Think back to a moment in your life when you could no longer escape a hard truth.
One that made you wince just thinking about it, but had been building for a while and continually resurfaced no matter how hard you tried to push it down.
Now, recall the exact moment when that truth could no longer be ignored or obscured. You likely felt angry, confused, deflated, hurt, pained, and shocked. But, perhaps resolute as well.
That’s what the United States is experiencing after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
The current events taking place across the country are no surprise to those of us who regularly monitor the United States’ birth chart.
There are several factors at play that I want to bring you up to speed on:
- Transit Jupiter conjunct the United States’ Pluto
- Transit Neptune opposite the United States’ Neptune and square the United States’ Mars
- Solar arc Jupiter square the United States’ Uranus
- The United States’ upcoming (but currently building) first-ever Pluto return
TRANSIT JUPITER CONJUNCT THE UNITED STATES’ PLUTO
Of course Pluto is heavily related to current events. Its keywords include:
- Metaphorical death
- Our dark side/shadow side
- Whatever is hidden/beneath the surface
As I explained in an Instagram video a few months ago, Jupiter isn’t just about opportunity, luck, and growth.
Jupiter also acts like a magnifying glass, expanding whatever it touches — with no judgment of what “it” is.
Scroll up and re-read Pluto’s keywords. Now, imagine a temporary magnifying glass making all those concepts a hundred times more visible and obvious. That is the current astrological energy happening in the United States’ chart.
It’s also why covert (Pluto) forms of racism are coming to light (to the mainstream; I am aware that, to many, this is not news).
This graphic brilliantly captures what that looks like — Pluto represents everything in the “covert white supremacy” grouping (click here for a more readable version):
In the current astrological landscape, everything that has festered in the darkness is coming to light. Pluto demands systemic and profound change. Band-aid solutions are not going to work.
In true Pluto nature, this transformation will initially be cataclysmic, traumatic, and uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean it will be that way eternally or that “there is no way out”. Quite the opposite, actually. Pluto’s message is that the only way out is through.
TRANSIT NEPTUNE OPPOSITE THE UNITED STATES’ NEPTUNE & SQUARE THE UNITED STATES’ MARS
Neptune represents the subconscious.
At its best, it aids in spiritual enlightenment. At its worst, it is wishy-washy; it stands for nothing and is hard to pin down. Empty promises simply to appease others are the lowest vibration of Neptune.
Neptune, when involved in squares and oppositions (and conjunctions, though that is not the case here), lets us know where — and how — we have been deluding ourselves.
Neptune squares and oppositions are especially challenging because the delusion becomes obvious, but, in true Neptune form, it can be difficult to determine the next step while the transit is at play.
Remember, Neptune rules things like fog and mist. So, Neptune squares and oppositions are a lot like walking through thick fog. We can very easily become disoriented; we know the general direction we need to move in, but we don’t know how, exactly, to get there.
As I always remind my clients, every single astrological event — even the ones that make us uncomfortable and upset — has a purpose. These kinds of Neptune transits aim to help us (as a collective) tap into the highest vibration of Neptune: spiritual enlightenment.
Alas, the road to spiritual enlightenment does not consist of pricey Ayahuasca retreats where, in the span of one weekend, we drink a “magic potion” and then resume our regular lives with a newfound mystical perspective.
Neptune’s role is to help us realize that enlightenment requires empathy and compassion (two Neptune traits). It does so by exposing vulnerabilities that touch — and befuddle — the human spirit. Here’s the rub: many people are unequipped to handle those vulnerabilities. And, rather than absorb them and sit with them, they deny them (denial is a negative Neptunian quality) by blindfolding themselves to reality.
How this particular Neptune opposition plays out will ultimately come down to how many people choose empathy and compassion over denial.
The square from transiting Neptune to the United States’ Mars is, essentially, a cosmic “time-out”. Mars represents action, drive, forward movement, and initiative. Think of Mars as a fiery flame. Now, think of Neptune as a bucket of water. When Neptune square Mars, Mars’ fire is diminished and the usual “go-go-go” energy that was easily within reach is now not as available. As movement slows, one has no choice but to look around and take note of the environment.
Neptune’s role in this — once again — is to give Mars the opportunity to take a break from its usual “bull in a china shop” energy, reevaluate the direction in which it is going, and take inspired (Neptune keyword!) action (Mars keyword!).
Of course, free will is at play here. If one doesn’t choose to take inspired action, then this Neptune-Mars square is experienced as a disorienting and confusing time during which very little is accomplished.
SOLAR ARC JUPITER SQUARE THE UNITED STATES’ URANUS
Solar arcs do not reflect the actual movement of planets; instead, they are theoretical (every planet is moved one degree for every year of life). Over my almost twenty years in astrology, I have seen solar arcs, without fail, align with milestone moments.
Since solar arc theory moves planets at a very slow rate, it is very common to have very long periods (up to twenty or thirty!) without any major solar arc aspects. So, when they happen, we pay attention.
Right now, the United States is the midst of a square from solar arc Jupiter to its natal Uranus. This particular solar arc square has been at play since June of 2019 and is in effect through July of 2021.
Let’s, again, think about the most basic archetypes these two planets represent. Jupiter expands; Uranus revolutionizes. Enough said.
Uranus fun fact: Uranus was extremely active — by transit, not solar arc — when the Voting Rights act of 1965 passed and when the Civil Rights Act of 1968 passed in the United States. During those years, Uranus (progress/revolution) and Pluto (transformation) met in the same part of the sky, directly across from Saturn (the status quo). For what it’s worth, Pluto and Uranus will not meet up again until the year 2104.
The United States last had this solar arc from 1838 to 1840. The astrological landscape looked different at the time, but it’s important to note that, during those two years, famed abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery and began his journey toward becoming a prominent figure.
In fact, his first speech (at the annual convention of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, which catapulted him into a public figure and speaker) occurred during this solar arc.
Pennsylvania Hall — an abolitionist venue built in Philadelphia by the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society — was burned down by anti-abolitionists just three days after it opened.
Although the burning of Pennsylvania Hall represented bigotry and hatred, historians point to it as a watershed moment that ultimately expanded (Jupiter) the abolitionists’ (Uranus) support as many sympathized with their plight (and finally recognized the opposition they faced).
THE UNITED STATES’ PLUTO RETURN: WHY IT’S A BIG DEAL
Although this doesn’t kick into high hear until 2022, it is such a monumental astrological event that I’ve been talking about it on Astrology with Andy Instagram account since February of 2019.
A Pluto return makes the first Saturn return (the astrological milestone that relates to adulthood and takes place when we are approximately 28.5 years old) look like child’s play.
Since Pluto moves so slowly (it takes roughly 248 years for it to make a full revolution around a birthchart), no human has ever experienced a Pluto return. In fact, very few things have. Remember: everything has a birth chart. Countries, companies, your next family reunion… everything!
Historically, one long-lasting empire many astrologers look to for clues about a Pluto return is the Roman empire — which underwent two Pluto returns. Interestingly, the United States Pluto (at 27 degrees of Capricorn) is exactly opposite the Roman Empire’s Pluto (at 27 degrees of Cancer). The term “karmic connection” comes to mind…
The Roman Empire’s first Pluto return took place between the years 217 AD and 220 AD — a time of significant political turmoil during which a revolving door of various emperors all ended up being executed. Let me make something very clear: that does not mean we can “predict” the death or assassination of a political leader in the present time. Astrology deals with cycles and themes, and the common theme is political turmoil and revolts (which can take on many forms).
In astrology, we do not simply look at event ‘A’ and event ‘B’ and state that event ‘B’ will be an exact carbon copy of event ‘A’ — down to the last detail — simply because they share one astrological puzzle piece.
The Roman Empire’s second Pluto return took place between the years 463 AD and 465 AD. Although the empire (or, really, the Western Roman Empire) did not fall until 476 AD, this time period marked the beginning of the end. Libius Severus, the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire during this time, was an ineffective and weak puppet manipulated by Flavius Ricimer (who was unable to be emperor due to his German origins).
Severus’ rule severely weakened the Western Roman Empire and essentially kicked off a decade-long descent that led to the fall in 476 AD.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the Roman Empire and the United States have vastly different charts. So, we can not possibly expect the exact same events to happen (just like how we can’t “predict” how you will experience your Saturn return by looking at how one of your parents experienced theirs).
However, we can look at themes. And, one common theme in a Pluto return has to do with chaos and crises that are meant to nudge us towards evolutionary change.
Not only are the Roman Empire’s and the United States’ charts different; we also have to consider where each one was/is energetically (in the same way that someone who hasn’t shrugged off responsibility will have an easier time with their Saturn return, a country that is aware of its problems and is making an effort to change them can undergo a Pluto return as more of a rebirth a permanent ending).
Pluto transits — whether you are a person or a country — demand that you shed skin, write a new chapter, and embrace a new identity. They only become problematic and challenging when we try to cling to to the status quo in hopes of avoiding change.
THE UNITED STATES’ PLUTO RETURN: DATES AND “TO-DOS”
The United States’ Pluto return is exact on February 21, 2022 but effects will begin to be felt as early as January 2021.
To clarify: the current situation relates to the first transit I mentioned in this post: Jupiter conjunct Pluto. Think of Jupiter as the magnifying glass being used to identify what will need to be repaired during the Pluto return.
The United States’ Pluto return has four “peaks” (moments of high intensity):
- February 2022
- July 2022
- December 2022
- October 2023
After that final peak in October 2023, this return’s energy will begin to dissipate, but it will be in effect until January 2024.
A Pluto return brings up the following:
- Tear down structures and systems that are rotten at the core and start over.
- Forget band-aid solutions; identify foundational problems so you can come up with foundational solutions.
- Face all the “ugly things” that have been swept under the rug.
- Embrace change.
THE UNITED STATES’ PLUTO RETURN: IN CONTEXT
As I always say, astrology has to be looked at holistically and in context. After all, every planet is located somewhere… and is doing something. The question, then, becomes: what else is happening during the United States’ Pluto return?
Two things stand out to me.
First, Uranus is in Taurus during the entirety of this Pluto return. Taurus relates to finances, material resources, stability, and values; Uranus revolutionizes, disrupts, and democratizes. I think the next four years will bring significant dialogue around — and structural changes to — where financial resources are allocated.
Second, this Pluto return takes place after Saturn and Jupiter meet at 0 degrees of Aquarius on December 21, 2020. This is a very significant aspect I will write an extensive blog post about as we get closer to the date. For now, I’ll simply say that this planetary meeting lays the foundation for significant Aquarius (humanitarian, egalitarian, progressive, revolutionary) energy over the next two decades.
P.S.: AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON THE DANGERS OF OVERSIMPLIFYING ASTROLOGY
I was recently sent this post that has apparently made the rounds on Instagram (it has been sent to me by a few people, but I don’t know who created it):
The question I was asked: “Is this true?”.
Look, here’s the thing. I know people mean well when they share this type of information. And, while the information isn’t wrong or false, it’s inaccurate.
That post is like saying that “a banana has as much sugar as a candy bar!”. Yes, that is technically true, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate to conclude that a banana and a candy bar are basically the same thing. Once you consider nutritional nuances, you realize they are two very different foods.
I share this Instagram ‘meme’ because it helps explains why I started this blog. There are a lot of nuances in astrology that simply can not be summed up in an image or a meme (at least not in a way that is accurate); instead, they require a 2,400-plus-word blog post.
If you’ve made it this far, you now understand that the current US situation is the result of a combination of astrological aspects at play.
It is not as simple as “Pluto is in Capricorn” — it’s “transit Jupiter is conjunct the US Pluto and the United States is about to have a Pluto return.” And, Neptune in Pisces has absolutely nothing to do with the fall of Rome (as you’ve now learned).
It’s precisely this type of overly simplistic astrology that resulted in some astrology accounts claiming COVID-19 would result in as many deaths as the Spanish Flu — roughly 50 million — simply because of Neptune’s placement in Pisces.
Bottom line: the United States has begun a period of change like no other in its history. How it plays out depends entirely on who is at the helm and what its citizens accept or defy. Just keep in mind that this is merely the beginning. That is not meant to sound ominous. Rather, it’s a reminder that change and evolution take place over years and decades.
Which side of history do you want to be on when we look back in fifty years?