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All About Pluto

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Pluto's job is to show us the bigger picture - the cosmic picture. Its purpose is to help us find meaning and realize the fact that we are only on this earth for a short time and we'd better get our true priorities in order. But first it's got to show us some things, get us to face some demons, get us to administer some self-healing. Pluto shows us the truth, even when we try to hide from it. When we experience Pluto lessons, we are usually prompted to get deeply in touch with some aspect of ourselves, to discover the truth of it, to deal with our real motives and accept them and transform ourselves through that selfknowledge. For just as Scorpio is the sign of transformation, so is it's ruling planet the planet of transformation. It's the force that overturns and rejuvenates.


Pluto is the source of our vitality and our madness. It represents a tremendous source of power in us, but in order for us to claim this power we must face, heal, and release the parts of us that have been wounded in life. This wound may be something in your early life that happened to you or perhaps you don't have an explanation for it; it's just a tender and delicate spot in your soul. We must deal with those parts of us that continue to play out those wounded realities, where we are trapped by fear and sorrow. Pluto's location in our chart can tell us where we have a deep wound, where we are still bleeding. This deep wound is often so painful that we bury it with comforting lies and elaborate defense mechanisms, and as we grow up, we become more adept at avoiding that pain, but we also become more entrenched, more trapped, and more afraid of the wound. It can become a black hole, keeping us trapped in our pain and fear. But when we face that wound, when we begin to heal it and claim that power, we find tremendous resources of energy and strength that we never knew we had - power that was previously trapped in defending ourselves from our own pain is now available to us, to transform our lives.


We must remember that with great power comes great responsibility. When we are wrestling with the lessons that Pluto has to teach us, we have the very real capacity to wound ourselves and others around us with that power that is yet unclaimed consciously. Our wounded self uses our power as a defense mechanism, but when that power is not consciously directed, it can cause a lot of damage. Pluto is a strong force, regardless of how you are using it.


When we are playing out the woundedness of our Pluto, wherever it is in our chart it likely to reveal where we experience the greatest power struggles and despair in our lives. Because Pluto represents such a deep part of us, it may not be very obvious how our own woundedness is creating these situations in our lives. To uncover these mysteries, we have to be willing to face and deal with our 'stuff'. Pluto encourages us to heal ourselves and find our purpose, and use our power to fulfill that purpose. When we are true to our Pluto, we are willing to go down into hell to reclaim ourselves, to face our demons, heal our wound, and come back up whole.


Here's a small and imperfect Pluto 'cookbook'. Find your Pluto sign and house for a snippet about your natal chart. If you don't know where your Pluto is, you can create a free chart here and find out! Remember, anything taken out of context of the entire blend of your natal chart is like an ingredient in a dish without the other ingredients to add nuance and complexity. Digest these ingredients with a grain of salt, so to speak!


NOTEPluto was discovered in 1930 and takes about 245 years to orbit the sun.  It has an elliptical sort of orbit, so it doesn’t spend the same amount of time in each sign, but on average it spends about 20 years going through a sign, which is just about the time it takes for one generation to grow up and create the next one.  So most people around your age share the sign placement of Pluto, and perhaps of Neptune and even Uranus, depending on how close in age to you they are.  Therefore Pluto is also is indicative The three outer planets imprint their generation (or a mini generation in the case of Uranus and Neptune which move faster than Pluto) with a certain cosmic consciousness, a vibration that you share with those close to your age, which is why these planets are sometimes referred to generational planets.  But some books seem to indicate that the sign of the outer planets is not as important, since it’s shared by those of your generation; I don’t believe this is so.  Pluto’s sign is significant and can tell you something about the method of your transformation.  So I will be talking about the generational effects of Pluto’s sign as well as the personal effects.  Since Pluto has too long passed out of some signs and not yet entered other signs (since its discovery), I’ve only discussed the signs that are most pertinent. 


Pluto in Leo

Your personal method of transformation is likely to be very expressive.  Once it comes out of you to be seen, you may find it easier to deal with.  Your pain can become your creative passion can become your joy.  The gift the Pluto in Leo generation is bringing to the world in their very cells is a transformation of how we express ourselves, transforming our beliefs about our right to express ourselves and our right to joy.  We saw it bloom as these children grew up in the late 60s and 70s and become very expressive.  The shadow of this generation that they are charged to face and overcome is the danger of never escaping the desperate need for ego.  They stand in danger of being a generation of self-indulgent children. 


Pluto in Virgo

Your personal method of transformation is taking realistic stock of yourself and humbly going about working on those issues in a very real and practical way.  The gift the Pluto in Virgo generation is bringing to the world in their very cells is a transformation of how we view our own health; learning to take care of our bodies.  Also this generation carries knowledge of the importance of service, mutual responsibility, making rules and organizations that aid.  We can see it as these children grew up in the late 80s and early 90s and the world began taking notice of what we were doing to the planet and what our fellow humans needed (think of Live Aid, and the song ‘We are the World”). The shadow of this generation that they are charged to face and overcome is the potential to starve themselves with selfpunishment at all the work that is to be done, issuing harsh punishments to those around them as well, only finding flaws and never finding solutions that are ‘good enough.’  


Pluto in Libra

Your personal method of transformation is one based on understanding that the world is not black and white, and neither are you.  You need to transform your pain into bittersweet beauty. The gift the Pluto in Libra generation is bringing to the world in their very cells is a transformation of relationships; redefining the idea of partnership and marriage to be more of an honest representation of commitment between two people, with a knowledge of the gray areas of old definitions.  This generation believes in bridging the gap between people, coming to an understanding that peace can be achieved between seeming opposing sides, and respectful conflict resolution.  We have seen it as these children grew up in the late 90s and early 21st century, the divorce rate is higher but people are not just staying together because they have no other option, they are asking for more from their relationships.  Gay marriage issues, living together without marrying — the way we define the words ‘marriage’ and relationship’ is changing, a great deal due to this generation.  The shadow of this generation that they are charged to face and overcome is the danger of becoming paralyzed with all the gray areas and become all talk and no action.  Libra’s shadow is seeing both sides and then making the choice, but this generation stands in danger of never choosing, resistance to taking needed action.  


Pluto in Scorpio

Your personal method of transformation is intense and raw, honest, and emotionally oriented. When you deal with your dark, you must be fierce in facing it.  The gift the Pluto in Scorpio generation is bringing to the world in their very cells is a transformation of sex, breaking the taboos of what is socially acceptable, asking the ‘rude’ and ‘naughty’ questions and bringing it out into the open.  We will see it more as this generation grows up in the first and second decades of the 21st century, with all kinds of organizations being overturned and their shadows shown (in the business and religious world, for instance).  Pluto is right at home in Scorpio and this generation wants to bring forth our society’s shadow with a vengeance, to deal with it honestly.  The shadow of this generation that they are charged to face and overcome is a particularly dark one — when you deal with your shadow, you look at it and admit it, but this generation may have a hard time keeping their dark desires in check, they have the danger of going too far, as well as becoming too focused on the morbidity and darker side of life and becoming imbalanced. 


Pluto in Sagittarius

The gift the Pluto in Sagittarius generation is bringing to the world in their very cells is a transformation of ‘the truth’.  They are a generation of philosophers, who know we need guiding principles to live by, but with a healthy suspicion of narrow minded rules of morality, the ability to create a new and more open way of seeing truth.  They also will bring us the gift of humor, a bit of the ‘lighten up’ attitude, possibly in reaction to the previous generation’s heaviness and intensity.  We will see this generation grow up in the second and third decades of the 21st century.  The shadow of this generation that they are charged to face and overcome is likely to be too much of a happy-go-lucky attitude, all optimism with no groundedness or carefulness.  


Pluto in Capricorn

The gift the Pluto in Capricorn generation is bringing to the world in their very cells is a transformation of our structures, an overhaul to create new and better structures that work, perhaps a transformation of government systems, educational institutions, etc.  They bring with them a desire to get serious and take care of business.  The shadow of this generation that they are charged to face and overcome is the danger of making a god out of structure and squeezing the heart out of life.  Capricorn’s shadow is working tirelessly with purpose but losing track of why they are doing it — losing track of their heart and softness. 



Pluto in the 1st house

The wound you carry affects your own sense of identity and your ability to present yourself to the world in a confident manner (whatever your style may be).  You may have received negative messages to your style of interacting with people, all seeming to say you are too intense, too pushy, too something .  If you let that wound swallow you in it’s black hole, you may either try to hide yourself and hold back so that you don’t overpower people (becoming a ghost in your own life), or express yourself strongly and overpoweringly, but in a manner that doesn’t represent your truth, only in defensive reaction to the wounded feeling you get when others respond to your intensity negatively.  Without intending it, you may actually harm others with your pushiness, turning your wound into a self-fulfilling prophecy. To heal your wound, you must express yourself, even the hot parts, and find those people who can handle that ‘intensity’, but you must do it consciously and responsibly, in a manner that is more true to who you are, not just because you have a right to say whatever you want and damn the torpedoes.  Expression is the key here, letting the intense and powerful parts of you show.  If you heal this wound, you will find that you don’t express yourself as if you have something to prove to others, but be able to embrace and accept your own strength without having to push others down.


Pluto in the 2nd house

The wound you carry affects your sense of your own capability and worth.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may find that you don’t take risks, you don’t extend yourself out into the world because you are busy keeping yourself safe and stable and just trying to keep up with your status quo.  This is a black hole because we can never be safe enough to try new things; there will always be an element of risk in change.  Obvious self-esteem issues may also be present, depending on the rest of the chart.  Some people with this placement get pegged as being ‘lazy’, when really the source of this ‘laziness’ may be a fear taking steps to change things and ending up making things worse.  To heal your wound, you must transform yourself by proving yourself to yourself.  You will not believe in your ability to handle anything that may come your way, even when curve balls come at you (inherent instability of change) unless you actually do these things. Your own personal resources, your own ability to take care of yourself and your life needs to be tested and that power reclaimed.  


Pluto in the 3rd house

The wound you carry affects your voice; your expression of your thoughts and ideas.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, your mind may become heavy with Plutonian dark realities, but you may feel unable to express them.  This may be perhaps because you got feedback in your early life to not talk about certain things.  There is something in you that needs to express itself through your voice, and if you keep holding it back, it is likely to ‘leak out’, this resentment, perhaps through your tone of voice always having an edge to it, or some kind of ‘attitude’ that others complain of.  The way to heal this wound is to raise your voice; break those taboos about what you are and aren’t allowed to talk about — not to browbeat another with your resentment or overwhelm them with your opinions to prove your own power, but give yourself permission to speak.  You have something powerful to say.  


Pluto in the 4th house

The wound you carry affects you very deeply.  Somehow your very foundation, your sense of home, the inner places inside yourself carry a wound, making it difficult to feel that you have a safe space of retreat (figuratively or literally).  This Pluto placement very often corresponds with the nature of your childhood home and wounds you experienced in early childhood.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may feel very alone in the world and circumstances will seem to conspire to keep you feeling that way.  Perhaps, through your own choice or not, your family ties are strained or non-existent.  The way to heal this wound is to create that home base that you are missing yourself, that safe place inside yourself that no one else can touch, and simultaneously, creating a new family.  This may be by finding a way to connect with your blood family, or creating your own family (by blood or not!); your new home.  You may even find healing doing genealogy work of some sort — finding out where you come from, healing your past in some way, even somehow making peace with or getting in touch with your ancestors.   


Pluto in the 5th house

The wound you carry affects the part of you that humans have coined your ‘inner child’ — that part in you that can experience and express spontaneity, true lightness and laughter, the ability to just be in the moment and have fun.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may feel unable to ever get in touch with the feeling of true joy.  You may feel a deep desire and hunger for attention, but you’ll need to dig deep down to express your true self; for creation is not for the audience, but for the joy of expressing something in our heart.  Joy is also different than pleasure.  We seek pleasure and fun in the 5th house, but if you try to heal your wound by drowning it with pleasure, you may find yourself susceptible to addiction, where one pleasure (whether it’s sex, drugs, gambling, or more ‘socially acceptable’ addictions like food or the television) takes over.  You can recognize this addiction when you note that your heart is absent in these behaviors and now there’s only dependence.  The way to heal this wound is to transform your pain into joy, to express yourself and your creative impulses through that Plutonian filter.  An obvious example of this would be an artist who creates beautiful and poignant music that expresses their own pain or what they have dealt with in wrestling with their wounded self.  What you create and whom you show it to is not the point; only that you find your heart and joy again, in a true way.  


Pluto in the 6th house

The 6th house is known as the house of work and service, but it’s not just our jobs, it’s how we take responsibility for ourselves and we put forth the effort it takes to make our life happen the way we need it to.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole there are a couple of possibilities, but they all follow the theme of responsibility out of balance.  The first may simply be an inability to get your life together.  Irresponsibility — difficulty keeping jobs, commitments, friendships.  Along that line, perhaps you only do the bare minimum to keep yourself afloat, but you find yourself stuck in a dead end job that is meaningless, living life with the long suffering attitude of someone who is resigned to sleepwalk through their daily to do lists.  Getting stuck in the daily grind while forgetting what it all means.  Yet another possibility is taking on too much responsibility, the wrong kind of responsibility, or responsibility for the wrong reasons, devoted to everyone and everything, but never feeling good enough, never keeping up, and finally succumbing to burnout.  In all those scenarios, the way to heal this wound is empowering yourself to ask for help when you need it, but to also help yourself — seek meaning in what you do daily.  


Pluto in the 7th house and 8th house

The wound you carry is a wound of intimacy.  This wound may show up in your relationships, romantic or otherwise in your life.  Your ability to trust another person may feel badly damaged or non-existent.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may find yourself in one of two kinds of relationships: the first being not at all, where your attitude toward relationships is one of cynicism and coldness, keeping you from getting close to anyone.  The second may be relationships with people that are shallow in some way — getting involved with people but not allowing yourself to truly be vulnerable with another person.  Relationships are kept at ‘safe’ levels of intimacy, where your partner simply isn’t emotionally close enough to you to hurt you.  Let’s face it, being vulnerable carries the danger of being clobbered, which is where the healing method comes in: trust.  The way to heal this wound is to recover your ability to trust another person.  It is, of course, important that you engage in relationship with trustworthy people.  You will likely draw people into your life that have Plutonian qualities about them (intensity and self-revelation tendencies).  However, “Plutonian people” can also be caught in their own wound.  The way to tell the ‘trustworthy’ sort of Plutonian people is by their willingness to listen and take your feedback in return — shared vulnerability and openness.  Plutonian people still in the grips of their wound may merely clobber you with their version of the truth (usually about you ), psychoanalyzing you without opening themselves up to you.  


The nature of your wound in the 7th house may show up more in unequal partnerships, where finding relationships where you each support each other as much as you are supported, where there is a feeling of mutual commitment to the relationship and to each other (formal or not). The nature of your wound in the 8th house may show up in the relationships that are only very close and often the ones that have a sexual element to them.  It will affect your ability to bond with someone on those deeper levels; fears may show up about showing that person the parts of you that aren’t so pretty — the wounded, scared, crazy parts that we all have.  Even close friendships differ from a relationship with someone whom you could call a ‘mate’.  It is in these very intimate relationships that you will find the most challenge.  However, both are about recovering trust and opening up those deep spaces to trustworthy people.  


Pluto in the 9th house

The wound you carry is affects your personal truth, your right to believe what your heart and experience tells you is true.Perhaps you have had life experiences where you were not allowed to come to your own conclusions about what you believe to be true and right, but had dogmatic ideas forced upon you.  You probably have a natural aversion to anyone who tries to proclaim they know what’s what, who tries to sell you their version of ‘the truth’, no matter how politely they do it.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may find yourself becoming just as dogmatic about your own version of the truth as those who wound and frustrate you are, combating their pushy views with your own pushy views.  Or you may feel like you have a found a way out of the trap of all the suckers that swallow whatever they are fed and decided you don’t believe in anything — which of course, is a belief system too.  Cynicism does not keep us safe from being a sucker; it is a belief system in itself, just as narrow as what you are trying to combat. The way to heal this wound is to transform is to ‘lose your religion’, meaning, let go of the truths that you have had pushed on you as well as the truths that you developed to an equally strong degree as merely defense mechanisms against the pushiness of others’ truths.  You are going to need to expose yourself to a lot of different ideas, do some exploring of your own, find your own way to understand, through experiencing it, what you really believe.  


Pluto in the 10th house

The wound you carry may affect your ability to believe that you have a purpose, a destiny to fulfill in this world.  The 10th house is where we find that destiny, how we find our ‘cosmic job description’, the gift that we are meant to offer to the world.  Perhaps you don’t feel that you have anything to offer, or that your dreams can never become reality.  Perhaps you have some fixed beliefs that were instilled in you at an early age, about what your ‘place’ in the world should be — your glass ceiling, so to speak.  People may try and tell you about to get you to not aim so high and therefore not be disappointed.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may believe that there is no way you can accomplish what you really want to do with your life.  Or you may be so concerned that you might never ‘make it’, that you’ll confuse status with achieving your dreams. Fame without meaning will leave you especially empty, because Pluto urges us to seek true meaning in our lives.  You have a powerful gift to give to the world, but in order to do that, you must transform that power.  The way to heal this wound is to reclaim that dream, and then take real steps to achieve it.  To reach the destiny you imagined yourself reaching before you decided you’d better ‘get real’ and settle.  Ask yourself, what would you really like to do and get paid for it?  Then even with all the obstacles, the patronizing looks, the fears of not succeeding — take a real look at what it would take to do it and start walking that path.  Most of the time, the people we look at as having ‘made it’, don’t ever know they made it, they just set out to do what they loved, what they felt they must.   


Pluto in the 11th house

The wound you carry is a social wound.  Perhaps, in some way, you feel like an outcast.  This may or may not be as obvious as not fitting in, or it might be a more vague sense of feeling alone in the Universe, set apart, like you can’t relate to anyone.  Most everyone gains a lot of happiness from feeling like they belong somewhere, you know, “Where everybody knows your name”.  Perhaps this feeling has eluded you.  Or perhaps there’s a darker wound, where you were actually specifically cast out and a victim of a group’s cruelty.  Whatever the source, if you let this wound swallow you in its black hole, you may be perpetuating your ‘alien’ status, perhaps sticking to yourself to an extreme degree or even extreme competitiveness with others in order to avoid that feeling of being on the same team (and avoid the pain that comes with re-realizing you are an outcast). What I’m referring to is not just friendship, but on a larger scale.  An example may be joining an organization of some sort that brings social comfort and common interest together.  Churches are a very common way to create that sense of belonging and community with people that we feel we belong with.  They are our ‘tribe.’  The way to heal this wound is to take those steps, to reach out.  Your source of power lies here, perhaps you could transform it by seeking out like minded people and taking a risk to find your place.


Pluto in the 12th house

The last three houses, much like Pluto, all invite us to take part in the world around us.  They get us to step outside of ourselves and connect to something greater than our own immediate concerns and the comparatively narrow scope of our own lives.  The 12th house is where we learn to connect to the world around us, to the souls of the people around us.  With Pluto here, the wound you carry has to do with your great ability to psychically tune in to the world's suffering.  You are very sensitive to others' pain and perhaps in order to survive you have detached.  If you let this wound swallow you in its black hole you may steer wildly around anything in your life that may trigger these overwhelming feelings.  Another way you may have defended against this wound inside of you is by creating a very tough shell, a veneer painted around your heart that doesn't allow for any softness or compassion.  But compassion is the healing salve here.  No, we can't fix the world, we can't heal everyone, but that is not what's required.  What's required is to acknowledge that psychic sensitivity you have.  You can start to heal this wound by letting in the idea of compassion over cynicism, gentle understanding over rigid and unyielding standards.  Start with compassion for yourself and let it radiate out from you.  Asthis process of healing yourself unfolds, you will start to realize what it means to feel part of a community, a spiritual community that encompasses all humanity. 

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