Pluto in SAGITIARIUS (From approximately 1995 to 2010, and in the preceding cycle from 1750 to 1763-64)
In this zodiacal sign, Pluto is beginning to slow down and to transfer and interpret at a more mental but also more general and public level, the type of experiences which marked its transit through Scorpio. After the great emotional crisis which European man experienced in the year 1000 (the end of the world was then expected), when nothing catastrophic occurred, a deep upsurge of cultural activity and commercial travel took place with Pluto in Sagittarius. We might expect a similar type of development when the twentieth century ends, and about the time seven planets once more congregate in Taurus (2001). During the eighteenth century, the transit of Pluto through Sagittarius coincided with the war between England and France which started in America and spread to Europe. The defeat of France paved the way for the establishment of the U.S., but also for the eventual establishment of the British Empire, which was a foreshadowing of the future world-organization. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's book The Social Contract, published at the close of this period, was also an influential factor in both the American and the French revolutions.
Pluto in CAPRICORN (Approximately from 1764 to 1778)
Capricorn refers to the establishment of large-scale social schemes and political institutions, but also to their crystallization, which Pluto confronts and often radically upsets. The United States of America began its career under such a Pluto transit, which challenged the rights of the English king, particularly in matters of financial policy. Pluto is in the second House of theU.S. chart with mid-Sagittarius rising, a highly significant position as the new nation found in the land of its birth tremendous resources which it ruthlessly and relentlessly tapped and indeed misused because of corporate greed and personal ambition.(5) In France, the monarchy was crumbling under a variety of scandals. Pluto often tends to bring into the open the shadow of political power or personal ambition. It forces any entrenched group to surrender its privilege or else to face revolution or moral-spiritual bankruptcy. It seems probable that Pluto had recently entered Capricorn when Luther challenged the powerfully entrenched Catholic Church.
5) The second House deals with what the incarnating Self is able to use at birth-its body and innate capacities - in order to build its individual personality. Cf. The Astrological Houses.
Pluto in AQUARIUS (1778 to 1797-98)
Pluto's challenge was then directed to those who had upset the traditional order. As ideals had to be made concrete and workable, the revolutionists' triumph could be followed by harsh problems. A conservative U.S. Constitution followed an idealistic Declaration; and in France, Bonaparte dreamed of empire after the chaotic years of the Revolution. The basis of the Industrial Revolution was laid down by various technological inventions, especially the steam engine (Watts). The message of Pluto in Capricorn is that ideals have to be translated into some form of large-scale organization if they are to be effective. As Pluto moved through Aquarius in the sixteenth century, daring Europeans kept on with their exploration and conquest of South and North America (Pissarro in Peru, Cartier in Canada).
Pluto in PISCES (1798 to 1822-23)
This was the Napoleonic period in Europe and a time of stress in the new American nation. The use of steam engines in railroads - the locomotive (1814) - the discovery of electromagnetism and its eventual use in telegraphy marked the spread of the Industrial Revolution which was to completely undermine the old European and American orders. Pisces can be the symbol of an inner war against the ghosts of the past. Napoleon sought to destroy the old national system of Europe, but he became possessed by a still older archetype, that of the Roman Empire. He failed his "star." The time had not come for Pluto to transform the consciousness of mankind as a whole. It only operated - except in rare cases - at the unconscious level of the planetary Mind, exerting pressure steadily wherever there was a receptive individual mind.