Chart created using TimePassages Astrology Software
The Astrology of Y2K
by Henry Seltzer
Y2K Chart

Here is the text for an article written before the facts were in about the Y2K computer bug and its effects on planet-wide infrastructures. Before the event, it seemed quite possible that systems would break down. This article discusses the psychological and sociological implications of such a perceived break-down in communications and support systems. It can also be read as a manifesto for the long-overdue and quite necessary changes to the structure of our civilization which seem to be in progres in this new century. Witness the recent WTO demonstrations in Seattle, and the movement for reform in the American electoral process.

As the millennium fast approaches, many are wondering about the effects of the Y2K computer bug on society. The predictions range from those who only expect a few minor glitches, to those who are sure there will be a major gap in the social order, with power outages and suspended food deliveries, leading to massive anarchy and the imposition of marshall law. Which ones are right? Can astrology tell us? A look at the chart for the end of the century reveals more about psychological change and social transformation than dire predictions of collapse. And yet there are important points to ponder if we look closely at its symbolism. What in fact does the chart of the Y2K moment tell us about the changes that are coming?

If we erect the chart for 12 Midnight December 31, 1999, (see above graphic) and begin to analyze it, we first may note the lack of dramatic planetary configurations. Unlike the New Moon of August 11, 1999, the famous grand cross eclipse of last summer, there are few powerful placements of the planets in relation to each other. From this we might deduce that the effects of Y2K will be of a more subtle nature than that smack on the head that some are predicting. A closer look however reveals much that is of interest in sorting out this climactic moment in time. After all, as the centuries shift, and we move one step closer toward the Age of Aquarius, we might expect some social and psychological repercussions.

The first thing that is striking about this chart is the exact conjunction between Pluto and Chiron, at about eleven and a half degrees of Sagittarius, which we may call the 12th degree of the sign. Rarely is a particular event in time greeted by such a close conjunction. And also the Sun and Moon occupy similar degrees of the prior and succeeding signs to Sag, Scorpio and Capricorn, or in other words the conjunction is semi-sextile to both luminaries. This means that the Pluto-Chiron conjunction is very much emphasized, brought to rational and emotional awareness, being at the Sun-Moon midpoint as they sextile each other. In personal psychological terms, the planet Pluto symbolizes transformation and change, in extreme cases the death of some way of being, either an actual physical death, or such a radical transformation that one could say that some part of oneself has died in the process. And Chiron too is a powerful force in natal astrology, in whatever area of the chart it is found, symbolizing the pain and loss associated with deep-seated wounds to our psyche in that particular area, wounds that are often too deep to acknowledge. Bringing consciousness to the wounds represented by Chiron can lead to a tremendous release of power when they are exposed and transformed over the course of time - the power to be more fully oneself, and as well the power to heal others suffering with these same types of issues. How might we interpret these powerful energies in the chart of a moment in mass consciousness, a moment of social rather than psychological transformation?

What, we might ask, does this moment in time mean to our culture as a whole? In one sense, it is merely a turning of the page of a calendar, a tick of the clock to the next slot in our conventional measurement of the days, months and years. And yet because it is a broad turning from one period of time to another, from one age to the next, it can represent a stage in planetary evolution, a point in time for all of us to take stock. As background we must acknowledge the deep-seated pain of our moment in history. All cultures on the planet today feel it, to a greater or a lessor degree of emphasis. We are in the process of destroying our very environment that we as a species depend on for our lives and the lives of those who will come after us, all in the name of materialism and greed. In many cases we are destroying each other with the same lack of clarity, and more people around the world than ever before are becoming consciously aware of this disastrous process. What an extremely poignant moment in history! The experts all are saying that if we don't change our direction now, and they are saying right now, we won't be able to turn it around and begin to sustain rather than eliminate life on earth as we know it. So this conjunction of Pluto and Chiron, appearing as it does at a climactic moment in mass awareness, is quite apt, for we are in a "consciousness - use it or lose it" type of situation.

In this regard it is interesting to note that the Pluto-Chiron conjunction takes place in Sagittarius, the sign of higher consciousness. It is through a renewed philosophical and practical commitment to higher mind and cosmic awareness that we may all be healed rather than continuing down the path of destruction. The signs preceding and following Sagittarius, where we find the Moon and the Sun, are also significant. Scorpio, ruled in fact by Pluto, represents change on a large scale, transformation at both a personal and a cultural level. And Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, has to do with social structure, and the entrenched holding on and resistance to change characterized as being stuck in the mud of prior beliefs and limitations. It is interesting to note in passing that Saturn has for some time now been in square with Uranus in Aquarius, which represents a strong force for change through increased social awareness. That square is still active in the Y2K chart, and on one level symbolizes the collision between outrageous insight and dynamic sudden changes with the establishment, the outmoded status quo.

In this regard, the Y2K computer glitch takes on a renewed significance. If systems indeed break down during this period, that fact may well serve as a wake-up call to people all over the world, a shared event to remind them of the fragile underpinning of our society, of our basic mutual inter-dependence, a time to reach out and help each other get across the gulf of lack of connection to the social order, a time to reflect on whether we are on the right path as individuals, and as a nation, a culture, a world. Even if what actually happens is not so severe, the mass awareness of how close we might have come to anarchy will surely open some eyes. It is interesting to note that the Pluto-Chiron conjunction of ultimate transformation and painful but necessary changes, is in the third house of communication. It is through communication that we might begin to change things, and it is the factors of modern communication that may well break down if the infra-structure collapses, the computer, electrical power, even the delivery systems that we depend on for drinking water. In the case of wide-spread power outages, the mass communication media of radio and television are also certain to be affected. The conjunction is also forming an quincunx aspect of 150 degrees to Saturn, the planet that represents the limitations and structure of society, and perhaps the concept of materialism itself. We can only hope that these symbols in aspect to each other may mean a time for at long last turning away from a purely materialistic viewpoint, as painful and as difficult as such a turning will be for the vast majority of people of all lands, and especially we who live in this supposed land of plenty. Plenty of goods, plenty of prosperity, plenty of guns and ammo, but not necessarily plenty of values. A little deprivation might help to change all that.

In a further commentary on the chart of Y2K, I would like to bring forward the information contained in the degree symbols for a few significant degrees of the chart. Each degree has a special character, as revealed in two very powerful symbol systems, the Sabian Symbols, brought forward early in the century by Mark Edmond Jones, and a more recent set of degree symbols, the Chandra Symbols. The Y2K chart rising degree, for Washington DC, and really all across the country as midnight moves westwards, is the seventh degree of Libra. The Sabian symbol is "A woman feeding chickens and protecting them from hawks" regarding which Mark Edmond Jones states in his commentary:

This is a symbol of the creative division of labor between the functions of man and nature, of the dual constitution of the soul in its responsibilities of conservation on the one hand and development on the other [... and may refer to] a very special skill in protecting the self's real interests [or else] a complete personal ineptitude in the face of life's everyday and recurrent complexities.

The corresponding Chandra Symbol is "A group of old ladies gossiping excitedly" Here is commentary by Elias Lonsdale, from his important book Inside Degrees:

In on big news. Tapping the pulse of the times. Almost not able to contain it, to deal with it all. Placed strategically to tune in to major developments collectively. A clearing house for immediate and enduring cross-currents. [...] Able to track with what is meant to be and what is truly moving forward, to lend it a helping hand and be completely involved with universal destiny calls, with their resonant reverberations throughout the world.

Both these texts represent poignant commentary on the global manifestations of what we may encounter during the Y2K period of time in early January.

Another important degree in this chart is of course the degree of Pluto-Chiron, the twelfth degree of Sagittarius. Here the symbols indeed point up the idea of extreme transformation. The Sabian Symbol is "A flag that turns into an eagle that crows" emphasizing at the same time the ego-oriented side of our national emblem, and the possibility for transformation to a more spiritual consciousness. Mark Edmond Jones' keyword is ADJUSTMENT, and he mentions "self-establishment through genuine self-expression". The corresponding Chandra Symbol is "Icicles melting" and Elias Lonsdale's commentary reads in part:

Outliving old stuck patterns by slowly wearing them out. Deep process. Experiencing lessons in humility and simplicity. An extravagant streak which relents only after relentless pressure. Cross-purposes. An attachment to personal inclination of the most stubborn kind, yet a desperate drive to get beyond the shadows. Interior dialogue and dispute [...] Allowing pride to surrender without being made wrong. Elaborate movements toward significant breakthrough.

Certainly these symbols invoke a degree of hope that we may all come through the painful process with significant and necessary changes in the way we operate.

Finally, the Sun's degree in the chart of Y2K is the eleventh degree of Capricorn. The Sabian Symbol is "A large group of pheasant on a private estate", which brings in the concept of man and nature, of values and selection and cultural evolution. The corresponding Chandra Symbol is "A young boy joyously kisses a fat old lady". Elias Londsale's commentary is about polarities:

Polarities go against each other in order to find each other again. [...] Walking a collective karmic edge between the old and the new, in which both of them must be honored in just the right ways. Yet the work it takes to bring polarities together in fresh ways is monumental. And that work is utterly redemptive, of infinite meaning and scope, in opening doors and letting totality in by conviction, by affinity, and by surrender to the great inevitable.

I like the concept Elias expresses so eloquently, of honoring both the old and the new. It is good to acknowledge all the parts of the mix. If radical change is to take place it will take all of us, and it will take all of our parts. We must allow ourselves to go forward into a better world, but we have to bring along the consciousness of what has gone before, how that had it's place and it's strengths as well as it's crippling weaknesses, or else the cultural transformation we are all mutually engaged in simply won't work. Let us hope that through the transition and the potential chaos of the Y2K moment we edge closer to our higher nature, both individually and as a society.


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sun astrology The Sun

The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.

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moon astrology The Moon

The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.

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mercury astrology Mercury

Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.

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venus astrology Venus

Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.

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mars astrology Mars

Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.

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jupiter astrology Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.

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saturn astrology Saturn

Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.

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uranus astrology Uranus

Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.

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neptune astrology Neptune

Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.

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pluto astrology Pluto

Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.

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chiron astrology Chiron

Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.

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ceres astrology Ceres

As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.

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pallas astrology Pallas

The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.

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juno astrology Juno

The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.

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vesta astrology Vesta

In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.

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eris astrology Eris

While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.

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haumea astrology Haumea

The astrology of Haumea seems to be related to love of the natural world and to the fecundity of natural process. This archetype thus signals profound connection to Nature, connection to Source, and a form of natural charisma.

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makemake astrology Makemake

The astrology of Makemake is related to love of the natural world and to the activism associated with defending the environment. This archetype thus signals a profound connection to nature that is quite similar to the archetype of Haumea, his fellow traveler in the Kuiper Belt, with the same astronomical designation and also named from the pantheon of indigenous gods and goddesses.

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part of fortune astrology Part of Fortune

The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.

More about the Planetary Bodies...

north node astrology The North Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.

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south node astrology The South Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.

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aries astrology Aries

Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.

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taurus astrology Taurus

Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.

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gemini astrology Gemini

Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.

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cancer astrology Cancer

Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.

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leo astrology Leo

Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.

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virgo astrology Virgo

Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.

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libra astrology Libra

Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.

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scorpio astrology Scorpio

Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.

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sagittarius astrology Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.

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capricorn astrology Capricorn

Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.

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aquarius astrology Aquarius

Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.

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pisces astrology Pisces

Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.

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