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 will help the collective energies (as within, so without), but the work also has to be collaborative with self-responsibility and self-accountability. People have to come together to have productive conversations, to ask questions, and have social discourse. And, this sometimes feels impossible in these “United” States where every conversation has turned into a divisive political debate. The anger and righteousness is all quite Plutonic actually. Pluto's shadow thrives on power over/power under dynamics.
And, ideology cults seem to be springing up, reflecting the Pluto archetype's manipulative side that wants to guilt & shame people. The cultish mentality insists that there is a right and wrong way, which creates "us vs. them" and black & white thinking. There is no room for nuance, or gray area, no in-between or "meeting in the middle path", no questioning or space for open dialogue about the core beliefs of that particular group. If that is the case, 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 is possible.
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 visualizing 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. And, I’m seeing an extensive fog rising from the earth. The ghosts of USA’s past have been resurfacing and we’re all wading through the haze now, trudging through that what has been lodged in the land. Pluto is here to reveal and clear what's been stuck.
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 an artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a professional tarot reader and veteran deck creator born under a Sagittarius Sun with a Libra Rising & Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena. She's been deepening her astrology studies the last few years, after a years-long hobby interest in the subject.
Maree was a licensed massage therapist for 17 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts inspires her present approach to tarot, creativity, ritual, and divination.
She loves traveling, especially to her ancestral homeland, the Azores, and has been relearning her mother tongue. She enjoys connecting with family, friends, & animals, She lives in Portland with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante where they hike rain or shine.
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