The planet Pluto was first discovered in 1930, when it was recognized as the ninth planet of the solar system. However, it differs from the other planets in a number of ways. It has an orbit that is in a different plane, and the orbit is eccentric, with portions inside the orbit of Neptune. It is only slightly larger than the Moon, and its mass is roughly 0.2% of the mass of Earth. These facts, along with the discovery of other similar objects outside the orbit of Neptune, led to the International Astronomical Union in 2006 changing the definition of a planet to exclude Pluto.
Many astronomers, however, continue to consider Pluto and other dwarf planets to be planets. Astrologers also consider Pluto to be one of the planets.
The planet Pluto is an outpost of the Black Central Sun in our solar system.
In Greek mythology, Pluto was the god of the underworld. He was the son of Cronus, a Titan identified by the Romans as Saturn, and Rhea, another Titan. Titans are very powerful fallen ones who exercise the abuse of power.
Pluto’s oldest name is Hades, which means “the Unseen,” the underworld, or the infernal region. This is the home of the dead beneath the earth. The gates of the underworld were guarded by Cerberus, a three-headed dog who prevented souls from ever leaving. Heroes and virtuous people went either to the Elysian Fields or to eternal life in the Isles of the Blessed where the golden age was recreated.
Pluto, who ruled the underworld with his wife, Persephone, was an inexorable god, hated and feared by gods and men. According to myth, he goaded unwilling souls into his realm with a pitchfork.
Later popular ideas about his character underwent a remarkable transformation. Instead of a life-hating god of death, he became a god of abundance. Pluto in fact means “giver of wealth.” Pluto’s association with wealth is the basis of the word “plutocrat”—one who wields great power and abuses that power to obtain wealth and conversely one who obtains power through wealth. So a plutocrat is one of wealth who is an abuser of power, and we have many in our society today.
Although many astrologers believe Pluto’s vibration has a positive, regenerative side, it is undeniably associated with death, and its influence is often highly destructive. Among other things, it rules the radioactive element plutonium.
In all branches of astrology, Pluto is associated with cataclysmic events, such as the onset of wars and the fall and/or death of rulers. It rules all things secretive and the instinct for self-destruction. In mundane astrology—the astrology of nations and world events—Pluto rules nuclear power, fires, waste disposal, and anything involving widespread death and destruction. It also rules the radioactive element plutonium.
Pluto tends to deny or destroy an individual’s highest expression in the sign, planet, and house where it appears by birth, progression or transit.
In mundane astrology, transits of Pluto in hard aspect to the natal Sun or other important planets are often associated with the outbreak of wars. If nations do not go to war, they face challenges as severe or nearly as severe as war. These could include financial problems, nuclear power accidents, power struggles, civil unrest, terrorism, and a challenge to the government’s grip on power.
For example, Pluto was transiting across the U.S. natal Sun at 10° Taurus during the American Civil War (1861–65). As the war began on April 12, 1861, Pluto was at 8° Taurus. By the war’s end on April 9, 1865, it had crossed to 12° Taurus. It is difficult to imagine a more serious national challenge than the Civil War; it could easily have resulted in the end of the United States of America had it not been for enlightened leadership.
Transiting Pluto was conjoined the natal Sun of the Soviet Union from January 1988 and October 1991, a period which coincided with the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Since Pluto is a slow-moving planet that takes 248 years to orbit the Sun, the effect of a Pluto conjunction can take anywhere from a few months to several years to appear.
In natal astrology, Pluto rules
- manipulation, denial, coercion, annihilation.
In mundane astrology, Pluto rules
- the abuse of power in all forms
- all things hidden and secret
- widespread death and destruction especially from war, nuclear energy, toxic substances
- power struggles
- totalitarian states
- spy organizations
- secret police
- organized crime
- self-destructive activities
- destructive forces outside of one’s control such as war, natural catastrophes, depressions, and nuclear accidents
Pluto in the signs
Because of its elliptical orbit, the time Pluto spends in each of the signs of the zodiac varies from 12 years in Scorpio to 30 years in Taurus. As Pluto transits through the signs, it marks major shifts in planetary energies. Pluto entered Aquarius on March 23, 2023, 248 years after it last entered this sign. We can gain some understanding of what this might portend by looking at how Pluto activated the energies of previous signs as it passed through them.
Pluto in Sagittarius: 1996 to 2008
In 1996, Elizabeth Clare Prophet spoke about the possible manifestations of the transit of Pluto through the sign of Sagittarius:
Pluto is the planet of transformation, destruction and annihilation. Sagittarius governs philosophy, religion, culture, long-distance travel, and events that happen in foreign lands or distant places. Under a Sagittarius influence, people can behave in a just, optimistic and noble manner. But in its negative mode, people under a Sagittarius influence are likely to express resentment or carry out acts of revenge—often for political or philosophical reasons.
During this cycle, we can expect momentous changes in religion and government, our values and beliefs, our education and culture. We will see a dramatic transformation in the vision we hold of ourselves, the world, our place in the universe and our relationship to God.
In the past, the transit of Pluto in Sagittarius coincided with the golden age of Pericles in Greece, the mission of Jesus Christ, the Italian Renaissance and the Enlightenment in Europe. It saw the introduction of Buddhism into central China and Christianity into Saxony. It coincided with the first unification of China and the codification of law in the sixth-century Roman Empire and in eleventh-century Russia.
Adventure, discovery and vision were on the march. The Portuguese reached China by sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. Roger Bacon predicted the invention of the steamship, the airplane and television. The Sorbonne was founded in Paris, and many cathedrals and temples were built in Europe and Asia.
This cycle also coincided with great religious conflict. Jesus was crucified and John the Baptist was beheaded. The Roman emperor Diocletian unleashed his notorious persecution of Christians. In Athens, Plato’s school of philosophy was shut down because of its so-called pagan ideas. In Persia, Mani was executed for claiming he was a prophet who received divine revelations. In Europe, Germans persecuted “heretics” and Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation.
The cycle of Pluto in Sagittarius also coincided with war—war over the control of the oracle of Delphi, the Second Peloponnesian War, the Second Punic War and the Seven Years’ War.
The current transit of Pluto in Sagittarius, like the previous ones, can have both positive aspects and negative aspects. Between now and 2008, we can give birth to an age of enlightenment and to a new world religion. We must, however, anticipate a counterforce to this progress—the repression of religions and new ideas and even the possible outbreak of religious wars.
This twelve-year cycle could be a time of optimism and expansion. We could see appreciation of foreign cultures and advances in education. Information and culture will move across borders as never before. We may be richer for the experience, but we could also see cultures in conflict—conflict of the kind that has taken place in Bosnia, Rwanda and the Middle East. We could also see education denied to people or used to indoctrinate and control them.
Samuel Huntington, a professor of government at Harvard, argues that in the near future there will be a major clash of cultures. The West will be confronted by Asia in economic matters and by Islam in matters of religion. With Pluto in Sagittarius there is the potential for increased conflict among different ethnic, religious and racial groups. Persecution along class or ethnic lines could cause mass migrations, with unpredictable results. The question of immigration will be debated in many nations. Some will accept refugees, others will not.
The cycle of Pluto in Sagittarius will set the stage for a transformation of governments and even the nature of government itself. Empires and groups of nations are likely to expand and, as they come into conflict with each other, be destroyed or reconfigured.
This could be a time of political ferment like the one that preceded the American and French revolutions. A new world order could take shape. New powers could emerge. And we will finally be forced to settle the question that dominated most of the twentieth century: Can the world exist half slave and half free?
The astrological indicators tell us that a political system of freedom or one of tyranny and chaos will begin to coalesce. The political culture developed during this cycle will begin to crystallize into the dominant form of government that will be established during the transit of Pluto in Capricorn, the sixteen-year cycle that runs from 2008 to 2024.
Pluto in Capricorn: 2008 to 2024
Pluto moves into Capricorn in 2008 and stays there until 2024. During this transit there could be a dramatic restructuring and transformation of all forms of social organization, including nations and groups of nations, like the United Nations.
Profit and nonprofit organizations, corporations, churches, and other religious and philosophical organizations will have already gone through a dramatic transformation under Pluto in Sagittarius and Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius. Now with the influence of Pluto in Capricorn, they will be reconfigured. This will almost certainly extend to communities and perhaps even to families.
During this period of time there will be a redistribution of power and new ways to utilize power within all social organizations. This will give rise to intense power struggles. Residual forces that are holding onto the power of the old structure will come into conflict with those who are trying to develop the new structure.
Capricorn rules the old but it also is the bridge to the future. When Pluto goes into Capricorn, we will already be well into the new information/wisdom age, and the momentum of change will crush any remaining reactionary forces that want to drag people back into the past. Yet if we aren’t careful, we could see the emergence of a form of high-tech tyranny. Pluto in Capricorn could also bring the development of social structures at a much higher level, depending on whether we’ve successfully made the transition to a higher way of life.
During a good part of Pluto’s transit of Capricorn, Neptune will be in Pisces. As a result, the old order is going to be rapidly disintegrating (Neptune in Pisces) and another order is going to be rapidly crystallizing (Pluto in Capricorn).
The questions for this generation will be: Are these influences going to work together or are they going to work at cross purposes? Will there be two separate worlds—the Neptunian compassionate world and the Plutonian repressive world? Or will Pluto in Capricorn create structures that, like a beautiful platinum setting, ensconce the brilliant new diamond of Neptune in Pisces? We shall see.
While the first decades of the new millennium bring the potential for momentous shifts in consciousness that are both promising and progressive, we may still have to travel over some choppy water to get there.
Pluto in Aquarius: 2023 to 2043
The sign of Aquarius is associated with freedom, revolution (for good or ill) and technological and social innovation. It rules progress and the future. While Aquarius rules groups and group activity, it also gives the impulse to individuality. Those born under the sign of Aquarius are often highly original in their approach to matters. Aquarius rules the dissemination of ideas and information. In its negative expression, Aquarius can be expressed as tyranny or anarchy rather than freedom.
We may well see positive and negative aspects of Aquarius come to the fore in this cycle, as we saw the previous time Pluto was in Aquarius, from 1778 to 1798. This period included the American War of Independence (1775 to 1783) and the French Revolution (1789 to 1799), including the Reign of Terror (1793 to 1794). It was a period of fundamental change in the structures of society, the overthrow of an old order and the establishment of a new. We saw greater freedom (as was established in the American Revolution), but also the rise of tyranny (as in the Reign of Terror).
Astronomical information and section “Pluto in the signs” by the editors.
Other material is from the following sources:
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, July 30, 1989.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Astrology of the Four Horsemen, Glossary of Astrological Terms.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Prophecy, book 2, ch. 15.
- See Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order; and Panel Discussion, “Pluto in Sagittarius,” The Mountain Astrologer, July 1995, p. 13.
- Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Patricia R. Spadaro and Murray L. Steinman, Saint Germain’s Prophecy for the New Millennium, chapter 1.
- Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Patricia R. Spadaro and Murray L. Steinman, Saint Germain’s Prophecy for the New Millennium, chapter 5.
- Elizabeth Clare Prophet, June 29, 1991.