The Astrology of Power

Pluto is the god of the underworld. He is death and rebirth, the phoenix rising from the ashes. But, he is also power. Each of us have an area in our lives where we are powerful. Where is the power in your natal chart?

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Power often gets a bad rap. It conjures up images of corruption, of abuse, of authority, and of tyranny. But that is not what power means. We could not do anything were it not for power. It is thermal, electric, and tensional power that allows us to walk, think, and interact. Power is a tool to be used, for good or ill. Remember that as we continue this discussion.

Pluto (Hades in Greek) was a very unwanted god in the Greco-Roman pantheon. People in these ancient societies did not even like to mention his name. The gods themselves shunned him. He ruled over a realm that people were all too familiar with but were not anxious to be further acquainted. As opposed to our modern world where we are practically insulated from this reality, and as a result often fetishize it, older societies didn’t want anything to do with it at all.

Speaking of death could call death to you, or so it was believed. Very few graven images or temples were ever made in Pluto’s honor. The other gods fed off of the praise and admiration of humans, but Pluto was left to feed off of their suffering. However, there were a few instances of death cults that existed even in ancient Greece and Rome. They were secret, and they were cloaked. Just as Pluto would have it.

silhouette of man standing in front of window
Photo: Alexander Lallemand
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But Pluto has other attributes. He is the shadow, the “id,” the underside of any topic. He is compulsion; he is that we do which we do not know we do. He is the decay in our life where the husk needs blown away so the seed within can be exposed anew. He is intensity, the dense nature of a person or interaction. He is animalistic instincts. He is the higher octave of Mars, the warrior. He is fear and paranoia. He is the absolute, unabashed, eternal truth. He is all of these things at once, and often more.

So, what does this mean for the individual? Well, all of it depends on other factors. We all have these tendencies somewhere in our lives. Some people are obsessed with money. Some people are intensely violent. Others are intense in presence. And all of this is determined by the aspects, the sign, and house Pluto occupies. By doing so, we can know where our shadow lies.

If the Sun is in aspect to Pluto, then our ego becomes subject to periods of renewal and an arrogance that is characteristic of Pluto. If the Moon touches Pluto, our feelings and relationships with women are intensified. If it is Mercury, then our thinking process is deepened, and often intrusive to others. If Venus is connected to Pluto, then our love life takes on more Karmic significance, as well as bouts of extreme jealousy and manipulative tendencies. If it is Mars, then our ability to focus is greatly improved, as is our physical ability, but so is the propensity for violence and/or being abused by others.

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Photo by: Camila Quintero Franco
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There are other aspects to the outer planets, but I will not expand upon them here. The reason is that they are trans-personal planets, and as such only become important to the discussion if these planets are also aspected to personal planets, or “inner planets.” And I will not be going over Pluto in the Zodiacal signs because it does not make a large difference from person to person, as Pluto takes around 20 years to transit a single sign.

However, the house Pluto occupies is of great importance. And if Pluto occupies the first house, or is sitting on top of the Ascendant, then others will perceive us as very Plutonian. Deep, complex, scary, intense. But there is a caveat to this, and that is another of Pluto’s inherent traits: transformation. If sufficient crisis is traversed, then Pluto will metamorphosize the way it manifests, taking on higher vibrational energies. Jealousy becomes detachment. The abused become empowered. Fear gives way to courage. Compulsion turns to awareness.

In the second house, our values become a focal point for Pluto’s hand. We may feel very insecure over money, and thusly horde it. Or, we are so obsessed with our intangible value system that we spend our lives researching it, forming it, and deepening its meaning.

In the third house, our communications are intense. This can also make encounters with siblings, or people in general, to be Pluton-esque.

In the fourth house our family life is influenced by Pluto, as well as our inner private life. We may obsess over how our home looks, or become very secretive. It also can denote material success in real estate and land matters. Some may actually find precious metals in the earth as a result.

In the fifth house, our creativity and party life is how Pluto shows his energy. It can be a good thing if we are creative people, but this can also overwhelm. It can also be about our children, and Pluto may express through them. However, more than likely, this is the kind of person that must party. In fact, they may not even be having a good time, but they still must engage in the activity. Substance abuse is common.

The sixth house concerns our reputation, short-term work, and our health. More than likely, this shows an obsession over health concerns, and can indicate someone who may regenerate after an illness. Or, it can be about constant self-improvement to the point of perfectionism.

The seventh house shows that our one-to-one relationships have an intense quality. We may draw people in our lives that embody this. They may be abusive. However, there is a flip-side to this: one of projection. We may see that everyone else is the bad guy, even when it is not true. All of our faults are “out there,” and this is not constructive, so Pluto is telling us to work on this or pay the price.

The eighth house is Pluto’s home. It is the house of sex, death, and other people’s money. We may be overly interested in sexual matters, crossing into deviancy. We may have massive debt. Or, Pluto may force us to face death, or the idea of death, in ways that other people will not. Overcoming this can make us capable of facing death with courage.

The ninth house is about higher education, travel, and spiritual matters. It is most likely that this person will have a spiritual re-birth, whether they think they will or not. The universe will conspire to force this person to abandon all assumptions about the great beyond.

The tenth is career and the public. We may be utterly consumed with getting ahead, or people may see our public persona as Plutonian in nature. This will also often force a transformation too, either changing careers (possibly many times), or having our public image projected upon us in a negative way until we molt that image and take up the higher vibration of Pluto.

In the eleventh, which is our networking house, Pluto makes us infatuated with friends. This may sound positive, but imagine someone so engrossed with having friends that they care for little else. However, once again, if we can shed the negative, our ability to network can be reshaped as a strength.

Finally there is the twelfth house. This is the house of the unconscious, incarceration, and of secret enemies. If Pluto is in a very late degree, nearly back around again in the first house, then he is considered conjunct the Ascendant. The traits are close to what happens when he is in the first house, but they are not within the person’s conscious control. However, if he is not, then there are many behaviors which can be our undoing. It may show long hours of isolation from imprisonment. Or, it may show that enemies that we don’t even know about are working behind the scenes to manipulatively sabotage us.

So, where is your Pluto? Where is your power? Where is your obsession? Look to an astrological site and find out. Because what you don’t know, could be your downfall.

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Joshua S. Toms View All →

Adventurer, writer, American patriot.

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