Lately, I’ve been fascinated by how the Christian idea of the devil plays out in astrological terms. Here’s some thoughts about Pluto and how Pluto manifests as our Western idea of evil or The Devil.
In mythology, Pluto is the king of the dead. In astrology, Pluto rules that which must be transformed and resurrected. The mythical Pluto is an abductor. He’s a rapist. He holds his young niece Persephone captive and makes her a child bride. Pluto is the taker of innocence. He entraps Persephone by feeding her pomegranates. By eating, she doesn’t understand there’s an unspoken contract. She eats in the land of the dead, therefore, she must stay. She doesn’t see that Pluto’s gesture of seeming care is a means of binding her to him. Pluto initiates what seems like an eternal winter until Persephone’s mother makes a deal with him and Zeus to get her back, at least part of the time.
“Innocence”–that which is without darkness (Latin: nox). When Pluto captures Persephone, the darkness settles in. Barren lands are the dark night of the soul. There’s no fertility, no life, no joy. Persephone becomes the queen of the dead.
She’s powerful. She has so many subjects, but her kingdom is joyless. In fact, everyone becomes her subject eventually because everyone dies.
Pluto represents the loss of our naivete, often through shocking, hellish circumstances. One day we’re fine, picking flowers, closely guarded, as Persephone was. The next day we’re in situation, perhaps even a “situationship”. Our innocence cannot be restored. We’re forever changed by what we’ve seen and heard in the Underworld. Our quest then is to return to joy, to rediscover what once made us happy, but with more adult eyes.
My Catholic school girl days required regular trips to the confessional, where I had to do an “examination of conscience”, list out my sins and confess them.
A Pluto-themed examination of conscience:
~What is dead in my life?
~Is propping up a “dead” or “dying” situation compassionate or selfish?
~What is rotting that I have not buried?
~What is still torturing me?
~What season is this person, job, project, etc., inhabiting in my life?
~Who am I punishing and why?
~Do I have any unfinished business with dead relatives, friends?
~Do I have someone I’m obsessed with romantically?
~What makes me think I am entitled to be with a particular woman or man?
~How do I manipulate by pretending to care when I really don’t?
~What unspoken agreements have I made with others, with or without their consent?
~What must I cut out to make room for the “new” in my life?
~What “deals with the devil” have I made lately?
~Do I get off on corrupting people or taking them down a peg, especially those who I perceive to be less savvy or experienced than me?
~What are my control issues really hiding?
~Do I get pleasure from overpowering others mentally, physically or emotionally?
~What traps have I laid recently to bind someone or something to me?
~How often do I abuse my power?
~How often do I consider others needs and feelings as I pursue what I want?
~If the person I loved didn’t love me back, would I bless them and release them or would I attempt to further bind them to me?
~In order to be “king” or “queen”, do I beat people down to keep them in their place?
~Do I believe in redemption or punishment?
~What have I hoarded to maintain a sense of closeness? A sense of control?
~In what areas of my life am I stifling growth or change?
~What secrets am I keeping to maintain control of a situation or person?
~How do I control my fears?
Hell is a very real fear for many people. There’s many that advocate that hell is not a place, not a chthonic underworld, but a state of mind.
When you compare the Christian Devil to Pluto, they are similar enough. Whether or not hell is a destination is debatable, but it’s certainly evident some have a hellish state of mind.
Pluto rules Scorpio-the sign of sex, death, transformation and secrets. Scorpio rules the liminal time of year before Halloween, a time we confront our deep fears, especially of death. As humans, many of us make our whole lives about avoiding death, avoiding Pluto, avoiding The Devil. What if we looked at devilish and Plutonic energies head-on? How less fearful would we be? How much needless control would we yield?