It’s absolutely no coincidence that Ben Franklin’s famous line “in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes” speaks specifically to eighth house matters. Both death and taxes are ruled by Pluto, and to that list, I’d like to make an addition: in this world, nothing is certain but death, taxes and the hard transits of Pluto.”
Mel Gibson ought to be able to attest to that reality because for today’s article I will use his recent history to provide an insight into the reliability of this process and furthermore to echo the underpinning maxim of my previous article: you cannot weigh the Plutonic effect except within the context of the radix nativity. My intention is then to look at a few of the possible repercussions of those Pluto transits which will make themselves felt in the next few years of his life.
This will necessarily be a rather pared down exploration. However, it is a process with which I am extremely familiar as I have used it for several of my clients to very positive effect, although in considerably more depth than this article will allow.
First then, to some ground-rules:
- Pluto transits will always take on the ambience of his radix position by sign and house and will further activate any natal aspects, particularly those to personal planets. Thus if you have Mars configured to Pluto, the transits, progressions and directions involving the Lord Hades will inevitably intimate a Martian quality. If you have Pluto in Virgo then transits will throw up Virgoan, 6th house themes: health, simplicity, service, the fine detail of things and your day to day habits and working life.
- Remember too that Pluto kills and then is reborn, so his transits will inevitably reflect this quality also. This tends to mimic, albeit serendipitously, the rule of retrogradation which states that the 3 passes of an outer planet (direct-retrograde-direct) contain a fairly consistent quality of process: shock – acceptance – gift. This is my rule though, so you can disbelieve at your discretion (and peril). Pluto transits echo this exact quality: death of the old form (often violent) – a period of adjustment and mourning – birth of the new form (invariably better than what went before). Of course, Pluto very often makes 5 passes to a point so the process is a little stretched, but the general methodology remains consistent.
- Aspect styles do matter. Trines are not necessarily easier to experience than squares. The necessity however, for change, is usually felt more keenly so there is less resistance. The conjunction, opposition and square are invariably felt to be more distressing than the so-called easy aspects, but this does not mean that they should be in any way discounted. On the other hand, a hard aspect from Pluto transiting will be a major deal, regardless of any other factor.
- Even more pertinent is the transit of Pluto to one of the 4 angles. I have meditated on this considerably. If Pluto is crossing the Descendant then in truth he is opposing the Ascendant and that is the pertinent observation. The Pluto transit therefore opposes the self, it challenges one to defend one’s entire way of being through the interactions of others because when we are alone in the world we can behave exactly as we wish (Asc), but we will find our exposition of self challenged as soon as others come into play (Dsc.) What this relates then is that it is the aspect to the Ascendant and the Medium Coeli which is relevant. A square of Pluto to the MC will therefore be only marginally less profound than a transit of the IC. Pity those then whose Ascendant is exactly square their Midheaven!
- Solar Arcs outweigh mundane transits by a factor of ten to one. If you see a Solar Arc aspect of Pluto to the angles (especially a conjunction to the Asc or MC) then sit up and take serious notice.
- Similarly, aspects to midpoints are also profoundly insightful, and in many ways translate more directly into events where transits to single points often reflect more general psychological themes that manifest into events. This might appear obscure but when you look at your own transits in this light you will quickly catch the drift. Don McBroom has written an excellent treatise on midpoint theory which (essentially) espouses the philosophy that a midpoint picture can be decoded through the insight that the quality of the intersecting body is realised through the blend of the bisecting bodies. Thus, Moon = Mars/Jupiter might be understood as “security is realised through enterprise.” Similarly, birth might be suggested as a specific transiting event since the sexual principle of Mars is made fruitful by Jupiter and realised through a female, represented by the Moon.
There are many other factors to consider, but these provide an excellent lexicon from which we can create our outline narrative. By far the easiest approach here will be to use the example of Mel Gibson’s recent life and times to illustrate the methodology. In order to understand therefore we must make reference not only to his Pluto transits, but also to his radix nativity thus:
Looking at Mel’s chart you might begin to wonder why he’s famous at all. The answer lies in the Moon, ruler of the Ascendant, on the Aries point of Libra to the absolute minute! The Solar peregrination is undoubtedly intriguing and it inevitably creates interest in Mel’s father, Hutton Gibson, who has to date 48 grandchildren and is a dyed in the wool Catholic. Hutton once stated that:
The greatest benefit anyone can have is to be a Catholic. You have the lifelong satisfaction of being right. But we can’t go to Mass, there are no sacraments and I feel cheated.
Hutton is a conspiracy theorist who believes that the Second Vatican Council introduced explicitly heretical and forbidden doctrines into the Roman Catholic Church in order to destroy it from within, and he holds that every pope elected since John XXIII, inclusively, has been an anti-pope or illegitimate claimant to the papacy.
The sign of Capricorn is indeed ultraconservative, and here the Sun is ruled by Saturn who is himself squared to Pluto, an aspect which is profoundly and unbendingly dogmatic. Sun is also semisquare Saturn and sesquisquare Pluto, tying the Saturn-Pluto square into a direct configuration with the father figure in Mel’s life. When you consider that Uranus, ruled by the Sun in turn rules the 9th and is opposed by Mercury, ruler of the 4th, you can easily see that there is a great deal of unfinished business in the early home life which specifically relates to his relationship with his father.
Venus too of course is peregrine and in the 8th, which is probably rather bad news for his impending divorce, most especially when you consider that Venus is quindecile Pluto and ruled by Uranus opposed to Mercury and both square to Neptune, but we will discuss this in context a little later on.
Here then are Mel’s major transits of Pluto from the end of 2005 for a period of ten years. I hope to be able to predict with some accuracy the trends which will manifest out into his life from these initial conditions. Of course, it ought to be possible to create a much more detailed picture by including Secondary Progressions of the Sun and Moon, the Solar Returns for each of the years in question and of course major transits and arcs of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune too as well as Solar Arc Directions of all the planets, especially where they make contacts to the angles. For the purpose of this discussion however, it will be easy to demonstrate how accurately the broad strokes can be gleaned from transits of Pluto alone.
It is worth considering this just a little philosophically before we continue too much further. In my experience, no planet’s effects are ever quite so clearly delineated in the life circumstances as are Pluto’s, and it ought to be clear why this is so. Pluto is the most unconscious and compulsive of all the planets, so it is intriguing to note that Pluto transits will be conspicuous in inverse proportion to the level of compassionate evolvement and self-awareness of the individual in question. This is not as overtly disparaging as it sounds upon first inspection: an individual with Pluto making no hard aspects from the 9th house will not be nearly as under the cosh as another person – like Mel – with a Mars – Saturn conjunction squaring Pluto; quite possibly the most difficult of all possible Plutonic combinations. Put simply, Mel has much more Plutonic material to work through than the vast majority, so we should not look upon this as a fault or failing; more a cause for sympathy or at least, understanding.
On December 17th 2005 then, Pluto squared his Midheaven from the 6th house and Sagittarius. Let us consider all the various factors at play in this transit therefore:
- Tr. Pluto is in the 6th, so his daily habits will be exposed.
- Na. Pluto is in the third, so transport and communication will be configured.
- The MC is ruled by Neptune, so religious beliefs and drugs or alcohol are brought into play.
- Neptune is tee squared by Mercury opposition Uranus, thus sudden vocal outbursts are possible.
On July 28, 2006, at 2:36am PDT, Gibson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol after being stopped for speeding on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. A breathalyser test measured Gibson’s blood-alcohol level as “0.12%” (the state’s legal limit is 0.08%), and next to him was an open container of “Cazadores Tequila,” 750ml at 75% full. Gibson was described by the arresting officer James Mee as cooperative until arrested, at which point he became belligerent and experienced mood swings. While handcuffed in the car, Gibson made anti-Semitic remarks to Mee, who is Jewish. Gibson was released on bail at 9 am PDT. The next day Gibson confessed to driving under the influence and to “despicable” behaviour during his arrest, and a frenzy of media coverage followed.
Thus with Pluto less than 4 minutes from partile square with Midheaven (The likelihood of sudden ruin through misuse of power, a crisis at a certain juncture in life [Ebertin, The CSI 1972]) Gibson was arrested (na Sa sq. Pl), for driving (na. Pl in 3rd) under the influence (MC ruled by tee-sq. Ne.); an event which will probably be better remembered for his inappropriate outburst (Me opp. Ur forming the spine of the Ne. tee-sq.). Transiting Uranus was also in the 9th (unorthodox religious views or fanaticism) and at the midpoint of natal Moon and Pluto: again, fanaticism, the desire to fight, and sudden upsets and in quindecile to both Moon and Pluto simultaneously, creating both obsession and compulsion around religious themes.
The sheer number of correspondences is exhaustive, but I must move forward.
Mel’s wife of nearly 30 years, Robyn Gibson filed for divorce on April 13, 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. Gibson’s representative announced in May 2009 that Gibson and his girlfriend, Russian-born musician Oksana Grigorieva, are expecting their first child some time in the fall. It is likely therefore that their child will have been conceived just as Pluto was applying to the Venus-Mars midpoint; one of the most important midpoints in all astrology for predicting major relationship trends. By Ebertin, the transit of Pluto here signifies “a very strong sex life” and “an unusual power of procreation.” Mel’s sexual urges are being supercharged at this time by another major Pluto transit and once again, when you consider that natally Venus is quindecile Pluto, then there seems little doubt that his sexual compulsions will be especially strong at this time; and with Venus in Aquarius, it is unusual women who are fuelling his fire. He will probably marry Olga close to one of these transits. Unfortunately for Mel, the next round of Pluto transits do not exactly favour his new amorous union.
I would say that almost certainly, this relationship will come to an end in 2011. The transit of Pluto across the Venus-Saturn midpoint is extremely unfavourable to the long-term success of their relationship. Alone, this creates unusually strong tension in love-relationship, but on the 15 February transiting Neptune also opposes natal Pluto, which promotes the pursuit of fantastic ideas, self-torment, manias and a craving for alcohol. Mel will undoubtedly throw himself into his work and turn his professional life around; the combination of an interconnected series of transits to the Mars-Jupiter midpoint and his peregrine Sun will undoubtedly spur him to tackling an enormously ambitious project which will fill his days with activity thus distracting from his relationship woes, although it is entirely possible that he will also lose his father at this time as well.
Mel and Olga will probably split as Pluto transits his descendant; but such an outcome is not absolutely assured, Pluto after all is kill or cure. If his new marriage survives this transit then it may stand the test of time, but without considerable transformative work having been realised in the interim, I would imagine this to be unlikely, especially since Jupiter squares Uranus by Solar Arc and this creates an enormous impetus to get oneself free of a stifling situation and taste freedom once more.
There is very much more that could be said here, however, I do believe that this gives a good feeling of the narrative that can be constructed from the transits of Pluto. I am able to offer a more detailed narrative of this type through Astrology Hour, if you are interested in discovering what the future may hold for you in this manner.
In my next article, I aim to use another example of this type to underline the methodologies and techniques employed here.