Martin Luther at Wittenburg Cathedral
Pluto in Capricorn [part 2]
destiny written in the stars is also in our hands
In this, the second part of his article, Neil Giles concludes his discussion on the meaning of the transit of Pluto through Capricorn. He argues that, with Pluto in Capricorn in the coming era, the imperative is to learn how to make a real social contribution, how to put aside the power-mongering and the drama and do something that works. The destiny that is written in the stars is also in our hands.
It may be that in the era that lies ahead, we will see, as Diocletian did, that the vast metropolis and the global sprawl are no longer governable or manageable in the way we have believed. Governments and organizing bodies will have to divide their regions into smaller working units, districts or boroughs. While this will raise efficiency and effectiveness in some areas, it will also be that this will leave some parts untended or ungoverned. The step from the 'ungoverned' to the 'ungovernable' will follow with dramatic speed and we will see the further rise of wild lands, wastelands and 'no go' zones, areas excised and excluded from the controlling systems or authorities, leaving us with a society where such divisions will be built into the organization of city, state or nation. Pluto in Capricorn will break down what we have till it can be made to work and, with classic practicality, shed the responsibility of what it cannot maintain, leaving smaller or isolated groups or communities to their fate.
An Icy Grip
It was in 532 AD that Pluto entered Capricorn again. His journey was grim and marked with the suffering, restriction and blight to which the sign of the Goat will sometimes condemn us. 536 AD saw the Mediterranean freezing under a cloud of dust, born in a volcanic eruption in the Southern Hemisphere that brought a nuclear winter to the North. Wars and political instability set their mark on Europe and the East as they foundered in the changing tides of aggression and ill-fated campaigns. Buddhism found the Japanese, Christianity found the Welsh, the Toltecs found the Yucatan Peninsula and plague ravaged Europe, shutting down agricultural activity, causing widespread food shortages and reaching all the way to England. Ironically, in 549 AD, Rome was in the hands of the Ostrogoths and the last ever games were held, these cruel and savage spectacles ended by a people the Romans called barbaric.
It is wise to realize that Capricorn is the sign of midwinter [northern hemisphere, of course – ed.]. If we have had a fruitful summer then our winter stores will see us through in comfort. However, if we have wasted our resources or been tested by harsh conditions, we may find ourselves living a life ruled by necessity. Under Pluto in Capricorn, we may pass through the midwinter test and there will be rules and regulations to order our lives in accordance with requirement or restriction. Prevailing conditions may test us where food supplies and simple domestic resources are concerned. Whatever name we like to give to the current instability in our climate, Pluto in the sign of the Goat will create conditions we will have to live with. With Pluto entering Capricorn as Saturn is retrograde in Virgo, the sign of health and work, ill-health or difficulties with employment that affect us at a mass level may alter the structure and order of our social operations.
The Turning of the Wheel
On the wheel of the Zodiac, Pluto is in Sagittarius, the fiery philosopher and freedom-loving Centaur, before entering the earthy domain of ambitious but structured and cautious Capricorn, the administrator. Pluto in Sagittarius brings vigorous debate and action on the matter of beliefs, waving banners that will find a place in the new order of Pluto in Capricorn or fall by the wayside of history. The intense, eruptive declamation of Pluto in the sign of the Centaur will search out disagreement, polarizing those who cannot negotiate into opposing camps that will become part of the structure of Pluto in the sign of the Goat. With such divisions, deep-rooted conflict will be embodied in the new social organization.
The Sixteenth Century provides us with a clear illustration of this process. In 1502, Pluto entered Sagittarius and an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther wrestled with his conscience and teachers over the excesses and abuses of the Church Catholic, the single prevailing religious body of the day in the Christian West. Pluto entered Capricorn in 1516 and, one year later, Luther nailed his ninety-five theses of dissent to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral, his hammer blows exciting a furore to shatter the structure and unity of the Church. Then, in 1521 at the Diet of Worms, Luther uttered his famous defiance 'here I stand', refusing to recant his heresy. With the assistance of the German princes, Luther translated the Bible into German, founded a new evangelical movement and launched the Reformation, splitting the Church and reshaping the Christian world by creating a bitter division that has lasted until the present day.
In 1995, Pluto entered Sagittarius, propelling us into a world where clashes of culture, politics and religion have brought to the surface deep-seated grievances and disputes, propelling us into a chaotic world where the War on Terror falls like a grim and disturbing shadow, dividing communities, cities and countries against themselves and setting nation against nation and people against people. The choice that lies before us with Pluto in Capricorn is clear. If in our diversity we cannot negotiate peace and compromise, learning to live within a common structure, there will be no treasure from the underworld lord. Instead, we will be a community whose divisions will polarize further into embittered separations that will need only time and provocation to erupt into torrents of the hatred and anger we have created by setting God against God and faith against faith.
State versus Tribe
Capricorn rules the structure and organization of the state and nation, their institutions and their rulership. Opposing the sign of the Goat is that of Cancer the Crab who rules the home, family, tribe and ancestral roots. The Goat is the administrative and political bond between members of an organized society where the Crab is the bond of blood.
The American Revolution, Spirit of 76
While both of these acknowledge the values and traditions from which they have come, Capricorn is practical, ambitious and dispassionate in the bid for power where Cancer is emotional, sensitive and sympathetic in the desire to protect.
As the underworld god enters Capricorn, he will test the structures, institutions and leaders in the search for transformation of the social order. Yet, in doing so, he will stir up strong feelings and ties of blood as family or tribe struggle to find a place in the social or institutional whole.
In the coming years we will see many present tensions or conflicts escalate as the inner family or tribal group resists the control of social and political mechanisms and authorities. Ancient loyalties of blood and belief will set one part against the rest. If an alliance can be negotiated then all will be well. If not, there will be departure, separation or violent struggle against the prevailing regime.
Conversely, the division may go in the opposite direction. Pluto in Capricorn will bid people to say 'goodbye' to family, tribe or race as they part from their parents or roots to find a new place in the world of power and organization. They will take new responsibilities and make a useful contribution to a social order that gives them a new identity and a new sense of belonging.
1762 brought Pluto to Capricorn for the dark lord's last journey there. It was then that a disparate band of colonists in the New World broke with the Mother Country, England, over issues of taxation, over-regulation and colonial control. The American Congress sat, fought a war against imperialism, issued a declaration of rights and laid the foundations for the birth of the American Republic. Now, more than ever as Pluto returns to its natal place in the chart of the USA, it will be timely to examine the path by which a revolutionary democracy became a global superpower that has left footprints and spent shells in so many foreign lands.
So, what can we expect of this new era as it unfolds? When one of the outer planets changes sign, there is a marked generational influence and a shift in the nature of our social experience. In time, we will all be touched by a destiny we cannot escape. As the destiny of Pluto in Capricorn takes hold, we will run the gamut of our control systems, from the humble administrator through to the megalomaniac as governments, organizations and key individuals encounter the testing pressures of Pluto and make their response. Will it be death, figurative or literal? Or will it be transformation?
When Pluto entered Sagittarius in 1995, he did so squaring Mars, retrograde in the sign of Virgo. Thus, we have experienced instability, clashes over custom, disputes over practice and outbreaks of extraordinary violence as the god of war has traded blows with his underworld counterpart. We find ourselves breathless and shaken at the doorway of a new era. What we also find is that Pluto is once again in aspect to retrograde Mars as he enters the sign of the Goat. Mars began a reverse motion cycle in Cancer in Nov 2007. On New Year's Eve, he moved to Gemini, which is where we find him on Jan 26th. Mars and Pluto's opposition is an 'out of sign' or dissociate one and somewhat wide, yet it will continue the cycle of disruption that has been the hallmark of the last years.
There will be powerful or dramatic events affecting travel, communication, transport and electric supply. Incidents with firearms and explosives will become increasingly prevalent. The volcano, the eruption, the fated event and the clash of arms and opposing ideas will walk with us until we can learn to communicate and function in such a way as to solve the problems of the abuse of power and refrain from the constant usage of abusive powers. With our 'dig it up', 'knock it down' and 'shoot it' mentality, we have treated every species, including ourselves and the Earth as an enemy to be beaten, an opponent to be overcome.
In such a pressure-cooker as this coming cycle, it may eventually occur to us as a species that we cannot continue trying to solve our problems with a bullying thrust of violent intervention. Just as we will have to look to alternative energy sources, we must also realize that we cannot keep building roads to the future by blowing up everything that gets in the way of our intended path. Obstacles to our desires are there to teach us, not frustrate us. It is time we learned that salutary lesson from Pluto. The sign of Capricorn teaches the proper sense of organization and responsibility required for effective social contribution. With Pluto in Capricorn in the coming era, the imperative is to learn how to make one, how to put aside the power-mongering and the drama and do something that works. The destiny that is written in the stars is also in our hands.
[Here endeth the Lesson.]
Click to return to the start of Pluto in Capricorn
Neil Giles is the author of a number of works on Celtic and Teutonic spirituality, including Odin's Runes and The Oracle of the Trees. For Neil, the storyteller's path reminds us that while the wisdom of the past still lives, we can take wise action now and in the future. Click Here to read more on Odin's Runes.