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Fifty Shades of Uranus and Pluto

When looking at big aspects like the current square between Uranus and Pluto, astrologers tend to think in grand terms. We look for world changing events. But these aspects also show their influence in ways that are far more humble and even entertaining. For example, there’s the unparalleled success of the e-book, Fifty Shades of Grey.

I have to admit that I haven’t read this novel but it has become so popular that its basic ideas are almost common knowledge. It is an erotic romance novel that includes a lot of bondage and sadomasochistic elements. It was written by E. L James and has it developed into a publishing bonanza that booksellers and libraries cannot keep on their shelves. Already sequels are coming out and there’s talk of the obligatory movie.

How does this relate to the Uranus and Pluto square? Well, first of all, Uranus has to do with new media and computers. The book was introduced as a downloadable e-book. Uranus is also the ruler of all things shocking and “kinky”. It’s a fair bet that, for most of the avid fans of this book (typically middle-aged and middle-income women,) the events so explicitly described in Fifty Shades of Grey are pretty shocking. Uranus also has to do with the sudden, surprising success. The phenomenal rise of this book certainly fits into this category.

Then there’s Pluto. Sex, particularly sex involving power, dominance and submission is very much in Pluto’s symbolic wheelhouse. Pluto is all about discovering the dark, dirty secrets that lurk behind our pleasantly conventional facades. It’s about coming to terms with our “shadow”, with the desires and needs that we’d rather not acknowledge. It seems obvious that E. L. James has found a way to do this that appeals to soccer moms around the glode.


The explosive success of Fifty Shades of Grey may not be the most significant manifestations of Uranus square Pluto but it can still teach us something about what this aspect means. This aspect, which we will be dealing with for the next three years, will shock us into facing a lot of unpleasant truths about our political and social systems. It will teach something important about our weaknesses and (hopefully) about our strengths. And, considering all the wrenching changes Uranus square Pluto is likely to bring us, taking a few hours to relax with a trashy novel might not be such a bad idea.

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