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The Moon/Pluto Occultations

There is currently a rare astronomical event that may have dramatic astrological significance, and which has not been receiving as much attention as it should — the series of occultations of Pluto by the Moon. Beginning in April 2012, the Moon will pass directly in front of Pluto, blocking its energy for no less than 19 consecutive months! Given the fact that this occultation hasn’t happened since 1935, it would appear to be a major event, with some cosmic intent or purpose for the world at large.

Occultations are essentially eclipses, with one celestial body passing in front of another, from our perspective on Earth. As such, they act to emphasize the issues and concerns represented by the occulted body, in much the same way a Solar or Lunar Eclipse does. Most commonly, they involve one of the planets of our system passing in front of a star and blotting out its light. More rarely, the Moon will occult another planet, and the occultation of Pluto is among the least common of these phenomena.

Pluto’s orbital plane is inclined more than 17° from the ecliptic, the apparent path along which most of the solar system’s bodies revolve around the Sun. Since the Moon’s orbit is both extremely erratic, extending far north and south of this plane, and also swift, spending barely two hours at each degree of the zodiac, the chances of these two bodies coming together in such a way as to occupy the same space at the same time, are, quite literally, astronomical. But that this should happen over 19 consecutive months? That’s something you’d definitely need a supercomputer to calculate!

Pluto is a deeply evolutionary power source, governing such things as cellular/molecular processes; decay, death, regeneration and rebirth; sexuality; compulsion and obsession; secrets and scandals. The Moon represents emotions, domestic concerns, motherhood and nurturance, the physical body, security or foundational issues, and, in mundane affairs, the people or populace of a country. An occultation, or hiding, of Pluto by the Moon will act to both eclipse, in the sense of disrupting or cutting off, and to magnify, in the sense of bringing focus, stress or emphasis to Plutonian affairs, particularly in ways that highlight the Moon’s special areas of influence.

Each of these moments of occultation provides a sort of jolt or surge, a powerful opportunity to reset the current reality in ways that support Pluto’s drive to empower, reveal, and control. Having 19 of them in succession is like emptying a semi-automatic revolver’s clip into the collective unconscious and the body politic. It may be experienced as a repeated, rapid-fire assault on the status quo, resulting in change and transformation, the specifics of which we can only conjecture, with ramifications spreading out like ripples on a pond.

On a personal level, much of how this manifests will depend upon where in the natal chart these occultations fall, and how they interact with the chart as a whole. But anyone already experiencing heavy Plutonic transits can expect a major ramping up of these effects. (The occultations occur between 6° -11° Capricorn; check the list at the end of this article for specific dates and degrees.) If Pluto is not particularly active for you right now, you’ll likely experience these occultations much in the way you would an unaspected eclipse, that is, as a general point of emphasis in the area of your life where they fall.

On a mundane level, however, we can look for clues on how the series will resolve itself by closely marking the events that cluster about the earliest occultations. One immediate red flag was raised on April 12th, the day of the first occultation; an incident at this time indicates that sexual scandal (Pluto) revealed to the public (Moon) is one of the levels of manifestation evoked by the occultations.

That occultation reached maximum effect at 4:38 a.m. local time, in Cartagena, Colombia. Within two hours, a U.S. Secret Service agent, working in advance of President Obama’s upcoming visit, decided to stiff the prostitute he had hired the night before. (1) He paid her $30 of the $800 fee, claiming he had been too drunk to understand when negotiating her price. She quite understandably balked at this turn of events, and since prostitution is legal in Colombia, the local police backed her up; the ensuing brouhaha brought a scandal of international proportions.

Eleven other agents were involved in similar activity (but without the parsimony) in Cartagena, leading to the resignation or dismissal of nine of them. The subsequent congressional probe has unearthed allegations of similar impropriety in at least five other incidents in four countries (including El Salvador, Argentina, and Russia) over the past decade or more. These incidents, and statements made by former Secret Service members, suggest a well-established pattern of such activity, particularly among agents conducting advance prep work before VIP visits.

The fine hand of the Moon/Pluto occultation is easy to see in Pluto’s rulership of scandals, sexual matters, prostitution, the “Secret” Service, and the service’s role in security — a lunar issue — as well as the hotel where the transgression occurred, hotels also being Moon-ruled. The catalyst for this revelation was one Arthur Huntington, age 41. His pivotal role is well represented celestially by asteroid Arthur (#2597) at 11° Aries, closely squared the Moon/Pluto occultation at 9° Capricorn. The escort he refused to pay was Dania Suarez, age 24, represented by asteroid Suarez (#6438) at 15° Capricorn, conjoined the occultation.

Asteroid Arthur is at least as well connected as his terrestrial namesake. He is now being conjoined by Uranus (shocks, revelations, erratic behaviors) at 5° Aries and appearing at the apex of a large mirror configuration (2) encompassing sextile aspects to asteroid Bacchus (drinking, partying, sexual licentiousness) at 9° Aquarius, and Venus (women, intimacy, romance, cash payments) at 7° Gemini conjunct the South Node (old habits that are unproductive or limiting), also at 7° Gemini, and asteroid Karma (the results of our prior actions and choices) at 11° Gemini. Asteroid Arthur squares Pluto/Suarez, as well as asteroid Askalaphus (named for the tale-bearing denizen of Hades who revealed Persephone’s secrets) at 5° Cancer, and inconjuncts asteroids Aphrodite (affairs of the heart, flirtations) at 8° Scorpio retrograde, and Arachne (creation of intrigue and entanglement, entrapment) at 5° Virgo retrograde.  (Arachne is conjoined Mars (sexuality) at 3° Virgo, powerfully stationary just before turning direct a day later, but a bit broad by aspect to include into this pattern directly.) Furthermore, asteroid Arthur is in opposition to asteroid America (the U.S.A.), at 5° Libra retrograde, and TransNeptunianObject Typhon (storms, tribulations) at 4° Libra retrograde.


A mirror configuration is similar to a Yod, or Finger of Destiny (one of which is also incorporated into this pattern), in that all points radiate out from a central object at equidistant intervals. Like the Yod, it can indicate a predestined or fated moment, character trait, process, or circumstance, and any mirror configuration has special implications for karmic resonance. Their appearance in mundane event charts often reflects the sudden injection of someone previously unknown into the center of a well publicized controversy or sensation, for good or ill.

The transit Sun can be seen in mundane events as determining the major themes of the day. On April 12th, the Sun at 23° Aries was conjoined asteroid Vesta (associated with prostitutes) at 21° Aries, TNO Eris (governing disputes, arguments, and disrespectful slights) at 22° Aries, and asteroid Tantalus (named for a mythic Greek king from whom we derive the word “tantalize”, to tempt or tease) at 24° Aries. The Sun is also in opposition to Saturn (government workers, the President) at 26° Libra retrograde; square to asteroid Washingtonia (the U.S. capitol) at 26° Capricorn, and sextile to the centaur Nessus (sexual impropriety or inappropriate actions) at 25° Aquarius. There is also a conjunction of Mercury (verbal contracts) at 26° Pisces with TNO Salacia (named for the Greek goddess from whom we derive the word “salacious,” conveying undue or indecent interest in sexual matters) at 24° Pisces, semisextile the Sun. (Text continues below the graphic)


Put it all together and you have a pretty accurate and specific, picture of the Secret Service scandal. That this all came off within hours of the first Moon occultation of Pluto suggests that scandals and secrets being made public may be a predominant theme of the next 18 months, but doubtless other themes will emerge as well, as we navigate this most extraordinary series of celestial events.

[The Moon occults Pluto on the following dates and degrees; an “R” following the degree denotes that Pluto is retrograde at the time:
April 12, 2012 9° Cap R
May 9, 2012 9° Cap R
June 6, 2012 8° Cap R
July 3, 2012 8° Cap R
July 30, 2012 7° Cap R
August 27, 2012 7° Cap R
Sept. 23,  2012 6° Cap
October 20,  2012 7° Cap
November 16, 2012   7° Cap
December 14, 2012  8° Cap
January 11  2013 9° Cap
February 7,  2013 10° Cap
March 6,  2013 11° Cap
April 3,  2013 11° Cap
April 30, 2013 11° Cap R
May 27, 2013 11° Cap R
June 24,  2013 10° Cap R
July 21, 2013 9° Cap R
August 17,  2013 9° Cap R


(1)   HostedNews

(2) Editors note: In an email from the author: “Mirror configuration” is a pattern I first heard about at an NYC NCGR conference in the early ’90s.”

Note from Alex Miller: Thanks to Eric Francis for making me aware of the occultations, and for the calculations and asteroid data.

Bio: Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society. His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. His work with deep space points and asteroids appears monthly at DayKeeper Journal. Alex can be reached for comment or services at


  1. Well… that’s nice. My ascendant at 8′ Capricorn, has had Pluto crossing back and forth for awhile and awhile longer. Working with that aspect has been trying my patience, if not strengthening my resolve; deconstructing a lot of childhood issues. I can see where this may affect me on a personal emotional level, lets hope it doesn’t get too horrific. After reading this article I feel like I better be extra vigilant. Then of course the squares coming up with Uranus… further magnification?

    • My ascendant is 5 degrees and it’s been constant ass kicking. Uranus is also going through my 2nd house so that in itself has dropped some bombs. Hopefully the upcoming square on 24th June may give me a more welcomed change instead of enforced hardship.

    • This resonates Adam, totally. I’ve had many challenges and insights for the last 6 years, how people can be so secretive behind closed doors. But, within these mysteries of intuition respectively I am honored to have this help coming from unknown resources. And, I am grateful and forgiving for these people in my life to guide me to continue to understand karmic energies. We can’t do these scripts alone. Namaste

  2. Great, thoughtful article. On a personal level I have been feeling it–mercury at 8 degrees of Capricorn in 10th has been sending out SOS signals to me everytime Pluto gets near. I’ve been on it but now I will be on it more. Thanks, going to link this to my site. Great read!

  3. Great article, thank you.

    Just one clarification. Prostitution is not legal in Colombia. Quite the opposite. Actually, I can deduce that the impact of the transit is so intense, that a topic that is always denied in a very Catholic country, received the huge attention it got from Colombian and International Media. If you read Colombia newspapers during the last 3 weeks, you would be saddened to learn about the level of degradation and abuse that prostitutes are facing in a city like Cartagena, precisely because they have no legal support neither the support of society.

    • from Alex:


      hi, amanda!

      sorry to contradict, but prostitution absolutely is legal in columbia. not country-wide, and not for minors, but it is allowed in certain ‘tolerance zones’, including cartagena. this is sourced in all the reporting of the incident, but a good overview of colombia’s prostiution laws can be found at


      since this blog was posted, we have had a second occultation of pluto by the moon, on may 9th at 1:41 PM EDT. within an hour and a half ABC news released a portion of its interview with Barack Obama, wherein he stated his support for same-sex marriage, the first sitting US president to do so.

      pluto’s influence here is in the realms of sexuality and taboo, while the moon rules family and domestic issues, important in legal recognition of marriage. at the time, asteroids ganymed and sappho, both with gay themes, opposed the 9 capricorn occultation from 0 and 8 cancer, with asteroid barry (for barack, the name by which he was known in youth) in semisextile from 10 sagittarius.

  4. reading your article has added to my impending concern about the upcoming squares between Uranus and Pluto. The last time they squared was during World War ll however Pluto was in cancer…the Hebrews are matriarchal and they were murdered as were aboriginal people who are also matriarchal…..there have historically been signs in the sky to warn people….I think we should be watching for the next antichrist during these occultations

  5. Thank you for bringing this previously obscure yet evidently important occultation to our awareness! Clearly this will be important to factor into our analysis as we move through the coming period of multiple Uranus/Pluto squares. The first full Moon (on July 3rd) following the first Uranus/Pluto square in June, coincides with the fourth Moon/Pluto occultation listed (thank you for including the list of dates, very helpful). Occuring so near the fourth of July and the U.S. having a Cancer Sun (Moon ruled) in the Sibley chart sounds conspiciously synchronistic. Could this signal a time when the people (Moon) begin to feel empowered (Pluto) to ‘block’ those in power (Capricorn)who continue to abuse that power motivated by greed and selfish gain? With Saturn (Capricorn’s ruler) turning direct in Libra just a week prior, might the theme of ‘justice for the people’ finally begin to flood the pernicious and controlled media?

  6. Thanks Alex for your cogent piece! I’m intrigued by this series of occultations due to their number: 19. This is also the period in months of the Venus Cycle (geocentric Venus-Sun synode). Being that the first Moon-Pluto occultation happened with Venus very high and bright in our evening skies, her Wholeness Phase, the following 18 (and at the time of this comment, 16) will be co-occurring and in a way “tracking” with this current Venus Cycle in Gemini, though the break of the Secret Service scandal in the media occurred at the culmination of the Scorpio Cycle!

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