Dweller on the Threshold: The United States' Pluto Return: Part 3
Our drip-by-drip empirical decline is the incremental fallout of the US’s Pluto return. The message is simplistic but brutal: The dream is done.
“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.” —Oscar Wilde
“Each Culture has its own new possibilities of self-expression which arise, ripen, decay and never return.” —Oswald Spengler, Decline of the West
“Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.” —Sophocles
WHEN ANY PLANET within the astrological pantheon returns to its natal position, a heightened tension is released as the planet approaches its point of origin by sign and house.
Each moment in time is bracketed by history and potential. The prospect for the future—the dream—is what hypnotizes and drives each of us—or a nation—towards tomorrow, dragging our past behind us.
The deluded vision of Manifest Destiny was the future dream that galvanized the United States. The phrase might not have been coined until 1845, but the philosophy’s essence embued the Declaration of Independence, the bedrock of the US’s natal horoscope.
Like most religion-fueled ‘visions,’ Manifest Destiny was a ruse to rationalize behavior that was anything but providence-decreed.
A deflected Jehova’s Witness once told me that whenever his church had some new agenda they wanted to foist on the congregation, they would declare that ‘new light’ had descended for the elders to transmit to the True Believers. And then they’d decree the such and such of a ‘new’ inconvenient truth.
For the United States, Manifest Destiny justified the forced removal of Native Americans (and other groups) from their territories and homes. Indigenous people—many nomadic by nature—were viewed as squatters, impediments to the fever dream’s fulfillment.
Dreams carry baggage—omissions and commissions that optimize the dream. The accrued dross—the hidden and redacted—the inconvenient truths—that the US’s Pluto return puts in great detail and discharges from the collective’s memory banks.
It accomplishes this by literalizing what was heretofore a collection of free-floating iniquities.
Americans are now living out this particular moment. A sort of comeuppance or correction (if you like a less accusing term) that unfolds in phases as Pluto heads towards the cusp of the sign Aquarius—leaving Capricorn in March of 2023.
The dreams of nations are complex and multifaceted. National dreams, unchecked, develop into ideological manias that are held in place by groupthink.
Nietzsche wrote: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.”
Consider the roiling rage that’s gripped partisan politics in the United States. Political obsessions have replaced religion in America, and the hope of any agreement or even nuanced exchange seems impossible.
Doris Lessing pegged this syndrome for communists in the 1930s, in her book The Golden Notebook, where she wrote that communism literally served to create a psychological existence for its adherents.
This, of course, isn’t ‘new’ to the US. We still live with the fallout from the Civil War between Northern and Southern mindsets. The difference now is that the contrasts, the regressed and festering class and racial differences have traveled over the event horizon. A house so fractured can not stand.
Years ago, in California, in my teens, I attended a baseball game at Dodger Stadium. The mania of a bellowing mob aligned with a sports team freaked the shit out of me. A palpable, free-floating tribal madness rumbled through the stadium, shaking me down to the tips of my toes. The experience was a thousand times more educational for understanding the psychology of war than anything I learned in history class.
Shutting Down the Shop
In the ancient Hindu doctrine of cycles, this ‘closing in’ phase of a planetary return, constitutes a sandhya—a salutation to twilight. And the transition state is also akin to what a botanist would call a plant’s ‘seed state.’
Americans are now living through this exact twilight moment in the United States. The ongoing Pluto return for the US occurred in phases related to Pluto’s retrograde. There were three dates for exact ‘hits’ or returns: February 20, 2022. Followed by a retrograde contact on July 10, 2022. And then the final conjunction on December 28, 2022.
Master astrologer Dane Rudhyar describes this phase of a return cycle as being “prophetic” and completely turned toward the future, even though an individual (or nation) feels trapped in the “end-product” of its past.