It’s unclear what to write about this week—there’s so much that’s been said and so much more that needs to be said, but the stars aren’t offering any immediate remedies, quick-fixes, spiritual bypasses, or astral ointments to lessen terrestrial tensions. This lack of relief—or better yet what might be called our unrelenting minute-by-minute confrontation with the shadows of our democracy—is best understood as the turmoil that accompanies the United States Pluto Return. The date of the actual return doesn’t occur until February 2022, but we’re close enough to feel the conflict, chaos and confusion that happens when a planet as powerful as Pluto begins to wind down one cycle and begin another. Pluto moves slowly—it takes 248 years to complete an orbit around the Sun and we are only four years away from the end of its cycle. In cosmic time, that’s nothing.
No matter which chart is used to represent the birth of the United States, Pluto’s position is always 27° Capricorn. Before Pluto went retrograde on April 22, 2018, it was within six degrees of separation from that natal position. Again, in cosmic measurements, not a great distance. Consider we’ve been living through and are living through a preview of things to come—Pluto is raising unresolved issues to the surface, and as a result, we’re facing one crisis after another, struggling between our lesser selves and our better selves to find sustainable solutions to these undeniable concerns. And that struggle is not just happening in America, it’s global. The American dilemma is simply more obvious because we are a model—an idea, really—of what government by the people and for the people should be.
Pluto moved into Capricorn in January 2008, retrograding back and forth until December of that year. Capricorn is the Sign of corporations, government, authorities, and all the structures—large and small, good and bad—that hold the realities of daily life in place. Pluto symbolizes all the aspects of life we have no control over, including the process of death and rebirth, as well as unconscious forces—negative and positive—that inform conscious behavior, individual and collective. Every Sign has a shadow—drives, compulsions and appetites that we learn to suppress or repress but nonetheless play a role until they are integrated into consciousness. When Pluto transits a Sign it exhumes the underbelly of that Sign, shining its unrelenting light on the hidden places—the illuminates the secrets.
Since the beginning of Pluto’s transit through Capricorn, we’ve witnessed its inexorable power to destabilize societal structures, but nothing compares to Mr. Trump’s agenda to purposefully undermine and subvert the government. I mean…really…it has to be pretty bad when officials from the FBI and NSA go public and declare the President a dangerous despot. And I know you don’t need me to tell you that. I just had to say it, because I’m reeling from imagining what they aren’t saying because that’s what’s motivating them to say anything at all.
Last week, too many of us experienced a new level of psychic and emotional overwhelm and that’s what got me thinking about the US Pluto return. It is depressing and distressing to see ICE agents embrace heartlessness in the name of the law or witness the police—not all but many—who already have extreme policies of profiling and prejudice further embrace a policy of hatred promulgated by the Trump administration as a justification for even more blatant violence. We have, unfortunately, grown used to hearing and seeing these stories of violence—we’re almost inured to them. But what no one was or is prepared for, is the violence perpetrated on thousands of children, wrenched from their parents and put into cages in the name of making America great again. It’s egregious, awful, Draconian, and just wrong. Do not underestimate the corrosive effect of this particular brand of tyranny—its effect is akin to the half-life of Plutonium.
Forget the G7 meeting, the tariffs, the loss of America’s standing in the world, the new tax laws that will plunge even more citizens into poverty, the lack of health care that is literally crippling far too many, Puerto Rico, and anything else that is likely to occur between writing and publishing this column. The idea that the country which once welcomed the huddled masses yearning to breathe free is now the country that imprisons children is too much for many of us to tolerate. Too. Much. These detention centers, these cages, are institutionalized abuse. Just as war is legalized violence, these detention centers are legalized abuse facilities. We’re witnessing the degradation of our principles. Now, the huddled masses are yearning to be free from us.
The reason I am focusing on this is because so many are affected by this situation—not just these children and not just their families. Anyone who has ever been abused knows the effect these detention centers are having on those children and just how much it will take to heal their suffering. The incarceration of children in cages—the terror and hopelessness that is imprinting their young nervous systems—is designed to harm innocent souls who have no recourse but to endure.
What’s more, this abuse is triggering the thousands, if not millions, of our fellow travelers who have suffered abuse at the hands of parents, siblings, bosses, teachers, friends, or lovers. No matter how hard you may have worked on and continue to work on the deleterious effect of abuse in your life, these cages are almost certain to trigger PTSD. And that could lead to depression, hopelessness and futility, all of which could trigger harmful addictive appetites, or worse, suicidal tendencies. It’s imperative that we take a stand for these children. I don’t know what can be done, but surely there are enough people with enough money, creativity, spiritual awareness and clout to find a solution.
A solar eclipse, in Cancer, exactly opposite Pluto, in Capricorn, occurs on July 12. Solar eclipses always reveal what’s hidden and while it is impossible to conceive of anything else being hidden…. Cancer is the Sign of children, nurturing, belonging, and issues of safety and security. An eclipse effect also extends out six weeks prior to the actual event and six weeks after—we are within that range, which means we can expect to hear much more about these children and the cruelty they are experiencing.
Often the small picture fails to contextualize the currents flowing through our daily lives. That’s why I’m focused on the big picture. Even if that perspective doesn’t deliver the cheeriest news, it’s the best way to make sense of the outrageous daily dissolution that’s occurring right before our eyes. It’s not just Mr. Trump and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts that are the problem, it’s the quality of our combined consciousness, a consciousness that is struggling to shift out of narcissistic self-interest and into altruistic selflessness that focuses on the welfare of all sentient beings and the survival of our shared planet. It’s a Pluto Return and it’s revealing almost every shadow. The only reasonable response is personal and planetary transformation.