Reality Revision In Alchemical Times

water goddess

As the wheel turns towards solstice a time for reflection and regrouping comes to centre stage. This is a time for the mythical dimenions of personal space to be explored and shared, but, for us, regardless the story we are telling, in our times a  drama of heroic proportions is already unfolding in our midst.

It often appears a macabre theatre is playing out on planet Earth in which humanity is cast in the role of both protagonist and villain. For any of us to accept our own roles in this is a challenge, and, on the level of personal truth, calls upon us to engage with the drama through our own identity ~ if each of us were to closely examine the reality behind our everyday lives with unerring honesty it would not only reveal how inextricably caught up in this theatre each of us is and has been, contributing to its ongoing drama, but, it may also provide the personal incentive to transform our own lives in the face of such truths that would make the essential difference.

The 12th lunation of 2014 has brought the focus to Truth and we now enter the period before solstice, in the midst of the sixth Uranus Pluto square, with this as the central mandate. As the lunation winds down this is the time in which we can recapitulate on truths revealed and take up the outer planets mandate to either act upon what is being revealed to us, or to allow ourselves to continue to be acted upon ~ both Pluto and Uranus are intensifying how we experience the natural balance between the apparently opposing forces within this mandate in the theatre of the world.

The sixth square between Pluto and Uranus, exact on December 15th, brings us to the penultimate period of pro-active reality revision that these two planets have been fueling over the last three years or so. Pluto is often likened to the Alchemist, a mysterious figure whose processes focus on purification and renewal, bringing transubstantiation of internal realities through the medium of intrinsic power. By contrast, Uranus is likened to the Awakener, the magician, Promethian wielder of divine fire, the otherworldly element which brings transformation through the extrinsic intervention of power unbounded by the physical ~ both radically change all that they touch. Together they reveal and activate principles at work in the world that are normally beyond the reach of human perception.

In the astrological lore Pluto is also associated with ‘control’ and Uranus with ‘freedom’, both being notions familiar to us in everyday terms, but, with these two planets their effect is archetypal, creating more field based dynamics. Pluto is process oriented, more prone to amplifying gravitational, magnetic and conditioning qualities with centripetal effect – we are pulled into the field of core issues, manifesting fundamental inherent qualities of power, conforming to the dictates of the time just as iron filings conform within a magnetic field. Uranus is by comparison interventionist, impulsive, exerting electric charge, both shocking, liberating and centrifugal – we are impulsed out of the norm by sudden realisation of alternatives, the shock of the new, the empowerment of invention. Such dynamics amplify human actions in which ‘control’ is applied and ‘freedom’ exercised, but, the square emphasises the differences between these two archetypes, their antagonistic qualities rather than their natural synthesis. Resolution is not the issue – the endgame is somewhere down the road, while we journey through the process itself, and this requires both strong sustained focus and the ability to adapt, to make sudden adjustments. The positive effect is release from restrictive patterning, the negative, intensification of polarised conditioning. We can clearly see both at work in the world.

Within such a vortex of change reality becomes alchemical by nature ~ we are caught within the alchemical vessel of our times. If the events of the last few years are a measure of which of these two outer planets has the dominant role it would be Pluto that appears to be in the driving seat – being in Capricorn in the tropical zodiac Pluto forces issues that will the process to be followed through to the end, deeply embedded within the world. Uranus interventionist influence is present, but, the collective embodiment of the ‘freedom’ principle is yet to prevail; we are still pitting the one against the other.

It is useful here to briefly consider world-changing influences that have arisen during previous times in which Pluto has transitted Capricorn. In the 16th century this transit saw the European invasion of the Americas, in the 18th century the rise of industrialisation, and, in our time, a post industrial dominance of nationalism and nationalist agendas. These are now exerted through increasing global corporatism, competative political dogma and wars. In a very real sense conflict manifests the dichotomy of competition and co-operation through the relationship between Nature and Power.

By the same token the interaction of Pluto and Uranus has proven a powerful catalyst ~ Uranian influence accompanying these historical times saw the expansive influence of the printing press, a 15th century invention born around the meeting of Pluto and Uranus, reflecting the Aquarian quality of connectivity through information sharing and technology. This expansion created one of the necessary conditions for the 16th century scientific revolution, exemplified in Copernicus’ ‘De Revolutionibus‘ of 1543, at a time when Uranus and Pluto were in opposition. The 18th century saw Independence in America, Revolution in France, again at Uranus Pluto opposition. Concurrent with this, in 1789 Antoine Lavoisier introduced the first periodic table, paving the way for the scientific revolution in chemistry and physics, and the birth of ‘evolution theory’, that arose at their conjunction in the mid 19th century.

We are witness to the unleashing of natural forces,  the consequence of scientific advances made at the time of the Pluto Uranus opposition at the beginning of the 20th century, and exemplified in the development of nuclear realities and quantum physics. Within the current era of Pluto in Capricorn the Uranian influence of connectivity through the technologies of cyberspace vies with the plutocratic imposition of controls on the freedom this has brought and we now share instant awareness of global interventions of technology based conflict and competition as its political and economic corollary.

It should be obvious that these are field influences, affecting not only the world view, but, the outlook for Life on planet Earth. Uranus and Pluto are pushing change through with both electrifying and magnetic affect. If we are caught within the alchemical cauldron of the times we are compelled to conform, collectively, to the archetypal nature of the  planetary influence. We are also fostering inventive originality, capturing the essential thrust of the times in opportunistic response in which collective empowerment embodies the vector of change. A simultaneous pulse of reductive and expansive energy creates the inner dynamics of that vector.

Like the alchemical process, each stage of reduction and expansion requires careful timing, control of the firing process and inner knowledge, both of its protocols and the elements involved. It is a highly developed skill, a high art. Where this knowledge is lacking Chaos rises, compounding its own inner tensions, both confounding and compounding the process ~ either way, a purification is at work, a seperation and clearing of pollutants from essential matter(s). Symbolically, we see this acted out everywhere, creating a kaleidoscopic patterning that clouds and reveals the world view by turns. The question is, what roles do each of us play, how do we each interpret our own part and can we navigate it with enough skill to successfully revise the reality we are acting out?


In the planetary matrix the sixth square is presaged and preceded by the full Moon on December 6th, in fact this entire lunation is highlighting how the process can be integrated at the human scale – it is no longer simply awareness in the search for truth that is called for, but, the cultivation of skillful use of knowledge gained through awareness. This is a fundamental aspect of healing which reveals an appropriate course of action, and the planetary matrix can aid us in this.

At the mid-point of 12th lunation the full Moon sees the Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Gemini forming a T square with Chiron ~ while the Gemini Moon is full of knowing intelligence that experiences both sides of the ‘truthing’ process, Chiron asks for this awareness and experience to be acted on, with full understanding of and commitment necessary for a liberating outcome. We know what is at stake, as Chiron did in giving up his immortality to be free of pain, but, like the wise centaur, we might sense that it is our ‘sense of self’ itself that must change. There is a reality principle involved with Chiron as, in taking on a mortal frame, he allowed the physical nature of things to manifest the solution to his suffering. Some have interpreted this as an ultimate sacrifice, a view often overlaid with christ like comparisons. The indigenous view might say it is a natural consequence of initiation, of full entry into reality. Chiron is ever the shaman of the planetary matrix, transiting between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, the earthly and the divine realms.

However it is viewed, this is not a time for escapist strategies ~ We must come down to earth, and, if transcendence is sought it is realistic to follow the Chironic principle, remembering that the deeper our roots the higher our reach. Both transcendant and core truths also involve the stripping back of illusion.

Wi 1024px-Sharpless_2-106

Truthing is perhaps the watchword for the 12th lunation, but, what is truth here, in these circumstances? As an ideal ‘truth’ underpins much of the global stripping back process we are witness to, but, with Chiron involved it is the embodiment of our own personal truth that matters, as, without this there can be no global transformation. We could remember that we are born of far greater powers. How do we get to that, ground our true potential, when so much plutocratic pressure seeks to limit our personal freedoms. One answer is found in the chart for the Uranus Pluto square where we find Neptune in direct motion in Pisces sextiling Venus in Capricorn.

Neptunian ideals rest upon the qualities of empathy, freedom beyond boundaries and spiritual passion. Here, Compassion with a big C is the potential Neptunian gift and, in relation to the global challenge, symbolises the release from coercive illusions belonging to the plutocratic cover-up and programmes of suppression. When the illusion is seen through disillusion can be dissolved, and the true nature of the wound becomes apparent. Healing cannot take place without this awareness. By the same token, while healing may be an innate potential that we are challenged to cultivate and promote, compassion is a skill that is cultivated through both experience and holisitic appreciation of reality. We are getting the experience but can we hold the bigger picture in mind?

Chiron and Neptune in Pisces have been working together on this process within the planetary field alongside Uranus and Pluto all along. This underlying influence also brings the need to appreciate both sides or polarities of the dynamic we are involved in, awareness that both the left hand and the right hand are balanced at centre, in the heart. They encourage a willingness to come off the side lines and work with a compassion for humanity in the face of what we have woken up to! But, this too must be rooted in personal truth.

Minds that have been fogged with petty concerns and cultural indoctrination can find it hard to connect with the wisdom of the heart and this realisation is central to dissolving disillusion. Its positive effect encourages the re-kindling of one of the primary powers with which humans are so richly endowed ~ imagination, a Neptunian key-word. Here we are talking not just about personal abilities to concieve beyond the norm, but, about imagination that is integral to Life, that connects with the potential power of creative transformation within Nature.

The heart is a highly empowered organ, perhaps more so than the brain in energising our connection with Life, and the PTB know this. A human who has become numbed through shock in the face of the violence and fear mongering they mete out, whose feeling senses are diminished and emotional body challnged to remain connected, is much more easily controlled and made dependant, rather than independant. There arises from such control a collective amnesia about who we truly are at root and this has always been a game plan within the deadly games of plutocratic regimes down through the millenia. But, part and parcel of the ‘remembering’ is in re-centering in the heart. Venus and Neptune energise claiming back the imagination as a motivating force in re-balancing worldly with imaginative power in our reality revisioning. In their midst is Mars in Aquarius, and, being decile to Venus, highlights an immediate need to bring energy and courage into the heart of this reality revision. Being self determining and leading our selves brings the warrior spirit into our midst, an internal power which compassion tempers, collectivises and turns towards the aid of others.

Jupiter stations retrograde on December 9th and, with this following immediately on the full Moon, the tide begins to turn on how leadership is seen to be enacted in the world. Retrograde Jupiter in Leo empowers us to reflect upon the faults and failings of leaders in the light of our collective direction. We can consider our personal need for direction in the process and, being trine the Sun in Sagittarius in the chart for the U/P square, this makes ‘Truth’ the benchmark by which these faults and failings are perceived. We may indeed see more leaders in the global game found out, under pressure of collective awareness and energy, especially as Mercury also trines Jupiter in the chart.

Mercury is on the Galactic Centre, the well-spring of universal wisdom. This indicates how the energy of the lunation is following through and can become integrated; it is vital that we work with the psyche and intelligence of the cosmos in shaping our future. In keeping with these influences, if anything represents the foundation upon which humanity can build a viable future it is appreciation of the intelligent design at the heart of all that is. Is it too soon to begin building? The archetypal powers might perceive that we have already begun ~ the universe is watching, but, it is through our own eyes and actions that the truth of this will be witnessed.

When Saturn enters Sagittarius immediately after solstice we might well see this part of the process become activated and begin to witness the real crystalisation of those ideals we strive for. In the chart for the U/P square Saturn occupies the last degree of Scorpio, a place of determination to cross over, fully cogniscent in the knowledge of all that has become revealed, willing truth to become established as the central pillar around which our actions become manifest. The Moon sextiles Saturn here, from the first degree of Libra, and re-balancing of ‘all our relations’ will be very much on our minds as we head towards the December solstice. The last quarter of the 12th lunation comes to a close on December 21st/22nd and a series of lunations follow that open and close on the cusp of each of the last three signs of the zodiac. This augers a time of clearly defined action ahead of us. The stage is set – and, although we are in the midst of the drama, the 12th lunation presents the perfect opportunity to step into the wings, observe and gain perspective on how we arrived at this part of the drama. We might realise that the nature of theatre is both magical and skillful and remember that the roots of such magic are to be found in Nature itself.

weeping rock waterfall

In indigenous cosmologies Nature is often understood to be the realm of transformation, the root and source of magic, the powerhouse of change. Initiation into knowledge of this power brings the initiate into contact with forces unbounded by physical reality and such experience changes a human’s relationship with power and its uses, forever. If such a relationship is to remain healthy we are required to observe the protocols that allow natural balance to be maintained.

While indigenous cultures have millenia of experience informing the protocols that surround natural ‘power’ post industrial cultures tend to demonstrate a complete disregard for those same protocols. Power then becomes as much a pollutant as the effects arising from its disrespect. Not only does nature suffer imbalance and pollution, but, the human psyche is deeply affected and, in response, psychosis and illness develop. Nature seeks to maintain the wheel of law in this way. The role of medicine people and shamans is deeply rooted in working with Natural Law.

At an archetypal level this is the challenge, but, in human terms, it is also the signal, not only for allowing deeper personal changes to take place, as the preceding lunations have also highlighted, but, to now be open to integrating the Uranian creative impulse of the ‘higher’ mind and self in the name of ‘truth‘ and ‘necessity‘. The powerful global influence of Pluto and Uranus can be integrated through our own lives, but, the everyday mind won’t cut it unless it is embedded within and informed by this more evolved consciousness. Lets close here by considering an image, a symbol within which a sense of place and self can be recovered that will fuel our participation in this process of reality revision.

golden bay

Imagine a natural deep water aquifer emerging into a pool deep in the heart of nature. All is silent as the envigorating flowing power of the water has become suppressed and obscured, crusted over with a thick layer of detritus and oily scum. The birds, animals and beings of the wild are being driven away by the poisoning odours of the sterile scab. Imagine a hand, many hands, reaching down and sweeping aside the offending calc and pollution to reveal a momentary glimpse of what lies beneath. Illuminated in a sudden shaft of light, a glimmer of sunlight speckles the surface of the pool as a sudden breath of wind ruffles the water, just as more scum and debris rises to the surface. The hands sweep back this second layer and the water suddenly seems clearer and we can see even deeper. The air stirs again as older, deeper layers of polluting detritus rise to the top once more. The hands return and the clearing continues, repeating a third, fourth and fifth time. A truer clarity returns to the crystalline waters, remaining much longer, until more calc and silt, now from far beneath the surface, rises and muddies the waters again. We have come to the present time, are at the point of the sixth sweep of those hands, a turning point in the process of purification and revivification of the well-spring. The image remains, a reflection of the times surrounding the sixth Pluto Uranus square.

As we sweep back the detritus of an eventfull year and approach the coming zone of powerful lunations in the first quarter of 2015 change can take on a different face. Uranus stations direct at the solstice ~ there will be a rising strength at large amongst the peoples of planet Earth, fueled by a desire to clear the field for a deeper, more meaningful and inspired role in life. If there be a symbol to power us on perhaps it would be to go forward in full consciousness of re-visioning reality so that we may drink once more of the clear crystalline waters of Life.


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