Decommissioning Pluto

With each passing degree of arc through which Pluto moves further from his domicile of Scorpio I become a little more convinced that the relationship between Pluto and Scorpio is a conundrum. In many ways we can easily appreciate the symmetry between sign and planet, theoretically at least, but I do not see a generation that expresses Pluto with especial intensity.

That said, it might simply be that in this most submerged of constellations, Pluto is remaining hidden and will erupt one day with astonishing force – albeit not overtly astonishing force. I think it was Noel Tyl who so accurately described Pluto energy as “a bomb under a blanket”.

In my view Leo, Libra and Sagittarius are the signs in which Pluto energy is most overt, because these are the dominating generations. This is how Pluto can most accurately be appreciated, as a struggle to manage domination energy. As you will hopefully appreciate this is a nuanced description of Pluto which contains several levels of self and spiritual awareness in potential. We can break it down in myriad ways, but broadly – and perhaps inevitably – crudely we can apprehend Pluto in our lives in the following ways, as:
1) the unconscious struggle to covertly dominate others, then,
2) the conscious struggle to master our compulsion to dominate others,
3) which in turn forges a less self-interested consciousness from this awareness of the increasingly sublimated nature of Plutonic drives.

Each of these is itself a spectrum. When I talk or write about this subject it provokes an enormous array of reactions from the brave and generous, to the downright compulsive, and no astrological subject has so much power to put people on the defensive. I have done enough personal ‘Pluto work’ now to not feel the need to take the difficult reactions personally (although I used to, as you would read if you were to scour these archives).

Most often I am asked, “is there any circumstance in which Pluto can be good?” Or some approximation (evaluative or otherwise) thereof. I think this misses the point almost entirely and betrays a fundamental misconception  about the intrinsic nature of Pluto. Pluto is unconscious domination energy. You can ask then, is there any way in which nuclear material can be good? because this is fundamentally the same question. Let us examine it just a little and uncover its innate paradoxes.

Broadly we can argue that nuclear material can be harnessed to provide power. So that’s good (this is the argument that governments use when they’re resisting the movement for alternative energy sources). This is true, and nuclear material and Pluto energy can both be harnessed to provide power. The crucial difference here though is that if Pluto energy were nuclear material, in most human lives it would be akin to hiring a cowboy band of builders to construct your nuclear power station. Most people put the reactor in the equivalent of a garden shed. Inevitably, the flimsy structures around the seething core have no possibility of containing the invisible toxins that pervade the atmosphere.

And then you have to wonder what the power is being used for? We live in an age of burgeoning nuclear proliferation, the haves versus the nearly-haves and many more have-nots wondering how they can get hold of their own atomic device. Why would you want that kind of power?

And yes of course, it’s entirely possible to use nuclear power for entirely philanthropic and compassionate purposes, such as providing heat and lighting for orphanages, but let’s face facts, that was never the motivating ambition of Rutherford and his cronies at Los Alamos, was it? In the same way, it’s never the motivating ambition of ordinary people either. Nations as well as the individuals want the ultimate power of Pluto, because it gives them the power of life and death over other nations and individuals. That changes relationships and puts one nation or individual in the kind of position where they get respect from the other nation or individual. If you don’t truly (truly, truly) want that power, then you have no need of Pluto.

So, can Pluto ever be good? No. In exactly the same way as when you harness nuclear material, the safegaurds, oversights, constraints, cost and ongoing legacy of using that power are prohibitive, entirely outweighing the benefits; you need so much control to be able to handle Pluto that you would never be able to let it out.

This is (as many will see) the Mars principle writ large. Mars is overt domination energy (like Pluto which is the same, but covert), and of course you can argue that Mars is necessary and it is. It is necessary to get what you need to survive. Okay that’s arguable from a certain perspective too, but if you believe that, then that is how you have to see the world of course. If somebody punches you then you need Mars energy to punch them back, or perhaps to run away if you don’t fancy your chances. You can ramp this principle up all the way to Pluto and reductio ad absurdum, if somebody kills you, then you can kill them back.

Pluto is an energy construct that is inbuilt to the human soul’s self-motivating desire to realise its own emancipation. It is a poison power cell which we all start out believing we can harness to improve our survival prospects, to get respect, to get ahead. The more we use it though the more we are poisoned by it. Our relationships become toxified and our physical, emotional and spiritual health is compromised every time we tap into it.

And this is the key insight into the raison d’etre of Pluto. Its true power to transmute the soul is realised in the forgoing of it. We cannot remove the poison cell, it’s a part of the human condition, all we can do is decommission it, a little like Chernobyl or Fukushima, and never go there again.

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22 thoughts on “Decommissioning Pluto

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  1. so what you essentialy speak about is the fruit of the observing witness and therefor about a cert ain level of consciousness..
    the impossiblities of a narcissistic mental disposotion -in general – in la condition humaine- the disgust with ones vulnerablity

    1. I think that’s right Joanne. The answer to vulnerability is to trust that you can live as an openly vulnerable human being, rather than seeking to dominate interactions, no matter how subtly.

      1. some of usmight use some practical advice how to decommission a mainly subconscious and beyond personal energy , i,m afraid ..

  2. In late 2004 and early 2005 I had transiting Pluto on my midheaven. I divorced my husband of 25 years, quit my job of 17 years and moved from one city to another after 25 years. I also had transiting Saturn in Cancer at the time and that’s where my Venus is (5th house). It was COMPLETELY tear down to rebuild. The divorce should have occurred a decade earlier but I kept trying to make it work. I learned no matter your effort – it still takes TWO and the other person wasn’t working on it at all.

    I do feel it was a Pluto activiation. lol

  3. Frodo dont wear the ring! so glad you are back this is one of my favorite astro blogs, ive got a plutonian IC, the imagery of nuclear material was a really good way of putting it and it works on a few levels, dealing with my parents problems does feel like some sort of nuclear process and oh the radiation poisoning, luckily im off to college now

  4. :). Hooray you’re back! Weird, I was thinking about you last night but didn’t check for a post. I checked just now instead. Good to read you J

  5. Yay! I had just started reading this blog about the time the Player of Games article was written, and though there was plenty to read while waiting, I was still checking every day to see if there was a new article. And now, the payoff!

  6. Very thought provoking reading thanks, it makes me think of the saying:

    ‘All power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

    Amen to your last line written here, as I’ve heard quite a few people when finished with their particular Pluto transits saying ‘I never want to go there again’, Pluto may not be kind, but is definitely thorough, you don’t forget the lessons.

  7. Spring greetings from Plutonic Berlin. I am one of the fortunate mid 60’s guys with the Pluto/Uranus conjunction (in 12th) opposing Saturn/Chiron (in 6th) and grew up in the ‘free’ 70’s the a rather Plutonic family, who thought they could decomission all kinds of power struggles simply by pretending they had no value for their elected ‘free’ life style.

    Your article reminded me of two quotes that have helped me a lot.C. G. Jung’s ‘A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.’ and Giacomo Casanova’s ‘Medicine in the hands of a fool is poison, just as poison becomes medicine in the hands of the wise.’

    Power seems to me, at the moment anyway, to be a neutral energy, with which we will always and repeatedly be confrontated, and which we cannot pretend does not influence our lives.

    And even if a majority might select to use power for destructive purposes, I can’t see that we cannot use it consciously and lovingly for constructive purposes. As you yourself do in your articles.

  8. Hi Jeremy
    There are ways to honour the gods and godesses; through reciting poems or by the way of offerings. We had spoken about this when you worked on my chart…
    I understand Pluto’s power through my own stellium (inc the sun,moon) in Scorpio.
    Isn’t it unkind to exclude Pluto?

  9. Uncle Albert said ‘It is easier to denature Plutonium than it is to denature the evil spirit of man.’ Sadly, I think he was right. That’s a great article – been mulling over it for days and maybe lifetimes…

  10. So happy that you are back! I found your blog in a time of great need with Pluto squaring my natal Venus.. At the same time I realized that my natal chart is quite influenced by Pluto, as is my relationship-history. While I was waiting for a new post there was time to go through the archives, which has been very helpful.Thank you!

    Even when finding the right stuff to read and the proper healing tools, it feels like I’m way over my head with these plutonic energies.. Guess I have to find a proper replacement for the garden shed..

  11. Hi Jeremy,

    I love these Pluto/Scorpio posts. Am wondering if you can say more about why this is “unconscious,” though? In my experience, one of the most maddening things about running up against Pluto/Scorpio energy is how very deliberate and conscious the behavior seems — proactively, aggressively choosing to dominate. Covert in many ways, yes, but not sure I would call it unconscious.

    Interested in your thoughts!

    This topic of Scorpio/Pluto energy has been part of my daily living experience for the past 4-5 years in an intense way. My neighbor (we live in separate apartments in a 2-unit house) is just the worst possible manifestation of this secretive, vampiric, dominating force I’ve ever encountered — just textbook, really — and I feel drawn into it to defend myself and fight back against him. I have never experienced a more rage-inducing, consuming hatred and desire for revenge against someone in my life, and I suppose that right there is some sort of proof of Pluto’s transformative and poisonous power.

    He is Sun conj Neptune in Scorpio, Merc also in Scorp, and is a belligerent alcoholic, who uses foul verbal tirades to intimidate and get his way. Some friends of mine who lived next door used to call him “3D” which stood for “Domestic Disturbance Dad” — he was always yelling about something, in loud arguments with his wife constantly, swearing, just a constant threatening presence.

    Any attempts made to reason with him over the noise levels, his kids running around for hours on early weekend mornings, common doors occasionally left unlocked due to his or his wife’s drunkenness, go nowhere and merely serve to trigger another volcanic eruption.

  12. Arg, this is highly problematic. I have Pluto (grand) trine Sun and Moon, and sextile Neptune and Saturn, and opposing my ascendant — how can I possibly decommission this entity, that’s so much wrapped in the fabric of what I am? It’s true that I always try and do subtly steer and manipulate interactions, by evoking energies to let them run smoothly – I don’t do it with bad intentions or desire to contro, but I do it. Can we use other planets to to the decommissioning, or is this part of Plutonean manipulation? Is the key perhaps to just say “let go” to Pluto? Any thoughts?

  13. This article was a very interesting one. I have been experiencing transiting Pluto over my mercury & venus @ 1 and 2 degrees and now Pluto transiting my Sun @ 9 degrees in my 5th house. It has been quite a ride these past four years! Job loss, serious health problems, death of my beloved dog of 9 years, empty nest, the list goes on…Natally I have Pluto in Leo in the first house. Through all of this ‘dark night of the soul’ I have come to a point of total surrender. My feeling is that Pluto cannot be controlled, I cannot control anything and so I surrender my will to the higher power. I feel a lot better now. I know I’ve still got Pluto in Capricorn for another dozen years and it will transit my sixth house, Chiron and the North Node. I’m hoping for a positive transition and transformation in the year’s ahead. Thanks for letting me spout off!
    xoxo Dee

  14. Great article. So much of what you’ve said here has been a huge help to me in recent months. But what about Pluto conjunctions? How do you leave the energy and never touch it again if it’s intimately tied in with one or more of the classical seven or an angle? Do you advise complete suppression of that aspect of one’s being? And further, how can we completely repress Pluto if it’s such an important part of the makeup of the solar system? Are you covertly dominating everyone who reads this blog, simply by virtue of its existence? If Pluto deals in part with tearing down old structures, could you be letting your deeper perceptions of subconscious wounding of your or others’ belief structures convince you that there’s something wrong with that particular natural function of the flow of the universe and constant regeneration (Pluto) of the subconscious? Could it be that humans were made to wield that absolute power and also to only be capable of doing so after disidentifying until it’s everything?

    1. I would like to apologize for the vitriol of my above comment and hope that you see fit to leave it to the trash bin. While I believe it raised couple of relevant points, it could have done so in a much different way, without the somewhat nasty bulk around it. For what it’s worth, I’m having a pretty intense series of experiences with Pluto at the moment, and the catharsis of my giving voice to those thoughts opened up a new understanding of just what exactly you are talking about here. I hope all is well and that you continue your writing.

  15. On the other, it’s the nuclear fission of the sun that makes life on earth possible. This doesn’t mean we need to do nuclear fission in South Carolina, but it does point the possibility that proximity to such power defines life and death.

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