You say you want a revolution? Well, welcome to 2022, where we’re already in the midst of the American Revolution 2.0. It is being televised every day, and it is already on social media, even in the Metaverse, and it’s only just begun. All year long, no matter what may be happening on the surface of daily life, underneath the almost regular routines, a strong undertow is sending out a disruptive pulse that is signaling the inevitability of a massive shift. What those changes are and how they will happen is anyone’s guess (and that’s not me copping out on predictions). Predictions are possible when patterns are revealed through reoccurrences. But the pattern we’re currently caught in—the United States of America’s Pluto Return—is only the first iteration. Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the Sun. The United States of America was born 248 years ago, and now Pluto is returning to the position it occupied when America was born. While we may be able to recognize certain common threads in our situation today with those woven into the country’s founding, all bets are off as to what the outcome will be. Earth is still a free-will planet, which means we are creating this revolution moment to moment and we are also creating the outcome, and at this moment in time and space, we are still in the process of making it up—or should I say, deciding what the outcome will be.
The first exact U.S. Pluto Return occurs on February 20, 2022; the second is on July 11; and the final on December 28. But as many readers are aware, the scope of any kind of Pluto transit is generally 22–24 months. On occasion, Pluto lingers longer at certain degrees, but not this time. I use a very tight orb of influence, and if I expand that range and use a 3-degree margin (which is still several degrees narrower than other astrologers might use), not only have we been in this Pluto Return since the start of 2020, but the end of this Pluto Return extends to and overlaps with Pluto’s entry into Aquarius on March 23, 2023. Given Pluto’s retrograde back and forth at the threshold of Aquarius, the effect of the U.S. Pluto Return won’t end until November 2024. Translation: we have been, we are, and we will continue to be in Pluto’s transformational soup for a long time.
Pluto’s transformational soup is complex. Pluto symbolizes all the things we have no control over (even if we think we do)—politics, finances, the process of transformation, sex, death, power, and any other area of life that is out of our immediate influence. A Pluto transit can be subtle, extreme, or a combination of both. Ask anyone who has been through a Pluto transit and they will testify to Pluto’s seeming insistence that something needs to shift, and because Pluto represents the process of death and rebirth, that thing that’s gotta shift is usually something we don’t want to release.
From an individual perspective, the most useful prayer while in the midst of a Pluto transit usually goes something like this: I am willing to release anything that is not authentic. Sounds simple enough, but the problem is that what we tend to cling to is usually what we fail to see is what we most need to release. And that’s where the struggle usually takes place; Pluto keeps reiterating what needs to change and we keep saying, “no way, not yet.”
From a collective perspective, the same rules apply; but as always, collective processes take time, especially when the middle ground is nearly impossible to find. And that’s the soup we are in—the MAGA millions are at odds with the social justice millions and neither is willing to budge. Through a Pluto Return framework, the United States of America is in the process of deciding what is authentic and what isn’t. Originally, “all men are created equal” was a lofty ideal, except in practice that equality did not include people of color and women. Eventually, we grew into a more enlightened application of that constitutional principle but it wasn’t without pain, angst, and struggle; it took a very long time and there is still resistance and resentment about including everyone. And that’s just one inauthentic pattern embedded in the so-called American Way.
The threat to voting rights is yet another challenge to our ideals, and is seemingly the white man’s last stand in an effort to hold onto the days of yesteryear, when he was in power. This is the most pernicious threat to democracy because it undermines the very core of the democratic system. If you have states enacting laws that allow certain officials to curtail voting rights and overturn election results unfavorable to them, then the hands of time have been set to run backward and racial prejudice will prevail. Don’t worry; if that happens, it won’t be a lasting moment. There are too many young people who won’t agree to live in a world structured by racism; they will fight for their right to be free. And they will win. Every structure in the government of the United States of America is currently being challenged, from the presidency to the Congress to the Supreme Court. That’s Pluto in Capricorn revealing what is not congruent.
Social justice is love at the collective level and I am aligned and committed to its movements, perhaps because I’m a child of the Sixties or because love is a transcendent value that I do my best to align with. Finding the means to heal the enormous divisions that currently challenge our confidence in the American Way includes finding a way to turn love into actions that will close the gaps between who we are and who we want to be. Do I relate to the people who stormed the Capitol and who continue to mistake selfishness for personal freedom? No, I don’t relate to those values at all. But do I continue to try to find a way that includes those I seemingly have nothing in common with? Yes, I do, because what unites us is what will heal our divide. It can be hard work to remember that our shared humanity binds us to each other. Many of us already know this and are working quietly and diligently to make a difference in our communities. As the climate crisis intensifies, we are also reminded that we are connected to all sentient beings on the planet. Will we remember our essential interconnectedness in this year of revolution? We must, because what unites us has the power to reveal our common ground and help us weather the revolution through its many twists and turns.
Alarm is an appropriate response to this Pluto event. Pluto will persist; its effect intensifying at times, receding at others, yet omnipresent all year long. As you adjust to its presence, be careful not to underestimate the power of this U.S. Pluto Return—everyone, no matter where they live, will be affected. And as we move through it, we are deciding not just the fate of American democracy, but in many ways the fate of the planet—and that is a fight that requires all of us to work together.
This month opens on a fitting note of intensity, setting the tone for the year with a Venus/Pluto/Mercury conjunction in Capricorn, a powerful triple conjunction that reactivates the degrees in Capricorn that set the tone for this year and last, which means that we are still dealing with what was set in motion as a result of that concentration of astral energy that’s already two years old. Of course, we don’t need an astrologer to point out that we are still in the midst of the deconstruction of systems—both government and corporate—set in motion by the Saturn/Pluto conjunction of January 2020, or that the pandemic which spiraled out of control shortly thereafter continues to have a massive, pernicious global effect.
Also be aware that on March 23, 2023—a little more than a year from now—Pluto enters Aquarius, so while we are in the midst of the U.S. Pluto Return, we are also in the midst of reviewing everything that Pluto’s transit through Capricorn has wrought since 2008. I said it earlier, but I’m saying it again: we are in for a rough couple of years as we attempt to make sense of this Plutonian transformational process. Remember, plutonium signals change at the core. Plutonian transformation signifies the very same thing. We are changing at our core, whether we want to or not.
Back to 2022: Many astrologers have been writing about how we start 2022 with the positive influence of Jupiter in Pisces. Jupiter was in and out of Pisces during 2021, and on December 28, it moved into Pisces where it stays until May 10, when it enters Aries. Jupiter is quite happy in Pisces—it’s a co-ruler of this highly empathetic Sign, and when a planet moves into its home Sign, its influence is heightened. This Jupiter/Pisces intensification filters down into the 3D reality of daily life as increased empathy coupled with hypersensitivity. You’ll see lots of information about Jupiter in Pisces floating around online, especially about how it bodes well for the coming year. Please use your capacity to discern when something is being exaggerated: Jupiter rules exaggeration, expansion, and excess, and when those tendencies are fortified in Pisces, emotional excess is expected. What’s more, everyone is so fatigued by all the bad news (which is also strange and unsettling news), that any good news feels like the antidote to what ails. Maybe Jupiter in Pisces will alleviate some stresses, but there is too much going on with Pluto to say with confidence that we are out of the woods of difficulty.
Also be aware that Jupiter’s presence in Pisces can enhance your susceptibility to suggestion—be careful who you listen to and whose advice you follow. Despite the inherent benevolence of Jupiter, it can often lead to an excess of drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances as a means of self-medicating and easing the pain of hypersensitivity—it is possible to be too permeable and therefore unable to stay on your own track. Nevertheless, this influence can be put to positive use by deepening your meditation practices and increasing altruistic leanings and endeavors.
One Jupiter transit you might want to watch carefully: On April 12, 2022, Jupiter and Neptune will be conjunct at 23° Pisces. These are the two Rulers of Pisces and when they combine, the Pisces energetic signature is quite intense. Be prepared for floods—Pisces is a Water Sign—and if you are in a flood zone and do not have insurance, get it now. The weather is so dramatic, it would be wise to be prepared for an unprecedented deluge. Of course, this could also indicate and facilitate an emotional deluge, a tidal wave of feelings that cannot be controlled and must be expressed, which is likely to challenge all sorts of relationships. Remember to be kind as you gush.
The first Mercury Retrograde of the year begins on January 14 and ends on February 3. Mercury signifies all things related to communication and travel, so expect delays and detours as well as repeating yourself more times than you would like. And even though we all know the Mercury Retrograde drill by now, here is a quick review for those new to the idea: try not to initiate new projects when Mercury is retrograde, but use the time efficiently by reviewing all the details of what’s already in motion. Also keep in mind the three-day rule when you are making plans, especially travel plans or important gatherings—the three days before or after a retrograde starts fall within the parameters of the actual retrograde, so try not to be in a hurry.
The additional Mercury Retrograde phases of 2022 are: May 10 – June 3 and September 9 – October 2.
This year also opens with Venus Retrograde, which started on December 19 and ends on January 28. Venus Retrograde is seldom as disruptive as Mercury Retrograde, but given they are running simultaneously, the combination could be troublesome. Anticipate hassles, especially financial snafus—your bank could miss a deposit or you could accidentally enter the wrong email address when using Venmo. Be careful and mindful of how you are using electronics (Mercury) and money (Venus).
The best remedy for the year ahead is to identify what brings you joy and then to immerse yourself in that activity as often as you can. As the world seemingly falls apart, it is equally important to focus on finding beauty in your life—whether that is appreciating those you love, immersing yourself in creative expression, or simply acknowledging the perfection of your plants or pets, make sure you are engaging in a mindset as well as activities that support your heart and help you to love more deeply. And as always, be kind to your fellow travelers. So much hinges on our ability to love one another and to love our planet Earth.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
2022 will require you to hold a steady, positive mindset despite a myriad of intensities that bombard your daily activities. It won’t be easy staying positive, but it is absolutely necessary, especially when it comes to work and career-related interruptions or obstacles. Contemplate the best way to stay focused on the tasks at hand and you will have an easier time maintaining consistent forward motion.
Taurus April 20-May 20
A good way to start the New Year would be to identify what you are passionate about—what you care the most about—and then immerse yourself in that pursuit. I realize your family may be your most passionate interest—and that’s fine—but it might also be a good idea to find out what else triggers your care and devotion. If it is animals, figure out how to volunteer at a shelter or a veterinary office—concretize your passion and live it out loud.
Gemini May 21-June 21
As much as you are stimulated by change and curious about how changes coalesce into a new reality, there are likely to be times this month and this year when you feel overwhelmed by how much personal change is required to keep up with the collective shifts. You might feel as if you’re failing miserably at what you love the most. Take heart: you are not failing or missing the point. Life is simply overwhelming sometimes and that is a well-learned lesson.
Cancer June 22-July 22
2022 is all about slaying the demon of feeling as if you are not enough to handle whatever comes your way, especially when it comes to relationships with significant others—lovers, family, friends—as well as neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers. Feeling that you aren’t enough is a common Cancerian theme that mostly comes from not feeling safe and secure. So do your best to create greater safety in your life by staying in the present moment and refusing to worry about the future.
Leo July 23-August 22
There are plenty of opportunities all year long to make tangible financial gains, but to avail yourself of these chances for financial improvement it’s important for you to see yourself as your greatest resource. No self-negating thoughts, no self-deprecation, or harsh self-judgment—it’s never healthy or helpful to be hypercritical. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, analyze it, grow from it, and move on. You’re not required to be perfect; you’re only obligated to do your best.
Virgo August 23-September 22
2022 could turn out to be a deeply creative year, especially if you are willing to put heart and soul into all your creative efforts. Think about what you would like to create—whether you’re a musician, visual or graphic artist, writer, or gardener, take advantage of this opportunity to delve deeply into self-expression. Yes, there will still be a need to take care of others, but the only challenge to those responsibilities is how well you manage to take care of yourself.
Libra September 23-October 22
You might find yourself hunkering down at home this month, and maybe even for a couple of months (probably not the whole year), but that doesn’t have to stop you from embracing life in big bites. Have at it—sometimes we just need to recharge and refresh and miraculously we’re ready to take on the world again, unperturbed by obstacles. It’s not that you need a magic spell to work your wonders—you don’t. You just need to be yourself—all you, all the time.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
2022 picks up a familiar thread: communication. You’re talking with anyone who will listen about a wide variety of topics, from paint colors for the living room to the current societal instability. What’s wonderful about this thread is that you are refining your communication skills. Yes, I know you are quite private, but every once in a while, it’s important to open up and hold forth. Now is your time—make the most of it. And if you’re isolated, connect with a friend and correspond.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
You’re searching for a true path of moderation that will allow you to establish a grounded balance in your life. While I’m not saying that the perfect balance is yours this year, I am suggesting that the search to find a wholesome equilibrium will give birth to a new way of looking at things, and that will generate more moderation than you realize. Take your time with this process and allow yourself to notice where you tilt to extremes—those tilting moments will teach you a lot.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
I heard you breathe a deep sigh of relief when you read that Pluto would be leaving your Sign—of course that’s still a year away, but the end is in sight. You’ve been through so much with Pluto’s transit through Capricorn that it might be wise to make a list of all that’s changed since 2008. The good news is you answered the challenge; the best news is that you grew. Even if it’s painful to review these last years, it’s a process you will benefit from.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Your challenge for 2022 is complex: on the one hand you’re moving out into the world after a long time of being deeply internal; yet on the other hand, you could find yourself longing for the quiet of your meditative cave. The solution to this challenge is figuring out how to balance these two urges. It’s not an easy riddle to solve because they both have equal pull. Here’s some help: it isn’t difficult if you’re clear about prioritizing your time and energy.
Pisces February 19-March 20
2022 opens with Jupiter in your Sign, encouraging a more expansive point of view about how to move through the year with an optimistic attitude that engenders good health and a happy heart. Just be careful not to overdo it—Jupiter is the planet of excess and that translates into a tendency to go a wee bit too far. You can exercise restraint, but that may drive you to even more excess. Just take each day one day at a time and know when enough is enough.