Pluto inside the Orbit of Neptune

© by L. Blake Finley, M.A.

An earlier version of this article also appeared in the ISAR Newsletter, v.12

There are numerous accounts of the effect of eccentric Pluto orbiting inside Neptune's orbit, from 1984 to 1999.  This is a rare phenomenon, and should, from an astrological perspective, have had an effect on mass consciousness during that time. Several humanistic and transpersonal astrologers have implied that the order of the planets can be interpreted as stages of personal/social development. The first trans-Saturnian planet, Uranus, represents innovation and individual insights outside established or prescribed definitions. Uranus prompts individual uniqueness, original insights, progress, and invention. Next is Neptune, which prompts spiritual awareness and the recognition that all reality, people and things, are interactive and have impact on each other; this is at the core of almost any spiritual paradigm one chooses. It manifests as empathy, compassion, and inspiration from sources outside the ego. Then comes Pluto, as a result of awareness extending beyond the self and the ego, prompting a deeper understanding of the underpinnings of interactions with others (social psychology) and awareness of and interest in collective resources, be they material or not. The lowest level manifest, when Pluto was "discovered", as Fascism, an ideology that allowed established wealthy corporations to dominate the state, and individual lives were readily sacrificed to benefit a power élite.  Expressing the lowest level of Pluto, it let the drive for material development and acquisition override consideration of humanity; Fascism contended that the "weak" (the poor and the disabled) must die out so the "strong" (the rich and healthy) can further strengthen their position. Fascist leaders, in a low Plutonian manner, used insights into social psychology to manipulate the public (in Germany, Italy, and Japan) to blindly follow the corporate state ideology. It did this, in part, by censoring the media; the Hitler machine was considered expert at manipulating huge crowds of people. Hitler's Plutonian Fascism promised a return to wealth and prosperity, but at the price of compassion and humane values.

Pluto inside the orbit of Neptune left a gap open so that humanity could jump from Uranus to Pluto without going through the Neptune stage. At that time, Neptune was also in Capricorn, as sign that is very dissimilar from the nature of Neptune. Thus, in the overall picture, our planet jumped from technology (UR) to power and control (PL) to an idealization (NE) and even glamorization (NE) of tradition (CP) and materialism (CP). Unfortunately, what we saw, particularly in American society, was a revival of Pluto without compassion: insistence that money and material acquisition reign supreme, at the expense of empathy and compassion. The arrogant wealthy drove past the poor living in the streets seemingly without any understanding or feeling; the corporate-controlled media told them that this was OK, and the state of affairs as they should be, as the poor "deserve" their lot.  In the 80s, Madonna sang to us about being "a material girl living in a material world" while a Christian cross swung from her neck. As Pluto moved back to its regular orbit, Madonna, a powerful vehicle of the collective unconscious, claimes to have altered her philosophy and grew to understand the importance of integrated spirituality into life.  Even humanism, an enlightened philosophy that encourages independent thinking and reason, was attacked by inane religious leaders whose control was threatened by people using their own minds to think instead of blindly following along after them like sheep-like slaves.

Pluto back outside the orbit of Neptune should, potentially, bring more of this realization of the significance of spirituality, empathy, and compassion. The new frontiers of science verify that that much of the "metaphysical" is real.  Let us hope that the nightmare of the crass materialism of the 80s and 90s is nearly over as we turn away from corporate babble's so-called "real world" (actually created by wealthy and skilled propaganda machines, and no more "real" than you choose to believe it is) and move forward, lessons learned, into the truly real world of a potentially humane society, where spiritual values are interlaced with our daily lives so that our society does not become a living Hell on Earth. This requires debunking the so-called "conservative" materialistic illusions of the 80s and 90s, and the lies of the "traditional" spiritual (Neptune in Capricorn) institutions that in fact often are the complete antithesis of their true origins.

As Pluto now nears the midpoint of Sagittarius, it is time for another age of Enlightenment or a Reformation such as occurred when Pluto was previously in this sign (prefaced by brief but ultimately ineffective inquisitions by retrogressive powerbrokers).  Very often, an outer planet traveling through the first 15° of a sign coincides with the dissolution of the old, and the last 15° with the actual restructuring of new conditions.  Neptune is in Aquarius and already we can see that it is now fashionable to be unique, innovative, and progressive. All this becomes manifest as the Neptune sextile Pluto generation comes to the forefront of our social institutions, integrating the two planets to bring their impact on our planet to an ever higher level.  This may however, require first that certain pseudo-"new orders", which are trying to supplant the need for evolutionary change, run their course into self-destruction.  This is what we saw with Hitler, who also spoke of a "new order" propped up by mesmerized goons; but after all its fanfare and havoc, it, too, brought about its own destruction, for it was contrary to universal laws higher than the Plutonian stupidity of greed and power used for large-scale social exploitation.  One thing Pluto teaches us is to not be fooled by surface appearances, but look to the underlying realities in order to perceive the truth.