Chapter Two: How Pluto Changes the World

By Bob Marks

Pluto, "the grisly God who never spares, who feels no mercy and who hears no prayers." This is the Lord of the Underworld, the planet of extremes, death and rebirth. It works like a volcano, with the pressure slowly building up from beneath. Then it erupts and nothing is the same. The old order has been destroyed and something new is growing in its place. It takes Pluto 248 years to circle the Sun. Its orbit, however, is highly irregular. Other planets spend about the same amount of time in each sign. Not Pluto. It went through its own sign, Scorpio, in 12 years (1983 to 1995). By contrast, it took 32 years to go through Gemini (1882 to 1914). So even Pluto's orbit goes to extremes.

Since Pluto rules extremes, its passage through any sign throws that sign off balance. All over the world, people will start to obsess about things ruled by that sign. The generation born with Pluto in that sign will keep those same obsessions for their entire lives. When they grow up, they bring these obsessions back into the world in a big way. For example, the Pluto-in-Leo generation (1939 to 1956) was born during the upheavals of World War II, the Cold War, and the threat of nuclear war. They grew up in the 1960s and rioted on campuses all over the world. "Do your own thing" was their mantra. Naturally, they did their own thing as dramatically as possible (Leo). Pluto is the ruler of everything hidden and secret, demons lurking below the surface. It's no accident that many reporters are Scorpios. They will always get the hidden information, just look at Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather.

(Oops! I'm dating myself. These two haven't been around for years). The transit of Pluto through any sign brings that sign's secrets out into the open. When Pluto transits in hard aspect to Saturn (authority), the crimes of those in positions of power come to light. Pluto made a square to Saturn during the Watergate scandal and the Nixon administration fell. This scandal would lead to several arrests and prison sentences. Pluto was also opposite Saturn in 2001 and 2002 when the Catholic Church was rocked with sex scandals involving pedophile priests. But Pluto does much more than reveal deep, dark secrets. Everything ruled by the sign transits is in line to be permanently changed, killed, reborn, and transformed. However, Pluto is not simply blind chaos--there is a method to its madness. When Pluto changes things, it does so in a definite order by following the cycle of the zodiacal signs.

These cycles can be traced back over 2,000 years. Let's take a closer look at Pluto transits below. Cardinal Sign When Pluto transits a Cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), it starts major changes in the world that can take decades, or even centuries, to be completed. This is important: Cardinal signs start things. They frequently don't finish them. That's the job of the Fixed signs, the signs that immediately follow the Cardinal signs. Fixed Sign Fixed signs rule stability, so when Pluto transits a Fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), they're forced to change. Pluto does the "heavy lifting" and brings about massive changes that were begun when Pluto was in the previous Cardinal sign. Frequently, those born when Pluto is in a Cardinal sign reach adulthood when it is in a Fixed sign. These people tend to be action-oriented and make enormous changes.

Mutable Sign

Mutable signs are the ones that immediately follow the Fixed signs and precede the Cardinal signs. When Pluto transits a Mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces), it produces new ideas and information that are put into action when Pluto enters the next Cardinal sign. Those born when Pluto is in a Mutable sign, pursue and execute new ideas with action. The Big Cycle starts when Pluto is in Aries, the sign of new beginnings. Major cycles will continue for the next 248 years or so until Pluto returns to Aries. This "big cycle" may run out of steam or be cut short when Pluto reaches mutable Virgo. A major turning point may also happen when Pluto is halfway around the zodiac, when Pluto transits Libra. In fact, few major new cycles begin when Pluto is in Libra. That sign seems to function more as a modification of the big cycle that began in Aries.

Let's take a look at the Pluto cycle through the centuries.

Pluto was in Aries when allied forces consisting of Medes, Persians, and Babylonians attacked and destroyed Nineveh city, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, in 612 b.c. That ended the Assyrian Empire and started the rise of Persia. The Persian Empire continued to expand as Pluto went through the zodiac. The half-cycle started when Pluto reached Libra--that's when Persia invaded Greece. The Greeks won decisive victories at Marathon, Salamis, and Plataea, halting the invasion and further expansion of the Persian Empire. The next time Pluto entered Aries, the Macedonian Empire began to expand. Philip of Macedon took the throne in 359 b.c., while Pluto was still in Aries. He conquered Greece and the surrounding territories. He was preparing to invade Persia when he was assassinated. By that time, Pluto was in the Fixed sign Taurus. Philip's son, Alexander the Great, finished the job his father had begun when Pluto was in Aries. Alexander was born with Pluto in Aries. During that same Pluto-in-Aries transit in the fourth century b.c., the Roman Republic started to expand.

Before that 248-year cycle was over, the Romans took over Italy and Spain and destroyed Carthage. During the next Pluto cycle, Rome became an empire and conquered Gaul, Britain, Egypt, and Syria. The Empire reached its greatest extent under the Emperor Trajan. He died in 117 A.D. when Pluto was again in Aries beginning a new cycle. This new cycle brought civil wars and the empire nearly fell apart, but it managed to carry on. The next cycle started at the end of the fourth century a.d. Pluto was in Aries on August 9, 378 A.D., when the Goths destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Adrianople and killed the Roman Emperor Valens. Over the centuries, the Romans lost a lot of battles, but they always came back and won the rematch. This time they didn't. Rome was now ripe for the picking. Adrianople was the real start of the fall of the Roman Empire. Here is the chart.


The horoscope for the Battle of Adrianople isn't too terrible at first glance. Yes, both Mars and Neptune square the Ascendant, showing that the attacker (the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens) may be making a big miscalculation (he did). But what demonstrates the significance of this battle? After all, it was a major turning point in history.

Harmonic Analysis is the key. If you are unfamiliar with Harmonic Analysis, go to the Free Lessons section of my other website by clicking here.

The 4th Harmonic, the Harmonic of stress, strain, and struggle, has a massive T-Cross. Pluto is opposite Mars, Neptune, and the Ascendant. The Sun and Moon square all of them. Neptune rules abandonment and desertion. The Roman cavalry deserted just before the battle. One interesting note: Chiron is part of the T-Cross and has a conjunction to Pluto, opposes Mars and the Ascendant and squares the Sun and Moon. Chiron is the wound that never heals. The Roman Empire never recovered from the wounds obtained at Adrianople.


Pluto was next in Aries from 600 to 633 A.D., during which time Muhammad started preaching and he and his followers conquered Arabia. Remember that Cardinal signs like Aries start things. The Fixed signs, like Taurus, continue and expand what the Cardinal signs begin. After Aries, Pluto goes into Taurus. Pluto was in Taurus when an Arab army decimated a larger Byzantine army at the Battle of Yarmouk on August 15, 636 A.D. There were no other armies left to oppose them, allowing The Arabs to conquer Syria and Egypt and continue expanding their empire. The Battle of Yarmouk happened when Pluto was opposite Uranus. That's what Pluto and Uranus do when they make a hard aspect.

Everything gets turned upside down. They made a square during the 1930s when Hitler rose in power and prepared for World War II. They made a conjunction during the 1960s, which were years of upheaval with riots and demonstrations. And of course, we just had a series of seven squares between Uranus between 2011 and 2015. The world is still feeling the effects of those seven squares. Let's go back to the Battle of Yarmouk. There is a T-Cross: Jupiter (expansion) is opposite Eris (strife) and the Sun squares both of them. Well, the Battle of Yarmouk certainly opened the door to a lot of strife. It enabled the Arab empire to expand from Spain to India. The 4th Harmonic chart for the Battle of Yarmouk really shows what went on. First of all, it also has a T-Cross: The Sun and Jupiter are opposed by Saturn and Mars squares all of them. Jupiter and Saturn rule the larger events in life where Mars is war. This is the chart of major changes.

Astrology Astrology

Pluto was in another Cardinal sign, Cancer when the Arab Empire invaded Spain around the year 711 A.D. Within seven years, they took over the whole country. Their expansion stopped when Pluto was in the Mutable sign Virgo, and they were defeated at the Battle of Tours by Charles Martel, King of the Franks.


In the chart for the Battle of Tours, Saturn is opposite the Sun. That shows some sort of blockage or obstacle. The Muslim expansion into Europe was stopped. This was a battle that changed history.

We don't have the time for the start of the battle, so we don't know what signs were on the Ascendant and Midheaven. Perhaps they were afflicted by one or more malefics. But shouldn't there be more indicators? Once again, the answer lies in the 4th Harmonic chart.


In the 4th Harmonic chart, Uranus squares both the Sun and Saturn. That shows a challenge to established authority. Uranus is also active when the underdog wins a battle. In this case, the Franks were outnumbered about two to one. Jupiter was also squaring Pluto. The powerful invaders (Pluto) were done when, by luck (Jupiter), their leader was killed. The second in command decided to retreat.

Pluto then entered Libra, and that marked a half-cycle from the original Aries transit. While Pluto was in Libra, the Arab Umayyad dynasty, which did most of the conquering during the previous century, was overthrown by the Abbasids at the Battle of Zab in 750 A.D., starting a new phase in Islamic history.


Look at that T-Cross. Mars is almost exactly opposite Uranus. That's a sudden change, and again it favors the underdog. A conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn squares both of them. Jupiter and Saturn rule the major events of life, and this shift was definitely a major event for the empire.

Notice that Jupiter and Saturn are both in Sagittarius, a sign of higher learning and philosophy. The Abbasid dynasty was the start of the Golden Age of Islam. Pluto was in Aries again from 844 to 874 when the Vikings, who had just been raiders, started to conquer and settle. The Danes took much of England while other Norse conquerors constantly raided and then settled in northern France. Also during this transit, the Chinese invented gunpowder. Well, after all, Aries is an explosive sign! That cycle lasted until around 1090 when Pluto came around to Aries again. The Crusades started during this cycle. This was another major turning point in history. Because of the Crusades, trade between East and West was reestablished. More importantly, new ideas entered Europe which would change the culture. A critical point occurred at the Battle of Antioch during the First Crusade when the Crusader army was under siege and out of food. They had nothing to lose, so threw everything they had into one desperate battle--and won. The horoscope for the battle has an amazing amount of outer-planet activity. To start, Pluto is widely opposite Mars and Saturn. Saturn is in the first degree of Libra, right on the World Axis, which is arguably the strongest part of the Zodiac. This tends to show events that have a major worldwide impact. Saturn rules the end of cycles: the end of an old cycle and the beginning of a new one.

Jupiter and Uranus are together in Taurus and both of them square Neptune and Mercury in Leo. The Crusades had a religious motivation (Jupiter and Neptune), but they ended up having a material effect since they reopened East-West trade (Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus, a material sign).


The next time Pluto entered Aries was 1332-33. Shortly afterward, the Hundred-Years War between England and France started. Before Pluto left Aries, the Black Plague swept through Europe and killed thirty to sixty percent of the population. Prices dropped (fewer buyers), wages rose (fewer workers), and peasants started to move to cities. Feudalism started to fall apart and the Renaissance was soon to follow. When Pluto came back to Aries in 1577-78, Spain was the strongest nation in Europe.


Pluto was still in Aries in 1588 when the English Navy defeated the Spanish Armada and England started to rise in power.

By the time this Pluto cycle was over in 1822, England was the strongest nation in the world. In the chart for the battle with the Armada, Mars (war) has a square to Pluto (extremes). This is a point of great power and the Spanish fleet was huge. But Saturn was on the Mars/Pluto midpoint, meaning the great power was blocked. The English were much more familiar with the currents in the local waters and their ships were faster. They danced around the Spanish ships and hit them at will--the Armada didn't stand a chance. The most recent large cycle of Pluto started in 1822-23, and we are still in it. English power rose for a few more years and then started to decline and the Industrial Revolution went into high gear. Railroads spread around the world and European nations raced to colonize everything they could. The United States started to rise in power.

The sign Aries rules iron, and during this cycle, steel production made a big jump. One of the most far-reaching events of this period happened in 1848 when the Communist Manifesto was published. The main author, Karl Marx, was born with Pluto in the Mutable sign Pisces. Mutable Signs deal with ideas, but Pisces also governs dreams. The dream of The Communist Manifesto was of a "classless society" (Pisces) which would be brought about by a total transformation (Pluto) of the world. Unfortunately, there were a few obstacles along the way and that resulted in several million deaths.


It is interesting to note that Marx was born on the day of a total eclipse of the Sun. The shadow of that eclipse fell along the entire length of Russia. It wasn't until the Russian Revolution, though, that the effects of that eclipse manifested and the bodies started to pile up. Notice the almost exact square that Pluto (death and transformation) is making to Neptune (ideals, dreams, and illusions). Karl Marx came up with the idea that we could have a Utopia (Neptune) once we killed all the people that were exploiting us (Pluto). What he didn't understand is that Pluto is Lord of the Underworld. Over the next century, Marx's followers ended up establishing new tyrannies.


The next phase began shortly after Pluto entered another Cardinal sign, Cancer. That's when Communism went from theory to practice with the Russian Revolution, and another empire started to form.

That rise continued when Pluto entered the Fixed sign, Leo. Once again, Pluto in a Cardinal sign began something that was continued and expanded when Pluto entered a Fixed sign. After World War II, Russia conquered Eastern Europe and China fell to Mao's Red Army. The cycle seemed to peak when Cuba and Indochina fell while Pluto was in the next sign, the Mutable sign, Virgo.

Pluto entered Libra in 1971, and this began the half-cycle. What were the major changes? The economies of China and the Soviet Union started to falter.

In fact, the Chinese economy almost fell apart as a result of mistakes made during their "cultural revolution." Pluto next entered the Fixed sign, Scorpio in 1984 (the sign of extremes), and the Soviet Union literally fell apart. Red China turned to semi-free market economics. At the time, some were saying that this marked the end of Communism. But Communist philosophy started with the publication of the Communist Manifesto in February 1848 when Neptune was in Pisces, the sign that it rules, and the Sun.

They were in close conjunction and right in between them was Eris the planet of discord. Neptune rules dreams, and dreams don't really die. They can only be replaced by other dreams.

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