TRANSITTING PLUTO ASPECTING LIBRA INNER PLANETS OR LUMINARIES: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE PEOPLE PLEASING URGE. Copyright to Hilary Bond PhD. All rights reserved.
“In order to be happy we have to let go of the strings that allow us to praise or blame.”
~Robert Puff PhD ~
“One common behavioural pattern I have seen over and over again among people who are unable to lose weight or otherwise manage their health is the ‘People Pleaser.’”
~ Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D. ~
Transiting Pluto soon digs out old habits, or even addictions that we don’t even realise that are harming our inner core. One of those habits which inevitably stem from a childhood that had moments of unhappiness is people pleasing. People with luminaries or major points in Libra can have quite a battle living life without being a people pleaser, even if the person they are unconsciously trying to please died long ago. Transiting Pluto shines a light on dark spots that are harming us by not allowing us to live our own path and if your Daddy long ago said , “You are not nearly as smart as your sister and you are still pushing yourself being an intellectual when you are really an artist you are being a people pleaser. The moment of realisation is the first step, so let’s read about how to stop being a people pleaser.
People pleasing is another name for enabling. Enabling is another name for co-dependency. Enabling and co-dependency are synonyms for disempowering others. They are actions that people pleasers often take. People with their Moon, Sun or Ascendant in Libra are often people pleasers. In particular if transiting Pluto is aspecting your Moon in Libra there is a possibility that Pluto, the remorseless archetype of the underworld will destroy or reform your old emotional safety , habits, patterns, mothering urges and reflex actions. A year ago in July, 2013 I wrote “NEPTUNE & PISCES AS PLAYERS IN THE ARCHETYPE CODEPENDENCY : AN EXPLORATION & HELPFUL HINTS” and this article concentrated on people who had a strong focus on Neptune and Pisces in their charts, but today I am writing on a similar phenomenon with a Libra or Venusian focus. Often people pleasers or co-dependent people have strong Libra and Neptune/Pisces in their charts.
LET US LOOK AT PLUTO’S ACTIONS
If you have planets, luminaries or an ascendant or MCin Libra, they will, between December 2008 and November 2024, be squared by Pluto in Capricorn and your old habits, fears, phobias, obsessions and unconscious needs will become exposed to the light of day and rooted out. The path isn’t easy. It will be full on, intense and regenerative. Pluto does rule the powers of the sexual chakra and anal chakra and strangely the nasal cavity so if you have constipation and sinus you can be sure you need a spiritual and restorative overhall. So a Pluto transit will empower you to get some fire in your belly and be yourself. Let’s see what transiting Pluto does and says will we.
Wherever Pluto touches, especially with challenging transits, remorsefully forces us to analyse, search, investigate and seek healing for our unconscious and shadow areas of ourself more deeply. Transiting Pluto pushes and pushes us to investigate and dig deeply into unknown parts of ourself that we have ignored or pushed aside. Pluto is a truth seeker and is a great search light into the darkest recesses of our self. In Celtic Faery Shamanism, Volume II Catrin James talks about our “deep dark self”, a part that is often seen as an animal in fairy tales. The beast in Beauty and the Beast is an example of the “Deep Dark Self.” I would suggest you read this book carefully and volume One as they both shed light on the darker sides of humans that can be bought to light. I must say that for me I have learned such in depth and very extensive shamanic areas since Pluto first entered Capricorn.
An astrologer friend of mine once compared Pluto transits to pulling the chain or pressing the full flush button on the toilet. It may be a disgusting analogy, but Pluto rules faeces, sewage, waste, recycling and compost, so when transiting Pluto comes along you can pull the chain and nice clean water flushes away the waste so that it is recycled into nice clean products. Do expect a stink at first. If we pretend that the Plutonian process is easy and not painful we really are fooling ourselves. Believe it or not after flushing the detritus the water becomes clean enough to drink or is used to water plants; the manure is used as fertiliser for growing flourishing flowers, fruit trees, feed lots and vegetables. This is how Pluto works in your unconscious, old dark parts of you are recycled and become treasure.
With a Pluto transit shallowness and being trite is not acceptable. Pluto transits urge us to go deeply into core issues, in fact our core reason for being on earth and to fully empower ourselves. Pluto also rules sex. Negative Pluto is not open and loving, but a Pluto transit can bring refreshed levels of intimacy, with us, and with others.
Transiting Pluto is not easy. It will usually bring a great deal of pain, rage, anger, even body pain and screaming, because it is remorseless, but it does bring intensity and focus to our lives. It breaks through illusions, so if you do have Moon or Sun or Ascendant conjunct Neptune in Libra you will find genuineness and facts. If you are a romantic don’t expect frills, but you will get accuracy. Transiting Pluto offers us the chance to evolve and to rebirth, so it does not bring Saturnian mundane or material truths. Pluto totally declutters and strips away what is unnecessary or superficial in our lives. Pluto does get rid of things that are not working for us, whether they are thought processes, people or lifestyles. Pluto transits create a letting go of things that are holding us back from a truly soulful, deep and meaningful experience on earth. We are no longer what our family wanted us to become or society or our old friends, when Pluto transits we become ourselves.
Phobias and fear of the most intense type can reveal itself at the beginning of a challenging Pluto transit. We then have no choice but to confront our “dark” side, which means the raw, primal, and instinctive sides of ourself that we do not want others to see. Resisting this process can cause us to externalize or project these parts of ourselves.
I had a friend who was always nice: Moon in Libra; Venus in Pisces and she had a series of people scream at her and viciously, verbally attack her while transiting Pluto squared her Moon. She became terrified that someone had cursed her. She had past life healings; then she saw a shaman who specialised in heart centred depossession. While the attacks became less, finally she had to face a split in her persona and integrate it. She owned up to her anger, rage and her blame and her life became a lot more peaceful.
You see the theory is that Pluto’s energy has to go somewhere, thus we may attract Pluto in our lives in the guise of jealous, manipulative, and controlling people or situations. We might see a psychotherapist, a homeopath, a shamanic practitioner, but we still have to do the inner work ourselves and we have to change our behaviours.
I have a lot of friends whose Sun or Moon were transitted by Pluto and yes, the old spiel about irrevocable separation and deaths, did happen; but also new relationships, births, and new beginnings in general and that includes relationships that people thought were dead and buried.
As I have two planets in Libra and have friends and family with planets and ascendants in Libra I have witnessed and felt myself transiting Pluto causing great healing psychologically, spiritually and physically personally and in relationships. I have seen myself an increase in the energy in my solar plexus so I have felt more empowered. I have seen family members transformed into new and dynamic people after years of depressing circumstances.
WHAT DOES LIBRA WANT?
Libra people want balance, beauty, harmony, cooperation, companionship, peace, refinement, diplomacy, diplomacy, people to be sociable; an artistic environment and for people to be well mannered, suave and civilised. They want a nice relationship; a delightful partnership or a charming marriage and peace at any price. They want harmony and they want to be loved. Often to get the love and companionship they want they become people pleasers. But they sure won’t get peace that way. By the way have a look at where Venus is too. What sign is it in? What house is it in? What aspects does it have?
Let’s say your Moon in Libra is in your 8th house of shared resources and you have a husband who likes you to stay at home and make the house look pretty. You are depending on his money and his charity. Your Venus is in the tenth house and you sure as hell want your own career, respect and your own money. Your Venus is in Sagittarius. You are independent and you like to play sport and even study for your career. Your Venus is conjunct Pallas Athene and deep down you are a warrior woman. You really want to please your Daddy and show him you have a career. Let’s say your Moon is 11 degrees Then you had better sort yourself out because transiting Pluto squaring that Moon is not going to leave things how they were. If you are trying to please a husband, a father, an inner self and Pluto is actually transiting your house of friends, there are going to be a lot of demands from your people pleasing and the biggest one will be transiting Pluto. One thing I forgot to say was that with a stressed point or planet look at the polarity. For Venus in Sagittarius it will be Gemini, so if your shoulders start hurting and your arms and hands begin to be wobbly look at the stress you are under and search back to the core issue. The core issue is “Where is my passion?”
So for the Libra people who like life to be a bed of roses without thorns do not kid yourselves. Recently I spoke to someone I barely knew; well I had never met them before on a long train journey. I always have my ephemeris with me and it turned out they had both South Node in Cancer at 6 degrees and Moon in Libra at 10 degrees. They were taking the train ride to deal with burn out and rage. They had been forced to look after an aging aunt, because they and their sisters wanted to inherit the aunts money. The lady on the train was the only one not working full time. She was a writer. The aunt had turned out to be a manipulative and mentally ill woman. After a year the woman had to give up. Her sisters were furious with her, but she had become very ill. She didn’t believe in shamanism or homeopathy but she did see a psychologist and she at last was cured her of people pleasing. The old aunt is still alive and brow-beating another carer.
MANY PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE PLEASERS
A “People Pleaser” is one of the nicest and most helpful people you know. They never say “no.” You can always count on them for a favour. In fact, they spend a great deal of time doing things for other people. They get their work done, help others with their work, make all the plans, and are always there for family members and friends.
People pleasers are often people who have been abused as children, so that they fear failure and they fear rejection. They are Cinderella people.
SUSAN THE PEOPLE PLEASER: A TRUE STORY. Susan had a Libra Moon. Susan’s parents were very rich. Her mother was too busy going to parties to look after Susan so she asked her husband to install a nanny. Susan’s father was a workaholic and had standards that were impossibly high. He was a genius and he had little spare time. He became tired of Susan’s lazy mother and fell in love with the nanny who soon had the household working like clockwork. Susan’s parents resembled each other. They looked like brother and sister. When Susan was six they parted but continued comparing Susan to their ex-partner in disparaging terms. Susan could not win whatever she did. She began to become ill and at 15 had glandular fever and chronic fatigue syndrome. Her father was too busy to notice; the nanny slapped her consistently because she thought Susan was being lazy. Her mother eventually took her to the doctor. The doctor was alarmed and summonsed the father and nanny. The father threatened the doctor. By some bizarre coincidence the doctor died. Susan became terrified of what her father could do. As a result of her profound unconscious fear trapped way back in her childhood Susan became a people pleaser until Pluto squared her Moon in Libra when she was in late middle age.
People pleasers have a chronic fear of rejection. Their belief is: “If I don’t do everything I can to make this person happy they might leave or stop caring for me.” This phobic belief may stem from early relationships in which love was conditional or in which the people pleaser was rejected or abandoned by an important person in your life. Maybe a parent left or was emotionally unavailable or inconsistently available. People pleasers also have a consistent fear of failure. They really believe that, “If I make a mistake, I will disappoint people and be punished or at least disliked.” This phobia of failure may also stem from early experiences of severe punishment for even minute mistakes.
People who had highly critical parents may develop a people-pleasing pattern. Childhood experiences with harsh criticism or punishment can lead to significant anxiety upon attempting a task and this may develop into psychosomatic illness, especially headaches and digestive problems when there is a repeat of the early rejection or criticism. The caregiver who condemned, nit-picked and disparaged the people pleaser may be dead or absent, anxiety is an emotion that can live on for a very long time. To deal with that anxiety, people pleasers do everything they can consciously think of to finish the job, make sure everybody is happy and to be successful.
Regardless of the genesis, consistently putting others needs above their own and this can develop into some really negative outcomes.
1. People Pleasers neglect themselves and devote very little time to taking care of their own health. Their efforts towards taking care of others takes up the time they need to be active, de-stress, plan healthy meals and exercise, plus often look after their own family. Therefore they may be more prone to health problems. A balance is needed. Imagine you are driving an ambulance taking ill patients to hospital. If the driver (the people pleaser) does not stop to refuel the vehicle, eventually the vehicle will break down helping no one. Think of the time placed in exercise, de-stressing, and eating healthy food, having fun, as your fuel stops.
2. People pleasers always have passive aggression, blame, judgement and resentment. They are often silently angry at the people in their life. Their desire to be kind will suppress that anger but unexpressed anger often turns into passive aggression. If they are being passive aggressive, they will make sharp or vicious comments; maybe sarcastic jokes, or make subtle actions that let a little of our negative feelings seep out. Mounting resentment is the biggest destroyer of relationships. People pleasers must communicate their feelings to avoid resentment. It might be that the other person will be unhappy to hear that you are upset or they may not take responsibility for what has upset you. The outcome doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you spoke up for yourself. Speaking up or being assertive also alerts people to the fact that they have done something that has upset you. This alone can make people tread more lightly.
3. People pleasing reduces the ability to enjoy other people and activities. When we are so busy doing things for others our family and loved ones suffer. What messages do we give loved ones by being present but disengaged? You can easily see your children growing up without you.
4. People pleasers become stressed and depressed. The definition of stress is having more demands than you can handle. People Pleasing can turn into a vicious cycle of chronic stress and unhealthy behaviours. If you have the constant feeling like you are too busy and doing everything for everyone else but yourself, you might be stuck in this cycle and burned out. Stress and depression can be medicated but that won’t break the cycle. If pulling out of the cycle seems overwhelming, identify one small thing you can do to stop, but the big deal is recognising that you are a people pleaser. Identify one responsibility you have taken on that you can cancel for time for yourself. Go and see a psychotherapist or find one person in your life to share your plan with and ask them to help you implement your plan.
5. People pleasers are often taken advantage of. Because people pleasers have an unfortunate habit of saying yes to requests for favours, people may begin to take advantage of your kindness by asking for more than is reasonable. They may become the target of exploitive and sociopathic people because they will quickly see that people pleasers can’t say no and take as much as they can from you. Unfortunately even people who not users may take advantage because they don’t realize that you are overtaxing yourself and have difficulty understanding where your boundaries are because you have set none. So you may burn out because requests from other people become overwhelming. There is a general law of the universe that we teach people how to treat us by the behaviour we accept or reject from them. Teaching different means setting boundaries about what you can and cannot do, and what you will and will not accept. Once you have established this, sticking to it is important. The other challenge is that if everyone is used to you saying yes, they may feel disappointed or angry when you begin to say, “No.” Again it is so important to be conscious of all of this. It is extremely important to ignore feelings of guilt or aloneness. You deserve to take care of yourself; it is nothing to ever feel guilty about. Keep reminding yourself of the ambulance vehicle.
PEOPLE -PLEASERS IN HOMEOPATHIC CONSTITUTIONAL TYPES: STAPHYSAGRIA
[WARNING THIS IS A DANGEROUS HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY AND MUST BE ONLY ADMINISTERED BY A HOMEOPATH.]
I found that J. Korentayer suggested in “Staphysagria, State of Mind: Fibromyalgia, Healthy Emotional Expression, Inside The Consult Room” at http://arcanum.ca/2012/04/16/homeopathic-constitutional-types-staphysagria/ that Staphysagria people have the qualities of people pleasers.
Apparently the core theme of the phenotype Staphysagria centres on victimization. (The genotype–phenotype distinction is drawn in genetics. “Genotype” is an organism’s full hereditary information. “Phenotype” is an organism’s actual observed properties, such as morphology, development, or behaviour. This distinction is fundamental in the study of inheritance of traits and their evolution. )
Staphysagria homeopathic archetypes are the type who gets caught up in cycles of abuse where they are unable to say “no”, or assert a necessary boundary, but they immediately regret and resent their own lack of voice, along with the actions of their abuser. Even in non-chronic abuse situations, Staphysagria results from anger which is ‘swallowed’ rather than expressed, therefore burning out the throat chakra. There is a core feeling of injustice or of life being “unfair”, and being at the mercy of the whims and actions of others.
The classic physical symptoms of Staphysagria revolve around the bladder and kidneys. These symptoms are the physical embodiment of the unexpressed emotion of feeling “pissed off”, which have to come out in one way or another, if the natural avenue of expression wasn’t taken. Many digestive issues, including chronic irritable bowel syndrome can also result from this suppressed energy. Any medical condition which first began after an incident of suppressed anger or humiliation can be reversed with this remedy.
Someone who has taken on the long-term personality of Staphysagria as their phenotype will be extremely sweet in character, who almost never expresses or even allows themselves to feel anger or any dark emotions. There may often be cultural or religious forces which encourage such unhealthy suppression of one’s true feelings. When a patient insists to me that they “never feel angry”, a big red flag goes up in my mind, and this becomes a strong consideration for treatment of this phenotype. Despite all the suppression, this is a state where much energy continually builds up, and occasionally “bursts out” in one form or another, which may often include throwing something, whether a physical object or a tantrum. They find it next to impossible to initiate a confrontation, even when it is necessary in a given situation, which tends to reinforce the vicious cycle of their state of victimhood.
PEOPLE PLEASING IS ANOTHER NAME FOR CODEPENDENCY
A year ago I wrote an article on co-dependency and I am going to plagiarise some of my own article to add to this article so:
WHAT IS CODEPENCY? WHO IS A COMPULSIVE CAREGIVER?
Co-dependency is a type of behaviour where a person places the wellbeing of other people before their own self-interests. We can immediately see that a co-dependent person is a people pleaser. The co-dependent person takes care of another because deep down they harbor a belief that if they don’t they are “not a good person.” They may themselves be giving from an “empty cup” and constantly be exhausted, resentful, and feeling guilty for desiring time to themself. Eventually their health will suffer from the constant hypervigilence, and anger. They may adopt a mentality of martyrdom and feel proud of their suffering for others, and being “of service to mankind”, but this is not soulful. This is the result of determining that you will be disowned, unloved, or sinful if you put your own needs on an equal priority with the needs of others. Being co-dependent means you worry what other people, your family, and even friends or peers, may think and feel about you. Thus a co-dependent person is excessively sensitive to the emotions of other people. So we see this archetype a great deal in the Neptune in Libra generation. These people may have Moon conjunct Neptune and they become obsessive people pleasers when transiting Pluto comes along, therefore a good astrologer will be able to see the obsession and give the right advice to stop this behaviour.
This extremely sensitive behaviour is generally the result of growing up with instability in your family. Co-dependency will generally occur if you were bought up or dragged up in a family where there was physical or sexual abuse, where parents were too tired and overworked, too busy or where a parent was chronically and severely physically or mentally ill. A person may be co-dependent when their parent was a single parent or one parent committed suicide, or the parent was a gambler or promiscuous. Co-dependency may occur where you had to look after Grandma and her illness controlled the entire family or if your sibling was a drug addict, had cancer or was mentally ill. Co-dependency may occur if you were beaten and screamed at regularly and you were told you were a burden to the family. Most often eldest children bear the brunt of the constant responsibility of “badness; not being perfect; causing problems in the family when you were born unwanted into a family who couldn’t afford you. The term “co-dependency” originally derived from the field of chemical dependency and has been applied to families and “significant others” of alcoholics and addicts.
These people may have many co-dependent relationships until they feel they have been burned enough. They may work long, poorly paid hours in service fields like astrology, being medical intuitive, counsellor, teacher, therapist of any kind , where they may play the role of rescuer and where they may feel wanted and needed. The co-dependent adults, will like working in the service fields, because the grown up, who is still a child emotionally, has always been treated like Cinderella before the Prince whisked her away. The co-dependent person has been expected to work hard as a child to pay their way, or constantly look after younger siblings, often step brothers and sisters, because the eldest child was not wanted, not expected and was told constantly they are a “burden.” Hence they go into service fields. It is a habit from being brainwashed as a child and having neurological abnormality in your ways of thinking and behaviour from living in constant fear of neglect and physical and emotional abandonment.
So co-dependent people react to the manipulation of other people and take on any toxic guilt and blame from siblings, parents, your children, and your partner, even so called friends who may emotionally manipulate them. As a result of constant manipulation, abandonment whilst young, and abuse co-dependent people are generally in denial, and have low self-esteem. They have excessive compliance, and have a great need to be in control because they never knew what to expect next during their childhood. Dysfunctional families are not predictable or dependable in their patterns of behaviour: a child could be slapped and screamed at one minute and hugged the next. Co-dependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships.
Astrologer Donna Cunningham suggests that it is an obsession with trying to help or change people, especially partners and often it is a way of controlling others, so the co-dependent person will feel safe, but generally they have no idea of this until they read about it or go for therapy. Melody Beattie, in her best-seller, Co-dependent No More, defined it in this way: “A co-dependent is one who has let another person’s behaviour affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behaviour.” There’s nothing wrong with service, but when it’s compulsive and driven by co-dependent needs, it means this person needs to see a psychologist or counsellor. Co-dependency can exist at any stage of life when you love someone who has a severe physical or emotional problem.
Co-dependency is not a stand-alone diagnosis in the DSM-IV; however, co-dependency may be related to the diagnosis of 301.6 Dependent Personality Disorder.
DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER OR PEOPLE PLEASING:
Dependent Personality is marked by a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behaviour and fears of separation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. INDECISIVE: has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.
2. HAS PROBLEMS WITH RESPONSIBILITY: needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life.
3. CONFLICT: has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval, but does not include realistic fears of retribution [which is domestic violence.]
4. STANDING ALONE: has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy.)
5. NEED FOR NURTURANCE: goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant.
6. CAN’T BE ALONE: feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for him or her.
7. ENDLESS RELATIONSHIPS urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends.
8. UNABLE TO COPE ALONE is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of him or herself.
I agree with Duncan, Miller and Sparks (2004) in their text for counsellors, called The Heroic Client, that “Diagnoses brand people with labels that carry blame, hopelessness and helplessness” and this was a constant theme by my mentoring Professor, David Ainge, when I studied a Masters of Educational Counselling and Guidance. However, now-days good counselling psychologists will be able to help a person wade through the behaviours of co-dependency when they have some sort of goal and list of behaviours.
THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF CODEPENDENCY
Untreated co-dependents can be extremely controlling, and be subtle and gifted at manipulation. Pluto rules manipulation. So the worst cases of co-dependency may appear with Moon conjunct Pluto in Libra. Sometimes if people don’t do what they say co-dependent people become agitated, enraged, or vindictive. They can even frighten clients or friends by dumping guilt, shame, calling on their divine connection, scaring clients about their Pluto transits, or threatening clients with illness cancer if they don’t straighten out their way of thinking. Similarly, there can be agitation and even rage when clients don’t change in the way the co-dependent tells them to. Again if the co-dependent person has no university qualifications in counselling or psychology or human welfare or social work a client could take legal action around these issues. If you believe you are co-dependent it is ethical to go for psychotherapy. If we have difficulty around intimacy or anger, can we teach clients how to have healthy relationships or be positive role models for them?
If you know you have a problem with co-dependency and you are practising as an astrologer, New Age therapist, clairvoyant, tarot reader or medical intuitive forget it until you see a psychologist or experienced counsellor about your co-dependency. Why? Because out of unresolved anger toward our own parents, you might encourage clients to behave in anger against their parents, partners or bosses. You might encourage clients in unrealistic career plans, instead of taking a grounded and realistic approach to career astrology. If you have a relationship you are not happy with you may stir up trouble in other people’s marriages.
Basically a Pluto transit to an inner planet or Ascendant, especially Moon or Sun means get real orange peel or you can run put you can’t hide. I am so lucky that I have a wonderful mentor who is astrologer, homeopath, shaman and wise counseller, plus a fun and loving friend. She will always lovingly tell me if I need correction. So if you are not listening or looking and your life is being shredded when Pluto comes along I would seriously suggest you do go and see someone you can trust who is an experienced shamanic practitioner, psychotherapist, homeopath or just wise friend. But don’t go and see a people pleaser. Many thanks to my friend Eileen Nauman for inspiring this article.
Much joy and freedom from all that is cluttering your life to you,