As I offer you this dive into understanding Pluto’s energy in our personal lives and in our collective consciousness - the location of Pluto among the stars, right now, is approaching the first return to the place it was in the sky in 1776 when America was born.
Before I explore the Pluto return in the United States birth chart - Let’s explore the influences of Pluto.
In Greek and Roman Mythology Pluto is the ruler of the underworld, Hades. This is the realm of the dead, the “underworld”. Pluto governs the terrain of our collective consciousness that is often referred to as our collective unconscious, including all the deeply personal material that is underground, buried… un-conscious. It is also the sovereign of all our processes of death and rebirth. Where Pluto’s influence touches our lives, powerful transformative influences are set loose, bringing whatever is buried up into the light, causing the death of the known and hurling us into the unknown ~ on a search for wholeness and rebirth. It leaves scars; it brings healing. It’s wild and powerful. “Pluto: Ruler of Death & Rebirth”
In 2006, after years of debate, Pluto was declassified as a planet by the International Astronomy Union. This created much discussion and controversy. As astrologers, the whole affair strongly confirms the essence of Pluto’s “personality” as sovereign of all the disowned, underworld parts of our collective. Relegating Pluto away from the family of planets loudly proclaims the nature of the beast. Astrologers still hold Pluto as a “Planet” of great power and influence.
Pluto is the great transformer ~ Its energy is deep and intense, creating a strong power and force of change wherever it is positioned and moving about (transiting) in your astrology chart. It signifies a death and rebirth process in some part of your life.
The Pluto process brings to the surface what you’ve buried in your life and never truly fully metabolized and integrated. It is still operating in some hidden way inside of you. These are seen as your shadow parts, triggers, behaviors, and patterns that can keep you responding from a younger self and not your present-day, adult self. These can also be seen as unconscious psychological attachments that are hard to let go of. This can create a sense of death to some part of yourself you’ve identified with, but was it ever truly who you were? If not, the Pluto energy will bring transformations in your life to allow you to see these “hard to see” aspects of yourself so you can consciously let go of them (sometimes reluctantly) and through this process, a rebirth of your true self comes through.
You can see these as the “blessings in disguise” events, the hard and often painful things you had to go through that ultimately got you connecting back to yourself and your life from a new and welcoming place, your true alignment - your Heart.
Above you can see a photo of Pluto made by NASA's New Horizons mission in 2015. Taken just a few years ago, this was our first-ever view of the surface appearance of Pluto. It seems so perfect that the surface terrain of planet Pluto creates the shape of a heart. Here we have a perfect “Doctrine of Signatures” for Pluto, asking us: is the drama of Pluto’s process really about coming back to the heart? What’s not true in our hearts, the energy of Pluto will make right. The biggest changes in our lives often occur under Pluto’s influence. When all the smoke is cleared and you’re feeling resettled, you might just say, “Whew! I am so glad that all happened because look at where I am (we are) now”!
Pluto, notwithstanding its recent demotion in the scientific community, is still considered in astrology as the furthest planet from the sun in our solar system. Pluto moves the slowest, taking approximately 248 years to make one orbit around the Sun. Pluto is recent in our planetary discoveries. Being identified in 1930, while in the sign of Cancer, astrologers have not yet been able to consciously witness its effects in living real time through all the signs of the Zodiac. Although, we can look back and glean a sense of what transformations Pluto’s energy has been working on, historically, throughout time.
Richard Tarnas’ beloved book Cosmos & Psyche provides a deeply insightful record of the historic effects of Pluto over society, culture, art, and the evolution of humanity.
Wherever Pluto is located in your birth chart, it will bring lifelong transformation for that area of your life. In an astrology reading, identifying Pluto’s influence in your life through its natal house, sign, and aspects with other Planets brings powerful insights. In transit, Pluto will continue to move through different houses in your birth chart, bringing slow, but great change to those areas of life over a long period of time. Looking at your personal houses and aspects Pluto is moving through right now is another powerful part of an individual astrology reading. Again, because it moves so slowly Pluto’s transits build energy and change in our lives over long periods. Identifying these parts of our lives can provide profound context and truly meaningful personal purpose and direction.
Since Pluto stays in one sign for 12 - 31 years, it affects a generation of people at a time. Pluto is currently in Capricorn, which it entered in 2008, and will stay in this sign until 2024. In this 16 year period of time, we will see an overarching collective transformation and a completion of a cycle by the time it’s ready to enter the next sign, Aquarius.
Pluto in Capricorn
The United States of America was “born” on July 4th, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This created a birth chart for the U.S.A, known as the Sibley chart. Here we are, almost 248 years later and Pluto has made its way all the way back to the same sign and degree it was in at the time of the country’s birth, 27 degrees Capricorn in the Second House.
Capricorn is the mountain goat, steadily working its way up to the top and doing what it takes to get there. Practical, realistic, and in all its uprightness, Capricorn is also about integrity and ethics, not looking for shortcuts, but taking all the appropriate and necessary steps to reach the intended outcome. Capricorn has leadership qualities, seeing what needs to be accomplished and directing the energy towards reaching success. You can rely on a Capricorn to lead and get the job done!
Capricorns can also be seen as executive and corporate type energy. There is a power to Capricorn and as with every sign of the zodiac, there is a shadow side when the energy is used inappropriately. For Capricorn, there can be a lack of integrity, using whatever means to get to the top. A drive for success and money with a lack of regard to who or what might be getting scammed, hurt, or destroyed in the process.
When Pluto transits through Capricorn - there’s a long period of time (16 years in this current instance) where we collectively get a chance to deeply explore, and bring these hidden shadow parts to the surface, to transform what’s not ethical and true for the “heart” of humanity. Pluto’s movement through Capricorn brings an opportunity to restore the balance of power and integrity and accomplish great things.
Somewhere in your astrology transit chart, Pluto in Capricorn is having its transformative effects on you personally.
As planets go revolving around the sun, they will return to the locations in the zodiac that they once held at any one particular moment of birth. A natal/birth chart shows a snapshot of the positions of all the planets at that moment of birth. Each planet orbits the sun at a different rate: Jupiter takes an orbital lap around the sun in about 12 earth years, Saturn in about 29 years, Pluto in an impressive 248 years. After the “start” of a lap (at the moment of birth,) the planets go full circle through all the signs of the zodiac and come back to the place they originally were in the sky at the time of birth, ready to begin a new cycle. People will experience Saturn return at about 29 years old. Since Pluto takes about 248 years to do this we don’t personally experience a Pluto Return. Countries can, however, as well as anything else that can live on this long (like a tree!).
This February Pluto will return to the place in the sky it occupied at the birth of the United States. And so the question arises: what needs healing, and bringing to the light that’s buried deep in the psyche and soul of this country?
Since Pluto moves slowly, it can bring emphasis towards whatever is needing transformation over a long period of time. When Pluto is working on something, it first brings to the surface all the hidden things to be seen so they can be consciously dealt with. This process can come with hard realizations of what energies have been lurking under the surface. Once seen, the change to let go of these patterns becomes a force of nature, and the harder we try to hang on to our attachments to the past, the more pain and crisis can arise. If you aren't aligning yourself with the things in need of change, then life starts to act upon you and great catastrophe can come before it’s all said and done. However, the promise of the rebirth of something new and better and more in righteous conscious alignment becomes the “blessing in disguise”.
Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, bringing a specific cycle of collective and global transformation related to Capricorn energies mentioned above. The full cycle of Pluto in Capricorn will have taken the U.S. through three different presidencies. In each White House since 2008, you can see all the transformative drama that has surfaced - the painful knowings of what’s been operating under the surface of the American Dream, and what has to be brought up to the collective consciousness so we can transform it and heal into a new society of people, operating from a new level of Capricornian integrity.
February 22nd, 2022 is the date widely agreed-upon by astrologers for the peak of the Pluto Return cycle for the United States. However, since Pluto moves slowly, this energy has already been coming on strong since 2020 and will last until the end of 2023. It’s no quick process!
This Pluto return is a time when the energies of which this country was birthed upon are coming back around to start a new cycle of rebirth. The Pluto return is happening in the second house of the United States' astrology chart. This house relates to matters concerning money, finances, building resources, creating worth, esteem, and true value. The matters of the second house are the overarching energies being transformed in this country, regardless of the scenarios being played out. All of the issues and challenges that were in play amidst the historical forces when America was born, that have not been fully worked out so far, need to be brought to the surface and healed: class, race, enslavement, gender, patriarchy, our relationship to the land, natural resources and the native peoples - anything out of alignment, causing pain that still has not been healed has to come to light for true reckoning.
We can now see wide-ranging social, political, environmental, and healthcare challenges and transformations currently on the table - all smoking, sizzling hot! We’ve seen large-scale exposure of unethical corporations, big pharma, racism, sex trafficking - to name just a few. Healthcare is being squeezed and the overall workforce is in a huge shift. Many have left their “working for the man” low-wage jobs.
The Pluto Return energy has been approaching this peak over the last couple of years. Much of the collective challenges relating to the Pandemic are correlating with such Pluto transformations. We are all in it together and yet we are also having our own personal experience with it. We see a great division of “who’s right and who’s wrong” on all these topics. What’s really happening is the Plutonian energy is surfacing all the ugly patterns that keep this country from “Uniting”. In order to be truly transformed, the patterns must be seen.
This Pluto Return energy has the potential to create a large overhaul of the outworn energies of the past and let the true, honest, hard working Capricorn energy come in for the “re-bulid”. The energies have been coming over the last few years and they are going to continue to peak throughout 2022 and 2023.
The pandemic chaos is going to continue to be sorted out over this time. It appears that this Plutonian energy is surfacing the mess of a healthcare system that’s been decades in the making - a healthcare system mainly driven by the reliance of pharmaceuticals and has taken a large populous of people further and further away from understanding how to care for their bodies and what true health is. Chronic disease has become normalized and is overwhelming the healthcare system.
As the real reckoning with issues like Climate Change, is being pressured by growing extreme weather events, so too the economic, gender, class, and racial issues that require deep healing are all pressing on our nation’s very soul with growing urgency for transformation.
Astrology brings perspective. We can look at the chaos in the world and easily feel overwhelmed, hopeless. While it’s important to let that feeling wash over us sometimes, having a map that shows the Pluto Cycle of Return offers us knowledge and hope. Astrology sees the long cycles, in a lifetime, and in the longer currents of history. Understanding helps. We can see that Pluto brings a healing crisis so that things in need of transformation can die so new patterns can emerge and be born. The Phoenix rises out of the ashes. All cycles that wane will wax and grow again. As we survey the tumult of these times we can bet on Pluto. There will be transformation and we have much to let go of so that the rebuild can begin.
It’s been a few years since humanity first glimpsed the heart forged on Pluto by the great cosmic forces. As we each journey through these times of change ~ what does your heart know? What needs to change to live the deep truth in your heart? What action, what death and rebirth, what words need to be spoken in what tone of voice? Are you listening to the call in your heart of the wisdom from the underworld?
What shadows need honoring?
How will we answer Pluto’s call in our hearts?
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With astrology, the most helpful advice is always individual and personalized based upon your personal astrology birth chart and life situations. Contact me to learn more about scheduling an astrology reading to help you navigate your life in these wild and transformative times.
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Laura Allmacher RN, LAc, has been practicing in the field of medicine for 20 years, dedicating most of this time to the healing arts and natural medicine. Along with a current acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice, Laura also provides professional astrology readings as a form of a guide to help bring timing, meaning and perspective to deeper life patterns and situations so one can make the most out of their incarnation.