This week’s card has such a powerful feeling of inevitability about it, I am having difficulty knowing where to begin. Tomorrow, the Sun enters the sign of Scorpio which, according to most Western astrologers, is ruled by Pluto, God of the Underworld. The energy of Pluto is all about Death and Rebirth. It influences our ability to absorb power, to regenerate and transform areas of our life and rules over our restorative, recuperative and self-destructive actions.
As if that wasn’t enough, we are deep into the preparations for Samhain, also celebrated as Hallowmas, Day of the Dead and countless other cultural celebrations that honor and acknowledge our ultimate mortality.
Last but not least, this week’s Full Moon, the exact one that our ancestors who lived by lunar, not solar, reckoning, would have used as the night of Samhain rites, also happens to occur as Pluto aligns with the Galactic Core. The Galactic Core is the center of our galaxy, the birthplace of our entire cosmos.
I think it is profoundly significant that our last visit from the Death card was Dec. 18-24, 2006, which was one of the other moments of this same cycle Pluto/Galactic Core cycle , an event that only occurs ever 250 years or so, and last happened before we even knew that Pluto or a Galactic Core existed.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, we have perhaps the most recognized image in all of Tarot. The skeleton carrying the flag of the Black Death, the stricken king, the priest who faces death, praying for mercy, the young maiden who is partially turned away, and the child, completely innocent, who offers a simple bouquet of flowers. Death comes to us all; how we face it says everything about who we are, what our life has been about.
Every year when the Sun aligns with Pluto, we face our mortality, either dramatically, or in a small but sharp reminder or two. Although rarely a very pleasant occurrence, we can make Death ‘our advisor’ as Don Juan advised Carlos Castaneda. Knowing that each moment is precious and one of a what will be a finite series can do wonders to help us focus our attention and priorities.
The Death card indicates a time of enormous change. This is when our masks and pretenses are stripped away, for good or for ill. We are who we have made ourselves, year after year, thought by thought, deed by deed. And in the face of our mortality, what have we got?
This week, consider well. What is it time to say farewell to forever? What habits, routines, situations, or beliefs do you need to renounce once and for all? In what ways do you face your limitations? What are the things in your life that you must support, and what must you let go of?
Astrologer Eric Francis writes of this pivotal Pluto alignment with the Galactic Core, “The core feels a little like the heart of God or Goddess (indeed both, as it contains both light and dark matter). In terms of history, Pluto going over the Core feels to me like Big, Big Waking Up on that soul level, where the center self moves the rest of the self to be aware and act with volition.”
A long journey that we have all been on reaches a very serious climax this week, although we may not see its results for some time. Walk your path with awareness; know your core values. Be clear about how you accept and use the power that you have; allow the stillness of this shift to fill you.
Then, let go, for we are all on the threshold of unprecedented transformation.