You’ll be reading a lot about Pluto in these pages in the next months because I’m just entering a cycle of Pluto to an important system in my chart (geeky astrological details: to my Sun/Saturn/Neptune conjunction which squares Uranus). Pluto was discovered in 1930 and is associated with psychology and the understanding of our hidden motivations and the mental and emotional factors that underlie our actions.
Pluto, of course, was the Lord of the Underworld. In psychological astrology he represents the Underworld of the psyche – the secrets that we hide from others and from ourselves, the dim recesses of the mind where our darkest emotions are tucked away. In transformational astrology I consider Pluto to act as the “Will of the Higher Self” – the part of us that encourages us to transform our secret darkness into an awakened Self through wisdom and understanding.
If we look to the mythological history of Pluto (or Hades as he was called in ancient Greece) we find that Hades was closely identified with Ploutos, the god of wealth and agricultural bounty. Hades himself was a god of the hidden wealth from under the earth such as precious metals and gems, as well as being the protector and defender of the dead.
We often think of Pluto as being a ruthless Lord of Death and destruction, but this early association of Pluto/Hades with protecting the dead reveals a secret to the Pluto archetype that we don’t often consider – Pluto’s real role is to facilitate our personal evolution if we allow it to. Under Pluto’s influence we find ourselves facing life in a far more intense way than might be comfortable, but it’s all for the sake of deepening our awareness and facilitating our awakening.
Before the introduction of Pluto and modern psychology, this inner darkness was blamed on the Devil, or on personal daemons. Without our modern understanding of psychological processes, compulsions and anti-social behavior was considered to be the work of the devil. One thing I have learned is that as long as we blame anything in our lives on others we can never move forward, and without understanding the darkness in ourselves we cannot experience the kind of transformation required to move through difficulties.
I hope I can remember this as I traverse the Pluto minefields over the next few years! I know that you all will remind me. :)