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The United States’ Pluto Return: The Second Return Conjunction (Part 2 of 3)

There’s been some talk and quite a few questions about the United States’ first Pluto Return – what it is, and what it actually means for the country and the world. This will be a bit more technical than my usual articles, but I’m going to do my best to explain what this means, what we’ll be experiencing, and what’s at stake here in the U.S. and around the world.

This article is part two of what will be a three-part series on the United States’ Pluto Return period. To get the fundamental details of this event and what it’s all about, please read Part One first!

Here in part two, we will discuss the next phase of this Pluto Return journey for the United States, specifically where it finds itself in the process right now. I would consider this to be an update from the February conjunction.

That said, Pluto returns to the United States’ natal Pluto position of 27.55° Capricorn at 3:34p EDT on Monday, 11th July 2022 (based upon location of Philadelphia, PA, USA). This time, transiting Pluto is in retrograde motion. The United States’ natal Pluto is also retrograde, so out of the three exact conjunctions of the country’s first Pluto Return, this will be the conjunction most true to the natal position of the U.S. in that it will share the retrograde energy signature.

If you’ve heard of retrograde motion, most of you probably know of it in reference to the infamous Mercury Retrograde which tends to be a scapegoat for all sorts of technological and communicative calamities when it’s in effect approximately three times a year. Yet not many people outside of astrology know that every one of the celestial bodies – except for the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth itself – experience retrogrades, so let’s explain what a retrograde is.

The best analogy for planetary retrograde is one car passing another car on the highway. Both of your cars are moving in the same direction, but you may be moving faster than the car next to you. As you pass them, it looks like the other car is going backwards… but it’s not. Both cars are going forward, just one faster than the other.

The same thing happens with the planets. In this case, the Earth is moving faster than Pluto, making Pluto look like it’s going backwards, or to bring it back to our point, Pluto looks like it’s moving in retrograde motion.

Retrogrades are temporary, as once the faster planet moves far enough around the bend, things look normal again. However, this backwards appearance does play a role in how a planet’s energy reads to us here on Earth.

In astrological interpretation, retrogrades are the external world’s opportunity to respond to how you’ve been using the energy of the retrograde planet. Retrogrades often bring feedback and second chance energies to the matters at hand, especially to those who are willing to listen to, look for, and seize opportunities to learn and grow. In the case of the U.S. Pluto Retrograde – both natal and in transit – this is an opportunity to see how others are responding to the United States’ use (or abuse) of power and influence.

From a natal perspective, the United States can use Pluto’s energy to transform its physical, material, and financial position through use of power, influence, and possibly destruction. The destruction clears away the old to create space for new societal structures to emerge, allowing the United States to establish its power in new or different ways.

In the case of the United States’ Pluto Return, Pluto Retrograde presents opportunities for the country and its leaders to notice the feedback it’s receiving from other nation-states regarding its use of power and influence. It can choose to either be empowered or disempowered by this feedback. In this reception process, the U.S. may recognize that it has some opportunities to change or adjust its course, and it may have some second chances to make choices or take actions it may have missed or ignored before. Pluto Retrograde can be transformative, if its potential created by the feedback is allowed to be embraced and implemented by the recipient.

The thing is, Pluto has the power of transformation, which is allowing one way of being to end in order to allow another way of being to emerge. In Capricorn, Pluto is transforming our societal structures, institutions, and

This second exact Pluto Return conjunction has a less extroverted yet more extrospective chart than its February 2022 predecessor. With almost all chart elements on the west side of the chart and about half below the horizon line, this chart tells us the United States, already very interested in how it is being seen and perceived in the world, is becoming increasingly so. In fact, it seems the U.S. may be desperatelyseeking affirmation of its self-identity from others rather than defining itself. Though its extroversion has toned down some, the U.S. is still drawing much of the fuel for its public expression from its interactions with other nation states. However, the increase in activity below the horizon line since February 2022 indicates that the U.S. seems to be taking a more personal approach to interacting with others, being more selective about its exchanges and expressions.

NOTE: I’ve included both a chart image for the return in the natal location of the United States’ “birth” (Philadelphia, PA), and another for the current location of the U.S. Capitol (Washington D.C.). I will be using the Philadelphia chart for my interpretation of this first exact conjunction of the United States’ Pluto Return. They are very similar, but obviously, not exactly the same (location, location, location).

Philadelphia-Based Return Chart (article reference):

US Pluto Return Second Conjunction

Washington D.C.-Based Return Chart:

U.S. Pluto Return Second Conjunction Washington D.C. 1

This second conjunction is arguably the most intense and challenging of the three exact returns the United States will experience. With the chart for this second moment of exactness having a Scorpio Ascendant, this means Pluto itself is greatly influencing the events that happen at this time. The United States is coming face-to-face with the current state of its own power, amplified by the fact that Pluto is currently in retrograde motion. This is a moment in which the United States can make or break itself based upon how it responds the feedback it’s receiving and the opportunities it sees. The United States may allow itself to be reborn into something that aligns with the evolution of humanity and the world, or find itself in self-destruction mode as result of its inability to adapt.

This time around, the first quadrant of the chart is no longer empty. Since the first conjunction five months ago, the United States has a bit more introspection and sense of self. In fact, it now has some heavy-hitters in its early houses – the South Node in Scorpio in the 1st house, the Moon in Sagittarius in the 2nd house, Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn the 3rd house, and Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius also in the 3rd house conjunct the Imum Coeli.

The Aquarius Saturn Retrograde position is especially significant as it reveals limitations and/or restrictions being imposed on the United States’ ability to control the narrative in the mass communications/media arena. This impacts its sense of stability, safety, and security. However, the interesting part about these limitations is that they seem to be coming from the United States’ own internal affairs. Despite its efforts to present a solid and stable front, too much has been happening on a public/global scale for the U.S. to hide its internal affairs from the rest of the world. With its own matters of human rights, mass shootings, authoritarianism, corruption, and a rapidly-increasing divide between poverty and wealth coming into question, the United States’ problems at home are putting it in the position of hypocrite in the eyes of the rest of the world, and it’s affecting its relationships with other nations.

This is intensified by the Sagittarius Moon being in the chart’s 2nd house representing the United States’ physical, material, and financial resources needs. The U.S. is experiencing a good deal of fear and insecurity about its resources and its economy at this time as other nations begin to seek new and different resource partners, and with the Moon being the primary emotional energy indicator, these fears and insecurities are likely influencing the United States’ choices for more selective or exclusive interactions.

Numerologically speaking, this second exact U.S. Pluto Return conjunction is occurring on a 6 Universal Day in the United States, which is eerily appropriate since six is the “maternal” energy of the numbers, encompassing both the emotional and physical needs of individuals. This reveals a need to take care of its own business and address its own wounds which need to be healed. This is also happening in an 4 Universal Month, meaning that stability, security, structure, and protection are of paramount importance at this time. What is happening on the home front must be addressed. The 6 Universal Year continues, meaning that the entire world is still focused on how to best care for their people. Therefore, other nations are continuing to watch how the U.S. is or isn’t going about doing what it needs to do to help itself. They’re watching how the U.S. people care for themselves and each other, and how well they serve their own and others. It’s also looking at the U.S. to see if the U.S. has come around to share its societal values, putting people before economy or control.

For those of you who are seeking more details about the astrology of the moment, here are the astrological transits within 3° orb at the exact time of this second Pluto Return Exact Conjunction #2:

SEQUENCE: Capricorn Pluto Retrograde in 3rd semi-sextile Aquarius Saturn Retrograde in 3rd semi-sextile Pisces Neptune Retrograde in 4th semi-sextile Aries Eris in 5th (24-27°) – The feedback the U.S. receives from other nations at this time will be powerful, and will reveal to the U.S. just how limited its options may have become in regard to its role in the world community. Collaborations are fewer and farther between, and this could be a massive wakeup call to the leadership of the U.S. that the geo-political and geo-economic dynamics aren’t just shifting, they may already have shifted beyond the U.S.’s ability to bring itself back into the fold with civility and diplomacy. The reality check may be harsh, but necessary. The question here is whether or not the U.S. will act out toward others from a sense of betrayal and anger, or from humility and acceptance.

Capricorn Pluto Retrograde in 3rd opposite Ceres in Cancer in 9th (24-27°) – I associate Ceres with the sign Taurus as the “earth mother”. With the “earth mother” travelling through the sign of the “emotional mother” (Cancer), in the house of wisdom gained through experience (9th), this is a powerful opposition with the returning Pluto Retrograde, reflecting the choice the United States has to make based on the knowledge and wisdom it has gained to date. What has the United States learned in its 246 years of existence? What are its priorities now – have they changed? What are its values now – have they evolved? And it is its leadership acting out of sound logic or emotional frustration? Its answers will determine its future, and will largely depend on whether or not the U.S. believes it has learned everything it needs to know or if it’s open to transform itself by learning new ways to be part of this world.

T-SQUARE: Sagittarius Moon in 2nd square Pisces Juno in 4th square Gemini Venus in 8th (20-22°) – This is interesting because the Moon (ruler of Cancer) is in the 2nd house of personal values and resources which sustain one’s self-identity – the house usually ruled by Taurus (yes, another Taurus-Cancer connection). Pisces Juno is in the 4th house of the chart, and this placement indicates that the U.S. considers the world to be its home to serve. Its commitment may be to serve the entire world, but how is does serving the world also serve itself? The 4th house is one’s private, personal “residence” and safe space. Therefore, this Juno position could serve as a warning – that the United States is seeing its safety and security in the world threatened as other nations are reassessing their partnerships with the United States, many trying to lessen its role if not exclude it altogether from its dealings, resulting in a loss of global power and influence for the United States (8th house).

The U.S. now finds itself having to initiate and insert itself into conversations while other nations are easily seeking each other out to set up trade deals for essential goods for the Highest good of both their peoples and their economies. Again, this is a values conversation – a conversation that the United States is having a difficult time engaging in because its values differ so much from the majority of the world right now. This second exact Pluto Return is revealing just how out of touch the United States has become to the rest of the world’s priorities and needs. Projecting its self-identity and its agendas onto others is no longer working. In fact, if anything, the United States finds itself challenged in considering any other nation’s position or agenda as it continues to prioritize its own.

The biggest problem for the U.S. at this time is that no one else wants to play by its rules any longer. Everyone’s leaving the sandbox. Even its “allies” are trying to work around their agreements with the United States. Other nations’ fear isn’t so much of the immediate retribution as much as it’s the likely grudge the U.S. will hold. After all, if it’s still trying to follow through on winning grudges that are decades old, how long will new grudges last?

But… there is hope.

(In the Washington D.C. chart, the positions vary slightly, and there is a possibility for a GOLDEN RECTANGLE configuration. Incorporating White Moon Selene in Aquarius, the Aquarius 11 IC and Leo 11 Midheaven into the mix with the Sagittarius Moon, Pisces Moon, and the Gemini Venus, this reveals the possibility of an incredibly positive outcome… if the U.S. can manage to follow its better angels and actually work in a healthy way with other countries. Frankly, in order to garner some good will, the United States may need to prove it can work in honest and earnest collaboration with others in order to fare better in the future than it seems to be on course to do.)

GRAND TRINE/KITE: Scorpio AC South Node in 1st trine Pisces Juno in 4th sextile (Taurus DC conjunct Uranus conjunct North Node in 7th) sextile Cancer 4 Sun in 7th (18-20°) – This is a complex configuration called a kite – a grand trine with a sextile focal point of different element. In this case, it is a water element grand trine with an earth focal point. The water energy (Cancer Sun, Scorpio AC wide conjunct South Node and Pisces Juno) indicates that emotions will be driving a good deal of what occurs during this time, and the earth focal point (Taurus DC conjunct Uranus conjunct North Node) will be where all that emotional energy emerges. Taurus is about our basic survival needs and what we personally value most. However, with Uranus representing the evolution of humanity and sudden shifts in social consciousness, its placement in Taurus indicates a potentially unexpected shift in values and resource priorities. With this point in the 7th house of the United States’ Pluto Return chart, this indicates to me that issues around values and resources are going to emerge around the partnerships the U.S. has with other nation-states, and some tough choices will need to be made. Even though this configuration itself does not include Pluto Retrograde, it does bring this energy into the fold in a very significant way.

But the most important part of this configuration is that it involves the Moon’s nodal axis. The nodal axis speaks to our karmic destiny – to where we’ve been, and where we can choose to go from here.

With the collective South Node in Scorpio in the 1st, this reveals where the secrets of the world have been hidden and held. In the past, the world has operated this way – with spies and secret agreements to forward secret agendas that kept much of how the world’s nations related to each other in the shadows.

The collective North Node in the 7th, especially in conjunction with Uranus, is pushing us all to recognize 1) how we are all now interconnected by physical and material resource, 2) that we need each other not only to survive on this planet, but to thrive in our existence here, and 3) that open and honest communication is essential for us to address our collective needs, especially in our 1-on-1 partnerships of all kinds.

The United States has become known globally for its secret agendas and moves behind the scenes amongst the governments of the world, especially in regard to getting its own resource needs met and controlling the resources of others (natal Pluto Retrograde in 2nd). Now that more of those past and current operations are coming to light, the U.S. has some choices to make about how it wants to operate moving forward as its reputation now precedes it. This is in large part why so many nation-states are seeking different partners now.

Gemini Venus in 8th square Pisces Neptune Retrograde in 4th (22-25) – Healthy partnerships require open and honest dialogue, which can be difficult if you’re trying to make sure you have the upper hand. The U.S. may find itself challenged in this regard, as partners – existing and potential – may not share nor trust the vision being presented by the U.S. Many countries will feel that what the U.S. says is not what it will do, and will insist on their sovereignty being honored, respected, and maintained while having equal power in their partnerships with the U.S. for deals and agreements to be forged.

Taurus Mars in 6th semi-sextile Gemini Pallas Athena in 7th (18-20°) – Actions are geared toward serving the U.S.’s own needs while looking like serving someone else’s. This is a pattern of belief and behavior for the U.S. – one it thinks is an excellent assertive strategy, but in reality, it’s one that may need to be reconsidered in the face of current conditions. While its values haven’t changed much, the values of many other nations have.

I don’t think it would be a stretch to mention that the most prominent energies of this second exact Pluto Return are connected with maternal, feminine energies. The water signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces playing prominent roles (emotional, intuitive, nurturing, protective, deeply-felt calls to service), the Moon, Venus, Juno, and Ceres (all associated with feminine and/or maternal energy), the 6 Universal Day and Year (the maternal yet pragmatic energy of the numbers) … it all speaks to a need for the United States to remember the qualities of compassion and care in its choices and actions.

Consider the possibility that the United States not acknowledging, addressing, or nurturing its own feelings and emotional needs may cause it to act out on the global stage in ways which are further damaging and isolating it from others… and itself. This Pluto Retrograde conjunction is an opportunity for the United States to turn its fortunes around, but only if it can get out of its own way and see what it could become by seeing its place in the world in a new way. With the Pluto placement in Capricorn – a strong and determined paternal energy – the goals and objectives of the United States’ societal structures and achievements need to be transformed. It may be good for the United States to shelf its long-held paternal, disciplinarian approach for a more maternal, compassionate one. That seems to be the way the majority of the world is going now – focused on nurturing and empowering people and nations rather than harming, demeaning, controlling, or destroying them.

United States Natal Sibly

As stated in part one of this series, the key to the United States restoring its power in the world is for the U.S. to 1) walk its talk to overcome its tendency to expand on truth and to curb any ideological or practical hypocrisy on its part, especially in regard to the standards they hold other nations to account for (this will help rebuild trust with its partners); 2) follow through on its word, and do what they say they’ll do when they say they’ll do it, both abroad and especially at home (more trust-building); 3) recognizing and acknowledging its challenges and/or failures in commerce and diplomacy by allowing itself to collaborate with others to balance its relationships with other nation-states to mutual advantage, not just its own benefit (equality and sovereignty for partners); and 4) coming to terms with its own past in order to heal those enduring wounds so the country can truly move forward into the future as a nation, acknowledging that all (humans) are created equal and worthy of the “unalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

This is the second of three articles as there will be three exact conjunctions of the U.S. Pluto Return. Part Three will be coming in December 2022.

Thank you for reading and sharing Signs and Numbers. Until next post…

~ Light, Love, and Blessings,

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