The planets speak boldly this month, and as their messages sweep across the skies from horizon to horizon, daily life reverberates with increasing intensity. Pay attention: June marks the start of a nearly three-year sequence of intense interactions between Uranus and Pluto, the two most powerful astral agents of change, and their combined light illuminates a profound cycle of individual and collective transformation. As you attempt to adjust to this concentrated energy, you're likely to alternate between contradictory emotional responses, so don't be surprised if you or those near to you are raw one moment and defended the next. You may also suddenly want to withdraw from situations you would normally embrace or embrace experiences you might otherwise shun.
There are no shortcuts through this portal of change, and many of us are likely to feel anxious—even if what's happening is positive and expansive. One of the best ways to avoid anxiety is to stay in present time. Remember, the past creates the present as the present creates the future, which is what makes now the most powerful position to occupy.
The first of the seven exact squares between Uranus and Pluto occurs on June 24, which means all month long, as we approach this point, life could feel as if it is growing increasingly out of control. Some of us could be drawn toward challenging situations. Others might feel caught in an ever-tightening grip of responsibility. And still more could experience the elation of creative inspiration. As this square starts to separate at the end of the month, any tension generated by this contact will start to release, making it possible to begin to identify its effect. Uranus is infamous for unpredictable plot twists, and as this square pulls apart, we're sure to see surprising developments, personal as well as political.
Astrology views all interactions among the outer planets—Jupiter to Pluto—as repetitive cycles that make it possible to recognize specific collective cultural trends. From that perspective, all Uranus/Pluto contacts represent the intense process of revolution and transformation. Uranus catalyzes whatever is stagnant, and Pluto facilitates the process of death and eventual rebirth. Their combined force manifests as dramatic chain reactions that always engender shifts in attitudes and action. All the movements for social justice—civil rights, gender rights, workers' rights—have their roots planted in times of Uranus/Pluto interactions.
This current series of seven squares began with a Uranus/Pluto conjunction that took place from 1965 through 1966. Again, from an astrological point of view, the beginning of a cycle starts with a conjunction and sets the tone for what will follow. The '60s were a time of disruptive upheaval, as a deep desire for personal freedom moved many to search for new, creative answers to the same disturbing patterns that always tend to mire us in the worst of what it means to be human: the exploitation of our fellow travelers on the basis of race, gender, religion, species, and economics.
Now as we move into the first series of squares in this cycle, we will have an opportunity to assess just how much has really changed. From a surface glance, many cultural paradigms shifted during the '60s, and certainly many of us enjoy the benefits gained from those fierce movements for social justice. That being said, the causal level of those contractive patterns seems to have remained the same; some seem even more resistant to change. Fundamentalist movements around the globe appear to be systematically trying to roll back the rights of women. In the U.S., the specter of racism looms behind a concerted effort to discredit President Obama and oppose much of what he tries to accomplish. And certainly the economic disparity between the rich and the poor exacerbates racism and gender bias everywhere. Uranus and Pluto are both in cardinal signs, which are signs of action, and as these squares unfold, protests and demonstrations will increase. Last summer, when Uranus and Pluto were with one degree of each other, the Occupy Movement took hold.
From a personal perspective, notice where you are facing old systems that continue to resist transformation and then be willing to dig as deep as possible to uncover the causal level of those patterns. The collective mood is a reflection of individual moods; each one of us contributes and participates through our personal choices in creating collective stagnation or collective freedom. The individual always has the power, which is part of the message of these Uranus/Pluto squares. Uranus signifies unique individual expression, and its position in Aries, the sign of individualism, highlights the need for personal expression. Pluto represents the power of death and rebirth, but those are just words that hint at its deeper meaning. Through Pluto we become aware of the greater, mysterious forces of life that are out of our control, and one of the results of that awareness is understanding just how little we actually do control. Pluto is the planetary lens through which we meet our what psychology would call our "control issues." Part of the subtext of these squares is finding a new balance between personal authority and government and corporate authority. This month, as Uranus and Pluto meet at a right angle, many of us will feel as if we are colliding with areas of life where we feel a loss of individual power. The combination of Uranus and Pluto signifies the potential to overturn the existing paradigm of inequality.
Venus also contributes to the intensity of the month. She is still retrograde, in Gemini; her review lasts until June 27, and as Venus continues to revisit her recent past, the emphasis continues to be on reviewing relationships of every conceivable denomination—lovers, friends, cousins, neighbors, pets and pen pals. Venus also takes center stage on June 6, when a rare astronomical event occurs, the transit of Venus, during which an actual Venus/Sun conjunction can be seen. It won't happen again for another 105 years.
The transit of Venus on June 6 occurs in Gemini, nearly one degree opposite the position of the lunar eclipse on June 4. Lunar eclipses are about practical matters. Because Gemini is about the dissemination of information, we can expect a lot of data to be shared. Interestingly, during this eclipse, Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, occupies the degree at which Venus began her retrograde journey, so a lot of that information will be relationship related. Be clear and direct, and listen to others as carefully as you would want them to listen to you.
As you move through June, try to remember that these are the times that grow the soul. Part of that growth process often involves facing the harsh reality of your own limitations as well as the inevitable disruption caused by the limitations of others. There is no "right" way through this planetary initiation, other than to have an authentic willingness to expand your consciousness as you simultaneously commit to doing whatever it takes to refine your ability to integrate and apply that expanded awareness.