The First Transit of Uranus square to Pluto

Posted on June 27, 2012
Posted by Jim Sher


We have just gone through our first of seven transits of Uranus (Ur) square to Pluto (Pl). This transit occurred on Sunday, June 24th, at 1:14am PDT. Like most outer planet transits, this one will be active during the next three years and will likely affect us for several years after that.

One of the primary themes of this School is that transits that affect us are not regarded as separate from each other, are not individual events that stand isolated on their own. Instead, they are part of cycles that go through their own unique development according to the nature of the planets involved. This occurs regularly each month through the Moon cycle, which we refer to as the new Moon, the 1st-quarter Moon, the full Moon and the 3rd quarter Moon. Sometimes, I often break them down even further into 8 phases rather than only four.

When we begin to interpret much longer transits such as the Ur/Pl square, however, we must broaden our gaze enormously. These cycles last much longer than a person’s lifetime. For example, the Ur/Pl conjunction occurred between 1965-66 and it has taken 46 years or so for those two planets to move into being 90° apart, which is only ¼ of the total cycle. In other words, the total cycle lasts over 180 years. We can infer many things from this, but the most important for us today is to understand that any interpretation of this transit must be tentative. We can’t focus on single events because we aren’t able to know the broader meanings yet.

There is another factor that might be a bit harder to understand and therefore might not be part of a usual newsletter. It’s more of a topic that is best discussed in a lengthy seminar. But, it is necessary to go into lightly in order to clarify my point. The principle I am referring to is called – ‘enantiodromia.’ Although Carl Jung used this term often, its beginnings occurred back in Greek philosophy with the philosophy of Heraclitus. The term refers to the existence of an underlying balance and unity in all human and natural affairs. It posits the notion that when something in life reaches an extreme, it will, at some point, automatically ‘flip’ to its opposite. This principle implies that life is in constant movement between two sides of the same single set. By the way, we also find this principle as one of the foundations of Taoist thought and is operating in the I Ching as the movement between yin and yang.

I am mentioning this because it is my observation that human history and hopefully, evolution, can only be understood if we have this conceptual tool at our disposal. It explains why we often hear the expression ‘it has to get worse before it gets better.’ Another way to describe it is by realizing that people can only see and understand something when life situations become extreme. Whether we retain the awareness as generations go by, is another matter entirely.

The relevance of all this is that the lengthy outer planet cycles, such as the Ur/Pl transit, needs to be approached in a holistic way. If we focus our gaze on momentary events, we might miss the point of the cycle badly. In other words human beings really need to develop a broad, historical perspective. Without that, our vision is tiny. By the way, I am obviously not referring to the revisionist history that has become so popular today.

The First-Quarter Square

I need to go back to the 60’s before I can begin to describe the nature of the first-quarter square. The conjunction is like a new Moon, in that it begins a new cycle that will develop, in this case, for over 180 years. New beginnings are powerful, but tremendously wild and undeveloped. They must be because a new seed is planted that, at first, remains dark and unclear. Actually, a new Moon is not quite the time to start new ventures or make new dreams and goals. The new impulse has not yet developed far enough for us to know the nature of that new impulse. It needs time to develop further. Back in the 60’s all sorts of new dreams emerged and every realm of human experience was touched by this. New models in the fields of health and medicine, education, economics, race relations, gender issues, etc. came onto the scene and revolutionized nearly everything. Uranus and Pluto are radical, revolutionary forces that encourage us to be open to new paradigms and approaches hitherto not even considered.

BUT… it is also true that every new impulse is resisted and opposed. In the 60’s I watched many people hang back, observing in fear and even panic what they were seeing. Their response to new ideas was to tightly cling to the old traditions. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t entirely bad. When major new paradigms emerge, they are wild, not thought out at all, and to just blindly accept them is as crazy as to blindly reject them. There is a purpose to every force. Things were out of balance. My point is that the beginnings of the present conservative, traditional movement began in the 60’s too. During the last 40-50 years that conservative movement has slowly gained power, and we see it operating today. But, much of it is reactionary, meaning that it reacts to change rather than finding ways to make positive reform. This is INEVITABLE. It always happens like this.

So, where are we today as the first-quarter square begins? The general name given for this transit is ‘crisis of action.’ It creates conflict and challenges to the full emergence of the ‘seed’ that was planted back in the 60’s. Will it survive the onslaught of resistance that is now in its full power? That will be tested over the next 4-5 years. In the U.S., the political polarizations continue to increase as well as do the pushing of ever more extreme viewpoints. As I said earlier in the article, the more extreme positions are, the more likely it will turn in the opposite direction. It’s only a matter of time.


I do not regard politics as a sole indicator of this transit. It is just an aspect of it. Yes, it affects the political landscape of a nation, but we have to wait and see how the actual forces of this transit plays out. The reason for this is that the effects of the Ur/Pl square are that it will create paradigm shifts and politics reacts to these rather than creating them. Change moves from the bottom up, not the other way around. So, politics always reacts to things. What we can expect to see is increasing innovation and thinking in every spectrum of life, including economics, international relations, etc. What we have called the ‘Arab spring’ is certainly a significant part of this transit. There is a lot of fear about the unintended consequences of it, but the truth is we don’t know yet what will develop. In life, any feeling of uncertainty is usually met with fear, but those who want to grow and evolve know that that very same fear is our enemy. This is the key to understanding the nature of the Ur/Pl square. It is a kind of war between those who seek to move forward and those who fear it.

One more thing – terminology is one of the things that is most likely to change during a transit like this. The terms ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ are out of date, outworn concepts that should be replaced with new, more accurate words that truly describe what is going on in our world. This is just one example of how often we are likely to see terminology change to reflect the changes occurring in our world. I will be looking closely for the many ways in which the Ur/Pl square will be showing itself in the coming months. I wonder how my readers are experiencing this transit so far.



Astrology Pluto Uranus
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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10 responses to “The First Transit of Uranus square to Pluto”

  1. Jim Sher says:

    I have spoken to several attorneys about thier view of Chief Justice Roberts decision to go against what had been the conservative majority and they also felt that his motivations were what you have expressed here. What this means for future Court decisions is unknown. Will this trend continue of was the Chief Justice’s decision a one act show? We don’t know yet.

  2.' Isabelle Flaherty says:

    You have presented such interesting and thought-provoking ideas. I was recently struck by two aspects of the political scene and now feel they reflect the concept you raised of enantiomodria. Let me preface my statements by asserting that I have no intent to offend anyone with different political views; rather I am just setting forth my opinions for the purpose of thought and discussion–not as the only way to view what I discuss. First in the context of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Health Care Law almost completely. I feel the fact that Chief Justice Roberts chose to join the liberal justices on the court to uphold the law to me shows the he was finally forced to restrain the strenuously leaning to the right of the Court under his leadership. My belief is that the Court and Republican politicians and media have also gone to far. Even Roberts felt it and, I believe, and in his position as Chief Justice, his idea of his own legacy and his hoped for continued credibility of the Court compelled him to uphold the law despite conservative doctrine because to do otherwise would be to be viewed harshly by history, even if he would have preferred not to do so. Granted he upheld it as a tax not as would be more logical and traditional by way of the Commerce Clause (this I think being a bone to the Republicans who will view that distinction as limiting “big government). Similarly, I feel candidate Romney’s pretzeling (if I might coin a new verb) about the health care law and his stated intent to attempt to repeal it as soon as he might be president, given that he was the author of the successful and similar law in his home state of MA is another place of enantiomodria because his repeated reversals (this being a glaring one of many) transform him from actual potential candidate to and evicerated, discredited, empty paper poster of a man. He has simply pushed reversing himself without apology too far. I could go on to discuss that same sense in various ways in my personal life but I think I have said enough for now 🙂

  3.' Kerkernow says:

    I have also personally noticed emotional upheaval. I know we should look at where Uranus and Pluto fall in our charts to see how it would affect us personally but I am wondering what would be the effect on someone whose Sun and Moon, ie. the most personal planets, are ruled by Uranus and Pluto (me! with Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Scorpio)? I am in one of the most difficult phases of a difficult life where almost everything is insecure and/or up in the air – at the grand old age of 52 when surely I should be settled and secure in my earlyish dotage?!

  4.' Carol says:

    I am also speaking from a personal point of view, although, I am quite aware of the political issues. I am thrilled to say the Supreme Court held up the health care insurance program. I was born with my sun 5 degrees in the first house. My initial experience is increased confidence. I have not been appreciated for my contributions in the past, 54 years of it. Looking forward to a future with more freedom and appreciation also. Uranus is in my third house, yeah, a dream come true.

  5.' Joanne Bracken says:

    From a personal standpoint, I notice lots of emotional upheaval and a very strong desire to “break free.” I have been living in a situation that is just no longer healthy for me, and I have a big, inner push to move on! I can hear Mel Gibson, as Braveheart, resounding in my head: “FREEDOM!!!!!” I am now seeing and moving away from what no longer works in my highest interest.

  6.' mary beth says:

    this is by far the best article on the pluto/uranus transit i have seen. there is always the urge to apply a transit immediately to a current fixation or issue. realising that we are in process and that we need to step back and read our current path in terms of the whole journey seems obvious & logical – when someone *reminds* you to do it.

  7. Jim Sher says:

    Yes, their discovery has brought these archetypal forces into the consciousness of humanity. But, it seems to me that it will take quite a bit of time before these forces will manifest poitively for the majority of people.

  8.' Sandra says:

    Excellent info and points made, Jim. I have noticed that the newness is always met with a backlash — e.g. rock and roll which was banned in places and now it’s a golden oldie. . . the shifts in basic attitudes and laws about marriage, pregnancy, and out-of wedlock babies. The whole ground has shifted and you are right, the politics do reflect the prevailing attitudes. Obviously these two planets have been going through their cycles long before man arrived on the scene, but would you say that the discovery of them has brought the cycles into conscious awareness?

  9.' Sue says:

    Interesting about terminology changing. I have watched how civil “rights” has been turned into a negative term…”entitlements”. Corporations now have ‘rights’ and people are demonized for wanting ‘entitlements.’ What a bloody disgrace our country has become politically speaking!

  10.' Chris says:

    Great post Jim.

    It’s very interesting that you talk about enantiodromia because statistics and economics have their own term for this concept that they call “reversion to the mean”.

    Anytime a market or statistical data point gets to far above or below the average there is a natural tendency for it to revert back to its statistical mean.

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