By Juan Sacelli
The Pluto Return
Why Pluto? According to contemporary astronomers, it isn’t even a planet, and never was. And yet a lot of us astrologers really love our Pluto. The US is having its Pluto Return, Pluto appearing in the same place in the sky it occupied at the birth of the US—this month, Feb. 20 ’22, according to the most commonly used US chart. We, the astrologers, think that’s a BIG DEAL. Ok, but why? And even if it’s significant for the US, what does it have to do with the rest of the world? Maybe because the US is now ‘The Empire`? The contemporary Rome?
Most historians attribute the start of the Roman Empire to the coronation of Augustus in 27 BCE. From that point it expanded for approximately the next 250 years (a Pluto cycle of 248 years); then it began to collapse. Read the columnists now: is the US (us) beginning to collapse? Will the autocrats capture the government (or, according to your political perspective, have they already?) And of course what happens to the US is going to profoundly affect what happens in the world at large.
In the West the astrological system is set up something like this: the seven visible ‘inner planets’, including Sun and Moon, govern personal existence. The three invisible outer bodies, Uranus-Neptune-Pluto, govern the spiritual territories. Uranus, the Yang principle, is a bit Star-Trekky—explore new realms, escape the limitations of physical earthly existence. Neptune, which in a non-male-dominated culture would be Neptuna, or Neptunia, is the Yin: no matter where you go, you are spirit, you are already and always part of all that is.
Given that we now have a Yang and Yin, that leaves the job of being the Tao to Pluto. Which many astrologers interpret as being the Soul, or Tao in relation to the personal self. As our soul, Pluto is thus our fate. So, Pluto rules the underworld, which is actually the Inner-World. The point being, at a Pluto Return such as we are having now, the question being asked is: have we, as a collective (no one has a personal Pluto Return as no one lives 248 years), graduated from the attempt to rule and control the outer world to the attempt to rule ourselves? Are we ready for an Age of Aquarius, a Great Awakening (or, if you prefer some sort of Messianic event?). Has the ‘Spirit of ’76’ actually learned to become spiritual (spear it, or share it, to(with) you all)? Or is the spear in ‘spear-it’ going to be some sort of global pandemic-war-planetary overheat?
At some point in mythological evolution Pluto (Greek Plouton) became confused with Ploutos, the god of wealth or greed. So—which Pluto return are we having? As always, our choice.
One more cautionary point: though the precise point of the Pluto return comes this February, the energy has been building for awhile, and will continue swirling around us into and through 2023, due to the slow retrograde (review) process.
Whichever way you think it’s going, toward Heaven- or Hell-on-Earth, we’re still here and the normal shifts and rumblings of the inner planets continue, as they do every month, telling the same stories in different ways. So let’s look at a few of those for February. The Sun of course moved into Aquarius in late January, hence bringing up the theme of the hope and ideals of a better future, a better year. There will be a New Moon Feb 1 (12:45 am Central; if you live in Mountain or West, the New Moon will be Jan 31). This one will highlight the ambiguity of our situation, as the Sun-Moon together in mid-Aquarius are also conjunct Saturn, a few degrees ahead, pointing out the obstacles ahead of us in attaining our hopes for ourselves and our world. The New Moon is also square Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius. With Uranus presently in Taurus (the Earth), this pattern overall is a rather spectacular illustration of everything I have been talking about—in a nutshell, where are we headed collectively, politically, economically, as the dominant species on the planet? Mercury retro conjunct Pluto (ach! Pluto again!) will be testing the plans we have made for ourselves—again both personally and collectively (are electric cars really the solution? should we migrate to Mars? Is ecology irrelevant to the 2nd Coming? Will Russia invade Ukraine? Is Covid getting worse or better? Will Allah ever be able to get along with Krishna?)
In sum, how can we emerge from this maelstrom of chaos and conflicted beliefs? Ha! By the Full Moon of February 16, things look somewhat different. That is, some of the conflicts are coming to a head, while others are squirting out the tail. With the Moon in Leo (everybody cheering on their favorite team), the Full Moon is square the Nodes: that is, we are shifting and sorting our identifications, our tribes. Can we really be different nations, races, beliefs, religions, sexual orientations, political affiliations—and survive on inter dimensional variations of the same planet? Can white-racist anti-capitalist atheist-fundamentalists find a way to allow buddhist-voodoo-confucian vegans a right to be? Can the US ship Asian Carp filets back to China, in exchange for lithium-ion batteries? With Jupiter approaching Neptune, we’re looking for new ways to rearrange the pieces that might, just might, bring some semblance of Peace on Earth.
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Brief bio: John Sacelli has been an astrologer, poet, dreamer, idealist, seeker and rebel for 79 years (don’t we all have birth trauma?). He can be reached at email@example.com.