The True Colors of Uranus Square Pluto

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Dear Friend and Reader:

When I was in marine biology class at John Dewey High School, we did an experiment using a technique called chromatography.

A basic chromatography experiment (safe for home) using leaves. The leaves shown are for display purposes; a mix of alcohol and leaf matter is used to do the experiment. Learn more at this blog.

The simple experiment involved mashing up some seaweed with a mortar and pestle, mixing the pulp with alcohol in a small bowl, and putting in a little sheet of filter paper.

After a short while, the filter paper, which absorbed the seaweed-alcohol mix, revealed a rainbow of the many different shades of biological matter that were contained in the seaweed. This demonstrated that plant matter is not simply green — it contains many elements, which reveal themselves when separated.

It’s one thing to have this explained in theory. It’s another to do a physical process and actually see it happen. The process demonstrated how it is that autumn leaves change colors. The colors were always in the leaf. Using chromatography, we learned how to accelerate the process and watch it happen (only were using seaweed of course).

On Monday, March 16, we experience the last of seven contacts of the Uranus-Pluto square. As I’ve been telling the story, this is the defining aspect of the 2012 era.

The Uranus-Pluto cycle is a slow one. The square means we are at the first quarter phase; the equivalent of the New Moon happened during the conjunction of 1965-1966. It’s true there are a lot of cycles in astrology, though this one has been studied carefully, and it’s intimately involved with the historic process. It was long before we even knew about Uranus or Pluto; you can track it back through history, and it always seems to be involved with revolutions of one kind or another — or many at once.

Said another way, it accelerates the historical process. For us that’s saying a lot. Things are moving so fast we would be nauseous if we had the time.

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More than a year before the Uranus-Pluto square, union supporters protest at the state capitol in Madison, WI, This happened the same year as Occupy and Arab Spring. Photo by Mark Danielson.

The reason there are seven squares, by the way, is that because the Earth is orbiting the Sun rapidly, it creates the retrograde effect with both Uranus and Pluto, which seem to slip and slide forward and backward from the viewpoint of the Earth. So an event that really just happens once, looking at the solar system from the perspective of the Sun at the center, seems to happen repeatedly from the viewpoint of Earth.

Long before 2012, there were hints of change, of disruption, of breakdown and of restructuring. There were clues that history might take a positive turn. Those included the banking crash of 2008, the election of Barack Obama later that year, the TARP bailouts and recapitalizing of American banks, and the Affordable Care Act. Then there was the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill — a real shock.

Following that was the extraordinary and extremely difficult year 2011 — both personally and globally — with the Fukushima quake and meltdowns, the uprising in Madison, Wisconsin, against likely Republican presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker; there was Arab Spring; there was the Occupy movement. One article from that era was Something About Egypt. Our photographer for that issue, one of my many remarkably talented astrology clients, Sarite Sanders (please don’t miss her work), thought it was funny that I had to explain Egypt to people.

If you’re curious about the feeling of 2011, truly one of the strangest years of our lives, I suggest you check out two other articles from that era. One is called With Love from Borasisi, which in effect predicted the Fukushima incident. The other is called Here at the Edge of the World, in which I did my best to explain it.

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It still feels weird to write this, but here is a photo of the Fukushima nuclear power plant exploding, in the harrowing month of March 2011. This was a clue how serious the situation was.

Then, after all that — after ALL of that — the first of the seven exact Uranus-Pluto squares happened on June 24, 2012. That occured within days of the Venus transit of the Sun. The long-awaited, speculated-about 2012 arrived with this event.

People braced themselves for even worse, even weirder, even more vexing changes. Here is my coverage from that week: A Call to Awakening — and Action.

The second square also took place in 2012, on Sept. 19. But 2012 was curiously quiet, especially compared to the prior year. My lead that week was About That Metalogue — and the Revolution. The shocking news that week was learning that billionaire presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds poor people in contempt. By his definition, you are one of them.

When the infamous 12/21/12 rolled around, all we got for Christmas was the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There was not any meaningful gun reform in the wake of that event — rather, there was a revolt against gun reform. The entire “Mayan astrology” faction went silent.

The books were all sold and the workshops and expert panels were over. There was not spontaneous enlightenment or ascension but homespun mass-murder — and resistance to solving the problem. I would call that denial. At the time, I thought it was an interesting evolutionary measuring rod.

If you want to read what I was writing at the time, check these two articles — The Mayans, Juno and the Abyss, and We’re About to Go Off the Map. These look carefully at the Western and Mayan astrology surrounding 2012, as best I could suss it out at the time.

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Ruins of an ancient Mayan city called Altun Ha, 30 miles north of Belize City. Mayan people first occupied Altun Ha around 200 BC, with the majority of construction occurring from 200 to 900 AD.

The Uranus-Pluto squares continued with the third event on May 20, 2013. My article that week was The Most Interesting Month Since the Ocean.

The fourth of seven Uranus-Pluto squares took place on Nov. 1, 2013. This one coincided with the heliocentric event — the actual 90-degree meeting of Uranus and Pluto as seen from the viewpoint of the Sun.

At that time, I was thinking about the aftermath of Fukushima, though you could barely find an article about it in a news search. My lead that week was titled Notes from Downwind, recapping the nuclear disaster up to that point and focusing on the removal of the spent fuel from Unit 4’s severely damaged structure. This existence-threatening event received next to no media coverage. That was astonishing, but in context of nuclear issues, it makes some twisted sense.

Soon after that, on the 50th anniversary of his assassination, I had a visit from the ghost of John F. Kennedy, which I told in an article called The Ancestor. Lou Reed had just died, and one of my first astrology clients, Billy Name, gave me a signed and numbered (2 of 40) photo of Reed, Warhol, the Velvets and the crew at The Factory. I wrote about Reed in an article called Hey, Sugar.

That fourth of seven squares was the actual peak of the Uranus-Pluto group of aspects. There were just three more left. The next exact square took place on April 21, 2014. There was not exactly revolution in the air. There was a lot of turmoil, though. The fabricated conflict in Ukraine was just getting going. And there was a cardinal grand cross throwing a lot of people into inner turmoil. I covered that in an article called To The Edge and Beyond.

That cardinal grand cross was a focal point of Uranus-Pluto because so many planets had mounted the cardinal cross — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. For most people, though, this was a kind of inner event. Mixed in with this was the Mars retrograde that became the topic of The Mars Effect annual edition.

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Venus transit of the Sun in 2012, photographed by Anthony Ayiomamitis. The transit offered some evidence that the Mayans really did intend 2012 as the year of, the turnover of their calendar. They were obsessed by Venus and very good at math.

The sixth of seven squares was on Dec. 15, 2014. Oh wow! While many wars raged elsewhere, the U.S. made friends with Cuba.

And that, my friends, brings us to right about now. We are about to experience the last of the seven squares. I think we’re about to see everything we missed, and learn a few things that were not obvious during the previous six squares or the whole phase leading up to them.

When I think back on all of the events of the 2012 era, and think about the Uranus-Pluto square, I usually think one thing: we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The square begins to separate on March 16. It begins to release its hold.

Here is where the concept of chromatography comes in. We have just been through an incredible mashup of world history, where it’s seemed like everything was happening all at once, and where it also seemed as if not much has changed.

As the square separates, my take is that the true colors of this era in history will begin to show themselves. I don’t know what that will reveal. I do know that one subtext of the Uranus square Pluto era is the digital revolution. Were we looking at contemporary history with 50 years’ hindsight, we would see how fast this has progressed in the years since 2008.

We would see how subsumed everyone’s lives had become in digital experience, even as they resisted it. We do not know the effects of this, for the long run. I know that many of my readers are skeptical, and deeply concerned. We who are not “digital natives” feel human contact being vacuumed out of our environment, replaced by the feeling of thumbs on a glass screen.

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Digital means you can email your friends at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (as seen in 2009), and even report on the Antarctic election results. Photo by Daniel Leussler.

Many of us are wondering where our time is going. Many feel like digital is TV on steroids. It’s not, though. You can talk to your TV all you want. All you can do is change the channel.

In digital experience, you have 10 ways to reach me and everyone has 10 ways to reach you. TV programs ask for involvement on social media.

I know there is a paradox here — we are being sucked out of one reality and catapulted into another, where we can have friends in New Zealand and South Africa and Kodiak Island and Ukraine. During the 2004 election, digital technology meant that I was in contact with scientists in Antarctica, and we were the first media outlet to report that Kerry had won. He was a big hit with lab workers and penguins.

I want to hold out this thought form of not knowing, which means keeping your mind open to learning. I want to encourage you not to judge, but to be aware. I would encourage you to use digital technology consciously and carefully, and above all to seek understanding. Observe how you are personally changing rather than how you think kids are changing.

Remember, it was not long ago that a great many people thought The Beatles were the devil and that rock and roll would end civilization. Oh, were it so.


PS — Please note that this week’s horoscope is again written by Len Wallick. I may be back next week; I may take one more week out. So much is happening, and I need some time to think. For you daring digital types, you can read his twice-weekly column on our new website.

PPS — I covered the astrology leading up to 2012 in a PDF called Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span. That is a free download (pass it on), with the best of Planet Waves and many other articles from 1987 through 2011.

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $97/year. Core community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Brendan Merritt, Amy Elliott, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Casey Smith, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.



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An actor portraying Keith, the one with “mechanical skills,” readies himself to break into the FBI office in the ironically named Media, Pennsylvania, in the new documentary 1971. According to the real Keith, learning how to pick locks was “easier than learning how to play guitar.” Image: video still.

March 8, 1971: Investigating the FBI

By Amanda Painter

We’re on the cusp of the last exact contact of the Uranus-Pluto square (March 16). For nearly three years (longer, really) we’ve been living with and trying to understand this aspect that defines our era, which Eric had dubbed “the Anti Sixties.” The Sixties got much of their revolutionary thrust from the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo in the middle of the decade — an aspect whose effect was still very palpable just a few short years later in 1971.

Planet Waves
Beneath that sweet, maternal face, Bonnie Raines is a firecracker who never looks back once she decides what must be done.

That’s the year a group of eight activists — suburban parents, university professors and community leaders — decided, in the words of one of them, “to make a transition from non-violent protest to non-violent disruption” in an effort to stop the war machine. They called themselves The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI.

Their action: breaking into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stealing tens of thousands of documents, which they then leaked to The Washington Post. In doing so, they uncovered the FBI’s illegal suppression of dissent by countless law-abiding citizens and persecution of such people as Martin Luther King, Jr. What’s more, the files they stole led directly to the discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s notorious COINTELPRO and the Church Committee hearings — the country’s first Congressional investigation of U.S. intelligence agencies.

The FBI never caught those eight burglars. Their identities have never been known publicly. Until now.

Director Johanna Hamilton, working in tandem with veteran journalist Betty Medsger (to whom the Citizens’ Commission leaked the documents, and who has written a book about the event) has created more than just a documentary of this historic and seminal protest action. 1971 is also a captivating heist movie — one that will at times put you on the edge of your seat, make you laugh, provoke incredulity, and perhaps even inspire you to do what you know needs to be done. We can’t all be Edward Snowden; then again, we also can’t just sit back and hope the Patriot Act goes away all by itself.

You can watch the trailer for 1971 here; look for a screening in your area (or host one!), and don’t miss it. If you’re lucky, you might get to enjoy a lively Q&A Skype session with Medsger after the film as I did Tuesday night.



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Planet Waves

George Harrison.

Leonard Nimoy, the Virgo Full Moon and George Harrison

In this week’s program I look at the Virgo Full Moon that happened earlier today. I also read the natal charts of Leonard Nimoy and George Harrison.

Replay of Live Call-In Edition of Planet Waves FM

Here’s your replay of Wednesday evening’s live call-in edition of Planet Waves FM, hosted by Eric Francis. Many calls, great talk on the Full Moon, digital life, astrology and other topics.



Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for March published Thursday, Feb. 19. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for February  Thursday, Jan. 22. Inner Space horoscopes for February published Tuesday, Jan. 27. Moonshine horoscopes  for the Virgo Full Moon  published Tuesday, March 3.Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Note: This week’s horoscopes for your Sun sign and rising sign have been written by Planet Waves contributor Len Wallick, who is standing in for Eric.



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Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, March 5, 2015 #1039 | By Len Wallick

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — It’s step-up time for everybody in general, but most of all you. What is required is not beyond what you have to offer. Indeed, the frictionless ease with which celestial lights appear to move should provide you with an example to follow and a way to know you are on the path that suits your own progress best. It is not so much the path of least resistance for you as it is less resistance from you. Instead of struggling to sustain what is no longer appropriate, you will know your personal evolution is proceeding apace if life gets easier and getting along is less work. You might want to start on this path by ascertaining where others would like you to take more responsibility, then acting to do so while avoiding any temptation to claim greater credit. — by Len Wallick

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Going off is no way to go. Not for you, not now. You have it in you to convince the multitudes simply by being soft spoken. Neither is there any need to brandish a big stick to get what you want. In a loud world, your whisper will not only be heard, it will be welcomed. In a violent world, your ability to gently and instructively persuade will move others to further your ends — even as they pursue the simple rewards dealing with you has to offer. Rather than rigidly defending boundaries from real or imagined slights, give offense no place to enter by not responding in kind. Instead of protesting apparent or illusory assaults on your pride, decline to dignify that which does not become you. In that way you will better become what others want to be. — by Len Wallick

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — If you feel freer, it is because you are receiving astrology’s message loud and clear. If you are feeling confined, it is probably because you are listening to an old tape recording made by influences that have either relaxed or moved on. The way is open to ascend to what you have always been. It is no longer necessary for you to stoop to what was never truly you. Let the dynamic potential of actually being abundance in the flesh encourage you. Decline to let unworthy notions of scarcity deter you from growing into a more fecund manifestation of charismatic creativity. There are so many relationships you have yet to engage with. There are too many lost memories you need to recall. For you, being more is simply refusing to be less. — by Len Wallick

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You have no doubt grown in the eyes of at least some others this year. Your sphere of influence has almost certainly expanded in proportion to how you have manifested yourself. To continue on what appears to be a fast track toward evolutionary leaps and bounds, you must first eschew any practice that would subtly sabotage the solid steps you have made not to be taken for granted any longer. Be present to the fact that no longer taking yourself for granted is the foundation upon which you can build not only a better reputation, but also a better life than any previously imagined. Also, please appreciate those who not only express their appreciation, but also look up to you in order to better understand betterment. — by Len Wallick

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Patience really is a virtue. It is rarely appropriate to move faster than the lights in the sky. If you are going to be moving ahead of the ambient light, you had better be a light yourself. Even if you should choose to illuminate the way, you would still need to proceed so that the less enlightened can keep up with you. For it does nobody any good if you leap forward only to be alone. The drive for recognition that so often motivates you would be wasted if you did not serve to lead. Leading implicitly means moving as part of something rather than simply moving apart. The best lead horses don’t need blinders, only focus. Expand your discipline, and your horizons will expand in due course. It’s not necessary to force matters to forge ahead. — by Len Wallick

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Being a good witness to and for another is among the highest callings to service. Holding space for others is perhaps the most dignified way to live. Astrology right now indicates that both offering service and exemplifying dignity are crucial to your own best interests at this time. Therefore, it is important to recognize which perceptions now serve nothing and what responses are in fact undignified and unworthy of who you now are. After all, an ounce of proactive self-affirmation is worth a pound of reactive self-criticism. Let your every perception be more clear by asking yourself whether you are witnessing what is present instead of allowing the here-and-now to trigger what you witnessed in the past. Let your response be healthier by holding no space for grudges. — by Len Wallick

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — While you tend to show your love very well, it’s possible you could do a better job inspiring others to love you. Making yourself lovable means more than just buying drinks for your circle. Being lovable includes being seen by everybody as the person without whom the circle would not be complete. Providing more for others to love does not entail gaining weight; it requires not throwing your weight around. You cannot trade money for affection, but you can endear yourself to others by increasing your capacity to produce other forms of support without expense to yourself. You cannot conjure up a spell to inspire affection, but you can receive appreciation in return for nourishing aspirations and creating conditions wherever you go that will cultivate creative ways of attaining those aspirations. — by Len Wallick

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your imagination can be your greatest strength only so long as you do not allow it to be your greatest weakness. Those of your astrological persuasion are among the select few who harbor the greatest potential to exercise control over imagination rather than have it exert control over you. It’s not a talent you are given wholly formed. Instead, it is a skill you must develop. It means going deep — both into yourself, and into the uniquely human capacity to first conceive of something from out of who-knows-where and then achieve it here. To avoid being betrayed by your own conceptions you must release attachment to the personal story you have cultivated. It means going back to the beginning, and even before that to a source your intuition knows is worthy of your wounded trust. — by Len Wallick

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Even as advanced as your consciousness is, the checks and balances of your instinct has never been more important than it is now. As rare and wonderful as sentience is, self-awareness alone will not serve to make or keep you solidly connected with the universe. In order to maintain that connection, awareness must be not lie fallow; it must be owned and acted upon with integrity. Only the advanced form of instinct we call conscience is sufficient to prevent you (or any of us) from proving that anybody is capable of the most dismal delusions fueling the most heinous behaviors. Just in case you and your conscience have been out of touch lately, you might want to re-establish contact soon. The rest of us may need you to know better for us all. — by Len Wallick

If you would like to hear the first section of your Sagittarius, Aquarius or Capricorn birthday reading — or if you’re curious about what a birthday reading is — I have set up this page where you can listen free.


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — It is probably not apparent that the cosmos is grooming you for higher office. It’s about time you knew. All that you have persisted through is about more than just the survival you have salvaged. All that you’ve achieved transcends a need to dig yourself out of a hole or else. The progress you have made in not messing up has served more than just to keep you from getting dressed down. All those who have loved and supported you have in fact been serving the world. It’s been a tough climb for you, but you must admit you are now much stronger. You will need to get stronger yet, but to do so (and as strange as it may seem) you must lighten your load. In the event you are not doing so already, take an inventory of what you need to shed. — by Len Wallick

If you would like to hear the first section of your Sagittarius, Aquarius or Capricorn birthday reading — or if you’re curious about what a birthday reading is — I have set up this page where you can listen free.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You might be tempted to think that your best days are behind you. You could feel as though it’s time to pass the torch. It is not so. In fact, a very old torch is on its way into your hands. It is nearly extinguished, but still holds a spark so vital as to defy description. To become the proper custodian of that spark you must first rekindle and nurture the inner fire you know and, frankly, love. It won’t be simple. Indeed, the rest of this year may very well either hold setbacks or show your best efforts only to break even. So long as you are not broken, however, the fire you love will ultimately reward you with love received in return. — by Len Wallick

If you would like to hear the first section of your Sagittarius, Aquarius or Capricorn birthday reading — or if you’re curious about what a birthday reading is — I have set up this page where you can listen free.


Get Your Pisces Astrology and Tarot Reading Now!

“Think of Chiron as the process of turning inspiration into art and spiritual yearning into healing.”

Dear Friend and Pisces:

As you probably know, Neptune and Chiron are in your sign. Your Pisces reading is available now (this is your last chance to take advantage of the pre-order price) and I’ve focused on these two planets and more. This is an important time for you to understand your astrology — and take advantage of what it’s offering.

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You might think of Pisces as the most sensitive sign and one closely involved with transitions of all kinds.

If you’re looking for a full-treatment astrology service, we have a Pisces package that includes a six-month Core Community Pass and your Pisces reading for just $97.

Chiron won’t be back in Pisces until February of 2061, so get it while it’s hot.

I’ve been working with Chiron since 1994, and have refined my ideas in many discussions with Chiron pioneers Melanie Reinhart, Barbara Hand Clow, Zane Stein and Dale O’Brien — that is, the best of the best.

Even Rob Hand, the Papa Smurf of astrology, has given me some excellent keys to Chiron.

In many ways, Pisces is a natural home of Chiron. Chiron in Pisces is the perfect description of the spiritual quest or crisis of your sign; Chiron is the perfect focusing lens for the subtle, even sublime energy of Pisces.

Think of Chiron as the process of turning inspiration into art and spiritual yearning into healing.
Indeed, Chiron is the patron saint of healing. His archetype emerged at a time when the holistic movement was just getting going — when homeopathy, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and herbalism were just starting to be accepted as serious modalities. I will relate all of this to your reading.

Neptune presents certain challenges as well, but also offers an abundance of inspiration. That is balanced by Saturn in Sagittarius, crossing the angle of success and ambition in your chart.

Truly, this is the perfect combination of influences. Neptune is adding contact with something seemingly beyond this world, and Saturn is ensuring that you will make use of that inspiration in a useful and tangible way.

For instant access, you may order your reading here.



Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — As absurd as it may seem, your lot is to be envied by all beings without exception. To live as a Pisces now is to receive a challenge divine beings would kneel and beg to face. Though you be mortal, uncounted are the immortals who would be overjoyed to trade places with you. Even if it seems your valiant wit and heroic labors are for naught, your efforts are not leading you into an abyss. Everything you are and all you are doing is amounting to something beyond profound. You need not fear the void. In fact, it’s fair to say the void fears you because only you and others like you possess what even galaxies do not: the ability to bring the deepest darkness into the fullest light. To do so you need not sustain belief. You must allow belief to sustain you. — by Len Wallick

6 thoughts on “The True Colors of Uranus Square Pluto

  1. Len Wallick

    Eric: Thank you for catching us up with Uranus and Pluto as they move to catch up with each other one final time. Your deeply salient chromatography metaphor, to your ground-breaking historical correlations – yet another timeless piece that us precisely what we need at this time.

  2. Len Wallick

    Amanda: Speaking of catching us up, thank you for reviewing a seminal historical moment (which many journalists even still for granted) without which our so-called common knowledge of what have now become archetypical government abuses would probably never have come to light.

  3. Jyoti Hinduja

    Eric. chronology of the Uranus Pluto square which
    heralds historical changes for our life on planet terra
    Is so well documented! Thank you. Leads me to ask myself,
    how did each of these moments In time match up with a change
    In my path for me. Jyoti

  4. Jyoti Hinduja

    Len. you could not have nailed it any better.
    Yes! It is as absurd as it may seem.. So much so, had to
    take a week to move inwards and immerse myself in
    The light that sustains me. Namaste. Jyoti

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