One of the key functions of the solar principle in the astrology is to provide a facility by which we dignify ourselves, it creates an ideal self-awareness, an aspiration or desirable benchmark of selfhood and thus, we are given cause to strive to attain that sense of ourselves. A badly placed, stressed or underpowered Sun creates a difficulty with realising our self-ideal, or a great psychological tension in the apprehension of it. At worst it creates arrogance, hubris, conceit and confidence dysfunctions. Sun related to Jupiter and in bad aspect will give a tendency to ostentation and pretentiousness, to Saturn, pessimism and self-doubt, to Uranus, abruptness and crankiness and to Neptune self-deception and a tendency to vagueness. Where Pluto is configured to the Sun, all bets are off.
Traditional wisdom has it that the conjunction more than any contact is governed in its tone by the nature of the combining powers. For this reason, Venus-Jupiter is considered powerfully fortunate, while Saturn Pluto, and to a lesser extent Mars Saturn are considered to be among the most difficult of all conjunctive blends. The reality though is that it is extremely rare to find an outright positive combination with Pluto, regardless of aspect type. I have written about this before, wherein the key understanding of the impetus of Pluto which is to transform that within our nature that is most compulsive and is therefore by definition the most difficult aspect of being to transform, was extrapolated. Thus, for example, and rather mundanely, Pluto in the 2nd creates compulsion around financial issues and possessions, wherever Pluto is configured, and as the natural ruler of Scorpio and the 8th, the fundamental pressure is one to give up, to let go, to dig down to the bare minimum and the very essence of things in order to discover the underlying structures of true value; thus in the 2nd there is an enormous compulsion to realise the finances tangibly and without much awareness of any alternative, and yet, the native with Pluto in the 2nd must learn to give up on money if they are ever to evolve and be free of it. To some extent, wherever Pluto is found there is a Spartan ethic, a calling to minimalism, and thus, true wealth might be found. The difficulty is ever the insidious and compulsive nature of Pluto however; as Hades wore a mask of invisibility when he visited the human world, so Plutonic force operates unseen and unremarked in our lives. We are unaware for the most part that he is even there, even if – to others – his effects are blatantly obvious. We cannot look into the mirror of self-reflection and see Pluto, for he is completely disguised to us.
It is this blind and compulsive quality to Plutonic force which creates the great difficulty, for it effectively creates a profoundly subtle and insidious well of motivation; one that we are not at all aware of experientially, and wherever Hades is configured, that overbearing energy will leak out. Thus any contact to Pluto will have an undertone of dark, insidious compulsion to it.
Now consider that insight in relation to the Sun.
What it relates is the reality that the quality and condition of the Sun will be compulsively supercharged by the combination with Pluto. The innateness and obsession of the Pluto blend is however nowehere more pronounced than in the conjunction: the conjunction is by its very nature a blend, it is not – as with a square – a jarring, uncomfortable awareness of strain, nor is it – as with the trine – an easy and fluid frisson of ease, thus Plutonic force is nowhere more disguised than in the conjunction. If the Sun is an ideal then we look to the sign and house to understand the nature of the ideal self-image, and if Pluto is configured by conjunction, then immediately that ideal is given enormous, insidious and compulsive power.
Consider then Sun in Libra, conjunct Pluto. The ideal of marriage becomes paramount, compulsive and overwhelming. With Capricorn (and any children being born within the next couple of weeks will be the first for nearly 300 years to evince this combination) natives will be obsessed with the ideal of worldly achievement and career success. Thus, the Sun sign and house placement as well as any other aspects to Sun will be of primary condition in gauging the overall quality of the configuration to which Pluto will retrospectively add compulsion, power and subtle force.
Sun conjunct Pluto people are typically difficult to reconcile within relationships, their ideals are so insidious that it creates a very real difficulty for them to compromise within those bounds and because the solar principle is in effect a dominating and leading principle, it rarely allows itself to be controlled in any meaningful way. Conversely, it creates a genuine – if subtle – craving for rulership in the native. At worst it creates a martyr to one’s own ideas, somebody for whom there is simply no alternative to their vision. At best it can create an extremely powerful and forceful individual who is driven to achieve their objectives, if not always ruthlessly, certainly with unceasing drive and focus.
But there is another key observation about the Sun-Pluto conjunction.
The solar principle is also, in essence, a male principle. It is the husband in relation to the wife, therefore, in a very real way, the Sun-Pluto blend is easier to handle in a male nativity (and I have written about both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlie Sheen in this exact regard previously) simply because in a male chart the ideal male principle can be found within, whereas in a female astrology it must, by definition, be sourced elsewhere.
Usually through the husband, lover or other significant males within the life.
Women with Sun conjunct Pluto are often therefore drawn to seek partners who are in some way powerful, mysterious and very often wealthy in their own right. The nature of Pluto though creates a compulsion which very often seeks to test the ideal, mostly because they cannot control it directly. For the Sun Pluto wife therefore, the husband will be subtly and continually tested for weaknesses and flaws to ensure that he is still maintaining the ideal and because Plutonic force is so insidious and compulsive, this process will continue very probably for years with fairly predictable results. Eventually, a flaw or weakness is found and then it is exposed, worried at, widened and denigrated until eventually the confidence is undermined and the great fear of the Sun Pluto wife, that their chosen mate might not be able to maintain their infallible ideal, is realised. In this way, the Sun Pluto blend creates its greatest calamity, a self-fulfilling prophecy with two mostly innocent victims.
Wherever Sun conjunct Pluto is found there is an astonishing need to transform the self-image and most particularly the image of the ideal-self. For the woman with Sun in Libra conjunct Pluto she must recognise the burden she is placing upon her husband to be the perfect marriage partner for what it is: insupportable. For the wife with Sun in Capricorn conjunct Pluto likewise, her husband’s career success and status must not be the be all and end all of his purpose in her life, otherwise when he fails to live up to those inhuman expectations (as he inevitably will eventually) the marriage will suffer a real crisis and the husband will be driven away or simply broken by it. Pluto is not a sympathetic force.
Leona Helmsley was a billionaire New York City hotel operator and real estate investor. She was a flamboyant personality and had a reputation for tyrannical behavior that earned her the nickname “Queen of Mean”. That image of Helmsley was sealed when a former housekeeper testified that she had heard Helmsley say: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes …“, a saying that became notorious and identified with her for the rest of her life. She was later convicted of federal income tax evasion and other crimes in 1989 and served 19 months in prison (and two more months under house arrest), after receiving an initial sentence of 16 years.
Helmsley evinced a cazimi Venus conjunct Pluto. Sun Venus alone creates a popular and charming disposition and in the sign of Cancer a decided interest in the home, but here Pluto adds compulsion and insidious force and a real element of fanaticism in the concerns of the solar principle, so here is someone who can be fanatically charming. Venus too rules the personal finances, so an element of idealism about wealth is given a Plutonic charge and becomes an overwhelming concern. In such ways are billionaires made no doubt. Hygeia rising gives a clean-living look and feel and manner of relating too, which must have added to her charms and helped her to disguise the Hadean need for control to some extent, which, with cazimi Venus conjunct Pluto in the 12th would have manifested in a more generally unconscious fashion than usual since 12th house placements are very often suppressed and unrecognised.
So consider, an ideal of wealth (Sun conjunct Venus) realised through property and providing hotel rooms (Cancer) which eventually devolved into imprisonment (Pluto/12th) and ultimately house arrest (Pluto in Cancer untransformed).
Had she devoted her enormous energy to a transformative Plutonic ideal: perhaps by providing shelter to the homeless then her name would be revered more than reviled, but that is the great difficulty with Pluto, if it were simple to transform, the world would be a whole lot less crazy than it is.