In common with my "X" generation, I experienced one major outer-planetary aspect a full half decade earlier in life than the Silents and Boomers who may or may not have raised us: the Pluto square. Transiting Pluto in Sagittarius squared my natal Pluto in Virgo three times when I was but a relatively fresh 35- and 36-year-old (as opposed to the prototypical Boomer, whose Pluto square occurred after age 40).
At that time (the mid-zeroes, the mid-aughts, the mid-naughties?) I was terrified at the fallout that would surely occur on this long-awaited-for and equally dreaded-for square, as my Pluto is not only conjunct my Ascendant, but almost exactly square my 4th-house cusp. I was more than half convinced that with transiting Pluto entering my 4th house on a square to my natal Pluto, I would lose my home in some violent way (meteor shower, misguided bombshell, terrorist attack on my building), and that this loss would effectively murder my self-identity (as a Cancerian, my home life to a large degree is my self-identity).
Since the 4th house is also the domain of family, I was also counting on attending at least one, more likely two funerals: my father's, who had been fighting stage-4 melanoma for the past five years, and my EG's (evil granny), who had been diagnosed with dementia (the very definition, in my non-humble opinion, of redundancy).
I also worried that the sexier side of Pluto would take a powder, and perhaps never return.
Not one of my predictions for the Pluto square occurred.
What did happen during this transit was mostly positive from my Plutonian perspective. I was on fire creatively, cranking out many short stories I dubbed "neurotica," as they were both sexually explicit and psychologically oriented, which formed an as-yet-still-unpublished collection of stories, and was test-driving these stories at a very good reading series in Brooklyn's nabe-of-the-moment Williamsburg. Far from being a loner, I was socializing much more than I had at the beginning of the decade. Workwise, I was getting plenty of freelance projects without having to hustle too much for them. I was generally satisfied with my outer appearance; I ate what I pleased yet remained slender, in part because I lived on the 4th floor of a walkup building and so had a built-in StairMaster. My love life was...well, let's just say it was neither nonexistent nor boring. Sure there was plenty of Plutonian drama, but for me it was BAU (business as usual).
I am sharing all this with you for a reason other than self-absorption: if you happen to be a Dear Reader in your mid-30s and are anticipating that the fit is going to hit the shan when Pluto squares your Pluto, ask yourself how well you tend to use Pluto's energy. In other words: How comfortable are you with plumbing the depths, with opening yourself up to inner transformation (as opposed to simply dying your hair blue or getting a sleeve tattoo)? Do you own your power in a, well, empowering as opposed to ruthless and unprincipled manner? Do you express your sexuality in such a way that it revitalizes you instead of drains you? Are you honest with money, or are you a goniff?
What I am saying is that it's entirely possible that the Pluto square will give you more strength and inspiration instead of only taking things away from you, as the cookbook-type astrology books would lead you to believe.
Or maybe I was just lucky and dodged a bullet back in 2006, because the following year was a far rockier road, almost unredeemably sucky.
Stay tuned for "My So-Called Midlife Crisis (Part II): The Neptune Square."