We complete our astrology series with a survey of our solar system beyond Saturn. In prior issues, we have reviewed the planets known since antiquity, as they are visible to the unaided eye. A lineage of astrologers has devoted centuries to a complete interpretation of the visible planets as they apply to individual personality. With the advent of modern technologies, several more planets have been discovered in the past two-and-quarter centuries. If the ancient science of astrology had an individual fully understood through the visible planets, what is to be done with the modern ones in terms of an individual's natal chart? They are to be interpreted as transpersonal, or viewed in terms of how the individual relates to the whole of humanity.
Uranus revolves around the Sun once every 84 years, and as this cycle exceeds the average life span of a human being, the transpersonal nature of such planets is apparent. Discovered in 1781, when history saw the advent of a new form of government, representative democracy, be born in the United States and France, as well as many public institutions, Uranus represents societal evolution. In whatever sign Uranus is found in an individual's natal chart indicates the facet of life in which he/she may optimally contribute for the good of all. The planet averages 7 years per astrology sign, it reveals why you and your immediate age group typically have different ideas than those both a bit older and younger as to how one changes their society.
Neptune, discovered in 1846, paralleled the discovery of photography, which ultimately led to cinematography. The latter half of the nineteenth century also saw the beginning of the science of psychology. Therefore, this planet governs our inner and outer images, be they reality or illusions. Revolving around the Sun in 165 years, averaging 14 years per sign, an individual's inspired vision of the Ideal is typically shared with most of one's generation.
Pluto, discovered in 1930, preceded the discovery of atomic energy. Humanity's initial experiments with the atom brought about a device capable of blowing up the planet to "Kingdome Come". As such, Pluto represents life, death, and rebirth or "paradise lost" and regained. As Pluto takes about 250 years to revolve about the Sun, averaging 20 years per sign, it is the planet that points out the "gap" between generations.
The three planets all require many years to transit any given sign, so practically everyone born at the same relative time will have the same placements for these transpersonal planets. While this phenomena goes a long way in explaining why generations share common causes, how do we explain the obvious differences individuals of a similar generation have in the approach to such matters? The answer is in the 30 degrees that comprise an astrological sign. While two individuals, similar in age, may share the same planets in the same sign, they will likely have the placements in different degrees within the natal chart. The system for interpretation of the degrees comes from an ancient, yet unlikely, source.
The "I Ching", or "Book of Changes", is a divination system from ancient China, which has categorized all of life's many circumstances into 64 hexagrams, which are symbolic images of each fundamental situation. The 64 hexagrams are divided into two, yet interestingly enough, not equal parts; the first part is comprised of 30 hexagrams while the second part consists of 34. The analysis is that the first 30 depict fundamental natures, or archetypes, while the latter 34 concern themselves with archetypal relationships; in other words, 30 subjects with 34 ways of interacting. The 30 archetypes are perfectly suited to the 30 degrees of each sign and astrologically explain the differences each individual has within their generation in approaching life's great issues.
Finally, we come to the "planet" most recently discovered by astronomers and admitted by astrologers to the pantheon of planet/deities. Chiron, a body so small that some astronomers insist in calling it a "planetoid", was discovered in 1977. Revealed at the same time as the "New Age" movement got underway, Chiron represents natural, holistic wisdom. This newest astrological component is the only key required from one's natal chart in order to know the solution to the an important question for all Spirit-workers, who am I to the Spirit-community and how do I best serve it and my fellow human beings? Let us return one final time to the 12 astrology signs for our answers.
If Chiron is in Aries, you are a solitary trailblazer, attempting the untried and discovering a new way for others to follow. In Taurus, you are the tireless worker, steadily providing and sharing the bounty and blessings of life. In Gemini, you are the seeker, the perpetual student who learns many ways through life. In Cancer, you are the home-based nurturer, supporting and care-taking families and children. In Leo, you are the example, inspiring others through public display. In Virgo, you are the scientist, analyzing every little detail for the sake of accurate truth. In Libra, you are the diplomat, harmonizing both sides of an issue between contrasting social groups. In Scorpio, you are the lover, perpetuating the worthy by revitalizing it. In Sagittarius, you are the philosopher, the natural teacher of life's varied lessons. In Capricorn, you are the administrator, running the systems of government and business. In Aquarius, you are the friend, communicating the play of life to all. In Pisces, you are the faith healer, magically transmuting the "lead" of life into "gold".
In closing this astrological series, it is worth noting that the 20th century discoveries of Pluto, then Chiron, have been of planets with elliptical, rather than circular, orbits. More difficult to detect, astronomers speculate as to whether other planets in our solar system remain to be discovered. As a matter of fact, some have analyzed the orbital perturbations of the known outer planets and theorize a "planet x" beyond. If found, what does it bode for astrology? As we have seen with our other modern discoveries, WHEN it is found will have everything to do with what the new planet/deity will represent in our lives. Astrology, rather than being a fixed science, will continue to change as our reality, and we continue to change.