Of the world as it exists, one cannot be enough afraid. – Theodor W. Adorno (Pluto in the tenth house)
Pluto is connected with power, from collective and political power to occult and psychic powers. As a power planet Pluto can be truly intimidating at times, often so overwhelming that under Pluto transits we feel totally helpless, just like Neptunians do in another way. With Neptune it is a question of being too receptive and sensitive, open to all kinds of things, and often impractical and confused, thus unprotected. With Pluto it is a question of overpowering collective forces and/or manipulative powerful individuals. Plutonians either become such individuals or are surrounded by such persons and thus with forceful, often virulent, projections.
A Plutonian tide can, in the worst scenario, with a force rising up from the collective unconscious, sweep even otherwise courageous persons along and make them desperately afraid, scared to death. Pluto symbolizes deep and painful transformations and also life-threatening conditions where fear rises from the depths and threatens to overwhelm us. In the collective world Pluto creates even terrorism and similar phenomena in which fear and terror are used as weapons to intimidate others.
MASS HYSTERIA AND PANIC
Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics. – C.G. Jung
Astrologically Pluto is a planet of masses. Especially Saturn-Pluto is a common aspect signifying fear of crowds, masses, a horror of being amidst large amounts of people. It’s usually being connected with the fear of being influenced by others, or worse, controlled by them, especially if Neptune or Saturn-Neptune is strong as well. According to Liz Greene “claustrophobia … the horror of being confined in a small space with a lot of people” is often found with Saturn-Pluto.
Almost all kinds of large crowds create a favorable atmosphere for panic reactions, and when someone then panics, the panic is often spread around to everyone. According to Bertrand Russell (Saturn square Neptune, Saturn trine Pluto) mass hysteria is a phenomenon not confined to human beings. Russell saw once a photograph of a large herd of wild elephants in Central Africa. Seeing an aeroplane for the first time, they were all in a state of wild collective terror…
“Each separate animal was terrified, and its terror communicated to the other elephants, causing a vast multiplication of panic. As, however, there were no journalists among them, the terror died down when the aeroplane was out of sight.”
Panic reaction is not altogether bad, sometimes it may be a very healthy instinctual reaction: a realistic attempt of the unconscious psyche to protect the individual who is more receptive and open to collective energies than is good for her or his whole being. Liz Greene also wrote that Saturn-Plutonians have “a horror of being controlled by anything or anybody”, which is, in a way, the same thing: In a crowd you easily lose your own self-control, you become controlled by the powerful group aura. And then comes panic that forces you to escape the situation that might destroy you if you stayed there too long. In many Saturn-Plutonians with a strong Neptune there is often an inborn instinctual horror of all kinds of collective gatherings, masses and crowds.
Persons who have been scared to death for the most part seem to have been perfectly ordinary, though possibly highly suggestible or gullible people…. – J.C. Barker
J.C. Barker (in Scared to Death) writes about panic-proneness as enumerated by Dr. J.A.M. Merloo. Panic-proneness includes several biological factors (weak physique, undernourishment), social structural factors (lack of cohesion in the society one belongs to) and intellectual factors (illiteracy, superstition, special taboos and restrictions, magical religious attitudes). Also group-related problems (like racial prejudices and intolerance) are an important factor.
J.A.M. Meerloo, in studying panic states, says that sensitivity to panic is often caused by taboos and magical religious attitudes. In many ways, New Age is a veritable area of things that can create panic states in receptive persons. In other words, Pluto is powerful not just in crowd situations but in New Age in general, through occultism, magic, witchcraft, voodoo, spiritualism and all kinds of psychic phenomena (from poltergeists, often coupled with Mars and Uranus, into automatic writing and painting, usually coupled with Neptune).
HORROR OF CROWDS
Health is a social concept, exactly like the organic existence in general of human beings, as human beings. Thus it can only be meaningfully increased at all if life in which it stands is not itself overcrowded with anxiety, deprivation and death. – Ernst Bloch
For some people, especially Plutonians, intense emotional energies in large crowds are almost an addiction, they feel ecstatic and get empowered. They seem to draw energy from the crowd. But Saturn-Neptunians may feel quite the opposite, emptied, losing their own bearing and feeling out of themselves, even their bodies suffer being influenced by all the destructive undercurrents going on in the group unconscious. Often they abhor crowds because they know from experience that to stay healthy and well balanced they need to avoid crowds. I have a horror of the crowd, wrote Henrik Ibsen (Pisces, Saturn opposite Neptune, in dwads Saturn opposite Pluto).
In crowds, panic reactions and attacks often seem to happen without any apparent reason. But such strong instinctual reactions have deep inner roots we just may not be aware of. Somewhere deep within we may sense that in the invisible something is going on that is not good for us. In a large crowd, a psychically unprotected person may be like a playground for all kinds of psychic energy currents depending not only on the general emotional atmosphere and the feeling tone of the crowd, but also and especially on the people that happen to sit or stand in physical proximity. Some sensitives can feel what people next to them feel, even physical pain, and in crowds this feeling is often magnified thousandfold. Then there is simply too much to feel and panic sets in…
Some exceptionally sensitive types experience such panicky feelings before going to the crowd, as a kind of psychic premonition. In many cases those premonitions start one or two days before the event – and the feeling of panic grows worse as the moment to leave comes closer. In the night before there are often nightmares or clear warning dreams that herald their future experience in the crowd or group situation. In some cases it’s just an exaggerated dream reaction but it can also be a real warning signal that should be listened to. In such cases, if a clear warning dream isn’t listened to, the dreamer may fall ill either in the crowd or soon thereafter, usually within a day.
AN EXAMPLE CASE
While the ordinary person is generally protected by a thick hide, the seeker no longer has this protection: he receives people’s thoughts, wishes and desires in their true form and in all their starkness, exactly as they are – assaults. – Satprem
Anna is a Neptunian with Pluto on the IC. Anna is so overly sensitive to crowd energies that she can’t even use a bus during rush hours because as soon as the bus becomes full, Anna faints. Yet, when she is carried out she immediately recovers. The same thing has happened to Anna in all kinds of crowd meetings, in movies, in restaurants, everywhere. Doctors haven’t found anything wrong with her, she just faints if there are too many people around her. Her health is otherwise fine, but she always feels bad for two days after every fainting fit in the crowd.
I guess that I am somehow too open to everything. When I was young doctors used to say that I will get over it when I get older but that hasn’t happened. For some reason everything affects me, everything. Or at least everyone. And I can’t help it. Now I am so frustrated that even seeing an over-full bus gives me creeps.
Fortunately few people are as sensitive as Anna but probably there are others who would feel better – and be in better health – if they avoided unnecessary exposure to large crowds. They just aren’t crowd people, crowds are bad for them, just like being too much alone is bad for others. Sometimes the sensitivity to crowds is a passing phenomenon that happens when you are physically weak, but for some it’s a lifelong condition. In such cases there seems to be a strong Pluto or Neptune, often both. For instance Bunuel Moon opposite Pluto, Neptune and Pluto on the Ascendant) wrote that he hated crowds, large crowds were a mystery that just made him feel terror.
This kind of terror is often reflected in a very strong twelfth house and strong aspects from the twelfth. A good example is Virginia Woolf (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto in XII equal house, with Placidus also the Moon) who got “drunk on crowds as you and I do on champagne” (Vita Sackville-West). This kind of getting drunk can create a hangover in the form of panic attack or very strong anxiety. But not all twelfth house types react like this, the opposite type, often with an unaspected Sun, just loves to merge into collective atmosphere as a way of getting rid of its feelings of separateness.
Those who are less separate, or perhaps always “drunk” or merged into something, feel that they get an overdose of merging in crowds. With many planets in the twelfth house or strong aspect from there may make them tune so intensely to collective energy fields that they become panicked in crowds as they fear losing themselves. This happens especially with those who have very little water in their charts (and thus are unfamiliar with the psychic element). For instance, Virginia Woolf had nothing in the water signs.
What you should consider it particularly important to avoid. My answer is this: a mass crowd.. – Seneca