Even though Pluto has been demoted by the astronomers, astrologers continue to use it without pause because we know how powerful and important are the processes that it represents. Whether planet or dwarf, it represents a universal force that, like Plato’s shadows on the cave wall, is detectable in its effects but invisible in its flow.
Pluto returns to the same spot in the heavens every 248 years. In 2008, it entered the tropical sign of Capricorn, the sign it was in w hen the US was born. Although it is still about 14 years away, Pluto is now in the sign that it was in at the time of the Declaration of Independence.
We associate Pluto itself archetypally with power larger than the self, the kind that flows through us and affects us on deep, unconscious levels. It is easily detectable in the forms that mass consciousness takes, the caprices of the crowd. The power of the unconscious can be seen in the groundswell of support that brought voters to pull the lever for Barack Obama; it can also be seen in the frenzied crowds that gathered around Adolf Hitler.
While the world economy must shift, it is only an effect that is brought about through humanity’s faith in itself.When we encounter Pluto’s energy as individuals, we can only hope to survive it as it overwhelms us. If we are not caught in its thrall, we are Gandhi in our own way. If we are tempted by the glamour and euphoria of personal power, we are George W. Bush or Ken Lay. All too often we succumb to the force of Pluto as it smashes through our lives, our only response to try getting out of its way. Yes, the force that Pluto represents is very real.
Pluto will be in Capricorn 2008-2024. During that time, Uranus will make a critical contact to Pluto in 2010-15, one that is historically associated with rapid change, possibly upheaval. This is the waxing square of the cycle that began in the mid-60s. The Sixties Revolutions are emblematic of Uranus-Pluto interactions, and this particular cycle and its expression in human affairs is worth separate consideration. Although we will begin feeling this contact in 2010, it will be more powerful during its exact period in 2012-2015.
Pluto in Capricorn in History
As Pluto enters a new sign, its transformative nature is filtered through the archetypal energy that the sign represents. This energy is played out as a facet of human nature whose roots are showing signs of decay and need renewal in order to remain a vital part of human endeavor. Just as it is possible to characterize Pluto in Sagittarius (the sign previous to Capricorn) as a transformation of excessive behavior, Pluto in Capricorn has its own unique expression.
To discover what this is, the expression of Pluto in Capricorn on previous cycles can be compared to one another. In this way, we can gain insight into and forecast the issues that will arise, while the outcome lies in the hands of the human collective and the leaders it chooses. The following show what occurred when Pluto made its last two ingresses into Capricorn:
1516 Martin Luther posted his new rules for a more meaningful religious structure on the door of the Palast Church in Wittenberg (in 1517), Germany, giving birth to the Reformation.
1762 The concept of individual freedom was emerging as a concept through the writings and translations of Voltaire’s works. This was the foundation for the movement that gave birth to the French and American Revolutions.
Pluto in Capricorn - Then & Now
In both previous experiences of Pluto in Capricorn, we can see the fall of bureaucracies and mega-structures taking place. In the 16th century, actions were taken that set in motion the fall of the Catholic Church as the Universal Church that essentially controlled all of society in Western Europe at that time. In the 18th century, populist challenges led to the obsolescence of the Western monarchies and the gradual loss of colonial power.
A similar revolution is taking place now, overturning the power that business in general, and the financial industry in particular, has gained over nations and peoples while allowing greed to run amok. The worldwide trade that expanded unchecked under Pluto in Sagittarius has begun to implode.
It is now routine in the astrological community to associate Pluto in Capricorn with an economic downturn. And what was unthinkable a year ago has become reality. Yet, Pluto has not yet begun to speak to us from its new vantage point. We have 15 more years for it to reveal what has been hidden in human affairs.
Capricorn: It’s About More than the Economy.
Pluto’s sojourn through Capricorn could mark a radical change in the way that society is conceptualized and structured the world over. While we may be groping at first, we will eventually arrive at a new working model of what culture means, how it can support human life, and how it can contain humanity’s extremes and excesses.
This is of paramount importance as more nations have mass-destructive weapons, and humanity is on track to destroy itself by making Planet Earth unhabitable. This is the time for the dreamers to dream a new way of appealing to our higher angels, of finding ways to uproot the limitations we place on ourselves through mediocrity.
While the world economy must shift, it is only an effect that is brought about through humanity’s faith in itself. If we have no faith in humanity’s essential goodness; if we can find nothing inspiring confidence in the world around us, then we pull back, we distrust. When we are betrayed by our government — our government does not fulfill its promise to us, we lose hope, we stop trusting the system and each other. We withdraw and pull into ourselves. Economy and the system of finance dies when the people lose trust. If instead we find ways to reinforce the good in each other by reaffirming the foundation of human goodness through laws and principles that support our goodness and control our weaknesses, we discover an identity we can believe in and draw to ourselves. We re-establish our faith in each other, and a new social pact is born.
The Role of the United States in the New Social Pact
After World War II, America had a clear vision of who it was and what it stood for. The social pact that the rest of the world had with the United States was that it would show the way to freedom for all through democracy and tempered capitalism. However, that vision began almost immediately to be disassembled by those fearful and cynical leaders born in the 20s and 30s (with Pluto in Cancer).
This cynicism was substantially advanced through the Reaganistic “government is the problem”, a position which led to a severely hobbled government that lost faith in itself and to the current state of free-market fundamentalism that sucks money to the most oxygen-deprived at the top of the economic ladder. It reached its peak when under GW Bush the US government became almost completely inept, dysfunctional, and incompetent. The Bush Administration even failed to follow the Constitution in every way possible, breaking down every support for the balance of power maintained by the three branches of government. The US failed miserably in its role as the symbol of freedom.
When the deregulated world economy ran out of steam, the problem was compounded by the disillusionment that people everywhere shared about what the US had become. The pact was broken.
This has come just as the US must either renew its reason for being — its pact with itself — or become something different, something that is not the United States of America whose principles for existence (its raisons d’etre) are not to provide wealth but, according to the preamble of the Constitution, to provide freedom, society, justice, peace, commonwealth, and security.
The US Pluto Return & the Second American Revolution
When a planet comes back to the position it was in when a person (or other entity) was born, it is called a “return”. Not only does this signal the start of a new cycle having to do with the “force field” or archetype that the planet represents, it also permits (even demands) a recycling or revisiting of the experiences that occurred before and after the time the planet was first in that position (at the “birth” of the entity).
This is a well-known phenomenon in psychology, especially in child developmental psychology, where it is known that people “recycle” unresolved emotional experiences in a cyclic pattern until they can resolve them — a phenomenon that follows the patterns established by planetary cycles. It is not a great stretch to observe that the same process takes place in mass consciousness.
As Pluto returns to its original position in the US chart, we have been revisiting and will continue to revisit the experiences that led to the first American Revolution. We even have had our own King George III (George I was Washington, George II was George HW Bush), complete with afflicted and irresponsible governance. Just as then, a populist movement for freedom and self-determination is being (re)born.
The Second American Revolution
The Second American Revolution will follow roughly the same time line as the first, as Pluto makes it way, degree by degree, through Capricorn. However, our experiences will vary based on the fact that this is the second occurrence, that Pluto will have different interactions with the other planets, and that we face challenges unimaginable 248 (or even 48) years ago.
As with any cyclic process, some things must die to give way for the new. This means that some of the things we consider cultural norms and icons will fall away — accompanied by a necessary adjustment of values if we are to engage in the pursuit of happiness. As compensation we get to be the new pioneers, the new colonials, who get to reinvent the nation and what it stands for. We get to experience that heady aroma of freedom and self-determination in some way, even if the Constitution stands as it is.
How Much Will Change?
How much will change is a theme I will only touch on lightly at this time and flesh out in future articles. However, it is worth considering some changes that must or are likely to take place. Clearly, when our economy is as beleaguered as it is, adjustments to the financial system and economic stopgaps must be made. While I look forward to writing an in-depth consideration of what these adjustments should be (I’m still researching them), I will briefly state what seems necessary right now:
- Adam Smith was wrong. The invisible hand doesn’t work in large economic systems. We have to rethink the structures of capitalism.
- Eliminate corporate personhood.
- Remove corporate wealth from election campaigns (money ≠ speech).
- Reimpose thoughtfully created trade tariffs (to temper globalization and manage currency values), reducing free trade.
- Re-regulate the financial industry to protect the individual borrower.
- Repeal the bankruptcy law passed in 2005.
- Build the (all) domestic economy(ies) from the bottom up.
What About the Constitution?
It may surprise you to know that the founders never intended for the Constitution to stand as they wrote it; they expected it to be completely rewritten several, if not many, times. This was borne out by their experience, as the Articles of Confederation were found woefully unfit to suit the toddling nation just after it gained independence.
So, if there were ever a time when the Constitution might be wholly rewritten, or at least substantially revised, the next 15 years is it. The litany of consensus complaints includes:
- the need to get rid of the electoral college
- a change in the way that court and cabinet appointments are handled (so that, e.g., court seats cannot go unfilled in a hostile political environment)
- elimination of the presidential pardon
- elimination or limitation of presidential signing statements
A Successful Revolution
Because Capricorn is an Earth sign, it has to do with the things and structures of this world, and it especially applies to large structures and institutions like government and church. This includes the economy. As Pluto moves through Capricorn, a new economic system will be born (or the old substantially revised). With each step we take on the path of recreating the US to fulfill the ideals set out in the Constitution’s preamble, we restore our faith in ourselves and our ability to thrive. As the health of the nation’s citizenry is restored, so is the health of the economy. When the citizenry is betrayed, a healthy economy cannot exist.
The Chinese say that a successful revolution is one where the ideals of the old system become reality in the new one. This is, I believe, where we are headed. Everything points to it. If you are reading this now, you are a part of the rebirth process (even if you are not an American citizen)..You get to re-dream our purpose, re-live its expression as our founding fathers and mothers did, and rebuild our country as it was first envisioned. With all the concerns and caveats of the abuse of power refreshed in our minds, we will be especially mindful of our task and be sure to not take our freedoms for granted.