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Astrology: Pluto

Updated on November 21, 2013
Pluto taking Proserpina by Peter Paul Rubens
Pluto taking Proserpina by Peter Paul Rubens | Source

Pluto in astrology has many layers and represents a lot of the darker, hidden nature of human beings and society. This planet in astrology represents destruction, disease, death, transformation, rebirth, sex, power, crime, and the underworld. Its important to note that though Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore (by scientific standards), Pluto is very much a planet, and an important planet in astrology.

Pluto Glyph
Pluto Glyph | Source

Pluto rules over the eighth house, and the symbol or glyph of Pluto is a circle over a crescent and a cross. This glyph is supposed to symbolize the emotional and spiritual receptivity that we carry over the physical world and into our subconscious. The eighth house is the house of hidden things; include death and sex/sexuality. This house also is the house of shared resources (such as money or possessions that we get from a death or an ending), such as inheritance, alimony, insurance, and taxes. This house is very much about death, transformation and rebirth, and placed wherever in our natal charts, show us a side of ourselves that constantly needs to be killed, transformed and reborn.

The Abduction of Proserpine by Rembrandt_Harmenszoon van
The Abduction of Proserpine by Rembrandt_Harmenszoon van | Source
Abduction of Proserpine on a Unicorn by Albrecht Dürer
Abduction of Proserpine on a Unicorn by Albrecht Dürer | Source

Astrology is very much about mythology and history and with Pluto, it isn’t any different. Pluto in ancient Greek mythology, Pluto (or Hades) is represented as the God of the Underworld. His brothers are said to be Zeus (who rules over heaven) and Poseidon who rules over the sea. The story of Pluto is that Pluto violently kidnapped Persephone and brought her into the underworld to be his wife and queen of the underworld. He also is seen to rule over riches, harvesting and materials (such as minerals and seeds) that are found and put deep inside the Earth, either to be extracted or to grow. In other stories Pluto and his wife Persephone is seen as welcoming the afterlife into their realm and taking in the souls of the death. Overall depending on how Pluto/Hades is seen he can represent the darker, violent hidden, primitive side of humanity (with the kidnapping of Persephone) or the bountiful riches of the earth (minerals and harvest), or the spiritual connection and guide to the underworld. Even so, now Pluto in astrology represents the underworld, the subconscious and hidden, transformation through death and crises.

Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto (ca.1597) by Amerighi da Caravaggio
Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto (ca.1597) by Amerighi da Caravaggio | Source

Its important to mention a unique factor about Pluto. It is an outer planet and generational planet. An outer planet in astrology is a planet that moves slower than other planets in one’s natal chart, since its further from the Sun and earth. Mercury, the Moon, and the Sun move relatively quicker than an outer planet or generational planet in astrology. For example the Sun in astrology passes through the earth in about 30 days (aka the time period of a sun or zodiac sign), while an outer planet such as Pluto passes through Earth for a period of 248 years.

This long period is therefore divided into between 15-20 years in each zodiac sign, thus making it a generational planet too. This time period in a sense spans a generation. A generational planet is similar to how we divide up generations in history. An example would be the Baby Boomers and Generation X. The Baby Boomers were the generation born after World War II and came to age during the Hippie era (born between 1946-1964). While Generation X is known as the MTV Generation, born between the mid 1960s- the early 1980s). These two different generations have both a span between 15- 20 years and they both have unique characteristics that define their generation and differentiate it from different generations.

So like a generation, generational planets of astrology each show a group of zodiac signs that represents a generation. In astrology there are four generational planets Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto. So people of a same generation and relatively similar age group will (more than likely) have the same zodiac signs for these four planets (Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto) in their natal charts.

Pluto [from the series Gods and goddesses by Hendrick Goltius
Pluto [from the series Gods and goddesses by Hendrick Goltius | Source

To get back to Pluto as planet, Pluto rules over the zodiac sign of Scorpio, so Pluto in Scorpio is at home and is quite comfortable in this zodiac sign. Even so, unlike the other zodiac planets Pluto (along with two other generational planets, Uranus and Neptune), do not have exaltation, detriment or fall signs. This is because these planets are more generational and less personal because it has more of a collective effect of a large group of people over a long period of time. As a generational planet Pluto symbolized upheavals, power struggles, and changes on a massive scale that is meant to affect a large group of people for a specific period.


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