Posted by: Donna Cunningham | November 25, 2009

Pluto, Saturn and the Blame Game

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 There are days lately when it’s really hard to be out in the world. With so much undirected rage out there looking for a target, it’s hard not to soak it up psychically. It’s also much too easy to trigger it inadvertently and become the brunt of it. Pluto’s sign shows the main recipients of our resentments—those we blame when our lives are out of control and bad things happen. With Pluto square Saturn currently, the level of resentments,  blaming, and seeking out scapegoats are all particularly intense.

Why We’re Projecting the Blame onto the Big Guys

Capricorn is the sign of authority figures, and now that Pluto is firmly entrenched there, the main target for our rage seems to be authority figures, the bigger the better. People who are in a rage—and a panic—about the economic situation blame it on Congress, on Oil Moguls, or on corporate fat cats.

They increasingly blame it all on President Obama, who suddenly can’t do anything right. Whatever he does, the conservatives condemn him for not being conservative enough and the liberals lambaste him for not being liberal enough. Never mind that America adored him just months ago, amid completely unrealistic expectations that he would be the Messiah of Money, the Savior and Redeemer of our faltering economy.

We fooled ourselves for a time that we weren’t in deep doodoo, not really, and that there was some simplistic quick fix for this economic debacle that’s been 20 or 30 years in the making. Showered with public adoration just a few months back, Obama is being hit by a tidal wave of blame, when the real causes of this fiscal freefall can be traced back a decade or longer, well before he was even elected to the Illinois  State Senate.

Are You One of God’s Brats?

Donna Cunningham Skywriter Pluto-Saturn seriesBut, hey, if you’re looking for someone to blame, why stop at the President? Why not just go straight to the top?  Who a lot of people seem to be really pissed off at lately is God.

The very folks who were so quick to praise God for the Blessed Life they were living just a couple of years ago are now convinced God has turned on them. Yeah, verily, The Lord has singled them out for no good reason and is now maltreating them.

Maybe they’re still praising God in public, just in case, but if you catch them in private on an especially bad day, they’ll fume about how crappy the Heavenly Pater is being to them. They say it so petulantly, and with such an underlying sense of total ENTITLEMENT, that I’m calling them God’s brats. God didn’t get us into this fiscal fiasco, we got ourselves there.  

 Who’s Really to Blame for the Mess We’re In?

How did we get in this boat to begin with? Over the years, as one outer planet after another camped out in Sagittarius, we bought into the idea of unlimited expansion and started living beyond our means in vast numbers. Neptune was there from 1970-84; Uranus pumped us up in 1981-88; and Pluto fueled our obsession with living large from 1995-2008. I relate the development of the Easy Credit mentality and the spiraling of personal debt to the passage of Pluto—the planet of debt, high finance, and power—through over-expansive Sagittarius.

Despite its many sterling qualities, Sag is a sign that wants more and more.  They never believe the bills will come due, and they justify the overindulgences by thinking that even if the bill collector does come to call, it will all work out because God will provide. Sag is the sign of gambling and speculation; addictive gambling in casinos and online became an epidemic, while speculation on the stock market and in real estate became a preoccupation for higher income people. Sag is the sign of foreign countries, and many of us indulged a lifelong desire to travel by charging trips on credit cards; at the same time high-end imported labels and exotic foods became considered necessities.

The metaphysical industry made its own contribution to greed. Remember those motivational speakers who taught us we could be, do, and have anything our hearts desired if we just thought right—chanted the right chants, made the right life maps, attended their abundance workshops, and paid them plenty to teach the right manifestation techniques? Oddly enough, as they encouraged us to put their costly events on our credit cards, they never enlightened us to the fact that going into debt is not the same thing as abundance.

The absolute apex of metaphysical greed gurus was James Arthur Ray, whose influence on his followers led him–and them–to disaster when three people died as a result of a ceremony that capped a $10,000 workshop on abundance.  So, yes, the predatory lenders and the positive thinkers played their parts in the debt spiral and its ultimate collapse, but we ourselves got greedy and spent ourselves right down the tube. They say you can’t cheat an honest man, and, ultimately, we all lied to ourselves and others about how affluent we were.

 Pluto has settled in Capricorn now and will be there for the next 13 years. If I had to narrow down the keywords for Capricorn to just one, it would be ACCOUNTABILITY. The buck stops here—and the buck HAS stopped, folks. The only way we’re going to get out of this mess—individually and collectively—is to accept responsibility for what we’ve done to ourselves and to the planet and to start living within our means.

Donna Cunningham Skywriter Pluto-Saturn series “Live within my Means??? Are You Joking?”

I’ve gotten there a bit ahead of most people. How did I learn to live within my means? The hard way. I came to the place so many have gotten to recently—the place of utter ruin.

A few years back Saturn sat on my natal Pluto in Leo for 8 months straight, and all the bills that had gotten out of hand due to a medical melt-down came due at once. It was TURRIBLE!! It finally moved off my Pluto and spent two interminable years in the 2nd house, the house of WHAT MONEY???  

 Saturn snarled its way through Leo and penny pinched its way through Virgo. I kept track of where every penny went, and gingerly encountered the B word… Budget.

I cut and pouted and cut and pouted, but finally learned how to live within my means, and you know what? I actually came to love it. For the first time in my life, I knew exactly how much money I had, and what my expenses were. I made a plan and kept to it. It felt SAFE, an almost unknown emotion in a lifetime spent in the financially iffy field of astrology. I slept better, even in those last few dicey days of the fiscal month.

Now, any time the money worries or I Wants take over, I sit in one of the rooms of my apartment and slowly look at everything there, piece by piece, and thank God for it. And here’s the real Secret—God LIKES it when we say thanks. The more I give thanks for what I’ve got, the more effortlessly I manifest the things I really do want and need. The regular practice of gratitude has taken my manifestation mojo to a whole new level. 

 Gratitude—A Sure Path to Contentment

I‘ve started telling friends that the next series of workshops I gave would be on how to be poor. My sister—who has always known how to stretch a buck until you could use it for a blanket—was going to co-lead them.

What I really meant was that SOMEBODY needs to be a guru on how to live within your means and be contented. We need to learn how to not just be okay with scraping by, but to love and cherish what we already have.

It helps, when you’re frustrated by all the things you don’t have or can’t afford anymore, to remember that in these United States, no matter how broke we might be, we live better than 80% of the people on this planet. In Africa, Asia, and South America, people are emaciated from famine, living without clothing or sanitary facilities, with ten people or more crowded into a tiny shack. If you need help remembering how good we really have it, a good movie to rent would be Slum Dog Millionaire…that’ll amp up your gratitude.

Here’s a helpful how-to piece:  How to Accept Blame when You Deserve It.

More Posts for your Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit:

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  1. I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated so many of your posts, as I have enjoyed your books.

    This post reminds me of the proverb:
    It is better to want what you have than to have what you want.

    It is the way I try to live my life. Living within my means has brought me a sense of freedom and peace of mind that goes beyond the knowledge that I have money in the bank if I want or need it. I do not feel beholden to what I own in the same way as when I am borrowing to pay for it or have sacrificed something of greater intrinsic value to buy it. I look forward to the day that my home will be truly my own.

    (Sun, Venus, Mars stellium in Cancer in the Fourth House)

    • Yes, Mari, that’s exactly what it does for me too. And since I’ve recently been clearing out possessions to prepare for a move to a smaller place, I am seeing how foolish I was to buy all those things I’m now getting rid of. Donna

  2. Thank you for offering this blog. I find it very helpful and look forward to each one.

    I have a general metaphysical question triggered by your statement from your post today…

    re: “… motivational speakers who taught us we could be, do, and have anything our hearts desired if we just thought right—chanted the right chants…?”

    I struggle with trying to figure out the nature of our existence on this planet. With so many contradicting belief systems, which one is it or is it some combination:
    1. create whatever we want?
    2. destiny/fate/karma?
    3. God’s will?
    4. ‘Conversations with God’ system
    5. learning lessons
    6. something else
    7. wasting my time pondering this 🙂

    From an astrological perspective it would seem to be more of a destiny/fate thing, which would conflict with the idea of ‘create whatever you want.’

    Any insights you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    In gratitude…Maureen

    • I think all these belief systems are just human beings’ ways of trying to make some sense of their existence….and in the end all of these systems are just opinions, not any ultimate truths. And yet throughout history, wars have been fought over whose belief system is the real truth. The divine may not be knowable, any more than far off galaxies are.

      I’m reminded of some major psychiatrist I read years ago–I forget his name–who helped me to understand that the delusions psychotic people come up with are simply their own way of trying to make sense of what is going on in their brains as a result of their biochemical disease. We are all of us try ing to make sense of our existence and grapping with those same big questions but coming up with different answers, none of which may be true. That’s how I see it anyway.

      • Thanks, Donna. I appreciate your response. In the process of figuring this all out, I’m afraid I will have wasted my time doing the ‘wrong’ thing.

        On a lighter note, I’m reminds me of a book I read many years ago about this guy who travels the galaxy seeking the answer to the question…why are we born, only to live suffer and die? In the end he finds the person with the answer. it’s answer?…why not. I threw the book across the room.

      • LOL!! Was it maybe one in the Douglas Adams series about the station at the end of the galaxy? I think maybe he died recently.

        I get confused a lot about who has died and who hasn’t, folks, so don’t start any rumors if he’s still around. I got my karmic comeuppance, however, when someone proposed me for a page on the Astrologers’ Memorial website because I hadn’t shown up at any conferences in years. Donna

      • He passed away in 2001, but, boy! what a legacy he’s left behind!

      • Thanks, Neeti, I thought so, but I’ve been wrong so many times that I needed validation. When I was webmaster for the Astrologers’ Memorials, I killed off several astrologers who hadn’t yet passed away. Donna

  3. Great article, Donna! Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Amen! Over 25 years ago when I was actively involved in Sufism, my teacher gave me the Sufi name of Shakura (which means gratitude). The point being to continually remind me of the need to express appreciation and gratitude for my life.

    It worked surprisingly well. 🙂

    I was one of those born with Saturn conjunct Pluto in Leo in my 9th house. ::::grin:::::

    You are sure right about the undirected rage!

  5. You know, one of the things that developed over the last years are some of the megachurches where the message is that God wants us to be successful, and getting more money and lots of stuff is a sign of the Father’s love for us. Ditto in some “New Age” circles: $ is a proof that you’re living a right life (how come these groups in some ways seem so similar, yet believe they’re so different?)

    So of course, why wouldn’t it be God’s fault if we’re losing our shirts? If $ is an expression of His grace, then HE must be the one who has developed the problem of late.

    • So true, Deb. For a while, I was really getting a lot from Joel Osteen’s broadcasts and books–he’s got one of those megachurches. And he was going to have a service here in Portland at the big arena, so I got a ticket for $70. (The service was cancelled because of a blizzard.) Then I was so very turned off by the fact that the tickets down on the arena floor were $250 each that I stopped listening to him at all. His message was abundance and success related, and here the very people who would have needed to see him in person the most could not possibly have afforded it. Only the people who were already successful could have laid out even $70 much less $250. Donna

  6. So true- it’s amazing to me how many people were willing to excuse George W. Bush while he was actively ruining things, but now EVERYONE is piling onto Obama because certain of the clusterfucks we’re in now are just not solvable in the short-term, by anyone. F you, Pluto in Sagittarius, and I’m sorry on behalf of the world, Pluto in Capricorn.

    I think because there’s been so much Sagittarian/Jupiter excess in the past several years, and the playing field has really become unbalanced, more so than it’s probably ever been (at least in this country), for a lot of people living within or below your means just ISN’T comfortable. If certain basic things were free or low-cost *COUGH*HEALTHCARE*COUGH* then more people could probably enjoy living simply and modestly, instead of being able to pay for their rent, their bills, their insurance, and THAT’S ALL EVER. Because regardless of how frugal it is, that is really shitty quality of life. I’m sorry. For a leading world power? Come on.

    And the conflation of God with money and material wealth (like The Secret and the bastardization of Kabbalah as touted by Madonna and such) is high on my list of Top Five Things That Instantly Make Me Throw Up, next to too-sour dairy and violence involving eyes.

  7. Thank you , thank you, thank you! I am so grateful to see the tide finally turning. Like the Mandala Lady, I am also questing for a lens, an ideology to view the world. But in the midst of all my uncertainty, there are a few things I am sure of. We can’t all be Oprahs or Bill Gates no matter what affirmations we use. Jesus said, “You will always have the poor with you.” In our country, in a recession, in ‘rough’ times, there are still BILLIONS of dollars spent on candy, wine, cigarettes—- it’s incredible! Donna, you have so hit the nail on the head in this article about the sense of entitlement the ‘brats’ have. The past year has been rough for me with a $3 an hour cut in pay and then downsized to just one day a week of employment. I kept thinking that surely “God” had a higher purpose for me than to constantly struggle for money and to make living. Then I read a book (Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves) and learned that many (50%?) in the world lives on $2 a day. Why should I feel entitled to a higher purpose than all of them?! I’ve been working on my attitude and this Thanksgiving, I’m feeling SO rich my heart is bursting with thanks. And just hearing the New Age bunk de-bunked — that’s priceless:)

    • Sounds like we’re on a very similar journey, Trishia. The mantra that has sustained me through learning how to live well on less is “God provides ALL my needs.” When I have my manifestation mojo on full-strength, I no sooner understand that there’s something I need, than I drive by a garage sale and there it is for just a few dollars.

      One day, I realized I needed an additional bookcase to hold all those mysteries I’d been picking up at garage sales for $.50 each (rather than $8.99 in the bookstore). I went out for a breath of fresh air, and my neighbor was sitting there having a smoke. Right beside her was an empty bookcase. I asked her what she planned on doing with it, and she said she was waiting for her husband to go take it to the trash. She was happy for me to have it. It was in good condition, small like I needed and even white like the rest of my bedroom furniture. Donna

  8. The most damaging book I ever purchased was “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow”.
    The most healing book I ever purchased was “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow”.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Donna, I have recently discovered your wonderful, amazing blog – thank you so much for sharing your wisdom so freely.

    I can really relate to what you say here, I have been living to a budget for years, writing down every single penny I spend & do you know what? I no longer have any debts and even have some savings! Believe me when I say I have done this on a very average income.

    Now I have Pluto conjunct and Saturn square my 8th House Sun. Unfortunately, my husband (I’m fairly recently wed) has been living on debt and credit for years and now he’s lost his job it’s all come home to roost! It seems that I’ll be the one who has to pick up his financial pieces!

    However, reading your blog has helped me get a bit of perspective on all this, perhaps I can teach & guide him towards a more sustainable lifestyle, so that down the line together we can feel safe as we settle into middle age.

    Regarding your comment about prosperity teachings in the New Age movement, a few years ago I went to a talk by a well known new age spiritual guru, who stood up and told the audience that they could all have a six figure salary so long as they had faith and asked the angels! Even at the time this struck me as irresponsible. When you do your workshop on how to be poor, I’ll be there (so long as the ticket price is cheap – LOL)

    With gratitude

    • I love what you say, Mandi. It sounds like the new abundance you have to earn and maintain is an abundance of love. Donna

  10. Per Donna’s OK, I’d like to point out that she has added a link to a chat room I started called Planet Earth Gets Real. I’d like to invite everyone to join in.


  11. Good blog. It’s always interesting and instructive to read an astrologer’s take on life. It helps to realize that this particular time we’re living through is not just about me and my mistakes but something we’re evolving through together as a planet.

    • Hi, Sheryl–you’re not the only healer or astrologer to blame themselves for their professional difficulties at this time and to credit it to their personal shortcomings. Of course, all of us in the helping fields do have our failings and make mistakes with our clients, but it helps somehow to have a planet or two to pin it on.

      Just know that your work with the flower essences and the information you give the world with your essence blog is helping more people than you know. Folks, Sheryl has an article or two on Skywriter under the healing tools category. One of them, on Red Clover essence, is especially helpful to those of us who tend to soak up psychically the fear and despair in the world around us

  12. Thanks for identifying “undirected rage.” That’s exactly right – I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it’s clearly there- I’ve been watching people pass on the right and zig-zag around the freeway these last few weeks. Wild!

    I laughed out loud when I read about your Saturn in the 2nd house experience – I’ve had PLUTO in my 2nd house since about 1996. “What money?” indeed! About 3 years to go until it leaves my 2nd house the end of 2013!

    • Oh, Lord, when Pluto enters a house, it’s there to stay for a good long while–time to make it pay its share of the rent! I’ll stop bitching now about that Saturn sojourn of my second. Donna

  13. Donna, you’re amazing! I love when you let out your frustration. I agree with it all. Please do it more often!

    The blame game really needs to stop. The boo-hooing is really becoming annoying (thank you, Mars in Leo– you’re right, we should be angry). I’ve caught wind of the bratty behavior and think that the whining is going to get us nowhere. But those who are angry and are making sense like you, well, I appreciate them. Some are acting (Leo) like no one’s ever been hit with sticks and stones, before. Just them.

    You’re different. Bravo!

    The past several years of nonsense is really all Obama’s fault? Right. Folks, anyone in his seat would be in trouble for walking into a crappy economy and trying to change things. Even Jesus. It’s like walking into a fistfight or loud argument or even a Walmart on Black Friday (blech) and making it all stop. Chaos doesn’t settle down overnight. How is one person supposed to make it all go away with a snap?

    I voted for Obama for the right reasons. In fact, it will be interesting to watch the madness unfold as those who deem our president a crutch realize that he’s not going to give in to their expectations. Although many conglomerates and shady business dealers are, in fact, at fault for where we are, in the grand scheme of things, we’re all responsible for what’s to come. We weren’t forced by gunpoint to sign up for mortgages and other things we very well could not afford.

    If we continue to support these greedy people and refuse to adjust our destructive patterns, we’ll wind up in a bigger hole than the one we’re in.

    The time is now to honor the honest.

  14. my d.o.b-3march1979

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