Just a mere day before exact Mars – Pluto conjunction took place of 2 February 2019, the United States government announced its unilateral decision to abandon the treaty of non-proliferation of intermediate-range nuclear missiles. This event is striking from the standpoint of both astrological symbolism and its precise timing.

Before jumping into the astrological analysis of this event, let’s remind ourselves why the treaty was such an important cornerstone for the modern peace process.

A brief history of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the United States and Russia has lasted just a little over 32 years. The treaty was signed in Washington on 8 December 1987 by the US president Ronald Reagan and and Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the USSR (now Russia).

President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House.
President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty on 8 December 1987.

The treaty was a significant landmark agreement paving the way to nuclear disarmament and enforcing peace on Earth.

The treaty was arguably one the most significant successes of diplomacy of the 20th century. The INF ensured a peaceful stability for the European countries and the world in large. The two Cold War adversaries has agreed on abandoning the idea of producing and deploying nuclear missiles that could cover the range of 500–5,500 kilometres (310–3,420 mi) — efficient for targeting Russia from West Europe and vice versa.

The treaty effectively banned the idea of attacking one’s closest neighbours using nuclear missiles.

Fire getting out of control

We are not going to analyse why this decision has been made and what side is less wrong. As pretty much everything in politics, it’s a complicated story.

The only obvious observation is that the INF is currently out of its own time as another large player, namely China, has entered the world military arena. Being unbounded by any treaty of a similar nature, China is free to develop nuclear missiles as it pleases. Just this single fact is enough to give the US a major incentive to scrape the old treaty using some kind of semi-real-semi-unreal reasoning.

The modern world is increasingly becoming a playground for a few serious players equipped with modern technology and possessing financial resources to pour into research and development of ever more sinister weapons of annihilation.

It’s very unfortunate that for a number of powerful people — the ones that influence the politics on this planet — war is both passion and business.

War equally consumes and creates resources. War brings new opportunities at the cost of human lives. War is a natural child of big business and big politics.

The history of war, the old style

When humans were less sophisticated and lived in caves, there weren’t wars as we understand them. Clans clashed and blood flowed but that was pretty much what is happening in the animal kingdom.

With the advent of larger civilisations the war took on an industrial shape and scale. Perhaps one could say that the “invention” of large-scale military conflicts was the first industrial revolution.

The ancient Greeks mythology introduced us with the bloodthirsty god Ares that became Mars under the Roman Empire. Ares/Mars was notorious for enjoying slaughter and sending countless troops to the ancient battlefields in order to be slaughtered for the further glory of their righteous kings and emperors.

The Greek god Ares.
The Greek god Ares symbolises both the physical valor and the direct force designed to win the battle.

The Romanised version of Ares is Mars.

The city of Sparta fully embodied the spirit of Ares in the process of producing a perfect warrior — full of resilience, physical strength and military intelligence.

As an archetype of a macho man, Ares is famous for his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring.

The topic of passion and love affairs in the context of Marsian type of sexual drive has been touched in the story about the love triangle between Jupiter and Hera.

Astral energies of planet Mars and its red colour convey the sharp cutting power of Aries that is direct in nature and achieves its goals through an armed conflict. Mars rules over cutting tools and weapons in general and naturally expresses itself in situations of close combat.

One may argue that missiles propelled by the principle of fire also belong to the Marsian sphere of influence.

Astrologically speaking, Mars is not all about war. Mars brings direction, clarity and drive to pursue one’s goals. Mars is the force of awakening and achieving goals. Mars is the male polarity of sexual drive. Mars is a predominant principle in sports and any kind of rigorous physical training.

Modern astrology sees every planet as having its own constructive and destructive aspects. In this story we will mostly focus on the destructive side of Mars.

The advent of modern technological warfare

Pluto was discovered in 1930 at the time when the humanity was ushered into the new era driven by advances in technology and discoveries of the nuclear potential of the atomic particles.

The first World War of 1914–1918 marked the drastic change in how humans fought wars. The war has seen the last glimpses of cavalry attacks that were mercilessly mowed by the machine gun fire. In just a few months everything changed and the modern distributed warfare started to slowly take shape.

The second World War of 1939–1945 proved to be even more technologically advanced and brutal at the scale not seen before.

What the humanity was starting to discover was the power of Pluto.

Pluto, the god of the underworld

God Hades which later became known as Pluto, was instrumental in the uprising of the gods lead by Zeus against the Titans, the previous generation of gods. The Titans were defeated and Zeus became the ruler of the heavens, Poseidon became the ruler of the ocean and Hades/Pluto took his throne as the king of the underworlds.

The Greek god Hades.
The Greek god Hades/Pluto can be perceived as the Zeus of the underworlds. Pluto presides over everything that is hidden deep down the Earth and rules over the mysteries of the matter.

Pluto is the symbol for contained power, for example, the power of the lower chakras. Pluto brings magnetic intensity, it projects power and deep sexual forces.

Pluto is the principle of annihilation and rebirth, the ultimate agent of cleansing.

On the physical level, Pluto gives the body a solid physical framework and immense regeneration capacity. Pluto people can go through crises, survive and flourish.

Pluto is the richest of all gods, it draws on money and resources thus creating the ground for successful financial operations.

The underworlds is often described as a dismal domain deep down in Earth that neither the Sun nor living soul ever visits. The word Hades is now associated with the underworld, and the god is now known as Pluto. Pluto is sometimes described as a Zeus of the underworlds — this might explain why the underworlds is such a special domain.

To compensate for all the abysmal things, the underworlds offers something very unique, not available anywhere else in the cosmos:

  • absolute power over all matter
  • immense riches that naturally end up in its coffers

The power of the underworlds is both magnetic and irresistible. Its nature is beyond direct human comprehension. One of the aspects of its power over matter is the nuclear power, that the humanity just started to learn harnessing at the very end of the second World War.

Nuclear fission (the process of nuclear decay) that we harnessed and understand relatively well, nuclear fusion that we are still only trying to achieve, the force of gravity that we have no clue about — all of them are currently known manifestations of Pluto. This is just the beginning of the list of forces that make up the cosmos.

Keeping fire under control and the problem with squares

Preserving lasting peace on Earth requires constant diplomatic efforts that constrain the level of inflammatory fire that is a Mars manifestation.

Irresistible subterranean fire of Pluto exponentially amplifies the direct nature of Mars fire. At certain moments in time, the volcanic pressure of Pluto forces produces tectonic shifts that are both hard to anticipate and challenging to the balance of forces.

The aspect of a square fits this description well. Square symbolises matter as well as the principle of incarnatiion, manifestation and action. Through its natural rulership over matter, Pluto freely expresses its forces and thus presents formidable challenges.

One thing is to unleash a nuclear reaction, another one is to keep it under control which is much harder, especially if one’s head is not cool.

Clearly, this didn’t happen this time, as the US government was unable to contain its mounting emotional frustration with the current layout of forces and decided to opt for the nuclear option. After all, we are in the era of Pluto!

The Mars – Pluto cycle

The Mars – Pluto cycle is a regular and repeating sequence of astrological aspects between Mars and Pluto that moves from one conjunction to another.

The Mars – Pluto cycle has a duration of approximately 1.5 – 2 years, depending on wheter Mars turning retrograde or not during that period.

The dates of the current Mars – Pluto cycle of 2018–2020:

Aspect Degree Date (UTC)
Conjunction 26 April, 2018
Waxing square 90° 2 February, 2019
Opposition 180° 20 June, 2019
Waning square 90° 5 November, 2019
Next conjunction 23 March, 2020

The conjunction has already expressed itself in a significant missile-related manner. On 14 April, 2018 US, UK and French forces carried out missile strikes on sites within Syria that were suspected to be linked with the chemical weapons program.

Waxing aspect of 2 February, 2019 shows the increase of pressure from Pluto heavily impacting military advances of Mars and bringing the long-brewing conflict back to the nuclear option dominated by Pluto forces.

The current cycle will reach its full potential during an opposition of 20 June 2019, just one day before the solstice, thus becoming an even more powerful moment in time.

The effects of the first, waxing, square are described in this story, the second correctional, waning, square will happen on 5 November, 2019, its effects will largely be dictated by what will happen in the upcoming months.

The next Mars – Pluto cycle that will start on 23 March, 2020 will largely depend on the outcomes of the current events.

Those are the dates to put into the calendar as the events are likely keep unfolding during the months leading to the next conjunction.