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  • Peggy O'Donnell

Astrology through the Decades



We tend to mark time by the predominant social occurrences during that decade. Astrology has its own way of tracking time.


Pluto has the longest cycle of any of the planets, around 248 years. As it moves slowly through the signs, it transforms with an uncanny accuracy many of the subjects ruled by that sign. Pluto is about deep transformation, so death to the old way of life, and birth to the new. When something ends, something new always begins.

Pluto entered the sign Libra in July 1972. Libra is all about relationships and is the sign of marriage. The 70s was the great divorce decade. See this graph. So the children born during the time Pluto was in Libra often grew up in reconfigured family.

In November of 1983 Pluto entered the sign of Scorpio. Scorpio rules death, sex, and all things hidden. The early 80s was when the scourge of HIV/AIDs started to take the lives of many around the world. One of my favorite astrologers, Howard Sasportas, died of AIDs.

One of the way HIV was transmitted was through sex. As a result discussion of sexual practices changed and newspapers openly wrote about subjects that had until that time had been taboo. By the end of the 80s scientists had found a drug to treat HIV. Pluto in Scorpio is strong and can be a bit mystical. The children born with Pluto in Scorpio grew up reading the Harry Potter books, which were indeed magical.

Pluto entered the sign of Sagittarius in January of 1995. Sagittarius rules global travel, higher education, the law, publishing and religion. The internet became a force and a new way of communication in the 90s, connecting the world globally. Religious fanaticism was on the rise and on September 11, 2011 airplanes (travel) driven by religous terrorists brought about the death of many, both on that day and through the wars that came about as a result of the attack. The Catholic religion suffered and never truly recovered as the child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests became widely known. Pluto brings to the surface what is hidden. The 90s also saw the fall of Bill Clinton due to sexual indiscretions committed in the Oval Office. Once again, taboos on what went into print (Sagittarius rules publications) fell away. The New York Times motto *All the news that's fit to print* no longer seemed apt if you had young children who read the news during the Clinton scandal.

The book industry was forever changed by the arrival of Amazon and the sale of books online. Part of this was due to Uranus (also a bringer of change) entering its own sign of Aquarius (technology and computers are ruled by Aquarius) in January of 1996. Amazon launched on July 15, 1995. The newspaper publishing industry was negatively affected by the internet in that many small newspapers ceased to publish.

Higher education in the U.S. saw skyrocketing prices for four years of college, making it unaffordable to many.

Pluto entered Capricorn in Nov. 2008. Capricorn rules government, structures, business, and banking. As the first black President took office in Jan. 2009 he inherited a crisis in the banking industry which came about due to predatory private mortgage lending and unregulated markets. Some big institutions failed, such as Lehman Brothers, and others only survived due to government intervention.

During Pluto in Capricorn the European Union suffered, Brexit occurred, and the U.S. government was subject to a threat from within due to the election of Donald Trump. The U.S Capitol was invaded by its own citizens threatening violence to the elected officials. There is renewed talk of ending the electoral college, which has long been a structure of the U.S. government, but may have outlived its usefulness.

During 2020 COVID caused many august institutions to file for bankruptcy and the way the business was practiced was completely transformed. Work from home became a way of life for many. Schools (also an institution) were forced to go online. Hospitals were under great stress. Funerals, once a way of honoring a life well lived, could no longer be held in person, except on a very small scale. People died alone. Capricorn rules old age.

Pluto will first enter the sign Aquarius in March 2023. What can we expect from Pluto's sojourn through that sign? Saturn and Jupiter will have paved the way as they now move throught Aquarius. Aquarius rules inventions and revolutions. We can expect significant medical advances, perhaps spearheaded by the brilliant researchers born with Pluto in Scorpio. We may also see nations rise and fall with the revolutionary change that Pluto in Aquarius will bring.

Before Pluto enters Aquarius, the US will experience its first Pluto return on Feb. 21, 2022. This means the last time Pluto was in this sign and degree the U.S. was in the middle of the American revolution. Pluto takes out the old that no longer works and brings about a rebirth.

With Pluto in Aquarius there may be a shift toward a more humanitarian outlook. A rebalancing in the equities. Aquarius is above all a forward looking and humanitarian sign.


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"There was a star danced, and under that was I born." - William Shakespeare
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