Heidi van Deventer 11 November 2017

November 2017 drivers of change: transiting planets Mars square Pluto and Mercury to retrograde in square to Neptune.

Between Sunday 19 November 2017 and Monday 20 November, depending where you are on earth, transiting Mars will square transiting Pluto exact (Figure 1). One can feel the build-up of the energy already!  In addition, we have entered the shadow period of the transiting Mercury retrograde on Wednesday 15 November at 13° Sagittarius. Transiting Mercury retrogrades on 3 December at 29° Sagittarius and then goes direct on 23 December 2017 in 13° Sagittarius. May you have interesting times!





Figure 1: The perfection of the closing square between transiting planets Mars and Pluto on 20 November 2017.

The bigger picture: the Neptune-Pluto synodic cycle

My first observation of the slower rhythms of time is that the Neptune and Pluto are in the 3rd quarter of the zodiac: Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn. At some point there would have been a conjunction in Aries, and the start of repetitive synodic cycles of these two planets. I would guess that this Aries-conjunction may have been at the time homo sapiens saw the light (or not haha), as extrapolated from the dates on these websites: http://www.astrosoftware.com/SynodicCycle.htm and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution.
The most recent conjunction of Neptune and Pluto started in the colonial times. In the chart of 29 April 1891, Neptune, Pluto, Mars and the North Node were conjunct in 5° of Gemini (Figure 2). We are not even halfway on our way to the next conjunction in about 2384 when Neptune, Pluto, Saturn and the nodes will be at 10° Gemini (Figure 3). With the conjunctions in Aries it was about survival, Taurus about sustaining ourselves and food security, with Gemini on diversity and integration (migration and space travel).




Figure 2: Historic conjunction of Neptune and Pluto in Mercury, associated with Colonial times.




Figure 3: Early conjunction between Neptune and Pluto in 2384, conjuncting also with Saturn.

So coming back to the transiting Mars closing a synodic cycle with transiting Pluto, as well as the transiting Mercury which will retrograde in a closing T-square with transiting Neptune, it appears to be the seconds-hands measuring the bigger period (Neptune-Pluto = hours) on the larger clock telling us the time. The Neptune-Pluto cycle symbolises the development of us as homo sapiens, with our need of survival, diversity of cultures, fears and hopes.

Pluto-Mars synodic cycle

The transiting Pluto-Mars synodic, symbolises phases in which we set out to achieve something new, where we force our will and ideals to develop and create forcefully. There is no grace and subtlety in what we want, it is direct, harsh and impatient. In October 2016 the conjunction of Mars-Pluto took place in 15° Capricorn, and in Capricorn it meant that we wanted to manifest something physical, have an impact on society and life, and receive recognition for what we have set out to do. In the period building up on the closing square of transiting Mars to transiting Pluto on 19/20 November 2017, one may feel frustrated that the original plans did not manifest in the way it was visualised. One may feel frustrated with others not appreciating what needs to be done, or hindering one in implementing one’s good plans. Or one may be frustrated at systems not being in place or serving people the way it should be done, effective and ethical. Anger towards ineffective or corrupt leadership may surface, and the energy may be volatile, ready to blow its top. The frustrations will boil over at all levels, ranging from being annoyed with the traffic cops, to work systems being inefficient, bosses being unethical or corrupt to the government and leaders of states. It is a phase in which we reassess the plans so that through the disintegration one would discover reasons why things don’t work, and re-plan for the next upcoming cycle, starting about 26 April 2018 in 21° Capricorn.

So if you can understand the energy, one can actually relax and sit back to observe what it is that is decaying and trying to reorganise itself. Observe with curiosity how frustration and anger is expressed and avoid taking party in it. Transiting Mars in Libra is attempting to find balance from the extreme polarities that are experienced, but it may be a temporary exaggerated perspective. When Transiting Mars joins the other planets in Scorpio, the tension may have two outlet routes: either separation of people from what caused the frustration, or a strong synergistic drive to move towards change. Obviously trying to stop the change will result in further frustration and a sense of loss, whereas joining to force of evolvement, will result more in feeling of satisfaction and acceptance of the change.

Mercury retrogrades in a closing square to Neptune

Transiting Mercury will retrograde in a closing T-square to transiting Neptune between 15 November and 23 December 2017, and between 13 and 29° of Sagittarius. This period may be characterised by poor to no communication. Retrogrades are usually experience in three phases: (i) the first being the shadow period during which issues transpire (15 November – 3 December 2017); (ii) the second during which you attempt to address the issues and test what works (3 – 23 December 2017) and (iii) the off-set phase during which the tested new ways will be implemented (after 23 December). A Mercury period symbolises a time during which we are confronted with changing our ways. In a square to Neptune, the effect is ballooning out of proportion and escalated to larger proportions.

For example, during the military coop of Zimbabwe between 6 and 19 November 2017, it was unclear what was happening and whether it was a military coop or not. The synergistic energy of the planets in Scorpio during this time (Sun, Venus and Jupiter – see Figure 1) supported the polarisation of forces (Mars in Libra) against authority figures and rulers (Pluto in Capricorn). In other ways, the Mercury retrograde also may have allowed for the expression of frustration of people against dictatorial rule (Mars-Pluto square). With Mercury squaring Neptune though, such verbal complaints expressing frustration and opposing points of view, may have been exaggerated as a result of the square of Mercury to Neptune. Therefore, one may say too much and possibly regret it later, and would have to cover up more fires than necessary. However, it may have been necessary evolution, and with the retrograde of Mercury, it may be that the complaints, fights and airing of frustration will eventually resulted in a minor (or major, like in the case of Zimbabwe) change that are requires evolutionary adjustments along the fault lines of time.

The combination of the Mars-Pluto and Mercury-Neptune, had a combined effect on policy and finances. For example, internationally, research organisations had seen a decline in research funding. Contrary to the private sector which has experienced staff lay-offs in the economic recession of about 3 – 5 years ago in South Africa, the research sector appeared to be less affected back then. The declining growth rate of the South African economy, as well as policies which appears to favour the empowerment of small upcoming companies, has resulted in a challenge with research funding, regardless of the purpose to benefit society (Mercury in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces). On other levels one feels the South African economy going through creaks and shifts of adjustment, unable to continue indefinitely. The working middle class, who has supported to poor and fat cats above, is starting to break with the mushroom’s head getting too heavy for the stem.

The current Mercury retrograde period will therefore appear to impact people more broadly than other mercury retrogrades, since it aspects Neptune in Pisces. On a personal level, be patient with things that may go wrong in 3s or more. Transiting Mercury will conjunct transiting Saturn by middle January 2018, and will solidify changes that has been lingering since middle November 2017, more strongly.

Some thoughts on the South African national elections 2019

The next national election is planned for 2019, and I have taken 26 April 2019 as a guestimate of the date on which it may be planned (Figure 4). In 2019, transiting Saturn and transiting Pluto will conjunct in 20° Capricorn on the South Node, with Saturn exactly on the South Node. The conjunction shows a change in leadership, although this may just be musical chairs: a replacement of the front face shown to the public, but no change in the engine room where operations take place, necessarily. Transiting Jupiter in Sagittarius may reflect over-optimism around the economy and possible growth prospects for the next phase of the South African politics. It seems more like SA will end of with a tremendous amount of debt as a result of the over optimism with which the Zupta’s raided the country’s resources (Transiting Jupiter, retrograde against Mars and Neptune). Transiting Mars will square transiting Neptune and oppose the Jupiter, showing again the use of propaganda and slogans to polarise cultural and economic groups. Well the proof will lie in the pudding when Transiting Jupiter hits Capricorn and the fun and games would hopefully become more serious.




Figure 4: Guestimate date of next South African national general elections, April 2019.

In conclusion, it is important to recognise the smaller events within the bigger picture of time. The smaller synodic cycles of Mercury and Mars relative to the Neptune-Pluto cycles, shows the steps of evolution and changes we are taking, relative to the bigger phases of evolution. Although Mars and Mercury appear to be minor indicators of change at a given moment in time, they signify the smaller steps which have cumulated into the bigger shift. To identify patterns of change it is important to reflect back on the occurrences during the squares of these inner planets to the outer planets to understand what is evolving.

Article by Heidi van Deventer, written and posted on Facebook 11 November 2017