Move Over Darth Vader
Saturn & Pluto in Mutual Reception
by Glenn Perry
On October 6th, 2012 Saturn ingressed into Scorpio where it will remain for the next two years. In the meantime, Pluto is in Capricorn until 2023. Since Pluto rules Scorpio and Saturn rules Capricorn, these two planets are occupying one another’s sign. In astrology, this is called a ‘mutual reception’ as each planet is the dispositor of the other. A dispositor is a planet that rules the sign that another planet occupies. Accordingly, when Saturn in Scorpio is stimulated, it activates Pluto in Capricorn, which, in turn, reactivates Saturn in a circular feedback loop, intensifying and escalating the exchange of energies over time.
To give you a picture of what this could look like in real life, imagine a market analyst studying the global financial system. As a consequence of his hard work and perseverance, he makes a startling discovery that changes his entire way of thinking about monetary fluctuations. This new knowledge leads to successful investments that net him substantial profits, which he funnels back into his company by hiring the best market analysts he can afford. Since their combined expertise is greater than his alone, this leads to yet new insights into the global financial system and even greater profits, which he again reinvests into his company. This cycle continues for two years, at the end of which he has grown a company that not only is exceedingly successful, but is a virtual powerhouse of cutting edge information on the current state of the economy.
In the above scenario, the relevant variables are combined in a working metaphorical model that captures the essence of the configuration. Saturn symbolizes a process of striving, improving, and mastering something over time. And since Scorpio rules the financial world (banking, the stock market, investments, and the like), Saturn in Scorpio suggests the gradual mastery of economic complexities. Although Scorpio has other connotations, too, including sex, death, and healing, I will limit myself to its financial associations for the sake of keeping things simple.
Pluto in Capricorn operates in a similar way. As the ruler of Scorpio, Pluto is concerned with economics and the world of finance. On a more abstract level, it symbolizes processes of transformation, renewal, and empowerment. Capricorn corresponds to the principle of contraction, hard work and perseverance, as well as large, hierarchical structures like governments. Since Capricorn both qualifies and receives the energy of Pluto, this suggests a period during which organizations are likely to be restructured and transformed into leaner, more efficient enterprises. Pluto, in effect, will work hard and persevere in its attempt to cleanse organizations—especially governments—of waste, corruption, and mismanagement.
Again, a dispositor rules the sign that another planet is in. Dispositorships show linkages between planets as well as the direction and sequence of their unfoldment. The disposed planet relies upon its dispositor to realize goals set in motion by its own actions. It follows that the dispositor acts in the service of the planet it disposes. When two planets are in mutual reception, their actions are interdependent, with each planet being both the reason for and the consequence of the actions of the other planet. The process is one of circular causality. In effect, they are locked in a continuous embrace that intensifies and deepens over time.
As to whether the relationship will be mutually fruitful, one must consider the nature of the angle between the respective signs. In this case, Scorpio and Capricorn are sextile (60 degrees) which suggests a relatively harmonious exchange of energies. Transiting the sign of Scorpio and being the faster of the two planets, Saturn is forming a closing sextile to Pluto in Capricorn. Aquarius is the sign that marks the last sixty degrees of the zodiacal cycle; thus, any closing sextile is an Aquarian angle since it marks the last sixty degrees in the synodic cycle of the two planets. This means that Saturn and Pluto’s relationship must be consecrated in the service of change, awakening, and liberation—core themes of Aquarius.1
To return to our earlier metaphor of the market analyst, recall that “he makes a startling discovery that changes his entire way of thinking about monetary fluctuations.” In this simple metaphor, we can glimpse how Saturn and Pluto might combine for the sake of Aquarian discovery and progress. Even while the focus of Saturn and Pluto is decidedly practical, having much to do with money and power, they are relating in a manner that can potentially lead to substantive reforms in an area of mutual interest. This can be for good or ill. The closing sextile merely says there is the potential for change and progress in domains ruled by the planets and signs involved. That it’s a mutual reception underscores that the outcome will be either very good, or very bad, for the behavior of the two planets is mutually reinforcing over time.
To illustrate this, consider (as another metaphor) the relationship of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader in Star Wars. Darth Sidious is the evil Sith Lord and the true, yet hidden, identity of Senator Palpatine, the seemingly benevolent father figure to young Anakin Skywalker. Ultimately, of course, Anakin is seduced by Palpatine into becoming his henchman, Darth Vader (Dark Father), whose awesome powers are perverted in the service of Palpatine’s final goal—transformation of the galaxy into a unified state under his absolute control. In other words, two Sith Lords—Darth Sidious and Darth Vader—team up to foment a dark revolution, Aquarian change for the sake of tyranny.
In this metaphor, Palpatine/Darth Sidious is Saturn in Scorpio, politician and Supreme Leader (Emperor) with decidedly scorpionic traits. Manipulative, cunning, and sinister, his intent is to use Vader to advance his evil ends. Darth Vader, of course, is Pluto in Capricorn, who employs his ruthless power to force the masses into submission to the Emperor. With Vader’s every success, Palpatine grows stronger and rewards his young protégé with new lessons in the art of evil, promising Vader that he will ultimately learn to control (Saturn) even death itself (Scorpio). Note how their relationship revolves around Saturn/Capricorn themes of fathers and governmental authority and Pluto/Scorpio themes of transformation, occult power, and death. Yet, their relationship is consecrated to an Aquarian (closing sextile) goal of fomenting change and revolution, albeit for a malevolent purpose.2
Returning to the real world, one can’t help but be reminded of the relationship between Ayotollah Ali Khamenei of Iran and his henchman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The cleric Khamenei is Supreme Leader and holds absolute power, whereas Ahmadinejad is president and political leader loyal to Khamenei. In this case, Khamenei is the dark, shadowy figure in the background, the plutonian puppet master who pulls the strings of government (Pluto in Capricorn), whereas Ahmadinejad is the political ‘face’ of Iran (Saturn in Scorpio) whose actions are faithful to Khamenei’s machinations.
In the service of advancing Iran’s Islamic Revolution, both have oppressed, tortured, and murdered Iranian citizens—dissidents and rebels—and have been roundly condemned by the international community. Perhaps more ominously, Iran’s persistent efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal may be in the service of their ultimate goal of global Islamic revolution toward a Universal Caliphate (world domination under Islam and Sharia Law). That the world appears to be headed for a showdown over Iran’s nuclear ambitions—a “red line” in the words of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu—adds further weight to the idea that Saturn and Pluto’s mutual reception is negatively embodied in the partnership of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.
There will doubtless be thousands of different expressions of Saturn/Pluto throughout the world, from the heights of global politics to the trenches of everyday business. Yet, all will be equally representative of the meaning symbolized by Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception. The advantage of speculating on outcomes is that each manifestation makes concrete the more abstract meaning of the configuration.
Since the sextile tends to be a harmonious aspect, I would be remiss if I did not speculate on positive manifestations as well. Again, these will most likely be evident within the political and economic spheres. We might anticipate, for instance, that if the Romney-Ryan ticket wins the upcoming U.S. presidential election there will be substantive reforms in government and finance that Republicans hope will jump-start the economy and increase jobs. If Obama wins the election, it is more difficult to see how things will change for the better, as it’s likely he will implement the same policies and strategies that were in place during his first term (see accompanying article on Archetypal Politics).
In fact, the mutual reception of Saturn and Pluto is a conservative’s dream, for the heavy Saturn/Capricorn emphasis suggests that financial decisions under governmental control will trend toward smaller and more limited government, fiscal discipline, tax cuts to stimulate business, a streamlining of business regulations, debt reduction, and a balanced budget. Note how the operative words smaller, limited, discipline, cuts, streamlining, and reduction are all Capricorn/Saturn terms applied to the Scorpio/Pluto world of finance. Equally, the heavy Scorpio/Pluto emphasis suggests that hierarchical organizations will be subject to a process of cleansing and renewal. Waste will be eliminated, corruption exposed, and organizations transformed in a manner conducive of greater integrity. In this case, the terms cleansing, renewal, elimination, exposure, transformation, and integrity all reflect Scorpio/Pluto processes as applied to the Capricorn/Saturn sphere of government. In effect, it’s quite possible that Saturn and Pluto will be working hand in hand to the mutual benefit of both the economy and government itself.
Not surprisingly, the above analysis of Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception is entirely consistent with the Romney-Ryan plan for reforming government. Romney is the virtual embodiment of Saturn in Scorpio—a genuine tycoon, former governor, and CEO with a reputation for restoring the financial health (Scorpio) of failed enterprises, from businesses on the brink to an Olympics rife with corruption and incompetence. In this regard, he appears to be uniquely qualified for tackling our current problems in government and the economy—high unemployment, low growth, a stubborn recession, deficit spending, ballooning national debt, and the general incompetence of the Obama administration. Ryan, on the other hand, is Pluto in Capricorn, an economics major in college that specialized in Austrian macroeconomic theory—free enterprise capitalism that stresses the importance of non-interference from government, lower taxes, and fiscal restraint—all bearing Capricorn’s signature. The closing (Aquarian) sextile is implicit in their joint efforts to change the direction of the country.
In picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney is implicitly backing Ryan’s budget proposals and ideas for reforming entitlements. Likewise, in accepting Romney’s invitation to be his vice-president, Ryan is implicitly backing Romney’s proposals for a leaner, less wasteful, and tighter organizational structure to government. Considered by many to have a brilliant mind and unique grasp of the financial system as a whole (he’s a Sun sign Aquarius), Ryan has been hailed as the Republican leader in efforts to transform government into a more fiscally responsible entity. As chairperson of the House Budget Committee, he has advanced one of the boldest and most detailed plans of any incumbent politician on either side of the aisle.
In his role as Saturn-in-Scorpio chief executive, Romney’s plan is to streamline government by cutting unnecessary programs that are not worth having to borrow money from China to maintain. He is also in favor of pruning burdensome and excessive federal regulations that discourage start-up companies. Further, he wants to lower taxes across the board to stimulate business expansion, as well as eliminate tax loopholes for the rich, both of which will increase tax revenues. Responsible drilling, mining, and extracting available energy resources (Scorpio penetration and assimilation) is yet another Romney/Saturn-in-Scorpio strategy for making the United States more economically secure. Finally, his promise to repeal Obamacare assures that entitlement expenditures will not further increase the national debt, while also assuring businesses they can move forward secure in the knowledge that federally mandated expansion of their company health plans will not drain resources that otherwise could be channeled into growth.
Again, Paul Ryan is the perfect complement to Romney. As Pluto-in-Capricorn financial wizard for the conservative cause, Ryan’s economic acumen empowers Romney’s pro-business version of smaller government. Likewise, Romney’s executive expertise supports Ryan’s plan to save Social Security, reform Medicare, and pre-empt a Greece-like debt crisis by balancing the budget now before it’s too late. Ryan compares deficit spending to a kind of cancer that is slowly destroying the body politic, and which only surgical cuts to out-of-control spending can heal. Note the obvious Scorpionic/Plutonian imagery—cancer, destroying, surgical cuts, heal.
It is perhaps prescient that Ryan warns the nation has approximately a two-year window to act, after which a debt crisis of the sort that crippled Greece is all but inevitable. Whether one believes their plan will work, there is no question it perfectly reflects the nature of the mutual reception that will unfold over the next two years.
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 This gets into aspect theory, the general rule of which is that an aspect derives its meaning from the nature of the sign that constitutes that angle in the natural zodiac. In turn, every zodiacal sign derives its meaning from the angle it forms to the vernal equinox. All meanings in astrology are essentially derived from angles that constitute phases of a whole (360 degree) cycle.
 There are many ways in astrology of saying the same thing—or, at least something similar. In George Lucas’ chart, he has Pluto forming an opposition to Moon in Aquarius in the 10th house. Thus, we have the Moon in the sign of Aquarius (the closing sextile) and in the house of Capricorn/Saturn (the 10th) with Pluto, ruler of Scorpio, opposing it. Accordingly, all the elements of the mutual reception we’ve been discussing are present, with the addition of the Moon.