Revolution is in the Air: The Significance of Pluto’s Ingress into Aquarius on March 23, 2023

Tomorrow morning at 7:13 Central Daylight Time (US), Pluto, the most remote planet in our solar system that archetypally expresses Death and Rebirth energies, the Hidden, and Underworld sojourns, enters the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius. While there will be initial back-and-forth Retrograde periods that will have Pluto backtracking into Capricorn for several months this year, He (and I always refer to the Planetary Intelligences by the Gods They are named after) will stay put in Aquarius starting in January 2024 for a transit that will last until March 8, 2043.

The Context of Pluto’s Ingress into Aquarius

This transit takes place against the backdrop of the Vernal/Autumnal Equinox on March 20 and the New Moon at 0° of Aries on March 21 featuring a stellium of planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Chiron, Jupiter) in the Cardinal Fire Sign of Aries. These astronomical events blazing with Aries Fire emphasize that we really are on a new path. The Vernal Equinox in the ancient Mediterranean has traditionally been viewed as the reckoning of the New Year (it still is in the Persian festival of Nowruz); the New Moon in Aries is viewed as the start of the new astrological year.

As Above, So Below: The Earthly, Political Manifestations of Plutonian Tumult

It takes Pluto 247 years(!) to complete a zodiacal cycle and the last time He forayed into group-minded Aquarius, the American Revolution was underway and that ordeal would subsequently inspire the French Revolution. As astrologer Heather Roan Robbins asked me and everyone else attending her excellent Paganicon 2023 talk on “The Astrology of 2023,” “What do we do with large groups of people so that they can be educated towards good governance?” The focus of Aquarius is on the collective, the demos; how can we foster wise marshaling of resources and decision-making to benefit the collective? One of the major concepts associated with Pluto is power. How can we ensure good governance in a true democratic sense and not an oligarchy or a kleptocracy (where power is concentrated in the hands of the few, our current status quo) OR mob rule (the shadow side of Aquarian energy expressed, for example, in the Reign of Terror that shadowed the French Revolution)?

As I type this entry, we’re all processing a lot of eventful news on the world stage in the past couple of weeks, with intriguing political events taking shape in my country involving the likely imminent indictment of former president Donald J. Trump. True to Pluto in Aquarius fashion, U.S. Capitol Police are once again embracing for potentially violent right-wing protests in D.C. and elsewhere should this indictment come to pass.

This political unrest comes hot on the heels of Saturn’s recent departure from Aquarius and entry into Pisces (March 7), which formed a square right off the bat to shock-and-awe Uranus in His transit of money-conscious Taurus. What happened? Like clockwork, within 48 hours of that ingress, three U.S.-based banks failed and a lot of us, from working class and the dying middle class to CEOs to the talking heads at the Federal Reserve, are feeling very, very insecure after three protracted years of uncertainty and powerlessness wrought by life during the pandemic.

This is why Edvard Munch’s Expressionist masterpiece, Anxiety (1894), speaks to me so strongly now. It’s the image par excellence of the collective dread we’re trying to navigate our way through. But where are the signposts? What and who is guiding us? Or are we tumbling headlong to our doom like bipedal lemmings?

Don’t Start Singing “Age of Aquarius” Just Yet

Folks not well-versed in Astrology as a discipline but who might have a popular culture understanding of the “Age of Aquarius” might be misled into thinking that we’re already living within it; that it was somehow bequeathed to humanity during the cultural revolution in the Western world during the 1960s.

We’re not. Technically speaking, an Astrological Age takes 2,160 years to pass. We’re only 2,023 years into the Age of Pisces, marked by the time of Christ on Earth. The Age of Aquarius will commence well past all of our current lifetimes from roughly the years 2140-2150. And to keep things in perspective on how slow Pluto transits take, Pluto only moves eight times in a Sign in a given Age.

So we need to be mindful in our discussions of the differences between an individual planet’s cycles and the backdrop of the Astrological Age those cycles occur in. We’re firmly planted in the Age of Pisces and won’t exit until the next century.

More Thematic Elements of Pluto in Aquarius

Plutonian issues are hidden in their Underworld until they bubble up to the surface for our conscious minds to process and understand. Our understanding of humanity will undergo profound reevaluation, death and rebirth during the next 20 years of this Pluto transit. Our understanding of our human origins and our destiny (think AI thoughts!) will come under scrutiny and revision. Humanity will continue to awaken and rebel against perceived injustices. We get a foretaste of all of these explosive issues until June 10 or 11 of this year (depending on your global time zone), when Pluto will go retrograde and backtrack into Capricorn, having us revisit the transformation of social structures, redrawing of national boundaries, and other easy-peasy subjects.

Other Planetary Aspects to Note for the Remainder of the Month

Closer to the Sun, warlike Mars will be changing Signs this month as well: The Ruler of Aries and the traditional Ruler of Scorpio (in the Classical world) will make His ingress into the Cardinal Water Sign of Cancer on the 25th. Cancer is the Sign of Mars’ detriment as it is opposite the Sign of Capricorn, where He is exalted. So it will be curious that the two traditional “Malefic” planets in astrology, Mars and Saturn, will be lodged in Water Signs where neither is at ease. Mars in Cancer makes us emotionally defensive in general. Its energies can be used in a protective sense of home and family/emotional security, the life themes Cancer rules, or it can find a very negative expression in an uptick in domestic violence cases. On the physical health front, our immune systems can take a battering during a Mars in Cancer transit so increase your vitamin C doses and get lots of adequate exercise and rest.

On the 27th, we will have Mercury conjunct jolly Jupiter at 17° and 18° of Aries, respectively. This can find a wide range of expression, from the positive end of the spectrum of inspiration and great strides in communications, publishing, legal issues, and positive thinking in general to the negative end of the spectrum of grandiose thinking/taking on more than we are capable of handling in terms of projects and even passive-aggressive behavior and verbal cruelty on a large scale (amplified by social media, of course!). Choose your words carefully!

The traditional “Malefics” of Saturn at 2° Pisces and Mars at 2° Cancer will trine on March 30th. This may help us feel more emotionally stable with the whirlwind of changes taking place around us. Also on the 30th, beguiling Venus will be conjunct Uranus at 16° Taurus, where Venus is in Her sensual home. This energy can play out as a restlessness in established relationships or the newness of falling in love, with electrifying results. Have fun with it! (I have Venus conjunct Uranus in my own natal chart and I spontaneously attract fellow weirdoes, ha!)

The month will end on a high-vibrational frequency of excitement and nervousness as we all try to find our way in her territory. Always remember, in a world where you can be anything, be kind!

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