Aspects and Planetary Trends in 2015

The Play’s The Thing

One great way to understand astrology is by seeing it as the drama of life, being acted on a stage.  The planets of our solar system are characters in the play.  These characters are universal archetypes, of the sort you have seen a million times in stories for adults and children (The Lover, The Hero, The Innocent, Death, The Magician, The King, Mother Nature, The Healer, The Trickster and so on).

Have you ever been in love and felt like your passion touched the universal?  Have you ever won a battle, felt like a hero and known that your battle was won for all humanity?  Have you ever been wounded, cut to the quick, and known, for an instant, the suffering of all beings everywhere?  This is archetypal experience.

Like every human being, you contain all these universal archetypes.  Sometimes they are active and other times they wait in the wings for their moment.  The characters are eager to be experienced by human beings.  Each one has something it is trying to say, teach or accomplish, using your human experience to do it.

The year of 2015 has an interesting set of dramas in it.  Now imagine yourself in a grand theater.  The lights are dimming.  There is a spotlight on center stage. You are about to meet the characters.

The Characters

Meet Pluto.  Pluto-type characters might be:  Death, Dracula, The Magician or Sorcerer.
Pluto says:  “I’m the agent of transformation.  Whatever I touch dies and is reborn.  Most people find this to be an uncomfortable, even painful process, because they don’t like death.  But the butterfly doesn’t care that it once was a caterpillar, does it?”

Here’s Neptune.  Think of Neptune as the Fairy Godmother, the Dreamer or the Visionary.  Sometimes Neptune appears as a ghost from beyond the grave or the spirit of an ancestor.  Neptune says:  “I represent the worlds of spirit and the unseen.  Things in my realm cannot be measured, yet when people have an experience of me, they know it, even though it cannot be proven.  When the spirit leaves the body, everyone agrees the body is dead, but no one can say what has gone.”

Up pops Uranus.  Uranus tends to appear as a force for change and progress.  He’s the Experimenter, the Revolutionary, the Voice of the People.  Uranus says:  “I’m the rule-breaker, the radical.  I bring revolution and sudden insight.  I descend upon you with the Eureka!-Aha!-lightbulb-going-off-over-the-head experience.  I alter your perspective so radically that you can no longer see things the old way and you have to change.”

Now Chiron steps forward.  He’s limping, because he’s a reminder that everyone has a broken place inside, and that as human beings, we are an uneasy union of the animal and the divine.  Chiron is The Broken One, The Walking Wounded, the Healer and every character who has ever touched greatness through suffering.  Chiron says:  “I’m the wounded healer.  I remind you of old, stuck pain from the past.  This may sound painful, but it’s actually an opportunity for healing deep, ancient wounds and recovering your human birthright.  My gift is accelerated evolution.”

Now it’s Saturn’s turn.  Saturn is the Elder, Judge, the Police, the Old Guard, the Traditionalist.  In more modern terms, he’s the CEO, the Corporate Executive.  His life is lived in bottom lines.  Saturn says:  “I’m the heavy.  I remind you of all the things you should have done and been.  I make you feel guilty, but behind that is a powerful drive to succeed and accomplish great things.  I won’t be satisfied until you are the best you can be.  Think of me as your own personal drill sergeant.”

And finally, Jupiter takes the spotlight.  Jupiter is the Sage, the Storyteller, the Explorer and Adventurer.  He’s also the Perennial Student and the Seeker, always on a quest.  Jupiter says:  “I’m all about growth and expansion.  I know what greatness you’re capable of and I fill you with the hope and confidence to begin it.  I’m the one who encourages you to make the promises Saturn forces you to keep.  I play good cop to his bad cop.”

Their Costumes

Each planet has a simple, pure nature but rarely gets to express itself purely, because whatever sign it happens to be in will limit and shape its expression.  The sign a planetary character is in is like a costume he is wearing.  The costume may constrict or enhance his movement and he may or may not be comfortable in the costume he finds himself in.  Each character has a costume that belongs to him, but he is not necessarily always wearing it and may be wearing a costume that belongs to a very different character (imagine the Hero wearing the Mother’s apron, or the Lover dressed up like the Businessman).  Some characters will wear a given costume for many years at a time, deeply exploring its comforts and discomforts, while others will pass through signs quickly, changing their costume every year for new ones.

The six planets I’ve listed above are passing through seven signs this year:  Aries, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Pisces.

Aries is a bold, adventuresome Fire sign.  An appropriately Arian costume would be a military uniform or a superhero outfit.  Impulsive Aries wants to get things done—or at least started, so any planet in Aries is dressed for active duty, armed, streamlined and ready to go. The Aries costume belongs to the planet Mars (another way of saying it is “Mars rules Aries”).

In 2014, Uranus is wearing the Aries costume.  Uranus is the Radical and the Rebel and in Aries he is primed for action, so imagine this rebellious planet bringing startling, shocking new changes in a typically Arian way—direct and to the point.  Uranus in Aries says “Change is coming—get out of my way!  New ideas are bursting forth and I don’t care what the results are.  Live for the moment!  Re-invent yourself!”  Expect the unexpected while Uranus wears the Aries costume.  Uranus will be in Aries until 2018.

A Fixed Fire sign, Leo is the grandest of the grand.  As appropriate for the King or Queen of the zodiac, Leo’s costume is royal robes and a crown.  This sign features leadership, creativity, performance and a love of receiving and giving attention.  The Leo costume belongs to none other than the fiery, glowing Sun, gravitational center of our solar system.

In July of 2014, Jupiter moved into Leo, which is a fun place for the Jolly Planet to be.  Jupiter in Leo can bring expansion, enhanced creativity and self-discovery.  “Look at me!” shouts Jupiter in Leo, “I’m discovering myself and you can too!”  Jupiter’s Leo stint, from July of 2014 to August of 2015, is loaded with opportunities to take center-stage, get bigger, take on leadership and express yourself.  Creativity will burst forth and big personalities will expand.

Meticulous Virgo is a Mutable Earth sign, concerned with perfection and focused on details.  Virgo is the artisan, the shaper, the maker.  Virgo loves to organize, improve and perfect. This sign has a fascination with machinery and really fine tools.  Imagine a service uniform draws no attention to itself–egoless, trim and maximized for efficiency.  Virgo also enjoys really good health routines that support well-being.  This costume is owned by Mercury.

In August of 2015, Jupiter moves into Virgo, an odd spot for Jolly Jupiter.  But he will make the best of it, expanding our horizons by attending to the details that can slow our progress.  Jupiter’s stint in Virgo is a great time to reorganize your garage, office, home or LIFE from top to bottom.  It’s also a great time to instill healthy habits regarding diet, exercise and personal grooming.  When you want to really fix something right (and enjoy the process), Jupiter in Virgo is the planet for you.

Scorpio is also a Water sign, and fully as sensitive as Cancer.  This is the sign of the Phoenix, the mythical bird that burned down to nothing and rose from its own ashes.  Death and rebirth are Scorpio’s themes, so Halloween costumes are appropriate for this sign:  the wicked witch, the vampire, the skeleton, the figure of Death with his scythe—these are all images that remind us of the darker side of the zodiac.  Another great costume for Scorpio is that of the sorcerer—shaper and wielder of vast, unimaginable powers.

Wearing the Scorpio costume in 2015 we find Saturn.  What happens when the inner Judge, the Disciplinarian, the Authority Figure wears the Saturn costume?  We are presented with opportunities to practice handling forces beyond our control and opportunities to face death (usually symbolically, not literally) and to let go and grieve the loss of things we didn’t really need.  Saturn in Scorpio is as tough and crusty as it’s possible for Saturn to be, while also being demanding and sensitive.  Here’s more about Saturn’s passage through Scorpio:  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Saturn Enters Scorpio.  Saturn shifts into Sagittarius in December 2014, then retrogrades back into Scorpio (from June 14 to September 17, 2015) before moving on into Sagittarius to stay until December of 2017.

There’s a special Mutual Reception still in effect in 2015:  Pluto is occupying Saturn’s sign (Capricorn) while Saturn finishes passing through Pluto’s sign (Scorpio).  In 2013, the two  enjoyed a harmonious sextile to each other.  That harmonious connection is over now but the mutual reception continues to create positive relations between these two astrological heavies.  What does it mean?  Look here: Saturn Sextiles Pluto At The (Mutual) Reception.

Saturn begins 2015 wearing the Sagittarius costume.  Sagittarius is the Roamer, the Rambler, the World Citizen, the Adventurer, the Linguist, the Explorer—so imagine a ready-for-anything traveler’s outfit that allows plenty of room for movement, or perhaps a superhero costume with a swirling cape.  Sagittarius is also all about growth and expansion.  This Mutable Fire sign seeks understanding through a grand view that comprehends context and lends meaning.  Jupiter owns this costume.

Saturn in Sagittarius is an inherently uncomfortable placement.  This is because Sagittarius expands while Saturn contracts.  How does one contract while expanding?  By coming up with a structured, ordered, limited worldview in which experiences have definite meaning.  It’s a difficult costume for Saturn to wear gracefully and can lead to intolerance, authoritarian perspectives and legalistic generalizations (think McCarthyism).  On the other hand it can also lead to powerful personal growth for those who are willing to do the work to apply their grand philosophies in the material world.

Saturn wears the Sagittarius costume for most of 2015—except the months where it retrogrades back into Scorpio (June 14 to September 17).

Imagine a three-piece business suit, well-tailored.  Or a uniform of any kind.  Any planet in the sign of Capricorn is expressing itself in a businesslike, serious way, disposing that planet toward structure and order.  Capricorn is ambitious and demands that something be built.  Capricorn reminds us to be self-disciplined and professional, and to be aware of our reputation.

Capricorn is the costume that belongs to Saturn, but right now Pluto, the Transformer, is wearing it.  This is kind of like the figure of Death wearing a business suit.  Pluto is destroying the old and birthing the new through business and discipline.  Pluto in Capricorn says:  “I won’t be happy until everything we know about how to run a business or government is destroyed and rebuilt.  What is ‘order’ really?  What is ‘structure?’  What is ‘discipline?’  I must get to the essence of these things and to do so I may have to burn away everything on the surface until what is true underneath is revealed.”  Pluto will be in Capricorn until 2023—a good long time.

Pisces is oceanic, spiritual and boundariless.  Imagine a Piscean costume as the garb of an Illusionist, one who spins dreams, illusions and fantasies—or the messy, paint-smeared smock of an artist, someone who manifests a vision in reality.  And yet another Piscean costume might be the garb of a monk, someone who cares nothing for the physical world and has no possessions beyond a begging bowl.  Neptune is the owner of this costume.

In 2015, Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is wearing the Pisces costume.  Chiron in Pisces does his work gently, bringing up old wounds relative to intuition and illusion.  If you’re cut off from your intuition, Chiron will show you.  If you’re deluding yourself about something, Chiron will know.  “Watch your dream life,” says Chiron, “That’s where I’ll be, showing you places where you are split or broken and showing you how to heal them.  You’ll find wholeness in your dreams and in your spiritual practice.”  Chiron will be wearing the Pisces costume until 2018.

Neptune herself is also wearing Piscean garb this year, donning her own favorite costume and thus becoming the dreamiest Dreamer she can be.  “What magic I can make!” says Neptune in Pisces, dancing and casting sparkles everywhere.  “What dreams I will spin, what fantasies and imaginings!  I will feed the imaginations of artists, visionaries and poets everywhere.  Let me enchant you with the possibilities your life holds.”  Neptune will wear the Pisces costume until 2025.

The Scripts They Are Playing Out

Characters in a play do not stand about doing monologues.  Instead they interact with each other.  In the same way, the planets do not operate in isolation and the most interesting parts of the drama of 2015 will be the ways the planets dialogue with each other.

Planets in the sky form specific relationships with each other.  They assume roles toward each other and play out a script.  Some of these scripts are harmonious (astrologers call them trines and sextiles) while others are stressful (squares and oppositions).  And there is a fifth kind of script that brings two planets together in a neutral way, neither stressful nor harmonious, to ally themselves and have a meeting of the minds (conjunction).

Uranus squares Pluto
Some pretty crazy social unrest can get stirred up when Uranus the Rebel meets Pluto the Transformer in the sky.  The turbulent Uranus/Pluto connection lasts from June of 2012 to March of 2015.  Here’s a post thread about it: Uranus and Pluto Topple the Great Edifice  (September 2012). Expect big, sweeping societal change and revolution and watch for further blogposts as this combination develops.

Jupiter trines Uranus
The “clash of the titans” between Uranus and Pluto should be significantly eased this year as Jupiter connects harmoniously with each of them, beginning with this lovely trine linking Jupiter and Uranus.  Even the most violent revolutionary tendencies are relaxed when Jupiter brings support, positivity and growth opportunities to ease the stress.  This may be the time when entrenched conflicts that seem to have no exit find a way out.  Here’s more about that:  High Five! Jupiter Trine Uranus in Fire Signs (September 2014).  This harmonious connection happens from September of 2014 to June of 2015.

Jupiter trines Pluto
In August of 2015 Jupiter moves out of Leo and into Virgo, positioning itself in a sweet trine to Pluto.  Thus after supporting Uranus in a harmonious way, Jupiter moves on to support Pluto, which should smooth out the last of the Uranus-Pluto wrinkles.  It has the feel of a mediator sitting down first with one party, then the other, in an attempt to understand the conflict and find common ground.  Jupiter trine Pluto runs from October of 2015 to June of 2016, so watch for more news about that in autumn.

Jupiter opposes Chiron
As Jupiter moves further into Virgo, it comes into a stressful opposition with Chiron, triggering the Wounded Healer in us all and asking, “Can you heal yourself enough to take leadership and become a bigger person?”  This connection should bring many challenges, especially for Mutable types (Pisces, Gemini, Sagittarius and Virgo) born between the 7th and 14th of the month.  It lasts from November of 2015 to August of 2016 and I’ll say more about it when it begins.

Saturn squares Neptune
When Saturn the Builder and Neptune the Dreamer clash in the sky we are called upon to work hard to bring our dreams into physical form.  The feeling of guilt if we are not building something tangible is exacerbated by a desire to escape—resulting in a few disciplined people producing works of great magnificence while most of the rest of us fritter our time away in useless dreaming and painful procrastination.  This begins in November of 2015 and ends in September of 2016.  Watch for my posts about it when the time comes.

Saturn and Pluto in Mutual Reception
This one is really sweet and really good for business and it’s only in effect for a few months of 2015 as Saturn is moving on and into Sagittarius.  It was especially good while Saturn and Pluto were also in sextile (during 2013), but just having them in each other’s signs is still a great thing:
Saturn Sextiles Pluto at the Mutual Reception    

I’ll be posting the further adventures, dialogues and conflicts of these characters throughout 2015.  If you feel a strong resonance with one or more of these characters, it may be triggering your own birth chart.  To find out more, contact me for a full reading of your birth chart or look here.

To find out more about other astrological events happening in 2015, such as eclipses and pivotal days, see this:  Transits in the Year 2015.

The gorgeous woodcut-style planet icons on this page were created by Betelgeux.