Tag Archives: Saturn-Pluto

New Wrinkles: Astrology of November 13 – November 19, 2018

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary blog. All about Jupiter’s grand transition into Sagittarius, Venus going direct, and the Soul of the World.

Click here for astrology of the week of Nov. 13 – Nov 19, 2018

Anima Mundi Apothecary blog with image of plants representing women's reproductive system

And for those affected by the California wildfires or poor air quality, please see Anima Mundi’s latest newsletter featuring 6 LUNG HERBS for the body and mind, supporting healing for lungs, grief and trauma. And sign up for this valuable weekly newsletter to receive useful info on herbs along with DIY tips for health and wellness every Monday!


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

The Big Push: Astrology of November 6 – November 12, 2018

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After a year of traversing deep, dark Scorpio, the royal blood of Jupiter flows into his sparkly home sign of Sagittarius (Nov. 8), strengthening his power and lending favor to his activities. Jupiter’s positive nature is sometimes overemphasized and perhaps this is in keeping with his archetypal nature. And while he can correlate to unqualified success, good fortune, generosities, happiness and freedom, Jupiter’s general character simply describes expansion. Jupiter is the great magnifier, enlarging whatever he touches, hence his reputation for exaggeration, egoic grandiosity, excess, overdoing and overestimating things. Jupiter can therefore just as easily magnify misfortune as grant great benefits. In client work, I have even noticed a correlation between Jupiter square Moon natal aspects and the pattern of orphaned children along the mother line, whether mothers were physically or extremely emotionally absent to their children. That said, we can expect Jupiter’s time in Sagittarius (until Dec. 2019) to usher in some needed hope, optimism and belief in a higher power or higher good with which humanity can cooperate.

The retrograding planet of love and harmony, Venus will make a trine aspect to the god of war, Mars (exact Nov. 9) and if we have understood and started to embody the significance of Mars’ summer retrograde, we could very well receive some fruits of that work. The recent Mars retrograde (Jun. 2018 – Aug. 2018) featured some serious contemplation of our life’s direction, our motivations and our ability to follow through on commitments—as well as clearly discerning what commitments are ours to keep. And if all that was churned up by Mars retrograde has yet to really settle, this week might bring some further insight into making peace with our path through life.

2018 Scorpio New Moon

Along those lines, the Scorpio New Moon on Nov. 7, 2018 at 8:02am US/Pacific looks favorable for affirming a life of greater authenticity and imagination. It seems particularly helpful to invoke its support of your total health and help you sustain your power over the long-term. You might use this lunation to quietly plan a new or refresh an existing self-care routine as it’s an excellent time to assess what supports you and cut out whatever’s not working. You might prefer a more engaged exploration of your community-level support systems, both those you contribute to and those which you tap into. Who has your back and in what ways? Do you need to invest more in various communities of support or are you perhaps giving too much energy to your community-level support systems? Examples of such systems of support include peer groups, affinity groups, professional associations, cultural or community centers, schoolmates and school groups or your extended family.

Scoping further out to a broader view, the planetary herald of impermanence, Uranus returns to the fire sign of Aries (Nov. 6) for a final encore showing in Mars’ sign as we approach the end of a tumultuous 2018. The outer planets do carry significance for individual lives, but can also be interpreted as signifiers of the collective zeitgeist and movements within the collective human psyche. Uranus generally signifies revolution and the brash or confident attitude required to assert a new pattern or order of being, and the 13-year world transit of Uranus square Pluto (2007 – 2020) has ushered in all the instability, uncertainty and power struggles that accompany revolutions. It is ending on the extremely sobering note of Saturn conjunct Pluto (2018 – 2021), a planetary pair which conjoins every 34 – 35 years and can heighten the perceptions of mortality, fear and limitations but which could also be thought of as a birth contraction. Pluto corresponds to a fundamental and unreflective evolutionary drive to survive and persist, whereas Saturn represents the reality principle of material conditions and the experience of the “other” or of duality. Saturn-Pluto periods of time test the hopes and dreams of cultures and societies and asks how those dreams interact with or merely re-enact the past. Where 2018 was very much like the beginning of regular contractions in the birth process, 2019 represents hard laboring towards some new world which wants to be born. Take the time now to gather your supports and your communities and (re-)commit to the flourishing of Earth Community.


Key dates for Venus retrograde:
Sept. 3, 2018 – Venus enters shadow 25° Libra
Oct. 5, 2018 – Venus stations retrograde 10° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Venus stations direct 25° Libra
Dec. 16, 2018 – Venus exits shadow 10° Scorpio

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
Oct. 28, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 27° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 6, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 27° Scorpio
Dec. 24, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 13° Sagittarius

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

A Path of Discernment: Astrology of July 17 – July 23, 2018

Whether you are midsummer or midwinter, the Sun is making his way through the last five degrees of the conflict-avoidant sign of Cancer, nuzzling up to an uncomfortable square aspect with Uranus. The First Quarter Moon on July 19 at 12:52pm US/Pacific provides the opportunity to shout about the grievances or griefs, unmet cravings or conflicts going on in your life which may have been boiling over since last week’s Cancer New Moon. Whether it is a good idea or a bad idea to shout it out may not matter much in the heat of the moment, but communications are unlikely to be entirely clear. On July 6, Mercury entered the shadow of the path of their upcoming retrograde, which tends to bring to the surface some of the more typical retrograde hijinks—failing to understand or to be understood, both forgetting and remembering important things or people, receiving new information which completely changes one’s outlook, understanding or opinion, and so on. However deeply you dove (or were dunked) into last week’s New Moon, there is more to come because it is not enough to receive new information or a new perspective—how your life must change as a result is an entirely different matter. The Sun in Cancer tends to look backwards in time, and as comforting as sentimentality can be, hanging onto a glaze of idealization over the past will prove increasingly problematic.

Along those lines, Venus begins to oppose the dreamtime of Neptune just as she makes a pleasant sextile to forgiving Jupiter (exact July 22) which might soften the edges of our judgment—both in good and bad ways. Much ink has been spilled over the spiritual dangers of “judging” situations, that is, appraising the value of people, things and events based on our personal notion of ethics (good and bad). In our haste to categorize things within our moral frameworks, we may miss crucial facts and fail to notice significant contradictions which would allow us to better understand why people do the things they do, or why something went down the way it did. On the other hand, absolute moral relativism—the idea that there really is no better or worse way and that all acts are equal—is even less likely to promote understanding and necessary moral reflection. This week, we might instead call upon the possibilities of discernment, which plays well with the spiritual triplets of empathy, humility and compassion. Let us not dehumanize others by either demonizing or lionizing them—saying someone is either completely evil or can do no wrong—or by dismissing them or their actions—failing to take up the hard work of relating to them as a fellow aspect of the divine. We have only begun to witness the potential for polarization (splitting the world into pairs of hostile opposites) in the long-term collective transit of Saturn-Pluto (2018 – 2021) but don’t overlook the power and importance of each gesture of empathy, humility and compassion, however small or however large.

Rounding out this week, the Sun will enter its home sign of Leo on July 22 and turn our attention to the incredibly active fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) of the summer of 2018. The Sun in Leo warms the heart and is much more extroverted than the Sun in Cancer. We can expect correlations to Mercury retrograde to amp up from this date, as we may feel more expressive, but don’t expect it to be all bad! Mercury’s retrograde is a wonderful time to reconnect with old friends and under these skies, that could come about by chance meetings or otherwise quite by surprise. Look back through any unfinished creative projects to see if there is anything you would like to bring back to life as this could bring you much joy. This Leo season (until Aug. 22), be open to new or even whimsical creative urges but take a playful stance towards them—they may be just a practice ground for something completely different, or a fleeting prayer offered up to the beauty of the cosmos.

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

Out of Orbit ::: September 11: Saturn-Pluto and the birth of hope

The column Out of Orbit features articles which range outside of direct discussion of the archetype of Neptune.

When the planets Saturn and Pluto come together in the sky in hard aspect (0° conjunction, 90° square or 180° opposition), feelings of hardship, danger and mortality are heightened within human collectives as well as within individual lives. Although this archetypal complex can produce an exaggerated internal experience of oppression, repression and gloomy prospects for the future, often world events will occur to bring about such conditions and experiences, or draw pre-existing problems out into greater public awareness and debate.

Saturn glyph 50px
Pluto glyph 50px

One such period of time was from June 2000 to April 2004 when Saturn formed an opposition (180° angle) to Pluto in the sky. During this time the World Trade Center in New York City as well as the Pentagon in Washington, DC, suffered terrorist attacks on the now-infamous day of September 11, 2001. A militaristic and violent response spiraled out of those events with all the iron-fisted certainty, unforgiving moral posturing and vindictiveness that Saturn-Pluto at its most problematic can herald. This combination of planetary archetypes is well known for its capacity to split a person or a group off from others in an attempt to experience moral purity, precisely because Saturn-Pluto so profoundly feels shame, guilt and moral failings. Such difficult feelings of “impurity” and “insufficiency” must live somewhere, and without a good deal of honest self-reflection and dedication to cultivating a sense of self-love and compassion, the reactive move is to find a person or a group outside of one’s identity to be the sinful one, the shameful one, the guilty. Self-reflection and soul-searching is rejected in favor of finding a scapegoat.

And though the enactment of a cycle of violence may stain many memories of 9/11/2001, for just a moment, a great many people in the United States were wrapped up in the spirit of compassion, their hearts opened by the tragedy, the need to help each other, the resounding question: “But why?”

On that day, I lived on the west coast of the US, which awoke to this tragic and stunning news. As I boarded Seattle Metro Bus# 18 for my commute to downtown, I was puzzled that the driver would not accept my fare. “It’s a free ride today,” he said, his hand covering the fare box and his demeanor suggesting his mind was far away elsewhere. While the King County-Seattle Metro transit system decided to give everyone a free ride that day, all across the country and indeed the world, people were coming together in displays of kindness, generosity and human solidarity. In the days following, all air travel was suspended and the financially strapped rail company Amtrak “helped thousands of stranded passengers by honoring airline tickets on trains leaving San Francisco. …Residents of Grace House homeless shelter in Savannah, Georgia gathered what they could and proudly sent a check for $52 to the Red Cross. Prisoners in Louisiana making 40 cents an hour [raised] $11,000 in a few months’ time. Inmates of California’s Institute for Women [sent] hand-sewn quilts and thousands in cash.”[1] In Canada, the small town of Gander, Newfoundland spontaneously played host to over 10,000 stranded airline passengers, whose flights had been diverted on September 11, 2001. In recognition of the overwhelming generosity and hospitality of a multitude of strangers, a group of air passengers set up a college fund for the area’s children, which has benefited at least 134 students as of 2011.[2]

“What really matters now is love. Now I don’t mean mush, I don’t mean sentimentality. I mean that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows us to rise.” –Maya Angelou

For all the darkness and despair which can be (rightly) associated with the Saturn-Pluto combination, the capacity to bring out the best in people is also possible. When its moral integrity is combined with a compassionate heart, when its awareness of the tragic dimensions of life is coupled with humility and the true courage that vulnerability grants, Saturn-Pluto can evoke from individuals and collectives a capacity to come together against overwhelming odds. As used car dealer Don Forman recalled his spontaneous generosity in rallying resources in the city of Las Vegas, even spending $8,000 of his own funds to help travelers return home after being stranded in mid-September 2001: “The dealership was just like everyone else in the country. We all stood around with our mouths open. We didn’t know what to do. When we started doing this, my employees were ecstatic. They really felt a part of something.”[3]

The Compassion Games—in which “competition becomes coopetition as we challenge each other to strive together to make our planet a better place to live”—were ultimately inspired by the tragedy of 9/11/2001. The Compassion Games put a curious spin on the harsh Saturn-Pluto trope of “The Hunger Games” (in which the impoverished are pitted against each other) and render a Saturn-Pluto which encourages people to face challenges together in both small and large ways, helping one another and their communities. (And YOU can participate in the Annual Games by becoming an Agent of Compassion from now through September 21!)

This more life-affirming inflection of Saturn-Pluto comes shining through in a heartening video from 9/11 Day of Service, an organization which was “inspired by the remarkable spirit of unity, compassion and service that brought together so many Americans and others throughout the world in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. ‘I thought it would be a wonderful thing if we could honor those who lost their lives, were injured, or rose in service, by keeping that spirit of service and unity alive, at least for one day out of the year,’” says David Paine, its founder.[4]

Hope was Born on 9/11

The chart of children born on September 11, 2001 will be something like this:

Transits of Sep 11, 2001











(Depending on the time and place of birth, there will be different sign and planet placements by house, and the Moon will be anywhere from mid-Gemini for a midnight birth to mid-Cancer for a 11:59pm birth, the Moon’s position in the zodiac varying also by time zone.)

Saturn and Pluto in a T-square formation with the Sun almost guarantees a conscious, ego identification with the qualities of Saturn-Pluto, both positive and negative, as described above. Hillary O’Neill, who is featured in the video, quietly emphasizes the courage needed to mature through horrific experiences. She says, “I hope it [9/11/2001] will become a day that people can look at, and they will realize how much things have changed and how the world in general has grown, how things can transform.” Pluto represents the realms of irreversible transformation and Saturn corresponds to maturity. Hillary’s conscious desire (Sun) for people to take a reflective stance, to consider the deep and lasting changes (Pluto) which have occurred over time (Saturn) implies that an evolved and compassionate reconciliation with our shared past has at least as much capacity to bring us closer to one another, as to drive us all further apart. She speaks to the maturity (Saturn) required to evolve (Pluto). Sun-Saturn by itself has a great feeling of responsibility, a desire and a capacity to be a good and conscientious leader who can also be quite humble. In Hillary’s case, we can hear Pluto offering ambition, the capacity to be with massive considerations and not be overwhelmed: “If we all do good deeds, it will add up. Doing something good makes me feel good as well. It makes me realize I have the power to change things,” Hillary explains.

I would like to wish those born on September 11, 2001—some 13,000 people—a very happy 14th birthday, that they may know love, joy, happiness and kindness, first by showing this to themselves, as much as they may shower others with such blessings…for always but always know: You are enough. You are sufficient. You are worthy. And you are beautiful.


[1] Some Good News!, Vol. 5, Number 19, Fall 2001. Retrieved from http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/images/stories/aboutus/some%20good%20news.pdf

[2] In unlikely place, the human face of 9/11, NBCNews.com, September 4, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44391951/ns/us_news-9_11_ten_years_later/t/unlikely-place-human-face/

[3] Some Good News!, Vol. 5, Number 19, Fall 2001. Retrieved from http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/images/stories/aboutus/some%20good%20news.pdf

See also Bessel van der Kolk’s research into trauma and ways of healing with it, which suggests that being able to act, to contribute something to a crisis response seems to help people to adjust to disorienting changes, and to make stress hormones into proper allies rather than overwrought enemies. Interview with van der Kolk here, audio and transcript: http://onbeing.org/program/restoring-the-body-bessel-van-der-kolk-on-yoga-emdr-and-treating-trauma/5801)

[4] Retrieved from “About Us: 9/11 Day,” https://911day.org/about/