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PLUTO: THE PLANET OF CHOICE Pluto, that enigmatic planet and ruler of the Underworld, directly influences the personal power of Earth's inhabitants. The energy of Pluto forces lessons to be learned about power, whether or not an individual voluntarily chooses to learn those lessons. Whether the lessons are seemingly unbearable or tolerable, the end result is that an individual gains a better understanding of power of self and others. Every human being experiences these often difficult lessons about power The purpose of this article is to identify the characteristics of Plutonian energy and to explain how that energy influences human beings. Also offered are practical tips on how to harness your own personal power by making conscious choices, thereby reducing the stress, trauma and agony of the lessons that, ultimately, will transform your life.

our collective prima materia in which the wealth is hidden." Pluto represents the dark side of the personality. In that darkness there is always a wall or block that seemingly cannot be penetrated. Even as you discover the key to the labyrinth and enter the outside door, there are three more unmarked doors from which to choose the path to return to enlightenment. The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930, approximately February 18th. That date coincided with initial experimentation with nuclear power released at the end of the 1930's and early 1940's by nuclear bombs. In many ways, Pluto can be associated with Pandora's Box because all kinds of dark things emerged when she opened the box. All that remained in the box after the garbage escaped was hope. There are two symbols astrologers use to indicate Pluto: (1) "PL," which signifies Percival Lowell, the man who discovered the planet; and (2) the circle and the chalice, the mandala of Spirit in the chalice of Sacrifice.

"Plucios" is the Greek word for Pluto and means wealthy or rich. Pluto is very rich; although he is very frightening, he is wealthy. A. Background. In Roman mythology Pluto was Hades, and in In her book, Jungian Symbolism and Greek mythology, Pluto was Hades. Hades is Astrology, Alice Howell writes: "not being seen"; thus, Pluto represents the unseen. However, because Pluto moves, we feel "Transformation by Pluto is very alchemical because it shows the gold of the self can precipi- him. He is unseen in the sense that, when he emerges to the Earth's surface, he dons his tate only after it has made the descent into the helmet and becomes "The Unseen." He walks negrado, the dark mixture of ash, muck, and feces, which is the garbage of the centuries. It is and moves, yet nobody sees him.

The "bottom line" is that PLUTO = POWER because POWER = CHOICE.


Pluto is not predatory; on the contrary, he is very private. Plutonian people would rather not be seen. A person who has a very strong Pluto influence in his or her horoscope, or heavy transits by Pluto in the chart, may want to be unseen, but they are certainly felt. The Sacrifice and Chalice symbol for Pluto evolved from ancient mythology. Pluto, in the myth, was a god who sat on a throne of sulphur, a chemical used for burning. From Pluto's throne flowed four streams: (1) Lethe, the river of forgetfulness; (2) Cocytus, the river of lamentation; (3) Phlegethon, the river of fire (which coincides well with sulphur); and (4) Acheron, the river of woe. All of these streams flowed into the river Styx, which passed through the Kingdom of the Dead. All of these things come from the source of Pluto.

underwriters, private investigators, CIA operatives or researchers. Scorpios ask a lot of questions and are very curious about "self because in discovering the self they understand others. However, although Scorpios usually know everything that is occurring with those around them, they never allow others to pry into their business: they wear armor to prevent their vulnerable softness from being exposed and (they fear) attacked. Plutonian energy is clean. "Plutonian types" are either black or white; they are not gray. They either like you, or they don't. They will give you a chance, or they won't. They sense that they should do business with you, or they won't. They will deal with your issues, or they won't. There may be grays during certain periods, when Plutonians are experiencing certain transits, but in the end there are no grays with these people.

According to mythology, in order to be transported into the underworld, one had to pay the ferryman, Charon, a gold coin. Ancient Another big issue with Pluto is judgment. people placed gold coins into the mouths or over In Tarot readings this issue is exemplified by the the eyes of the dead to enable them to have that Judgment and Death cards. Both judgment and payment for transportation into the world of the death are symbols for Pluto, as well. dead. Therefore, to deal with a Plutonian personality, one must have stamina because they Plutonian Qualities will not deal with weaklings; they do not respect There are positive and negative qualities weakness. If they sense weakness in other of Plutonian energy, both of which are very people, Plutonians will chew the weak ones alive powerful. A Scorpio sun sign or a strong Pluto and spit them out! That is why I always tell my influence in a chart is probably the most power- Plutonian clients, especially those who have ful energy in the Zodiac because that energy angular Plutos, "You are very good at transformmanifests both in and out of the Earthly world. ing things; just don't try to transform the ones A common quality of Plutonian people is you love. Get paid for transformation because it never works with your family.!" curiosity about everything. Often they are investigators, investigative reporters, insurance Therein lies the essence of Plutonians: to


take the old and create something new from it. Pluto is the Shadow Side that we must integrate into our personality in order to be well-rounded and balanced. At a certain point each of us must examine our Shadow. When we are younger, we may not want to deal with those people who are living the Shadow. However, at age 40 or 50, or whenever certain transits hit a chart, we suddenly become, on some level, the people that we could not tolerate ten or fifteen years earlier. That is because the Shadow is "invited to the party." Pluto energy is "the ultimate bulldozer." However, please consider that bulldozers in a neighborhood, raze the ground so that new homes and other construction can be built. People who have strong Pluto in their charts often have the capacity to be very wealthy. Since they have a naturalability, they are willing to take a big risk and willing to risk losing everything. However, some of the biggest winners have also been the biggest losers.

lives, it begins to work for us at some level. Other Plutonian characters include the Sea Witch in the movie 'The Little Mermaid" and Psyche descending into the Underworld. Consider, also, the classic story of Persephone, the tragic, but powerful Queen. One day when Persephone was a very young woman, just emerging from girlhood, she found a narcissus flower in the field and gazed deeply into its magic. At that moment, Pluto suddenly emerges from the bowels of the Earth. Persephone's father, Zeus (Jupiter) had given Pluto permission to abduct her. Pluto snatched her to the Underworld and with all his power seduced her and made her his queen. Now a woman, however, she becomes the all powerful Queen of the Underworld and shares her throne with her husband, Pluto. The same is true for all of us: when Pluto hits a chart, the individual is abducted, taken into their Underworld or Shadow, and then made a powerful King or Queen.

Another classic Plutonian character is Darth Vader. He sports a black helmet and Typical Plutonian Characters: robes but has no face; he is "The Invisible." Originally, he was with the Light, the Force; In the story of Sleeping Beauty. Briar Rose was a long-awaited daughter whose parents then he chose the Dark Side. In order to transcend, however, he was not allowed to breathe; christened her with a party to which the Good he then died and merged with the Force again. Witches were invited, but the Bad Witch was not. As a result of not being invited to the party, The point is that a positive Plutonian image is transformed from the very terror to which it was the Bad Witch placed a curse on Sleeping subjected. Beauty. With each of us the Shadow is lurking somewhere in the chart; where Pluto is in your chart is where the Witch or Warlock lives. Once we invite "Bad Witch" (sometimes called "The Shadow"), to the party and integrate it into our


traditional Greek mythology. That is to say, Pluto energy is male energy, in the sense of focused, pragmatic, dogged, persevering, goaloriented energy. Individuals with a lot of Scorpio in their charts have a warehouse of energy: they can go and go and go, and even when nothing appears to be left, they somehow unearth something more. It is similar to digging for gold: the gold appears after the digging. The choice lies in Plutonian Energy. accepting fine grains of gold and quitting halfPositive Plutonian energy is symbolized way through the job, or persevering to the end by the Eagle, a beautiful, magand discovering the big nificent bird that flies the highest, nuggets of gold. has the best eyesight, glides with Plutonian energies are fairly the wind, and only attacks if it is Plutonian people obvious: compulsive, someprovoked. On the positive side, under 40 or 45 tend what obsessive; lives marked to not be willing to Plutonian people have tremenby burning a lot of bridges. examine issues. dous tenacity and tend to be Tensions build until Plutonian people under 40 or incredible researchers because everything is 45 tend to not be willing to they are not afraid to go to the destroyed. Perhaps examine issues. Tensions a marriage or depths to obtain the information. build until everything is business is Evolved souls of this type are destroyed, or destroyed. Perhaps a maroften on a solitary, spiritual path. bankruptcy ensues, riage or business is destroyed, before a Plutonian Conversely, negative or bankruptcy ensues, before a changes. Plutonian energy is symbolized Plutonian changes. However, by the scorpion, the only animal as they become older, wiser on earth that will kill itself by its and more sophisticated, they begin to realize that own sting. If a scorpion is in the heat of battle life does not require a black-and-white perspecand believes it is going to lose, it kills itself to tive and that it is not necessary to destroy a job, prevent the enemy from experiencing the thrill family, business or any other situation in order of victory. to become self-empowered. Although there are many female mythoWhere Pluto is placed in your horoscope logical characters who represent Pluto (e.g., is where you are "alone" and unaided. In myPersephone, the Sea Witch; the Bad Witch in thology Pluto is solitary. Whereas Zeus consorts Sleeping Beauty; and Psyche, who descended with every single nymph on the planet, and into the Underworld), Pluto is a male figure in The Wicked Witches in The Wizard of Oz are also Plutonian characters. The Wicked Witch of the East was killed when a house in a tornado fell on her. The Wicked Witch of the West was melted by water. Out of their deaths came awareness that misuse of personal power by belittling and attacking innocent people only forces that energy back to destroy the originator of the misused power.


every other god appears to marry everybody else's sister, mother and brother, Pluto remains alone. On some level, a Plutonian personality, or a person experiencing a heavy Pluto transit, has a deep loneliness that, no matter what is done, never really disappears. However, Plutonian types also have a very deep creativity. If the creative spirit is addressed while one is going through Plutonian transits, the process becomes somewhat easier because creativity is part of reaching one's essence.

is painful not only for the mother but traumatic for the infant, as well: that big head must pass through that little hole! The infant experiences agony and fear of the unknown of the outside, and even though the infant has been feeling emotional arid physical pressures, he or she feels safer as is, inside, status quo. Sudden empowerment.

When Pluto goes over the Ascendant and begins the process, an individual feels sudden empowerment. Physically, there will be a big change: major weight loss or gain, coloring A deep-seated feeling of changes, dressing differently, changing the physical look. It is comparable to the difference being abandoned. between a natal placement of Pluto in the 12th Another aspect of Plutonian people is a house, versus a natal placement of Pluto in the tendency to experience a very deep-seated first house. A natal placement of Pluto in the feeling of being abandoned. Often, they strong- 12th, especially if it is close to the Ascendant, ly resist becoming vulnerable because of fear of may manifest as a feeling that one is being abandonment if their true personality is exposed. avoided by others; however, when a person is Isolation issues occur where Pluto is placed in born with Pluto in the 1st, he or she senses the horoscope at birth, as well as where it is power in the house of the unconscious. currently transuding through, or stressing, the A person may feel a great deal of fear chart. People experience a separation from the and a tendency toward compulsion, as if there is true self and are not able to integrate. That no choice, when Pluto goes over the Ascendant. struggle never ceases, but it becomes more However, that person will persevere, albeit tolerable after'the first Pluto square. reluctantly, because of the fear of what may Pluto Hitting the Ascendant. confront him or her. Phito on one's Ascendant is a shedding of skin, a non-identification with A cursive study on those 9 degree the old self and a deep awakening to a new self. through 17 degree Scorpio Ascendants shows that immediately before Pluto crosses the first When a snake sheds skin, something is house Ascendant, there is mass confusion, torn away, similar to the birth process. Somealmost terror. Things are happening and feelings thing dies in the birth process, but as a result, are intense, although frustratingly indefinable. It there is birth. Something is always born after is similar to a pregnant woman's water breaking there is death. The lives of strong Scorpio/Pluto and the beginning of the birthing process. Labor


types will probably be more affected if there is This poor being is left alone, in terror, to experience all the hellish aspects of his or her life to physical death nearby; likely they will experidate, with no encounter whatsoever with anyone ence an extremely heavy birth of some kind else, including Pluto. immediately after the death. Regardless whether the victim persuades, If something or someone close dies, that is a signpost in the road to expect a birth. It is cajoles, bargains, promises, begs, pleads, cries, the time to "face your Maker." For example, a screams, threatens vengeance (or lawsuits), rants, raves, prays in a loud, lamenting voice or young adult's mother passes away and four anything else, Pluto ignores the months later, the adult child is "You display of emotion and walks by, married. Or a father dies in the sacrifice on seemingly aloof, deaf, uncaring and hospital, and the next day, his daugb my altar that unresponsive. ter delivers twin Scorpio children. which you

believe you

Finally, the tortured soul can no The Root Chakra, located at cannot live longer endure the agony and says, the tailbone area and associated with without and I will give you "I'll give you anything you want, all the color red in many classic tradiback your my money, my friends, my family, tions and is ruled by Saturn, which is life." my worldly possessions; I'll surrender the "survival" instinct, but is also anything you want. Just give me back my life." very Plutonian because it is associated with purging, and the parts of the body it rules are the At that point, Pluto stops, turns around, reproductive organs and the excretory system. looks at the victim and says, directly (but not in When a person has heavy transits of a threatening way), "All right. Do you really Pluto and fails to deal with those issues, there mean it." The tortured soul cries, "Oh, God, will be problems with the excretory system or yes! Anything you want, I'll give it to you. reproductive organs. Several years ago, when Name it!" Pluto responds, "O.K. Here's the Pluto was in the first few degree of Scorpio, deal. You sacrifice on my altar that which you many women who had a Scorpio Ascendant or believe you cannot live without and I will give whose Ascendant was hit by Pluto, experienced you back your life." uterine problems as well as cysts. You agree, then immediately have second thoughts, wondering if Pluto will honor Pluto's Story in Modern Day. his word. However, anything is better than When Pluto walks through the world Pluto's torture, so the sacrifice is made. What is invisibly and discovers someone who is not that sacrifice? It could be something simple or living life to his or her potential, Pluto zaps that profound. It could be a belief system, a relationperson, in a lightning flash, to the Underworld, ship, a bank account, or anything to which that and that individual is either hung on a meat individual has become attached. The sacrifice is hook, nailed to a cross or buried under a rock. laid on Pluto's altar, and Pluto, true to his word,


removes the victim from his or her particular prison, the meat hook, the cross, or the rock. The individual, now traumatized physically and.emotionally, stands naked before Pluto, who stares for awhile, then finally removes a package from under his cloak, hands it to the person, points a direction, and says, "That's the way back to life, and here's a gift to take back to life with you. Don't open it until you return to life." The individual returns to the Earth's surface, afraid of the nakedness and scared of a life without that which is sacrificed. Only later does he or she remember Pluto's gift. The individual then opens the box, discovers the hidden gold, the buried treasure, and further discovers that what was sacrificed on Pluto's alter was really nothing.. All of us must make choices in our lives. Sitting on the fence is not an appropriate option because we will continue to prolong the experience of hell. However, even if we do not make the choice, a change is forced.

The first choice is to connect with the unconscious, where nobody goes with you. You walk through that labirynth by yourself, which is frightening. Although you may be surrounded by loving, supportive people, the person who is making the journey is you. At times it is difficult to discuss heavy Pluto issues; you feel alone and unable to speak. The second choice is to embrace your own death on some level. Once you make this choice, there will usually be "allies" who will help you through the Underworld. The allies appear as a typical theme in movies: the dwarves in Snow White, the "Lost Boys" in Peter Pan, Linda Hunt's character who assists Mel Gibson in The Year of Living Dangerously. Dream Child, a story about the real Alice who inspired Lewis Carroll to write his book, Alice in Wonderland. In the story Dream Child, Alice is to accept an honorary degree for her father, who has long been dead, and begins to have flashbacks of her childhood and her child molester. Once she begins to deal with those issues, she is able to express love. It is better to confront the situation and When I first began to feel my own Pluto make a choice, one way or the other, than to square at 40, I made a choice to deal with have the change forced upon you. The choice snakes. My son, Gus, was born as Pluto was can be anything: choosing to stay in a relation- moving into Scorpio; his birth chart has Pluto at ship and work on it; choosing to change careers; 1 degree Scorpio, Venus at 6 degrees Scorpio, choosing to confront nightmares. and Saturn at 16 degrees Scorpio (which also rules his ascendant, Capricorn) all in his 9th One of the best times to make these choices is when the transiting Pluto is square to house. Since he was a small child, he has loved Pluto in your own chart, or when Pluto is hitting snakes, but they have always made me squeamajor points in the horoscope. Examine where mish. Gus has several rubber snakes that are very realistic, and he sleeps with one enormous Scorpio is in your chart because, whether you consciously realize it or not, that is the area that black snake. is being affected.


One day Gus left his toy black snake on the front floorboard of my car. As I was driving, I reached down to retrieve some paperwork, and the snake was intertwined with the papers. I •was so startled that I almost had an accident, and I was very frightened. Then I thought, "My God, how could I be so frightened of a play snake? You know,' I need to address something here." Thereafter, I began to leave that snake in places I could not see it, including on the floor and in my car, so that every time I entered my car, I had to deal with that snake. As a result, I am not as afraid of snakes now, and I can hold certain spiders. I purposely did this to overcome my fear because there was something about these symbols that seemed magical and healing, although they were still frightening because of the unknown element. If you wish to deal with Pluto, have Pluto objects around you or do Plutonian things around your home, like excavating your garden, rebuilding parts of the interior of your home, painting and changing things so that a new you emerges.

melanoma cancer that had been present a long time. My father's physician advised that he excise the cancer immediately, a surgery involving removal of part of his skin, all of his lymph nodes and a portion of his face. The night before the surgery he telephoned me and said, "I need to talk to you because I may never be able to talk to you again; they may cut the nerves." He was a verbal person. He said, "I've always loved you, and I'm sorry for anything I did that made you leave." My father, who was very proud, survived the surgery and, as a result, became kind and spiritual, qualities that had previously been hidden began to emerge. Although we did not discuss his physical abuse towards my brother and me with a leather belt, he is very aware now and says to me, "Don't spank the children."

Pluto rules diseases like cancer. Debilitating disease presents itself, and if people survive, they are transformed. The same is true with other calamities, such as death of a loved one, bankruptcy or losing a job. These The third choice is to be, and remain, "choices" are overt. You consciously know you conscious, to "stand in the light." There are must change. actually two types of choices: the overt ones and Hidden choices are more subtle. They the hidden ones. If you are unable to make choices, your body may force the choice on you may appear in the form of nightmares, agonizing anxiety or termites or snakes in your house. by becoming ill. When you dream about these or other images For example, my father, a severe, oldassociated with Pluto, such as three-headed dogs, world Greek man who was a stern and somesulphur or black helmets, pay attention because times frightening disciplinarian, was born some- something needs to be addressed. time in the fall of 1913. Several years ago, he experienced several very difficult hits to his Pluto. Quite suddenly, he was informed he had


The Effects of Pluto appear and then retreat within the course of a year. Whenever Pluto appears to go direct in the sky, people experience breakthrough periods. Conversely, whenever Pluto goes retrograde, people may suddenly start to shut down in an attempt to protect the body and "regroup" to assimilate all that has been learned.

people have explosive arguments. Other scenarios include death, being arrested for child molestation, people in high governmental positions or other high-profile positions resign or are fired, natural disasters, political couts d'etat, prison riots, or mass murders. Pluto Combinations.

"Generational Plutonians" are the children born in the mid-1960's who are now adults, For approximately two weeks before the the Pluto/Uranus children in Virgo. Literally generational, they are known as Synodic Cycles. time Pluto goes retrograde and direct, people Pluto/Uranus happens only once every 126 feel its presence. Wherever Pluto is placed in the chart and is moving through the chart, there years, and every time it happens, there is anaris a "stepping back," a slowing down, an attitude chy in the world. Consequently, many people born in the mid-1960's are anarchists, in the sign of "wait and see." of Virgo, affecting ecology and the environment. For example, if a chart has Scorpio on The Saturn/Pluto people who were born the 10th house of career and Pluto is stationing retrograde, the individual is probably making a in 1947 and 1948, as well as those born 36 years prior to those dates, are compulsive/obsessive. difficult decision about work and what to do Many have had abusive or compulsive/addictive with the rest of his or her life. Conversely, if Pluto goes direct, wherever Scorpio is located in or alcoholic fathers or fathers who abandoned the chart is where the individual will be making them, either emotionally or physically. For a big choice to go forward, take a big risk, and these people, even if their fathers were physical"go for it." In addition, unconscious memories ly present, those fathers were not there emotionally. If the Mother took the role of Saturn, these will arise. individuals are late-bloomers, similar to Capricorn/Saturn types, whose lives become better as During certain points of the year a person stops producing. they mature. The Saturn/Plutos, after age 45, According to the author Jeff Green, if an have better lives. individual has a strong Pluto in the chart, during There are also Jupiter/Plutos, the moneycertain points of the year that person will stop makers, and Pluto/Neptunes who existed 400producing. Other people may not understand 500 years ago, when mysticism emerged and where the high-powered energy went; however, people discovered their psyches and souls. when Pluto goes direct, the individual is able to In the present group of individuals born proceed full steam ahead. in the early eighties, the Pluto in Scorpio generaSometimes when Pluto goes direct,


tion, some are going to be very transformational leaders of the next century, but some were born to chemically addicted parents. There is an inevitable confrontation between the two roads of choice that they will have—the road of the "higher" choice and the "lower" road. Those involved will have a choice as to how to use their power because, after all, Pluto is the planet of choice, and CHOICE IS POWER!

Georgia Stathis

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you to Kathlyn Rhodes for editing this article. As a wonderful friend and a true Scorpio woman, who is not only a wonderful attorney, but a great musician and writer, she was able to identify with the characters presented in this piece. '

Pluto: The Planet of Choice Underword archetypes  

Discussion regarding qualities of individuals with strong Pluto placements in their horoscopes. The confrontation with Shadow and the risks...

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