Pluto: Death, Destruction and Transformation
Explores the meaning of Pluto's transits through different zodiac signs, and how Pluto relates to the collective.
Pluto: Death, Destruction and Transformation
Pluto is the signature planet of the twentieth century, having been discovered in 1930, just when the world was plunged into economic depression, when the seeds of the atrocity of Nazism were sprouting in Europe, and when the underworld of organized crime was establishing a firm foothold in America as a result of her failed experiment with Prohibition. Pluto in mythology is Hades, the lord of the underworld. Psychologically, Pluto refers to the demons and darkness that haunt the collective, which now and then erupt in certain individuals, such as Hitler, Stalin, or Charles Manson, who embody and manifest the darkest sides of ourselves. The process of Pluto involves death and destruction, rebirth, regeneration and transformation. The mythical Phoenix, who rises reborn out of the ashes of its own destruction, is the embodiment of the Plutonian process.
Planets are discovered at a time when the collective is ready to embody and manifest their qualities on a mass scale. With Pluto, what was ready to be unleashed in the twentieth century was something very dark and foreboding within the human psyche. And indeed, in the seventy-plus years since it was first observed in a telescope, more destruction has been visited upon this planet than in all the rest of human history.
In the lives of individuals Pluto transits will bring up issues that have long been buried or repressed, providing an opportunity for resolution and release, and – ultimately – for healing and transformation. Pluto brings us face to face with our obsessions and compulsions. Carl Jung said “when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.” Jung’s statement is a perfect description of how Pluto transits work in the lives of the great mass of humanity.
The obsessions and compulsions which motivate and drive entire generations arise out of the collective experience of those generations, and these obsessions can be traced through the sign placements of Pluto. The generation which came of age during the period from 1919 through 1937, with Pluto in Cancer, became obsessed with achieving material security. They had lived through a depression and a terrible world war, so who could blame them for pursuing material comfort and security with great determination? The German people, after losing World War I, took the Cancer values of patriotism and nationalism to extremes, and what ensued with Nazism was a collective fall to the depths of human degradation.
The children of the Pluto in Cancer generation, with Pluto in Leo (1938-1957), rejected the security-conscious values of their parents and wholeheartedly embraced the values of Leo. This was the hippie generation – self-conscious, self-possessed, creative, fun-loving and pleasure seeking. They extolled the virtues of ‘free love,” invited you to “do your own thing,” and beckoned all of us to “make love, not war.” Their obsession with their divine right (Leo) to do whatever they pleased resulted in wholesale neglect of their children in an extreme manifestation of the dark side of Leo. Extreme also, in its excessiveness, was their “sex, drugs and rock and roll” lifestyle.
Those with Pluto in Virgo (1957-1972) strove mightily for the most part to disavow the gross excesses of their Pluto in Leo parents. “Generation X,” as the Pluto in Virgo group came to be known, battened down and got to work. They committed themselves to the system (signs of the earth element, more than any of the others, strive to uphold the established order), sought out education and jobs, carried on a love affair with Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s, and on occasion even turned in their pot smoking parents.
During the period when Pluto was in Libra (1972-1984), the destructive power so strongly associated with this tiny but extremely dense planet was visited upon relationships. Everyone in those days was looking for his or her ‘soul mate,’ but in fact divorce and separation skyrocketed. It became so prevalent that people anticipated the breakup of relationships even before they began, and as a consequence pre-nuptial agreements proliferated.
When Pluto transited Scorpio (1984-1996), A.I.D.S. reached epidemic proportions and became a world-wide scourge. It brought us drive-by shootings and gang warfare. Positively, the ‘code of silence’ of the Mafia was broken, resulting in a large number of convictions of underworld bosses. It also brought child molestation and child abuse out of the closet. And the Soviet Union (a Scorpio nation, born in November, 1917) broke apart under Pluto’s transit over its Sun in 1990. Most interestingly, in the wake of the Soviet demise we have witnessed the precipitous rise of a powerful Russian organized crime syndicate, which leads this observer to conclude that not only the Soviet Union, but also Russia, is ruled by the sign Scorpio.
Pluto entered Sagittarius in early 1996 and remained there through 2008. The most obvious generational obsession to manifest during this period was the precipitous rise in religious fanaticism (a good Pluto word) and fundamentalism. The extremism of Pluto in Sagittarius is seen in both an Osama BinLaden and a George Bush. The certainty of their respective religious views is of course simply opposite sides of the same coin. The fervor of the religious right, here in America and in nations far away, pushing its agenda is testament to the kind of obsession that arises as Pluto transits Sagittarius. But for many, what it reveals as it passes through the sign of higher consciousness and understanding is the emergence of a new religious paradigm. There are millions who have tuned into and realized the truth (Sagittarius) of who we are – creators of our own reality, nothing less than the image and likeness of God, not weak sinners and victims, but powerful spiritual beings capable of creating whatever we desire to create.
Pluto entered Capricorn in 2009 for a sojourn of fifteen years. During this time we will witness total system collapse and destruction. Governments by dictatorship are now falling like dominoes, and this will continue and pick up steam. Governments, unable to meet the needs of their people, will be overwhelmed and begin to implode. Great corporate structures will fail and fall. By the time the transit is finished in 2024 we will see a totally new and transformed world emerge out of the ashes of the present one.