Pluto’s Return to Capricorn

by Sarah Roberts

Regardless of your political views, it is hard to deny that for the Unites States the last few years have been some of the most tumultuous in recent history: the financial crisis; the election of the U.S.’s first Black president, the first viable female presidential candidate, and finally the election of Donald Trump; the increased polarization of politics and the swell of people feeling disenfranchised; a focus on the lack of trust in police in certain communities; and a steady rise in mass shootings. This list just scratches the surface, and things show no sign of letting up soon.

This may indeed be correct, and we may see this tumultuous period extend until at least 2024, as Pluto returns to Capricorn for the first time since the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Pluto in Astrology

While Pluto may have been reduced to the status of a dwarf planet in 2006, within astrology it is still considered extremely potent, and volatile. Associated with the Classical god of the underworld, like its namesake, Pluto almost always exists in the darkness. Associated with the sign of Scorpio, it relates to secrets and hidden depths that lurk just out if sight. Linked with ideas of death, this translates into energies of transformation, revolution and chaos. It is probably no coincidence that Pluto was discovered in the 1930s, a chaotic time in history with the rise of the Nazi Party and the Great Depression.

Pluto travels the Zodiac in a slow elliptical orbit of 248 years, spending anywhere from 13-30 years in each sign. For this reason, it is often called a generational influence, as its power is both shared by a generation, and deeply influential, as the length of time it remains in a sign entrenches its characteristics.

Pluto was moving through freedom loving and spiritual Sagittarius for 13 years, but on 26 January 2008, Pluto entered more serious Capricorn, where it will stay until 2024. Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, is the Lord of Time, and as such focuses Pluto’s energy and makes it more potent. With its connection to time, Pluto in Capricorn is often a harbinger of seeds that have been planted bearing their fruit, often in unexpected, and not always positive, ways.

Natal Chart of the Unites States

Just like people, entities have their own astrology, their own natal chart based on the time they came into being. The natal chart of the U.S. Government is linked to July 4th, 1776, the day that represents the Declaration of Independence from British rule and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. On this date, Pluto also resided in Capricorn, where it stayed until 1778.

The History of Pluto in Capricorn

The influence of Pluto in Capricorn can be traced throughout history.

In the Dark Ages, Pluto entered Capricorn in 532 AD, where it stayed until 551 AD. In 532 AD Krakatoa erupted, splitting the Indonesian landmass. This catastrophic event had environmental impacts across the globe as the planet entered an extremely cold period starting in 535 AD, which lasted around 20 years. This period of lower temperatures resulted in failed crops, famine and plague. It is interesting to note that at that time Neptune was in Aquarius, as it was recently (it moved into Pisces in 2011).

Pluto returned to Capricorn from 778-796 AD, the period when Charlemagne conquered Europe and converted her people to Christianity, founding the Holy Roman Empire that would last for 1,000 years and shape much of modern European culture.

In 1024-1041 AD Pluto again entered Capricorn. This was the period when banking was born as the Chinese introduced the first paper currency. In Europe, goldsmiths began to keep other people’s gold and silver in their vaults in exchange for paper receipts that were traded like currency. They also began to make loans, for which they earned interest.

Later in 1269-1287 AD when Pluto was again in Capricorn the Mongols conquered China. Later in 1516-1533 AD the Spanish destroyed the Aztec Empire while the Ottoman Empire was at its height.

This period also saw the Reformation, and the collapse of centralised European religious authority in Rome, that was largely established under Charlemagne. Perhaps this is an example of hidden seeds, clouded in darkness like Pluto, planted during the natal period of the Holy Roman Empire, bearing their fruit.

Pluto in Capricorn Today

What does Pluto’s movement through Capricorn mean for us today?

Mirroring the catastrophic aftermath of Krakatoa, environmental degradation and climate change are having a huge impact today. The increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters are wreaking havoc, and we are more aware then ever of the threat of climate change to our way of life. International efforts to mange climate change are at the top of the political agenda now and are sure to remain there for the coming years.

The financial crisis of 2008, commencing just as Pluto returned to Capricorn, has had far reaching impacts and can be linked to the invention of banking when Pluto was also in Capricorn. Global finances remain volatile, with new catastrophic failures predicted by economists on a regular basis. Trade wars between countries are bringing significant instability.

Just like the collapse the centralized authority of Rome in Christian Europe established under Charlemagne was undermined when Pluto re-entered Capricorn, it is possible that we are starting to see similar collapses in the U.S. system, with people feeling increasingly disenfranchised, and the void between Democrat and Republican widening. What result this will bring is still unknown.

Pluto in Capricorn and the Individual

While Pluto’s time in Capricorn will have a global influence that will impact on all our lives, Pluto’s transit will also affect us on an individual level.

Pluto raises the stakes in whatever game we are playing, and challenges us to either increase our skin in the game, or walk away. This suggests that in the coming years we will all be more responsible for how we manage our lives, perhaps without some of the safety nets that we have come to rely on.

Pluto can also herald a lack of flexibility and a limiting of options. This can be seen on a global scale as governments take more control, and as freedoms, such as the freedom of movement, begin to be curtailed. This may result in starting to limit individual options in terms of work and travel, which were opening at a rapid rate in the years before Pluto’s return to Capricorn.

Pluto also drags the real essence of issues out of the shadows, often throwing light on issues that began a long time ago and have not been dealt with. While this can be challenging, Pluto’s ability to throw light on darkness can help each of us deal with these issues and move forward with better, more solid, foundations.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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3 Responses to Pluto’s Return to Capricorn

  1. harenews says:

    Great treatment of these strange times, OHA. You never disappoint.

  2. Pingback: Happy Pluto Return, USA! | Ohio Astrology

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