Several months ago NPR interviewed an archaeologist who was excited about a recent find. He may have been describing this excavation of a Bronze Age village. I began to wonder why we are so interested in man of the past but not always so interested in man of the present. If we were traveling and found a piece of textile, would we spend much time wondering about who wore it and try to reconstruct a life around it?
Extraterrestrial life is also of great mystery and appeal as are people of the distant past. Twenty three years behind the times, I recently watched the first season of the X-Files. Rather than finding it alien, I found it all too human.
According to the X-Files, aliens are mostly trying to control you while the government is doing the same in reaction (believable) all the while hiding alien information from the citizens (also believable). Having been akin to the New Age movement for many years, I saw many familiar themes but with a negative twist. Aliens in the New Age movement are from the Pleiades and spread love and awareness. In the X-Files, they implant control devices into your ear and make you sacrifice your friends in the middle of the night in stormy wilderness.
In the New Age movement, psychic ability is used to help people understand their lives and become more spiritual. In the X-Files, psychic ability is used to cause fear and destruction. Channeling was a popular New Age trend in the 1980s as individuals brought to the Western world concepts of reincarnation and disembodied energy. In the X-Files, channeling is used to seek revenge on your enemies who plotted your murder.
While I’ve always believed there are other life forms in this unfathomably vast universe, I’ve noticed our ideas of these life forms mirror our “good and evil” filter of the world. If you analyze the archaeological literature, distant humans’ greatest remains reflect either war or sacred ceremonies. The interpretation is hardly ever as simple as “this site may have been a spa” or “here is where people probably hung out to gossip.” Aliens, too, are either out to make us into zombies or are trying to help raise our consciousness to other dimensions.
On the earth today are seven billion individuals. Most of us will never know each other. We pass in subways, at events, at the grocery, at the airport and a myriad of other places without even a passing interest. Some people live happy lives surrounded by family and friends while others live in poverty or war struggling for survival.
Possibly distant and alien life is no more or less than life on earth now.
The Foreign Other
Astrologically, the Aries-Libra axis of first and sixth houses represents the self (Aries) and the other (Libra). When we are about two years old (which is a Mars cycle, Mars ruling Aries), our parents introduce us to “The Other” who has been invited to our house and wants to play with our toys at the same time we do. We are then told to “share” and informed that it’s a very important part of life. Later in life we become quite interested in The Other, to the point of wanting to share for long periods of time.
The Foreign Other resides in a different area of the chart – the Gemini/Sagittarius axis. Gemini represents your immediate surroundings, siblings, neighbors and early education. Gemini represents childhood where we are constantly learning and seek constant stimulation to aid in that learning. Gemini is communicative, articulate, curious and exploring.
While Gemini is experiencing and learning, the opposite sign of Sagittarius looks for meaning in all of that experience. Sagittarius rules philosophy, higher education and foreign travel. Sagittarius seeks the foreign and the different. Where your earth-sign friends want to go the same restaurant every time you meet, your Gemini friend wants to try something new each time. Your Sagittarius friend takes it a step further and insists the restaurant serve exotic cuisine.
Both Sagittarius and Gemini seek experience. Sagittarius even more than Gemini dons the experiences of others and may even become a proponent of those other experiences. Do you have a friend that visited a foreign place and came back wearing local costume? Is that friend now trying to raise awareness of issues occurring in that place? That’s Sagittarius.
Pluto in Sagittarius
In 2001, Pluto was transiting Sagittarius while Saturn was transiting Gemini creating an opposition. In the United States, the World Trade Center was attacked using airplanes by men mostly from the Middle East. In 2003, the US began invading countries in the Middle East and now the area is highly unstable.
This began a new era of foreign threat in the US. Most of my life the foreign threat was Communism, which covered several different countries. Now the threat is still foreign, but more localized to culture.
Pluto destroys (if necessary) and then transforms. Pluto in Sagittarius created a destruction and now transformation of our relationship with the Foreign Other. Unfortunately, that relationship has not healed and is now global. Saturn opposing Pluto limited and contracted (which is what Saturn does) information regarding that situation. After September 2001, surveillance in the US was heighted to the point of crossing 4th amendment boundaries.
This article by Robert Hand, one of the brilliant leading minds in the astrological community, was written in April 2001 and was quite accurate in its assessment of the oncoming Pluto-Saturn opposition. Why we listen to the government and not Robert Hand is a great mystery:
So, what can we expect in the upcoming year [2001-2002], based on our experience of these aspects in the 20th century? Looking at the times of the aspects, we can see three major themes that seem to correspond with these configurations. Several of these patterns have coincided with recessions or depressions – the one in 1931 was especially harsh. Those that did not come with recessions coincided with wars, ranging from extremely severe (World Wars I and II) to less so (Vietnam) to the kinds of strife that border on war but also have the qualities of civil unrest (Suez Crisis, Hungary, the urban riots of 1965—66 in the U.S.). And since World War II, there has been a marked tendency for these Saturn-Pluto aspects to coincide more or less with unrest in the Middle East, especially involving oil. It is hard to know whether there is something intrinsically “Saturn-Pluto” about the Middle East situation and, possibly, oil. Or is it just that Saturn-Pluto indicates stress that manifests wherever there is some kind of chronic historical situation? I suspect that it is the latter case, but at the same time, I also believe that the Middle East and the oil situation will continue to manifest Saturn-Pluto energy until the underlying historical stresses are resolved.
Saturn in Sagittarius
Fifteen years later, Saturn has traveled 180 degrees and is now transiting Sagittarius (the transit began in December 2015, about the time the US normalized relations with Cuba). Saturn will be in Sagittarius until late December 2017.
Saturn in Sagittarius has coincided with great migrations of people from the Middle East to Europe. It has caused both economic and cultural stress. In the US, the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump has been open in his dislike of the Foreign Other. Interestingly, Trump has sun in Gemini and moon in Sagittarius which seeks experiences of all types, including foreign which may explain the foreign spouse. Trump’s politics are not in sync with his more accepting personality. It’s too bad a positive aspect of his personality is buried so that he can appeal to negative emotions.
Saturn demands simplicity, definition, realism, and truth wherever it touches our charts. Saturn in Jupiter’s sign, Sagittarius, is contraction versus expansion in motion. Finding a satisfying balance, lying somewhere between being too lax and too controlled, can consume a lot of our time and energy. We seek out growth, but Saturn sees to it that we do so in a disciplined manner. Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to take on the responsibility of living according to our personal truths and principles, and to be loyal to these. This is a time for turning a critical eye to those beliefs and principles that don’t accurately reflect our authentic selves.
Saturn in Sagittarius challenges us to live our beliefs because while Sagittarius loves spreading ideas that benefit the whole, it might have personal trouble sticking with the commitment to those beliefs. Saturn forces the issue.
For example, if you’re truly a country that seeks freedom for its people, are you willing to let in one million Foreign Others? You might say you will in principle, but now Saturn is putting them at your doorstep.
We may be mentally open to the views of others, but how to we react when those views move in next door? This is a challenge for all of us, not just the ones forced to move in next door. We are all the Foreign Other to someone out there. Our beliefs are a challenge to others as their beliefs can be a challenge to us.
Saturn in Sagittarius on Another Planet
Possibly the key to Saturn in Sagittarius is to imagine the Foreign Others who may be arriving on our shores are from the distant past or another planet. We could then transform our anxieties into curiosities. Sagittarius like Gemini has insatiable curiosity just as small children find insects fascinating until some point where socialization makes people, especially girls, fearful of insects.
When we are very young, all life is fascinating.
Those of us that are more X-Files than New Age in our view of aliens might have more trouble but the underlying curiosity regarding alien life should override fear.