The most dangerous phrase in our modern language is “we’ve always done it this way”.
– Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
Can you remember your first day at a new job? How uncomfortable it feels to be in a place of not knowing especially when you’re trying so hard to prove yourself and measure up? I remember one painful experience as I left a job in a very traditional, hierarchical (Capricorn) workplace for an innovative, entrepreneurial (Aquarian) organisation. I was so used to sticking to the rules and being told what to do and how to do it that initially, I struggled to find my feet. I spent my first week saying “But this is how we did it where I used to work”, constantly looking back to the safety of the past. My colleagues patiently waited for me to settle in as each of them has gone through much the same. The wise CEO quietly said to me early on “I have very little idea of what I’m doing here, I just make it up as I go along”. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I realised that it was ok to not know, and the freedom was such a relief. I didn’t have to measure up to a set of false expectation, I could just play and experiment, and not worry about making mistakes. It created a team of creative, agile players who could easily problem solve and meet challenges.
Traditions are important, but not if they block us from embracing the future. Pluto has been breaking down the skeleton of our modern culture and society since it moved into Capricorn in 2008. In that time we’ve grasped how outdated our education system is, the narrowness of our medical model, the inequalities in our financial and political systems, and how out of touch our religious institutions are. Yet change has felt beyond the reach of each individual, like using a pebble to stop a runaway train. That is until 2020 came along…
There are times in history where cultural change happens slowly, like women’s emancipation and the end of slavery. Then there are times when it happens overnight, and the shockwaves are fierce. When Saturn met Pluto in early January, everything started to break apart. That is when the first deaths from COVID-19 started to happen and we had an inkling of what could be coming. At first we were worried about economics of it all, but now it’s the human cost as our modern world has tumbled apart like a pack of cards. So many of us are living day by day now, unsure of what is ahead next week, let alone next year. The fear is palpable, flowing around the world.
And yet, nothing has really changed. We’ve always been living in a fragile system but were lulled with a false sense of certainty by the knowledge at our modern-day fingertips. Now a tiny single-celled organism has disrupted our whole human existence and all our knowledge has come to naught. This is the intersection of Jupiter and Pluto. Where the hidden comes to light and becomes magnified to the extreme.
This is the first of three meetings between Jupiter and Pluto this year, the others happening on July 1 and November 13. Embracing what we don’t know is a key part of growing and evolving, and that is where we are right now. COVID-19 is a total unknown in itself, and the future it is creating is one none of us can even try to discern. Capricorn can keep us looking back to the past for our information, knowledge and understanding but the future isn’t there.
We can take what we’ve learned from the past and allow it to inform our future, not dictate it.
More of Capricorn’s strengths are patience, tenacity and survival. If anyone knows how to live frugally, being as efficient as possible, it’s Capricorn. If any sign knows how to pick itself up out of the dirt to try again, yes, that’s Capricorn too. When we combine these with the innovative, adaptable talents of Aquarius, we can feel more secure being in unknown times. The human is remarkably resilient and inventive – we need to trust that about ourselves, know that we WILL find a way when we let go of the idea of returning to an old “normal”. There is no such thing as a normal, never has been.
It is also during challenging times that our faith in a higher power is tested, and we recognise our existence as small cogs in a much larger wheel. Powerlessness or fragility in the face of this is normal, and searching for meaning in higher places is a resilience tool we humans are lucky to have. Jupiter and Pluto together can create powerful urges to seek bigger truths, connect to a higher power and see a greater picture at play. Any addiction survivor can talk about what it’s like to come out the other side of feeling powerless and alone. “Grant me the power to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” was once a lifeline, and am turning to it again each day right now, as it reminds me that larger forces are at play and I only have control over a certain part. Try focusing on what you can change and getting active there to alleviate the anxiety of not knowing.