Today, I will begin to summarise the various insights relating to Pluto’s contacts with the personal planets that I have written over the last few weeks: they represent the sum total of my experience of the combinations with Pluto and their various manifestations into the life. I intend to look at case studies for each of the contacts with personal planets and I will post a new lesson on the themes of Pluto in the nativity at the end of the series. No Pluto contact is easy, it is only (at best) subjectively less urgent in its effects, however even a trine to Pluto requires a transformation of the combination, the difference to the square is only that the resulting oscillation of energies is not uncomfortable, or not felt to be in the same way. For this reason – and here we are crossing the threshold from astrology into psychology – we are not evincing that selfsame inner awareness of Hadean force; the trine and sextile ease and promote flow whilst the 8th harmonic contacts are experienced as friction and discomfort. If we are in pain, others tend to sense it.
In my work as an astrologer I find certain aspects to be prevalent in the charts of those seeking counsel. Apart from Moon – Neptune, Pluto is the standout. Of course, astrology is not about aspects, we cannot simply stack up aspects into a neat pile and expect the resulting edifice to resemble insight, but it is by understanding each piece and holding an awareness of it in our consciousness that it gradually merges into the whole and a glimmer of understanding begins to shine out. That is only half the battle; because then, like an impressionist’s portrait we have a sense impression in our mind’s eye and we must translate that without losing its essential quality – not an easy task by any standard (imagine describing a Monet to someone who had never seen an example of his work: could you convey any part of the truth and wonder of it?) but that too is time and practice and a willingness to adjust, refine and actualise in an ongoing dialogue. But without understanding the tree, we cannot grasp something of the forest’s essence.
So, to Pluto. He has two sides, one which is astonishingly uncomfortable and painful and another which is deep and rich and rewarding. The latter is actually the former transmuted by that peculiar alchemy of the human spirit which we might call evolution, or growing through experience, or life’s a bitch. Pluto, lord of the volcanic underworld forges a new understanding within the impossible heat and pressure of the mantle: we resist being taken down into the heat and flame and fury because we assume that we will perish, our resistance is given that fearsome strength born out of proximity to our mortality, and so it becomes, to all intents, a life and death struggle.
Which we will lose.
But rather than being consumed, as we feared, we are instead transmuted so that the dull lead of compulsion becomes the bright untarnishable gold of conscious self-awareness. Even this though suggests that perhaps our work is done, but of course that cannot be. We are exposed to Plutonic necessity almost daily by lunar transit, and this is merely the spume on a dark and restless ocean, because the most unfathomable depths are populated by transits, progressions and arcs which allow us to embrace new and terrifying opportunities to transmute further our souls in the implacable forge of Vulcan.
Sadly however, many of us are born to be unwilling participants in this ever-intensifying game of Hadean Snakes & Ladders and rather than cultivating acceptance, we instead bewail our misfortune and, resistant to the last sinew, find ourselves spewed up out of our turmoil and discontent, blinking, broken and embittered, only to reject the new form that we have assumed and gradually to reclothe ourselves in that old, more comfortable, but markedly less resplendent garb. And with each denial, each regression, we become somehow more entrenched, more sullied and more disappointed. The old fixes don’t satisfy: we shrink away from life and become less than we remember, until our potential is nothing more than a ghost of our youthful imagining, and, lost in the fog of our declining years, we vanish out of sight forevermore.
Sun – Pluto: Minimalist or Megalomaniac? (View original article)
Here is a profoundly difficult energy that requires a transformation of the personal ego. Can manifest as a supreme entitlement and even megalomania or a deeply disarming deference and this energy is incredibly difficult to manage and cathartise. The craving for rulership is intensified and untransformed creates a classic “control freak” especially when in square or conjunction. The opposition is often an entirely different case, Pluto can be disowned and then must be experienced instead through others (the same can be said for any Pluto opposition to some extent (or indeed any opposition!)). Consider these interesting Sun-Pluto combinations and the variance of qualities between them:
There is a strange frequency with these aspects of successful yet hard-line politicians, actors of a certain type (“action stars” – overtly Plutonic – like Schwarzenegger and Hauer or brooding, covertly Plutonic types like Pacino and Marlon Brando, the first identifying more with Mars’ rulership – thus the warrior type, and the latter with Pluto’s rulership – the more sinister puppetmaster type). Note how much more the square and conjunction evince the difficult power clutching tendency of Sun – Pluto in a female nativity, while the opposition often creates a considerable difficulty for women that relates to being taken advantage of by men. The trine and sextile are very interesting from a female viewpoint, here is an easy expression of manifesting power over men in an almost bewitching manner, but the quality in the male chart remains consistent. It is interesting to note that Tim Burton and Alicia Silverstone share a Cazimi Pluto (Silverstone’s in Libra and Burton’s hard on the Midheaven in Virgo).
Farrah Fawcett’s case bears some examination, particularly with regard to her recent health difficulties. She was diagnosed sometime prior to October 2006 with anal cancer, a condition which, it was announced, was in remission on the occasion of her 60th birthday in February 2007, but which has reportedly returned since that time.
For the purposes of this brief discussion I have removed aspects excepting those which I believe are causing the illness. What should be especially noted is that in February of 2006 (about the time of her 59th birthday therefore) Pluto was approaching 26 degrees of Sagittarius for the first time in almost 3 centuries. He was therefore within a degree’s orb of Farrah’s peregrine Venus in Sagittarius in the 6th house. The 6th house is the house of health (bluntly put, but accurate for the purpose of this scenario) and since she is peregrine, Venus is overexpressed. We can pin down so many expressions of this Venus placement here and now, Farrah has been an action-girl icon with wild, tousled hair and a kind of outdoorsy, fresh and expansive attractiveness. Venus is ruled here by Jupiter in Scorpio on the degree corresponding in the physical body to the anus. No surprise here. Most difficult of all is the Sun – Mars conjunction opposing old “hard labour”: Saturn conjunct Pluto in Leo, thus enormous tension and pernicious, destructive energy manifesting into financial control and material status, and all of that poison forced out into Chiron in Scorpio and the 5th. Both Chiron and Jupiter are ruled through sign and house by Sun and Pluto: Farrah’s cancer is an exposition of her control needs being disowned. She needs to be independent of others’ financial controls (Su/Aq/8) but her inability to compromise about money and her enormous self-worth anxiety (Sa+Pl/Le/2) (itself engendered by her parents – the 2nd is ruled by Moon rising: a mother then who really went out of the way to ensure that her daughter got everything she needed, but her father opposed it!) but all of that anxiety about her own value is pushed into Chiron. If we cannot heal the Chirotic wound then very often it will manifest as a physical symptom. What is more is that with the sexy image she has traded on in her life, the fact that she probably has a genuine difficulty with relaxing into intimacy is an irreconcilable and dissonant note too. The 8th house – the sex urge if you like – is opposed by Sa – Pl in the 2nd and ruled by Saturn in the 2nd too. She cannot enjoy sex because she doesn’t feel good about herself and conversely she cannot feel good about herself because she is disowning all those difficult, dirty feelings as they only add to the sense of being unworthy: no doubt she was seriously ambiguous about the way her father related to her, and such has been the pattern for the rest of her life. There is so much Plutonic material here that it is profoundly distressing for the astrologer to contemplate. How sad that nobody could help her to transform that early difficulty with self-worth that has been the basis for so much struggle.
So very often, Pluto remains hidden, until by transit he erupts into consciousness, or worse.
That is as much as I will include in this week’s article. If you wish to refamiliarise yourself with the other articles in the series, they can be found below:
I am available to offer guidance and insight on Pluto problems and any other astrological issues through astrologyhour.