As the collective consciousness of humanity has expanded and the human psyche is now capable of integrating more abstract concepts, Modern Planetary Rulers have been assigned to the signs as follows:
Pluto = Scorpio
Uranus = Aquarius
Neptune = Pisces
From an evolutionary point of view, Pluto represents the soul, which is eternal and survives the physical death of the bodies it inhabits in many lifetimes. Through its association with Mars (co-ruler of Scorpio), Pluto can be best understood as our “Spiritual Libido”, the Martian “arrow” (♂) of our soul, desiring to launch upward. Yet, relative to the fact that Scorpio is a fixed energy, Pluto can also represent our soul “habits” developed over many lifetimes; in other words, it can show where we are “stuck”, taken by spiritual inertia, to the point that we may not even want to move forward on our evolutionary path.
Affected by the law of inertia like everything else in the physical universe, we may simply tend to stay put instead of constantly pushing upward as the evolutionary impetus may require us to do. For this very reason, in evolutionary astrology, we are encouraged to consciously develop qualities symbolized by the House and Sign opposite to our natal Pluto in order to facilitate our spiritual growth (I will discuss this in detail in another post).
As postulated by evolutionary astrology, Uranus represents the sum of all our memories collected over the span of many lifetimes, therefore it represents the “individual unconscious” memory which can be accessed through hypnosis or past life regression. It is like our own personal “Akashic Records” that can be made available to us either with the help of a professional or with our own conscious attempt and genuine desire to bring it to the surface (possibly during deep meditation or in dream state).
As Uranus represents “sudden change” in modern astrology, it can also be associated with past life “trauma”. In evolutionary astrology, Uranus, 11th House, or any planet located in the sign of Aquarius in the natal chart can represent an area of deep-seated trauma that has to be addressed if spiritual healing is to take place.
Neptune symbolizes the collective womb, the ocean of “Being” where the souls (i. e. “beings”) come from and return to, hence it can stand for “collective unconscious”, or where the archetypes themselves emerge from. From an evolutionary point of view, Neptune is what we normally refer to as “God” or “Goddess”. It is the Divine Mother we are all children of, so it is not separate from us, as we are all extensions of it. The condition of Neptune in the natal chart shows how the soul has been in touch with her own divine nature, and/or possibly what types of disillusionment has occurred to disappoint the soul on her evolutionary journey.
In modern astrology, Neptune is associated with dreams, forgetfulness, and ecstasy [“ex”: to stand “outside” oneself]. Thus it is also associated with the transcendence [“trans”: “beyond”] achieved through meditation, music & dance, or the use of alcohol & drugs. The absolute tranquility resulting from Neptunian surrender can be perfectly summed up in the much-quoted Shakespearean lines (from Hamlet):
“To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream.”
In the next post, I will explain how the outer planets can be understood in relation to one another, and how they can be symbolically attributed to different stages of the soul’s evolution.