The film Us and the astrological Pluto

The film Us and the astrological Pluto

Some time back, I wrote a review of the film Arrival, a superior science-fiction Hollywood blockbuster. At the time, I was surprised that no-one (apparently absolutely no-one!) noticed that the whole plot was rather obviously based on the language of astrology and the meaning it might have for humanity. Well, blow me down and swipe me sideways with an old ephemeris, the same kind of thing has happened again.

Early last year, I toddled down to my local cinema to watch a film that was getting enthusiastic and interesting reviews. To say I was blown away by Us would be an understatement. Director and producer Jordan Peele’s blockbuster horror movie is not only a brilliantly made and clever story, it is also packed full of references to the astrological archetype of Pluto. And as before, no-one seems to have noticed, including astrologers who have written about Us on the internet.

There are many twists and turns, some of the details of which can easily be missed on first, second or even third viewing. The story starts in 1986, with a young girl on holiday with her parents in Santa Cruz, California. She wanders off by herself on the beach and stumbles across a funhouse. “Find yourself”, it reads outside. In she goes to a hall of mirrors, where something happens that ensures the girl will never be the same again.

Fast forward to the present – an idyllic happy family scenario, so idyllic that you know almost immediately that things are going to go horribly wrong. The now grown-up girl and main character Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) has a sense of foreboding as she, her husband (Winston Duke) and two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) head for a holiday near the same beach in Santa Cruz. A few events and co-incidences give hints of the darkness to come.

Things really take off with the appearance of another family bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Wilsons. They stand menacingly at the bottom of the driveway to the house where the Wilsons are staying, with unknown intentions. The Wilson family are soon violently confronted by these bitter, dark and twisted versions of themselves – their shadow selves. Just to make the subject clear for any astrologers watching the film, the two children of the doppelganger family are named Umbrae (shadow) and Pluto.

Adelaide’s double, Red, explains that the scarred and disfigured shadow family are from an underground world (sounding Plutonian enough yet?) who share a soul with their counterparts. While Adelaide and her family were loved and happy above ground, the shadow family experienced only darkness and suffering in a subterranean alternative reality. “I was tested by God” says Red, “We are Americans”.

Lupita Nyong’o

The film Us is multi-layered and about many things. Under the guise of a “horror movie”, the film is a deep exploration of class, privilege and what it means to be human in American society today. Black power is a key focus. There is a great tragicomic moment when another shadow family are killing to the accompaniment of Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, which after a computer’s misinterpretation of a cry for help, turns into a song by black rappers N.W.A.

The film’s world premiere was on 8th March 2019, the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s also huge Get Out (2017). Given that the story of Us is highly influenced by Pluto and its many meanings and manifestations, it’s interesting to observe a couple of astrological correlations. The explosive, dark and profoundly transformative Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was close (within a 3 to 4 degree orb) at the time of the film’s release. This continued to be the case for the following few months, as Us made its considerable impact on cinema audiences. The film has played a role in the collective shift of consciousness that we are all experiencing under Saturn-Pluto.

Visionary director Jordan Peele, Sun in Pisces

Secondly, Piscean visionary director Jordan Peele (born 21st February 1979, time unknown) has a very close natal Venus in Capricorn square Pluto in Libra. Transiting Saturn at 18 degrees Capricorn formed an exact conjunction to his Venus with a square to natal Pluto when Us came out in March 2019. What better way to work out the extreme tension of such a close natal square? With Venus in Capricorn, Peele has done well financially too – the film grossed $255.1 million worldwide from a budget of $20 million.

Bring on the next astrological Hollywood blockbuster!

The above article was originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Astrological Journal magazine https://www.facebook.com/AstrologicalJournal Thank you to editor Victor Olliver. This is the bimonthly publication of the Astrological Association http://www.astrologicalassociation.com dedicated to educating the public on astrology since 1958.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

About Tim
Musician (pop/rock/prog), astrologer for 30 years (the deeper stuff), care and support worker, other things. "We're all f***ed, so be nice." ~ Russell Brand

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