Buckle Up, the U.S. Pluto Return Is Here

On 2/22/22, the teensiest former planet returns to the exact place in the sky where it was on July 4, 1776. Here's what that means for your sign this week.

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Illustration: Getty (Getty Images)

If you, like me, chose the rabbit hole of YouTube astrology over sourdough starters as your pandemic panacea, you might already know that Tuesday’s U.S. Pluto return—nearly 250 years in the making—is kind of a big deal. If not, you might be like: huh? Also, wasn’t Pluto demoted?

First of all, Pluto will always be a planet to astrologers (fuck you, Neil deGrasse Tyson.) That said, whether or not you follow the stars, you should know a thing or two about the U.S. Pluto return on February 22, 2022. If there was a CNN for astrology, this would be the top story, and the lower third of that story would read something lame like, “Mini planet causes major mayhem.”

Let me explain: Pluto, the goth dude of our solar system, is currently completing its two-and-a-half century jaunt around the sun and will return to its exact July 4, 1776 location on February 22, 2022. But because Pluto moves so slowly, we’ve already been feeling its transformational influence for a few years now, and we will likely continue to feel it intensely for another year or two. If you’ll recall, some old white dudes signed a thing that day in Philadelphia declaring the U.S. as independent from some other old white dudes in Britain. So, you could say the U.S. is having a mega-birthday—but with Pluto involved, it will be more like a Sabrina-style dark baptism. We’re talking secrets revealed, massive social transformation, potential financial turmoil, and who knows, possibly more gender reveal party disasters.

The specifics are unclear, but with this return comes a choice: Will we sign our name in the Dark Lord’s book and continue giving our power away to failing social structures? Or will we make like a horror book heroine and dramatically flee the castle?

Listen, shit was really fucked up in 1776, and it’s only slightly less fucked up now. The founding of our country was always more about concentrating power in the hands of white, wealthy men than it ever was about “equality,” a laughable concept considering the monstrosity of slavery, abhorrent treatment of indigenous people, and subjugation of women. A lot has changed since Pluto last checked in with us, but has it? Whole swaths of our society remain marginalized, and white dudes are shockingly still enjoying the finest privileges our country has to offer.

Well, buckle up, Chad. Pluto is the Lord of the Underworld, and like the Gowanus Canal cleanup project, it’s about to dredge some shit up. Whatever “black mayonnaise, sunken cars, and evil stench” it will reveal could accelerate the radical social change that’s already underway. Because the Pluto return is happening in Capricorn—the sign of social systems, government, top-down authority, industry, and infrastructure—it will likely reveal more systemic flaws and inequities in these arenas, which movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter are already shining the spotlight on. So, we could see more debate about whether we want to tackle reform or just cut bait and start fresh. Spoiler alert: If Capricorn is the way things have always been, Pluto’s the wrecking ball.

Once Pluto finally lands in Aquarius in March of 2023, it might be easier to start thinking about what kind of society we want to build from the rubble—and how it can truly represent equality.

In the meantime, it’s important to think about where power is concentrated in your own life. If the answer is in structures/jobs/people/places/things outside of yourself, right about now you might be feeling like you’re re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It could be time to throw up the deuces and sign your own personal declaration of independence from whatever’s holding you back. Here’s what’s in store for all the star signs this week:

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