Fate, Free Will and the Arc of Pluto

Free will. This concept more than any other has the power to invoke all sorts of impassioned reactions when the study of astrology is in the spotlight. I read once that a scientific conference had to be called off in the United States due to the ferocity of the protests outside the venue: its subject? The criminal gene. This makes a powerful argument: whether or not there is a criminal gene is hardly the point, people are nothing short of outraged when it is suggested that there may be elements of their lives that are not in their control; indeed, people are, more broadly, horrified by the concept of destiny.

Of course, they’re not especially horrified when the destiny is good. They’ve met the love of their life, and smiling beatifically, suffused with the warm glow of romantic contentment, they are positive about that destiny. “It was fate, we were meant to be.” But suggest that their incipient alcoholism was their destiny too? No thanks.

I would argue that the reason that astrology, perhaps more than most ‘quack science,’ has had such a difficult history, is exactly because it contains this essential hint, that in fact, we do have a destiny. Not the good destiny necessarily, but certainly the bad one. Of course, even a good destiny is a problem for some, because they want to believe that their successes are entirely the result of their character, their determination, their all-round wonderful betterness than the next guy. To suggest that good things happen through fate takes away a large measure of our belief in our own brilliance; it diminishes us, makes us a little less fantastic than we might otherwise be.

For me, who has necessarily wrestled for many years with an astrological understanding of fate and free-will, there is a deeper significance to the reality of destiny. If our free-will is a chimera, a mirage, then blame becomes a very shaky concept indeed. And actually this is very true. Before I explain that line of reasoning further though, let me describe how it does work; how free we actually are.

If Pluto crosses, by Solar Arc, your Ascendant, then the plain, unadorned and inevitable result will be that your life will go through the most astounding upheaval and it will not be easy. That’s probably kinder than the truth too, because for several months, your relationship to the world will be put under astounding pressure, you will experience (according to the matrix of aspects and energies in your nativity) a transformation, a rebirth, but naturally, as in the mythology of Pluto, Kore, Siva, the archetypal process of rebirth requires a death first. With Pluto on the Ascendant (by Solar Arc especially, but too with mundane transits) your relationship with the world, with your world and everyone in it will be killed, probably quite brutally, then it will be ground up, spat out and trampled on somewhat before being given an unceremonious burial in a shallow and benighted grave. Then you get to be reborn, usually in a better, more rounded way.

No amount of free will is going to change that period of time into one of lightness and ease. It doesn’t matter how much you try, what you do, or how you attempt to manoeuvre people and things into position, it will still be the most godawful experience of your life. Now, that’s your destiny, whether you like it or not, and every astrologer understands this, but clearly, the argument about free will does not reside so simplistically in this framework.

Let us say that you are a woman with a tight Sun-Pluto conjunction in Libra that travels by Solar Arc until one day, when you’re in your late 30s, it traverses your Ascendant in Scorpio. What happens? Your husband (Sun) leaves you, effectively destroying (Pluto) your marriage (Libra). You’re wrecked by this, you’re a Libra after all, nothing was quite so important for you, but being Sun-Pluto, you simply cannot let yourself see it that way; you have to destroy him (Sun-Pluto), you turn his children against him, you turn all his friends against him (after all, the natal conjunction is in the 11th house), you keep all his possessions until finally, it is as though he didn’t exist. You killed him (and that too is the other alternative for the Sun-Pluto wife, to subtly undermine the husband until he quite literally dies).

It is terrible and tragic, but the really difficult part about this story is that on the day she met her husband, it was already going to happen.

That’s fate.

So, what of free-will? Actually, the underlying reality of this example contains the impetus to free will within it. The event could not be changed, it was written in the astrology at the very moment of birth – had she been born an hour later, then the split would have happened 15 years later, maybe the husband would actually have died – but nothing in the universe was going to change the event; the death, destruction or loss of the husband was inevitable. What was not inevitable was her reaction to it.

This is free will. You cannot control events. You cannot change what happens beyond yourself. Other people, events, random acts of chance, all are beyond our reckoning, but our reaction to them is absolutely within our remit. It is within those reactions and responses that our karma is made. If we fight, if we blame, if we hit back at something that was beyond any person’s control, then we create a difficult legacy for ourselves and for everyone else who is affected by our fate.

This then, is the problem with blame. Blame creates a justification for action, and actions that are motivated through a philosophical bias underpinned by blame are inevitably going to have negative consequences: not just for the person we have blamed, but actually for ourselves too. In many ways, more so for ourselves. Not necessarily in obvious and causally connected ways, but often it becomes a karmic time-bomb that will be unleashed in disproportionate measure when we least expect it (although with astrology, we will probably see that when (for example) the Sun-Pluto conjunction opposes Mars by Solar Arc in another few years, those Plutonic controls that have been set in negative motion now will begin to unravel.)

This for me was always the problem with the criminal gene controversy. If there were a criminal gene, then surely it would morally be much harder to condemn a person for committing a criminal act if they were found to have it. That feels like a mercy to me. Would you blame someone for having a cleft palate or one leg shorter than the other? I wouldn’t blame the Sun-Pluto wife for losing her husband any more than I would blame her for having a strong character and dark hair (for example), it was nobody’s fault. On the other hand, her reaction to the husband’s leaving is the one area where the exercise of free-will is possible.

It is the same in all matters astrological. You cannot manage or control people or events and any evidence that you have any such power is an illusion. Such attempts might appear to work, but in reality there is a mechanism which, silently and unheeded, moves the destinies of us all with remarkable complexity, exactitude and and effect, we wrongly ascribe causes to our own efforts simply because (without astrology) we cannot see, hear or feel the mechanism, let alone comprehend it. Our senses are too dull, our imaginations too limited, our self-interest too all-pervading.

This is the great power of this mechanism. It is so complex and unknowable that we cannot grasp it, and the myth of free-will is perpetuated. We do not control the mechanism, only our reactions to its astonishing, perfect, profound movements.

Or put another way, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with it that counts…

(Catch a glimpse of how the mechanism affects you @ Astrology Hour)

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30 thoughts on “Fate, Free Will and the Arc of Pluto

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  1. I agree with the part that we don’t control our actions, but why do you think we control our reactions? We are how we are until we aren’t. How can you be more understanding, more able to move on, more able to see the other side of it then you are? Our consciousness and awareness is evolving and isn’t in our control either, if it were I would be so saintly. If we knew better we’d do better, so the question is why don’t we know better? In my opinion that’s because we aren’t in charge of any of it, but we still can act and react to the best of our ability, the more awareness we have the more options we have, but we aren’t in control of what our ability is or what the options are or if we are aware of them. So do your best, but know that you are not in charge of what that best will be.
    There is no Karma either. That’s just our way of trying to make sense of the world. If you look closely you can’t seperate good from bad. Good comes from bad and visa versa. Whatever happens is exactly what is supposed to happen, it’s just not always from our limited human perspective that we can see this. What would the prisons be like if we knew that people were not in control of their actions, mindsets, emotions, until they were. Would we focus more on compassion and rehabilitation, and protection of the public, rather then on punishment? It might benefit all, no more guilt, shame, blame, judgement, just the understanding that everyone is doing the best they can and we take measures to protect ourselves and educate so when the persons consciousness is ready the information and support is there for them.
    Just putting this out there, another way to look at reality.

    1. I’m not entirely sure that you took my point as I intended. Your first line is the crux of it: “I agree with the part that we don’t control our actions, but why do you think we control our reactions?” I didn’t mean to imply that our actions are out of our control, only that the actions of others, events, those things that we do not have a part in. I also believe that we are responsible for our reactions, I try very hard to moderate my reactions, although sometimes I don’t manage it, or my self-control fails; even then though, I am aware that it is a failing and I resolve to do better next time.

      In psychological parlance there is a theory about this which relates to the locus of control, one’s is either internal or external; you’re very clearly making an argument for the external locus, others will argue that they are the only arbiters of their fate: thus an internal locus of control. One is (according to this view) either all for fate or all for free-will, although in reality the likelihood is that you will be somewhere in the middle; or (more accurately) self-determining when it suits you (to claim success for your own efforts for example) and at the mercy of events when it doesn’t (when bad things happen for example, or you’ve failed in some way). This article is not trying to tell you what I believe about the locus of control debate, it is about what I know with regard to the manner in which astrology works. I’m not declaring an article of faith, just a fact about existence when viewed through the lens of astrology.

      The point at which my belief comes into play is when the theory of karma is brought into the debate. That is my belief, not an observable astrological phenomenon. It makes a great deal of sense to me (and others too), for astrological reasons, never mind philosophical ones, but I’m glad for you to have an opposed view about that. It does make sense of the world, but just because it does, that does not automatically qualify the concept as a convenience which has then to be ignored. I would say that your non-belief in karma is simply that, a belief, as much as my support of the concept is one.

      I think that if I did have a problem with your entire argument – insofar as I understand it – it would focus on the sense that it appears (appears mind) to forgo responsibility for our behaviour. I fundamentally disagree with that; we all (excepting those few with sociopathic disorders) have a moral compass, and we are well aware of those times when we are ignoring it. We may justify that because in the heat of the moment we lost our sense of perspective, that is understandable, but we should be able to make reparations after the fact. Saying sorry is the first step to taking responsibility. Each time we do that we create a precedent for our higher self to better take note of the next time. We gradually learn to manifest self-control and not ignore the compass so easily with each transgression.

      Eventually then we reach a point where we only rarely stray from the proper path. We become better people. But to say we have no awareness of those transgressions is incorrect, at least, it is utterly incorrect for me, and (I infer) for most everyone else.

      I am not saying that mistakes won’t happen, that’s simply learning, but you know right from wrong, and our reaction to adversity is the proving ground for our moral determination. It ain’t what happens to you…

  2. Pluto transiting the Ascendant and revealing a ‘benighted grave’ is literally true in my case, although my story may be too sensitive for print.Let me explain:I have a Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius and married a Sun/Pluto conjunction in Leo in 1975. I was dazzled by the Sun and unaware of what lay in store. In 1978 our 2nd son was stillborn 2 weeks before his due date (due to medical negligence) and my devastated husband agreed that he should be cremated (after the post-mortem) with other unborn babies who had similarly perished. He was assured there would be a simple communal ceremony conducted in the hospital chapel, (but with no parents allowed) and that was that ….until the year 2001. Following the Alder Hey ‘retained organs’ scandal, I wrote to the hospital requesting whether or not they had any of our son’s organ lying about? Pluto was sitting on my Sagittarian Ascendant at the time and almost by return I received a gift from the Lord of the Underworld – a small box of long-forgotten laboratory slides and tissue samples that (due to its sensitive nature) we had to collect in person. What the hospital representative omitted to tell us, but which we discovered months later through our own detective work (we rang every undertaker in that area)), was that all unborn babies at that time were not cremated, but buried in a communal, unmarked plots in one of London’s larget cemeteries. With no acknowledgement of malpractice from the hospital, we found the communal plot and a ‘benighted’ grave it certainly was, covered with weeds and long grass, with a single marker from a couple who had found their twins’ resting place before us.Today the plot is festooned with markers and toys and maintained as befits its precious contents be. My Ascendant’s Pluto transit was a literal exposure of the hidden and a ‘godawful experience’ at the time but at least Pluto gave us closure and a place to give due respect to the dead.

  3. Chiron- “I didn’t mean to imply that our actions are out of our control, only that the actions of others, events, those things that we do not have a part in.”

    Robin-Are you saying you can control your actions?

    Chiron- “Although sometimes I don’t manage it, or my self-control fails;”

    Robin- Or are you saying you don’t?

    1. Robin, I’m saying that when I don’t manage it I regret it, because I know that I’ve done wrong, I’m not sure that’s the same thing as being able or unable to control my reactions to events. I also did not wish to imply that behaviour is binary, there is a spectrum, I don’t get everything right all the time and nor does pretty much anyone else.
      The article was meant to reflect a philosophy or world-view that is born out of an astrological perspective, namely that you cannot control events, but you have a choice in your reactions to those events. I don’t believe that to be especially controversial or unreasonable, but you’re welcome to disagree or have your own view. For you, that case may be unproven, but my own experience allows me to arrive at a different conclusion from yours, I am sure we can both live with that.

  4. Chiron-“we all (excepting those few with sociopathic disorders) have a moral compass, and we are well aware of those times when we are ignoring it.”

    Robin-Isn’t this an assumption? That everyone except sociopaths have a moral compass?
    Does a two year old have the same moral compass as an adult?
    Does everyone’s moral compass agree on what is right and wrong?

  5. Jean, that’s an outrageous experience, but also one which describes an almost textbook Plutonic process. I would imagine that it was among the most perspective-shifting times of your life.
    Thank you for your candour and courage.

  6. Chiron says: “You can’t control events”

    Robin- Now to take the other side, how do you know we can’t control events?
    Since you can never see alternate futures, how do you know that because you took precautions so called inevitable events weren’t avoided. Isn’t that what astrology is all about? Know thyself, and perhaps by recognizing your blind spots you can avert disaster. At a certain level of knowledge you may be able to see where in your life you may be heading for a problem (Divorce, affairs, dysfunctional behaviour, getting into credit card debt) and work at it to avert it?

    My discussion is all in good fun, okay? I am just playing with your ideas.

    1. Robin, I appreciate the clarification, I only wish I had time to make a fuller reply.

      Any long statement contains contradictions if you attend to the minutiae and ignore the intent. I am not trying to say that the situation is binary, it is not a case of either I am in control of my reactions or I am not, simply that I try to be, and with practise I improve. That is the Buddhist concept of Right Intention, which I try to incorporate into my approach to life. If you want to reduce my (attempt at) philosophy to pithy statements, then there is always the chance that the meaning will be lost, that is (in my view) the problem with the scientific method; it misses the big picture, has no capacity to appreciate the immeasurable.

      To answer your earlier challenge: absolutely a two year old has a moral compass, but it chooses to ignore it more often than a four year old, who undoubtedly ignores it more than an eight year old. That’s learning/growing/spiritually evolving.

      We can practise with our moral compass however we like; either to listen to it and be guided by it, or to ignore it, and be guided instead by self-interest. The more we practise (in either direction) the better we will become at listening to/ignoring it. The point of my article was to say that we should try to listen better, even though we cannot control the events which fashion our life experience. You seem to be saying that we either can or cannot listen (or until we can we cannot?) It suggests a condition where we are either completely unenlightened, or completely self-aware, which feels very scientific to me. All that said, the real point I was trying to make was that astrology can (and does) very accurately describe the outer events that are out of our control, but it does not dictate our ability to respond well to those events, that is a personal choice. You can argue with that if you like, at which point I would say that we simply have to agree to disagree, because for me (and I work with astrology at a fairly intense and advanced level every day of my life – more or less) I just know how it works and I’ve seen it too many times (actually every time without fail) to need to question it.

      On the final point that you made, I have no qualms about saying that we can’t control events: it’s trying that causes the problem (as Jordan astutely summarised in her response). There is a Zen maxim which reflects this rather succinctly too: enlightenment is easy for those who have no preferences.

  7. You and I think in a similar way, Jeremy. If you were to also take into consideration such things as a person’s prenatal environment and the behavior of others around her in childhood and how *that* led to her decision/reaction/response, you’d see that people get set up to repeat unconscious patterns all the time, sometimes even in spite of the fact that they are trying as hard as they possibly can not to.

    This is an illustration of the teaching of Samsara; it is not that your fate does not befall you, it is simply that you begin to stop taking it so personally.

    When I look at my own life I can see how I could not help at the time making very bad decisions, or not making any decision, or allowing certain situations to go on for some unacknowledged ( to myself) reason – sometimes I act in ways that are not mysterious to me but they would almost be impossible to explain to anybody else.

    Just like any other of these constructs, it seems the task is to accept your destiny and realize that it is not you; and realize it is not, in the final analysis — very important. For one thing, it too shall pass.

  8. Thanks for the courage to print my post,
    Jeremy – as you say, a text-book Plutonic timeline and a ‘process’ which I was ‘locked into’ in 1978, when Saturn transited my 8th House Vertex.Truly a perspective-shifting experience. I would also add that we may think we have free will,but when Saturn visits, we are prey to external forces and a mis-timings of events over which we have no control, whatever we may call them, or it! .I’m not a fatalist, but there are many situations where ‘fate’ rather than free will is in the driving seat.

  9. Chirotic I admire your perspective and Buddhist philosophy, you have a level of insight far beyond your earthly years that leads me to ponder your past incarnations as an astrologer; how many lifetimes?
    Jean, I admire your courage and open-heartedness, thank you for sharing.
    Happy Holiday!

  10. Chirotic, I have been reading this post over and over again for the last year and possibly longer. I guess it caught my eye because I have a tight pluto-sun conjunction in libra in the 11th house. Pluto crossed my ascendent by solar arc when I was 31 ish. My life actually turned into a swirling toilet bowl of despair; however, my husband leaving me was not part of the equation, as I was actually single at the time. I then very abruptly decided to move in with the father of my son (who I hardly knew and had not seen in 8 years) into his house in another country. Several months after the rush of the new romance had worn off a little, I realized that he was a raving alcoholic. The next few months were characterized by well, me turning into a crazy person! I have never cried so much in my entire life. I spent my days either foolishly trying to get him to stop drinking, or scheming and plotting my way out of the relationship and out of the country. I should also mention that previously that year, my dad was diagnosed with cirrhosis resulting from his alcoholism. He was in the hospital for many months waiting for a transplant. I was overwhelmed by the synchronicity of events in my life, and knew in my heart of hearts that I could not possibly choose to live with an alcoholic despite the heart ache that ending the relationship would result in for all 3 of us. The climax occurred when my partner hit rock bottom, and my son and I had to move out into his parents’ house. My dad ended up getting the transplant and lived for 5 more years. My son and I moved back to Canada, and my partner followed us a few months later. He has been sober for over 4 years and we have enjoyed a good relationship albeit with many ups and downs!
    So now the question remains, is it still my fate that my husband leaves me even after having already been through this horrible transit? I guess time will tell. I continue to remind myself that I have chosen this fate for the evolution of my soul. It seems to make things easier to bare. Thank-you for your post, and for allowing me to share my sun-pluto in Libra story 🙂

  11. I liked the intensity of your article, but it is also more fatalistic than accurate. Let’s see this part:

    “You cannot manage or control people or events and any evidence that you have any such power is an illusion.”

    This is not really true, though in a metaphysical way the Spirit moves all things. But you have some free will choice, albeit not a huge amount.

    Many astrological predictions go awry. This is a known fact, even though the astrologer may have been perfectly competent.

    When an astrological event can be readily changed – it is really “adridha karma” in Indian terminology. This means that the karmic destiny is not strong here. That’s why a single astrological factor (transit, solar arc direction, synastry aspect, natal aspect, etc) usually is not sufficient to fully predict events, barring some very nasty things like Saturn conjunct or opposed Venus within a degree.

    When you have such milder karmic destiny, then fate allows free will to act powerfully. That’s because the debt to Nature or the soul you meet is not really strong. Quite often, it may just pass on to a new life as a new debt.

    Now there is the opposite kind of karma – “dridha karma”, which means it is hardened. Nothing can stop the flow of this force, and usually your charts will show several astrological “events” that support that sort of destiny.

    There is nothing that can prevent the forces of destiny from coming down with heavy astrological events – because of the type of karmic destiny here. (That isn’t entirely true but for practical reasons it remains fairly true…) But your free will can modify the results along lines similar to the laws of mechanics.

    I can attest to that from personal experience. Actually, a Vedic astrologer predicted my marriage to a particular person, and that person did come into my life and was obsessed with me (Her Pluto was inconjunct my Sun within a degree or two….yuck, it speaks of obsession and an unmovable force!).

    I was able to evade the marriage with lots of magic – but it was extremely painful for reasons I can’t explain. In my mind I was like half married to her. I was possessed by a thoughtform of hers (my own Venus was within a degree from my Pluto in opposing aspect, a horrible position that indicates possession).

    So the astrological forces of pain did come in, and so did transformation – moving from hate to compassion – but the marriage did not take place, albeit due to a Herculean effort. However, a lot of past hateful karma was worn out, and lots of fresh karma made. That’s how it works…the forces of pain, etc, come down but specific destinies can be changed.

    I have other examples but don’t want to gloss over it. There are ways to escape astrological destiny, though not necessarily the quality of the pain that one is due. There are also ways to mitigate events and forces via karmic laws.

    In the end, people with occult training can also change destinies of both themselves and others via specific methods to a good or even great degree. Of course, that usually heaps a ton of karma on their record, so magicians often bear the blackest of destinies. But there are ways to work around one’s “fate” and consistent and solid use of occultism does offer some ways out…though a lot of what is not worked out will come back again, perhaps in another lifetime!

  12. Greetings, Jem —– Your archives start in June 2008, according to the sidebar, the year Pluto first entered Capricorn. And I’ve only a few minutes ago discovered your site. Don’t know at the moment whether I’m going to look for a reason for this (Pluto’s ?) timing, but already as fingers strike these keys, a hint of an answer is coming … more further below.

    Being in a bit of a hurry due to waiting obligations in the background, have barely been able to glance at the offerings here, in particular your very direct frank exposition on Pluto, fate, etc.

    Quickly have skimmed, jumped over your words, and extracted the following which caught my eye:

    “If Pluto crosses, by Solar Arc, your Ascendant, then the plain, unadorned and inevitable result will be that your life will go through the most astounding upheaval and it will not be easy. That’s probably kinder than the truth too, because for several months, your relationship to the world will be put under astounding pressure, you will experience (according to the matrix of aspects and energies in your nativity) a transformation, a rebirth, but naturally, as in the mythology of Pluto, Kore, Siva, the archetypal process of rebirth requires a death first. With Pluto on the Ascendant (by Solar Arc especially, but too with mundane transits) your relationship with the world, with your world and everyone in it will be killed, probably quite brutally, then it will be ground up, spat out and trampled on somewhat before being given an unceremonious burial in a shallow and benighted grave. Then you get to be reborn, usually in a better, more rounded way.

    No amount of free will is going to change that period of time into one of lightness and ease. It doesn’t matter how much you try, what you do, or how you attempt to manoeuvre people and things into position, it will still be the most godawful experience of your life. Now, that’s your destiny, whether you like it or not, and every astrologer understands this, but clearly, the argument about free will does not reside so simplistically in this framework.”

    My experience of Pluto crossing the Ascendant in a general way is fairly close to your description above, and with the planet being Pluto, that’s saying a lot. Paradoxically, there feels some understatement in the excerpt, and certainly there has to be individual variations on the general theme.

    First of all, no one will truly understand this crossing, not even an astrologer, unless it has happened to them, unless they have been thoroughly shredded, wrung and hung out to dry over a very hot fire that is freezing cold. It also will depend on what personal and impersonal resources they have carried to the occasion, how they make use of them. For myself, late in life, it was my biggest experience (there may still be a bigger one). I wasn’t clear of the aftereffect for 4 1/2 years (i.e., the threat of impending death still lingered), before I could move about more or less normally. No one actually physically died, but the one who had been my near-fatal attraction contracted cancer twice, and her new partner once. The experience was not ‘godawful.’ Even as the spectre of death hung around constantly outside my door, and my energies were frightfully disordered, the mind was bright, perhaps even exhilarated, so intense was the time. But as the years wore on I could see the final darkness closing in again, and I made a fully sincere effort, without a moment wasted regretfully looking back, or giving into fear, to balance my energies, as that was where the work lay. Emotional attachment had been dropped early; it had to be let go of fast, or I would have been soon gone with cardiac arrest, shock had been so great. Nine years on, the energetic disorder effects had left. In solid place came an emotional and physical stability, endurance even, that exceeded that prior to Pluto’s crossing. In fact so much good fortune and wealth of circumstance, enhancement of faculties, I would not wish to discuss lest on doing so it would all begin to disappear. More than ever I would like to think that I am flowing with fate, not against. But I won’t wager any bets. Pluto is irony; he will really iron you out if he takes a notion to (Mars, the old ruler = iron). The next moment I know not what it brings, and that is alright. Carry on, is the idea.

    And here I should disclose what might be behind my finding myself on your site 6 years after your first archived post, and it is found in your words, as follows:

    “I am the author of “Orcus“, a breakthrough treatise on the new Hadean paradigm in astrology. If you are serious about understanding astrology then you should try it. You cannot make sense of Pluto without Orcus after all. If Orcus is strong in your nativity (in aspect to a personal planet or point), then you cannot make sense of yourself without Orcus either.”

    In a few weeks, I expect to take delivery of my copy of ‘Orcus’ (providing it is in stock), which I will order after posting this comment.

    The two excerpts above from “Fate, Free Will and the Arc of Pluto” are what caught my eye on a rapid skim. I would very much like to return to read the article in full, and others that likely will capture my attention. Thank you, Jem, for your sudden presence in my life.

  13. I appreciate the realistic explanation, that gives me understandnding of process I’ve struggled with…..I can avoid some situations & actions that might limit me down the road. Doesn’t change challenges, but may save making damaging choices that causes limitations in future. Pluto, “Phoenix rising from the ashes” is great metaphor.
    I appreciate your thoughts about no orbs for S.Arcs…& using limited major aspects.

  14. Hi Jeremy, I found your fantastic article while googling Solar Arc Directed Pluto conjunct Ascendant. Vladimir Putin has this aspect applying as he invades the Ukraine. I wondered if you were following the situation and what your thoughts might be of what’s in store for him. Thank you.

    1. That’s really interesting, thank you for thinking of me. I might take a look in fact. I have included a case study of Putin in my new book, he is a really interesting case.

  15. Hello – directed to your site today – thank you for such a deep dive. Question – is quincunx an allowable aspect in your interpretation of Orcus? Mine in Cancer is exact 150 deg to the Moon it answers to. Pluto the apex of a Venus Moon/Sat opposition has always intrigued me, as it is the 12th. Feels like emotional pain of 1st and only long marriage never ends – and it has been years.

    1. Hi Jennifer, yes quincunx is certainly allowable and will cause you to need to reconcile your lunar roles. Orcus is a Hadean power just the same as Pluto, so he forces transformations continually, and the more attached we are, the more painful are those transitions. Where we have Orcus we experience loneliness, and are forced to become comfortable with solitude and going it alone. Am I right in thinking that you have a tee-square to Pluto, and you must have Moon/Saturn in Sagittarius and Pluto in Virgo. I guess it could be M/S in Scorpio and Pluto in Leo, but only just. That is a tough configuration in either alignment. Something here about the template from mother, perhaps struggling to be connected to family, being alienated or going through episodes of involvement and separation. The quincunx is for sure a ‘hard’ aspect.

  16. Hi Jeremy.

    This article of yours is excellent. I spotted it the other day.

    I have got Solar Arc Pluto Square Ascendant, going direct in my 4th house, in May 2024.

    6 months before that, I have Solar Arc Saturn Conjunct Neptune going direct, also in my 4th house.

    In June 2023, I have Solar Arc Uranus Trine Sun, going direct in my 5th house and this is still quite strong around the time Pluto squares my Ascendant.

    Throughout 2024, I also have a large amount of hard normal Saturn and Uranus transits, plus Neptune square Neptune, hitting my 7th house. And transit Pluto is also squaring my natal Pluto, in house 5.

    One month or so before Solar Arc Pluto squares my Ascendant, I have a Solar Eclipse in house 8 and a Full Moon conjunct Pluto, in house 3.

    Th North Node and Chiron are transiting my 8th house throughout 2024.

    And around the time of said eclipse and full moon, Mars and Mercury are transiting my 8th house.

    I have been mugged over by big pharma and am entirely dependent on antidepressant medication, in order to preserve normal mood.

    Without the medication, I end up unnaturally low and descend into a dangerously self destructive frame of mind.

    Bearing in mind the developing supply issues of medication on the horizon, I am automatically assuming that it’s unlikely I’ll see Christmas 2024.

    I would be interested to hear your perspective on all this Jeremy.

    Many thanks,

    Kind regards,


    1. Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for this comment, and while I can see that you have some trials ahead, I do not think there is reason to panic just yet. This is a very mixed bag, and while there are some challenging events, even challenges do not have to be awful if we adjust our perspective just a little. It is quite difficult to say anything very specific without knowing your chart fully, and by extension, your life situation. For example, SA Ur tr. Su. is nothing to fear, although again, the proviso here is that we cannot contextualise it. SA Pl. sq. Asc. is also not too reliable, unless you know exactly your birth time. One minute of inaccuracy moves this event by three months. But even if it is spot on, this aspect need not be cataclysmic. The conjunction is much more challenging. Usually with the square, there are compulsive behaviours and self-expressions to contend with, so for example, I have see a tourette’s like problem manifest with the transiting square. The Solar Arc is much more internalised and is a good basis for making shifts in your consciousness than the transit. In this sense there is a difficult pressure to change the way you express yourself. We could say more if we knew the signs, houses and aspects involved to the natal placements.

      I think the major transit here is the Neptune and Pluto squares. Again, this is only terrible where you are too attached to worldly matters. By the middle pass I was enjoying my Neptune squares immensely, although it is rubbish for climbing the greasy pole to societal success. But if you can just float and drift, then it might be wonderful. If you have a 7th house natal Neptune then tr. Neptune is in the 10th (or 9th or 11th). So, using the 10th example, there is a challenge (sq) to your marital (7) status (10). So, the question is, how attached are you to that status? The more attached you are, the more painful the transit will be.

      Antidepressants are a tough gig but if you need them, then that’s all there is to it. They certainly have something of the Saturn-Neptune quality to them, it is stabilising the 12th house tendency after all. I am sure you will be fine, midlife is a wonderful opportunity to develop depth and authenticity. Get a copy of Orcus and read Part 2 especially, it’s all laid out there. Best of luck. Jeremy

  17. Me again.

    Also from May 2024 until February 2025, I’ve got transit Uranus Opposite Saturn, happening in house 9. Those other hard Saturn and Uranus transits I mentioned, are all happening in house 7.



    1. Okay, so your primary relationship is under pressure here. Saturn – Uranus transits denote a lot of repressed stress and they can be quite tiring. Be sure to develop some good habits to decompress. Mindfulness, meditation, walks in the country, fight club, whatever works for you. You’ll get through it and be the better for it afterwards.

      1. Me yet again!

        Another little detail.

        On September 12th 2023, my Solar Arc Saturn Conjunct Neptune goes direct, in house 4.

        On the same day, I have the normal transit of Saturn Opposite Mars going direct in house 6.

        And also on the same day I have the “transit object ascendant” square natal ascendant going direct.

        And by then, my Solar Arc Pluto Square Ascendant in house 4, will be under 0.5 degrees of going exact, plus the normal transit Uranus opposite Saturn will be kicking in.

        Up until February 2023, it would appear that things remain just about manageable.

        Unfortunately, from March 2023 to May 2024, it does strongly look like everything goes into major decline across the board, not to mention that massive shifts we’re all experiencing in the external.

        And bearing in mind I have yet to fully conquer the challenges of my past and “break through” so to speak, I’m fairly sure my number is up, no later than 2 years from now.

        One other thing is that I have a stellium of natal planets in Virgo house 1 (sun, moon and mercury).

        Also, the ruler of my ascendant (mercury) is conjunct my ascendant in Virgo (mercury’s it’s own sign). I’ve been informed this is rare and normally suggests far more success than I’ve seen and usually fame. Maybe it explains why I’m still alive in the face of total futility.

        It’s a good job I’ve got a Christian faith and have hope for the next life. House 9 is the only arena in which I’ve experienced undiluted success, without all the obstacles.

        Although this life has certainly had it’s good points, I won’t miss it.

        I’ve been absolutely hammered and will be greatly relieved to wipe my feet on Heaven’s divine doormat.



      2. Hi Jeremy! One more little thing is that I’ve been informed my current mobile phone contract ends, on the exact day that Solar Arc Pluto squares my Ascendant, in 2 years time. Very poetic and symbolic…

  18. Thank you Jeremy. Yes, Pluto is the apex at 26 Leo, Ven at 25 Tau, and Moon/Sat out of sign at 2/2.5 Sag respectively. This is so interesting – especially with the last Tot Lunar Eclipse May 16, 25 Scorpio (natal IC is 28). I want desperately to be liberated from motherhood. I feel burdened by the ongoing responsibility with close to nothing in return. It would be nice to have “family” but at what price? With the transiting SN in Scorpio, I have felt a transformative quality of the recent eclipse, a releasing. Lunar eclipses are often hard on me. My own mother is not a burden but I left my family of origin geographically and as you stated – wanting to be connected but also liberated from family or origin was a life long theme (mom is over100 now!).

  19. Hi Jeremy,

    Many thanks for your responses!

    You’ve identified that my primary relationship will be coming under pressure, with the forthcoming transits I’ve mentioned, in 2024/2025.

    I have got natal Venus Square Saturn and have had nothing but heartbreak and unrequited love, throughout my near 37 years. Both parents have made my life incredibly heavyweight, my entire family is packed to the brim with dysfunction.and my natal Chiron in house 10, has absolutely decimated that area of life as well.

    Despite being outwardly appealing enough to turn the ladies heads, I am single and always have been.

    Jupiter is currently transiting my 7th house and taken at face value, this year is strongly suggestive of marriage, across my chart.

    However, it would clearly be a foolish mistake for me to pursue any romantic relationships now, bearing in mind the stars strongly suggest it would still go pear shaped extremely quickly, as has always been the case.

    I’ve looked ahead to when Jupiter transits my 7th house again, in 2034, and it looks like I’d have far more luck with a romantic relationship then – another 12 years time.

    And that’s if I survive SA Pluto Square Ascendant/ SA Saturn Conjunct Neptune and a load of other nonsense, over the next 2 years, not to mention all the other mid life crisis transits etc.

    My birth time is spot on, therefore my SA Pluto Square Ascendant date in May 2024 is precise.

    My natal Neptune is in house 4 and my natal Saturn and Pluto sit in house 3. My natal Venus is in 12.

    Kind regards,


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