Sending love and wishes of fortitude to all of you. This is a dark moment, and unfortunately the planets suggest the only way through is through. In the little picture, we’re moving deeper into eclipse season (a lot of change very fast throughout August); in the big picture, we are rumbling closer to the United States’ Pluto Return in 2022.
For those of you who have experienced a major Pluto transit to a personal planet*, you’ll likely recognize the cold-water shock. That’s what I felt during the campaign, when Trump was elected, and now, watching neo-nazis fill the streets of Charlottesville, while our president fans the flames.
Pluto brings metaphorical death (closures) and, eventually, a creative rebirth (beginnings). The concept of death often gets prettied up in new age-type writings, but death–Pluto–HURTS.
In our own charts, Pluto represents our deepest fears–those places in life where we feel we could not survive a loss of control. In a sense, we’re right. When we lose control in this area, something in our life does “die”. Often we feel WE are dying and that we come through it a different person. Most people exit their own Pluto transits feeling that that inner death was necessary, but with Pluto there’s always a grave loss involved, and always a trade-off. Pluto reminds us that growth involves both shock and sacrifice. The past must be lost for the future to be claimed.
I’m not a mundane astrologer (someone who studies countries’ charts), but it seems to me, as we near this country’s Pluto Return, that we are collectively experiencing the Pluto terrors of the nation’s natal chart. Natal Pluto is the American nightmare, that seed of darkness that has been inside our country since its inception, that has harmed us again and again but always resisted transformation. Racism is one name for this. It’s related to colonization and genocide, but, in my opinion, goes deeper than that, to the core symbolism of Pluto in Capricorn. Something essential here about subjugation, rigidity, fear of the feminine, a compulsion to hierarchalize, an ice-cold approach to duty and structures that warp instead of support. This is what must die and on whose ground something new will grow.
Pluto is a ruthless force. It is hellbent on exposing the truth, even if that truth involves great pain. The United States is promised a rebirth. Unfortunately, we get no guarantees about what that rebirth will look like, or what getting there will cost.
A big part of coping with a personal Pluto transit is surrender to the unknown. Under Pluto, we must allow in death, allow in pain and yet continue forward. Pluto urges us to exercise our personal power without overpowering others.
I don’t claim to know what this might mean for us collectively as a nation, or as individuals trying to figure out how to respond to a 21st century white supremacist movement. Sometimes Pluto requires violence. Sometimes Pluto punishes its use. Pluto never likes vengeance, but it does demand people stand up for those whose humanity is being trampled (themselves included).
In an individual’s chart, responding to Pluto has to do with acting from the place of your deepest truth and NOT out of fear. Action is crucial under Pluto. So is a deep, painful kind of honesty. I have no idea what anyone should be doing right now, but I do know this: we all possess (interior) power and we all can be driven wrong by fear. Find your power, get real about what’s happening, and act–with integrity and from the quiet, still voice inside.
I’m not sure how much influence any one of us has within the United States’ Pluto Return. But I have to believe that by walking into it bravely and wisely, we can make space for something good to grow in death’s wake.
*Libras, Aries’, Caps and Cancers born before the 6th or 7th of October, April, January and July (respectively) have all been struck by Pluto within the last nine years.