The function of Pluto in any chart is to reveal the dark, unspoken elements that need to be brought to light in any person, situation or culture in order for growth and transformation to occur. Pluto is the destroyer of all that does not fit an evolutionary plan. It is also the generator of the new, having first cleared away the detritus of the old. With Pluto in Capricorn until 2023, a long period of destruction of form (Capricorn is an earth sign and is the builder of structures, both physical and institutional), begun in November 2008 when it entered this sign, is taking place. Pluto is set to take down all that is no longer useful to these physical forms. The process here will be slow (versus its’ placement in a fire sign, where Pluto’s action would be a trip through a high temperature furnace). Think earthquakes and mudslides, think the bricks and mortar literally falling from the facades of buildings, think the inability of our soils to grow our food because of years of abuse and poisoning by corporate crop production (Monsanto and genetically modified seeds programmed to self-destruct).
Pluto is not a friendly face to face. In the western mythology, he is represented by Hades, who, in his lust to possess her nubile being, kidnaps Persephone and takes her to the underworld in hopes of matrimonial bliss. Demeter, her mother, guardian of abundance and fertility, realizing her daughter has been abducted by an unknown perpetrator, tears around the planet in a rage, bringing death and destruction to all around her. The crops do not grow, the wells go dry. Finally, the people plead to Zeus to find Demeter’s daughter in order that they may be restored to a surviving, thriving world. Zeus discovers Hades has Persephone in his catacombs. Hades does not want to give up his prize and, hopefully, future bride. Persephone has, meanwhile, resisted all of Hade’s pleas and seductions for any kind of intimate relationship. Zeus is stuck between a furious mother and a selfish sociopath.
Zeus strikes a deal with Hades: if Hades can get Persephone to eat the seed of a pomegranate, Hades can keep her in the underworld for six months of the year. Persephone refuses the fruit. Persistently and stubbornly so. As they are riding in the chariot from the underworld back to terra illumina, Hades, realizing his opportunity for winning the deal is dwindling fast, resorts to desperate measures and forces the seed through Persephone’s willfully closed lips and gets her to swallow it, just like a dog-owner prying open the jaws of a recalcitrant pet in order to deliver bitter medicine. Hades “wins,” and Persephone is bound to spend six months of every year as Hades’ consort deep below the surface of the earth. On the Vernal Equinox, she is released from her melancholy prison and allowed six months of abundance and beauty within the gardens of earth. The Autumnal Equinox and the beginning again of winter mark her passage once again into the belly of the earth.
THE SEED AND THE FLOWER
The meeting with Pluto is unavoidable and our only choice is how we are going to swallow that bittersweet fruit he has to offer us. Pluto is the master and will always win. If we focus on that battle, on the terrible mask of the messenger, we will be bound to dance with Pluto in a dysfunctional manner: with violence, absurdity, grandiosity, terror, rigidity and, ultimately, death.
If we meet that master however, with awareness and humility, we have the opportunity to enter the domain of the mature and the wise. Resistance feeds the ego, but acquiescence feeds the soul. It also avoids each of us getting dinged up too much in what is really a process of creation. We must eat of the fruit to digest its knowledge and wisdom. To eat of it, however, we must realize it is a sacred invitation and it is our responsibility to prove ourselves worthy of the gift. The flower does not always bloom. There is no guarantee that the novitiate will ever be invited past the spiritual foyer. It is wise to remember that, in the true plutonian tradition of the high spiritual are of shamanism, the final test of the hopeful adept may very well end, not in her ascension, but in her death.
The regeneration here is the understanding that everything functions within a cyclical rhythm that does not recognize the human ego, nor human actions as anything more significant than sand blowing across a beach. The planets move across the heavens, day turns to night, seasons follow one upon the other and the seed gives way to the flower, which gives way to the fruit, which gives way to the seed again. Yielding is the law of response humans are meant to exercise in relationship to nature, a force far more powerful than the human brain and body. We must, indeed, descend into our own darkness and come to know it, just as we must succumb to the laws of decay and death. Westernized humanity has forgotten these laws, has attempted to usurp and overpower those laws for its own, singular benefit. We have become full of our own sound and fury, drowning out the sounds of the rhythms that, if honored, allow us to listen to a reality far richer and more diverse in its communications than any iPod or Droid could hope to replicate. Pluto has come to disarm us, so that we the fools may do no more harm.
PLUTO ARRIVES IN THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
In order to understand the violent, suffocating, trampling deaths of the 19 people in that narrow tunnel that lead out onto the open grounds of the Love Parade Music Festival in Duisburg, Germany on July 24, 2010, we need to expand our view. This is not a random, singular and tragic event but, rather, the other side of an astrological coin that needed to be flipped as the Cardinal Cross and its primary planets have converged, separated and converged again into their geometric patterns over a number of months.
As many of us are aware, the T-square in that Cardinal Cross is between Saturn and Pluto and Pluto and Uranus, with Uranus in opposition to Saturn. Saturn and Uranus first reached opposition last April, within days of the explosive BP Oil gulf spill. Pluto began seeping from the underworld, delivering the message of oily secrets and hazards with his gifts of tar balls across gulf coast beaches. Those tar balls would be the heyoka’s 21st century version of pomegranate seeds. The form is not the topic, the symbolism is. At the time of the spill and since, it has been easy for progressives and leftists, environmentalists and new agers alike to point the fingers of blame for the destruction of our mother earth on corporate greed and power. The oil corporations have, indeed, developed ever more sophisticated phallic tools to penetrate deeper and deeper into the mother flesh to extract her energy. The spiritual and physical succubi at work, sucking from the mother until she is a dry husk, unable to produce life. In chinese medicine, this would be described as yang energy having gone out of control and overridden its cup, spilling itself out until it dissipates and becomes useless itself. Yang exhausts itself and loses form and function.
Uranus and Saturn re-enter exact opposition again on July 26th. The explosion in the New Age movement occurred at the Love Parade Music Festival, less than 48 hours prior to this exactitude. This event was first held in Berlin in 1989 as part of the peace movement sweeping through western and eastern europe at the time the Berlin Wall came down. 21 years later, in the name of “love” and “peace,” 19 people were trampled to death and 342 injured. Pluto has arrived on the scene and it is time now for the New Age movement wake up and take a very long, contemplative look at its own excesses and irresponsible behaviors as the movement has gained a foothold in the western mainstream. The New Age has been out of balance for quite a long time, and now the cracks are showing.
DIFFERENT SUIT, SAME TIE
The New Age movement was born out of a need for self-exploration and a desire for self-awareness that are, indeed, necessary components of becoming conscious as a whole. That movement, however, long-ago derailed itself and its functionality by creating and promoting wave after wave of superficial self-help gurus, “enlightened” leaders, “awareness” hustlers and a bacchanalian smorgasbord of vision quests, meditation cruises, retreat spas and “heart chakra programs” all designed to promote our collective navel-gazing “process.” We can now buy our certificates as “true” shamans by slapping $10,000 on the table and taking a few rounds of ayahuasca in Peru; we can practice “quantum healings” after attending a weekend workshop and “facilitate” others in visualizing their way into joy and abundance – just $99.99 for the entire CD set.
Real activism, real work and real courage has, for the most part, faded away in the hypnotic sway of pendulums, global meditations in the comfort of our own homes and channeling sessions to determine exactly which of the dates for the end of the mayan calendar is the “real” one. The growth of the movement has brought a gross acceleration of the pimping of “healing” services to the highest bidder over the past decade, particularly the last several years. Has anyone noticed that some “healers” and psychics and astrologers have jacked up their hourly fees to the same level as those grand parasites of the corporate world- lawyers?
The New Age movement has succumbed to star-gazing its own ego, basking in the glow of its self-reflection, resulting in an arrested development of maturity it could have achieved. Too many mirrors in those yoga studios. The movement never made it past the “I” to become fully able to work for the higher good of “We.” It became, just like corporate america, all about “me.” Why? Because it measured itself (and the individuals within it) with the same principle ideas of “success” as corporate america does in its attempt to further itself. It sank into the exactly the same superficial commodification of life that all those sleazy executives have used for ages. And, like those same executives, it developed a distaste for getting its hands dirty. Perhaps this is why there are still immense balls of floating plastic in our oceans and why 25% of all children in America still go to bed hungry at night despite all the harmonic convergences, resonances and climaxes in which so many have participated.
The New Age has managed to turn the sacred into the profane, just as our financial, military and medical czars do in their own domains. Any attempts, however, to address the movement’s more plutonian qualities, however, are difficult to undertake, as those within it are usually heavily shrouded behind the robes of smiling platitudes of unity and heart and love, deflecting discerning questions with phrases like, “It’s all good.” This is yin gone so floppy it turns to yang – a dangerous puddle in which one slides into dissolution of an ideal. The New Age has slipped on the mask of higher consciousness, all the while practicing and promoting the conventional “goodness” of capitalism and profit.
In the midst of all of this, a crescendo reflecting the celestial realm, the events of the Love Parade unfold. We cannot divorce ourselves from the fact that it occurred within the culture I have just described, the events inextricably embedded within it. The ripples of the tragic loss of those lives and the trauma of those wounded have only just begun. Though its physical scarring is quite contained in comparison to the BP oil disaster, it’s psychic spread will likely be just as profoundly wide. It’s deeper, more archetypal and universal lessons can be discerned if we allow ourselves to stay with it. Again, let us remember that Pluto is an impersonal actor – he arrives to do his job and does so without judgment or opinion.
What is the symbolism contained in this event. We have a very, very large crowd coming together to celebrate love and peace in a round stadium (the mother womb). We have a narrow passageway (the vagina) leading up into a large open stadium. Excitement overruns itself, moves swiftly out of balance and turns to irrational hysteria. In their mass thrusts and rushes up that birth canal to merge with the mother of Love and Peace in the embrace of that vast womb of oneness, these participants allowed themselves to be crushed, killed and wounded in their own debacle. Pluto was in that crowd.
A frenzied ejaculation is no way to honor the mother, nor to enter into her temple of being, nor to celebrate the intimacy of our spiritual exchange with her.
Love, without her consort, Reason, is not love. Peace without discernment is not peace.
The promoters, producers and the sponsors of this event also laid that mother love out for sale in a most sordidly grotesque display. The hawking of 300,000 tickets is a lot of money to make off a whore. And perhaps, they too, like our oil executives, had financial bean counters to determine settlements on liabilities versus potential profits in choosing to hold such an event in a town and venue that sounds so obviously dangerous from the outset.
Anyone who has sat through the excrutiatingly painful final scenes in the film “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” may have an appreciation for the depth, breadth and scope of our collective desecration of the body and soul of our Mother Earth no matter what form that dishonor takes.
As Saturn moves into Libra, The Lover, Artist, Relationship-builder and Peacemaker, for a two year period of time, perhaps we may use the time wisely and reflect on and re-consecrate these qualities in ourselves and for what purpose we transmit them to others. A return to fairness, discipline, integrity, respectful boundaries and a grounding down into a larger potential are all gifts we can reap from the aftermath of this grievous and heart-wrenching event. The elder statesmen and women of this movement have a particular responsibility in this regard. We are the holders, and builders. of the history of this movement and we must collectively ask ourselves how we have lead our spiritual progeny down this destructive path. Pluto in Capricorn demands we visit and come to know our own hand in this killing field.
©2010 Amelia A. Free