Getting to Know Pluto

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Pluto’s in the news these days, as recent NASA photos provide us with the clearest images of the planet (or whatever you want to call it) in our history.

This is especially intriguing to me since Pluto plays a prominent role in my own natal chart, yet I must admit that I know relatively little about it compared to most of the other planets, which are closer to Earth and more commonly referenced in astrology.

On January 24, 1980 at 8:09 AM Pacific Time, Pluto was exactly stationary. My birth certificate reads: January 24, 1980 at 8:27 AM Pacific Time. Retrograde Pluto’s relative speed at the time of my birth was 0.15% (i.e. 15% of 1%).

Stationary or near-stationary planets are often tremendously important and tend to point to the area of one’s life direction and/or greatest potential. For example, Donald Trump has an almost exactly stationary Jupiter (with a relative speed of 0.52% i.e. 52% of 1%) placed in his 2nd house, which represents finances. The late musician Amy Winehouse’s chart features a near-stationary retrograde Venus (moving at a relative speed of 3.32%), which certainly hints at both her immense artistic talent and inability to act with moderation regarding the Venusian elements of life.

Then there’s Osho, whom I personally consider the world’s most positive influence in recent times; he has three near-stationary (i.e. under 8% relative speed) planets in his chart, which is remarkably unusual. After all, just having one near-stationary planet is so uncommon that after remembering Donald Trump as an example, it took me well over an hour of research checking dozens upon dozens of charts before resorting to google and finding Amy Winehouse.

It is true that during my research, I came across multiple people who were born when key planets in their lives were moving at between 10% and 25% relative speed, which is slow enough to make an impact, yet wasn’t the sort of clear-cut marker I intended to find. After all, my Retrograde Mars was moving at 21.1% when I was born and, while it’s been an encouraging planet for me (and I’m looking forward to its mahadasha, beginning in late 2017, for a number of reasons), I’m not an archetypal warrior or stunning physical specimen.

Yet, there’s no getting around it, I have an extraordinarily rare connection with Pluto. The list of well-known people with near-stationary Pluto whom I’ve come across is quite short, but includes a high proportion of filmmakers and writers; that’s encouraging, as I’d like to write and direct films.

However, on a more basic level, Pluto is known as the planet of transformation, death and rebirth; it’s also located in my 8th house… which points so strongly to an emphasis on those specific elements that I find it somewhat unsettling, yet also darkly humorous.

I’m determined to learn more about Pluto, its role in both my life and the world at large, and how I can positively relate to its energy. (I can do that, right?) I wonder quite seriously if what I think of as my “identity” is destined to “die” and become completely stripped away, transformed and reborn in some manner. I’ve spent enough time meditating and studying Eastern philosophy to understand this would likely be a great blessing if it occurs… if you told me you could stop it – whatever “it” really is – I’d tell you not to. That doesn’t mean the idea’s not a little scary, though.

So, as we ooh and ahh over the closest look at Pluto in history, I can’t help but feel confident that Pluto’s worldwide role will come to the fore soon enough, much in the same manner that the discovery of Uranus preceded widespread human use of electricity and the discovery of Neptune preceded photography and film, among many other illusions. Pluto itself heralded the beginning of the nuclear age, but I’m convinced there’s still much more to Pluto that will emerge over time…

And with my 8th-house retrograde natal Pluto moving at only 0.15%, it also seems likely my future will be intimately connected to Pluto’s influence, however that may manifest.

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