Saturday, September 1, 2012

Persephone's Descent & Pluto

I think it's appropriate that both my mom and my sister gave me pajamas as Christmas presents because since Pluto parked on my Capricorn rising sign (and opposes my Cancer sun at the same degree), starting December 20, 2011, I just want to sleep. Perhaps this is my way of escaping a world that doesn't make sense to me, or it's escaping people before they can hurt or betray me. But even sleep provides little escape for me since my dreams lean towards nightmare, usually with some kind of power dog poised to attack me, more like devour me. Didn't Hades (Pluto) have those mastiff bull dogs?

If you remember the myth of Demeter and Persephone, you'll unearth symbolism for a Pluto transit. When Pluto (who is now in Capricorn), conjuncts a natal sun, or rising sign, the person experiences a descent into the underworld, which in modern times is deep into the subconscious. Similar to Persephone we feel that we have been abducted and taken to a dark place, and we wonder how we will survive.

But it's not just sun and rising signs that bring this feeling of helplessness. At this point when Pluto conjuncts any planet in Capricorn, opposes any planet in Cancer, or squares any planet in Aries or Libra, a person affected by these transits is going to sense a descent into the unknown and come face to face with issues they thought they had buried.

When I mention this Pluto transit to people in passing, especially with planets in Capricorn and Cancer, they sigh in relief. They thought they were losing their minds and that life had it out for them. Capricorns are feeling the brunt of Pluto's force and will continue to experience this kick in the pants for ten more years. But it's not all bad as an expert astrologer will tell you. Pluto brings transformation and mostly on the mundane level, and with the bigger picture. For instance Capricorn represent business, financial institutes, authority (government), structure, and for us humans, our skeletal system, knees and teeth. And what are we seeing on the planet right now but transformation of structure.

Capricorn also represents the patriarchs and Pluto plans on transforming that system too.
We're all feeling overwhelmed at the moment, no matter where our planets land in the cosmos. For those most affect, they will feel like they are swimming in molasses. They will see opportunities shining in front of them that they don't have the energy to pursue. They will try to cling to the old way of doing business and get slapped in the face by life events, such as bankruptcy and divorce. Capricorn and Cancer also rules marriages and partnerships. Like Persephone we are pulled down into the underworld in a place we can no longer sense the light. Will someone flip the switch?

However, deep healing takes place when we descend into our subconscious and it feels like cleaning out a closet. Oh, yes, I remember that guy or girl that I went to the prom with, what a jerk. Or wait a minute, maybe I was the jerk. Why was I a jerk? Then you drift even further on this dark memory lane to early childhood and how you dealt with parental authority. You might trigger memories with music from your teen years or feel kundalini (the snakes at the base of your spine) coming alive and healing sexual and power issues. Pluto represents sex, power, psychology, death, rebirth, transformation, and taxes. But perhaps with Pluto kicking Capricorn in the butt at the moment, taxes will become a thing of the past.

So how did Persephone handle her descent? She never asked for Pluto to abduct her, but once underground and on the other side of the River Styx, Persephone chose to eat the pomegranate that brought her the wisdom of a priestess. If this reminds you of Eve eating the apple of wisdom of knowledge of good and evil, you must remember that myths from different cultures shared similarities. And what about the serpent in the story of Adam and Eve? Certainly he represents Pluto (snakes, scorpions, insects), and in many cultures snakes are symbolic for wisdom, power, and transformation.

So Persephone stopped kicking and screaming and she surrendered to her fate. In doing so she was able to heal herself and stop trying to be the good and nice girl all the time. She realized that each of us contains shadows and to acknowledge those shadows brings wholeness. When we wear only one mask and pretend to be pure and perfect, when we don't allow ourselves to feel angry once in a while and when we fear stepping over the line, keeping us stuck in the muck, then Pluto comes along. 

While Saturn teaches lessons of maturity, responsibility, discipline, and creating structure, Pluto dismantles all we have learned up to this point and says think again, but this time with the deepest part of your soul. Then, and only then, will I liberate you. Then in some odd way, when our ten years is up with Pluto, we do utter a thank you because we can see improvements in our lives and can finally grasp that ring to happiness.


  1. Persephone's Worlds

    I have wandered far from thoughtless girlhood,
    am a woman, a Queen
    in my own right
    Yet I am treated with the expectations
    of a mindless child
    in my mother's Summer home.
    The Gods are all agog with Zeus,
    fickle, abrasive, free to take full stance
    above the laws he so imperiously commands.
    My Dark King is so much more a man,
    sincere, deeply feeling, committed to his realm,
    compassionate, if not always kind.
    Yet, here I must obey the crowd,
    displaying charm and grace
    in haute couture, making small, insipid
    conversation with the socialites
    decorating Zeus' lawn parties.
    Up here, life is meaningless,
    All flash and doggerel
    to amuse, O', do entertain us
    So tiring to endure the ennui.
    Those not privy to opulent entitlement,
    relegated to the dregs of servitude, or less
    endure for their time, brutal, painful, short,
    for no good reason.
    I hear their horrid tales,
    back in my rightful place and purpose.
    Shrunken souls, shriveled by life time hungers
    still growling beyond the grave.
    I am balm and wise mother.
    At last they matter, their stories opening in me
    a marvelous passageway through which they are
    taken into paradise.
    My life above, the petulant daughter,
    the pampered goddess spawn,
    I endure coldly.
    Summer's trivialities, properly obedient to
    rituals of the social condition,
    know nothing of my true life
    under Winter's glory.

  2. Laurie, that's an interesting take on Persephone. She must have her Pluto in Capricorn.