Pluto in Capricorn

Pluto in Capricorn: A History Lesson

Thanks to Elsa and Top Ten Astrology News for this great article by Shane Ward on Pluto’s imminent entry into Capricorn written back in 2004.

The previous ingress of Pluto into Capricorn was 7 January 1762. (For the record only I will mention that in 1762 Peter III of Russia was crowned only to be murdered 6 months later and replaced by Catherine II. This was a very quick fall and rise that stank of corruption and infamy). US Independence was around the corner (1778) and as Pluto is in the later degrees of Capricorn in this chart it is worth reviewing what sparked the rebellion against the British and the events that led to their defeat. It is also worth considering now how often history has a tendency to repeat in some way.

The Seven years war of Britain against France (and Spain towards the end) happened between 1756 – 1763. George the III ascended the throne in 1760 (acquiring Buckingham Palace in 1762).

After the war it was time to count the cost [emphasis added]. The Bank of England had been set up in 1694 to help Great Britain recoup its previous war debts. Even though Britain had plundered much Spanish treasure from Havana and elsewhere this time around, it still had debts amounting to ?133,000,000. Britain by now, however, had colonised many countries. It had attained greatness and was now a global force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately the lack of finance over the following years led them into very unpopular territory. Britain needed revenue from their subjects including India, Cuba and America. It was the time of realisation of the British Empire but it had cost them dearly. The Stamp Act of 1763 was the first attempted tax of the colonies. Naturally this was viewed in an unfavourable light, especially in America.

One of the main sources of income outside of Britain was via the East India Company. Generally remembered for trading in tea (we’ll come back to that in a moment) it was trading in 1763 mostly in opium.

Forcing the natives in India to grow opium and selling it to China had been going on for quite a while. The ships returned with China black tea to sell to the wealthy. The British Government openly condemned the trade, of course, but secretly supported the valuable revenue it was producing. Likewise the East India Company also traded (by proxy naturally) as carrier ships for the slave trade, which was another lucrative source. The East India Company literally ran the country of India at this time. For the record, the first Indian tea to be imported into the UK would not occur until 1887.

The East India Company had its own flag, the Grand Union flag that has a tangible link to the United Sates Stars and Stripes. Readers in the United States may now start to feel uncomfortable, especially if they are already observing parallel similarities to current wars and national debts at this point!

The coincidences are alarming. One of the main communication routes between India and Britain was Iraq. In 1763 the British Company set up a factory in Basra for commerce and enterprise.

By 1773 Britain was still trying to recoup its debts. The growth of Britain’s trade and commerce had significantly expanded and the London Stock Exchange was founded. Meanwhile, the East India Company had not done so well and was on the verge of bankruptcy. The drug trade had become more difficult and, to assist in a continuation of revenue, Britain allowed them the sole franchise to sell tea tax free to the colonies. The Americans were undercut by this action and is what led to the now famous Boston tea party (1773) incident (Note the long running Saturn/ Neptune conjunction from Feb 1773). This was the first dissent leading to the American declaration of Independence (4 July 1776) citing the unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. The power and passion behind these simple values were taken up on the background of oppression and the right to self Government. Great Britain could not impose its will on the people of America. First they lost America and then they lost face and had to reconsider their position in the world.

Pluto ingressed into Aquarius in January 1778.

So what do we learn from this? Pluto goes into Capricorn when a nation that has risen to greatness is on the back end of a war that has cost a fortune. So great is this cost that they seek to recover their losses in a grossly unfair and oppressive manner; So powerful is the need to obtain money that even companies become big and powerful enough to run other countries. The people suffer until the burden becomes oppressive. The control and manipulation becomes so much that they say enough is enough. They demand the unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. Those who tried to impose their will on others were turned back.

Now which period of time am I talking about -1762 to 1778 or 2008 to 2024? Personally I think that the parallels are a little too scary to ignore. Not convinced? OK let us look at it in a more up to date manner.

Let us assume that it is the United States of America and not Great Britain that is now involved in a Seven-year war. The destruction of the World Trade Centre in 2001 led to the war against terror. In 2002 the coalition forces invaded Iraq (How strange was it that Britain got Basra!). What if this little slice of the war on terror lasts for Seven years until 2009? The cost has been astronomical (US national debt is around $137,000,000,000 I understand). Not only that but the single minded obsession to forge ahead regardless becomes oppressive to their allies and/or the occupied. The people in occupation cry out for independence – for the very same unalienable rights of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. A small collection of countries joins together – a sort of United States called Europe. But the very nature of democracy means that Great Britain is no longer a single entity. However the fall manifests it will be the United States of America that has to reconsider its position in the world. Remember that Great Britain thought it could dictate terms back in 1778 and got hammered by a bunch of farmers!

To recoup the losses there is no way that the country will survive from its own internal manufacturing. So it must use the profit making abilities of a large company to produce big enough revenues from an international source. It is unlikely to be opium, slaves or indeed tea. But it could be oil. Oil from where you may ask? If I read the 2004 presidential election campaigns correctly I understand that George W Bush plans to drill for oil in the Antarctic – something that has been regarded as taboo for years. One could imagine that this act would ruffle a number of feathers. Alternatively I suppose that the oil in Iraq could be siphoned off by way of compensation. Naturally this would go down like a lead balloon with other oil producing companies on the grounds that they would have had their trade effectively cut off. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would be incandescent with rage! One wonders what would happen to the US dollar if oil producing companies started to value and sell oil barrels in terms of Euros instead of US dollars?

This is eerily prophetic since the attempt to establish a permanent base in Iraq from which to siphon off oil for Americans is almost certainly a dismal failure, and George Bush has just been off in Saudi Arabia trading arms deals for lower oil prices for Americans.

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By | 2008-01-17T19:05:00+00:00 January 17th, 2008|Longreads, Planetary cycles, Pluto in Capricorn|Comments Off on Pluto in Capricorn: A History Lesson

China: The face of Pluto in Capricorn

If you have any question about where the balance of power in the world is heading, check out this article from Mother Jones entitled “The Last Empire: Can the world survive China’s rush to emulate America’s way of life?”

The grander astonishment is the most massive and rapid redistribution of the earth’s resources in human history. In a mere two and a half decades, China has awakened from Maoist stagnancy to become the world’s manufacturer. Among the planet’s 193 nations, it is now first in production of coal, steel, cement, and 10 kinds of metal; it produces half the world’s cameras and nearly a third of its TVs, and by 2015 may produce the most cars. It boasts factories that can accommodate 200,000 workers, and towns that make 60 percent of the world’s buttons, half the world’s silk neckties, and half the world’s fireworks, respectively.

China has also become a ravenous consumer. Its appetite for raw materials drives up international commodity prices and shipping rates while its middle class, projected to jump from fewer than 100 million people now to 700 million by 2020, is learning the gratifications of consumerism. China is by a wide margin the leading importer of a cornucopia of commodities, including iron ore, steel, copper, tin, zinc, aluminum, and nickel. It is the world’s biggest consumer of coal, refrigerators, grain, cell phones, fertilizer, and television sets. It not only leads the world in coal consumption, with 2.5 billion tons in 2006, but uses more than the next three highest-ranked nations—the United States, Russia, and India—combined. China uses half the world’s steel and concrete and will probably construct half the world’s new buildings over the next decade. So omnivorous is the Chinese appetite for imports that when the country ran short of scrap metal in early 2004, manhole covers disappeared from cities all over the world—Chicago lost 150 in a month. And the Chinese are not just vast consumers, but conspicuous ones, as evidenced by the presence in Beijing of dealers representing every luxury-car manufacturer in the world. Sales of Porsches, Ferraris, and Maseratis have flourished, even though their owners have no opportunity to test their finely tuned cars’ performance on the city’s clotted roads.

The catch is that China has become not just the world’s manufacturer but also its despoiler, on a scale as monumental as its economic expansion. . . .A fourth of the country is now desert. More than three-fourths of its forests have disappeared. Acid rain falls on a third of China’s landmass, tainting soil, water, and food. Excessive use of groundwater has caused land to sink in at least 96 Chinese cities, producing an estimated $12.9 billion in economic losses in Shanghai alone. Each year, uncontrollable underground fires, sometimes triggered by lightning and mining accidents, consume 200 million tons of coal, contributing massively to global warming. A miasma of lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust hovers over most Chinese cities; of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, 16 are Chinese.

The government estimates that 400,000 people die prematurely from respiratory illnesses each year, and health care costs for premature death and disability related to air pollution is estimated at up to 4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Four-fifths of the length of China’s rivers are too polluted for fish. Half the population—600 or 700 million people—drinks water contaminated with animal and human waste. Into Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze, the nation annually dumps a billion tons of untreated sewage; some scientists fear the river will die within a few years. Drained by cities and factories all over northern China, the Yellow River, whose cataclysmic floods earned it a reputation as the world’s most dangerous natural feature, now flows to its mouth feebly, if at all. China generates a third of the world’s garbage, most of which goes untreated. Meanwhile, roughly 70 percent of the world’s discarded computers and electronic equipment ends up in China, where it is scavenged for usable parts and then abandoned, polluting soil and groundwater with toxic metals.

Remember that Pluto rules over breakdown and destruction, followed by transformation. The elevation of Ceres to planet status has coincided with the eruption into mass consciousness of an acceptance (finally!!) of the need to protect the planet’s resources. Capricorn is concerned with matters of business, factories, governments, anywhere things are made and commerce is conducted. The emergence of China as a world power, without the democracy that helps to put safeguards in place, is likely to be the focal point of the Pluto in Capricorn period. Already we are seeing the emergence of a deadly “people’s revolution” to protest the devastation of the environment there that is likely to come to a head with the upcoming square of Uranus in Aries to Pluto in Capricorn.

This article is a must read.

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By | 2008-01-06T12:21:00+00:00 January 6th, 2008|Ecology, Pluto in Capricorn, Politics|Comments Off on China: The face of Pluto in Capricorn

Pluto through Capricorn 2008-2024

Glastonbury towerThis image is The Tower card from the Glastonbury Tarot, a much less frightening image than the Tower in other decks. The Tower in the Tarot signifies destruction and rebuilding of the established order, which is exactly what Pluto in Capricorn is all about.

It’s too easy to get caught up in the distress of change and the sense that things are falling apart around us, and we often forget that from the ashes there is a new and usually improved reality that arises in its place.  That is why I like this Phoenix image representing the emergence of something new out of the ashes of destruction.

Part I: Introduction

Although Pluto is a small planet (in fact, it is now classified as a dwarf planet) it packs a powerful punch. Pluto represents death and endings and the breakdown of the structures in our life that are required in order to bring transformation and fresh beginnings. Pluto brings us face to face with the ultimate reality of life and, watching over us like a shamanic guardian, destroys whatever stands in the way of our soul’s ultimate destination.

Pluto’s passage through the signs brings with it a compulsive fascination in the issues denoted by that sign. He ruthlessly exposes the darkness that lies at the core of the sign’s archetypes and, destroying the old order, demands that we rebuild on the ashes of the old. Like the Phoenix bird with which it is associated, Pluto dies and is regenerated to begin anew.

Pluto has been traveling through Sagittarius since 1995, bringing with it wars (Pluto) over religion and ideology (Sagittarius), as well as “culture wars” and the growing divide between groups that think differently, all Sagittarius archetypes. Sagittarius rules the media and entertainment, and the rise of a new compulsivity in celebrity journalism has grown up since Pluto entered Sagittarius, with the internet spawning a huge new gossip market. Sagittarius carries with it a nearly relentless optimism; ruled by Jupiter with its expansive need for growth, Pluto in Sagittarius has seen soaring home prices and a burgeoning stock market that seems to have no end. The “new economy” of the dot com era occurred under Pluto’s Sagittarian influence, as did the explosion of the vacation home market.

Pluto transits typically include a breakdown phase, where structures that no longer serve us are dismantled to make room for new structures that are more in line with our spiritual evolution. I like to think of these periods as course corrections, where our guides or gods decide that certain changes are required. If we understand the process and can surrender to it with trust, this can be an exhilarating time of transformation and empowerment. If we resist and hold on to the past it can be full of tragedy and pain.

Capricorn is the sign of the builder, the achiever. Capricorn is rooted in the material world and understands that life on earth requires a practical approach to the matters of earning a living. There is also a drive for success; to climb the highest mountains like the goat which is it’s symbol. For Capricorn, the ends justify the means and achievement of one’s goals is the important thing and it is able to maintain a powerful focus.

Its rulership by Saturn gives respect for discipline and authority and Capricorn has tremendous respect for governmental structures and the stability of a moral system. However, Saturn also bestows its tendency towards pessimism and lack of humor as all things personal are sacrificed for the goal. There is often a tendency to prize material things above those of the emotional or spiritual realms, and this lack of balance can create a dry and miserable experience.

When Pluto goes through Capricorn we can expect the transformation of all things ruled by that sign – such as our religious institutions, halls of government and political structures, the way we inter our dead and take care of our old people, construction techniques and buildings, and how we handle ownership of property.

While Pluto takes 244 years to orbit the Sun, its elliptical orbit means that it doesn’t spend the same amount of time in each sign. For example, it only took twelve years to travel through Scorpio, but it took 26 years to get through Cancer and 19 years through Leo. Pluto will be in Capricorn until 2024, and this occurs at a time when our Capricornian structures are ripe for transformation. Industry (Capricorn) in developed and developing countries as become a major source of carbon emissions which threaten the survival of life on earth. The Catholic Church (Capricorn), rocked by sex scandals, is struggling for survival. The very way we do business (Capricorn) is being forever changed by the globalization of politics and the economy.

Part II: The Historical View

Pluto will enter Capricorn for the first time January 25, 2008 and will retrograde back into Sagittarius one final time on June 14. It will journey back into Capricorn on November 26, 2008 and remain there until January 21, 2024. For sixteen years, Pluto will engage in a process of breaking down and then rebuilding the structures on which we depend for a successful experience in the material world.

There is a natural evolution to the path of the planets through the zodiacal signs as each sign offers a completely different experience than the sign before. In Sagittarius, Pluto has been compulsively expansive and optimistic, intensifying religious fervor – all qualities of Sagittarius. In Capricorn, Pluto seeks to contract and solidify and build solid structures for society. In the process, the structures that already exist are broken down and irrevocably transformed

breakupPluto was last in Capricorn from November 1762 until December 1, 1778. Pluto deals with transformation of the political and economic realities of our world, and its entry into Capricorn marked the end of the Seven Years’ War in which France ceded Canada to Britain, but political unrest was felt throughout Europe as well as in the Colonies and this period marked a reconfiguration of many of the nations in the world. Catherine the Great acceded to the throne after the murder of her husband, perhaps at her own hand, and presided over wars with the Ottoman Empire that resulted in Russian acquisition of much of the Turkish lands. The first partition in Poland occurred during this period which split Poland into three sections owned by Russia, Prussia and Austria. Britain traded Cuba to Spain in exchange for Florida; Parliament passed the Stamp Act to pay for the wars that began the Colonial rebellion that resulted in the American Revolution.

The thirst for revolution in France, England and Russia stemmed from a reaction to the breakup and reconfiguration of world nations (Capricorn) that followed the colonial expansion (Sagittarius) that preceded it. Pluto’s previous passage through Capricorn back in 1516-1533 c.e. was preceded by the original exploration of the New World that gave rise to the later Colonial ideals. Once the original explorers had returned to the courts of Europe, under Pluto in Capricorn those countries set out to conquer the New World and create new colonies that were subservient to the European rulers. The rise of anti-Catholic sentiment that brought about the rise of Protestants under Pluto in Sagittarius gave way to Martin Luther’s formalizing his revolt with his nailing his Thesis to the door of the Church in 1517 under Pluto in Capricorn, founding a new structure of worship, the Lutheran Church.

Part III:  What can we expect in the future?

Although Pluto will enter Capricorn for the first time in January 2008infrastructure, it will retrograde back into the late degrees in Sagittarius in June 2008 where it will make one final sweep through the Sagittarian issues of religion, philosophy, travel, ideology, journalism, optimism, and general expansion. Throughout 2008 it will be virtually stationary, traveling less than three degrees during this period, from 1 degree Capricorn back through 28 degrees Sagittarius. Because it will be stationary for so long, where its influence is the most powerful, I would expect a great deal of intensity and forced transformation during this period. This will be particularly intense for those of us who have planets in the late degrees of the mutable signs (Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius, Gemini) or the early degrees of the cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries Libra).

Pluto causes endings and new beginnings – it forces us to surrender as it rebuilds us from the inside out. I suspect that throughout next year the intense optimism of Pluto in Sagittarius will battle with the necessity for realism of Pluto in Capricorn, and it will be a while before the economic problems really hit home. Mars will oppose Pluto in early March, which will create some fireworks of aggression and confrontation, and Saturn will make its second trine to Pluto in April which will ease the challenge of the new requirements of Capricorn Pluto which wants to tear down and rebuild the structures of our life and planet and intensify the power bases that govern society.

Once Pluto is firmly entrenched in Capricorn beginning in December 2008, we will begin to really see it at work. This of course will follow the US presidential election in November 2008. Pluto seeks to focus and intensify as well as break down and regenerate. The structures of our world keep societies in order and functioning: churches, governments, buildings – all of these are ruled by Capricorn. But so are bridges and tunnels, and the entire infrastructure upon which we live, particularly in urban areas, are likely to experience a severe breakdown while Pluto travels through Capricorn. Underground transportation, under the domain of the god of the underworld, could become a battleground as Pluto often brings warfare or death in the areas of the sign through which it passes (such as September 11th during Pluto in Sagittarius, where air travel became a conveyance of death and total world transformation).

During the passage of Pluto, we see extremes and compulsions in the area of life associated with the sign through which Pluto travels, and with the Capricornian association with governments and government buildings I would expect a worldwide attempt to solidify a global government and minimize individual liberties. Pluto deals with issues of power – on a personal level such as personal empowerment as well as with the power structures that govern all of humanity that fall under the rubric of the Capricorn theme. When Uranus enters Aries in 2010-2011, there will be a fervor as the pendulum swings back towards individual liberties. By the time Uranus forms a square to Pluto in Capricorn in 2012-2013 there will be tremendous cultural, social and political upheaval which will further transform governments and political structures.

Pluto’s reach will extend beyond governments, however. Capricorn also rules the elderly and end of life issues, and Pluto’s passage through Capricorn could transform the way we view the entire process of death and dying, including the disposal of the body after death.

Often Pluto’s passage through one sign is a reaction to Pluto’s passage through the previous sign, and in Capricorn there may be a reaction of the practical and materialistic Capricorn against the ideological idealism of Pluto’s travel through Sagittarius. An overdose of pragmatism could lead to the negativity and depression with which Capricorn is sometimes associated. Capricorn is associated with achievement and can be ruthless in its efforts to climb to the top, and we could see an increased obsession (Pluto) with climbing the ladder of success that leads to a breakdown in certain segments of society.

There is always a side to Pluto cycles, and in Capricorn we are likely to see an increase in stability and a more practical approach to economics and business than we saw under the Sagittarian influence. The inflated (Sag) bonuses for CEOs that we saw in recent years are likely a sign of the past as businesses and corporations become more concerned with Capricornian fundamentals than with Sagittarian appearance and image. Capricorn is essentially practical and prizes achievement above all else, which means achievement of real goals and objectives. Although Pluto in Capricorn will bring out secrets (Pluto) of governments and other political entities (Cap), there will be an increased focus on proficiency, skill, and a successful outcome rather than spin and propaganda of the Sagittarian era.

I don’t know about you, but all of that sounds to me like a great improvement and to which I am looking forward!

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By | 2007-12-14T13:01:00+00:00 December 14th, 2007|Featured posts, Longreads, Pluto in Capricorn|Comments Off on Pluto through Capricorn 2008-2024

Alan Greenspan and astrology

I watched Alan Greenspan’s interview with Jon Stewart this morning. If you really want to know how fragile our financial system is, watch the video here. The interesting thing from an astrological viewpoint was Greenspan’s admitting that the financial markets are all based on perception:

Greenspan: No, what a sound money system does is to stabilize the elements in it and reduce the uncertainty that people confront, and when people confront uncertainty they withdraw and it reduces economic activity…
Stewart: So it’s all about perception then. It’s about making people believe the system is sound. If the stock market is high, people feel confident in spending, and if it lowers, they feel less confident?
Greenspan: Well…uh…I think you have to realize, there are certain aspects of human nature, which move exactly the way you defined it. The problem is, periodically we all go a little bit euphoric until we are assuming with confidence that everything is terrific, there will be no problems, nothing will ever happen, and then it dawns on us- NO!
Stewart: And then it goes the other way.
Greenspan: Exactly.
Stewart: Huge Fear.
Greenspan: I was telling my colleagues the other day… I’d been dealing with these big mathematical models for forecasting the economy, and I’m looking at what’s going on the last few weeks and I say, “Y’know, if I could figure out a way to determine whether or not people are more fearful, or changing to euphoric… I don’t need any of this other stuff. I could forecast the economy better than any way I know. The trouble is, we can’t figure that out. I’ve been in the forecasting business for 50 years, and I’m no better than I ever was, and nobody else is either.”

Planetary cycles give us a way to forecast general trends, even though it is impossible to pick stocks using astrology as we’ve discussed many times in this column. Still, we know that Pluto in Sagittarius has ruled over the biggest stock market expansion ever, and that with Saturn in Virgo we are going into a more conservative mode. We know that when Pluto enters Capricorn the payment for all of this hilarity will become due and there is likely to be more fear that will cause a market contraction. These are things we’ve always known but it was interesting to hear it coming out of Greenspan’s mouth!

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By | 2007-09-20T17:11:00+00:00 September 20th, 2007|Money and markets, Pluto in Capricorn|Comments Off on Alan Greenspan and astrology

Pluto in Capricorn: Rebuilding our Infrastructure

Last week I listened to a segment on the Diane Rehm show about the problems we are facing with our crumbling infrastructure, so it was more than a bit creepy to turn on the TV the other night and see a vivid example of this very problem with the crumbling of a bridge in Minnesota.

The buzz around this issue makes it clear that the need to rebuild the infrastructures on which we depend for our daily lives is going to be a highlight of the upcoming Pluto in Capricorn period. Capricorn is associated with the structures of society and building itself. Dams, bridges, tunnels, subways – many of these were built over 100 years ago with little or no improvements over the years. The failure of the levees in New Orleans were the first reminder that the old infrastructures were in danger, but little attention was paid.

The debacle over rebuilding in Iraq is bound to come to the forefront of discussion now because of the appalling amount of money that is being wasted there and the lack of progress. A recent government audit of Bechtel’s work there showed that less than half of that company’s reconstructions jobs had been completed, and the ones that were finished had staggering cost overruns.

Senators Chuck Hagel and Chris Dodd introduced legislation on Wednesday to fund projects to revitalize the crumbling infrastructure in the US, creating an independent national bank to help finance such projects. Perhaps this will help to alleviate much of the pork spending that goes into earmarks and pet projects. More here.

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By | 2007-08-03T00:47:00+00:00 August 3rd, 2007|Pluto in Capricorn|Comments Off on Pluto in Capricorn: Rebuilding our Infrastructure
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