Decommissioning Pluto


With each passing degree of arc through which Pluto moves further from his domicile of Scorpio I become a little more convinced that the relationship between Pluto and Scorpio is a conundrum. In many ways we can easily appreciate the symmetry between sign and planet, theoretically at least, but I do not see a generation that expresses Pluto with especial intensity.

That said, it might simply be that in this most submerged of constellations, Pluto is remaining hidden and will erupt one day with astonishing force – albeit not overtly astonishing force. I think it was Noel Tyl who so accurately described Pluto energy as “a bomb under a blanket”.

In my view Leo, Libra and Sagittarius are the signs in which Pluto energy is most overt, because these are the dominating generations. This is how Pluto can most accurately be appreciated, as a struggle to manage domination energy. As you will hopefully appreciate this is a nuanced description of Pluto which contains several levels of self and spiritual awareness in potential. We can break it down in myriad ways, but broadly – and perhaps inevitably – crudely we can apprehend Pluto in our lives in the following ways, as:
1) the unconscious struggle to covertly dominate others, then,
2) the conscious struggle to master our compulsion to dominate others,
3) which in turn forges a less self-interested consciousness from this awareness of the increasingly sublimated nature of Plutonic drives.

Each of these is itself a spectrum. When I talk or write about this subject it provokes an enormous array of reactions from the brave and generous, to the downright compulsive, and no astrological subject has so much power to put people on the defensive. I have done enough personal ‘Pluto work’ now to not feel the need to take the difficult reactions personally (although I used to, as you would read if you were to scour these archives).

Most often I am asked, “is there any circumstance in which Pluto can be good?” Or some approximation (evaluative or otherwise) thereof. I think this misses the point almost entirely and betrays a fundamental misconception  about the intrinsic nature of Pluto. Pluto is unconscious domination energy. You can ask then, is there any way in which nuclear material can be good? because this is fundamentally the same question. Let us examine it just a little and uncover its innate paradoxes.

Broadly we can argue that nuclear material can be harnessed to provide power. So that’s good (this is the argument that governments use when they’re resisting the movement for alternative energy sources). This is true, and nuclear material and Pluto energy can both be harnessed to provide power. The crucial difference here though is that if Pluto energy were nuclear material, in most human lives it would be akin to hiring a cowboy band of builders to construct your nuclear power station. Most people put the reactor in the equivalent of a garden shed. Inevitably, the flimsy structures around the seething core have no possibility of containing the invisible toxins that pervade the atmosphere.

And then you have to wonder what the power is being used for? We live in an age of burgeoning nuclear proliferation, the haves versus the nearly-haves and many more have-nots wondering how they can get hold of their own atomic device. Why would you want that kind of power?

And yes of course, it’s entirely possible to use nuclear power for entirely philanthropic and compassionate purposes, such as providing heat and lighting for orphanages, but let’s face facts, that was never the motivating ambition of Rutherford and his cronies at Los Alamos, was it? In the same way, it’s never the motivating ambition of ordinary people either. Nations as well as the individuals want the ultimate power of Pluto, because it gives them the power of life and death over other nations and individuals. That changes relationships and puts one nation or individual in the kind of position where they get respect from the other nation or individual. If you don’t truly (truly, truly) want that power, then you have no need of Pluto.

So, can Pluto ever be good? No. In exactly the same way as when you harness nuclear material, the safegaurds, oversights, constraints, cost and ongoing legacy of using that power are prohibitive, entirely outweighing the benefits; you need so much control to be able to handle Pluto that you would never be able to let it out.

This is (as many will see) the Mars principle writ large. Mars is overt domination energy (like Pluto which is the same, but covert), and of course you can argue that Mars is necessary and it is. It is necessary to get what you need to survive. Okay that’s arguable from a certain perspective too, but if you believe that, then that is how you have to see the world of course. If somebody punches you then you need Mars energy to punch them back, or perhaps to run away if you don’t fancy your chances. You can ramp this principle up all the way to Pluto and reductio ad absurdum, if somebody kills you, then you can kill them back.

Pluto is an energy construct that is inbuilt to the human soul’s self-motivating desire to realise its own emancipation. It is a poison power cell which we all start out believing we can harness to improve our survival prospects, to get respect, to get ahead. The more we use it though the more we are poisoned by it. Our relationships become toxified and our physical, emotional and spiritual health is compromised every time we tap into it.

And this is the key insight into the raison d’etre of Pluto. Its true power to transmute the soul is realised in the forgoing of it. We cannot remove the poison cell, it’s a part of the human condition, all we can do is decommission it, a little like Chernobyl or Fukushima, and never go there again.