Pluto in Capricorn has Tentacles. . .It is Not Isolated

A Teaching Article

by Marilyn J. Muir, LPMAFA

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Pluto in Capricorn has plunged the world into a massive exposure of all that is wrong with government from local to global, banking, corporations, financial markets, businesses too large to fail or mega corporations, all the usual mundane Capricorn references. The world has been doing an out-of-control dance as the rotor-rooter of our solar system, Pluto, unearths all the psychological dysfunctions that have been buried and places them front and center for all the world to see, our personal and global Capricorn can of worms.  Astrological columns and material abound with Pluto’s journey through Capricorn and the activations by other planetary bodies such as transiting Uranus in Aries squaring that transiting Pluto. There is a boatload of material available. I do believe there is a misconception of Pluto in Capricorn that deserves an explanation.

When we isolate Pluto in Capricorn in order to define and interpret that position, we set in motion a false premise that Pluto is actually isolated to Capricorn. Such isolation is merely a convenience, not a reality. There is so much to read and know – we do need to address such planetary occupation as a specific. We should never forget that any planet in any sign is read in isolation only as a convenience. In reality, there are no dividing lines in space between signs and it is not possible to segregate any single body from the rest of the system no matter how preferable it might be.

I remember when my young son woke me up in the middle of the night many years ago. Apparently, I was talking in my sleep and said that his Neptune was lost. I had great difficulty convincing the boy that you could not lose Neptune in your chart no matter how much you might want to do so. I had to get out of bed, find his chart, and show him that he still had a Neptune. That particular cute story did play itself out in real life, but that belongs to another article. All the planets are working all the time regardless of whether or not astrologers recognize the activations. Pluto in Capricorn allows me to illustrate what I mean. Just know that what is true of this description of Pluto is true of all the planets in their sign placements.

Pluto is in constant motion in its 247-year eccentric orbit. Why eccentric? Pluto is tilted 17˚ to the ecliptic, the planets’ path around the Sun. It travels an elongated and irregular ellipse, which at times is positioned inside Neptune’s orbit for approximately twenty years and it reaches the opposite point much farther out into space than the rest of the planets. That means that Pluto does not travel an average of twenty years per sign, it travels from twelve to thirty years per sign, depending on where it is in its orbit. Scorpio in dignity hosts Pluto for only twelve years and Taurus in detriment hosts Pluto for thirty years, so the term of each sign occupation is quite individual. It is our tendency to look only at the sign a planet is in which unfortunately creates a form of tunnel vision.

Think of a pencil with a tip and an eraser. We write with the tip and use the eraser as necessary. If you write with the tip it sets up a gyration that is experienced by the whole pencil. If the tip wiggles, the eraser end wiggles as well. And the reverse is also true – if you erase, the writing tip wiggles. If Capricorn is being activated by occupation, so is its polar opposite sign, which in this instance is Cancer. The two cannot truly be separated regardless of the distances involved. The Cancer/Capricorn axis itself is active. What is being made visible in Capricorn has its polarity in the characteristics and symbology of Cancer. Cancer is home, health, family, emotional security, our clan or country, our common national identity. When Pluto transited Cancer last go-round, all the nations of the world had to deal with national identity as World War I and World War II enveloped Europe and dragged in the rest of the globe. Nations tried very hard not to get involved in the conflict but the activation was larger than the collective personal opinion. The world was at war.

Of course it cannot be so simple that we have a set number of years that this polarity can be activated. Pluto in Capricorn commenced at the end of November 2008 and exits in 2023 or fifteen to sixteen years. However, Pluto was in Cancer from 1914 to 1939, about 24-25 years. So the shorter sign occupation in Capricorn is activating the longer sign activation in Cancer. Keep that in mind.

What else was happening in the world during Pluto in Cancer? The discovery of Pluto in 1930 is polarized by the launch of the New Horizons space probe currently on its way to Pluto and due to arrive July 2015: Cancer/Capricorn. The 1930’s hosted the Great Depression, which began with the stock market crash in October 1929 but the greatest depth of the depression was 1932. The period commenced with previous Republican presidents, and with Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugurated March 4, 1933.  In 2008 a Republican president had been and was in office from 2001 to 2009 with a Democratic president inaugurated January 20, 2009. Can you see the polarization? Social Security was also founded in this period. Can you see the polarization in this current time frame as Congress avoids repairing and revamping whatever ails it? So many primary contenders and active politicians have stated their intention to seriously curb or end Social Security as we know it. What happens to all those people who are completely dependent on the government’s promise for so many decades that they would be provided for? They paid their dues as was and still is required by law.

Is there anything else you can think of that might be activated or can contribute to the Pluto in Capricorn energy? What about the squares? Aries and Libra are the other two cardinal points in the square positions. Besides economic and governing issues, what do you think was stirred up as Pluto transited Libra from 1972 to 1984? Let us see… Libra…  relationships of all forms, marriages, homosexuality, the world was becoming homogenized, cultures were meeting and blending. At the time of Pluto in Libra, Libra issues were on the table challenging the Pluto in Cancer generation and its values. It was also setting up the issues for the Pluto in Capricorn period we are currently enjoying. Can you see the challenge point with the Libra relationship issues right now? What about the Libra opposition sign, Aries? 1822 to 1853 sounds to me like the early stages of our fledgling country when rugged individualism was required to open up new territories and when the extreme fermentation of what became the Civil War was in progress. Families took wagons west and were wrested from their traditional early families. I remember Hollywood movies about the mail order brides who headed west to the lonely men, hoping for a workable marriage with literally no other options. What courage! Aries.

If the hard aspects (conjunctions, oppositions and squares) work, the other aspects must work as well. These other aspects will not get in your face in the manner of the hard aspects, but they will still be part of the working energy of any planet in any sign. In our cardinal sign example, sextile to Capricorn are Scorpio and Pisces and trine are Taurus and Virgo. These signs will be more amiable, contributing to the benefit of or being benefited by the Pluto in Capricorn position. Also, do not lose sight of the inconjuncts (the quincunx and semi-sextile). Yes, the semi-sextile is an inconjunct. Think… two squares of 90˚ equal 180˚ of space. Quincunx at 150˚ and semi-sextile at 30˚ equals 180˚. My keywords for the inconjuncts are adjust, adapt, compromise. Apply that to the signs and their values: Sagittarius, Aquarius, Gemini and Leo.

Capricorn has us all dancing to its activations but it is definitely not in isolation. Not only do the aspects work, but you can see the activations to the other signs which may form the base of what is current, or contribute to what has already been activated, in both a malefic and benefic manner. Do not hamstring yourself by sticking rigidly to a position in non-existent isolation. Reach out and look at the antecedents and that which will follow when Pluto again moves into Aries. These are long-term lessons and activations that affect us over centuries as mankind and its cultures evolve.

First published on All Things Healing website Mar 2012, republished with slight editing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.