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Understanding and Navigating Confrontations with the Plutonian Shadow

Pluto may have been demoted to a dwarf planet by astronomers, but there is nothing pint-sized about the profound influence of its astrological force. In fact, we are currently seeing the workings of Pluto right now, in the aftermath of the 2016 American presidential election.

Two of the most difficult dynamics brought to consciousness by Pluto are the operations and abuses of power, and especially of the psychological concept of the Shadow -- those unappealing, unruly, uncooth parts of ourselves that we have routinely rejected and tried to bury. Pluto brings shadow material to the surface because it must be addressed, in our own psyches, in our relationships and attitudes, and in society at large. These dynamics of dealing with power and dealing with the Shadow were central to the campaigns, and to the outcome.

Among the associations related to Pluto, in his Greek form as Hades, is the assignment of Pluto as god of the underworld where everything we can't stand and have judged as wrong, bad, and evil is consigned. Hades as you probably know is another word for Hell. (This is not at all the same as the shamanic Lower World, by the way, but I'll address that elsewhere.)

Pluto's underworld on the individual level is the realm of the psychological Shadow. It is where we try to push the wounds of painful experiences. And it's where they fester until they must boil over into eruptions of hate and violence for some when a period of futility and rejection have been internalized into dark energy that is difficult to contain.

In short Pluto's positive intention is to get us to confront our Shadow before it reaches this disruptive, eruptive point.

So, one of the more important things we are being forced into right now, psycho-energetically speaking, is in really looking at how we meet the confrontational demands for Plutonian change, which include:

  • recovering from profound disillusionment

  • restoring lost trust or faith

  • rising above fear

  • using fear to fuel commitment

  • rededicating ourselves to raising consciousness with integrity

  • reframing descriptions to eliminate the language sanctioning of violence

  • resisting intolerance disguised as objectivity

  • refusing to accept malicious acts of bigotry

  • resolving to speak truth to power

  • sheltering the vulnerable

For example, maybe the challenge for me is in literally stepping between the bully and the bullied -- will I have the courage to do that? Or is my innate Plutonian strength more on the intellectual level of raising consciousness, and if so, how can I use that ability?

Maybe the challenge for a friend of mine is in trusting or loving again as freely as she did before, despite feeling like the giving of such trust and love was spit upon. Or is her Plutonian challenge to be used more for sheltering the vulnerable or helping herself and others recovering faith after disillusionment?

Each of us will have different demands to respond to, and how we choose to step up or side step will determine how we shape our own future. Bad things may happen, and as individuals we may not be able to prevent them, but we can work on keeping our true self from being destroyed.

We are all being challenged first and foremost to look deeply and honestly at how we tend to respond and want to respond to the challenges before us and the needs for listening, understanding, holding power and compassion, and shining light on what must not be tolerated in our quest to raise personal spiritual vibration, and must not be allowed in a democracy.


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