Before looking at what to watch for today let's take a moment to reflect on NASA's first ever flyby of the planet Pluto, which is happening right now after nearly ten years of flight.
In addition to the beautiful photographs we can now see of Pluto up close, scientists are also still debating the status of many similarly sized objects/planets in the solar system. For example, the chief investigator for the Pluto mission, Alan Stern, recently said he disagrees with the downgrading of Pluto to a "dwarf planet,": "We're just learning that a lot of planets are small planets, and we didn't know that before. Fact is, in planetary science, objects such as Pluto and the other dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt are considered planets and called planets in everyday discourse in scientific meetings."
As astrologers this might seem silly, because most of us know very well the powerful effects and archetypal/astrological reality of the planet Pluto. Downsize it, upgrade it, or supersize it...it won't change the fact that Pluto transits are powerful or that an angular Pluto in a birth chart has an undeniably real effect on a person's life, right?
Well...yes and no. Believe it or not there are a large amount of astrologers who don't recognize the outer planets (beyond Saturn) specifically because they aren't visible to the naked eye and because they are somewhat challenging to the ancient system and it's tightly organized vision. We might scoff at this or consider it a kind of fundamentalism or antiquated ignorance, but it's actually not so different from the scientists who want to keep the solar system free from the ambiguity of the thousands of other objects we're discovering all the time. We have to ask ourselves, what is at stake for us that so many astrologers and astronomers alike want to keep a huge variety and abundance of planetary objects out of our awareness? Why is there such resistance to recognizing objects beyond our line of literal sight? Why are we afraid of increasing complexity?
The obvious answer is that complexity and ambiguity threaten our sense of safety, order, predictability, precision, harmony, and rationality. They threaten the idea that God is a tidy creator who made a neat looking solar system. They threaten the idea that astrology is a divine and orderly science or system, with a long standing history that is still valid today. They threaten our philosophies about ourselves, about reality, about truth, about divinity, and they introduce a gigantic sense of the unknown coming closer and closer...it's presence as ominous as ever.
If we sit back and simply deny the existence of what our solar system is really like...if we say, "well it's not visible to the naked eye, or it's not the right size," the reality of these planets will collect our projections and our denial and it's likely that they will become emissaries of all that we fear (at least initially). Like the explorers to the west who projected their fears onto the native people they met when they arrived, we are capable of alienating new planetary life forms as much as people or animals or ecosystems.
If we can simply remember that what we're discovering isn't just "stuff out there," but that it's actual life.
This morning my wife came inside and said "look at this!" She was holding a butterfly who had just come out of its cocoon, literally within minutes, inside of our mailbox. It was learning to walk and move its wings for the first time. After she took it outside I looked at the first picture of Pluto, and I heard a small voice saying, "this is just as precious."
It's easy to think of planets as gods or archetypes or powers or signs or significations of the divine mind, or whatever else, but sometimes it helps to just step back and remember that planets are organized systems of life. And just because they are different from ourselves, doesn't mean we can flippantly objectify them.
This debate about planetary classification. This debate among astrologers as to whether or not these planets have any real "effect." We miss the butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Interestingly enough, the Greeks frequently compared the psyche or soul to a moth or butterfly...and Hades/Pluto was the lord of souls.
It may take a long time to integrate or synthesize older astrological teachings with newer planetary discoveries, but these planets aren't just orphans landing on a royal family's doorstep. Invisible or not, they've been here all along, and we would be wise to honor the divine force and life they bring us.
Now, what to watch for given today's astrology:
* A pivotal moment, the feeling of being at a crossroads, about to receive the news or a decision, about to make a choice (Moon square the nodes, applying to conjoin Mercury and make the new Moon)
* Moody, emotional, familial, private, internal, home bound (Moon in Cancer)
* Fantasies, longings, needs and wish fulfillment, relying on something or someone greater to pull us through, losing ourselves, weepy, depleted, drained, hopeful, romantic (Moon trine Neptune)
* A transformational moment, a powerful surge of unexpected emotion, something relating to home, family, the past, ancestry, genetics, etc (Moon opposite Pluto)
* Hardship, sobriety, difficulty, maturity, focus, commitment in love (Venus square Saturn)
* A new start, a fresh beginning, one that revolves around living situation, family, the past, home or tribe, babies or children, mothering or parenting, land or property, etc (New Moon in Cancer)
Since this new moon is also square to Uranus in Aries, it's possible that this new moon will mark not only a new beginning but also a departure from something old or outdated in sake of something totally fresh. We might find ourselves needing to completely revamp or restructure certain elements of our lives during the next moon cycle, especially as Jupiter and Saturn will be square and presenting us with a generational challenge...the old versus the new, or the traditional versus the innovative.
Prayer: There are so many things we can't see with our naked eyes...sometimes they come into view anyway.