Pluto stations Retrograde (Rx) on Tuesday, April 27th at 1:03pm (PDT). The Pluto energies have been so intense lately. Especially for the USA, as an immense astrology transit has been nudging ever slowly forth for the past year.
The USA has been approaching its first Pluto Return, currently 26° Capricorn (within 1° orb of USA’s natal Pluto). Many people have heard of their Saturn Return, but what's Pluto Return?
Pluto Return is a rare transit, it happens ONCE every 247 years. When astrologers talk about it, it’s often in reference to an event, or in this case, the USA’s founding (July 4, 1776).
The USA's Pluto Return will be exact on Feb 20, 2022 and will be exact until 2024!
When the Past Becomes Present
Pluto transits tend to reveal and magnify dark unconscious truths that undermine established orders. For a dwarf planet, demoted a few years back, he does not play small, no matter how we want to classify him! His archetype is as powerful a force to be reckoned with as ever.
Although his archetype is often considered malefic, the lessons that surface during his transits can be deeply transformational and evolutionary--if we choose to be open for growth and change.
As a nation, the USA has been grappling with some heavy realizations, some too much to bear. Sometimes the pain is so overwhelming, that it’s just easier for people to ignore. But Pluto will not be disregarded! And, he favors those who are willing to work with his energies.
The USA is a country trying to come to terms, in so many ways, with its collective shadow. The unconscious shadows being faced to heal the fractures from its dark history.
The work that people do individually during this Pluto time expands outward to the collective energies (as within, so without), but we have to remember collaboration with full self-responsibility and self-accountability for what emotions and beliefs are our own.
Asking questions and social discourse will be important for productive conversations during Pluto Return. This sometimes feels impossible in these “United” States where every conversation seems to turn into a divisive political debate. Anger and righteousness is quite Plutonic actually. Pluto's shadow thrives on power over/power under dynamics.
Ideology cults can spring up reflecting the Pluto archetype's manipulative side that wants to guilt and shame people. Religiosity or cult mentality can insist that there is a right and wrong way, which perpetuates “us vs. them” and black & white thinking. If there is no room for nuance, gray area, or meeting in the middle; no questions allowed or space for an open dialogue about one's core beliefs, we are likely observing group think, or worse, cultish behavior.
Echo chambers condemn any outside questions and seek to vilify those with a different opinion, as questions are threatening to the beliefs of the group. Their true opinion is the correct way of thinking and anything that veers from their ideology is wrong and therefore represents the enemy.
Pluto really turns up the knob of moral superiority.
I’ve been studying the USA’s chart for the past year with an eye on its Pluto Return. The USA’s Pluto is in the Second House Capricorn, which is really interesting, as this can show up in someone’s chart as being stubborn and power-hungry, and can reflect a desire for possessions and be caught up with financial success. There's a need to control and a fear of letting go of material possessions and relationships.
This Second House Pluto can also reflect possible trauma and a painful history. If there is awareness of this pain, and compassion for it, deep transformation can be possible.
The Beggar's Vision, 1921. ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE. The rock-ribbed pit that death and time defies Glows with a joy too luminous for night. The deep foundations of that vale of woe Sway to the rhythm of one souls complaint; Grim Pluto shudders lest that mortal foe May shatter his strict portals of restraint. Hatred destroyed lies vanquished by pure love; Discord disabled, harmony has quelled; Pluto in panic, dazzled from above, Seeks to restore sweet life, obdurate held. Wrung from his might that Lord of Woe replied, Brief is the boon of blessed life above. No mortal may recross the Stygian tide. But this I grant to thee and to thy love; Return with her in thy protecting arms. And rise together to the sun-lit skies;
The positive side of Pluto reflects power and empowered self-reliance and ambition, but if not balanced can be at the detriment of the whole. Rugged individualism and the “every man for himself” attitude can only get us so far in the US. But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, where progressiveness goes so far that it becomes regressive, isn't balanced or a productive way to move forward either.
I don't have the answers, but I believe that there is a lot of pain and anger and shame and guilt that really reflects the Pluto energies. His shadow is devouring and his energy is quite dark. And, Pluto times are ideal for catharsis.
Let me paint an image of the way I’m seeing the Pluto archetype unfolding right now. Pluto is god of the underworld. With the USA’s Pluto Return, Pluto is pushing up all the shadow issues to the surface that have not been dealt with, or reconciled.
I’m visualizing an extensive fog rising from the earth. The ghosts of USA’s past have been resurfacing. We’re wading through the haze now, trudging through that which has been lodged in the land.
Pluto is here to reveal and clear what's been stuck.
Look at the House that Pluto is moving through in your natal chart for how this specifically affects you.
It can become more intense if we choose to ignore it as we creep closer to exact Pluto Return on February 20th. And with Pluto Retrograde, we may see the collective regressing during these next six months. Pluto Retrograde lasts until October 6th when it stations Direct. Then hopefully, we'll begin seeing some forward momentum in the collective. As things stand now, it may feel like we are going backwards sometimes, when so many are just ready to move forward already! Hang in there.
Pluto Retrograde periods are good times to question the status quo. And they can be transformational, as we peel back the layers to reveal more and more of what’s at the core. Retrograde times, no matter the planet, allow us to reflect more deeply. Pluto Retrograde can offer, and indeed accelerate, evolutionary growth.
It can be emotional and intense times. Pluto may be destructive, but his archetype is about Death and Rebirth. Sometimes we have to break things down to break through. That's part of evolution!
Pluto's Return will not be easy, but Pluto transits rarely are. He is known as the Great Redeemer, and as god of the underworld, he helps force the death of outdated paradigms. Teaching us lessons of Death: to let die what must die, so something new in its place can be birthed.
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Maree Bento is a collage artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a tarot reader and deck creator who enjoys studying the stars and using astrology in her readings. She was born under a Sagittarius Sun with Libra Rising and Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena.
Maree has been a licensed massage therapist for 18 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts deepened her intuitive abilities and inspires her approach to tarot, creativity, and divination. Music, dancing, poetry, and lemon balm tea are her current well-being aids.
She's a Portuguese-American who loves to travel and connect with family, friends, & animals. She lives in Pacific NW with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante, who perpetually reminds them to laugh and play and take walks in nature, whether rain or shine.
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