Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Making The Best of Saturn Square Uranus in 2021

Saturn Square Uranus

This year, the major energy theme revolves around the tense relationship between Saturn and Uranus. Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius, is at odds with Uranus, the modern or so-called Co-Ruler of the sign. This square, or 90 degree angle, from Saturn in Aquarius to Uranus in Taurus perfects three times over the course of 2021. The exact square of Feb 17th at 7 degrees already passed, but these themes will be revisited twice more this year, once in June and again in December, so its good to kind of know what to expect. 

While the energy of a square between these two heavy-hitters can be quite challenging, there is an ultimate goal: preserving the old by integrating the new. 

As it’s traditional ruler, Saturn is strong in Aquarius, while Uranus feels uncomfortable in the steady-plodding, routine-loving sign of Taurus. This combination tells us that our foundations will remain despite being shaken and stirred; The new must be built upon their strong base, integrating with, rather than replacing, the old ways.

An article I read recently really highlighted how we can best adapt under this energy. It is a great comparison to us in our personal plights with the change and work that Saturn and Uranus require of us. I hope this plant story can inspire you to stay the course in whatever this square is asking you to forge new in your life.

Giovanni Melcarne is an agronomist and olive oil farmer that has been fighting against a rampant imported blight that is spreading across the landscape in southern Italy, turning fields of centuries-old olive trees gray with death. In a place where tradition is not only abided but cherished and protected, even to the farmer’s own detriment, Giovanni struck out on a unique journey. Funneling his life savings into a bold experiment that combined the old with the new, he took on the challenge of building change on ancient foundations. And like the Aquarius archetype of the lone eccentric, he worked on this stroke of genius practically alone, without grants or government or colleagues to support him. It took much trial and error and a blend of techniques, but he found a way to save the trees. The lessons embedded in the approach the hero took in this story can be replicated in all of our lives.

The Farmer Trying to Save Italy’s Ancient Olive Trees

A fast spreading bacteria could cause an olive oil apocalypse.

By Augostino Petroni and Photos by Stefano Petroni

 In early 2016, Giovanni Melcarne, an agronomist and the owner of an extra virgin olive oil farm, walked through the southern Italian countryside of Puglia. 

He was with a fellow olive-oil farmer who had called and told him there was something he had to see.

All around, the old olive trees that covered the red clay were either dead or in an advanced state of decay, filling the landscape with an unnatural greyness. Melcarne was not surprised: At least 2 million olive trees in Puglia looked this way, including many of his own.

The cause of the blight was Xylella fastidiosa, a bacteria that researchers believe arrived around 2010 from Latin America, possibly from Costa Rica on an imported ornamental plant. Today, Xylella has infected at least one-third of the 60 million olive trees in Puglia, which produces 12 percent of the world’s olive oil.

The bacteria leaves no chance of survival: Once a plant is infected, it’s doomed to die in a handful of years. 

Today, Xylella is spreading fast across Puglia, crossing into other Italian regions and Mediterranean countries, and upending the production of olives and olive oil, the symbols of the Mediterranean.

The two approached an old olive tree growing at the edge of the street along a traditional stone wall.

When the two reached the tree, the olive farmer pointed at a live, green bough on the otherwise dead trunk.

“The man told me that his father had grafted the tree with a Barese olive variety, which is good for eating,” Melcarne says. Grafting is common practice in the area: People take a twig of a different variety and insert it on the trunk of an older tree, where it will grow and bear the kind of olives of the tree it came from. Melcarne immediately suspected that the grafted branch was resistant to Xylella. It seemed to be keeping the olive tree alive.

‘And then I thought, “Could it be that grafts could save the oldest and grandest olive trees’?”Melcarne says.”


Besides leading the grafting crusade, Melcarne is currently looking to reproduce wild Puglian olive trees that are still alive where Xylella has killed any other olive tree. The quality of local olives is what distinguishes the region’s extra-virgin olive oil from others, and local farmers are wary of planting resistant varieties such as Favolosa that do not belong to that territory and taste different. While they have found a grafting technique to save the region’s grandest trees, it is this search for local, resistant varieties that could protect Puglia’s beloved olive oil and the industry and food culture it supports.


Grafting The New In Our Own Lives

In this same way, we must also graft the new onto our foundations and seek out the heritage that remains in the aftermath of 2020.

As we approach the June and December 2021 squares, we are most likely still building on what that February aspect started in the collective and in our personal lives. Reflecting on the events of mid-february can give an idea of what themes will continue to develop in your life and in the lives of those around you. 

Looking back over your journal, planner and/or social posts can help jog your memory and make valuable connections of how these themes are playing out in your unique life. I love to fill a planner with one liners about events, emotions or experiences I'm having, so I can go back and look for patterns that match the movements of the planets. It might not be easy to remember in June or December what happened in the day to day of mid February, but a flip back through my planner lets me know that last time "everyone got sick" " I had a terrible toothache" and I had a "major zoom meeting about my kid's bad grades." These things set me back on my work-related projects as the square (or in my case a t-square with my Leo Sun) pulled me from three directions.

By looking at these moments, I can see the seeds that the Saturn-Uranus square planted in February and get an idea of what it will grow into as we reach the next square. In my personal example, I have implemented a stiffer hand-washing policy, been diligent about keeping my dentist appts, and been helping my kid review her homework during the last weeks of school to prevent her from having to go to summer school. Setting up a block schedule for my work this summer could also help me from being derailed on my projects.

Though it might feel uncomfortable to have to make such changes, this new and old way of doing things is the only way forward. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is a sign that you are heading in the right direction, and that you are willing to grow in a new and different way.

How has the Saturn-Uranus square affected your life? What is one positive change that was ushered into your life by this new era?

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