Kala Sarpa Yoga, the Capricorn New Moon and the United States Pluto Return

Impression of Kala Sarpa Yoga by Lanvi Nguyen

Dear Friend and Reader:

An extremely rare condition will be in effect for the New Moon and the presidential inauguration in the U.S.. It has come in and out of focus since around the time of the Sagittarius eclipse, when the Sun crossed the South Node.

It’s called Kala Sarpa Yoga. In Jyotish astrology there are many yogas or types of patterns. One of the rarest is when all of the classical planets are to one side of the lunar nodes. As you can see, for the Capricorn New Moon overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, all of the classical planets, all of the modern planets (Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris) and several other points are to one side of the nodes.

Capricorn New Moon takes place during Kala Sarpa Yoga, with all of the planets set to one side of the lunar nodes.

This is an especially influential New Moon as it is conjunct Pluto, at the time of the United States Pluto return.

It will be in effect on either side of the nodes, though from Rahu (the North Node) to Ketu (the South Node, as we have here) is said to be the more potent side.

This yoga can also include the ascendant, an even rarer version, as so many factors come into alignment and go out so fast. It can last for two weeks maximum, since the Moon will cross to the other side of its node within that time. However, years can go by before the setup is in place. I have seen it in only two or three natal charts the entire time I’ve been doing readings.

The astrology of the past year has been distinguished by extremely rare events: conjunctions that have not happened in certain signs since the Middle Ages or dawn of the Renaissance — occurring in the same year; and an aspect between planets that takes centuries to go around the Sun and therefore rarely get together. So Kala Sarpa Yoga is in the spirit of the moment in more ways than one.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen

What is This About?

Most of my knowledge of this yoga comes from reading and some personal experience. In a natal chart, Kala Sarpa describes a kind of personality that is driven to get something done. It is the person with boundless energy, if that energy is devoted selflessly to a particular cause. That is when it’s at its best.

It is sometimes said that this type of chart is the setup for a fall, though this is emphasized by some authors and played down significantly by others.

That said, when this yoga is present, it’s best to focus on the service ethos, as the personal downfall would most likely be the result of self-centered ambition — an abuse of the gift. It’s as if karma accrues more quickly for those with this placement. Given that this yoga is in full force for the presidential inauguration, we need to be on the lookout for that possibility. There is no selfless service on that level of politics. It is all about power. This is also true for many citizens who are politically obsessed.

Some say that Kala Sarpa describes conditions that are the result of what happened in the immediately prior lifetime. For example, if something was left incomplete, the person might reincarnate with this yoga as a kind of springboard, which would give them the drive and determination to complete their goal, project or service.

As I have never read this yoga in an event or horary chart, I can only speculate that this energy would be available to those aware of it, or who tune in without knowing about it.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen

Neptune Square the Nodes

Technically, this yoga does not include the modern planets, as they are not part of classical Jyotish (Vedic) astrology. However, it remains true that the modern planets are involved, and we are in the modern world. The planet most closely square the nodes is Neptune. So it’s at the apex of all those other planets that are to one side of the lunar nodes.

Neptune describes some invisible condition. It is something that can only be perceived with unusual powers of observation, or with special instruments. It will not be evident otherwise.

Neptune also describes a prevailing condition of denial, delusion, deception, or some form of intoxication. (See recent article on Neptune here.) Neptune square the nodes has the feeling of the kingdom being “under a spell.”

When something is square the lunar nodes, that is the thing that must be addressed before growth or progress can be attained. Otherwise there will be the feeling of running in circles like a drunk person or a crazy person.

Debbi Kempton-Smith wrote that one indicator of insane behavior is Neptune under stress from difficult aspects, and this would count. The involvement of Neptune facilitates the lack of awareness that is at the root of many serious problems — and this describes the current world condition perfectly, especially in the United States and United Kingdom.

Pluto from New Horizons

The United States Pluto Return

The drama in the United States, from its insane handling of Covid to the “siege of the Capitol” to the instability of society, are all related to the United States Pluto return. That is, Pluto is about to form a conjunction to its natal degree in the Declaration of Independence chart.

Last year I suggested that the Covid drama in the United States would be prolonged due to the Pluto return, which in a sense would masquerade for it. Every national crisis concocted, devised, enhanced or prolonged in the U.S. is part of its Pluto return.

My sense is that the Pluto return began when Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, though the Sept. 11 incident (for which Pluto was in Sagittarius) was certainly an early indicator of what was to come. That I would describe as the constant fracturing of our society, and the collapse of its institutions and culture.

Much of this is being driven by digital consciousness. This is about technology, which has a disembodying effect, totally messing with everyone’s sense of their personal reality, and that of the world around them.

This is About Digital More than Anything

If you read Planet Waves with any regularity, you’ve probably encountered this quote by media philosopher Eric McLuhan, which sums up the U.S. Pluto return.

“The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”

Here is the short version:

The meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted by projecting ourselves onto the internet therefore resulting in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture.

That is what we are witnessing and experiencing: the destabilization of our culture.

The Neptune factor — the invisible environmental factor — is digital technology. You will hardly ever get anyone to agree with this, or even consider it, because the environment in which we live is as invisible as the air.

And digital technology is the power being used against us, from contact tracing to the PCR device that “diagnoses” healthy people as being sick.

There is no way to get around it: the world as we know it is being remade, and not by those who have the best interests of the people in their hearts. Yet everyone can contribute to the making of a better world. Those who are engineering this “Great Reset,” driven by terror and on the backs of poor and working people and small businesses do not have all the power or all the advantage.

The world is made of people, not robots and corporations. Yet to claim our strength at this time, we will need some real determination, and we will need to harness the power of Aquarius and work together.

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Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope #259 for January 11, 2021

By Eric Francis Coppolino


Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may be feeling driven and determined, though it would be unwise to take any financial risks for the next few weeks. You probably don’t need to take any at all, though you’re in a good position to increase your income — through work, and trying some new ideas. That’s the place to experiment, rather than laying a lot of cash on the line. Investing in your mind is a much better way to invest in your goals. Over the next few weeks, you may have an idea so bright and so bold that you miss it, or it blinds you for a moment. This is not the kind of thing to act upon casually. It’s something to speak about only with trusted people, who only have your best interests at heart. Mostly, it’s something to develop for a while, with some experiments, keeping track in your lab notebook. Do not abandon the ideas you have at this time in your life; that is too easy in our desperately distracted world. Every moment of focus is a triple word score.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You will be happier if you can admit you’re wrong. It’s not the being wrong part that will make you want to dance. It’s the part about being liberated to do what is right for you, what feels good, and what is productive. Those born under the sign Taurus are famous for their stubbornness, which can manifest as persistence, or as momentum, or as believing in something. That, however, can lead you to miss the obvious. If you find yourself defending an idea or a point of view, try taking the other side of the issue and make your best case. You don’t really know something until you can come up with the best arguments against it. Many people who become the most knowledgeable in a field begin as skeptics. They have their doubts, and try to prove something wrong, and then end up figuring out that it’s true. Life is much more fun if you look around, stay curious and are not attached to your point of view.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — It will help if you focus on the world within yourself as much as you do on the world around you. I say this knowing that the concept of an inner life is nearly nonexistent now. It has been slowly eliminated by years upon years of taking pictures of things so we can remember them; of texting people and thinking we are with them; and of living in a hypnotic haze of images and reflections we think of as ourselves. To find your way back into yourself calls for a strategy, a plan and a method. Odd though it may seem, one thing that will help is spending time face to face with people, sharing your reality in words, with eye contact, and being with others who do the same. Part of seeing inwardly involves what you choose to use as your mirror. The electronic realm will deceive you; the human realm is less likely to do so, because of one thing: the element of feeling. Feeling is inner sensation. It is poignant and complex, rather than sleek, simple and easy to delete.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Proceed from experience rather than from belief or theory. You may be under plenty of pressure to accept the prevailing logic, and to use that in making your decisions. It does not matter how many people think something, or think by what they claim is logic. The truth is not a popularity contest — far from it. Usually the truth can be identified most easily by what is not accepted, or what is aggressively rejected, at any time in history. It is what might seem ridiculous when compared to the standard of the consensus, which is usually a false belief structure. You are susceptible to this for many reasons — though not if you stick to what you know from experience. That includes what you have attained from all forms of actual learning and documentation. Then, you must hold your own. Nothing else counts for leadership, and to stand apart if you must will count for a lot. The truth is not for sale. It is not for rent. It is not a matter of opinion, or of speculation.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — There’s just one way to get through what you’re going through, which is to proceed and make progress every day, or every hour. A little is a lot: work in increments, and do not judge your success or failures. Rather, stay with yourself. Be present for your own experience. That is its own value, and that is your power. Yes, you may feel like a wedge moving through a tight space. But you have more strength, flexibility and freedom than you may think. You think you’re surrounded, but what you really are is at the center, and the things around you are smaller than you are. They are also potent, but you are the source of the energy in your environment. You define the symbols. You give your life its meaning, and only you have the power to take it away. What you have now is the opportunity for one of the most transformational moments of your life. This is on one level being aided by extraordinarily rare environmental factors. Yet it’s also your time to emerge in a new form with new substance. It is time to claim your truth.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Stick to the service you offer — to people; to the people around you. Not to an idea, or a cause, but to actual breathing humans. This above all else will help you see through the lies that confront you and that now confront society. Take comfort in the notion that nothing is so simple. Nothing has one cause. There is no God particle, or fairy dust. There is only your devotion. Therefore, think of yourself as tending a fire: a sacred ceremonial hearth. In these days of electric stoves, few people have real experience working with flame. Perhaps you have some in your background you can tap into — or maybe you know someone with a fireplace who will let you have the experience of actually tending a fire, for an extended period of time, such as keeping it lit and burning for 24 hours. This is a metaphor, whether you experience it physically or psychically. You are in for a much longer haul. It may be raining and the wood may be wet. Tend the flame. Keep the embers hot, in all that you do, and all that you care about.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You seem to be struggling for emotional freedom. You can have it, if you understand what it is: it is freedom from the past. The past means living as if what happened to you historically is still happening. This may go back to your childhood and even to the experiences of your immediate ancestors. It does not help that our world teaches obsession with the past, and insists that people trap themselves in ideas that no longer work, and never did. Right now we are all witnessing a vast struggle for power and control, rather than a quest for wellbeing. That is likely to be an old, old story in your family, and if you’re wondering where your freedom went, if you’re wondering why you don’t feel better, consider this distinction. Once you do, you will recognize how few others are doing so. You may catch a glimpse at the astonishing codependent drama of what people are doing to one another in the effort to make themselves feel safe. Not to be well. Not to be whole. Not to share life. And those things, you want.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Be cautious of explosive people — that is, anyone you know has a reputation for losing their shit unexpectedly, blowing up, or spinning out of control. There is no way to engage this energy productively, nor is there any reasonable expectation that people who have these tendencies can change. So I suggest you stand back, and that includes standing back from crowds or groups that you don’t know, and who want to do anything but have a potluck dinner, pass around the bowl and strum a guitar. Jimmy Breslin, the longtime columnist for the Daily News, said when you see a crowd, go in the other direction. For a while, anyway, stick to your trusted close friends, and have a real conversation with them: that is the criteria for trusted and close. If you cannot think of any (you will, if you pause and think for a moment), keep your own counsel. These days are an important time to cultivate your inner witness. Observe your thoughts. Observe the world. Note where the two meet. That is where the action is.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You are an anchor, holding down some part of reality. You may be in conflict with this, as it’s not exactly your usual role. However, you know something that other people don’t know, or perhaps more accurately, you are asking questions that others are not willing to ask. Knowledge is important; knowing when you don’t know is far more meaningful because it leaves open the space for the truth to enter. Some notion you have clung to, perhaps without full awareness, is changing rapidly. There is no room to pretend, or to guess. There is absolutely no room for games of any kind. You are in a position to discover the actual, underlying values that must guide your life, when you are being truthful for yourself. A value is not an opinion or a position on an issue. It’s a kind of universal principal that you recognize and accept as something you uphold with instinct on the level of breathing. Note, however, how many people are willing to compromise that particular biological function. You cannot compromise anything.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Pluto is said to be the lord of death and transformation. Today is a New Moon in your sign, conjunct Pluto. This is a grow-or-die setup. You keep finding yourself in these, and slowly it’s dawning on you that the easiest and most productive thing to do is to welcome the process of personal change. Here is what might stop you, from a psychological point of view: the desire to be accepted. For example, if you begin to self-realize, and come into your own, and at last emerge yourself, will people accept you? You would be amazed how much self-deception slips into that thought. Most people will do anything to have the feeling of being accepted — only to find out later that it was a kind of mirage. This is the time in your life when you’re being called upon to stand on your feet, to accept yourself, and to live as if this is the only sane way to exist. Then you find out who your true friends are, and who your true family is. Nothing else deserves the honor of such terms.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Keep your grounding. Be grateful that you have some. It’s not last year and it’s not 2017 or any time between. You have learned a lot about how to manage your life, and how to stay focused. But mostly, the life lesson you’re being presented with is how to be flexible. From decades of observation, I can tell you that this is a special issue for Aquarius Sun and rising: conscious, willing flexibility. It may seem like total submission to some other agenda, for example, if you are collaborating with someone. So you can invent little exercises, like creative uses of the word we. Try it on: how are we going to do this? What do we need? The idea here is to get out of what Beatle George Harrison so aptly described as I, me, mine. Ask others what they need. Ask them how they want things to turn out. Look for meaningful places where you can meet them and work on their terms — and listen carefully. This is not about sacrificing your individuality. It’s about making your individuality helpful and meaningful.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You may feel like you carry the burden of truth on your shoulders, and this can be a lonely state of mind. Yet you are not as alone as you may feel, and any evidence you may have is not necessarily valid. So be careful with the witnesses you call, and the company that you keep. You want to surround yourself with those who understand Dharma: the service ethos. That means doing things for their own sake, and offering our part to hold the world together. You want such people as examples, as support, and for companionship. There are some who get it, and those who do not. Mostly you will be able to tell because, as you too must do, they put being productive over being afraid. This is the line along which the whole world is walking now. It is the thing that divides society. It may be the only real difference between people that is worth taking note of. Yet even productivity deserves critique: for whom, and to what end? Be bold about questioning these things, and asking them of yourself. Truth is not a thing. It’s an ongoing commitment to yourself and to existence.

For the Faithful

We now stand in another one of those moments of rare astrology, where our lives and the history of the world seems to hang in the balance. What is your role? What is your place? What do you want, and what do you want to do? For most, the events of our time are too big for them to conceive of. Many have been pushed into personal struggle, and others are trapped in fear with little actual reason to be so worried. This is driving a false life-or-death survival scenario, and nothing says “root chakra issues” like an aspect pattern where Pluto has the starring role. When people get wound up (which is an interesting pun) and have no source of relief or release and cannot see a future for themselves, they are easily manipulated. I am here to encourage you not to allow that to happen to you. Vow to question what is sold to us as reality. Vow to be honest with yourself, and then take the steps to do it. The New Moon in Capricorn conjunct Pluto wants freedom from the past. It describes an actual process of transformation and rebirth. Neptune at the center of the aspect pattern is asking what dream you are dreaming, and it’s a reminder that awakening means leaving all dreams behind.

1 thought on “Kala Sarpa Yoga, the Capricorn New Moon and the United States Pluto Return”

  1. In a recent meditation it became clear to me that we need to hold space–and light–for everything and everybody and for change.
    2021 looks set to be a chaotic year. Chaos is simply resistance to change. When we stop resisting, we can all come together to dream our new world.

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