It can be tough to explain astrology. Astrology is complex symbolism that can take years to learn frustrating those who don’t want to ignore friends and family for untold hours as they cast and try to interpret charts. You need a little bit of an obsessive nature to study astrology.
In 2008 Pluto began a transit of cardinal sign Capricorn. In 2011, Uranus began a transit of cardinal sign Aries. Both being cardinal, they create a square aspect which is tense and frustrating. It’s like a family gathering where two relatives who don’t speak find themselves in the same room. The energy simmers until there are random, sudden explosions.
Did the analogy help?
If not, there’s a movie out now that can help explain the Pluto / Uranus square.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri describes a woman’s efforts through the use of billboards to arouse the police force to investigate more vigorously her daughter’s homicide. I’ll be describing some scenes in the film so this is the official spoiler alert.
Pluto is a destroyer and transformer of energy. Capricorn is the earth sign representing worldly success and is drawn to authority and structure so is practical, ambitious, serious and cautious.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a full-frontal assault on authority figures. There are three clear Capricorn authority figures: the police chief, a priest and a dentist.
The police chief is the most obvious authority figure. There are several other police officers in the film but the chief is the “good” cop who has a conscience, wisdom and insightful humor. He exhibits patience with others where he seems to know them better than themselves. In this way, he’s the only mature figure in the film, a positive image of a Capricorn.
Unfortunately, the good authority figure is dying, is “ebbing” away (in his words, he doesn’t want to watch his body ebb away). We are then left with the bad authority figures, although a replacement good cop arrives later in the film.
The priest and the dentist are very minor characters occurring in one scene each. Our woman berates the priest with no regard for his exalted status. He has no authority to a woman rendered anarchistic by grief.
The dentist, too, is Capricorn as this sign rules the structure of the body including skin, bones, teeth and knees. The dentist decides to punish the woman (by his own authority) by drilling her teeth where it’s not needed; he learns the hard way that her anger knows no fear as she turns the drill on his fingernail.
Pluto in Capricorn
Movie reviewers might have some issue with the crimes that go unpunished in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and there are several. But this is what the movie is about – the complete breakdown of authority and of rules that make sense.
Our main character respects no authority. Yet at the same time she expects authority to overstep its boundaries to help in her particular situation. To help solve the crime, the grief-stricken woman suggests lining up the entire city, the entire country, the entire world if needed to find the person who committed the crime.
Does she truly hate authority?
Pluto is destroying Capricorn authority and structure. It began in 2008 and will last through 2023-2024. The first casualty of Pluto was the banking and financial system. It’s moved through other structures and now is destroying the idea of government. We have some time before it culminates then changes signs (into Aquarius).
Uranus in Aries
Pluto in Capricorn is squared by Uranus in Aries. Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars (the God of War) the first sign of the zodiac centered on self including self-assertion, self-promotion and impulsiveness. Square to Capricorn is frustration with authority, taking authority into one’s own hands and struggle between the needs of the self and the needs of the society.
Uranus is the planet of sudden change, awareness and consciousness. Uranus is breakthrough. In Aries, we have self-realization and self-actualization.
It’s both exhilarating and terrifying to watch the anguished mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri breaking all rules of decorum to demand justice. The exhilaration comes from the vicarious venting of anger toward what is unfair and corrupt. Terror comes from the impulsive behavior the mother exhibits without the slightest regard for the feelings of others (especially her son).
As you’d expect from fire energy, we also see actual fires and fire bombs in the film. When authority responds in negative ways, they must pay by fire.
Neptune in Pisces
Does the Pluto in Capricorn square to Uranus in Aries make more sense now? Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri dramatizes the tension we are seeing in American culture with the role of authority versus individual rights.
While Pluto and Uranus have been creating tension, the movie does leave out the third outer planet transit – Neptune in Pisces.
Neptune rules Pisces so is at home in this mutable water sign. Neptune is the spiritual, creative energy of a generation. Neptune is also the ruler of film, drugs or any form of imagination or escapism.
We don’t see a lot of Neptune in the film. Our extreme weather events include both fire and water; in the film we see only fire. Neptune in Pisces in its purest manifestation allows us cross boundaries to merge and share experience creating compassion and empathy.
Neptune and Pisces in negative manifestation are escapism. Notice in our world the rise of alcohol and drug abuse during these shifting times.
Neptune may be exhibiting itself in the response evoked by the film. While misguided, watching the mother’s anger allowed me to feel and purge my own feelings of anger. At a certain point, I’d had enough. But I could imagine going on this roller coaster again when feelings of anger or frustration become too great.
The Square Ends
While this film exemplifies the current square of Pluto in Capricorn / Uranus in Aries, the transit will soon pass. Next year Uranus will begin to move into Taurus. It will bounce back and forth between Aries and Taurus (called retrograde) during 2018 and in 2019 will move forward in Taurus for seven years.
While I can’t imagine the challenge of individual versus authority (and society) will magically end at that time, the movement from Aries to Taurus will provide a new focus. Then it will be about fixed earth-sign Taurus concerns – money, property, assets and the earth itself. Hopefully by then Uranus in Aries will have asserted individual rights for the next phase of our evolution.