Saturn, Pluto & Witch Hunts

Saturn.largeWhen I think about Saturn/Pluto, I think of witch hunts. No witch hunt in particular, just in general. The combination of these two planets brings together the elements that make for a good witch hunt—fear, projection, paranoia, persecution.

Saturn holds boundaries and presides over fear and it seems to me that almost everything that we might fear can be boiled down to boundary violations of one kind or another—physical violence, intrusions on property or possessions and psychological abuse, Collective boundary violations are seen in war, thuggery, gangsterism, official abuse of power and unjust laws. If Saturn rules boundaries, violating them is a Pluto function, the primal instinctive force that recognises no rules and is concerned only with survival.

When these planets come together the plutonian darkness threatens to overwhelm our fragile ego boundaries. The truth is, this darkness is within as well as without though we don’t care to acknowledge it. Our moral, saturnian Superego does not approve. Denying it, however, doesn’t make it go away. It retreats below the level of consciousness and is then projected out. The darkness is not here. Never here. It’s out there in all those bad people who do these dreadful things that we would never do. As there is no shortage of evil deeds being done, the fear and defensiveness can be justified by real examples. The awkward thing about projection is that there may be a kernel of reality behind it but it is distorted, exaggerated and spills out inappropriately.

It’s Them who are responsible. And They are…? Anyone really—those of a different race or religion, gays, Wall St bankers, welfare recipients, immigrants, women, the government, pigeon fanciers, people with red hair—whatever. There is a hook to suit everyone. The important thing is that They are different and superficial differences are an easy way to identify the enemy. Outer indication become signs of inner evil. The tragic example of the witch children of Africa where children are cruelly persecuted as witches because the shape of their eyes are wrong. Unfortunately itt’s not only the ignorant and superstitious who fall into this distortion. We are all susceptible.

Having identified the enemy, the fear escalates to paranoia. Now the fear in no longer based on any sort of reality and grows to massive proportions. Facts, reason, evidence—none of this matters to those caught in a paranoid world view. Evidence contradicting it is dismissed as proof of a conspiracy. As for the the objects of this paranoid fear, they are believed to be capable of anything—the plutonian invader, rapist, jackbooted tyrant who will destroy the world.

witch-huntThem follows theobvious next step—persecution— and the witch hunt is on in earnest. Paranoia and obsession are contagious and if it infects enough people, the outcome can be very nasty indeed and lead to the destruction of lives and livelihoods, hate crimes and in the extreme, genocide. As surely as greed makes people stupid, fear makes them vicious and ultimately it is fear that makes ordinary people do horrible things.

The square between Saturn and Pluto becomes exact on 15th November and ushers in the last quarter of this Pluto/Saturn cycle about which I have written in a previous post.The last quarter is the clean-up quarter and can be the most difficult one. Some of the boundaries and structures that we are accustomed to will fall and not everyone will like it. Already the energies I have described here have been constellated. You have only to look at the reaction of some segments of the American public to Barack Obama’s presidency to see what I mean.

Is it possible as individuals to work constructively with these difficult energies? Yes it is, but to do so we must look to the deeper meaning of these planets. Beyond the fear that Saturn engenders, there is wisdom and the acceptance of what is. Fear lives in a dark future that exists only in our imagination as the future has not yet happened. Most of our fears come from the knowledge that our boundaries and defenses are fragile and can easily be broken as ultimately they will be. Pluto, lord of the cycle of life and death, will claim us in the end. Humility, compassion, acceptance of our human vulnerability and surrender to life is what these planets demand. In return they bring joy, wisdom and magnificent transformation.