The Role of the Least Aspected Planet in Astrocartography.

Planetary Symbolism in Astrocartography and Transcendental Astrology,

by Robert Couteau.

All text © Copyright 2005, 2012 Rob Couteau


IV. On the Nature of the Transcendental Energy

2. Summary of Planetary Symbolism

Moon: The personal soul

The Moon corresponds to the notion of a personal soul, as opposed to the universal soul or anima mundi (Neptune). The placement of the Moon in the birth chart symbolizes the area in life where we are most sensitive to external stimuli, emotional undercurrents, and psy­chic or sensory impressions that affect our security and well-being. A psychologi­cally integrated Moon energy reflects the formation of a strong emotional foundation, which, in turn, will foster a sense of peace and tranquility.
        The Moon symbolizes the period of intrauterine life: a stage of intense psychic impression­ability and sensitivity. It rules the early life, when we are imprinted by the psycho­logical field of our parents: in particular, by the mother (or by the parent who assumes a maternal role). A well-integrated Moon reflects a positive experience of maternal imprinting, while a poorly integrated Moon reflects a series of challenges to one’s stability during this early, largely preconscious, period. In the latter case, later in life a need will arise to create a positive imprinting (and a deprogramming of negative patterning), so that a supportive emotional foundation can be established.
        The Moon is sometimes associated with material security. Indeed, emotional stability is enhanced if the material dimension of life has been properly attended to. In addition, material com­forts engender sensory impressions that trigger new dimensions of soul. Therefore, the materialism of the Moon need not be a vulgar or meaningless one, but may instead lead to a creative use of resources that enhance our spiritual and worldly experience.
        The silvery light of Luna symbolizes the dimly lit consciousness of early childhood: a rich, fecund realm of psychic impressions that an adult consciousness may have difficulty reexperiencing. Within this valuable terrain, we will discover a range of feelings that were left unattended for decades and that hold potential for further growth and development (especially regarding the most personal dimensions of soul). These include emotions and perceptions that will enrich our lives but that have been left to lie fallow and undernourished. Harmonious transits to the Moon symbolize opportunities for furthering the development of positive aspects of the childhood psyche, while difficult transits symbolize the encounter with infantile, childish, and regressive tendencies that are in need of integration and development.
        The Moon rules unions of all kinds, particularly those that are mutually supportive and that generate feelings of closeness and warmth. Relationships in which one partner assumes a maternal role are ruled by the Moon. (Unions of sensual intimacy and romantic love fall more under the Venus symbolism.) Finally, one’s relationship with one’s soul is largely determined by the energy of the Moon. A foundation of internal tranquility and well-being will guarantee that our relationships are based on healthy emotional values as we look within–and not obsessively to others–to nurture, fortify, and sus­tain the values of the personal soul.

MORE: In-depth essay on the MOON


Sun: The individual self

The only one of the astrological “planets” that is, in fact, a star, the illuminating power of the Sun signifies the dawn of consciousness and the creation of an individual self. The Sun symbolizes the strength to emerge from the maternal psyche (Moon) and to pursue one’s destiny. At its core, the Sun represents the hero: the impulse to venture forth and to impress our uniqueness upon life through creative acts rendered in time. The path of the Sun–arcing across the sky–symbolizes this ongoing heroic process of indi­viduation: the opportunity to incarnate into specific form and to express a pat­tern of meaning in our movement through time, space, and the vicissitudes of daily life.
        The position of the Sun in the birth chart symbolizes an area in life where, through the application of will, we will achieve success and where our identity will be clearly focused and readily expressed. The Sun symbolizes the center of consciousness: the ego-complex, the focal point of awareness. Through its specific character, style, and point of view, the “I” discovers its own radiant vitality and strength. The exhilarating process of dramatically following one’s destiny and of dynamically express­ing the self is largely determined by the solar principle.
        At the foundation of the Sun’s individualizing, self-actualizing tendency is an energy that propels the birth, growth, and emergence of self from its depen­dence upon the biological mother. Psychologically, the Sun signifies the emergence of the nascent ego-complex from an all-enclosing maternal psyche and the ego’s assumption of a separate identity, path, and purpose.
        The Sun rules the individual expression of a transpersonal nature: the Divine Self uniquely portrayed through individual life forms. “The incarnation of God in man” would be the Western expression of such an idea. The poet Mallarmé expressed a similar notion when he wrote: “I can do nothing other than undergo the developments which are abso­lutely essential if the Universe is going to find, through me, its identity.” Jung expressed this idea when he said the purpose of mankind was to increase the consciousness of God: paradoxically, through an integration of the transpersonal dimension in our personal lives.
        While the “individual self” lies at the core of the Sun symbolism, the final paradox is that, through the unique path that each separate, sentient being must take, the ultimate goal of the spiritual force is realized: to shed uniqueness and to transform the personal, idiosyn­cratic identity to reveal the transcendent nature of the higher Self (Pluto). Yet, this is accomplished only by focusing ego-consciousness on tasks that match one’s talent, ability, and destiny. By assuming a special identity and by fashioning the proper means of portraying the self, we partake in the process of incarnating yet another aspect of the infinite, eternal, transpersonal Self. The personal self, symbolized by the Sun, antici­pates the final spiritual goal: manifesting the Divine Self through the dramatic expression of fully individuated life.

MORE: In-depth essay on the SUN


Mercury: Cognition and interpersonal communication

The placement of Mercury in the birth chart symbolizes a particular form of communica­tion through which we express something essential about ourselves.
        Mercury rules cognition and communication. This includes the reception (yin) and expression (yang) of ideas: the collection and dissemination of information. Because an orderly, systematic, and logical approach is necessary for the performance of such func­tions, Mercury is associated with reason, logic, and the formal expression of thought (e.g., language).
        All modes of communication are ruled by Mercury: verbal discourse as well as non­verbal signs and symbols. The essence of Mercury resides not in the particular language system but in the impulse to communicate, through whatever means. Through the learning of skills and techniques (a kind of language), talents may be expressed (a form of communication). An example: a carpenter who masters the “language” of carpentry. Using various tools (its alphabet), he expresses himself (communicates) through the making of a table (his statement; discourse). His orderly, logical approach, based on learned skills, techniques, and the careful observation of data (measurement of height, length, width etc.) involves the Mercurial principle of gathering and assessing information and expressing ideas (design, blueprint, and final product).
        Mercury defines the self through the communication of ideas that reflect core values and ideas. When “coupled” with the yin planets, Mercury lends eloquence to the expression of beauty, harmony, and all that is most personally valuable (i.e., soulful) in life. For this reason, I disagree with astrologers who feel that Mercury is not involved in communicating feelings. Someone with a well-integrated Venus may possess great depth of sentiment, but a problem in giving form to such feelings will arise if Mercury is not consciously integrated as a psychic function. With Mercury and Venus working in unison, however, the soul is expressed through a graceful, eloquent language: one that finds its order and meaning in skillful, indirect, and “subtle” (Venus) approaches.
        In creating language systems and in helping us to refine various abilities and skills, Mercury serves to connect human beings with one another and to further their spiritual growth. Through various cognitive skills, we grow less isolated as we express our essential self and deepen our soulful awareness of others.
        Again, the core of Mercury is found not merely in the language system or mode of expression: it is found in the essence of what one is communicating through sign, symbol, and gesture.

MORE: In-depth essay on MERCURY


Venus: The interpersonal soul

The placement of Venus in the birth chart symbolizes the ability to extend one’s feeling   into the interpersonal realm, particularly through expressions of sensual, intimate union and romantic love. Beyond the Moon’s rulership of nurturing, weaning, and gently push­ing forth the nascent personality, in Venus we reach a new level of feeling-toned sophisti­cation: one having less to do with maternal love and more to do with romantic union and interpersonal expressions of Eros. Through this form of interactive soul-union with others, the emotional foundation of the personal soul (Moon) is interpersonally expanded and refined (Venus). Through the exchange of feelings, values, and a sense of shared meaning with others, we are touched by the ineffable presence of grace, harmony, and purpose; pro­portion, elegance, and beauty.
        Such soulful qualities are experienced through love and through other mediums, such as art and creativity. They can range in intensity, beginning, for example, with a feeling of well-being toward another that gradually evolves into intimacy, passion, and genuine love. Elegance, diplomacy, and grace are Venusian qualities that generate closeness and warmth; increase interpersonal harmony and relatedness; and effect powerfully felt unions that diminish the sense of separateness and isolation that casts a shadow between individ­uals.
        The desire to achieve a symmetry, balance, and harmony of feeling is a key­note of the Venus effect. An unpleasant opinion voiced by another; an unappealing aes­thetic arrangement in one’s environment; a discordant display of emotions between those in conflict: all call the Venusian energy of “rectifying balance” into play. Venus rules the diplomatic instinct, which seeks to “smooth things over”: to restore a sense of unity between discordant elements so that “outer harmonies” trig­ger an internal harmony, as well. Venus guarantees that poise, grace, and elegance of bearing are the means through which one-sided views are questioned and reshaped to their proper perspective.
        Venus symbolizes the personification of the soul: either internally, through oneself, or by projecting the soul-image onto someone who embodies its qualities. By encountering a facet of our own emotional depth in the image of another person, we are naturally touched in a profound manner: one that draws us out, toward the other, as we are lured by the potential for meaningful union.  

 MORE: In-depth essay on VENUS


Mars: The interpersonal self

The placement of Mars in the birth chart symbolizes the manner in which we assert the self interpersonally, especially in one-to-one or small group situations. Mars symbolizes the ability to forcefully grasp and possess the object of one’s desire. It rules the libido for work, competitiveness, and sexual expression, especially the experience of sexuality as an instinctual, biological drive. Mars is related to its complementary symbol, Venus, in that the “beautiful form / excites the libidinous urge” (Venus / Mars). Mars rules the psychic process that individualizes through the experience of separation: by competing, we define who we are by matching our prowess against another; by working with others, we separate tasks according to individual ability: working separately, yet in tandem, so that a final product emerges from an interactive form of labor.
        The sum of such interactive efforts results in the structuring of the collective: an intri­cate organization of labor occurring on a broadly based societal level (all of which is sym­bolized by the next yang planet, Saturn). By properly channeling our energy for work, Mars anticipates the symbolism of Saturn, in that the sum of our labor leads to the acquisi­tion of a special role in the social-collective network.
        Mars determines one’s ability to protect and maintain distinctive self-borders from the intrusion, corruption, or aggressive incursion of others. This includes psycholog­ical threats, such as falling under the sway of another person’s will or being assaulted by the psychological content that others project on us. The capacity to deflect such physi­cal and psychological attacks and to energize, increase, and extend one’s will, drive, power, determination, and independence is accomplished through an integration and evolution of Martian energy in one’s life.
        Mars rules action and adventure: initiating movement and selecting a direction that leads to greater accomplishment. Mars symbolizes “taking the first step” when confront­ing the challenges of life. Through Mars, we are driven to overcome obstacles and to obtain the object of desire. In the gratifying act of possessing the desired object, we extend the perimeter of the self through the expansion of the will. Thus, Mars antic­ipates the “expansion and growth” principle symbolized by its planetary neighbor, Jupiter.
        While the Sun (the most personal yang planet) symbolizes the heroic process of indi­viduation, Mars rules the adventures we encounter along the way. It portrays the qualities we need to embark on the adventure of life: courage, fortitude, and endurance; energy, stamina, and vitality; and the dynamic will to push forward, even in the face of hardship, disquietude, and uncertainty. Through such tests, which strengthen and determine our inherent prowess and fighting spirit, Mars guarantees that the ego (Sun) will be further steeled, expressed, and developed in the interper­sonal arena of life.
        Mars rules the burning of desire: desire that must be extinguished through its fulfill­ment, so that egoistic concerns are transcended to make way for an encounter with something beyond the merely personal, egocentric, or worldly nature. Yet the ability to transcend such egocentric desires can be actualized only if one has developed the fortitude, resilience, and courage to face life’s demands. To survive the shattering experi­ence of life (symbolized by Pluto, the final yang symbol), one must first develop such character strengths. This is accomplished through the cultivation of powerful Martian instincts, energies, and desires.

MORE: In-depth essay on MARS


Jupiter: The societal soul

The placement of Jupiter in the birth chart symbolizes the manner in which the soul evolves beyond the experience of interpersonal intimacy (Venus) to expressions of soul within cultural institutions (Jupiter). These include institutions that preserve the “wisdom of the ages,” such as those of higher learning; philosophy; art; reli­gion; and general culture. When one encounters such forms of “codified soul wisdom,” the personal (Moon) and interpersonal expressions of soul (Venus) advance to a more sophisticated level, now seeking to express themselves in relation to the higher conscious­ness embodied in codified ethical, artistic, religious, or cultural expressions wrought through the ages (Jupiter).
        The expansion of personal soul values (Moon; e.g., paying atten­tion to one’s innermost feelings) and interpersonal soul values (Venus; e.g., concern for the romantic partner) into broader societal concerns (e.g., a concern for collective social justice) enables one to embody the “collective soul” values of Jupiter. Often, this occurs through the enactment of a role that personifies a classic Jupiterian interest (e.g., a social role concerned with humanitarian issues; the expansion of artistic or cultural education; patronage of religious or spiritual institutions). A teacher who shares his knowledge of cultural traditions; a professor who promulgates philosophical wisdom; a patron who sponsors a major art retrospective: all pro­mote “culturally codified soul experience.”
        Through the enactment of a meaningful social role, the soul is empowered as it participates in the process of furthering the values, moral insights, spiritual doctrines, and cultural knowledge of the ever-expanding social-collective soul. The attribution of “power” that is associated with Jupiter-oriented roles has at its source this function of standing at the crossroads between what is personally (or interpersonally) valuable and what is of ultimate value to the living soul of society-at-large.
        Jupiter rules the impetus to expand the range of opportunity and life experience: to “expand one’s horizons.” By increasing our receptivity to and awareness of the opportuni­ties offered in each circumstance in life, we are following Jupiter’s impulse to expand the perimeters of the personal soul. By promulgating the ethical, philosophical, and religious knowledge preserved in cultural institutions, Jupiter promotes a spiritual expansiveness that dissolves the limits of ego-bound identity.
        In this sense, Jupiter foreshadows the encounter with the final yin planet, Neptune, whose effect transcends the personal- (Moon), interpersonal- (Venus), and societal-soul (Jupiter). Through Neptune, a transpersonal aspect of soul is directly experi­enced. Traditionally, this is described as a compassionate, blissful, or rapturous embrace with an inexplicable, extratemporal, absolute dimension of life: the grace of divinity; the divine essence; the mysterious presence of the world soul or anima mundi.

MORE: In-depth essay on JUPITER


Saturn: The societal self

The placement of Saturn in the birth chart symbolizes how we can most effectively work within the limits of reality in order to achieve what is possible in a given lifetime. Sat­urn symbolizes the repository of collectively accrued “objective” knowledge: the known structure and organization of the world. By utilizing such information constructively, we effect significant accomplishments: ultimately, by adding our achieve­ments to the repository of knowledge composing the social-collective self.
        Saturn rules social mores, codes of behavior, and modes of social organization that, over time, have proven to be effective in creating stability, structure, and order. Therefore, Saturn is associated with practical, conservative, and authoritarian approaches to accom­plishing tasks, fulfilling duties, and working in carefully defined boundaries of time and space. Self-discipline, character strength, work, and responsibility all serve as internal anchoring mechanisms that keep us properly related to and focused on the demands of reality. Without such sobering internal ballast, one would lack an overall mortal context within which to properly live, operate, and function in society as a whole.
        While overidentifying with the restrictions imposed by Saturn’s “laws of limitation”* will lead to anxiety, inhibition, or rigidity, a mastery of Saturn’s lesson of adjusting to real­ity will lead to greater freedom. Through the informed manipulation of the known patterns of reality, the subjective world of imagination, intuition, and vision is per­mitted a structure within which to manifest in the objective world of time and space. By admonishing us to conform to laws that govern what can be practically accomplished in the three-dimensional world, Saturn prepares the stage for the next level of symbolism, signified by its neighboring planet, Uranus. By mastering such restrictions and fixed limits, we can actualize the reformations, innovations, and inventions symbolized by Uranus.
        Saturn primarily directs itself to accomplishment within the social-collective. The assumption of a professional role through which one partakes in a social hierarchy is the usual mechanism through which Saturn’s energy is channeled, connecting the individual- (Sun) and the interpersonal self-identity (Mars) to the larger social network: the spirit of social-collective organization (Saturn). Saturn’s upholding of the status quo is linked to the Plutonian Zeitgeist: the prevailing spirit sweeping through the transpersonal unconscious (Pluto), which, in turn, leaves its mark on the manifest social organism (Saturn).
        While Uranus destabilizes outmoded forms of social organization and collectively held beliefs (creating reformations, reversals, and shocking innovations), Saturn’s ultimate purpose is to maintain reliable structures that provide a practical means of organizing such methodologies, beliefs, and innovations. Saturn’s stable structures promote the longevity of such things but only once these reversals have become the accepted norm and are integrated into the scientific, governmental, and economic systems of the day.† Until such a time, the tendency of Saturnian energy is to hold fast to and to conserve the old form, largely through restrictive measures that inhibit unexpected alterations in the recognized social structure. In a similar fashion, within indi­vidual life, Saturn crystallizes and conserves patterns of behavior that lend them­selves to the effective, practical functioning of our lives, so that, in time, we will labor successfully toward our greatest accomplishment.
* Alan Oken uses the expression “the law of limitation” in his book, As Above, So Below, when referring to Saturn and the “conservation of matter and energy” (see p. 297).
† In the words of William James: “A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.”

MORE: In-depth essay on SATURN


Uranus: Transpersonal communication and intuition

The placement of Uranus in the birth chart symbolizes how we will liberate ourselves from the constraints of the past; how we will catalyze our future personality and potential; and how we will spark greater freedom in those around us. Psychologically, Uranus represents the teleological function of the psyche: that which pushes us forward, as beings “directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose.”
        The energetic medium of Uranus–its modus operandi–is the dynamic reversal: a sudden shift from one extreme form of behavior, perception, or ideation into an opposite way of being. Through this seesawlike action of energetic reversal, Uranus seeks to alternate currents of psychic energy until a nondualistic or transcendent “third” form is manifest: a reformation into a more sophisticated, conscious level of expression. In political life, a typical example of such Uranian dynamics is found in the case of a dictato­rial regime that is overthrown (reversed) by a revolutionary movement. Viewed from a broader historical perspective, the movement from one extreme form of organization to another eventually results in the emergence of a transcendent form: ideally, one that is not as extreme as either opposite and that incorporates the best elements of each to create a more manageable (more consciously operating) organization or structure.
        In everyday life, Uranus manifests in continually shifting interests, relationships, or patterns of behavior. All this should be viewed as part of a larger pattern in which the indi­vidual is searching for a reformation of character that expresses all that is most unique and liberating to the self- and soul expression. From one extreme modality to the opposite modality of being, we swing back and forth until proper equilibrium is achieved.* When a behavioral reformation has outlived its usefulness, however, Uranus will again attempt to destabilize the now rigid structure, so that we are “shocked” into a revivifying flow of life’s precious, vital energy.†
        The final Uranian goal is the individuation of society itself. This is achieved through individuals who bring forth innovations that promote freedom, movement, and growth. Working through an individual and a collective impetus for refor­mation, Uranus promotes visionary patterns of change. Such reformations affect the life of the individual (who is always concerned with obtaining greater personal freedom) as well as the spirit and soul of the social collective.
        At the base of this “unexpected, unusual, or shocking” leap in evolutionary growth, we must posit a Divine intuition or transpersonal “transmission” of thought: one channeled through cognitive functions (Mercury; the lower octave of Uranus) but one that is divinely inspired: “received” by the individual yet originating at a source far beyond him. For Uranus proposes a realignment of personality that supersedes our previous identity, transporting us to unexpected outlooks: to things that were once difficult to imagine. Presenting us with a reality that surpasses our personal his­tory or self, Uranus rules the instinct that introduces us to the future–as yet unimagined–Self.


* In a similar fashion, the scholar Joseph Campbell spoke of creative or innovative mythology as “shattering and reintegrating the fixed, already known, in the sacrificial cre­ative fire of the becoming thing that is no thing at all but life.” The Masks of God: Creative Mythology, p. 7.
† The dynamic reversal of conditions is expressed through the unfolding energy patterns (or “hexagrams”) that compose the “chapters” of this book. In the West, this notion is expressed by the ancient Greek idea of enantiodromia, a “running opposite or counter to,” promulgated by the philosopher Heraclitus. “Fate is the logical product of enantiodromia, creator of all things” (Stobaeus, Eclogae physicae, cited by Jung in Psychological Types, p. 425, para. 708.) In modern psychological literature, Jung notes that enantiodromia is synonymous with “the emergence of the unconscious opposite in the course of time.” (Ibid., p. 426.)

MORE: In-depth essay on URANUS


Neptune: The transpersonal soul

The placement of Neptune in the birth chart symbolizes an area in life where one is likely to seek mystery or enchantment; express compassion or empathy; or transcend the per­sonal sphere of consciousness in favor of ecstatic, mystic, or blissful encounters with another person’s soul or with the transpersonal soul of the world itself. Through Neptune, the Jupiterian experience of what is of value to the societal soul–the ethical and cultural “wisdom of the ages”–is expanded to a point of “dissolution.” This ineffable experience is described (yet always inadequately!) in portraits of spiritual ecstasy: in the transcen­dence of ego-bound consciousness; in revelations of aesthetic epiphany; or in the mystic rapture of an encounter with the godhead (the inexplicable experience of the “moment” of eternity).
        Few encounter Neptune in such a direct manner, perhaps because such experiences will produce deleterious effects on those who are spiritually unprepared for such an encounter. In everyday life, Neptune rules dreams, fantasy, imagination, and enchantment; as well as illusion, deception, confusion, and the loss or dissolution of self. Through such experiences, the focal point of consciousness is diffused, blurred, and expanded beyond the confines of its ordinary, personal perimeter.
        Neptune manifests in yin-oriented collective trends (e.g., fashion, arts and culture, and spiritual movements) that sweep through society or that culminate in international or global tendencies. In a similar fashion, broadly based (yet yang-oriented) transcultural movements such as world wars or discoveries that mark profound points of transforma­tional history are symbolized by Neptune’s astrological neighbor, Pluto. Through Neptune and Pluto, governmental (Saturn) and cultural tendencies (Jupiter) are swept aside by glo­bal currents: the “Plutonian Zeitgeist” and the Neptunian anima mundi or “world soul.”
        Neptune is usually well integrated in those who are profoundly empathic with oth­ers: for example, those devoted to professions requiring a continual outpouring of compas­sion. Such professions require a considerable amount of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation on the part of the practitioner. Yet through such actions, consciousness is expanded by opening itself to psychological states extending beyond ordinary personal concerns. By transcending the limited scope of egocentric desire and by embracing the psychic situation of another person, the center of per­ception is shifted–from the self-identity to a deeper level of soul.
        As the planet symbolizing the transpersonal soul, Neptune is concerned not only with the welfare of a particular person but also with channeling compassion and empathy toward one’s fellow creatures in the greater world-at-large. This transpersonal concern instills a rather strange, otherworldly aura to the “Neptunian.” Such people serve as con­duits for what are essentially archetypal forces: energies that restore the experience of soul empathy and soul union in an otherwise alienating and soul-fracturing world. At the founda­tion of such experience is the world soul or anima mundi: the “soul foundation” upon which all human feeling is based.
        Neptune symbolizes the experience of what is sometimes referred to as “God,” the “sacred,” or the “other world,” especially in terms of what Rudolf Otto called the mysterium fascinans: the beatific, alluring, enchanting face of God; the blissful experience of the Sacred Absolute; the uplifting, life-affirming aspect of the “wholly other.”
        In the final stage of astrological symbolism, Pluto signifies the other side of the face of God: the mysterium tremendum. This includes the fracturing, horrific, and annihilating nature of the world: of the sacred fate of all beings who suffer the agony of birth and death in their metamorphosis from one realm of the transcendental to the next. Through Neptune’s dissolution of ego-bound consciousness, we are readied for the Pluto’s destruction of outmoded forms of identity, which clears the path for a further incarnation of the spirit.

MORE: In-depth essay on NEPTUNE


Pluto: The transpersonal self

The placement of Pluto in the birth chart symbolizes an area in life where we feel con­sumed by the search for an ultimate truth and by a need to achieve greater spiritual understanding. The drive to willfully pursue meaning in life has, as its ultimate goal, the transformation of our character in a far-reaching and deep-seated manner. Through the exploration of a hidden aspect of ourselves or of the world, discoveries will be made that profoundly alter the way we view the self and its relationship to cosmos. Pluto governs this in-depth reorientation of identity as it is forced to extinguish, metamorphose, and renew itself, often in the face of nearly overwhelming insight into the ultimate nature of reality: specifically, those final questions of life, death, and the often painful, traumatic experience of encountering the transpersonal will of the universe.
        Pluto symbolizes how we will transform in-depth: how we are transfigured and reborn. And how we respond to life’s constant demand for such (often painful) transfigu­ration and renewal, in ourselves and in others. The positioning of Pluto in a particular house, sign, and degree will portray the manner in which we are drawn to specific kinds of transformation. Therefore, Pluto is a portal in the birth chart through which one may con­nect with the “deepest darkest secrets”: not only of our own psychological character but also of the transpersonal spirit that animates the phenomenal world.
        In everyday life, unfolding stages of growth have a fracturing effect on the identity. Bereavement and loss accompany the death of a loved one; the sacrifice of famil­iar yet outmoded ways of being; the casting aside of cherished, yet no longer appropriate, aspects of personality. When the spirit embodied in a human being has completed a certain level of development, a kind of death must occur for a new spirit, a new level of psyche to manifest. For this reason, Pluto is associated with physical death: the dis­appearance of one life form to make way for another.
        The transpersonal perspective of Pluto reveals that life has, besides its personal dimension, a cosmogonic aspect: the collapse and rein­corporation of life energies, making way for new worlds, new forms, new patterns of being emerging and dissolving in a dance of energy that flows from one hidden field to the next. In the horrible personal experience of life, in which we are torn apart, crushed, anni­hilated, and extinguished, the wisdom of Pluto reminds us that, in this process, we come that much closer to comprehending the experience and revelation of the crucified god. By withstanding the shock that transforms the self in such a manner that it is broadened and enlarged, Pluto assures us of a more potent reemergence: of deepening insight, and even wisdom, gained through the tenuous medium of consciousness.

MORE: In-depth essay on PLUTO


Summary of Planetary Energetic Evolution




(Yang Planets):


(Yin Planets):

. . .

Individual self:
egocentric individualization, self-expression / -creation


Personal soul:
intrapsychic emotional foundation; personally supportive unions


Cognition & communication: intellectual formation and & comprehension (lending form & order to cognition & consciousness)


Interpersonal self:
interactive separation & specialization


Interpersonal soul: interpersonal intimacy & relationship

Societal self:
organization of scientific & institutionalization objective truths


Societal soul:
organization & institutionalization of cultural & subjective truths


Transpersonal intuition, inspiration, communication:
reformation and restructuring of cognition and consciousness


Transpersonal self:
metaphysical transformation, reconstitution, renewal


Transpersonal soul:
cosmic dissolution, reunion, incorporation

Mysterium Tremendum


Mysterium Fascinans



Excerpts from 'Summary of Planetary Symbolism' have appeared in Astrolore magazine.


Next Section:
IV. On the nature of the Transcendental Energy

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I. Introduction

II. Transcendental Biographies    |    III. Transcendental Events

IV. Psychic inflation    -    Summary of Planetary Symbolism

   -    Transcendental Planets        

V. Nodes / the Triple-zero Transcendental    |    Appendices: Orbs / References / Data

Additional Maps    |    Notes    |    Bibliography    |    FAQ


I. Interview in Astrolore    |    II. Transcendental Nations    |    III. American Presidents & LAP Saturn

IV. World Events    |    V. Numinous Consciousness    

VI. The LAP as a metaphor of the soul    |    VII. Zones of Intensity    |    

VIII. Complete Index of Names and Events
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All text © Copyright 2017, 2018 Rob Couteau and cannot be used without the written and expressed consent of the author.
key words: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and astrocartography, zodiac, symbolism, planets and astrology