Pluto Tales

By C. Marguerite Hafeman ©

Are you one of those people who have a deep, personal working relationship with the Dark Lord, with the Shadows? It's not something easily admitted to in public. Your average esoteric writings seem to suggest that if we earnestly strive towards the Light, ascending above whatever stain taints us, alchemizing the dross experiences of life into the purity of higher being, the avatar state of nirvana will surely become a matter of daily modern routine. But many of us don't get to just wake up one day and fly above anything. We have done or must do daily duty in the dark halls, we have to walk in the burning fields and still acknowledge the presence of something Divine and omniscient, even though it does not interface with my own sensors like anything bequeathing great inner peace and joy. No, it can feel like a rending tide, a purging, relentless river that wraps me in resilient ropes of necessity, bends one towards reluctant homage in a realm where the perky rays of T.V. life never penetrate.

The dark mystery can invade without personal choice through fate, bad luck or bad health. It can tempt with a beautiful face, the guarantee of more money or the promise of adventure; just as easily rape from within the steady job or distort a personal corner of perceived superiority. Sometimes the darkness descends like a mighty fist, deadening all that it touches, pulverizing every dream, ideal and tender sentiment in its path even though the victim prays each night, eats cheerios and avoids questionable company. It can hide in pure banality, rendering conservative and prudent stewardship of life valueless beneath the assumption of bureaucratic, racial, religious or inherited privilege. It may live openly in the allyways of the lowly, but the highest artistry is performed within the edifice of ethics associated with social structure, ruining the unwary should they stray too close with eyes wide open.

Candidates for a visit from the dark lord may be minding their own business well; they stand around looking elsewhere while the scenery slowly darkens around them. Nobody's looking for trouble, no, just sliding by with whatever it takes for matters to stay just the way they are. The first impulse may be to adroitly modify a current earthly advantage in order to appease the darkness. After all, to not comply can constitute social suicide for practical folk, unless one can make a good living as a guru or pool shark. But some of them blink too.

There are also the people you can meet in the dark halls who seem impervious to grief and misery, their own or others; who revel in tyranny as a matter of course, in taking some weak fellow down-indeed, whole populations of people down, and chaining them to a hitching post in oblivion. When pressed, they might say there was really nothing else to do in the matter; after all, the victims showed up asking for it, didn't they? Or, if one hadn't taken the opportunity to make hay while the sun shone, some other chap surely would. However we must give honorable mention those who serve in places such as hospitals, hospices, prisons, rehab centers, mental institutions, animal shelters and the mercenary military trade; their job is to work hand in hand with violence and the angel of death.

Are there folks who never get a ticket to ride, who never seem to descend very far? They can even traffic in dark currency but remain completely unaware and unconcerned? Absolutely. There are many "surface dwellers" on the material plane, and the trick to being one seems to go something like this: The psyche is easily fragmented, split up into handy compartments. Perhaps this splitting ability originated as a survival necessity; prolonged contact with intense trauma, getting snarled at the wrong time in ethical debates or putting ideas into action that are athymia to peer acceptance. These are all examples of challenges related to value judgement that can get in the way of functional practicality. Is it not more convenient to divvy things up in the brain, let one hand not know what the other is doing; access the appropriate compartment as needed to fit the situation?

Splitting out the mind is handy for repressing certain portions of both the lower and upper reaches of human construct. I have witnessed that the natural instinct and connection to nature in a human being is as easily subverted as dialogues with higher mind or the desires of soul and spirit are claimed to occur through transcending where one is at. If you can also efficiently avoid certain personal interactions that might break down barriers, expose vulnerabilities or present uncomfortable emotional information; if you can stay completely focused in activities associated with consuming resource, and associate with others following the same plan, you can avoid meaningful penetration by life. Perhaps for several lifetimes in a row if you believe in reincarnation. But it would seem, in my experience as an astrologer, that a time of reckoning does come. One day, the Plutonic train does come into the station and you must take it, willingly or not.

How might one qualify as an habitue of shadows, he who is forced by circumstance to embrace the messier issues of life in the immediate sense? Good clues can be found in a natal horoscope chart, for example the planet Pluto in close aspect to a couple of the personal planets (Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, and Mercury) and social planets (Jupiter, Saturn). Pluto residing in its natural home, the eighth House of sex, death and other people's money, or sitting close to one of the four main angles of the chart are also good indicators for an event-filled life ahead. A surface dweller can certainly be confronted with Pluto's singeing effect when a natal planet moves into orb of hard aspect with Pluto through progression, or when transiting Pluto visits in long-term hard aspect to natal planets. Pluto in hard aspect or conjunct Saturn, Uranus or Neptune guarantees the person will act out collective issues in some manner; the behavior can be quite compulsive and unconscious,the resultant misery projected onto others. Or the energy can be consciously directed into a ride to the top of human achievement or redemption.

Natural Plutonians can be initiated out of the ashes of childhood abuse, death in the family or some other personal tragedy that broke off a part of the soul early, prematurely killed or warped the innocence. Others are simply to the manor borne; somebody has to staff all those hospices and strip joints, run the casinos, manage shelters for battered women, prepare the dead for burial. For many of us, where Pluto is in the natal horoscope chart is where the individual wants something really, really badly to the point of behaving badly to get it; but this thing is located exactly were others will control you the most, and make what you really, really want unavailable without a lot of strings attached. Some do end up surrendering to a source of genius located far past common consciousness, performing at a level larger than life, the products of their endeavors transforming on a mass scale.

Many people constitutionally are not designed to be transformed. Even when faced with the proposition of change or die they continue business as usual, wrapping cotton swabs of denial ever tighter. They may sacrifice whole chunks of body, mind and spirit; holding on to old illusions becomes a consuming passion, literally a Plutonian adventure in illness. There is always a portion of one's own psyche involved in setting up the transaction, but we are frequently oblivious to what this part of ourselves is doing to acerbate the situation due to the habit of mental compartmentalization mentioned above. And some people do get to express the destructive, exploitive, power-hungry side of Pluto power without apparent karmic sanction in this lifetime; these I sometimes envy for the illusions they are allowed to keep. Maybe they have made a bargain with the devil.

Awakened Plutonic vibration has quite a powerful effect on the scope and direction of life. Many books and articles are available that describe the higher meanings of Pluto's challenge, and detail the many prudent ways an afflicted person can grow past the obstacles. The regular guy copes with the average human condition, namely meaning well but still struggling daily with the dark dream. Follow below to visit some of my own observations about Plutonian expression, as expressed through the symbolism of Pluto's position in the natal horoscope chart.

First House Pluto or Pluto in Aries: The first house signifies the instinctual self, the public image by which one strives to be seen by others. The individual with natal Pluto here might think they know who they are, but they actually don't get a free pass to be that version any more. Circumstances and people come into their life which are directing them to try out new paths of character expression. I imagine that back several thousand years ago when the vernal equinox precessed through the sign of Aries and Pluto also transited the sign, this was an especially exciting time to embrace the patriarchal warrior archetype as a developmental model for civilization. If you were a man, it was a good time to develop new character by going forth and conquering the neighbors, trampling the dignity, rights and value of women and nature in general, asserting the divinely sanctioned rights of a ruling elite.

The modern first house version often comes across initially as quiet and reserved, however can be quite charismatic; many possesses the ability to charm people professionally, as in being a high-powered salesman. All hell can break loose when this normally mild person is provoked however, or if they feel the need to take a serious stand on an issue. The first house Pluto individual has a boundless, hidden reservoir of strength, tenacity and survival smarts. Positively, this sort of Plutonian may be freer than many to realize great achievement, because they seem to be unfettered by the detritus of accumulated programming at cellular, reactive or mental levels of being. Their slate is wiped clean so as to speak, and they are embarking on a new adventure, so the internal pilot is not cluttered with existential angst. In the driven, pioneering sense of the Aries energy that naturally rules the first house, they just want to get the job done.

If getting close to a first house individual, as in being a family member or friend, one must become accustomed to the irregular schedule of their behavior and availability. Generally, they will be socially gregarious and eminently charming for awhile, followed by a period of sudden coldness; withdrawal can occur in the literal physical sense, or as part of an alternating cycle of introversion and extroversion. The person may simply hide out in the garage or actually disappear into secret activities of their own device. Because their instinctual self-identity is in the process of component selection, they will first bound out vigorously to initiate projects, engage socially in order to collect data, then periodically retreat in order to analyze, order and incorporate what they have learned. For example, the first house super-salesman I know is on the road constantly for his job, therefore he has a built-in good excuse for not interfacing with family affairs on a daily basis. He does, however like to meticulously schedule anyone and everyone including his wife, for regular visits in order to catch up on news and socialize.

The extent of the first house Plutonian's emotional development seems to govern their ethical behavior. The more challenged individual might go for months being a dutiful workaholic and dedicated parent; then one day the pressure of suppressing the rest of one's self becomes too much. Suddenly a nose-to-the grindstone moral pillar of the community might need to go out of town on a gambling sprees or dabble in a love affair on the side. An insecure first House Plutonian might also expect others around him to reflect a certain version of reality that he or she has deemed suitable; when the other players deviate from the rules, this type reacts with punishment and withholding behaviors and can excel as the professional victim.

An unenlightened Arien Plutonian might believe that want they most is to be their unvarnished self all of the time; necessity "forces"' them into being something other than their own vision. Actually, they can be in determined avoidance of self-confrontation. They may not literally possess an authentic inner core of values and characteristics, so will wholeheartedly embrace which ever set guarantees social success; or early conditioning has made them believe that cultivation of an authentic sense of self is an impractical proposition anyway. A positive example of a first house Plutonian in action is horror genre author Stephen King. He expertly navigates between collective dimensions of heaven and hell, describing the experience soulfully and showing us why we must always push forward towards our own redemption. Other famous 1st house personalities include Charles, Prince of Wales, Henry Kissinger and former president George Bush.

Second House Pluto or Pluto in Taurus: The second house in a natal horoscope chart concerns the concept of value. If speaking from the upper balcony, we are referring to the value a person places on themselves, as expressed through an evolved sense of integrity by which all affairs in life are conducted. Self-value can also be expressed through the literal assets one accumulates, and to whatever personal status and security is attached. From the lower balcony we are simply talking about how a person makes and manages money, and how it is spent.

Natal Pluto placed in this house indicates the native is very interested in the process of survival and/or acquiring money. They can be very poor at generating income, struggling from month to month just to make ends meet. Some may be too lazy to create wealth for themselves; therefore they marry it or find some other way to be a sponge. Some may make their stash in secretive ways, that are not necessarily legal but don't require showing up nine-to-five. Still others are just plain flat good at making lots of money, and will tolerate no interference in the pursuit therein. Whatever the basic attitude towards money, this Pluto placement is asking one to completely transform their survival values and resource management relative to both self and involvement with others in joint proceedings.

Second House Plutonians of my acquaintance have been fairly narrow and ruthless in focus, the type that straightforwardly associate power, security and status with the steady accumulation and maintenance of money. They do not seem to place any real value on anything that does not boil down to money; for example friendship, intimate love, honor or compassion are nice pastimes in which to dabble, but these can immediately be marginalized as required by perceived necessity. The admirable side of this type of Plutonian can be an ability to size up any business situation for its true potential, adapting as necessary to changing circumstances in the market place; the clever ones know when to move on in timely fashion in quest of new sources of sustenance.

None in my acquaintance have freely given up a single item they have acquired, be it people, ideologies, objects, real estate or charity money unless they are guaranteed a return on their investment. They would think it daft to share their resources or themselves unconditionally with others, unless forced to do so by crisis; there is no natural advantage to doing so otherwise. Sadly, they may also assume there is nothing of value within themselves, except for their money management ability or asset ownership that could possibly endear them to other people.

As an unenlightened second House Plutonian, the thing one might want the most is a monolithic reservoir of funds that guarantees a high wall of security and leverages the purchase of power over others. If the time for karmic adjustment has arrived, one may be faced with divorce papers because the lucrative mate has moved on to more interesting pastures. Perhaps the career castle suddenly crumbles, and an entirely different means of making a living must be found via humbly accepting the help and resources of other people.

Some do cultivate a good chunk of lucre all by themselves, and they settle for being left essentially alone; this state of affairs is supposed to bother the average human being eventually, but doesn't always. One well-to-do gentleman I knew acquired a mate that met the sexual and social requirements but he stipulated that his wife not become overly personal or involved in his affairs, or the arrangement would be finished. He did have to divorce her when she grew restless after six years and requested more intimate companionship. He was able to find a suitable replacement within the year. Famous second house examples include movie star and governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, singer M.C. Hammer and of course, the magnificently wealthy Bill Gates.

Third House Pluto or Pluto in Gemini: The third house deals with early education, communication, siblings and basic lifestyle. Here the foundation is laid for developing practical skills, acquiring knowledge and speaking. Pluto in this house can indicate the means of acquiring the fundamentals of education were compromised, perhaps because the native had a learning or health handicap, or was moved around a lot when young, or was perhaps terrorized by siblings. The quality of the education may have been exceedingly poor, due to circumstances completely outside the native's control. Whatever the origin of the sentiment, some natives with Pluto in the third house have an inferiority complex about the quality and level of their learning. To address this alleged lack of wisdom, the native may become a perennial student, ever gathering new information or belief structures and categorizing them, however not necessarily incorporating any concept on the gut level. Others are interested in acquiring taboo knowledge and/or openly living an alternate lifestyle. Still others received an excellent education, and are simply interested in welding the Word as a sword to control the masses, as does a skilled politician or guru.

The mundane third house Plutonian likes to keep on the move, restlessly acquiring new experiences or new batches of knowledge but becoming master of none. They want to solidify an inner set core of beliefs, but the core will always keep changing because their center of perception is always shifting. They can become quite fascinated with the social power of various ideologies, be they political or religious. Learning how to quiet the mind, perhaps simplify the palate of activities can do much to improve general nerve-related health. In the realm of the taboo the desire to plumb Platonic depths in different, radical or shocking ways can be dialed positively into various service professions such as club DJ, tattoo artist, cellulite reduction cosmologist, massage therapist or professional escort.

Every third House Plutonian client I have encountered had had one trait in common, namely some sort of unique or taboo element in their lifestyle, most usually expressed via the choice of committed partner. The Plutonian tends to dress and act conventionally; the partner is of a different race, of dubious repute, or dedicated to a vice such as drugs, alcohol, swinging sex or gambling. For example, a Caucasian, bicoastal truck driver I know from the Midwest is married to an African-American lady; she rules the roost and makes all logistical decisions in the partnership. He is very pleased to have her at home, however also has found time for occasional paramours on the side. This person is also a practicing member of the local right-wing militia, and dabbles in the occult.

Another example entails the middle of three daughters from a very wealthy family. The girl is college educated, but was handicapped in her early life with lower back problems that kept her from attending school regularly. Her family is devoutly Catholic, however she has made a point of disavowing organized religious practices. As an adult she works as a Catholic school teacher and functions as the family scapegoat, excluded from inheritance because she married a man who appears to hold no regular job, but does supply regular income none the less. This same gentleman was first introduced to the parents at a dinner; he smoothly remarked that whoever married any of the daughters must surely be lucky to be around so much money. They have never been invited back for dinner as a couple since.

In a third House Plutonian embrace of karmic challenge, the foundation of the belief structure is constantly undergoing a process of revision; the people and institutions they place their faith in conclusively have or will at some point in the future let them down. Or they may ride to the top of group power through being a spokesperson for a cause, only to find themselves eventually disgraced or distanced from public reward. As with the second house Plutonian, the source of income may be literally taboo or kept very secretive in nature, even though inwardly one aspires to pristine heights of aesthetic achievement. A very famous third house Plutonian who welds words powerfully while maintaining an unconventional marriage is Hillary Clinton. Other examples include media favorites Angelina Jolie and former First Lady Laura Bush.

Fourth Pluto or Pluto in Cancer: The fourth house is the realm of early childhood and life at home. Behaviors rooted in the subconscious are found here; the house also signifies the end of all matters, therefore the end of life. My astrological clients with Pluto in this position natally all have cherished a value system based on close family association, of being included as part of a clan, tribe or group of souls that lived in support of all its members. Yet always home life as a child was various parts of hell in the hands of a controlling and/or devious parent or powerful alternate. As an adult this type of Plutonian may put off actually developing a permanent home base for several years; they may become control freaks in the home until learning to behave otherwise.

The older generation born with Pluto in Cancer, natural ruler of the fourth house, participated in a most disturbing developmental period of human history from mid-1913 when Pluto first went into Cancer, continuing on into the present day. Many of these people still hold positions of power in government or are at the top of the corporate food chain. Cancer is the sign of the mother, of mother Earth, nature; to me it is symbolic of an epoch when man lived in harmony with nature instead of being locked in a struggle to the death for total domination of it. In my opinion, many members of the group born when Pluto was in Cancer were quite maimed early on by the determination to be civilized and dominant over the earth, while at the same time culminating the ultimate flower of misogynist, patriarchal conditioning. They seem view themselves as quite entitled but are always hungry; they never, ever have enough. One couple I knew was already worth a couple million dollars; they owned a beautiful ranch in a river valley. Sadly, because none of their children wanted to be ranchers, they subdivided the land and sold it to developers. It would have been untenable to even think of selling it for slightly less as parkland to a conservation group.

In western countries the desire to disconnect from the natural has been quite determined, spawning the neuroses, psychoses and disastrous environmental policies that characterise modern life today. The children produced by the Pluto in Cancer generation were blessed with behavioral dictates from their Pluto in Gemini parents which often turned out to be quite false and self-destructive for the individual, however home life is often idealized and declared "swell", even if the Depression interfered. All the modern fourth house Plutonians in my realm of experience had lousy early childhood experiences at home; these would be of the Pluto in Leo generation. Some were outright abused, sexually, mentally or physically. Others were benignly neglected because both parents were too busy working, too absorbed in themselves or too warped from their own emotional-sexual distortions to spend quality time with a child. Or life began pleasantly enough but then the family moved into town and shortly thereafter the parents got a divorce; the warmth of cooperative life was gone overnight and the child blamed themselves for the split.

Commonly, a home situation is described wherein the child was not recognized for being an individual with unique emotional needs at all, but was treated as a simple extension of the parents. The child was judged and found lacking to the degree that they did not conform to expectations. Somehow no honest knowledge of how enlightened human beings should really treat each other out in the world is provided to the fourth House Plutonian; one parent might have been a martyred saint dictating morals and manners daily, while her mate committed adultery and beat the child at every perceived sign of flagging respect. How does anyone make sense out of that?

So fourth house Plutonians were often strangely unsocialized when they were young, even though they received plenty of practical education up front about the capriciousness and hypocrisy of the average human being. As they grew up they may struggle mightily, learning to rely only on themselves and their own instincts through the experience of being exploited by others. However once the lessons were learned many have become upper level executives or weld great influence in the community; they prefer to function as the power behind the throne; personal lives generally stay below the pubic radar.

Those born with Pluto in Cancer enshrined the institutions of home, marriage and family as sacred. Behind the wholesome image innocence could be raped, pain and rejection inflicted on offspring asking for unconditional faith and love. The fourth house Plutonian progeny of these parents may avoid sharing a permanent home with anyone for years, or indulge in serial arrangements with various unsuitable people, or select a mate that is in some way damaged, therefore in need of protection. Once the Plutonian is serious about commitment, they either want a controlling interest in domestic affairs or they acquire a controlling mate. If the selected mate does not maintain the home environment up to certain standards, the partner might withdraw emotionally, separate expenses, demand total financial control, bestow love on extremely conditional terms or even seek affectionate solace elsewhere as a form of punishment. Some are expert at keeping score in the give and take of relationship, measuring the degree of their cooperation and sexual availability by how meticulously the bills are paid and if expenses are evenly distributed.

Somewhat like the first house type, the fourth House Plutonian waxes and wanes in personal availability. In connection with the degree of emotional buildup, they must sometimes withdraw in order to process; if feeling wronged or guilty they might forego sex for periods of time while masterfully complaining about everything except the real issue. This Plutonian can accumulate undigested feelings and emotions to a pathological degree, reflective of the natural fourth house rulership of Cancer and its planetary ruler the Moon. Physical symptoms can include chronic stomach upset, hernias, gall bladders, kidney stones or constipation. They may therefore be an affectuado of exotic purge treatments designed to flush toxins (or guilt) from the digestive tract.

When the fourth house Plutonian accumulates a grudge of sufficient mass, they can silently radiate an invisible death-ray that bystanders should not take personally; it is best to occupy oneself elsewhere until the Plutonian's feelings can be safely accessed, evaluated for meaning and content, and then expelled. A fourth house Plutonian operating on low frequency will never be completely honest about what is on their mind, can expertly bully and berate with moral judgment or inflict physical abuse, as a substitute for claiming ownership for their feelings. Famous fourth house Plutonians include English Prime Minister Tony Blair, evangelical minister Billy Graham, super civil servant Richard Clarke and the beloved Michael Jackson.

Fifth House Pluto or Pluto in Leo: The fifth house highlights issues pertaining to love, children, creativity and speculation. This house is naturally ruled by the Sun, so those with natal Pluto here are born feeling special, fated for a high-profile life in some niche of public adulation. Especially in younger years, they need to be noticed, they sweep any room they enter with a radiant dose of charisma and individualistic character presentation, usually because they don't necessarily know who they really are.

Those of the fifth I have encountered were not recognized in childhood as anything much by their parents, except as an appendage or annoying expense. Some were actively tyrannized by one or both parents into becoming something other than what they really were, or were forced to agree with a version of reality that did not match what the child was experiencing. It might have been such a crime to be one's own self in the home, that the parental dictate was transformed into a survival concept; if you dare become yourself, you will die. The showy, flamboyant, willful persona developed out of such circumstances can be a reactive image created in rebellion against the extreme degree of control or neglect imposed by the parents, but it is not necessarily the real self.

The fifth house Plutonian does seem to get very hung up on being noticed. They can succeed in their uniqueness of expression to the point of not being able to work in a group situation, not because they aren't cooperative, but because other members of the team feel too threatened by the strong exhibit of persona and therefore pull out the torches and pitchforks. Others are incredibly creative, but must struggle until they learn how to formulate and package the product in terms the general public can accept. A compromised fifth house Plutonian may also try very hard to sell his creative products to all the wrong people, perhaps echoing an old wound that came from trying to please parents who remained critical or indifferent in the face of anything the individual produced.

Once the Plutonian learns the ropes of popular marketing or gets the lucky break they can in turn become users. They can make a target feel like the most special person on the planet, for just exactly as long as the person serves a purpose. In fact, many members of the Pluto in Leo generation serve as role models for selfishness and ruthless climbs of worldly ambition, where the means justify the ends. Conversely, Some fifth house Plutonians turn themselves into living works of art, sex objects or brilliantly creative creatures who work harder than every one else and totally undervalue themselves. Add a lack of discrimination, teamed with a perverse desire to please; they get used and exploited by all the wrong people, then discarded when protesting the arrangement.

Pluto in the fifth can be associated with sudden unplanned pregnancies, with people who suddenly have to get married because they or their amour became in the family way; or the person themselves was unwanted or illegitimate. For example, Pluto in the fifth in hard aspect to the ruler of the first house and Scorpio (ruled by Pluto) on the cusp of the seventh house of partners can signify that some sort of illegitimacy or scandal was involved in the conception or birth. The child may then carry a sense of shame and guilt for life that actually belongs to the parent. Given a sense of being unsuitable creations at birth and therefore doomed anyway, fifth house Plutonians can be masters at pleasure-seeking. Or they can tempt others into surrendering to taboo impulse such as overspending, overindulgence in food, drink or drugs, involvement with swinging or kinky sex.

The enlightened fifth House Plutonian would not be obsessed with wowing the masses or indulging themselves into bankruptcy; they would work to satisfy a hard-won inner sense of identity established through experience. They take care of their bodies, and no longer find the siren call of compulsive indulgence attractive, simply because they come to value their health, and want take positive ownership of talents, intelligence and self-acceptance they may have been formerly projecting onto other people. Some discover that their greatest contribution and source of healthy self-esteem is found through supporting the creativity of others. They also understand that we are indeed judged by the quality of the company we keep. Famous fifth house Plutonians include jazz singer Billy Holiday, FBI director John Edgar Hoover (!), and Dictator Joseph Stalin.

Sixth House Pluto or Pluto in Virgo: The sixth house is the domain of health, service, co-workers, discipleship and unresolved issues. Astrologically this house has acquired a reputation as difficult country to navigate, because it represents the place where data coming in from the external environment is supposed to be integrated with the internal psyche, and most of us resist this process to a greater or lesser degree. Therefore the sixth is also known as the house of ill-health, due to physical or mental problems that can arise from bucking the process of interfacing with life. The idea of discipleship is associated with turning to various role models in order to learn from good advice and example.

Service is involved in the sense that we all must serve somebody or something in order to make a living and procure the extra luxuries that make life worth living. Most sixth House Plutonians I have met live fairly humble lives holding basic service, craftsman or civil servant positions within the community. With a few exceptions, they have also loudly resented being reduced to such straits, believing themselves to be worthy of a much higher job status and salary. I do know one peaceful sixth house Plutonian who is a highly-paid career employee of the state. He has maneuvered cannily and quietly amongst the politics of bureaucracy for years and is looking forward to retirement with a comfortable pension. But let us speak instead of those who pace restlessly at the gate of achievement, rudely proclaiming their talent and wisdom, while never managing to steadily punch the time card.

The sixth is the first transformational house in the zodiacal cycle, where we are supposed to eliminate excessive crystallization of the ego and learn how to function equitably within the company of others for survival. The natural ruler of the house is Virgo; therefore the lesson of this house might involve learning how to maintain self-sufficiency through commitment to a purpose, followed by efficient planning, organization and then methodical completion of the tasks at hand. The unawakened sixth house Plutonian does not feel they should be burdened by such requirements. For example there was the master cabinet maker, very adept with his hands, however he also could not bear to work for any company for more than six months at a time. When tired of the every-day work world he made a living by throwing newspapers and scouring allies or yard sales for goods to sell at the flea market. He had a remarkable knowledge of antique tools and collected many from the good old boys, selling acquisitions at a profit whenever short on funds. In classic sixth house fashion he also had challenging mental health issues, in having to cope with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; however was brilliant with numbers and did thriving business with a bookie.

Another sixth houser of my acquaintance was quite physically compelling when he was younger. He served in Viet Nam and lost the use of one lung. He was essentially bisexual, however fathered four children and helped found a New Age church. The closest he came to formal work was serving as a postman for some years. Per the natural rulership of Virgo and Mercury for this house, he is a scintillating conversationalist and remains interested in a wide variety of current events and scientific advancements. However he is also be a control freak who has no sense of appropriate boundaries; he can seductively talk a person into a highly questionable route of action, later abandoning all responsibility if his advice was taken and the victim gets burned. In the past he delighted in first hypnotizing lovers with sexual charm, then breaking them down with cruel verbal dissection and infidelity, to the point of nervous collapse.

My last example concerns a beautiful young woman who, aside from a few low-paying jobs and a brief stint in the military, has not worked much. She sought out and married a high school sweetheart who makes a very good living in computer electronics. Two years ago she issued an ultimatum to relatives, stating that if they did not change their (in her own opinion) ungracious behavior she was finished with them. She then moved to another state and kept her word on the matter. The couple recently bought a lovely house in an upscale neighborhood. Her child is home-schooled. She does not care for much direct contact with the outside world, therefore edits every contact her child might have with others carefully for undesirable influences. She is very smart and likely quite capable, but is unable to find work suitable to her standards; a hyper-judgmental bent towards people in general has so far kept her sidelined. She seems very determined to find a way of making money outside of human contact, as people en masse do not agree with her.

What these people and other sixth house Pluto clients have held in common was an exceptionally strong personal presentation and an insistence at having their way. They would not easily tolerate deviation or resistance to their demands from anyone. A partner would run the risk of severe punishment by going their own way or minding their own business. It would be very difficult, if not inconceivable for some of these people to casually consider anyone as an equal. The issue of superiority or inferiority may not even come up for consideration in their mind; they seem interpret the world from a wholly private point of privilege and do things their way, no matter what price others around them might have to pay or how many jobs the Plutonian might lose. There is almost no point to some of them engaging an astrologer or other type of healing consultant, as it appears impossible to get them to objectively witness themselves to any extensive degree unless brought very low by major illness or loss of income. Famous (and service-minded) sixth house folks include Queen Elizabeth II, communist leader Nikoli Lenin and feminist Germaine Greer.

Seventh House Pluto or Pluto in Libra: The seventh house is the arena for partners and open enemies and includes marriage, law suits and business contracts. This house can also represent how others see one and the unacceptable parts of oneself that are projected onto other people, including marriage partner, authority figure and of course, enemies. When I see a chart with Pluto in the seventh I think of that person in the context of "to love you is to control you" or, "to love me is to control me," depending on which side of the equation is preferred.

The young Pluto in Libra ones often exhibit a fascination with beauty and physical appearance, while sometimes forgoing discrimination in character judgement. Either way, these people can be constantly bewildered and full of drama over how the other did them wrong, while they of course are nothing but loving and compassionate. Whatever the context, equality in relationships is simply not done, not with a business partner, not with a mate, nor friends, nor any other casual relationship that comes to mind. Relational equality and balanced self-sufficiency is what the transformational seventh house Plutonian is supposed to be working towards, but I have yet to meet any one individual with this placement natally that has truly mastered the challenge, nor do they care to. It is, after all a struggle for survival; resource management including sexual availability is at stake here.

Those I have known prefer to govern the children, partners or employees under their dominion; love and approval is always very conditional. Like the second house Plutonian they are masters at drawing tremendous amounts of affection, attention, productivity and devotion out of people, while never giving nearly as much back. Perhaps this is the dark face of Venus, as she is natural ruler of both houses. The seventh house Plutonian does not hesitate to use guilt, criticism and judgment to control others. The opposite modus operandi can involve displays of pity, shame and silent suffering. Do not dare to give them the same treatment in return, or they will become quite piqued. Sometimes, in a fit of bad sportsmanship they stop engaging in relationships altogether, opting out for the simple open spaces of isolation over the hassles of companionship.

This relational Plutonian style can take on interesting expression in real life. For example, consider a beautiful woman, charming and amenable in every way and financially independent to boot, somehow manages to get deeply involved only with men who want to see her occasionally and then only for sex. Otherwise, they would rather not be bothered with her company. Then there was the big-time lawyer who picked serial wives from the ranks of the socially disadvantaged, women who were also attractive and could serve a useful purpose in running his office; that is, until they tired of being drained by a psychic vampire. The smartest one used her office position to quietly empty various bank accounts before having her husband served with divorce papers. The lawyer could only complain at length about how he had given his heart completely, but just look at how he was treated.

Another case involves a woman who led an adventurous early life and obtained an excellent college education with an advanced degree; she married a man with the same professional background. From then on she stayed at home, raised two children and did admirable community work on the side. She seemed to live vicariously through her husband's successes, complaining bitterly about there being never enough money, and how she had never been treated well in professional circles. She often radiated with silent rage and ground her teeth compulsively, but I never could place the source of the anger. Whatever had happened to her earlier in life, destiny was now unchangeable and matters had to stay just where they rested.

In all these people there was the flavor of a primal fear of what might happen if surrendering unconditionally to another, of requiring comparison and contrast in order to feel secure internally, of toying with dominance and submission in order to determine self-value. In my realm of experience, the one factor that runs true for all of them is an inability to allow true equality or parity in relationship. Therefore, although compulsively drawn to seek out others this Plutonian will inevitably select those who by their character differences, emotional hangups or social background will permit the illusion of separation to persist. Woe to the partner who tries to breech the barrier of separation, for they will be castigated rudely or it is the Plutonian who must suffer, and suffer, and suffer...Famous 7th house Plutonians include Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, concentration camp economist Hermann Goering and singer Whitney Houston.

Eighth House Pluto or Pluto in Scorpio: Scorpio is the natural sign of this house; Pluto is the modern ruler of Scorpio. The eighth is associated with sex, death, taxes, power and other people's money; it traffics in genetic inheritance, legacies in general and the occult dimensions. The eighth has been pooh-poohed by some astrological writers claiming not to understand why the place is equated with such heavy subjects.

I take that as a signal that they have never had to do any personal heavy time in the domain, represented astrologically by either by luck of the natal draw or because heavy planetary transits or progressions have yet to visit that dark place during their lifetime. On the other hand, people I have known with one or more planets in the eighth house or Pluto in Scorpio are consummate poker players in life; you will never, never know who they really are, what they really believe in, what they are really doing or what tortures they are enduring-or inflicting on others.

Once one encounters eighth house issues on a personal basis, one will never bask in pure, undiluted sunshine ever again. This house is all about power and powerlessness: it can take the form of identifying with a source of power as an initiation of belonging, joining with it so you can have some too or in order to wield power over others; or powerlessness as in having to humbly sublimate the ego and serve in somebody's shadow or corporate stable. We are speaking of the kind of power that mutates lives completely, for better or for worse. If you have not resolved the issue of equity versus hierarchy in relations through the sixth or seventh houses, in the eighth the bar gets raised very high. The individual will be transformed to the core in a big way, even violently, at some time in their life. Some gluttons do sign up for repeated experiences on the razor's edge, apparently getting high on the thrill of courting annihilation.

Perhaps one has a close encounter with a Scorpionic adversary; the Scorpion is not necessarily brought low in the course of a lifetime, even though folks like trotting out the story about the Scorpion always stinging themselves in the end, therefor just deserts, etc. No, we might be self-contained, independent, in control of our own life for years; then certain circumstances arise from an association with power, and one must yield completely to somebody or something way outside the domain of personal control, whether it is fair and equitable or not. Or maybe the most powerful obsession, compulsion or personal dragon a person owns comes out from under the bed and calls one down for a fight to the death. What if the eighth house legacy one was promised turns out to be mental illness instead of money? The eighth is also the house of the ancestors; the baggage they can bequeath can visit in the form of physical or mental illness, pathological habits, paranormal abilities or even an oppressive degree of wealth and tradition.

The South Node or Pluto in the natal eighth house, many planets there or Scorpio ruling degrees within the house, indicates that in some prior life the individual had dealings with witchcraft. If the idea of reincarnation does not appeal, use the concept of a blood ancestor, whose DNA is inherited through the family. The definition of witchcraft need not stay within the confines of Wicca, sex magic or the nature-worship of an old pagan religion.

Any set of beliefs with crowd appeal can be baptized with the power to rule others, through the repetition of ritual and the ongoing concentration of intent emanating from a group of people. For example one may inherit the ancestral blood of a fundamentalist cleric, one who galvanized whole communities into believing that sexual guilt, black-and white judgment and hypocritical self-righteousness was the yard stick of ultimate authority. Promulgating that belief constitutes witchcraft too; do not many souls seek control through exerting such notions upon hapless others today?

The bottom line for the eighth house Plutonian is control over other people and their beliefs, over life itself, over time, over poverty, over death, and they will do anything to procure it. In current culture you might manage a nursing home and dictate to your employees about the necessity of maintaining frugal living standards for the inmates. A very enlightened eighth house Plutonian would be intimately acquainted with the unseen forces that move society, and would be able to translate this knowledge into an art form that transmits influences of a higher plane to the audience.

A transit or progression of heavy outer planets to this natal placement must be mentioned, because it always brings a brush with death. If it is a literal death it is usually not one's own but somebody close, a mate or parent, perhaps a close relative. It can also herald the death of what one values most in life, be it a beautiful home, the health, independence or a lucrative career. Whatever it was gave meaning and substance to one's sense of self before, one will be forced to learn how to live and value self without it.

One can be healed through associating with the right kind of power (as in higher than oneself); or by determining what constitutes a legitimate exercise of power (self-empowerment) and what is simply personal hubris. It would seem people with natal planets in this house must proceed on a wholly ethical and personally transformative path, or they will pay dearly through cycles of financial loss or by enduring horrific health crises. Every person I have known with natal planets in the eighth house has at some time been involved in scandal or the abuse of power, had dysfunctional sexual relations or been involved with others exhibiting sexual peculiarities, and/or had health issues concerning the reproductive organs.

The wise eighth house Plutonian learns that real power does not arise from the ego or mind. This can happen naturally when the experience of completely yielding oneself over to a higher power can finally be transacted, because there is nothing else left except for selling the soul, insanity or death. Some do choose to stay with their personal hell in order to keep their earthly power, no matter what the cost. As far as I can tell, to do this one must become a sort of hollowed-out shell; image wise to them, it is the only facade that counts anyway.

Others explore the dark (read: not measurable by earthly quantitative methods) side of cosmic intelligence from a completely different direction. There really are cosmic doors to other dimensions via eighth and twelfth house resonance fields. If one finds the entrance, other worlds and other entities other than human can be contacted. Not all of them are good for us either; contact must include learning to discriminate between the various types of power and vision with which to associate. The most talented in this sort of interface can bring back creative inspiration that manifests as artistic genius or powerful psychic or mediumistic ability. Famous 8th house Plutonians include defense secretary Donald Rumsfield, actor Marlon Brando and rock musician Jimmy Hendrix.

Ninth House Pluto or Pluto in Sagittarius: One of the happier human homes for natal Pluto can be found in the ninth house. This house is the domain of higher human mind, in the sense of humanly derived law, organized religion, philosophy and advanced education. Long distance travel, relations with foreign cultures and in-laws is also represented here. The central emphasis of Pluto here is belief. One may possess any kind of belief, ranging from atheism to orthodox preoccupation; whatever it is one is fervent about it, it rules the activities and values of life. Some fortunate souls become a great success as an icon of belief, as was Pope John Paul II. Ninth house Plutonians always have a rallying point, a raison d'etre, even if it is just believing in their own charisma and ability to influence others. The focal point of faith might even consist of persistently holding to no belief whatsoever and spending life wandering around the country, rootless and adrift. One still believes in the necessity of doing it.

The downside of ninth house business is a tendency to force beliefs on other people, as one can amply witness with the recent transit of Pluto in Sagittarius, a.k.a. the rise of fundamentalist-based power plays around the globe. Realistically, no one cares to live in an existential vacuum. Most of us require some sort of reflection in physical life of the propriety for what we are advocating, to what purpose we are devoting our waking hours. Some ninth housers I have known fervently embrace some area of belief to the point of fanaticism, to the point of becoming a certified preacher for the cause. They may wish to communicate some of this deeply held conviction to the world at large; disillusionment and retreat from public life occurs when they cannot communicate in a way that appeals to their audience. It can also be difficult for them to take their concepts from the visual-intuitive world and nail them down into concrete, verbal concepts that do not mightily offend somebody.

Or they may want to impose their fanatic views on that very segment of population which will never, by their inherent characteristics, embrace that particular area of belief. One gentleman of my acquaintance displays a Christian religious fervor that seems dated from the time of the Crusades; he simply cannot tolerate the Muslim belief system or Arab culture. He believes that Middle Eastern progress is implicitly writ in awakening to western-style democracy, capitalism and conversion to a Catholic form of Christianity. He genuinely believes organized Christianity is a more compassionate religion, evidence from the Inquisition and treatment of the Indians in the Americas aside. He also views women in dresses kept at home full-time, as more healthily feminine.

The unenlightened ninth house Plutonian can play dangerous games with truth and lies; the key karmic necessity here is giving up chronic dishonesty as displayed through ones public image and words of relation. Others require a revelation that there is more than one path to the light or towards resolution of the problems of existence. They need a transcendent experience that teaches them that people are fundamentally not experiencing the same reality they are. Advanced individuals having this Pluto placement such as the late Princess Diana, direct their energy towards humanitarian service such as removing landmines from underfoot. Others might engage in ongoing philosophical or educational expansion, or pursue employment related to foreign affairs.

Quite a number of successful movie stars have either ninth or eleventh house natal Plutos. These people are in the business of influencing the masses, albeit from the cinematic stage instead of a religious one. Actors Brad Pitt, Michael Douglas and Wynona Rider, all natal ninth house Plutonians, have done an excellent job in cinematically portraying people compulsively moved to extreme behaviors while in the grip of association with superior powers. We love it, and go to the box office regularly to get our quota of glamour, to fill the unlived life via a few hours spent in front of the silver screen; perhaps the ninth could also be called the house of social propaganda and living life through the illusions provided by others. Other famous ninth housers include House Whip Tom Delay, fantasy weaver Walt Disney and Weight Watchers spokesperson Sarah Ferguson.

Tenth House Pluto or Pluto in Capricorn: The tenth house represents career, public life and reputation, also the individual's naturally unequal relationship with authority. The influence of the mother or father, depending on who was more prominent in modeling social interaction for the child, is also represented in this house. Heavy hitter Pluto located natally in the tenth would indicate that the native was greatly influenced by the "public parent"; as adults they could be living a life in emulation of that parent's example and values.

They could also be living a life in total opposition to the parent's example, based out of a reaction to being overly controlled and/or projected upon in childhood. The tenth house Pluto person always seems to have a very active, ongoing agenda associated with authoritative power that is welded publicly. This agenda can range from complete inability to work under a boss in a conventional workplace, to the self-made man who runs his own large company with Scorpionic ruthlessness, maintaining hands-on control of all employees. Ex-Enron CEO Kenneth Lay had a natal tenth house Pluto. Hopefully he worked very hard in the end at giving up any attachments to career wealth and high status.

The Plutonians with this placement that I have met had one thing in common, namely remarkable skills with judging the public pulse, often coupled with the ability to produce a product or service that would be widely perceived as needed by the public. All of them were also extremely precocious and eccentric in their private lives. One was a financially successful podiatrist of Greek origin, who made a name of sorts for himself by wooing socially prominent women a little too fervently. When rejected he would take to stalking the candidates and leaving roses on the hood of their car at night. If the woman reconsidered her decision and indicated renewed romantic interest, he would immediately vanish never to be heard from again. His secretary screened all his calls; no one knew his home phone number.

Another tenth house Plutonian example is the only child of an extremely manipulative mother descended from wealth and having an anal obsession with cleanliness; it appeared as if the only reason she had a child was to sculpt her own version of an appropriate woman. Dad was a handsome southern gentleman, an airline pilot and an alcoholic who died young. The Plutonian started out well enough in life, with a good education and excellent social connections. She has, however, ended up living a life of seclusion in dubious company, does not often hold to any regular employment, but has cleverly made various sums of money "between the cracks" as necessity dictates. She has an absolute phobia of being told what to do by anyone; however she has powerful range of verbal skills which are exercised freely towards influencing others or justifying herself.

Plutonians with this house position give the impression of having already lived lives of achievement and great status in the public eye. A part of themselves continues to be fascinated by public notoriety and career success, therefore the image put forth before the public is immaculate and well defended. The hidden, more authentic self deliberately seeks an alternative lifestyle and entertains a contempt for all things mainstream, which if brought forward for examination due to accident or scandal would not necessarily endear them to the public. Famous tenth house Plutonians include cabaret artist Josephine Baker, the musical genius Prince and propaganda minister Paul Joseph Goebbels.

Eleventh House Pluto or Pluto in Aquarius: As with the ninth house, the eleventh house placement of Pluto potentially represents a most socially appealing and productive use of the dark lord's transformative and regenerative powers. The eleventh represents the community at large, groups, friends, fantasies and wishes. It is the house of networking and, if this is a skill one has mastered, can lead to fame and good fortune. One fundamental fact this Plutonian clearly understands is the power of group interests over that of the individual. An openly egocentric focus to the personality would not thrive easily within Plutonic eleventh house energy; confrontations with peers or people out in the community early in life force the individual to learn how to couch their more aggressive agendas within the needs of others. Some very evolved eleventh housers seem destined to change the face of whole societies by virtue of an art form, invention or scientific discovery.

The mature eleventh house Plutonian has learned how to interact successfully with the right kind of group in order to realize his creative dream; if there is a problem it lies more in being too adept at manipulation via group power, swaying social opinion and therefore dictating social policy. Grunge musician Courtney Love and politician Dick Cheney both have this placement, as did physicist Albert Einstein; by the nature of their career endeavors, these three disparate personalities have had great influence over the behavior and beliefs of the masses.

Some of those who are not as successful at mastering the issues this house represents may undergo periods of cocooning or hermit-life, as they are unable to risk close association with anyone. This type of Plutonian can be very talented at creating a dream world and then stubbornly living full time within it. The task of bringing creations down to earth and being able to materialize them in marketable form can represent the Everest of challenges, if one happens to be more adept at living in the mind. I have had shouting matches with eleventh house types who were in dire need of waking up to bill-paying reality. Another ploy consists of justifying nefarious means by selling the crowd on noble ends, usually involving alleged social improvement. Painful, public confrontations may be required to stop an eleventh houser caught up in the dream that they are eternally adorable to many, therefore immune to judgement by mundane social values or the law.

There are also those Plutonians who purposefully associate with others who are weaker and less adept at coping socially, in order that they can be directed according to the Plutonian's version of the world; this type enjoys being the instructor, inspirational speaker or public representative for a group. Their challenge would be to make sure the group interest is truly ethical in the wider public sense, and to learn by exposure to opponents whose philosophical arguments or visions of social engineering are equal or superior to their own current level of perception.

The enlightened eleventh house Plutonian can often have his creative cake and eat it too. One individual I know spent years collecting sets of miniature fantasy soldiers. He exhaustively memorized many sets of gaming rules and researched famous battle strategies from the past. The main focus in his young life was playing fantasy and strategy games, pitting his wits against others in make-believe worlds created through group play. As an adult he was able to open his own shop, selling sets of gaming miniatures and providing a place for people in the community to come and play in matches and tournaments. He works daily with motley groups of individuals from all ages and walks of life, teaching them how to assemble their own gaming sets and organize creative role-playing games.

Twelfth House Pluto or Pluto in Pisces: The twelfth house is traditionally associated with karma, self-undoing, isolation and institutionalization, prisons and hospitals. The most serious personal weaknesses reside here, the habits, compulsions and essential defects one would rather not admit to owning. However my personal experience with twelfth house Pluto types has also echoed the findings of statistical astrologer Francois Gauquelin; he found that many very powerful and highly achieving people have one or more planets in the twelfth house. In terms of Plutonian influences being there, perhaps the cliche of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger must be true.

The twelfth house is also where we all interface with both the collective and the Divine; therefore those with this placement who also harbor no desire to give God any credit, might decide to take the role on themselves. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, decadent Roman Emperor Nero and mass murderer Ted Bundy are dandy examples of a negative Pluto in the natal twelfth house here served up as a god complex. The entertainer Madonna, late grunge musician Kurt Cobain and movie star Kevin Costner also have natal Pluto in the twelfth; a good deal of their fame rests on a phenomenal ability to tap into and express something far greater then the sum of their personal talent; they have channeled, condensed and then addressed archetypal social issues through cathartic performance venues viewed by millions.

I am the sort of astrologer that attracts twelfth house Plutonians, and have found many of them to be quite dangerous. They love to hide the extent of their own knowledge, skill and authority while prying information out of the unwary. They always seek to maintain advantage; some have quite a compulsive need to lord it over weaker or less socially talented individuals. The more noble esoteric explanations I have run across explain that the twelfth house Plutonian's personas are in the process of dissolving, that they are greatly influenced by universal currents of inspiration and collective voices of desire. Maybe this is true for advanced types, but the ones I have met at street level are mainly interested in controlling every aspect of their environment and the people around them. Some harbor a hidden violent streak; it comes out when their regime is actively challenged in any way, and they seem to enjoy inflicting punishment. If the main task of the twelfth house Plutonian is to let go and let God, I have never witnessed a definitive episode of this in mundane life. Or rather, they will give up dominion if they have to, but the old habits will re-assert, given the slightest opportunity or new direction.

One twelfth house individual who made my acquaintance as a client hid the fact that he had committed second degree murder and was recently released from prison. He was behaving well at the time I met him, because he was on parole and brainwashed into civility from having spent some years incarcerated. A year later and minus one annoyed astrologer, he had violated his parole and dropped out of any semblance of working at a regular job. He instead preferred to prey on naive young women, hooking them on drugs and then recruiting them for his stable of prostitutes. He directed his group of addicted customers and employees much like members of a cult, even answering the phone with "This is God, what do you want?" His behavior finally spun far enough out of control for the local authorities to find good excuse (owning a gun and waving it around) to place him back behind bars.

Another was a successful professional man who was indoctrinated by a Hitler Youth program during childhood in Germany, followed by experiencing hardships and witnessing atrocities in the last years of World War II. As a younger adult he was devotedly religious; later on he grew disillusioned with organized religion and sampled a variety of spiritual disciplines from the East. He was actually quite concerned with status and class, while claiming to be above it all, indeed had transcended the need to take responsibility for his errant emotions because he had none. Amongst family members he was the classic control freak, flying into violent rages at any perception that his authority had been breeched. Emotion would built up like a pressure cooker behind the sophisticated facade; judging and criticizing others in venomous fashion apparently functioned as a release mechanism. As he grew older he made great progress in self-awareness and in neutralizing his strong passions, but he still claimed to be above it all.

So, How About That Pluto? There was a time before Pluto was considered in astrology, namely all of history before 1938, the year of Pluto's discovery. Some Vedic astrology texts dismiss the dark lord and his cohorts Neptune and Uranus as secondary in influence, easily bent to the lower will as expressed symbolically through the Nodes of the Moon. Before Pluto there was Mars and Saturn to temper man's exuberance; why would the addition of this icy outer piece of rock mean anything to the big picture? In the first years of Pluto's discovery, astrologers assigned only collective mob action to his domain; Plutonic forces were thought to have little impact at the individual level. To me, the discovery of Pluto, the incorporation of its archetype into the astrological lexicon and the constantly mutating definition of its function has corresponded with a definite threshold in man's ongoing activity as species.

As we have learned about personal subconscious and tracked the influence of collective dreams upon individual cognition, as more of us sample the luxury of individuating from the tribe, as we have grown closer together in terms of population density and global connection, as we are given quasi-social permission to seek God within ourselves instead of necessarily through a priest, as women have gained access to methods of birth control, as technology and resource depletion reaches the level of global destruction; simultaneously with these developments has the power and influence of Plutonian force become palatably evident on the personal level.

Maybe we are being put back in touch with that other side of Divine Mind, the side that was so soundly rejected and driven underground some few thousands of years ago. Nature is the creative progeny of Divine Mind and in our arrogance we have disvalued it drastically, even unto the care of our own bodies. Most of us have great ambivalence about the earthly plane because one does not come there to experience it without the necessity of experiencing suffering and death. The Greeks originally described the animating life force as pneuma, a breathing out and breathing in; releasing energy into manifestation then drawing it back. Contrary to popular belief, nothing is allowed to expand forever; when the light grows too great, combustion, incineration and death of what is excessive occurs. Plutonian energy would seem to resonate within cyclic paradox; it moves in Chinese finger traps wherein the phenomenon that brings one to the top of their game can also sows the seeds of annihilation.

You can create a thing, but when the time comes it has to be limited in scope or it consumes everything wholesome around it. Every thing also reaches a point in its cycle when it must be taken apart and rejuvenated in the fertile darkness of chaos, in order to feed the ongoing potential for new life. The rain forest in Brazil can be cut down in the name of lumber, cattle and soy beans fortunes for a few, but global climatic catastrophe will be the consequence. You can be your true self all you want, but you won't survive without cooperating with others; conversely, the group can suffocate one's creativity and reject personal ingenuity but it signs a death warrant in societal stagnation for doing so. Personally, we can dream about amounting to a hill of beans but only adversity, suffering and loss actually drives us forward towards meaningful growth; even then, we turn out to be something other than what we thought we were.

The energies of Mars and Saturn are rather more straight forward, even fatalistic in action. One either can or one can't; one will either be able to proceed forward, or one will be stopped. Pluto power is much more complex then that. It lures one in, lets one taste intimately of forbidden fruit or gratifications that stimulate the ego and feed the need for success (or failure). It can appear to favor individual ambitions or the false values generated by a whole society, allowing the justification, nay, glorification of same on a grander scale. One thing Pluto has plenty of, that is time. Then the screw will turn, the inevitable balancing must occur and the devastation can be complete, wide spread and irrevocable, extending far beyond the inner sanctums from which the shadow took root. Seems like the last thing many of us care to do is own the Plutonian force within ourselves; no, this thing issues forth from the elite "up there" or the demons "down there"; can't even attend a funeral, thank you.

More than one person has told me that, if God existed, (he) would never allow us to destroy the world. I am not so sure; he/she/it could certainly look the other way and do it out of love, delivering dark Eros in the name of giving us exactly what we asked for. We were, after all given the divine gift of free will. As a species we seem quite capable of crafting a death wish out of our quest for technological supremacy and an endless consumer heaven; paradoxically, we do much of it out of a desire to conquer death. From the Plutonian point of view, should we fail the test of limiting our hubris, surely an infinite number of worlds besides ours awaits to be graced with the gift of life.

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