Planetary returns are typically very significant times in a person’s life. The first return of Mars to its place in the birthchart just after the age of two marks the “terrible twos” – the returns of Saturn at age 28-30 and 56-60 mark major shifts of focus from youth to achievement (first return), and then from achievement to retreat (second return).
Nations also have astrological charts, and therefore also have planetary returns but there is none so significant as the Pluto return. Pluto takes 244 years to traverse its path around the Sun, and so the Pluto return occurs every 244 years or so. I always find it interesting to examine historical data in order to attempt predictions about what could occur during the the US Pluto return which will take place around 2020, but I was unable to find one country whose current government was in existence 244 years ago.
Because Pluto’s domain has to do with power, corruption, destruction and regeneration, we would expect that governments which do not have a strong foundation would experience some kind of collapse or major transformation during these times.
There are a few empires whose influence have lasted through at least one Pluto return, but I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Roman empire. The Roman empire was established in 27 bce and lasted until the abdication of the last emperor in 476 ce after the second Pluto return. (It’s interesting to note that a major crisis does not always occur at the time of a major planetary cycle – often the planetary cycle sets the wheels in motion for the crisis to occur in the years following the planetary event.)
The first Pluto return occurred around 216-222 ce. This was the period of the Severan dynasty, the last lineage of the original Principate founded in 27 bce. The Roman empire was no stranger to political corruption, assassination and brutality, but under the Pluto return every emperor in this dynasty was assassinated or murdered.
The collapse of this dynasty in 235 ce marked the beginning of a period of anarchy and the separation of the empire into several competing states, also known as the Crisis of the Third Century. Out of this crisis grew a second phase of the empire from Principate to Dominate – a conversion of the emperor from merely a head of state to a more powerful despot – literally translated as “lord and master.” This concentration of power was seen as necessary to unite the empire once again.
The second Pluto return took place between 461-467 ce, shortly before the revolt and deposition of the last emperor which marks the end of the Roman empire in 476 ce.
An astrology chart of a nation or empire uses a date of inception, and this is often a constitution or some other kind of formalizing document creating a new government. The signing of the United States Constitution is used as the astrology chart for the US. Under President Trump, there has been a great deal of talk about a “constitutional crisis” occurring if the Executive branch decides to defy the system of checks and balances established in the Constitution. For example, if the Executive branch ignores the decisions of the Justice department and exerts its authority in ways that have been ruled unconstitutional, this would threaten the power of the constitution to govern and the government could collapse.
It’s too early to predict what could happen as we approach the US Pluto return. But astrologers are not surprised at the turn the government has taken. Pluto also presides over the exposure of the dark underbelly of society and darkness in general – the darkness must be exposed before it can be eradicated. So I would expect more of the nastiness of the past few years as we approach the peak of the Pluto cycle in 2020.
Pluto plays a critical role in human development and progress as it exposes the functions and structures which need to be destroyed and rebuilt in order to operate smoothly. It is not to be feared but honored for its power and wisdom in steering the ship of humanity’s journey on the proper course.