The following is an excerpt from Donna Cunningham's "Healing Pluto Problems" e-book.
First published in 1986 by Samuel Weiser, Inc. P.O. Box 612 York Beach, ME 03910-0612
Understanding Pluto in Your Chart
The planet Pluto is naturally connected with the sign of Scorpio and with the eighth house. These three categories have some common interest in such matters as birth, sex, death, power and transformation. Power and how to deal with it is a major Plutonian issue, both at the individual level and for humanity.
Themes you might expect with Pluto placements are guilt, resentment, the desire for control, spite, or revenge. Yet no one seeks revenge without being deeply hurt, so there is often a horror story of some kind connected to the Pluto placement in the natal chart. For instance, you may see the after-effects of a crucial death or abandonment manifesting in a tendency to develop symbiotic relationships, alternating with periods of isolation. Although some people are more fundamentally affected by Pluto defenses than others, we all display some Pluto traits in the areas of life Pluto touches.
An Overview of Pluto Placements
We are often obsessed with the matters of the house or planets involved with Pluto's placement in the natal chart. And yet, what we can't let go of, we wind up perpetuating. The same negative pattern may come up in our lives over and over, and with each repetition we are more fixed on it. Where we have been hurt or betrayed, we expect betrayal, so we select people who will betray us and then set up the betrayal by our expectations. Even a decent person who is subjected to constant suspicion can be pushed to say, “You don't trust me? If that's all you think of me, then I'll go ahead and do it!” Thus we create our own self-fulfilling prophecies.
One dynamic which can be the cause of an obsession is a tendency to get into power struggles in matters related to Pluto's house or aspects. Such fanatical insistence on winning can paradoxically lead to bitter failures. This often begins as a power struggle with a parent (or other important authority figure) in childhood—someone who placed great emphasis on the matters of Pluto's house and tried to push the child to succeed there. If the child succeeded, the parent won. In order to spite the parent and win the battle, the individual had to LOSE in the matters involved with Pluto's house. The failure is perversely regarded as a moral victory. This dynamic has led me to call the house where Pluto is placed “the fail for spite house.”
Alternately, the parent may have taught the child that he or she would never amount to anything in matters of that house, so the person extracts revenge by failing consistently in ways that embarrass the parent. There is a death's head smile as the person laments their failure. . .” See, Ma, you were right!” Some people freeze that area out of hurt, controlling needs and feelings so rigidly that even friends wouldn't guess it was important, yet they are not free of it. Along with this could go a sour grapes attitude—“I wouldn't want it anyway”—and a sense of moral superiority over those who do succeed.
Another bind occurs when the person buys into the parent's belief that the matters of Pluto's house or aspects are so powerful that it would transform (and control) the life if he or she succeeded in it. As a result, an exaggerated degree of power is assigned to that area of life. Because of the power given to the Pluto department of life and the power struggles being carried on there, the person can wind up being controlled by the thing he most wants to control. He is powerless to succeed and yet powerless to let go of it, until he transforms himself. Paradoxically, when the Pluto area is healed and loses its power over you, it is an area where you can manifest a considerable degree of constructive power. In these patterns, you may recognize a bit of the scorpion's sting, for you win the battle at the expense of harming yourself.
The person with a difficult Pluto placement can be a scorpion in that area of life, acting out venom on others, usually in a covert or twisted manner. I call this syndrome the vengeful victim, in that here is where the person feels wronged, yet feels most justified in returning that wrong to others. A man with Moon in Scorpio, for instance, may feel greatly wronged by his mother, and may somehow feel justified in taking his rage out on any woman who gets close to him. Not all of us are vengeful victims, of course, but many of us do like playing the victim at times, and if the Pluto areas of your life are difficult ones, you might think about whether this dynamic is operating to some degree.
There may be the deep, dark secret in the Pluto area of life that makes you feel you cannot be open with others. We all have Pluto somewhere and we all have secrets. Readers may be relieved to know that we will not discuss the sexual implications of the various Pluto placements. So often, the deep, dark secret is a sexual one. But it's not about sex, really. When there is sexual difficulty or sexual obsession, the real issue is often power. The same critical issues of betrayal of trust, abandonment, guilt, and resentment may play into the power sexuality has.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR GUILT
The past is meaningful only for what I can learn from it.
I regard myself and my past with loving compassion.
I accept responsibility for____________.
I find a way to make amends to_____________ , or if it would be harmful to do so, I let it go.
I trust in my ability to do better.
I forgive myself for all past transgressions.
The following meditations are designed to help you work through situations where guilt and resentment are troubling you—the ones on your list which haven't been totally relieved by the process we have been doing. You might find it helpful to read the steps out loud slowly onto a tape recorder, so you don't have to look at the book while you work. If you have any of the flower remedies discussed in the last section, it is quite powerful to take a drop of the relevant one in a glass of water as you begin the meditation.
AN EXERCISE FOR CLEANSING YOURSELF OF GUILT
You may wish to do the following exercise several times for each person on your list. It is particularly crucial to do it for your parents and mate.
- Go down into a deep state of consciousness or pretend to. Ask your Higher Self for help in getting free of guilt.
- Create a bubble of lovely, shimmering lavender light around yourself. Imagine your body as an empty outline, and fill that in with a lavender fire.
- Some distance outside yourself, create another bubble of lavender light, and inside it place the person or situation you feel guilty toward. Create them in as much detail as possible, replaying the events and allowing the guilt feelings to rise.
- Imagine that the other bubble becomes a powerful magnet, drawing out of your body the guilt you have stored up there. Go deeper into consciousness if you need to. Call on your Higher Self for help in releasing the situation.
- When you have released as much as you can, shift the bubble around behind you to draw out unconscious or forgotten guilt feelings or those you have taken in psychically from that person. You may notice that it is even more powerful from the back.
- When you have done as much of that as you can, move the bubble back in front of you. Look at the person or situation again. If he or she does not seem changed to you, shrink that bubble in size to reduce the person's power over you.
- Blaze the other person's bubble up as a lavender fire that blots out the picture and burns away the residue of guilty feelings. When the fire is a clear, iridescent lavender, burst the bubble and disperse the light into the atmosphere.
- Blaze the fire up in your own bubble, asking your Higher Self to remove any remaining paralyzing guilt and to give you clarity on any action you should take to make amends.
- Let go of the lavender light, replacing it with white. Come back up to your normal waking consciousness.
- Repeat the exercise periodically, on all the people on your list, until you are free of needless guilt.
Working this exercise through to completion brings a heady, joyful feeling and changes your relationships for the better. For one thing, it will be harder for people to control you! It also helps your self-esteem immensely.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR RESENTMENT
I reclaim my own power in this situation.
I assert myself effectively and appropriately.
I accept responsibility for my part in the conflict.
I accept with serenity those situations I cannot change.
I am willing to forgive____________ for his/her actions.
Bless and release___________ to his/her higher good.
AN EXERCISE FOR CLEANSING YOURSELF OF RESENTMENT
You may wish to do the following exercise several times for each person on your resentment list. It is particularly crucial to do it for your parents and mate.
- Go down into a deep state of consciousness or pretend to. Ask your Higher Self for help in letting go of resentments.
- Create around yourself a bubble of rich, deep purple light, something like sunshine glowing through a purple stained glass window. Imagine your body as an empty outline, and fill that in with a purple fire.
- Some distance outside yourself, create another bubble of purple light, and inside it place the person or situation you have resentment about.
- Imagine the person in as much detail as possible, replaying the events vividly and allowing resentment to rise to the surface. Imagine that the other bubble becomes a powerful magnet, drawing out of your body the resentment you have stored. Go deeper into consciousness if you need to. Call on your Higher Self for help in releasing it.
- When you have released as much as you can, shift the bubble around behind you to draw out unconscious or forgotten resentments. You may notice that it is even more powerful from the back.
- When you have done as much as you can, move the bubble back in front of you. Look at the person or situation again. If he or she does not seem changed, shrink that bubble to reduce the person's power over you.
- Blaze the person's bubble up as a purple fire that blots out the picture and burns away the residue of the resentment. Send the ball deeply into the ground, near the center of the earth.
- Blaze the purple fire up in your own bubble, asking your Higher Self to remove any remaining resentment.
- Let go of the purple light, replacing it with white. Come back up to your normal waking consciousness.
- Repeat the exercise periodically, on all the people on your list, until you are free of resentment.
AN EXERCISE FOR LETTING GO
If you are still having difficulty letting go of a person or situation, the exercise which follows is quite helpful:
- Put yourself in a bubble of white light and go down deep into consciousness. Connect with your Higher Self and express your desire and intention to be free of this person or situation.
- Imagine that you are on the bank of a large, powerful river. A small boat is tied up there, and the strong current tugs on the boat, ready to sweep it downstream.
- Imagine the person in as much detail as possible. Recognize that he or she has a Higher Self also, which is totally separate from yours. Speak through your Higher Self to the Higher Self of the other, explaining that you need to be free of the negative bond that is tying the two of you together.
- Now pick up a big, sharp knife that is lying there and use it to cut through the rope that ties the boat to the dock. Hold on to the end of the rope.
- Hold the rope in your hand, and tell the person through his or her Higher Self, “I hereby voluntarily release you. Go on your own path to good.”
- Let go of the rope, and watch as the current swiftly carries the boat and the person downstream. Say goodbye to it as it gets smaller and smaller. Wish it well. Know that the river can't reverse itself and go back upstream, so the boat is gone for good and you have relinquished your hold on that person or thing.
- Mourn if you need to, but know that better things are coming in its place. You haven't lost the good that came from the situation, only the pain.
Forgiveness as the Greatest Healing
Doing the previous exercises to completion should bring you a long way toward freedom from resentment, hate, and bitterness toward people and situations in your past and present. These poisonous emotions steal your energy and vitality—heavy burdens which keep you from living joyfully and richly. Your ill will toward someone else, whether conscious or unconscious, boomerangs back on you emotionally and spiritually. It cuts you off not only from the person you have come to hate (who no doubt you once loved), but from a loving exchange with others around you who sense the hate in you and are put off by it. Finally, it cuts you off from a free flow of sustaining energy from spiritual sources, who are pushed away by negative energy. We have explored the ways resentment poisons your life. To be healed, you must become willing to forgive. This may sound outrageous, it may even sound impossible, but it is the only way to get free of resentment. Forgiveness is a necessity for your own healing rather than out of any goody-goody impulse toward the other person. A powerful book teaching the steps we go through in order to forgive is Doris Donnelly's Learning to Forgive. As Donnelly says, “When I am hurt, physically or spiritually, my wounds have power over me, they tell me what I can or can't do. . . .Forgiveness is a power that serves as an antidote to the energy of the pain that directs me.”19 Donnelly does not recommend a phony, sweetness-and-light forgiveness. She describes a profound experience in which the resentment and hurt must first be fully experienced. I would heartily recommend this book to those whose lives are darkened by resentment. It seems to me that forgiveness and reconciliation of our differences with others can be the end point of Pluto in Scorpio. We will first bring out the secrets, the long-standing grudges, the unspoken hatreds, and work with them until we are through them, so we will all be happier and freer.
AN EXERCISE FOR FORGIVENESS
- Put yourself in the bubble of white light. Reach up for your Higher Self and ask for help in getting free of this burden.
- Now create a second bubble of light and put the person you are working on forgiving into it. Imagine this person in as much detail as possible, particularly as he or she was when the difficulty arose. It would also help to ask the person's Higher Self to work with you in releasing you both from this negative bond.
- Imagine yourself swimming backwards in the river of time to the period when this was going on. Recreate the scene in as much detail as possible, recapturing the emotions you felt.
- Let the emotions well up until they fill your bubble. Then imagine that a warm golden rain washes them out of the bottom of the bubble until they are all gone.
- Once more calling on your Higher Self as well as the other person's, imagine a revolving door between your bubbles. Step into it, while the other person steps into the other side, and use the revolving door to exchange places.
- Go down deeply into consciousness, and experience the other person's feelings about the situation. Explore that period from his or her point of view, particularly what pressures and needs were operating.
- Play the scene out once more from the other person's point of view. How does it feel? How does the person experience your behavior?
- Now step back into the revolving door, and have the other person do the same. Make the turn back into your own bubble, and contemplate what you learned about the situation. Calling on your Higher Self once again, ask for the willingness to let go of the situation. Come back up to waking consciousness.
- Repeat the exercise periodically until you are able to let go.
Cunningham, Donna. Healing Pluto Problems . Red Wheel Weiser. Kindle Edition.