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Pluto Return Checkup PlutoReturnImage

Early in the year I wrote a series of articles about the possible ways the return of transiting Pluto to its natal position in the horoscope of the United States might change this country. Pluto is the planet of transformation and when it hits a significant point in the horoscope of a person, that person frequently encounters events and influences that have a deep, transformative effect. It is reasonable to expect this same principle would apply to a nation.


My first article dealt with a possible political transformation. (Click here to see the article.) There are many who see the current political situationin the United States as sliding toward totalitarianism. When COVID was at its worse, it was people on the right who saw mandated precautions against the disease as a step in that direction. More recently, a wave of voter restrictions, unabashed gerrymandering and the conservative majority at the Supreme Court have people on the left seeing fascism on the horizon.


With Pluto, however, you can’t let yourself be distracted with what’s apparent. The truth lives beneath all the noise. What is spurring many of these conservative initiatives is the fact that the white, male majority that has ruled this country for over 200 years is fading away. In twenty years or so, it will be gone. That is the transformation and legislative efforts like abortion bans, “don’t say gay” and restriction on transgender rights are a simply piecemeal reactions to that transformation. They are designed to slow the process down but they could just as easily speed it up.


My second article dealt with an economic transformation. (Click here to see that article.) Inflation is has already become a fact of our lives and now there are people taking about a possible recession. Economic issues like inflation and recession are actually very Plutoian. They involve financial mechanism and market forces that few people fully understand. These processes tend to lie under the surface, have deep roots and resist quick fixes.


What’s transformative about such economic factor in not really what happens to the money. It is how people react to such hardships. Polls done during the 1930s indicated that a majority of those impoverished by the Great Depression blamed themselves. I don’t see that happening with the current generations. A more likely reaction is anger and, considering the level of anger and hatred already out there, it would be a very dangerous situation. Thankfully, we have far to go before we reach that level of economic chaos. Let’s hope it stays that way.


In the third article a brought up the issue of climate change. (Click here to see the article). I wondered if some tremendous weather event could transform the way Americans think about (or don’t think about) global warming. So far, we haven’t even come close to such an event. People have gotten used to walls of fire and drought out west and the damage done by the new breed of super-tornados is localized. The changes wrought by global warming are just too slow and incremental to hold our Snapchat, Tik-Tok attention.


There is one possible source of dramatic climate change that I didn’t mention in that article, mostly because it seemed so impossible back in January. That’s nuclear war. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has suddenly put that option back on the table. Of course, a nuclear war wouldn’t be just an American problem. It would devastate the entire planet. (Much like climate change.) However, a return to a world in which “mutual assured destruction” is the only thing keeping us alive could be seen as a transformative event. It would be a return to the generalized and heighten anxiety that created the Baby Boom generation and, seriously, no one wants that.


In the fourth and final article I wrote about the transformative effects of the COVID pandemic. (Click here to see the article.) Since that article it has become more apparent that, even though deaths and hospitalizations are down, COVID is not going away. Americans seem to have adapted to this new reality. We no longer avoid crowded concerts and ballgames. Outside hospitals and other medical facilities, you see fewer masks and social distancing has ceased to be a ”thing.” We count on our vaccinations or just dumb luck to keep us from being infected and if we are unlucky enough to get sick, there are better treatment options available.


Still, COVID has changed us. The recent concern over monkey pox is an indication of a new awareness that every disease has the potential of becoming a pandemic, of going viral in the most literal and frightening sense of the word. I don’t know if we can call this a transformation, but it could be the beginning of one, particularly if it leads to a realization that, as far as viruses are concerned, the United States and Americans are not so exceptional after all.

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