There are things about yourself that you know. Then there are things you wish to learn more about. And then… there are things about you that you just don’t want to know at all, for they are filled with the threat of terror and scorn. Whilst you know that some things must remain hidden – or at least you make efforts to keep them tightly under wraps, the great fear is that either you, or someone around you may do something that crosses the boundaries of tasteful, moral, and social acceptability.
Many of those ‘unknowns’ or things you would rather keep ‘hidden’ are deeply personal – things about yourself that you would rather lock up in a vault and make out like they didn’t exist.
On some level, some aspect of yourself feels largely unflattering, unfamiliar, flawed, unlovable or undeserving of people’s acceptance. Perhaps you still suffer the trauma of a long forgotten incident, where you were told something about you was terrible, or it was forced upon you against your will and could not discuss it, let it process in a healthy way. This just created a gouging emotional wound which stigmatised your views and opinions about this ‘something’. It became a taboo topic, something that could never be allowed to see the light of day.
We all have needs, be they physiological needs, safety and security needs, and needs for belonging. These needs are biological and instinctual, but when, as naive or innocent children, these are denied or ripped away from us in ways perceived as violent or unkind, we develop psyche-related afflictions or wounds that get buried and impossible to easily understand or address. Here lies the premise for many deep-seated psychological or pathological behaviour.
Often too, these wounds may be cultural. They develop from prevailing social beliefs and peer pressures, such as the way money is usually connected to self-worth.
In the horoscope, the many complexes of the dark, subconscious realms of our repressed or shadow-self are governed by Pluto – Lord of the underworld. Pluto’s sign, house placement and aspects to natal planets, as well as contacts made by Pluto in transit or progression, indicate the depth and degree of intensity to which every human being is susceptible. Naturally, the more repressed your trauma, the more vulnerable your wounding will feel to exploding under the extreme pressure of its triggers and pulleys.
When left unaddressed, these wounds fester, leading us to live from this place of deficiency. We may become distracted or obsessed about our apparent lack of power, tend to fret or worry to the point where we act out in unconsciously destructive ways, ruining otherwise wonderful opportunities for love, success and happiness.
Attending to Pluto issues allows us the opportunity to live from a place of wholeness and expansion again. Healing our Pluto problems helps us to overcome interpreting the world through the stigmatised or blindsided eyes of our former, traumatised inner child.
When we can come to put light upon our irrational, destructive behaviours, we come to also understand that most things in life are not about us, but about the people who are acting unconsciously from their own unhealed wounds.
Primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire and the striving for power are typical manifestations of unhealed Pluto wounds.
Our world is filled with interactions with those who are acting out from their own repressed, stigmatised, disgraced, hidden selves. As Pluto transits through our chart, we come to meet these people, become involved or affected by their strongly unconscious, deeply buried actions. Our own personal power is hence measured by how much light we can exude into situations where it appears there are dark, shadowy forces at play to create a split from the conscious mind. This ability to shed light upon darkness is either done in real-time, or in retrospect, depending on Pluto’s transiting direction.
When Pluto turns retrograde we are called to look back and examine past moments where things may have become complicated or obscured, usually triggered or re-enacted during the Rx Zone period of his direct motion. Often, due to our inability to shed light upon incidents and matters that may have somehow embroiled us into a world where we feel powerless, we find ourselves under the grip of situations from which we are strangely incapable of extricating ourselves. Did we enter a relationship which exercises a strange, compulsive force? Did we make decisions based on avoidance or insistence that something must be in our lives, despite logical, rational reason? Did we sign any contract, or continue to stay in situations that are clearly disempowering?
Here, Rx Pluto provides an opportunity to look deeper into circumstances which somehow dragged us into situations which, by their sheer force of unconscious intent, play upon our unresoved wounds and traumas. We may say or do things, get into relationships which aggravate the need to act in ways which repress or deny things from coming to light.
If we can identify the source of our subconscious need to create secrecy, scorn, reproach, or contempt, we can somehow also metabolise, transmute or transform this dark, repressive self. Only through this understanding (pouring light upon the darkest side) do we regain our individual power and hope to extricate ourselves from the entangling ties of our toxic past.
Hence, Pluto’s retrograde period can provide an excellent retrospective look at where (and how) we tend to get hooked by the invisible, unwanted baggage that we/other drag around, from place to place, often projecting onto one another. Pluto in retrograde assists us to look back, examine our past behaviours and somehow come to terms with what it is that’s haunting us.
If you see yourself acting in extreme, Jekyll & Hyde manner, you may be more able to see where you are repressing or projecting your disowned sides. With Pluto in Capricorn, these can emerge as patriarchal wounds – instances where you have been reprimanded or punished due to the hierarchical structure of society, where you felt your own sense of social importance was suppressed, invalidated or made to feel unworthy, insignificant or disgraced, often due to your outward position or status in society being discredited or made un-whole (unholy) by ‘those who matter’.
Doing the deep, inner work during Pluto’s retrograde is a necessary part of life’s natural evolutionary process. It allows us to identify and own up to our flaws, weaknesses, selfishness, nastiness, hatreds etc. Through gaining a clearer perception on how these subtle, yet corrosive shadow elements of our psyche affect our relationships we can transform our lives. When we learn to harness, transform and eliminate destructive or debilitating patterns of behaviour, we enhance the quality of our interaction with others. Our general energy levels and physical vitality are also in better reserve because we are not spending them on wasteful activities.
Those who master tendencies to repress, or project upon others their unwanted or unhealthy behaviour reach a more integrated and mature level of psychological well-being. Thus, through doing the inner work, you can experience a greater sense of wholeness rather than feeling like a part of you is missing or being denied. Reaching greater command in how you balance both light and shade opens you up to expressing more of your full creative potential.
SIMPLE EXERCISE THAT YOU CAN DO ALONE DURING PLUTO IN RETROGRADE:
- Sit still, with the intention to face your disowned or repressed self. Bring yourself into a calm, clear, neutral space. Center yourself, for only in your heart-center can you begin to look for some objectivity about how you are conducting your affairs.
- Be kind to yourself through this. Release self-judgment. Holding self-reproach, shame or disgust at who you are and the kinds of people/situations you attract into your life is not constructive. Self-compassion is the key.
- Generate a currency of self-awareness by practicing a conscious breathing technique – any mediation practice that will help to still your mind is imperative. This will allow you to sit with your repressed thoughts without the compulsive urge to negatively judge or act out destructively whenever you confront elements within yourself that you dislike.
- Be brutally honest with yourself. Facing Pluto problems requires courage and integrity. Coming to terms with your disowned parts is gritty and often uncomfortable, which is why the ego invests so much energy in repressing them. You can be addictive, compulsive, controlling and tyrannical. You can be a monster. Face it and ask yourself how to cease the split that happens in your mind when you try to hide or decide this aspect of yourself.
- Keep notes on what you may discover. Recording the revelations from doing deep inner work gives a voice to the dark side of you. Your journal on parts of your behaviour that you would not dare discuss, even with the most trusted friends and confidantes becomes your highest level of confession about what lurks deep within you.
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