The continuing shutdown of the U.S. government is, as mentioned here previously, an all too perfect expression of the ongoing series of Uranus-Pluto aspects (2012-2015). The fourth of their seven stressful squares is exact on November 1, reflecting the uncertainty of these times. How they are seen depends upon who is looking and what she or he is looking at. Astrological interpretations are not neutral because they reflect the beliefs of the astrologer using a symbolic language that can be read in many different ways. These differences don't undermine the essence of Astrology, but show the subjective nature of the human beings using it.
Check out how these Uranus-Pluto squares will affect your sign's year ahead with our Big Picture Yearly Forecast.
The Uranus-Pluto square's relationship to the government shutdown, for example, can be interpreted from several perspectives. Rebellious Uranus in Aries could be the rugged individualism espoused by Conservatives and led by the radical Tea Partiers. Reducing the invasive power of the government, even by destructive means, can be justified from their place on the political spectrum. What many consider the basically benign and necessary role of the state is interpreted as repressive and antithetical to the freedom needs of independent Uranus in Aries. Pluto, a planet of power, in the institutional sign of Capricorn, is the dictatorial enemy of those on the right.
Left, right or middle?
Individuals in the middle or on the other side of the political spectrum see the Tea Partiers as destroyers acting as selfish and irresponsible representatives of Uranus in Aries recklessness. Pluto in executive Capricorn would show the right's desire to destroy the authority of the President and his policies. Those on the left may interpret Pluto in Capricorn as the concentration of power in the hands of the rich. It's worth noting that a plutocracy is a society ruled by the rich.
We can also play out these roles on a personal level. If I believe that change is necessary and encounter resistance, I'm acting as revolutionary Uranus in Aries against the repressive forces of Pluto in Capricorn. But if someone is rattling my cage, I may see myself as Pluto in Capricorn struggling to maintain order against an irresponsible and unruly individual. In fact, it's likely that we all have places in our lives where we play the rebellious role of Uranus and others where we act to preserve the essential order of Pluto in Capricorn. This changeability of interpretation reminds us that one person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist.
A cultural revolution...
There is, however, a common theme for Uranus square Pluto regardless of one's beliefs: it is that we are in a time of cultural transformation. The desire to temper extreme reactions to maintain peace and harmony is understandable but not necessarily realistic in the larger scheme of things. Resolving this immediate political standoff in the U.S. will not do away with the deeper issues of the environment, economy, social justice and peace that threaten our future. It is in these fundamental areas where radical changes may be needed to save us from ourselves. Sometimes polarization leads to awareness and breakthroughs that make the struggle worthwhile. Sometimes they are merely costly distractions that undermine the likelihood of success.
On a personal level I tend to be stick to my guns about my beliefs. Yet spiritually I appreciate that the apparent differences between our ideas do not reflect the underlying truths that connect us all. Current scientific theory is that all humans derived from a common ancestor in Africa about 200,000 years ago. And while celebrating our individuality seems to be the primary occupation of modern times, remembering how much we share -- even with our enemies -- will bring us closer to the fulfilling future that we all seek.