One way astrologers like to gauge which trend is currently in vogue is to look at Pluto. Pluto’s movement through a zodiac sign is very slow due to his distance from the Sun, so Pluto shows long-term generational trends. Pluto is currently in the sign of Capricorn, the sign he entered in Jan. 25th, 2008 and where he will reside until 2023/2024.
Capricorn is the sign governing conservative forces–anything related to tradition, the past, convention and old-fashioned tried-and-true ways. Every zodiac sign has a good side and a bad side, however, and the toxic side of Pluto in Capricorn is the destructive use of power coupled with harmful patriarchal attitudes that infect government and socioeconomic systems, resulting in fascist political thought, heterosexist, racist and classist violence, and un-quenched financial greed, corruption and materialism.
Due to Pluto’s position in Capricorn, conservatism has dominated the previous decade. But the cosmos shows that this time is drawing to a close. It might seem hard to fathom at the moment, but it is. How do we know? Pluto will shift into Aquarius in a few years and Aquarius is the exact opposite energy of Capricorn. So Pluto’s shift represents a “changing of the guard” so to speak, for our political climate and the prevailing ideology that colors our cultural and socio-economic systems across the entire globe.
Whereas Capricorn favors conservative political thought, Aquarius favors liberalism and even radicalism. Whereas Capricorn clings to tradition, Aquarius flings tradition out of the window. Whereas Capricorn works to enforce the old-fashioned ways and to entrench the status quo, Aquarius desires to break the old system apart and invent new things. While Capricorn longs for the comfort and security of the past, Aquarius longs for a better, more exciting future. While Capricorn ranks people based on economic value and their position in an established hierarchy, Aquarius smashes hierarchies apart and deems all humans equal.
With Pluto getting ready to leave Capricorn soon, the clock is ticking for the conservative grip of power across the globe. Capricorn and it’s conservative forces have had their “time under Heaven” and now that time is drawing to a close and a new energy will replace it. In Astrology, this is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, it is simply the cosmic cycles unfolding along as they do, generation after generation.
For those of you who regularly read my articles, my liberal political bias must be obvious by now. So I interpret the passing of the baton from Capricorn to Aquarius as a potentially positive thing. I am well aware, however, that Aquarius has its own dark side and that Pluto tends toward extremism. So even though the political pendulum will likely swing in the opposite direction, that doesn’t mean that the future will be all roses and sunshine. Pluto in Aquarius will likely bring its own headaches. Don’t forget that the last time Pluto was in Aquarius was during the French and American Revolutions. For all the benefits they brought, it was still a difficult and tumultuous time to live through. (More about that topic in future articles.)
“Wait!” you say. “Does this mean that Donald Trump will lose the USA’s Presidential election of November 2020?” No, it doesn’t automatically mean that. While it is true that the next 4 years show a shift away from conservatism, it will not be a quick or easy process. The shift will be gradual and will be accompanied by lots of conflict. So no matter who wins the election of 2020, the process toward global liberalism will still be a bumpy ride. But remember–we are talking about something far greater than just the US election. We are talking about a shift in the mood of humanity toward a liberal mindset–a more progressive moral and intellectual climate that will color the entire globe and span nearly two decades between 2024 and 2043. So regardless of the results of the 2020 US election, the shift toward liberalism is coming anyway, like it or not, and it will last a very long time.
This article will examine the leadup of this transition–the cosmic energies that are in play before Pluto shifts from Capricorn to Aquarius. Why write about Pluto in Aquarius now, years ahead of its ingress? Because the shift will not happen overnight. It will start to lay down roots in the years preceding 2024 in a four stage process. And this month (February 2020) the first stage will be happening–the first cracks in the Capricorn stronghold are shaping up behind the scenes and making way for the new Aquarian energy to come in.
The Four Stage Process of the Changing of the Guard
I see the changing of the guard from conservative to liberal as a four stage process. Stage one, taking place in 2020. is mostly a foreshadowing phase–here we get a brief glimpse of what the long-term future will be like after 2024. During 2020, efforts will be made across the globe to instigate more progressive ideas, but many of those ideas will weaken and peter out. Or the people attempting to push them forward lose their potency and so the the general Zeitgeist back-tracks into Capricorn tradition once again.
Stage Two takes place in 2021 when once again there is a push for more liberal ideology and this time there is traction and more success. Progressive ideas take off in a big way. And this results in heavy resistance and backlash from the conservative forces. We can expect some highly unpleasant conflict between conservatives and liberals (even worse than it is now, perhaps). But the conservatives are destined to slowly lose ground this time. Their time under Heaven is drawing to a close.
Stage Three takes place in 2022-23 and it can be seen as an adjustment phase–the dust is trying to settle from all the conflict and new progressive ideologies are getting more familiar and comfortable.
Stage Four occurs in early 2024 and sees the new liberal ideology get firmly rooted, setting the stage for it to grow and evolve over the next two decades.
Here’s the astrology of it all:
STAGE ONE (Tentative attempts at Liberalism but retreats back to Conservatism)
February 9th 2020 Mars goes out of bounds during Aquarius season, then enters Capricorn on February 16th
March 20th 2020 Mars conjoins Jupiter in Capricorn
March 21st 2020 Saturn enters Aquarius
March 22, 2020 Mars conjoins Pluto in Capricorn
March 29th 2020 Mars moves into Aquarius
March 31st, 2020 Mars conjoins Saturn where they both apply to square Uranus. (Mars transfers the light of Jupiter and Pluto to Saturn).
July 1, 2020 Saturn temporarily leaves Aquarius, goes back into Capricorn
STAGE TWO (Some Traction of LIberalism plus Backlash Against it)
December 16th 2020 Saturn enters Aquarius once again
December 19th 2020 Jupiter enters Aquarius
Dec 21st 2020 Jupiter conjoins Saturn in Aquarius
Jan 17, 2021 Jupiter squares Uranus
February 17th 2021, June 14th and Dec 21, 2021 Saturn squares Uranus
STAGE THREE (Adjustment. Further strengthening of Liberalism)
2022 Saturn still resides in Aquarius
March 7, 2023 Saturn ingresses into Pisces
March 23, 2023 Pluto enters Aquarius
June 11th, 2023 Pluto retrogrades back into Capricorn
STAGE FOUR (Liberalism takes strong root)
Jan 20, 2024 Pluto enters Aquarius once again, the same day the Sun ingresses into Aquarius
A Closer Look at Stage One
Mars Enters Capricorn, February 2020
Yes, just when you thought you would get a little break from all this heavy Capricorn energy, Mars arrives late to the party on February 16th, where he will join Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and the South Lunar Node and linger there until March 29, 2020.
Mars has to answer to his ruler, Saturn in Capricorn, during this period, so at first glance Mars might simply appear to strengthen some of the more toxic elements of the conservative, patriarchal forces currently rampaging across the globe. This feeling is further emphasized due to Mercury retrograde taking place in Pisces, which can give us all the feeling that the clock, along with the moral Zeitgeist, is somehow being rolled back in time once again. We might expect to see a big push by conservatives in power to try to reverse progressive rules or push hard for social mores that resemble the 1950s rather than the 2020s.
Interestingly, however, things might not be as they appear. Mars is actually cooking up a scheme to break free from those conventional forces in order to wander in territory that is more radical, free and progressive. How do we know? Because: A) Mars is out of bounds on February 9th 2020 until March 2nd and B) Mars enters Aquarius and will conjoin Saturn there at the end of March.
In traditional astrology, exaltation is a planetary condition that in some cases suggests that things are quite not as they seem. Although the person representing the exalted planet is admired or esteemed, their true nature might not be seen or recognized, so the admiration is not quite realistic in some fashion. Mars will be exalted when he enters Capricorn, but he will also be out of bounds. This suggests to me that while appearing to strengthen conservatism, he is actually one of the key agents who will help to break it up.
Out of bounds (OOB) planets are beholden to no one, and they do as they please. So even though Mars will be operating in a conservative system, he will still do what he wants to do, regardless of what the current government or his bosses insist. Not only that, but Mars’ OOB maverick nature at this time will affect the authority figures he answers to, like putting a bug into their ear and feeding them new ideas that are more progressive, more modern and radical. This is exemplified by Mars conjoining with Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, transferring light from them to Saturn in Aquarius. Mars acts like a participant in a relay race here, taking the baton from Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn then moving into the avant-garde Aquarius where he will meet Saturn on March 31, 2020. Saturn, meanwhile, will generally hold the fort there until Pluto can enter Aquarius in 2023.
In Evolutionary Astrology, Saturn represents the structure of conscious thought, and shows the cultural conditioning we all experience. Saturn in Aquairus between 2020 and 2023 therefore suggests that liberal expression of thought will become more the cultural norm during that time, sowing seeds and setting the stage for Pluto’s entry into Aquarius in 2023-24.
So the end of March and the beginning of April might be accompanied by a sudden, unpredictable and highly uncharacteristic move on the part of government figures, as exemplified by Mars and Saturn conjoining in Aquarius and applying to square Uranus in Taurus. Or we might see some new liberals suddenly enter the scene who are highly progressive. Or perhaps a former conservative goes rogue and joins the opposite team. Whatever happens, it is only a tiny hint of the giant things that are coming up in the years ahead.
However, whatever gains that liberals seem to make in 2020 might seem to disappear after July when Saturn back-tracks again in to Capricorn. Liberals might see their hopes temporarily dashed for the rest of the year. But this is only a temporary set-back. The new ideas have begun to take root in both society and government and they will return and gain even more strength by the end of December of 2020 when Jupiter and Saturn both enter Aquarius.
Where are We Headed after 2024? A Word about Pluto in Aquarius
Aquarius in modern astrology is related to progressive ideas, sudden change, revolution, freedom, independence, radical ideas and futuristic thinking. At its best it creates a focus on humanitarianism, equality, creative invention and working for a better future for all of humanity. When under an Aquarian influence, we prioritize humanity as a whole and what is good for the planet as a whole, rather than just prioritizing what is good for ourselves or our own families. Aquarius is associated with logic, reason and science, too, so it might mean a return to valuing fact-based scientific thought. Aquarius also values equality, so we can expect positive progressive leaps in how we view race, class, gender, religion and able-bodiedness etc.
At its worst, however, Aquarius can be emotionally cold, intellectually frozen and dangerously stubborn. Revolutionary ideas can quickly tip over into violent rebellions or coups. Ideologies that idealize equality can tip over into destructive forms of anarchy. And the scientific objectivity of Aquarius can quickly turn into a complete disdain for emotions, feelings and intuition–the head governing without the heart. This can lead to yet more of the same patriarchal denigration of the feminine. since the feminine is often assigned to the realm of emotions/feelings/intuition. While intellectual reason and rationality might escalate in the decades ahead, it might do so at the expense of emotional maturity and intuitive wisdom.
In Evolutionary Astrology, Aquarius relates to fragmentation–the breaking apart of large monolithic wholes. So large systems, large nation states and/or trading blocks will likely fragment into smaller more local units when Pluto is in Aquarius. We can likely expect more independence movements coming from regions who want to break apart from their nations, usually in an effort to affirm their own unique culture.
In Evolutionary Astrology, Aquarius is also associated with mental trauma and Pluto is related to forces beyond our control. It may very well be that the fragmentation and trauma experienced will be a direct result of dire circumstances involving climate change and its impact on human societies.
Pluto enters Aquarius on March 23, 2023, during Aries Season with Jupiter also in Aries, which further highlights the concept of a fresh new start. But Chiron will also be in Aries, signifying problems with the new start, or that the new start is born from a place of being wounded. Pluto will also be in a square to the Lunar Nodes, with the North Node in Taurus. Pluto in Aquarius’ modern ruler Uranus will be in Taurus and rules the North Node. This suggests that Pluto will spend time digging up the past to expose the rot, corruption, abuse and general crap that pre-existed his transition into Aquarius. It also suggests a focus on recovering from past trauma plus a general focus on trying to establish basic material/physical security and survival re: food, shelter, finances.
The actions we take now, leading up to 2023, will determine how traumatic that “survival focus” will be. If we continue to destroy the earth and mis-manage our eco-systems, then Pluto’s passage through Aquarius could be a time of great calamity. Circumstances could become so dire that humanity is literally forced to adopt an Aquarian mind-set that is group-oriented and along the lines of, “we are all in this together.” Due to dire circumstances, we could be forced to think of humanity as a whole rather than separate nation states in order to ensure our survival on planet Earth. And we will likely no longer enjoy the luxury of being able to deny or gloss over the fact that our actions directly affect one other, even if we live on the opposite sides of the globe.
The best case scenario of Pluto in Aquarius? Humanity wakes up in droves and finally understands the serious predicament involving our future. All nations could then come together and engage in concerted effort to save ourselves and the planet we live on. The worst case scenario? Humans fail to rise to the challenge and we disintegrate into the dark side of Aquarius–geographical and political fragmentation, violent rebellion, anarchic struggle for survival accompanied by great mental trauma. Choose wisely, humanity, because whichever approach you pick will be the name of the game until the year 2043.