Well, here are a few grains of salt, shaken out from what I remember from my friends, from a few notes I took, from a little research I’ve done myself. I am not an astrologer, but I’m learning a little here and there, staying open and curious. I don’t know how much you might know about these astrological things, so if I’m speaking ‘down’ to you, forgive me. But here’s what I can offer, and it’s probably more than you ever wanted .
First of all, Pluto’s orbit around the sun (encompassing a passage through all of the 12 zodiac signs) is a long one, 246-248 years. It spends 12-31 years in each of the zodiac signs. Only countries and circumstances have Pluto “returns,” as individual people don’t live long enough (248 years or so) to have Pluto return to the same position it was in when they were born. So in terms of the US’s Pluto return-cycle, we are just at the very very beginning of a brand new very very long cycle. (Will the US still exist in another 248 years? Who knows.)
However, In passing through each of the signs, Pluto has different effects. It entered the sign of Capricorn in 2008. Some point to the election of Obama that year as a sign of Pluto’s early positive effects in Capricorn—Pluto being associated with deep transformation and revolution and revelation of what is or has been hidden or ‘disowned,’ and Capricorn being associated with the attainment and retention of power and with control and focus. Pluto’s cycle in Capricorn will last 16 years, until November 2024 (another Presidential election year), although it will move into Aquarius at various times, starting in March 2023–June 2023, then backtrack (retrograde) into Capricorn again for a few months, and do this switcheroo a few more times until November 19, 2024 at which point it will be finally in Aquarius for about 20 years (until January 2044).
Pluto in Capricorn is also associated with karma, with duty, with status, with government, with rulers/leaders/kings and queens/CEOs—in other words, the seats of power at the top of any hierarchy, including the wealth hierarchy. Great power is concentrated in the hands of a few, and even in the hands of one person, and the Plutonian energies often indicate these people at the top can be chaotic or unstable or simply do weird things (with Putin, Trump, Musk being examples astrologers point to). Pluto, known as the “Lord of the Underworld,” draws attention to where there is “darkness,” corruption, trauma, shadow, grief, and where there are abuses of power----so that change can ultimately happen when Pluto moves on into and stabilizes in Aquarius.
Some astrologers I have read point out that when Pluto transits out of Capricorn into Aquarius, these leaders tend to “fall,” through one means or another. Examples given are of Nero, who killed himself during the time of Pluto transiting to Aquarius; Louis XV1 who was guillotined during the transit; and “Mad” King George III who was forced to relinquish the throne. (Trump having lost the election might be viewed similarly.)
Whereas Pluto in Capricorn is related to chaotic “top dog” individuals/leaders, Pluto in Aquarius is about largely positive change in the collective, with greater egalitarianism and community, and tribes coming together or at least building bridges. It governs society at large, is humanitarian, visionary, and future-oriented. Aquarian energies are progressive, and with Pluto being the planet of deep transformation, my friends and other astrologers view the 20 year period of Pluto in Aquarius as a time of major progress and change in the collective consciousness as well as in tech and media and communications in general (fields associated with Aquarius). Not all of this change is guaranteed to be necessarily initially “positive,” given Pluto’s underworld nature, e.g. privacy concerns and surveillance could increase, but over the long haul of 20 years, what doesn’t mesh well with the Aquarian ‘vibe’ would most likely be eliminated, they say. But there will be lots of reality checks in terms of facing what our basic motivations are, our basic hopes and wishes, and how well-attuned we are to them, or how we are distorting or corrupting them.
The UN is an institution that astrologers point to as one that will undergo great change or be eliminated during this Pluto in Aquarius time. And two major “people-power” events that each occurred during a Pluto in Aquarius period are the emergence of Christianity as well as the emergence of Islam. Also, more women have risen to power during Pluto in Aquarius than usual, Aquarius again being the sign of egalitarianism.
While Pluto in Aquarius, the first hints of which we’ll see in March of next year, is not the only astrological event that will be happening of course, it is the one that serves as background and major theme for all the others.