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Ever since Pluto, that profoundly transformational planet, entered Sagittarius back in 1995, astrologers have been anticipating upheaval within the archer’s vast domains. Our celestial centaur is no homebody, but arches his arrows far and wide in his headlong hunt for truth. Those areas of human experience that traditionally fall within bow shot include long distance travel and communications, international relations, religion, law and of course, education. The sum of human knowledge and the direction of its future development are uniquely linked to the sign Sagittarius, and its planetary ruler, Jupiter.

More specifically, the sign Sagittarius is associated with higher education, while the opposite sign, Gemini, oversees elementary schooling and the more rudimentary mental skills. Together, these two opposite signs influence much of what we teach and believe here on planet Earth. This year, that influence should manifest significantly as both Jupiter and Saturn transit through Gemini, each opposing Pluto in their turn. As this process unfolds, we are likely to find ourselves, both individually and collectively, struggling with our notions about what constitutes a public education while getting awfully contentious about who’s going to pay for what.

Law and Order

We’ve already had a solid five years to adjust to Pluto in Sagittarius. In that relatively short span of time, Pluto has drastically revolutionized our entire way of communicating and handling information, effectively shrinking the planet in the process. The way we learn and share ideas will never be the same. Now come Jupiter and Saturn, the very pillars of society. These two civilizing planets influence business, government and all the ways in which we live and function together as a culture. These upcoming oppositions could represent the philosophical and legislative battle lines in this ongoing, free-flowing revolution.

Although they operate within the same realm, Jupiter and Saturn serve completely different functions. Jupiter, the great benefic, is a gas giant with an expansive touch. Positive, optimistic and ever the philosopher, Jupiter describes our moral and ethical beliefs about the nature of right and wrong. Those beliefs are usually, but not always, reinforced by reference to some higher, godlike, moral authority, and we generally prefer to see those beliefs reflected within the law of the land.

Saturn, the great malefic, is held fast within the confines of its intricate system of rings. Pessimistic and earthbound, Saturn expects the worst and prepares accordingly. Saturn’s crystallizing influence is reflected in the laws and institutions that govern us and the limits placed on our individual freedom. Between the two of them, from Jupiter’s boundless enthusiasm to Saturn’s disciplined caution, they describe the ongoing cycles of boom and bust and faith and cynicism that together form the warp and weft of the social fabric.

Lots of Hot Air

Soon, both of these planets will be parked in Gemini, your friendly, neighborhood sign. Their combined forces will be brought to bear on the center of Gemini’s busy intellectual life, the little red schoolhouse. Past experiences with Gemini indicate that we should expect a lot of talk and very little decisive action, at least until Pluto gets involved.

Jupiter, the faster moving of the two, will oppose Pluto during the first week of May 2001. This transit should spark a thorough airing of the philosophical issues that will underlie any future legislation. We can always count on Jupiter in Gemini to overstate its case, and the demagogues should be blowing at gale force.

Ruthless Reform

Saturn comes later and, because of its retrograde motion, will make a triple-pass opposition to Pluto in Sagittarius. The first opposition will be in early August 2001, followed by the retrograde opposition in early November 2001. The final opposition will be in late May of 2002.

Education will hardly be the only hot topic during these times. All the Gemini-Sagittarius realms will be activated, including transportation, the print media and international relations. However, these Saturn-Pluto oppositions should mark turning points in legislation that could transform public education as we know it.

Pluto can be ruthlessly tough, having developed in the years since it discovery a decidedly unpleasant reputation for leaving very little standing in its wake. Pluto is a super-power all right; sunshine in a frozen concentrate. The directions insist that we dilute its potential, for a little goes a long, long way, but what is it that drives us to try it straight out of the can?

Some of Pluto’s power derives from its association with, or rulership of, the sign Scorpio and the Eighth House. This is the realm of shared resources and other people’s money, where we pool our personal finances together to create greater wealth and purchasing power. Taxes are the best example of this principle. Why, for only a small, annual investment, I own a stake in the world’s most advanced military force, something I could never afford on my own! Tax-paying property owners own a stake in their local public school systems, and the power to determine how that public money is spent will be a subject of deep discontent.

With tax money flowing into religious schools through voucher programs, under Jupiter in Gemini, the whole “separation of church and state” issue will be reopened, as well it should be. Control and content of education are at stake, but so is religious freedom. In the face of all this opposition, we must find the path that grants the most freedom of choice, and provides all students with open and ample access to the educational benefits of the information revolution. Our future depends on it, so let the debate begin!



Courtney Roberts, M.A.,is a writer, teacher, and consultant, originally from Miami, FL. Her work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture' that combines cosmology, religious studies and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

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For more information about Courtney Roberts Conrad, click here.

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