Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Why I'm Glad Pluto was "Demoted" and etc.
WHY I BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY
My first great teacher of astrology explained the way it works like this: She said we are cyclical beings living in a cyclical universe. All cycles are intricately interrelated and those relationships (they would be called "entanglements" now) are more complex than we can imagine. She told me that in many ways, the cycles of the stars and planets are exactly the same thing as our internal rhythms and the seasons of our lives. They are not separate or distinct. One reflects the other. That's why astrology works.
She was quite dismissive of the idea that the planets are "doing" something to us. What she said instead was that the more we know about the planets and their movements across the background of stars, the better we understand ourselves. Also true: the more I know about my own internal rhythms, the better I can comprehend the cyclic nature of the multiverse.
There is no such thing as objectivity. Every observation we make is colored by filters that are genetic, cultural and based on personal values. If our species was capable of objectivity, it wouldn't matter who was chosen to sit on the Supreme Court, right? The tricky part of astrology is in the interpretation of it, just like everything else. Of course.
The fact the Pluto became such a powerful force in astrology is emblematic of the way we thought during the last century of the last millenium. Pluto is the god of underworld, though originally he was the Roman god of metals. What does it mean that we decided to name a planet after Pluto?
Almost every astrologer links Pluto with transformation through ego death and rebirth, i.e. being dragged down into hell and then clawing your way back. From About Astrology:
You might be brought to your knees [by the power of Pluto's influence], but while there, rest assured that Pluto's dark and punishing face is that of a tough, but loving teacher, leading you toward a more authentic experience of yourself.
Liz Greene, a great (though very psychological) astrologer, links Pluto with the transformation that comes through Fate. She is brilliant and has written almost as many books about astrology as there are objects in the Kuiper belt. I highly recommend "The Astrology of Fate" which is all about astrological Pluto. If you're into it, that is.
Interesting that there was no planet exclusively linked to transformation via ego death and rebirth prior to 1930. The impact of Doctors Freud and Jung on the collective mind was absolutely Plutonian. Just after they put their theories out into the world, poof - Pluto was discovered. Wow. Just as interesting as the timing of its appearance in the night sky is what it means that the object representative of this kind of intense transformation is demoted. If you ask me, it's a good sign about how we view ourselves and the world.
What do I think it means astrologically that Pluto was demoted? I think it means that the areas in life in which we encounter these intense transformations are no longer an assignment of Fate - that our ability to transform ourselves is not fixed by Pluto's location in the natal chart. I think we now have access to a variety of choices around how to face this challenging aspect of being human at this moment in history. We're past the heroic age of Pisces, a time that was all about The One, but still getting used to the new age of Aquarius, which is about the many. We are befuddled and need options.
When Pluto was first demoted, I added a second Pluto to my natal chart, just to see what it would be like. Though I subsequently removed that second placement, I'm still intrigued with the idea of one thousand Plutos out there in the Kuiper Belt. I "see" a thousand fateful intersections out there at the far reaches of the Solar System. Instead of one crossroads that will break us or make us, there are now many possibilities for change and rebirth. We are not locked into one destiny. It's the mind's true liberation, it is.
THE PART WHERE I REALIZE THIS POST IS WAY TOO LONG
By demoting Pluto, we're giving ourselves a lot of wiggle room for transformation. We have 999 options we didn't have before. I'm for it! Bravo!!