Pluto often gets a bad rap—many people view it as a treacherous intruder that wants nothing more than to wreak havoc on us. This is a wrong view. Pluto merely demands that we be authentic and that we know ourselves more deeply. It has no patience for artifice and wants to probe way beneath the surface and expose what’s really underneath without any regard to the polite stories we prefer to tell about ourselves and our lives.
Transiting Pluto requires change and a deeper understanding of whatever it touches. It’s all about authenticity and bringing to the surface those aspects of our lives and character that we might otherwise remain unaware of, that we might otherwise have missed. He’s the ultimate psychoanalyst, so it’s best to lay on the doctor’s couch and let him point out those things about yourself and your life that could use some more attention. Doing so enables you to at least play a small part in the transformative experience rather than watch it happen in a state of bewilderment.
When transiting Pluto touches the angles of our horoscopes, (the Ascendant, the IC, the Descendant, and the Midheaven) it sparks inner and outer events that transform and rebuild whatever those sensitive points represent. We are asked to let go of those things that no longer work for us and give birth to something new.
The key to dealing with Pluto transits is to surrender rather than resist. Resistance to change is futile, because change is simply the nature of things. We suffer when we desire that things be something other than what they are so it’s best not to waste our time and energy on trying to prevent things from transpiring the way they do. This isn’t about complacency, it’s about acceptance. There are things in life we can have some impact on, and things that we cannot. During a Pluto transit the difference becomes crystal clear.
Transiting Pluto on the Ascendant
The Ascendant (the rising sign, or 1st house cusp) represents what we project to others, how we respond to our environment, our viewpoint on life, and how we identify ourselves.
When transiting Pluto touches your Ascendant, it’s a time of intense self-discovery and exploration. Having spent several years in your twelfth house, the work up until now has been largely hidden from view in preparation for this time. So the metamorphosis taking place in your spiritual and psychological self goes from being an unconscious activity to a conscious one. Your outlook on life changes, your relationship to your body intensifies, partnerships are born or ended, and you become more aware of your strengths and limitations. Once Pluto reaches your Ascendant, you can be sure that your life will never be the same again.
The most productive way to deal with this transit is to engage in activities that help you understand yourself and your needs better. Remember that with every loss comes a gain and with every gain comes a loss, and that we are always in a state of flux. During this time you need to let go of those parts of your life that no longer serve much purpose. It’s a great time to purge and reinvent—clean out your closets, change your appearance, learn something new, or embark upon a different spiritual path.
Transiting Pluto on the IC
The IC (Imum Coeli, the Nadir, or the 4th house cusp) is the lowest point in your horoscope. It represents your familial roots, your ancestors, your sense of shelter and protection, and your home.
When transiting Pluto comes to the IC, it sparks some profound changes in your home and family life. There could be significant news about a relative, and it’s very common for a change of residence either by choice or circumstance. If there are corroborating transits and progressions in your chart, it could also signify marriage. You might decide it’s time to start redecorating and recreating your home environment in some way. Or perhaps you get a job offer that requires you to move out of state. In any event, it’s time to let go of certain aspects of your home and family life in order to make room for something new.
During this time, it’s important that you reflect on how your upbringing and family structure has contributed to who and where you are today. Pluto will bring up things about your past and your family that you may have never realized or would rather not have to deal with. In any event, pay close attention to the things that come up during this transit and be mindful about how you respond to them because it will have a tremendous impact on your sense of home and family for many years to come.
Transiting Pluto on the Descendant
The Descendant (or 7th house cusp) indicates the kinds of people we attract to ourselves, both romantically and otherwise. It describes the romantic partner and how we relate to others in general. While Venus represents what you want in relationships, the Descendant shows you what you actually get in a partner, a spouse, a best friend.
When transiting Pluto rears its head up over your Descendant, you begin the process of intensive exploration with regard to interpersonal relationships. It can sometimes be experienced as opposition from others, but this friction enables you to take a good, hard look at yourself and how you contribute to the way your interpersonal life plays out. It brings to the surface the ways in which you relate to others, and those aspects of your relationship life that work and don’t work for you any more. Becoming more aware of your relational patterns this way ultimately helps you transform them in a major way.
If you are in an established relationship, your partner’s life is likely to be changing somehow, as is the relationship itself. This need not be something negative, but keep in mind that the operating word here is transformation. So Pluto will require that your most important relationships undergo some profound changes for the purposes of growth and evolution.
Transiting Pluto on the Midheaven
The Midheaven (or 10th house cusp) is the highest point in the chart and represents our place in the world and how we are perceived publicly. It symbolizes what our career and life direction is about and reveals what kind of reputation we have either through our choices or circumstances. While the Ascendant is the mask we present to people on a personal level, the Midheaven represents our more public “face.”
When transiting Pluto reaches this point of the horoscope, we are asked to revise, reinvent, and rebuild our career. If you’re clinging to your identity as a trader on Wall Street even though you can’t stand the thought of buying or selling one more stock or even wearing a suit for that matter, then Pluto will force you to “get real” about this and take the time to consider what kind of life path is in sync with who you really are. If you are in a career that makes sense for you, Pluto may simply require that you adjust or alter your current position in some way.
Pluto gives you the chutzpah to pursue a life path that more accurately reflects your authentic self and what truly resonates in your heart. It reveals how you can best be of service in this world and inspires you to set a goal, hunt it down, and kill it if you must.
Lawrence Grecco is a professional astrologer and Zen Life Coach in New York City. He is a member of the board of directors of the NYC chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research, is a student of the Maitretya Buddhist Seminary and holds a certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy from the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. A practicing Zen Buddhist, he facilitates a bi-weekly meditation and discussion group in Manhattan. Lawrence is available for astrological consultations and life coaching in person, over the phone, or via Skype or iChat. He can be reached at 212-989-3456 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to visit his web site at WWW.ZENRISING.COM
This article is featured in Pluto Problems Got You Perplexed? Here’s What Helps! It’s a collection of articles about Pluto transits called published by Skywriter on March 19 as part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.
Learn how to deal with Pluto problems HERE