced me to switch to Traditional/Classical methods in my work.

For several years, I did not use the Outer Planets for anything, but I have come to believe that the Outers do have some impact on us. More precisely, I believe that they can have impact on us. I have formulated a theory that the Outer Planets represent modern poisons. So, given this, it is possible that the Outer Planets do say something about generations, at least in the Modern Era.

generations

What is a Generation Anyway?

In order to discuss generations in astrology, we must first understand what we mean by this term. When I looked up it up on Wikipedia, there seem to be several different definitions. It could mean “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.” Alternatively, it could mean, “the average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own.” The term generations can also be used to describe the relationships within individual extended families.

In the 20th and 21st Centuries, generations in the United States were given labels. These labels were used in many ways, but in the present time, they are used heavily for marketing purposes. Businesses want to know how to effectively advertise to each generation. There does not seem to be uniformity as to the actual start and end dates of each generation, but this is a common demarcation:

  • GI Generation – 1901 – 1926
  • Silent Generation – 1927 – 1945
  • Baby Boomers – 1946 – 1964
  • Generation X – 1965 – 1980
  • Millenial Generation – 1981 – 2000
  • Generation Z – after 2001

Jupiter/Saturn Conjunctions

Traditionally, generations were marked by Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions, also known as Great Conjunctions, and they occur approximately every 20 years. Below are the dates and the charts for all of the Great Conjunctions since 1900 to the present. With Great Conjunctions, the chart is specific for each location, and these charts are cast for Chicago, Illinois.

November 28, 1901

Great Conjunction 1901 Chicago

September 9, 1921

Great Conjunction 1921 Chicago

 

August 8, 1940 – Triple Conjunction

The Great Conjunction of 1940 was actually a triple conjuction. August 8 was the first, but the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction repeated on October 20, 1940 and February 15, 1941. Multiple Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions are quite rare. The last multiple conjuction was in 1821, which was a double conjunction in Aries, and the last triple conjuction was in 1682-1683 in Leo.

Great Conjunction 1940 Chicago

February 18, 1961

Great Conjunction 1961 Chicago

December 31, 1980 – Triple Conjunction

This was yet another triple conjunction. The second Jupiter/Saturn conjunction was on March 4, 1981, and the third was on July 24, 1981. It seems significant that there were two triple conjunctions in the 20th Century.

Great Conjunction 1980 Chicago

May 28, 2000

Great Conjunction 2000 Chicago 2

Analysis

It would take a lot time to delineate each of these charts, but just taking a superficial look, it seems that the dates do not match completely with the generation dates. On the other hand half of them begin during the same year as the Great Conjunctions. It is also interesting to note that the triple conjunction of 1940 corresponds roughly with the “Baby Boomers” and the triple conjunction of 1980 corresponds almost exactly with the “Millenials.”

One of the advantages to using Great Conjunctions is that there is a full chart to delineate, though. Furthermore, it is possible to watch the changes as the Jupiter/Saturn cycle moves through its phases.

Pluto Signs

Now that we have seen the Great Conjunctions, let us compare them to the Pluto ingresses.

Pluto was not discovered until 1930, and even if Pluto does have impact, I do not know that it is really fair to count it before it was discovered. Still, for the sake of comparing dates, I will list them.

Another issue with using Pluto signs is that because of the retrograde cycle, there is usually a period of time in which it would go back and forth between signs. I will list the date of first ingress and the date of the final ingress.

pluto-1315109_640

Gemini

First ingress – July 21, 1882

Final ingress – April 19, 1884

Cancer

First ingress – September 10, 1912

Final ingress – May 26, 1914

**Februrary 18, 1930 – date of Pluto’s discovery**

Leo

First ingress – October 7, 1937

Final ingress – June 14, 1939

Virgo

First ingress – October 20, 1956

Final ingress – June 10, 1958

Libra

First ingress – October 5, 1971

Final ingress – July 30, 1972

Scorpio

First ingress – November 5, 1983

Final ingress – August 28, 1984

Sagittarius

First ingress – January 17, 1995

Final ingress – November 10, 1995

Capricorn

First ingress – January 26, 2008

Final ingress – November 27, 2008

Analysis

While the Great Conjunction dates were not an exact match, the Pluto ingresses are not even close. I think that a review of the dates alone is enough to rule out Pluto as a marker for the generations, even as they are defined at present in the United States.

Further Thoughts

While it is clear that Pluto ingresses do not correspond with the generations as they are defined in the U.S., there is a potential way to use Pluto, if one is so inclined. If one were to view Pluto as in indicator of a modern poison, there is an argument that it does have at least some validity. For example, Pluto in Leo does seem to have relevance to the Baby Boomers in the U.S., growing up in the time of unprecedented affluence, but with constant fear of nuclear attack, to the extent they had “duck and cover” drills at school.

On the other hand, this influence, should one choose to accept it, can be seen in the Great Conjunction chart of 1940. This is a full chart, and Pluto is in Leo in that chart.

Conclusion

In this article, we have looked at the traditional method of measuring generations using Great Conjunctions and the modern method of using Pluto signs. It seems that the evidence overwhelmingly favors the Great Conjunctions. While not exact, the dates of the Great Conjuctions match the non-astrological delineations of the generations better than Pluto ingresses do. This method generates charts that can be studied and analyzed, where as Pluto signs can only give “pop astrology” type descriptions. Finally, any markers that Pluto signs might have can be read into the Great Conjunction charts, if one is so inclined.

Venus 金星

Venus is the planet that rules love of all forms and creation. Astrologically, she is never more than 48° away from the Sun. She can only appear near Sunrise, when she is the Morning Star, or near Sunset, when she is the Evening Star. Her influence in manifestation is usually helpful, and she is known as the Lesser Benefic.

The Janya of Venus: Sai Sushuri

Sai Sushuri dollIn the Filianic Tradition, the Janya, or Great Angel, that governs Venus is Sai Sushuri, and Sai Sushuri is associated with the element of Water.

Sai Sushuri is the Janya of Love. Modern interpretations of historical gods and goddesses associated with Her reduce Her role to merely romantic love or fertility.  Sai Sushuri governs all forms of Love, however. She governs Divine Love, motherly love, and love of friends and family. It can be said that Sai Sushuri is the Warmth of the Sun. Sai Sushuri is also the Janya associated with Creation, and she is responsible for its beauty.  Sai Sushuri’s association with Venus/Aphrodite is well-known, but she is also associated with Sri Mahalakshmi in the Vedic tradition, and Our Lady Mary in all of Her images as Loving Mother.

Feminine Scripture provides a beautiful description of the Divine Love associated with Sai Sushuri and Her role in manifestation:

Love is the soul of harmony by which all existence is made possible.

For perfect existence is of the Spirit, its very nature is Love. The pure soul is in harmony with Dea and with her self and with all things.

And for the existence that has fallen from perfection; truly it is the music of Divine harmony that sustains it in the motion of its wholeness.

It is Love that holds the drop of dew pendent on a blade of grass, neither flowing forth in watery profusion, but swelling within the unseen urn of its brief harmony.

It is Love that holds the stars within their courses, and all the worlds of the immeasurable cosmos within the harmony of the celestial music.

Truly, all the cycles of the times and the seasons; all the rhythms of the soul and of the mind and of the flesh: truly all these flow from the love of Our Lady, the Maid, that creation may not decompose, each several member flying away into black eternal chaos.

For Light is the essence and Love is the form. And it is by Love that the essence of a tree remains a tree. Else might it as lief become a rushing wind or a forkèd lightning flash.

The Gospel of Our Mother God, The Clew of Love, 1-7

Sai Sushuri’s Pentacle

Sai Sushuri’s symbol is the pentacle. The number 5 can be seen in all of Creation, down to the number of fingers on each of our hands and toes on each of our feet. Sai Sushuri’s pentacle can also be seen in the orbit of her planet, Venus.

Spirit and the Material World

sign-of-sai-sushuri1The glyphs of the traditional planets are made from three symbols, the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World. These glyphs are the same as the glyphs for their Janyati.

In Sai Sushuri’s glyph, the Circle of Spirit, or the connection with the Solar is on top of the cross of the material world. This symbol shows that the material world comes down from pure Spirit, but is still governed by Spirit. This is a gentle symbol reminding us of the Source of our existence.

Astrological Associations of Venus

Sect: Night

Oriental Element: Kin 金 (Gold or Metal)

Rules Taurus, Night House

Earth Taurus

Rules Libra, Day House

Air Libra

Exalted in Pisces

In Detriment in Aries and Scorpio

In Fall in Virgo

Daytime Triplicity Ruler of Earth and Water

In Joy in the 5th House

Temperament:

Oriental (in front of the Sun): Hot and Wet

Occidental (behind the Sun): Cold and Wet

Day of the Week: Friday

Orb: 7° (Moiety 3.5°)

Colors: Green, pink

Plants: Lilies, violets, daffodils, apple trees, thyme

Animals: Deer, panther, goats, sparrows, nightingales, pelican, dolphins

Metal: Copper

Stones: Cornelian, sky-colored sapphire, red and white coral, lapis lazuli

The Way of Love

There is a spiritual path associated with each of the non-Luminary Janyati. Each path is complete in and of itself and if followed fully, will lead to the Divine. That being said, the path associated with Sai Sushuri is one of the two purest, along with the path of Sai Mati. Sai Sushuri’s path is that of kindness and compassion, or the Way of Love. The Way of Light and the Way of Love may seem like separate paths, but they are intertwined. It is said, “Perfect Love is Perfect Knowledge, and Perfect Knowledge is Perfect Love.”

Evolutionary Astrology, Thoughts and Musings

Evolutionary Astrology is a relatively new branch of astrology. This branch seems to claim to be able to trace the soul’s journey from incarnation to incarnation and to determine what a soul is trying to accomplish in this lifetime. This branch also claims to be an astrology about freedom and choice. As a caveat to this article, I have not studied Evolutionary Astrology in depth. My knowledge is based on the introductory materials that can be found on the internet. For this reason, I might be misunderstanding key concepts. My musings are from the perspective of an outside observer only.

Even though I use mostly Classical Western methods, there are things I do find interesting about Evolutionary Astrology, and in many ways, I want to like it. One of the main schools in this branch is led by Steven Forrest. When I was studying astrology in my teens, Steven Forrest’s books, The Inner Sky and The Changing Sky, were some of the mainstays of my self-education. I really like his approach to astrology and his gentle wisdom and humor.

I also like the use of astrology as a tool to aid one’s spiritual journey in this life. I disagree with the methodology of Evolutionary Astrology to the extent that I understand it, but I largely agree with many (but not all) of the core perceptions as outlined on Steven Forrest’s site. While I do really want to like it, there are some things I just can not get past.

Stairway

Is Evolutionary Astrology Just Another Astrological Language?

Before I continue, there is the question of whether Evolutionary Astrology is simply a new astrological language. If that is the case, as a non-speaker of that language, I really do not have any business commenting at all. It is tempting to go that route. After all, it seems best when we can all just get along.

I think, though, that Evolutionary Astrology really is more than just a different language. By its very nature, it is not just talking about the physical world or people’s inner psychological workings. It is talking about the soul and matters that touch upon Fundamental Truth.

One of the other main founders of Evolutionary Astrology, Jeff Wolf Green, says that he received the basic tenets of this branch from a dream. This is an example of revealed knowledge, further evidence that we are looking at claims concerning Fundamental Truth. This means that this is not just a new astrological language, but a philosophy, and perhaps a religion.

I accept as a given that as beings in an unEnlightened state, our ability to understand Fundamental Truth is limited. Different religions tell different narratives to describe Truth, but none of these narratives are Truth itself. This does not mean that knowledge of these matters is merely a matter of perception and opinion, though. When looking at matters of Fundamental Truth, there are ideas that are in error. Thus, I am examining the philosophy behind Evolutionary Astrology, as I understand it, from a Traditional perspective.

The Name, Evolutionary Astrology

The first difficulty I have is the name itself. From a Traditional perspective, the direction of manifestation is decline, not progress. The word, evolution, means moving away from the Center. The main philosophy behind Evolutionary Astrology is that our souls incarnate from lifetime to lifetime and that the birthchart can tell the “evolutionary condition” at the state of birth.

I do believe in reincarnation, or transmigration of souls, but my belief is closer to the Vedic and Buddhist traditions, in which this transmigration is part of the Wheel of Samsara. The ultimate goal of our souls is not to “evolve” on this wheel, but to escape it. Now, of course, it could be that the name of this branch of astrology does not really encompass a belief that our souls are progressing through evolution, but merely addresses why we are still on the Wheel of Samsara. I do not know enough about it to be sure. On the other hand, the Vedic tradition of astrology, which does address matters of Samsara, has been around a long time and is deeply rooted in an unbroken line between guru and student. Is a modern, Western branch of astrology that does the same thing necessary?  That is really a question, by the way. I do not know the answer.

Pluto

pluto-2677026_640My biggest fundamental difficulty with Evolutionary Astrology comes from the heavy use of the dwarf planet, Pluto. Evolutionary Astrology claims that the sign and house position of Pluto is fundamental to understanding the soul’s purpose in this life.

This claim is going beyond saying the Pluto has an impact on our lives, which I think is possible. It is even going beyond giving Pluto rulership of the sign, Scorpio, which I think is false and a disruption of the entire system. This seems to be going so far as to elevate Pluto above the level of the Traditional planets on a spiritual level.  Indeed, one of the current schools of Evolutionary Astrology is called “The Pluto School.”

This elevation is not just a matter of technique by which reasonable astrologers might disagree. This is stating something about the nature of Fundamental Truth, and as such, needs to be carefully examined. I have come to see Pluto as representative of the poison of deformation or inversion of right and wrong, so this elevation of Pluto seems particularly troublesome to me.

Another difficulty is that Pluto was not discovered until 1930. Does that mean that we did not have access to information about the state of our souls until that time? This, more than anything, would seem to be a fatal flaw in the system.

On the other hand, according to Platonic and Eastern Traditions, we are currently in the late Iron Age, or Kali Yuga. This is the end of a larger cycle, and our souls could very well be using this lifetime to clean up old werde or karma before the next Golden Age begins. As such, we may need to deal with unsavory elements from our past lives, I do not know. If that were the case, perhaps we did not need to look at Plutonian issues until recently.

Still, from what I have seen, Evolutionary Astrology goes into areas of much complexity, and I wonder how useful and necessary this really is. Indeed, my own feeling is that being in the late Iron Age is all the more reason not to delve into such deep and dark complex matters.

In my own spiritual tradition, we are taught to turn away from these sorts of complexities as much as we can. In the Cry Marya, from the Gospel of Our Mother God, it is written, “All the complexities of the world are but the turnings of a labyrinth, and at the centre is the fiery rose-heart of our Mother, burning with perfect love.” We are taught that in this late Age, all that is required of us is to turn to Our Mother like humble, small children. We are assured that She will make up for any deficiencies in our devotion.

Tangled Tree

Fate and Free Will

Another difficulty I have with Evolutionary Astrology is what seems to be a rather extreme position on the question of fate and free will. One of the core perceptions of Evolutionary Astrology as outlined on Steven Forrest’s site is: “An acceptance of the fact that human beings are responsible for the realities they experience, both internally and externally.”

I am a strong believer in Free Will, and I have a lot of difficulty with Traditional/Classical Astrologers who take a mechanical and fatalistic approach to our craft. On the other hand, I do not believe that Free Will necessarily means the freedom of agency with respect to our material existence. If that were the case, it would seem to lead to some rather harsh results.

For example, what about children who are born into horribly abusive households or into extreme poverty? Are they responsible for their plight? In some traditions, including the Vedic one, the answer might be yes, because of misdeeds from a previous life. In the Buddhist tradition, all of life is suffering, and these situations just represent more obvious forms.

The problem of human suffering is particularly difficult for monotheistic faiths. Indeed, there is the old monotheistic paradox that if God were all-powerful, God can not be good, and if God were good, God can not be all-powerful. The issue of suffering is directly addressed in the Judeo-Christian written tradition in the Book of Job. There is also the famous question in the Christian tradition from the Gospel According to John, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:2 NRSV

In the Filianic tradition, suffering is part of the necessary imperfection of manifestation, and it is beyond our power to fully comprehend from an unEnlightened state. We do not always have freedom of action or agency on the material plane. We do, however, have absolute Free Will in whether to turn to the Light or to the Dark, regardless of our material circumstances. This may or may not change anything in the physical world, but our choices will have a direct and clear impact on our souls.

On a material level, there are areas we have choice and areas we do not. I think it unnecessarily harsh to say that we are responsible for everything we experience.

The Moon’s Nodes

In Evolutionary Astrology, the Moon’s Nodes represent the life path of the native. The South Node represents where we are coming from and the North Node represents where we are going.

In Classical/Traditional Astrology, there is no consensus as to the meaning of the Nodes. In Vedic Astrology, the Nodes are the Head and Tail of the Dragon, Rahu and Ketu, respectively. Both are considered malefic.

In my own practice, I have not seen an appreciable difference between the North and South Nodes, and I tend to view both as malefic. They are the places that eclipses form. I see eclipses as waves of darkness over the world soul. I do believe they have a karmic influence, but not necessarily on the level of individual souls. I think they represent collective karma, and the place they touch our charts is where our individual souls connect with or are impacted by the world soul. I think this is particularly true for those born during or whose charts progress into eclipse seasons. This is not a Traditional approach, but one that I developed in my own experience and practice.

Conclusion

There are things that I like about Evolutionary Astrology, in particular, the practice of using astrology to assist with the development of the soul. It seems to be a popular branch of astrology in this day and age, and I can see how it can be helpful to people. On the other hand, I find some of the techniques and practices problematic, especially the elevation of Pluto and what seems to be an extreme position on the question of Fate and Free Will. These techniques and practices raise important issues with respect to the philosophy of astrology and delve into matters that relate to Fundamental Truth.