THE DARK LORD COMETH: TRANSITING PLUTO AND THE UNITED STATES
– Tim Lyons – March 21, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pluto has moved into his long awaited opposition to the United States natal Sun.
We should examine the various elements of that sentence: “Pluto”; “his”; “long awaited”; “the United States’ natal Sun”; “Pluto’s…opposition” to that Sun.
Let’s begin by looking at the pronoun “his,” for Pluto, ruler of the underworld, a realm ruled in most mythologies by a female deity, does not seem to qualify as only a “he,” despite what the Greeks and Romans tell us through their myths; on the other hand, we probably shouldn’t consider Pluto a “she,” either, for in the crucible of the underworld, sometimes visible in dreams, we will not always find the gender-distinctions we find familiar.
So, if neither male nor female, what? Pluto’s gender remains somewhat of a mystery. We find hints of that mystery in matters-astronomical connected to Pluto, for though most people consider Pluto as one thing, it actually consists of two bodies – Pluto itself and Charon – rotating about a common center, a binary planet-system moving through the darkness. People sometimes refer to Charon as Pluto’s Moon, but many astronomers now refer to it as the smaller planet in a double-planet system. No other planet in our solar system has an accompanying body so close in size and mass to the planet itself, with our Earth-Moon system coming in a not-too-close second.
The astronomical similarity suggests that Pluto has a particularly important role to play in the lives of creatures on our planet. It also suggests, as noted, that we should take care in assigning a gender to Pluto, for the planet seems to have a kind of dualism in his (or, if you prefer, her) gender. More generally, the demands of Pluto have to do with duality altogether – or, we might say with our need to see through the apparent dualities of the world, including but not limited to the ones we associate with gender, if we are to come to an accurate understanding of ourselves and the world in which we wander.
We should also take it as of more than passing interest that as astronomers have suggested to us that other planet-like bodies orbit well out beyond Pluto, people have challenged the hegemony of plutocrats all of the world, with the Occupy Movements having moved toward center-stage in many discussions of the world economy.
Pluto calls attention to, among other matters, the curious relationship that exists between the labeling mind and the phenomenal world. Thus it seems particularly appropriate that many astronomers now want to change Pluto’s label, with some of those folk insisting that Pluto “is not a planet.” But if we take what we might call a plutonic perspective on the matter, we will probably conclude that the label doesn’t matter all that much – though it may, I suppose, suggest that the collective accords Pluto less importance than it should, seeing the Pluto-function as not on par with the other planetary functions. This seems curious, as our era seems marked quite clearly by Pluto, with the mark having come into clear view around the time that astronomers discovered Pluto in 1929.
Surely the years around and following that discovery carried the mark of the underworld lord, as humans apparently driven by the demons of the unconscious rampaged across the earth, wreaking destruction wherever they went. (I include not only Hitler and Stalin in this group of underworld-driven humans, but other world leaders and groups as well.) Many astrologers will point out, correctly, that Hitler gained in power within weeks of Pluto’s discovery, and certainly totalitarianism qualifies as a Plutonic development. We could say something similar about Gandhi’s actions – and not surprisingly, as Gandhi has powerful Pluto-related factors in his horoscope. Also not surprisingly, he led the Dandi Salt March in 1930, shortly after Pluto’s discovery. Clearly, then, we shouldn’t see Pluto as symbolizing a “bad” energy, not only because it has so much “positive potential,” but also because Pluto has to do with transcending dualistic thinking altogether.
We can see the actions of Hitler and Stalin as collective projections of Pluto, arising from the collective rejection of taboo elements in the unconscious. Because Pluto always threatens ego, ego rejects it, relegating it to the underworld, from where it arises as a collective projection. This doesn’t mean that Hitler was “just” a projection or that we should see his actions as less terrible merely because they have a connection to mind. Projections can kill, as they have done for millennia and will probably continue to do for the foreseeable future. But as we consider the symbolism of Pluto, we begin to see that the events in our world, whether personal or collective, do not arise or exist independently of our awareness of them or of the unconscious from which the awareness seems to arise. Thus Jung’s remark that whatever we do not accept as part of the self will appear in the world as an event.
The binary system that we called Pluto has two bodies revolving about an empty center. If we take the two bodies as symbolizing mind and phenomena, then we would say that the system centers on something that doesn’t qualify as either. Thus just as we shouldn’t see the world as “only a projection” or only as mind, so we shouldn’t see it as just mindless particles obeying mechanical laws. Power arises from the fact that mind and phenomena – symbolically, the two bodies rotating about the center of gravity – rotate around an inner emptiness from which arise both creation and destruction. Pluto symbolizes our efforts to understand the relationship between mind and phenomena and between other apparently dualisms.
Though totalitarian drives occupied the attention of millions around 1930, many physicists of that period had begun to see that what we call the material world did not seem to exist apart from the observing mind. For example, Werner Heisenberg demonstrated that one cannot do an objective experiment on the world, that the questions one asks about the world, along with the methods one uses in attempting to observe it, have a pervasive, profound, and inescapable connection to the world one observes. A few years after Heisenberg announced his Uncertainty Principle, Jung talked about people falling into a profound uncertainty and about the so-called objective world (which at that time contained Hitler gaining more and more power, Stalin killing uncountable people, and an incipient power-surge emerging in the United States), with all its treachery and horror, having an undeniable connection to awareness and the unconscious mind.
All of this suggests an approach to Pluto-questions, but before going into that, let’s look at another Pluto manifestation: money, particularly hidden money or hidden wealth, hidden treasure. This will lead us into a discussion of the United States, with Pluto transiting The US 2nd house, traditionally known as a money house, particularly money that one gains or develops on one’s own. Thus the second house in a national horoscope has much to do with a nation’s financial system. Pluto there suggests not only upheaval or death-and-rebirth processes, but also, as part of such processes, the increasing control of plutocrats. Because Pluto’s transit of the United States’ 2nd house includes, just now, an opposition to the United States 8th house Sun, it will bring to the surface problems related not only to the domestic economy, but the multifarious trade-relations and debt-relations the United States has with other countries (8th house: the values or money of others). But more on all that in our next installment.