The growth of the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects the dominant astrological pattern of these times. I have frequently blogged about the series of transformational 90-degree squares between radical Uranus and powerful Pluto that are exact from 2012-2015 and are the second stage of a process that began in the 1960s. These two slow-moving planets were joined then and reflected the significant social shifts that followed.
Most of our images about that period involve hippies, the civil rights and peace movements and other counter-culture forces. But 1964 was also a watershed point on the right side of the U.S. political spectrum with the Republican presidential nomination of Barry Goldwater, a leading voice of conservatism. While he was soundly defeated by Lyndon Johnson, the movement he headed led to Ronald Reagan and his election to the White House in 1980.
The Occupy and Tea Party movements are in some ways parallel to the political polarization of the '60s. How they are interpreted usually depends on where you stand politically, but Astrology provides tools that can be applied to both. My remarks here are meant to put them into a larger context so that, perhaps, we can recognize common elements that could lead to greater tolerance and understanding.
Uranus, the planet of independence, is in Aries, possibly the most independent sign of the zodiac. It is anti-authoritarian and places freedom at a much higher level of importance than order. The loosely organized and thus far leaderless Occupiers correspond closely to the spirit of Uranus in Aries. Those against it can see it as a cause of chaos that must be contained to avoid a social breakdown. Its supporters may see it as a counter-force to oppressive and greedy multinational corporations.
Anti-government Tea Partiers are also against oppression, but see government as its primary source. Freedom from taxes and regulations are among its Uranus in Aries principles. They perceive their adversary, government, as Pluto in Capricorn, the controlling and stifling bureaucracy. Occupiers see the corporations, especially the financial sector, as their version of Pluto in Capricorn. Both interpret their version of freedom as healthy and liberating, a positive expression of Uranus in Aries, and project the negative side of this symbolism on the other. Occupiers are crazy, chaotic bums and hippies and Tea Partiers are cold and selfish individuals who want to reduce society to a survival of the fittest model. Each sees the other as a destroyer and itself as a preserver of life and liberty.
Crossing this divide is very difficult, perhaps even impossible, until we take back projections and examine how these forces exist within ourselves. There’s some controlling, dominating Pluto in Capricorn in all of us. Even the gentlest souls have rules for themselves that they enforce with all the rigid authority of this planet-sign combination. Where do you put up walls and establish boundaries that others find oppressive? Where do you use authority, status and power to impose your will on others? Likewise, where and when do you refuse to follow rules?
Uranus in Aries' urge for freedom may not be expressed overtly, but aren’t there situations where you want to rebel against the status quo? Exploring our own relationships to authority and freedom will expand understanding of these powerfully contrasting forces and, hopefully, make us less rigid and rebellious when evaluating others' beliefs.