Pluto in Capricorn: bringer of crisis

Pali.creditHow best to describe the Pluto energy? Imagine a serene mountain landscape, so peaceful that it is impossible to image anything disturbing its tranquility. But beneath this lovely and apparently unchanging view, there are powerful invisible volcanic forces  that can, and sometimes do, blow off the top of a mountain with no warning. Just like that. Everything appears stable and predictable then a violent eruption brings  change so utter and complete that nothing will ever be the same again. That’s how Pluto works.

Pluto destroys in order to create something new. It represents the cycle of death and rebirth. Everything that is born must die and out of  death and decay new life is born. The inevitability of this process is fate—that which cannot be avoided. Pluto is the dance of Shiva the Destroyer—life moving through many forms, inhabiting them, leaving them and taking new ones. Another meaningful image for Pluto is the Phoenix that perishes in flame and rises renewed from it’s own ashes.

Pluto is now at 0° Capricorn,  a critical degree in the cardinal signs that can indicate a crisis about to break. When  a planet is slowing down prior to changing direction, the situation is even more tense. Pluto is currently stationary  and will turn direct on 11th September at 4:54 pm UT. We may be in for some interesting times in the coming weeks but Pluto is a slow moving planet and it’s effects are long term so there is time for significant transformation to occur in the areas presided over by Capricorn by the time Pluto leaves that sign in 2024


We have already had a taste of what Pluto in Capricorn can bring. The economic meltdown  that effected the entire world was the first manifestation of this transit. It entered Capricorn briefly in January 2008, retrograded back into Sagittarius in June and then reentered Capricorn for the long haul at the end of November. Capricorn rules politics, bureaucracies public and private, large organisations, the authorities and the Establishment in general—an apt description of  the banks and other financial institutions.  Pluto is the ultimate reality check.  It tells it like it is and does not deal in dreams or wishful thinking. Insofar as the bankers had moved so far away from reality  that they  imagined that money could be made from people who had none, it was inevitable that they would be brought down. Some economists  believe that it’s not over yet as the financiers do not seem to have learned from their mistakes and are getting on with business as usual. But under Pluto’s rays this cannot continue and nothing less than a complete restructuring of the financial system based on a completely different set of principles and assumptions will need to take place.

The financial crisis is a perfect example of  Pluto working through Capricorn. While Taurus rules over commerce, the business of buying and selling, Capricorn is in charge over the institutions through which this happens.  Political parties, government  institutions and large corporations will also be in the firing line and will be forced to go through some major changes. It won’t be a pretty sight. One  manifestation of Pluto transits is that it brings to the surface the slime at the bottom of the pond—the dark, the shameful, the unacceptable—all come to light to be transformed. Lately there has the embarrassing matter of British MPs, across all party lines, padding their expenses and the unedifying spectacle of large corporations  trying to block much needed health care reform in the US for the sake of their profits. There will be more of this to come. Almost every day it seems, I see on the news  yet another sad story of  greed  and corruption in high places. It’s depressing but also necessary. The healing cannot take place until the toxins are released.


The critical nature of Pluto’s station

This  station is critical not only because of the degree in which it occurs but that it forms an opposition to  Mars and a square to retrograde Mercury. These aspects will not last long but they impart their energy to this next phase of Pluto’s journey which lasts until April 2010 when the planet goes retrograde again. Mars brings aggression,and a certain ruthlessness when coupled with Pluto and Mercury in its retrograde phase can distort communications. This is problematic but there is a positive side to this as well. The courage of Mars can be used to confront great  difficulties and win;  Mercury retrograde can look inward and rectify mistakes made in the past.

Capricorn is an Earth sign and as such is deeply connected with nature. As the environment becomes increasingly threatened by human activity, the question of whether we can survive as a species one that can no longer be avoided. Pluto in this sign gives us no choice but to confront this issue. The  debate about how real this crisis is will continue. In the meantime nature will follow its inevitable course without regard to our wishes.

At the same time there is the opposition between Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces. This represents the age-old conflict between the old and the new, conventional wisdom and new ideas, authority and rebellion, clinging to the known and familiar or stepping out into the unknown.  It becomes exact on 15th September and again in April 2010 when Pluto changes direction and is intimately connected with this whole process.

As I write it is the 9th day of the 9th month of the 9th year, the number of dissolution and transformation. I am also noting some profoundly transformative events that occurred in the 9th month of a 9th year: 70 years ago WWII began; 20 years ago the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin wall came  down; eight years ago the Twin Towers fell as Pluto sat on the ascendant of the US chart.  These next six months will be pivotal in world affairs and some of the changes that are due will not be easy but it’s good to remember that Pluto tears down in order to heal and the phoenix always rises again from the ashes.