Marianne Williamson and the Pluto Return of the U.S.

Want to understand the Pluto return of the United States and figure out how to get through to the other side? Consider studying Marianne Williamson.

The “Pluto return of the US” is an increasingly familiar term for many. Perhaps only third after “Mercury retrograde” and “the Saturn return,” it has become one of a growing number of astrological terms circulating in the broader culture. Often shared with a sense of foreboding, the Pluto return of the US refers to when Pluto returns to the position it was in on July 4, 1776. It takes 248 years for Pluto to orbit the sun. Psychologically, it’s the moment when the things we’ve buried as a nation come full circle.

For nations, Pluto returns have often resulted in the rise and fall of empires. For the US, it points to our longstanding history of racism, misogyny, violence, xenophobia, exploitation, and plutocracy. Each of these is a cardinal sin unatoned for since our nation’s founding and arguably since 1619 when the first enslaved peoples arrived in Virginia. Today, we are dealing with the consequences.

For anyone looking to make it through this harrowing time, the question is: how? How do we make it through this period without dodging and actually do something about the wreckage?

To get through the Pluto return, we have to understand Pluto. I’ve compiled a list of speeches and TV moments by author, activist, and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson that help get to the heart of what’s happening in the US. Whether you’re a community organizer or corporate executive, this is an entry point into the work we all need to do to experience our collective rebirth.

Could Marianne Williamson Lead America Through the Pluto Return?

First, I’ll explain why Marianne Williamson is one of the best public figures to illustrate what America needs to make it through the Pluto return.

Marianne Williamson’s relationship with the Pluto archetype is longstanding. In astrological terms, she is a Gemini rising, with her chart ruler, Mercury — the planet of speech, writing, and communication — conjunct Pluto (deep power and transformation), the imum coeli (the bottom of the sky), and the South Node (that which is purged in traditional astrology). These placements emphasize articulating profound transformative truths for a public audience, which Williamson has done for over 35 years.

She’s also the author of Healing the Soul of America, which discusses the first principles that can override the political dysphoria and immense divisions in the US. Notably, healing is a Pluto word, and if there was anyone who can speak to “what’s coming up from the bottom of things,” it’s Marianne Williamson.

To anyone wondering how to deal with this time in our history, now is a good time to study Williamson’s presidential campaign. It had “Pluto return” written all over it. Long before it happened, Williamson was not only telling us what kind of danger was imminent, but she also showed us the way out.

Everything Marianne Williamson Said About What Was Coming

Below are the Top 5 campaign speeches and debate moments by Marianne Williamson that signify the themes of the US Pluto Return. For each segment, you’ll find highlighted words that represent what happens with the Pluto archetype, a summary of what was coming for America, and a leadership lesson that, most importantly, can point to the way out.

“It was going to come up from the bottom of things” (11:16–12:33)

From the beginning, Marianne Williamson was talking about the plutocracy that has permeated American society since the 1980s. In her campaign announcement speech, she says:

There has been a massive theft from the public treasury — money that has been systematically removed into the hands of a very few, into the hands of the 1 percent of 1 percent while this country does not have universal healthcare, while we do not have a $15 minimum wage, while there are millions of people living in chronic economic despair.

I have seen this despair. I have seen it growing. I have seen it over and over, and I’ll tell you something: a lot of people were surprised by the election of Donald Trump. I was shocked, but I was not surprised. Any political establishment on left or right that was gobsmacked by Donald Trump was only because they weren’t looking at what’s most important. They should’ve seen all that economic despair. There was going to be a cry of populist despair, [and] it was going to come up from the bottom of things.

What was coming: A swell of populist despair on both left and right.
Leadership Lesson: Real leaders help people thrive.

“A sickness care system” (0:23–1:00)

Williamson, the creator of The Whole Health Plan, also gained attention from NBC and Bloomberg for her comments on the healthcare system in the first Democratic debate:

We don’t have a healthcare system in the United States. We have a sickness care system in the United States. We just wait until somebody gets sick and talk about who’s going to pay for the treatment and how they’re going to be treated. What we need to talk about is why so many Americans have unnecessary chronic illnesses, so many more compared to other countries. That gets back to not just big pharma and health insurance companies. It has to do with chemical policies, food policies, drug policies, and environmental policies.

What was coming: A pandemic that has already or could become a mass disabling event, killed more than 1 million people in the US, and revealed deep cracks in the health system.
Leadership Lesson: Don’t just treat the symptoms; identify the root cause.

“The Dark Psychic Force of the Collectivized Hatred” (0:00–1:06)

After the second Democratic debate in Detroit, Williamson became the most Googled candidate nationally, outranking Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, among others, for her penetrating, dead-on remarks about environmental injustice and reparations:

Flint is just the tip of the iceberg. I was recently in Denmark, South Carolina, where there is a lot of talk about it being the next Flint. We have an administration that has gutted the Clean Water Act. We have communities, particularly communities of color and disadvantaged communities all over this country, who are suffering from environmental injustice. I lived in Grosse Pointe. What happened in Flint would not have happened in Grosse Pointe.

This is part of the dark underbelly of American society — the racism, the bigotry, and the entire conversation that we’re having tonight — if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up, then I’m afraid the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.

We need to say it like it is. It’s bigger than Flint; it’s all over this country. It’s particularly people of color; it’s particularly people who do not have the money to fight back, and if the Democrats don’t start saying it, then why would those people feel that they’re there for us? And if those people don’t feel it, they won’t vote for us, and Donald Trump will win.

What was coming: A ‘dark psychic force of collectivized hatred’ long after Trump’s office.
Leadership Lesson: You have to be in the trenches as a leader, not just on high.

“A great injustice that has never been dealt with” (0:00–0:59)

Williamson’s performance continued to gain traction as she made a case for reparations for slavery, emphasizing the toxicity that builds when injustice is allowed to fester:

First of all, it’s not 500 billion dollars in “financial assistance,” it’s 500 billion dollars — 200 to 500 billion dollars payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is. We need some deep truth-telling when it comes; we don’t need another commission to look at evidence. While I appreciate what Congressman O’Rourke has said, it is time to simply realize that this country will not heal

All that a country is is a collection of people. People heal when there’s some deep truth-telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there were 250 years of slavery, followed by another a hundred years of domestic terrorism.

What makes me qualified to say 200 to 500 billion? I’ll tell you what makes me qualified: if you did the math of the 40 acres and a mule, given that there were 4 to 5 million slaves at the end of the Civil War, and they were all promised 40 acres and a mule for every family of four — if you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars. I believe that anything less than 100 billion dollars is an insult, and I believe that 200 to 500 billion is politically feasible today because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will deal with.

What was coming: A refusal to confront the truths of the history of race in America.
Leadership Lesson: People heal when there’s some deep truth-telling.

“I don’t want to get shallow for you, you get deep with me” (0:20–2:56)

Finally, Williamson’s presidential campaign video began with a “Pluto” statement, which pointed to the American tolerance for shallowness when it comes to issues of great import, as though we could export such responsibilities to a political class. She says:

People asked me when I began this campaign: how are you going to dumb it down, Marianne? How are you going to turn it into a sound bite or into a bumper sticker? Like I’m supposed to get shallow for people. I don’t want to get shallow for you, you get deep with me. We have deep problems and we need to be deep thinkers. Our democracy has stage four cancer and all that the traditional politicians are offering is a topical ointment.

It’s time for an entirely new kind of thinking. The old thinking got us into the ditch we’re in. It’s not the mindset that will get us out.

What was coming: The ditch we’re in and the shallow thinking that persists.
Leadership Lesson: Healing comes from depth. No depth, no healing.

How to Get Through the U.S. Pluto Return

The mythology is consistent: there’s no easy way out of the “Pluto Return.” The only way out is through. Pluto gets to the bottom of things, and the US will continue to live in the ditch until it does what the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung calls shadow work and confronts its shadows across all sectors of society.

Are you looking to participate in the rebirth of American society? Don’t sleep on Marianne Williamson, who has painted a picture of the light we can get to if we work to make it through the dark. Pluto takes us into dark and deadly underworlds, and there’s a reason the internet calls her “based.”

Thanks to Carlotta Hayes for her contributions to this article! This article was originally published in Spoken Generation, an incubator for conscious leadership.

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