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Pluto Rules Aries and Scorpio

Pluto Rules Aries and Scorpio

A while back I saw this powerful piece by Dane Rudhyar explaining why Pluto should be associated with Aries. Today we revisit why we must all descend into “the underworld of existence” from time to time so we can purify our personalities and become the living representative of courage, truth, and integrity.

Before we go into this, I’ll share how I came to understand Pluto’s rulership of Aries. Rudhyar had finished The Sun is Also a Star just before we met twice in 1979-80, and the concepts we’re exploring here is related to what he offered in that work about the octave relationship between Mars and Pluto. If you’re not clear about “planetary octaves,” I give an explanation in Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend. Planetary octave relationships are the key to understanding how the outer spiritual planets have their energies “stepped down” by the inner planets which are their “lower octaves.” These octaves are how the “above” is translated into the “below” in our experience, and how the invisible spiritual energies of human existence manifest in our world.

Interestingly, my old friend Carl Payne Tobey was the first to offer that Pluto rules Aries due to the mathematical sequence put into play with the discovery of Uranus and its attribution with Aquarius, and then Neptune which they made the ruler of Pisces. You can see the logic of giving the rulership of Aries to Pluto, since it completes the sequence. He also posited planets beyond Pluto to rule Taurus and Gemini, as well as other astrological innovations, long before anyone else (including Rudhyar) who no doubt picked up on Tobey’s work at some point in their long careers.

I discovered Carl’s work in the mid-70s, and it made perfect sense for Pluto to rule Aries. I have Sun in Aries, Mars in Aries, Mercury conjunct the Midheaven in Aries, and they’re all in favorable aspect to my Pluto rising in Leo. Because of my own experience of these energies, I perfectly understand and totally accept Pluto’s rulership of Aries! However, I also see Plutonic associations with Scorpio, which led me to the question of how this fits into the sequence of Pluto ruling Aries?

I explain this as well in Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend. As we look at the traditional rulers of the signs beginning with the Moon/Sun ruling Cancer/Leo, as we move in both directions we see the sequence of Mercury (Gemini/Virgo), Venus (Taurus/Libra), Mars (Aries/Scorpio), Jupiter (Pisces/Sagittarius), and finally Saturn which rules Capricorn/Aquarius, the signs at the other end of the Cancer/Leo axis. And if we use the outer planet sequence we have, and put Pluto also as co-ruler of Scorpio, we see a natural gap in Sagittarius and Capricorn where Neptune and Uranus naturally fit.

When I realized the possibility that Neptune is the spiritual ruler of Sagittarius and Uranus of Capricorn, I began to develop my understanding that each sign has a "worldly ruler," and a "spiritual ruler." For example, Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces in worldly affairs, but Neptune rules those signs in the spiritual realm. Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius in worldly affairs, but Uranus rules these signs in spiritual, transpersonal, and global matters. I've certainly known Saturnian Aquarians, as well as Uranian Capricorns.

The same concept applies to Mars and Pluto being the lower octave and higher octave rulers of Aries and Scorpio. We certainly should not dismiss Pluto’s rulership of Scorpio, nor should we take the attitude it must be “one or the other.” Pluto rules both Aries and Scorpio on the spiritual level, while Mars rules these signs in worldly affairs.

Rudhyar uses the term “associated” to describe the relationship of the outer planets to the signs, because of the way he viewed the evolutionary process. I look at it that the planet has a “department of labor” and the sign is the specific way that work is expressed within the whole cycle. Perhaps both are correct. Anyway, here’s what Dane Rudhyar wrote about the Plutonic dimension of experience in The Sun is Also a Star in this short section on “Pluto and the Experience of Depth:”

Germination is a Plutonian process, and this is why in astrology Pluto should "rule" Aries, the vernal equinox sign of the zodiac, symbol of the creative impulse which initiates all new life-processes. However, Pluto is associated with Aries rather than ruling it...

The signs following Capricorn (the apex of Saturn's power) correspond to the basic phases in the process of transformation symbolized by Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Thus Uranus is associated with Aquarius, Neptune with Pisces, Pluto with Aries, and an assumed Proserpine with Taurus.

[As an aside, in my own work, I believe TransPluto is the spiritual ruler of Taurus/Libra, and while it has associations with Percephone, it also seems to have primary associations with Demeter, or Parvati. And now back to Rudhyar.]

Pluto, however, is the challenger of all that Mars represents in the Sun-to-Saturn system. Pluto's impersonality challenges Mars' essentially personal-emotional character. The challenges occur in Scorpio as well as in Aries...Pluto, on the contrary, essentially refers to the focusing of the power (or the activity) of some kind of "group" (concrete or transcendental) upon and through an individual who finds himself invested with that power, a power expressing or seeking a centering purpose.

To Mars' intensely personal action, Pluto answers with a collective urge for activity, a collective urge seeking a mind or a will that, by giving it a conscious focus, will provide a center from which the purpose may be disseminated.

At the highest level Pluto serves to focus galactic energies upon mankind through individuals ready undeviatingly to assume a role of destiny; and in that sense Pluto's action is "vertical," not "horizontal." At a social-cultural level Pluto represents the deep-seated urge in a collectivity — a nation, a social group, a profession — to formulate through especially gifted persons the characteristic quality ("style" or way of life) of the historical stage of evolution at which the group or the nation operates.

While Neptune represents the general pressure of a collectivity upon the individuals which it includes — and thus, for instance, signifies the individual's subservience to fashion and propaganda of all types — Pluto in a birth chart indicates the possibility for a person to become the active mouthpiece of the group's spirit through positive, creative action...

Chaos represents the undifferentiated primeval condition of matter, the residua of extinct forms of energy, the "dark soil" or dust of past universes. Every creative activity in its essential character is a descent into matter. The universal One in Its diffuse and undifferentiated state, spreads out in infinite Space, seeks to focus itself into a particular one, the source of a new manifestation; and to do that it must become centered in matter.

We interpret this action symbolically by speaking of a "descent" into the depths and the darkness. All such descents are motivated by a desire for new and more inclusive experiences in some form of life...

At the level of our present Western society and, in a more general sense, of what the Hindu philosopher called Kali Yuga (the Greek Iron Age, the Age of the Dark Mother, Kali), Plutonian descents have a tragic character, for individuals and nations have always to meet many dark and fear-full memories. These memories have to be met in the underground darkness if there is to be new and creative beginnings.

This is, in Jungian terms, the meeting with the Shadow. Nevertheless if this meeting is courageously and unfalteringly experienced, the Shadow is transformed into God-in-the-depth, the God of the mysteries, the "living" God who polarizes God-in-the-highest, and thus reveals the essential unity of matter and spirit, and also of failure and success — or better still the changeless, all-encompassing, and ineffable Harmony of Non-being and Being, or Potentiality and Actuality .''

We humans all have certain elements of our “hero’s journey” in common, among them being the occasional descent into the “underworld” of existence. This is part of our eternal spiritual field of evolution which operates on many frequencies of our experience. All of it serves us as we learn proper functioning on the material, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels of existence across the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal dimensions of Life.

Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and TransPluto work out on every level in every dimension to bring us to spiritual Individualization, awareness of collective pressures, both conscious and unconscious, and the eternal process of purification and transformation so we may rise like the Phoenix Firebird out of the ashes of whatever we must leave behind on any level of life. The outermost of the Cosmic Quartet, Trans-Pluto, guarantees us redemption as we learn how to use the spiritual tools at our disposal to bring the beauty of a new Spring into our lives after the barrenness of “the Winters of our discontent.”

The tallest trees can stand against the strongest winds only because they have very deep roots. Pluto, representing our need to journey through the underworld of existence at least once in our life, teaches us to be at ease and learn as much as we can from our personal hells so we may become the voice of courage for others who fear the journey through the underworld.

As we embrace Pluto, we may be put under impossible pressure in the darkness and heat of uncontrollable purification processes, but once we make friends with our inner Saturn, allowing our “Spiritual Master and Spiritual Friend” to guide us through the radical transformations of purifying the human into the trans-human, leaving behind fears which have no substance, we come out as radically different beings than we were before we took our journey into the underworld.

I discuss these things and more in Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend since the dance of the planets from Saturn out to TransPluto shows us the moves to make in our journey “from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from death to Immortality.” When your inner Saturn makes friends with Pluto, you will never tremble in fear at anything, ever again. You will stand as the psychopomp who can guide others through the underworld of their existence, countering fear and confusion at every turn, because you ARE a Spiritual Adult who no longer fears the darkness.

This is the “Great Work” which the alchemists of antiquity spoke of, which we all must do in our own way and time. So take heart, since no matter what you have to go through, you always have the promise of coming out of your “night of the Soul” as purified gold, without fear, without confusion, manifesting your power to steer your transformational process through the storms of life, fully aware, fully loving, and confident in your wisdom.

Reprinted on with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected. 

© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson


© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson -

About the author:

Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
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Reprinted on crystalwind.cawith written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.

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