Uranus in Aries began a four-year cycle of a challenging square to Pluto and Capricorn this summer when the two came within one degree of an exact alignment. Squares are 90 degree aspects between two planets that create friction and conflict which builds to a crisis point that demands some kind of resolution. Consequently, square aspects can often be found in times of great change. Uranus rules sudden change that is revolutionary in nature, and Pluto rules transformation and the death of old ways that no longer fit the needs of society so you can see where the two in conflict would create a few hiccups on the road of life.
Much has been said, in these pages and elsewhere, comparing this current time to the 1960s when Uranus and Pluto conjoined in Virgo, breaking apart the conservative mores of the 1950s and fostering revolution in many different arenas: on college campuses, in black power, the feminist revolution, a new way of looking at mental illness, and so many more. But what about earlier times of Uranus/Pluto stress?
Uranus and Pluto were square each other between 1932 and 1934, although the aspect began to culminate as early as 1930. 1930 was the year of Pluto’s discovery and is often linked to the invention of the atomic bomb which is a symbol of Pluto’s devastating power to destroy and rebuild. This period between 1932 and 1934 marked the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany and the sweeping reforms by President Franklin D Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. At the time Pluto was in Cancer and Uranus in Aries as it is now. Uranus in Aries is associated with warfare and individual expression, and Pluto in Cancer is all about the motherland and the family. You can see how clashes between these two resulted in some very disturbing events during this period.
The next earliest challenging contact between Uranus and Pluto occurred between 1901 and1903, although the planets began to align as early as 1899 just after the instigation of the Spanish-American War and were within range throughout 1905. Pluto in Gemini opposed Uranus in Sagittarius, a period which marked a tremendous expansion of revolutionary ideas and technological invention. This was the period of the Boxer Rebellion in China, a nationalist uprising against foreign influence in that country. But this was a highly creative time in world industry and technology, with the first automobile company (Ford) incorporating and the inaugural flight of the Wright Brothers. Oppositions create tension, but they do not typically create the kind of major conflict of the squares. Oppositions require balance between two polarities and in this case the polarity was Gemini and Sagittarius which is one of the easier polarities to balance.
And going all the way back to the period between 1875 and 1878 when Uranus was in and Pluto was in, we see the passage of the first Civil Rights act in 1875 (later overturned) and the heating up of the battle against the Native Americans who were removed from their land during this period and forced onto reservations. The iconic “Battle of Little Big Horn” took place during this period and again we had a surge of new technology including the telephone and phonograph record. At the time Uranus in Leo was in a square to Pluto in Taurus, both fixed signs that create a bigger buildup of tension as the conflicting energies collide.
This brief history demonstrates that during these Uranus/Pluto periods change is not felt the same way in every corner of the world.