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WOODRUFF ON ASTROLOGY - SPRING 2023
BY FREDERICK WOODRUFF
WOODRUFF ON ASTROLOGY | WOODRUFF ON ASTROLOGY | WOODRUFF ON ASTROLOGY | WOODRUFF ON ASTROLOGY | WOODRUFF ON ASTROLOGY
Are you ready for your current experience of the world to be upended and overhauled? Pluto, the planet of destruction and regeneration, has, as of last week, moved straight into Aquarius—one of the Zodiac’s most eclectic and unpredictable of signs.
Astrologically, this is a big deal because Pluto takes around 248 years to circle the Sun. Consequently, with its oddball orbit, Pluto will stay anywhere from 12 to 30 years in a sign.
Within astrology’s ecosystem, the slower a planet moves around the Sun, the more potent and disruptive its influence becomes. And so Pluto’s entry into a new sign signals a potent shift in our collective mindset.
As old attitudes die off, new ones struggle to be reborn. This is a metamorphosis that impacts all aspects of culture globally. But Pluto, being Pluto—the planet associated with death and rebirth—the transformations are rarely smooth. Resistance is the first mode of response when Pluto makes an ingress into a new sign.
This resistance relates more to human nature than it does to the impersonal forces represented by the organic function of the planets. The planets don’t moralize. They simply ‘exist’—similar to electricity.
Humans are adverse to change, especially when modifications cut the core deep. And Pluto’s form of radical regeneration is of the irrevocable sort. Death is never a negotiation; there’s not much to talk about or equivocate. Everything that’s removed is to clear the decks for ‘what’s next’ within the circle of life.
Consider some of the ways Pluto has disrupted and dismantled existing sociocultural systems while moving through the Zodiac. I’ll mention Pluto passages most of us have lived through, so you can relate to them personally.
• Pluto in Virgo (1957-1971). This transit brought to the fore new modes of medicine and healing (two central subjects associated with Virgo), but these were methods imported straight from Pluto’s atomic realm. People were ingesting LSD like crazy and witnessed a complete reworking of consensus reality, already remade with Pluto’s move through Leo (1939-1956)—the sign preceding Virgo.
That transit gave birth to the entire ‘me’ era of navel-gazers. As Pluto disrupted the core of the psyche (Leo), that generation went in search of reclaiming their shattered pieces of self. While all of the bogus gurus and New Age charlatans in the world finagled ways to take advantage of the endless soul questing.
So in Virgo, on its way out was traditional medicine, as the counter-culture introduced alternative ways of self-care—stuff like eating your way to well-being—or ‘healing through nutrition.’ Before, you’d smoke, drink, and eat whatever you wanted and then go to the family doctor to be prescribed pharmaceuticals to try and correct your poor lifestyle habits. There were very few family doctors who knew much about Timothy Leary.
• Pluto in Libra (1971-1984) The explosion of the nuclear family, as divorce rates rose in tandem with the ingestion of a different kind of drug. The Pill. The foundation of ‘until death does us part’ was, well, killed off. The sexual revolution was revving up and hitting peak speeds, which drove untethered libidos straight into the wall of AIDS when…
• Pluto entered Scorpio in 1984 and remained in the sign until 1995. Death had officially merged with the generative side of life (sex) that sets all life-making wheels in motion. As if to usurp the most intimate bond two people can share, pornography, which always follows immediately on the heels of any new technological shift, reached maximum hot zones of saturation (well, until the internet arrived).
• Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2007) This was when religious ideologies (both qualities under Sagittarius’ domain) came unhinged and declared war globally with opposing ideologies. This culminated in the US with the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
• Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2023) Uncanningly, the day Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008, the entire financial infrastructure (the Capricornian one-two punch) collapsed globally. Money itself seemed to have evaporated into space, as we’ve all been living with means that remain elusive and unfathomable. Exactly how high can the national debt climb?
Suddenly, weird mystery money like Bitcoin entered the stock market. Again, no one can actually describe what Bitcoin is (some will try, guys like Sam Bankman-Fried) or, more critically, how crypto generates value by destroying natural resources in mind-bending amounts. If that’s not Plutonian (fatal invisibility), I don’t know what is.
So here we are, with Pluto making entry into Aquarius, one of the most idealistic signs in the Zodiac. Aquarius also relates directly to technology, electricity, cultural revolutions, and radical shifts in consciousness—shifts that, initially, can feel unhinged or crazy.
But that’s ‘crazy’ in a creative manner. Crazy in a Crazy Wisdom sort of way. In his book of the same title Wes Nisker describes crazy wisdom like this:
“Conventional wisdom is the habitual, the unexamined life absorbed into the culture and the fashion of the time, lost in the mad rush of accumulation, lulled to sleep by the easy lies of political hacks and newspaper scribblers, or by priests who wouldn't know a god if they met one. Crazy wisdom is the challenge to all that; it dismantles assumptions accepted as truth, unmasking ourselves and our societies.”
Because Aquarius is tied directly to the manner in which people merge to form ‘networks of togetherness’—through shared values and principles—Pluto’s transit will take apart and reboot these core unitive principles in erratic ways.
Of course, what unifies humankind presently, in the Aquarian sense, is our ever-deepening relationship to and reliance upon technology. But I’m thinking more of our heightened electronic age and how our individuality has been swallowed up within the circuits, the data, the algorithms, and its shadow side: surveillance.
It’s wise now to consider how you will orient yourself back into the world as that all-encompassing system of connecting individuals and cultures begins to transform. Or fail entirely. Or fail as regards its intended ‘results.’
I imagine this will happen in two primary ways.
A tyrannical push to inject even more of this electronic alignment and dominance into our lives. And this will be met by resistance from those who have decided they’ve had enough. Already, as Pluto teetered on the cusp of Aquarius, the tech lords and their fiefdoms were losing their grip on our imaginations. There’s no need for me to detail this, as anyone who follows the news is aware of the ongoing denouement within this domain.
It’s not hard to imagine small groups of people going rogue and making an exaggerated return to a sort of Luddite existence, where their hunger for tangibility and sensate reality clashes with the promise of living in a completely disembodied state within cyberspace and AI-dominated discourse.
Because Aquarius mashes up the present with the future, it fosters eccentric individuals like revolutionaries and heretics—individuals who have mastered the ability to maneuver the new while the old sociocultural system morphs or falls away completely.
These individuals become endowed with an infusion of Plutonic heft and influence. Be prepared for masses of individuals aligning with radicals who can promise a way forward to help them reorient to the wildly rearranging world around them.
Where Leo, the sign opposite Aquarius, represents the artist working alone in his or her studio, Aquarian ‘art’ involves cooperative efforts that benefit the many instead of the lone egotist.
Ideologically this sounds wonderful, but humans being humans, must first pass through Aquarius’ retrogressive and reactionary terrain. You see this today within the Aquarian theme of androgyny. Where the battle between biology (there are two sexes) and psychology (there are limitless gender identities) rage. This is a good example of the reactionary blowback that occurs once Pluto enters a new domain.
This, of course, filters through our political system, and you suddenly have the Bible’s creation story being resurrected as a teaching tool in biology classes in Florida. I’m exaggerating, but the writing is on the wall already.
With Pluto in Aquarius, our baseline concepts of time undergo a strange warping phenomenon. Suddenly events that seemingly exist in the future—on the outskirts of human imagination—will walk straight into the present, skipping entirely old concepts of linear movement. This is another reason the Pluto transit in Aquarius will feel so unnerving or otherworldly. And this is why the notion of crazy wisdom will be a perspective worth fostering.
From Nisker again:
“Crazy wisdom is intrinsically contrary, often opposing even the loyal opposition, sometimes standing completely off the scales of ordinary human judgment. Consequently, crazy wisdom usually is perceived as a threat to the powers of church and state—those institutions that claim to own the truth and then sell it to people through persuasion or force. Often, followers of crazy wisdom challenge the established order through protest, personal sacrifice, art, or guerilla theater. At other times, they walk away into the mountains to live a simple life away from the insanity of institutions and the madness of mobs.”
And the Metaverse.
Here are your Sun sign horoscopes for Spring 2023:
ARIES (MAR 21-APR 20): You’ll need a clone to help manage your highly energized pace this spring. A wild array of new ideas have captured your imagination. What’s the best way forward? Time management will be crucial. Also, feedback and guidance from those closest to you. You’re now a mascot for the saying: “Spring has sprung!”
TAURUS (APR 21-MAY 21): New relationships are forged in the most unlikely places now. Your usual quota of physical magnetism is buzzing at a frequency that might actually keep you up at night. Use this new influx of energy to galvanize a project that’s been simmering on the back burner since last summer. Show us what you’ve got.
GEMINI (MAY 22-JUN 21): You’re following two distinct energy channels this season. One involves creative inspiration; new facets of your imagination are ready to come into play. The other involves a struggle to organize your thoughts and plans to keep them on course to a successful outcome. Let your innate ability to manage novelty guide the way forward.
CANCER (JUN 22-JUL 22): Mars, the passion planet, just stepped into your sign. And this commences a new chapter in self-promotion. Most of last year found you exploring an array of options and possibilities with no clear-cut result. That’s all about to change. Put on your running shoes. You’re ready to race—and win.
LEO (JUL 23-AUG 23): For all of the natural exuberance associated with your sign, you also have a secret, shy side. The spring requires you to push past self-doubt and lay claim to your just rewards. High-octane energy is buzzing around you this season like a swarm of bees; find ways to tap into the flow—and let yourself shine.
VIRGO (AUG 24-SEP 23): Saturn, the work-hard planet, opposes your sign for a two-plus year transit. Relationships become the laboratory where you forge new plans for your future. This requires shifting your focus from the micro to the macro. Practice stepping into the other fellow’s shoes; this perspective guarantees success with all of your negotiations.
LIBRA (SEP 24-OCT 23): Your natural inclination is to find or establish harmony within all of your relationships. However, spring presents you with a different, more complex puzzle. It’s through disagreements (or misunderstandings) that you discover what’s most authentic and valuable in your life now. Friction can sometimes be a good thing.
SCORPIO (OCT 24th-NOV 22nd) Discrimination is the keyword for spring. As is self-discipline. The latter sounds boring, but if you’re serious about expressing your creativity in a way that generates results, you’ll want to follow the guidance of your wiser self. Avoid overindulgence and unnecessary distractions. Streamline efforts for maximum results.
SAGITTARIUS (NOV 23rd-DEC 21st): You need a strong dose of objectivity now—a way to demonstrate the difference between an actual problem and fallout from your overactive imagination. Enlist a trusted friend or counselor to offer feedback—the type of wisdom that gets your feet back on the ground. Let common sense prevail.
CAPRICORN (DEC 22nd-JAN 20th): The power of transformation involves discarding what’s unessential and championing the untried and original. You’re influenced this season by outside forces that are difficult to identify and track. Still, find a way to align with this influx of creative power; you’ll be pleased with its revelations.
AQUARIUS (JAN 21st-FEB 19th): Congratulations! Saturn, the planet of hard lessons and learning, has exited your sign. Life feels buoyant again, and you’re in fine form. Where to start with this new version of yourself? By doing what you do best, working with your community to make the world a more equitable place for us to live.
PISCES (FEB 20th-MAR 20th): The gravitas necessary to bring your creative inspirations to life has finally arrived. Saturn is now moving through your sign for the next two years. You can no longer dodge or censor the promptings of your imagination. This launches the perspective of ‘now or never.’ Are you ready to give way to your calling?
Frederick Woodruff’s career as a professional astrologer spans four decades. Artists, writers, and creatively motivated folks consult with him regularly to better comprehend the cycles that define their unique narratives.
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Frederick is currently finishing up his new novel about Jeffrey Dahmer.