Starself • (724) 570 - 5299

When That Rough God Goes Riding

by Liza Jane Brown

“There’ll be nobody hiding when that rough god goes riding, riding on in.”
– Van Morrison

If, even after reading Richard Tarnas’ essential book, “Cosmos and Psyche,” you think the jury is still out about the validity of astrology, go back to January 25, 2008 and before, and read what astrologers were writing regarding the then-looming transition of Pluto from Sagittarius to Capricorn.

To capture the essence of what the next 16 years would be like, astrologers needed to combine the archetypal significance of both Pluto and Capricorn. As it moves slowly through the zodiac (taking 258 years to orbit the Sun), Pluto inexorably transforms whatever it touches in our individual and collective lives. These transformations usually occur at such primal, subconscious, collective levels, that when we are experiencing the process, we have difficulty understanding much of what is happening, let alone why.

Because Capricorn is a cardinal/earth sign, it is a given that during this transit Pluto is generating profound metamorphosis of all of our structures—things we were used to thinking of as immutable: importantly, our institutions, our social systems and belief systems. We also know, given Pluto’s association with primal forces, and Capricorn’s association with the Earth, that Mother Earth herself is a primary focus of these current transformative energies.

This major planetary transit happens as we stand on the cusp of the Age of Aquarius. Other significant aspects are also occurring under this umbrella, lending their own significance and influencing the ways in which Pluto in Capricorn is actually rendering itself into our lives.

When Rick and I first penned our thoughts on the subject ( we felt certain it was going to be a really big deal. However, actually experiencing the reality and rapidity of the change in our zeitgeist has been amazing! Pluto stepped into those steel-toed shit-kickers on January of 2008, and got down to its Pluto job with a vengeance. Reflect upon how deeply, and in how many ways, our little world has been shaken up and turned inside out in the past seventeen months.

If you are reading this you can probably count yourself fortunate enough to have decent food and shelter. Even so, your financial foundations are likely quivering, if not crumbling, from the global economic catastrophes that Pluto in Cap has ushered into our lives. The economies of our governments and other institutions are so intertwined that few people in the world remain unaffected by the financial morass in which we unceremoniously find ourselves.

If we follow the economic thread, or pick at random the thread of any other issue that seems to be currently overshadowing our lives, we soon arrive at a ganglion where all threads – poverty, intolerance, war, climate change and countless other causes of suffering – inextricably converge.

Pluto is undeniably a “rough god” (to borrow Van Morrison’s phrase), and Capricorn makes it much rougher – fifteen more years of Pluto in Capricorn is going to be a looong time. And, not to make you nervous or anything, but we do seem to be at a watershed in the evolution of our species and our planet (not likely the end of the world, but undeniably the end of the world as those of us living have known it).

Our species has prevailed for thousands of years with a largely “us vs. them” mindset, competing and conquering, concerned for our own tribe and our own patch of land. And it’s not easy to be philosophical and open-minded, to trust and extend a hand, when such serious matters as we currently face can so deeply impact our very survival. One gets quite a claustrophobic feeling when we realize that our planetary resources are mostly FINITE, that there is NO ESCAPE. Pluto in Capricorn is making sure that we get the message: we must re-vision and re-form the institutions, habits and thought patterns that no longer serve us. WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO LEARN TO GET ALONG. And as Plato is commonly paraphrased, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

The work that Pluto in Capricorn calls upon each of us to do is by nature, very, very difficult. Relationships between family members and friends have been sorely wounded as we each cope with this transition as best we can. Fellow Earthlings continue to suffer and die unnecessarily for want of nutritious food, drinkable water, more accessible health care, just social policies, and the fruits of enlightened diplomacy. At the same time we are trying to birth new ways of doing and being, we must cope with the death of our older, ineffective methods, which are habitual and comfortable. We are scared and nostalgic, and it’s very hard to let go.

These days, I am thinking especially about how our ancestors’ lives were pervaded by a sense of their real connection with the earth, water and sky. Archaeological artifacts speak of their respect for, and collaboration with, the universe that sustained them. As Pluto slowly circles the zodiac and revisits each sign, our species is challenged to re-learn the lessons of, and re-interpret the pertinent zodiacal archetype in ways meaningful to the times. This time, Pluto in Capricorn is telling us to get back to these very basics in a 21st century, high-tech, more socially responsible and more spiritually evolved way.

Back before Pluto in Cap rumbled onto on our 21st century stage, Rick and I hypothesized about both the difficult and the positive developments that it would herald, because the seeds of solution are always intrinsic to the problem, and both are contained in the astrological archetype. We have been greatly heartened at the spontaneity with which antidotes are beginning to materialize out of the collective: countless grassroots efforts disseminating through our electronic media, brilliant individuals emerging and lending their genius, unanticipated opportunities blooming in the gaps created by the hastening decay of outmoded systems, all contributing to the healing, holistic solutions we now so desperately need. So many of us are full of great ideas and enthusiasm for a better future!

Your God wants to work through you! As tough as working with Pluto in Capricorn energies can be, it is immeasurably satisfying. And Rick and I assure you that being personally responsible for yourself, your species and your planet at this particular time in history is immeasurably important for us all.

Back to Top