‘What You’re Asking’: Pluto’s Soft Spot

Queries seem to have a Plutonian theme right now, even when they aren’t directly about Pluto. We tend to think of Pluto as massively destructive, ‘spiritually muscular,’ in a way, and we tend to see ourselves at his mercy; this is not only inaccurate, it can invite those destructive forces into our lives, as our exaggerated image of our own helplessness begs Pluto to assert himself and fill the gap. The key to dealing with the lord of the Underworld is to own a little piece of him as your own; to embrace your own darkness is to embrace the human condition, and in taking ownership of all the possibilities of your nature, you also take control of them.

Pluto vulnerability sexual

We may not think of Pluto as vulnerable, especially sexually, but think about this: when we are in our most intense relationships, when our attention is absorbed to the point of obsession, we are incredibly weak in a number of ways. We are prone, in this state, to neglect our surroundings, to ignore or short-change other interactions, to in fact neglect everything other than our beloved–and that means that things can happen around us, there can be changes, that endanger ourselves and our situation. Then there’s the way that a passionate singular attention makes us vulnerable to that thing we’re obsessing over–this takes all our energy, and so if the thing with which we have this passionate relationship changes, or, Pluto forbid! withdraws from the interaction, our entire world will be transformed, perhaps destroyed–and who does that sound like? Yes, it sounds like Pluto. Then apply these ideas to a situation that involves sex–and you can see how Pluto can be the most vulnerable energy of all. Passion, depth, and intensity in relating make us open to their loss–and it’s really our openness to discovery, to the overwhelming sensation of an all-encompassing relationship, that gives us the Plutonian experience, as well as the potential for its end. Many of us do not allow the Plutonian energy in our lives, then wonder why the marriage or job or relationship or vocation or support system collapses, sucked away from us without our consent; too often it’s because we disown this intensity, believing we can control overtly (and this belief is Plutonian, so in reality we recognize the need for Pluto, but are accepting it in truly destructive ways). When overt control of someone or something is the only Plutonian lens allowed, we will meet his transformative and destructive side–no two ways about it.

When someone’s Moon falls in your 8th

This contact will prompt the House person to see the emotional and intuitive spectrum of the other person as something that person should share. Depending on what kind of ‘wrapper’ this comes in (is the Moon individual a handsome man just your age, a little girl, your hairdresser, a stranger?) the House person will dress up the feeling to fit the bill. One can superimpose meaning on this placement, but one thing is sure: the House person will see that most intimate faculty of the Moon individual as a mutual asset–but what the Moon person sees is only available through their chart, so we really can’t know how they’ll respond. It’s a safe bet, though, that if we are the Moon person, and we are approached by someone who does not seem to recognize our emotional boundaries, who doesn’t bother to establish a good and trusting relationship before invading our personal psychic space, then the whole interaction with this cross-chart contact can go south very very quickly.

Pluto bad vibe for Capricorns

There’s no such thing as a blanket ‘bad vibe’ for a single sign; what some will interpret as bad is really a challenge to those with significant, early Cap natal placements: be honest about these energies, or suffer the consequences. As Pluto moves on through Capricorn, so will this challenge, allowing about a 2-3 degree orb of influence either side of exact. Remember, Pluto only destroys what is outmoded, of no use, already dead, or in need of deep change–everything else it can make powerful or lift to its ultimate expression. The thing about Pluto is it brings all our bullshit and those things we’re in denial about to the surface–if you don’t embrace any of that, it’s an uplifting contact, even when it seems to be otherwise.

astrology of butterfly

If I had to name a ‘butterfly aspect,’ I would say it’s Mercury in aspect to Pluto, or vice versa by transit, Secondary Progression, or Solar Arc. The symbolisms are so obvious I won’t go over them–let’s just say there’s beauty in this combination, once one breaks out of the cocoon of preconceptions and worn-out ideas.

“A Conjunction Between Oppositions”

Dear Julie

First and foremost I want to thank you for such marvellous and vividly written astroblogs as they offer so sourceful and in-depth material for us interested to learn astrology. Keep up the good work!

Also excuse me my broken english since it`s not my mother language so I do hope addressing my synastry question is understandable.

I just found out that I`m sharing a synastry pattern that you might want to use as a case-study for your other readers. By this I mean the moon-uranus-opposition of my natal chart falling straight at natal venus opposition pluto of one particular male. So it´s this conjunction between oppositions I`d like to learn more if possible, from astrological point of view. (Also my natal chiron and asc-desc-axis is involved in this which might have some impacts here.)

Unfortunately he doesn`t know the exact time of his birth, but he thinks it`s after eight a.m (that would make him rising Pisces which sort of sounds right for his appearance, neptunian visual art career and such)

Myself I`ve tried to translate this double-aspect as something to do with emotions (which of course with moon opp.uranus is an issue itself) that could be very intense and sort of love-hate-like. The situation in real life is just peachy for the moment being as we get together occasionally, but I sense some changes are on their way..

So I`d be very grateful if you could share some insights of this conjunction between oppositions, what could it indicate? What might be the pitfalls here or are they just deeper levels of attachment yet unknown?

Best wishes and starlights



Dear Hedge,

What a lovely phrase you’ve coined: “a conjunction between oppositions”! Poetic, it perfectly describes the synastric influence, complicated and divinely simplistic, all at once, of oppositions within individual charts that in overlay create conjunctions with another’s chart, and as we know, conjunctions in synastry are by far the strongest factors in describing relationship.

With you, we see a natal opposition between the Moon in Aries and Uranus in Libra; your friend enjoys an opposition between Venus and Pluto, with the former conjunct your Moon, and the latter conjunct your Uranus. So far so good. But the picture isn’t quite this simple; his Mercury, Vesta, Moon, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus all hook into this configuration by degree range, while in your chart the only contact the opp/conj makes is to the Ascendant/ Descendant axis. Then there is the fact that you have Chiron conjunct the Moon, bringing it into the mix, and your friend has Ceres conjunct his Pluto–all these add dimension to what started out as a relatively straightforward connection. So many energies involved suggests a lot of energies stimulated by the relationship, so that, even if this isn’t a long term or serious relationship, it still brings forward a great deal of energy interaction in the process. But what does this mean?

The Moon/ Venus connection in Aries brings good feeling into the interaction, and likely sympathy and tenderness, as well. This is typically one of the most positive contacts, though we must note that the Venus belongs to the man, suggesting that your emotional picture is in line with his vision of an ‘ideal woman’–and in Aries this implies that an independent nature is probably the ideal on both sides. The contact of Uranus (yours) and Pluto (his) brings together two transpersonal energies, which means the effect is not as intimate, though it does stimulate your romantic interest (Uranus rules your 5th) and his interest in the welfare and resources of others (this includes you) as Pluto rules his 8th.

Chiron conjunct your Moon, though, brings in the primal wound and the Chirotic gift, and links these firmly to the emotional nature and the intuition. This is both a potentially gifted and vulnerable placement, depending for positive manifestation on your ability to separate emotions from everything else–and since this lies on your Descendant, brings a special challenge: are you able to own your own emotional state, or do you succumb to the temptation to project your own feelings onto others? The answer to this will go a long way toward telling you how successfully you’ll use this energy complex, and how much it will affect all your relationships, not just this one.

Your friend has Ceres conjunct Pluto in Libra–right away we are clued in to the way this may echo through his relationships with the duo located in the sign of partners and marriage. This represents a meeting between the lord of the Underworld and his mother-in-law–who just happens to be in charge of all nature, the seasons, and all that is above ground. These two strong gods met to negotiate what started as a kidnapping (though I think that may simply be the cover story for what could have been a willing elopement) of Ceres’ daughter Persephone/ Proserpina by Pluto/ Hades. Persephone herself wasn’t strong enough to hammer out a deal with a major god, so her mother had to step in–and this may signal a built-in internal conflict stirred by all relationships for this individual ( emphasized even more as it falls in his 7th). A Ceres/ Pluto combination may mean the individual is highly skilled at negotiating the darkness and at deploying his own power and destructive energies; he may be very aware of negative or dark impulses and may exaggerate their import for him. He also may be personally amazingly resilient, able to breath new life into ashes, and could hold a strong connection to life and death energies. 

With this Ceres/ Pluto combo touching your Ascendant and Uranus, your personality and most unique character traits leap forward to stimulate this combination in your friend, so that a relationship to you may feel to him as vital, stimulating, even life and death important. Add to this the Moon/ Chiron contact to Venus, and the thought is that care must be taken here–the actions and decisions of the other person can take on exaggerated importance, considering that emotions and hurt, and the all-important feeling of the interaction, are front and center all the time.

The biggest difficulties may come from stressors outside the relationship; when a conflict situation arises in either individual’s life, it could seriously affect the interaction, and the temptation for both persons may be to funnel the tension toward the partner–this will feel natural, but would be potentially quite damaging to the relationship.

Your English, by the way, is quite good; the few little bumps in it don’t really matter, as they’re minor, and you still communicate very well–and that’s the point of language, isn’t it?

Thank you for your kind praise, and many thanks for the “starlights”–no one’s every ‘sent’ me those, before!

Best wishes to your and your friend,


Finding What’s Hidden: Pluto Contacts

Some of the most enticing things in a relationship are the things we don’t know; by that I mean, we’re aware that there are depths, kinks, hidden proclivities, secret appetites, or just plain secrets, and in part it’s the potential for discovery of these that fuels that initial, electric attraction. The tingle isn’t about what you do know, it’s about what you don’t know, but can sense, and that’s the influence of Pluto.

Pluto itself moves so slowly that talking about it by House is it’s most distinguishing characteristic among generations, but in personal relationship, it’s an individual’s Pluto contacts, the other energies of the chart that are asserting themselves toward the ‘heaviest’ energy we know, that describe those hidden and exciting quirks, often sexual ones, that can make or break an intimate relationship. THESE POSSIBLE ASPECT MEANINGS ARE WITHIN AN INDIVIDUAL CHART, NOT BETWEEN CHARTS.

Pluto and the Sun–if your partner has a Sun/ Pluto contact, hold on: discovering this Soul could be one exciting (even frightening) ride. There is a depth and intensity to this contact that calls for a hardy mate who can weather anything from the extremely possessive to the scarily Self-destructive; you might even witness the total transformation of your mate. Be ready for a dark side to this Sun, but also look for an amazing capacity for resilience and a true understanding of (and ability to guide you through) the worst life has to offer. This can also be a strongly magnetic contact, with an ever-present undercurrent of sexuality, power, and the possibility of change. Tastes can run the exotic gamut; anything kinky this person shares will be a serious need, and likely non-negotiable.

Pluto with the Moon–this can signal an individual who may have a very tender emotional state, one that could stem from an upsetting past, or from secrets or things they prefer remain hidden, including vulnerabilities and sexual tastes. Be gentle with this person, and don’t probe too deeply; they’ll open up when they feel safe. You must also be prepared for the possibility that this person may have developed a taste for punishment or the macabre; this can be the poster child for someone who has confused almost anything else with love. Once the emotions have been thoroughly processed and regenerated, this individual can be highly perceptive, and makes an excellent counselor, formal or informal, and they also become exceptionally understanding of the wounds and darker needs of others. Probably the toughest position of all the Pluto contacts, that once dealt with can bring tremendous benefit and growth.

Pluto with Mercury–this person may see words as weapons, and certainly will see them as being expressions of power. They can be powerful communicators themselves, and, whether they’re conscious of it or not, are always looking for the hidden meaning, or the power play, that they’re sure is somewhere between the lines. This can make for some upset as they truly don’t believe, as the saying goes, that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The good news is that once they trust you, they hold nothing back–real intimacy is possible. The bad news is that there could be a great many times when what you thought was an innocent remark will be taken by the Merc/ Pluto person as anything but. Clear communication void of even the most innocent manipulation is the only way to interact; and if you listen with care, all the quirks, peccadilloes, and preferences of this person will be told you, one way or another, so the mystery lasts only as long as you pretend you can’t read the messages your partner sends.

Pluto with Venus–volumes about the doomed love nature ‘earned’ by these individuals have been written, and most of it is short-sighted or just plain wrong (yes, I said it, wrong!) These people are not fated to suffer in love, to lose a great love, to act destructively or cruelly until they ‘learn’ some karmic lesson, or to be crushed tragically in a once-in-a-lifetime relationship–they are required to transform their concept of what love is, and the necessity of this suggests that there is something in the love nature and attitude toward relationship that is either destructive (likely unconsciously so–and this is very often some attitude or belief learned in the early environment that doesn’t foster a genuinely loving interaction dynamic according to this Soul’s standards) or that doesn’t in the largest sense serve the current Soul (Sun) focus and life direction. I have often observed this contact as an intense love affair that seems fated yet doesn’t work out, and the apparent reason for the Venus-Pluto one of the pair is 1) to change their attitude toward love and partnership; the experience often gives them an acute appreciation for genuine, healthy love, and 2) to allow them to go on to a life with another partner, who offers not only a more evolved kind of relationship but also a very different life than the individual would’ve experienced with the ‘big love’ partner. So, the question becomes, are you the ‘big, changing love’ mate, the ‘evolved and settled down with’ mate, or someone in between? Aside from all this, this can also signal someone who goes for S/M or more exotic sexual practices, who expects love to hurt, somehow, who sees relationships (or money) as digging deep and bringing out the most intense (and sometimes the worst) feelings, who anticipates all relationships as power struggles, and/ or who finds relationship (or money) frightening, and so avoids it.

Pluto with Mars— suggests an intense sex drive, in either sex, and when in a man’s chart ties the ideal of who he is as a man (Mars) to the transformative or destructive energy of Pluto, and so implies that he may put a huge stake in his own potency, and/ or in the idea of sex as a vehicle for change, re-birth, in some sense, or transformative to relationship. In either sex this can say they like it ‘rough’ (though of course that term itself has a whole spectrum of meanings and lengths). With men or women this can also suggest they see sex as fundamentally affecting the ego or sense of Self–and depending on the state of Mars overall, as well as the Sun, this can go anywhere from a feeling that sex is regenerative to the idea that sex will destroy the identity–so can bring forward commensurate upset, anger, denial, and avoidance. Is this an aspect of rape? Perhaps, though we can never reduce such a complex mixture of choices, influences, and decisions to act to a single (or even several) aspects in the natal chart. This contact only gives an energy that could, under particular circumstances, manifest in this way, and we shouldn’t forget that ‘energy rape,’ an aggressive attitude, can cause as much (though different) damage as physical violation–and as well we must note the extreme strength and resilience this aspect gives, which can also  be mustered in service of the positive–an aspect that can almost literally allow the individual to ‘move mountains.’

Aspects outside the personal planets carry less potential to manifest on a unique individual level within the personality, but we can mention a few possibilities in terms of the sex life:

Pluto with Jupiter–sex in public! or a sex life that mirrors social fashion, such as the ‘free love’ of the 60s, or the ‘Just say ‘No” abstinence of the 80s; or a ‘notches on the bedpost’ mentality, or ‘more is better’ with quantity over quality

Pluto with Saturn–a taste for older partners (or a ‘Daddy’ figure), celibacy, or sex on a schedule or by certain rules (“Missionary only, please!”)

Pluto with Uranus–sex must be unique, revolutionary, avant garde, or can become totally academic (a new position from the ‘Kama Sutra’ every night)

Pluto with Neptune– sexual fantasy or role playing, or sex dressed-up, or drugged-up

And with the asteroids:

Pluto with Vesta–can make any Plutonian proclivities sacred–so if you don’t share these tastes, it can be tough

Pluto with Ceres–sex out in nature can be a big turn-on, as can sex under dangerous weather conditions (during a lightning storm, at sea during a squall, while hiding in the tornado shelter) Authority play might come into it, with one person playing a dominator/ dominatrix role or playing ‘Mother’–or, sex may be only for procreation

Pluto with Juno–power struggles may spark sex, and there may be a taste for repeated infidelities, ‘punishment,’ and make-up sex

Pluto with Pallas–again with power as a turn-on, though this may be where skills or business dealings are aphrodisiacs, or this individual could look for a mentor/ counselor or teacher/ student  relationship to turn lusty

Pluto with Chiron–Oww! This combo may be highly transformative and healing, or highly destructive, and likely some of each, perhaps with the circumstances for healing arising from the ashes–how this plays out in the sex life is anybody’s guess! and highly dependent on the Chirotic relationship with the partner