Pluto Overpowering the Moon? Thwarted Instincts
Thomas Hobbes (a grand trine involving the Moon) claims that
“every man by natural necessity desires that which is good for him…”
But this rule may not hold in all cases. With a severely afflicted Moon instincts can be either contaminated with strange contents or, in severest cases, thwarted or blocked out. With, for instance, a Moon-Pluto conjunction or opposition you may ‘by natural necessity’ make choices that lead you to strangest detours and cul-de-sacs.
“She knew what was troubling him: thwarted instincts, common beautiful instincts that he was being robbed of”. – Djuna Barnes (Moon in Capricorn)
With a thwarted Moon what you experience as your instincts and gut feelings may not reflect your deepest wishes at all. You may think that you are desiring something when, in fact, you are acting out impulses coming from your surroundings. Or perhaps impulses reflecting only your personality, not your inner and deeper self.
And as Gurdjieff wrote:
“Personality can dislike precisely what essence likes – and like what essence does not like.”
We may discern in the moon’s sign at birth something of the way in which the individual expresses himself when not an individual, but a creature of instinct. – Liz Greene
The Moon reflects our inherited thinking patterns, it is “thinking as the tribe thinks” (Elman Bacher). The Moon tells us what we need to feel comfortable and safe. If our tribe had some peculiar behavior or thinking patterns – not to speak of perverted emotions – all our tribe’s quirks may still be reflected in our instinctual patterns. Then it may not be always wise to believe those who say: just listen to your instincts, because your instincts may not be ‘yours’ at all although they may feel like they were yours.
When you think like your tribe thinks, you may feel very good because it gives you a sense of belonging, you feel at home and safe. But Moon-Pluto (especially conjunction or opposition) can also reflect strong and perhaps perverted tribal influences that have almost blocked out most of your instincts and in a devious way: you may totally unconscious of the fact. When you act in an instinctual way you may act out desires and wishes you have been forced to introject from your surroundings. You may be doing what your tribe wants you to do, not what you yourself want or what might be good for you. Your own instincts may have become a dumb note.
Lisbeth with Pluto on Cancer-IC is a good example of this. Lisbeth was so much owerpowered by a very Plutonian family that her personal instincts began to work against her. As long as she lived in her family almost all her instinctual choices and decisions proved quite disastrous. She felt that she was acting on her own – and then later on found out that somehow she had done exactly as her family wanted until she finally learned that the only way for her to make good decisions was never to listen to her ‘own’ instinctual feelings. Otherwise she would come to regret the decision. Like many other Moon-Plutonians she had to struggle hard – and for a long time – until she got in touch with her own true feelings. In her case that meant a total breakup with her family.
A PSYCHOLOGIST IN THE MAKING ?
We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Moon-Pluto usually reflects intense and often carefully hidden feelings, sometimes astrologically best reflected in dwads. Those intensive emotions can be quite compulsive and uncontrollable because they are, at least partly, absorbed from surroundings and thus often mixed up with strong unconscious collective energies. Such a mixture of personal and collective emotions, absorbed from many different sources, can easily drive anyone up to the wall.
The positive side is that the struggle many Moon-Plutonians go through to come out alive from their family mess, will often give them excellent deep insights into human psyche and family dynamics. From her or his earliest years a Moon-Plutonian may be a psychologist or a psychiatrist or some other expert on the human psyche in the making. Often Moon-Pluto children become confidantes of their mothers or other family members. They are psychically sensitive, they comfort others and listen to everyone’s problems. As adults they may to the same for their clients as psychologists or psychiatrists; and possibly also for their friends and acquaintances – often acting as catalysts enabling others to live through their troublesome emotions.
The downside of their psychic sensitivity is that Moon-Pluto persons can sometimes be quite literally possessed, for instance, by a devouring and overwhelming mother. Or in some cases by the father or by the whole family. Or even by ancestral energies going very far back in time, which may prove disastrous for their own psychic balance unless they learn how to ward off disturbing ancestral feelings:
“If we became aware of the ancestral lives in us, we might disintegrate. An ancestor might take possession of us and ride us to death¨.” – C.G. Jung (Moon conjunct Pluto in the fourth house)
If there are, or has been, strong violent or even murderous unconscious impulses in the family, those violent energies may infiltrate through the unconscious to the mind of the Moon-Plutonian child as suicidal thoughts or impulses. If the parents, for instance, hated the child and hoped to get rid of her or him, the sensitive Moon-Plutonian may feel that in adulthood. Martti Paloheimo, a Finnish psychiatrist, once wrote how the suicidal risk is accentuated if the relatives harbor death wishes. According to Paloheimo such wishes are often very real and sometimes easily seen even by empathetic outsiders.
If there is such a thing as a family curse, Moon-Pluto or Pluto in the fourth house might reflect it astrologically. Often natives in such cases are – just like Neptunians often – family victims – “identified patients”, they are possessed by family energies and experience in themselves all the problems and destructive impulses of other family members. Astrologically their outer behavior as well as events in their lives often reflect family charts better than their own charts. Yet these burden-bearers may still be the healthiest – and in a deeper sense – strongest members in the family.
It’s all a question of masks, really, brittle, painted masks. We all wear them as a form of protection; modern life forces us to. – Noel Coward (Moon-Neptune-Pluto conjunction)
Self-defence is nature’s eldest law, wrote John Dryden (Saturn conjunct Neptune, Moon conjunct Pluto). Already in early childhood many Moon-Plutonians learn self-protective techniques which they then continue as adults, both when needed and otherwise. It is difficult to give up a long-standing habit of self-protection even when you are already out of danger. They may not feel safe without all their old protective measures which may take some strange forms in their adult lives.
For instance, Philippe Aries (Moon conjunct Pluto) attended Mass using ear plugs as he did not want to listen to liturgic chatter. Many Moon-Plutonians use their own mental ear plugs whenever they need to protect themselves from psychic intrusion. Those who have not been able to develop good ‘ear plugs’, may feel it necessary to distance themselves physically or at least to hide all their feelings.
For Karen Blixen (Moon conjunct Pluto) it was important that others did not know how she felt. Eileen (Moon conjunct Pluto) felt like that most of her life. As a child Eileen lived in a very disturbed family, with a dominating mother and a father with apparent sadistic tendencies. Others saw Eileen as a happy and bright child, yet she developed some very mysterious physical symptoms. When the doctor asked Eileen if something was troubling her at home, Eileen told the doctor that she was often badly hurt but then she just curled her toes in her shoes so that others couldn’t see how bad she felt. As an adult Eileen still protected herself with similar techniques, she never let others see her hurt feelings.
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
Begin wholly afresh. Go straight to the sun, the immense force of the universe… – Richard Jefferies
Many Moon-Plutonians have an urgent need to get rid of their past, yet they ties are strong and deep. Every trip down memory lane just throws them back to the unconscious depths where they once again meet all those old horrors.
They have often lived most of their lives too close to the unconscious; now they, instead of diving into the depths, often need to come out, to live on the level of their Sun in order to be able to separate themselves from intruding unconscious energies and memories.
Through the Sun they see themselves, perhaps for the first time, as separate individuals, they feel free being finally able to look upwards seeing beyond the murky emotional prison into which they were born. Through the Sun they see the whole world in a new light. “Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred”, wrote Thich Nhat Hanh. This new way of seeing and experiencing life also makes them more visible to others, and thus they no longer bear the burden of their oppressive past, they have transcended it.
Earlier others often sensed the atmosphere or aura their grim past had created around them, in other words, others did not see Moon-Plutonians as themselves. Many Moon-Plutonians have a very strong presence but as long as they were carrying their dark Plutonian past around them as an aura, others often felt threatened by them. Or they felt scrutinized by the mysterious Plutonian gaze in areas they’d rather kept private. We all know that Moon-Plutonians- like many other Plutonians- often seem able to pick up a lot of information without asking for it. Others may feel it as an intrusion even if it isn’t meant to be.
Now others see the Moon-Plutonian as he or she is, a separate human being still with a strong presence but no longer a threatening one. Now they see the Moon-Plutonian as a human being who has gone through a hell and come out alive. Nothing shocks such Moon-Plutonians anymore, they can be both understanding and empathetic towards others who are still going through their own hells. Now others feel safe in unloading their problems on the Moon-Plutonians knowing that they will be understood, not judged. They also sense that Moon-Plutonians living on the level of the Sun can bear the burden without a danger of being engulfed by all the problems others load on them.
As a surprising bonus for a Moon-Plutonian who has shut the doors to the past is that he or she is now a better judge of character. In the past the Moon-Plutonian understood deep psychological undercurrents, but often missed many things on the outer level where most people live. Max Beerbohm (Moon conjunct Pluto) wrote that “deep thinking and high imagining” blunts out the trivial instinct which people use in sizing people up. Now Moon-Plutonians see both levels: the depths because they have lived there, and the sacred life in the sunlight where they are living now. Light has come into their lives.
Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them? – Rose Kennedy (Moon trine Pluto)