My take on Pluto is informed in deep ways by the work of evolutionary astrologer Steven Forrest, whose Apprenticeship Program I’ve been a member of since 2004. To a lesser degree, the work of evolutionary astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green also influences my thinking. Taking elements of their perspectives but not feeling satisfied that a full picture of soul was available to me through their work or through religious traditions I’d explored, I began asking questions of the being I eventually began to channel, Djehuty, a.k.a. Thoth, St. Germain, and Merlin. He’s called an ascended master, but titles are not important to him and he doesn’t care for the convention to capitalize it – he asserts he is a soul, a portion of God/Goddess, just like you and me, but with a different job title when not living as a human. He hangs around to help humans evolve no matter what it is that we need, and will answer questions for anyone who asks about evolution, in all the various ways that can be expressed and approached.
Over several years of working with this being in an astrology tutoring capacity, a different picture of the ins and outs of Pluto as related to the multilife journey of soul emerged. I am grateful to the wonderful, amazing contributions that Forrest and Green have made to the field. What I offer on Pluto is, I perceive, an extension and deepening of the Plutonian picture to include practical steps to deal with other-life (often called past-life) wounding and emotional/psychological patterns. Viewing soul in a new context than we have in evolutionary astrology is the defining factor in developing and accepting a new vision of power when it comes to Pluto. Djehuty’s take on the work of Forrest and Green is that they have each seen an essential part of the picture, but that there’s more. Djehuty offers that the core of Forrest’s and Green’s approaches to Pluto (the deepest pain and desires/intentions of the soul, respectively) are, in fact, byproducts of the soul’s intention that its human selves over the course of many lives figure out how to become confident, strong, and powerful through a journey that you will read explained below.
Feedback from the numerous clients and students exposed to the perspectives and tools I use when it comes to Plutonian issues are consistently that now they finally understand what to do with Pluto natally, by transit, etc., and that I need to get this information out to more people. A book on this material is in process but, frankly, it’s one of about 10 in that state. I offer this web page now in case it takes me longer than expected to finish that book. Living in the Present Tense, an original natal report I wrote on emotional healing using the chart, includes Pluto as one of four archetypes (with Chiron, Lilith, and Lucifer). That report contains an explanation of Pluto as well as a section on your Pluto house and sign, getting deeper than this article.
Read The Soul’s Journey volumes I, II, and III to see this picture of Pluto explained and illustrated in numerous astrological birth charts. What you will read here is an overview of key points and approaches to how I work with Pluto at this time as indicative of the empowerment journey that a soul intends its human selves to undergo across the Earth time line.
Pluto and the Soul’s Multilife Empowerment Journey. Soul exists outside time, while its human selves unfold as physical beings within time. Soul is a portion of divine intelligence or All That Is, or God/Goddess if you prefer. It splits itself off into discrete-seeming portions – souls – that then embody as humans. This is done because All That Is in its complete state is omnipotent, and separate-seeming pieces of it can bump into each other in order to learn about itself, the goal of what we’re all doing here.
In the birth chart, Pluto describes what a person needs to do to prove the self, develop deep confidence, and invest in and express the deepest level of passion and creative power. It relates to the need to confront and make peace with all versions of shadow within the self, all that has been choked back, swept under the rug, and shoved into darkness so we don’t have to be aware of our own personal ugliness.
Throughout most of human history, we’ve tied our willingness and ability to feel strong and confident to material reality, whether that’s to do with our physical appearance or abilities or possessions, money, status, and influence. Tying a sense of personal power to these things will inevitably result in the loss of that sense of power because all circumstances in the material world change. If you feel good about yourself because you are young and attractive, you will age and likely be less attractive later. If you tie it to the money and resources you have at your disposal, your situation could at some point change.
True power comes from the inside out. It comes in being willing to face all that we don’t like or accept about ourselves – what we are, what we could choose to do, etc. – and doing so with compassion and acceptance. Facing the shadow without self-love and a willingness to grow through altering our relationship with what we think of as darkness will only result in war. Facing the shadow with compassion, however, brings the light of conscious awareness and love to parts of us that have been denied love. We can then integrate them and benefit from what they have to offer, namely creativity, passion, gumption, intensity, and willpower.
Pluto in the birth chart, then, represents what we need to do but have fears regarding it. It indicates the kind of emotional and psychological scarring that a person has in the emotional body, a subtle body that is in common among all of that person’s soul’s many lives. This is to say that Plutonian fears in a given life are, in fact, in common with all of your soul’s lives. This is the source of “past-life fears” and “past-life wounds” – they are carried in your emotional body, which you share with all of your soul’s other lives.
Plutonian fears are the most intense we can have, and the journey to become empowered through Pluto’s configuration in a person’s chart will lead that person into his or her deepest, most intense, and most irrational fears. The person will have to face these fears and shadow parts of self with love in order to transmute fear into love, which is what brings a person a sense of power: To face the darkest of the dark, and be loving … no matter what. This is the ultimate intention of the soul when it sets its human selves out on the path to develop power – it is spiritual, loving power, not something based in material reality.
Pluto’s House in the Birth Chart shows in what areas of life this empowerment journey is taking place. A house is “where action takes place,” and all parts of life fit into one of the 12 sites of action or houses.
The house in which you find Pluto represents the areas of life that holds the greatest growth and empowerment possibilities while also the deepest resistance and fear. Parts of life to do with this house have at times been the vehicles for an incredible source of confidence and strength at times and, at other times, a vivid and rich source of disaster, dread, fear, pain, and suffering. By default, to access the potential for Plutonian empowerment a person must face his or her fears, shadows, and/or negative and painful emotions and emerge on the other side of them with the knowledge that he or she can survive. Pluto issues can relate to fears of death on one level, and on the level of the depths of the emotional body, memories of deaths in the person’s other lives.
Useful shorthand for working with the house in which you find Pluto includes two questions:
“What areas of life does this person need to face and transform his or her relationship to fear in order to develop the deepest sort of self-confidence and inner strength but that hurts?”
“What does this person absolutely need to do in order to feel that life is worth living yet he or she may be unreasonably or irrationally afraid to do?”
1st House: Personality, showing up, making an impression, leadership, standing out from the crowd, exhibiting personal style, self-interested decisions/putting the self first, independence, self-assertion.
2nd House: Self-esteem, values, skills, posessions, money, self-reliance, investing in developing the self through skills, abilities, values, etc.
3rd House: Education, communicating, asking questions, thinking one’s own thoughts, developing and sharing one’s own voice, clarity of perception, trusting one’s own mind.
4th House: Roots, tradition, ancestry, needs, developing a home, the inner emotional/psychological foundation, bonded relationships with family or friends/community that feels like family, deepest self-knowledge including dealing with deep and intense emotions.
5th House: Creative self-expression, developing and sharing opinions, shining, standing out as a unique individual, plaufylness and spontaneity, sexuality as play and exploration, dating, dealing with inner and actual children.
6th House: Service through hands-on or practical work, duty, responsibility, obligation, being part of a team, sacrificing or back-burnering egoic interests, making something useful, improving things through intellectual analysis or hands-on work, helping others.
7th House: One-on-one relationships, sharing with others, friendships, love relationships including marriage, sales/selling, building bridges/diplomacy, creativity to affect or enrich others.
8th House: Deep and bonding/bonded intimacy, exploring trust and vulnerability, shared resources or those from others such as business partnerships/trusts/inheritances/household finances, intense psychological/emotional terrain explored with another, sexuality that involves personal power dynamics with others, generating power with others.
9th House: Seeking the truth, exploration, long-distance travel (physical/intuitive/intellectual), law and concepts of justice, belief systems, philosophy, religious systems, far-reaching dissemination of information/publishing.
10th House: Public self, being a symbol of something for others or a community, work, career, job, community involvement, shaping public life, participating in the public sphere, competency, ambition, recognition, achievement, respect.
11th House: Creating the future with groups of others, goals, allies who share common goals, groups of others in general and those with whom one associates, finding the right group given one’s goals, working with others, friends and how they reflect your goals, networking.
12th House: Surrender to an external experience or truth, nonlinear sources of information, things one cannot control or that are bigger than one, overwhelming scenarios, learning to go with the flow without resignation to powerlessness, learning to let go and trust life/the universe, adapting to principles of natural law (how things work in this dimension).
Pluto’s Sign in the Birth Chart describes the methods and motivations the person experiences for the empowerment journey. How Pluto works and why it’s motivated to do what it does have to do with the sign it’s in. Contrary to popular astrological opinion, the sign of Pluto is, in fact, important. It’s time that we move away from considering the signs of outer planets “generational influences” and therefore not important, moving into understanding them as ways that we connect personally to transpersonal energies in the collective consciousness and unconscious.
People with the same Pluto sign do not all know each other from various lives; are not all karmically connected. That they have a Pluto signin common reflects that their souls happen to share a similar, baseline intention in this life to learn to work through the motivations and methods of that sign in the process of learning to go from fear-based motivations to those based in love or faith.
The signs below are those in which almost all living humans have Pluto. The planet was in the sign of Cancer from 1914-1939, and Pluto’s in Capricorn today.
Cancer: Empowerment sought through security, which will involve at times fear and lack of security. Safety can be a major concern to the point that the entire life may be arranged to ensure it. Can be extremely risk-averse, and can take everything personally. The conception of needs can be ungrounded and others can be looked to to provide a sense of safety and nurturing, supporting love. Community, connection, and belonging issues loom large.
Leo: Empowerment through self-expression and being unique, which will involve at times fears about and lack of opportunity to self-express. Longings to share the creative, playful, sexual self can result, as can chips on the shoulder or resentment when others don’t or can’t hear the person.
Virgo: Empowerment through making things better (service) and navigating taking responsibility and feeling a sense of duty or obligation. This will, at times, involve what look like laziness, overwork, intense self-pressure, nervousness/anxiety, refusing to be responsible, and deep self-judgment.
Libra: Empowerment through the reflection of others, through creating shared experience with them, and through creating more fairness, justice, and peace. This will include at times oppression, lack of fairness, injustice, violence, and a lack of kindness.
Scorpio: Empowerment through knowing and expressing truth, trust, vulnerability, exploring and surviving emotional and psychological depths with self and other, feeling intensely and learning how to manage/direct/channel it for creative purposes. Sometimes this involves deception, dishonesty, betrayal, self-destruction or –harm, power/control games, abuse.
Sagittarius: Empowerment through expansion, belief, faith, intuition, higher thought/education, understanding how things work and why things happen. This will involve at times a lack or loss of faith, not knowing what to believe in and feeling rudderless, being fleeced by and having anger at hypocrisy, believing in what turns out to be false, misleading, or untrue.
Capricorn: Empowerment through planning and executing a long-term plan that develops, expresses, and displays mastery, and being rewarded for it. At times this will involve a lack of self-respect, inability to organize or build for the future, deep self-criticism for not being good enough or perfect, criticism of others for not being good enough, overcontrolling to avoid failure and not measuring up, being bossy and demanding to be in charge.
Putting House and Sign Together – some examples:
- Pluto in Scorpio/2nd House: Approaching the 2nd house in a Scorpionic way, this person will be empowered or feel powerless through living without shame (Scorpio) according to his or her value system (2nd house) or confronting the truth (Scorpio) of what he or she can do (2nd house).
- Pluto in Virgo/11th House: Approaching the 11th house in a Virgoan way, this person will be empowered or feel powerless through choosing (Virgo) personal goals and finding others with whom to work to make it happen (11th house). Alternatively, it could be about taking responsibility (Virgo) within groups (11th house).
- Pluto in Libra/8th House: Approaching the 8th house in a Libran way, this person will be empowered or feel powerless through creating more peace and fairness (Libra) within intimate or shared resource-related relationships. It can also include trying to find ways to create equality (Libra) given that each person in such a relationship is driven by deep, internal motivations and urges that may involve power-over or –under dynamics.
- Pluto in Leo/6th House: Approaching the 6th house in a Leonine way, this person will be empowered or feel powerless through personal expression (Leo) while being of service or helping/healing (6th house). Often such a person is happy to help when he or she can (6th house) yet needs validation and personal recognition for what is done (Leo). Also involves taking pride (Leo) in being an agent of improvement (6th house).
Aspects to Pluto reveal what kinds of supports and pressures, challenges and dilemmas, have been and currently are involved with the Plutonian empowerment journey over the course of many Earth-based lives.
Conjunctions to Pluto describe an energy/archetype that is wrapped up inexorably with the empowerment journey the soul has in store for a person.
Sextiles indicate energies that can trigger the person’s ability to be empowered or disempowered/powerless through doing what Pluto’s house and sign describe.
Squares tell of friction the person encounters in many lives on the way to manifesting the Plutonian self-knowledge and self-acceptance mission to become powerful, and energies in this aspect can seem to always tell the person, “You’re doing it wrong.”
Trines shed light on what in many lives seems or is supportive to the person when doing his or her Pluto, and keep in mind that trines can be wonderfully encouraging for progress as well as wonderfully encouraging for complacency and laziness.
Oppositions to Pluto describe energies that seem to block the person from getting the most important thing symbolized by Pluto done. The person can feel blocked, misunderstood, challenged, and confronted by situations and people that carry such an energy.
Transits of Pluto have a terrible reputation because we tend to think that life should be free of change, pain, and suffering. When we resist the urge to change in important way and from our deepest depths during a Pluto transit, immense and deep change will happen “to us.” In a Pluto transit, we will feel bulldozed or leveled, and it is critical to understand that whatever structures, behaviors, and realities in your life that crumble during one of these transits, that thing was ready to go. We must know that because get attached to things, situations, and people, they will at some point need to go. Also, we must realize that Pluto is trying to get us to dig deep and decide that we will survive the temporary difficulty and pain of this moment.
As Pluto represents our relationship to power, anything in the external, material world that we use to feel powerful, confident, or strong will be up for demolition when Pluto transits. Pluto’s evolutionary imperative in transit is to force you to retrain your conception of power and strength on internal self-acceptance, which is self-love. To develop it, we each must face what about us we fear, hate, shame, or villify. Since we don’t want to do this, Pluto transits exist to force us to do it! This means being called down into the depths to do shadow work, facing what about us we have not loved and, probably, perceive that we could never love. So, in essence, the process of a Pluto transit is to force you to let go of what no longer serves or works for you while, at the same time, forcing you to grow through encountering what you consider ugly, unacceptable, and unlovable about yourself. When you know and accept all parts of yourself, you tap into your Plutonian power, your own, personal atomic energy generator. And you no longer fear what you might do or who you might turn out to be – you are who you are and you accept it.
When Pluto enters a new house, there is a great effect. It will not, however, be intense for the duration of Pluto’s transit through the house. The volume on the effect will be present for a handful of years. Regarding any of these transits being positive or negative, all is determined by how willing the chart holder is to change, growth, becoming more authentic, and facing personal fears and knowing that one will survive in the face of them.
Pluto transits natal Sun: The very life mission and sense of self are challenged. Will the person let go of ideas of self that no longer serve? The person will have the opportunity to step into a more authentic way of developing and expressing a sense of self. This can seem to be a threat to health and vitality, but the fuel the person burns for living and being is trying to transform out of an old model and into something more true than the person has ever known.
Pluto transits natal Moon: The person’s sense of safety, connection, community, belonging, and ability to meet his or her needs is challenged. Will the person transform what he or she has decided safety is and means? Contemporary family and home issues will be up for review, as well as those from the past. The person needs to transform conceptions of need, nurture, and safety in order to proceed with an authentic, likely more mature and self-reliant way of living.
Pluto transits natal Mercury: Perception, communication, interests, and thoughts will be retooled during this transit. The person may find it difficult to continue established mental patterns and ways of experiencing self, others, and the world through the mind. Power is trying to be found through reorganization of how the mind works and why. A newfound sense of needing to speak the truth may emerge, and this may result in notable life changes as what is given attention to might change in important ways.
Pluto transits natal Venus: Values and relationships are ready to undergo definite transformation. Skills possessed and desired, existing interpersonal relationships, and what one can do and the price that is attached to it are transforming. Life with others may get rocky for a time as the person realizes that some existing relationships are not based in truth. Also, values, skills, and relationships might now be informed for the first time by hidden motivations the person needs to make peace with and integrate.
Pluto transits natal Mars: The person’s willpower, desires, and self-assertiveness are up for Plutonian review. What one wants and how to go about making it happen might begin to crumble with this transit. The chart holder needs to be aware that what isn’t working is, in fact, no longer serving him or her. It can feel as though progress and free will are boxed up or shelved, leading to great frustration and, possibly, anger outbursts. Aligning one’s will with what is true to the person will resolve these issues.
Pluto transits Natal Jupiter: A person’s belief system, self-confidence, and sense of optimism can feel under attack in some way during this time. What the person believes and why may be illustrated in apparent power plays in his or her life, potentially leading the person to have a crisis in faith. What is believed and hoped for that is not based in reality of who the person really is needs to go, and the process can be difficult. Honest evaluation of what is believed is needed.
Pluto transits Natal Saturn: The structures of a person’s life need to be bulldozed so that something new can be built in their places. A feeling of heaviness that may accompany a perception of impossibility can result, and the person can feel that there is little point to working/creating when things are being destroyed no matter what one does. New structures, levels of maturity, and discipline need to be developed, and yet there is a time during this transit when the person needs to let things fall apart. What is crumbling, as with all Pluto transits, needs to go.
Pluto transits Natal Uranus: Pluto asks the chart holder what he or she is willing to do in order to be entirely, totally, truly free. Power struggles with others would only be reflections of the internal process that is unfolding about who is in charge of the person’s life. This can be a time of great and profound originality if the person is willing to honestly evaluate what in life makes him or her feel hemmed in, trapped, and limited. When freedom is embraced, there is room to become more confident through developing and embodying one’s unique gifts and personal genius.
Pluto transits Natal Neptune: What one has surrendered to can become obviously a hindrance at this time. If the person has faith in any material-world reality, this is the chapter of life when those objects and situations will do all they can to dissolve and crumble. Where has the person placed his or her faith? What truth, if any, is the person aligned with? Pluto will grind away at “false idols” until the chart holder is ready to embrace a relationship with life and the cosmos that reflects that he or she is part of the greater fabric of life. Control issues can arise with any Pluto transit, but this one can frighten a person into attempting to hypercontrol everything in life, potentially leading to a sense of feeling utterly and hopelessly out of control. The person at this point needs to get in touch with what is true for the self and align with it.
Pluto transits Natal Pluto: The person’s relationship with fear and power needs to transform. What the person feels is possible might have been limited in the past given his or her experiences that have shaped self-esteem and willingness to accept the self for exactly who he or she is. Fears will come up, as will a deep desire to step into empowerment to claim the right to steer the ship of one’s life. During such a transit, the door to getting to know the best and worst of the self is open. If the chart holder decides to know and accept all of it – including the worst of the worst – then he or she will emerge on the other side of the transit more empowered than ever before.
Pluto transits Natal Ascendant: It’s time to reinvent who the person is, but it has to happen through the dissolution and falling apart of how the self has been conceived of and presented. Plutonian energy fills the body and personality. The reinvention cannot occur until one releases any clinging to who one is, and this requires the chart holder deciding with confidence that he or she will survive. Futility and what looks like darkness might arise within the person during this time, and he or she should make peace with the shadows within, which is the only way to transform old fears and doubts into the personal power transiting Pluto is attempting to draw the person to embrace.
Pluto transits Natal Midheaven: Changes in career and place in society and the world are the obvious manifestations, as are apparent power struggles. Transiting Pluto is pressuring the chart holder to allow inauthentic public expressions of self to crumble and dissolve, so space can be created for deeply authentic versions to be created after the dust settles. Who gets to powerful in the world when? What does it take to be in charge of something that matters to the person? The chart holder is being asked these questions and to face his or her fears about becoming an agent of change in some sort of public arena, whether through work or community involvement.
Pluto transits Natal Descendant: Existing conceptions of and approaches to fairness and give-and-take within relationship are ready to go. Relationships can crumble but, if they do, they need to (even when this is extremely painful). What the person looks for in others is ready to undergo a dramatic shift, and after the dust of the Pluto transit settles, what remains will be a more authentic and real version of the person that he or she presents to others. If power struggles in relationship unfold, be aware that the relationship is serving as a testing or proving ground for the chart holder regarding who gets to be powerful when in interpersonal relationship.
Pluto transits Natal Nadir: One’s inner foundation needs to be transformed. It doesn’t matter what is happening in a person’s emotional core when this transit begins – the very sense of foundation the person has had needs to change. His or her relationship with the past and with family – which are outgrowths of the inner emotional landscape – will be up for review. There may be power struggles surrounding the home or where might be or is (or used to be) safe for the person. Issues regarding what home is and what it should look like are up now, as are the person’s sense of having a place or group to belong to.
Progressions to Natal Pluto indicate internal changes related to the planet, angle, asteroid, or point that are affecting a person’s conception and expression of natal Pluto. Whatever that person may be doing or not doing with Plutonian energy as configured in his or her natal chart, a progression to Pluto will activate the planet and/or attempt to draw your Plutonian power or powerlessness out of hiding. Progressions always indicate an inner change that is ready or attempting to enter or noticeably influence a person’s outward behavior. A progression to Pluto will bring the need to integrate and, probably, express something about the person’s natal Pluto.
Solar Arcs of Pluto describe something that is major and can seem unavoidable or fated that comes to a person. Often, solar-arc events change everything. The thing comes to a person from the outside, but it is different than the effect of a transit. Transits ask questions and the chart holder can respond or refuse to (or avoid it altogether), while solar arcs seem to bring major events and juncture points that a person cannot avoid. Solar arcs to natal Pluto bring external events of a nature related to the arcing planet to a person’s Pluto, making apparent the sense of strength and confidence or that of powerlessness the person has, depending upon how the person deals with his or her natal Pluto energy.