As Pluto prepares to enter Aquarius on March 23, 2023, it first must wrap up a 15-year transit in Capricorn. The final degrees are an area of intensification and specifically, the 29th degree of any sign is the anaretic degree, signaling crisis, loss, finality and the urgency for change. It's the alchemical transformation in the transition before the planet is reborn in the next sign and opens up a new dimension of reality. Pluto reveals the depth of the unconscious, forces of power, powerlessness and transformation on a collective level.
The beauty of astrology is that planets often give us the benefit of a preview of what the nature of their new journey is to come before it's fully realized. This is where retrogrades can be helpful to review, reflect and reassess. Astrology, afterall, is an exercise in observation, not only of the past and imagining the future, but of paying deep attention to the now.
Pluto is in the final degrees of Capricorn and will enter 0 Aquarius March 23. During this time, we'll begin to experience the power/powerless themes of the revolutionary Aquarian archetype. Pluto will remain at this degree and station retrograde May 1. Then it will regress back into Capricorn June 11 to October 10 when it stations direct at 27. This will be a time to re-visit some of the themes of Pluto in authoritative Capricorn. Then it will re-enter Aquarius January 20, 2024 until 2043.
When Pluto began its entry into Capricorn in 2008, the world experienced a global financial crisis the likes of which were not seen since the Great Depression. A crisis in the US housing market led many banks to fail and the stock market to plunge. The former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, called it a "once-in-a-century type of financial crisis."
And that was just the beginning. Pluto in Capricorn was brought into sharp relief with the South Node, Pluto and Saturn conjunctions in Capricorn in 2019-2020. Global narratives around plutocracies (those with extreme wealth and how they wield political power), powerful forces of destruction, corruption and autocracy emerged.
While much of what Pluto forces to be revealed can be horrific, it can be ultimately enlightening and enable us to right past wrongs, even long overdue ones. What comes to mind is the exploitation in the U.S. of enslaved people and natives upon which the nation was built and whose histories are now being heard. Efforts to acknowledge the land and to repair ancient injustices have taken on a new evolution. Even #MeToo arose during this tumultuous time, and has given voice to the voiceless and reset the collective center on what constitutes abuse by the powerful.
If Capricorn represents the material, control, organization and authority; and Aquarius represents ideas, invention, community, collectivity and egolessness, we have a sense of what Pluto's power shifting-nature might have in store, even if we can't quite predict what events will unfold. As Liz Greene refers to astrology, it signals to us the "quality of time" in which we are entering into.
The important thing now is to not jump too hastily into what's next before we've completed the cycle of Pluto in the final degrees of Capricorn - which we will essentially be experiencing for most of 2023. In the transition, we'll likely see Capricornian figures dying out mightily and refusing to let go of the patriarchal power which has served them so well. On the other hand, we may experience some of the shadow side of Pluto entering Aquarius when power corrupts the collective which has already been arising in new ways - the Twitter/Elon Musk drama, the darkside of cancel culture and the increasing power of Artificial Intelligence are some collective events that come to mind.
In our own lives, those of us with Capricorn placements will finally get somewhat of a relief from the long, drawout slog of dealing with our personal demons around power, control and responsibility. Those with Aquarius placements will be relieved to have restrictive Saturn exiting their sign, yet need to start to become more aware of the power of Pluto in all its dimensions - consciously and unconsciously.
Speaking of Saturn, another great shift is coming as Saturn transitions from Aquarius to Pisces. I'll have more on this soon. Stay tuned...