capricorn 2008

AS WILL SOON be famous news in the world of astrology, Pluto begins its transition into your sign this year. This will be used by astrologers to predict everything from the collapse of Western civilization to the final ascent of Big Brother. The few, the less proud and the more optimistic will predict things like the wholesale restructuring of society and a shift in our relationship to the corporate universe.

But this is a transit that is the most personal for you. You get an extended, profound opportunity to grow and change; to recreate yourself from the roots up. You get to feel and experience your impact on the world, and to learn to manage and apply your power in conscious ways.

Your Sun is in Capricorn, and in Sun-sign astrology we count that for the ascendant. This works pretty well, but there are two factors worth mentioning before we get into the nitty-gritty of this transit. First is that everyone who is Capricorn rising is going to be under the influence of this transit, and this interpretation applies to you. Second, Pluto moves slowly. The ingress of any planet into a sign immediately affects everyone born under that sign and all things ruled by that sign. Yet the energy will peak as Pluto reaches the degree of your natal Sun or the degree of your ascendant.

To find out when this is, you will need to have an astrologer cast your chart. However, and I am going to put this into bold type, you need to take what astrologers say about Pluto with a case of saltshakers. Most of them do not understand Pluto and have negative fixations, which can easily be transmitted to you. For more about Pluto, please see the minor planet section and the essay on Pluto in the Age of Eris.
Now that I have this off my chest, let's begin again. Pluto, that icy anti-planet that marks the edge of reality, is entering your sign in January for the first time since the American Revolution. It will leave its mark on your life. You, in turn, are being called to leave your mark on the world. The equation is simple: the more you want to change the world, the more you must be open to changing yourself. The more you develop, shape and cultivate your character, the greater and more positive impact you will have on the world around you.

Bono once wrote, "I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." It is fair to say he changed the world.

What is already decided is that you will have an extraordinary impact on the people around you and the world you live in; and events will shape you profoundly. Therefore, now is the time to use the power you have -- the power to choose -- and choose the ways you want and intend that to happen. You would be wise to state affirmatively what exactly you are willing to do, give or become -- but remember, the ways of Pluto are mysterious, and the agenda arises as we raise our awareness through the experience.

Or, perhaps more accurately, the experience is about raising awareness of who you are. Pluto starts off in the shadows and then emerges to full consciousness. That is half the game with Pluto. The other half is the willingness to change.

When we were children, we paid a price for awareness. We had to focus on what was being written on the blackboard, and what our parents were saying, but if we noticed too much more, we could get into trouble. As a result, one of three things happened: some kids shut down; some kids paid attention but hid the fact; a few rebelled and became artists or leaders. Who were you then? This time, you get to choose. You do seem to have more to lose. The stakes are higher. You also have more to contribute.

Jupiter in your birth sign through most of the year will present you with many opportunities to experience the contributions you make to the world -- but be careful, because this may mask your underlying doubts. Still, you can trust one thing, which is that to the extent luck exists, it is on your side. Fortune is a god, and he is with you. That is a good thing, when the challenges of growth and integrity are as intense as they promise to be for the next four seasons.

What You Identify With

What happens around our Sun or ascendant begins to define our identity, and this in turn creates a magnetic effect. On one level it's like a filter that we see the world through; we notice what we identify with. On another, we can morph into something so strongly that we attract everything like it toward us.

Pluto has two distinct sides, and each person gets to pick which one they are willing to identify with. The first side is the one we are more familiar with -- the one, for example, that loves power for its own sake and hates ethics for any sake at all. The other is the drive to express one's soul as one's humanity.

Pluto in your sign boils down to a question: What do you identify with? Your worldly power, or the expression of your soul? Given that most people feel like they have neither, this is an interesting question. I suggest that you experiment with both, but while you're doing that, just remember which one is which. It's easy to get confused, which is one reason why the world is so confused.

One critical, beautiful aspect of Pluto involves the willingness to change and grow. Pluto in your sign will take you to the depths of your relationships with yourself. It will magnetize to us situations of enhanced importance that push us to become. On one level, with Pluto, you really cannot lose. If you embrace the energy and reach deep into your willingness to become who you are, you benefit. If you refuse to do so, if you flaunt your attitude and/or act recklessly or unconsciously, Pluto will kick your ass. And from that, you learn some good lessons.

Now that Pluto has been around for about 80 years or so (it was discovered in 1930), we have some options. We have the choice of how to approach this energy. We have the ability to use it consciously rather than letting it run our lives unconsciously. For sure and for certain, where Pluto goes there will be emphasis, and it's now in your sign so that emphasis is on you. And where there is emphasis there is the opportunity for self-awareness.

There is a parallel era in history that you can look to for guidance, and this may come in the form of remembering what not to do. It may come in the form of "If I had a chance to do it all over, this is what I would do."

That era was late 2001 through late 2005, when Chiron was in Capricorn. Take this opportunity to make a little inventory of what you went through in those years, what went wrong, what went brilliantly, what you learned and what you would rather forget -- and remember it all. You will be applying this information for the next decade, if you want, and it will serve you well.

Those years were a dry run for what you are going to experience now. Chiron has a way of revealing the weakness in any system. While this may seem inconvenient, it's actually extremely helpful if we take the clue and repair the weakness before we have a real problem. Now is your chance.

Religion, Belief and Relationships

SO MUCH OF how and whether people believe in their relationships is dictated by religion. The rest is dictated by our self-concept, and that, too is directly connected to religion. In essence, our concept of God and our concept of self are so closely interrelated that they are inseparable. If religion takes over the issue of God, it defines us and in effect defines our relationships.

There are two factors that are putting emphasis on this theme. A large world is involved: Saturn in Virgo. A small world is involved: Logos in Virgo. The gift of Logos will be the ability to put your experiences into words. Words will help you question yourself, resolve your questions, and most of all, help you make a new world.

It does not matter if you are proudly descended from four generations of atheists or six generations of rabbis -- the influence is wider than yours or your family's existence. The shape of society and all of its values are essentially reincarnations of church dogma. There have been various liberal rebellions and uprisings over the centuries, and these have made some strides. Yet it's most often the conservative forces that succeed in getting their lockdown in place, and this is something that happens in our hearts and minds.

In other words, for every repressive feature of society, there will be a corresponding place that is off-limits in you. When you reach those places that are off-limits within yourself, you begin to encounter the aspects of society that hold us down. They are one and the same. As many attributes of your sign teach, the personal is political. Paraphrasing Adrienne Rich, there is no private life that is not dictated by some larger public life.

This being said, deep beneath the bullshit is the earthy truth. And you as a Capricorn have an unusual gift for seeing tradition and obligation for what they are, and for creating your own relationship to them. This power will be helpful in a time when quite literally everything in your world and in yourself is up for reassessment, restructuring and recreation.

At the moment, you may be having your doubts about a relationship, even profound ones. You may feel like you're seeing someone in their real colors (which may look like a photographic negative, compared to what you're used to). Or someone may feel they are in retreat and hiding from you. You may have the sense that there is a loss of empathy. I don't suggest you concern yourself with what is making them tick, but rather focus on your own self-awareness.

The "religious" issue as I see it is this. What, exactly, defined your expectations in relationships? What set the rules for what is right, good, fair and true? What set the rules for what is naughty or wrong? I assure you, something did. And you have the ability now to figure out what this is, so that you can be free of it and define your own way of life.

If you find that the complexities of the situation are drawing you into dramas or power struggles, I strongly suggest you assess how powerful your position really is. The situation may be defined entirely by that one fact, your sense of your own strength, though this may be eluding your perception at the moment. It doesn't have to, but you would merely need a slight shift in point of view to raise the basic facts to the light.

This is the first full year of Saturn in Virgo, your solar 9th house. Perhaps this feels like deep ethical questioning; or maybe the yearning to spread your consciousness into the wide world. I suggest you study whose ethics it is that you're attempting to follow or be guided by. We could say that for your purposes now, there is no such thing as right or wrong, only a contrast between obvious choices.

Let each idea be like another: Thou shalt not kill; action is the fruit of knowledge; father knows best; things go better with Coke: it's all the same thing, for your purposes right now. One idea is equal to the next. This is the fastest way to get past petty morality that blinds you to your actual choices about what is right and wrong for you. As long as you have a hierarchy of ideas that were set by someone else, it will be difficult to see your personal truth.

Saturn's movement is likely to point you to the past. There is a psychological legacy that you are purging from your life, most likely that of your mother, or possibly that of your father; though he is the somewhat less likely suspect, at the moment. You are dealing with a concealed level of self-criticism, perfectionism and the feeling that you can never really stand up tall enough to be considered intelligent or original. What you are untangling are things that at one time passed for absolutes of right and wrong and were imprinted into your thought patterns, but which in fact (when you look closely) turn out to be religious dogma. You were, to put it bluntly, told things about yourself that are not true.

When you start to experience a psychological drama of any kind, look to the past for its roots. Look to the drama to tell you what those roots are about. You need to clean those roots, and clean your tree. The combination of Pluto in your sign and Saturn in Virgo will help you do both, and in turn, help set you free.

Your Resources and Your Values

In astrology the 2nd house is the house of values, and the planets there tell a story that emphasizes all the other issues you are questioning. You have three planets in that house: Chiron, Nessus and Neptune.

Deep in this particular angle of your chart is a burning question about your value to yourself, and to the world. I would dare to say that you have not been at a high point in this regard for some time. You are exceptionally good at playing the game of the world, and of gaining worldly respect -- but that does not necessarily translate to self-respect. Any issues of self-worth and self-esteem are originating from your 2nd solar house -- Aquarius -- which is currently taking transits from three bodies: Chiron, Nessus and Neptune.

I could not think of three planets more distinctly tied to a self-esteem crisis. You could also be in a money crisis, but in both cases it would be the kind of thing that prompts you to make the kinds of changes you most need to make; to get underneath why you feel about yourself the way you do; and in the material world, to help you resolve any of your concerns about money. Most vitally, Chiron points the way to understanding how your feelings and your cash supply are related.

This investigation is going to directly influence your relationships. Consider that anything that occurs in a relationship is directly rooted in how one feels about oneself. That is the universal mediator of reality. If you doubt yourself, that will carry over into your partnerships. If you appreciate yourself, that will extend into them as well. If you think you are worthless, or worth less, you will take this into all of your relationships. If you find your value and your worth you will feel more worthy of the love of others, and have deeper resources to love them with.

You do not move quickly in any of these matters, but the pace of change is picking up fast. Many planets are beginning to act on you in harmony, and Pluto ingressing your birth sign is not in the mood for long discussions about the possibilities; it wants results.

Chiron, as well, is saying that enough is enough in terms of how long this discussion has taken, and how long it's taken you to accept the many gains that you have made in your life. To the extent you are in some kind of overt crisis, you will be able to move that much more effectively. If you're not in some kind of overt crisis, you just need to listen to yourself and take the clues that your awareness gives you. Where Chiron is present, everything, no matter how small can be used as part of the learning process.

The key to Chiron is seeing patterns and noticing what those patterns add up to. An important key phrase for Chiron is pattern recognition.

Where money is concerned, you are indeed making some radical changes, and one of them involves the social pattern of where you and your values fit into those of your friends. You may discover that you simply do not fit. You have actual values, as opposed to a favorite brand of junk food. You are on a search for deeper values yet, and no matter what else may be going on, that is the essence of your astrology.

What are you really worth? That is the burning question.

Career and Creativity

ONE OF my best friends is a Capricorn, and I refer to him as a wannabe stick in the mud. He just cannot pull it off, no matter how hard he tries; he is a rebel, and he has style. Remember that the career angle of Capricorn is Libra, so you must do something beautiful. Your work angle is Taurus, and that also means beauty, and doing something of worth.

At the moment, you have many options open, and most of them involve your ideas. That is your golden ticket -- you are basically an inventor of ideas, ones that are so radical they can change the world, yet which seem so aesthetic that they would be pleasing to Martha Stewart. As the year develops, particularly the spring, you are likely to shock yourself with the number of quality ideas you develop.

You need to keep track of them. They may seem out of reach or too dreamy to ever be practical (or worth money) now. Yet as you go through your changes and rearrange your sense of individuality, personal worth and most of all, your mission in the world, their value will be obvious. Indeed, the more out there they seem, the more valuable they will be. So what you need to do is create a system to organize your ideas. It can be on a computer, on paper, on a blackboard, or something that will at least be there when you look back -- but you need to keep these ideas ready at hand.

So, in case you're not one of those people who carries around a notebook and writes down every little cool think you think of, go out and invest 99 cents and become one of them.


The intense personal changes you are going through are going to release energy -- a lot of energy. You're going to be taken on a ride of personal discovery. Pluto in your sign is about a complete renovation of your identity and your relationship to yourself. You are reaching the end of a long, difficult phase of your growth, and you need your freedom, mainly the freedom to discover who you are as a conscious choice.

If you are going through a self-esteem crisis or have been experiencing difficulty with money, the solution to both is one and the same, which is recognizing your worth. Yet to the extent your worth was dictated to you as a child by the dictates of religion and the psychological baggage of your parents, you have many opportunities to shed those ideas and allow yourself to explore a wider, more positive concept of who you are -- in practical reality, not just theory.

Pluto in your sign will increase your impact on the world, and to have that impact be safe to you and the people around you, it's essential that you keep very close tabs on what is motivating you. You might parlay your doubts into the drive for amassing worldly power; you might convey them into a deep and sincere search for the truth of who you are and why you came to this planet. The options may seem equal, but as you know, they are not.