Before 2022 ends and I write about the astrology of 2023 (and who will be most affected; look for that post the first week of December), I want to provide a status report on the current astrological climate and touch on some of the topics and people I am most asked about.
PLUTO’S FINAL TRAVELS THROUGH CAPRICORN
Pluto has been traveling uninterrupted through Capricorn since the fall of 2008 (it first paid a quick visit from January to June of 2008, but then retrograded back into Sagittarius before entering Capricorn “for good” on November 27, 2008).
Next year, Pluto dips its toes into Aquarius from March 24 to June 13 (and then again from January 20 to September 1 of 2024) before beginning an uninterrupted 20-year visit on November 29, 2024.
While Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn change signs relatively often (Mercury can whizz through one sign in just 13 days; Saturn spends two-and-a-half years in each sign), Pluto is the slowest planet. It takes 244 years to make its way around the entire zodiac.
Unlike other planets that spend the same amount of time in each sign (Uranus spends approximately seven years in each sign), Pluto’s travels aren’t as predictable. It will have spent 16 years in Capricorn by the time it enters Aquarius, but its last sojourn through Scorpio lasted 12 years. Once it begins its uninterrupted visit through Aries in 2068, it will be there for three decades.
While Pluto makes an impact the entire time that it makes its way through a sign, I have found its impact is even more noticeable when it travels through the first four — and last four — degrees of a sign.
Before I expand on that, let’s review the archetypes at play.
Capricorn relates to authority, governance, societal structures, systems, and institutions.
Pluto has to do with metaphorical death and rebirth, destruction (and creation), collapse, transformation, transmutation, and metamorphosis. As I always remind clients in private readings, Pluto is the planet that has rulership over nuclear power. Enough said.
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. When Pluto first entered Capricorn, 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). In addition, the global investment bank Bear Stearns was bought by JP Morgan, and Bernie Madoff’s long-running house of cards toppled over in dramatic fashion. Global economic activity plummeted and the world entered a deep recession when Pluto entered Capricorn.
Expect to see this theme re-emerge over the next two years as Pluto fully transitions out of Capricorn.
As Pluto made its way through Capricorn, more transformations took place (these can be positive and beneficial to society; there are no “good” or “bad” planets).
There is no pivotal force like Pluto to usher in much-needed change. Consider this: of the 33 nations that have legalized same-sex marriage, 27 did so while Pluto made its way through Capricorn (Andorra will be the 34th — same-sex marriage will become law there in February of 2023, while Pluto is in Capricorn). It was time for the institution of marriage (Capricorn) to evolve and transform (Pluto).
Another event showing the positive transformative power of Pluto as it relates to outdated structures and systems is the protests in Iran that started in mid-September of 2022 after a 22-year-old woman was arrested for wearing an improper hijab and beaten to death by the country’s “morality police.”
The Iranian populace, as is fitting during a Pluto-in-Capricorn transit, is fed up with tyranny and protesting “for wider freedoms and women’s rights, against the morality police, and against the Ayatollah and the theocratic regime.”And, in true Pluto fashion, “unlike many previous Iranian protests, protestors appear to be demanding a wholesale change in government rather than limiting themselves to incremental reforms.”
Another institution rocked by Pluto’s travels through Capricorn? The British Royal Family. In January of 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) made the unprecedented decision to step away from their senior roles. And, as Pluto began transiting over the final degrees of Capricorn, Queen Elizabeth II — the longest-reigning British monarch — passed away in September of 2022, and recent polls show that public support for the monarchy is at an all-time low. I do not think the British Royal Family is going to disband any time soon, but it makes sense that after a transit of Pluto through Capricorn, it has undergone a massive internal and public-facing transformation.
I have also found that when Pluto travels through the last few degrees of a sign, that particular sign’s archetypal qualities are temporarily empowered (a “last hurrah” of sort, where Pluto gives that sign one final blast of energy).
Capricorn rules conservative ideologies and viewpoints. So, it is no surprise that we are currently seeing an uptick in right-wing politics around the world, including:
- The overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States.
- Ultra right-wing incumbent Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro vastly outperforming opinion polls for the 2022 presidential election and getting enough votes to prevent opponent — and former president — Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from receiving more than 50 percent of the vote (which would have been enough to win the election). Instead, the two will go to a run-off election that will be held on October 30th. But, that’s not all. As The Washington Post recently noted, “Bolsonarismo performed strongly in Brazil’s congressional elections. Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party gained 66 seats in the proportionally elected Chamber of Deputies, becoming the nation’s largest party. Other ring-wing parties often aligned with Bolsonaro won about 150 seats combined. This ring-wing trend was even more pronounced in the Senate where Liberal Party candidates won eight of the 27 races while other right-wingers won another 10. That means two-thirds of Brazil’s states elected right-leaning senators.” If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Bolsonaro’s ultra right-wing politics, “he has expressed a fondness for the country’s past military dictatorship and also freely spews misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ, and racist statements.”
- In Sweden, a nationalist and right-wing populist political party known as the Sweden Democrats received the second highest number of votes in the country’s recent presidential election. What was once a fringe party won 20.5% of the vote this time around — and is now Sweden’s second most-popular party.
- Weeks ago, “Italians elected their country’s most right-wing government since the end of World War II (no small matter in a country that has had 69 governments since 1946.)”
- Far-right French politician Marine LePen did not win the country’s 2022 presidential election, but lost by the smallest margin yet (in the words of the Associated Press, “the far-right has gone mainstream in France.”).
Astrology is holistic, so there’s more to this than Pluto traveling through the tail-end of Capricorn. Another important factor in this mix is Saturn’s transit through Aquarius.
Aquarius represents progressive thinking, social justice, and egalitarianism. But, Saturn (the planet that rules Capricorn) limits, restricts, and inhibits. Last year, I mentioned that because of Saturn traveling through Aquarius, we would see an increase in conservative politics and ideologies in 2022. FYI: Saturn leaves Aquarius and enters Pisces on March 7, 2023. My next post will delve deeper into Saturn’s entry into Pisces.
This combination, by the way, is not a common occurrence (the last time Saturn was in Aquarius while Pluto was in Capricorn was in the year 1286).
While Pluto’s entry into Aquarius (see this post for more details) in 2024 does not indicate an overnight change, it does mark the beginning of a substantial and incremental shift away from these ultra right-wing ideologies and governments that are currently enjoying substantial popularity. They will not cease to exist, but their popularity will wane.
THE UNITED STATES’ PLUTO RETURN
The United States is feeling this Pluto influence even more significantly because it is currently experiencing its Pluto return (Pluto has returned to where it was when the United States was “born”; I first mentioned this event on my Instagram page in April of 2019).
This is an almost three-year process that started in February 2021 and is in effect until January of 2024, but has four peaks (times when the influence is particularly strong):
- February 2022
- July 2022
- December 2022
- October 2023
As a refresher, here are some of the main themes of a Pluto return:
- 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.
With that in mind:
- In February of 2022, three former officers involved in the murder of George Floyd were found guilty by a federal jury for civil rights violations. That same month, it was first reported that former United States president Donald Trump took classified material from the White House to Florida. While that may have seemed like a blip on the radar at the time, it has now turned into a full-blown legal scandal with no signs of abating.
- The second Pluto peak occurred just one week after The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (and the constitutional right to an abortion). In what I can best describe as “a very Pluto thing”, this event shone the light on abortion opponents’ consistent and relentless chipping away of reproductive rights and the fragility of reproductive rights in the United States.
We’ll have to wait and see what December of 2022 and October of 2023 have in store. Pluto is a heavyweight that delivers powerful punches. Since it is the planet that rules secrets, corruption, and shining the light on the underbelly of things, any news that come out in the next two peaks will be just the tip of a much larger iceberg.
This Pluto return makes one thing very clear: the United States is in a moment of unprecedented astrological crisis. What once worked and functioned no longer does. While this Pluto return is active, it will be difficult to find solutions (I describe Pluto transits as category 5 hurricanes… you can’t begin to rebuild until the hurricane is over; right now, the United States is in the eye of this astrological hurricane).
Those of you who have followed my work for a while know I despise “doom and gloom” astrology. I don’t write any of this to invoke fear or anxiety (or “predict” the collapse of the United States), but rather to validate that this is a very difficult time for the nation. If you feel overwhelmed, scared, or generally uneasy, this is why.
I maintain hope that the United States can be “reborn” after this dark period. Pluto’s involvement, though, means this rebirth can only happen after major systemic restructuring. It will also require that career politicians (from both parties) finally retire and pass the torch to a new generation. Many long-standing politicians are part of the Pluto in Leo generation (born between 1937 and 1956), which, due to massive pride and ego, notoriously has a hard time letting go of power and authority. Among them: Joe Biden, Donald J Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Grassley.
As Pluto travels through Aquarius (the sign opposite Leo), the Pluto in Leo generation will see its authority and power diminish.
THE UNITED STATES 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
The 2022 United States midterm elections take place on November 8 — the same day as a lunar eclipse that is tightly conjunct (AKA: practically right on top of) Uranus.
Lunar eclipses are mega-powerful full moons that bring things to light and ratchet up emotions. Since Uranus adds unexpected twists and chaos, I do not expect the 2022 midterm elections to go smoothly or come and go with little fanfare. I also expect at least one race to have a significant upset.
Given the rest of the astrological landscape, I believe candidates with extreme right-wing ideologies will win several elections (approximately 25 percent of of the over 100 candidates who the Anti-Defamation League identified as right-wing extremists won their respective primaries earlier this year, and I expect many of them to be victorious in the November 8 midterm elections).
Donald Trump is about to enter one of his most astrologically challenging cycles.
Any time we forecast, we have to keep a person’s natal chart in mind. Trump has a natal sun-Jupiter trine (in other words, the sun and Jupiter are approximately 120 degrees apart in his birth chart), which explain that “teflon Don” reputation where it seems like he always gets away with things — or at least suffers minimal consequences.
Still, the transits and progressions that are at play, and coming up, for him will put that to the test.
First, transiting Neptune squaring his natal sun and moon.
Neptune is the master of dissolution. Structures, systems, and foundations that we thought would always be there disappear. Powerful waves take away the metaphorical sand castle we built on the shore.
Since Neptune moves so slowly, this is the first and only time Donald Trump has experienced, and will experience, these two transits. They are active from March of 2021 until March of 2023, with these peaks:
- April – September 2021
- February and March 2022
- Second half of October 2022 – January 2023
During the first peak (in July of 2021), New York prosecutors charged the Trump Organization with a “15 year ‘scheme to defraud’ the government” and the organization’s chief financial officer was arraigned on grand larceny, tax fraud, and other charges.
The second peak corresponded to the first reports that he took classified material from the White House to Florida.
We’ll have to see what the rest of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 will bring. I suspect it will relate to significant legal hurdles, obstacles, and losses with the Justice Department investigation and/or the fraud lawsuit brought against him by the New York Attorney General.
From December of 2022 until March of 2023, Trump will also experience transiting Saturn in opposition to his Mars and his ascendant.
Mars is our gas pedal; it represents our drive, ambition, and sense of victory. Our ascendant, among other things, has to do with how we are perceived. Saturn in opposition to the ascendant can bring reality checks and moments of reckoning about how we are viewed by others. Saturn in opposition to Mars can stall progress and bring a period where victories and wins are few and far between.
Since a transit of Saturn opposite the ascendant can also be interpreted as Saturn conjunct (“on top of”) the descendant — the sensitive angle where the seventh house of relationships begins — an important relationship can undergo significant testing and ultimately come to an end during this time.
The last time Trump experienced these Saturn transits was March to September of 1993, and then again December 1993 to February 1994. Around this time, his public persona took a massive hit. His financial woes made headlines and his sense of power was greatly diminished.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “two of Trump’s casinos were in the red overall for the first nine months of 1993”.
Vanity Fair writes: “In the fall of 1993, Donald Trump was clawing out of the rubble of a cratering business career. Three of his Atlantic City casinos had gone bankrupt. He’d nearly defaulted on $3.4 billion in debt, and, humiliatingly, his creditors had put him on a living allowance: $450,000 a month. Bankers forced him to sell his 282-foot yacht, the Trump Princess, as well as the Trump Shuttle airline and stake in the Plaza hotel, which Trump had once called “the ultimate trophy in the world.” Many people in the city believed he was finished.”
The last time Trump experienced these Saturn challenges, he was able to recover quite quickly just a few years later since transiting Uranus (unexpected developments) went on to trine (support) his Midheaven (career).
A financial resurrection seems much less likely this time around since Trump is about to begin a once-in-a-lifetime progression: his progressed Venus will square his natal Saturn from August of 2023 until December of 2024. Financially speaking, this is a very challenging transit. Money doesn’t flow as easily, audits abound, and financial losses are very likely. I would expect major bumps in the road for his finances and businesses during this progression.
Current United States President Joe Biden’s birth chart is one I am carefully tracking since it will be affected by several challenging transits over the next two years.
Transiting Saturn will square (challenge) Biden’s sun, Venus, and ascendant from February of 2023 to January of 2024. Squares from Saturn feels heavy, oppressive, and like we are pushing a proverbial boulder up a hill. Saturn challenges to the sun are also notorious for depleting energy and vitality.
Transiting Uranus will square (challenge) his Midheaven and IC axis from mid-April of 2023 to mid-April of 2024. The Midheaven relates to career and professional matters (in the case of celebrities and politicians, it is also the most public-facing part of the chart). The IC relates to home and family matters. Uranus squares bring unexpected and disruptive events. Since Uranus is affecting both points of this axis, I don’t know whether its effects will mainly play out through the Midheaven or the IC. But, one thing is certain: whether professionally or in regards to his family, this will be a turbulent time period for Joe Biden.
Transiting Pluto will square (challenge) his moon from February through July of 2023 and then again from January of 2024 to February of 2025. This transit — one Joe Biden has never experienced before — turns our emotional world upside down. At minimum, it is overwhelming because we feel like our emotional stability is doing a 180. In some cases, this transit can also bring health challenges.
Looking further ahead, transiting Saturn will cross his IC from May to August of 2024 and then again in February and March of 2025. Saturn crossing the IC (which happens approximately every 28 years) always corresponds to at least one major significant ending in our life. There is a strong sense that a particular chapter (or book) has reached a permanent conclusion.
With all this in mind, I would be very surprised if Joe Biden ends up running for (no less winning) a second presidential election. If both of those were to happen, then I see him either only being in office for one year or having an extremely challenging first year.
All of these transits together clearly point to endings. They are not transits that relate to growth, expansion, opportunities, and victories. And, by the way, this has nothing to do with chronological age. As I often tell my clients, the planets do not operate on our earthly social constructs. Some of my clients have their best career cycles in their 60s… others have the most powerful love, sex, and romance transits in their 50s.
I am aware that, as I write this post in October of 2022, Biden is said to likely seek re-election in 2024. Let’s wait and see.