There’s more than a hint of madness in this New Moon in Aries, with the Sun and Moon conjoined Uranus and square Pluto. Everyone seems busy and overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion. It’s as though we’re suffering from collective adrenal exhaustion.
Each day I wonder why I’m not getting more done, but when I look at my schedule it’s clear that I’m doing plenty, even if it’s not exactly what I’d wanted to accomplish. My appointment calendar is covered with my scrawling, failing penmanship. My days are filled to brimming, even if my bank account is not.
There is some work recorded there, some meetings and appointments and deadlines. But plenty of what fills my days is not written down anywhere. Troubling phone calls about people I love. The annual ritual—emotionally complicated—of gathering my business profit-and-loss information for our tax return. The specter of major life transitions looming just ahead in the distance.
My book is full, my life is hectic, but so much of it is just stuff that makes me want to run away. Is this what is means to have the New Moon point conjoined Uranus, and square Pluto—demoralizing pressure and longing for freedom?
We start out as wild horses, all of us, and life is the process by which we’re tamed. Some of us are civilized by gentle masters who teach us restraint without breaking our spirits. Others were brutalized by cruel circumstances that taught us to trample everything in our paths. Most of us have encountered both types of master; some days we gallop, and some days we trample.
It’s been a hard couple of years, and plenty of us are restive, nearly ready to stampede. Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, has been transiting Capricorn, one of its strongest signs, since mid-March. But last week, it met up with Saturn, its energetic opposite and equally strong in Capricorn. It was a tough week for lots of people; it seemed that the harder one tried to give full rein to Mars’ feisty enthusiasm, the more insistently Saturn threw out a bony arm of restraint. Frankly, putting Mars in such an uncomfortable situation, and then placing the New Moon in Aries at the apex of a tremendously stressful configuration, is tantamount to a cosmic dare.
For years now, astrologers have been writing about the epic square that has unfolded between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. In the early days of this transit, it was more or less assumed that the world would erupt in a fiery conflagration of apocalyptic terror and suffering that would leave us slack-jawed with horror. Every day a Pearl Harbor, a 9/11.
There have been terrible moments, both collectively and personally. For many of us, though, it’s been a less showy but sustained planetary campaign of breaking us down and shaking us up. We see it on stages large and small, in our weather and in our politics, in our relationships and our careers. Some of us are having a much harder time than others, but no one is unaffected. Uranus and Pluto are both brutal masters.
Even at the best of times, the Aries season does not lend itself naturally to coping with frustration, delay, or restraint. And these are hardly the best of times. With Mars like a convict released from Saturn’s prison, the Sun and Moon square Pluto, and Uranus in Aries getting itchy as it prepares to enter a new sign in May, this New Moon is the celestial equivalent of picking a fight with someone whom you know is particularly volatile and thin-skinned: will the result be violence, or a lesson in restraint?
Some days, it may seem that we are all minutes away from merging with the infinite. For all I know, that may even be the case. But my belief is that what is happening outside us and around us is a reflection of what is inside us: wild horses, forces of spontaneity and freedom, in direct conflict with powerful forces of control. Some of these forces must be resisted, because the alternative is a loss of joyful freedom. But sometimes, control can be our friend, helping us harness our energy and strength to accomplish more than we’d dreamed possible.
We have wild, Uranus in Aries horses within us; and with Pluto in Capricorn, society is transforming in a way that challenges the primacy of unbridled individuality. It’s for each of us to decide whether our horses need taming or setting free—and to find the gentlest way to make it happen.