Friday, November 12, 2010

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People Part 4 of 5

Pluto: The Reason for Suffering and How to Put Passion to Work
© 1997 – 2010
by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Pluto asks more of Outerplanetary People than any of the trans-Saturnians. He asks to let go and trust while everything we value is ripped away from us, often down to the barest bones: home, hearth, spouse or lover, job, family. By definition, an outerplanetary person has Pluto prominent, and this means we have a very special relationship with the issue of attachment. While non-attachment is a goal many people strive for, I think Plutonians have a different mission—to be passionately attached, yet as willing to trust that God knows what s/he's doing when it's over, whatever it is—to trust that love, home, job, and family will come again, bigger and better than ever before, no matter how long it takes.  This, indeed, is a tall order from a tiny planet with the force of an atomic bomb and the same root word as plutonium.

Let's Not Pretend This Is Fun

There’s no euphemism in the world that can possibly turn this into a lightweight experience.  For those of us who are practicing astrologers, I'm not sure we do our clients or ourselves any good pretending otherwise. I remember how amused I was when a fellow astrologer told me that some of her clients now call challenge the C-word, as if it were profanity. In other words, we aren't fooling them a bit when we sugarcoat what's coming.  We might as well not fool ourselves, either, when Pluto is tightly woven into our astrological profile. In fact, one of the most memorable readings I ever had was many years ago, when my own astrologer gave me permission to admit just how much pain I have experienced being Plutonian.

What's the Point?
Extraordinary people have this mission for the P-part of our PUNC acronym [1] : to offer up not just our suffering to the collective but to live as glowing examples of survival—to help our fellow humans focus on the resurrection, not the crucifixion, and a few other essential elements that go with the Pluto's territory.  They have to see not only what we went through, but the marvelous new model of ourselves we have become because of it. 

What makes this hard, of course, is that we can't do this without exposing at least some part of our very personal agonies. No one is more private at core than the Plutonian person. Yes, this is asking a lot. But it's the deal you cut when you incarnated as a PUNC. You “came in” with an agreement to live on the leading edge with all its intense joy and sorrow. 

Suffering is the flip side of joy. That which we cherish and lose we mourn deeply. Sorrow is a stopover to pay our respects at the graveside of past attachments, a step in the process of opening our hearts to greater love and opportunity. Never was it said better than in the old adage: "Better to have
loved and lost than never to have loved at all."  Even loss expands the heart's capacity for feeling emotion, especially love. Often it is only in the face of real or threatened loss that we open up to accept and let in all the love around us, feelings people more willingly express when they share your Plutonian experience.

You Can't Fight It

Whatever the lesson is that your particular Pluto is insisting upon—you must let go or else.  The or else is this: If you think you're suffering now, you haven't seen anything like the suffering you'll experience if you try to wrestle with Pluto to win.  Pluto is like the Mafia, and there are thumbscrews, if you don't cooperate, a juice man to break your legs if you owe money, and not to forget the St. Valentine's Day massacre, where entire groups of the uncooperative were wiped in a single shooting spree.  Am I exaggerating for effect?  Of course, but death might seem the lesser of two evils by comparison to defying Godfather Pluto.

It's all about resistance—or not. Passion in the sexual sense is itself a dance of resistance and surrender. The friction of those two forces is what causes ecstasy. (To resist completely is to be raped.) This is a good a thing to remember, for it applies to all Plutonian dilemmas.  Some degree of resistance is expected to make the process work, but you will not resist this force, so if you won't give up some of your will, you are in essence letting yourself be violated.  Your choice.

You Are Powerful

Although most of us learn about power through having our own sense of power ripped off (Pluto's specialty), this is all for a purpose, like that stripping to the bare bones—to learn that power is not external but entirely an inside job.  (They can evict you, leave you, beat or even kill your body, but no one—repeat no one—can get your soul unless you give it away.)  We must learn not to sell our souls to the devil, no matter how powerful the outside forces appear. Hold this important thought: When you are out powered or outnumbered, they may win the battle, but don’t forget that one battle is not the war.  Children mature and so do adult humans.  What we cannot fight when we are young or less experienced, we can come back to resolve later on. This is why Pluto rules rebirth, resurrection, and the full life cycle.  Plutonians have an issue with completion.  

Understanding the Astro-Basics at Work

I find Pluto easiest to understand by considering its rulership of Scorpio and the 8th House, and how by location in a natural chart, it opposes the 2nd House, ruled by Taurus/Venus. What we value, what gives us our sense of security and self-worth, that which we build upon in the physical world is in a duel with Darth Vader. The only thing that is going to save our little asteroids (each of us as a small planet) is Yoda and our training as Jedi Knights.  This is putting metaphysics where your mouth is, because physical resistance simply doesn't work.  We are out powered.  It takes magic to work with the power abusive, and being Plutonian helps us become magicians.  It is about Sourcery, aligning with Source and All That Is—the only Real Power. Our opponent—Negative Scorpio, Pluto, and the 8th—keeps secrets, and misuses power and sexuality, those forces that used badly can devastate us in the physical, but used well, bring us all the force for good and all the magic dust we could ever use.  


I have often quoted Australian astrologer Brian Clark's talk at UAC '92 on the 8th House, because no one has said it better. Eighth house and Plutonian issues (both are related) take us back to the original abandonment of our birth process. Mother is our first love, and from this first bonded bliss we are unceremoniously ejected from the womb by the contractions of birth.  If that isn't enough, adding insult to injury, one day we wake up on the other side of the birth canal to realize she's in love with someone else (father).

From this early process on a psychological level stems the abandonment, jealousy, rage, and disempowerment that goes with the Plutonian turf.  Where is Pluto in your natal chart? For example, mine is in the 4th House (conjunct Saturn, no less): I have lost every relationship that constituted meaningful roots, starting with original mother (literal abandonment by being given up for adoption).  This abandonment often leads to passionate attachment in the area represented by that house (to say I am "rootsy" would be the  understatement of the millennium).  Jealousy and other Plutonian emotions, at their extremes, are a form of obsessive attachment. Wherever your Pluto "lives," it is here that you are being asked to let go.  (For me, another concept was true.  Whatever I let go came back to me willingly when the time was right for each completion.)  

Negative Pluto
High Drama.  Plutonians are the drama kings and queens of the zodiac, especially those with Pluto in Leo or Scorpio. We exhaust ourselves and others, our support people most of all, with our soap operas.  We keep getting into impossible relationships and situations that lead to one uprooting and upsetting event after another.  We decimate our lives with that same force that goes into plutonium.  We are intensity junkies, and we are compulsive until we learn to catalyze the death/birth/rebirth cycle to completion. 

Buying Out of the Secret.  One thing that's important to know: Pluto operates in secrecy, and if you tell or uncover the secret, you end the torment or imbalance of power. This is tough to do, if you are a physically or sexually abused child, where a real big/little power imbalance exists, or if there is some other skeleton in the closet where you honestly believe that worse harm will come to you if you tell.

But as an adult, there's little reason to continue to buy into this. We are so lucky to live in the Era of the End of Secrecy of most kinds. Today, kids hear about personal boundaries and that they can trust telling teachers and other adults if they are abused in some way. In earlier eras, parents didn’t talk about such things, as if avoidance were a booster shot of immunity to their children from the darker side of life.

Those Heavy Emotions. One of the most difficult aspects of being Plutonian is dealing with its emotional load: resentment, guilt, jealousy, and rage.  Being PUNCs, we often feel responsible to be positive, leading edge-role models.  It's hard to incorporate these emotions into our act as evolutionary ambassadors because they are—well—so "negative."

But incorporate the darker emotions we must, and we must find and share with others positive ways of handling them.  Donna Cunningham's Healing Pluto Problems is my Bible in this regard, full of exercises to banish resentment or guilt, for example, and other suggested tools such as flower essences for Pluto transits or natal issues.  In fact, this most difficult task of allowing others to see that we have these emotions and ventilate them in an effective manner is one of the most important role model duties an outerplanetary person performs.  It’s hard, inner work and it cannot be minimized or glossed over. In fact, it might be the hardest work the PUNC performs, because with it, s/he releases his or her power instead of suppressing it. Through this journey into our own darkness, we emerge with the gifts of the underground—healing and magic.  

Positive Pluto
Magic. Magic comes from harnessing your own positive power and aligning it with All That Is. Then miracles result. Magic comes from your own inner depths, from trusting that the powers of the universe are friendly. This results from walking through darkness with no clue but your own inner light to get you to the end of the tunnel. The initiation is to align your own light with the Greater Light through dark experiences.  This is why Pluto is the great teacher of coming into our own power.
Survivors. Plutonians are survivors. I believe more than anything, this is the purpose of prominent Pluto. Ultimately, we can even become navigators of those murky Plutonian waters. I had a friend whose life was Happy Days normal.  He said to me, once, "You live in all the pathos, the poignancy, of the ups and downs of life.  You know that when things go wrong how to work through them.  You are a survivor.  I've never had anything truly bad to deal with.  I don't know what I'd do or if I could survive." This was my first glimmer in my twenties that there's something good to being Plutonian, an up side to all that painful work and high drama.  
Rebirth and Resurrection
Going back to where Pluto sits in your natal chart, where must you be reborn and resurrected? Again revealing my own private process as PUNCs must do to help others: I had to find all my lost loves, everyone who abandoned me in my 4th House, starting with my original mother.  Here's where I had to put passion to work using my Plutonian detective skills.   The healing of a lifetime stemmed from my reconnection with my mother in 1986, a major man in my life in 1987 (the one who ultimately took me 26 years to get over, talk about Plutonian attachment!), and in 1996, my very first love (ages 12-14).

Not everyone's path may be as literal as mine in terms of resurrecting cut-off relationships (Pluto's surgical severance from umbilical cord onward). But whatever your own chart calls for, here is where you must have completion in order to resurrect to the core of your soul.  Plutonians must regenerate in some form whatever has been severed from their lives, and Plutonian passion gives us the intensity to seek out these opportunities with a fanaticism that will not let go until it has been satisfied.

My first love turned out to be my last. No one before or since has been as right as the precocious original for either one of us.  If I hadn't had the practice of two high drama finds before him, I might not have easily found my final 4th House severed relationship. (He was my foundational, root relationship in the boy/girl, man/woman sense.) After 35 years of separation, we had the opportunity to resurrect and take our love to completion. During our 12 years of marriage, our reunion has brought us healing and partnership neither of us ever thought possible.  It was not only worth the wait, but worth the suffering, too.  This is the magic of Pluto.  This is why PUNCs have to share their success stories.


Photo Credit: Passion © Noxire Dreamstime

Other Posts on Pluto


[1]  In case you are joining this series in progress, that stands for Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, and Chiron, and PUNC people are Plutonian, Uranian,  Neptunian, and Chironic.


Lana said...

Powerful writing Joyce, on a powerful subject, and absolutely true. Some of your key dates and experiences are the same as mine, because I also have Taurus rising and Pluto in the 4th House. And I agree that the most powerful thing you can do is to let go. Thank you for your work,

Joyce Mason said...

Lana, thank you so much for your feedback, friendship, and loyal readership. It's consoling to know someone who shares my ASC and Pluto placement. (There may be times we need to compare notes.) Most of all, thank you for feeding my own words back to me. I wrote these articles many years ago, and when I'm letting the information "come through me," I often don't absorb it until someone else mirrors it back to me. I am pasting that line all over my house about the power of letting go.

LB said...

This is great, Joyce. Only someone who’s experienced the true nature of Pluto could write such a thoughtful piece. There’s more to Pluto than embracing our own power; I’m not sure everyone gets the part about letting go and acknowledging that at any moment it could all be lost. Once we Plutonians get past the mistaken belief that we have control over anything beyond our own free-will, then we’re free to live a more meaningful life, albeit one without illusion.

I have Pluto in the 12th (widely conjunct my ASC), so I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that God is not Santa Claus, and sometimes bad things happen to good people, regardless of how conscientiously we try to live our lives (Pluto in Virgo). I also have Pluto square retrograde 9th house Mars (conjunct my MC), so Pluto’s continuing lesson for me has been to live a life of integrity – which often means facing my fears , speaking the truth, and giving up any ego based willfulness (still a work in progress). As challenging as Pluto’s lessons have been, the rewards have been a greater sense of compassion as well as a fundamental faith in my ability to endure. As you say, learning to trust in an infinitely loving divine source, whose power is far greater - and whose wisdom extends far beyond my own - has been key, especially in those moments when I’ve felt most abandoned.

And talking about my experiences (in spite of my fears) has been very healing.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks so much, LB--especially for sharing your personal experience of Pluto. You remind me how much courage it takes to be Plutonian. (While I have all the PUNCs aspecting the Lights or ASC, Pluto is the closest at 1-degree square ASC.) I have often said that if I could have one "statement" T-shirt, it would say Gutsy. Only experience can teach us that God knows what S/He's doing no matter how awful the loss or pain feels in the moment. Only looks back on many experiences allow us to see something bigger at work, the unfolding of a pattern that made no sense in the middle of feeling devastated.

I often say, the older I get, the more I realize that control is an illusion. Integrity isn't something to do just because you were taught to be good or nice; it's something that's life affirming, because when we are not in integrity, we upset the balance of the Force ... for lack of a better image! I have never thought of my strong sense of integrity as coming from Pluto. You are amazing. I always learn something from you that keeps me thinking for days or weeks. Blogging is so great because the learning is a two-way street! Blessings ...

LB said...

Thanks Joyce . . . the feeling is mutual. May the "force" be with you!

kristy said...

Pluto has been quite the mixed blessing. It definitely brought the gambit of difficult situations in my life at an early age (thank you Pluto Conjunct Moon, with one tight square from Saturn in Cancer that is in the 1st house). The flip side was somewhere it gave me a will to persevere, and gosh, maybe do something nice with it (same Pluto/Moon conj. trines Jupiter in Aquarius and sextile Neptune in Sag, all within 2 degrees).

Pluto has been a very powerful planet in both sides of my family line as well (and my father was a semi-pro boxer with black hair, and there's more Pluto in him that will go unmentioned).

I'm immensely grateful that a Uranian grandparent and a couple similar family members shared so much with me (my Uranus trines my Asc and Desc). Thank fate that I was given SOME tools for dealing with the Plutonian energies that run rampant in my life!

Grace said...

I have Pluto in the 5th...I guess I would term my experiences with this as Cosmic "Bait and Switches"...all of which have worked to humble the 'I' of my Aries (which is my ascending,sun moon, mercury, and venus. LOL) NO. It hasn't been fun. I have to say that at times, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Thank you for your hones take on all of this - I love "positive" messages, but sometimes S*** happens, and we should be able to admit it, so we can work through it and heal

Joyce Mason said...

Grace, your last line says it all. I'm glad you've lived to the other side of Pluto to bear the message that it's worth the journey. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Joyce Mason said...

Kristy, I love what you say about ultimately doing something positive with your Pluto (which is your power). I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your colorful relatives and how they helped you!


A lot to think about there, Joyce. I'm a Pluto person, too (12th House, unfortunately, so it's sometimes difficult to get hold of) and have experienced times when I've actually been a bit afraid of my own Pluto, but deep down I can see how necessary it is to dive deep into those tricky places to make sense of things and find the treasure. A wonderfully inspiring post there - thank you for sharing your Pluto experiences.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Little Brown Dog. I can imagine Pluto in the 12th could be tricky indeed. You raise a wonderful point. Many of us fear our own Pluto, which is fear of our own power. I've been one of them, and I'm working on getting over it. :) As long as we're alive, we're still works in progress.

Take courage! Deep sea diving is worth it, and I'm glad you found this post inspiring. I had not read this material in years till this reposting, and it was as though I never wrote it and was reading it for the first time. I know much of this "comes through" me, because some of the ideas startle me and I wonder where I got them. T-Pluto is squaring my Sun, and it has been the perfect time to review my own Plutonian history.

lime said...

I almost cried with joy and relief as I read about your romantic reconciliation, I saw it.. I believe it... I hope the same ultimate healing can come to "him" and I.

Joyce Mason said...

Lime, thank you for your open-hearted response! Reconciliation of losses isn't always as literal as it has been in my life. One thing I've learned to appreciate just as much are the old relationships that could not be renewed. I had a reconnection prior to my husband Tim with a man it took me literally decades to get over. The universe didn't make a second time around easy; in fact, efforts for us to merge in the same geographical place were blocked. Only after I "processed" years of pain and hurt did I realize that this door was closed for my own good. Sometimes we are passionately attracted to someone where there is a mixture of intense pleasure and pain.(He had Pluto conjunct his Moon conjunct my Pluto. Yikes!) I finally saw that this was not a healthy relationship for me and never had been.I was so hung up on him, I thought he was the one and only one that was truly right. While love always has certain challenges, I believe that when it's right for us to be with someone, the stars align (sometimes literally) to make it so. If the one you think you want now doesn't "work out," perhaps, as in my case, the conditions aren't right yet to introduce or reintroduce you to the one that will. I know it sounds trite, but God/dess works in mysterious ways, as does healing. As the song goes, "Most of all I wish you love." Thank you so much for your comment.

Nyx said...

Thank you for the wonderful article! I am a pluto-scorpio PUNC with pluto on the same degree as my IC square saturn in my 7th and jupiter conjunct my moon in scorpio in the 3rd. also, I have that Capricorn stellium including the sun, mercury, venus, mars, uranus, and neptune all within 8 degrees in the 5th. I am 18 and already have had a hell of a life, but I am very proud of my survival, strength, and power to learn and adapt quickly.

Joyce Mason said...

Nyx, it's great to hear from you and to know that a representative of our newest generation of PUNCs is doing so well, so early in life. I only wish I had known and understood about having this unique wiring as early as you do.

So glad you found this article helpful. I welcome your input and am very glad you stopped by. I don't often hear from the up-and-coming PUNCs. (Tell your friends. :)