The United States is experiencing its first Pluto Return, exactly on February 20, 2022. A planetary return in Astrology is when the transiting planet returns to the precise position occupied at the time of the event.
The United States natal Pluto inhabits 27°32' Capricorn. We will experience the same degree-based Return three times in 2022: February 20, July 11, and December 28.
The Sibly Chart, first published in 1787 and based on eyewitness accounts of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, supplies the information used in this article. July 4, 1776, 5:10 pm, Philadelphia, PA.
Returns are similar to New Moons in that they symbolize the initiation of new cycles. What we begin, what we wish to manifest, develop with the seeds planted during this phase. With Pluto's return, things will continue evolving long afterward. While there could be several symbolic seed-planting occurrences, only time will reveal the full impact of the US Pluto return.
Pluto in Capricorn November 27, 2008 - January 21, 2024
On November 27, 2008, Pluto, the cosmic regenerator, entered Capricorn, the sign of legacy and tradition. It's been working in the background to excavate and reveal what's behind the curtain. The US Pluto return is making history, and we'll feel the impact for years to come.
Astronomically speaking, Pluto works eccentrically, wandering out of bounds in its highly elliptical orbit. Pluto moves through some signs in thirteen years and takes thirty to transit others, averaging about 26 years in each sign. Astrologically speaking, Pluto functions undercover. It reveals what lies buried and acts to expose secrets and reverse control.
Pluto Digs Deep, Investigating and Transforming
In Roman mythology, Pluto rules the Underworld, the realm of the dead. While Pluto's complex reputation is well warranted, Pluto isn't necessarily a harbinger of doom. Pluto is all about change, death (not literally!), and regeneration. The idea of this purge, cleanse, and grow dance might seem alarming, even scary, but what follows is fundamental transformation.
What Can We Expect from the US Pluto Return?
During its Pluto return, the U.S. will confront its shadow energy. Pluto excavates, examining the shadow and transforming what it finds.
Pluto, the Underworld ruler, is associated with vegetation and nature, representing death and rebirth, and the natural transformative cycle. Since the US Pluto return occurs in Capricorn, an Earth sign, we'll see environmental issues take center stage. Climate change, issues around pollution, and toxins in our water and food supplies reach a tipping point. We must now confront these issues and find solutions, no longer allowing this critical subject to be ignored or denied. The urgent call to combat climate change and its consequences.
Pluto is in Capricorn's domain. Treacheries and tainted transactions by those trusted to guide and govern come to light. Scandals break out in high offices, church leaders, celebrities, and those previously held in high esteem fall from grace. Power brokers and abusers are not just canceled but named and held accountable when the damage they've done comes to light. Pluto pulls back the curtain, the skeleton in the closet begins to dance, and the ghosts of the past, always quietly haunting, reveal long-hidden truths.
The conditions for change are more evident than ever, particularly fundamental or structural change (Capricorn). And while Pluto's personality doesn't offer a neat, strategic pathway to transforming, we've already seen upheaval. We've witnessed police brutality, demonstrations, and the storming of the Capital. The collective awakens.
Engaging Our Light by Examining Our Darkness
We cannot begin to engage our light until we examine our darkness. We may emerge from the lower world with many riches when we can successfully confront our shadow. No one journeys to Pluto's domain and returns unchanged.
This country is still coming to terms with its past, the painful legacy of slavery, and all it implied—racism, bigotry, and greed. Racism, not simply the product of individual bias or prejudice but something embedded in legal systems and policies, has long been a shameful scar on this nation's soul. The USA Pluto return points to reparations and amends.
Some of the changes we expect to see with the US Pluto return begin manifesting soon. A new conversation emerges before microaggressions ignite tensions. The collective consciousness commits to learning, not debating, but listening and healing.
A repeating theme in mythology is the concept of purification - letting go of material attachment and accepting (death/rebirth) the sacred journey. Astrologically, Pluto governs transformation. It reveals what lies buried and acts to expose secrets and reverse power.
There is a lot of fear-mongering in discussions around the US Pluto return. And while obviously, we have already experienced so much, I want to remind everyone that many countries are much older than the U.S. and have survived multiple Pluto returns.
When Pluto entered Capricorn, Saturn's domain, we experienced distortion of balance and values. Saturn represents a conscious drive for power, and Pluto represents an unconscious drive. Pluto acts as a purge in this house to cleanse the materialistic selfishness inherent in the quest for power. There is a powerful urge to purify the loam, to unmask and exorcise the monsters. It's a time of karma and payback when the flawed players in influential roles are held accountable. And it is a time when the nation must inculcate diplomacy and patience.
The US Pluto Return is a second house return that could influence and reform the housing crisis, student debt, healthcare, and crypto (transformative currencies).
In the United States Natal Chart, Pluto sits at 27°32' Capricorn. We see Sagittarius rising and Capricorn depositing energy to the Zodiac's second house of money and prosperity. Interestingly the word Pluto translates from Latin to "riches" or "wealth-giver." So, while the U.S. Pluto return will likely prove challenging, the configuration also offers powerful opportunities.
Pluto tends to eliminate things that no longer serve our greatest good, the stuff that's holding us back. It can be difficult, especially if we are resistant to change. Letting go can be transformative and empowering when we welcome change like an old friend.
A Final Pluto Note
Pluto moves slowly, with great power and deliberation. We'll likely see the transformation over time. Indeed, we've seen its influence in recent years. The US Pluto return is not a one-and-done kind of transit. The effects will be felt years from now, well into Pluto's journey into Aquarius.
Thanks for reading. I'm so glad we're on this journey together. - Moira