9. The approximately 25,920-year Sidereal Year, and the commencementaround 1990 of the last degree (or 72-year period) of the Piscean Age. From another perspective, 1990 marks the beginning of the last of three steps leading to theAquarian Age, which many expect to begin around 2062. The first of the three steps began around 1846, the second around 1918.(1)10. Hindus and Theosophists would add that we are in the Indo-European KaliYuga (dark cycle) that began in 3102 BC.With the aid of this extensive set of astrological symbols, we'll attempt to outline thechallenges and opportunities that shape the 1990s and the first decade of the newcentury. But first we'll need to take a closer look at the three trans-Saturnian planetsthat play principal roles in the unfolding drama of the late-20th century, and their special place in the heliocosm—the solar system as a whole.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as Symbols of Transformation
The obvious feature of the three outer planets is that their orbits lie outside the rangeof human vision. We speak of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as trans-Saturnian planets,as planets beyond Saturn. They operate beyond the fortified mundane realm Saturnsymbolizes. The trans-Saturnian planets represent revolutionary, transformative andtranscendent forces which shatter Saturn's barriers . . . and our sense of separateegohood.Saturn's orbit marks the outer reach the solar winds (the sun's electro-magneticcurrent), which provides a strong clue to the astrological symbology of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. A century ago H. P. Blavatsky wrote that Uranus and Neptune arein but not of the solar system. More recently, Rudhyar stressed that the outer planets,which he called Galactic Ambassadors, are subject to the pull of the galactic center.Uranus, Neptune and Pluto challenge us to shift our loyalties to a higher center, torealize a new, more inclusive sense of relationship to all that is. In a few words, thethree outer planets represent the process of modulation to a higher octave of being,activity and consciousness. In spiritual or theosophical terms, such a process is calledthe Path. As we'll soon discuss, each of the three outer planets symbolizes a particular step along the path to the galactic center, and the sort of tests and teachers theaspirant is likely to encounter along the way.Similarly, the three planets represent still mostly underdeveloped faculties latentwithin us all, evolutionary steps we are now trying to realize.The trans-Saturnian planets are of relatively recent discovery—Uranus in the 18thcentury, Neptune in the 19th century and Pluto in the 20th century. The event of their discovery corresponds with the first widespread stirrings of the latent human facultiesthey symbolize.Uranus is the first planet beyond the orbit of Saturn. It was discovered in 1781,and it carries the basic character of that century of invention and revolution. It has an84-year orbit, which is three times the length of Saturn's orbit.Uranus is the great Awakener, symbolizing the urge to go beyond. Because itchallenges the authority of Saturn and its secure walls, Uranus represents inner andouter revolutions. In a negative sense, Uranus symbolizes directionless rebellion. The