Then and Now

The transit of Pluto to the natal Mercury of the United States by opposition is a decisive transit that happened several times during during 2020 and 2021 with the final transit being a stationary direct opposition in the fall of this year. The exact transits are on 2-27-2020, 6-25-2020, and 1-1-2021, and while the stationary direct transit of Pluto to Mercury is not exact, it is within eight minutes of exact and since it is stationary, I expect this will see the final manifestation of the Pluto-Mercury opposition that has been building all last year. Looking at the previous conjunctions and oppositions of transiting Pluto to natal Mercury will provide some ideas of what might happen in the future.

Pluto conjunct Mercury

The conjunction of transiting Pluto to the natal Mercury happened only once in the lifetime of the country since Pluto takes so long to revolve around the Sun. These conjunctions were on 9-2-1933, 12-19-1933, and 7-13-1934. What happened at that time was that Franklin Roosevelt had just been elected (November 1932) and inaugurated (March 1933) as a President to a country that had suffered several years of the Great Depression, and strong revolutionary activity had begun among such organizations and people as the Communist Party, Huey Long, and Father Coughlin. This was the low point of the Depression: the banking system was near to collapse, unemployment was high, and exports had vanished. The Japanese had just invaded China and Hitler had recently assumed power in Germany, so the world situation was looking dire and the potential for a world war was becoming more obvious. Then came Roosevelt’s famous 100 days shortly before the first exact conjunction. Roosevelt had saved capitalism from itself in the worst crisis since the founding of the country, and the activity started at this time played out during the rest of the decade even though the Great Depression wasn’t totally over until America entered World War II in 1942.

Pluto Opposite Mercury

The previous opposition between these two planets occurred before the Declaration of Independence was signed, which marked the official birth of the country. These three oppositions were on 2-28-1774, 6-24-1774, and 1-3-1775. This period saw several famous events in American history as well as some not so well known: The Boston Tea Party was on 12-16-1773 and the Battle of Lexington and Concord, considered the opening battle of the American Revolution, occurred on April 18 and 19, 1775. Thomas Paine, whose writings were so influential in the Revolution, moved to America from Great Britain on 11-30-1774. The first Continental Congress, where people from several states could gather together and air their grievance with Great Britain, was convened on 9-5-1774. This period was so eventful that a book was written just about that year: 1774: The Long Year of the Revolution by Mary Beth Norton.

Pluto Opposite Mercury

The three oppositions of Pluto to natal Mercury in 2020 followed by a stationary direct very close opposition reflect the Pluto return for the United States exactly one year later. In that case, there are three exact conjunctions with the natal Pluto in 2022, with the last one being at the end of the year, followed by a stationary direct conjunction within twenty minutes in the Fall of 2023, when again, the five outer planets are retrograde just as they are now. It is almost as if the Pluto opposition to Mercury is a preview for the actual Pluto return.

Final Exact Pluto Opposite Mercury

The manifestation of Pluto to Mercury seems to be a warm-up to what will be the decisive act that will play out later when Pluto is conjunct/opposite its natal position. The first time this happened was when the transiting Pluto was in fact natal Pluto of the United States on July 4, 1776. This was indeed the birth of something new, that being the United States; the Declaration was the significator of that birth. Pluto was opposite the natal Pluto on 6/22/1937, 1/22/1937, and 8/10/1988 when the New Deal of FDR had performed as much as it could, so much so that some things were pulled back, resulting in what is called the Roosevelt Depression of 1938.

In mundane charts such as the one of the United States, Mercury represents the means of communications; when the nation was founded, this referred to newspapers; these days the world of communications has expanded to include many technologies that did not exist in the Eighteenth Century. These include radio, television, and the Internet, which allow audio and video productions to be seen from anyplace with a connection. But Mercury refers to more than just those methods of communications. It also signifies the narrative projected by those means of communication. The Australian blogger Caitlin Johnstone has written many blogs about the power of narrative, saying that who controls the narrative controls the world. Also related, the book Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky describe how this narrative is formed by the manufacturing of consent (a term from 20th Century journalist Walter Lippmann) with the involvement of Mercury.

An example of a recent prominent narrative, one which has dominated the first two decades of this century, has been that of the noble crusade to save the women of Afghanistan and bring democracy to that land. Just recently this narrative has seen some exposure of its dark underbelly with the final withdrawal of America from that country. This withdrawal indicates how little there is to show for this noble effort after twenty years. One can only say: another one bites the dust.

Pluto Stationary Opposite Mercury

In our current situation, the main narrative seems to be about this fearsome virus that threatens the world, and it can only be controlled by a magical potion from our noble pharmaceutical companies. That narrative is supported by the government and almost all of the media, whether newspapers, radio, television, or the Internet. Over the last year and a half, just as Pluto has been moving opposite the narrative-representing Mercury, this narrative has been attacked by people called ‘anti-vaxxers’. As this transit has happened, the media has become less trustworthy according to polls. A recent survey shows that American’s trust of the media is the lowest of 46 countries, ranking at only 29%, but not really much has happened in response to this mistrust of media except for much grumbling by people.

All this pent-up discontent will finally be revealed this fall and winter with the final opposition of Pluto stationary to natal Mercury. There is anger in the country that has been brewing during the last 18 months, and it will eventually come out. On the physical level, perhaps a President will issue a mandate that inflames people thus bringing long-simmering tensions to a boil.

In cases like this, when seen in hindsight, these Mercury-Pluto events set the stage for what will develop later, but no one really knows what the outcome will be.

Another transit occurring at the same time, visible in the graphical ephemeris above, is the square of Saturn and Uranus. The opposition of these two slow moving planets was described previously in a post about the year 1919. The two principles represented by these planets are the conservative, standard narrative versus something new or different — orthodox versus unconventional. In the “Red Summer” of 1919, we saw bloodshed and conflict between orthodoxy and dissent, shown most clearly by Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and his fight against suspected Communists and anarchists in the country, though much more did happen under that opposition. I would expect this transit will add more weight to the Pluto-Mercury opposition discussed above, which will become clear by next year.