As most of you know, Pluto was reclassified last year joining Ceres and Eris as dwarf planets (I personally wish they had kept the initial name of Plutons, but oh well). This has not changed the effect that Pluto has in the birthchart, which is to bring us face to face with our deepest fears and our highest destiny, but it introduced two new elements to the Plutonic process: Ceres and the newly discovered Eris.
Last December Pluto conjoined the Galactic Center for the first time in 248 years. The Galactic Center is the point at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, and you can read more about it in my earlier article here. From my research it appears to me that the Pluto/GC conjunctions point to a major shift in human evolution, and it seems evident that the major turnaround occurring now is in the growing awareness of climate change. Pluto recently turned retrograde and is heading towards the second phase of the conjunction cycle, and there has been a sudden explosion in the acceptance of the idea that the climate is changing and the earth is growing warmer and that this rapid change is primarily due to human activity.
Astrology is a symbolic system, and there is a synchronicity of meaning behind the symbols. It therefore makes sense that when the symbols are changed there is a change of meaning as well. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and named as a planet, but was reclassified as an asteroid in 1846 after a number of other asteroids were discovered as well. Ceres is an “earth mother” archetype and goddess of the harvest. She was responsible for the feeding and nourishment of humans; her main role was to encourage the crops to grow and communities to prosper. While Ceres was a benevolent goddess she also had a dark side, and in her grief after the abduction by Pluto of her daughter she turned the fertile fields into a wasteland while her people starved.
Ceres was demoted to asteroid during the industrial revolution as technology took over the ecology of the planet, and we are seeing the results today with CO2 pollution from coal-fired electrical plants and the burning of fossil fuels in our vehicles and homes. Modern corporate farming techniques load our food with pesticides, poison rivers and streams, and deplete our food of flavor and nourishment. Ceres and her reverence for the connection between people and food has been lost in the world of modern technology and its constant dieting and admiration of starving models.
Ceres now stands with Pluto as an equal, a companion in the process of death, regeneration and transformation. (Eris is there as well, and I’ll continue to link her influence as we learn more about her.) The Persephone myth, where the daughter of Ceres goes into the underworld and then emerges back into life, was one of the precursors of the Christian resurrection myth which symbolized the end of the power of the goddess under more patriarchal systems. With the reclassification of Ceres as an ally of Pluto, perhaps the power of the natural world is being resurrected as well.
I have been struck at the suddenness with which the “theory” of climate change has suddenly been accepted despite much earlier resistance. All of a sudden “green” is the new buzzword with even Arnold Schwarzenegger calling for legislation to protect the planet. US automakers met with Congress to discuss ways of reducing CO2 emissions. This kind of sudden shift in direction may be connected with the conjunction of Pluto to the Galactic Center as the changes that we make now could have an effect that will last for hundreds of years.
Sagittarius rules our shared belief systems such as theology and law, and Pluto traversing the Sagittarian landscape has brought about upheavals and change in these areas. The location of the Galactic Center in the sign that rules the power of belief may signal the astounding power that our shared ideas have when manifested on the planet. As we change our focus the whole world changes as well, and the conjunction of Pluto to the GC may work to accelerate that process. If we are able to regain a healthy respect for the planet and the nurturing that she offers to us perhaps we can reverse the process of disaster that has been foretold.