Pluto moved into Capricorn on Thanksgiving day, introducing a new flavor to our collective stew. Pluto is a planet that represents breakdown, death and endings, but also transformation, power and rebirth. As a planet associated with the mythical beast, the Phoenix, Pluto’s highest energies are capable of rising from the ashes of the past and introducing the magic and possibility of the future. In every ending, there is a beginning, and as Pluto transited through the last degrees of Sagittarius this last year or so, we saw many endings of institutions and structures that we have grown used to. But did we also notice the flickerings of beginnings arise in these losses?
The music industry has made a steady decline in the last several years, with sales of CD’s dropping and record labels folding left and right. The movie industry is another arena that seems to be dying a not so pretty death, as are publishing and financial institutions. Overall, corporations in general seem ready to be put on life support, as we head further into the growing economic collapse of the Capitalistic structure.
So where is the hope in this fire of destruction? The new life coming from the flames? If we look carefully, we can observe the tiniest flickerings of new birth amongst the wreckage that still has not fully settled. The DIY movement grew out of a punk rock philosophy that espoused doing it for yourself rather than relying on corporations or other large institutions to do it for you. Sew your own clothes, make your own food, publish your own zine, book or record. Why let someone else do for you what you could do better for yourself? Within this is a corresponding belief that quality attracts quality. If I make amazing honey from my beehives, and you create fabulous dresses, why not trade our products, knowing we’ve both gotten a better deal than if we patronized some big bargain mart for the same thing.
The DIY movement cuts out the middle man, and allows the creator of a product direct communication and accountability with those who desire and partake in what they create. As this cultural meme has grown amongst the collective mindset, we’ve witnessed new markets developing based on this premise. A perfect example of this is Radiohead’s release of their new album as a download only, buy it direct from the artist, pay what you want, offering. We’re also seeing the rise of self-published books, and in create your own tv aka You-Tube. All of these forms of entertainment that are free and produced by the masses. Even beyond this though there is a growing trend towards producing food in our own backyards (check out San Francisco’s Victory Garden program), and creating regionally based systems of health-care and transportation. Even solar power is a way to break away from centrally located power systems and companies and generate power from our own homes and the sun.
As the control of managers, systems and authorities who create structures breaks down, all more negative expressions of Capricorn, we can simultaneously see the more positive attributes of Capricorn arise: self-reliance, perseverance and accountability. All qualities that support a “do it yourself” mindset. So as we settle more firmly into this Pluto in Capricorn terrain, searching to find our way, and looking to navigate the changing landscape it can be helpful to ask ourselves where in our lives we can “do it for ourselves?”
Because Pluto is a collective planet, this question is not necessarily about self-reliance as individuals, but more about relying on ourselves within our own communities and circles of connection. Capricorn too is a community sign, and is responsible for building institututions and systems for the collective. As we undertake this Plutonion transformation in the Capricorn realm, it will be our work as individuals to figure out what our roles are in the collective story.
Those of us who are used to relying on or who benefit from large institutions, corporations and organizations may need to find ways to transition to a more do it yourself mindset. We may need to look at how we can remove the middle man from the service we provide, and look for ways to take it directly to those we want to serve. Because we are at the beginning of the cycle of Pluto in Capricorn, we can start doing this in small ways, experimenting with different forms of presenting what we offer to others. For example, if you are a doctor working for a large hospital, now might be a time to cut back on your hours at the hospital and consider offering your skills as part of a trade or barter system in your community. If you are a writer looking for a publishing contract, now might be a time to consider self-publishing. If you sell things for others, now could be a time to think of what you can sell for yourself.
Together we will be undertaking an enormous cultural shift, one that we have not encountered since Pluto last transited through Capricorn, around the time of the American Revolution. Hopefully we can learn from the lessons of past cycles and proactively create and participate in the change that is already happening, rather than let it happen to us.
And though the DIY mentality is a good one, I endorse it, like all things in moderation. DIY lasik surgery just might be taking things a little too far……