I had already written the main article to this week’s newsletter when the terrible news of the Colorado shooting was broadcast. While I generally stay away from trying to analyze these types of events, last week was an unusual one in regards to extreme violence, as we also saw with the bombing of the Israeli bus in Bulgaria and the bombing in Damascus.

Rather than talking about any of these in the particular, I want to point to the astrology in general and do so by recalling a piece I wrote in the July 2 newsletter about the ongoing stress caused by two of the outer planets, Uranus and Pluto. In that newsletter I wrote the following:

It’s crucial to understand that both Uranus and Pluto are slow moving planets. When tightly configured with other planets, they are likely to represent social changes and movements. Here Pluto and Uranus are in a tight square to each other; in other words, conflict. In charts concerning countries, Uranus typically symbolizes innovation, violent change, forceful new perspectives, while Pluto speaks to regeneration, transformation, beginnings and endings on a large scale.

The idea of the planets having an impact is an old one, but it is probably most eloquently expressed in P.D. Ouspensky’s book, “In Search of the Miraculous” on the Russian sage, George Gurdjieff. Below is an exchange between the two, reprinted exactly:

“The conversation began with my question: “Can war be stopped?” And Gurdjieff answered: “Yes, it can.” And yet I had been certain from previous conversations that he would answer: “No, it cannot.

“But the whole thing is: how? Gurdjieff said. “It is necessary to know a great deal in order to understand that. What is war? It is the result of planetary influences. Somewhere up there, two or three planets have approached too near to each other; tension results. Have you noticed how, if a man passes quite close to you on a narrow pavement, you become all tense? The same tension takes place between planets. For them it lasts perhaps a second or two. But here on the earth, people begin to slaughter one another, and they go on slaughtering for several years. It seems to them at the time that they hate each other; or perhaps that they have to slaughter each other for some exalted purpose; or that they must defend someone or something for some exalted purpose and that it is a very noble thing to do; or something else of the same kind. But in reality, all their movements, all their actions are the result of planetary influences.”

Now, if we look at a chart for last week, we see a very explosive mixture:

As discussed Pluto and Uranus – both circled – are in a very tight square, but what adds to the tension is the passage of Mars – marked with a triangle, exactly opposed and squared to both. So now we have three planets in conflict with each other. Using the 70 year old astrology book text, “The Combination of Stellar Influences” by Reinhold Ebertin, we find the following descriptions of what happens when these planets come into conflict.

Mars – Uranus

Sociological correspondences: violent people, fighters for freedom, revolutionaries

Psychological correspondence: An argumentative disposition, intolerance, stresses or strains, violence. Force, violent intervention

Mars – Pluto

Force, compulsion, the tendency to proceed in a brutal manner, the misfortune of having to suffer from violent assaults, injuries

Cruelty, brutality, sudden disasters or calamities of great consequence

If we take these descriptions seriously, along with Gurdjieff’s ideas about planetary influences, we may understand better the period in which we live: one of great tension and change, which is already reflected in the Uranus/Pluto relationship and then further triggered by the passing of Mars. What’s disturbing is that this planetary tension already seems clearly reflected in many aspects of life, certainly in politics, where the representatives from both sides seem to have no interest other than demonizing anyone who disagrees. And while one might say, isn’t it always like this, I would answer, no, it’s different, it’s a different level, a different pitch of violent rhetoric that seems, at least so far, to have no limit.

What all this might mean and how you or I or any of us can avoid getting pulled into this dynamic is where we’ll pick up next week.