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Current Astrological Transits and You:

Each month, AstroCoach will bring you a discussion of a topical patterning of elements in the sky. Because of the Jungian Astrology focus of this website, we do not intend to look at the overall map of the sky at present. Nor will just any transit, which is the movement of a celestial body from one point to another across the zodiac, merit our attention. At AstroCoach, we will focus on an element that has a Trans-Personal impact. We will as a rule first discuss the meaning of a specific movement, such as the transit of Uranus into and through Aquarius. We may in some cases devote several monthly installments to discussing the various aspects of this transit and the impact on society as a whole. This comes from the Jungian emphasis on the collective or Trans-Personal aspects as a frame to the individual process of unfolding. Only then will we address the more personal aspect: what will be the specific effects or stimuli of the transit of Uranus (for example) for my individual sign?

This MonthÂ’s Focus: The Story of Pluto!

When I think of the Trans-Personal Planets, the first one that comes to my mind is Pluto.

Maybe because Pluto is one of the most under-appreciated among them.

Maybe because Pluto is one of the least understood among them.

And maybe because S/He is the most formidable among them.

S/He ????

I got your attention there, didn't I?

Now you can see why we shall spend not one, but several installments of Transits on describing and elucidating the power of a Pluto transit to your chart.

Pluto, in the Greek Mythology, was the Lord of the Underworld. At that time, the Underworld meant the world of the dead, the world of death. The Lord of the Underworld, therefore, was --- and is --- a formidable figure. The authority s/he wields is the authority of life and death. When Orpheus, the famous poet and singer of Greek legend, followed his beloved wife, Eurydice, to the World of the Dead, he confronted Pluto and pleaded with him for the unheard of gift, the gift of renewed life, for his beloved. (He got his wish, by the way, but with strings and conditions attached; he failed to meet the conditions, and Eurydice did not return to the world of the living.) Are shivers running up and down your spine already? They should be.

Pluto rules not only death, but also rebirth and regeneration. But the matter of rejuvenation and renewal, following the destruction Pluto wreaks, depends squarely on YOUR willingness and ability to adhere by the conditions Pluto lays down for you.

Let us say it differently. In our world, the Underworld stands for the world of the Unconscious. A Pluto transit most often triggers a 'descent' into the world of darkness and death. These can be actual physical or material events: loss, bereavement, illness, disintegration, failure, and decay. But the darkness and death may also be emotional events. In those events, the descent is into the Unconscious, dredging and revealing a chunk of hitherto unrecognized materials. These materials are often very difficult to accept into consciousness, because they do not match the picture the individual has had of himself or herself. Fears suddenly swamp the courageous warrior; jealousy and greed overtake the 'enlightened' and rational intellectual; helplessness and despair overwhelm the person who used to see themselves as capable and powerful and invincible. You get the picture. A Pluto transit can really be dreadful (full of dread, fearsome).

The special importance of Pluto becomes doubly emphasized when we see it through the lens of Jungian Astrology.

Consider the Greek legend that tells the story of Pluto, Demeter, and Persephone. Demeter, if you remember, was the goddess of fertility, growth and natural greenery. She ruled the cycle of vegetation life --- seeding, growth, decay, death and rebirth. Persephone was her beloved daughter. One day Persephone was seen by Pluto (a.k.a. Hades), and he abducted her to his underworld kingdom, raping her and making her his queen. Demeter, looking for her lost daughter all across the world, refused to be consoled, and stopped all vegetation growth until her daughter was returned to her. Jupiter, the king of gods himself, was called to mediate. Legend tells us that a compromise was reached, by which Persephone would divide her time between the two worlds. And so, while Persephone is in the underworld, Demeter again lets all vegetation die (and we have winter). Whereas when Persephone joins her mother, vegetable life and growth renews itself in spring, summer and fall. But legend also tells us that before leaving Hades, Persephone ate of the pomegranate, the fruit of the Underworld.

The figure of Persephone carries an important moral concerning Pluto's effects on the individual. Yes, she was abducted, raped and held captive, losing her former state of innocent virginity and her untroubled child-like frame of mind. But in the aftermath, she became a powerful individual. A Queen.

Moreover, the post-abduction Persephone is no longer an adjunct of her all-loving, all-encompassing mother. She is now a royal and distinct being, beloved and cherished by two powerful personages, and capable of making her own decisions. The eating of the pomegranate fruit can be read as an active choice, Persephone ensuring that she would return to the World of the Dead.

If you want to know what a Pluto transit may feel like, then each of the characters here may give you a flavor: Persephone, raped, abducted and taken into the dark Underworld, separated from the World of Light as well as from her mother. Yet she emerges not merely ravaged, but empowered by her losses. Demeter, who experiences the shocking and inexplicable bereavement, loss of the beloved; and who must face the need to come to some accommodation with the new reality. And even Pluto himself, at first glance appearing as the most powerful agent in this story. Pluto, too, goes through a reconfiguration of his concept of power. Like Demeter, he must relinquish his old concept of absolute power and come to some adjustment, in order to be able to function in the new, transformed reality.

So Pluto transits are often about letting go of old concepts of power and discovering new, more encompassing and more balanced notions of how power can be wielded. Loss of control, and loss of external attributes of power, often are at the center of the process.

But Pluto's transits are equally often about sexuality. The transit highlights the arena of love and sex, where power struggles are often heated and acrimonious. In some cases, the power struggle occurs outside of the self, and we struggle with one or more of our relationships. In other cases, the power struggle takes place within, between two opposing ideas about sexuality and love. And the process forces us to confront within or without us issues such as victimization, domination, pain and loss around the giving and receiving of sexual joy and love. We are asked to see which role are we playing: the innocent victim who is not so innocent? The devoted mother/lover who is not so self-less? The predator who must learn to love his prey, and to share his beloved with another loving individual? The dominator who must learn to share power and love?

Our ability to go through a Pluto transit and emerge on the other end renewed and reinvigorated depends on our willingness to adhere faithfully to Pluto's conditions. The underlying principle, as it was in the story of Orpheus, is to completely surrender to the process and to do so with great discipline. That discipline is the strict observance of 'letting go'.

In future installments we shall go in detail into what we need to 'let go' of, depending on the house Pluto is transiting, and the sign it is inhabiting (as well as the natal planets it is activating and the nature of the aspect).

For the moment, let it be said only that if we observe this strict discipline of 'letting go', the horrifying materials that have been dredged up can be turned to profitable use. Pluto, after all, is also the Lord of Wealth, and the Ruler of Waste materials. If we work with Pluto, rather than against it, the 'waste material' dredged up from the depth of our unconscious can indeed be turned to gold, and we end up much more rich in spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical terms.

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