On New Year's Eve 2020, Pluto, Planet of the Underworld, entered sidereal Capricorn, the sign of administration, where it stays altogether until January 2040. A long time. This trans-Saturnian planet isn’t used in traditional Jyotish, but comes into its own in the sidereal zodiac where its 240-year orbit arrives later than its more familiar Tropical Zodiac setting (Pluto has been in TZ Capricorn since 2008). Pluto tears down the old and brings it back to life transformed with no room for sentiment or inefficiency. It rules near-the-knuckle stuff: obsession, secrecy and ruthlessness, and in Capricorn the focus now is on power, hierarchy, tradition and mineral wealth. In its very short stay so far, Pluto has already created a near-revolution and this planet-sign combination makes like a definition of Underground politics and the Deep State.
Pluto dipped into Capricorn back in February 25th until June 30th 2020, coinciding with the first UK Covid lockdown. It then returned into Sagittarius over the summer of 2020, a spell when most European countries were back to relative normality, though with the expectation the virus would return in Winter Flu Season. Sure enough now as Pluto re-joins Capricorn we are in another authoritarian squeeze. The UK spent Christmas under tight restrictions which progressed to full-fat lockdown, with schools closed and police arresting people for walking and sitting on park benches together. The Covid virus is the justification for all this, lying below the surface and invisible, where it can be whatever anyone wants it to be.
The eye of storm is not the place to evaluate the whole transit. Pluto ingresses are usually dramatic, not to say scary - there was a similar frisson of fear in the early 1990s with the HIV-AIDS epidemic, infinitely deadlier than Covid, where for a while everyone expected to know somebody who had the disease. Then in Sagittarius from 2006, Pluto saw rampant casino capitalism and the subprime mortgage crash, the rise of social media and the War on Terror. Over the last fifteen years Al Queda/ISIS has been the invisible Bogeyman in the context of a pseudo-Crusade and religious war in the Mid-East. Now we have friends and families isolated, public assembly all-but outlawed, schools shut, travel banned, mandated face-masks, and much of the country being paid not to work.
How much of this response is proportionate, how much pretext? Businesses self-evidently are going bust, thousands of them, smallest first then gradually bigger, with hardly a murmur of protest. Compliance is near-total. Surveillance and censorship is everywhere, with the Government having a one-way mirror into all aspects of our lives, while a massive power grab takes place. Queues outside shops are a familiar sight again, a situation that throws ever more people into the arms of online retailers and notches up another victory in the war against cash. Pluto is about a purge and in its shadow form a kind of masochism, where people submit to power and fear, and simply ask for more.
Pluto’s stealthy, under-the-skin associations are also shown in the politicization of the Covid vaccine. The speed with which the jab has been developed and the pushy Government message behind it, not to mention the private profit motive, are all highly Plutonian. How much subtle or overt pressure will be put on people to comply, plus what does the vaccine itself contain and actually do? This point, again, is strongly highlighted and perhaps exaggerated at the beginning of the current transit, but state control and patented medicine shape up to be key issues.
From an orthodox Jyotish standpoint, the world situation is summed up in the simultaneous Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. This Grand Conjunction, also in Capricorn, is the repeat of that in 1961, which brought us the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Saturn in its own sign is predominating and politicians are emphasizing the stern, restrictive and pessimistic, and people scared and doomscrolling at home are lapping it up. Bad news sells. Locking down appears the responsible, sensible measure, taking 'tough choices' and deferring gratification so we can ‘get our lives back’ sooner. Right. Meanwhile, Jupiter debilitated in Capricorn can’t get its message across: optimism, freedom and wealth-creation appear reckless and shallow objectives, and it’s unlikely we’ll have any let-up before Guru enters Aquarius on April 6th. That will take us up to September 15th, when Jupiter then returns into Capricorn, with I suspect more restrictions.
‘Conspiracy theory’ is catch-all slur for ‘alternative viewpoint’, but there seems to be a very stark choice. The Government knows the economy is crashing and burning, and the only explanations are that:
a) It doesn’t care
b) There’s no choice or
c) It’s a deliberate policy
There’s not time enough to discuss the January 6th rampage in Washington, which had all the hallmarks of a staged CIA coup in a third-world nation. Ferment rioting in the streets, get CNN in to cover it, destabilize the government and jump into the vacuum. Capitol Hill is one of the most secure and heavily-protected centres of power in the world, where nobody gets within sight unless they are allowed in. Somebody wanted those demonstrators there: either Trump himself or the anti-Trump faction who created an excuse to expunge him from the public discourse. The simultaneous Plutonian purge of sceptical and off-message social media accounts was as coordinated as it was sinister, and we might all wonder who the next un-person will be.