Reflecting Revolution

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Aligning with Universal Cycles

The High Priestess, The Fool, and Judgement from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith, 1909 Pamela-A from Sacred Texts.

One important aspect of ritual work is timing. When I first studied this topic, I learned that, although magic can be worked at any time, it was advisable to align the work with universal cycles, such as the moon phases or astrological influences. For example, if you want to do a money spell, you don’t necessarily have to wait for a specific day or time, but if the moon is waxing or full, do a spell to bring in more money, if the moon is waning or new, do a spell to banish debt. This has always made sense to me.

Cogs in a Wheel

I’ve worked in a variety of traditions, some of which focus on lunar cycles, some on solar cycles. What I’ve learned is that these different cycles fit together like gears. The lunar cycle is like a smaller, faster turning cog that powers the larger, slower wheel of the year. Likewise, the wheel of the year can become a cog in the broad-sweeping and generational cycles of the slower planets. Finding where these cycles come together can often reinforce magical work, leveraging the power of the quick and ephemeral cycles to gain traction in the slow but powerful movement of big astrological shifts so that we connect with enduring results.

Today The Moon is a Cog

Tonight’s full moon is one of those times. The Moon entered Aries early this morning and will pass through an exact conjunction to Uranus and an exact square to Pluto before it reaches its opposition to the Sun (the precise moment of the full moon) tonight at 9:19 p.m. The square between Uranus and Pluto is one of those big, slow-moving generational cycles. We had the second of seven exact squares between these planets last week, and they will continue to be in close formation for about five years. There will certainly be many times that the Moon cog’s cycle will align with that of the big Uranus-Pluto gear. Every month Luna will pass through all possible relationship permutations with the Sun, Uranus, Pluto, and every other planet (it is said that she’s fickle!). However, there will only be one full moon in Aries this year, and the fact that that full moon also is conjunct to Uranus makes this an important example of the cogs lining up.

In the Uranus-Pluto Wheel

Uranus is the planet of revolution. Although it’s possible to observe Uranus with the naked eye, it is slow moving and very dim, and its observers had long considered it a star. It was officially identified as a planet in the early 1780s, towards the end of the American Revolutionary War and just prior to the French Revolution. This was also the time of the Industrial Revolution and significant advances in the science of electricity, all of which contribute to its symbolism. Mythologically, Uranus is the sky god and father of Cronus, or Saturn. This ungrateful son castrated and deposed his father. In tarot, most schools assign Uranus to the Fool card.

Pluto is the planet of transformation. Its name, officially assigned on March 24, 1930, is the Roman name of the god of the underworld, known in Greek mythology as Hades. Pluto became official near the beginning of the Great Depression, an ironic twist because its name means “god of riches.” This is a good example of how the transformation of Pluto works. The 20th century was a time of great economic growth, despite the low point of the Great Depression. Pluto, as the god of death, rules over funeral rites—something has to die in order to enter his underworld kingdom, but the result of coming under his rule is apotheosis, a complete and total transformation into something immutable and eternal. One of his symbols is the bottomless abundance of the cornucopia. In terms of our current economy, perhaps taking away his authority as a planet in 2006 angered this bestower of wealth! In tarot, the Judgment card corresponds to Pluto.

The square aspect is characterized by friction and challenge, but can indicate potential for tremendous growth. When the planet associated with revolution and the overthrow of authority challenges the planet of death and transformation in a five year battle, we can see that profound change will result. By looking to the symbolism of the planets, we can see where that change will occur—it seems likely that Uranus will overthrow economic paradigms associated with Pluto. We can also look to the signs that they are in. Pluto is in Capricorn, associated with authority, business, and government. Uranus is in Aries, associated with independence and personal freedom. The vying for power between innovative individualists and established institutions is a valid summary of this energy. This cycle will last about five years.

The Moon represents our inner soul, our private self, and is denoted by the High Priestess card in the tarot. At the time of the full moon, that inner self is on radiant display. In the instigating sign of Aries, and conjunct the planet of revolution, that brightly revealed secret self suddenly craves autonomy and adventure and will fight battles to achieve it. Luna is also challenging the authority of Capricorn, and because she is the inner soul and ruler of the night, she understands the dark Pluto. But today, Luna is Persephone breaking free from her underworld prison and returning to live with the gods above. This cycle will last about two to three days.

Reflecting Revolution

The Moon in Aries gives us the courage to reveal our secret selves, railing against the limits of authority and establishment, and ready to revolutionize wealth and embark on a path of personal freedom. By aligning our personal energy with this small cog, we gain the strength to turn much greater wheels in our own development, reflecting revolution that will unfold for years to come.

If you are ready to reveal your radiant soul, try the Empyrean Key Reflecting Revolution spread and see how this energy intertwines with the uniqueness of your natal chart.


Joy Vernon is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and Reiki Teacher in Denver, Colorado. Her specialty is the Empyrean Key Transformational Guidance, which combines energetic and esoteric modalities to help her clients break through blocks and align themselves with their higher purpose. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit

© 2012 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.

Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit

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