Civil Crisis

Civil War!?

Recently, a friend asked me for an astrology insight regarding her dream about a civil war. I started thinking: As social creatures, aren’t we always in some sort of societal strife? Yes, but there are points in history that more critical than others, and the current planetary cycles are particularly pungent. These days, I’m obsessed with the outer planet cycles of Pluto and Uranus and their respective keywords, power, and innovation.


Pluto Power

Pluto rules all sorts of power including physical, economic and political. His favorite game is something I call the choice game. He doesn’t offer happy choices like chocolate or strawberry, or easy ones like slugs or strawberries. (Ugh, slugs!) Rather, he raises the stakes and offers something more like the Hunger Games: kill or be killed, fight or die.


One of Pluto’s treasures is oil, which forms an apt metaphor for all sorts Plutonian power play. Oil has fueled fantastic advances in our society, but it also lies at the center of our most intense power struggles. Nations fight wars for control of this stuff; politicians and CEO’s lie about it; nations get invaded; elections get influenced. 

The Set-up

These days, having control of oil can give individuals an economic power equivalent to a whole nation. If you have oil and know how to exploit it, you can become very rich. But now as a planet, we have another twist: oil and coal power production could spell the end times for an environment able to support a large human population.  Not only are huge water reservoirs imperiled by our oil lust, but we are also grappling with the brutal reality of accelerating climate change.

In short: it’s a perfect set-up for the Pluto power and survival game.



Uranus and Change

Next, let’s consider Uranus. This trickster works by bending and breaking rules. He is the ruler of inventions, and also of accidents since innovation by definition crosses boundaries and disobeys rules. 

Human Sized Cycle

I find it interesting that Uranus has an orbit that is close to a human life cycle at 84 years. It is a human-sized cycle, which is why Uranus is associated with humanitarian issues, and why we correlate Uranus’s movements to socio-political issues.

Start of the Cycle

The last time Uranus met up with Pluto was the mid-1960’s. Uranus took a radical look at power distribution and opened a door to a new funky fraternity. Loud, angry voices around women’s rights, Black power, social justice and environmental concerns sometimes frightened the powers that were into matching violence, but progress would not be stopped. 

In it Now

The fight is far from over, but our perspective has evolved: we now, for example, allow same-sex couples to be married, recognize all people’s civil rights, and for the moment, we still have the EPA.

Crisis of Growth

Fast forward to present times: Uranus and Pluto have moved through the first quarter of their cycle. This is a crisis of growth, like a chick emerging from an egg. As part of life’s natural process, a chick must break through its shell. To break open too soon is impossible, but to not peck out also spells certain death. We must struggle or die either way!

Breaking Out

Going forward, I think we have to move from a top-down model of action to one in which our moral values are consciously embedded and nurtured in individuals as part of the cosmic hatching out process. Breaking out of one’s individual shell strengthens us for the next part of the collective journey.

Finding Your Power

I’ve already noted how Pluto’s love of power and intensity fuels the drama. As we find ourselves assigned to teams, I believe that we will find our strength in this game, or be torn apart. Even the current political show cloaked in the garb of pseudo-populist movements will have to face Pluto’s hard choices.  


So many people who were at first disoriented and shocked by the present political parade have responded by reaching down deep, grounding into their resolve in action, while also reaching up to reaffirm values of fraternity and cooperation. This is the right action.

We are in a battle, if not a war, but not with each other. Pluto is bigger than any of us and doesn’t back down from his game.

Adapt (cooperate and love!) or perish.

Stay tuned for part 2: Pluto orbits the sun in about 248 years. The USA is about to enter its Pluto return period.