As we move through the last quarter of 2022, I thought it would be helpful to consider once again the integral significance of what is happening in the USA chart at this time. Not only is there the first-ever Pluto return to its Natal position this year, but there is also the ongoing opposition of Neptune to Neptune’s position, and that opposition is only the second time in its history. The combination of these two alignments (along with some other significant alignments) has informed, guided, and shaped this critical year in US history.
What we see is that the four major alignments of the Pluto with itself in the US Chart, the waxing square, the opposition, the waning square and now the return, provide a unique window into one of the more fundamental and consequential shapers of US history.
But as in any chart interpretation, we must begin with what the Natal or birth chart indications hold for each planet, and then consider their cycle of relationship to see the “how and the why” of the circumstances that unfolded in earlier periods, and by these analyses we might better understand their significance for us now. When we consider the three outermost or transformational planets, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, their natal indications and evolutionary influences over time should be very important indeed.
Content of History
But I also need to remind us of this fundamental and unwavering Truth, that “what” happened, and what is happening now, what is the content of the history of United States, or of any country or nation or people, it is that their circumstances, what was their past and is their present, these realities were not created or formed by the planets. Rather, as I understand it, the planets hold the Energy-Forms that inspire, inform, and guide our journey on Earth, but the actual content of what is formed, of what happened and will happen, that reality is made by the complex of energy-forms of we on Earth, forged by the living spirit of us human actors, by our ancestors and by you and me today.
Triad of Spirit
Moreover, though I wish to focus mostly upon Pluto, and also somewhat on Neptune now (or in our next show), we have to remember that for us in our solar system, the three outer planets must always be considered or held together as one. That is because, at least for me, they hold and form the hierarchy of energy-forms of what I call the Triad of Spirit; the outer planets hold as one the Principle behind the power of Spirit, which is the Power of Becoming, (“The Self that is Becoming”), of the mystery and majesty of the whole of Creation, and for us in our solar system, Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus hold as the avatars of the “Three as One”, which are the Will, and the Love and the Mind of the One.
Pluto is the Avatar and vehicle of the Will for us, the Alchemical agent or Energy-Form that brings together any entity or being as “a one” in their sacred space. Each particle of Creation, and each and every being, is formed from the spark of the Divine, by its Monad, and by the will is separated from any other particle or being by the sacred space in which it exists and over which it presides. The emergence of the many ones from the One, proceeds as a series of intersections and combinations of these many fields of the ones to form greater or larger ones, (atoms, molecules, organisms, planets, stars, and galaxies). The little wills of these ones, form the phenomena of attraction and repulsion on the physical plane for the material reality of objects and organisms (as in gravity); and this principle of sacred spaces unfolds hierarchically proceeding downward from the One to all the realms, as we can see the more sublime exercises of the will forming the pushes and pulls on the astral, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes too. As beings become ever more self-aware, like we in our human kingdom of life, the experience of the will leads us to our spiritual awakening, which is that we are to learn to use this gift of the spirit for ever greater self-control or self-mastery, so that it is turned back upon oneself rather than used to trespass, or to dominate and control or violate the space of another.
Neptune is the Avatar and vehicle of Divine Love for us, the Alchemical agent or Energy-Form that is the primal or Root Form of Spirit, which is this, the Unconditional Love of the One. The whole of Creation is formed of the One, the body of the One is Creation, and ranging from the most material of substances to the most sublime and ethereal of Energy-Forms, everything and everyone is formed by Divine Love. By Neptune, Creation is held together by our mutual attractions with and for one another. For at the root of the Truth of Neptune is this, that there is but One Life and there is but One Spirit, and everything is ultimately the Divine Love as the Root Energy-Form of Creation. The great illusion that all forms of Creation are seeking to move beyond is our separation from one another, and that in truth we are one with the One (“as we were in the beginning, so shall we be in the end”). This is why Neptune holds for us the gifts of Compassion and Empathy, of Divine Love and Sacrifice, as it ceaselessly seeks to move us beyond any limited form of our experience and reality so that we might embrace and experience a more complete experience of the One. The gifts of Dreaming and Imagination, of moving beyond a more limited reality-form into a more encompassing one, this is the Neptune journey of Spirit. The danger lies in become ensnared by fantasies and illusions that separate oneself from the greater truth of the One, which will lead to false forms of love, as in narcissism, obsessions, and projections of fear upon another or others.
Uranus is the Avatar and vehicle of Mind or Individuality for us, the Alchemical agent or Energy-Form that holds the other essential Root Form or Quality of Spirit, which is that everything and everyone is part of the Mind of the One, which means that every single part of Creation is Conscious. From the dimmest forms of awareness to the most sublime contemplations of the hierarchies of the “shining ones”, the quality of Mind is the foundation for that other special essence of Spirit, Individuality. As much as each monad of Spirit has the Energy-Form of Will and is also made by the Energy-Form of Love, each Monad is also endowed with the Spiritual quality of Self-Becoming, of what we call Swabhāva. This essential nature of Creation means that each and every part of Creation is an individual monad, with its own specialness or Quintessence, and that every monad is on a journey of becoming a complete and freed Monad, a Divinely Aware spark of the Divine, another shining one in the body of the One.
The dynamic of spiritual growth and evolution, held within the Space of the Will by Pluto is propelled by the interplay and dynamic balancing of these second and third qualities in every monad, by Neptune and Uranus, with one being the drive to Oneness by Love for Communality, versus the drive to Individuality by Mind for Independence. In all the realms of Creation, and certainly in our human-made worlds of family, tribe, community, and nation states, the balance between the communalizing and individualizing forces within our monadic natures ever continues to forge the path of spiritual awakening for humanity on this Earth.
So let us now turn and consider the influences that were brought to bear by the birth of the United States and the meanings that are held by Pluto and by Neptune, and the importance of their alignments in the past and now.
The USA was “born” with the planet Pluto as the rising planet, (the first planet to cross the ascendant or horizon line after birth), placed in the Sign of Capricorn and in the Second House of the chart. I have commented upon the significance of this Natal placement in many previous blog posts and radio shows, but it will certainly help our understanding if we restate it again.
Traditional Mundane Astrology would list the second house as ruling a nation’s wealth, as in taxes, stock shares, bonds, exports, and institutions that deal with monies like banks, trading houses and the like. This is what many observers who hold to the prevailing materialistic view of reality would call the “wealth of a nation”.
And though it is true that this is the conventional measure of the wealth of a nation, I and many others believe we should approach the question with a more meaningful measure, the eternal Value of the Living Spirit, from Love, where the happiness and wellbeing of all life-forms is the standard of measure for value. If we exclude, though we cannot and should not, all other life-forms that abide in a country’s realm, the value of a nation is truly to be found in the wellbeing of the people of that land.
Spiritually, the value of each person or of a people is founded upon their spiritual development, their intellectual rigor, their emotional integrity, and their physical wellbeing, and it is this which creates the true wealth of any community, which is the value they have in one another and determines the value they will make together or with one another. The value of a person, or a people is not fixed; and certainly, with Pluto in the second house of value for the US, it would be by the power of rebirth, renewal, and transformation that the USA would create the wealth of the nation; that this protean experience in the growth of human potential would form the content of US history. To form any truly spiritual union, we make sacrifices for one another, and this is the very means by which we change and grow; we are asked to sacrifice our lesser qualities, our egos, in order to combine with another through our deeper values, and it is by this that we release the power of transformations and renewal for one another. This is essential nature of spirit at the heart of Pluto and Alchemy.
Additionally, the Sign of Capricorn is ruling the USA’s Second House, (and is the Sign that Pluto is in), which indicates that the values of the USA would be rooted in Truths that have “stood the test of time”, what we would call more or less everlasting spiritual truths. That these truths would form the bedrock of value or foundation for the nation, embodied into the Institutions of the nation and enshrined into the laws that protect all sacred unions and the Union of the nation itself.
With Pluto the Avatar of the Will and holder of the Power of Alchemy being in the United States’ Second House, we would expect that the USA would be a Creator of Values by being a transformer of values through the power of Alchemy. At the very inception of the USA, as indicated by this placement, the nation was founded upon a union, a joining by agreement among its members to pledge their lives and sacred honor to one another.
The USA was the first nation to be founded not on race, or religion, or ethnicity or any prior designation; the USA was founded upon a Principle, it was to be a Covenant Nation, a joining, a fusion or Alchemical Nation of Transformation. As it is declared on the seal of the United States, it would be “A new order for the Centuries”. Founded upon a covenant compact, where all were to be equal before and protected by Laws that we agreed to, we would enshrine and protect the Sacred Spaces of our unions and Union.
But that promise of equality and justice was tragically broken from the very outset, and this calamitous history of wrongs forms the great burden of Karma that the United States has yet to address. Rather than a foundation in Spirit and Freedom, the United States was made by the expropriation of lands and genocide of native peoples, and by the enslavement of peoples taken from their homelands and held by terror against their will as the property of others.
For much of US History, the measure of wealth, and the exercise of power which flows from it, has often been narrowly defined so as to exclude the vast majority of people from being as valued as they should; the exercise of power was circumscribed and limited to the few who held power by landed or financial wealth, so that far too many had little consequential power, and were thwarted in their ability to achieve their hopes and dreams.
Progress was made, and then reversed, time and time again. The liberation of the slave population after the Civil War, produced a very brief period of greater self-determination during Reconstruction. That progress was broken by a deal between Democrats and Republicans in 1877 that ended the Federal oversight of the former slave states, who then quickly established a system of law (and terror) that prevented any meaningful progress for almost another 100 years.
So let us look at the three previous alignments of Pluto to itself in the USA chart and see how that may help us understand the present return of Pluto. Though the intervening minor alignments can prove illuminating as well, these major turnings will be most helpful. Again, our focus will remain upon the question of value, principally the essential value of the people and their power to help one another to fulfill their dreams.
Pluto Square Pluto 1848-50
The first major alignment of Pluto to Pluto in the USA chart was the waxing square of 1848 to 1850. Certainly, bringing its influence to bear upon, but only exact after the Mexican War of 1846-1848, the first major alignment of Pluto to itself can be seen as setting in motion the final, fateful steps that led to the Civil War. The growing struggle to limit or extend slavery, was actually the principal reason for which the Mexican War was fought. The real “cause” of the Mexican War were American slaveholders and their political allies, who needed fresh lands to pursue their mono-crop culture, (a system which continuously exhausts the land, requiring new lands). The push by southern states to extend slavery throughout all the newly seized lands of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah led to a compromise which included a much tougher Fugitive Slave Law.
From this moment of choice, “the die was cast”, and just like when Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the elements were set that would lead to the Civil War after Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860. A struggle between two very different ways of understanding what it means to be human, two very different value systems, most especially in how we value each and every human life, forced the USA to face its first great “crisis of value”. That is what a square aspect presents, it is a turning point, a fork in the road, and the decision requires commitment to one way and a turning away from the other. It was an existential crisis between two wholly incompatible value systems, and only force would decide the issue.
Pluto Opposite Pluto 1936-37
The Opposition is said to be the climax of a cycle of relationship, when a revelation is at hand and the possibility of reaping the reward of good efforts since the waxing square or facing the consequences if intentions and actions were inadequate. In the mid 1930’s, the USA (and the world) were in the greatest economic crisis called the Great Depression. Now that was a crisis in value! The entirety of the economic order for the world came crashing down.
To confront the failure of the “free from regulation” markets of the world, some countries turned to fascism, some to communism, but in the United States President Franklin Roosevelt chose the path of reform and renewal. With programs like the New Deal, like Social Security and Medicare, and new economic regulations and policies, a transformation and renewal of US Value, of the essential worth and value of the general population of people of the US led to an economic growth path that was more equitable and just, and it lasted for over 40 years. From the most concentrated income distribution in 1929, the USA had its most equitable growth in incomes across all percentiles from the late 1940’s until the early 1980’s. The fundamental idea behind all of this was that the essential value of the nation was its people, and they should be given every opportunity to better themselves, and that we should “invest” in one another, and by this spiritual approach to our value we would all benefit.
But beginning with the struggles to make the US society truly more equitable, with the Civil Rights movements and legislation in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, this push for true equality fostered a counter-revolution to what had been the New Deal Liberal paradigm, which is known as Neo-liberalism. The proponents of this theory sought to return the political and economic regulatory environment to the more unfettered capitalism of the late 1800’s. The claim was made that by slashing taxes and reducing regulations, and by returning the vast majority of wealth to the top percentiles, the United States could greatly increase growth for the general economy, and this would lead to a so-called “rising tide that would lift all boats”. And it would be these policies and their proponents who would come to power in the next great turning of Pluto.
Pluto Square Pluto 1982-1983
Just as the Pluto square of 1848 to 1850 was a turning point, so too was the square of 1982/83. But the difference is the 1840’s was a waxing square, which concerns a definite choice about the form or content of what would emerge, it was a crisis of Action. For the 1980’s, the waning square was a response to what was revealed at the opposition of the 1930’s and required that a definite choice must be made the realm of mind, it was a Crisis in Consciousness.
Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign of 1980 promoted the fiction that the troubles facing America stemmed from one source, and he ran on the slogan that “the government is the problem”. The Republican program to dismantle the New Deal sought to reduce or eliminate the general support for welfare and value of all Americans, which had been created by Social Security, Medicare, and by economic regulations, and reforms, and also environmental regulations and other social programs. Overtime, most republicans and many democrats fervently believed in or consented to this “faith”, that by reducing government taxation and regulation, and returning wealth to the few, that this would lead to an economic miracle.
What it has created instead is what we see around us today. The USA has disinvested in its people and physical infrastructure for over 40 years now. In 2022, we have the greatest inequality in wealth that we have ever had, surpassing the previous gap of 1929. We are back at the next great turning of value, but this time it is a beginning, like a New Moon, because this year we are experiencing the Pluto return.
The Pluto Return 2022
At each turning of Pluto for the past 246 years, the USA has faced the task of addressing the fundamental question, “what is the essential value of the nation?” As it was in at the founding moment, so it has been at every turning, in the Civil War, in Roosevelt’s New Deal, and in Reagan’s Neo-Liberal Revolution, the response to Pluto has been to redefine and revalue the value of Americans themselves, of how they see themselves and how they treat one another, and to answer the question, “what is the real Wealth of the Nation?”
But those previous turnings were reactions and responses to what was laid down at the founding of the USA, of the first full cycle of promises kept and those that were not. What we are faced with now is the very real opportunity (and peril) of a new beginning. At a New Moon, or here at a planetary return, the energy-form and what it represents releases a flow of new potential from the root-source. That means, if we can hold in our hearts and mind the true nature as to the source of value of our Covenant Nation, then we may be able to build a more spiritual version of the USA.
For me, I see our present day struggles over “who” is an American, over who gets to decide how we will govern ourselves, all the many confusions, discords and even threats of violence, as confirming that we are exactly in this moment of the new beginning. It is not yet formed; it is emerging and the story of how great or small will be our contribution to the promise of America is yet to be known.
What we cannot know is what is going to happen with Pluto’s return, for we are too close to it, but it is happening through each and every one of us. But if we want to be builders of that better vision and version of America, we must be guided by what is spiritually and undeniably right.
Given what was promised, and what has happened, the return of Pluto for me means we must pledge ourselves once again to this very long journey towards equality and self-fulfillment for one and for all. If we are to restore the promise, but make it better than before, we must acknowledge that our greatest treasure is our people, and that we should endeavor to help each person and every group realize their fullest potential. We must remember that what made every one of us, and in fact drives the entirety of Creation, is that “we are what we are” through the power of combination, forged by the mystery of Alchemy.
To do this work, we must sacrifice for one another to build a better tomorrow. We must let go of our fears and create a space of forgiveness for growth. We can take a small leap of faith, that starts with the understanding of the essential goodness of one another, and that each of us is not just capable of but in fact must change if we are to grow.
We are the wealth of this Nation. And the source and measure of this wealth is our love for one another.
We must remember that we were made from love, and we are simply here to love one another.