• Pluto

  • Pluto represents how we evolve through our lives.    And in many ways Pluto could be likened to our soul – because our soul has to respond to the evolutionary necessities of our life experiences.  And through these experiences our soul grows and evolves and allows us to individuate as a person.  Astrologically, Pluto’s effect is regarded as strong, penetrating and transformational.  Discovered in 1930, Pluto really is an enigma.   He has an eccentric, very elongated orbit and it is now questioned whether he is even a planet at all – perhaps instead an object of the Kuiper Belt.    However, even if Pluto has been downgraded, his influence has not been downgraded at all in astrologers’ eyes.  Smaller than our Earth’s Moon, Pluto takes almost 248 years to orbit the Sun, so in our lifetimes we would never see Pluto orbiting even half of our natal chart.


    Pluto has many names – the God of the Underworld, God of Death and God of Fertility and Abundance to name just a few.  His big reveal to us though is power – but really how to use power responsibly.  First though we have to understand what power is.   Generally, when we think of power, we think of it in terms of control, strength, domination, wealth even – as in the Plutocrat.   But with Pluto what we really need to learn is inner strength and our own personal empowerment;  to understand that power is not necessarily about control and making people do what you want them to.  We need to learn that good use of power is to be inwardly strong.  


    According to myth Pluto abducts Persephone and takes her down to the Underworld where he rapes her.  Pluto’s actions here not only demonstrate his misuse of power, in terms of being a dominating force, but also other Pluto energies of passion, lust, abuse, cruelty and intensity of emotion .  


    So some words we might associate with Pluto, bearing in mind that in astrology we look at a ‘bell curve’ of qualities encompassing the positive through to the more negative – power, powerful, powerless, control, obsession, compulsion, rage, envy, jealousy, greed, torment, abuse, emotional blackmail, intensity, the taboo, transformation, healing, hidden, buried, secret, rape, addiction, toxic, poison, regeneration, vengeance, betrayal, revenge, sabotage and self sabotage, sex, creativity, research, persecution, hate, secret, empowerment, Scorpio, penetration, survival, nuclear.   


    Many of these feelings act like a poison and a Pluto transit will purge the body of what is hidden and buried deep down.  So the poison will come to the surface.   If we face up to the feelings and acknowledge them the poison can be eliminated, but if we block them the poison is repressed and will fester and eat away at us.


    After Persephone’s abduction her mother, Demeter, Goddess of the Forest, sinks into a deep depression at the loss of her daughter and uses her own power in revenge, forbidding the crops to grow and the trees to bear fruit.   Shocked by this, the Gods intercede and negotiate for Demeter to be reunited with Persephone.   However, because Persephone ate from the pomegranate fruit – symbolizing her loss of blood and with that her virginity – negotiations can only allow Persephone to return to the upper world for part of the year.  And so the world changed from one of perpetual Spring/Summer to one of seasons, as during the Autumn and Winter Persephone was forced to return to Pluto and the Underworld, and the crops died until her return.


    So what does this myth tell us about the energies of Pluto and how they might affect us?   Firstly, we see Pluto’s raw power bringing both Persephone and her mother down to the depths of despair.   We also see how a previous pattern of behavior had to die to allow some kind of transformation and then rebirth.     In this myth we saw that there could no longer be a perpetual Spring and Summer and that this pattern had to be replaced by the concept of four seasons.     We also saw that the depth of raw grief had to first of all be acknowledged and brought into consciousness in order to allow a negotiating process to work out what the future pattern would look like.   And then following on from this there had to be trust.   Demeter had to trust that Pluto would allow her daughter to return home for six months of the year and Pluto had to trust she would actually return.   So, wherever we find Pluto strong in a natal chart we will also likely find trust issues, as we react to past conditioning of betrayal or hurt.  


    The myth is also about growth because Persephone, having lost her innocence, had to grow up very quickly.   She also had to find an inner strength and become personally empowered so that she would no longer be exploited and vulnerable and, therefore, we get Pluto’s association with in depth psychologies.   Pluto himself was experienced and he knew exactly how to manipulate the situation for his own good.   So emotional manipulation and manipulation of people in general are also Plutonic energies.


    At its discovery Pluto was travelling through the sign of Cancer representative of  the home, family, the need for emotional security and the archetypal feminine.    Pluto’s passage through Cancer spanned 1913 to 1939 – a time of great transformation and change on a global level in ways that affected national security, the role of women and family life.  This period saw two world wars, the Great Depression of the 1930’s and a flu pandemic, which killed up to 40 million people worldwide.     The role of the female also changed radically with the rise of the suffragette movement and with the fact that women had to become more powerful at this time because so many men had died in the war and women had to work on the land, in factories and do more masculine jobs.  So, in this respect, Pluto in Cancer represented the death of family life as it had been for many many people and a gradual transformation to a very different way of life.


    Because Pluto moves so slowly it will describe a generation of collective thought and a collective shadow – what has been suppressed within a generation.   And so Pluto’s discovery also coincided with the beginning of an interest in in depth psychology.  A transit of Pluto to a natal planet may last 2 to 3 years during which time we may be forced to look deep within ourselves.  But with Pluto we generally find that the effects of the transit are not seen until after the transit has finished.  


    Pluto is often regarded almost as a higher octave of Mars, but whereas Mars will fight to survive, Pluto will either suppress or eliminate.   Pluto forces us to acknowledge everything that is poisonous both to ourselves and to society as he reveals what needs to be purged and eliminated.


    Pluto can also represent a dark secret within the family – usually of a Plutonian nature, because Pluto represents the taboo – what mustn’t be spoken about – as with Persephone’s rape.   So Pluto represents our shames that have been brushed under the carpet.   During a Pluto transit what has been hidden or suppressed both in society and within the person bubbles and erupts to the surface.    So we see that, as with illness, the poison has to erupt before there can be cleansing and renewal.   Something within us has to die before we can begin to go through a process of transformation and subsequent renewal.


    Pluto’s association with the earth and abundance signifies Pluto’s links with extreme wealth because extreme wealth equals power, particularly in today’s society with its concentration on materialism and possessions.  So Pluto is associated with organisations, large corporate companies, banking organisations, the  wealth and power of the plutocrats, invisible influences like the Deep State and underground criminal organisations like the Mafia. In many ways they are all unseen, hidden and almost invisible


    During a Pluto transit we may be faced with the destructive side of our emotions forcing us to confront who we are, as we are stripped bare and the ‘furies’ are released.   As Demeter did, we have to acknowledge a Pluto transit for if we try to block it the repressed pain and hurts may rise up from our unconscious in an uncontrolled manner.   We are forced to go down to the depths as our power is taken away, acknowledge it and then as we acknowledge that some part of our life has died, we are forced to conclude that we have to allow some kind of transformation to happen in order for rebirth to take place.   It could be our sense of identity, our clinging to a need to feel safe and secure that needs to change.  Think how a snake outgrows his skin and sheds it to reveal a new one because he has outgrown the old.


    Most of us have been hurt or betrayed in our lives and indeed it is our childhood that conditions us as to what to expect from life.    In fact, a good proportion of our stored hurts stem from childhood.  Perhaps we struggled for power against a parent because we perceived our needs weren’t being met.   Maybe life didn’t live up to our expectations and we didn’t feel the centre of our parent’s attention.  Perhaps unwittingly our parents expected more from us than we could deliver.   All these difficult feelings and resentments went down deep into the unconscious into the ‘hurt’ box.    Pluto is the gatekeeper of the ‘hurt’ box – where we keep our resentments, our angers, our hurts and pains, our desires, the dark thoughts that we can barely own up to ourselves let alone admit to even to our closest confidants.   So everything stored in the ‘hurt\ box is kept ready and waiting for our emotional buttons to be pressed


    If we remain unconscious of these buried hurts we go through life expecting similar situations to happen to us. We think that next time we will be ready for them and get in on the attack first, but by doing so we are much more likely to be continually self-sabotaging.   As our buttons get pressed, we react according to primal instincts  – the monsters from the deep are unleashed and our fears become self-fulfilling prophecies as unconsciously we act the hurts out again and again and again.    They are re-activated because we attract what we fear, what we feel and what we are.  If we never acknowledge the ‘hurt’ box we are in danger of attracting exactly what we don’t want.   But if we become conscious and aware and can be really honest with ourselves we have a fighting start to resolve the issues.  Sometimes the Pluto side of our nature can be acted out in front of us and we still deny it.  We may disclaim our anger and yet be inwardly seething or we project our dark thoughts on to others simply because we can’t own them ourselves.


    Pluto symbolizes power struggles where one person controls the other because they are afraid of what might happen if they don’t.  So, during a Pluto transit we often meet power issues and betrayals from others.   But we must first ask ourselves honestly why is this happening?  Are we actually confronting our own demons that we can’t admit we are holding inside ourself? 


    If we have a strong Pluto in our chart we are likely to create a mask around ourselves so that we remain hidden so that others don’t see us as we really are, because then our unconscious tells us we are in control. To show feelings is to drop the mask – control is threatened and we become instantly vulnerable because our hurts have taught us to do this.   


    There is nothing superficial about a strongly Pluto person and they will not suffer fools gladly.  But by the same token, those with Pluto featuring strongly can also be very sensitive to the feelings of others, particularly if they have become conscious, because they really have a need to delve deep and understand what makes people tick.  They generally expect superhuman feats from themselves and may pursue aims with passion to the exclusion of anything else.  Where we find Pluto we often find passion.  A strongly Plutonic person needs to find something they are passionate about.  And whatever they are passionate about they feel they have to master it.     


    And down in the underworld can also be found our buried treasures. We have kept them under control because if we don’t we may have been forced to do something with them and we have felt that we may not be good enough to do that.   If we did we would then have shown our vulnerabilities and lost our control.  So a Pluto transit can give us the opportunity to release these treasures because Pluto will always uncover what is hidden and in this way we can grow, evolve and transform.  We must not ignore the benefits of a Pluto transit. – it is about growth ultimately


    When Pluto transits the Sun in the natal chart we are essentially being asked to transform our sense of identity.   A part of our nature has to die or we are required to explore further dimensions of our sign.   Maybe we have been living through another and we need to have a sense of identity in our own right and live our own life.   We may be forced to confront issues to do with power or powerlessness or we may face battles with authority figures.  This transit may force us to face aspects of ourself that we don’t actually like and may, therefore, test our strength, our energy and our self control.   But ultimately this transit allows us the potential to transform ourself and grow.  Or we make a radical physical change in the self or to the body. 


    When Pluto transits the Moon we have to confront our emotions, our feelings and ingrained patterns from childhood.  If childhood perceptions have left an unpleasant image we may feel unsafe or have issues around dependency and nurturing.   Emotions that we are not really happy to confront will come to the surface and require our attention.  So, whilst this transit may be unpleasant, we ultimately are being afforded an opportunity – an opportunity to become aware of these deep-seated complexes, to choose to leave them behind and to replace them with something much more healthy that actually serves our future interests.   We may undergo a deep inner psychological change as we tap a depth of feelings we never knew we had. It’s possible that this transit may be experienced through a female, or we may attract someone of a Sorpionic nature or possibly may even move home.


    Mercury is the planet of the mind and communication so under a Pluto transit the individual may feel the urge to delve more deeply into something, gain new understandings and to truly understand a subject in depth as old beliefs become challenged and the capacity for thinking and analyzing is deepened.   It’s a very good time for any kind of research.  As Pluto just does not do superficial ideas, opinions may change radically as concern for the truth deepens under a Pluto/Mercury transit.  Whatever the interests Mercury needs to be focusing on something during such a transit – after all knowledge is power so it follows that the individual will require power and control through having knowledge.  But, of course, Pluto also manipulates so there is always the potential that knowledge could be manipulated against someone, even possibly in the form of black magic.

    Under a Pluto/Mercury transit someone we meet or something we read could radically change our way of thinking as Mercury – the messenger – acts as a go-between with the conscious and the unconscious mind.  It may be helpful to get in touch with our thoughts during a Pluto/Mercury transit with in depth therapy, meditation, dreamwork, mindfulness so that we can become conscious of thoughts and images we have buried.   Under a Pluto transit whatever comes to the surface needs dealing with because if we try and push it back down where we have kept it we will find they just come back to bite us.    For these buried thoughts can be unlocked to reveal our untapped potential and abilities and an intellectual capacity we never knew we had.


    Venus speaks of relationships and love, so under a Pluto transit existing relationships may be intensified and some may end if they are not strong enough.    It may be a testing time for relationships and an existing relationship may die on one level but be transformed into something new and revitalized.   A Pluto/Venus transit may also signify that a partner may be going through a difficult period or Venus may act as a catalyst for deep-seated emotional complexes to be brought to the surface via a relationship situation.   Perhaps a Scorpionic or Plutonic person enters our life or we may have a new and intense love relationship.  We may experience the effects of rage or jealousies or meet someone that we are irresistibly attracted to.  Artistic or creative outlets may be stimulated under a Pluto transit.  


    Venus also represents our value system – both financially and in terms of how we value ourselves.   So both things could change under a Pluto transit – but ultimately it is about learning to value and love ourselves in order that our self esteem is reflected by this.


    Mars symbolies energy and drive, our assertiveness, our sexual drive and all parts of the human instinctive behavior.  Under a Pluto transit problems around anger and self assertiveness may need to be confronted.   Mars is an ego planet so under a Pluto transit care has to be taken not to use the ego to dominate another person.  Or of course we may meet someone who wants to use their own ego energies to dominate our own.   Mars urges the individual to express their individuality through action and assertion – perhaps in the past we have been passive and submissive or maybe the complete opposite.  So Pluto may intensify or challenge and transform the usual way we express Mars.   Perhaps our anger about situations has been bottled up within us from childhood leaving us feeling frustrated.   Perhaps there has been a violent trauma or undercurrents of resentment which we have buried.   Sometimes this can lead to self destructive situations; we get into fight situations, or violent incidents or some kind of ultimately traumatic situation.   It is important that we find the root cause of buried anger and frustrations so that we become comfortable and do not disregard the needs of others for our own personal ends.    Hard work is really good use of this energy,

    During a Pluto/Jupiter transit we may experience a crisis of faith or we may over reach ourselves because we feel too optimistic.   We may experience legal difficulties or we may experience a strong desire to manipulate others.   We may even get carried away by a religious or spiritual idea.   Jupiter represents where we search for meaning and during a Pluto transit we really want to find something to believe in.   Perhaps we experience other people challenging our views or we can actually find meaning or faith or belief.


    Saturn represents boundaries and structure, but Saturn can lead us to become too caught up in boundaries so that we are rigid with fear and insecurity.  When Pluto comes along he tries to prise off the shells we have put around ourselves.  Saturn shows because we have put defence mechanisms in place where we feel insecure and vulnerable but Pluto wants to march through and tear all these down.   So under a Pluto Saturn transit we are likely to see some kind of regeneration of the basic structures of our life that Saturn signifies.   Our egos are laid bare and we feel compelled to break free of things that restrict us.   So our blocks and fears have to be addressed even if we feel intensely uncomfortable at this time.   This may be experienced through challenging authority figures or even illness if this is the only way we are likely to listen.


    During a Pluto/Uranus transit we can see explosive and revitalizing effects.   We will probably see change and upheaval as we experience a strong desire to break away from circumstances that have previously held us back.   This is about revolution and turmoil which can either be exciting or disturbing, or maybe even both.


    A Pluto/Neptune transit generally represents some kind of deep inward transformation where we question our beliefs and we perhaps are obsessed by strong yearnings and ideals.   So we may see the awakening of spiritual yearnings and we may be drawn to religion, mysticism, psychology and meditation.  We may be forced to sacrifice something in order to do this and our dreams may be shattered.   We may find our creative inspiration aroused but we may also find that we just want to escape and transcend the difficulties of life.   If we feel we are losing control we may turn to drugs or alcohol rather than spirituality as a coping mechanisim.   Neptune says we have to let go and go with the flow and have trust that something new will come along.


    Under a Pluto transit to our natal Pluto we may find that elements of the past, possibly things buried in our unconscious, are rooted out and revealed to us.   We may, therefore, not find this too pleasant, but it is important that we confront these feelings as we are being presented with a major opportunity to confront and break down barriers and ultimately heal whatever it is that manifests.  There may be issues around power, control, trust, isolation, sexual issues  and the transit may push the individual to solve such issues possibly through a kind of intensification of these problems.   There may be difficult lessons to be learned or challenges to be met, but we are presented with an opportunity to acknowledge that this is indeed a transition point.   Sometimes it’s a good idea to write down our feelings or express them through drawing or dance so that we can indeed study the workings of our own psyche.


    When Pluto transits the Ascendant and the first house our way of looking at life is given the opportunity to refocus as our sense of self is transformed.  This can be purely physical in terms of our dress, our hair or our body or we may change our life direction as hidden parts of our personality come to the surface.   This is a period of rebirth, discovery, cleansing and renewal.


    When Pluto transits the IC and the 4th house we are required to look at the depths of ourselves, our unconscious and the impressions we have formed in our early life.   This affords us an opportunity to get to the bottom of long-standing problems and make fundamental changes. 


    When Pluto aspects the Descendant and the 7th house our close relationships become a catalyst for change, transformation and growth.   We may meet deep seated emotional complexes via relationships or the significant other may act in a way which is jealous, envious or angry.   We may experience power struggles with a partner or partners may be experiencing a Plutonic phase themselves.


    A Pluto transit to the MC and the 10th house may be experienced via our career as we perhaps have ambitions for success or feel dissatisfied with our current career.   We may arrive at a deeper understanding of who we are and why we are here even.   We may experience power struggles at work or we may be promoted to a position of greater power so that we are afforded the opportunity to learn how to handle power wisely.   This may not be easy for everyone and indeed unresolved power issues between ourselves and parents may surface. But ultimately we are being given the opportunity to transform difficult issues such as this and blocks between ourselves, parents and authority in general.


    Pluto activating the 12th house brings into consciousness parts of ourselves which are hidden or have not had a chance to develop.   Once we become conscious of these we can integrate them within the ego.


    During a Pluto transit you might meet someone who transforms your life but this could be for the good or for ill.   The key here is how conscious we are.  We have to accept the inevitability of a Plutonian change and not prevent it because it is a necessary stage of our evolution, otherwise the energies become explosive and then change happens in a disastrous way.