Juno – as I understand her – goes far beyond the energy of ‘the soulmate’ or ‘the marriage partner’. Whilst she can be these things, she represents something far more profound – the channel that houses the flow of Divine Feminine energy into your life. If you consider the Divine Feminine is the ‘soulmate’ or spiritual counterpart to the Divine Masculine, you can see why her interpretation evolved into the form that it did.
A historical analysis of Juno shows as her a Goddess that refuses to be confined. She is the nurturer, the guardian, the mother, the wife, the goddess of the liminal – those spaces in between spaces, just as one phase ends and another begins. Her energy is somehow both subtle and powerful at the same time. It, usually through a person, allows the flow of Sophia, Asherah, Shakti (use whichever term you like) to stream into your life.
Transits to Juno, in my astrological study of natal charts, tend to trigger this opening or gateway to the feminine. And no, they’re not always about ‘finding Mr. or Ms’ Right’. A soulmate whose energies are channeled by Juno, depending on your chart, can just as well bring you to the feet of the Goddess by virtue of violence, rejection and painful experiences.
Juno, to summarize what is a powerful and complex energy, brings us into balance with ourselves and asks us to reach out and honor those parts we disown. That is how I read energy with respect to the ‘union’ or ‘soul-marriage’ she is traditionally linked with.
I also see her as profoundly linked to certain aspects of shadow-working, or Reclaiming the Shadow. It is she who protects the newborn child from being snatched by the jaws of death, and the city from the ravages of invasion.
There is something so profoundly deep, dark and mysterious about this Asteroid Goddess that a single post cannot cover – so I hope to have provided you with a sense of her depth and breath and liminal presence.
And yet, at the same time – She is the Goddess of Beginnings…. (how wonderful!)
In the sign of Cancer, Juno finds ways for us to connect with Mother Gaia once more. She may also find ways to work her magic in our lives so we re-establish long-forgotten connections with family, tribe, cultural collective – and especially – the mother figure. She brings us to the traditions, the rules, the habits, the attachments to old ways of establishing a group identity and asks us to decide whether we choose to dance to the same tune, or to find a different drummer. Either way – you are being called to see the Goddess in your Home, your place of Belonging or Rootedness, however you define it.
Pluto Retrograde, on the other hand, is a very different sort of energy. It represents the energy of transformation-through-crisis (Gargatholil) and is linked with the themes of sexuality, intimacy, regeneration, birth-death-rebirth, shadow-working, deep and intense emotions, power, control, intimate boundaries, the merging of energies and profound esoteric or occult knowledge… and so on. It is the place where the Phoenix goes to Die, the Crucible in which it Burns, and from which it Arises again. One of the most potent and intense energies in the astrological zodiac.
The lessons that Pluto teaches are often perceived as painful, yet they contain the greatest gifts and blessings. I’ll give you an analogy: I call Pluto – The Thug. Say you’re walking down the street. You get mugged and lie bleeding. You wake up a few days later in hospital. After you’ve healed, you realize that the building you were about to walk into (just before you got stopped and mugged) was on the verge of collapse – and you would have most certainly died if you’d arrived at your destination. And on top of that, you had no money in your wallet anyway….
That’s the kind of blessing/trial that Pluto can bring, though it’s usually not as dramatic.
In Capricorn, Pluto is truly shaking up society’s understanding of what ‘success’, ‘achievement’ and ‘authority’ mean – in the public eye. We’ve seen the effects of the Uranus-Pluto squares and the political uprisings and revolutions that have been sparked close to their exact squares. It can manifest as the erosion of the old to make way for a way of building a new institution, or even a new world order. Or it could manifest as older, established forms of governance grasping onto power through whatever means required. Whether change is desired or not, it will happen, come what may.
At the personal level (though this depends greatly on house placement), the way you consider yourself to be successful, accepted or legitimate in some way will change.
With Pluto Retrograde, the kinds of crises that can erupt, prompting you to evolve, often arise within the psyche – in response to some external event. Its more about you, than it is about anyone else – so it would be wise to ensure that whatever conflicts you may find yourself in are not mere games of projection.
When you get Juno opposed Pluto Retrograde, you get a situation where a crisis is likely to erupt at any time – though you can’t say you didn’t see it coming…. Pluto Retrograde is under a great deal of strain and it seeks to channel and keep its transformative drive within the psyche: self-containment does not suit its raw power.
The straw that breaks the camel’s back, the trigger that finally launches the raw power of Pluto may even be a harmless comment, gesture from someone playing Juno in your life. With Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn, whatever plays for power, or attempts to control another are likely to be visible in the public eye. If you’re having a breakdown, you might not want to post it on FB, for instance. Many may find themselves having to make critical decisions about their Careers and ideas of Building a Legacy – and weighing that against the Needs, Wants and Perspectives of their Partner.
With Juno in Cancer, this becomes a classic contest between one’s public life and family life. You may find that someone in your familial/domestic environment challenges you in ways that set off a chain reaction, bringing out the well-hidden shadow of Scorpio into full view. It’s hard to say exactly how this will pan out as Juno is such a ‘wide’ energy to work with.
Some might experience this as a breakup (if their partner is represented by Juno), others may find aspects of themselves calling out for wholeness, completion and expression. Some might look at the Goddesses in their own Tradition and call out for a radical re-signification of their spiritual form and meaning. There are lots of other possibilities as well.
But one thing is for certain: The Goddess calls for Balance. She asks you to honor the Home (Earth, Tribe, Family) just as she asks you to make your way, and your name in the World. If the foundations of the legacy you are building are strong, and they are in balance with your relationship to Family/Home/Roots – then Pluto Retrograde is not something you have to worry about too much.
The energy of Juno and Pluto are in a Wedge shaped configuration with Vesta (the Priestess, the keeper of the Sacred Flame) in Scorpio. She sextiles Pluto Retrograde and trines Juno, providing a useful focal point to turn to in case the energies become too intense for you to handle. Vesta tells us how we can nurture, honor, and regenerate ourselves even in the toughest of times – so find some time in a private setting and do whatever it is that makes you feel the most alive. I refer you to http://wp.me/p4OUNS-59for specific ideas as to how.
Vanakam, Namaste and Blessings to All,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Image: “Juno sospita pushkin” by shakko – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Juno_sospita_pushkin.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Juno_sospita_pushkin.jpg
“Hades Altemps Inv8584” by Jastrow (2006). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hades_Altemps_Inv8584.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Hades_Altemps_Inv8584.jpg
“Chief Vestal” by This file is lacking author information. – G. Ferrero, The Women of the Caesars, New York, 1911.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chief_Vestal.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Chief_Vestal.jpg