We’re rapidly approaching one of two major turning points in Pluto’s passage of Capricorn, from a galactic perspective.
On April 6, 2010, Pluto, powerhouse of the solar system, comes to its retrograde station exactly atop a Black Hole, powerhouse of the cosmos. At 5 Capricorn, the station opposes the USA’s Jupiter exactly, also opposed the USA Venus at 3 Cancer, which between them straddle another Black Hole at 4 Cancer. It also exactly squares a manifestation-evoking Quasar at 5 Libra. This Black Hole/Quasar combination, linked to two planets regulating financial matters in the USA chart, suggests dramatic, sweeping change and pervasive, lasting manifestations of it, keyed on the USA financial sector and the economy generally. Whether this will result in the reimposition of key banking regulations such as Glass-Steagall (separating commercial from investment banking) which were allowed to lapse under the Clinton administration, or another financial crisis, spurring a second plunge into a “double dip” recession (or both) is uncertain.
When Pluto stations, its powers of transformation and change are enhanced and concentrated on one particular degree of the zodiac, providing a magnified window of its most extreme effects which lasts roughly 18 months, until Pluto turns direct once more at the same, or similar, degree. In this case, the associated direct station is actually at 4 Capricorn (the degree at which this Black Hole appears in the psyches of anyone born before 1992), and occurs in September 2011. Once Pluto finally passes from the current degree of the singularity on 23 November 2011, we’ll begin to see the light at the end of this Black Hole tunnel (though its orb will continue to impact Pluto until 2013).
Pluto passing over a Black Hole is bad enough, but when stationing conjoined its singularity, or center, Pluto’s natural tendency to shake up the status quo is dramatically magnified, increased tenfold, and for a greatly extended period. Pluto, which rules change and transformation, also governs such things as reproduction and genetics; huge expenditures or waste; nuclear power and weaponry; terrorism, genocide and war; scandals, secrets, and their disclosure; evolution and species extinction; and decay and death.
The most turbulent Pluto/Black Hole station in recent memory was that of March 22, 2003, exactly atop the Black Hole at 19 Sagittarius, which fell just three days after the US-led invasion of Iraq, a conflict which is still ongoing, and has cost the country in excess of $706 billion in direct costs, with associated expenditures in support and follow-up care for veterans estimated to exceed $2 trillion. Add to that cost the almost 4300 dead US servicemembers and more than 30,000 wounded, to say nothing of the Iraqi dead, possibly more than 100,000, and we see a Plutonian boondoggle of truly enormous Black Hole proportions.
To add insult to injury, it was at the time of Pluto’s backhand station direct conjunct this same anomaly, 18 months later on August 30, 2004, that the final US report on Iraq’s supposed WMDs, the casus belli of the invasion, revealed that no evidence for them could be found, and all that blood and treasure had been spent for nothing. This report was released 16 September 2004, two weeks after the station. Earlier, on August 24, the Schlesinger Report disclosed that the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were the result of “fundamental failures throughout all levels of command,” not the work of a few aberrant soldiers. These abuses, involving torture and sexual humiliation, are directly governed in Pluto’s bailiwick.
When Pluto subsequently made a retrograde station at 26 Sagittarius conjunct the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center, on 29 March 2006, world events clustering about this station included the 22 February bombing of Samarra’s Golden Mosque, Shia Islam’s holiest shrine, which resulted in major escalations of sectarian violence in Iraq. Also included was George W. Bush’s March 9th signing of a renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act, along with an accompanying signing statement stating that he did not consider himself bound by its requirement to inform Congress how the law was being applied. Finally, the 11 April announcement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that his country had successfully enriched uranium, a key step on the road to becoming a nuclear power, is included in this cluster. Earlier stations bear out Pluto’s tendency to evoke extreme manifestations, particularly involving areas it governs, when in conjunction with Black Holes.
A retrograde station on the Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius on March 13, 1999 coincided with the release of important NASA data verifying global warming, potentially responsible for another pending mass extinction such as Pluto rules, when they confirmed an annual three-foot loss in the Greenland ice shelf. Just eleven days later the NATO-led Operation Allied Force began bombing raids on Milosevic’s Yugoslavia in an effort to end his support for genocidal atrocities and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. When Pluto subsequently turned direct at the same anomaly on August 20, 2000, it was just three days before the National Institutes of Health approved federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, which has the potential to cure countless diseases, Pluto governing biologic processes on the cellular level.
In a similar incident, when Pluto stationed retrograde conjoined the Black Hole at 5 Sagittarius on March 8, 1997, it was accompanied by a federal ban on human cloning, signed by Bill Clinton on March 4, and the first cross-adoption of their children by a lesbian couple in New York on March 7, an early harbinger of the gay marriage rights controversy which has since enveloped the nation, and significant in light of Pluto’s rulership of sexual matters and taboo. Weeks later, on 27 March, Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide at Rancho Santa Fe, California, a nod to both the self-destruction aspects of Pluto and its first Black Hole station conjunction in religious-philosophy-ruling Sagittarius.
Eighteen months later on 15 August 1998, when Pluto again stationed on this point, Clinton was back in the news, on a more personal level, with his August 17 confession to the nation of his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Terrorism, another Plutonian arena, was also highlighted, with the August 7 bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the USA’s retaliatory response on al Qaeda training bases in Sudan and Afghanistan on August 20. These incidents were among the first warning shots of al Qaeda’s war on America, and a root cause of the Bush administration’s Global War on Terrorism, with ramifications to this day.
The previous cycle of Pluto/Black Hole stations dates back to the late ‘80s, with the retrograde station of 8 February 1986 on the Black Hole at 7 Scorpio eliciting the fall of two dictators (also Pluto-ruled), Haiti’s “president for life” Jean-Claude Duvalier, who fled the country on February 7; and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, who rigged the February 7 election to defeat Corazon Aquino, only to be ousted in a military coup on February 26. In a surreal pairing of Pluto (death) and Sagittarius (exploration), America watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded on live TV just minutes after take-off on 28 January, killing the crew of seven.
When Pluto turned direct at 7 Scorpio on 17 July 1987, it was in the midst of the Iran-Contra investigation, the biggest scandal of the Reagan administration, featuring Colonel Oliver North, who testified that his actions had been approved by higher authorities, namely, National Security Advisor John Poindexter, who authorized the use of Iran arms sales profits to aid Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who admitted to officially-sanctioned deception and intrigue.
Sometimes Pluto’s actions at station do not appear to be earth-shattering, their importance only noted much later. Such is the case with the 24 June 1978 direct station of Pluto on the Black Hole at 13 Libra, preceded shortly by the June 18 incorporation of the Whitewater business venture, an Arkansas sweetheart real estate deal gone wrong which would lead to investigations eventually resulting in the impeachment of Bill Clinton in the US House of Representatives, 20 years later.
On 11 June 1973, Pluto stationed direct conjunct the supermassive Black Hole center of Galaxy M-87 at 1 Libra. Just two weeks later, White House Counsel John Dean testified to Richard Nixon’s complicity in the Watergate cover-up, in congressional proceedings which ultimately brought down that presidency. The prior direct station of Pluto on a Black Hole, occurring 21 May 1963 at 9 Virgo, witnessed the height of racial tensions in the American south, with federal troops enforcing the integration of the University of Alabama on June 11, and the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi the following day. Another far-reaching consequence of that station was the May 28 initial offering of common stock in the Dow Jones Stock Exchange to the public, which has led us to this point of average Americans heavily invested in the ups and downs of Wall Street. Investments are also an Eighth House/Plutonian matter.
Pluto’s first Black Hole station post-World War II fell on 8 December 1959, just after the December 1 transmission of the first color photo of Earth from space, a symbolic event noted for its concurrence with a growing understanding of our planet as one whole, an interdependent eco-system, at once fragile and enduring, and the realization that we have it within our power to preserve or destroy it.
This station in April affects one of two Black Holes in Capricorn, the other at the 19 Capricorn, which Pluto will first conjoin in the spring of 2017. These two points mark periods of peak change and transition, as Pluto scours governmental, business, and financial structures in its quest to break down old, obsolete forms, so that newer, more enlightened systems may emerge. How painful this transition becomes is directly proportional to the resistance to change which Pluto encounters, embodied in the death throes of the old forms, and our willingness to embrace and enact needed reforms. We can see glimmers of where the major problems are, which battlegrounds will be chosen, and what the ultimate outcomes will be, by looking closely at current conditions and trends.
Neptune appears to be working in tandem with Pluto during this earlier period of his Capricorn passage, while it conjoins the nation’s natal Moon placement at 26 Aquarius, representing the housing market (associated with Capricorn through its polar opposite sign of Cancer), the sector from which the current financial crisis first emerged. As Pluto transforms and reinvents the financial community, represented by Capricorn, Neptune’s conjunction with the USA Moon has seen a dramatic erosion (Neptune) in home values. An estimated 5 million home (Moon) mortgages are predicted to be “underwater” (Neptune) in 2010, meaning that they are worth less than 75% of the value of the mortgages their owners owe on them. Forecasts of 3 million foreclosures, higher than the 2009 figure, could indicate a second crisis in the housing sector which sends the economy into a tailspin. Mortgages, as borrowed money, fall under Pluto’s purview, so its repeat use of this facilitating expedient in breaking down the economic status quo seems likely.
Also under the Plutonian surgeon’s knife will be governmental structures. In this regard, it’s easy to understand the surging popularity of the populist, conservative Tea Party movement. Although too narrowly defined, and misguided in many respects, its underlying message of “back to basics” in government squares well with Pluto’s Capricorn agenda. Indeed, the Tea Party, though not officially constituted, fared better in public approval polling in December 2009 than either Democrats or Republicans.
Another issue Pluto’s Capricorn sojourn seems to be pointing up is the ineffectiveness of Congress. Even with the White House, strong majorities in the House, and until recently, a super-majority of 60 in the Senate, the Democrats seem incapable of passing legislation or governing. Pluto is emphasizing the need for change in governmental structures, if only extending to a rewriting, or even due enactment, of the rules governing our legislative bodies. The main problem seems to be the Senate filibuster, and the entrenched Republican minority which refuses to allow anything to be passed without 60 votes in favor, requiring the Dems to hang together and present a united front (something the Party has never been noted for) if they are to accomplish anything.
Proposals to end the filibuster, an important legislative tool, seem short-sighted and fraught with potential disaster; after all, the Dems won’t be in the majority forever (perhaps not even after the next election), and discarding the filibuster in haste could well be something they repent of in long legislative leisure. Better to actually enforce the rule. The filibuster has become not an actual procedure, but a threat of this procedure, according to a deal worked out between the rival parties in the late ‘90s whereby the actual filibuster is bypassed in favor of a cloture vote, to end discussion on a bill and bring it to the floor. If Party leaders surmise they cannot reach the necessary 60 votes for cloture, the legislation is dropped, without the enactment of the actual filibuster. If the minority were forced to actually drag out the cots and maintain a quorum for days of reading the phone book, all televised nationally, their obstructionism would become apparent, support for their tactics would erode, and some actual work might get done.
Other proposals for initiating change in our governmental processes include abolition of the archaic Electoral College, and electing presidents via popular vote alone; and, in direct contrast (Black Hole energies often eliciting polar opposite responses), no longer electing Senators by popular vote. The last idea is an intriguing one, based in an attempt to reduce corporate lobbyist influence in Senate campaigns. Originally, and until the early twentieth century, Senators were not elected by the people, but chosen by state legislatures. The proposal to return to this system would bring political bribery and graft back where it belongs, to the State Houses, more subject to local interests, and subsequently reduce the influence of big money, multinational corporations and special interests, whose efforts would be spread across 50 states and not concentrated in Washington.
Regardless of how these various proposals thrive or are defeated, the very fact of them indicates a restlessness and discontent with the current forms governing our society, fertile breeding ground for Pluto to make its changes. And the 18 months ensuing from Pluto’s Black Hole station in April 2010 will be a prime time to enact reforms, or face the consequences of inaction.