U.S. Pluto Return – First Impact

US Pluto Return - First Impact

The time has come. The United States Pluto Return has come, finally. Almost two hundred forty six years in the making from the time of the Founders. This is a time of immense transformation, and we have been seeing the beginning phases of it for months now.

What is the Pluto Return?

You’re probably familiar with the Saturn Return, when Saturn returns to the place it was when you were born. A person typically sees at least two in their lifetime, three if they live long enough. One lady in France probably saw four (Jeanne Calment of France, who was around 120 when she finally passed away).

The U.S. Sibley Chart, natal chart of the United States.
The USA Sibley Chart – July 4th, 1776

Saturn Returns are regarded as a coming of age. A major milestone in our personal developments.

The Pluto Return, on the other hand… this is different. No human is ever expected to live to see a Pluto Return. This is in the realm of empires and nations. Like the Saturn Return, this is when Pluto returns to the place it was in the national birth chart. For our purposes, we use the U.S. Sibley Chart, set for the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

Pluto governs death and rebirth, tearing down of structures and paving the way for renewal. It’s akin to the Tower card in tarot. Upheaval, karma, reckonings, these are the domain of the lord of the underworld.

When Is the Pluto Return?

The U.S. Pluto Return is actually in three phases, or as I like to call them, the Three Impacts. The heavy nature of Pluto, in my view, demands something a little more… dramatic. I’ve taken a page from Neon Genesis Evangelion for my naming convention.

The reason there’s three phases is due to Pluto’s retrograde cycle. Pluto passes over the U.S. natal Pluto point, passes over it again during the retrograde, and then passes a third and final time when it turns direct and moves forward again.

The Pluto Return occurs at 27 Cap 33’09”. The dates and times for the exact conjunctions of these Pluto Return moments are:

  • February 20, 2022 14:34:32 PM EST (11:34:32 PST / 19:34:32 UTC)
  • July 11, 2022 15:17:35 EST (12:17:35 PST / 19:17:35 UTC) – Retrograde Cycle
  • December 28, 2022 10:08:27 EST (07:08:27 PST / 15:08:27 UTC)

For our purposes in this article, we are looking at the February 20, 2022 14:34:32 PM EST (11:34:32 PST / 19:34:32 UTC) time.

The Pluto Return itself takes shape over weeks, but the times mentioned are when it first goes exact.

The Current Manifestations

Right now, we are in a state of national change, whether that be for good or for ill. The political divide in this country is very strong now, reminiscent of the lead up to the Civil War of 1861-1865. David Palmer (the Leo King) has mentioned in his work Bleeding Kansas, which occurred in the 1850’s, and was part of the leadup to the aforementioned war.

Then, the question was over free states vs slave states, as the “institution” of slavery was well-established throughout the southern United States (which briefly became the Confederacy, until it was defeated after Appomattox).

Hyperbole and Demonization

Today, we see a divide over vaccines and COVID-19 mitigation restrictions versus individual liberty and freedom of movement. There also is the debate of left versus right. The specter of Communism is invoked by those in the right to attack the left, while the left attacks the right with accusations of fascism and outright Nazism. Hyperbole is the order of the day.


It’s not just political divides either. During the pandemic, many people were forced to work from home (where able), and productivity didn’t take the nosedive that some employers may have feared. Now, there’s a call to return to the office at least part of the time. But… many workers have gotten accustomed to a better quality of life, not having to commute and waste precious hours on the roads, and more family and personal time. This has contributed to the Great Resignation, I feel.

Basic Essentials

Part of the Great Resignation is also apparent in the burnout prevalent in the medical care field, which has seen more than its share of challenges and dysfunction in the United States. This is one of the few nations that don’t have publicly guaranteed health coverage, and for-profit health care is prevalent, and a leading cause of bankruptcies which ruins people’s lives and futures, often through no fault of their own. And, these bankruptcies tend to count against individuals for at least several years, closing off access to affordable credit and in many cases, access to safer or better housing and transportation (to say nothing of higher auto insurance rates and other necessities of life that are somehow now ruled by a credit score).

There is also an affordable housing crisis, where would-be first time homeowners are being outbid by corporations and other large outfits paying in cash and outbidding individuals and families in bidding wars. Housing never really recovered from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, when the housing bubble first popped.

What Does That Have To Do With Astrology?

As we’ve seen in the examples above, a large part of the problems facing the United States is economic in nature, and always has been. From the slavery subject, which treated certain races and classes of people as property, to the current tying of everything to a credit score, money and property rules.

In the U.S. Sibley Chart, Pluto is in the U.S.’s second house of resources, property, and money. Also, there’s an inherent dysfunction and challenge here, as Pluto is retrograde in the U.S. natal chart. A lot of the financial challenges are, quite frankly, self-inflicted. Whether bad or unjust policies, or poor financial decisions of the leadership, boom and bust cycles have been prevalent since the dawn of this country.

There was even a question of whether the Continental Congress was going to be able to pay the Revolutionary War soldiers, as I recall. It was tough going at first, and right now, it’s not looking a whole lot better.

Inflation is higher than it’s been since the Second World War. Wages have gone up, but not enough to keep track. Also, supply disruptions are making a mess of things.

Things aren’t catastrophic yet, but they could get there.

The Pluto Return Transits

The first conjunction of the United States Pluto Return, as seen from Washington, D.C.
The First Conjunction of the Pluto Return, Washington D.C., February 20, 2022

Let’s get into the details of what we’re seeing now.

There’s Actually Some Good Opportunity

Pluto in Capricorn trine North Node in Taurus brings with it an opportunity to apply the lessons of the past for the United States, and urges all involved to take a look at the harshness of that past. A lot of good lessons can be applied, and if heeded properly, can lead to better policies and decision-making in the future.

North Node is also conjunct Algol, so there is a caution of staring such decisions in the face. Algol is considered the most malefic star in the heavens, and it’s in Taurus now, associated with money, property, and resources.

The drive for wealth accumulation is threatening to decapitate this country. We have an opportunity with the Pluto Return trine to stop it in its tracks, and shield ourselves from any further harm. This would entail eliminating the conditions that allowed the Citizens United decision to stand, disempowering powerful Political Action Committees (PACs), and reigning in corporate and wealthy donor lobbying to elected officials (and appointed officials, for that matter, such as the people running the FCC).

Pluto sextile Neptune in Pisces also implores the United States to take a look at its ideologies and illusions. Right now, there’s a lot of reminiscing of “making America great again”, but was it really so great, the time some want to go back to? There were more unjust policies then, such as segregation. While Neptune itself doesn’t rule Justice, it does share rulership with Pisces with Jupiter, which is also in Pisces at the moment.

Reigning in destructive ideologies, such as cults of personality, is essential if the United States is to survive.

“What If I Don’t Want To?”

Pluto Return square the Moon in Libra is going to be something we’re dealing with as this return goes exact. Libra brings to mind relationships and alliances, such as marriage partners, and military alliances like NATO. The square here brings tension between the emotional state of the U.S. and the structural changes that have to occur.

What Do We Value?

At the time of the Pluto Return going exact, Mars, Venus, and Vesta are all conjunct in Capricorn. This is a powerful triple conjunction.

Mars governs energy, drive, passion, sex, power, anger, and rage. Venus governs money, love, art, what we find valuable. Vesta is the sacred flame, what we hold dear, what we hold to be sacred.

Put all three together, and the United States has to make some better choices here. War is in our nation’s blood. That’s the Mars aspect, and we’ve got a strong military. The arts, our culture, music, that’s represented in Venus, which also impacts our money. Vesta, this has to do with our idealism, and our adherence to certain principals.

Mars-Venus-Vesta are also squaring the Moon in Libra. We have to ask ourselves the hard questions of how all this spending on the military and law enforcement is helping us. Now, we’re also in a period where we’re about to enter not one, but potentially two conflicts (the Ukraine crisis with Russia looking like it will invade, and China with its insistence on bringing Taiwan to heel). If the U.S. stands its ground on these issues, we very well could find ourselves in World War III before the end of the year, and it very well could be attributed to conflicting ideologies.

How Stable Are Our Foreign Entanglements?

Mercury, Juno, and 128 Nemesis are conjunct in Capricorn during the Pluto Return as well. This may or may not bode well.

Mercury is the messenger, ruling messaging, communications, travel, and overall day-to-day planning and operations. Juno is a marriage asteroid, and in the terms of a national chart, would involve alliances with other entities, such as other nation-states and treaties.

128 Nemesis, this is where we find our adversaries. And, from Washington D.C., this particular triple conjunction will be in the transiting 7th house when the Pluto Return goes exact. The seventh house also denotes open enemies, of which the U.S. has a few notable ones right now, as well as those we may not consider enemies per se, but adversaries.

Mercury/Juno/Nemesis square Uranus in Taurus shakes things up to the nth degree. The potentials for economic and international disruption are high, but the U.S. may yet prevail. Sudden developments will be coming quite often. It’s hard to say what we’ll do for or with our alliances from one day to the next, but expect a good bit of saber-rattling.

A further analysis, including these transits to the U.S. natal chart, will be forthcoming shortly.

To Sum It Up

The United States is at a crossroads, and is now facing multiple wake-up calls.

Will it make the necessary structural reforms and ensure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all? Will it make amends for and ensure the sins of the past do not occur again?

Or will the United States choose poorly, and continue on its path to ideological division and destruction?

This will need to be revisited, and revisited it shall be when the Pluto Retrograde conjunction occurs this summer.

The fact this comes during a critical midterm election year should not be lost on any of us. Do not expect this to be a clean campaign. Everyone’s going to be standing strong for what they believe in, and I am uncertain compromise will prevail. Expect politics to be ugly this year and for the next few years as well.

Do what you need to to take care of yourself and those you care about during this contentious time. Be safe, everyone.