Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thoughts on Pluto in Capricorn (and Aquarius)



Pluto has been in Capricorn for three years now, and we’ve all seen what it has to offer.
It’s entry into Capricorn inaugurated the largest economic meltdown in the United States since the Great Depression, and I think most American adults will remember how their financial picture changed in September, 2008 for the rest of our lives.

If any metal out of the earth passed Pluto’s smell test, it has to be gold, which climbed from roughly $400.00 an ounce in 2005 to more than $1300.00 an ounce today. Pluto should be fascinating every astrologer right about now.

Buffalo Gold Coin

This article takes a closer look at what Pluto in Capricorn actually means for many Americans, and how its trends will drive the future events of Pluto in Aquarius. As the Sun moves into Aquarius this year, I took a day off work because I felt like I HAD TO WRITE this article.


Capricorn is all about Saturn. Saturn interacts synergistically with Pluto, and Pluto manifests more strongly with Capricorn. A lot of smart thinkers have pointed out different facets of this idea. Raven Kaldera (see the blog entry) observed that Pluto delivers us into Saturn’s hands. Pluto in Capricorn values the treasures of the earth, anything from minerals to buried treasure to the Periodic Table of the Elements in chemistry. Someone on another blog pointed out that lead is the only metal used to contain deadly plutonium, and lead is one of the metals associated with Saturn. Astrologer Maurice Fernandez also observed that Pluto in Capricorn is “sixteen years of Lent”.


Jeff Bridges as Pluto/Odin in "True Grit", a movie made by the Coen brothers in 2010. Odin is depicted as wearing an eye patch over his bad eye.

Pluto in Capricorn determines the nature of the stories that you see in your daily newspaper - everything from the porn explosion, older men marrying or having sex with very young women, the emphasis on the Hollywood careers of very young movie starlets who are still children, the sexuality of pre-teen girls(with almost no attention being paid to pre-teen boys),
14 year old Hailee Steinfield as Persephone in the film, "True Grit"

the unearthing of long-forgotten buried treasure, the high price of food in the developing world, and the revealing (or “unearthing”) of wide-scale military, diplomatic and corporate corruption by Julian Assange and his organization, Wikileaks. Nearly every one of these topics is associated in some way with the myth of Pluto and Persephone.

A sharp-talking Persephone gets her Pluto in the Coen brothers' movie, "True Grit". It's a clean movie. Pluto doesn't take advantage of her.

By energizing Capricorn, Pluto has an effect on the way all other planets manifest in Capricorn. Saturn is strong in Capricorn, and we have already seen how industries involving conservation and farming have more than their fair share of the media’s attention at the moment. Less attention has been paid to industries associated with Jupiter. Jupiter is fallen in Capricorn, so professions associated with Jupiter are really going to be in trouble for the next decade (more on that later).


Demeter doesn't get a good rap in the myth of Pluto and Persephone. She is depicted as having an extraordinarily close relationship with her daughter but she also smothers her. How well does this turn out for Persephone? She ends up married to the Underworld CEO. (There's also that little matter of rape or ravishment, depending on your take on it.)

"Helicopter" moms are Demeter's modern manifestation. Bitch mother Amy Chua just made the cover of the Jan 22, 2011 issue of Time Magazine, I see.

My Note: Ivy League dominatrix Amy Chua makes the case for Demeter in no uncertain terms. Her memoir has caused a splash, because it implies that China and its children will soon rule the world because of their competitive mothers who demand the best.

Little attention is being paid to boys at the moment, which may be a good thing, because it will allow them to grow up without having to participate in an archtypal energy pattern. At least one boy who is effeminate enough to be able to tap the Persephone myth has managed to make a fortune, however. Justin Bieber will represent Best Buy during the Superbowl - companies are eager to cash in on the drawing power of young girls (or those who appear to be girls).

Justin or Justine?

My friend's daughter posted this photo of herself dressed as Justin Bieber on Facebook. The Persephone archetype seems fairly obvious.


Everything old-fashioned has come back around. Folks are making their own jam, distilling their own fruit-flavored brandy (shhhhhhhhh), crocheting their own shawls, or keeping chickens again and making a big deal out of selling truly fresh eggs. Small farmers are finally making money again, although most find that selling at the farmers’ markets is more lucrative and less aggravating than participating in community supported agriculture (CSA’s). Most Americans are tapping this energy in some way. I started knitting in 2009, and I love it. Knitting is wonderfully portable, and it helps me fill all the “dead time” in my day that annoyed me to no end because it went to waste and I felt I had nothing to show for it.

On Friday night, a knitting circle gets together at Border Books in Frederick, MD, and from week to week we see as many as fifteen women show up – this never would have happened just a few years ago when Pluto was in Sagittarius, because the same people were probably too busy renovating their houses, and also because just a few years ago, knitting wasn’t “cool”.
Toronto soccer-mom Stephanie Pearl McPhee, a yarn goddess who started a blog called “The Yarn Harlot”, was still “under the radar” during Pluto in Sagittarius. Now she’s a best-selling author who can shut down traffic in a small city when the word gets out that she is doing a workshop at a wool convention.

The motivation behind all this has to do with a revolt against the computer. Americans love our technology, and we delight in our I Pods and our Blackberries and our Mac Book Pros, but on some level, we are also sick of these things. There’s a real yen for handmade things that are imperfect and made in small batches because, well…., those things are the exact opposite of the computer I work on every day.


An odd thing is happening in America, and it’s a difficult thing to see. Pluto isn’t kind to the poor or the unemployed, and the gulf between rich and poor is an abyss gaping wider by the day. While the official unemployment rate is stuck at 9.6%, the unofficial rate of the unemployed, those working part-time jobs while they look for full-time jobs, and those who have stopped looking and are no longer being counted is conservatively estimated at 17%. None of these people have enough money to make ends meet, let along enjoy what life has to offer. Capricorn is an ambitious, ladder-climbing sign, so the poor don’t get our attention at the moment – they’ll muddle through somehow, I suppose!


The wealth at the top has become rather obvious to everyone. What’s left of Wall St. is doing better than ever before. 500 or so partners at Goldman Sachs have become extraordinarily wealthy in the last two years, despite the fact that few if any actually drew a salary. These Plutos (87% of current partners are men because few gals are promoted) cashed out more than $20 billion in Goldman shares in the past 12 years, according to results of a recent study. The Chief Pluto and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, cashed out $93.8 million since 1999, and remains sitting on a tidy pile of some $355 million – not bad for a boss of a company that doesn’t actually make a tangible product.


Pluto for planet-hood, or Pluto for parenthood? You decide.

Wealthy Americans are having more children than an earlier generation of wealthy folks did. When I was young, yuppie women wanted a career outside the home as well as a family, and all the upper-middle class parents in the community where I attended high school had two kids, or maybe three. Solidly middle-class adults who came from working-class backgrounds like my parents, on the other hand, had lots of children. I was the oldest of five, and households with seven or eight children in my childhood neighborhood were not uncommon.

Now the wealthy are having three and four children, or even five and six, because wealthy women are no longer as concerned about having an identity outside the home – most of them worked until some point in their late twenties or early-to-mid thirties, and then happily quit for good, while some of them manage to have it all with lucrative, non-traditional careers that can be managed out of the house.

It’s the middle class where a revolution is occurring, one that doesn’t get much attention. The middle class now is afraid to have kids. One child is the new norm. Middle class parents are afraid for the future, even if their jobs are stable. They know that their kids are going to have to compete against the children of the better-connected wealthy for jobs, and that four years of college at a public university now costs $100,000. Middle class parents with a sharp-as-a-tack first born child are eyeballing the price tag on an Ivy League University – currently $260,000 for four years with limited financial aid. By the time the kid grows up, a four year education at a public university education could cost $200,000, and an Ivy League education will top out around $500,000 – that’s right, $125,000 a year!

If the child is graduating during the next decade of Pluto in Capricorn, they will be lucky to get a starting salary of $35,000 a year, if they find a job at all. Middle class parents aren’t stupid – they’ve done the math. College is no longer worth the money, but society’s view on the necessity of a college degree hasn’t changed yet. So one child is all they can afford.

The only children of the middle class are poised to inherit quite a bit of money, however. There’s quite a bit of hidden wealth in the current middle class that will only become apparent as these only children grow up. If these only children marry each other and combine resources, they may enjoy a wealthy lifestyle even if their earnings remain middle-class. In terms of inherited money, the next generation of families will benefit even if only one parent is an only child.

In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is a karaka, or indicator, for children. Jupiter is fallen in Capricorn, but is said to do well in Aquarius. Surfing the web for this article led me to read Lynn Koiner's astrological research, and a respondent who goes by the name of “Raz” supplied the missing piece of astrological data for the trend regarding children noted above.

Raz writes,

“Rearding Pluto cycle and the USA: while transiting Pluto will enter Aquarius in 2025, progressed Jupiter, in the US chart, will turn direct after more than a hundred years, (US progressed Jupiter is retrograde since 1906). These are just my own thoughts: since Jupiter is the lord of the US chart this is important. Progressed Jupiter is wondering around in Cancerbetween the eighth and seventh house….


Jupiter does not do well in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn, and the two professions most associated with Jupiter are education and the law. Teachers are under siege at the moment, particularly if they teach in under-performing, inner-city schools, where they are blamed immediately if a child fails to learn – the current belief is that student failure must be due to shitty teaching instead of student laziness or unwillingness to do the difficult work of learning, because the teacher is a scapegoat (Capricorn is the sign of the scapegoat).

The other profession under assault is the law. Newly graduated law students are defaulting on student loans of up to $300,000 because there are so few entry-level jobs available in law. Many of them are bitter because they will never be able to repair their credit or obtain a home mortgage to buy a home (Capricorn is associated with the past, one’s roots, and the home). It isn’t just law students, although they are the most vocal about their plight. A lot of young people have gotten totally screwed by education lenders.

Unless we change the law to permit students who have defaulted on education debt to discharge this debt in a bankruptcy, a whole new group of young people will never be able to rebuild from the catastrophic effects of this recession. For as long as these young people remain in the U.S., their wages will be garnished and their tax refunds will be seized. These students have had their entire careers destroyed before they ever had a chance to begin them, all because bankers and money-lenders (represented by Saturn) are so busy making money off of poorly regulated education lending. Allowing students who default the same legal protection available to homeowners who lose their homes would kill the education-lending cash cow for good, so the Plutos of Saturn are fighting it tooth-and-nail.


A Capricorn era magnifies the power of beautiful young girls, represented by Persephone, but other children are being hurt before they are even born in ways that are still “under the radar”.

ADD, ADHD, and autism are all topics that engage our awareness, but nobody is talking about the sheer number of children with learning disabilities that are clogging the American public school system. Some of these special education students, known derogatorily as “SPED” kids, have clearly defined disabilities, but others have a combination of learning problems that don’t even fit a precise category of disability. Many of these children are being born to parents who had mild learning disabilities that did not prevent them from becoming functioning adults with jobs; the same cannot be said for their children who are experiencing more severe, lifelong disabilities.

Why is this happening to our kids? High levels of carcinogens in the parental diet may affect sex cells and the developing fetus, and chronic exposure to chemicals in drinking water probably play a role as well. Another cause is the utter failure of public health authorities to convey the message that having twins is not “low-risk”. Any child born prematurely has a much higher likelihood of learning disabilities, and twins born to mothers over 35, many of whom underwent IVF, are particularly likely to arrive prematurely. Overall in the United States, when conceived naturally, 11 pregnancies in 1000 produce twins. Principally as a result of fertility treatments, 32 pregnancies out of 1000 now result in twins, and 60% of these children are born prematurely. Why do so many kids have learning disabilities? Do the math.

Should the birth of these children continue unabated, we may be forced to consider genetic manipulation as early as the mid-21st century, although it seems unthinkable now. This may possibly prove to be the dark side of Pluto in Pisces (2043 – 2067). Pisces is normally depicted as intertwining fish immersed in fluid - very symbolic of our DNA – and Pluto has a transforming quality to it.


The strangest thing I’ve noticed about the last three years is that angels and demons seem to be more palpable. This past Christmas, candy-cane demon horns were available at my local CVS – I bought a pair, and quickly noticed that everybody on my Facebook page had found some excuse for getting a pair, too. I went to Borders Books, and books with demons on the cover (or angels that looked a little like demons) popped out at me. One was a book on dinosaurs, and another was a new translation of Milton’s Paradise Lost. A magazine with Lady Gaga on the front of it caught my eye – I opened it to find an article featuring her with demonic looking back-up dancers, and fans she calls “Little Monsters”.

The most recent issue of The Mountain Astrologer Magazine came in the mail. It had a beautiful poem by Alice O Howell titled, “Pluto: My Descent”. The poem was originally published in a collection that came out in, you guessed it, 2010. In it, she recounts a dream-journey descent into Hades, and an encounter with Pluto (it is up to each individual reader to decide whether this dream actually happened to the author, or whether the poem is merely a poem). The most powerful part of the poem is when she makes love to Pluto, although she deliberately leaves this part out, making us even more aware of the poem’s invisible climax.

The demonic world is full of misshapen, ugly, powerful beings that frighten us. In fact, I’m not sure that their greater access to us during Pluto in Capricorn is a good thing.

O Howell writes, “The cavern walls are streaming
with tears and flashing with slime
and the usual assortment
of creeping red-eyed monsters are
mewling about, obviously not housebroken.

Yet sex with one of the old gods was said to be incredible – this was the one way in which they connected with humans in a way that delighted us and did not frighten us.
Old tales of witches who confessed to having sex with demons flitted through my mind as I read this poem.

In Lynn Koiner’s article on Pluto in Capricorn, a respondent who goes by the name of “Sai Grafio” must have perceived something similar, for he also noted the following:

The Bible tells us of pre-Antediluvian patriarchs who lived to almost a thousand years and some were giants. The legends say there were men of renown but the knowledge only led to wickedness. Titans ruled and along with the fallen angels, Nephilim and the like, they were condemned to Tartarsus.

The old gods are making their presence felt, and a lot of them feel suspiciously like demons. The angels don’t seem to be as active in this era of Capricorn, or maybe it is just that I don’t perceive them as easily – I don’t doubt their existence – something has to hold the demons in check!


Quick – what do you associate with Pluto in Aquarius? Here’s a quick summary of what’s circulating out there among the futurists:

An era of technological revolution.

We finally get our Constitution back.

(This means different things to different folks.)

The collective is more important than the individual or the family
or the corporation. A return to communal living that isn’t just for
aging hippies anymore.

Computer terrorists – hackers run amok!

Babies born from a scheduled C-section are delivered between 8am and
noon, placing their personal planets in the 10th, 11th, and 12th houses
(the collective houses) of the horoscope. These children will become
adults as Pluto enters Aquarius.

The last one on children born from scheduled C-sections sparked my interest. Carrie Cooperman wrote an article on this topic in the Aug/Sept issue of The Mountain Astrologer. We don’t know what percentage these are of U.S. births, but the author mentions that these children may possibly be more cooperative and collaborative, and more likely to be oriented toward the local and global community. For my part, I would love to know whether women who only plan on having one child are more likely to schedule a C-section, but we don’t have this data available either.

My niece was born from a scheduled C-section in the final year of Pluto in Sagittarius (2007). She is a bright and cheerful four year old, with all of her personal planets except Mars in the 11th and 12th natal houses. Her loving aunt isn’t much inclined to worry, but the thought has occurred to her that these kids will have a strong technological bent, but may also be too swayed by their friends, and too focused on doing anything to be popular, particularly if they are only children.

The other thought that went through my mind is that girls with all of their personal planets in the 10th House tend to marry the CEO – and their own achievements usually pale by comparison. Fortunately, my niece was born a little too early in the morning for this configuration.

Here’s what I think will happen during Pluto in Aquarius:

College educations will finally become so expensive that both
corporations and the middle class will finally change their minds about
the necessity of a college degree.

The coin of the realm will shift from gold to electricty.
Expect the price of electricity to spike sharply and remain high as Pluto
enters Aquarius. Companies that make back-up generators will also do
very well.

Pallas Athene is associated with Pluto in Aquarius, and her myth will
replace the myth of Pluto and Persephone in our consciousness.


Education is how the collective shapes the individual, and education as we know it will be totally transformed by Pluto’s transit through Aquarius. Young people coming of age after 2024, or possibly toward the end of the period in 2043, may attend college courses that interest them, but they will no longer have to get a college degree in order to get a good job. Obtaining a specific technological expertise will get these kids a job, and you don’t need a college degree for that.

Ivy League schools will still be around, because interacting with an elite collective in one location is what gets you a job if you attend one of these schools. Medical schools will still train students on cadavers in one location. Law schools might even stage a comeback, as Jupiter gains strength in Aquarius. In general, though, students will have more options. Four consecutive years of training before accepting a job will hopefully no longer be a rigid requirement for these kids.

Online education currently has a number of drawbacks, but the demand for online education is going to reward colleges and universities that eliminate the drawbacks. The rest will simply go out of business. Look for a lot more flexibilty and detachment related to the high school and college experience once Pluto enters Aquarius.

The powerful generation from Pluto in Leo calls themselves "The Greatest Generation", a byword for elitism. Pluto in Aquarius will be an extremely anti-elitest era. Expect the largest cultural shifts to occur in education, where elitism is bred to begin with.


The Greek goddess Pallas Athene was a warrior, and an unmarried woman who maintained her independence from men. The city-state of Athens was dedicated to her.

As her energy replaces Pluto’s during Pluto in Aquarius, women will likely be allowed combat positions in the military. A woman with a strong combat record may become the first female President of the United States. At the very least, the first female President is likely to have a military background of some sort. Her election may inaugurate the Pluto-in-Aquarius era, much as Obama's landmark election occured just as Pluto entered Capricorn.

Temple of Pallas Athene at Delphi.

Women will still marry. Pallas Athene was not a feminist in our sense of the word, and the fact that she remained unmarried does not mean that women won’t marry during Pluto in Aquarius. But single motherhood may tick back up, because the Sun represents fatherhood, and it is fallen in Aquarius.

Pallas Athene, Venus, and Juno by Hans von Aachen

Pallas Athene was known for leadership and detachment from men. Women who aren't married, widows, divorced women, and wives who are perceived as independent of their spouses are going to dominate the consciousness once Pluto-in-Capricorn is over. This is a very different dynamic from the current focus on demanding mothers, powerful old men, and pre-pubescent and adolescent girls.

A lot of barriers to female achievement and advancement will finally fall once Pallas Athene's energy predominates, in what will otherwise be a fairly conservative era. Yet the irony is that feminists won't be able to take credit for the upsurge in female achievement, just as traditional black leaders were not able to take credit for Obama's election.


For a source on Wall St. wealth:

Craig, Suzanne and Dash, Eric.
“Study Points to a Windfall for Goldman Partners”, New York Times, Jan 18 2011.

Source of quotes by “Raz” and “Sai Grafio”:

Lynn Koiner's Astrological Research

For a source on severe financial hardship experienced by young lawyers:

Segal, David. “Is Law School a Losing Game?”, New York Times, Jan 8, 2001.

For a source of statistics on twin births:

Thiernstrom, Melanie.“Meet the Twiblings”, New York Times Magazine, December 29, 2010.

For a source on the poem, “Pluto: My Descent”:

O Howell, Alice. From the Archives of the Heart, Lindisfarne Books, Great Barrington, MA, 2010. Republished in The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, Issue #155, Feb/March, 2011.

For a source on the astrology of babies born from scheduled C-sections:

Cooperman, Carrie. “Changing a Baby’s Birthday”, The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, Issue #152, Aug/Sept, 2010.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jupiter in Aries...will you look at that dress?

We're going to be drowning in red this year, now that Jupiter is in Aries. Take a look at the gown Michelle wore while visiting China with her husband recently. Oh, I was in love with a dress...

If you've been itching to wear scarlet and crimson, this is the year to do it. You won't stick out like a sore thumb this year, because all around you, folks will be picking up on Jupiter's color energy in Aries, and doing the same thing.

Jupiter shifted from Pisces to Aries right around December, 2010. Did anyone notice those deep, rich blues that bordered on purple? That was Pisces blue morphing into Aries red. It lasted about a month.

When Jupiter shifts out of Aries at the end of 2010, we may see darker reds and even some true purples, as the color wheel swings over to robin's egg blue of Jupiter in Taurus. Once again, it will only last about a month.

One other thing: I was wondering if the color pink would tap the energy of Aries along with all these vivid reds. But I haven't seen much of this.