Pluto in Capricorn

Well, it’s finally here, the big event that astrologers have been writing about for two years (some even longer).

I’ve held off writing about Pluto’s entry into Capricorn, because I felt that it was too early to start attributing certain events to an astrological phenomenon that hadn’t happened yet. It has been only in the past few weeks that I’ve started seeing signs that this momentous shift is occurring. And I’m not sure that we’ll see the real effects of this transit in 2008. First, we’ve got to wrap up Pluto in Sagittarius.

Pluto, named for the mythological god of the underworld, is associated with death, rebirth, and transformation. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of limits, boundaries, and material structure. There’s a trend in modern astrology toward putting a more positive spin on challenging planets and aspects. I think this is mostly a good thing, but please don’t kid yourself that Pluto and Saturn are going to bring the pizza and beer so that we can watch back-to-back episodes of Star Trek while the Bushes and Waltons get zapped by gamma rays from deep space.

Of all the interpretations I’ve read of Pluto in Capricorn, the one word that struck me was “accountability.” I can’t remember who wrote that. If it was you, please let us know! Yes, there’s going to be accountability, and it’s going to shake up government and corporate structures worldwide. But who exactly are they going to be accountable to, and how is that going to happen?

As I wrote in a previous post, we’re having a crisis here on our little island of Vashon, 37 square miles with a population of 10,300. On January 11, Washington State Ferries gave us less than three day’s notice that it was taking two boats out of service for repairs. This was after unexpectedly retiring four aging boats last November.

Most of us are too shell-shocked right now to be mad. For many people, reduced ferry service has meant getting up an hour earlier, getting home an hour or two later, and going through the day in a haze of exhaustion. But already the inevitable questions are being asked. Why has WSF not properly maintained its boats? Why hasn’t it ordered new boats and increased capacity? Who is responsible?

Complaints to the agency are met with a phenomenal lack of accountability. “Don’t blame us, it’s not our fault.” To some extent, they may be right. It may turn out the governor herself is responsible, since budgeting decisions go straight to the top.

WSF is the largest ferry system in the nation, carrying more commuters to work daily than the Staten Island ferry. The ferries are considered part of our highway system – in other words, part of our transportation infrastructure. This is clearly within the realm of Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn is literally exposing the cracks in the hull. Do I believe this is a microcosm of broader crises to come? Absolutely.

Back when the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, it didn’t take long for people to start doing the math. We’re spending billions of dollars a day to bomb Iraq back into the Stone Age and ignoring our own pressing needs at home. A similar situation existed in the American colonies under England. We were being taxed without getting equivalent benefits in return, and we had no say in the matter. That’s when people tend to take up arms and rebel. It’s not a question of “if,” only of “when.”

Pluto in Capricorn is not, however, going to rid the world of hierarchies, as some have suggested. Hierarchies exist in nature. Otherwise, there would be no order. If you think that anarchy sounds romantic, talk to survivors of Hurricane Katrina or current residents of Baghdad. What many of us hope is that the current hierarchical structure will be replaced with one that is more just and equitable. It probably will be … but it’s not going to be installed by extraterrestrials with superhuman intelligence.

Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it, though. Pluto enters the sign of the Sea Goat tomorrow at 6:37 p.m. on the West Coast. He’ll get barely 1 degree into Capricorn before turning retrograde on April 2 and heading back into Sagittarius in mid-June. We’ll have a little more than five months to process the message of Pluto in Sagittarius before he returns to Capricorn and remains there for the next 16 years.

What might those messages be? I wrote about this as part of my series about Pluto on the Galactic Core. Pluto in Sagittarius is about breaking down beliefs, especially religious dogma. Obviously, it hasn’t entirely happened yet, but I believe we are going to see the results this year of collapsed religious systems.

Pluto in Sagittarius has not been just about breaking down our religious beliefs, but also our scientific ones. The past 15 years have brought us tremendous breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe as advances in technology have allowed us to explore the furthest reaches of space. I’m working my way through Gevin Giorbran’s book, which, among other things, questions the validity of the second law of thermodynamics, one of the cornerstones of our understanding of the material universe.

Gevin’s book is fundamentally changing my view of time, and that means my understanding of astrology is going through a metamorphosis as well. Saturn rules time and the material world, and it might take the entire transit of Pluto in Capricorn before these new perspectives take hold in the mainstream and we apply them in our daily lives. Adjusting to these new concepts is another reason why I haven’t wanted to jump headfirst into Pluto in Capricorn. We’ve got some important prerequisites to complete before we move on.

Since 2008 is an election year, we’re also going to take a hard look at our political beliefs to assess whether they are serving us well. Back to our ferry example, what if it turns out that the Democratic governor we elected was responsible for leaving us stranded? What if legitimate studies showed that we’d be better off if the ferry system were privatized? We will all have to reconsider and entertain the “unthinkable.”

Happy Pluto ingress!

This article was originally published on The Pisces Chronicles on Jan. 24, 2008.