This week, haunted by the specter of Justice, begins with the Sun’s entrance into Sagittarius, and continues with Mercury’s midweek conjunction with Saturn in the same sign. This trio of planets in the Archer’s sign shifts the tone of the month considerably, adding enough fire to transform emotions into actions. Meanwhile, Jupiter and Pluto make the first of three squares, opening up a series of questions about the relationship between the spirit and body of Justice.
Arrows of Light
The Sun enters Sagittarius on Monday, ending the Scorpion’s reign and bringing us into the domain of the Archer for the next month. The Sun in Sagittarius brightens with the subtle light of myth and meaning. The Sun’s time in Sagittarius prioritizes goal-oriented awareness. Targets glow with meaning, and the arching trajectories which connect us to them are warmed by haloes of myth.
This year, the Sun will share Sagittarius with Saturn. Weighty issues, serious reflections and matters of responsibility will thus characterize the Sun’s entire time in the Archer’s sign, a period that will take us all the way to the solstice, on December 21st.
Mercury makes a number of interesting moves this week, speeding through conversations with several planets. Not only that, but Mercury also attains enough distance from the Sun to become thoroughly visible. The Messenger emerges from the Sun’s distracting corona with a sackful of crucial missives and a throat full of important announcements.
The most important of Mercury’s aspects this week is the swift planet’s conjunction with Saturn. Yet before that, Mercury makes an encouraging sextile with Jupiter in Libra, providing just enough hot air to elevate moods and minds for a bit. Immediately thereafter, though, Mercury moves onto the main meeting- a Wednesday conjunction with Saturn. Mercury’s annual conjunction with Saturn is a time for hard truths and serious topics. Though usually speedy and somewhat unreliable while Mercury is in Sagittarius, words gain weight while the messenger is in conjunction with Saturn, and ideas take on a solid, architectural quality. This weight brings things down to earth, but the same gravity can also be oppressive.
Finally, as the weekend approaches, the messenger makes his final connection- a trine with idealistic, disruptive Uranus in Aries. Mercury’s connections with Uranus are of an ambivalent quality, for they preside over both breakthroughs and break downs. Radical ideas and uncompromising words dance around this electrified aspect.
The Specter of Justice
On November 24th, Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn for the first time. This is not a singular event, but instead the first installment in a trio of aspects between Jupiter and Pluto. The second will arrive on March 30th, and the third on August 4th. As I wrote in November 2016: Sorting Stories:
“The contacts between these planets emphasizes the friction between high hopes and the relentless inertia of the-way-things-are. Ideals must find a way to manifest through the power structure of the present, which resists all that is contrary to it. This configuration thus calls for those who hope for a better world to become patient, strategic and cunning. Rome was not built in a day, nor will the Empire be dismantled overnight.”
Jupiter in Libra opens the way to accord and alliance, but Pluto in Capricorn points to the hard landscape of Power. Territorial claims and position within hierarchies limit the depth of friendship and alliances. The hard contours of power can be negotiated, but they cannot be ignored.
This theme is further attested to by Venus’ nearly simultaneous conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn on the 24th, pointing yet another celestial finger at the effect of covert power dynamics on relationships. This point is emphasized even further by the Moon, who conjoins Jupiter on the very same day. It is…curious…to note that the 24th is American Thanksgiving, when families in the United States gather to bask in the glow of togetherness, feast, and talk politics.
Though the dynamics described by this configuration speak to the United States and the hundreds of thousands of difficult conversations likely to ensue, the Jupiter-Pluto square’s meaning is not confined those awkward talks. The configuration also speaks to personal relationships, processes of growth, and the odd state of diplomacy in the world right now.
In essence, this Jupiter-Pluto square digs at our understanding of fairness, undermining the fulcrum upon which relationships, large and small, teeter. It points to the cracked idols and eroded effigies of Justice, and pushes us to understand the difference between the great spirit and the forms we beg her to haunt. Like all immortal ideals and righteous daimons, the spirit of Justice moves from body to body, incarnating in one institution and heart and then another. Though the bodies themselves can die, the specter of Justice can never be exorcised.
It is important to remember that this square between Jupiter and Pluto is the first in a series of three, a sequence which will take us deep into next year. The struggle to figure out what reconciliations and alliances are possible, what deal-killers lurk, and what can or cannot be done about them, will not be decided over a single turkey dinner haunted by the specter of justice.