by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pluto Direct

A Hubble Telescope photograph of WR124 (in nebula M1 67) spewing clumps of hot gas outwards from its star core at some 100,000 mph
(photo credit: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA-JPL, March 1997)

Pluto is going direct on September 20th at 3:27 in the afternoon, UT/+0 time. As noted several posts ago, it will be going direct at the exact degree of Facies – a fixed star (nebula, actually) which has a pretty problematic reputation with astrologers.

Considering how Pluto’s keywords are ‘create, deny, destroy’ we can probably all expect a little of this energy to be circulating through our lives from the simple ‘I don’t want to talk about that’ to the full scale war complete with the horrors of death and destruction.

But there’s a reason why Pluto is associated with the image of the Phoenix. Whether the destruction is brought about by fire, flame or societal…even personal vulnerability or failings, that which is affected by Pluto opens the door to something new which in time will ‘rise from the ashes.’

That Pluto is making its ‘turn’ in conjunction not just with Facies but with Industria tells us the most likely place for challenges to arise…or where we’re likely to have our ‘ship come in’ (get results) is in any area of work or personal effort. This station is thus (more or less) either about what’s we’re working to build, or some structure which is in our life which is preventing us from building what we need to build or building anew.

Not that we’re likely to be all jingles about the thing, no matter what it is. People who are already in the process of ‘transforming’ their lives are going to find it’s a heavy time for details and effort. As all of us do when confronted by such a moment, it’s going to feel like the more we do, the more there is to do!

That would very naturally bring out the Facies ‘many parts, much to do’ and feeling very put-upon (i.e., like a victim). And there’s of course that fact that when we’re feeling all bogged down and overwhelmed how anyone breezing by seems callous, heartless and worthy of a big sign on their back which reads ‘villain.’

A lot of what goes on now is going to be about perspective. With Pluto in opposition to Black Moon Lilith (Lilith/Child conjunct conjunct Sirius) there are going to be a lot of people leaving the physical nest (however old they are!) and a lot of people leaving the emotional nest.

We just know it’s time to be something more real in our own minds. There comes a point when the acquiescing to others becomes less comforting and comfortable and more of a burden on that Self we know we are and which we really want to become.

This would be one of those times.

For those who don’t have anything in particular in the pot or on some back burner, this is likely to be a particularly trying passage as they see change going on all around them. Just to pick one popular harmonic to these placements, the third harmonic (representing the thought and mental attitude) to Pluto-Facies’ position would be Piscean – which is why those who achieve things in the worldly and Capricorn sense (not to mention those with important Capricorn placements) think in universal terms. Where Aquarius is ‘mass movement’ and social interaction, Pisces is the universality of emotion – and let’s face it, we all live in our emotions as human beings. Even those of us who try to avoid our emotions do so because they don’t feel comfortable to us!

The third harmonic to Cancer, on the other hand, is Virgo…telling us why those who are opposing change will now couch everything in terms of whether something is ‘pragmatic’ or ‘workable’ or even ‘healthy’ for us to do.

It’s an interesting oppositional dynamic – the common chord and the level at which humans ‘live’ (their emotional sense of Self) being the key to knowing how to achieve anything versus the localized ‘we need to deal with this right here, right now.’

And that’s pretty much the issue – universality versus localized visions on how life should be structured and what we need to do to make our lives more viable, workable, safe and satisfying at the same time.

Barring the idea that your home is being flooded at the moment (in which case, why are you reading astrological posts on the internet?) or there’s some real-time calamity going on, this gets down to one very simple idea: the safety and functionality of our personal world is predicated on the greater world in which we live.

Now, I know as I say that how there are people who think that if they earn enough money or gain enough power they won’t have to deal with anything.

That might work except for things like famine, earthquakes, world economies, plagues and all that stuff.

Oh yes, that.

Yes, that. We are all subject to the world around us, which is why the statement ‘I don’t care about anyone/anything but my own (insert term)’ tends to not just sound like folly but BE folly.

...Which rather gets back to some of what I was noting here at Ye Olde Bloggery last week when talking about Pluto-Facies (see link above). 

It’s at times like this that such folly reveals itself as follow. For all the resisters and desist-ers, for the anti-change nay-sayers and control freaks of this life, if your chart answers to 8 Capricorn, you’re in for a bit of a steam-roller-ing. Life is trying to unwrinkle your contracted soul – which to you may feel like getting hit with a hot iron.

Which yes, would be two sides of the same experience. But what’s your choice? We cannot retreat from life…not that I don’t know a few people who give that their very best shot. (No, it doesn’t work.)

Thinking back to those harmonics, the universal considerations which go with the implied Capricorn-Pisces connective are certainly heightened by the fact that we are talking not “just” Pluto, but Pluto-Facies. Issues of discomfort, feelings of haplessness and being helpless to do things the way you might want to do them are probably to be expected, at the very least.

Applying this to the idea that we give celestial objects a two-days-before, two-days-after ‘station allowance’ window, with the Moon entering Pisces on September 17th that Moon – representing feelings and values and our susceptibility to them and everything which provokes emotionality – ‘triggers’ the third Pluto-in-Capricorn harmonic on September 18th at about four-twenty-something in the morning (UT/+0) time.

Of course there are twelve ‘natural’ harmonics to any placement (there being twelve zodiac signs). So why care so much about the third?

Part one: because that represents our mentality. The station is the station is the station…and the sign its in is the sign of ‘awareness’ – the first harmonic derivative. But that all-important moment of thinking through things and realizing we need to deal with them and cope with them? That’s the third harmonic.

Besides, Chiron is sitting at 10 Pisces. So this Pluto station atop Facies is going to be ‘setting off’ our Chiron-in-Pisces “no, I don’t want to have to deal with that” feelings…which the Moon is going to trigger early on the 18th (or late on the 17th if you’re in the western Americas). Chiron in Pisces is a whole sea of processes which challenge us to explore our own emotional makeup and to deal with whatever incongruities exist between our vision of reality and our vision of the ideal. Or life in real time versus the life in our head. Or the fact versus the thing we’d like to think is the fact…or how we’d like to feel as opposed to what our real feelings are about anything.

Or yes, anyone.

Moreover, as the Moon set’s off this ‘Piscean thought-wave,’ as it reaches 8 Pisces (the perfected sextile to Pluto at 8 Capricorn) this creates another Grand Sextile…

In case you're wondering, I don't color the signs in red and blue because
I'm an American, but rather to show the alternation between Yin and Yang
signs as we move around the zodiac.
…which but an hour later, as the Moon moves forward into 9 Pisces is re-struck by Venus moving into 8 Scorpio.

Scorpio is the 11th harmonic to Capricorn, which brings up the concept of negotiating our way through life and negotiating of/in relationships of all kinds in our life. The Sabian Symbol for 8 Scorpio is an apt one: A DENTIST AT WORK, which astrologer Dane Rudhyar very astutely summarizes as ‘overcoming the negative results of social prejudices and ego-cravings.’ Venus so often manifests as the ‘what we want’ in life and our Venusian challenges are to realize that what we get out of anything depends on what we are going into it and what we do as part of it…which in the wonderful (and as I almost typed that, ‘wound-erful’) world of Scorpio tells us that the basis of relationship with someone – be they our platonic friend, our business partner or employer or our most luscious and beloved squeeze – that relationship doesn’t happen ‘by magic.’ It has to be negotiated. Too often in life we get ourselves in trouble by ‘assuming’ we know what somebody is thinking. Or what they prefer.

Scorpio is all about showing that up as an error on our part.

So often we think we can just ‘go for the standard role’ in a situation or relationship, completely forgetting how unique we are and how unique everybody else is, too.

Scorpio will show up those miscalculations as well.

There’s a longstanding myth which people evidently want desperately to believe that relationships “shouldn’t need work.”

The ‘I don’t have to work at it’ (or me, or my relationship) doesn’t work either.

Sooner or later our not negotiating our relationships backfires. What passion may sustain starting out falls through thin Scorpio ice (which the passion has heatedly melted through, one suspects). Or we find out that beneath the shiny exoskeleton of that Scorpio situation lies something rotten.

You know…which then the dentist has to work on – hence the symbol.

All of this is part of the process of moving forward towards the 11 Scorpio Solar Eclipse which will occur on November 3rd. The watery grand trine from Venus in Scorpio to (Moon) Chiron in Pisces to Black Moon Lilith in Cancer (which is opposing Pluto) is a contradictory energy, one pole of which wants to dig in and forget changing anything and the other pole of which realizes changes are desperately needed even if we don’t know (consciously) how to make them.

The Chirotic answer is to allow ourselves to feel our feelings and whatever reluctance or fear or haplessness goes along with them while walking forward through our veil. Chiron always asks that we do something we don’t know how to do and through doing it, transcend who we have been in realizing we can be so much more. As it’s doing that, Venus is sextiling Pluto’s station from Scorpio, guaranteeing that we can change our place in the world and what we conceive of as our place in the world if we will only release our death grip on our current status quo.

This is one of those ‘give a little, get a lot,’ moments.

However, as I say that, I also fully believe that giving a little now means a huge personal evolution – a life transformation – yet to come.

What we need to do may not be popular. No, not even with us. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be done. Plus there is that old metaphysical lesson about energy and energetics. Energy is never lost. It changes form, it can be shifted from one place to another (to some degree) rather as you can do with water in a water balloon. But in the end, the energy we fail to use or that we refuse to utilize becomes energy which life simply brings to us in the form of something which we then have to respond to and which we have no input on.

And that’s a whole other – and more universal – conceptualization of the Facies ‘victim-perpetrator’ concept. We now have a chance to shape our world and life moving forward. If we fail to take that on or follow through and make best efforts (complete with a measure of letting go and clearing/cleaning out) could it be that we’re perpetrating some sort of ‘victimization’ of our greater potential or ability to grow with life…or in our life?


As always with any such station, those who have major placements (planets, dwarf planets, nodes or chart angles) within 5 degrees of the conjunction, opposition point or squares will experience the greatest focal…or in the case of squares, challenge from these next few days at least. So that would mean anyone with any important placement between 3 and 13 degrees of Capricorn (the conjunction), Cancer (the opposition), Libra and/or Aries (the squares) are going to be most affected now.

Let’s also not forget that such stations also work in the charts of nations, companies and relationships as well.

One other thing worth noting here…on the date of Pluto’s actual station (September 20th) the Moon will be in Aries.

The Grand Sextile is still there, yes. But with Venus now at 10 Scorpio and the Moon exactly conjunct Uranus, not only are we likely to feel whatever energy is around being ‘brought home’ to us, but despite our tendency to react in very personal terms (which is natural and very Aries), those two green lines forming a “V” shape… which in astrological terms actually form the “Y” of a Yod are telling us that our answers lie not in embodying the Uranus/Moon 11 Aries tendency to over-react, exaggerate (in reality or in our mind) or get all about ‘that other person’ but instead to embrace the ‘other perspective’ which is shown through 11 Libra, a degree which asks that we think things through and work through the issue or situation at a manageable rate.

In other words, can the explosions and go for a step-by-step, more managed and interactive, even negotiated (there’s that word again!) solution to the situation. The Sabian Symbol for 11 Libra is one I’ve always liked: MINERS ARE SUFACING FROM A DEEP COAL MINE which is all about ‘digging deep’ into ourselves in how we go about being who we are in the world…which amounts to the ‘cause’ which garners the ‘effect’ from others and from life.

The implication here is that this moment and this station really are about who we are – but in the externalized sense: what we are in the world determines who we get to be in our own life. And thus this Yod is an opportunity… a trying one maybe, but an opportunity nonetheless.

Can we learn from our experiences of others and from life itself what we have the potential to become? Some changes probably need making, yes. But that would be the theme of this moment…and this season as a whole.

With all that said, I know I have left one question unanswered until now: how do we know a good Pluto thing from a "bad" Pluto thing? Be it a relationship or a hobby or a choice of job/career or anything else, the underlying issue is how compelled you feel to do that.

Pluto compulsions tend to be seriously emotion-driven. We crave this, we want to be with that person, we feel 'less than' or lessened by being involved in or not being involved in something.

In a nutshell, that statement pretty much explains Pluto's role as the lure and allure of the Scorpio outcome - and thus the reason why when we go to make our Mars choice whether to initiate or not to initiate, the underlying issue is how conscious we are of who we are and why we're doing/not doing whatever it at stake...or how much of that urgent sort of "competitive" feeling is driving us to make some given decision....the 'to do, or not to do' which in turn gets us into a 'to do' or not.

That "competition" is not with others: it's with our sense of Self. We're trying to win our own self-esteem and thus grow our own feelings of know, all those things which are endemically related to Taurus, Scorpio's polarity sign. Taurus is the personal end of the Taurus/Scorpio polarity and Scorpio is the interactive end - the where we go to try and get what we think will fulfill us.

Whatever the good or bad is in this formula, that is shown by the placement of our natal Pluto and the placement of our Mars...and the placement of Scorpio - and whatever objects/planets we have positioned in Scorpio. Learning how those things work, learning why they tend to manifest in our lives as they do - those are our Plutonic lessons.

There's a lot more to be said about Scorpio (and thus Pluto and its lessons) during these next weeks ahead, seeing as we are not even half-way through the lead-in to the Solar Eclipse which will occur at 11 Scorpio come November. Those places where we tend to be annoyed with others are like as not where the eclipse energy is playing out.

Likewise are those places where we have 'created' something we think is going to 'transform' our lives and 'fix' our sense of self-esteem or security. Anything you have gotten involved in (or are getting involved in) which is all about 'fixing' something in your life through some sort of emotional experience (as opposed to an intellectual experience) is likely to be driven by Pluto.

That's one of the truly odd things about Scorpio. This sign of passion and desire is best handled and wrangled through all things where we are able to be dispassionate. Thus anyone with a really problematic Scorpio or Pluto natal issue (and you surely know who you are!) only solves that issue by...

a.) getting involved in something which allows them to understand the underlying vulnerability...

b.) finding something intellectual and growth oriented to be 'invested in' which will "drain off" some of the Pluto energy to the point where Pluto energetics are not going to be able to run your life...

c.) recognizing compulsive choices when they are made and recognizing that "that choice" is a bad one because it's not about how 'delicious' the 'thing' is but more about life wanting us to trigger our underlying issues so we can maybe (this time) get real about our denied (avoided) emotional/self-worth issues.

Slow growth - enduring growth - is Saturnine. Compulsive growth which tends to end up be "cancerous" on the emotional level (or at any level which 'hits' us in our emotionality) is Plutonic.

And then there's....

d.) finding a way that you can approach those obsessive energetics under the guidance of someone who you trust enough to govern your operation in said realm.

This last choice ("d.") is particularly important for anyone with a Moon in Scorpio or Taurus...OR with a Pluto in Scorpio (Gen Y - this is you!)

And yes, I say this knowing full well that any one of these placements will be part and parcel of a chart of a person who will tend to be highly resistant to that very suggestion even if (deep inside) they know they have issues.

You know, Pluto issues. We all have some Pluto "stuff" to deal's just whether we can manage to dig our way out of it without creating a cave-in.

Going to get my shovel now…


  1. Boots, I sent the link to your Sept 11th post (Venus in Scorpio) to a dear friend of mine who (like you) knows so much about my inner self. It was so perfectly relevant to me that she thought you had written that entire message just for me! She was blown away to learn that it was a post written for everybody! I believe she would say the same thing about this one.
    Thank you both for being "d." for me! Thanks to you guys I'm not resistant to the evolution anymore. I welcome it.

    1. Hey, Angi...I have to laugh at your story about forwarding the post - every once in a while somebody I know "accuses" me of having written something 'to' or 'about' them. That's certainly apt of course when I cite someone in particular but generally I'm simply reading cosmic street signs and billboards. (Yes, I travel many a celestial highway and byway quite a lot.)

      So thanks for that. It's a huge compliment to me that people can identify with the central concepts of any particular astrological concept as that says (to me) that I'm doing my job correctly. Ergo, YAY!

      As for having help you open the door to your own personal evolution, that's a privilege. Every time someone entrusts me with the opportunity to help them see their life more clearly, I can't help but be honored. To me, astrology is a sacred charge; to have been given the ability to serve others in their times of questioning or quandary or need asks of me that I do my very best to be caring but impartial, offering perspective on their personal path with all the caveats and without prejudgment.

      I read rather recently that to be a Shaman is to be a 'Technician of the Sacred'...which strikes me as quite close to the job of metaphysician, though Shamanism deals with energetics without any of the astronomical or astrophysical structure. While I think Shamanism is highly valuable, I also think its a harder path to walk because it's so innately 'of your flesh,' as it were. someone who has a few odd abilities (the strangest of which is that I know the future of buildings...and how odd is that?)...I prefer to do my work for others in a manner which has math and science and all the other 'recognizable' accoutrements attached!

      Anyway...thanks for sharing, Angi! Say 'hi' to your friend for me!

      - Boots

  2. Hi Boots,

    Slightly off topic, but how does an intercepted Pluto respond to the direction changes? (Scorpio, 8th house) ... I know to look to the aspects/house, but it doesn't seem like there is an easy way to access this energy ?

    Any suggested readings on intercepted signs?
    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi, Gea...!

      Interceptions do present some peculiarities, don't they? Here are my some of my suggestions of factors to take into account when delineating them:

      1. Think of the sign which is intercepted (complete with the planets and other objects contained) as "a supportive factor" to the house they're contained in.

      2. Look at the planet which rules the intercepted sign - and the Pluto (or whatever planet or object) and think of the interception as "pulling" that ruler's energy INTO the interception as part of the "support team" which contributes to the activities of the house in which the interception occurs.

      Corollary: Always remember this famously useful rule for reading houses..."the good or bad which comes out of the house is determined by the condition of the planet ruling the sign on the cusp of the house." It is from this rule that we would deduce that the ruler of the intercepted sign's energetics gets 'folded' into that house's business or operations.

      3. Try to think of interceptions both as 'a sign in a house' and as a polarity across two houses in two different quadrants of the chart.

      When you say the energetic of an intercepted planet is 'less easy to access' I would say I agree in theory. But you can 'steer' the planet by operating through the host house...OR through the ruler of the sign in which (in your case) Pluto is posited. If we think of a horoscope as something which is as it's supposed to be (along the lines of "all things happen for a reason") then there should be a positive reason that - in this case - the Pluto seems more or less "tamper proof"...the object is to find that reason!

      Does that help? That would be where I would start, personally.

      Of course, you could also try inviting Pluto out for dinner...


      - Boots

  3. This one too, Boots. This is another one I hold dear... spectacularly helpful, insightful. Thanks again.
    - Angi