Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Plutos in Capricorn - Corporate Restructuring


Now that Pluto has lived up to its mythic meaning by being banished to the nether regions of the outer-space, some musings come to mind. This may be presumptuous or forward, but having lived and breathed astrology for so long, it comes as no surprise when you look around at the world. I’d like to jot down what comes to mind regarding what it will mean for astrology, for, as astrologers, it is important that we think through what has taken place because it will be natural for people to ask us what this will mean. Because of that, I’d like to share some thoughts about those issues that pint-sized but feisty Pluto has (or should that be used to have?) influence over.

Pluto was recently downgraded from a planet in our solar system to a member of the Kuiper Belt Objects, something that is enough to send one half of the astrological community – the modernists - into nail-biting, humiliating turmoil and the other half – the traditionalists – into smug fits of laughter and a lot of “I told you so’s”. Taking the modern approach, for this is a modern application of science – to label and categorise rather than letting things be - it strikes me as interesting that Pluto is simultaneously reaching the end of its travels through Sagittarius, the sign of space exploration and bigger thinking. It’s interesting too that Ceres, the mythic Earth Mother, is now in the same astronomical category and so, theoretically, on a par with Pluto – i.e. has actually gained in status by going from Category Asteroid to Category Dwarf Planet, and since these two go hand in hand with the myth of Persephone and the Pomegranate seeds, if we leave dogmatic beliefs aside, this provides great food for thought. The modern proposal may be that perhaps life is less about control and power and more about making the most of what we have, for, like Ceres and her daughter, we experience whoever and whatever for such a short time.

How is the world’s consciousness changing with regard to Pluto and Scorpio-ruled issues of control, sex, death, and other people’s time, money and resources in these astronomically-historic and astrologically-challenging times? Of course, Scorpio still exists as a sign with a ruler, Mars, but signs in themselves only provide a stage for a planet to perform on. It’s the planets themselves that stimulate qualities and energies and make them manifest in our lives on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. So, how are we as astrologers going to handle this sudden change? We only need to look at how we feel about these Plutonian issues in our own lives to get an inkling. For instance, in the larger scheme of things, do we feel there is very little we can do about, for example, political issues, or the raising of children and what they are exposed to in these rapid times? Do we feel sad when we hear stories of gene tampering, food additives, polluted air and water? I think this is where the crux of Pluto’s banishment lies. Perhaps this is what the change in planetary status means. Just as the discovery of planets changed the thinking of the people at the time they were discovered, so the demotion of a planet brings that planet’s qualities to the fore so that change, even though it is happening in reverse, can find a crack in the world’s psyche that will allow new conditions to form simply through being a historic marker that the older generations will witness but which future generations will have no idea of. It’s a sucking in of energy, rather than a breathing out. Perhaps this is why the celestial wheel needs to be seen in a new context which reflects the world as it is today, no matter that the universe will carry on regardless of who says what on Earth. What do I mean by this, well…

Looking back at the transit of Pluto in Sag, we can see the theme of ethics, the truth, beliefs and dogmas woven through the years since 1995. We need only look at world events to see how religion has broken down and taken on new forms. Newly created wealth through property and investments are also Plutonian themes as baby boomers reach milestones that have never been seen before (and look at the hold (read control) that this generation will have over the next as the wealth transfers, or gets spent, or lives on via family trusts). On another level, boomers are less willing to give up workspace, or perhaps they are creating employment through their refusal to retire quietly. In New Zealand, employment is at the lowest it has ever been historically. So, we must ask, where to from here as we slip into what used to be coined the retirement age (another interesting term that correlates to Pluto’s banishment), making way for the new technological generation.

And of the next generation, depth is another Pluto theme that may not accompany the psyches of the I-pod, internet, mobile phone, wireless transmission, email generation – they seem to have it all and so value it less with so much information to take in, with the mounds of data at their finger tips with less and less of a need, or ability, to stick to one subject and investigate it thoroughly (Pluto again). Is this the Plutonian legacy of the information-seeking era of Pluto in Sagittarius? The mutability of Sag could spit out the masters of jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none generations - but, the old school have to accept this since what they do and how they apply it will be important and relevant and timely for them.

And that’s another angle I would approach Pluto’s significance at the moment. Our ability to communicate with people via hidden means decreases the trust and increases the vulnerability of people in relationships since we will never be sure of what someone is up to via text messaging, internet dating, internet voyeurism or emails that can be deleted at the push of a button - gone are the deleted messages and gone are the days when affairs could be detected by anonymous callers hanging up on the phone, or letters being left in a pocket, or a smear of seductive red lipstick on a collar. You don’t even have to go to a bar to meet someone or begin an affair in the office. Nowadays, you can communicate with people who are thousands of miles away, establishing a close relationship with them that is just as much a threat and an act of disloyalty as all of the above. Then there is pornography, which in the old days, consisted of magazines wrapped in brown paper hidden under beds or at the back of the wardrobe. Nowadays, it is everywhere you look, disguised in many forms, but available on tap and in vast quantities as people realise how much money there is to be made. Doesn’t that correlate with the loss of power of a banished Pluto, or the insidious side of a Pluto that we need to watch even more? Surely the sign Scorpio in itself cannot produce this kind of powerful medium, it is only something that a body like Pluto can come up with, with the aid of its cohorts in the Kuiper belt?

The side effects of all those kind of invisible threats are just as great. How do we grapple with living in a state of perpetual threat or suspicion that we no longer know what the people closest to us are doing, nor do we know, just yet, how to deal with the anxiety it produces. Just as there are thousands of asteroids and Evolutionary Intensified Objects (a term coined by American astrologer Philip Sedgwick during a workshop to describe the belt of celestial objects that Pluto has been designated to – see the link on this site to get to his thoughts), there are thousands of people out there that we can connect with at any hour of the day. The barriers of time and distance no longer exist, and yet what we seek is on the fringes and out of sight of our daily living – just like Pluto in the outer reaches of our solar system. Perhaps by suddenly shrinking in stature, Pluto, in true atomic fashion, has gone into disguise, melded and actually intensified the way we experience Plutonian aspects of life. In this respect, the astronomers of our time have done us a great favour because we now need to look at life from a completely different angle or risk losing sight of it all together. As astrologers, we will be less equipped to cope with clients or out of touch with our insights unless we embrace what this whole scenario signifies.

Looking back on the validity of Pluto in Sagittarius, just as relevant is Pluto’s previous transit through Scorpio when AIDs first became known to the general public, or when Pluto travelled through Libra when the balance of equality within relationships was the big issue of the day. Women went out into the workforce in huge numbers. A whole book can be written about Pluto transits through the signs, when whole generations were born, but these are just some examples that spring to mind during writing.

My own experiences of Pluto have been very real with the most recent, and the most memorable, being the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 2001 – an event that astrologers had examined, with great trepidation, long before it approached. In my own life, a t-square formed with my Sun in Virgo and my father died, just one month after the shocking events of 9/11 – how can one ignore such an event, which could be put down to Saturn in the traditional sense, but why did my father die at that point and not at one of the other contacts that Saturn would have had through the years. Pluto, on the other hand will only make one contact with my Sun in my life-time. And is it co-incidence that my father had just experienced the same transit to his Sun?

At the end of the day, with great respect to the scientific world, in my own work, I will continue to use Pluto rather than mourn its downgrading. However, I will use it with greater awareness that something in the collective psyche has changed forever and that our sense of power and control, in the positive context, now needs to be handled in new and better ways. What those ways are will probably be defined when Pluto enters Capricorn in 2008. There will be new rules established according to the new order, and it will be in hindsight that we will see the significance of events now. Change is the only thing that is constant! And that leads to another interesting concept, Pluto is always about transformation! Just because a new label has been put on something does not make it so, what does make it so is the general consciousness and perception of something once it has been identified and catergorised and brought to attention. On that basis, as members of the older generations, we must manipulate and transmute our perceptions as much as we can to keep up and move with the changing consciousness of our times. The younger generations, as they are bombarded with blatant consumerism and high regard for the best cosmetic appearances may need to learn to value the material world in much more evolutionary and worldly ways, for they have so much more to contend with than we ever did. In the end, Pluto has seemingly left us so that we can take power and control over ourselves in another, much more adaptable way.

(c) Tracey Rizvi, August 2006


Anonymous said...

Thank you Tracy, for sharing your thoughts on Pluto's recent banishment by -- less than half, from what I understand -- the scientific community.

I'm not sure how I feel about this momentous event but I do know deep down inside somewhere, it's BIG. You see, I have an intimate relationship with Pluto as He/She moved from a natal conjunction with my Moon to go on to conjunct Saturn, Neptune, Venus, Sun, Mercury: square natal Moon, cross the MC, will soon sextile Jupiter and conjunct Mars.

So I am grateful for your musings that have cast a bit of light on my own that I can't articulate yet. I shall think more on this. As will many others, I'm sure.

Boston, MA, USA

Anonymous said...

G’day Tracey,

Firstly, thank you for such an insightful and thought-provoking blog on Pluto. I agree with so much of what you write in there; and some of it hadn’t occurred to me until now – such as the ‘sucking in of energy’. Good metaphor.

Your discussion of the way people communicate via hidden means these days - and all the trouble and strife which that can bring – is well-put, and so apt for Pluto’s demotion. I agree that Pluto has perhaps gone into disguise now – and what power there is in the imagination, eh, when we mask ourselves! I’m thinking of the seductive lure of, say, the annual Carnivale in Venice, for example. Powerful images.

It is important to pause to think and observe how Pluto has fit into the scheme of the world to date. You’ve discussed it so well, and I don’t have anything to add to that. My focus lately – perhaps somewhat selfishly – has been to look at my own chart (and a few others) from this new perspective.

Whether we accept the astronomical premice of Pluto being a ‘mere dwarf’ and apply it to our astrology is a matter of personal choice at this early stage. Sooner or later with the benefit of research, experience, time and committed thought, we can come to our own conclusions as to whether, by removing Pluto from the chart, for example, we are losing any insight or not. After all, traditional astrologers manage quite well without using any of the outer planets and asteroids, and always have. (Let’s hope they’re not smug about this, for that would mar the beauty of astrology as such a huge topic that it can handle different techniques, and is open to various forms of application. It is an Art, after all – and no two works of art turn out the same – just as no two minds do!)

Nevertheless, for so-called modern astrology, the removal of Pluto is at the very least, disconcerting. I imagine that some astrologers will even experience an element of grief and loss. Yet Pluto in the sky isn’t going anywhere other than where it normally goes in its orbit. While the astronomers may banish it somewhat underground, isn’t this a rather natural arena for Pluto, after all? And in company with Ceres, as astrologers know, is even more fitting.

So I see no reason not to at least look at the chart from this new perspective. To ignore the decision of the scientists strikes me as a bit of an ostrich attitude. We must embrace changes as they come upon us, and try to remain open to interpretations. Pluto is a newcomer to the stage, as is Chiron. And though they may have infiltrated our psyches rapidly and with many convincing ideas for a lot of astrologers, do we really have the benefit of hundreds and thousands of years to support the rather bold claims associated with them? The proof is in the pudding, and I believe it’s always best to start with ourselves, with our own charts, to try to glean some sense of meaning.

Have you all played around with your own natal chart yet, removing Pluto, then adding both Pluto and Ceres (and Xena if you have the data) and so on? It’s fascinating to look at our own charts in a different light. We’ve felt that we’ve known them for so long, it’s strange to contemplate a different schematic.

It presents a whole different mandala!

For example in my own natal chart, in effect I ‘lose’ some aspect patterns by removing Pluto (and the other outer planets, for that matter). To test the validity of Pluto as a planet, for instance, I would need to review how I experience these aspect patterns.

With this review comes an interesing and necessary question: how much do we tend to justify things with astrology, in order to attempt to make concepts fit? Do we look for certain meanings and interpretations, and then somehow contrive to find them? How much is real, really?

When we shift perspective by taking away components (rather than adding them) does this bring an Ah-Ha!? Put another way, does ‘less’ provide ‘more’ meaning?

I believe it might – at least in my own case. Of course it is far too soon to tell really, as I’m still assimilating the ‘loss’ of Pluto and what that might mean in my chart. Pluto is still there whenever I wish to display it; however now that it has been re-classified, it does not appear in my newly re-created ‘Planets-Only” selection. (I actually am still finding this very frustrating – a self-inflicted burden!)

So in my chart, suddenly the focus shifts from Pluto to Uranus (and Neptune). Uranus is now the only planet above the horizon, thus carries a hefty load, and changes what was termed a ‘locomotive’ chart pattern, into a ‘bucket’, with Uranus the handle. Neptune also gains attention by providing that other pinpoint, which cannot be ignored as Neptune conjuncts Asc from 1st house.

And we could go one step further – by removing the outer planets altogether, and just using the visible planets. Though familiar with this image through Horary charts, how often do we look at our own natal charts this way? It really cuts to the nitty-gritty, doesn’t it. In my case (as I’m sure it will be in many others) the chart suddenly concentrates into just one quadrant alone. Now I might come closer to imagining how it is for people with a bundle chart pattern, for instance.

Anyways, I’ve waffled on long enough. Time to have a second look at Ceres now, I reckon.

Thanks again, Tracey, for sharing your ideas on it all and thus adding to the pot (or should I say cauldron?)

Regards to you all,

P.S. How are you feeling lately, Lesley?