©1-11-13 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
I’ve been thinking about mutual receptions a lot lately because when Saturn went into Scorpio on October 6th, it moved into a long-lasting mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn. I’ve been speculating on what that means for the many young people with stelliums in early Capricorn born in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
For those of you who don’t know much about mutual reception, it’s a connection that forms between two planets when they’re each traveling through the zodiac sign that the other planet rules. In this instance, Saturn is in Scorpio, the sign ruled by Pluto, while at the same time, Pluto is in Capricorn, the sign Saturn rules.
To my way of thinking, mutual reception is similar in some respects to the so-called minor aspects like a septile or biquintile. The general perception seems to be that a mutual reception is a good thing—a “one hand washes the other” kind of synergy. But who is it good for? And what is it good for?
These are two extremely different planetary combinations, and so we might wonder what the differences are in their effects. Much would depend on the nature of the planets, signs, and houses involved, and that’s what I’d like to see us delve into with a bit of online research. First, however, here’s some basic information about mutual receptions, which I’ll shorten to MRs.
What Makes a Mutual Reception Stronger?
Not all instances of mutual reception are equally important in a chart. Here are some factors to consider:
1) How common is this combination of planets and how long does it last? The amount of time two planets are in MR depends on the speed each is moving. Faster moving planets like the Sun, Moon, Mercury, or Mars move around the zodiac much more quickly than slower moving ones. The Moon goes through all 12 signs each month, so mutual receptions with planets in Cancer are quite common. Pluto, on the other hand, takes 248 years to go through all 12 signs.
Contrast the length of some MRs and how often they occur:
- The Sun in Cancer/Moon in Leo combo happens each summer for 2 ½ days.
- The Sun, Mercury, and Venus all move about 1° a day and complete their orbit in a year. Some time during that cycle, there’s a good chance one of them will be in MR with another of them. For instance, not this year or last, but in some years, Venus would be in Virgo and Mercury would be in Libra for about 30 days.
- The recent Jupiter in Gemini/Mercury in Sag MR lasted 37 days, including a Mercury Rx period. It happens once during Jupiter’s 12-year orbit around the zodiac.
- The Saturn in Scorpio/Pluto in Capricorn MR will last for the entire 2 ½ years that Saturn is in Scorpio. Given that the time between Pluto’s stays in Capricorn is 248 years and Saturn’s tour of the zodiac lasts 29.5 years, the odds that Saturn would be in Scorpio at the same time that Pluto is in Capricorn are very slim. This is an extremely rare and potent combination, but every single child born on the planet in that 2 ½-year interval will have it.
(With only Neptune in Virgo natally, I’m not the sort to figure out how far apart these slow-moving MRs occur, but there’s some Virgo stellium Techno-Wizard out there that can.)
- The Neptune in Aquarius/Uranus in Pisces MR lasted the entire 7 years that Uranus was in Pisces, from 2004-2010. Given that Uranus’ orbit is 84 years and Neptune’s is 165, the occasions for these MRs must be few and far between. This is an extremely rare and potent combination, but, again, every single child born on the planet in that 7-year interval would have it.
Just because every child born on the planet during a MR has it, that doesn’t mean it’s not important, however. The longer-lasting ones are a generational phenomenon, signifying some unique quality or asset that a particular age group shares and that is part of the makeup that distinguishes them as a group.
2) How well do the two planets partner each other?
I believe that the most important factor in any planetary combination is how compatible the two planets and the signs they rule are. How well do they mesh—are their basic natures in harmony or at odds?
The signs Cancer and Aquarius do not mesh at all well, nor do their ruling planets, the Moon and Uranus. Thus while Uranus in Cancer would form a MR with the Moon in Aquarius, it still would not be a comfortable match.
On the other hand, the sign Gemini and its ruler Mercury have a certain affinity with Sagittarius and its ruler, Jupiter, and so the Jupiter in Gemini/Mercury in Sag MR could be a very useful one, especially for a writer.
They are natural partners in gathering and disseminating information. Mercury is on a perpetual quest to satisfy its insatiable curiosity and communicate that information to others, while Jupiter excels in pulling bits of knowledge together to get the bigger picture. Mercury would handle the writing, and Jupiter would deal with the publishing end.
3) Is there also another kind of aspect between the two planets?
The MR’s strength is reinforced if there’s also an aspect between the two. For instance, Mercury was opposite Jupiter during part of last year’s MR. Likewise, during the early part of its stay in Scorpio, Saturn will be sextile Pluto.
My experience is that when people have a pair of planets aspecting one another natally, and then the same two planets aspect one another again by transit (regardless of the aspect), it resonates with the natal aspects and opens a window to begin using that planetary pair in new ways.
For example, the young people born in 1988-89 with a conjunction of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in early Capricorn had Saturn (in its own sign) sextile Pluto in Scorpio (its own sign). Therefore, the transiting Pluto/ Saturn MR should ignite more of the strengths of that late-blooming Capricorn stellium, especially while transiting Saturn and transiting Pluto are also sextile in the early degrees of the two signs.
Join our Online Research into Mutual Receptions
In Summer, 2010, my Readers and I conducted a research study into the minor aspects, in which they wrote in the comment section about experiences that illustrated these aspects in their charts. I’d like us to do the same here with mutual receptions.
While this isn’t a state-of-the-art, double blind research protocol, I do believe that collecting case examples can contribute a great deal to our astrological knowledge.
If you have an MR in your chart, help us out by sharing it in the comment section. You could also share about MRs of people you know or celebrities.
Give us the planets, signs, and houses involved, what you make of the combination based on what you know about the planets, and details of real life experiences that illustrate how they work together. I look forward to hearing from you! (Fair warning—I won’t be doing the interpretation. You’ll have to put on your thinking cap and give it a shot!)
UPDATE: Check out the comment section–there’s a great exchange and plenty of great examples of how MRs are affecting Readers’ lives.
PS: Now that I finally have my 2013 Pocket astrologer, I see that there’s one current MR I missed: Transiting Mars in Aquarius in mutual reception with Uranus in Aries has really put that Mars/Uranus energy over the top! While I’m at it, I have to say that I’m not liking Uranus in Aries much. It’s about like a Mars/Uranus conjunction on steroids. There’s a lot of rage out there in the world at large, and people seem to be on a very short fuse, ready to let it off at any convenient target.
Here are links to the articles in our study of the lesser-known aspects, with many examples from the lives of Skywriter’s readers. The comment sections of those articles are still open, and you’re welcome to add your own experiences with these aspects.
- The Not so Minor Aspects—Results of Our Research
- Understanding Semisquares—Your Input Needed
- Understanding the Sesquiquadrate—Your Input Needed
- Is the Semi-Sextile a Good Aspect or a Bad One?
- Understanding Septiles–Your Input Needed
- Understanding Quintiles—What’s YOUR Talent?
- Cosmic Piñata #7: Readers’ Observations about Quintiles and other Aspects
- Understanding the BiQuintile—Your Input Needed
- Quincunx vs. BiQuintile–an Answer from Numerology?
- Heinous Hybrids—Why the Quincunx is No Minor Aspect
- Part 2—the Transiting Quincunx
- The Antiscia are Coming! The Antiscia are Coming!