Pluto's discovery, in 1930, coincides with the most fearful discovery of mankind, the atom bomb. With this weapon, the world faced a power that could destroy mankind if misused. According to the atomic physicist, Robert Oppenheimer: "We knew the world could not be the same." Unsurprisingly, due to the time of Pluto's discovery, astrologers assigned some rather destructive attributes to Pluto, but it's also called "the great renewer". To quote Nietzsche: "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."
The Planet Pluto
Pluto takes 248 years to circle the Sun and is the outermost planet, but it has an eccentric orbit and for 20 or so of those years is closer to the Sun than Neptune. Pluto rotates in the opposite direction of most of the planets. And, like Uranus, its equator is almost at a right angle to the plane of its orbit.
Pluto and Charon
In 1978 Charon, Pluto's largest satellite was discovered, technically making Pluto a binary planet. Pluto and Charon are unique because they rotate in sync and keep their same face toward one another in a sort of dance. In Roman mythology, Pluto is the god of Hades (the underworld), and Charon is the mythological figure who ferries the dead across the river Acheron into Hades.
Pluto's Death and Rebirth
In 2006 Pluto made the news when it died as a planet and was reborn as a "dwarf planet." This decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) was controversial, especially in the astrological community. However, as far as astrology is concerned Pluto was still a planet and the most potent force for evolutionary change in a horoscope.
Pluto, a Transpersonal or metaphysical planet, is associated with Scorpio and the eighth house of the zodiac, both of which can refer to the darker aspects of life. It symbolizes human evolution. Some keywords for Pluto are; power, intensity, crisis, desire, elimination, death, rejuvenation, rebirth, and metamorphosis.
Pluto is the destroyer and the creator. It holds sway over birth, death, fear of death, disasters, the subconscious, and significant psychological changes. It rules clairvoyance, occultism, spiritualism and reigns over vague things like ghosts and shadows.
Pluto had two glyphs or symbols. The one most used resembles a scorpion with its claws reaching around a circle. However, it's a cross, crescent, and circle that represents spirit, soul, and sustenance. Another that's in use is a combination of "PL."
Pluto in Your Birth Chart
It takes about 248 years for Pluto to circle the entire zodiac. Due to its eccentric orbit, it stays between 11 years (Scorpio) to 32 years (Taurus) in each sign. Its slow progress means Pluto's sign placement is shared by entire generations. Which means the house Pluto occupies, the aspects it makes, both natal and by transit, to all the planets and points in your birth chart are what most astrologers consider more than the sign Pluto occupies.
Pluto in Evolutionary Astrology
Those who practice Evolutionary Astrology believe in past lives. These astrologers believe Pluto in a birth chart symbolizes the evolution of the Soul and its sign and house indicates the core evolutionary desires and intentions in your current life.
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Pluto in the Astrological Signs
Pluto's sign represents the culture, overall world and political reality of whole generations, as well as each generation's compulsive desire to evolve and transform these realities. Almost everyone living today will have Pluto in one of the signs below.
Pluto in Cancer: Approximately 1928-1939
The Pluto in Cancer generation quietly works within traditional systems. Those born into this group have a subconscious but compulsive desire to minimize external dependencies.
Pluto in Leo: Approximately 1942-1947
The Pluto in Leo generation has a deep sense of purpose and specialness. Those born into this group have subconscious but compulsive desire to actualize their unique destiny.
Pluto in Virgo: Approximately 1956-1970
The Pluto in Virgo generation has a strong work ethic. Those born into this group have a subconscious but compulsive desire to sacrifice and be of service.
Pluto in Libra: Approximately 1971-1984
The Pluto in Libra generation is primarily concerned with relationships. Those born into this group have a subconscious but compulsive desire to transform what's seen as socially acceptable relationships.
Pluto in Scorpio: Approximately 1984-1995
The Pluto in Scorpio generation is exceptionally intense, powerful, and transformative. Those born into this group have a subconscious but compulsive desire to experience power and powerlessness, then go beyond their limitations. Note: this generation was born during the 20 years when Pluto's orbit brought it inside Neptune and closer to Earth. They got an extra dose of transformational energy from Pluto!
Pluto in Sagittarius: Approximately 1998-2008
The Pluto in Sagittarius generation is very freedom oriented. Those born into this group have a subconscious but compulsive desire to understand themselves in a metaphysical, philosophical or religious context.
Pluto in Capricorn: Approximately 2011-2024
The Pluto in Capricorn generation will be a dominant force in transforming the world's governments as well as how the people of the world do business. Those born into this group have a subconscious but compulsive desire to link their purpose to social and political change.
Pluto brings everything it represents to one house in a natal chart. You could say Pluto operates from that house. Pluto's house is where you want full control and where there will power struggles, fear of loss, betrayal, passion, obsession, or paranoia, but where there will also be a metamorphosis.
- Beyoncé Knowles has Pluto in the first house. Beyoncé has full control of herself, personifies sex, has a commanding presence and exudes magnetism.
- Whitney Houston has Pluto in her seventh house. Whitney's fantastic voice propelled her to stardom, and toxic relationships were her downfall.
Pluto in Relationship Astrology
In relationship astrology (synastry), Pluto contacts between two individual's birth charts can be a struggle. Pluto has a dangerous reputation in synastry. Where it makes contact, there can be jealousy, obsession, possession, compulsion, and all the hell those things can bring into a relationship. A Pluto contact can hypnotize, control and manipulate, and compel you to fight to the end for a relationship. They are not for the faint of heart. However, some individuals thrive in all-consuming relationships. So, how Pluto contact affects the relationship depends on each's birth chart as well as the maturity of the couple.
When you're touched by a stressful Pluto transit, issues of control, manipulation, jealousy, possessiveness, dominance, and power are frequent. You're forced to look at and question the life you are living. Subconscious baggage comes to the surface allowing you to review you're conditioned psychological and emotional responses. Pluto transits are often also accompanied by an obsession with power, and an almost insane desire to possess a thing, a person, or a position, and in the obsessive drive to have what we want, you trample over others.
A Pluto transit is not pleasant! If you're feeling any of the above, it's possible you're in the midst of a Pluto transit and would benefit from a consult with a professional evolutionary astrologer.
The Pluto Process
Pluto is the slowest moving planet in the solar system, so its transits to the planets or points in your birth chart can take two, three, or more years to finish with you. Pluto's transformative process is usually hidden at first. It works like a volcano with pressure building up for years until it finally explodes! Yes, you can be reborn wherever Pluto goes, but just like the physical experience of birthing a new life, it's painful and extremely messy, but easier for some than for others.
Hidden within every individual is a painful encounter with Pluto, but if you are successful, the gifts Pluto brings are resurrection and redemption as well as a new you and a new life.