keep their secrets.
The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the
stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity
too great for the eye of man.
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.
–William Blake, The
Proverbs of Hell and “Mad Song” from Poetical
Called or not called, God shall be there.
is considered the Great Transformer of the cosmos and is epitomized
by Einstein’s dictum that energy can neither be created
nor destroyed. While the organization of energy is altered, metamorphosed,
and transformed into new forms, the energy itself does not perish.
Pluto symbolizes this transformative alteration and the process
that determines such far-reaching change.
Pluto rules in-depth
transformation processes that occur in the psyche. While such
processes have an enduring effect on the personality and on the
structure of consciousness, they originate at a level far removed
from the ego-complex and its ordinary functions and concerns.
Pluto symbolizes the archetypal world of the collective unconscious
(a terrain first brought to the attention of the contemporary
world through the research of Carl Jung). Although each planetary
symbol describes an archetypal pattern (typical patterns of perception
and behavior that are innate and that transcend the spatial and
temporal world), Pluto symbolizes the overall repository of the
archetypes. It represents the “underworld” of the
collective unconscious and of the collective psychic changes that
originate there and that manifest as mass movements in social
Pluto also rules
psychoanalysis (and the collective aspects of the Freudian subconscious).
The date of (astronomical) Pluto’s discovery roughly corresponds
to the period of initial research into depth psychology: a field
originally termed “deep psychology” and, later, the
“depth psychology” of Freud, Adler, Jung, and others.
The existence of Pluto was strongly suspected by Percival Lowell
and by other astronomers as early as 1905; it was officially discovered
by Clyde William Tombaugh in 1930. Besides the exploration of
the Freudian subconscious and of the Jungian “collective
unconscious,” these dates roughly parallel the era of the
First World War and the rise of political mass movements (such
as Fascism and National Socialism) that culminated in the Second
Such mass movements
reflect a transpersonal dynamic at work within the collective
unconscious. Whether on the mundane, intrapsychic, or spiritual
level, Pluto symbolizes forces that manifest through broad, deep,
and irrevocable change. Such Plutonian effects engender transgenerational
repercussions, which reach forward through time (horizontally)
and which reach up (vertically) and touch the foremost point of
collective consciousness: the focal point round which humanity
as a whole is regenerated and reborn (i.e., the Zeitgeist). Since
Pluto symbolizes forces that contain a greater potency and range
than the ego, the proximity of such energies to consciousness
is often experienced as life threatening, fracturing, or overwhelming.
When the need for such change is not recognized, Pluto forcibly
enacts it in ways that are often experienced as terrifying to
the ego, with its limited field of consciousness and its merely
personal range of experience and comprehension. It was in this
sense that the philosopher Rudolf Otto conceived of God as a terrifying
and fascinating force, which he called mysterium
tremendum [Pluto] et
When such Plutonian
energies are not feared and, instead, are “worked through”
by means of a conscientious cooperation with the ego, this leads
to a positive transformation of consciousness. This is the goal
of Pluto as manifested on the human plane. In accordance with
its “depth” symbolism, Pluto signifies penetrating depths of awareness. Depth comprehension of the divinity
of the higher Self (the god in man) is the ultimate goal of individuation,
and it is toward this goal that Pluto constantly (often imperceptibly)
moves. In its extroverted form, this includes a “reaching
in-depth” into the divine Self of another person and achieving
a spiritual understanding that transcends all mundane forms of
comprehension and explication.
manifestation of the energy:
attempt to transform another person against his will.
•Widespread destructive transformations that affect people,
places, or things and the psychic inflation that results in channeling
such destructive energy.
as Pluto is the mythic god of the underworld, the contemporary
use of the term “underworld” signifies marginal forces
in society, such as organized crime, that eat away at society
in a manner that remains invisible to the ordinary person. This
exemplifies the hidden or invisible nature of the Pluto principle;
the most powerful and mysterious forces in the world remain beyond
our capacity to perceive or to understand. When someone is unconsciously
identified with Pluto, rather than assisting Pluto in its transformation
of consciousness, they may act-out processes that reflect negative,
destructive transformations (either personal or social in nature).
Pluto will then manifest as a need to control another person or
situation, often in an “invisible” or “behind
the scenes” fashion, e.g., executives of corporations who
control processes of mass consumption. Leaders of crime syndicates
personify yet another aspect of Pluto, especially in their seizing
of “mass control” through negative forms: murder of
enemies; corruption, on a global scale, of social-collective institutions
etc. The phenomenon of “deep politics” or of the hidden
agendas of the “powers that be” (sometimes referred
to as the “invisible” government) also falls under
the Plutonian rulership. In its most negative form, we have instances
of mass surveillance and control; incarceration; and liquidation.
Other negative keynotes include psychotherapists who misuse their
knowledge of the “collective” unconscious and physicists
whose research into subatomic particles results in the use of
weapons of mass-destruction and control (e.g., the critical “mass”
of an atom bomb).
When the archetype
of transformation directs energy to a new pathway of regeneration
and that pathway is blocked, then mental illness may ensue. Pluto
will then manifest in a repetitive cycle of symbolic behavior,
ideation, or hallucination. Such symptoms contain meaningful symbols
that point to rebirth and reconstitution, yet such clues and “hidden
meanings” will not always be decipherable to consciousness.
This is the meaning behind such complex, highly baroque symbol
structures and behind the hermetic nature of neurotic and psychotic
behavior and ideation.2 When the hidden meaning contained in such
ideation remains unrecognized, the symbols will be acted out in
a concrete, literal fashion. Since Pluto symbolizes energies origining
at the furthest reaches of the archetypal realm, Pluto’s
language, like that of myth, religion, and poetry, is metaphoric:
rich in imagery and ideation.
and rebirth” function of Pluto tears away at and destroys
outmoded forms of psychic functioning and transforms these into
expressions that are more vital. When such regenerating processes
are blocked or halted while in this “tearing down”
phase,3 however, Pluto will manifest in self-destructive urges.
Instead of the regenerating power of “death and rebirth,”
destructive behaviors and a fascination with “dark forces”
will ensue, minus any positive attempt at regeneration or reconstitution.
Another typical form of halted transformation is an obsession
with suicide: instead of the rebirth of consciousness, the psyche
concretizes the death-and-rebirth symbolism as a literal need
to physically perish.4
positive function of in-depth transformation is blocked, a yearning
for inner transformation will haunt the personality, but the means
of effecting such a change will remain difficult or impossible
to imagine. It will then manifest in a projected guise, e.g.,
as an unconscious attraction to “shady characters”
who embody dark, underworld aspects of the Pluto complex. This
represents a dangerous psychic symptom, particularly if it involves
a romantic attraction. A fascination for dubious situations or
experiences that seem to promise some form of elemental regeneration
will result. Yet the surrendering of one’s will to the control
of a repressive force is usually the price one must pay (e.g.,
submitting oneself to analysis with an irresponsible psychotherapist;
the offer of lucrative employment with an organized crime figure;
agreeing to a quid quo pro arrangement with a powerful yet corrupt
politician or political machine etc.). Such dangerous behavior
is avoided if the need to “redeem” the unconsciously
functioning transformation process is consciously recognized.
of Pluto’s most peculiar qualities is that, sometimes, even
if one is working consciously with psychological transformation
processes, the effects of such processes are only dimly perceived
at the level of ego-consciousness (particularly when such work
is in process). This is a keynote effect of Pluto’s “invisible”
quality.5 Many of the effects wrought by Pluto will not be consciously
assimilated or fully appreciated until years later, well after
Pluto has achieved its metamorphosis.
There may be a
function of psychic self-preservation at work here, as certain
experiences are, indeed, overwhelming, especially if they are
made too apparent to the conscious mind while they are occurring.
For example, a person undergoing medical treatment for a life-threatening
illness may repress the full implications of such an experience
until some time afterward, when the ego will more safely absorb
the horrifying details of such an event. Similarly, the astrological
(or astrocartographic) enhancement of Pluto as a Transcendental
energy will result in transformations that may take years to fully
the need to comprehend things at a core level: to uncover
Historically, this has manifested in a variety of ways: examples
include Sigmund Freud, who studied under Charcot in Paris, in
proximity to his Transcendental Pluto; Teilhard de Chardin, who
contemplated the evolution of spirit and matter and the processes
of creation and change in the universe under his Transcendental
Pluto, in China; and the Dalai Lama, born under Transcendental
Pluto in Tibet, who served as a figurehead for collective spiritual
movements that reaped social change in the world-at-large.
In the Transcendental
Pluto region, psychic processes that were previously blocked or
repressed will break into consciousness in the form of impersonal
images that press for conscious recognition and formal expression
in life. The “sex, death, and rebirth” theme of Scorpio
(traditionally ruled by Pluto) will find formal expression in
a broader understanding of sexuality, perhaps as a means of transforming
or transcending the personal identity (e.g., la petite mort);
an awareness of death as the ultimate transformer of the Self;
and a fuller comprehension of the forces that must be channeled
to effect a collective rebirth in the global society. Pluto’s
transformational energy finds expression in certain classic Pluto
professions: a therapist who tears down inhibiting autonomous
complexes; an archaeologist who tears through layers of sediment
to uncover archaic ruins; a researcher who delves deeper and deeper,
burrowing into the essence of his subject; a surgeon who penetrates
the body and transforms its functioning.
The search for
an ultimate metaphysical truth (and the realization that it will
ever elude us) lies at the center of the Plutonian mystery. According
to Rudolf Otto:
truly ‘mysterious’ object is beyond our apprehension
and comprehension, not only because our knowledge has certain
irremovable limits, but because in it we come upon something
inherently ‘wholly other’, whose kind and character
are incommensurable with our own, and before which we therefore
recoil in a wonder that strikes us chill and numb.6
as succinctly stated by Tersteegen:
God comprehended is no God.
Jung has remarked, “Death is a drawing together of two worlds,
not an end. We are the bridge.”7 Through Pluto, worlds are
drawn together and, through the new incarnation of personality,
symbolized by the Sun, the cycle begins once again. In the words
of Heraclitus, “The beginning [Sun] is the end [Pluto].”
with Primary Transcendental Pluto:
Ali (world heavy-weight boxing champion renowned for his “destructive”
talent); the Dalai-Lama (born near Primary Pluto in Tibet; a spiritual
leader who personified a “transformation and metamorphosis
of self”; renowned for “catalyzing deep-seated change
in the personality” of others); Claude Debussy (musician
whose work “revolutionized and transformed” composition
in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century); Benjamin
Disraeli (British statesman remembered for “imposing the
will” of England on other nations: notably, through the
imperialistic policy of his second ministry–a classic Pluto
keynote of dictatorial “control of others”); Adolf
Eichmann (Nazi and chief-coordinator of the deportation of Jews
to the “extermination centers,” whose Secondary Mars
/ Primary Pluto manifested as “autocratic, willful, aggressive,
and violent acts leading to widespread social upheaval”;
“enforced collective transformation”; and “energizing
the forces of mass destruction”; whose negative use of such
energies epitomized the darker qualities inherent in this intense
planetary pairing); F. Scott Fitzgerald ([with equally aspected
Saturn] author who chronicled “excess and self-destruction”
in his autobiography, The
Crack-Up, and in his most acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby (which was written under his Primary Pluto line,
in France), and who was a central figure in the “Lost Generation”
Paris of the 1920s: a site directly under his Primary Pluto);
Sigmund Freud (whose “research” led to the discovery
of “depth psychology” and the “unconscious”);
Benito Mussolini (“dictator” whose “political
activism” led to political upheaval, “mass movements,
and social turmoil”); Arthur Rimbaud ([with equally aspected
Venus] poet who “revolutionized” creative expression
in modern literature); Teilhard de Chardin (“paleontologist”
whose “research” near his Primary Pluto line in China
led to the discovery of the Peking Man; whose “deeply reflective”
writings explore “profound transformation processes in the
cosmos” and “ultimate questions concerning cosmological
processes”; whose writings were censored and repressed by
the Church and which were all published “posthumously”
(Pluto rules the “return of the repressed”);8 Luchino
Visconti (Italian film director who attempted to “transform
social conditions” through the artistic medium of film [with
Secondary Venus] and whose later works portray “decadence”).
phrases for Pluto:
gained through in-depth transformation processes, often experienced
as horrifying, annihilating, and ego fracturing.
•The tripartite archetypal process of: complete breakdown
into constituent elements; realignment and metamorphosis; transformation,
regeneration, and renewal (rebirth).
•A process whereby the ego or will (Sun) undergoes a thorough
change through an intercession of the transpersonal Self (the
latter referred to as the Divine Will; the Cosmic Will; the imago
Dei; or the god in man).
•The experience of God as a terrifying or insurmountable
obstacle upon which the identity is smashed apart and, ultimately,
•The deus absconditus:
the “hidden” or “concealed God,”
whose presence is felt during experiences of profound and irrevocable
•The final form of yang consciousness in the symbolic solar
•Yang energy experienced as a cosmic identity or transpersonal
What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of
(Don DeLillo, White Noise.)
which always was, / and is, and will be everlasting fire, / the
same for all, the cosmos, / made neither by god nor man, / replenishes
in measure / as it burns away.
cosmic rule, / as day yields night, / so winter summer, / war
peace, plenty famine. /
All things change. / Fire penetrates the lump / of myrrh,
until the joining / bodies die and rise again / in smoke called
was scattered / gathers. / What was gathered / blows apart.
living, when the dead / wood of the bow / springs back to life,
live past our meager death. / We die past their ceaseless living.
death comes / nothing hoped for / nor imagined.
in a wound there is the power to heal.
(Nietzsche, Twilight of
anyone know what is in his subconscious? It would not be his subconscious
if he did.
philosophers make dying their profession.
more one probes, the more one deepens the mystery; it’s
always out of reach.
of Planetary Energetic Evolution
egocentric individualization, self-expression / -creation
emotional foundation; personally supportive unions
Cognition & communication:
formation and & comprehension (lending form &
order to cognition & consciousness)
interactive separation & specialization
intimacy & relationship
organization of scientific & institutionalization objective truths
organization & institutionalization of cultural & subjective
reformation and restructuring of cognition and consciousness
metaphysical transformation, reconstitution, renewal
cosmic dissolution, reunion, incorporation