For anyone paying attention, it is clear the USA is going through extraordinary times. There are some Americans who see the events of late and are scared. There are others who see the changes and are galvanized into action and then there are those who have a cynical ‘nothing-new-here’ attitude and just move on with their lives.
I am an American and therefore not immune to the changes that are happening in the USA, but I see them through the lens of astrology and I understand that these extraordinary times are framed by the USA’s Pluto return. And let me be clear: There is very much something to see here.
On July 4, 1776, a chart was drafted for the USA. While there are some questions about the time of the chart and there are astrologers who make compelling cases for other charts, the one that is used often by the astrological mundane community is the Sibley Chart. British astrologer, Ebenezer Sibley (1755-1799) drafted the chart at the time of the revolt. I think it is interesting that he lived in England and never visited America but as a British citizen and astrologer, Sibley knew something big was going on with the American Colonies and their revolution and he drafted this chart. There are plenty of articles like this one, that make the case that the Sibley Chart has held up through the test of time.
Using the Sibley chart, we know that Pluto was at 27 Capricorn 33 on July 4, 1776. When you look at the ephemeris for 2022 you will see that Pluto hits that degree of Capricorn three time this year (Feb 22, July 11 and Dec 28). It takes 240 years for Pluto to go around the sun and end up where it started. This is why humans can never have a Pluto Return. We just don't live long enough. But if a nation survives without changing its constitution and continues on for 200+ years then it can have a Pluto return. This is the USA's first Pluto return.
I was aware of the Pluto Return before 2022. It was the early aughts and many of us were focused on the outer planet cardinal squares that would start up in 2008 when Pluto moved into Capricorn. Astrologer Ray Merriman , who has a financial astrological perspective, coined the phrase “Cardinal Climax”. We all knew this cycle would have a financial component and right on time, collapse of world markets happened when Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008. While I started to process the cardinal climax, the notion of Pluto returning to the exact place it was in 1776 was a bit vague to me. Although I knew it would be big. In 2006, Michael Lutin rang the Pluto Return bell as hard as he could when he wrote this piece for Vanity Fair. I had an opportunity to talk to Michael shortly after he wrote the piece and I told him he was brave to post it since it is the last thing Vanity Fair readers would have on their mind. He said, and I remember this quote like yesterday, “I had to do it. I had to let them know.”
There are many articles that get into the gist of what it means for a nation to process a Pluto Return. Over at Necessary Behavior there is this article, “Everything You Need to Know about the Pluto Return.” I point out this:
“When a country experiences a Pluto Return, it can lead to critical transformations and some countries don’t survive it. According to astrologer Ray Grasse, the Roman Empire fell after its second Pluto return but Great Britain's second return led to a new era of development and prosperity with the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Unfortunately,, this kickstarted Britain's slave trade which was subsequentially disbanded only after their third Pluto return. “In the chart of a person or nation, Pluto is never just the destroyer. Power is unlocked, abused, taken and ultimately, relinquished.” Astrologer Lauren Ash says Pluto also, “rules things like interpersonal skills, power struggles, and shows the sources of your personal power” and “In astrology, this celestial body signifies the death of old traditions [and] the birth of new ones.”
So what does this all mean?
Distilling it way down, a Pluto return is the death and rebirth of a nation.
If we look at the sturm and drang of now, we see it can be traced back to 1776. Whether we want to go there or not, Pluto points out all the areas that the founders of the USA got wrong. It is not to say that some things aren't righteous from the 1776 USA inception, sure there are and those that are right can pervail. But Pluto first says, "This is broken, this is corrupt, if you don't fix it I will and you aren't going to like it if I do it." Since 2008, Pluto has been getting our attention of what needs fixing in the USA. Each year amplifying the issues until now we get here in the intense period which will be churning a lot between now and 2025.
Obviouisly, many people are talking about race and social justice inequities. George Floyd’s death in the middle of a nation's Pluto Return was a loud bell ring. People of all races were touched by the event. For many, sitting on the sidelines no longer felt doable. Even across the world people who felt racial injustice in their country marched, gathered and needed to be heard. I wrote about my own experience and the things I saw in the middle of a protest in Los Angeles on May 30th.
The sad truth is race was critical to the framers in 1776. It was predominately white sons of Virginia who conceived and wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These authors were all enslavers. Between 1776 and 1826, except for 12 years, all the presidents were Southerners and most were from Virginia. The Revolution and the birth of the USA was shaped by Virginia. It was an old colony and the largest and wealthiest. It was in Virginia that the first slave arrived. The money that was generated in America and used to pay off loans that fronted the American Revolution were tied back to the free labor provided by slavery. Tobacco, Cotton and later sugar are equivalent to oil, auto and cyber money today. In the 18th century if you were born in the United States, you were not guaranteed citizenship if you were Not White. If you were a woman, you were not given the right to vote and other inalienable rights. Sadly, today there are disturbing forces that are pushing for the removal of guarantee citizenship in USA by birth. In the last week SCOTUS reversed Roe impacting women's agency over their own bodies; decisions undermined the separation of Church and State, long held gun laws and rendererd the EPA almost useless. All of this as we head into our next exact Pluto return date of 7/11/22.
Even if you have a small understanding of our complicated history, then you know the twists and turns that the Supreme Court ruled to keep slavery alive, like Dred Scott or how Reconstruction was killed during the Compromise of 1877 making Rutherford Hays president only after he agreed to pull union troops out of former confederate states which then launched the Jim Crow south for the next 80 years. If the Civil War seems far away, let me point out that slavery ended in December of 1865. If a child was born into slavery in November of 1865 and lived to be 100 years old (and it is likely someone did)--who in your family was alive in 1965, breathing air the same time that a former slave was still alive? Was it you? Was it your parents? Was it your grandparents? Slavery's history and debris field is long. Sundowner laws and redline communities exist in states that never had slavery. I have friends who remember their dads who could not drive at night because of sundowner laws and that is in California.
I watched as this journey of Pluto Return began. It seemed all of USA history from 1776 until now was being put in the mill for all of us to process the grist. The Economic crash of 2008, Global Warming with extreme floods and droughts, the power of fossil fuel lobbiests manipulating laws and of course the endless shootings. I remember watching Sandy Hook and thinking that the AR15 serves no one any good. The NRA and all its power made sure there was no tightening of loopholes even though their membership wanted it. The big money behind 18thcentury like slavery, tobacco and cotton is still alive and well and making sure rulings and laws protect the power and the money of the powerrful. I thought of it all again after 19 school children happy in the morning and dead by noon in Uvalde, Texas.
For astrologers, The Birther movement, Tea Party, lies perpetuated by on camera personalities and endless postings on social media speak to the USA’s Moon in Aquarius in the 3rd house (Sibley). Currently, Saturn is conjunction the USA moon and will continue to be an influence this summer and will return to it again at the end of the year. It is interesting that right now the Hearings on January 6 are informing a lot of Americans of lies that were perpetuated by the Trump Administration. Watching poll worker Shaye Moss testify as to what Rudy Giuliani and President Trump did to her and her mother showed a level of cruelty that should make everyone quiver and it is on point for Saturn conjunct moon in Aquarius during a Pluto Return. We as citizens in our country will have to decide what we want to repeat or lean into. Is it truth? Or is it gossip? Or is it manufactured for a reason to give someone more power? Are we going to forward an email? Or a meme? Or ignore it? We have a lot in front of all of us to think about when we consume ‘news.' We should know better now.
It is worth mentioning that soon we are not just dealing with Pluto return, we also will be processing Uranus in Gemini (2025-2033) Neptune in Aries (2025-2039) and of course Pluto in Aquarius 2023-2044 (when our Constitution has its return). It will be bumpy period but what we decide to do with the bumps speaks to our character and our faith in self, others and something bigger than all of us. I do not think it is an accident that we are all incarnate right now as Americans in this USA Pluto return. What is your role?
I celebrate the 4th of July 2022 by telling you we have a lot in front of us but never should we give up. Our country deserves all Americans to go deep and decide what they want for our nation? I also want to address the group who are choosing to check out. Do nothing. The ones who choose to do nothing because of their own cyncism.
I will leave you with this thought. On Ezra Klein podcast on the NY Times May 17, 2022, Ezra interviewed Anne Applebaum a historian and journalist who has been a part of conservative think tanks and has written much on Putin and the power of corrupt propaganda. In it she discusses cynicism and apathy. As she points out, cynicism is close to nihilism and apathy, and it is created by autocrats. An example given, Putin desires apathetic Russians. By giving Russians multiple stories, like the crash of Malaysia Air, one news station says one thing, then another station says something else and then people think “We’ll never find out the truth” --- when it fact Malaysia Air was shot by Russians. When people are cynical, they fear they can’t know something or create the feeling it is impossible to know. It leads people to feel they are powerless. This is popular with autocrats. In fact it is a precondition for autocracy. “Everything was possible and therefore nothing is true” -- this is Putin’s Russian. We in America must think long and hard about our own cynicism. Who does it serve?
I will continue to adovocate and fight for the things that are important to me. Cynicism be damned. I will now set up the grill and serve my family burgers and potato salad.
Happy 4th of July In this year of 2022 in our USA Pluto Return.