Capricorn Kaput? Re-dreaming authority

arianrhodWhen the Grandmothers from the four directions come to speak, a new time is coming.”

It is amazing to my ears to hear discussions of patriarchy being aired in mainstream culture: for so many years these were confined to ‘radical feminism’! The generalised denigration and abuse of women was just the way it was. And then Jupiter went into Scorpio and Weinstein came tumbling down. Scorpio’s ruler, Pluto (dispositing Jupiter in Scorpio), has been travelling through Capricorn since 2008 and is at the bottom of this unravelling of the fabric of power and of a certain register of Capricorn that is right at the forefront of our collective mind at the moment: authoritarian, patriarchal, status-seeking, exploitative and ruthlessly materialistic.

Pluto’s journey through Capricorn is taking a demolition ball to defunct expressions of the sign’s energy. And as Capricorn rules the structures, traditions, conventions and systems of authority and governance that bring order at the physical, social and political levels of our lives (e.g. public life, the ‘apparent world’) Pluto’s work is literally making headlines as it dismantles obsolete expressions of Capricorn. Plutonic energy expels toxicity from any system, and so it is currently exposing abuses of power and status, and all the associated rottenness of that.

But of course, there are many registers to our experience, and they express a variety of ways in which we may potentially receive and understand experience. We need now to be alert to a different register of Capricorn, one stripped of its patriarchal overlay. There’s an urgent need to re-dream Capricorn. The sign belongs to the Earth element, always associated with ‘feminine’ energy (downward moving, grounded and receptive). Earth is definitively about nourishment, support and sustainability. Pluto’s exposure of Capricorn’s shadow simultaneously unveils its more life-affirming underlying archetype, which is that all life depends on relationship with Gaia, planet Earth. While our connection to the planetary body in general and to place or land in particular may seem remote to many it is, as it always was, fundamental to survival. Our understanding of this connection now stands in need of renovation – it needs to become conscious, lived and felt. Or, more simply, honoured.

Right now Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn (turbo-charged in its own sign) is, like Pluto, travelling through Capricorn, moving inexorably towards 2020 when they will meet. It is 500 years since they last met here and this time signifies the powerful seeding of a massive new cycle of growth. There will be three major planetary conjunctions in 2020, two of them in Capricorn (Saturn–Pluto and Jupiter–Pluto). We are now living through the falling away of old cycles, a hiatus before the beginning of the new; this is a powerful time for establishing a new resonance with which to work and focus intent. And during 2018, as Jupiter sextiles Pluto from Scorpio, there is great assistance to do just that (as expressed, for example, by the #metoo movement) and to alter the register of our experience; but we have to do the work of re-dreaming Capricorn.

Pluto is creating space for a more authentic order of authority to be established, and it is this resonance of Capricorn that we need to identify now. The energy of Capricorn, being earthy and retracted, belongs to the land. The indigenous traditions of our island home in Britain have been harshly and systematically interrupted, but the wisdom (or dream) they grew out of still exists within the land and within our bones; it may not be in our habit to relate to it, but this wisdom is accessible through ritual and meditative connection. Capricorn has become identified with the ‘power over’ model of human relations and with the very force of authority that seeks to interrupt indigenous authority/wisdom/connection and this is what is falling away now as the glamours of ‘power over’ and of human separation from the body of the Earth begin to dissipate under Pluto’s spell.

Some astrologers in North America engaged in finding a new resonance for Capricorn are calling it the Circle of Grandmothers, referring to a Native American prophecy, “When the Grandmothers from the four directions come to speak, a new time is coming.” The Circle of Grandmothers ‘are the teachers looking back at the previous seven generations, gleaning knowledge about what has worked and what hasn’t, informing them as to what is needed in the present to sustain the next seven generations’ (Holly Alexander). Old age and its wisdom are under the rulership of Capricorn, and the authoritative place of wise elder women in first-nation cultures suggests a corrective to our youth-loving, male-dominated authority structures. There is a desperate need for a reinstatement of eldership in our communities.

In British mythology an archetype associated with the authority of cosmic order is the goddess Arianrhod, one of the great mothers named in the Mabinogian, where her story is one of being tricked into giving her power to her son by stealth. The Mabinogian stories are renditions of ancient myths recorded in patriarchal times, narrating the very passing of feminine power to masculine agency. Silver-circled Arianrhod is a celestial goddess whose cloak of stars is the celestial sphere, turning and turning around her as she, like an axis, holds heaven and earth in right relationship. Her heavenly spiralling energy is found at the core of all forms, evident in bone, seashell, DNA. She is both very distant and inmost: most remote and most intimately known, as confirmed by the Law of Correspondence. This axial feminine archetype brings us a sense of connection, an order of being, that exists between starry lives and our own embodied human existence. She holds together distant star and the shape of the human hand painted on the rocky wall of a cave, and declares their necessary relationship, even their interdependence.

As a great mother of the starry heavens connecting the most distant with the inmost, Arianrhod resolves the polarity of Capricorn and Cancer. Arianrhod’s dark and holding night surrounds us with powerful, fruitful gentleness, in a place of umbilical connection and safety. Nourishment by the mother in Cancer and empowerment by the father in Capricorn are not in reality separate experiences but part of an archetypal human wholeness. Both communicate that we are securely and lovingly held, in inner and outer life. There is no need for fear. Indeed, fear belongs to the misapprehension that we are alone, disconnected, separate. The womb-like wintry darkness of Capricorn can be hard for the personality to handle. Not knowing, not seeing the way, no growth being evident are troublesome for us when we are disconnected and out of touch with support; but when we connect with trust to all that holds us, the mystery of the dark is beautiful and richly nourishing, the seeding space deeply valuable. And this is where we are right now.

In this darkness we can either freak out or seek connection with that axial power that holds the worlds together! This power holds us in right relationship with the worlds, each other and all our relations, past, present and future. It is in this place that we must now patiently work with our connection to Gaia, to initiate modes of authority that serve the whole circle of life.

Astrology Circle (working with meditation, sound and ritual) timed to coincide with Jupiter’s second sextile to Pluto will take place on Sunday 15th April in Ashburton, South Devon.  Please contact me if this interests you.




Fomenting Possibility

Winter Solstice, 21st December 2017, 16:29

There is power in silence.

At Solstice, the midpoint between the Sun and the young Moon is occupied by the ruler of the underworld, Pluto, marking this time of darkness and peace with a charge of depth and power. The dark nourishes and replenishes all of life, readying us for a new season of growth and expression. Great potential lies in the deep tranquillity this moment offers.

The spirit of any time is created by a field of resonance. This is a musical chord that causes everything that vibrates at that frequency to sing. The vibrational frequency that pertains at any one time conditions (rather than determines) what is imagined, experienced, perceived, thought and done in that time. In this process moments arise that are openings into new territory, and astrology, the complex language of energy patterns in time, provides a sense of where and when these openings are and what opportunities might be found as we travel into the new.

In early October Jupiter’s entry into Scorpio marked such an opening, offering a very different way of experiencing Pluto’s renovation of Capricorn, which has, since 2008, been relentless in its revelation of the toxicity and corruption at the heart of our structures and systems of authority. Jupiter’s movement into Scorpio – ruled by Pluto – brought that archetype’s concern with protection, benevolence and justice into our experience of societal corruption. The revelations that followed in the wake of the Weinstein scandal may have come as a devastating surprise to some, but were not news to most women. The only surprise was that suddenly – after lifetimes – sexual predation and abuse of power through sexuality was being seen as “NOT OK!” Pluto and Scorpio rule sexuality and power; Jupiter is illuminating plutonic vileness but in a helpful way, enabled by the resonance created by being in Pluto’s sign.

Furthermore, as Saturn (ruler of Capricorn, the sign Pluto currently occupies) has been travelling through Jupiter’s sign of Sagittarius, Jupiter’s entry into Scorpio put all three planets into a strong energetic relationship with each other: they all disposit each other. This represents an opportunity for conscious recalibration which we can see reflected in the example of Weinstein and the #me too response. That door is about to close as Saturn changes sign.

On 20th December, 36 hours before the Solstice moment, Saturn will come home. It moves into its own sign, Capricorn, where it will edge slowly towards a major astrological moment: its conjunction with Pluto in January 2020. We have had no major planetary conjunctions since 2011: the longest period of quietude since at least 1900. In 2020 we will have three! JupiterSaturn, Jupiter–Pluto and SaturnPluto. JupiterPluto and SaturnPluto will be in Capricorn; JupiterSaturn will occur on 0° Aquarius (note this degree!) Given the energetic relationship between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto this autumn, we can see this time as a foreshadowing, a gathering of force for these major conjunctions to come in 2020.

At the time of this year’s Winter Solstice all planetary energies (except Neptune in Pisces) will be pouring (by disposition) into Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn is home and ready to build, manifest and give form to what we will. Capricorn may be the sign of authoritarianism, materialism and avarice, but it’s also the sign of spiritual aspiration and Initiation – tune into the level that you would like to manifest in your life, but please spare a thought for the rest of us; look unto the seventh generation, if you would! Saturn in Capricorn brings the possibility of great steadiness, endurance and self-discipline; now is the time to garner the forces of the will to manifest new structures and forms of governance, individually and collectively. What authority do we wish to honour and live by? We’ve had time to think about it; now it’s time to commit.

At the Solstice all planets fall within 167° of the zodiac, leaving 193° wide open and empty. The midpoint of planetary activity is 0° Aquarius (remember?), site of the coming JupiterSaturn conjunction. This gathering of planetary heft suggests the tightening of a bowstring and a taking aim into the other half of the zodiac where the warmth and caring connection associated with Cancer, and the joyful creative expression of Leo are indicated as crucial qualities to guide the will at this time and as we head towards 2020.

And let’s not forget that the Solstice is created by the movement of our life-giving Sun, our guiding star, into its midnight place. This year it is accompanied by Venus and Saturn (which shares the Solstice degree); exuberance and expenditure are chilled and stilled, replaced by the wish for something more serious, like real connection. With care and joy, take the time to go deep and connect; know what it is that you will. There is power in the stillness and silence of this time.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

Gathering Force

Spring Equinox

20th March 2017 10:30

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower…” Dylan Thomas


The global experience of Spring Equinox is the balance of the forces of Day and Night in all places across the Earth. Our whole planet is similarly affected, and all its denizens. Light and warmth are the forces of growth, emergence and awakening. In the northern hemisphere now, the Sun is on the horizon, its rays illuminating and warming the land. We see plantlife responding to the waxing Sun in a greening of our lands. New life is everywhere manifesting, and this renewal and burgeoning of growth is happening at every level of our experience, seen and unseen.

We can think of the annual cycle of the Sun as a Greater Day: the Winter Solstice was midnight, the seeding moment; the Summer Solstice is the noon of the year, time of culmination. Here and now, in Aries, we are at the daybreak of the whole year. Light is the signal to “WAKE UP!” Time to get up and get going. Aries brings a dynamic directional energy, a huge drive towards activity, self-actualisation and manifestation. That energy is moving through us now whether we know what we are about or not. If we are living without a sense of purpose and direction the awakening energy of Aries might feel disruptive or exhausting, as it pulls us out of passivity and torpor into activity and wakefulness.

We need acute mindfulness at this time of such questions as:-

What is my purpose?

What serves my purpose?

What am I doing now?

What are my next steps?

That is to say: what am I all about, where am I heading and how can I channel this new energy of awakening in a constructive way?

Failure to address these questions can mean that we have dynamic force moving through our lives without it being channelled and directed, which is, at best, wasteful, and, at worst, random, chaotic and pointless. We can observe how this outflow of force manifests in the natural world: in the swell and break of sprouting seeds, in budburst and regrowth of ground cover, in nest building, warming of air, land and sea, and in new birth. Humans are, of course, integrally a part of nature; but paradoxically we are set apart: we have free will. We choose how and when and what we do. We are subject to doubt, anxiety, loss of faith and willpower. We are prone to waiting for a sign from the external world in order to be galvanised into activity. We are undermined by the fracture lines in our attention, our difficulty in holding intent: we are dealing with chronic levels of distraction, which holds us in its grip like a kind of cultural dementia.

The powerful directional force of Aries manifests in humans as the will to be and to do: it is about our effectiveness. Our world sorely needs free and effective agents to challenge injustices, to resist the mire of conformity and to fight for values that sustain the wellbeing of life forces on our planet. To find our effectiveness is to find out our unique purpose and gather the forces of the will to serve it. Just as the brilliant renewal of spring has its beginnings in the inauspicious chill and gloom of winter, so must we gather the forces of our will in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. We cannot afford to wait or to retreat the truth and purpose of our souls even if we feel overwhelmed or undervalued or whatever our personal line of least resistance is. The time is now!

Our dilemma is how to empower intent, how to renew commitment when it fails, as inevitably it will, and how to raise our sights above and beyond the seductions and distractions of a culture that is steadily reducing us to passivity and disconnection. We have to remember who we are: timeless spiritual beings having incredibly precious, hard-won, Earthwalk lives. Our opportunity is invaluable, but we can only take hold of it through deep and continued deployment of the will. It is for us, step by step, to steer towards purposeful living, better use of time and attention, our own higher goals, reconnection with wider communities of being.

The planetary principle of the Earth is manifestation. It is here on Earth that the refined energies of spirit, thought and emotion are cloaked in form and take on physical characteristics – our bodies and the events and circumstances of our lives; reality, if you like. How things get embodied in our lives is a reflection, an index, of all that is arising at unseen levels. Impulses, ideas, thoughts and feelings come eventually (if held on to) in to physical manifestation in our lives. Our thoughts and feelings are very powerful then: we become them, we give them birth in the manifest world. This power is ours, all the time, in every moment; we can foster a sense of our great capacity as free human beings (at another level, as multidimensional, timeless beings) or we can become avatars in some useless game that we give ourselves to through lack of awareness and lack of willpower.

The challenge of Aries and of this time is to develop and guide the will: to gather forces. To root ourselves in the manifest reality of physical life is crucial to Aries’ project, because the will is about our being and doing in the world. We gather force in order to act effectively. This Spring Equinox is striking the note of grounded and embodied action strongly, for Mars, ruler of the Equinox dawn, is in Taurus. Taurus pertains to physical sensation and the experience of the body. Mars here is urging a venting of physical force. The more we are grounded and living in our bodies, engaging with present realities, the more effective and useful our actions and the less likely we are to encounter aggression and hostility in ourselves or around us.

Our experience more widely is of a shift in the paradigm of authority and governance; we are seeing radical change in our political conventions and structures. A new model of authority and responsibility is sought in the unpleasant, toxic remains of traditional forms. Many people are taking autonomous action outside of the usual realm of political discourse and change: all kinds of new constituencies are arising as people make new associations with each other, deciding just to get on with what needs doing in their locality. This is in keeping with the spirit of the times, heralded somewhat, I hate to mention it, by David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ theme.

We currently have Pluto in Capricorn (going through our establishment with a wrecking ball), disposited by Saturn in Sagittarius (the structure/status quo negotiating foreign relations), disposited by Jupiter in Libra, seeking the wisdom of the middle way, the way between extremes. Jupiter is calling us to explore compromise, working through the principle of balance and groundedness. Find the meaning in this situation, it urges, see the underlying principles at work here; transform the energy of crisis into the energy of opportunity. Our response to the drastic work of Pluto is that the whole thing is coming down on our heads, as Pluto continues to root out traces of sepsis in our political body, indifferent to how widespread, ugly or painful its activity may prove to be. We are likely to be emotionally triggered, hence the importance again of finding the ground.

At the same time, Uranus, in the sign of Aries, is liberating personhood, urging us towards autonomy and entirely new notions of human subjectivity; the digital human or the spiritually conscious human, both avatars of sorts. War, tumult and technological revolution are just one level of Uranus’ potential outworking. We can also see its energy as liberating qualities of soul and intuition that serve to transform notions of human presence and effectiveness in very different ways. It is for us to choose the level to which we respond.

The particular gift of this Spring Equinox is that it is pushing us into an awareness of the physical world that needs us, our rootedness in the energies of the Earth are crucial to all evolutions.

I feel that all the stars shine in me.

The world breaks into my life like a flood.

The flowers blossom in my body.

All the youthfulness of land and

water smokes like an incense in my

heart; and the breath of all things plays

on my thoughts as on a flute.

~ Tagore

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

“For staying is nowhere.”

Winter Solstice     21st December 2016     10:45

Is it not time, that in loving,

we freed ourselves from the loved one, and, quivering, endured:

as the arrow endures the string, to become, in the gathering outleap

something more than itself?  For staying is nowhere.

Rilke, First Duino Elegy


The Winter Solstice is defined by the Sun’s entry into Saturn-ruled Capricorn.  Saturn is the signifier of the descent into the darkest time, when energies are most contracted.  Leaves have dried and fallen as earth energies have been withdrawing; slowly the colours of growth and freshness have faded and we are now seeing the beautiful, subtle hues of the mute midwinter palette.  This is an apparent point of stasis.  And yet there is activity – amongst the roots and around the seeds: the new cycle of growth that will burgeon into being in spring is now being cultivated in chill and darkness.  This is the time of clarifying intention and conditioning  the many aspects of the new cycle of becoming that lies ahead. Continue reading “For staying is nowhere.”