us-solar-return We celebrate July 4th as the birthday of the United States, and most astrologers use the Sibly chart for the astrological symbology of the United States (here’s why I use it).  I thought it might be a good time to look at the current astrological forces affecting the United States right now in the midst of a global pandemic. Please note: In writing posts which may have a political bent I try to be as neutral as possible and simply report on the astrology.  However, occasionally my bias may seep through.  I have no wish to censor the comments, but any comments that serve no purpose other than to inflame WILL be deleted. 

As you may know if you’ve been reading this blog, or other articles about the astrology of the US, we are heading into a return of Pluto to its position in the US chart.  Pluto, being the Lord of the Underworld and all, is not a gentle giant.  He has a powerful impact through destruction of the darkness which eventually allows for illumination.  But in the process, we sometimes must go through that Dark Night of the Soul before we can get to the light.

A bit of history

America’s Plutonic journey began back in 2000-2001 when Pluto transited the ascendant in the Sibly chart.  On August 6th, the day that  a report warning of an impending attack by Al Qaeda was presented to President George W Bush, Saturn in Gemini (tests and challenges) formed an exact square to Pluto in exact alignment with the US ascendant at 12 degrees Sagittarius.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Not long after that in 2006, the US progressed Mars (aggression, military power) turned retrograde.  (Educational note:  the progressed chart advances the natal chart through time and is a forecasting tool.)  That same year, the US progressed Sun transitioned from Aquarius to Pisces.   As I wrote in 2007,

The next 30 years could mark a weakening of US global power. Pisces is not a sign of action or strength, and it can be difficult to achieve enough focus and energy under the Pisces influence to be able to effect real change. In addition, the US progressed Mars turned retrograde back in the summer of 2006 which many astrologers believe to be the end of US global domination. It will be difficult for Americans to unite behind a common purpose under the Pisces influence and we are likely to see a fragmentation in the government, particularly with transiting Pluto entering Capricorn and then squaring Uranus in Aries in 2010-2013.

I think we can agree that all of this has come to pass.

Where we are today

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The global Covid-19 pandemic can be explained only partly by astrology.  Yes, Neptune is in Pisces, long associated with mysterious ilnesses and the spread of viruses.  Yes, Saturn conjoined Pluto in January just as the virus blew up.  But these planetary alignments have occurred before without such widespread impact, reflecting the difficulty astrologers have when they attempt to make specific predictions.  The Universe has its own agenda that is easier to see in hindsight than looking forward.

However, only the United States is in the throes of a Pluto return.  Pluto takes 247.94 years to orbit the Sun, and it takes that long to return to its place in a natal chart.  For a historical perspective you might enjoy this article about Pluto returns in the Roman Empire.  Pluto’s role is to destroy that which is no longer working and allow a new and hopefully more functional reality to emerge.  The divisiveness that has emerged over the past years has nothing to do with the current occupant in the White House, and everything to do with the American myth of exceptionalism and righteousness described by the Sagittarius ascendant.  The Sun is in the seventh house of the “Other” in the US chart, and Americans have always needed an enemy through which to define ourselves.  (We think of the seventh house as the house of marriage and partnership, but it is also associated with “open enemies.”)  The US began in revolution against the British.  Then the enemy was the native people who were sacrificed for the great American experiment.  Then Mexico became the enemy as the country expanded into Mexican territory.  Then the enemy became the nation itself as it split in two for the Civil War.  Then American corporations began to move into South America and the local political leaders became the enemy. Etc. etc.

At this time in history, the US appears to be in a weakened state with few if any allies.  This is not a good position for any nation to be in, especially when it is collapsing from within through political polarization.  Measures that most countries have taken to stem the tide of Covid-19 have instead served to further divide the nation.  If I don’t wear a mask I’m not patriotic.  If I do wear a mask I’m a mindless sheep.  Meanwhile the percentage of cases per population is higher in the US than in any other country in the nation other than Peru and Chile (as of the date of this post).

Although the Pluto return has not yet officially begun, transiting Pluto is within a few degrees of the US Pluto, and Jupiter and Saturn, also traveling through Capricorn and tightly connected to Pluto throughout the year, are transiting back and forth over the US Pluto.  We can expect the divisive rage that we have witnessed already this year to continue as Covid-19 spreads across the country and begins to wreak real economic havoc.

art by Valerie Sjodin

Economic challenge is a hallmark of the return of Pluto to its place in the US second house of money and values.  Although I normally like to be optimistic and hope for the best, this is something which astrologers have looked to for many years as a challenging time in US history.  On a personal level I have been advising clients to be cautious and careful with money.  This is not a time for wild speculation or reckless endeavors, especially with transiting Neptune opposing Neptune in the US chart, something which suggests the capacity for delusion and the potential for loss.

The US Solar Return, and a look ahead

It’s somewhat concerning that the Solar Return chart includes a lunar eclipse on the US Sun at 13 degrees Cancer. I see this, on top of all of the other factors described above,  as significant and suggesting a turning point this year for the nation.  An eclipse brings something which has been hidden into focus, and transiting Saturn is current conjunct Pluto in the US chart for much of 2020, creating a challenge which will last until late November of 2020 and likely affect the election.   However, I am encouraged by the fact that transiting Saturn, the planet which creates structures and strong foundations, will be harmonizing in a trine to the US Midheaven which represents the very government of the United States.  This suggests that the fractionation of the government which is currently occurring will sort itself out and we will eventually have a functioning government.

The Pluto Return will last well into the end of 2023.  Under Pluto we have a choice to sink into the powers of darkness, or to recognize that darkness for what it is and find a way back into the light.  I hope that as a nation we will choose the latter course.

See also, this video on the astrology for the remainder of 2020.

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