In the past few months I have been taking a hard look at the coming square between Uranus and Pluto and in this newsletter have given a special focus to the Uranus aspect of this powerful transit that will last through 2015. In this series, I will be turning towards Pluto and its nature so we can build a solid view of what the coming transit may look like. Whenever we have such profound transits, the truth is that it begins several years before the first aspect actually connects. This phase can be a bit hard to see, although it becomes much clearer once the transit fully begins. At that point, we can look back and see that it really was developing during the previous ’emerging period.’
This subject requires much more than just one article so I will divide it into 5 parts. In the first article of the series, I will look at the Pluto process itself. Many people who have only begun to be interested in astrology know that Pluto is associated with change and transformation. Now I want to look and investigate into what that means. What kinds of transformation are we talking about and how does that process work? Why can it be so difficult at times and how much control do we have over its process? In Part II, III, and IV, I will look at the nature of Pluto transits and go back and examine how Pluto was expressed in the three previous signs from 1972 to 2008 so we can really examine the likely meaning of Pluto’s present transit in Capricorn. Specifically, I am going to discuss my view of the meaning of Pluto’s transit through the signs of Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. Finally, the fifth article of the series will go deeply into the nature of Pluto in Capricorn itself and what its square to Uranus is likely to bring about in our personal lives as well as how it may affect our nation.
Let’s begin by looking at the overall effects of any Pluto transits. (You can do a search at this website for more articles on the effects of Pluto in astrology). My personal experience of Pluto is that it is the force that drives a person or people in general to arrive at the ‘essence’ of something. Thus, one of the main keywords for Pluto is ‘purity.’ What makes something pure is that it contains no ‘extraneous’ material, nothing outside what it is. Pluto also describes the archetypal process of ‘casting aside’ all that is not part of its essential nature – its truth of being what it is. Many astrologers are familiar with the keyword of transformation when it comes to describing Pluto, but that does beg the question of what does transformation mean. This is what it means – it is a process that sheds the false so that the essence or truth can shine through, revealing the true nature of something. It cleanses and purifies, and often not in a gentle manner. It can lead us to the discovery of one’s true Soul needs. In fact, Pluto’s process does not seem to care at all about what you like or dislike. It simply does what is needed to be done, so that the Soul can shine through. Not surprisingly then, the further from essence we are, the harder a Pluto process is likely to be on us. The more we avoid or deny, the worse it can get as things must return to the truth of what really is and the ride back to that place can be a very bumpy one indeed.
How Does This Process Work?
The Plutonic process in psychological terms is what the entire field of depth psychology is concerned about. This field studies the relationship between the conscious mind and all of the psyche’s contents held in one’s unconscious. We know that human beings are actually ruled far more by our unconscious mind that we can even begin to imagine. This is the part of our psyche that provides our real motivations and even our goals and aims in life. But, for most of us, all of this is below our awareness. We live our daily lives under the false assumption that we are completely conscious of everything we do, every decision we make and why we do it. This now allows me to define the nature of the Plutonic process. It is the process by which we become aware of these subliminal levels which actually define who we are and allow us to become authentic beings-in-the-world.
The question we must look at now is this. How can we become aware of this field or level of our own psyche? How can the unconscious become conscious? The only answer possible is that this area of our psyche must be greatly magnified, amplified or intensified. When this happens we can become aware of what had hitherto been hidden from us. Sometimes, this happens by ‘force,’ or it seems to be because we are ‘pulled into our own inner world’ even if we truly don’t want to go. When Pluto is operating, events happen and we do not understand why. Then we must look and see why they did. What part did we play in their showing up the way they did? It is these so-called ‘fated’ events that force us to look at all of what we have refused to see. We may feel the world is conspiring against us, that things aren’t going the way we planned or the way they should. Life seems to have suddenly become dark, foreboding and disturbing. Carl Jung referred to this phenomenon as facing one’s shadow.
The Plutonic process is actually what therapy was originally intended to be. It was more than helping people solve personal or social problems, which is what social work and other counseling fields are concerned with. It’s not that this isn’t an important service; it is that the human being of the present moment in history has both the need and potential to go through transformational and therefore evolutionary changes that were not possible in the past. In fact, we need this more than ever.
What Happens When the Psyche Retreats from the Plutonic Process?
Astrology books are filled with data and keywords describing the negative side of Pluto. Here are some examples of these: Pluto is said to rule greed, the Mafia, organized crime, the ‘Underworld’, despots, ruthlessness of any kind, the super-wealthy, the oligarchy, tyranny and tyrannical leaders, the need to control others at all costs, deep secrets such as conspiracies, cruelty, and many more. This list should give you a good idea of this darker side of Pluto. The reason why these characteristics can apply is that all of these characteristics are what happens when we are cut off, separated from our own truth or nature. Pluto can lead to one’s knowing of our own divinity, but without that experience, we are going to engage in all sorts of projections of our own inner demons onto others. Our job is to work with them directly by acknowledging them as our own and becoming conscious and aware of them. But they’re not going to just disappear if we refuse to do so. They will appear through our view of and dealing with other people.
We Become Detached and Lose our Soul
When we cut ourselves off from our own inner world, we detach from both ourselves and others. People become mere objects to us and we can then easily blame them for everything. Any sociologist or historian will tell you that throughout history, when things go bad in a society, the poor are blamed. It’s easy to do and humans have done it for millennia. It’s the oldest trick in the book and you can count on it every time. Does this sound familiar?
The reason for this is that instead of facing the truth of something, we repress it instead. It seems that it is unacceptable to look at the whole situation and see all of the facets that go into making things the way they are. Again, this occurs at many levels, from the personal, to the national and all of the levels in between. We go into a dangerous state of detachment that is the death knell of one’s own Soul. So, when I say that the Plutonic process leads to the discovery or our divinity, I am also describing a process that leads to what some have referred to as an ‘ensouling process.’ We become alive in ways we did not believe was possible. That’s the bright side and purpose of this transformational process. There is much to gain when we face our inner world and its demons, but also much to lose if we are not willing to engage in this Plutonic process.
There are many levels of destiny. As a counselor and teacher I often focus on the individual and how we can participate in this process. But nations also have their destiny. There is a big difference though. An individual has the potential to claim higher levels of ‘Being’, but the whole of a nation must grow in a much slower way. It must suffer the consequences of not facing its shadow which leads to the slow learning from its heavy mistakes. Then generations go by and it seems that a new group of human beings must learn the same lesson again. For example, all of the laws instituted after the Great Depression were stripped in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and within just a few years, nearly the same thing happened again. We don’t know where we are now in this process.
Pluto can take us into the depths so we can discover our own essential nature, a Soul that is divine in nature. From this evolutionary leap, life changes for us and we ‘die’ so as to be ‘reborn’ into Life, a fullness that can be truly joyous. But it takes courage and fortitude to enter this game and yet, if we don’t, we find that we still must face the negative side anyway.
In the next article on Pluto, I am going to describe the nature of Pluto’s transits through the sign of Libra. It will be followed by the next article of the series that will look at the transit of Pluto in Scorpio. I hope you enjoy this important series.