Our Plutonian Journey

I am celebrating a milestone this month, one of nearing completion of a long and dark Underworld journey.  I have been living and breathing a very personal dance with the planet Pluto for more than a decade. For the past several years, as it has come to the exact degree of my Capricorn Sun, most of the ways I have thought of myself and my place in the world have shifted. 

I have written two installments of what I’ve come to think of as my “Pluto diaries”, originally as part of an intended memoir. I shared them on my Patreon page, first created as a means of support for the yet-to-be-completed book and, more recently, The Natural Wisdom Podcast. I have been shy about sharing these personal stories further, but as the United States enters our own collective Pluto transit, specifically the return of Pluto to its place at the birth of our country, my words seem relevant. Titled “The Death of Control”, they capture some of my experience of what an encounter with Pluto feels like. 

The basic energy of Pluto intensifies and eliminates. The end result is a rebirth, like that of the phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction. The Lord of the Underworld in mythology, Pluto guards the riches buried beneath the surface. The only way to get to them is by visiting the Underworld. The ancient myth that best captures the process is that of Inanna, the Sumerian queen who went to visit her sister in the “place below”, where she was summarily killed and hung on a meathook prior to being brought back to life and released. I told the whole story in my Pluto class, as well as in a writing salon session on the planet Venus.

Whether you live in the States or simply watch from elsewhere in the world, the Plutonian process is evident in a number of ways, but perhaps no more clearly than through our confrontation with the shadows inherent in our creation. Our country is in the throes of our Pluto return. An internet search of “US Pluto return” will provide a list of astrologers opining on the subject. But we have only to pay attention to the national conversations to get a sense of the shadows we are facing. As I write this, for example, we have just celebrated Thanksgiving. I grew up with the version of the holiday told through rose-colored glasses, about pilgrims and cooperation. Now we are being forced to acknowledge the more brutal history behind the holiday, with many questioning whether we should even retain it on the calendar.

Such is the way of Pluto, bringing to the surface what has been buried and hidden. Yet as in the myth, treasures are hidden in the darkness, most notable among them a sense of unshakable power that comes only from facing the dark places and reclaiming what we have turned our backs on. The wisdom of Pluto is the depth of character that comes with honoring both the light and the dark within us all.

The next couple of years will show what our collective Pluto process has in store; for now we are in the midst of the chaos and dismantling. My own journey is still in process as well, of course, but I can finally feel the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to write part 3 of my Pluto diaries in the coming months, as I emerge more fully from the Underworld, bearing its gifts.