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Pluto through the Signs: Collective fears of annihilation

The fears and threats we face on a collective level are not accidental or random. They trace a thematic story globally and nationally. As Pluto moves through each sign of the zodiac the theme of the story shifts. We attack what we fear threatens us, and so the wars that are fought during each era are often justified according to the sign Pluto is in at the time.

Plutonic gods and goddesses in world mythologies hold the promise of immortality; they transcend the fear of death. So it can be seen that the threats we face challenge us to overcome our reluctance to let go of our ego-selves. They provoke us to seek that part of us that lives on no matter what. The mysteries of life and death, and the value and uses of both, are questioned over and over again as the power to create and destroy dances around the globe.

Pluto has already moved through these signs, but the themes live on in the people, nations, and institutions born during these times:

Pluto in Cancer - 1913 to 1938

Fear revolves around: Homeland, motherland, fatherland, invading someone's homeland, threats from and to the family unit and the land of origin. The power of a group of relatives to wreak havoc and destruction. Possession, manipulation, and ownership causing terror. Feeling unsafe on a mass scale. Terror at home; childhood abuse, invasion of homelands, refusing to relinquish possession of those close to us both personally and internationally. Insularity caused by fear; large-scale fear of abandonment and being left out, aloneness, loss of kin.

Pluto in Leo - 1938 to 1958
Fear revolves around: Dictators, charismatic leaders, narcissists, the pure race, threats from egomaniacs with dreams of being the absolute top dog surrounded by fanatical followers who look up to the leader as a supercelebrity and role model. The power of an individual to wreak havoc. Arrogance and pride taken to new heights, proclaiming innate superiority and exterminating those who are inferior. The divine right to rule and destroy because we are chosen and you are not. Imperiousness caused by fear. Parallel need to bolster popular democracy rather than plutocracy and autocracy.

Pluto in Virgo - 1958 to 1971
Fear revolves around: Pollution, ecological impact of modern industrialised living, nutrition and medicine that can harm and heal, threats from the breakdown of social order, using work as a force (the workforce) and as a too and instrument of social control, and conversely fear of the workforce rising up as a revolutionary power. Wreaking environmental havoc, and havoc within the body. Understanding the intricate workings of natural systems and the dangers of destroying those sensitive, efficient, interconnected systems. Meticulous control freakery caused by fearing total breakdown of order. Industrialisation raping the environment, clashing with the working classes.

Pluto in Libra - 1971 to 1983
Fear revolves around: Breakdown of traditional relationships and marriage, alliances and strategic partnerships, coalitions and associations. Upheaval in the relationship between males and females. Revolution in their prescribed roles in society. Battle between the sexes due to social inequality and discrimination. International relationships, 'the other', the adversary, the enemy. Social justice and injustice. Radical selfishness and rejection of joining together caused by fearing 'the other', yet an obsession with romance, dating, and finding one's soul mate and 'the one'.

Pluto in Scorpio - 1983 to 1995
Fear revolves around: The nuclear bomb, the paranoid cold war between Russia and the West, threats from the very source of destructive power - atomic weapons and nuclear power plants (e.g. Chernobyl, Sellafield, Sizewell B) and threats from the very source of creative power - sex (AIDS and other STIs), fearing the macabre and destructive side of humans in general. Deformities and illnesses caused by human-made radiation. Fearing large-scale death and destruction. Weapons of mass destruction. The power to create and destroy was refined, purified, and tapped more directly. Extreme paranoia and power-obsessiveness, survival fears and exacerbation of 'every man for him/herself' society, yet again an exacerbation of the preoccupation with soul mates.

Pluto is now in this sign:

Pluto in Sagittarius - 1995 to 2008
Fear revolves around: Immigration, religious crusades and ideological fundamentalism, the export of terrorism, global trade in nuclear 'dirty bombs', racism and xenophobia, 'ethnic cleansing', foreign cultures invading one another, losing indigenous culture, 'threats from abroad', the vengeance of god, using religious justifications for killing, e.g. 'unleashing the gates of hell' upon someone or a group. The power of religion to wreak havoc, or havoc to be wrought in the name of religion or ideology. Amplified everytime Jupiter makes an aspect to Pluto, and modified whenever other planets make aspects to Pluto. For instance, Chiron (sense of wounding and suffering, futile but repetitive struggles) joined with Pluto in Sagittarius right on the USA's Ascendant in the year 2000, and probably the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks were being planned around this time. Then the Enron accounting scandal unfolded, along with the terrorist attacks, and the subsequent reining in of civil liberties and human rights during the Saturn-Pluto oppositions from 2001 to 2003 (the Saturn-Pluto cycle has long been associated with fascism).

Pluto will next move into this sign:

Pluto in Capricorn - 2008 to 2024
Fear revolves around: (NB We had a glimpse of this during the recent Saturn-Pluto opposition) Fear of corporate power, corporate corruption, businesses and governments in cahoots with one another to screw over the masses, large-scale accountability and accounting issues, the coupling (or decoupling) of power and responsibility, containment of destructive power, threats to and from civilisation itself, threats to and from long-established structures and nation-states who consider themselves to be the patriarchal leaders of the world, using regulation to control and subdue. Clash of civilisations. Activation of struggles about civilised values. The power of governments, institutions, and big business to wreak havoc. Or wreaking havoc in the name of business and government. Borders, boundaries, structures, walls - whether they go up or come down - may be seen as directly connected with fear, threats, and the possibility of destruction.

In closing....

Pluto's movement through the signs is continuous, without end. After Capricorn, Pluto will move into Aquarius (in 2024), and then Pisces (in 2043), and then start the zodiac cycle again in Aries (in 2068). The whole cycle takes 248 years. It spends the longest time in Taurus, the sign of the Earth itself, and also of the body and the material world in general, correlating with the greater need to recycle the primordial and archaic material on that level so that life on Earth undergoes continual re-creation rather than heads for permanent destruction.

It's possible to speculate that 'unfinished business' from previous cycles could return to future generations. How we handle Pluto in Sagittarius now could then be revisited 12 generations hence. And we could now be dealing with the unfinished business of our ancestors 12 generations ago.

Pluto is primordial, pre-logical, pre-verbal, maybe even pre-conscious. Ancestral resentments and fears still burn and fester beneath our everyday awareness, influencing our behaviour, our decisions, and our thinking. To deal with Pluto therefore involves a 'journey into the underworld' to root out and purge these legacies of battles fought and lost.

Because we're not used to making that journey we find it difficult and we resist doing it, fearing what is 'down there' in the depths, preferring to live superficial lives. Meanwhile, we rape, torture and slaughter one another over our visions of god, or over land we say god gave us but didn't give to you, or because a thousand years ago your ancestors invaded so now it is our turn to invade you. These ancient vows and injustices linger on and are either re-seeded by us here on Earth as Pluto moves through the sky, or are cleaned out and allowed to die because they no longer support life.

If we learn how to bring these struggles and these cycles to a close, then Pluto through the signs could be experienced as an evolutionary progression, an activation of new life, rather than a reactivation of festering hatreds causing us all to live in purgatory and in fear of death. But the governments won't do it for us, nor will the NGOs and charities; the choice is ours alone, and only we can go within ourselves to rid ourselves of the legacy we carry.

Applying astrology to political life Hutton Inquiry, Tony Blair, Iraq, Israel, European Union, USA, War on Terror, Uranus in Pisces & Neptune in Aquarius, & more

Applying astrology to business life Euro Currency, NHS, BBC, USA economy, Ofcom, Concorde, Directory Enquiries, W Edwards Deming, European Central Bank, & more

Applying astrology to people's lives Health, emotional intelligence, zodiac elements, understanding change, Beyoncé, Madonna's image and brand, & more

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