As the end of Pluto’s journey through Capricorn is thankfully in sight, many of us are anticipating the shift into Aquarius and what this might mean personally and collectively. This article is a condensed version of a talk I gave earlier this year and includes an overview of the Pluto, Capricorn and Aquarius archetypes, historical background and what lies ahead as we are propelled into the future.
All images Common Domain
Pluto is around 3.7 billion miles from the Sun in the icy depths of the Kuiper Belt which lies beyond the orbit of Neptune. For perspective, Pluto is smaller than our Moon, however as we know size is not always synonymous with power.
Due to Pluto’s elliptical path its cycle length is variable, approximately 248 years, as is the amount of time spent in each sign. An important and often overlooked point is that due to Pluto’s elliptical orbit it can sometimes slip inside Neptune’s orbit and actually be closer to the Sun than Neptune – this happens for approximately 20 years of its 248 year cycle. I will discuss this cycle more later.
We’re all familiar with the personal and collective energies associated with Pluto, Lord of the Underworld: power, life, death, regeneration, money, sex, phobias and compulsions. It is about anything taboo or hidden, fear and skeletons in the closet. It represents what had been obliterated by a descent into the depths but which then rises anew. In order to allow us to evolve Pluto will eliminate anything toxic, therefore it also heals, and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! Yet Pluto, and Scorpio the sign it rules, is a double edged sword in that as well as the potential to be incredibly therapeutic it can also be violent and destructive. Alchemically it reveals that which has blackened, calcinated, in order to be broken down and purified.
Pluto is often talked about in terms of evolution, but what is the reasoning for this? I’d like to add some perspective using the Pluto Discovery chart and its Moon Pluto mutual reception.
Both the Moon and Pluto rule water signs, Cancer and Scorpio respectively. Water is the source of all life, the primordial soup from which we all emerged and evolved. Pluto is associated with sex, genetics and reproduction, the Moon with the womb from which life springs forth. Hence, Pluto’s resonance with evolution becomes clearer.
Before I move onto Pluto in Aquarius, it is useful to review where we are at now. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 with its time there being particularly potent due to the Saturn Pluto conjunction of 2020. Some of the themes we’ve become familiar with, and perhaps even desensitized too include:
- The abuse of power and money, corruption & control and fear. For example Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, the UK Conservative government with one rule for them and another for us, the UK Metropolitan police, particularly the Sarah Everard murder by one of their own. The power of Russian oligarchs and Putin. Going back to the last Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in 1518 the Reformation began which was about power and control in the Church. So this is about patriarchal power, and many have their own personal experiences of this particulary women and any minorities. Just think #metoo.
- There has been a restructuring of governing, corporate, capitalist and economic structures, for example, a fall on the High Street & collapse of major established brands.
- Historically this pairing has coincided with war & its aftermath and Covid could very well be described as a war with an invisible enemy. Heavyweight Saturn & Pluto, the Great Devourer Kronos & King of the Underworld Hades together are a ruthless, relentless energy impossible to resist. We experienced them limiting freedom of movement and resources resulting in a crisis involving the destruction of an existing order & creation of a new one. We all struggled, and to some degree still are as we navigate a new way forward. Many elements of life such as relationships, job situations & finances are under pressure. We’ve experienced profound personal changes and in some ways society is unrecognizable from before but still in a state of flux and readjustment.
- Globally we are seeing decaying Institutions. The current US Pluto Return still has a long way to go as it “disorders” the political and social landscape. 1762-1778, the last time Pluto was in Capricorn, saw the beginning of end of slave trade in America and more recently the George Floyd murder did much to re-ignite the issue of racial inequality.
So Pluto in Capricorn is about eliminating anything corrupt that prevents society progressing and letting go of tradition and familiar structures that no longer serve our needs, are morally corrupt or that control us. Those at the top of the mountain threatened with topple hold on hard – just look at Boris Johnson in the UK and the queue of goats ready to take his place. And I still say that Pluto in the last few degrees of Capricorn is saving its best until last!
Pluto in Aquarius Overview
Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius is the next “big shift”, a further step into Air which began with the Great Mutation of 2020 when Jupiter and Saturn conjoined at 00Aquarius. An era of air might be most welcome and very different to the previous 200 years of earth with a less materialistic ethos looking beyond the physical. In fact the only outer planet left in earth will be Uranus in Taurus which will move into Gemini in July 2025. We will then enter a very exciting period of Air and Fire.
Jupiter and Saturn entering Aquarius brought a key societal shift into a more cerebral, technological age. Pre-Covid, Zoom was reserved mostly for business, so who would have thought it would so easily become integrated into our everyday lives. Looking ahead, we’re only one step away from Zoom being replaced by our holograms or avatars, which I believe Meta (aka Facebook) is already working on.
As well as new ways of working and developing industry, we will see new ideas around our status and identity in society and also more focus on community rather than autocrats. Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius will intensify this progression and aid with societal evolution, however, progression is often met with resistance, as we shall see. So, for some insight into what might be in store let’s look at what history can tell us……
Pluto in Aquarius History
795-818 The Holy Roman Empire was one of Europe’s largest medieval states and modern (Aquarius) states – on the map it is shown at its greatest extent in dark yellow. But its power base was unstable and continually shifting. It was not a unitary state, but a confederation of small and medium sized political entities or communities (Aquarius).
It helps to understand exactly what an empire is: it is a group of countries ruled by a single person, government or country (Cambridge Dictionary). There is still a patriarchal feel here so let’s not forget Saturn is co-ruler of Aquarius along with Uranus.
Typically the member states had conflicting interests which led to ruthless exploitation (Pluto) by other European powers. In effect, there was a power battle within the groups. We only need look to the current situation between Russia and Ukraine. Other examples are the Russian annexation of Crimea in 1783 and 2014 and Transnistria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, an unrecognised breakaway state that is internationally recognized as part of Moldova. With Pluto in Aquarius, things can become fractured…..
1041-1063 Scotland began the transformation into a single kingdom and the Rise of Norman power began in Europe. This was a high point for classical Chinese civilization, science and technology as well as classical Islamic science, philosophy, technology and literature. In other words, societal progress.
1286-1308 In 1296 the First War of Scottish Independence began with the Scots fighting to keep English authority out of Scotland. The Ottoman Empire was established and the late 1200’s saw the disintegration of Mongol empire. Here there are echoes of the current situation with Scottish independence and the Northern Ireland/Ireland.
1532-1553 The 16th century brought scientific revolution, global exploration and cultural progression, particularly the rise of Western civilization and the Age of the Islamic Gunpowders which saw the Muslim and Ottoman Empires flourish.
Queen Elizabeth I reigned over the Golden Age of progress and stood for national resistance to foreign threat. She was the first Tudor to recognise that a monarch ruled by popular consent – how Aquarian! In establishing an English church that helped shape a national identity and remains in place today she followed thru on the Reformation which I mentioned earlier. The Reformation began under Pluto in Capricorn and to all effects was a religious revolution in the Western church leading to vast political, economic, and social change. It was in fact her father, Henry VIII, who broke with the RC Church starting the revolutionary English Reformation and who was excommunicated in 1533. Not so dissimilar to Russia’s recent exclusion from the UN Human Rights Council.
The Renaissance in Europe saw the emergence of important artists, authors & scientists leading to the foundation of important subjects such as accounting and political science. Significantly, in 1543 Copernicus proposed the heliocentric universe which met with strong resistance yet led to major revolutions in astronomy and science. Galileo invented the first thermometer and made substantial scientific contributions.
Spain and Portugal colonized large parts of Central and South America which resulted in violence and bloodshed. France and England colonized Northern America.
In 1547 Ivan the Terrible was crowned tsar of Russia. He completely altered Russia’s governmental structure, establishing the character of modern Russian political organisation – autocracy and despotism. And what do we see now with Putin?
1777-1799 The late 18th century saw the French Revolution, further global exploration, the Industrial Revolution and the first Aerostatic Flight. I would like to focus on flight which is very relevant today as we see the development of regular space flights such as Blue Origin and Space X. Let’s not forget Nasa either, which I will discuss later.
In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers, aviation pioneers, launched the first untethered balloon flight with humans. Pluto was in Aquarius (Air) sextile daring Mars in Aries (Fire) and trine a stellium in Libra (more Air). The story goes that one of the brothers was watching a fire one evening thinking about a military issue – an assault on the fortress of Gibraltar which was impregnable from both sea and land. Inspired by the embers lifted from the fire by the smoke he imagined an air assault using troops lifted by the same force. At the time he unwittingly believed the smoke itself was the buoyant part which he called “Montgolfier Gas”. However, this insight formed the basis for heating gas to propel a vehicle into the sky, still as we do today to propel rockets into space. One wonders if this might also be the future of commercial aviation.
The Industrial Revolution led to radical changes in society and the environment using fossil fuels. Imagine the pollution innocently pumped into the atmosphere. Now recall Pluto’s potential to heal as well as destroy and we can see how innovation can sometimes innocently destroy. Hence, climate change will of course be a focus of Pluto in Aquarius as we look to heal our atmosphere from what we’ve poisoned it with.
Slave trading and human trafficking expanded across the Atlantic but revolt began against the legitimacy of the aristocratic power structures supporting it.
The Age of Sail grew. European colonization of the Americas began and other parts of the world intensified and associated mass migrations of people grew. James Cook became the first European to land on the Hawaiian Islands & the first fleet arrived in Australia. Britain became a major power worldwide with the conquest of large parts of India, however lost many of its North American colonies after the American Revolution resulting in the formation of an independent US. In effect, society evolved (Pluto) outwards, often involving conquest.
In 1783 Russian annexed Crimea – sound familiar? And amongst other important scientific developments in 1781 William Herschel announced the discovery of Uranus.
Pluto in Aquarius – The Future
So what might Pluto in Aquarius bring personally and collectively? How might it change our lives? Essentially, it means breaking away from the past to allow progression into the future, leaving familiar structures behind to make way for the new. However, this isn’t always easy and often involves some degree of resistance. Undoubtedly we will see huge revolutionary leaps in science but likely resistance too, particularly around our future identity and existence as humans, our social organization and our relationship with technology. Let’s not forget Aquarius is an Air sign, so the rights to intellectual freedom will be an important issue and the current topic of Elon Musk and Twitter is a very relevant example.
The rulers of Aquarius are key here as questions will be raised about both the past (Saturn) and the future (Uranus). Uranus is Saturn’s father so reforming patriarchal dynamics will also be at the forefront of societal advancement.
I’ll be looking at the actual ingress charts later, but first I’d like to look at some of the areas of life we might expect to see radical change. I’m sure we’ve all imagined a myriad of life changing inventions and technological advances ranging from continued exploration of space (think back to the Age of Sail when we evolved outward on Earth), growth of Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality, gene therapy, human cloning, cryogenics etc. The list is only limited by the confines of the mind (Aquarius). So let’s start with scientific development……
If we think back to the first manned balloon flight discussed earlier, there’s a natural jump to NASA. Air and Fire, but rockets instead of balloons.
NASA’S Moon is currently conjoined by Pluto. I would emphasize that because there is no exact time for this chart the Moon could also be in early Aquarius in which case it will be conjoined by Pluto in the next year or two. Nasa has a Sun Uranus conjunction which is perfect for anything space-age and this will be opposed by Pluto 2007-2028 (Sun) then 2030-2032 (Uranus). The Jupiter North Node conjunction sits in Air, perfect for Air travel of course & Scorpio Neptune describes probing deep in to the dark beyond. So what is happening with NASA at the moment?
James Webb is NASA’s newest telescope. “Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.”
Note I’ve highlighted the final sentence on the description – think back to that Moon Pluto mutual reception! Unlike the Hubble, which orbits the Earth, James Webb will orbit the Sun so is Heliocentric and how interesting that Copernicus proposed the Heliocentric principle when Pluto was in Aquarius! Webb’s mission is expected to be around 20 years with 10 years actually planned. 20 years is roughly the length of time Pluto will spend in Aquarius.
Looking at the James Webb Launch, Jupiter sits on the excitable 29th anaretic degree of Aquarius. The Launch picked up the 2020’s final Saturn Uranus square at 11 deg which in fact forms a T-Square with NASA’s 11 degree Uranus, which sits on the Webb DSC. It will be fascinating to see what happens when Pluto passes 11Aqu in 2030-2031.
NASA of course has many other projects including exploring deepest parts of our oceans – Pluto is also about dark watery depths – and although oceans cover over 70% of the surface of the Earth we know more about surface of Moon. Will this be key to finding how to live (evolve) in space or inhabit another planet?
The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) is charged with planning and conducting Artemis missions beginning with Artemis III. This includes landing the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon (Aquarian inclusivity) as well as future long-duration missions to establish a sustainable presence on the lunar surface and in orbit. Exploration of Mars continues with the Mars Perseverance Rover and NASA is also being urged to make further exploration of Uranus a priority. We are also very close to leisure/commuter flights evolving into space with the likes of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. A community in space is no longer restricted to realms of sci-fi fiction.
Returning to Earth, the CERN Hadron Collider had recently undergone a major revamp which could revolutionise physics as we know it. It’s aim is to find a 5th force of nature gravity, electromagnetism and two nuclear forces being the four that physicists already know about. The understanding of “dark matter”, which makes up 85% of the Universe but which can only be detected by gravitational effects, could help unlock a new view of the Universe. If its power can be harnessed it could provide infinite potential for new forms of power and perhaps the ability to pierce the veil between dimensions and parallel universes. In effect, it would revolutionize travel beyond the physical as we currently know it.
Saturn has recently passed over the Aquarius stellium of North Node, Chiron and Neptune, triggering the Air trine to Venus, Mars and Mercury (the Hadron Collider studies invisible particles travelling through the Air) and Pluto will trigger the Air trine 2031-2037.
But what of our societal development as humans? How do we continue to improve the quality of mankind and where will technology fit in? And what happens when we tamper with the very stuff of life, DNA, and perhaps alter the natural evolutionary path?
Mary Shelley had some foresight (Sagittarius Moon) into this very question as “Frankenstein” was a precursor to the idea of tampering with life. Her angular Pluto in Aquarius describes the “re-animating” electricity used to bring Frankenstein to life but also hints at what soon might actually be approaching us with Pluto’s forthcoming ingress. Incidentally, when Frankenstein was published transit Neptune conjoined her Moon and sextiled AQU MC/Pluto. Saturn had recently travelled over her MC/Pluto.
Frankenstein is a clear lesson in what happens when our innovations go wrong, so when we explore topics such as human cloning, already commonplace in both domestic and undomesticated animals, we need to also discuss all potentials, both positive and negative. For example, cloning could lead to artificial breeding of superior individuals, in effect transhumanism – reinvention and upgrade of the human. Prosthetic limbs have developed massively over recent years but will boundaries between human and technology be maintained or will humans become cyber, merged with machine?
Plutonic energy can be incredibly healing, so gene therapy, the therapeutic treatment which involves transferring genetic material into the body to modify or replace defective genetic material is a relevant and emotive topic. Where it becomes emotive is not only the range of illnesses it might potentially treat such as cancer and genetic diseases, but along with stem cell therapy the controversial source of the material, for example embryonic cells or cells derived from other species.
And this follows a natural path to the subject of artificial wombs, which have the potential to change our entire concept of gender and family roles. I have no doubt there have been countless women in the throes of labour wishing they could instead have their baby passed to them fully gestated from a pod. Artificial wombs are already in development albeit limited by legal and ethical constraints around full term development of foetuses and unarguably offer potential to save premature babies as well as providing an alternative to those unable or unwilling to physically carry a baby. They perhaps also resonate with the idea of the alchemical alembic vessel. Gender selection and elective births are already becoming commonplace and Shulamith Firestone, feminist and author of the 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex argues that “the biological family has always oppressed women and children” and means of artificial childbirth would “free women from traditional child bearing, female roles.” “The freeing of women from the tyranny of reproduction by every means possible, and the diffusion of the child-rearing role to society as a whole, men as well as women.”
This captures the Aquarian evolution of societal organization,: natural vs mechanical sexual reproduction, female emancipation from both the pain of childbirth and imbalance of gender roles in a patriarchal society. Yet where might this lead us to a detachment from the divine feminine (Aquarius is detached) and end of women as the Holy Chalice, the end of physical procreation even? The concept of artificial wombs is already being brought into the collective consciousness and of particular interest is the forthcoming movie, The Pod Generation in which couples generate babies in “pods”, estimated to be released late 2022.
Aquarius can be seen as a neutral, asexual energy, so gender will continue to be evermore important. How people wish to “identify” and issues around imbalance of gender roles. Transgender is a particularly hot topic, one in which former Olympic athlete and reality TV personality Caitlin Jenner is a spokesperson and advocate for fairness.
Jenner opposes transitioned males competing in women’s sports,[i] “I don’t think biological boys should compete in women’s sports – we have to protect women’s sports,” Jenner told The Daily Mail. “That’s the bottom line.” Pluto will conjoin her humanitarian 01Aqurius Moon in 2023 & 2024 so perhaps she will take even more of a stance.
A shadow-side of Pluto in Aquarius is extremism, and the author J.K. Rowling is currently caught up in a storm with trans-activists due to in her defence of women’s rights to identify as such she has been labelled as “anti-trans”. In some ways it seems as though women’s rights are more in danger than ever when women can’t even be called women even more and have to be called “pregnant people” or “people who menstruate.” So how we manage our individual identification as a society will be fascinating to follow.
Economic and political change also need to be discussed. Here is a double-edged source as internet shopping has undoubtedly contributed to the demise of traditional shopping as online-only shops have far less overheads. Business-wise, different concepts of success are emerging as we dream up new flexible ways of doing business rather than being forced to scale or commit to the corporate mountain. For example, many young musicians/artists are forming their own bespoke, small labels instead of signing to multi-national brands, self- promoting easily online. Business means money & as the current economy is squeezed with the Uranus and the Nodes in Taurus we will see radical new financial ideas & means of exchange such beyond even social media crowd-funding and Bitcoin. And will we ever end up fully cashless? Within just a few years we’ve moved from cash and cheques, to bank cards, pins to contactless, to Apple Pay etc . Might it next be chips in our hands turning us into money cyborgs! But just imagine getting mugged for the chip in your hand!!!!
Saturn Pluto have undoubtedly threatened our security, forcing us to create not only new forms of vaccines but also cyber-protection, whether for individual identity, money or innovations, but also for the environment. Therefore, virtual and cyber protection will become more important as well as physical.
Thinking about politics, I’m sure most of us are in agreeance some form of revolutionary change is needed. A redistribution of power or a test of the capacity & integrity of those handed power. Whether by invite or by forcibly seizing charge, we might see new authorities taking over from the establishment, demanding fair & diverse use of power more focused on social justice, empowered to structure a new wave of innovation & vision. We need look no further than the UK as an example of a political system that desperately needs an overhaul.
Pluto will oppose the UK 1801 Jupiter & trine Uranus in March, June 2024 & Jan 2025. Jupiter generally represents the judicial system, religion, universities, publishing, and in this chart transport (it rules the 3rd), and the workers & healthcare (it rules the 6th) . Just think of the crumbling NHS. All of these areas could be in for a overhaul, particulary the antiquated House of Lords which is beautifully symbolised by Leo Jupiter in the 10th. The next general election is planned for 2024, so might Boris Johnson be the beginning of the end for Conservatives Party as we know it as they continue to self-destruct in an ongoing cycle of corruption and autocracy? Pluto will square the UK financial Mars in 2030-31 and conjoin Venus (8th ruler) later in 2032-2034, so profound political, social and financial systems could be expected.
The Ingress Charts
I promised I would look at the actual ingress charts themselves, albeit only the very key features: Pluto will slide in and out of Capricorn before finally settling in Aquarius in 2024 until 2043 on its third ingress. Although these ingresses should be viewed collectively, the angular emphasis when set for London cannot be ignored therefore are worthy of further study at some point.
Ingress #1: Pluto sits on the DSC sextile Sun MC suggesting upheaval in foreign relations and a new direction forward. I wonder if this might involve a break away with Northern Ireland and a further push towards Scottish Independence. Brexit is in no way complete, so perhaps further wrangling with the EU. US-UK trade deals may also be an area to watch.
Ingress #2: Sun conjunct Pluto square the ASC/DSC. UK leadership may well be in focus here, perhaps with an overthrow of political parties. With an emphasized third house, transport will feature, probably further roll out of electric vehicles and innovations around our everyday transport networks. Communication networks will also undergo change, for example Broadband.
Ingress #3: This in my mind is the most interesting and potent ingress and sets the scene as Pluto is now bedded in Aquarius for the long haul until 2043. Pluto sits on the DSC in an opposition with Mars on the ASC. Power dynamics cannot be sugar coated, both in foreign relations but domestically too. This could be the time of ruthless and brutal fight, especially if the general election is held. There’s a lot of resistant energy in this chart, but much also much opportunity for change.
Finally, who is Pluto going to bump into during its journey through Aquarius? The 2020 Saturn Pluto and Jupiter Pluto cycles continue. The Saturn Pluto cycle will renew in 2053 at 14Pisces, a less intense, more balsamic and wise cycle. The shorter Jupiter Pluto cycle that can bring power struggles, extreme beliefs, dogmatism, but also alchemy, healing and rebirth will also renew at 14Pisces in 2033. Both started in Capricorn and will continue the Saturn Pluto themes of getting rid of everything rotten and rebuilding after the destruction of an existing order & creation of a new one. Progression does not happen overnight!
The hard aspects of these cycles may well be crunch or crises points.
2020 Saturn Pluto cycle
Conjunction Jan 2020 22Cap46
Waxing square June 2028 08 Aqu23
Opposition Oct 2035, Jan 2036, July 2036 17-20Aqu
2020 Jupiter Pluto cycle
Conjunction April, May, Nov 2020 22-24Cap
Conjunction Feb 2033 14Pis50
Last but not least, the seemingly everlasting Neptune Pluto sextile we all have in our charts will exact between 2026-2032 then move on to the next stage of the cycle. To provide some context this is a 492 yrs cycle which began in 1891-92 with the next cycle starting in 2385 at 12Gemini.
Neptune with Pluto brings to the collective consciousness enlightenment & awareness of the effects of tyranny, excess control, violence/cruelty thus allowing humanitarian progress in society. It erodes worn out belief systems and shows how to use power wisely. Kindness replaces cruelty, what was once viewed as humane becomes inhumane. It is a cycle of social change and human rights
The last time the sextile exacted was 1950-56 and 1976-86. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled racial segregation was illegal, so perhaps 2026-2032 might bring more progression towards racial equality and perhaps even some progress with the gun laws in the US which seems to be one of the key themes of its Pluto Return.
The next couple of decades is going to be fascinating. I’ve merely touched on a few potentials, but hopefully have given you something to think about……
Copyright Lianne McCafferty May 2022
CERN – accelerating science!!! Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire. On 29 September 1954, following ratification by France and Germany, the European Organization for Nuclear Research officially came into being. 
P 175 The Dialectic of Sex Shulamith Firestone, Edition Verso 2015
P182 The Dialectic of Sex Shulamith Firestone, Edition Verso 2015
P185 The Dialectic of Sex Shulamith Firestone, Edition Verso 2015