Easter is the oldest and most significant festival in the Christian calendar. Its themes of loss and renewal speak in some way to everyone, whatever their faith (if any). It’s not all chocolate and bunnies.
What is the current Capricorn-heavy sky, with Chiron right at the end of Pisces about, and how does that connect to Easter themes?
The stories of nun turned politician Arlene Violet and forensic anthropologist Sue Black colourfully illustrate some approaches to dealing with endings and starting over.
The Sky above
Three ‘tough guy’ planets are currently in Capricorn: Pluto, Saturn and Mars. Chiron is at the last degree of the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, for the first time since the 1960s.
It’s time to get serious about so-called ‘real’ life, as governed by Capricorn. Business, politics and societal institutions are all part of Capricorn’s domain.
Tangible reality demands our attention on a personal level through money issues, how people really are (versus how we would like them to be), and the limits of the human body itself.
Chiron’s position at the end of the zodiac in Pisces represents the ending of an era. It’s a spiritual crisis. This year and early next is a time to let go of some of what we believe in to make way for something new.
Exercising Power For The Greater Good
Pluto in Capricorn
26th January 2008 – 20th January 2024
Pluto made his presence felt on arrival in Capricorn with the 2008 banking crisis. He continues bulldozing his way through the sign to dismantle outworn institutions.
The world has been slowly and necessarily falling apart at the seams for some time. Pluto is creating space for more life-affirming power structures to eventually replace what’s no longer useful.
The very foundations on which 'life as we know it' stands is under threat. Is it any wonder so many people resort to primal instincts when they feel their very survival is at stake?
Pluto attunes us to our uncivilised, animal core. Still, in classy Capricorn, we can choose to respond with maturity, integrity and patience. That's a tall order for raging, pained creatures.
This long, seismic rearrangement of global relations includes how we individually exercise power in our own spheres of influence. How do our personal choices contribute (or not) to a better new world order?
Pluto takes 248 years to traverse the zodiac. This huge cycle underpins other shorter planetary cycles, including those of Saturn and Mars. Their demands are more manageable for ordinary humans.
Keeping On Keeping On
Saturn in Capricorn
20th December 2017 – 16th December 2020
Now that Saturn is back in his home sign (and then in Aquarius, his other home, for another 3 years), it’s easier – and required – that you set goals and a plan of action for the long term.
This first year is to laying the foundations for the achievements you want to celebrate at the end 2020 and beyond. Wherever Capricorn is in your chart is where success awaits you – if you do the work.
Rewards have to be earned with Saturn. Keep going even when you’re exhausted, feel thwarted or just bored. The satisfaction and respect you’ll eventually gain make it all worthwhile.
Slogging away can be a drag. Maybe it’s easier to just not do what you have to do? Then again, it can be truly exhilarating to invest with focus in a clearly defined outcome. You get to choose.
Either way, it’s not a quick win given the 3 year timeline. Establish healthy boundaries to focus only on what matters, and to conserve your juice. Take scheduled breaks along the way to replenish yourself.
Remember to act with integrity to do your bit for healthier power relations as per Pluto in Capricorn. The ends do not always justify the means. As Facebook and others are beginning to discover.
Directing and StabilisinG Energy
Mars in Capricorn
17th March 2018 – 10th September 2018
Saturn’s three year stay in Capricorn is easier to get your head around than Pluto’s much longer passage, but action planet Mars’ multi-month pit stop is even more doable.
Mars is all about doing. Capricorn is results. It’s a match made in heaven. Mars is on top form in this sign. Disciplined application of energy yields gratifying, excellent consequences.
With Mars (and Pluto) in Capricorn, get directly down to business. It’s an energising and transformative time. Mars and Pluto co-rule ‘revamp from the inside out’ Scorpio.
Tomorrow, 2nd April 2018, is a moment of crystallisation as both Mars and Saturn meet at 8° Capricorn. What have you been working on that is finally coming together? Is it more ‘real’ now?
If you're struggling to get your act together, or have veered off track, use this time to renew your focus on what you really want to achieve, and how you’ll do it. Ditch the rest.
Capricorn is slow and steady. It’s the best way to get things right. Moving too fast? You’ll be slowed down – or even briefly blocked – to recalibrate your route to your destination.
The Cross We All Have To Bear
Chiron in Pisces
20th April 2010 – 18th February 2019
Wherever Chiron is in your chart is where the pain never budges. Despite huge strides in other areas of life, that particular spot aches. It’s the cross we bear as human beings.
The sheer ‘stuckness’ of the pain often leads to self-pity, rage and cruelty towards those perceived as responsible for it. Ultimately, it’s no-one’s fault. Life is just unfair.
The ache also leads some people to cultivate immense self-compassion, and a capacity to help those who share a similar brand of hurt with extra strong kindness and empathy.
Chiron has a 50 years cycle, and is currently at 29° Pisces, the crisis degree. Pisces is about surrender to something beyond the known. Now it’s imperative to let go. This can entail reconnecting to the pain.
Formal religion, spiritual retreat, (non-)prescription drugs, art, prison and hospital are common Piscean escapes from 'real life'. We all need time out on Planet Earth. Even workaholic Capricorns!
Chiron's position symbolises a collective submission. What are you letting go of? How can you do so in a way that serves you, and others – and so that you can return to, and function in, Capricorn’s world?
Endings can hurt. Perhaps it’s the only way to truly appreciate what you had and what still remains with you. Even through you are, of course, also being reminded that eventually you too will pass.
Arlene Violet, Nun and Politician
Arlene Violet worked out what to let go of (Chiron in Pisces) to be a more useful member of her community. She was the first ever US Female State Attorney General, in Rhode Island (Mars, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn). Before that, she was a nun for 23 years.
In 1961, when Chiron entered Pisces, Arlene decided to join the Sisters of Mercy. Their mantra was ‘to respond to unmet need’. She expected to get kicked out of the convent after a month but entered anyway to avoid missing out on a place in heaven. And she could not ignore her growing sense of vocation.
Besides, the nuns were the best social activists in town from what Arlene witnessed. She swapped her swinging sixties wardrobe for a habit, and wore it to anti-Vietnam war protests. She then applied to law school to be able to secure rights for her poor neighbours. She loved it. Arlene even sued a bishop once.
On her decision to run for political office: ‘I thought it was a nun-like thing to do, to go after organised crime’. The unmet need was to get rid of the mob and the drug dealers controlling the streets and to take back the neighbourhood. To take office, she had to leave the convent. It was a tough call.
‘For me it was a choice between the reality of the commitment of being a Sister of Mercy…or I could walk away from the challenge and keep the title, the charisma of that order. So, as painful as it was, I tried to aspire to the reality of the commitment.’
Her mission was to prosecute the main mob players, and to dismantle the Columbian drug shipping cartel. She sent 18 top criminals to jail. Arlene was not re-elected two years later. Life as a nun taught her ‘you do what you have to do when you have to do it. If life deals you a hand you weren’t expecting, just move on.’
After leaving political life, Arlene took on private clients, worked as a radio host…and took to the stage in the musical ‘Nunsense’. Her performance was rewarded with a standing ovation. Arlene also penned her own show about mob life. ‘I love my life. I wouldn’t change the trajectory. Things happen and you adjust.’