Rich and I are riding back from a visit to the Mt. St. Helens volcano, giving me a chance to catch up on my blogging. It was a powerful experience to witness firsthand the devastation imposed by nature, and still more powerful to see how nature has bounced back with the creation of new lakes and an even greater variety of flora and fauna. After the eruption of the volcano in 1980, every living thing around it was destroyed in ten minutes. Old growth forests of trees over 120 feet tall were decimated and the hillsides were barren as the result of the smoking lava ash. Today, 26 years later, there are new lakes, new species of birds and frogs that could not have surived in the old ecosystem. The entire area has been reborn.
As Rich peered endlessly into the smoking crater I found myself pondering the symbolism of Pluto’s destruction and regeneration and Ceres, the goddess of vegetation that fills the earth with the bounty of living organisms to nurture and nourish the planet. Since Pluto’s reclassification and the introduction of Ceres I have felt that there was some symbolism around the pairing of Pluto and Ceres. Pluto’s reign in Planethood marked the most violent century in human history. In mythology, Pluto ruthlessly ruled over the underworld, judging the dead and sending them to their post-life destiny. Pluto’s astrological influence over death and rebirth does not respond to our pleas for mercy; the cycle of life goes on uninterrupted by human desire. Perhaps it’s the influence of Ceres that instigates the regeneration that follows Pluto’s destruction and keeps the lifecycle flowing and fresh with hope.