The US Pluto return culminates this week. Some of you are familiar with the term “Saturn return” – an event which happens for everyone at age 28-30 and then again around 56-60 when Saturn returns to its position by degree in the natal chart. These are very Saturnian events – times when we need to face responsibilities and hard facts as we transition into the next phase of life. Pluto takes 244 years to orbit the Sun so humans do not experience Pluto returns, but nations often do.
The Sagittarius ascendant in the US chart reflects the expansive tendency of the American empire which is probably the single thing that will be its undoing. Like other empires before it, the expansion of the national identity (Sagittarius ascendant) through ideas like “Manifest Destiny” which inspired pioneers to trek across the undeveloped terrain and do battle with the native peoples and Mexicans and Canadians who were already living on the land. . . .
Since Pluto entered the contracting sign of Capricorn, however, the cracks in the foundation have become more evident. Pluto deals with issues of compulsion and use and misuse of power, and in the US chart Pluto lives in the second house of money. With Pluto in the second house of money and finance, the American shadow is a dirty little secret – an obsession (Pluto) with the power that money can provide (second house). The persona of the country is the sunny Jupiterian/Sagittarian nature of optimism and faith that everything will turn out fine, but the Plutonian shadow of greed hides in the darkness.
Between 2014 and 2017, Pluto has been no more than two degrees from an exact opposition (stressful aspect) to the Sun in the US chart. (Geeky astrological detail: because Saturn squares the US Sun, Pluto is also transiting in square to US Saturn which applies even more pressure.) The candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump with his openly expressed xenophobia has opened the door to the dark Plutonic realms of the US dark secrets which are rooted in slavery and genocide.
This, my friends, is Pluto in action. Trump didn’t cause this to happen – together with Pluto, he opened the door to the circles of hell and the demons began to emerge from the underground of the US psyche. Pluto’s domain has to do with power, corruption, destruction and regeneration, we would expect that governments which do not have a strong foundation would experience some kind of collapse or major transformation during these times. (I did a study of Pluto returns in the Roman Empire which you can read here.)
The Pluto Return has been building for the past year, with transiting Pluto just a few degrees from US Pluto. The exact alignment occurs on February 22nd, but a Pluto transit tends to take a long time to build and the crescendo is slow and dramatic. The second phase occurs in August 2022 and the final exact alignment in December 2022, but Pluto will come within a degree of US Pluto once more in October 2023. So this transit will continue to unfold over the next two years.
Other than the rise of violence, one of the ways in which the US Pluto return has made itself known in mainstream consciousness is the idea that our Democracy is dead or dying. Our system of free and fair elections, the basis of democracy, is fracturing. There is talk of a civil war, and some states want to secede from the Union. America is becoming even more geographically polarized.
Pluto transits very rarely result in complete destruction, but Pluto’s transformative effect is virtually always visible at these times. The power of creative destruction under Pluto may break down systems that are failing, but something else will be rebuilt in their place.
These times of dramatic change can be frightening, but when we understand the planetary forces at work behind the scenes we can more easily manage our reactions to the events at hand. Pluto is in the last degrees of Capricorn, the sign that inspires us to create structures that will help us to achieve mastery of the material world. Any of these structures that are decaying from the inside out and weakened by this decay will almost surely collapse, but will be ultimately replaced by something that better fits the modern reality of life in the Aquarian Age.
“Hmm, Pluto hasn’t been discovered yet but when it is, someone is going to realize the 2020s in America is going to be a bitch and a half. Okay let’s sign this muther.”
USA & Pluto
I have been discussing the USA Pluto return for a couple of years. As we know there are three dates in 2022 where Pluto will be exactly where it was on July 4, 1776, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Feb 22, July 11, and December 28. As I mentioned last month, because Pluto’s orbit is a bit wonky there is some debate in astrological circles about the dates being in 2022 or instead 2024. But in truth no one is getting that worked up because, well, because it is Pluto. Pluto has a long punch. The bottom line is that Pluto will be grinding it out in the USA for the next couple years no matter what date is exact, and it already started years ago when Pluto moved into Cap in 2008.
I would like to point out that as we approach the first date of 2/22/22 something happened last week that seemed perfectly Pluto return. Pluto rules plumbing. Pluto speaks to fresh water coming in and the pipes that remove waste. Last week there were reports that the former president flushed documents down the toilet. Sometimes astrology is just so on the nose.
Given the USA influence in the world (either pluses or minuses) it does not really matter if you are or not an American, we are all in this profound experience together. Let’s all take a breath and watch this space and as always proceed with love.
Please be sure to read the entire post before commenting, and please limit your comments to the astrology. This post is not endorsement of Joe Rogan’s views, or a blanket approval of everything he has ever said. As always, all viewpoints are welcomed, but any comments that serve only to inflame and do not add to the discussion will be deleted. Thank you for your cooperation!
If you haven’t watched Joe Rogan’s YouTube channel you likely have a very different impression of him than if you have. If all you read is the headlines, you see a crazy man who embraces conspiracy theories and radical ideas. This is certainly a piece of the man, but if you dive into what he has produced as I have, you see a much more nuanced picture.
Joe Rogan was born with the Sun in Leo conjunct expansive Jupiter – a very fortunate placement which virtually ensures success, especially since these planets are in his 10th house of career and vocation. Leo is the sign of the Self – under the influence of Leo we need to be “seen” and recognized, but also, ultimately, to be the best person we can be. Mercury, planet of communication, is right on the Midheaven which is a powerful point and denotes someone who is a strong communicator. Saturn, planet of hard work and success, forms a harmonious trine to the Sun and Jupiter which helps to facilitate the discipline needed to work towards a goal. The main drive here is for fame and recognition, but there’s more.
Rogan was born in 1967 at the height of the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, the planetary formation that brought us “the 60s.” He narrowly escaped the emotional challenges (Saturn and Chiron opposed Uranus and Pluto) of the 1965-1966 period, so the transformational power of that big conjunction is able to operate freely. Individuals born under this conjunction (between 1963-1968) generally experience an urgency to bring about a radical (Uranus) transformation (Pluto), and for Rogan this comes through his Mercury/Midheaven skills with communication. His Venus (relating to others) is a part of that conjunction, and his Venus is in the more modest sign of Virgo which would tone down some of the Leo tendency to be bombastic and attention-seeking.
There is a lot of fire in this chart, and fire is the element that promotes passion and enthusiasm. Three planets (plus Ceres) in Leo, and three planets, including Mars, in Scorpio which is one of the Mars-ruled signs. Saturn is in the other Mars-ruled sign, suggesting insecurities and doubts about his masculinity which can lead to overcompensation, especially in one’s younger years. But Saturn is well placed in a trine to the Sun and Jupiter which ameliorates some of these difficulties. Still, the impetuosity of the fire element is clearly visible in Rogan’s personality.
The thing that prompted this post today was this article: Joe Rogan apologizes to Spotify and musicians.
In a nearly 10-minute long video posted on Instagram, Rogan said he is open to changes to the show such as booking more mainstream experts after having controversial ones and doing more research on certain topics. Rogan praised Spotify for its latest decision to add content advisories to any material mentioning Covid-19, and direct its users to public health sites for more information. He also thanked the platform for its support. …
“I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial,” Rogan added. “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”
We do have a time of birth for Rogan (thank you astro.com!) which shows that Libra is rising in the chart. The rising sign, or ascendant, shows the way in which we move through the world, and the influence to which we aspire and which we grow into during our lives. Libra is the sign of balance – the diplomat, the equalizer. Libra always tends toward the middle (full disclosure here: I myself have the Sun and a few other planets in Libra). Libra also wants to be liked and please others, so with Libra rising, Rogan would not be a character like Russell Brand who is a provocateur and doesn’t care who he offends. Apology is a major tool in Libra’s arsenal in the effort to avoid offense.
If you watch Rogan’s podcasts you can see that he is genuinely interested in different points of view, even those that are clearly incorrect. As we have watched the “truth” about the Coronavirus unfold, we have seen things that were first said to be true later revealed to be false, and vice versa. As an astrologer who practices what some would call “pseudoscience” and “misinformation,” I may be particularly sensitive to the fear of information repression, but as an astrologer I also see the conflict over information as an expected part of the Saturn/Uranus square under which we operated throughout 2021 and which is still in force in 2022. Both Saturn and Uranus are in difficult aspects to Rogan’s Leo and Scorpio planets, so he is at once being pulled to break out of restriction (Uranus) and also being hammered by authority figures (Saturn). In the meantime, his fame continues to grow because of controversy, rather than in spite of it.