Many varieties of "pression"

Saturn Pluto conjunction at 22º Capricorn

In any French brasserie you can order "une pression" - not just a draft beer but one “pulled” using a manual tap. The bartender pushes the beer into the mug.

This amusing memory intrudes as I contemplate the upcoming conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. We have been living with its pressures for well over a year, and we are very much in its vice grip as it tightens and tightens and tightens.

There is a sense of inevitability very palpably present as we watch radical change cover the world. It has taken the shape most recently of authoritarian regimes which have installed themselves in many places, and in significant departures from accepted standards of behavior in democracies such as Great Britain and the United States of America.

This is just one more step in a long process of polarization which has seen people everywhere cleaving to their family, racial, and ethnic identities in a (vain) attempt to beat back the tides of change. The other has become terrifying to many. And it is just this other which is the hallmark of future life on the planet earth.

Instead of writing, as I often do, about Moonwobble, this time I'm going to write about two new Moon cycles: the new moon of November 26 (4° Sagittarius) and that of December 26 (4° Capricorn). And I will discuss this current Moonwobble in the context of the greater pressures we are all experiencing because of the Saturn Pluto upcoming conjunction.

To give you an idea of just how long this cycle is: the current cycle of Saturn and Pluto began in 1982 and is characterized, in my mind, by the success of the Reagan revolution and the articulation of policies intended to empower the wealthy. (It could also be seen as a Conservative response to the expansive liberality of the post-war era in the USA.) This conjunction took place on Nov. 7, 1982 at 27° Libra. Culmination of the cycle took place when Saturn reached an opposition point to Pluto on May 26, 2002. One knows the seed by knowing its fruit. And the fruit in this case, for Americans, was the early years of the Bush White House and the domination of American foreign policy by Dick Cheney and other neoconservatives. **

(It's interesting to note in passing that the first-quarter Saturn square Pluto phase was exact on March 20, 1993, six months before the Republican party took over leadership of the House of Representatives for the first time since before World War II., and the third-quarter phase was exact in December 2007, a year before the economic meltdown that brought on the Great Recession. Saturn moved into opposition to Uranus shortly thereafter, which is more closely associated with the timing of the economic catastrophe.)

The previous conjunction of Saturn and Pluto took place on August 10, 1947, at 13° of Leo. So, consider a Leonine cycle beginning in August 1947, leading to a Libran cycle beginning in November 1982, and now to a Capricornian cycle beginning in January 2020. Leo is “I’m going to do something !”; Libra is “Let’s get this into balance.” Looking at those eras, writ large, I can absolutely see that.

And what do we think about Capricorn ? Not expansive, for sure. Perhaps an almost paranoid obsession with resources, which would fit in a climate-change environment where a lot of people are going to lose their livelihoods. We see the adumbrations of it already, just as we saw the beginnings of Reagan-era social policy two years or more before the 1982 conjunction was exact. Contractions in social policy and restrictions on the rights of anyone who “isn’t like us” (in whatever context) should be expected.

The worst of the tension usually precedes the moment when the conjunction is exact. The March 30, 1981, assassination attempt on President Reagan, for example, took place seven months before. (Other aspects are involved with that event, too complicated to go into, but it occurred in the developing atmosphere of the Saturn-Pluto contraction.)

New Moon, November 26, 2019, 4° Sagittarius

New Moon chart for November 26, 2019The new moon cycle of November 26 comprises the period in which articles of impeachment were drafted and passed in the United States Congress against President Donald J. Trump. (Likewise, in Great Britain the electorate returned Boris Johnson to power with a comfortable majority paving the way for that country to leave the European Union.) This is in no way a Moonwobble event in the ordinary sense, because it has long, long roots. It is appropriate that it should happen in the middle of a Moonwobble cycle though, since almost everything of significance that has happened with this president, including his election, has occurred during a period of lunar node instability.

Hindsight is 20-20, as they say. This new moon chart has a Capricorn ascendant for Washington DC with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction prominently placed in the first house. There is really very little doubt that the impeachment drama is an essential symbolic event connected with this new Saturn-Pluto cycle beginning. It is equally symbolic that the action by the House of Representatives appears likely to yield a sterile result.

The new moon itself takes place in the 11th house, which goes along with the overtly political character of the entire period. There are interesting aspects to Uranus which correspond with a great deal of the upheaval surrounding political activities. Mars is conjunct midheaven in this chart for Washington DC and opposes Uranus. Thus, bellicosity dominates and is aggravated by a sense of revolutionary righteousness.

New Moon, December 26, 2019, 4° Capricorn

The new moon cycle of December 26 will comprise the period during which Saturn finally joins Pluto in Capricorn at 22° after a long period of development. The Articles of Impeachment are expected to be sent to the Senate and a trial will then be held.

nm_201912.pngBy this time Saturn has moved within 2° of Pluto in Capricorn and the Mars opposition to Uranus has moved on. Mars in Scorpio is now in a very constructive relationship with Saturn-Pluto and also with Neptune in Pisces. Uranus in Taurus trines the new moon configuration in Capricorn, and a stellium of Capricorn planets runs from 4° to 23°.

The ascendent on this chart is Libra; the new moon placement is squarely on the angle of the fourth house, which I think is pretty important. Mars is in the second, accenting financial considerations, probably market agitation. And the Saturn-Pluto conjunction has moved from the first house to the fourth, that is, from an emphasis on self to an emphasis on the home.

The whole chart suggests first of all a tendency or intention towards balance and doing the right thing. The very strong emphasis on home life could relate to domestic politics, and it could also relate to politicians finally bringing their considerations away from just themselves and more toward taking care of their home, which is the nation, of course. Most of the factors in the chart suggest that this process is running on greased wheels.

The north node is conjunct the midheaven in this chart, which suggests an emphasis upon destiny (or a demand to take destiny into consideration) and the ultimate directions of American political life, and the new moon plus Jupiter is conjunct the south node, not close enough for a total eclipse (it's annular) but emphasizing the unpredictable nature of all of the factors involved. Let's just say that America's social and political destiny looks pretty lonely right now.

The full moon of this lunar cycle will occur on January 10, at 20° Cancer with the Sun at 20° Capricorn, now joining the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. (On January 3, just hours before the culmination of the quarter-moon phase of this lunation, the Trump administration ordered the killing of Qassim Suleimani, a top Iranian general.)

The chart for the actual Saturn-Pluto conjunction on January 12 shows Jupiter conjunct the south note at 9° Capricorn while Sun, Pluto, and Saturn are at 22° and Mercury is at 23°. Aspecting this Capricorn powerhouse conjunction is . . . hardly anything else. So, we have a boatload of Capricorn energy and no aspects from that huge conjunction to any other element in the chart, at all.

The Washington DC chart has a Gemini ascendant and the stellium in the eighth house. I see Trump and his supporters strongly bolstered and amplified by this conjunction, as will be authoritarian forces around the world. They are powerful and disconnected, capable of doing terrible harm because their energy is not linked to the larger community. It's like a worldwide earthquake.

So what about Moonwobble ?

In this context, Moonwobble is a minor annoyance, though one we should not lose sight of. Read the section above on the New Moon in Sagittarius for a view of the energies at play. And play you should. "Use the energy for a jolt of joy," as Richard Burns has said. Moderate your impulses, and explore any emotional responses with Releasing the Hidden Splendour™.

Translators will know how to work with the words involved to break through to their abstract reality and to therefore invoke the underlying forces of wholeness and integrity in their life and their world. It is very easy to identify "pression" as oppression. But there's more to it than that.

Note: This item was updated on Jan. 4 to report on the killing of Iran's top general.

** Richard Tarnas's book Cosmos & Psyche examines the Saturn-Pluto cycle in great detail in a series of chapters headed "Cycles of Crisis and Contraction."