SATURN, PLUTO, AND THE USA Tim Lyons 01.12.20







              I don’t know if this happens to other astrologers, but almost every time I go out in public (a word that refers to, among other things parties, visits to music venues, and situations in which people come running up to me in the street, breathless and anxious), people ask me questions about some astrological matter or other. These questions generally involve personal issues (e.g. “Saturn’s on my Venus; will my husband/wife leave me and move to the Riviera with a dancer?”), but lately, those questions have involved the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, an event that is in progress as I write, with the exact conjunction taking place today (Sunday 1/13/20). So, in honor of that conjunction, let’s have a look.

But let’s begin our discussion by looking at how the conjunction, particularly the Saturn-part, affects the United States birth horoscope and the horoscope of a contemporary Twitter-Lover, Mr. Donald Trump. (See the attachments: 1. The United States horoscope. 2. A double-wheel, with the US natal on the inner wheel and current transits on the outer wheel. 3. Ditto for D. Trump.)[1]

Notable Developments:

  1. The conjunction conjoins the United States natal (N) Pluto and closely opposes the US Mercury, setting off the US natal (N) Mercury-Pluto opposition.
  2. The conjunction opposes D. Trump’s N Venus-Saturn conjunction in Cancer.
  3. Trump’s N Venus-Saturn conjoins the US Mercury.



I have spoken and written about the US Mercury-Pluto opposition often before. Oppositions in nations’ horoscopes generally arise through projection in which the country plays the role of one end of the opposition and projects the other end onto countries or groups who seem to stand opposed to the nation’s development, plans, or drives.[2] Usually, the country will play the role of the planet closest to the Sun and project the role of the planet furthest from the Sun. (Individuals do much the same, though, having a centralized consciousness-headquarters, so to speak, they can work on their projections, withdrawing them, in whole or in part, from the world, recognizing the projected material as part of themselves. Nations rarely accomplish any of that.[3])

In this case, the United States plays the role of Mercury, symbol of how the people think about themselves. In Cancer, Mercury will think about security, the home, and the sense of emotional well-being. Thus we see in the US a huge emphasis on security – and, of course, the US has its Sun, Venus, and Jupiter in Cancer as well, so we can justifiably change “huge” to “inordinate,” or perhaps “pathological.” People find themselves, with encouragement from the Pluto-controlled major media (Mercury as communication), thinking of themselves as home owners concerned with family, security, and so on – Cancer-matters all. Meanwhile, Pluto seems to arise through others.

The list of groups on whom the US has projected its Pluto begins with Native Americans. After that, the Pluto-hook[4] arose through black people (beginning with slaves from Africa), Germany (during both wars), the USSR/Russia (even today: witness the obsessions about “Russian interference” in our purportedly free and open elections[5]), and all sorts of Muslims and Middle Easterners, including but not limited to Iran.[6]

Despite Trump’s various blusterings, war with Iran does not seem to me inevitable. Though transiting (TR) Saturn and Pluto set off the US Mercury-Pluto in important ways, Iran’s horoscope, whether that for Khomeini’s return to Iran or for the subsequent forming of a government, do not have the major astrological connections that Iraq’s and Hussein’s did. Neither has important placements in final decan of cardinal signs as Iraq and Saddam Hussein did; thus Iran does not have placements that automatically set off the projection.[7] Though the path to war against Iraq and Hussein proved quite smooth, with the plutocratic media paving the way and both lawmakers and millions of citizens proving easy to convince, the current road seems a more challenging one. Not only does Iran not set off the projection automatically, but its recent history distinguishes it from Iraq and Hussein, for, say what we will about human rights problems in that country, it hasn’t killed millions of citizens like Hussein did and it hasn’t invaded a neighboring country as Iraq did in Kuwait. Further, most non-Trumpian sources seem to agree that Iran kept its part of the bargain on the agreement about nuclear weapons. Thus, as we have seen, lawmakers and citizens haven’t fallen into line quite so blindly. Trump’s attempt to distract everyone from impeachment proceedings may not have energy enough to succeed, despite the factors named above. In fact, the same factors could suggest a change in leadership and major problems with the economy (as the whole business takes place in the US second house, symbolizing money).

Gulf War I’s Operation Desert Storm began on 17 January 1991 with Saturn at 27Capricorn26, 4’ of arc from its conjunction with US Pluto. As noted, both Iraq and Hussein served as perfect hooks for the US projection of Pluto; Saturn affected both horoscopes. The rhetoric regarding both Iraq and its leader had had a remarkable similarity to the language used in reference to previous hooks for Pluto: the enemy found itself portrayed by the US as dark and threatening, primitive in outlook, destructive in action. Meanwhile, the country sitting on the world’s largest piles of plutonium and destructive weapons, a country that had interfered via death squads and other means into the affairs other countries, portrayed itself as occupying the moral high ground. Saturn gets to the same degree of Capricorn in the last 9 days of February 2020, before, as in 1991, passing into Aquarius for a bit before returning to Capricorn. For the foregoing reasons, though, these facts do not necessarily suggest that the US will attack Iran in about a month.

In addition, Trump has not seemed intent on invading other countries or in effecting regime change. In fact, one of the few appealing elements in his election rhetoric, at least to me, were his assertions about no more foreign wars or attempts at regime change. Because his Sun-Moon opposition connects to the US Mars-Neptune square, and because he has a N Mercury-Neptune square, he obviously plays fast and loose with the truth; US actions in Venezuela tell us that regime change remains on the US agenda. However, he has not – again, despite his rhetoric – mounted any invasions.

Major problems will arise in a few years when transiting (TR) Neptune squares the US Mars, opposes the US Neptune, and squares both ends of Trump’s Sun-Moon opposition from Gemini to Sagittarius.

That should suffice for now. I didn’t get to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in itself. Let’s leave that ‘til next time. For homework, check the events of 1982, the year of the previous Saturn-Pluto conjunction.



720 338-3658



[1] I use the so-called Rudhyar Horoscope. Why? Because it seems to yield accurate results.

[2] Sometimes those groups consist of US citizens. This may seem odd, but consider how Martin Luther King found himself under scrutiny not only for his efforts on behalf of Afro-Americans, but also because his opposition to US imperialism. Though a US citizen, he often received treatment generally reserved for external enemies.

[3] For more discussion of these matters, see my Your Hidden Face: Projection in the Horoscope, published by the American Federation of Astrologers a few years back.

[4] The term comes from Jungian psychology. Jung said that we hang projections on hooks just as we do coats. Notably, once the coat occupies that hook, the hook itself remains invisible.

[5] Your correspondent would find these concerns absurd if he didn’t find them so troubling. He would also suggest, if asked, that some of them have a connection to the various phobias about the USSR promulgated by various Christian millenialists and prophecy-mongers for many decades into the past. At times, many people convinced that the Bible foretold many current events seemed obsessed with the USSR, seeing it as, among other things, the “nation from the north” that would invade and overwhelm Israel. We might also remember the number of times the US has interfered in elections, including the one in Russia in 1996, or simply driven from power leaders who didn’t accept the US agenda.

[6] The term “Middle Easterner,” admittedly, demonstrates a Western prejudice. The people of Iran may not accept the designation, but I haven’t come up with a better one.

[7] For the record: Iraq has a Saturn-Pluto opposition from 28+ Capricorn to 23+ Cancer; Hussein has a Jupiter-Pluto opposition from 26+ Capricorn to 26+ Cancer.




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