Preliminary Pluto Ponderings


So, I know I haven't yet done an official write-up of Pluto's entry into Capricorn, which occurred two and a half weeks ago now.

I guess I figured, hey, Pluto will basically be in Capricorn through 2024, giving me plenty of time to remark (and revisit and remark some more) on this epic transit.

And don't expect any 'definitive' explanation either: We will discover the many meanings of Pluto in Capricorn together, as they happen. After all, nobody alive has ever witnessed this planet/sign combo firsthand. Hell, Pluto was only discovered in 1930… and since then, it hasn't even completed one single orbit around the Sun. Despite what any astrological experts say, all of us are learning as we go because, without direct experience, it's all conjecture, eh?

I will begin by reporting this: The last time Pluto traveled through Capricorn was from 1762 to 1778… and if those dates ring any significant bells, folks, it's probably because they represent the Revolutionary period in US history. Near the start of this period, the British throne began imposing taxes ('without representation!') on the American colonies—not a terribly popular proposition, to hear history tell it, since it eventually led to a 'declaration of independence' and the birth of the country most recently dubbed the world's last remaining 'superpower'.

Now, of course, whether the US will remain in this coveted power slot—or whether the American fall-from-grace has already begun, evidenced by a major military goof, a loss of global respect, a floundering currency and an economy thisclose to recession—is certainly up for debate. And this question is but one of many major considerations, now that Pluto is in Capricorn. For if we take the July 4, 1776 Declaration date as America's birthday (and most astrologers do), then that puts us at the threshold of the nation's Pluto return. I can't claim to know exactly what that holds in store, but it can't be anything less than profound. (Think about what a Saturn return can bring… then add plenty more fuel to the fire.)

As an archetypal agent, Pluto hits us deep, raising skeletons from our closets and ugly truths about ourselves we usually prefer to leave unexamined in dusty corners or locked away in the attic. Pluto brings slow—and often painful—transformations, according to the principle that what's 'rotten' or 'toxic' must be rooted out from the core, exposed to the light, and integrated into conscious awareness, in order for the true healing to occur. In terms of Pluto transits, that usually first means an intensification of the problem and the associated emotional response… before any sort of amazing transition can take place.

And Capricorn, of course, is the sign of the father (and patriarchy in general), centralized authority, capitalism and big business. So is it any surprise, really, that Pluto's last passage through the sea-goat's domain would've yielded the birth of the US, the great success story of capitalism… and now the father-figure protector of 'democracy' (or is it the free market?) everywhere? The 1760s and 1770s were also noteworthy for the inventions of the 'spinning jenny' (a multi-spool spinning wheel) and James Watt's perfected steam engine—two of the most significant steps in the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Last time around, Pluto essentially reoriented the world's relationship to its wealth, its labor, and its governing bodies. (And we haven't stopped shopping since.)

Obviously, now that Pluto has returned to Capricorn, these same issues are again up for debate. And without sounding too melodramatic, I think we're in for a major reevaluation—and revaluation—of our current forms of government and economy. (Oh, yeah, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations also hit bookshelves during Pluto's last jaunt through Cap.) Is global capitalism 'working' or not? Who wins? Who loses? And what'll happen to our world's modes of production if the US economy crashes? If 'we're beaten at our own game' by China, India, the Emirates? If we run out of oil? Have things gotten bad enough yet to demand changes from the prevailing authorities? How much worse need they be before an overthrow becomes inevitable?

I have no answers, duh. But if you think these questions I've just posed are a bit 'over the top', please guess again. It's no accident that the '08 presidential campaign has been so long, protracted, intense and unprecedented in US history—that's because it really is that big, and the results from who we choose in November have a lot to do with how Pluto in Capricorn will end up manifesting. The traditional patriarchy is already facing a certain challenge, with the appearance of both the first viable black and the first viable female candidates. Will that be enough to circumvent the worse possibilities of Pluto-in-Cap's transmutation of authority? Not likely. But it's a start.

As I said before, we're only at the beginningest part of the beginning of this thing, folks… and it's way too early to tell you exactly how this massive reconfiguration will work. Pluto slips back into Sagittarius in mid-June, not to return back to Capricorn—to stay for a long-ass time—until late-November, after the election has taken place but before the inauguration happens. Hmmm.

Factor in the building Saturn-Uranus opposition, which is exact on Election Day… and suddenly that sneaking fear many knee-jerk conspiracists hold about the election being cancelled or some similarly outrageous surprise occurring doesn't sound so crazy. Stranger things have happened.

Actually, stranger things probably will happen over this next decade…