Back in 2008 amidst the financial crisis and US Presidential politics, Pluto made a final exit from Sagittarius and made its way into Capricorn. At the time I wondered what the effects would be.
A Pluto transit is a major event. Pluto stays in one sign for approximately 14 years, and is noted mostly as a generational indicator. In other words, not so much related to a personal chart [although of course it can], but more related to a generation of individuals, as well as the long term geopolitical effects during the transit.
I enjoy the research on historical stuff, then stringing it together in an astrological narrative when major astrological transits occur. It’s my thing you might say. I love research of this kind. In 2008, I wondered what occurred, in history, the last time Pluto went into Capricorn. What I found was unsettling to say the least.
Pluto takes 248 years to make a transit through every sign of the Zodiac and return to a specific spot. So it was fairly easy to check the real time history of the Transit into Capricorn.
The planet Pluto made a major transit from the sign of Sagittarius into the sign of Capricorn on November 27, 2008. Well, actually Pluto made a brief appearance in Capricorn earlier in the year, but due to one final retrograde phase wasn’t entirely in the sign of Capricorn until November 27th GMT.
The timeline went something like this:
Pluto in Sagittarius:
November 11, 1995 to January 25, 2008
Pluto moves into Capricorn at 7:44 pm PST/10:44 pm EST – January 25, 2008
Pluto retrograde moves back into Sagittarius 8:46 pm PST – June 13, 2008
Pluto re-enters Capricorn at 6:05 pm PST – November 26, 2008
Pluto will remain in Capricorn from January 25, 2008 to January 21st, 2024.
The Planet Pluto & his Transits:
Some modern astrologers have described PLUTO as the astrological representative of the soul. Other astrologers in the “psychological” or Jungian school work with Pluto as the “shadow self” that, when embraced, completes us and puts us in contact with our soul. I think that it is both. Both the deeper representation of the Soul and the “physiological shadow self”. The Self that is hidden, obscured and invisible to the conscious self, but responsible for the inexplicable things we might do that often have their basis in the unconscious mind.
With a cycle of 248 earth years, Antero Ali calls the effect of Pluto transits “deep shocks.” The following time perspective can show why these shocks are so deep; for instance, the entire history of the United States of America as a sovereign nation is contained in one Pluto cycle. The American Revolution occurred during the last Pluto in Capricorn phase and we are now in the next one. The United States has only existed for one revolution of Pluto around the Zodiac. Staggering when seen in those terms. We’re but a moment in time to the larger solar system, galaxy and Universe.
Pluto had been in Sagittarius from November 1995. Sagittarius represents expansion, immediate gratification, consumerism, luxury, honesty, integrity, ethics, philosophy, beliefs, religion, higher education, teaching and knowledge, laws both inner and outer, goals, plans and aspirations. Thus the issues that we have been dealing with since 1995 have entailed the religious power or mis-use of religious beliefs of the Islamic Fundamentalists, Christian Fundamentalists, Catholics, Hindus and others, as well as over consumption of resources, consumerism, and immediate gratification.
Pluto is the planet of destruction and resurrection. The phoenix rising from the ashes. As resources dwindled after 2008, we became unable to maintain the levels of consumption we’d grown accustomed to in the industrialized nations. Like Rome bursting at the seams at the end of Pluto in Sagittarius in the 3rd century, we’re seeing an unprecedented level of consumption in the industrialized nations threatening to destroy our entire biosphere. In the time of Diocletian, only a portion of the Earth was covered by the gluttony of Empire, but now the Empire covers the entire planet with every square inch mapped, zoned, and accounted for by the landlords/warlords who would like to squeeze every last resource from the Earth.
The turning point for Empires
Pluto in Capricorn regularly coincides with the establishment of a new world order. With each cycle significant developments occurred: In the first century, Christianity started to become the established religion. In the 16th century, the Reformation took shape and arguably created a new religion with a work ethic suitable for the Industrial Revolution. At the same time, in South America, Cortes brought about the dissolution of the Aztec Empire (1521) and Pizarro destroyed the Inca Empire (1532) to create the Spanish global Empire, bringing untold wealth to Spain and establishing Roman Catholicism in the New World. Though the pre-Columbian dates are uncertain, it appears the both native empires were established with Pluto in Capricorn and destroyed some 250 years later when the cycle returned.
Similarly, the Ottoman Empire entered a golden age under Suleiman, the Magnificent in 1520 and their European ambitions ended from 1768 with the Russo-Turkish wars.
Historical Pluto in Capricorn:
The inspiration that occurred under Pluto in Sagittarius were brought into manifestation during the Capricorn phase. While Jesus preached while Pluto was in Sagittarius, Paul of Tarsus had his own “plutonic transformation” on the road to Damascus, converted to Christianity, and spread the Word while Pluto was in Capricorn. Paul of Tarsus is widely credited with establishing the religion of Christianity, loosely based on the teachings of the Christ. This illustrates the inspirational nature of Sagittarius and the establishing nature of Capricorn perfectly.
Over the next millennium the face of Europe changed under the spread of Christianity. Each time Pluto transited Capricorn the rate of Christian influence multiplied.
Christianity was a perfect vehicle for Pluto. Here was a religion whose foundations were built on death and resurrection. Jesus taught the resurrection as a Doctrine of Rebirth. One must be willing to die to their former selves to access the true kingdom of heaven.
The Roman hierarchy’s suppression of the seeds of change greatly empowered the process. During Pluto’s return to Capricorn in 287 AD, Emperor Diocletian, presiding over a then divided empire, instituted mass Christian executions to stem the religious tide. These mass killings were famous for their failure, and during the same period Constantine the Great was declared the new Emperor. Constantine’s baptism into the new faith would elevate Christianity to the religion of the state, and assist him to reunite the empire.
In 533 when Pluto next visited Capricorn, Justinian I was Emperor of the Eastern Empire that survived after the fall of the West to Barbarians. In a sinister flip-flop of Diocletian’s reign, Justinian persecuted the last remaining pagans in an attempt to unify his Empire under the one religion of Orthodox Christianity.
In the 8th century [Pluto in Capricorn 768-784 AD] Charlemagne began the first move towards re-establishing an Empire in the West in what came to be called the Holy Roman Empire. He was crowned Emperor by the Pope with Pluto in Aquarius, but established himself as one worthy of such honor during Pluto’s Capricorn phase.
Canute II Rules All Of England- On the death of Ethelred II the King of England, Edmund II succeeded to the throne. Canute II, a Dane, was chosen by the Witan- the advisory council to the King. Canute II battled Edmund at Ashington and defeated him. This led to Canute II being crowned King of all England.
The Ommiad Caliphate Of Spain Dissolved – After 30 years of anarchy, the Omayyad Caliphate of Spain dissolved on the death of Hisham III. Spain was divided into a number of small Muslim states.
1264 – 1280 AD
Again, abuses of governance and power are highlighted during this period of time. Kubli Khan ruled the largest empire in the history of the world. Even appointment in Europe had to be approved by the great Khan. Kubli marched on the Sung Empire, the last hold out to the Mongolian empire. The Holy Wars, the 7th and final led by King Louis IX of France to the Holy Land occurred during this period of time. Ending in 1271 with the last of the Christian Crusades against the Muslims. In 1272, King Edward I, King of England [popularly known as Longshanks] wanted the rest of Britain under his control and waged war against the Welsh and the Scots to achieve his goals.
1516 – 1532 AD
Pluto was in Capricorn between January 1516 and December 1532. The previous decade of Pluto in Sagittarius gave rise to the “Reformation” and over the next decade and half the political outcomes of this incredibly important shift challenged the Catholic Church system that had been all powerful up until this time. England’s Henry VIII divorce of his Spanish Queen Katherine led to the birth of the Church of England and elsewhere in Europe the Protestant factions grew in ascendancy. Henry’s autocratic rulership in this phase is a powerful symbol of Pluto in Capricorn, and set the tone for monarchs all through Europe for the whole of the following cycle.
1760 – 1776 AD
All the power struggles and abuses of power that occurred just prior to the American Revolution [Pluto in Aquarius]. The essence of the Bill of Rights was forged through the abuses of the British during the pre-Revolutionary War period. The Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts, the limitations of speech, assembly, religion, all were precursors to the Revolution in 1776. All were classic Pluto in Capricorn abuse of power and governance issues and Pluto in Aquarius’ revolt against abuses of power.
Pluto in Capricorn 2008 – 2024 AD
Since it is relevant here, remember, Pluto in Sagittarius is expansion of consumerism and depletion of resources, Pluto in Capricorn is world order changes, defeat of Empires, and Pluto in Aquarius is the revolt against abuses of power. This is an important cycle to remember as we live through our current Pluto through Capricorn cycle, remembering that Pluto will enter Aquarius in 2024. That is only 6 years from now. Looking at the abuses of power in the world today, and remembering that eventually there will be a revolt against abuses once Pluto enters Aquarius. This is why Empires have fallen during this cycle.
During Pluto in Sagittarius empires became wealthy, gluttonous, and lazy, in Capricorn power seeks to consolidate as resources dwindle, and in Aquarius, we find the final revolt against all abuses of power. It is a simple and succinct cycle, but not easy for those in power to see and manage. Power seeks to maintain itself, not govern.
As a point of interest, Pluto in Pisces is “ripened Destiny”, or Karma. During this Pluto cycle countries will life through their karma. What we sow, so shall we reap.
Pluto is currently at 19 degrees Capricorn and will enter into the last 10 degrees in December of 2018. From an astrologer’s POV, the degree is an important factor in a long transit such as this one.
0-9 degrees is considered to be the physical degrees. In this context, it’s the period of time when Pluto in Capricorn was a physical manifestation. We’ve seen the physical abuses of people by their own governments, the physical refugee problems as people try and escape abuse, and the physical consequences of the mass migration of large groups of people.
10-19 degrees are considered mental degrees, and in this context it is the period of time when philosophies, political rhetoric, and political changes have dominated. It’s what people think about what is going on, and what they say.
The next phase is 20-29 degrees and are considered spiritual degrees, and in this context it represents the heart of any transit, but especially a planet like Pluto. It represents where we will spiritually align ourselves with all the changes taking place. The later degrees of any transit define what lessons we learn, and how our morality matures or devolves because of events during the first two cycles.
Pluto will remain at the 19th degree for another few months. It will make a final transit into the 20th degree on December 13th. What will we learn from the last 10 years? What kind of philosophical stance will we now take? What we do now is the Karma we will make for our own future as well as the world.
World-wide Regime Change:
The first Lunar Eclipse (21st February 2008) with Pluto in Capricorn coincided with regime change in three continents:
The emergence of a new country: Kosovo (independence declared Feb, 17 2008).
Pakistan’s leader, President Musharraf and his party were defeated in the election (Feb 18, 2008) in the aftermath of the tragic death (and possible assassination) of Benazir Bhutto (Dec 27, 2007).
President Castro of Cuba retired (Feb 19, 2008) after 49 years. Interestingly, astrologer Lynda Hill noticed that the Lunar Eclipse is most visible over the West Indies and not far from Cuba.
I anticipate the revelation and uncovering of abuses of governmental power to continue to come out over this transit. The old institutions may fall only to give rise to new institutions that are vetted of power brokers who abused the trust of the people. Then again, it may be that institutions fall only to give rise to authoritarian centers of power. Governance is not unlimited power, but many will try to consolidate power, so that it appears to be unlimited. The planet Pluto is a planet of extremes.
Each Empire, throughout history, fell or was reduced in power when expansion and prosperity turned into gluttony, greed, abuse of power, and abuse of the people. What will be our fate as we enter the last phase of this transit? Will we surrender our morality to abusers? If the past is prologue, then the future is not so bright astrologically. But, we must all remember that there is no fate in Astrology. The stars do not compel, they only impel. We can make different choices. We have seen the problems in the first phase. We have thought about it, and talked about it throughout the second phase, and now we must each do what our conscience tells us we must do. That is the third phase.
Will we take the path of least resistance, or will we resist. As always, the choice is ours.