Please read Part 1 of this essay first.
Pluto challenges a planet’s strength and integrity. When Pluto touches something in a chart, there is nowhere to hide. Whatever secrets I may have, Pluto will seek them out. Whatever flaws, he will find. If Pluto touches Venus, my values and my self-esteem, and the very way I express my love, will be in question. If Pluto touches Mars, there will be a cutting or burning away to the very essence of desire. Pluto touching Saturn will act like the aforementioned earthquake, tearing down whatever I have built in the house Saturn occupies. With Pluto/Moon contacts, I may well feel that I’m in a struggle for my soul. At the very least, all my previous reference points and security patterns will be threatened. The person with the heavier Pluto influence tends to have the upper hand in relationships, which is why, when I see strong Pluto between charts, I always hope that I see it going both ways. This does, in fact, tend to happen with Pluto, which I find a bit mysterious. It’s as if people who enter into Pluto wrangles have a mutual desire for this kind of intense transformation, and Pluto is their weapon of choice.
Pluto has the tendency to use its penetrating insight as a weapon. Ask anyone who knows someone with Pluto square Mercury. If they’re unhappy with you, they may not say anything for months, and then suddenly unleash a tirade of painful truths that your ten years of analysis wasn’t able to reveal. Pluto to any planet, either natally or between charts, brings this same pattern of silence, observation, analysis, and explosion. They will erupt on you just when you think you’re safe, when you are least able to defend yourself, and often walk away not realizing what they’ve done. Pluto’s powers of observation may be acute, but it’s not the most sensitive or empathetic of energies. Ruthless is the word that comes to mind again.
An unaware Pluto has a number of flaws, chief amongst them the desire and ability to control and manipulate. Pluto often isn’t aware of its power, and will not realize that, from your point of view, your association feels as if you’ve been dropped into the middle of a guerrilla war. Sometimes, they are outright manipulative, and will push your buttons just to see what they can get you to do. Even within a minor aspect between charts, Pluto may try to manipulate the partner’s planet to its own ends. Pluto is always about power, and the undeveloped Plutonian types were often bruised children who have been made deeply insecure. We misuse power when we are trying to redress feelings of powerlessness. Plutonian types have a great deal of charisma, and need to be persuaded to give up these mindless manipulations and focus their power for the good.
When Pluto is involved in a synastry, power is always an issue. Who has it, who uses it, who controls it within the relationship. Outer planets influence inner, but those with the inner planet have the ability to make Pluto sharpen its awareness of the way it operates. The inner planets are not helpless against Pluto’s assault. Because the inner planets are so immediate and conscious, they will have a greater understanding of the way Pluto must transform, and inner transformation is ultimately what Pluto is after (after the death and rebirth, that is). No accident that Pluto is the planet that rules analysis and any other means of self-exploration. Pluto’s attempts to plumb your depths are, in fact, motivated by an intense desire to understand itself. In positive mode, Pluto will take the inner planet by the hand and embark on a mysterious, challenging, sometimes frightening journey towards a greater purity of interaction and intention. The inner planet will provide Pluto with a means and a perspective; Pluto will provide the desire, the drive and the will.
Plutonian relationships aren’t for everyone. If you have a lot of air, or prefer peaceful companionship to having your psyche pulled out and splayed all over the place, I wouldn’t recommend them. If you want passion, if you want intimacy, there are other ways. But Pluto associations are unique in their ability to help us get beyond the surface of the mundane world. Not in a dissolving, Neptunian way, but by means of the deep, chthonian mysteries of the realm of matter itself. If you want company on your journey through your own psychological underworld, Pluto is your man.
This post has been republished by permission of the author and appeared in its original form at The Inner Wheel.