Jupiter and Pluto squared each other a few weeks ago and we are now living in its aftermath. In honor of this relationship and in the effort of getting a broader picture of the time we are living in, I would like to talk about the extreme power of Pluto as social upheaval and evolutionary change over the last several decades. Through the unearthing of taboos, the crushing of unhealthy power dynamics, as well as the acceptance of sexuality, Pluto has proven itself a formidable enemy against repression and a proponent of deep – though ugly – revolutionary, collective change. As a heads up, I will mostly be focusing on American politics and culture. Similar dynamics may have been seen around the world but as I can only speak about what I know, this will be my point of vision. Through understanding Pluto, we understand crisis. Just as with the Tower in Tarot, sometimes it takes getting completely pulled from our roots, lit on fire, thrown overboard and getting swept up by a tornado to cause our consciousness to be lifted to the next level. This is what Pluto has shown us throughout time. It is not the easiest. It is messy and frightening – Pluto is death, after all – but ultimately it is transformation. Here we see the AIDS crisis of the 80’s and 90’s ushering in the end of the extreme ignorance of homosexuality (Pluto in Scorpio: 1983-1995). We see 9/11 and the ongoing wars in the Middle East in the early 00’s that, along with the internet, ushered in an expansive and wider understanding and spread of information that there can be more than a corporatized, dishonest government (Pluto in Sagittarius: 1995-2008). We see now catastrophic environmental changes, an ongoing understanding that the US government cannot be trusted in the caring of its people, and a slow, crippling death of conservatism and the power paradigms as we’ve known them (Pluto in Capricorn: 2008-2024). Pluto is built to delve as deeply as possible, unearth for good or for ill, purge and purge and purge, and leave the surface as it’s never been before: free and empowered with information and actualization of itself.
Pluto is what is called a generational planet. Along with Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter, it is known to effect people on a mass level and is descriptive of an entire mood of a generation. In an individual’s birth chart it can be described in the most simplistic terms as the place where our power lies. It is the place where we will learn about power dynamics, struggles, trauma and where we hold influence. In a mass group of people we can see how each Pluto placement held sway. In Leo, the generation that spread its wings during the 60’s – creativity, rock and roll, free love, hippies, drug culture all ruled en masse. In Virgo – the generation that came of age preaching health, service, criticism of societal structure and exuding an angelic-like spirit – but as we saw this generation play out in their heyday, cocaine and heroin ruled and killed effortlessly as never before. In Libra, maybe the most innocuous Pluto, these people found their power within the group dynamic, in partnerships. Divorce, materialism, and social justice became prominent as these people came of age. In Scorpio, the biggest giveaway is social media, where Scorpionic obsession can thrive but keep its distance and secrecy at the same time. Through the screen, these people can express extreme intimacy, power expression and connection while not having to make themselves too vulnerable in the flesh (a difficulty for Scorpio, as Scorpio can only relate through deep intensity). At the same time, information travels at lightning speed, and as social media has shown us, the Scorpion power of the group holds reign. Penetrating to the depths is the Scorpion modus operandi and what Scorpio doesn’t like and sees as false it is driven to destroy to make room for what is genuine. Pluto rules Scorpio, it is in its natural habitat there, which allows this generation the ability to use these powers to destroy or to create. It is said the Scorpio in Pluto generation has the power to change the entire fabric of society as we know it. If we look at the power social media has gained (Pluto rules mass media) we can see that indeed, this group of people has brought monumental shifts through the power of their collective expression. As far as the Sagittarius in Pluto generation, they are still coming of age, but I believe it will have everything to do with free thought and higher mindedness – these people will have the opportunity to blast open the mind of our collective and take us to new levels of understanding.
Pluto went through Scorpio from late 1983 to 1995. During this time we saw many things happen in the political arena, but what continues to stand out as one of the most descriptive American crises of this time was the AIDS crisis. Due to intense homophobia and denial of homosexuality, millions of people lost their lives. Both Pluto and Scorpio (here in its natural placement) rule sex, death, taboos – the unearthing of which causes transformation. AIDS has primarily affected the gay community [there is a large number of people who believe and have dedicated time to prove that AIDS was a product of Eugenics, a bioengineering experiment unleashed specifically towards the black gay community. This article is not about that, but it’s worth being noted for the curious] and until these people started dying in droves and took a few beloved public figures along (Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury), our government was in complete denial of its existence – because it meant they would then have to acknowledge homosexuality on a mass scale. Not only would they have to accept that it was real, but that the people who identified as such would then have to be cared for. But as Pluto would have it, denial is explosive, and what is repressed, oppressed and suppressed is one hundred percent combustible. As I said, Pluto’s actions can be absolutely terrifying – deadly – but it must shatter power dynamics and unearth truth. It is its way. It took something as mammoth as AIDS to bring homosexuality out into the open, which subsequently and eventually led millions of people to be able to live their lives freely, out of hiding. This time was a truly horrific moment, but again, Pluto lives in repression and will explode in order to evolve. That is the action it takes on humanity.
Pluto was in Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008. Sagittarius is the wild horse of the zodiac; it rules universal truth, higher learning, international relations, religion and expansive thought. Paired with the taboo sexuality and violence of Pluto we saw a President impeached because he seduced his 22-year-old intern, the unearthing of child molestation in the Catholic church, the immigration controversy of Elian Gonzalez, we saw quite a few buildings go down in flames due to the negligence of our government and we entered an international war on strange and collusive pretenses. In addition, through that actual hellfire of Sagittarius rose voices of dissent in our media that unlike before, started being taken more seriously. Granted, just like homosexuality, voices of dissent have always been present, but the action of Pluto took those voices from something taboo and denigrated to “conspiracy theories” into common knowledge on a mass level. Documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling For Columbine, Super Size Me and The Zeitgeist gained traction and introduced to the American people and the world proof that the actions and policies of our government are based on greed and corruption. Here Pluto’s action was to destroy the power paradigm through knowledge. In terms of sexuality, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the exposing of child molestation in the Catholic church, and even the pop reign of Britney Spears (it was explosive and we all know it, there has not been a celebrity more dually hated and revered in our time than this human during this time period) all brought us to face uncomfortable truths that no one wanted to look at but needed to be seen, mostly in terms of innocence lost. Power and sexuality go hand-in-hand – a President taking advantage of his, priests and clergy proving hypocrisy in their most holy guise, and the proof of the extreme power and existence of underage female sexuality (along with the Spice Girls, Britney Spears helped an entire generation of girls out of slut shaming and unhealthy and imbalanced sexual paradigms). By the tail end of Pluto in Sagittarius’ reign our society was ready (mind-expanded enough) to inaugurate a black president for the first time.
This brings us to Pluto in Capricorn, where we’ve been since late 2008 and will continue to be until 2024. Capricorn rules tradition, the conservative, societal structures, karma, hard lessons and wisdom learned from these lessons. Capricorn is also an earth sign, the mountain goat thriving off of the earth’s bounty. As we’ve seen, one of the main issues that has come up since Pluto entered this rooted placement is climate change. If that doesn’t encompass the definition of Karma, I’m not sure what does. During this time we will have no choice but to face the hard lessons that come along with the choices we make as a nation and world in terms of how we treat our environment and, as a mirror, ourselves as humans. Hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, droughts, fires, etc. will become more frequent and more powerful. We are seeing our water becoming more and more polluted with chemicals, plastic and oil. Our air is becoming more polluted, our earth is becoming desolate. Capricornian Pluto will do nothing but ensure that we learn our lessons from the practices that harm our home and will teach us that we must take care of where we live in order to thrive. Furthermore, Capricorn ruling structure and the political paradigm in and of itself, we are seeing it crash. Social media has given voice to the disenfranchised and everyone is listening. Although it is painful, again, it comes in tandem with Capricorn’s hard lessons. Pluto in Capricorn promises more than anything to change our structure more than we’ve ever seen before. It will topple tradition in every sense and eventually leave us open to the chaos and community-ruled power of Pluto in Aquarius.
Pluto in Aquarius, which will premiere itself in 2023, retrograde back to Capricorn, and come back full force in 2024, will be a true test on humanity. I cannot say what will happen, but as Aquarius rules chaos, community, the higher mind, eccentricity, genius and insanity, I can only say that it will give opportunity for an entirely new and highly evolved way of living. Since Pluto comes with that destructive element, we could see a battle of ideologies between different social groups. Aquarius is the ultimate humanist and will not accept anything but equality so this could be a final chapter in class, racial, sexual and gender warfare depending on how far Capricorn can take us. No matter what, we know there will be upheaval, possibly acknowledgement of our psychic, evolutionary capabilities as well, though that may have to be saved for Pluto in Pisces for it to really be brought out into the mainstream. I, with no doubt, see Pluto in Pisces as a time when mainstream society will be able (or forced through Plutonic catastrophe) to finally acknowledge humanity’s latent extrasensory abilities. As Astrology is becoming even more widespread here with Pluto in Capricorn, we’ll see the mystical arts and our evolutionary gifts be more embraced as time goes on. What an amazing thing it could be to embrace the full magnitude of the human mind and vessel. Maybe that is the true power Pluto wants us to evolve into: an acceptance of the full experience of being on this planet. I guess we’ll find out what happens, but in the meantime, the current actions of Pluto and the turmoil of this world can hopefully have a little more explanation to them.