Pluto Direct: The Pendulum Swing is Real


As far as weeks go, this one certainly qualifies as noteworthy.

Not only are we experiencing the triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Mars in Libra (as I discussed previously), but we've also dealt with both Jupiter and Pluto stationing direct within 24 hours of each other.

Pluto's return to direct motion is unquestionably the bigger news, situated, as he has been, on the cusp between Sagittarius and Capricorn. When Pluto changes signs, it heralds a major generational shift, moving our collective obsessions into different arenas so that we may face the shadow there (the dark underbelly we usually prefer not to look at) and, hopefully, emerge out the other end with a greater depth of understanding.

Pluto first entered Capricorn back in January, offering its preliminary inklings of what's to come in our next chunk of history. But after turning retrograde early in April, Pluto had slipped back into Sagittarius by the middle of June. And only now, as he's moving forward once again (since stationing on Mon Sep 8), will Pluto again approach entry into Capricorn, occurring in late November. When it enters this time, however, Pluto's there to stay through 2024.

If Pluto in Sagittarius raised the specter of what happens when our fervor for one single-and-totalizing worldview becomes too extreme (yielding unforgiving fundamentalist beliefs of one kind or another), then Pluto in Capricorn takes it to the next level—forcing us to see the uncomfortable power dynamics in the way we as a group administer authority, dole out our collective resources, and control the status quo. That's why, as I wrote back in May, I think it's such a poignant synchronicity that Pluto enters Capricorn right as we're participating in a major epoch-affecting presidential election here in the US.

On the personal level, Pluto's sign-change points to our need to get beyond the 'talk is cheap' level of our stated life-philosophies (Sagittarius)… in order to glimpse the more profound consequences to the choices we make in how we earn and spend our economic and cultural wealth, how we fuel or fight the existing power conglomerate, and whether our day-to-day behaviors help or hinder our own longer-term goals (Capricorn).

Whose pockets are we lining with cash, anyway? And is our own affluence or well-being built on the unfair treatment of others? (Because, if it is, you'd better believe those folks will be getting increasing pissed off over the coming years.)

Do we obey tradition, convention or law because it actually serves us? Or are we just falling into traps of convenience, refusing to think ahead to the logical extreme of what these default decisions (i.e., passively deciding not to decide) really is?

Where are we too hard on ourselves, due to having internalized harsh critical voices from our past who demanded even more than we could possibly perform? It is, after all, possible to hold one's self to a fairly high set of standards—without permitting the punitive element to rip through our delicate self-esteem with cruel judgments. (When we let ourselves off the hook for supposed 'failures', we just might find we're better motivated to strive further, knowing we won't be punished for falling short on our first few attempts.)

During the course of these past several months of Pluto retrograding out of Capricorn and back into the now-familiar field of Sagittarius, we may have tried convincing ourselves that this massive era-defining shift we're on the verge of experiencing isn't, in fact, as 'massive' as we first suspected. Even as we observed telltale signs of broad-stroke historical transformations all around, we maybe let ourselves slide back into some of those same struggles we've confronted for years… thinking, perhaps, 'This time will be different,' or, 'These problems will eventually pass,' all while going through motions undoubtedly similar (if not identical) to those we've gone through many times before. (Sure, gas prices are going back down again—a fleeting indicator of false security, nothing more.)

Oh, no, folks… this big pendulum swing is real. We will contend with those far-reaching conclusions to our behaviors, whether or not their fruits align with what we say we believe. Successes built on crumbly foundations will fail. Banks will collapse. Markets will careen. Undeserving leaders will lose their heads. Unnecessarily stringent structures will face monumental reconfiguring, while unproductive chaos gets forcibly reined in by the driving need to get it together.

And through all this, we will survive. No, better yet: We will thrive, eventually if not right away… as long as we have the courage to identify the creative freedoms in innovation and our collective responsibility to rebuild, visible through the cracks of our rotting institutions, if we're not blinded by the destruction on the surface. As I see it, there simply is no other option.

As Pluto stands virtually still this week, we'd be wise to heed any potent instances where it's become overwhelmingly evident that we mustn't continue down the same path. Whether that's in our personal relationships or our work life, in how we respond to family pressures or financial obligations, or in how we do or don't embrace a smart farsighted strategy in the little actions we take everyday, we shouldn't evade the call of 'the Grim Reaper' if, in fact, something needs to end.

We needn't make the drastic move today or tomorrow, but the time is coming—and we'd be fools to hide from the truth, both blessed and brutal, of where we're headed.