This year’s Winter’s Solstice chart features an exact Sun and Pluto conjunction at 0º Capricorn. When planets cross 0º of the cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn – their energy more directly impacts public awareness and the world stage. The influence of Pluto has been intensifying over the last few years, as this powerful Winter Solstice conjunction has been culminating. This year it is spot on.
Pluto symbolizes evolutionary energies that compel transformation. It signifies the paradoxical processes of breakdown and renewal, destruction and creation, corruption and reform, repression and catharsis, pollution and purification, oppression and upheaval, death and rebirth. This Plutonian process of regeneration moved into Capricorn’s realm of political and governmental structures, the economic system, and big business from last January to June, then back to Sagittarius for one last blast from June to late November, and is now altering Capricorn’s landscape through 2024.
Pluto is a planet of extremes – heights and depths. It speaks to both the extremely wealthy and powerful and the abject poor and oppressed. Pluto has to do with issues of power and powerlessness, power struggles and power plays, power grabbing and loss of power. Pluto represents the ways in which power, wealth, energy and resources are wielded individually and collectively.
When Pluto transits a sign, the areas of life associated with that sign intensify and take on greater power and influence and can be taken to an extreme point of crisis and breakdown. From 1995 through parts of 2008, Pluto has been in high-flying Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, planet of growth, optimism and prosperity. Sagittarius and its ruling planet Jupiter rule risk-taking, gambling, globalization and the stock market along with beliefs, enthusiasms and confidence. Jupiter and Sagittarius are generally expansive and opportune energies, but when intensified by the obsessive, power-grabbing, extremism of Pluto their positive qualities can deteriorate into excess, over-reaching, greed, exploitation, and a lack of any attention to reality and the bottom line. By the end of Pluto’s transit through Sagittarius, (this fall) the giant poker game being played with our shadow money system of credit default swaps and toxic debt by the plutocrats in the financial stratosphere folded, and the entire house of cards came crashing down on the world.
Pluto’s dramatic entry into Capricorn, though drastic, couldn’t be more true to form. Fall 2007, before Pluto passed into Capricorn last January, I wrote in this column, ”The Pluto in Sagittarius super-size me, gas-guzzling, nothing succeeds like excess decade is definitely over. Pluto is passing into the most down-to-earth, conservative and economical of signs. It’s time to pay the piper. … Capricorn’s sphere of influence (government, big business, corporations, economics and security systems) is in for a major overhaul. For better or worse, Pluto’s (planet of power and influence) return to Capricorn (sign of accountability) will be a time of reckoning for the U.S. Our country will be confronted with how responsibly, recklessly or ruthlessly it has employed its wealth and resources and wielded its power in the world.”
Whereas Sagittarius is a sign of expansion and excess, Capricorn is a sign of contraction, limitations and shortages. Its energy is serious, sober and sensible. Pluto in Capricorn brings us back to earth with a thud. Through this transit, we will learn to embrace the principles of restraint, conservation and sustainability thanks to Capricorn’s lessons of necessity. We are only at the beginning of this 15-year transit of Pluto plowing through Capricorn with a long row to hoe ahead. This transit is particularly significant for our country, as Pluto will be making many challenging aspects to planets in the U.S. chart over the next few years before finally returning in 2022 to its position of 27º of Capricorn, Pluto’s degree on July 4 , 1776. This is the first return of Pluto to its original position in the U.S. horoscope since the country’s birth. We are currently in the pangs of a long, powerful process of renewal and rebirth.
Throughout 2009, Pluto will be squaring the Midheaven of the U.S. birth chart. The Midheaven axis is the vertical line reaching from the bottom to the top of the chart, delineating the beginning of both the fourth and tenth houses. It represents both our foundations and aspirations, our past and future, our domestic life and our status in the world. As Pluto planet of power and far-reaching change squares the country’s Midheaven, the time has come for a top to bottom overhaul, from our soil, resources and infrastructure to the goals and direction of the nation.
Pluto is also opposing Venus in the U.S. chart in 2009. Venus symbolizes the give and take of relationships, diplomacy, alliances and agreements. It is the planet of worth, values and one’s relationship to money. It also signifies one’s attractiveness, appeal and charisma. We can see this transit already in evidence in the powerfully transformative visage of Barack Obama as the new face of the country. In fact, Obama’s Venus closely conjoins the Venus of the U.S. chart indicating a harmonious union. He promises to be a far more diplomatic and peace-making leader than bellicose Bush, who, aptly, presided during the years when Pluto opposed our country’s Mars, the planet of war and aggression. While Pluto opposes the country’s Venus, The U.S. will show far more grace under pressure, but we are still in for major shifts, power struggles and alterations in our diplomatic relations and our financial system and values.
Pluto is symbolic of the buried side of things, the secret and the taboo. It represents the repressed, shamed and disowned aspects of ourselves. Pluto’s energy hides and seeks, conceals and exposes. In effect, it represents our shadow side until redeemed and transformed by the light of consciousness and the will to change. It is ultimately a deeply healing energy of redemption and resurrection.
As mentioned, this country was born with Pluto in Capricorn, and it is in the second house of money, resources and ownership. The positive side of that position is profoundly rich, resourceful, responsible and powerful: the shadow side is abuses of power and resources, rapacious usury and an economy built on oppression and slavery. On this Winter Solstice, the Sun/ Pluto conjunction in Capricorn on the world stage is symbolic of a large evolutionary cycle of our nation’s shameful history of slavery coming to a powerfully cathartic and redemptive close in the election of Barack Obama to the highest and most powerful position in the land. We still have a way to go in healing the wound, but we are at the beginning of the end of that cycle with much more change and healing to come.
Yes, we can, and we did, heed the appeals of “our better angels” and have changed the course of our country onto a higher, broader, brighter road in the nick of time. We’ve chosen a transformative leader, in Barack Obama, with the right stuff to steadily steer our way through these tumultuous, trying and transformational times. - cha
By Colleen Holden, Winter 2008
Author Colleen Holden holds a BA in psychology and sociology. Her practice of astrological readings and counsel integrates 30 years of study of astrological, psychological, metaphysical and spiritual knowledge. 774-722-2449 or celestialnavigation.info