All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" Available only on

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pluto's Orchestration of Fate

Pluto's transits often have everything to do with what makes you feel really crummy—you feel as if you are “falling apart.” That’s the way it strikes at first. Sickness, divorce, moving house, changing jobs, accidents—these all fall into that realm. Although the feeling of weariness or even death is metaphorical most of the time, you feel it in your bones—this dying and being re-born sensation. You become acutely aware of the fragility of life.

The phoenix-like nature of Pluto is powerful and could be said to purge us of our worst habits and karmic weaknesses. We see the underside of life and it brings up our repressed and often shame-filled shadow qualities. At these times, it is helpful to express what is happening rather than hide, because what we find is that we are not alone. There isn’t a single person born who isn’t touched by the archetypal energy of Pluto---this energy that puts us face to face with death. The good news is that our transit through Hades is a process—for “this too will pass” and there are many others who have been there who are willing to help.

The first part of living through a Plutonian life passage feels destructive and disintegrating, because it has to “tear down” before it can “build up.” Just like when a contractor goes into a neighborhood and tears down a house first before he can build a new one—it doesn’t look so pretty at first, but it has to be done that way. So Pluto brings up, irritates, and hopefully heals those South Node default patterns we’ve been discussing. It ultimately changes things for the better—or at least on our deathbed we might say “it changed things for the better.”

“Ruthless” is a word that is commonly associated with Pluto, partially because it seems so unbending in our efforts to change it. The really difficult moments of transiting Pluto are when we feel the hand of fate moving through our lives, and changing—without our permission—the orchestration of our lives. That’s why the words surrender and let it go so often come up at these times. We deal with Pluto best when we allow ourselves to let go of every image we have of “how it all should be and look.”

When Pluto comes into your life by transit—that is, when it hits a hot spot in your chart, such as conjuncting or squaring your Sun or a personal planet, you know something's about to undergo a metamorphosis. The ego is usually under attack in some way, or the part of your ego that is tied up with your South Node complexes. Most people feel overwhelmed and “attacked.” As you ego fragments under pressure, your inner voices start screaming and it’s easy to project those attacking inner voices onto other people. We regress and lose our maturity at these times, and there’s nothing to do but endure and trust the process until there is a moment of palpable shift and insight. There will probably be many of these “attacks and insights” or regressive acting out times followed by little “Ah-hah!” epiphanies.

Wherever the South Node and Pluto is located in your birth chart points to an area of deep karmic wounding, and from that wounding there evolves a behavioral distortion or a complex. We all have this in varying degrees. The good news is that when we have a Pluto transit, or a powerful transit to our South Node, we get to revisit this at some level, and to make it better. In a sense, we are getting a chance to be reborn.
At these times we can often feel the sense of fate; the hand of God orchestrating all this, and so it actually brings us closer to God, our life purpose, or what the Jungian’s call “the transcendent function.” The suffering involved is a high price to pay, but ultimately worth it. The less resistance we offer, the less suffering there is. As Buddhist author, Pema Chodron once said: “Suffering is optional.”