TRANSITING PLUTO SQUARING THE NATAL MOON by Hilary Bond, PhD. COPYRIGHT.
WARNING: As the author of the article I claim and reserve all rights to this article and this article is copyright only to me. If you wish to copy any of this article please send me a message and I will communicate with you.
“Lay up not for yourselves upon earth, where moth and rust dust corrupt and thieves break through and steal… For where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also.”
Mathew 6: 19-21
The Holy Bible.
For those of you who have been traumatised by transiting Pluto affecting your Moon, and you are screaming, digging your heels in and having to change your life because of the relentless savaging to your body, intellect, heart and soul, I wish you my sincere empathy. For until you actually have been ravaged by Pluto you can only intellectualise what a Pluto transit is like in actuality. Band-Aids, soothing cream and a nice bedtime story are not enough; a complete change of lifestyle is; a total change of being, doing and thinking is necessary. If you aim to evolve and you have changed your old, unnecessary patterns of behaviour then Pluto may treat you more nicely than otherwise.
I have far less time to write this than my high academic standards dictate, so I hope what I present is to your liking. I present Heracles cleaning the Augean Stables after the classical and Dorian- patriarchal-Olympians have torn him, as a Dumuzi look-alike from his original lover (Hera) way back in the mists of time. I analyse the Heracles myth because I feel a great synchrony between his journey and that of transiting Pluto ransacking and recreating the natal Moon.
I move on then to analyse and discuss the archetypal meanings of the Moon and Pluto and as the main meal to this article. I serve up Bernadette Brady’s system of transits, which I find sensible and nourishing. I will be just looking at a single horoscope; that of a friend, who is of the Pluto in Leo generation. I will use this chart as an example and I will include all that I have discussed previously in her chart.
I am delighted to see you again. Take care, wherever you are and whatever transit you are having. If you have had transiting Pluto affect your Moon in your life time I would love to hear from you. No one person has the same experience.
THE PARALLELS OF HERACLES AND HERA AND PLUTO AND THE MOON
Of course I could have discussed the affect and effect of Pluto’s rape of Persephone had on her lunar mother Demeter, but the Hera-Heracles Greek myth is fascinating and a pertinent parallel to the phenomena of transiting Pluto squaring and affecting the natal Moon. I hope you enjoy this article. By the way Hera seems to play Pluto at times and the Moon at times. When she is the harsh, unconscious, vengeful and chthonic; a bloody, raving Hecate-like creature, who seeks the destruction of her imagined enemies for defying her archaic laws, she is a Pluto-like Titan, but when she is the matriarch, mother, all female and even virginal, emerging from her sacred spring in ancient Thessaly she is the Moon.
According to esoteric astrology, Heracles, a “Son of God and a Son of a mortal” represents the Soul in human appearance, but even before I knew this it seemed obvious to me that Heracles in the myth of the cleansing of the Augean stables, when he was rerouting the rivers to clean thirty years of manure, of a thousand cattle, seemed to be the ideal spiritual and metaphysical metaphor for transiting Pluto squaring the natal Moon. It is no coincidence that Heracles was so named, because Hera as one’s psyche or soul is Heracles teacher. Heracles means Hera’s splendour.
In archaic Greece, many centuries before Zeus’ appearance, Hera was alone on the throne with her young lover Herakles. Later, in classical times Heracles was portrayed as her arch enemy, but Heracles, was in reality Hera’s sexual partner and co-creator. I personally believe that given Hera’s commonalities with Middle Eastern goddesses, Herakles was probably Hera’s son also, a dying son/consort that is seen in myth world-wide.
But in classical myth, when women become subservient to men, Heracles (later named Hercules) was driven mad by Hera (a queen of the Olympian Gods and a former queen in archaic- matriarchal Greek times. Like the Egyptian rulers Hera married her Olympian brother Jupiter, but originally she had ruled ancient Greece alone. Her marriage was unhappy due to her jealousy of her husband’s many conquests. Heracles or Hercules was a child of such a mistress, a human mistress at that. Hera was notoriously vengeful.
Hera had been bought up by her uncle, the Titan Oceanus who was a son of Gaia- Mother Earth. Most of Zeus’s mistresses were in geographical and colonial terms rivers and creeks; in other words territory that the new Dorian king wished to conquer. From the point of view of bodily and etheric energy the rivers and ocean in both the Augean Stables myth and the Greek myths seem to indicate the emotion, water-element chakra which is located between our earth chakra and solar plexus.
In the myth, because of his Hera-caused madness Hercules slew his son, daughter, and wife Megara. After recovering his sanity, Hercules deeply regretted his actions; he was purified by King Thespius, and then travelled to Delphi to inquire how he could atone for his actions. Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, advised him to go to Tiryns and serve his cousin King Eurystheus for twelve years, performing whatever labours Eurystheus might set him. In return, he would be rewarded with immortality. Hercules despaired at this, disgusted and humiliated at serving a man whom he knew to be far inferior to himself, yet fearing to oppose his father Zeus, but he agreed. Thus the twelve labours of Hercules are a series of twelve tasks concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes. They are the tasks that the Gods dish out to cut down those inferior beings guilty of hubris. Soul-wise the service and humiliation is needed to gain spiritual evolution. The tasks were accomplished over 12 years at the service of King Eurystheus. According to Walter Burket, a scholar of Greek mythology, the literary establishment of a fixed cycle of twelve labours was attributed by the Greeks to an epic poem, now lost, written by Peisander, dated about 600 BC.
Hercules eleventh labour was to clean the stables of King Augeas; a task that was seen as humiliating and impossible. The stables had not been cleaned for 30 years and the 1000 cattle were immortal. As a result they produced endless quantities of manure. Rather than the manure being healthy compost it seemed more like old engine oil; it ruined the land. Hercules brainstormed the task and by re-routed the rivers Alpheus and Peneus, thus cleaning out the manure. Originally, Hercules had requested one-tenth of the cattle if he finished the task in one day, but afterwards Augeas refused to honour the agreement on the grounds that Hercules had been ordered to carry out the task by Eurystheus anyway. Hercules claimed his reward in court, and was supported by Augeas’ son Phyleus. Augeas banished them both before the court had ruled. Hercules returned, slew Augeas, and gave his kingdom to Phyleus. According to the Odes of the poet Pindar, Hercules then founded the Olympic Games. The success of this labour was discounted because the rushing waters had done the work of cleaning the stables and because Hercules was paid for it.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL MEANING OF HERCULES ACTS IN RELATION TO A PLUTO TRANSIT
I really see the water as the watery emotions of the Moon and Hera is the old lunar goddess. Even though she becomes the perfect wife, she is, when she rages, in a league with the old wild, lunar ways of Hecate, Circe, Artemis, Ishtar, Lilith and the Bacchae(or Dionysian maneads). Sometimes Hera takes the place of Artemis in the New Moon stage. We know that Hera ritually cleanses herself in a sacred spring. But like Artemis, she is not above killing for revenge. Hera uses curses and spells as a result of her resentment, jealousy and fury. It is also vital to be aware that Augeas was the son of Neptune, the god of the waters. Both Neptune and Hera associate frequently in the pre-Hellenic world as watery deities and as such they symbolise unhealthy chthonic emotions which damage a person. Hera in this state is the Dweller on the Threshold of the Heroes journey. The soul must cast out such toxic psychological states.
We know the Moon in Scorpio when badly aspected and in a negative aspect to Pluto can be deeply unconscious of her own healthy needs. She becomes a receptacle for all things nasty that have been embedded in the family psyche for generations. As Liz Greene states (The Luminaries, p. 30) “The instinctual needs of the family embodying a particular archetypal theme, will seek fulfillment through all family members, taking more destructive forms according to the degree of repression and unconsciousness present in the family.” Working with such a harsh transit as transiting Pluto square natal Moon indicates a great need to work with deep family issues that have been fulminating for generations. If a family member has Moon conjunct Pluto conjunct Jupiter with a mother who had Moon (conjunct Saturn) opposite Pluto and the matriarchal grandmother also had Moon opposite Pluto the need to clean the Augean Stables is mandatory. And in the particular case study I am highlighting in this article a patriarchal crime to the matriarchal side of the family happened fifty years before. Since then the grandmother and the mother had been baying for revenge and the result was severe psychological illness. Thus transiting Pluto symbolically and esoterically becomes Heracles.
The concept of insanity, which is generally connected with devastating fury or rage, which ensued from the manipulative power of the gods or goddesses was a critical problem, for the ancient Greeks, in such cases of personal accountability. Was Hercules a sufferer of supernatural powers outside his power when he ferociously killed his helpless family? Was it a case of momentary irrationality or reduced competence (or what the law called diminished responsibility) caused by Hera’s appalling enchantment? Or was he fully answerable for his monstrous crime?
In modern times we may ask, “Were Hercules’s actions faulty biochemistry, defective neurology, flawed genes, childhood trauma or demons or hallucogenic drugs that caused his actions?) Was Hercules the ill-starred victim of powerful forces; astrological, biological, historical, psychological, sociological or metaphysical that eventually take control and compel them to do evil? Should he astrologically, 9th house and Jupiterian caused, be held accountable, ethically and legally, for such malevolent crimes? For the ancient Greeks, the answer was never unequivocally either/or, but inconsistently, both.
Hercules, despite presumably being driven homicidally mad by Hera, was nonetheless condemned by the gods to do penance for his horrific crimes. And it was Hera, -who had maliciously induced his madness and subsequently, again had a hand in meting out his severe punishment.
When we face giant Pluto transits, like Pluto transiting our Sun, Moon or Ascendant, our human existence and our individuation process , where we free our self from our unconscious and face and beat the Dweller on the Threshold, themselves demand such heroic strength, stamina and courage from each of us in various ways. We all face at times seemingly impossible tasks, intimidating obstacles, serious stumbling blocks; our own Herculean labours to reckon with in life. And, through Hercules, we have much to learn about bravely meeting life’s challenges, dealing with fate, and finding and fulfilling our destiny.
BEFORE WE BEGIN: THE MEANINGS OF THE MOON.
We can view mythological images as self-portrayals of the soul, just as we saw Heracles and Hera in the first part of this article, but in this section I wish to explore the archetypal side of the Moon.
Thus it is:
• Our body and our instincts;
• Our cycles, changes or state of flux ( including our creativity and relationships;
• Our safety (or lack of safety) and warmth of human contact or not, and the resultant anxiety , eating disorders , hoarding, irrational fears maenad behaviour, need for security, or compulsions if one does not feel safe ;
• The Great Mother or our Mother;
• The matriarch who rules the family or tribe;
• Negatively, the lunar qualities of manipulation, treachery, savage instincts, moodiness, lack of cooperation, lack of reasonableness and emotional rapaciousness and emotional fluctuations;
• Chanting, trances, dances and music
• Feelings and emotions;
• The domestic, nurturing urge;
• The breasts, digestion and stomach;
• The female principle; wife, women and mother;
• Moods and tides;
• Habit patterns, reflex actions;
• The need to touch;
• Liquids, commodities, sailing, brewing, nursing, tradespeople, the public;
• ***** consciousness **** and
• Personal interests and needs
BEFORE WE BEGIN: TRANSITING PLUTO’S ARCHETYPES AND MEANINGS
• For us to evolve, transform or rebirth;
• Let go of all that is holding us back;
• And rules death and separation;
• For emotional and psychological issues such as sex, intimacy, healing, as well as manipulation (we can see here that both the Moon as Artemis, Hera and Hecate is chthonic as well as Pluto), jealousy, possessiveness, obsessiveness and self-destruction (this includes unconscious and conscious self-sabotaging, self-vampiring, procrastinating and suicide ;
• Breaks through all illusions in search of the truth;
• Shines light on and confronts our raw and primal darkness;
• For intensity and focus;
• New levels of relationships, including intimacy with self and others;
• For us to find our core purpose in this incarnation and the deep power in our solar plexus;
• Wants us to explore the house and sign of the Pluto transit and natal Pluto house more deeply;
• have soul connections with people, new relationships;
• dump all our old useless, outmoded habits, beliefs, burdens, obligations, “stuff” generally, that includes toxic people;
• face and overcome our fears, obsessions , anxieties
• Wants us to spring clean;
• Find all our hidden treasure; psychological and otherwise
• Be a tempter; this can include the underworld, illicit affairs, underworld and illegal activities,
Confront a disease, place or person that could kill us.
BERNADETTE BARADY’S TRANSIT CENTRE
An Australian astrologer Bernadette Brady wrote a fantastic book called “Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. You need to draw up a table with five columns and five rows. At the left side; one down from the top write “Planet”; next down vertically write “Transit house location” and on the bottom row at the left write “ House(s) ruled by Planet.” On the top horizontally one in from the left side write “Transit”, then horizontally next to the write “Natal Planet”, then “Transit” and then “Natal Planet.” We will only do one transit and natal planet for convenience and simplicity.
So we have FIRST ROW; THE NATAL HOUSE LOCATION:
The top row is the cause.
Pluto is in Capricorn is in the 6th house of domestic routine, health and diet, breaking habit patterns and duty of service.
The Moon in Libra is in the 8th house of transformation, beginnings and endings, death and birth and money. This house also rules the resources of other people which could be emotional, physical and financial. There is in this house an intense irrevocable change.
In the top row there is, due to a death, birth or desire for change an event that will unfold elsewhere.
The aspect is a square which indicates an event or events which are no one’s fault that is forcing you into action. This aspect is based on tension. So this square pushes us into corners we cannot avoid. Rather than swearing or screaming we need to take the action that is indicated by events.
SECOND ROW IS THE TRANSIT HOUSE LOCATION
The middle row is where you are most concerned.
Pluto is transiting the eleventh house. This is a house of groups, friends and counselling. In the middle row there may be the possibility of meeting a whole new group of people.
THE THIRD ROW.
The bottom row is receiving or producing the transit and there will be consequences.
Pluto by transit is the ruler of the 9th house of travel, study, books, publishing, books, writing, that which is alien. It is a conscious house. In the bottom row the ruler of the 9th is receiving the transit and like the 5th there will be an expansive and constructive outcome. This might involve luck and your efforts, travel and broadening your horizons will occur. Culture shock may occur but this broadens the mind.
The houses are places in which things happen. All events will have a cause. The basis here is Pluto which transforms the lunar figure. There will be deep emotional reactions. The key figures will be female family members, most likely a mother and loved ones. The key issue will be death and dying. The feeling will be so intense that they can’t be intellectualised or rationalised away. They will be emotional churning. There will be much emotional stress in the family.
This person had bad health all her life. Due to the intense stress of looking after a mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease and verbally abused her and humiliated her constantly in front of many groups of people. This person became very ill with adrenal stress and resultant low blood sugar and liver and kidney problems as well as severe digestive problems. The second chakra is the water chakra and this is where the myth of Heracles comes in with his cleansing of the Augean Stables. The second chakra is a watery, emotional chakra which sits on the lower abdomen or stomach /spleen chakra. This chakra represents the sweetness of life. It is badly affected by emotional abuse, emotional manipulation, rejection, and family/maternal enmeshment which had been a constant feature of this person’s life from her family (Moon).
This person though she could keep going, but at the exact impact of the Pluto transit she had to say, “No more!” something with her Libra Moon she had trouble saying all her life. The person had to do twice daily yoga, mantra meditation, deep breathing and long slow walks. She had to completely change her diet; see an alternate medical practitioner and stop thinking anything but calm thoughts. She did a lot of boundary work, emotional release, did family shadow work, and took up healthy pleasures and movement therapy.
As a result she met new people and loved the contact. Previously because of an undeveloped 2nd chakra she had poor social skills and was a work addict. Her work was her pleasure and it wasn’t much fun. As a result of her lifestyle change her aura changed, she became more popular and had fun, a complete change after years of work and service. She mixed more with Chinese people and learned new ideas about health and lifestyle.
Her mother did die, and she received a small amount of money and travelled overseas. She started writing again for pleasure rather than just work and she began to publish her work, which increased her social contacts more. She became more conscious with the support of ancestral guides (8th house Moon) and archangels who helped her see the spiritual reasons and past life karma for all this. She had been separated from her husband for years, but the intense stress helped them become friends again and he emotionally supported her. He had an interesting group of friends who became her friends. The emotions involved before she made the decision to change were intense and chthonic and they dredged up all sorts of horrendous family issues.
Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope you have learned something new. Pluto transits are not much fun, but they do clean out the Augean Stables and there is no choice.
Blessings to you.
Brady, Bernadette (1992). Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. Weiser Books: San Francisco, CA.
Greene, Liz & Sasportas, Howard (1992). The Luminaries: The psychology of the Sun and the Moon in the Horoscope. Weiser: Boston, MA.