March 23, 2023

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Pluto Enters Aquarius


Alexander Baker

Pluto Enters Aquarius

Pluto entered Aquarius this morning, after 15 years in Saturn’s yin home of Capricorn.

The ‘existential pressure-cooker’ planet was last in Saturn’s yang home of Aquarius from 1778 to 1798.  It’s been over two centuries.

We can never quite know what era we’re in while we’re enmeshed in it.  The trans-Saturnian planets are often framed as generational, and Pluto is epochal — prone to a particular palette of power excavation over time, as it is to individual transits of decay, purifying fire and expedited rebirth.

Pluto is an archetypal expression of depth and intensity, empowerment and purgation, underworld and upheaval, catastrophe and catharsis.

Our foundations for personal and collective power are changing, with growing pains and spiritual gains both promised.

Our awareness of the Other is transforming, with widening chasms and bridging of gaps alike.

Our epistemologies surrounding death are shifting, with technological breakthrough squaring up against unrelenting gravity towards the ground.

Our conversations around societal structure, utility of innovation, and psychological health across the collective will continue to see heavy emphasis and hyperbole.

Hijacks and hegemonies across the informational world may continue to magnify, and the same ‘archetypal bird’s eye view’ that lends us perspective will risk our continual dissociation into opium dens of digital distraction and aloof consumption, if not properly harnessed.

The arc of ecliptic called zodiacal Aquarius is the fixed air sign, and Air’s equivalent in the tarot is Swords — dual-edged, as all thinking and tools of language externalized prove to be.  The sword of the tongue, the scattering of many, the pillars erected and crumbling at once.  That which can harmonize also implicitly divides.

Air is diffuse, disseminating, decentralized.  I recall from Ira Progoff’s notes on the I Ching his words, “The wind drives things about, breaking apart what has previously been united.”  Elemental Air, as a pillar of the psyche, must be used to gain perspective on the same tools that can reek our demise as much as they fashion things together.

The extent to which a society, just as a person, has fallen in love with the idea of something rather than the thing-in-itself, will see a radical purge.  We will be forced to confront a unique underworld seething beneath the societal scripts we’ve been running, the ‘egregores’ floating by collective fears and neuroses, the pursuit of endless novelty and myths of endless growth coming up against the volcanic pulse of planetary cycles.

While a retrograde in May and again in October prompts Pluto’s return to Capricorn from June 11, 2023, to November 19th, 2024, where it will revisit such terraform tectonics — the next few months give an airy taste of what’s to come during Pluto’s promised 20 years in Aquarius.  The total wingspan of this transit is March 23rd, 2023 to March 9th, 2043.

Over time, what strata of life this libidinal burrowing is illuminates will become clearer and clearer.  Sometimes, all delineation feels faint at the side of bearing witness.

Perhaps, like Aquarius at the center of Winter’s emptied lungs, this kind of cool observation, composure of breath, ‘evenness before event horizon’… can seed the change, and fill that from which the Water Bearer pours out.

Swim well, stargazers ~


[art by Leni Kae]

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