by Marilyn J Muir, LPMAFA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
I do not know if you have noticed, but the rights of women and families seem to be a high priority in U.S. politics at the moment. There appears to be an onslaught of rolling-back-the-clock legislation across the country with state legislatures enacting all sorts of restrictions on family planning, birth control, women’s health, invasive pelvic procedures, abortion, the rights of an embryonic life form, rape – you name it, it is happening. Such state attention is being paralleled by multiple federal congressional abortion bills, personhood attempts and limiting women’s health care access. Why? Why is there such a drive to repeal the hard-won rights of women and families? Why is there such a battle between revisiting the past and moving into the future? Why is there such a polarization between the sides of the issues? Why such extreme, such invasive and such punitive measures? What is happening astrologically that would help us understand today’s issues?
Polarization Astrologically, it is not difficult to remember the recent Saturn/Uranus opposition in Virgo/Pisces that seems to have set this current polarization in motion. Just because the aspect itself is completed does not mean the lessons are complete. Think of percolating a pot of coffee – the process is not finished with the boiling of the water. That is the energizing part, the actual aspect. The potential coffee has to percolate through the grounds before it becomes drinkable as coffee. The energy released by the aspect has to percolate through human experience before we are able to define its effects. It has to become coffee. That Saturn/Uranus opposition was a long aspect even if you counted only the perfect hits. But we all know about orb. The surrounding effects lasted over a very long period and the aspect itself even moved into Libra/Aries to add flavor and complicate any attempt at reading. This aspect is still brewing the coffee years later.
Saturn represents tradition, conservative behavior, responsibility, form and structure. Uranus represents the cutting edge, the forward motion of life called evolution, the breakthrough energy, the new. We are creatures of habit, we resist change, but evolution itself is a progressive, forward motion. To move backward is to devolve, not anything we should wish to do. If we as a species devolve, we will become a footnote in history instead of a driving force of nature itself. Think about this.
Extremism What about the current Uranus square Pluto that seems to be wreaking havoc in our world. Wars, rumors of wars, and extremism of all types. Every type of human foible seems to be center stage, and this is not going to go away quickly just because it is uncomfortable for us. This aspect still has time to trigger all sorts of difficult experiences. The aspect’s energy is still in the active stage and then there is the ever-present orb. Ultimately, we will get to sort through these experiences to turn it into coffee.
Such major energies are universal in nature and our small planet spins continually under and through those energies, constantly absorbing and experiencing what those energies provoke. This is a given, a common factor to all life on this planet.
What is there astrologically that points to the women’s/families’ conflict in particular? We need a base natal chart, so I went searching through history!
Women’s Issues The first relatively modern activation for the women’s movement, and there were other attempts through history, appears to be the first conference on Women’s Rights held in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19, 1848 and the Wikipedia article actually gives a reference to 10:00 AM LMT. Try to imagine my shock when I saw the date 1848 because I knew right then that I had a trustworthy chart. Why?
I constantly research (Scorpio Sun and chart ruler), and I had recently worked on the history of Wisconsin and California statehoods and current events. Those two states are in the process of experiencing their first Neptune return. That is right, 164.7 years to the full orbit, my first living examples of actual Neptune returns that I could study were underway. Wisconsin’s birth year is 1848. Bingo! Mexico ceded California to the U.S. by treaty in 1848. Double Bingo! The modern Women’s Rights movement began in 1848. Neptune returns for all are active.
Specifically, the whole woman’s movement is experiencing a Neptune return. Since this is an aspect than can occur only once in 164.7 years, give or take a little for the retrogrades and orb of choice, this is an incredibly important trigger. An aspect that can happen once a month or once every year or two is not nearly as notable as one that can happen once in a lifetime. Since states and countries have a lifetime way beyond the human span, these charts provide examples to understand the concept of a Neptune return. Since actual discovery (not invention) turns an unconscious (invisible) energy into a conscious (visible) energy, this time we can visibly observe what has always been an unconscious energy.
The convention chart from 1848 has Neptune at 02 Pis 06R. Transiting Neptune moved into Pisces on April 4, 2011 just after the 2010 election and the 2011 swearing in of the new federal congress, state legislature and gubernatorial positions. Since that time, the now-called War on Women rolled out, and legislative action rolling back women/family issues and rights struck in full force. Transiting Neptune’s early foray into Pisces lasted until August 5, 2011 when it retrograded back into late Aquarius still well within orb of the Women’s Rights natal Neptune. On February 3, 2012 Neptune moved fully into Pisces with its journey through Aquarius complete. Pisces is the sign of Neptune’s rulership, in dignity, strong. It danced all the way up to 03 Pis 09, and retrograded on June 4, 2012. As of this writing, it is at 01 Pisces moving towards its station direct point of 00 Pis 22 on Nov 11, 2012, five days after the election. Great timing.
A moment on retrogrades and stations… Heliocentrically, with the Sun in the center, a planet runs in one direction. Redrawing the map with the Earth in the center (which is the geocentric perspective and is a commonly used navigation tool) provides for the concept of station and retrograde. Regardless of how you explain it, this dance works astrologically in terms of human experience. The energy of a direct planet and a retrograde planet are quite different in experience. There is very little material available about the stations. Such little reference material does not render stations weak or useless, it simply makes them not as well known or understood. I happen to have two such planets in my natal chart, Venus and Pluto, so I have taken a personal interest in stations.
When a planet slows, then appears to stop or stations, then reverses its direction, it is termed retrograde. The reverse action occurs when the planet slows its retrograde motion, appears to stop or station, then resumes its natural and direct forward motion. Form a mental picture of a planet pulsing its energy into space in a natural 360˚ orbital motion and see a natural pulsing as the planet moves in its orbit. Any point at which you take a snapshot of that motion in order to insert it into a chart says that point in space contains the commonly pulsed energy of that planet. Now slow that planet down as it approaches station and see that normal pulse continue (don’t change the rate of the pulsing). It is pulsing only into a tiny sliver of space. The pulsing is repetitive as the planet itself appears to slow, stop, then gradually resumes motion. Think of how much energy is pulsing into that tiny sliver of space, how powerfully that point in space is irradiated and how strong the influence could be on a chart. As I already said, unknown or less understood does not equate to unimportant.
We are undergoing a powerful and unusual (164.7 years) planetary return with incredibly powerful and important station points that are triggering women’s right issues right now. Neptune will continue on its Pisces journey to 05:23 on June 7, 2013 and will retrograde all the way back to 2:35 on November 13, 2013, well within orb of aspect. But wait… our key point for women’s issues is 02 Pis 06R. This triggering of this aspect is actually finished on February 1, 2013, about ten days after the inauguration of our elected president. That means the potential for influence and effect on the variety of current women/family issues conflict is now. Once the actually triggering is complete, the experience will still need time to become coffee.
As part of my research I have started a year-by-year progressed spreadsheet of the history of that first women’s convention all the way to Election Day in 2012. For the progressed base, I have used the birthday, plus I have inserted the charts of associated events chronologically such as Amendment 19 to the U.S. Bill of Rights. Women’s Rights progressed Neptune for November 6, 2012 is 00 Pis 30, within six minutes of orb to stationing transiting Neptune at 00 Pis 22. Again… and they say this stuff doesn’t work!
Just to further whet your appetite, let me tell you that the 19th Amendment Bill of Rights Sun is at 03 Vir 07 with Uranus at 03 Pis 43R. That means that transiting Neptune is activating the Amendment Sun/Uranus for 2013 and women better be paying attention to their constitutional rights. Stay tuned for part two of this Neptune return regarding the 19th Amendment activation.
It will be another 164.7 years before Women’s Rights issues will be called into activation by the next Neptune return. You and I will not be around to witness it, but we can hope to leave an understanding of it to our successors.
For those of you who have as much fun researching as I do, I have provided a list of events associated with Women’s Rights including the 19th Amendment to our Constitutional Bill of Rights, plus a website that can provide a timeline and more information: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline1.html
NY passed woman’s property law Apr 7, 1848, use noonmark at Albany (capital)
PA passed a similar law weeks later
1st Convention of Women’s Rights, July 19, 1848, 10:00 AM LMT, Seneca Falls, NY
National Women’s Suffrage Association, May 15, 1868 in New York City, NY, use noonmark
American Woman Suffrage Association, November 1869 in Boston, MA (day unknown)
The Territory of Wyoming passes 1st Woman Suffrage law, Dec 10, 1869, Cheyenne, WY, use noonmark
The language for the 19th Amendment to the constitution was actually written in 1878 (date unknown) but not used until the Amendment was proposed more than forty years later.
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Bill of Rights), August 26, 1920, use noonmark, Washington, D.C.
Also see my Women’s Rights spreadsheet at end of Women’s Rights article #2.
Published in Journal of Research of the American Federation of Astrologers #14, pub May 2014, republished with slight editing.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.