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Evolutionary Astrology: After 12/21/12, “Chop Wood, Carry Water” *

By Himat Kaur Khalsa

So, will we all become magically enlightened on December 21, 2012, or what?! The Mayan Calendar is “ending.” Are we? Well, I have my hesitations about that “instant enlightenment” concept, as described in previous articles. I think humanity is still evolving, and we’re definitely being asked to go to a deeper, broader, more integrated and all-embracing way of being.

We’re being asked to root out “weedy” things in us that get in the way of good growth; to shore up the foundation of the highest Truth of us; to “rewire” how we think of ourselves, how we relate to our brothers and sisters (in the local as well as the global sense); and how we frame our ideas of what life is and the part we can/should play in it. The evolution of our understanding and reframing of life takes time, which is totally okay and good.

What the Heavens Tell Us

Having said all of that, I’ve pondered the astrological landscape of December 2012, and while my ephemeris (log of daily planetary placements in their orbits around the Sun) does not indicate planets doing things radically different than anything humans have ever experienced, I can report that we do have a potentially transformative event in play this month, foreshadowed by the November Lunar Eclipse, and followed in January 2013 by another energetic trigger.

The Mutual Reception: Saturn in Scorpio (Caring for Others) and Pluto in Capricorn (Transformation)

To set the stage of astrological events, in the midst of evolutionary change being stimulated by the seven Uranus-Pluto squares of 2012-2015, we have roughly a two year period in which Saturn is in Scorpio at the same time that Pluto is in Capricorn. This is known as a “mutual reception,” when two planets are each moving through the sign that the other planet rules. It creates an amplified vibration of the themes the two planet/sign combinations reflect. It is as if the solar system is asking, “If I talk loudly and echo the same type of thing in two different ways, will you get the message?” Two of the major themes of this mutual reception are healing and transforming “bad” and limiting things we have institutionalized culturally and personally (Pluto in Capricorn), and taking responsibility for how we live with and care for other people (Saturn in Scorpio).

To add relevance to this particular planetary choreography, consider that this mutual reception last occurred around the American Revolutionary War period, from late 1776 through 1778—a short but poignant span of time that saw a lot of churning for change, stemming from a society of people who wanted to gain and anchor freedom and independence—who in theory wanted to institutionalize freedoms at a level protected by the fabric of the society itself. (Ponder and free-associate at your leisure the similarities of that period of time to now! It seems at the very least that it could be a time of addressing any changes needed to the structure of the constitution and the union, the psychology of the citizens, and their rights and place in the structure of society.)

So this mutual reception last occurred 236 years ago. Looking to the future, the next time Pluto will traverse Scorpio is the period of February 2254 through late 2270. However, Saturn will not be in Scorpio during that time, so no mutual reception will occur as it does in December 2012.

In fact, the next time we will see a mutual reception of Pluto and Saturn, will be from October 2512 through May 2515 (in case anyone is interested in conceptualizing how things might be that far in the future)! So, in at least a 740-1,000 year period, we have the mutual reception of Pluto and Saturn just twice. Not so insignificant for a fairly major astrological event in December 2012!

The Sextile Aspect: Opportunities to Grow

Now, increasing amperage to the two-year period of mutual reception, we add the fact that from December 2012 through March 2013, the two planets are actually in a close sextile aspect to one another. They are really stimulating and energizing each other—their combined energies buzzing around and through us, ready to be tapped and utilized.

Sextile aspects do not “get in our faces” and demand change in the same way as “hard” aspects. They present opportunities that we must purposefully engage. Having said that, these are powerful vibrations, and in the same way that we should meditate all the time, even when we’re not in crisis, we can make tremendous strides in growth by applying spiritual and mental effort beginning in December 2012, electing to do work that will help us tap into and ride the stimulus and energetic support for change. In times such as these, our efforts are amplified and benefits exponentially multiplied by well-timed discipline and self-awareness.

The Yod and the Lunar Eclipse: Re-Set the Psyche and Emotions

Into this energizing sextile dynamic, along came the Moon on November 28, 2012, slipping into a point that formed a Yod aspect with the Saturn-Pluto sextile. And this takes center stage because at this point, we had a semi-annual Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) at the foot of that Yod. A Yod is an aspect like a big Y shape, where the two planets at the end of the fork put intense pressure on the planet at the foot of the Y. Suddenly the two planets in sextile (Saturn and Pluto) are amped up into agents of immense pressure upon this passing Moon, which is being eclipsed by the Sun at the same time.

In a Lunar Eclipse, the Moon goes from fully reflecting the maximum possible light and radiation of the Sun, to suddenly reflecting little or nothing. This means that the Moon, if we could see her, would be seen as she really is, and not as a reflector of the Sun. Read into that what you might about stepping out of the bold tyranny of powerful, dominating rulers, and breaking free from the status quo or limiting patterns, maybe only briefly, but long enough to slip the noose.

The point is that we are afforded a brief experience of reprieve, where at a deep level, we are free from the Sun’s projection on the Moon, and can perhaps feel what’s really happening beneath the surface in ourselves. The reprieve may not be obvious and conscious in the moment, because it happens relatively quickly. It is as if we figuratively go from full throttle to full break to full throttle again in a short period of time in terms of bombardment of solar light and radiation at multiple levels of the spectrum. (Seriously, take it easy on your bodies on full moon days, folks!)

Coming back to the Yod, Pluto and Saturn placed intense pressure on the Moon during the Lunar Eclipse, as if we’re being asked to do a reset of our psyches and emotions, to reflect a clearer vibration born of our work on healing and transformation stimulated by the Pluto-Saturn sextile.

Jupiter in Gemini: Expand and Break through the ‘Group-Think’

The eclipse sets the groundwork for another similar trigger: On December 22, 2012, transiting Jupiter moves into the same place of the eclipsed moon, when it becomes the foot of a Yod with Saturn and Pluto. The foot of the Yod is in Gemini, which rules the mind and faculty of perception, the way we take in sensory stimulus and experiences, and pass them through our internal (conscious or unconscious) filters, thereby interpreting reality according to our own internal landscape. There are two realities for each of us: the actual, external, factual reality (if we could objectively stand outside ourselves and see it), and the internal interpretation of that reality, which feeds into our paradigm about life and our place in it.

Jupiter has been moving through Gemini since June of 2012, and asks us to expand our understanding, to see beyond our current habitual thoughts and paradigms. In ancient astrology, Gemini was sometimes related to heresy, because ideally, it strives to perceive things as raw data, without filters of “right” and “wrong.” Although we understand in modern days that differences of opinion do not necessitate punishment and excommunication, nothing is more threatening to the status quo, to current societal structures, and to those in power, than to accept and promote ideas that differ from the current "group-think." Jupiter in Gemini is asking us to examine how we have perhaps underestimated the power of our own minds and the ability to think for ourselves, to make up our own minds, and even to simply take in information for ourselves, ponder it to come to our own derived conclusions and beliefs.

This powerful Yod of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto invites us to now unhook our minds from beliefs and filters and thought patterns that support the old, tired, broken, limiting stuff that we're releasing through Pluto's transformational work. And to anchor into our mental habits and paradigm the things we learn from Saturn's maturation with attending to our relationships to one another. Can we and will we take advantage of the energetic support/churning that the planets are stimulating in their dance?

The Lunar Eclipse and Yod of November 28, 2012, followed by the Yod of Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter on December 22, 2012, invite us to actively participate in our own transformation, individually and societally.

As with all planetary events, this short experience, however rare, only facilitates change if we take action. We can sleep through a lot by being distracted with other stuff and not tapping the opportunities that present themselves. The question is, will we choose to apply some leverage of effort, and make a start to pulling up rotted bricks and overhauling the infrastructure of our individual and collective framing, paradigms, and filters of interpretation?

What You Can Do:

Mentally: Make the effort to see more clearly. When you’re in the middle of an issue, consider as objectively as possible, whether the problem may be escalated or created by a limiting internal belief. Ponder what the situation might be like if you were free from that limited paradigm. Entertain the idea of letting a shift occur internally, where you begin to integrate a perspective that reflects broader, higher principles.

Yogically: Use the technology to support and balance the pressures brought to bear on Jupiter in Gemini. This would be especially helpful leading up to and beyond the day of the exact Yod on December 22, 2012. Two relevant meditations are:



  • Meditation for the Neutral Mind, from The Mind – Its Projections and Multiple Facets. “Neutral mind opens the gate to that deep remembrance of the self and soul. The neutral mind lives for the touch of vastness. It lets all other thoughts be without disturbance to your constant inner light.”



  • “Relay of a Past Memory,” from The Mind – Its Projections and Multiple Facets. “The hemispheres [of the brain] will be balanced. The past will be processed and dumped, and insecurity will vaporize.”



May the coming month be a blessed one for you! I wish you happy growth and change!


* Chop wood, carry water: This is a reference to the Zen saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” The saying addresses our concept of enlightenment, and the question of whether it changes our relationship to living mundane life. Key point: For almost everyone alive, regardless of our level of spiritual evolution, if we are still on the planet, we are still engaged in doing the normal stuff of daily life. Escaping the experience of time and space is not the point.

Himat Kaur offers private astrological consultations, and can be reached at (813) 444-6285, or (813) 4HimatK. [email protected].