AIDS – The Grim Reaper / Pluto in Scorpio

There are many reasons why Astrology is not recognised or taken seriously by the vast majority of inhabitants of this crazy self obsessed planet. It could even be the case that the Universe does not want them to know about the forces that so obviously dominate their lives. Maybe its easier for these forces to operate successfully if we remain largely in ignorance. After all what would happen to a military campaign if every single soldier started to question and discuss the general’s plans of action.

We can only hope that this is not the case, and that the preferred direction of all things is towards enlightenment.

That being the case the question every single astrologer has to ask themselves constantly is ” Am I doing everything in my power to encourage more people to look at our science seriously ? ”

With the Sun, Moon and Ascendant in Capricorn, the writer of these articles has an opinion on most things but this is the question that drives him furthest up the mountain path.

The trouble is that Astrology can be too easily dismissed as fluffy New Age nonsense pedalled with vague generalised platitudes about positive thinking. We obviously want our clients to find the best ways of dealing with the difficult issues in their lives, but we undermine our own intentions when we refuse to acknowledge how difficult it is for human beings to consciously change their behaviour.

Perhaps it is a sign of the times. In the past, people would spend the largest part of their lives in deep meditation trying to comprehend the workings of their own mind and the world around them. Now it seems that hearing one phrase of encouragement to let go of one’s concerns is enough to achieve it.

It’s well intentioned, but does it really help ?

Likewise, if we just stick to discussing the incredible lightness of being are we really going to convince other people who are stuck in the dark ages.

Capricorn Research is prepared to discuss the really difficult things in life in the hope that Astrology will be taken seriously. This explains the whole website almost entirely devoted to the transits of Pluto and the long list of articles about serial killers.

It also explains the motivation behind the decision to write about possibly the most tragic phenomenon of the 20th Century, AIDS.

Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with the virus HIV which is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse and contaminated blood transfusions.

Genetic research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.  AIDS and its cause—HIV infection—was identified in the early part of the 1980s.  Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide and a further  35 million people are currently living with HIV. HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic—a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.

The astrology of the emergence of the disease is related to Pluto’s transit through the sign Scorpio.

Pluto is the slowest of all the planets and can stay in one sign for 20 or more years. For individuals the sign Pluto’s in is irrelevant, everyone in the same generation would share it, but for mankind as a whole its movement by sign makes interesting reading. Pluto, because of its association with revolution and hidden underground issues that make a sudden dramatic impact on the surface, is often seen as the global enemy and it’s sign placing can indicate where society sees its adversaries. From 1983 to 1995 with Pluto in Scorpio the enemy was the AIDS epidemic.

Scorpio, more than any other sign is connected with sex. Pluto’s passage through Libra, the sign of relationships between 1971 and 83, corresponded with a massive change in worldwide attitudes to sexual liaisons. Some rather narrow minded religious groups would say that Pluto’s passage through Scorpio was God’s judgement on the loosening of morality that occurred under the previous sign.

If astrology teaches us anything it is of the absurdity and futility of making right and wrong judgements about things. Things happen because they are required to by the Universe at the time. Everything in the Universe is part of God’s plan and our small minded attempts to pick and choose behaviours that fit with our own, merely add to the level of suffering in the world.

AIDS was originally thought of as a ” gay cancer ” because the first people who were discovered to be suffering from it came from the gay community.

Astrology is a symbolic science, and it is all about first causes. The assumption behind it is that ” anything that was born or begun at a moment in time will carry with it and symbolise the characteristics of the Universe at that moment “. This is why we can do a chart for the moment of a person’s birth that will show us the patterns that will dominate their character and their lives.

Of course we do not know the first person ever to suffer from AIDS, but we do have the birth details of  a man who became known as ” Patient Zero “.

Gaëtan Dugas was a Canadian who worked for Air Canada as a flight attendant.  A gay man, Dugas traveled the world and had many sexual liaisons. In March 1984, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study tracking the sexual liaisons and practices of gay, and bisexual men in California, New York, and some other states found Dugas to be the center of a network of sexual partners, and he was dubbed “patient 0”.

There is no birth time available but as in many cases of important charts the noon chart tells us so much. Its as if the Universe is trying to help us out here.

Gaetan Dugas

Dugas had the Sun at the beginning of Taurus a fact that will be seen as very significant.

Sexual activity is of course ruled by Mars and Venus so we should expect them to be key figures. Interestingly they are both in each other’s signs, the places of their own detriment.

So both planets are working strongly but in areas where they don’t naturally feel comfortable.

Dugas is described as being a charming, handsome sexual athlete who, according to his own estimation, averaged hundreds of sex partners a year. He claimed to have had over 2,500 sexual partners across North America since becoming sexually active in 1972. He had Mars in Taurus conjunct Jupiter, a symbol which nicely sums up his love life.

Mars in Jupiter in the 10th house would also work as someone who flies all round the world for a living.

The problem here is that Mars and Jupiter are square to a powerful rising Pluto. This not only adds significantly to his sexual prowess and intensity, but is already suggesting that it caused his own death.

Venus is in the ultra assertive sign of Aries, again suggesting an extremely active and even scattergun approach to relationships. It is in the 9th house of foreign travel.

Venus’ aspects are seriously difficult as there is an opposition to both Saturn and Neptune, a combination that strongly suggests the limitations and restrictions of sickness and ill health.

This opposition focuses by T Square onto the Moon in Cancer in the 12th house which means that the illness ( Saturn conjunct Neptune ) which was caused by his many sexual conquests ( Venus in Aries ) in all parts of the globe ( in the 9th house ) causes him to be hospitalised ( 12th house ) with the thing that at the time was called ” Gay ( Moon ) Cancer ( ! ).”

Dugas developed Kaposi’s sarcoma, a form of skin cancer common to AIDS victims, in June 1980, before the epidemic had been perceived by physicians. Told later he was endangering anyone he slept with, Dugas unrepentantly carried on — by his estimate, with 250 partners a year — until his death in March 1984, adding countless direct and indirect victims.

The transiting Pluto was heading through late Libra at the time. It opposed Dugas’ Venus in 1979 and was conjunct Saturn and Neptune between 1980 and 81, when he first became ill. It was square to his Moon between 1982 and 83.

At the end of 1983, Pluto changed signs into Scorpio. One of its first tasks in this sign was to oppose Dugas’ Sun at 0 degrees 18 Taurus, which it did throughout 1984.

Gaetan Dugas sadly died at the age of 30, on March 30, 1984, as a result of kidney failure caused by AIDS-related infections. 

Saturn and Neptune are in Libra the sign that rules the kidneys.

Patient Zero was Pluto in Scorpio’s first victim.

Whilst Gaetan Dugas was Patient Zero has was not the earliest confirmed case in the US.

This tragic role belonged to Robert Rayford, an American teenager from Missouri whose death was a mystery to doctors who could not account for his symptoms. The cause of his death remained unidentified until June 1987, when his tissue samples were tested using Western blot, which found that antibodies against all nine detectable HIV proteins were present in Rayford’s blood.

Robert Rayford

Rayford and Dugas shared many of the significant astrological features. Rayford also had the Saturn / Neptune conjunction in late Libra.

He also had Venus in Aries in difficult aspect to the Moon ( an opposition this time ).

And ultimately his Sun was opposite Pluto. This opposition was part of a T square to an apex Jupiter.

Robert Rayford died aged 16 in 1969, having almost certainly caught the disease from sexual contact.

In 1969, Saturn had renewed its natal relationship with Neptune by making an opposition to it.

The transiting Jupiter and Uranus were conjunct his Moon and opposite his Venus.

Pluto was opposite his Mars.

In 1987 when the real cause of his death was discovered, Pluto had moved to create a Grand Cross to his T square, opposite Jupiter and square to his Sun.

Gaetan Dugas and Robert Rayford have a number of astrological features in common but the clearest one is an afflicted Venus.

Capricorn Research has a collection of 354 AIDS sufferers and a difficult Venus is the most common issue throughout the sample.

Of all of the sign positions for all of the planets in this group by far the most common one is Venus in the sign of its fall, Virgo. This is not only a sign where the Venusian principle is weak and problematic, it also has strong connotations with health. With an expected average of 29.5 per sign, Venus in Virgo scores 48. The lowest Venus score is for Taurus, the sign of its dignity where the planet is comfortable and strong. Venus in Taurus scores 18.

This is a powerful difference in a sample of this size and has a Chi Square score of 0.0063, a figure that is statistically significant.

Mars also has a significant distribution with the highest score coming in its own sign Scorpio. This is not surprising given the intensity of this placing’s sex life. The sign does also have a certain connection with death and the vast majority of this group of people all died as a result of their sexual experiences. Mars in Scorpio scores 40, the lowest is in Aquarius with 14.

In terms of aspects the theory that AIDS is primarily caused by promiscuity could find backing by the fact that by far the most common aspect amongst this group is the opposition between Mars and Jupiter. Oppositions to Jupiter tend to create extravagant behaviour and Mars opposite Jupiter has always been linked with strong sexual appetites and a tendency to excess. The Mars / Jupiter opposition scores 191% of the expected figure.

The second most common aspect for AIDS sufferers is the opposition between the two planets that cover sexual relationships, Venus and Mars which scores 176% of the expected figure. The Sun’s opposition to Mars also scores highly at 157%.

The third most common aspect is the opposition between Venus and Pluto at 165%.

Both Venus and Mars score highly in conjunction with Saturn at 159% and 146% respectively.

Other statistically significant aspects are Uranus’ conjunction with the Ascendant at 158% and Mars conjunction with Neptune at 146%.

The first major celebrity to die of AIDS was American actor Rock Hudson.  He was widely known as a leading man in the 1950s and 1960s, notably in romantic comedies opposite Doris Day, and also starred in McMillan & Wife and the soap opera Dynasty.


Rock Hudson

Again we have many of the same features. Hudson had Mars in Scorpio. Venus was in Capricorn, another sign in which it is said to be uncomfortable.

As befits a sex symbol, Hudson had Venus conjunct Jupiter but the difficulties come from the opposition with Pluto.

His Sun is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio.

It was the Scorpio planets that were being transited in October 1985 when he died.

The transiting Saturn was reinforcing its natal aspect, in conjunction with the Sun.

Hudson was Pluto in Scorpio’s first celebrity victim as it was conjunct his Mars when he died.

It is now over 30 years since the AIDS virus was discovered. Despite widespread changes in sexual behaviour in response to the pandemic, it is still the biggest killer of Americans between the age of 25 and 45. The estimates of numbers of HIV carriers around the world are over 40 million.

Pluto in Astrology has often been characterised as The Grim Reaper. Its contribution to the health of humanity whilst it travelled through its own sign, Scorpio simply confirmed this reputation.

And its one area in astrological counselling where the advice to ” Just think positive thoughts ” seems to be entirely inappropriate.



The Turning Point in Your Life ?

Astrology and Celebrity – all in the timing





6 thoughts on “AIDS – The Grim Reaper / Pluto in Scorpio

    • Oh thanks, well spotted. I cant remember where I got 20th April from. I shall have to rewrite it.
      Interestingly the new chart puts Venus in exactly the same position and Mars is conjunct it.
      Also the Sun is now in square to the Moon and Pluto is in aspect to both of them when he started to show symptoms of Aids.

      Thank you for putting me right on that date. I’ll try and get round to rewriting it soon


  1. started out a very interesting article until you got into Dugar and him being patient 0? If you did research you’ll know patient 0 was a mistake, he was patient o :out of california: He wasn’t the only one during that time suffering from sexual related problems. Pluto in scorpio is generational, it didn’t claim a victim; it claimed many.
    I’m glad I did research before reading this. I would had been misinformed. Great article nonetheless.

    • Thanks Peaches. I’m glad you thought it was a great article. However you don’t seem to have researched it clearly. I stated in the article that

      ” Of course we do not know the first person ever to suffer from AIDS, but we do have the birth details of a man who became known as ” Patient Zero “.


      “Whilst Gaetan Dugas was Patient Zero he was not the earliest confirmed case in the US.
      This tragic role belonged to Robert Rayford, an American teenager from Missouri whose death was a mystery to doctors who could not account for his symptoms. The cause of his death remained unidentified until June 1987, when his tissue samples were tested using Western blot, which found that antibodies against all nine detectable HIV proteins were present in Rayford’s blood. ”

      As for you informing me that Dugas wasn’t the only one. Duh yes. Thats the whole point of the article.

      There were obviously many victims of Pluto in Scorpio. I have a lot of them on my database.

      ” Capricorn Research has a collection of 354 AIDS sufferers and a difficult Venus is the most common issue throughout the sample. ”

      Maybe think before jumping in with comments that suggest you haven’t even read the article through.

  2. Hey CCapricorn. My moms birthday is 08/28/1966 born in Brooklyn NY. She had my brother in 01/16/1986. She had me 12/21/1992. She hae virus when she had me but luckily I did not contract it. She passed away 01/23/96. I got curious to if I would be able to see the virus in her Natal Chart without knowing her time of birth. But I’m still learning. Honestly I don’t even know my own birth time, & everyone that would possibly know has passed on. I’ve been trying to learn this stuff. By learning Astrology I feel like I would be able to get to know her, without every really knowing her if that makes sense. But yeah, great Article thanks for all the information.

    • Thanks Tashi. I would expect to be able to see indications of the virus in your Mom’s chart even without the birth time. It would certainly be shown in your chart or your brothers.
      I would be happy to look into this for you as part of a reading which can focus on anything you want. My fee is £ 75. Let me know if you would like to proceed.

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