Despite being demoted from a planet to a planetoid, (so undignified!) Pluto’s influence has hardly been lost in translation. Quite the contrary. In the early part of the year it joined Jupiter to form a square, igniting uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya. (optimistically dubbed “The Arab Spring”) Between now and mid-2016, Pluto comes together with erratic Uranus — also in a tense square – and I daresay the consequences will be far more chaotic than they were with Jupiter.
As Lord of the Underworld Pluto holds jurisdiction over the realm of death; when Pluto hits a planet in an individual chart (e.g. Venus) the affairs of that planet (in the case of Venus, the realm of human relations, and also money) undergo a profound transformation. In the same way that death marks a definitive termination, (the person is gone and will never come back again) Pluto’s influence marks the end of something that can no longer evolve in its present form. (e.g. a relationship that is no longer viable) Pluto in Capricorn concerns itself with profound changes in government and corporations.
Pluto’s influence is best understood as part of a process. Just as a corpse decomposes into the earth where its elements are free to reformulate into brand new configurations (perhaps the calcium in the bones goes on to nourish a tree or a field of vegetables) so too are the lovers forever changed by the relationship that has just ended; if all goes well, each will take what was valid and move on to something more suited to their needs. In this sense Pluto rules the entire process of evolution whereby plants and animals become more and better suited to their environments.
Since Jupiter is for the most part beneficent — all about new opportunities for growth — the uprising in Tahrir Square unfolded nonviolently. A tyrant who had ruled with an iron fist for more than thirty years was toppled without bloodshed, opening the way for a more representative form of government. (I was in Egypt this past May, and while the people can barely believe what they accomplished, they are also anxious and uncertain about the future. Tourism, their primary source of income, has dried up, at least for the immediate present.)
In 2008 Pluto began a series of oppositions to planets in the U.S. chart. Initially it opposed Venus (ruler of money) and we witnessed a financial meltdown that brought us close to the brink of disaster. Now Pluto has moved on to an opposition with the U.S. Jupiter through June of next year. Jupiter has a great deal to do with our faith in the future. Who would argue that the nation is suffering from a lack of confidence in government? Who can blame us with Washington so out of touch with the mood of the electorate?