Happy Pluto Return, USA!
I’ve been wanting to write for a while to lay out some astrological background before the US election. I can’t say that I know what all the astrology means, and I won’t be making any astrological predictions. But there is a lot that’s been going on for a while, and some of it interfaces directly with the USA’s charts.
A few words about Pluto
Though astronomers have “downgraded” Pluto to dwarf planet, astrologers who have used Pluto continue to do so. Also, a number of us who practice mainly traditional, pre-1700 astrology, use the outers (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) in a way similar to fixed stars. That is, they don’t rule signs, and they have very small orbs (1º).
Pluto is representative of (among other things) plutocrats. It shows power structures and potential abuse. Remember that Pluto is the god of the underworld, and as such, there is often an element of things hidden, and underlying secrets. Mythologically, Pluto/Hades also abducted and raped Persephone/Proserpina. Practically speaking, Pluto tends to augment small things and diminish big things.
Pluto takes about 248 years to travel through all 12 signs of the zodiac as seen from Earth. When the USA was established, Pluto was in Capricorn. In April 1775, when the Battle of Lexington and Concord occurred, Pluto was at 26º Capricorn. By the next July (1776) it was at 27º, while Saturn was in late Libra; the two would soon be exactly square to one another. It’s been 244 years since then, so Pluto is approaching the same place it was in 1776. So the USA is currently experiencing it’s first Pluto return. Saturn represents boundaries and restrictions, barriers and obstacles. The Saturn square to Pluto clearly indicates the rebellion of the colonists against the tyranny of non-representative government. They basically put up a wall between them and England.
Saturn-Pluto conjunctions happen every 30-40 years. It’s not exact because the orbit of Pluto is highly elliptical and not as even as the other planets. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction before the founding of the USA as an independent country occurred in Sagittarius in 1750, a year which is often indicated as the beginning of the run-up to the Revolutionary War. This conjunction in Sagittarius set the tone of independence, forward-thinking, law-making (all belonging to Sagittarius or its ruler Jupiter), and power struggles and creating boundaries and/or throwing off restrictions (Saturn-Pluto).
Today Pluto is at 22º Capricorn. And this time around, Saturn is also at the end of Capricorn. Saturn conjoined Pluto in January 2020 and passed it, entering Aquarius before retrograding into Capricorn again. He won’t make it all the way back to Pluto, but will be in the same sign for a little while longer before continuing on his way. It’s fascinating that at both the founding of the country and at its Pluto return, Saturn was tightly involved. Together, these two mythological figures are both connected to death, decay, compost, and related things.
When a planet returns to where it was at a particular important moment, we say it “returns.” So each year, the Sun returns to the exact place in the zodiac where it was when a person was born, and they experience their Solar Return. Every 29 years or so, Saturn returns to where it was in the birth chart, and the person experiences a Saturn Return. These returns reset the next cycle with regard to the issues of that planet. For example, the Saturn Return completes and begins a new cycle of responsibility, obligation, authority, boundaries, limits, struggles, fears, denials, etc.
The Pluto Return resets the cycle having to do with power and abuse, authority and servitude. Because it’s a nearly 250 year cycle, we obviously can’t observe each one personally. But it’s pretty clear that here at our first Pluto Return, the USA is struggling with all of these issues again.
Death, Underworld, and… ?
One could wax eloquent (or not so eloquent) for quite a while about what all this means. I don’t want to belabor the point, but I do want to point out a few things that may or may not be obvious to the casual reader.
The symbols involved here call for a necessary death and breaking apart of something. Something, some relationship(s) needs to die, decay, decompose, and be left behind. It may need to be thrown off. We need to dump somebody or send them a Dear John letter at the very least. Most of the issues that are at the forefront today are not new. They have been festering for a while. Some of them for more than 250 years. Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, women’s rights to their own bodies, the massive inequality between the rich (plutocrats) and the poor, climate change, etc. But they are all being raised now as Pluto returns and calls us to face these issues head on.
Pluto is likely to drag us into the Underworld as part of the process. He may violate us, and some of us may violate each other in the process. This is not something to simply accept. But the bottom line is that we’re gonna get fucked over. But that’s not the end of the story.
For those who know their mythology, Persephone doesn’t stay in Hades forever. She reemerges in what becomes the Spring. The Earth is reborn.
For those of us who are able, we can attempt to use our privilege to midwife the country into its rebirth. We can actively participate in the mythology. In fact, we will either participate in it or be swept away by it. So like those children’s books, choose your own adventure.