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METAPHYSICAL PLUTO

by Gary Brand - written June 10, 2008,
published in the July 2008 edition of Echo* newspaper
Pluto compared in size to Earth, our Moon, Sedna (the
most distant object known to orbit the Sun) and Quaoar Pluto compared in size to Earth, our Moon, Sedna (the most distant object known to orbit the Sun) and Quaoar (a Trans-Neptunian object, like Pluto, that orbits the Sun in the Kuiper Belt).  Courtesy of NASA/JPL.
Last month’s issue of Echo* newspaper was the 9 year anniversary of my authorship of this column of “Practical Astrology” – that means 108 articles written and published.  So I want to acknowledge and thank the editor and staff of Echo* and, most of all, I thank my readership for your support and encouragement.  At times when it has been difficult to write the column, I call forth memories of the many times I have heard people say that they read my latest article and the words begin to flow from my brain to the computer screen.

This article is the last in a series about the metaphysical and esoteric meanings of the planets that focuses on the metaphysics of Pluto, the second planet (like Uranus) discovered quite by accident and the ninth planet from the Sun, although some astronomers reclassified it as a "dwarf planet" in 2007.  It is smaller than Mercury and very remote so it remained hidden (Pluto keyword) until a modern telescope and the "blink comparitor" led to its discovery in 1930.

According to Greek myth (F.G., p. 88 (1968)), Cronus (Saturn) and Rhea had three sons:  Hades (Pluto), Poseidon (Neptune) and Zeus (Jupiter).  After Jupiter liberated his brothers and sisters from the stomach of their father and after his triple victories (three trials in succession is a divine test), he drew lots with his elder brothers for dominion of three realms:  Jupiter became ruler of the heavens and the new Olympian dynasty, represented by six great gods and six great goddesses, which symbolized the twelve-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).  With his lot, Neptune became ruler of the sea and Pluto ruler of the underworld and afterlife.

In Greek mythology, Pluto was not part of the Olympian pantheon and seldom left his domain.  This isolation was by choice and is a metaphor for the alone time that people with a strong Pluto in their chart often require to explore the mysteries of life and death (Pluto concepts).  Pluto’s attribute was his winged helmet that made him invisible, a metaphor for the ability of those with a strong Pluto to be inconspicuous so that they can observe others – invisibility is a form of hidden power (Pluto keywords).  Because Pluto was ruler of the underworld, the planet named after him became associated with death as well as other profound transitions (Pluto keywords).  Before Pluto’s discovery, Saturn was the astrological representative of death and, because he was usually depicted with a sickle, he was often called the “grim reaper.”

According to Greek mythology, Pluto had a retinue that included Thanatos (the deity that actually represented death) and Hypnos (god of sleep), who were often depicted as having wings and were both sons of the goddess of night.  Wings signify divinity, spirituality, a protective and pervasive power, and the power to transcend the mundane world.  These companions of Pluto symbolize the close relationship between sleep and death.  When we fall asleep (usually at night), we enter a state similar to the afterlife because we lose consciousness and self-control and are subject to impressions and memories in our subconscious in the form of dreams – the domain of Morpheus (with the same etymology as morphine), god of dreams and son of Hypnos.  Modern astrologers associate Pluto with sexual orgasm and the French expression “la petite mort” (the little death) – when referring to orgasm – is an allusion to this relationship.

The metaphysics of the glyph or pictograph of Pluto is a small circle in the center of an upward facing semi-circle (but not touching it), which is attached to the cross of matter and time.  The small circle in this glyph signifies the divine spirit in our nature and our ability to spiritually evolve above and beyond physical concerns.  However, Pluto’s glyph is rooted in material form, meaning that it is from the perspective of living in a finite physical body and linear lifespan that we evolve to a higher plane of consciousness and ultimately transform and transmute (Pluto keywords) our individual consciousness to paradisiacal, universal consciousness.

Elisabeth Haich describes the 7th level of consciousness (the highest of seven levels of vibration) as that of the God-human, because such a person manifests his/her “… own divine self – completely and perfectly through a perfect consciousness; [such a person is] one who experiences and radiates the divine creative forces [Pluto concept]....  He[/she] is supremely conscious; no part of him[/her] is unconscious” (Id., p. 215).  According to Haich, there are presently no souls incarnate at this level of consciousness.  The 7th level of consciousness is an apt description of Pluto, the planetary representative of this level, although Saturn (as the outermost planetary boundary) represented this level before being supplanted by Pluto.

The power to direct our will (for good or ill) is a primary representation of Pluto in our birth chart.  Modern-day astrologers sometimes describe Pluto as the “higher octave” of Mars because it symbolizes our potential to align our personal will (Mars) with the will of God (Pluto).  Many modern astrologers assign rulership of Scorpio to Pluto and throw out the traditional ruler, Mars, who ruled Scorpio for more than 2,300 years.  This ancient association of Mars with Scorpio worked for all of the masters of astrology until Pluto’s discovery so traditional astrologers like me are unwilling to expatriate Mars, especially since Scorpio is his primary sign (because both Mars and Scorpio are nocturnal).

Pluto’s orbital period is 245 tropical years, so many of us will never experience some astrological aspects (angular influences) from the transiting or moving Pluto to planets in our birth chart.  For those of us born since the mid-1920s, transiting Pluto opposes the position of Pluto in our birth chart during our eighties.  This period of our life is the ideal time to share our stories of how we have transformed ourselves and others and to demonstrate that it is possible to greet death with a smile on our face (those who have studied metaphysics and the mysteries of life and death know that death frees the soul from the illusion of limitation in the physical body).
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Reference Citations.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, spiritual and other realities that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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