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The USA Pluto Return

January 19 – April 15, 2022 (Exact February 22)

May 14 – August 25, 2022 (Exact July 11)

November 20, 2022 – January 28, 2023 (Exact December 28)

Astrologers have had their eyes on this event for years. Pluto is the planet that is all about power and, in its role as a truth-teller, makes us face difficult realities, routing out toxicity and wounding in the name of empowerment and healing.  This year it culminates  a 246-year passage through all the signs of the zodiac, and returns to its natal position in the birth chart of the United States, born on the Fourth of July, 1776.  A definite “chickens come home to roost” moment, the coop being the inherent value system of our nation and what we do to honor and support it. Pluto, acting like a karmic bulldozer, starts by demolishing what needs to be healed and transformed in order to create whole, clear, clean space.  It then uses its powerful energy for the rebuilding of the new.  Pluto operating at full force in this kind of scenario is rarely pretty, but it’s always working for the highest good, and sometimes hard, gritty, dirty work is the only thing that will get the job done.  


Back in 2014, I tore out an article entitled “The Right Use of Power – The United States Pluto Return,” written by Jessica Murray for The Mountain Astrologer.  I filed it away, unread. Earlier  this month, hoping to get a start on this article, I opened the Research folder and finally read it.  More than seven years ago, here’s what she alerted us to:


(1) In the years leading up to 2022 there would be a series of planetary passages paving the way for the Pluto Return will introduce themes associated with it and give this country a chance to prepare for making a positive response to the event.  


   For the record, here’s a brief recap of the most significant of these:  


  • 2001 – Pluto enters the 1st House of the USA’s chart. The First House represents experiences having to do with the very personality of the individual or nation.

*** 9/11 happens. ***


  • 2008 – Pluto enters Capricorn.  Ambitious Capricorn is all about responsibility and rules structures and organizations like government, big business, and banking.  It stands for organization, control, ambition, hard work, and determination.   Its energy is devoted to making things stable and secure, and once strong foundations and structure are established, Capricorn energy will fight to the finish not to lose control. The planet associated with healing, transformation, and empowerment in the sign representing achievement of goals and establishment of secure structures results in an amazing convergence of energy that can accomplish just about anything.  Of course, the outcome all depends on how we use it.**

*** The economic melt-town and Great Recession happens. ***

  • 2018 – Uranus, the “Awakener” enters Taurus, the sign of the “Earth Spirit.”  Security-minded Taurus represents our value system and the resources, including money, and natural and material items, that provide the foundation for one’s safety and growth.  Uranus opened the doors for potential economic upset – even rebellion – if our actions as a nation were out of whack with values inherent in our national character.

*** The gap between the “haves and have nots” widens. ***


  • 2020 – Saturn and Pluto meet up in Capricorn for the first time in 500 years, in the 2nd House of the USA chart.  The Second House resonates with the sign of Taurus, representing experiences and events having to do with values and how we individually or collectively use our resources (material, monetary, environmental, and energetic, and things like emotional commitment and the investment of time and effort) in support of those values.    

*** Covid arrives. ***

*** The Pluto Return is in this sign and house of the USA’s chart. ***


(2) The over-arching issue at the return is whether or not the USA uses its phenomenal military, political, economic, cultural, and societal power (Pluto) in accordance with the values exemplified in its natal chart. 


(3) Pluto, the great karmic “excavator” and truth-teller, will force us to confront our national “shadow”, bringing to light any buried or hidden practices and violate those values, exposing the outworn, obsolete and wounded, and corruption, neglect, and abuse. 


   I will spare you the litany of what has been revealed over these past years.


(4) That how we respond individually and collectively as a nation to what is revealed will determine whether or not we will continue to thrive as a nation and continue to retain our powerful leadership in the world. 


If I weren’t an astrologer myself, I might think that Jessica Murray is some psychically-empowered, super-human fortune teller, perhaps even of alien origin.  


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


So, it’s 2022 and the Pluto Return has arrived.  What to do?   Individually and collectively, when a major planetary return occurs – think the Saturn Return at approximate ages of 29 and 58 personally – it’s time to look at the themes associated with that planet as it fits into the natal chart from every perspective: to recognize the positive potential that can be released and show up and face the negative playouts or vulnerabilities that require work, and do something about them.  As citizens of this amazing country, our individual choices and responses do contribute to our nation’s growth and progress.  Something as simple as showing up to vote responsibly or reaching out to an individual in need can make a difference.  Although the challenges of this return look and are massive, there is a tremendous opportunity to “clean up our act” with Pluto at our backs to get that job done, and then use its energies, along with our own, to live our national values and shine ever-brighter at home and on the global stage.  We’ve got time.  Pluto moves deeply and slowly. As always, the choice is ours.   


I wish I could predict when and how all this will end, but in all the years of my practice I have learned that although the energetic passages themselves are totally and reliably predictable and neutral, the way those energies actually manifest in the world is not.  The choices we make and the history of those choices and their consequences become our individual and collective autobiographies.  But I can say this.  I absolutely have hope and confidence in our country and its values, in the fundamental goodness of the human spirit, and in the benevolence of our Universe.   


The question is not “What’s the outcome?’ but “What’s the next right thing to do?”


*** Whatever it is, we can do it.  ***


I’ll close with the quote I have repeated daily for more years than I can remember:


“All is well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

- Dame Julian of Norwich, c. 1350


Blessings on your way,


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