In September 2006 Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status by a scientific conference in the Czech Republic, which put it on a par with Ceres, the largest asteroid discovered in 1800 and considered for many years to be a planet. I don’t know whether Pluto was offended or not, but it certainly made an impact, when it moved into Capricorn in 2008. By September of that year Lehman Brothers crashed along with the whole of the American economy. Three years later the economies of the western world are still in crisis with whole nations – Greece, Portugal, Spain – teetering on the brink of the abyss. Vast unemployment has been the result, and huge bailouts of major industries and banks have exposed the power gap between the rich and privileged and the ordinary citizen. Pluto in Capricorn rules, right?

At the same time, the economies of India, China and Brazil have flourished, and China is on the way to supplanting the US as the world’s leading economic power. Of course, as the USA has a Venus/Jupiter conjunction at 3-5 degrees Cancer, it has been hit especially hard by the opposition from Pluto. How this all will end is difficult to say, but it is likely that the power of corporations, governments and banks will be drastically transformed by the time Pluto leaves Capricorn in March 2023.

On a personal level, Pluto transits from Capricorn will be hard and uncompromising, bringing down structures whose foundations have never been strong. Pluto is completely unsentimental… whatever you hold dear, but is inauthentic or lacks viability, will have to be eliminated. Only the lean and mean survives. Survival is the primal urge, and everything must bow before that. When the lifeboat is sinking, everything not essential to flotation must be thrown overboard. Pluto in Capricorn brings the steely will to act in this manner.

The following descriptions show the generic effects of Pluto over the four angles with a following commentary on how the specific Pluto-in-Capricorn placement modifies this influence.

Pluto over the Ascendant – Lifestyle transformation
This is a major period of transformation in the way you live your life, the personal choices you make and the way you present yourself generally. The time for compromise has gone; you cast off the old clothes and the old style and immerse yourself in an experiment in authenticity. You uncompromisingly drop an old lifestyle in favor of a new, and this can affect a lot in your life – work, relationships, values and taste. This is part of a psychological transformation process which can see you making radical choices to get down to the bare bones of the meaning and direction in your life. This process brings a new intensity especially emotionally and erotically. There can be major power battles. It can feel as if you are caught up in something beyond your control. The end result however, is that you feel empowered and strong after dropping elements of your lifestyle that no longer feel genuine or meaningful.

With a Capricorn Ascendant, the Pluto transit will affect the skeletal structure of your life, and you will want to reduce your choices to the bare bones, opting for what is necessary for your future path and casting off what is not. You will particularly question your ambitions and work patterns, and ask yourself if they are conducive to happiness. Pretense is cast aside, and you will embrace a tougher persona, which people can take or leave. Basic fears about insecurity and attractiveness will be confronted. If someone is to like you, then they have to see the real you.

Pluto over the Midheaven – Career transformation
This is a major period of career transformation that arises because you have reached a state of exhaustion or meaninglessness in your current professional direction. Power battles with authority figures or faceless institutions wear down your resources. The question arises as to whether you would prefer to do something completely different. Superficial ambitions and goals just will not do it for you anymore. You long to work with a process of discovery and investigation, to get to the very roots of an issue, and you are prepared to give up material security if it means that there will be more depth and meaning in your working life. This process is sure to lead to a major reorientation of life goals. This can also affect family life, perhaps because relocation becomes an option for you. The crucial thing at this time is not to hang onto old outmoded goals just for the sake of a security that you will lose anyway.

With Capricorn on the MC, you have always had authority issues, from the earliest moment of proving yourself to your parents, to living up to the expectations of your boss. With Pluto transiting this point, power battles take place as your projections on authority figures take exaggerated form, almost as if your fears of not living up to demands become demons. The battle is hard, but in the end you shake off pressure from others and rely on your own strength. If this means taking on more authority yourself, with the perceived unpopularity that can bring, so be it.

Pluto over the Descendant- Transformation in relationships
This is a major period of transformation in your relations with others, especially on an intimate level. However much you would like to control another person and get emotional guarantees or relationship security, it is not going to happen at this time. Relationships that lack authenticity will be abandoned, whilst those which are meant to be will be strengthened – but only after an exhaustive period of psychological transformation. The lesson in life now is that dependence on others is a false security. Control or submission, manipulative tactics, the use of erotic power – these things will only lead to desperate and intense emotional upheaval. This process will lead to far greater psychological awareness in your dealings with others. A partner may also go through harrowing extremes at this time. Whilst your support is required, strive to avoid getting dragged into the abyss.

With Capricorn on the Descendant you prefer to be the softy, whilst your partner often has to bear the responsibility for structuring your life. Pluto on the Descendant shatters this comfortable arrangement, and you have to grow up fast. Those you have endowed with the authority to rule you become more demonic, and you are forced to assume control. This is a drawn-out drama which is exhausting psychologically, but ultimately the tables are turned as you eliminate the power others have over you. You are responsible for yourself alone.

Pluto over the IC – Uprooting
This is a major period of transformation in your family life and attachment to the home. Many issues from the past get dredged up and examined, and those bonds that do not pass the test of your ruthless investigation will be left behind. You feel a compelling need to build a new foundation for your life, and loyalties that are based on dependence or emotional blackmail can no longer be accepted. This is a time to examine what is going on underneath your feet – the cellar, the drains, people living below – because something is undermining the ground on which you stand. This process will lead to the creation of new and healthier foundations. You long for authenticity and depth in your family life, and if necessary you are prepared to uproot the family to achieve this purpose and even inaugurate major professional change. A wider restructuring of the extended family can mean that you start a new chapter in your life.

When you have Capricorn on your IC, you are familiar with the stamp of authority and control which has ruled your life from childhood to now. Furthermore you have assumed heavy responsibilities for the people who are dependent on you, and this in turn can lead to rigid structures which are simply not conducive to growth for anyone. The arrival of the Pluto transit here ends the pretense. You did not want this prison either, and you are now afforded the chance the break the chains and tear down the walls that stifle emotional growth. The whole foundation of your domestic and professional life is changed.

All these transits are to be welcomed when they come. They bring the opportunity for change which you have been longing for but have refused to acknowledge for years. Because we are all attached to the people and things that surround us, and inherently wish that everything will remain stable, there is often pain and disorientation with these transits. But invariably the person in question looks back from a vantage point of a couple of years into the future, and is eternally grateful for the changes that have taken place.

Adrian Ross Duncan May 20, 2011