Pluto is the “modern” ruler of Scorpio, and many of its concepts and key words are synonymous with those used for Scorpio itself. Pluto represents the “peak, or pit experience,” a deep psychological experience that includes a kind of “dying,” after which we are never again the same. Pluto transits bum our bridges behind us; we can never go back to who and what we were before, and most would not want to. Those foolish enough to try end up really dying, or at best, like Lot’s wife, ossifying, turning into “pillars of salt, ” lifeless physical forms.
Pluto strips away everything to expose the pure, precious jewel which lies at the core of the soul. If you want to know what it is like, just ask anyone who has planets in Scorpio what he went through during the years from 1984 to 1996!
They’ll tell you what they’ve had to let go, all that was ripped away by a cruel tide! Most only now, with Pluto firmly established in Sagittarius (1996), realize just how precious a gift they possess in the place of all that other stuff. The new life into which they have been reborn is becoming apparent.
The experience of Pluto’s transit of Sun, Moon or angular house can seem like dying and reincarnating in the same body. You remember the person you used to be and that person seems a stranger, so naïve, so superficial. What was before only knowledge is now wisdom, and surface sympathy has deepened into compassion.
Pluto forces us to give up our innocence. In that way it is like rape. The myth of Hades and Persephone is Pluto’s story. Persephone is kidnapped by Hades/Pluto, dragged down into the underworld and raped or seduced. She must have liked it, for she became Pluto’s wife, Queen of the Underworld. She lost her virginity, her innocence, but in the process became empowered and powerful. After all, Pluto is the king of wealth, as in the word “plutocracy,” rule by the wealthy.
Once we can see with Plutonian X-ray vision, we come to own our power. Others can sense it. People who have natal Pluto configured with the Sun, Moon or in an angular house are often seen by others people, those who feel powerless, as either angels or devils. No one ever quite trusts a Plutonian. He or she just knows too much, see through us, ferrets out our cherished secrets and then chuckles knowingly at the ridiculousness of them.
Pluto lays us bare to the very soul. That can be very purifying, totally healing and devastating. It brings emotional crisis, taking away all the dead wood in our lives which blocks our future growth. It feels like radical, psychic surgery, often followed by the blackest of depressions, and a sense of isolation so deep that no one and nothing can reach us to pull us out. But health and wholeness does return! We burst one day into the expansive joy that is symbolized by Sagittarius and its ruler, Jupiter. Pluto is power of every kind, from raw brutality to redeeming grace. It spans the distance from the dungeons of hell to the high vaults of heaven.
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.