Saturday, March 19, 2016

When Pluto Transits and some thoughts of Evolutionary Astrology

Oil painting by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1625) of the goddess Thetis dipping her son Achilles in the River Styx which runs through Hades.

 Pluto has always had a powerful influence in my life. 
My Moon is conjunct Pluto. Saturn (ruler of my Sun sign) is conjunct by declination to Pluto. My South node is in Pisces in the 8th house and I have Scorpio on my IC conjunct Uranus.
Through my lifetime Pluto has transited my 3rd 4th and 5th house and is now transiting it's fourth Natal planet.

Pluto is sitting right on top of my natal Mercury right now while simultaneously squaring my Natal Moon/Pluto conjunction. Happy Days!
I can feel it. It feels like it is solidifying my Mercury. It feels leaden and heavy.

The energy of this transit is like an glacial pressure, slow moving but formidable. It is like there is a torrent of water falling but only a small hole in the rock for it to trickle out of.

Since this transit I have found myself in a state of flux. On the one hand I feel a deep compulsion to work and to act, yet on the other hand I feel almost completely paralysed and inert. I feel both weighted down yet brimming full of ideas and inspirations that are clamouring for the light.

The Rape of Persephone by Simone Pignoni

Pluto is Symbolized by the Mythic Hades, Lord of the Underworld. The Story of Persephone and Demeter is well known and is often used when describing Pluto's effect on our lives.
Like Persephone, Pluto pulls us into the recesses of the dark earth, where like seeds beneath an icy Winter ground we slowly emerge in a new form into another Spring. Pluto is the catalyst, the transformer, the one who teaches us how the single ear of wheat must fall to the ground if it to ever reap a harvest.
 Yet there is a sense of lost innocence when Pluto makes contact. That ever lasting Spring of childhood, that vision or that perfect dream confronts the cold, bare, stark truths of life that stand brittle as naked Winter trees against the horizon.
In these places there is no fruit for months and the sun hides it's face.

The Sun represents our ego in astrology and during a Plutonian Winter our sense of who we are can be transformed. The things we use to scaffold our sense of identity (our work, our appearance, our education, our status, our reputation, the things we have acquired) can be dismantled until the only thing we have left to relate to the world is a humbler, softer, experiential, truer, self.


The Glyph of Pluto is a Sun inside a Chalice. Pluto is a crucible. It is those experiences which test us like silver in a fire. These experiences burn off the extraneous and the residual and leave us with the bare bones of who we are in the way Saint John of the Cross describes the Dark Night of the Soul.

Going through a Pluto transit is challenging. I am leaning into the lessons it wants to show me.

Mercury is the messenger of the Gods. He symbolizes communications of all kinds, ideas and thought processes. My Mercury is just out of bounds at 23:38 declination which can make my mental processes a little on the abstract side anyway but with the Pluto transit I am finding myself in rabbit holes of thoughts and ideas surrounding the deeper meanings of things.

On a positive note, I have rediscovered my passion for astrology. My thoughts are much more focused than usual. 

During my Mercury/Pluto mental sojourns I have been learning about the evolutionary aspect of Pluto. Pluto represents very much where we come from primordially. It is the ashes we feed from, are formed from and in which our physical remains will return to. By understanding our subconscious drives, compulsions, fears and desires we can communicate with the deepest most remote parts of ourselves. These parts of ourselves seem to trail out beyond this particular point in space and time, informing and invoking experiences that will help us grow in our present lifetime.

"Persephone" Dante Gabriel Rosetti

Pluto is the darkest, densest, remotest and coldest of all the planets in our solar system. It seems incredible that it should have such a significant effect on our personal planets. 

Yet it makes sense that Pluto is here to teach us humility. It teaches us about the fragile state of our humanity and our mortality until all we can do is let go and trust in a higher power. It shows us the futility of our own will in the face of nature. It reveals the meaninglessness of our well presented masks and personas and the exquisite beauty of our truth. It is brutally honest and yet just as we give up on our carefully constructed ideas and dreams it offers us a higher truth and something more tangible than our own personal designs and ambitions for ourselves. Through the endless chasing after our own goals and running from our own fears we exhaust our lower impulses. Once we see their futility we open our eyes to the real work, the true work we came here to accomplish; the work of our soul in service to our spirit and God.

"The Return of Persephone" Alfred Kingsley Lawrence

In Evolutionary Astrology, the counter point or polarity of Pluto is considered with great interest.
In traditional astrology the South node represents where we come from and where we can get stuck while the North node represents what we are growing towards. 
With Evolutionary astrology the nodes are equally important however Pluto and it's polarity point operate in a similar way.

Ari Moshe Wolf explains the concept of Evolutionary Astrology further:  

"The basic premise of this astrological paradigm is based on the understanding that each and every incarnation, each lifetime, is created as a result of the unresolved desires within the soul from previous lives. The evolutionary journey of the soul from life to life is a matter of gradually exhausting all desires until the only desire that remains is the desire to reunite with the Source; to look entirely  inside and seek the eternal Truth"

Pluto represents our subconscious desires and the instinctive roots of our present life form and the lessons we must learn the hard way. Pluto's polarity point (the opposite point in the chart to Natal Pluto) signifies the evolutionary purpose for the current life. It is that we we must learn and grow to embrace.

For example, my polarity point is Aries in the 9th house. This would mean that I should evolve past day to day cares and concerns (3rd house) and the relentless seeking to act as the harmonizing, Libra counter balance for everything around me and begin to go forth towards my own, independent spiritual growth. This is scary for me as I find my security in managing the scales in the confines of my ordinary routines and interactions with people. Having my moon here too means that maintaining harmony, balance and peace for myself, while also extending this out into my wider circle is integral to my emotional well being. I can often pick up on any issues and feel compelled to fix them for everyone. Yet maybe the only way I can truly heal and bring peace and harmony to the life around me is to be strong in myself and carve out my own spiritual path.
One of my favourite quotes is the ancient Orthodox saying:

 "One who finds the peace of God within him will heal a thousand around him without even knowing it" 

I think this speaks rather well to my Pluto polarity point.

"Finding of the Golden Bough" Turner


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