by Eric Francis
Today’s Full Moon forms an exact square to Pluto, which arrived in Capricorn in late January. Till now it has managed to stay out of the spotlight; it is now very much in the glow. Today the Moon opposes the Sun (also called the Full Moon), and both the Sun and Moon are square Pluto. All three points meet one another at opposing or right angles. In addition Mars in Cancer is still opposite Pluto, so the Sun and Moon will square Mars as well. This is dramatic, and it can be shocking. Full Moons tend to precipitate events; square aspects tend to do the same thing. There is nothing like a Full Moon to set off a knock effect and make the positions of other planets reveal their full strength and implicit themes, and this is what we are seeing.
Sign changes of Pluto always throw society into a new gear, and since we’re all on the bus, we all come along. However, exceedingly few people feel like their lives are part of something larger. We tend to take everything directly, personally, and forget that there is a greater scheme out there; that personal and global events are inseparably joined.
Pluto does not change signs often: in the current era, it occurs about every 12 to 15 years. When Pluto makes a move, we typically find ourselves in one of those “everything is changing at once” moments. This is what’s happening right now. But this is having some very specific expressions, all of them relating to Pluto and Capricorn joining forces — the rearrangement of structure.
The setup involves something called the Aries Point. Simply, this is the first degree of Aries — where the Sun arrived Thursday as it entered Aries. This first degree of Aries is always active. Any time a planet arrives in that degree, or makes a square or opposition to that degree, we can notice the effect. After watching the point for years, I gave it the key phrase “the personal is political.” (This phrase was coined in the Sixties by the radical feminist group Red Stockings; I have adapted it to astrology.)
When astrologers say that a planet or event is “on the Aries Point,” they typically mean that it’s in the first few degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn — one of the four cardinal signs or cardinal points, also called the four directions. And because Pluto is sitting right in the beginning of Capricorn, it qualifies, and in reality so does Mars in early Cancer. The combined effect of Sun + Moon + Pluto + Mars + Aries Point is what we are witnessing now. Other factors that have been lurking in the background are making themselves known as well.
Pluto is the tiny anti-planet that so many people love to hate. Despite the recent discovery and naming of Eris, Pluto remains the final arbiter in the current scheme of the cosmic psyche, the bottom line relating to sex, death, money and power. When we break through this rather congested, tumultuous dimension of reality, we can can come out somewhere known as The Self.
Eris points us to how confused we are about that little detail. She is the patron saint of the postmodern identity crisis; when we feel clueless about our sense of self, sense of mission or inner orientation, this is Eris speaking. When we take advantage of this chaos and turn it to the fertile void, this is a journey we can allow Eris to guide us through.
Eris liberates us into a sense of life. The problem is, we choose death again and again; that is, we choose the dark side of Pluto.
Pluto is the cleanup man, or maybe the wrecking ball; he has the solution, or maybe the dissolution; he represents the inevitable; he has the power to drop the World Trade Center like a couple of marionettes (that was a particularly potent Pluto + Aries Point event).
Capricorn is the sign that represents the structure of society; it represents history and tradition and old institutions; it represents our relationship to the material world. Pluto entering this sign is promising deep, sweeping changes to the fragile material world that we have known for most of our lives, a world we have long wondered whether it could continue for much more time
During the Pluto in Sagittarius era, we witnessed nearly nonstop expansion, globalism and a prevailing philosophy of optimism, despite another prevailing philosophy of terrorism. (Sagittarius is the sign of “isms.”) Now that Pluto is in Capricorn, we are seeing contraction, pessimism, restructuring and a serious wake-up call to the more grounded realities of an earth sign.