Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930 in 17 degrees of the sign Cancer. Cancer is a cardinal water sign ruling personal emotions, home environment, need for safety and security and the drive to belong.
Pluto entered Cancer in 1913 several years prior to its discovery. At that time, a war started that involved the entire “world” – World War I.
I’ve wondered much about how Cancer energy led to war. Now I’m on the path of “belonging” which has led us to our Pluto in Capricorn of today. In about three years, Cancer will be in 17 degrees of Capricorn, halfway from where it started at the time of discovery.
Pluto transforms and destroys and in Cancer it destroys family, community and personal emotional security. After Pluto passed through Gemini, innovations in communication brought us a “mass” to communicate to which seems to have led to Pluto in Cancer which changed the sense of family and community. Then afterward Pluto in Leo Generation in the US (The Me Generation) openly stated that they did not want to be like their parents.
As Pluto moved into Cancer in 1913, new senses of belonging occurred in several parts of the world as China created a republic, Russia a communist state, the Middle East was partitioned into “countries,” and in the West the family unit shrunk to “nuclear family” in contrast to the extended family or clan.
While Cancer isn’t directly connected to warlike or aggressive energy, the need to feel security and belonging creates intense emotional responses.
The Organization Man
In 1956 William H. Whyte published “The Organization Man” with the premise (if I understand it correctly) that the corporation replaces individualism with the “social ethic” which has these three “propositions:”
- A belief in the group as a source of creativity
- A belief in “belongingness” as the ultimate need of the individual
- A belief in the application of science to achieve the belongingness
During the time this book was written Communism was growing and the idea of “collectivist” thought was pitted against individualism.
If and when we had this individualism, did we also have families? If corporation and individualism are at odds, how do family and individualism relate?
Did the corporation break down individualism or did mass communication break down the personal sense of belonging which trumped the development of individualism?
A Pluto half-life away has Pluto currently transiting Capricorn, the sign of the corporation and government. Is there any government anywhere in the world that is smaller today than it was in 1930? Or any military?
What’s fascinating to me is that prior to Pluto transiting Cancer, it was in Gemini so it took the inventions in communication to break down the family and community structure.
We are again in a period of inventions in communication. The irony to me is how social media has exponentially increased our interaction with devices (rather than people). Also, communication today is briefer and more marketing and/or public relations oriented. If you watch a news show or pick up a magazine from 30 years ago, topics were discussed in much greater depth.
It’s cliché that communication is important in relationships, but I personally believe talk actually creates separation. Silent retreats have taught me that cooperation comes from agreement, not verbal communication.
Water signs are about connection and they connect through food (Cancer), intimacy (Scorpio) and spirituality (Pisces). That’s why holidays are family events filled with food. Can you imagine a holiday without food?
(As for sex and the holidays, I was surprised while working retail a few years ago how much condom sales increased during the holidays. I figured it was because people finally had some time for intimacy but maybe it’s because the holidays create connection.)
While William H. Whyte criticized the corporation promoting belonging over individualism, I think the real issue is that belonging got wiped out through mass communication and the corporation stepped in, like a foster family, to fill the need.