Once in a while, we may become possessed with intensely strong feelings of affection for something or someone. So strong, in fact, that we can hardly control ourselves. We know we shouldn’t, but we must, and so assail the object of our desire with such ferocity that we devour it, at least in spirit, anyway. Little do we realise that it has the power to consume us.
Life is full of taboos and temptations: material delights, money, sex, power, status, fame etc., pursuits that, once taken, almost certainly lead us down a dark path of destruction from which there is no return. Sometimes the thing we so desperately want supplants our whole survival, or so we think, and so we fight tooth and nail to have it just to stay sane or even alive.
In such instances, our usual spirit of desire is not merely superficial; it runs much deeper and craves to satisfy something more primal. Have you ever wanted something so badly that to not have it would mean your life is not worth living? To get it, you might have struggled beyond means, spent more than you could afford, demeaned yourself with begging, stealing or borrowing, even violating the rights and prerogatives of others. Perhaps you caused terrible harm. In the end, was it worth all the drama, the anguish and the pain?
Whatever the object of desire, when we or others in our lives succumb to the ruthless fixation to satiate passions, the grinding force that arises becomes the central dialectic of psychological trauma. Such energetic entanglements seem fated and spawn from a mythic, long-forgotten, deeply chthonic, subterranean dimension. They are driven or at least provoked by an archaic ancestral urge to survive, to dominate over all rivals and ensure that our genetic pool triumphs for the next generations. Here, we are prepared to break down any barriers, rules or restrictions, and the modus operandi becomes “to live and let die”, as the saying goes.
If this sounds extreme, you can be sure Pluto is somehow involved with Venus.
One might say we become spellbound by Pluto’s force over Venus. We get so transfixed or distracted with attaining our gift that nothing else seems to matter. So intense is this magnetic force that we are likely to abandon all other interests and crush any obstacles. We go to any length, pay any price, renounce any liberty or comfort, perform hideously grotesque acts, and violate every sacred moral code just to possess the prize…
…and possess it we must, even if the damned thing kills us.
The question is: do we ever possess the thing we love, or are we indeed the ones who become ‘possessed’ by love?
On her own, Venus is the gentle, easing, divinely feminine force that governs our power of attraction. Venus rules over our ‘choice’ or ‘taste’ principle, and we sense her allure whenever there is something in our midst (our mind) that we should like to draw closer to our heart – to make ‘ours’.
Of all the plethora of aesthetic interests (material things, lovers, qualities, etc.) in our world, we develop a particular fondness towards certain things. We feel these things might embellish, enrich, complement or somehow add value to our lives – things we might ‘love’ or ‘wish to own’. These could be many things: delicious foods, nice clothes, a comfortable house, pleasant friends, handsome lovers, partners, a well-paying job, a holiday, a mystical experience, etc. Venus imbues us with a desire for anything that may improve or bring joy into our lives qualifies, and when we deem it worthy, our hearts begin to generate a magnetic pull that seems to call it in closer.
Pluto – the supernatural ruler of major force, exudes a dark transpersonal power. He governs over the collective, mysterious ominous forces of nature, such as the process of death and renewal – ensuring that all things eventually perish, break down and regenerate anew. As one of the farthest known planets in our system, his action is slow and deliberate; his cause is subtle and largely invisible. Yet, his effect is utterly thorough, absolute and irreversible.
So ominous and imposing is Pluto’s transformational power that mortal humans commonly wish to banish him away from ever seeing the light of day. He represents “he who must not be named” in most cultures. His role of taking souls to the underworld, where they must pay ultimate penance, is extreme and usually non-negotiable. It requires the massive awareness of all humanity to become wise (enlightened) to his sinister plan to wipe them out (disease, war, plague, famine, tyrannical enslavement, etc.) before he can be overcome. Understanding Pluto’s sinister agenda, and holding his corruptive, decaying processes at bay requires deep study into his insidious means and instruments.
Even at our best, creating laws and mandates, cures and elixirs, armies, frontiers and treaties that hope to hold his diabolical forces at bay (or at least keep them banished or hidden from our children), this does not totally eliminate Pluto’s overriding intent to wipe us out. He will always find a way to break us down, for possessing power over our souls is his singular design.
There is always one bad actor in our lives, some deranged or psychotic player out there who will act as the archetypal nemesis, an agent of transfiguring change, or psychopomp for the dark underlord.
Any degree of wisdom, psychological intelligence, or pre-emptive suspicion of his motives only seems to force Pluto’s activity to become more covert. He likes to stay in power, always invisible, conspiring to uncover more profound ways to corrupt and manipulate without our knowledge, pushing him further underground. Pluto wrote the book on Machiavellism; he acts psychopathically and extremely narcissistically. Our horror that he may one day ruin the sanctity of our purity is part of the mortal contract. To assume that by merely prohibiting (or ignoring) those elements in our world that we deem cruel or sinister or somehow have the power to defile our good-natured efforts to survive and prosper is, at best wishful and, at worst naive. When death comes knocking, we must eventually answer.
It seems that death, corruption and consequential evolution – however managed and controlled by our laws and customs – are invisibly omnipresent and pertinent components in the life cycle; therefore not inescapable. Like the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), Pluto’s presence – however imperceptible and disconcerting – seems like an ominously impending part of our living journey here on this earth. Therefore, whilst we can do our best to educate ourselves, remedy and cure the ills, try to stay mindful of the perils, and evade suffering, trauma and loss with our counselling and streetwise smarts, we cannot yet cheat or eliminate death.
WORKING WITH PLUTO
Pluto’s domain (death, sex, crime, power, wealth, taxation, irrevocably life-changing moments, trauma and destruction) remains generally hidden in the dark, complex realms of the mysterious.
Few will dare deal with these as ordinary fare. Some willingly wish to dance with them, for whatever selfish reason, but at their own peril. As such, unexpressed desires or unresolved traumas accumulate under the surface. Sometimes, the pressure gets so much that it can erupt into our lives at the next provocation. It is this cumulative pressure that, over time, becomes the impetus that pushes Pluto to violently lash out and pervert (or mercilessly devour) whatever takes his narcissistic fancy.
Plutonic forces gather silently underfoot; they crawl under our skin; riddle through our body via our ancestral DNA; carry over in the family psychopathy, etc. These powers are searching for ways to bust through the weakest defences of our innocence and naivety, yet we remain largely unaware – ignorant to the threatening auspices of death, decay and transformative change.
Many wish to avoid thinking about loss, death, or life’s darker side. It’s too much; the subject itself is too disturbing.
Others choose to willingly explore the dark side, possessing a morbid fascination for things obfuscated or forbidden. Seeking to identify their dark side, they strive to understand the weaknesses of the flesh better and become acquainted with their mortality, psychological blind spots, and those repressed, shadow-self areas. They become intrigued with power and aspire to possess it over those who live in fear or terror.
The individual recesses of one’s grim darkness are often tainted with historic traumas over death or abandonment, haunted by a long-forgotten memory of a past atrocity or violence, coupled with a latent desire to restore peace, retrieve power or settle an old score. These traumas often extend beyond one’s lifetime – intergenerational taunts and aspersions that lay dormant beyond the grave in one’s karmic history (Pluto rules the underworld). They are the spiritual residue of wars, feuds, lynchings, rape, incest, and abuse – things our ancestors would have lived through merely to survive. They can be traced through the family lineage, entire dynasties and whole cultural identities, often undisclosed to the native (secrets hold power), yet somehow indelibly affecting how one behaves. Our most grotesque fetishes and aberrations are often perverted manifestations of damage we can scantly remember.
Within those long-forgotten traumas is the key to a pearl of profound wisdom, yet we must dig deep to uncover this truth. Pluto transits often signal that we are about to undergo an experience that allows us to discover more about our inner workings. Unlocking the mystery of what subliminally holds power over us opens the stairway to an immense transformation.
VENUS/PLUTO CONTACTS (ASPECTS)
When we blend the personal desire nature, ruled by Venus, with the invisibly transformative power of Pluto, the result is an irrepressible attraction. It is a desire so intense, a pull so irresistible that it contains the atomic force to fuse two hearts as one. In this affair, individual power is either obliterated, surrendered or abandoned by enslaving the submissive to the dominant through sheer force, deception, or charismatic charm.
Pluto applies a potently manipulative force capable of annihilating everything that stood before, destroying it entirely by (eventually) transforming it into something completely new.
No matter how innocent, peaceful or calm things may have previously stood, Pluto’s seed of temptation infects the heart’s ‘desire principle’ with obsessive force to seize extreme governance. All former interests and affections slowly become infected with a corrosive germ that slowly goes to work, diabolically turning them to pale grey. In its place emerges a burning, overriding urge to pull towards the forbidden one, often with a ferocity that will stop at nothing.
When Venus is ‘infected’ by Pluto, it is as if a ‘third-party entity’ steps in and assumes power over our carnal desires. From this point, we are inclined to go to any lengths, do whatever it takes to glut our appetite, to claim our prize. We become so possessed with a fetish ‘to ravish and behold’ that we pay almost no regard to existing laws, customs, constraints, or consequences.
The urge to devour (or be devoured) by the power of love flares violently, seizing total control over every aspect of our lives. Plunging us deep beneath life’s banal norms and ordinarinesses, it seems all ‘sensible’ choices wither away, vanquished by our fanatical preference to an invisible pull so passionate that to an outsider, it looks like madness.
What follows is the gradual degeneration of our carnal weaknesses to the point where they eventually fall away from our souls.
Pluto in love is not only a physically possessive and emotionally demanding lover; he is a jealous and controlling master, prone to become violent and tyrannical should anything hamper or interfere with the master having his way.
Strangely, under this shroud of absolute darkness and absolute rule lies the imprints of devotion and commitment, a thing Venus finds most comforting and securing. It is the stuff of binding marriage and business contracts, loan arrangements and governmental constitutions (taxes and treaties). Anything that promises to hold us there “till death do us part” is indeed a Venus/Pluto pact.
It is this extraordinary pull towards the omnipotent, the extraordinarily wealthy, the compellingly charismatic, the super-sexy, the eternally satisfying that gets us. This spellbinding allure promises immortality that we cannot logically understand yet cannot resist. And we are sold (or bought), like slaves to the master of love…
…or at least until the spell holds out.
Pluto’s involvement in any planetary combination introduces extreme manifestations of that planet’s natural expression. There is no compromise in how the behaviour or activity is played out. It is all-or-nothing. There is good reason for this, though not necessarily easy to explain at the local, superficial level:
Although not often perceptible, the higher intention towards transforming and evolving the soul is always present with Pluto contacts. On the surface, something appears out of proportion or contemptuously wrong: Relationships seem dark, controlling, oppressively dangerous (even deadly); voracious appetites seem insatiable; artistic tastes seem dark, perverted, beyond the realms of healthy or acceptable. Outsiders tend to hold extreme concerns towards those who seem intimately enmeshed in a Plutonian affair. Onlookers are either puzzled, intrigued, in disgust or condemnation of what they deem inappropriate or impossible to understand about the nature of the union.
Whilst we may not understand our powerful attraction/addiction to something that to others seems taboo, we are often helpless to stop. And others also feel unable to intervene. Often, we must allow it to go on, for we inherently understand the sacredness of the transformative process. However uncomfortable, frightening or mysterious, we know what is occurring is a natural part of life.
Such is the case even with those whose lover or spouse has become involved in an extramarital affair. Or the caring parent who sees their beloved child gripped by some strange fetish or addiction. The helpless or uninitiated to power knows best to stay out of the way and let the process play out.
Pluto aims to immobilise, devour and slowly metabolise (metamorphose) something to suit his ultimate design. To do so, he must wield supreme control. He cares not for the mortal costs and casualties. His evolutionary mission is supernatural, and he does not appreciate any pedestrian intrusions. So everyone who is not in power knows to stand back – primarily due to the threat of either being dragged into its consuming vortex or fear of vicious reprisal. Pluto wields a lot of power and doesn’t appreciate interferences or interventions in his affairs.
Naturally, the love affair is incredibly intense, the sex not just mere play but taken as a sacred ritual to ego-dissolution. A tantric religiosity promises to bring both partners into higher dimensions and merge them with the universal intent. Things can get out of hand in the more tense phases of this cycle (squares/opposition); power imbalances become destructive and abusive wherever egos struggle to hang on. The power is best handled responsibly and with the intent to raise the vibration; otherwise, immense pressure can build up.
Of course, things cannot remain under pressure forever.
Sooner or later, any stressful Venus/Pluto affair will buckle the body-bound (egotism) elements, and life will burst at the seams. Wherever extreme levels of force are applied, something must eventually give way and crumble. Only when this base-level ego desire has been laid bare, often over and over – to the point where it can break down no further – has the job been done. When the old, troubled character has been wholly tarnished and subdued by the relationship, when the true source of all power struggles with others has been exposed and purged, something completely different is ready to emerge.
Something new – self-emboldened and empowered with a new, higher, incorruptible love and appreciation can rise.
Ultimately, through our graduation from such intense affairs, a most advanced consciousness about love is elevated to its highest degree. Through each dramatic episode, we evolve out of a primitive place of innocence, a naive fascination with the allure of the taboo and forbidden, see the light, and discover a new sense of humanness. We find a new way to love, and suddenly, whatever external force has power over us ceases to possess us.
With Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) the Venus/Pluto cycle seeks to delve deeply into what drives our desire nature through glorifying status, money, fame, and social importance. In locating the deep source of our inherent obsessions, we uncover the virtues and vices around holding responsibility in personal relationships or over the entire world. We promote our parental-style governance to god-like levels and can effect significant changes. However, the journey is not mild, and it is often through the gradual asphyxiation of our ‘beloved’ (Capricorn is ruled by constricting Saturn) that we expose endemic power imbalances – especially in the patriarchal models (church, state and corporation and paternity) which binds us to a blind, narcotic crusade to acquire aesthetic beauty, wealth and corporeal satisfaction. Whether we ever become truly satisfied is questionable; however, in the mission for total acquisition, great re-evaluations and phenomenal transformations occur.
Due to Venus’ retrograde on the exact degree of Pluto, rare, sustained conjunction lasting almost an entire month in December of 2021 will produce the ultimate bind/schism, one that threatens to transform all human relationships in such profound ways that its ultimate outcome is not easy to predict. It seldom is with Pluto.
One thing we can safely project is that something devastating is fixing to occur, from which there is no going back and after the irrevocable damage, we will be forced to start afresh. We will have to wait and see, because once Venus turns direct in Jan 2022 she combines with Mars to form a rare triple conjunction with Pluto on March 3rd 2022.
Ultimately, the complete process is where we collectively undergo a comprehensive change in values, and where we are forced to move beyond our mere mortal constraints and delve deeper into remembering our divine nature.
It is not until our cycle of descent into the darkness is complete, however, that we finally see the light: that we possess (and always have possessed) the empirical particle (within) to become satisfied in love. The power we wanted to feel through merging deeply with another was a power that was always present deep within our own heart, just repressed or manipulated – hidden in our shadiest place, made to feel unhealthy or taboo.
Pluto blesses us with supernatural gifts like x-ray soul-vision and a superpower to spot the source of deep, transgenerational trauma, For those who are willing to do the shadow work, Pluto has a way of sequestering us away somewhere where he can go to work, methodically stripping off layers of our ego desire and coming to mature and responsible terms with it.
Buried in our own often cruel, heartless, vicious struggle to acquire and possess a controlling, grasping love is the hope we transform by discovering the true essence of love itself. By its very nature, love, beauty, and abundance cannot be possessed, for it is everywhere.
After all the drama of extreme control dies, what survives is a powerful awareness born of unconditional, non-possessive love – the only force that can bring universal peace, healing and renewal to this world.
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So with Venus conjunct Pluto in my birth horoscope – this should be kind of “normal” to me or?
Profound, well written and certainly from experience.’
Truly beautiful. I have venus in leo square pluto in scorpio. I can now finally start to taste the fruits of this. My first obsessive destructive love affair was at age 12. Ever since, all my experiences that followed were gruesome but full of lessons I decided to question and learn from. After therapy and a lot of introspection, I’m feeling the transformation in my now early 30s. I still have work to do but I finally understand why I’d be that way you managed to describe here so eloquently. Thank you!