Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Notes from the Underground: Sun Shining on my Pluto

This morning, I woke from a sleep so filled with Plutonian dreams I felt that I hadn't slept at all. And the lyrics from one of my favorite Beatles songs, "She Said She Said," have been ringing through my head all day: "She said, 'I know what it's like to be dead, I know what it is to be sad,' and she's making me feel like I've never been born." The amusing-to-me thing is, I am the "she" in this morbid scenario. Yes, it's that time of year again: summer's almost gone, and the Sun is conjunct my Pluto. Metaphorically speaking, I died this afternoon, and feel like just a shell of myself. However, I anticipate a real sense of rebirth in approximately 10 hours, when the Sun conjuncts my Ascendant and enters my 1st house.

If you are born with a planet rising in your chart, the nature of that planet -- more so than the sign it tenants -- imprints itself on your self-identity and self-consciousness to such an extent that it claims you as its own (and vice versa). Lucky ducks born with the Sun, Venus, and Jupiter Rising tend to view the world as a positive, beneficial place full of possibilities, and greet the world with vitality (Sun), beauty (Venus), and faith (Jupiter) -- unless, of course, said Rising Planet is seriously debilitated through multiple shitty aspects with other planets.

I am not about to claim that Pluto Rising is the hardest or "heaviest" of all planets to be placed on the Ascendant -- though fellow Pluto-Rising Kurt Cobain, had he been big into astrology, could've written the ultimate grunge-rock song about it -- but Pluto Rising could probably win a pissing contest against Saturn Rising, and as Saturn walked away shaking piss off its shoes, it would probably accuse Pluto of having a bad attitude.

The three outer planets are impersonal, "generational," dealing with the desires, dreams, and fears of hundreds of millions of people, and for one person to come into such immediate contact with a "collective" planet almost guarantees alien status, as well as feeling compelled toward a highly unusual destiny that does not always translate into owning an impeccable curriculum vitae and enjoying good, clean fun with your family and a bunch of swell, upstanding folks. If you who are reading this happened to be born with Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto Rising, chances are that your biggest goal in life is not to be CEO, have a sexy yet reliable spouse and 2.3 kids, or win the lottery in order to take early retirement and spend the rest of your life shopping. Your wants and needs are far bigger: fame. Brilliant bursts of creativity leading to breakthroughs in the arts or sciences. Shamanistic visions. Taboo or "alternative" practices that can estrange you from friends and family. Especially in the case of Neptune Rising, your desires are often inchoate: you may not always know what you want, just what you don't want -- at least, not on alternate Thursdays.

Pluto Rising people long for power and control, yet are often considered too dominating (or, paradoxically, too vulnerable), too sexed-up, or too dubious to attain it through normal channels. Not all Pluto Risings are self-destructive scofflaws, but if you are looking for a wholesome boy- or girl-next-door, it's best to look elsewhere. Pluto Rising, despite its deadly serious rep, does not lack a sense of humor -- but unlike Mercury and Jupiter types, Pluto Rising uses humor as a defense mechanism, as well as to "get in there" before going for the jugular.

Aside from Kurt Cobain, Pluto Risings include Judy Garland, Issac Mizrahi, Emperor Nero, Ted Bundy, Madonna, Keanu Reeves, Steve Martin, Muhammad Ali, Donna Cunningham (an astrologer who is responsible for the many hits my "'We' Regeneration" post has received -- thanks, Donna!), Walt Whitman (whose "Song of Myself" declares that he is "large and contain[s] multitudes"), Al Pacino (only someone with a powerhouse-Pluto placement could've portrayed mobster "godfather" Michael Corleone so effectively), and Glenn Close (whose depictions of scorned "bunny boiler" Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction and, over 20 years later, ruthless, unscrupulous lawyer Patty Hewes in the TV drama Damages brilliantly demonstrates what happens when Pluto goes unhinged and off the deep end).

Pluto Rising natives do not only long to soar high -- they desire to plumb the depths. Call a Pluto Rising person anything you want -- he or she has probably heard it before. But one adjective that can never be applied to someone with this placement is "shallow."


  1. From a fellow Pluto Rising person, I really enjoyed this post. Nope, I've never been accused of being shallow, but all sorts of other things. Easy target for other people's projections. For instance, in all sorts of group situations--workshops, group therapy, etc,--I was told that I was being seductive, when there wasn't a soul in the group that I found even remotely attractive. Donna Cunningham

    1. Well, Donna, I can unfortunately relate to that...many moons ago, my grad school prof. (who was also the head of the MFA program) thought I was sending out "please hit on me" signals when I found him to be an old, sleazy lush. I had no one at the school to turn to for support (it was 1993) and wound up leaving the MFA program. To add insult to injury, the therapist I saw a few months later diagnosed me with "sexual identity confusion" when I thought I was going through a clear-cut case of sexual harassment trauma. It still makes me very angry to think about. Anyway...thanks for checking this post out. Healing Pluto Problems is still one of my Bibles.