The United States is experiencing a rebirth. Not a cultural or political rebirth, but a cosmic one.
The US will have its first “Pluto return” on 22 February, an event that’s been 248 years in the making. It’s no coincidence that the country will have a spiritual awakening on a sequential day like 22/2/22. In fact, it was written in the stars.
The planet Pluto represents death and rebirth. It takes more than 240 years for Pluto to return to the same position it originated when a natal chart began. For those uninitiated with the inner workings of astrology, a natal chart is like a snapshot taken of the sky at the moment of a person — or a nation’s — birth. On 22 February, Pluto will return to the position it was in at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As humans, we will never experience a Pluto return, unless of course we live to be 248 years old. But for long-standing nations, a Pluto return has often resulted in a rise of power and the fall of empires.
“Pluto represents in astrology the destruction of old foundations so that you can replace those foundations with new ones,” said Evan Nathaniel Grim, the founder and lead analyst of Inner Worlds Astrology. Grim, whose background is in data analytics, grew a following of 68,000 on TikTok for his astrology readings and lunar cycle forecasts.
“Any and all behavioral patterns the country has developed over the past 250 years will be kind of challenged, and potentially overturned,” he told The Independent. “Pluto basically is going to unearth all the uncomfortable truths in this country and sort of shine a light on the cracks and structures, so that we can all see that it needs to change.”
While the country’s Pluto Return is at its strongest on 22 February, one could argue we’ve been been feeling its effect for the past two years. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic caused the economy to contract. While the number of millionaires in the world jumped by 5.2 million during the pandemic in 2020, that same August, nearly 1.2 million Americans were claiming unemployment benefits. Astrologers believe that the Pluto return will highlight all of our weaknesses as a country, but may impact the economy most of all.
Peyton Michi is a practicing tropical astrologer, whose readings and forecasts have gained her more than 100,00 followers on TikTok. “We have been suffering the consequences of late stage capitalism for some time now, so we can expect America to go through an economic rebirth over the next few years,” Michi said. “The desire to break down these systems and structures comes from the discomfort and intensity of the pending Pluto return.”
A transformation is well overdue for a generation that’s been shaped by economic uncertainty. Millennials who graduated from college in 2008 and entered the job market were immediately stunted by the Great Recession. And despite higher earnings in household income than the boomer generation, millennials still only own about 5 per cent of America’s wealth.
In astrology terms, millennials are known as the “Pluto in Scorpio” generation, meaning the planet was in Scorpio from 1983 to 1995 when most millennials were born. This placement, according to Grim, has informed a generation of anxious freethinkers desperate for change. “Pluto in Scorpio is actually about a fear of death and a fear of dying. It’s about facing our mortality, and eventually facing our fears,” he said. “If you think about what millennials experienced at an early age, we witnessed a lot of tragedy.”
Scientists say that correlation doesn’t always equal causation, but astrologers believe that when there are correlations in astrological events, it warrants taking a closer look – especially when Pluto returns have caused disruptions in power throughout history. The Roman Empire experienced its first Pluto return during the years 218 and 220 AD, a period marked by divisive leaders, scandal, death, and unstable transfers of power throughout the Severan dynasty, until its end in 235 AD. Pluto’s second return happened between 461 and 468 AD, just eight years before the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. England survived three Pluto returns — during the Great Famine of 1315, at the start of the Elizabethan era and a golden age of British literature, and during the formal creation of the United Kingdom in 1801.
“We have this theme of not only structural collapse, but transitions and leadership as a historical precedent,” Grim said. “A lot of astrologers’ predictions this year, in thinking about the US, was our leadership situation. But not only that, are our institutions ineffective?”
It may take 250 years for empires to collapse, but in the United States, it takes only four years for Americans to feel dissatisfied with their government. The 2020 election provided momentary relief for citizens who were threatened by the Trump administration, but even a change in leadership can only do so much when inequality is deeply embedded in the structure of a nation.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, even where astrology is concerned. That’s why to prepare for the United States’ Pluto return, astrologers suggest relinquishing control over what we cannot change.
“For people to make the most of this time, it's about releasing what you've been holding on to,” Grim said. “It’s about staring into the dark without blinking. And if you stare long enough, you start to see something new, and hopefully something better.”
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