Pluto, Pluto, Pluto. He was undoubtedly a revered Roman deity, a cartoon character turned dwarf planet, but what does he represent astrologically? More importantly, what does his shift out of Capricorn into Aquarius portend for the future, specifically for the millennials who are facing Pluto squaring their natal Pluto in Scorpio as he makes his way through the sign of Aquarius? Let’s take a look and find out.
First of all, let’s define Pluto as I understand him; because, indeed, the planet Pluto and the energy of the planet is masculine, so for this essay, I will refer to Pluto as him/ he/ his. Pluto is now classified as a dwarf planet which some astrologers have argued diminishes his standing in the zodialogical pantheon of planets, but for now, let’s agree that Pluto and his orbiting body are indeed relevant and because he is the slowest moving of the planets he is the most powerful of them all. In Roman mythology, Pluto ( Hades in Greek mythos) is the Lord of the underworld. He rules the dead, which will eventually be all of us since we will meet our mortal demise one day. His decisions are final, and in mythology, it was he who passed judgment on the dead. He is the richest of all the gods, thanks to his dominion over the mineral wealth of the earth, because, again, he is the Lord of the underworld, so everything under the surface of the earth belongs to his domain.
The planet Pluto ( now classified as a dwarf planet) was discovered in 1930 by a farm boy in Kansas with relatively little astronomical training. Clyde Tombaugh made his own telescope, grinding the glass lenses himself and repurposing parts from a Buick and a cream separator in a remarkable display of homegrown ingenuity and practical skill. He sent away the homemade telescope to the local observatory for feedback and was offered a job looking for new planets in 1929. It wasn’t long until Tom noticed Pluto. On February 18th, he spotted the planet on some photographic plates from the telescope at the observatory he worked at. Shortly after on March 13th, the Lowell Observatory announced the planet’s discovery. However, an 11-year-old girl in England suggested the name Pluto because the planet seemed to resemble the dominion of the Lord of the underworld, so Pluto was named. Pluto has an orbit of roughly 248 years, meaning he stays in each sign for approximately 20 years (retrograde periods can extend and reduce this figure slightly), which brings us to his transition from Capricorn to Aquarius.
Pluto will bid adieu to Capricorn on March 23rd and make his first foray into Aquarius. But this will only be temporary as he will retrograde back into Capricorn on June 11th; he will move back into Capricorn from Aquarius during his annual retrograde phase. We may begin to see our first sneak peeks of what Pluto in Aquarius means for society this year in the spring. He will move back into Capricorn later this summer and then back into Aquarius – permanently in November of 2024. So this is a massive albeit slow shift of signs that Pluto will express himself through over the next 2 years. Once he is in Aquarius next year in November of 2024, he will not be at 0 degrees of Aquarius again in our lifetimes. It won’t be until the year 2269 when Pluto will once again leave Capricorn and move into the sign of the water bearer. So indeed these are historic days of shifting energies that we are about to witness. Before I speculate about what may happen during Pluto’s sojourn through Aquarius, let’s briefly look at how Pluto expressed himself while in Capricorn. Capricorn is the sign of big government, and indeed we have seen the dark side of governments, politics, and people grabbing for power and control during this phase. In America, we have seen the rise of the super PAC, juridical personhood for the benefit of corporate profits in 2010 with the Citizens United ruling decided with Pluto at 4 degrees of Capricorn assuredly set the stage for the unfolding of the ensuing political landscape of the past decade culminating in the Trump presidency and the pandemic crisis at large that was started off in 2019 with the super conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn.
So here we are now. Sick of being sick and tired and controlled and exploited by Pluto in Capricorn. Aquarius energy is very, very different from the restrictive, controlling nature of Capricorn, and I suspect that what develops will likely develop swiftly in electrifying jolts. Aquarius energy is ruled by Uranus, who is an oddball. In essence, Pluto will masquerade as Uranus while traveling through Aquarius. He will still be himself, a powerful and wealthy lord of the underworld. Still, he will don the costume of the planetary eccentric, the humanitarian, and the loner in Aquarius. Aquarius is the sign of revolution. Capricorn’s top-down power structures will be tossed aside, and the shackles of authoritarian regimes thrown off, and songs of freedom for the common man will likely be popular. But Aquarian energy can also be cold and unfeeling and erratic. It values the good of the group over the individual’s interest, which can be personally devastating at times.
This brings me to the personal side of astrology. Perhaps the most useful for the average person yet most overlooked. Most average people only read their horoscope occasionally if at all and are generally unaware of much beyond the 12 signs of the zodiac. Many people who make up the core working populations of society will be going their pluto squares over the next 20 years as their natal pluto in Scorpio, the fixed water sign squares transiting Pluto in Aquarius, the fixed water sign. Squares are the most difficult of transits (aside from oppositions), so my generation is in for a rough time, but all transits, no matter how difficult, offer opportunities for growth if the challenges are embraced as learning opportunities.
Pluto, above all else, symbolizes a connection with death followed by a transformative rebirth if you can survive this metaphorical death. For many, on a personal level, this will mean actual end. No, I don’t mean that there will be another pandemic, but more likely that we ( myself included ) will look death in the face, most likely through experiencing the death of our parents. We are all aging, but millennials were the spawn of the Baby Boomers, who are reaching their twilight years. Some will fare better than others, but most of us over the next 20 years will likely lose the ones who cared for us in our formative years. In this journey, we’ll shift the way we see ourselves. We will no longer be young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed things ready to take on the world. Instead will be busy dealing with bitter-sweet realities and wisened to our own inevitable mortality. So what is the learning opportunity for us here?
I’m sure it will be different for each on their own journey, but I suspect that life itself will be more and more valuable. Not just life but the quality of life. A life well lived. A life well felt, well-loved, and well expressed. Pluto wasn’t alone in the underworld. After all, He did have Persephone for at least half the year anyway. I suppose she can be the queen of the underworld and the goddess of Flowers. In that case, I suspect my generation can embrace the dark, sometimes scary, sometimes sad times ahead during their individual Pluto squares and come together to support each other in times of need in profoundly beautiful ways. Aquarian energy is the energy of groups of people, and how we gather and support each other will likely become a powerful factor over the next 20 years while Pluto journeys through Aquarius. This could be unorthodox, informally organized, or even psychic. A knowing what is needed and when, and just going for it. People could start showing up, coming out of the woodwork to support those in need when least expected. I hope that while Pluto traverses Aquarius, we’ll see significant advancements for social good. Support for working parents and improved social services, with a focus on help for the elderly and thier caretakers. I suspect that technology will also play a big role in these social advancements, but we must stand guard against technology coldly dehumanizing us, for I fear that could be an issue during Pluto’s Aquarian sojurn. For while death is scary, and it touches each of us in the end, it also makes way for a new abundant life, perhaps even more powerful for having seen death up close and personal.
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