Straddling two planets
Updated: Jan 20
One foot in Duality, the other in Unity
The night the American 2018 midterm election results rolled in, Bob Schieffer, CBS News political contributor, said a quite perceptive phrase when discussing the ways voters responded to political tactics and candidates’ messaging: “We have races on two planets. We have Planet Senate and we have Planet House.”
Yes, sometimes it feels like we’re living in between two different worlds.
While I reference politics to describe the phenomenon, I’m not necessarily describing political divisions. The situation is much more complex and nuanced than strictly Democrat versus Republican.
All parts of our society are affected, particularly astrology. Astrologers form their insights based on which “planet,” or more appropriately in which reality, the majority of their clients happen to exist. That usually happens naturally rather than consciously or strategically. Astrologers intuit the language, belief system and guidance that resonates with their dominant audience, just as politicians pick the slogans, issues and phrasing to which the majority of their constituents respond.
Astrological placements can reflect various people’s dispositions and the events in their lives in quite different ways, so the descriptions astrologers use are linked to how their particular batch of clients are manifesting these energies. Research, historical references, other astrologers’ teachings, or past findings are also incorporated in readings. Yet astrologers wouldn’t be successful if they weren’t also intuitively drawing from some sort of bubble in the shared subconscious (or several different bubbles).
As a result, what’s forming is two different ways to interpret astrology. I’m not even referring to the numerous philosophies that exist across the ages and cultures. Most of these were created, or at least translated, from the assumption of separation, so are on “Planet Conventional Astrology.” Meanwhile, “Planet New Astrology” is emerging. Or to be more precise—using the wording of my particular method of astrology—Planet Duality and Planet Unity.
Astrology wouldn’t exist without Planet Duality because astrology is all about the study of the differences between humans (or other ways unseen forces manifest). But my suggestion is that we’re not going to be able to find or create peace unless we also operate on Planet Unity.
Ultimately we are all one, but we have separated into pieces to learn about ourselves. The good, the bad and the ugly of ourselves. I doubt most of us truly want separation to completely vanish—it creates the spice of life, sparking drama, intensity, richness, passion, abstinence and restraint.
That said—the highs don’t have to be so high and lows don’t have to be so low. The severity, extremities, forced inequality, and violent pain can subside as we all come more into balance.
Duality or Unity
As part of this exploration, I offer an emerging methodology I’m calling Unity Astrology as a point of discussion. I invite astrologers to share their thoughts and experiences of how they or their clients are blending energies as we start to put into practice some of our intuitive insights of how the new reality is forming. (Read how to give input at the end of the article).
To explain, it’s easiest to start with the planet pairing most similar to our society’s conventional expression of gender. Astrologers link Mars with masculine energy. When we use the purest form of Mars, we take firm action, driven by strong will. On the other hand, when we employ Venus, so-called feminine energy, and associated with aesthetics and material value, we passively cultivate what we want inside of us so that our inner magnetism draws it to us.
Like a lot of modern astrologers, I am hesitant to reference gender because many women have a strong Mars and plenty of men have a high ratio of Venus, but I use the imagery just as a way to easily exhibit duality. Added to the complexity are non-binary folks who particularly express their Venus and Mars in unique combinations and ratios, and often have a lot of wounds surrounding this topic.
On Planet Duality, astrologers generally term all signs and most planets “masculine” or “feminine” depending on if they are more often active or passive. On Planet Unity, we consider a new theory: All signs and planets are equally masculine and feminine, or have the potential to be equally active and passive, if society expresses them so. People learn how to express energies by mimicking those around them, so the masculine and feminine qualities of each planet are not inherent, but learned.
We are currently at such a transitional time, particularly following the 2017 Great American Eclipse, that such a big change in astrological interpretation can show itself. If the notion of non-binary planets is too radical for long-time astrologers, I encourage you to see if you can derive similar conclusions by using your methods. Understand that my theory is informed by my disposition—an emphasized Neptune, which recognizes oneness; a strong Mercury, which bridges dualities; and many placements demanding balance between opposing energies.
The non-binary theory has many ramifications. Dualistic astrology assumes that a planet is in its “detriment” or “fall” if it’s in the sign of its opposite. For instance, Venus is associated with Taurus (as well as Libra) so Venus in Scorpio, the opposite of Taurus, might not exhibit Venus in its full glory.
What Unity Astrology says: Venus in Scorpio has an opportunity to fine-tune their Venus so that the challenges of Scorpio are kept in check, and eventually an inspiring well-blended expression of Venus emerges. That can happen if the Venus in Scorpio person:
Has other placements in their natal chart that allow Venus to express itself in a Librian or Taurian way, such as planets in the second or seventh houses (which are both associated with Venus). That ensures Venus isn’t getting too squashed;
Has natal chart placements that further balance out Scorpio, and also the co-rulers of Scorpio, Mars and Pluto. For instance, a Mars/Pluto conjunction in Libra in the second house offers plenty of opportunity to cultivate balance;
An unchecked Venus in Scorpio—the sign linked to the darkest depths of our psyche—might struggle with manipulation, jealousy and possessiveness. On the other hand, a well-blended Venus in Scorpio is vigilant about keeping good boundaries. They remind themselves to continually return to the body and self instead of falling prey to the tendency of disrespecting others’ privacy, even if just in the subconscious. While Scorpio (or more precisely the corresponding eighth house) might typically be associated with other people’s resources, a balanced Venus in Scorpio can be self-reliant and self-sufficient, demanding that society fully values her capabilities and compensates her adequately.
If Uranus is also in the Scorpio mix, freedom and non-attachment are added to the equation. At that point Venus in Scorpio can have attractions and appreciate beauty without needing anything from it, which is important even if the desires seem benevolent. A refined Venus can also help Pluto achieve the highest expression of itself—birthing something new in others after the clutter has been cleared. In helping Pluto/Scorpio transform, Venus is flipping the typical role of Pluto/Scorpio, which is usually the energy most associated with transformation.
The idea that a personal planet can have such a profound effect on an outer planet may again seem radical to long-time astrologers. I raise this theory, not only because of my intuitive insights, but because I experience how Venus can balance out Pluto (and correspondingly Scorpio) with sound during InnerSynastry sessions. That said, the Venus needs to have a strong placement in the client’s natal chart, and I also play the volume on Venus quite high to balance out Pluto’s inherent power.
Regardless of sound sessions, I’ve also witnessed in personalities of people with the Pluto/Venus combination how if a person has the capacity for a lot of self reflection, Venus can take the “upper hand” and balance out Pluto/Scorpio’s shortcomings, at least within the natal chart. Whether or not Venus can be strong enough to balance out a Pluto/Venus synastry between two different people is a bit of a complex topic, but if the Pluto/Scorpio person is very open to personal growth and the Venetian person has gained a lot of strength in personal boundaries, then I think it is possible, at least to a certain degree.
On the other side of the coin is Mars, which is related to Aries, the sign most concerned about self. Conventional astrology might question if Mars in Libra, the opposite to Aries, can function properly. Mars in Libra tends to lose sight of its own desires and needs, so that it solely manifests for others around them rather than for itself. But an unchecked Mars in Aries could lean toward selfishness or narcissism, which many would argue is rampant in society today. (That said, on Planet Unity, Mars in Aries can be a warrior without the weapons, defending others who have not yet learned how to protect themselves, feverishly going out into the world in a way sensitive people usually cannot).
Given Mars in Libra's tendency to only be motivated by what's best for the community and what creates equality, maybe it is what’s needed in our world, so often laden by inequality—as long as Mars doesn’t suppress its own needs to the point that it explodes or becomes passive aggressive. A Mars in Libra person cultivates this self-awareness with helpful placements in the natal chart, such as planets in the first house.
At some point Venus and Mars start to blend so thoroughly that we can’t distinguish them—who is being the passive one and who is being the active one; which one is more associated with self and which one is more linked with relationships.
In fact, we might even start to question some of the conventional rulerships. Why couldn’t Venus be most associated with Scorpio? They both have a magnetic quality. Why couldn’t Mars be linked with Libra? They both have a protective nature. While it might not be time to throw out conventional rulerships anytime soon, it is important to contemplate what happens to them when energies become balanced.
If we experience the challenges of planets when they are in signs that are considered “detriment,” that merely means opportunities for balance and growth. With InnerSynastry, I create sounds that provide just the right combinations of energies to help clients experience peace through the difficulties. I then offer advice on how to further soften the excesses in the clients’ daily lives.
As we progress on inner-balancing, planetary transits that were once taxing become less and less so. We even start to look at them as chances to further refine our internal energies. Eventually, these transits become the ones we look forward to—because the inhabitants of Planet Unity thrive in times of energetic balance.
Take note, I use the metaphor of Planet Duality and Planet Unity to add some playful language to the mix of these highly philosophical musings. Quantum physics also offers theories that spark the imagination in all sorts of helpful ways so we can start to comprehend how we’re living in between worlds, dimensions or timelines, possibly multiple ones. But I think it’s most important is to contemplate which energies we have integrated, and which ones need more attention.
To make sure Planet Unity doesn't remain some blissful far-off place—and is fully grounded in consensus reality—it's also important to reside in Planet Integrated, the sweet spot between Unity and Duality. As Planet Unity residents get more comfortable with being immersed in the consensus reality and put themselves out into the world, they then free up the responsibility of those who feel tied to Duality. These people have high ethics and visions of equality and fairness but feel obligated to follow the rules and stay on Duality. As the dreamiest among us gain confidence to take on some of the challenge of the physical world, the kind-hearted yet grounded folks can step back from their duties and start to create a reality that is more aligned with how they want to act in the world.
Each of us have different connections to Planet Unity and hence different clues on how to best live in that reality. How many realities we need to navigate usually is associated with how many different types of people we’re interacting with. As our world becomes increasingly global, there’s a lot of realities to be immersed in—or at the least, acquainted with.
In between two worlds, or multiple ones
Does the Unity Astrology method work as neatly for Venus in Aries and Mars in Taurus (traditionally said to be in their "detriment" because the planets are in their opposing energies)? It potentially works, but that person’s natal chart would also need to have strong placements in signs that follow the last degrees of Leo. The first five signs in the zodiac circle (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and most of Leo) are said to be primarily focused on the development of self, in which case Planet Duality might be the best one to be residing. To be on Planet Unity, a person with Venus in Aries or Mars in Taurus would require emphasized far outer planets (Neptune, Uranus, Pluto), which connect them to the collective unconscious. These outer planets would also need to be positioned in ways that stimulate their emotional capacity to act in ways that serve the betterment of the whole.
Part of the population (probably almost all of it) appears to still be on Planet Duality, while another part is on Planet Unity. Or more accurately, a certain portion of each one of us individually is on Duality, while another portion of each one of us is on Unity. For a rare group, a much higher percentage of the total self is on Unity. But for us to be able to interact with the larger collective, at least a small percentage of our self needs to also be on Duality. In the end, what we're aiming for (and what InnerSynastry strives for) is Planet Integrated.
The percentages might change constantly depending on how much we are required to interact with the consensus reality verses the personal one that we know is actually true. While some people have such a strong core that they can stay in their personal reality no matter where they go, others feel a sense of discombobulation when they leave their bubble to interact with others in a strongly dualistic reality.
Many of us are constantly moving back and forth between what we know to be true and what the larger society is doing, figuring out how close we can walk to one pole or the other, or better yet how we can blend them together. As you continue to read InnerSynastry articles or experience balance like what is achieved in InnerSynastry sessions, you may get a better sense about which planet you live on. But some good questions to ask are:
Are you motivated by fear, conditioning or time pressure (Duality)?
Or do you move from a continual sense of trust and inner-knowing; an understanding that time is merely a tool used to get us to a certain point; and the awareness that reality is actually never-ending (Unity).
Are you only acting from what is best for the bottom line (Duality)?
Or are you aware of the value that you are creating, and have a confidence that the reality you are manifesting is preferred even if it doesn’t always coincide with monetary value (Unity).
For some of us, our personal reality is one we’ve cultivated throughout years of inner work. We’ve healed and nurtured our inner self with lots of intention and self-awareness. We have made great strides in unifying parts of ourselves. And it feels about time for our inner reality to merge with our outer one. The inside is restless after being crammed in such a small space for such a long time.
I suspect the process of becoming a “Complete Unified Self” won’t ever be finished, at least on the plane we call Earth. We’re at school here, and I can’t imagine we’ll ever stop learning. But we don’t need to stay stuck on the treadmill of the same lesson over and again. Some of us are tired of Groundhog Day. Or we feel such love for harmony and unification—perhaps the equanimity experienced in pristine natural areas or in the rarity of balanced relationships—that we want to make sure it’s preserved, cultivated and treasured.
Benefits of Unity Astrology
While in an InnerSynastry session, I examine clients' unified self by first looking at the energies in their charts that are complementary opposites, gauging what’s there, what’s lacking, what’s longing to be manifested more fully, and what is potentially in balance. Then, when we listen to sounds together, I gain more information on their unification based on how the client and I are each responding to the energies as we experience them together. I can help them feel balance, and correspondingly peace, as their separation is healed, even if temporarily. The tips I then offer help them go about their lives in a way so that they can further the integration process.
What are the benefits of being a Complete Unified Self? For one, our relationships with others likely improve because we are no longer dependent on one sole person to balance the energies that we are lacking. At the same time, we are continually aware of, appreciative of and have access to connections with all who surround us.
I also suspect that in the future those who have the most success, defined in a material way, will be the ones who have developed themselves wholly. As our society collectively decides the ethics that are acceptable, those who have refined themselves through the process of inner union will be the ones who can most easily achieve their personal goals—as these goals are linked to what is needed in the larger society. I have pinpointed a segment of the population that seems to be at the forefront of this journey, and I plan to share that in the another article.
Meanwhile the Complete Unified Self Path propels the most sensitive among us out of the shadows so they are more able to interact in the larger society. Highly Sensitive People, which InnerSynastry is particularly well suited for, are sweet, creative, talented folks. We want them among us. As they influence our collective, Planet Unity begins to merge with Planet Duality to become Planet Integrated, until finally we won’t be able to tell the two different realities apart.
That is, until life gets too easy and bland, and we become complacent. Then we restart the whole cycle of separation to union. That’s just the beauty and mind-bending orchestration of it all.
Note: Underlined words with no link signify articles that are not yet posted. Check back in the near future!
I invite readers, particularly long-time astrologers, to offer their own insights into how we can use astrology to cultivate inner Union. While I draw on established philosophies such as evolutionary and transpersonal astrology, I’m still unraveling the Unity method. I’m hoping that by sharing insights, we can further form this method, together. With your permission, I may reference you and your stories in future articles. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.