Pluto, the great Lord Hades, is slowly grinding to a dead halt (16°♑51’ Capricorn). After five long months of deep introspective processing, he is about to go direct (Sep 28), turning his penetrating force of breakdown and disintegration outward.
Pluto represents the darker elements that deal with breakdown, decay, corruption and elimination. If we are to understand these energies we need to have enormous courage to go into the darkest aspects of our inner psyche. Pluto in retrograde can be particularly instrumental in assisting this deep excavation of our subconscious. It is a slow and often deliberate process of transforming from the inside out and has allowed us to, both individually and as a society, penetrate intensely into areas which have long been disturbing, uncomfortable and often unsightly in their pernicious intent. Rigid attitudes, fixations and manias have been the focus of attention as we seek to understand the very nature of what controls over “the better angels of our nature”. Often these forces have a destructive and toxic effect, and Pluto in retrograde has in many ways been helpful to help identify and work through eliminating some of these forces by bringing them to light.
As Pluto will soon turn his intensity outward, we can expect to see these same powers of control and manipulation turned outward. It is a time where the investigation, pressure and the coercion to identify and transform the controlling forces turns upon those in our outer world – our relationships and our society.
After 5 long months of inner processing it is now time to turn our attention toward purging, detoxifying and regenerating the destructive factors in our external environment by addressing the elements that act to threaten our overall prerogatives for inner security, liberty and freedom of choice.
Those of you with Cardinal planets/points around the 16°51′ and 19°24′ may have been experiencing this effect most intensely over this past year as you address the deepest motives behind the power struggles, fixations and uncontrollable behaviours in your world.
- Pluto entered the Rx zone at 16°♑51′ on 29 December 2016
- He stationed to go retrograde at 19°♑24′ on 20 April 2017
- He is now stationing to go direct at 16°♑51′ on 28 September 2017
- Pluto finally leaves his Rx Zone on 19 January when he passes 19°♑24′
Whenever there has been a profound and irrevocable shift in our lives, one where we can never go back without feeling some discomfort, Pluto has surely had his hand. Themes around abandonment, death of a dear one, war, incest, physical or emotional abuse, permanent migration to another land, forced separations or bonding agreements and enslavements – any instances of physical/emotional trauma are signature Plutonian affairs. The effect is that something was untimely torn away from us and that we are now painfully tainted with the blood of that devastating encounter, a dark moment in our lives that we often try to bury away, and keep from ever raising in the hope that the trauma will eventually go away.
Yet this moment always lurks beneath the surface. Waiting to be triggered by an associative experience in the now, a moment where we will often react in ways we are seldom able to understand, let alone describe – where something takes a hold over us as if we were finally responding to that moment in the past. This trigger somehow causes behaviour which can affect the course of our fate without our feeling any control, locking us into a mode of irrepressible conduct and perhaps creating further irrevocable outcomes. Such is the power of Pluto and its effect on our regressed psychology.
The retrograde periods in transit are useful in that they allow us to explore these things within ourselves. We either seek the counsel of trusted others, perhaps those closest to us who have the power of intimacy or the skill to probe into our darkest recesses, or through the aid of a professional. Seldom can we hope to address these stigmas on our own. We need somebody to analyse and reveal to us that the experience was somehow part of the greater spectrum of the human condition, and need to understand that we are often victims in a never-ending cycle of pain which is caused and affected by its own initial impetus. Trauma only resurfaces as trauma unless it is treated.
In mythology, the great Lord Hades (Pluto), ruler of the underworld, only ever reared his head up to the surface world on two occasions without his helmet of invisibility. One was to abduct and rape the young maiden Persephone, the other was to seek healing from wise Chiron for his grotesque and pathological behaviour.
As a society, we have used this retrograde period to turn our focus upon analysing the elements in our world that act as instigators of great change. Pluto in Capricorn means these elements of hidden conspiracy, breakdown, elimination and decay are often dressed in slick, smart business suits, placed in estimable positions among paternal society and are in fact going about their business in ‘respectable’ ways – in roles we are not able to easily identify let alone contest. They are all powerful and their ‘respectability’ and social ‘acceptability’ makes them hard to for the rest of us to control.
Very soon (Thu Sep 28), Pluto will turn his attention outward. The final effects of this year’s breakdown and decay will begin to manifest all around us, clearing the way for something new….