A Sea Change on the Horizon?


For many months now I have been watching the future. Inevitably this is a key concern of the astrologer, the Uranian, the Aquarian, the 11th house individual, but actually, this coming month there is an astrological event of staggering magnitude in the making.

So far as I can work out, 27th of May will be a day of great importance in the destiny of this world.

Of course, better astrologers than I have come unstuck through making such bold proclamations and I do not wish to characterise this “happening” as having any profoundly calamitous or dramatic overtones, indeed, the nature of it all suggests that it may be much more subtle than we at first understand and of course, to pinpoint a day is also a little presumptuous, since this is only the point of greatest intensity, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The event: in astrological terms at least, is a super-conjunction of Jupiter with Neptune and Chiron within a 15 minute orb of 26° Aquarius.

Below is the chart for the evening of 27th May, at five past nine in the evening here in the UK. I have looked at this in numerous ways most especially regarding house systems. I have experimented with putting the stellium on the 1st to judge its expression, using an arbitrary point in space, and placing the Sun on the 1st too in the tradition of daily horoscope writers, but in the end I have decided upon a simple 0° Aries configuration: it is the birth point into consciousness and form and this I believe will give the easiest route to interpretation.

Before I begin to explore the scenarios it might be as well to talk about generalisations. Jupiter – Neptune contacts speak to spiritual philosophy, non-materialism, matters of faith and religion, disappointed hopes, idealism, speculation and financial wipeout. Neptunian affairs are expanded and Jupiterian concerns are dissolved or transcended. Chiron enters the fray and themes of wounding and healing are highlighted, but these are humanity’s wounds and the effects are undoubtedly global.

One way of getting a flavour of the contacts is to look at what was going on the last time these contacts were made. Jupiter was conjunct Chiron in 1990, just days before Iraq invaded Kuwait and today, mere days before the next contact the UK is pulling its troops out of Iraq. Is this the end of the Iraq problem? Consider that the last time that Neptune was conjunct both Jupiter and Chiron was in September 1945, within a day of the end of the second world war and at the end of that set of contacts, the United Nations was formed

Before that, the last time the same superconjunction occurred was in the summer of 1881 when Britain signed the Pretoria treaty which ended the Boer war, within 3 days of the closest contact between Ju/Ne/Ch. The cessation of wars therefore appears to be a theme of the great conjunction of these planetary superpowers with the rogue comet Chiron.


There are an enormous number of potentials here and it would be best to start with the most obvious, and possibly the most unattractive.

Scenario One: Global Pandemic

Jupiter conjunct Neptune conjunct Chiron. Here Jupiter expands Neptunian energy and attaches a measure of pain to the result, pain which is itself magnified. Poseidon (Neptune) was called “worldshaker” by the Greeks and with the Aquarius and 11th house influence this could certainly be an issue which affects the whole of humanity. With Pandora configured too it could also be of case of something having “got out”, and in the absence of any concrete measures being mooted, hope appears to be the last commodity available.

Sun and Saturn are peregrine. Authority and societal structures are out of the picture and with Saturn overexpressed in Virgo (and note: the exact midpoint of Virgo) and Sun in Gemini there are themes of communication breakdowns and health problems. Pluto is on the midheaven and in Capricorn, so change is afoot, and the usual structures do not hold. Sun is also in partile square to Ceres (not a minute out) which again suggests a real vitality problem, sickness even.

Moon and Mars are strong, Moon is in her sign, in hayz and at the midpoint of the Sun – Ceres square with the Sun too at the midpoint of the Moon – Venus square, a need to protect loved ones and family then. Chiron is exactly square Algol whose ancient imagery is of piled up corpses. Proserpina squares the stellium too, so loved ones may be taken down to the underworld and Neptune is stationary at this exact moment too.

The imagery of Neptune is interesting in this context. Neptune has of course long been associated with sickness and far more than Pluto is an impersonal force of devastation. Pluto actually represents an intensely personal confrontation with the Underworld, Neptune is the maker of sickness and has a much broader and less individual reach. It should be noted too that regardless of the broad trends indicated by this point in time that the event-mapping of the moment is somewhat uncomfortable to contemplate. Pl=Ve/Sa suggests transient states of chaos, the halfsum involves Venus in Aries (thus representing the physical body via the 1st) and Saturn in Virgo and the 6th: health. Thus, chaotic and confusing conditions relating to physical health. Then consider the darkly foreboding implications of Ne =  Ma/Ur = Ve/Pl! Fainting fits, raving madness and incredible fear combined with immoral and desperate behaviour.

Scenario Two: Global Financial Collapse

This was my original opinion and I have held this particular view for more than a year now. It appears to hold true as well, at least thus far. Global conflict is, in these latter days, increasingly economic, sanctions have replaced gunboats, but more widely I do believe that this theme bears out, even mundanely. In all cases of the previous conjunctions of this type it would appear that idealism wins out after a sustained period of pain and wounding. At this time Uranus transits the midpoint of Mars – Jupiter and Mars – Neptune from the 12th house. This suggests sudden plans being formed to combat sudden crisis conditions in business institutions, and as Uranus rules the stellium in Aquarius it is a decision taken by a hidden group; the ruler is well aspected however, so I am not especially pessimistic. A world currency? This possibility has been on my thoughts for longer than I care to mention. I do have grave misgivings about this as a concept and it could only probably be put into place if a profound financial crisis were in evidence (whether it had been manufactured or not). This last factor is echoed by the square to Mercury in Taurus: an enormous financial lie (Me sq. Ju/Ne from Taurus and the 2nd).

Scenario Three: A Spiritual Forward Step

Events of this type are invariably precursors to major shifts in thinking. In 1534, when Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron were all conjunct Martin Luther translated the bible into German for the first time and the Church of England became a functioning entity through Henry VIII’s first Supremacy Act. In 1945 the United Nations was formed. These are cohesive events which create a sense of higher purpose that can be shared by all people and crucially, which offer a sense of unity and a glimpse of a more enlightened future.

Most intriguingly in my view however, The stellium occurs on the astrologers’ degree of Aquarius. This is a profoundly sensitised point in the internal dialogue of astrology and it creates quite a buzz across the polarity to the 27th degree of Leo. Unquestionably this will up the ante for the world of astrology, even if not overtly.

The Sabian is delightful too:

An Ancient Pottery Bowl Filled with Violets.
This is a symbol of the permanence or changelessness of the real as an ultimate assurance to the human heart. No matter how many shifting forms the face of life may present to man, there are always the surviving tokens of an enduring stability on which the ephemeral and the superficial are unable to make any impact. Where there is replacement of substance and variety of structure there is also an over-all continuance of meaning and identity in which self may anchor itself. The keyword is TRADITION. When positive, the degree is a high realisation of values and a real gift of using them, and when negative, a loss of self in conventionality and its meaningless trappings.

In my heart of hearts I believe that we are all faced with a choice in this life and at no time has the urgency of the withering dichotomy that is the  collision of material and spiritual values been so apparent. This degree tells us that it is time to get real about our values. We as individuals do not have to hide our lights under the bushel of shame that has been handed down to us by those with no universal – only selfish – conviction. I for one refuse to be ashamed of those tenets I hold dear. I am here to help people and I do not want to be enslaved into the empty material trappings that are the garb of those who have not dared to believe in anything more. What of it if I go to my demise destitute? The rationalised avarice of our times is built upon a pyramid of parasitism that I simply cannot tolerate as a life philosophy. I want none of it, it sickens me, although not with an angry disgust, but just through proximity to the unclean and the poisonous. If life can be better, lived to a higher ideal then I want to aspire to that possibility, and if it cannot, then at the very least I do not have to be dragged down by it daily, again and again.

It’s actually very simple, but it takes a peculiar and rather detached view of your own place in this world to realise it.


Pluto and the Personal Planets Revisited

Pluto pushes people to the edge...

Today, I will begin to summarise the various insights relating to Pluto’s contacts with the personal planets that I have written over the last few weeks: they represent the sum total of my experience of the combinations with Pluto and their various manifestations into the life. I intend to look at case studies for each of the contacts with personal planets and I will post a new lesson on the themes of Pluto in the nativity at the end of the series. No Pluto contact is easy, it is only (at best) subjectively less urgent in its effects, however even a trine to Pluto requires a transformation of the combination, the difference to the square is only that the resulting oscillation of energies is not uncomfortable, or not felt to be in the same way. For this reason – and here we are crossing the threshold from astrology into psychology – we are not evincing that selfsame inner awareness of Hadean force; the trine and sextile ease and promote flow whilst the 8th harmonic contacts are experienced as friction and discomfort. If we are in pain, others tend to sense it.

In my work as an astrologer I find certain aspects to be prevalent in the charts of those seeking counsel. Apart from Moon – Neptune, Pluto is the standout. Of course, astrology is not about aspects, we cannot simply stack up aspects into a neat pile and expect the resulting edifice to resemble insight, but it is by understanding each piece and holding an awareness of it in our consciousness that it gradually merges into the whole and a glimmer of understanding begins to shine out. That is only half the battle; because then, like an impressionist’s portrait we have a sense impression in our mind’s eye and we must translate that without losing its essential quality – not an easy task by any standard (imagine describing a Monet to someone who had never seen an example of his work: could you convey any part of the truth and wonder of it?) but that too is time and practice and a willingness to adjust, refine and actualise in an ongoing dialogue. But without understanding the tree, we cannot grasp something of the forest’s essence.

So, to Pluto. He has two sides, one which is astonishingly uncomfortable and painful and another which is deep and rich and rewarding. The latter is actually the former transmuted by that peculiar alchemy of the human spirit which we might call evolution, or growing through experience, or life’s a bitch. Pluto, lord of the volcanic underworld forges a new understanding within the impossible heat and pressure of the mantle: we resist being taken down into the heat and flame and fury because we assume that we will perish, our resistance is given that fearsome strength born out of proximity to our mortality, and so it becomes, to all intents, a life and death struggle.

Which we will lose.

But rather than being consumed, as we feared, we are instead transmuted so that the dull lead of compulsion becomes the bright untarnishable gold of conscious self-awareness. Even this though suggests that perhaps our work is done, but of course that cannot be. We are exposed to Plutonic necessity almost daily by lunar transit, and this is merely the spume on a dark and restless ocean, because the most unfathomable depths are populated by transits, progressions and arcs which allow us to embrace new and terrifying opportunities to transmute further our souls in the implacable forge of Vulcan.

Sadly however, many of us are born to be unwilling participants in this ever-intensifying game of Hadean Snakes & Ladders and rather than cultivating acceptance, we instead bewail our misfortune and, resistant to the last sinew, find ourselves spewed up out of our turmoil and discontent, blinking, broken and embittered, only to reject the new form that we have assumed and gradually to reclothe ourselves in that old, more comfortable, but markedly less resplendent  garb. And with each denial, each regression, we become somehow more entrenched, more sullied and more disappointed. The old fixes don’t satisfy: we shrink away from life and become less than we remember, until our potential is nothing more than a ghost of our youthful imagining, and, lost in the fog of our declining years, we vanish out of sight forevermore.

SunPluto: Minimalist or Megalomaniac? (View original article)


Margaret Thatcher Su sq Pl: Power mad, emasculated husband, classic...

Here is a profoundly difficult energy that requires a transformation of the personal ego. Can manifest as a supreme entitlement and even megalomania or a deeply disarming deference and this energy is incredibly difficult to manage and cathartise. The craving for rulership is intensified and untransformed creates a classic “control freak” especially when in square or conjunction. The opposition is often an entirely different case, Pluto can be disowned and then must be experienced instead through others (the same can be said for any Pluto opposition to some extent (or indeed any opposition!)). Consider these interesting Sun-Pluto combinations and the variance of qualities between them:

Male Female
Conjunct Arnold Schwarzenegger Myra Hindley
David Koresh Madonna
Opposite Rutger Hauer Farrah Fawcett
Muhammad Ali Edith Piaf
Square Tony Blair Margaret Thatcher
Al Pacino Greta Garbo
Trine Charles Manson Grace Kelly
Neil Kinnock Diana Ross
Sextile Peter Sutcliffe Sophia Loren

There is a strange frequency with these aspects of successful yet hard-line politicians, actors of a certain type (“action stars” – overtly Plutonic – like Schwarzenegger and Hauer or brooding, covertly Plutonic types like Pacino and Marlon Brando, the first identifying more with Mars’ rulership – thus the warrior type, and the latter with Pluto’s rulership – the more sinister puppetmaster type). Note how much more the square and conjunction evince the difficult power clutching tendency of Sun – Pluto in a female nativity, while the opposition often creates a considerable difficulty for women that relates to being taken advantage of by men. The trine and sextile are very interesting from a female viewpoint, here is an easy expression of manifesting power over men in an almost bewitching manner, but the quality in the male chart remains consistent.  It is interesting to note that Tim Burton and Alicia Silverstone share a Cazimi Pluto (Silverstone’s in Libra and Burton’s hard on the Midheaven in Virgo).

Farrah Fawcett’s case bears some examination, particularly with regard to her recent health difficulties. She was diagnosed sometime prior to October 2006 with anal cancer, a condition which, it was announced, was in remission on the occasion of her 60th birthday in February 2007, but which has reportedly returned since that time.

Farrah Fawcett, 2 Feb 1947, 15:10 (CST + 6:00) Corpus Christi, Texas USA

Farrah Fawcett, 2 Feb 1947, 15:10 (CST + 6:00) Corpus Christi, Texas USA

For the purposes of this brief discussion I have removed aspects excepting those which I believe are causing the illness. What should be especially noted is that in February of 2006 (about the time of her 59th birthday therefore) Pluto was approaching 26 degrees of Sagittarius for the first time in almost 3 centuries. He was therefore within a degree’s orb of Farrah’s peregrine Venus in Sagittarius in the 6th house. The 6th house is the house of health (bluntly put, but accurate for the purpose of this scenario) and since she is peregrine, Venus is overexpressed. We can pin down so many expressions of this Venus placement here and now, Farrah has been an action-girl icon with wild, tousled hair and a kind of outdoorsy, fresh and expansive attractiveness. Venus is ruled here by Jupiter in Scorpio on the degree corresponding in the physical body to the anus. No surprise here. Most difficult of all is the Sun – Mars conjunction opposing old “hard labour”: Saturn conjunct Pluto in Leo, thus enormous tension and pernicious, destructive energy manifesting into financial control and material status, and all of that poison forced out into Chiron in Scorpio and the 5th. Both Chiron and Jupiter are ruled through sign and house by Sun and Pluto: Farrah’s cancer is an exposition of her control needs being disowned. She needs to be independent of others’ financial controls (Su/Aq/8) but her inability to compromise about money and her enormous self-worth anxiety (Sa+Pl/Le/2) (itself engendered by her parents – the 2nd is ruled by Moon rising: a mother then who really went out of the way to ensure that her daughter got everything she needed, but her father opposed it!) but all of that anxiety about her own value is pushed into Chiron. If we cannot heal the Chirotic wound then very often it will manifest as a physical symptom. What is more is that with the sexy image she has traded on in her life, the fact that she probably has a genuine difficulty with relaxing into intimacy is an irreconcilable and dissonant note too. The 8th house – the sex urge if you like – is opposed by Sa – Pl in the 2nd and ruled by Saturn in the 2nd too. She cannot enjoy sex because she doesn’t feel good about herself and conversely she cannot feel good about herself because she is disowning all those difficult, dirty feelings as they only add to the sense of being unworthy: no doubt she was seriously ambiguous about the way her father related to her, and such has been the pattern for the rest of her life. There is so much Plutonic material here that it is profoundly distressing for the astrologer to contemplate. How sad that nobody could help her to transform that early difficulty with self-worth that has been the basis for so much struggle.

So very often, Pluto remains hidden, until by transit he erupts into consciousness, or worse.

That is as much as I will include in this week’s article. If you wish to refamiliarise yourself with the other articles in the series, they can be found below:

Moon – Pluto: the Gathering Storm
Mercury – Pluto: Insight or Inquisition
Venus – Pluto: Love and Survival
Superhuman Force: the Mars – Pluto Contact

I am available to offer guidance and insight on Pluto problems and any other astrological issues through astrologyhour.

On Blame…

My apologies, in passing, for not posting an article here for quite some time; for not, if you like, fulfilling my contract on this journal, but here I am, and I intend to discuss contracts today, in a round-about manner. In large part I am writing this simply because I have Pluto in the 12th and a Jupiter – Neptune square, thus I am required to transcend the treacle that is living life rather than trying to wade through it: I also have to find a way to justify my philosophy, and that has been the story of my entire life; the fact that I’ve been so bad at it is more than a testament to the ongoing state of existential anguish that I’ve lived the vast majority of my life suffering in, indeed, it is a hulking, menacing cliff-face that has surrounded me on all sides for as long as I can remember. The imperative of Pluto tells me that I am required to float above those looming walls, rather than shouting my despair into the heavens, and at long last I am beginning to understand how that might be possible. Insofar as justifying my stance goes (Jupiter – Neptune remember? Which says something about defending (square) the perceived impracticality (Neptune) of one’s philosophy(Jupiter)) then I can claim that it is simply not simple enough to explain simply, Alan Watts put it a little better when he explained that nobody’s mouth is big enough to say the whole thing. This is not due to the fact – as you might suspect – that there is so very much to understand, but rather because there is so much that we typically understand which is flawed, and we have to un-understand that first. In truth, the un-understanding is pretty much the whole nine yards (and having Mercury peregrine in Scorpio I always delighted as a child in the knowledge that the machine gun belt of the P51 Mustang, a most beautiful and graceful machine of death incidentally, was exactly 9 yards in length).

I wrote a book. Not necessarily to have it published (although I am sending it off anyway), but actually just to say it. Now I feel much better and I start to feel that lightness of being which is the precursor to flight. So, by addressing Jupiter and Neptune the path to Pluto is illuminated, at least a little. But this is all technical talk, and there is little sense in making a circuit diagram of philosophy when we all have our astrology. I love philosophy, and perhaps even more than that, psychology, but since you cannot very well doodle with a 12-tonne pencil, I cannot love it as a pastime. Astrology on the other hand is the most profound explanatory device, it sits at the opposite end of the spectrum from psychology which seeks to posit universal truths, and delivers individual truth instead, a truth which is – and I really cannot love this word since it is a plaything of kitchen and web-designers both – bespoke. What use is there for psychology in the face of that understanding? It is like treating your indigestion by throwing lumps of chalk into the local reservoir.Yes, psychology is fun, let’s say that, and psychotherapy is a lot of fun; invented by the Pluto in Leo generation so they can talk about themselves legitimately and as exhaustively as they’d like to be able to do for free. I mostly jest.

When you understand this (and this is an astrological truth, not a philosophical one, so it does not need to be remotely as rigorous for the aforementioned reason) then you are quickly able to grasp the reality that if your astrology is exactly who you are – in the sense that it is your contract with the Universe – then you need to stop feeling hard done by right about now. Now don’t worry, I feel hard done by all the time, so I am not claiming any superiority here, but I also realise, usually fairly shortly after, that I really have no grounds for feeling that way, because I chose this life, so there’s no use complaining about it.

Now, annoying as this understanding is, it’s also profoundly liberating. Sure you don’t get to blame everyone else for your crappy life (sorry Mum), and you don’t get to let yourself off the hook for behaving like an arse because somebody else made you do it, and of course you also have to stop complaining that everyone else is behaving like an idiot too, because really, they haven’t woken up (literally in most cases) to their astrology, actually to themselves or their free will, which self-evidently cannot exist when we are compelled by our astrology – you know, compulsively compelled… Free will is the most prevalent myth of our times, and ironically, usually it is nothing more than a nom-de-guerre we apply to our inability to behave differently! Free will is the lip-service we pay to the manacles of our astrology, not this vaunted and exalted state of enlightened self-determination that we so admire in ourselves and don’t actually have in the first place.

I know for example one man who blames me because of his Saturn – Pluto conjunction. I also know a woman who blames me because of her Venus – Chiron opposition. I have a brother who blames me because he has a Mars – Saturn quindecile. The list goes on, but what these people fail to see is that even had I never existed at all, they would have found somebody else to fulfil the necessities of their contract with the Universe, I am – quite frankly – irrelevant.

This realisation has led me to discard blame. I mean that in principle of course, because I blame people all the time (with Mars in Sagittarius in the 3rd I’d be as well to just accept that and take a soapbox with me wherever I go, just in case), but importantly, when it comes to a deeper understanding of myself, my motivations and my purpose, I’m the only person who makes things happen. The only nuance of this entire discussion that requires examination is the other side of the blame coin. I can stop blaming, but if I do that, then the gift, the silver lining of that release is the awareness that I no longer am required to accept blame. Simply put, your problems are not my fault.

Move on.

Venus – Pluto: Love and Transformation

Venus - Pluto tries too hard to be liked...

Venus - Pluto tries too hard to be liked...

“Pluto connected with Venus is an important factor in love life and married life. Already in the Kosmobiologisches Jahrbuch 1965 I have drawn attention to the fact that the  two “society ladies” Nitribitt of Frankfurt and Keeler of London, in fact had a close conjunction and opposition of Venus and Pluto respectively. In their cases, an excessively accentuated sex life was combined with immoral conduct.”

So says the late, great Ebertin in his seminal treatise on “The Influence of Pluto on Human Love Life”, published in English in 1970: he goes on to intimate something of the profound difficulty with the contact:

“However it must definitely not be thought that Pluto – Venus combinations are always indicative of negative qualities, and that so a warning should be given to be careful about entering into marriage with such a person… Venus and Pluto do not necessarily lead to debauched and licentious ways. They can also endow with charm and popularity.”

Of course, these observations are tinged with the zeitgeist of a different astrological outlook, one that reflects the received wisdom of its time and indeed the subjectivity of its author, but regardless, there is no doubt that Venus – Pluto contacts, most especially in a female chart, are among the most problematic of all; at least they would be considered extremely difficult if the objective of life were to realise and enjoy a calm, secure and uneventfully committed marriage. That is not to say that the contact makes such an amorous Nirvana unattainable, only considerably less likely, but the irony of Venus – Pluto is that it very often thwarts its own deepest desire: to be loved, through its compulsive expression.

Ebertin’s understanding of Venus – Pluto was – whilst laudable for its time – doomed to be overtaken by the increasing sexual sophistication of Western society and an ongoing liberalisation in particular of women’s self-expression and attitudes toward marriage and partnership. Astrology too has raised its expectations and inasmuch as we are no longer condemned by our astrology, we are equally permitted to reach for the very highest potentials of even the most difficult of Plutonic compulsions. The purpose of this life, after all, is to become our best selves: not to remain trapped in a gruelling cycle of blind, desperate self-undoing like unwitting automata enslaved by the soulless mechanisms of a rigid nativity. Venus – Pluto is no exception and shares in common with all Hadean contacts the potential for transformation: indeed, its requirement is to transformation, one that is ongoing and ever exalting, but which – by necessity of providing incentive –  is in its untransformed state nothing short of ugly, base and as subjectively uncomfortable as it is objectively peculiar.

So first, to some broad ground rules. Venus – Pluto can manifest through the entire spectrum of aspectual contacts but as ever its urgency can be determined by gauging all the many factors that are the framework for understanding and insight. Consider the power and weighting of the planets themselves, the placements by house and sign, the aspect type and orb and so forth. Venus in Capricorn square Pluto in Libra will manifest very much differently from Venus in Cancer making the same aspect. To some extent Venus in Scorpio and/or the 8th will share some quality of this aspect and it cannot be denied that Pluto in Libra, most especially when found close to the Descendant and making other connections to personal planets will have some echo of this same quality.

So then, how does Venus – Pluto work in practice? We must first consider the key themes of the energies at play: Venus is concerned with being attractive; how we attract others and too how we make ourselves attractive to them. Venus defines something about beauty for us subjectively. It is most crucial in our manner of relating to the opposite sex and in a woman’s chart especially it describes something about the innate manner of appealing to men, while in a man’s chart it has more to do with the qualities that we find attractive in women. There is a subtle distinction therein of course: Venus in Virgo in a male chart and unmoderated or unrestrained by any other factor finds qualities of refinement, modesty and simplicity attractive in a woman’s manner; then too he will find a woman that is neat, who dresses simply and without ostentation and who above all appears natural and healthy, (no doubt with long, dark hair too!) most pleasing. He will not be impressed by short skirts, skimpy tops and layers of make-up. This of course describes exactly the manner in which the Venus in Virgo woman will seek to make herself appear attractive, but importantly, it does not describe the qualities that she will find attractive in a man any more than it describes the manner in which a man makes himself attractive to women (that is Mars’ domain).

Then of course we have Pluto. Much more difficult to understand, because there is no easy awareness of Plutonic tenets in the human consciousness. Pluto is hidden, forceful but in an insidious and indirect manner, deep – in the sense of being profound and for all of these reasons, he supercharges with invisible power. Most often this manifests as compulsion, which is only an imperative that is hidden from the self. While we cannot see Pluto at work in our lives we are doomed to do his bidding without having any awareness of his control except for a deep and nagging sense of discomfort and lack of ease when we are expressing the energy of the planet thus connected. This is however, a condition that is literally brimming with transformative potential since very often it is only required that one “sees” Pluto in oneself for the transmutation to begin. Seeing Pluto though, requires a glimpse of patterns of behaviour and self-expression that may be deeply unpleasant; even repugnant and it is no surprise therefore that we would very often prefer to not look at all. Pluto rules key biological drives, and as such it coarsens (where Neptune by contrast refines) and when all of these principles are combined we arrive at an expression of the Venusian principle that – untransformed – is crude (at least in terms of subtlety and sophistication), compulsive and control-focused.  The symptoms of Venus-Pluto therefore are an obsession with appearance, in women especially this can manifest as the type of person who dresses in a noticeable manner, and usually one that makes a feature of her ‘best attributes’ in some way. Then too, in encounters with the opposite sex the Venus-Pluto person seems to embark on a continual charm offensive which can be quite overwhelming to the recipient. If you find yourself in contact with Venus – Pluto you may well feel as though you are “in the headlights” as the intensity and focus that characterise the interaction is really quite startling. There is often a magnetic, covertly (and occasionally overtly) sexual undercurrent in the exchange but even where the interaction occurs between members of the same sex this rather disconcerting energy seems to be brought to bear: the Venus – Pluto native wants you to find them attractive, wants to be appreciated, admired and loved, even in the most fleeting and innocuous of encounters.

Of course, the exchange is rarely comfortable for anyone. There is a fundamental sense of anxiety – as with any Plutonic contact – when the untransformed energies are brought to bear. People with Venus – Pluto contacts are actually involved in an inner struggle, the people upon whom they turn their charms find it flattering but usually disconcerting and observers will very often feel ‘shut-out’ of the interaction as well. With Venus-Pluto, three is most definitely a crowd. Inevitably this creates enormous difficulties for the spouses and partners of the Venus – Pluto native, but quite possibly, with time and realisation that these intense, charged encounters do not ever ‘tip-over’ into a physical impropriety they become inured to the insecurity and jealousy which characterises the early relationship. Venus – Pluto’s intimate relationships are often something of a battleground for this and other reasons.

To understand the other reasons we have to comprehend something of the motive force behind the contact. In almost every case it boils down to an enormous anxiety about being loved. The native feels that they are in some way unlovable and inevitably this stems from a peculiar set of circumstances in childhood where the parents used affection as a means of control. It really is just that simple. Of course, there are nuances and sub-plots, but fundamentally, this is the long and short of it. There is an unconscious connection between love and survival where a lack of love is perceived in the dark of the soul to be life-threatening. Usually the parents used praise, approbation and affection as a cynical medium of control over the child and indeed the child will have picked up on the ambiguity of these feelings from the earliest age. In my experience this ambiguity can go far back, very often to the stark realisation that the child was not ever wanted at all. This spills over into the dynamic between parent and child so that the child – feeling as though they were never wanted in the first place – is insecure and actually rather desperate for reassurance. The parent unconsciously senses this anxiety and exploits it by giving and withholding love, reassurance and affection to ensure that the child meets their expectations. The Venus – Pluto child therefore learns, and learns well, that love is all about power and control, and learns to be able to switch their own emotions and affections on and off as Mother or Father did so effectively. All of this black baggage is carried into adulthood, and there it remains, subtly poisoning all future relationships until the darkness is faced and transformed once and for all.

The pattern in later relationships is classic and easily identifiable. The partner of Venus – Pluto finds themselves on an ever-shifting surface that is characterised by anxiety and upheaval. Their partner is very demanding, sexually ambiguous yet sexually motivated, is able to disconnect emotionally, thus veering from evincing great warmth to extreme coldness seemingly at a moment’s notice and is apparently obsessed with being attractive to everyone and anyone else. If the relationship survives at all in the face of such pressure then invariably Venus – Pluto’s partner loses all respect for their mate. Women with this aspect (Cher, Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Glenn Close) will either form liaisons with men whom they do not love at all – thus allowing them to retain their self-respect – or with men who have no genuine interest in them except possibly as a conquest – wherein they become little more than sex-object which serves only to further undermine their confidence and self-respect. Through this process of humiliation and ever diminishing self-worth she becomes a contemptible non-entity to her partners. Men with the aspect (Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, Rock Hudson, Sean Connery) identify more with the power and control issues of the aspect: they switch emotions on and off at will in order to maintain control of the object of their affections and then begin to complain that their partners are unstable and psychologically damaged. What they fail to see is that it is almost certainly their fault that the woman in their life who wants to be loved and cared for is bewildered and confused by the emotional amputation they are subjected to and eventually it takes its toll on their mental health and wellbeing.

Of course, this is Venus – Pluto at its worst. If you have this aspect and you find that your relationships are a battleground, that you are arguing long into the night and every time you fight it is as though all is lost and yet somehow – against all the odds – the next day you have made up again; then the chances are it has more of a compulsive hold over you than you might imagine. Transformed however, Venus – Pluto creates a treasure of the love nature. If the childhood planted seed of insecurity and anxiety can cease being watered then the choking thicket of love, survival and control can die back to leave a limitless capacity to love in its stead. This undoubtedly takes courage and prodigious levels of honesty. What helps for Venus – Pluto victims is to stop trying to be liked, turn off the charm, dress down and demurely and to stop trying to control people and situations with appearances and affections.

Help with your own Pluto problems can be found here…