On February 24, 2022, Russia deployed the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II and invaded Ukraine, its neighboring nation.
Astrological analysis can give us a sense of the influences that led to this situation, what the upcoming landscape looks like, and how long this is likely to play out.
But first, let me answer a question that often arises. “Did astrologers see this coming?”. Unless an astrologer was already analyzing the charts of Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, they would be unaware of the astrology that creates this kind of ‘perfect storm’.
As I always say, astrology looks at trends and themes. It is not a crystal ball. Even an astrologer who looked at all these charts, say, five years ago, would clearly see a lot of activity in early 2022. And, sure, one country invading another is a possible manifestation of the current astrology. But, it could also describe other major sociopolitical or geopolitical events.
Consider this example. Back in the spring of 2019, I explained that January and February of 2020 had all the makings of a disruptive major global event that could best be described as “structural collapse” (Pluto and Saturn meeting up in Capricorn). Once the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the significance of this Saturn-Pluto meetup became evidently clear. Astrology doesn’t spell everything out; it provides nuanced clues and themes that point in a certain direction.
Just like every person on this planet has their own unique birth chart, so does every nation. With 195 nations in the world (and their respective leaders), that’s a lot of charts to track. For all I know, a country’s chart may show major disruptions in the year 2027. But, since I am not keeping tabs on every nation’s birth chart, that’s not on my radar.
I would not be surprised if some Russian or Ukrainian astrologers saw some semblance of this on the horizon (many professional astrologers keep tabs on their respective countries’ natal charts and ongoing astrological influences, as I do with the United States).
There is a lot to cover in this post, so I am breaking it down into six sections:
- Russia’s natal chart and current transits
- Ukraine’s chart and current transits
- The astrological relationship between Russia and Ukraine
- Vladimir Putin’s natal chart and current transits
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s natal chart and current transits
- The current global astrological backdrop
RUSSIA’S NATAL CHART AND CURRENT TRANSITS
I consider Russia’s “date of birth” to be December 25, 1991 at 7:32 PM — the date and time when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ flag came down over the Kremlin and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, resigned and handed his functions to Boris Yeltsin.
Some important observations about this chart:
- The sun — the heart of the nation — is in Capricorn. One of Capricorn’s shadow (or unevolved) qualities is staunch conservatism and rigidity. At its absolute worst, Capricorn represents fascism, authoritarianism, repression, and extreme law and order. The Russian government has continuously shown itself to be stuck at the lower end of Capricorn energy. Russia is rated “Not Free” in Freedom in the World 2021 — Freedom House’s annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide. Its LGBTQ+ community is systematically discriminated against and marginalized. “Same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections available to opposite-sex couples, Russia provides no anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, nor does it prohibit hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” Days ago, Russia passed a new law under which anyone using the words “invasion” or “war” to describe… well, its invasion of Ukraine can be sentenced up to 15 years in jail. News articles describing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an “assault”, “invasion”, or a “declaration of war” must be deleted, per the Russian government.
- Mars, in Sagittarius, squares Jupiter. When involved in a square aspect, Jupiter blows things up 100 times the size. Here, we are talking about Mars’ anger, aggression, competition, conflict, and love of battle. Since Mars is in a fire sign (Sagittarius), its qualities are exacerbated. For years, the term ‘bully’ (a Mars keyword) has been used to describe Russia’s actions on the global stage. Again, this is simply a manifestation of Mars’ less-evolved qualities. At its best, Mars is the inspirational and fearless warrior that advocates for others. At its worst, it is the playground bully that loves to stir the pot and get into a fistfight.
Can a country ever hope to transcend the more problematic blind spots of its natal chart and evolve toward the healthier qualities? Yes — as long as the people at the helm have natal charts that don’t mirror, or enable, the challenging qualities of the country’s natal chart.
Currently, Russia’s chart is under these astrological influences:
- Its ascendant/descendant axis is challenged by transiting Saturn from mid-March to mid-September 2022, and then again from mid-December 2022 to mid-January 2023. During this time, Saturn will cross Russia’s descendant (where the 7th house of partnerships begins) and simultaneously oppose its ascendant (the sensitive angle that relates, among other things, to how we are perceived). Challenging Saturn transits like this one are notorious for feeling isolating. It’s not at all surprising that Russia’s chart is under this debilitating Saturn transit at a time in its history when it is globally being referred to as a “pariah,” sanctions continue to pile up, and almost every nation on the planet has rebuked its actions. In a person’s chart, this transit often brings at least one significant relationship to an end, or at the very least is supposed to make us stop and reflect on how our actions may be getting in the way of healthy relationships. Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I never describe any particular planet or transit as “good” or “bad.” It all comes down to free will. This kind of Saturn transit provides an opportunity to identify our wrongs and faults, make amends, and strengthen (Saturn keyword) relationships (descendant) by looking at a situation objectively (Saturn keyword) and accepting responsibility (Saturn keyword). Of course, we can also choose to not do any of that and live out this Saturn transit through the flip side of the coin: become isolated and sullen, tell ourselves a story of how “it’s us against the world,” and burn bridges. Astrology perfectly exemplifies how the personal is the political. Whether you are talking about a person or a nation, the astrological archetypes are the same.
- Transiting Saturn will square its natal Pluto and natal Venus from March 13 to April 30 and again from July 15 to August 27 and yet again from December 3 to January 16. This lines up with Russia’s economy (Venus) being squeezed and severely constricted by a litany of economic sanctions. All this Saturn influence (note that Saturn is the common thread in Russia’s current transits) also explains why Russia has run into issues getting people to sign up to fight this war, seen massive protests (in its own country) against this occupation, and has largely become a global pariah. At one point, the Chief of the General Staff of Belarus resigned, refusing to fight Ukraine. Today, a ruble is worth less than a U.S. penny, and the Russian economy is considered to be less than half of what it was four weeks ago. If that’s not Saturn squaring Venus, then I don’t know what is. This Saturn transit is active for another ten months, which means that the country is being astrologically afforded all that time to come to its senses and revert course. If it doesn’t (free will is a significant part of astrology), then Saturn (the planet of consequences and not getting away with anything) will make the landscape increasingly bleak and complicated — especially economically (Venus).
- Its progressed sun is just now beginning a conjunction to its natal Saturn that will be in effect until December of 2024 (this happens approximately once every 365 years, so it’s a first in Russia’s chart). Remember: Saturn is the planet of karma and sobering reality checks. Saturn doesn’t hand out free passes. Even if Russia were to completely reverse course tomorrow, this progression makes it clear that irreparable harm has been done that cannot be undone, justified, or ignored.
I hope you see the common thread in Russia’s current — and upcoming — astrological landscape. It is all about Saturn: the planet of restrictions, constriction, limits, isolation, and reality checks.
UKRAINE’S NATAL CHART AND CURRENT TRANSITS
Ukraine, founded on August 24 of 1991, is a Virgo. Fittingly, it is one of the largest grain exporters in the world due to its extensive fertile land (Virgo rules agriculture and, specifically, wheat).
Some important observations about this chart:
- Uranus is in the first house, a mere two degrees away from the ascendant. Uranus is the planet that rules earthquakes, lighting, and electricity. Its energy is sudden, unpredictable, and revolutionary. On the one hand, having Uranus so close to a country’s ascendant interferes with its stability. It essentially cements an energetic blueprint that is frequently rocked by change. On the other hand, it also sets up a dynamic where revolutions are built into the national fabric. It is not surprising that a nation with Uranus so close to its ascendant had the Euromaidan Protests in 2013 and 2014— successful public protests against corruption and in favor of integration with the European Union that resulted in the ousting of then-president Viktor Yanukovych. Alas, while revolutions that push for progressiveness and egalitarianism are part and parcel for Uranus, so are destabilizing situations like the one Ukraine is currently experiencing.
- Its moon is square Pluto. In a person’s chart, this is an aspect that requires a lot of care. It usually points to a very traumatic childhood (and usually a family lineage that is marked by trauma). If we’re not very self-aware, we can find ourselves repeating relationship dynamics as adults where we are abused, controlled, and not seen or heard. Once a person becomes aware of how this aspect plays out, they go through an emotional death and rebirth — and emerge emotionally resilient and fearless. In the chart of a country, this can point to a history (prior to its current incarnation) rife with conflict. For centuries, what we now know as Ukraine was “contested, divided, and ruled by a variety of powers, including the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Tsardom of Russia. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged, forming the internationally recognized Ukrainian People’s Republic on 23 June 1917. The short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted by the Bolsheviks into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic which became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922.” And, since its independence from the USSR in 1991, it had Crimea seized in 2014 — and is now invaded by Russia. That is a lot of trauma and violence in a very short amount of time.
- It has a very powerful stellium (cluster of planets): Jupiter at 25 degrees of Leo, Mercury at 26 degrees of Leo, Venus at 28 degrees of Leo, and the sun at 0 degrees of Virgo. That Jupiter-Mercury-Venus stellium in Leo, in particular, is a marker of strength, resilience, and determination.
Ukraine’s natal chart is currently under these influences:
- Transiting Uranus crossing its IC (the sensitive degree considered the “base” of the chart) from late May 2021 until late May 2022. This influence was particularly strong in June, October and early November of 2021, and ‘peaks’ once again in late March and all of April 2022. When Uranus crosses a sensitive angle like the IC, it’s a time to expect the unexpected. This is often a marker of having to react to an external event that takes you by surprise.
- Transiting Neptune is opposite its natal Mars from mid-March 2022 to mid-March 2024. This will be particularly strong from May to August 2022, March to April 2023, and October 2023 to mid-February 2024. Mars represents energy, vitality, action, force, and forward movement. Think of it as a massive ball of fire. Now, think of that ball of fire getting drenched by a H-U-G-E bucket of water (that’s Neptune). This is often experienced as a debilitating influence. In a person’s chart, this can feel like a period marked by a sense of disillusion, fatigue, nebulousness, or a sense of ‘treading water’.
- Transiting Saturn is conjunct its moon from March 2022 – January 2023. This will be particularly strong from mid-March to mid- April 2022, all of August 2022, and mid-December 2022 to mid-January 2023. This is a heavy aspect, as Saturn’s tests and challenges resemble an automatic tennis ball machine — just one after the next, without much of a break. As an astrologer who veers away from doom and gloom astrology, I have to point out that this is a transit that ultimately strengthens us and tests our resilience. But, I also can’t deny that the experience of going through it is akin to walking on a treadmill with the incline set at 14.
- Transiting Saturn will oppose its natal Mercury, Venus, and sun in February and March 2023, and then again from late September 2023 to late December 2023. Here, we have more Saturn challenges. On one hand, the next ten months will be extremely challenging for Ukraine as Saturn essentially stress-tests, challenges, and pushes half of its natal chart to the brink. And, there’s no sugarcoating *that* many simultaneous Saturn challenges. Then again… it also means that by the early 2024, the heavy Saturn influence begins to lift since it won’t be challenging anything in Ukraine’s chart for several years.
This year, Ukraine’s chart will also be impacted by two eclipses:
- The April 30 solar eclipse at 10 degrees of Taurus is just three degrees away from its IC;
- The May 15 lunar eclipse squares its Jupiter-Mercury-Venus-sun stellium.
Eclipses move things along at a rapid pace. Keeping in mind that eclipses play out over a six-month period with certain hotspots, I think the following periods look critical:
- May (when both eclipses are highly active)
- November (we often see events related to eclipses six months after they take place)
If Ukraine were a person coming to me for a consultation, I would let them know that they are in for a two-year period rife with challenges and tests (Saturn oppositions) that may at times feel like an emotional rock bottom (Saturn conjunct the moon) and a decrease in vitality (Neptune opposite Mars) as they adapt to unexpected events (Uranus crossing the IC).
The first few months of 2024 will see the challenging Neptune-Mars transit and Saturn’s challenges to its stellium conclude, so that seems like a significant turning point and a stark tonal shift.
RUSSIA AND UKRAINE’S ASTROLOGICAL RELATIONSHIP
When considering the relationship between two nations, I look to the composite chart — the mathematical average of two charts that shows how the two ‘blend’ together. The composite chart is, essentially, “the chart of the relationship.”
Since the composite chart is sensitive to transits, it can help identify significant periods.
The Russia-Ukraine composite chart has a few key aspects that, if they appear in the composite chart of two people, point to a relationship that will require significant and concerted effort to “work”:
- Composite Mars square Composite Saturn: in human relationships, this is the quintessential dynamic where, when one person wants to go left, the other wants to go right. When one is amped and full of energy, the other wants to take a nap. When one is in the mood for a decadent meal, the other one really just wants a green juice. While no single aspect ‘makes’ or ‘breaks’ a relationship, this one puts a significant damper on compromise and getting along.
- Composite Mercury square Composite Neptune: Composite Mercury-Neptune squares dilute clear and healthy communication. In some instances, this plays out as one party regularly creating false narratives (and acting on them), in turn dissolving (Neptune keyword) the structure of the entire relationship. While it is not my job to tell anyone whether or not they ‘should’ be in a relationship, this is one composite aspect that (when it involves two people) requires significant work around healthy communication. In a composite chart of two nations, it especially handicaps negotiations.
- Composite Venus square Composite Uranus: Squares are the most problematic aspect in composite charts. All other aspects (even seemingly challenging ones like oppositions and certain conjunctions, like Mars conjunct Saturn) have ‘in case of emergency, break glass’ backups that we can have at the ready if things start to go awry. Squares are more forceful and disruptive. Unlike relationships between human beings, countries can’t go their own separate ways and never see each other again (when this happens with two people, the composite chart becomes inactive). They are, to varying degrees, intertwined and connected. This aspect increases volatility and infuses unpredictability into the relationship.
The Russia-Ukraine composite chart is currently affected by these transits:
- Transiting Saturn crossing the Midheaven: this brings a ‘reckoning moment’ in the relationship.
- Transiting Uranus squaring the IC: the foundation of the relationship is destabilized.
- Transiting Saturn will square the composite moon next January and February: this is an emotional “low point”.
- The May 15 lunar eclipse falls just two degrees away from the composite moon: for those of you keeping score at home, this is now the second time that the May 15, 2022 lunar eclipse comes into play in this astrological analysis (it also impacts Ukraine’s chart). It seems that events in May will further erode relations between these two countries.
- The October 25 solar eclipse falls right on top of the composite sun: this is active for six months (so, through the last week of April of 2023). Since this composite chart is challenged through February of 2023, this may point to some positive developments potentially happening in March or April of 2023.
Ultimately, the current astrological landscape shows that the relationship between these two countries (already has a tumultuous recipe) is now being tested from all angles — and will continue to be for another year.
VLADIMIR PUTIN’S NATAL CHART AND CURRENT TRANSITS
There are many things worth discussing in this birth chart:
- Sun in Libra
- Sun in the 12th house
- Sun conjunct Saturn
- Sun square Uranus
- Mercury conjunct Neptune in the 12th house
- Pluto conjunct the Midheaven
“Wait. Vladimir Putin has his sun in Libra? Isn’t that the sign of diplomacy, cooperation, benevolence, fairness, peace, and harmony?” I know, I know.
This is why I always say that astrology is a holistic practice that has to consider ALL the factors in a chart. Honing in on someone’s sun sign to get a feel for them is like looking at the ingredients in a recipe and, based on the fact that it calls for a half teaspoon of salt, ‘predicting’ the end result will be savory (alas, most dessert recipes call for salt because it enhances sweetness).
Just like one ingredient in a larger recipe doesn’t mean the final dish will taste a certain way, one aspect of a birth chart doesn’t mean the entirety of the chart has that ‘flavor.’
It is true that those with Libra suns (at least in order to live out the highest potential of their chart) should foster and express the best qualities of that sign. But, keep this in mind:
- Mr. Putin’s sun is in the twelfth house: I always refer to twelfth-house suns as ones that are ‘hidden in the bushes.’ Expressing the healthiest and most advanced qualities of our sun sign can be more challenging when the sun is in the twelfth house (the house that dissolves things). It can be done, but it takes more effort than, say, a first-house sun. Pisces suns in the twelfth house are exempt from this (the Pisces sun feels at home in the twelfth house and is less debilitated by this placement).
- Mr. Putin’s sun is conjunct Saturn: any planet that is conjunct (next to) the sun infuses its qualities to the sun. Saturn-sun conjunctions set up a default mode that is stoic, conservative, authoritative, and closed off.
- Mr. Putin’s sun is square to Uranus: As if the twelfth house placement and the conjunction to Saturn weren’t already getting in the way of the Libra’s sun ability to express its best traits, we also have this aspect that adds volatility and unpredictability to the core persona. Of course, this *could* be expressed in a positive way (e.g., an experimental artist who heads up a new, innovative style of design). But, at its worst, this is the astrological marker of someone who plants seeds of chaos.
Obviously, Vladimir Putin was not the only person born on October 7, 1952. Birth charts show potential, and a variety of other factors: our family dynamics, our schooling, our childhood experiences, our conscious choices as adults, and socioeconomic frameworks (to name a few) determine which of the many avenues in our birth charts we end up pursuing.
Bottom line: Mr. Putin’s Libra sun is very challenged. Expressing its higher qualities is most certainly not the “default” of this chart.
At its best, Mercury in the 12th house (and conjunct Neptune — the ruler of the 12th house) is nurturing and empathic. But, at its most challenging, it is deceptive, shrouded in secrecy, and constantly spins complex (and false) webs that distract from the truth.
Pluto conjunct the Midheaven is a significant marker of power. Of course, power can be directed to advance social causes, lead others toward a positive direction… or to achieve tyranny.
Remember, too, that Pluto is about control and paranoia. As The Guardian reports, “the 69-year-old president is notoriously paranoid about Covid-19 and has largely remained in an isolated cocoon throughout the pandemic, taking measures far beyond his global counterparts. The Kremlin continues to require those meeting with Putin to quarantine for two weeks despite claiming that the Russian leader has received his vaccinations and booster shot.”It is also theorized that his recent use of a 16-foot-long table for one-on-one meetings is related to his fear of contracting COVID.
It’s also fitting that someone with such a prominent Pluto once worked for the Secret Service (a very Pluto career) and has been in power since 2000 (making him the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin).
Currently, Mr. Putin’s chart is under the effect of these transits:
- Transiting Saturn conjunct the IC/opposite MC: this transit, which takes place approximately every 28.5 years, is largely considered to be a ‘dark night of the soul’ transit. We feel more isolated and alone during this transit (when I see it coming up for clients, I suggest that they make an effort to be social or at least have activities and hobbies to keep them occupied) and it usually is tied to to a significant ending. In regards to the opposition to the Midheaven (the sensitive angle that relates to our social standing, reputation, and professional life), this is often a time of tests and challenges in that area of life.
- Transiting Saturn opposite natal Pluto: this transit is best described as a “pressure-cooker.” Whatever has been bubbling under the surface must be addressed. It also is a time that is marked by experiencing consequences for one’s actions and facing chastisement and discipline when we step out of bounds.
By the way: keep in mind that the first chapter in this saga goes all the way back to 2014, when Russian Armed Forces seized Crimea from Ukraine.
At the time, Mr. Putin’s chart was under these influences:
- Transit Saturn square his IC/Midheaven axis: interesting… another instance of transiting Saturn activating his IC and Midheaven. This also shows no evolution on Mr. Putin’s part. Essentially, seven years later — under a similar astrological influence — he is repeating the exact same behavior. We are not planetary puppets. This isn’t a matter of “I can’t help but launch an attack on a neighboring country — it’s Saturn affecting my IC/Midheaven axis!”. It’s a matter of being unable to manage and cope with Saturn’s frustrations and challenges, and acting out in destructive and unhealthy ways.
- Transit Uranus opposite his sun: this transit takes place approximately every 84 years. An astrologer would counsel a client to use this as a time of reinvention and to try anything new and experimental, but to also be very cautious with rash and impulsive decisions (a hallmark of this transit).
- Transit Pluto square his sun: When someone with a very strong Pluto (like Putin) experiences this once-in-a-lifetime transit, it can be experienced as a two-year period when their Pluto energy is magnified.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY’S NATAL CHART AND CURRENT TRANSITS
44 year-old Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the sixth president of Ukraine. He assumed office in May of 2019, at 41 years of age.
Mr. Zelenskyy is a former actor and comedian. One of his most memorable roles was in a TV series titled Servant of the People, where he played a high school history teacher who accidentally becomes president after one of his rants against government corruption goes viral.
His presidential campaign was revolutionary and he firmly entrenched himself as an anti-establishment figure. He initially didn’t have an official platform. Over time, he and his campaign created one largely influenced by ideas submitted by his social media followers. In one presidential debate, he stated, “I’m not a politician. I’m an ordinary person who came to break this system.”
It is not at all surprising, then, to see that Mr. Zelenskyy’s chart has:
- The sun in Aquarius
- The sun in the ninth house
- The moon in Leo
- The moon trine Neptune
- Jupiter in the first house
- The Midheaven in Aquarius
- Pluto square Mercury
- Mercury sextile Uranus
- Gemini rising
A ninth-house Aquarius sun is supposed to be expressed with revolutionary, eccentric, expansive, egalitarian, out-of-the-box energy. Aquarius upsets the apple cart; the ninth house broadens horizons. Based on what we know of his life story, I would say Mr. Zelenskyy is fully living out the breadth of his solar principle.
I would say the same thing about his moon. At its best, the moon in Leo is the moon of the performer. Leo moons need attention and the spotlight (one very healthy way to channel it is through acting; Leo moons also do well in politics because, let’s face it, there is a significant performative element there as well). Moon-Neptune trines provide an artistic sensibility, too.
Any planet in the first house is especially prominent. Jupiter in the first gives a larger-than-a-life (Jupiter) public persona (ascendant). Interestingly, this fits his previous acting career but also aligns with his political career (he is globally referred to as a symbol of resistance and defiance).
His Mercury aspects are also interesting. The square between Mercury and Pluto has to work on finessing its messaging. At its worst, this aspect can communicate with all the subtlety of a bulldozer, or at least can have a hard time listening to other people and stopping itself from dominating conversations. Once this aspect is able to get past that blind spot, though, it can be an extremely powerful (Pluto) communicator (Mercury). Remember: although squares in a natal chart are challenging, we can harness the more positive qualities of that particular planetary conversation once we ‘master’ the lessons of the square.
The sextile (a harmonious aspect) between Mercury and Uranus (the quirky, alternative planet) makes perfect sense for someone with an irreverent and progressive comedy style who also campaigned in innovative ways that got his message to the masses outside of traditional channels (his presidential campaign was largely done through social media; Uranus rules social media).
Currently, Mr. Zelenskyy’s chart is under these influences:
- Transiting Saturn conjunct his Midheaven: This transit takes place approximately every 28.5 years and is often experienced as a culmination of past professional efforts and a time when our efforts are publicly rewarded.
- Transiting Jupiter in his tenth house: this transit takes place approximately every twelve years and greatly increases our visibility. It is not at all surprising that Mr. Zelenskyy became a global household name (for very unfortunate reasons) and a renowned public figure during this transit.
- Transiting Saturn opposite his natal moon: This is one of the most challenging and difficult transits, emotionally speaking. We can feel alone, isolated, and like we are carrying very heavy burdens.
- Transiting Uranus square his natal moon: His moon is getting a one-two punch. While Saturn increases our sense of responsibility and makes us face difficult challenges that are emotionally draining, this Uranus transit is the emotional equivalent of wack-a-mole.
Are you starting to see the pattern? Russia is under many challenging Saturn transits… as is Vladimir Putin…. as is Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It’s uncanny.
Also uncanny? The February 16, 2022 full moon (which was quincunx, or 150 degrees away — an erratic, ‘bumpy road’ aspect — from Pluto):
- Squared Mr. Putin’s ascendant;
- Fell right on top of Mr. Zelenskyy’s Saturn;
- Fell right on top of Ukraine’s Venus, was a few degrees away from its sun, and opposed its Saturn.
Full moons ‘shine the light’ on situations and bring things to a head. Eight days after that full moon, Russia invaded Ukraine. That full moon was the cosmic lighting of a kerosene-doused match.
THE CURRENT GLOBAL ASTROLOGICAL BACKDROP
This turn of events — and especially the precarious economic and political situation Russia got itself into — needs to be analyzed within the greater context of Pluto’s journey through the sign of Capricorn.
Pluto did a “dry run” in Capricorn from January 25 to June 14 of 2008 — and then entered Capricorn for good on November 27, 2008. Pluto will then dip its toes in Aquarius from March 23, 2023 until June 11, 2023 — and then officially begin its uninterrupted sojourn through Aquarius on January 21, 2024.
Capricorn rules firm structures, global corporations, monopolies, political superpowers, and the economy.
Pluto empowers, warps, distorts, corrupts, deconstructs and transforms the topics of the planet that rules the sign. These topics go through a death and rebirth of sorts… forever changed.
Pluto relates to destruction, death and rebirth, deconstruction, people in positions of power, transformation, transmutation. I often describe Pluto transits as a category 5 hurricane that decimate everything in their path. Whatever isn’t capable of sustaining significant stress crumbles. A rebuilding period always follows, but there is no doubt there is some irreversible damage — and grief — that has to be processed.
When Pluto transits through Capricorn, things that seemed “too big to fail” end up failing. The powerful who seemed untouchable topple. Powerful enterprises are forever changed. It is no coincidence, then, that Pluto in Capricorn brought these events (and this is just the tip of the iceberg):
2008: Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States at the time, declared bankruptcy. It was the largest bankruptcy filing in US history and marked the end of the firm’s 161-year history. The global investment bank Bear Stearns was bought by JP Morgan. This was also the year when Bernie Madoff’s long-running house of cards toppled over in dramatic fashion.
Throughout the 2010s, long-established brands that at one point seemed indestructible declared bankruptcy, including: Toys R Us, supermarket chain A&P (founded in 1859 and the United States’ largest grocery store chain for six decades), Hummer, Payless Shoes, Borders, Sports Authority (at one time, the largest sporting goods retailer in the US), Century 21, Neiman Marcus, Pier One, and GNC.
2014: After decades of allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, decades-long accusations against Bill Cosby were back in the headlines. By the fall of 2015, sixty victims had come forward to share their experiences. Consequently, The Cosby Show was removed from syndication — and Bill Cosby’s honorary degrees from over twenty colleges and universities were revoked. In the fall of 2018, Cosby was sentenced to serve three to ten years for three counts of sexual assault.
2016: In a vote that stunned the world, the United Kindgom voted to withdraw from the European Union.
2016: After losing a $140 million lawsuit (which they settled at $31 million), New York City media juggernaut Gawker declared bankruptcy and ceased operations.
2017: The New York Times and The New Yorker reported on numerous accusations against Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape. This led to Weinstein’s arrest in February of 2020 (and, prior to that, expulsion from the Motion Picture Academy, suspensions from the British Academy of Film and Arts, and termination from his own production company). Harvey Weinstein is a classic representation of Capricorn energy. He was an all-powerful figure who was seemingly untouchable and was able to suppress accusations. But, when Pluto transits through Capricorn, those who naively think they are too big to fail often see their empires crumble.
Like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein epitomizes the Capricorn archetype — the paternal authority figure who seems like an institution. Alas, Pluto reminds us that there are consequences for misuses of power (even if they take decades).
Decades of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church (another epitome of Capricorn) came to light during Pluto’s sojourn through Capricorn. This is fitting, since Pluto rules things that are hidden, repressed, and “in the shadows.” But, if there is one thing Pluto reminds us is that while things may be locked away and swept under the rug, nothing stays hidden forever.
In astrological circles, Pluto’s passage through Capricorn has often been spoken about as one where a global superpower would likely lose its luster in a significant way or begin a steep decline and get left behind. It now looks like we can add Russia to the “forever upended and transformed by Pluto’s transit through Capricorn” list.
I, just like most everyone else in the world, hope this invasion and attack ends as soon as possible. I hope the people of Ukraine are able to live in peace once again and rebuild their country. And, I hope that the people of Russia, at some point, are able to break free from the current oppressive regime.