What’s Your (Pluto) Sign? Wait — Let Me Guess!

Originally published Feb. 17, 2012

Dear Friend and Reader:

Twenty-twelve is going to be a big year for Pluto. You could say it’s always a big year for Pluto, but this is the year of the Uranus-Pluto square you may have heard about. It’s the aspect that’s the “sign of our times” and which is going to make the next few years feel more like the Sixties than the Sixties. What we experience won’t just be the result of Pluto alone; it will be the rare combination of Uranus and Pluto; one will activate the other and you’ll be able to hear it from outside and see it on TV and watch it go by on Twitter. Heck, you might even want to get involved.

Planet Waves
Pluto the Dog has Pluto in Cancer.

In our era of history, Pluto moves through a sign in about 14 years. At other points in its orbit, further from the Sun, it can take 22 years. Pluto signs approximate generations. They’re a little quicker than a generation, but then what’s not a little quick right now. In recent years, in part thanks to the proliferation of astrology on the Internet, celebrating one’s “Pluto tribe” has become a thing, and I’m not sure it’s a good thing but it exists and there’s nothing we can really do about it except disseminate enlightening information.

This article is an analysis of what the different Pluto signs are about. Pluto grants intensity and it has a way of focusing a phase of history. Other outer planets do that as well, but Pluto (for all of its supposed subconscious action and invisibility) has a way of standing out and dropping a lens in front of the culture, which develops over a long time.

We recently lived through Pluto in Sagittarius and man did we get it. Think: Globalism, Fundamentalism, Millennialism, Terrorism, Neoconservatism and every other ism you can name, all seizing consciousness at once. The American Taliban was born and wants direct access to your uterus or that of someone you care about. Soon, they will be including sperm cells in the census. Notably, it was during Pluto in Sagittarius that Pluto was declared ‘not a planet’, and this was purely a matter of belief rather than based on scientific fact. We’ve never even seen clear photos of the thing so how could we possibly know?

Every generation has its Pluto drama, which often shows up in the form of a vast identity crisis. Some astrologers also say that Pluto is about evolution; that is another way of saying growth. Others say that Pluto comes along and shreds the old reality and revitalizes something on a deep level. Some blame Pluto for everything that goes wrong and others for everything that goes right. This article is a survey of all of the above.

Many writers helped contribute to this piece and I am grateful for the observations that they provided. However, I take responsibility for my perceptions. I do recognize that there are some limits on what I’m proposing here in terms of being applicable across race, class and country ‘divisions’; these interpretations would probably not work well for people living in rural Sweden or South Africa, but then you never know. That said, let’s consider the basic properties of Pluto through the signs, starting with Pluto in Cancer. Anyone offended by anything I’m saying can take it up with Pluto. I am merely reporting the facts.

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Pluto in Cancer (1912-1937) was the greatest generation; there will never be a greater generation and anyone who comes after them who thinks there might be is sadly mistaken. This generation was so great that Pluto did them the honor of being discovered in the sign Cancer. The Star Spangled Banner was written just for them; Francis Scott Key knew they were coming. The family is everything, except for the church, God and country. Ultimate goal was to become an Eagle Scout and work for General Motors or IBM. Still saving for their child’s Ph.D., even though their child has retired. They are ‘still there’ for them. Proud of their children even though so many refused to join the Army, and the ones that did lost the Vietnam War. It wasn’t really their fault. Eventually we’ll win another war. Still get nervous when making a long-distance telephone call. Unconsciously flip through the channels at 7 pm looking for Walter Cronkite, but after an hour, keep finding Bill O’Reilly. Patiently waiting for the next Moon landing. Still astonished that appliances no longer come with a protective dust cover, and disappointed that you cannot order one even if you’re willing to pay for it.

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Pluto in Leo (1937-1956) holds both copyright and patent to the term ‘baby’ including use in Baby BoomerTM and ‘Hey, baby’. Seventy is the new 40. This generation is so liberal they’re conservative or so conservative they are complete freaks. Home of the pot-smoking, guitar-playing Republican and the vegan, puritanical Democrat who has not had a drink since 1977. Vitamin C is still the cure for everything. In their day, they didn’t change the world; they were so cool, the world changed for them. Cool is what counts. What they say is cool is what is cool until they say it isn’t cool anymore. Any music recorded after 1970 is terrible unless they say otherwise. Tea Party conservatism is the new peace and love. There are a few who I call The Redeemers who want to dust off their activist Girl Scout merit badge sash and join the Occupy movement, or get involved because they missed their chance the first time around. Once tried an open marriage, but went back to getting divorced because it was simpler. Ultimate possession is an SUV with a Greenpeace sticker on it (or a Harley). Still has original AOL address from 1998. Starts a blog just to see how many hits it’s possible to get. Ruined astrology by asking, ‘What’s your sign?’ several thousand times too many. Many now live on a steady diet of Prozac, Viagra and porno.

Planet Waves

Pluto in Virgo (1956-1971) is between the Baby BoomersTM and Gen X, not as idealistic as the Boomers and not as cynical as Gen X. This generation seems immune from OCD. Nobody would even notice if they had a bad case; obsessive hyperfocus is what you do until ADD sets in. Balance means integrating the two in a perfect mix of 12-hour-a-day productivity. Materialism is cool, as long as it’s for a practical purpose. They remain trapped in extremely well-organized cubicles, spending years developing branding and marketing campaigns. Among the first programmers of the commercial Internet, they still say the word ‘computer’ and mean it. Activists among them send around email petitions, or even start an online petition service. They’re too busy to come to the protest, but they support it in principle and watch from the 30th floor window. They will change the system from within. They’re terrified to let their kids do any of the things that they did. They had sex, drugs and rock and roll (which their children are not allowed to know about). Their kids are growing up on supervised play dates and are not allowed to go to the mall alone. Obsessed with health, these people have more vitamins in their closet than the GNC warehouse, but their daughters will get six rounds of Gardasil. Have not had sex without a condom since 1989 and take an AIDS test every year even if they haven’t done the nasty. You never know; transmission through toilet seats has not been disproved.

Planet Waves

Pluto in Libra (1971-1982), sometimes called Gen X, is deeply concerned with fairness, equality and justice, which usually means getting married and going to enough weddings to open a secondhand dress shop with their diversity of unusually colored wedding party outfits. The men finally broke down and bought a tux, or considered it seriously. Men and women are equal. Gays and straights are equal. Humans and animals are equal. Willing to take a backseat in the relationship because "I will make this relationship work!" Everyone has the right and responsibility to get married. This is the new civil rights movement. Meanwhile, Roe v. Wade is being washed out from under their feet, birth control is about to become illegal, feminism exists only in certain classes on college campuses and Guantanamo Bay is still in business, but that’s all okay as long as everyone has the right to get married — unless that means getting married to more than one person. Obsessed with perfect looks, they have never been seen with a zit, and will spend hours getting ready to go out; but it’s not for anyone else — it’s ‘just for me’. Females have never left the house without a bra plus three extra layers on. The men make excellent single dads but their daughters will all be hell on wheels.

Planet Waves

Pluto in Scorpio (1982-1995), sometimes called the Millennials, does not believe in privacy. There’s no such thing. Nothing is taboo. Lady Gaga is their hero, and they’re the only ones who understand her. They cannot be more than five minutes away from social networking, and cannot do anything without their parents knowing about it. They are comforted that mom follows their every Tweet. Will take a lower-paying job with a longer commute that allows them to check Facebook, which for them is a verb. Everything must be interactive. Not afraid of ghosts. Older members of this generation used to practice telepathy in school, till texting came along. They used to have sex, till sexting came along. Aware of the deeper, darker side of human nature, they are convinced that the world is evil, so there’s no point doing anything about it. Everything is fucked. The government is fucked. The corporations are fucked. The environment is fucked. Everyone is going to get cancer, so who cares what we do or what we eat. Sex has three settings — the purity ring, hooking up and total commitment, which they think is stupid because sex is natural and everyone is really bisexual. But sex can also kill you, so it’s better to talk about it than to actually do it (or stick to oral, which for some reason is perfectly safe). Did not go to prom; went to purity ball instead, escorted by their Pluto in Virgo father, which they knew was creepy, but whatever.

Planet Waves

Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008) cannot spend more than 90 seconds away from social media. These kids are okay with everything, because that’s how the world is — there’s a lot of everything so you may as well be okay with it. There’s always a reason to be optimistic and that alone can get things done. We all live in one world so we should all be able to get along, and we can change the world if we want to. They know that if you believe something, that makes it true. Everything is already spiritual so who needs religion? Expect these children to want to do middle school in Santiago or Fiji. They are the ones being trained for jobs that don’t exist yet, which may involve working alongside extraterrestrials, for which they are perfectly suited.

Toddlers with Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2023) are already planning how to undermine the structure of your household, the neighborhood association and the local municipal government, so keep all your bank records, checkbooks, etc., under lock and key, and carry the key with you at all times. For your own safety, don’t keep your money in a TARP bailout bank. Block them from reading news websites; they won’t care about porno. Don’t reveal any sensitive information. Expect a call from the daycare that they started a campaign to get the director fired. Forget about toy trucks; start saving up for a real bulldozer, excavator or maybe a wrecking ball. They will be old enough to drive and operate heavy equipment by the time they’re seven. Maybe lease them something hefty and dangerous (a front-end loader perhaps) for a few weeks for that big birthday. If they have a business plan, go with it. They will make their fortunes mining abandoned 20th century garbage dumps.

Planet Waves

Future children with Pluto in Aquarius (2023-2043) will be the first generation of humans who are fully network compatible. Genetically modified to have nanotechnology in their blood from birth, none of these children will be conceived sexually; they will be generated in fetus farms to custom specifications. Born with an IP address rather than a Social Security number, they will give new meaning to the phrase, "I’m a Mac." It will be deeply disappointing when they are finally ‘born’ only to discover that they no longer have any rights — except to marry a cyborg, which was generously guaranteed for them decades earlier by the Pluto in Libra generation. Ultimately however, they will be against computers and revolt against their origins, and their motto will be "Opt out, log off, shut down." This is going to piss off their parents to no end, who by that point will be waging a pointless cyber-war against some developing country that has banned Facebook and refuses to join the global effort to stop climate change.

Planet Waves
Image by Jean-Luc Bozzoli

Future children with Pluto in Pisces (2043-2066) will be the first generation indistinguishable from God. Kids are already pretty close to their divine source, but this generation will surpass all limits, walking on water before they walk on land. This will be easy because they’ll spend their entire gestation dreaming of dolphins and be born with dolphin souls. They are the children of God, one with God, part of God and God is part of them. God is sex and sex is God and we’re all one, and even Republicans will learn from them. They will recite nursery rhymes about quantum field theory and take field trips in black holes. These children will exist simultaneously on several dimensions, and won’t need babysitters because they’re one with God. Whereas children of previous generations had lemonade stands, some of these children will form successful cults by the time they’re 11 years old. War will be banned in their lifetimes.

Future children with Pluto in Aries (2066-2095) will give new meaning to the term Me Generation, winning the legal right to marry themselves. They will be the second most narcissistic generation in the history of humanity. Old books by Wayne Dyer and Werner Erhard will sell for $5,000 (not inflation adjusted). They will wage a civil rights movement for the right to fight in wars, repealing the ban passed by their Pluto in Pisces predecessors. This will be the time of the Second Coming of Heracles and the reincarnation of Patton. They will become despondent and require years of therapy when they discover that the Pluto in Leo generation they admire so greatly was against war, and even managed to stop one.

Future children with Pluto in Taurus (2095-2127) will be the ones who stubbornly survive and repopulate the Earth after Pluto in Aries has come through. Sex ban will be repealed. Silent movies will come back into style. In fact, language will all but disappear, with exceptions made for semi-verbal grunting and extremely vigorous arguments, which will become an official sport. Courtship traditions will be adhered to; calling cards (the old kind, left in a basket on a table by the door) will return; Emily Post will have a revival and become a bestselling author. For 22 years nobody will dare to wear white slacks after Labor Day.

Future children with Pluto in Gemini (2127-2157) will lift ban on non-sport use of words and entirely reinvent language based on words originally known only to one pair of twins. They will go on to reinvent psychotherapy, following in the footsteps of their Pluto in Gemini forebears.


Additional research and writing: Astrodem, Dale O’Brien, and many Planet Waves friends on Facebook who contributed their observations.

Image Credits: Most of the photos above are stock images licensed from iStockphoto researched by Chelsea Bottinelli and Rachel Marco-Havens. The dolphin image with Pluto in Pisces is called Starchild by Jean-Luc Bozzoli, who produces some beautiful DVDs, children’s books and other materials. You can browse his products and look at his other images on his website.

If you would like to know more about Pluto — you can read this article in Small World Stories, and there’s another called Planet Why, which gives the history of our ideas about Pluto.

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