Posted by: Donna Cunningham | May 23, 2009

Pluto in Capricorn: A Laugh and a Half

 ©2009 toppostsmby Guest Blogger, John Marchesella

Sometimes the manifestations of planetary phenomena are so literal in popular culture, that as the gods wreak havoc in the world, we really have to wonder if they also are winking at us in our everyday headlines.

For instance, only weeks after Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn in early 2008, the Academy Award for Best Movie went to “No Country for Old Men.”  Shouldn’t that have been a clue to John McCain about his bid for President?

Actually, Pluto’s initial stages in Capricorn sent a signal to all of us about the falls of such great men as Elliot Spitzer to scandal, Paul Newman and John Updike to death, Bernie Madhoff to greed, as well as the fall of all of Corporate America and capitalism, itself, as the “Old Man.”

How ironic that this year’s Academy Award for Best Movie went to “Slumdog Millionaire!”  Just as Pluto was running the last leg of His race in Sagittarius, i.e., the journey toward destiny, and heading toward Capricorn, i.e., the sign of destiny, the film that was slated “to go straight to video,” instead, gained unbridled popularity.  Surely, you can catch the astrological symbolism, too, of Sagittarius and Capricorn in the very title of the movie, and to boot, it’s a story about destiny!

Another good example, in popular culture, of Pluto’s leave-taking from Sagittarius is CBS’s cancellation of “The Guiding Light,” the longest running soap opera in broadcasting history.  Talk about the archetype of the Old Man!  It began on radio 72 years ago as a radio serial and switched to television in 1952. Here’s the real irony:  the roots of soap opera are in Sagittarius, plus Sagittarius is the sign of the beacon, as in “the guiding light!”  This is a good example of how Pluto ends not only the manifestations of the sign He enters, but also the manifestations of the sign He leaves.

Actually, Pluto doesn’t just end things.  He exorcises, de-toxes, purges, obliterates and makes extinct the antiquated.  And yes, He allows new forms to develop, evolve, emerge and unfold.

In a similar case of snuffing out the fiery drama of Sagittarius, General Motors, in order to beat a bankruptcy by June 1st, recently announced the closing of the Pontiac brand of cars.  Of all GM’s brands, isn’t it ironic that the Pontiac would be extinguished!  By tradition, its reputation is America’s original fun car, the little red sports car.  Those of you who know your auto history remember the Pontiac was called “GM’s excitement car.”  The New York Times, in an article on May 4th, referred to it as “Pontiac: The Official Car of the 2009 Economic Crisis.”  By the way, the line began in 1926.  That means 2009 brings the Uranus Return as well as Neptune-Opposition-Neptune to Pontiac.  Cars have transits too.capricornreadbook-a2d

Here’s one more interesting phenomenon of Pluto’s transits through the signs.  The blockbuster TV hit show, “E.R.,” began in 1994, when Pluto was wrapping up His stay in Scorpio, a very “emergency” kind of sign, to say the least.  The show was originally known for its realism, i.e., blood and gore in the e.r.

As Pluto journeyed through Sagittarius, the show lost its edge and became more of a saga, and it was cancelled just as Pluto entered Capricorn.  The show’s time slot, which is the most popular in prime time television, is being replaced by “Southland,” a drama about law enforcement, symbolized by Capricorn.  And it is so realistic that it is using actual gang members as actors and extras, and it’s being shot on the actual streets of L.A.!

The gods really are everywhere, and they must be having a great laugh at us.  In these trying times, it’s good to laugh with them.

 Postscript:  Shortly after this article was written, another “Plutonian” event occurred in the death of Venetia Phair (nee Burney), the little girl who named Pluto in 1930.  Her birth date was July 11, 1918, with a natal Pluto at 5 Cancer 21, just shy of the exact opposition from the recent station of Pluto.  However, in that momentous year of discovering and naming the planet, transiting Pluto stationed on her natal Sun and her Solar Arc Pluto came to the same degree!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  John Marchesella has been active in NCGR since Saturn got His rings.  He can be reached at

(Note from Donna: John is being needlessly modest here–he’s an extraordinarily talented astrologer and has made a substantial contribution to our organizations as an officer  for more than a Saturn cycle. This article first appeared in the enewsletter of the National Council for GeoCosmic Research and appears here with his permission.)

More Posts about Pluto on this Blog: 

FREE EBOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS ONLY:  a 50-page excerpt from my out-of-print book, The Moon in your Life, also known as Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World.  Read more about it here: NEW: FREE BOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS!  If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward your most recent email notification to me at  To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.

Art credits: The drawings come from :


  1. Hi John, GM did file for bankruptcy as we know afterall. Transiting Pluto was conjunct the South Node of the GM chart, among other interesting aspects:

  2. Well Done! your article and your offer of other astrology articles to read and research is straightword. I’ve been an astrologer for 30 years but now slowed down. Reading your article aroused me and I look forward to more of your work! Thank You.

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