It’s time to resume our look at the deeper nature of Pluto in Capricorn with Part III of our series on Scorpio. You can read the first two articles at the following links: Pluto in Capricorn- Part I and Pluto in Capricorn- Part II- Libra. Let me summarize what the nature of the Plutonic process is.
The Plutonic process in psychological terms is concerned with what is referred to as the field of depth psychology. This field studies the relationship between the conscious mind and all of the psyche’s contents held in one’s unconscious. Human beings are actually ruled far more by the unconscious mind than we can imagine. This is the part of our psyche that provides our real motivations and even our goals and aims in life. But, usually, this is below our awareness. We live our daily lives under the false assumption that we are completely conscious of everything we do, of every decision we make and why we do it. The Plutonic process is the process by which we become aware of these subliminal levels so we might begin to become authentic ‘beings-in-the-world.’
How can we become aware of this field or level of our own psyche? The answer 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. 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.
When we retreat from the Plutonic process, the unconscious material turns back on us and becomes negative or dark. Astrology books are filled with data and keywords describing this 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 the darker side of Pluto. These characteristics apply only when we are cut off, separated from our own truth or nature. Thus, 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. They are not going to disappear if we refuse to do so. Instead, they will appear through our view of and dealing with other people.
When we cut ourselves off from our own inner world, we detach from both ourselves and others. People then become mere ‘objects’ to us and we can 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. This occurs when we do not see our own failures and find someone else we can project those failures onto. Does this sound familiar?
The reason for this is that instead of facing the truth of something, we repress it instead. It becomes unacceptable to look at the whole situation and see all of the facets that go into making things they way they are. 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 of 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.
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.
Pluto in Scorpio
Pluto entered Scorpio in the fall of 1983 and fully entered that sign on August 28th of 1984. For astronomical reasons, Pluto spends the least amount of time transiting Scorpio as any other sign as it exited that sign in 1995, which is only 11 years. This is due to the fact that Pluto’s orbit of the Sun is elliptical and is moving even faster than Neptune during this time.
It seems to me that that fits the archetype of Scorpio as it is thought of as the sign of intensity, passion, and deep desire. It is also referred to as the ‘urge to merge’ with another person (marriage or partnership) or with a project, subject matter or area of experience. This enigmatic sign also is concerned with the process of death and dying. While this does refer to that process literally, it also is where a person is encouraged to see life as a series of moment to moment ‘little deaths’. Scorpio also is related to the processes that occur in sexuality, such as the orgasm, which is a form of little death. Ultimately in Scorpio we begin to see that to be fully present means that we must experience life as a never-ending, life-death process where anything can happen at any moment. This is where life is seen as an awesome mystery which can enliven or awaken us.
As I’ve said, Pluto intensifies and amplifies whatever issue it touches, so one would expect the life-death process and sexuality to suddenly arise powerfully in the consciousness of humanity during this time. This is exactly what happened. One of the main ways in which we experienced this transit is, of course, through the rise of AIDS, an international crisis wherein suddenly sex and death became united under one banner. Pluto also rules taboos, or more specifically, the examination of that area of life, wherein people prefer to avoid something rather than look at it in an objective manner. AIDS brought forward into consciousness all sorts of taboos. Suddenly homosexuality could not be avoid as a topic of everyday conversation. This brought forth all kinds of very strong resistances. This issue, which exposed unconsciouis belief systems, brought forth all kinds of very strong resistances and became a lightning rod that catalyzed people into taking very polarized positions. Passions ran very high and with it bigotry, intolerance and injustices were exposed that are still in play today.
It is at times like these that hidden fears powerfully come to the surface. The ideal is for people to deal with it, but that does not happen easily. The shock of Pluto is the sheer uninhibited way it arises. It comes out without any of the usual dainty politenesses we enjoy so much. It comes forth in a raw, chaotic way that disturbs and exposes. The anger and hatred against gays were openly expressed at that time, but were always there. Nothing happened that wasn’t already present. It’s just that usually it is held back and denied. This can’t happen when Pluto is ruling however. The truth is that in the 80’s and 90’s extraordinary cruelty is what truly came out of the closet. Evangelicals and many conservatives were openly calling AIDS as God’s punishment. These ‘evil’ people deserved to die. They earned their death sentence.
And, who were the evils ones? Who were the sinners? What happened to the classic maxim of “Judge not, lest ye be judged!” But the point of this article is that before Pluto can transform any situation or set of considerations, they first must be exposed. Pluto amplifies and exposes the issue for all to see, and then the psyche of a person or even a nation is forced to look at it. The Plutonic process creates extremes so we are forced to see what we hate to see and thus, a possibility for real transformation can begin.
Now, there are five states who have made gay marriage legal, and while the hatred continues, it is no longer the ‘wedge’ issue it once was. Even conservatives are calling for gay rights, and many have noted that the younger generation simply doesn’t care about it. The direction things are going is truly different and what it took was the intensity of Pluto to bring it about. The process is very hard and before things change we see that very negative characteristics and behaviors occur, but through that very thing, people begin to see what they refused to see earlier. The treating of others as mere objects horrifies us and we can no longer act as if it’s acceptable.
It is through this painful process that ‘Soul’ can emerge, that detachment and uncaring are replaced by the inner knowing that we are all human beings and deserving of being treated with respect and decency.
The next article in the series, Part IV, will look at Pluto in Sagittarius, the sign of religion, religiosity and more.