I re-post here an edited version of an article I wrote for the Art of Healing in 2008, around the time Pluto was making his first ingress into Capricorn.
I came across it while putting some order in my Articles Page. I feel that the transits of Pluto in Capricorn remain as significant today as they were then, especially in the light of the third pass of the Jupiter trine Pluto at the end of October and of the square Uranus-Pluto to begin in 2012.
You may find the following relevant to your experience if you, like me, have had or are having your life turned inside-out by Pluto.
One thing is certain: we all experience Pluto at times in our lives, for short or long periods. We all need Pluto’s crisis to sound our depths and evolve.
Pluto in Capricorn marks a time of heightened emotional experiences for Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra. One does not need to be born under one of these Sun Signs; having the Moon, a Chart’s Angle or a planet in these Signs will be sufficient to experience Pluto in a personal way. Because of Pluto’s extreme slow motion different degrees of the same Signs will be touched by its transits during the course of years (2008 -2024).
Apart from people directly aligned to this transit, the unrivaled power of Pluto will be felt by many more in potentially destructive and/or liberating ways.
But what in Astrology we mean by the power of Pluto? How this mysterious body, relatively small and nowadays even demoted from the rank of major planet, could possibly have such a profound impact on our experience of ourselves and the world?
Lost in the coldness of space, at a bizarrely long distance from the Sun around which it revolves in a long elliptical orbit of 248 years, Pluto‘s cycle oversees the destiny of many generations. In the length and pace of this historical cycle we can begin to glimpse the meaning of Pluto’s power over our lives. This power come to us from the ancestral past and project us into an unknown future, full of potential but also of changes that will make the present disintegrate and our sense of security and continuity shatter. That’s why we associate Pluto with ultimate experiences, death and passions alike, and with the renewed sense of life and meaning that is sometimes attained after serious traumas or periods of deep personal crisis. Pluto is known to operate the way volcanoes do, stirring for a long time in the bowels of the earth, to erupts or even explode, in time, with sudden devastating force.
The transits of Pluto can give us a frightening sense of how much subterranean currents drive our external lives, often totally unrecognized by our conscious selves. We tend to experience the power of Pluto via the agency of other people or the hand of destiny. But people and even circumstances, which seem beyond our control, are mirrors, often dark and mysterious, of our own longings, our unlived lives and those traits of character we are unable to accept in ourselves. Pluto in particular suggests our drive to control and manipulate, a very difficult trait to acknowledge in oneself, but easily spotted in others (the New Testament’s ‘mote in thy brother eye‘).
All the disowned bits come back to haunt us and claim admittance in our conscious lives. This is the reason why Pluto’s Transits can be so confronting, because we have to recognize as belonging to us sentiments and behavior we thought were alien, even repellent to our idea of ourselves. The potential of a Plutonian crisis is truly amazing and life changing.
Experiences of loss and separation are possible, though Plutonian crisis eventually bring their rewards, in the realization of how much more true to yourself you have become, and how much more profound and meaningful relationships you can now experience. The positive, life giving side of this transit could manifest as a surge of passion, a grand passion of sort: an event or relationship becoming the catalyst to a whole new sense of identity and life direction.
Apart from those who are directly challenged by Pluto, the entrance of this epoch making planet into a new Sign is significant for all of us, showing the collective karma of the time continuum it presides over.
Capricorn represents the skeletal structure in the human body as well as the social and moral structure of society, the work ethics, the government, authority and dynastic goals of each generation. Pluto embodies those indispensable crisis and losses that are a vital part of human history and evolution. Pluto transforms past decay into the fertile humus of the future. This combination suggests the need for changes in the structures and mores we have been used to and upon which we have based our sense of collective security. Pluto is coming along to overcome and terminate these aspects of the old social structure that have outlived their usefulness.
Looking back at the historical occurrences of Pluto’s passage through Capricorn we discover that the more recent transit happened between 1762and 1778. This was a time of great political and economical ferment, culminating, in one example, in the American Declaration of Independence, in 1776, and the war with imperial Great Britain. This fostered the birth of the American nation, event that dramatically altered the old world order.
Pluto was also in Capricorn between 1515 and 1532, an epoch of religious and philosophical turmoil in Europe, with Martin Luther publicly challenging the Papal Church for the first time in 1517. This was the beginning of the Age of Reformation, another great leap in history, ushering a profound change of outlook, for all faiths. Secular and religious powers become then separated, the beginning of a truly modern way of thinking. In 1522 Magellan also circumnavigated the globe for the first time; this event too changing spectacularly the established order. And in 1521 the Aztecs were defeated by the Spanish Conquistadors, not just another victory but a real milestone for the destiny of South American and the whole world.
We will experience, in the next 16 years, the slow but sure transformation of our ideas of authority and government. We could also see, at least at first, a more rootless approach to government and power. These are attempts at controlling what is really uncontrollable, the vital urge for change which is broiling unheeded in the depths of our collective psyche. More draconian laws and restrictions on privacy and individual rights could be the last, tough resistance of a system destined to soon crumble, having reached the term of its natural life (Pluto in Capricorn).
But what about the children who will be born with Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024). Some already call them “The Reformers’, for obvious reasons. They will certainly yield individually more power and clout than previous Pluto’s generations. They will be compelled to challenge the status quo and transform the social fabric in dramatic and profound ways, from the inside out, breathing new life and meaning into the old structures, ruthlessly getting rid of all the outlived functions.
Abuse of power, which is indeed a grave risk with this position of Pluto, can only be counteracted by more and more individuals becoming themselves empowered, taking fuller responsibility for their lives, participating more wholeheartedly into the working of society and the task of governing. Gaining power over one’s own inner life a person can defuse and weaken the external control of any power to be.
Pluto was officially discovered in 1930 while in Cancer. Around that time scientists were attempting the first atomic fission (accomplished by Fermi in 1934) and Pluto has come to represent, amongst other things, the destructive potential of nuclear power. As Pluto in the next sixteen years completes its half cycle since its discovery, the management of this dangerous energy will become an even greater preoccupation for many world governments and people (Capricorn).