We’re constantly told that astrology is about the influence the planets have on our lives here on Earth. Unfortunately for Pluto, it was downgraded in 2003 to the status of a ‘dwarf planet’. This was due to the definition of what defines a planet being reconsidered by astronomers. Today, in order to be thought of as a fully-fledged planet, a celestial object has to be in orbit of the sun and be big enough that its own gravitational force will have rendered it spherical.
In addition, this body must dominate the other objects around its orbit. Pluto’s moon, Charon, is about half the size of Pluto, itself. On top of that, true planets are thought to clear a path of debris and asteroids along their orbits. Poor old Pluto’s orbit is something of a mess in that respect. Given that its astronomical status has been diminished, does this have any impact on its astrological importance?
A Powerful Slow-Burner
Thankfully, the answer is no. The astronomical definition of the planet has no effect on its importance as an astrological force. Although it may be located at the furthest edge of our solar system and be the smallest of all the planets in the astrological charts, astrologers still see Pluto as a force to be reckoned with.
Pluto was discovered on 18th February 1930 by Percy Lowell. This date also coincides with the early developments of the theory of an atomic bomb and the concept of splitting atoms. For the first time, mankind was faced with the idea of a power so great that its misuse could destroy us all. This typifies the way that Pluto is seen by astrologers; it is a destroyer as well as a force for creation.
In addition, it is perceived as a planet of generational influence. In essence, this means that an entire generation will be born under this planet’s reign and its influence will determine just how that generation makes its mark on the world. Because of its position in the solar system, Pluto takes much longer to pass through a constellation than any of its larger counterparts. As a consequence, its influence has much more longevity although, while it might be a slow-burner, its effects are no less powerful.
Destruction and Creation
Pluto has most in common with the zodiac sign, Scorpio. The two share traits of being intense, destructive and dark. However, Pluto’s capacity for destruction is less to do with the act of annihilation and more as a facility for transformation; in order for there to be change, there must first be the end of something. Pluto aligns itself with the fundamental aspects of human evolution - willpower and the capacity for change. With that last aspect, however, must come the power for both destruction and creation; the opposite facets of Pluto that are used to engineer regeneration.
Pluto’s effects on our individual birth signs depend very much on the core qualities that are integral to each particular sign. However, its slow and eccentric orbit makes the effects it has on the individual particularly hard to chart. Its relatively recent discovery has made it one of the ‘new planets,’ alongside Jupiter and Uranus. Despite this, astrologers are aware of its effects to some degree. For example, if the core values of your sign mean that you tend towards self-glorification and material gain, then Pluto will magnify these qualities to such a point where they become manifest as a potential to abuse power in whichever form it may come to that person. Furthermore, these effects will last as long as Pluto is passing through that sign which, given the planet’s propensity for a slow walking-pace, could be some considerable time.
Pluto’s effects on the Zodiac
As we have seen, Pluto exacerbates the central characteristics associated with each sign. Let’s have a brief look at the planet’s effects on each:
1) Aries: When Pluto passes through this sign, the quality for original thought becomes more to do with the achievement of power. Just how this is done and to what end will depend on the diplomacy of the individual, but the thirst for power is a strong one.
2) Taurus. This sign is often associated with a slow and steadfast nature – and an obsessive striving for financial security. With Pluto in the equation, the striving for wealth is transformed into an overwhelming desire to prove oneself financially. Taureans influenced by Pluto may find themselves embarking on schemes that, under other circumstances, they would shy away from.
3) Gemini. A core quality of this sign is the power of communication. Twins under Pluto will find that they have a burning desire to prove themselves intellectually. Unfortunately, this may be perceived as egotistical.
4) Cancer is a supremely sensitive astrological sign and those born under the sign of the crab are often involved in more esoteric and philosophical practices. With Pluto on the case, Cancerians may find that they become overwhelmed by the emotional aspects of their lives.
5) Leos are natural daredevils and act on impulse. Under Pluto, Leos may find that they are involved in situations that push them to their mental and physical limits.
6) Virgo. This sign is most strongly associated with the struggle for perfection. Under Pluto, this becomes manifest as an obsession with logic and science; little is to do with luck and everything has a rational explanation behind it.
7) Librans are forever projecting their thoughts upwards and seeking to make contact with higher forces. Under Pluto, this can become an all-consuming passion that could ultimately have a destructive result on the person in question.
8) Scorpio is seen as a very intense sign and under Pluto this intensity is magnified to the point where communication with a Scorpio seems almost pointless.
9) Sagittarians are aligned to law and order. Under Pluto, the centaur will seek to undo all that he knows, obliterating the structure he has lived his life by. While this may be traumatic at the time, it will pave the way for a new set of values.
10) Capricorns are terribly conservative – especially when it comes to money. However, throw Pluto into the mix and they will suddenly become overly generous, often to the point where they are risking their own financial security.
11) Aquarians are always looking to improve what they see around them. With Pluto exerting its influence, Aquarians often resort to anarchic and aggressive tactics to achieve their aims.
12) Pisces exhibits the most sublime aspects of humanity. Under Pluto, the desire to create something divine on Earth will become an obsessive quest. Many Pisceans under Pluto reach physical and mental burn-out in their struggle to do the best they can.