A couple of nights ago, a lesser-known aspect of the Pluto archetype began to dawn on me, and I realized it also has ramifications for the Pluto return happening in the USA right now.
The Pluto archetype struck me as having major associations with things that are condemned to the shadows, out of the public eye, due to what the shallow human psyche deems lovable or unloveable. It has to do with the very nature of taboo, which is where Pluto and Saturn’s interaction lies: it is the things that the Saturnian ego does not want to own publicly, at the risk of earning a “Scarlet letter.”
So, these things are banished, which produces Pluto’s destructive nature: anything left to fester out of the light of conscious awareness for a while builds up pressure. The destructive nature is much like a volcano. It is only destruction, however, because of the way in which we choose to deal with these taboo things.
The destructive nature is derived from the force built up from continuously pushing shit down into the shadows, until whatever was stuffed down one day blows right back up. This is Pluto’s association with catharsis, and even orgasm. It is about eruptions after a build-up of pressure and tension. Earthquakes, as well, for this reason, are associated with the Plutonian archetype, with the way that tectonic plates build pressure over long periods of time, and then release with great destructive force.
Pluto is also about demons that are only demons because we haven’t learned how to love them. Pluto is a demon that stops being a demon when we can give it a hug. Pluto is the child who wants his mother’s love, and only becomes angry, resentful, and vindictive after being neglected by her.
Pluto has this theme of being condemned to the shadows, much like how Hades was in the coin toss with him, Poseidon, and Zeus. It has associations with the idea of receiving the short-end of the stick. Thus, it is condemned to be banished from the light of conscious awareness.
So, how does this apply to the USA Pluto return?
In the USA Pluto return, or the Pluto return of any nation, we see, “what has this nation been hiding?” What has been tucked under the rug and festering, until now? What is ready to explode?
At this time, during the USA Pluto return, we are seeing what’s been hiding. We are seeing, in the public eye, what has been festering, and cannot any longer. And, based on how we’ve chosen to deal with it, it comes back for a great reckoning — perhaps to destroy us.
But, really, Pluto is about wholeness. Pluto’s destructive power comes from the inevitable union with long-forgotten parts of ourselves. The psyche and the world tend towards wholeness, so parts of the self — either the personal self or collective self — that have been divided will always come back into union, whether that process is pretty or not.
So, like a volcano, it union usually happens explosively, and it’s not always beautiful, and is actually often times very ugly — in exact proportion to how little we loved it, and how ugly we viewed it. Pluto has this association with deep, deep, deep resentments, that are held in for an extended period of time, that one day erupt like a volcano, with enormous destructive power.
So, Pluto is, in many ways, the archetypal villain. One only need recall or watch the story of the Joker in the latest movie starring Joaquin Phoenix (what an appropriate name!) to get an idea of the picture I am trying to paint. The villain becomes the protagonist in this very special movie, telling the story from his perspective, helping us gain compassion for villains.
We see that, often times, what creates a villain is being denied love over an extended period of time — and that is the expression of the Plutonian archetype I am trying to get at.
In this movie, the man who becomes Joker is forgotten, rejected, abused, and spit upon by his society for an extended period of time. A man so pure-hearted (at first), yet so unloved, so rejected, so tattered and condemned to the shadows, and betrayed by his own society, that, day by day, you see how the daily tragedy of his life makes him become the villain.
And, you see that whether he is the hero or the villain is entirely subjective. To the rest of Gotham’s underbelly, to the unloved and (rightfully) vindictive masses, who are also betrayed and forgotten by a corrupt, evil, and hateful society/government, he is the hero.
So, in that movie, we see one major expression of the Plutonian archetype. The underdog made small (dwarfed, perhaps?), that actually has incredible destructive power. Pluto is things left in the shadows, unloved, betrayed, condemned, left to rot, and FAILED by the conditional love of their society/those around them, that, one day, erupt with terribly destructive and vengeful force.
What have we kept in the shadows? Who did we banish? When do they finally snap and erupt?
We see how it’s THAT rejection and THAT lack of love that destroys them over time, creating their destructive force. The destructive force of Pluto is those aspects of us that we destroy and corrupt over time, that eventually come back to bite us in the ass and destroy us right back. We destroy them until they come to destroy us.
So, Pluto, in a sense, is about karma. This is the Plutonian archetype of vindication and revenge: it is the way in which rejected, forgotten, and banished parts of ourselves come back for union. And it’s fucking messy.
It is the way that all we’ve done to them come back to be done to us, because we WERE doing it to ourselves the entire time. Oneness comes with certain responsibilities! This happens on both the micro and macro level — in our own psyches with repressed aspects of ourselves, and in the societal level with rejected aspects of the collective self.
You may have already guessed the very specific way in which this is happening with the USA Pluto return.
When we have a school shooter, what is it they are asking for? What is it they are telling us? I am not sympathizing with the school shooter, all I am saying is — actually, yeah, fuck it, I am sympathizing with the school shooter, in the same way that watching Phoenix’s incredible performance in the Joker allows us to understand the villain.
If we had a way to see the life story of a school shooter from their perspective, in great detail, from the very beginning, we may be able to come to a sense of sympathy, or at least slightly increased understanding, of the tragedy of their story. The acts are unforgivable, and a villain is a villain — but equally unforgivable is what and who created that villain in the first place. Who was the original villain, that bred the new one? We must ask these questions if we want to stop creating new villains.
(“As long as it’s defined in terms of good and evil, from the mosque to the cathedral, the hurt people, will hurt people.”)
Our school shooters are our modern symbol of the resurgence of the forgotten, unloved, and rejected underbelly of the US nation. In the same way that the Joker, in Phoenix’s rendition of him, was failed and left to rot by his society our school shooters are coming back with terribly vengeful and destructive force. And that is because they have been forgotten, failed, and left to rot.
It’s this forgotten, rejected, unloved, and banished part of our nation that eventually comes back to bite us in the ass. So, I believe really Pluto is about our return to wholeness, through the shadow. It’s about shadow integration, which is an ugly process.
The way that’s looking with the USA Pluto return, with our return to wholeness with those things we’ve condemned, betrayed, banished, and forgotten: that’s our school shooters. The Pluto return is about all those ugly things we’ve tucked under the rug for so long coming back to bite us in the ass. And that’s exactly what our school shooters are: those people left in the shadows who do not remain there forever.
If we make Pluto synonymous to shadow, we can interpret this as the shadow return. The return of our shadow. The resurgence of our shadow.
Pluto is the archetypal villain, that only from a very un-integrated and misunderstanding lens, is the villain. Really, all that each villain is doing, is showing you, “This is how much love I was denied.” Whatever innocence, love, and purity within each villain we destroyed, is the very same degree to which they will come back and destroy us.
So, the USA Pluto return, my friends, is about us seeing who we’ve forgotten, who we’ve tucked under the rug, and who we’ve failed. And we are now seeing all of that hurt erupting like a terrible volcano with incredible destructive force. The Pluto return is about shoving in our face, THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVEN’T LOVED.
And, it’s coming back whether you like it or not. It’s being put in your face whether you like it or not. And, it will destroy you, unless you can learn to love it, and integrate it.
It’s about, “this is what you’ve been hiding. Ready or not, here I come.” And, the way that you survive, really, is through unconditional love. And I don’t say that empty of meaning as it so commonly is thrown around in the New Age — it really is about letting go of your preconceived, Saturnian notions of what we can and cannot accept, what is OK to be and what is NOT ok to be, what’s desirable what’s not; we MUST own and accept it, whether we want to or not, or it will destroy that structure to create something that will.
A great way to explain the Pluto archetype, to sum it all up, everything I have said, is that “a child not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” The destruction and chaos we are now experiencing is directly because those rejected by the village are coming back to demand the warmth they were denied. The forces from the shadows that come out of nowhere, and threaten our very destruction, are about whether or not we can learn to love them; and if we cannot, it will destroy us, because it is a part of us, whether we like it or not.
It’s basically saying, this is a part of yourself that non-negotiably is here now, and cannot hide anymore. It is here. If whatever ego structure — or, in the macro level, societal structure — you’ve built, cannot integrate that, will be destroyed so a new one can be erected that will.
If whatever ego or societal structure you’ve built cannot hold and accept this force coming back from the shadows, it will be destroyed so a new one can be built that can. So that’s where the destructive power of Pluto really comes in. It’s about, “this is those raw, taboo aspects of yourself, or of society, that the Saturnian boundaries have blocked or disowned due to it being deemed unfit for the public eye, and it is now saying, ‘ready or not, here I come. I am a part of you whether you like it or not. Integrate me, or die.’”
So, with the USA Pluto return, we are seeing the very things, the very people, that we’ve condemned to the shadows, have failed, and have been forgotten. All of our unloved youth are emerging from the underbelly and showing us just how much we’ve hurt them, just how much we’ve failed them, and just how much we’ve destroyed them.
I think all of the confusion the USA is going through really has to do with all of the things it’s hidden from itself coming into the public eye to be cleansed. It’s about all of the forgotten and unloved coming back to being integrated. For the forgotten, downtrodden, failed by the system, in plain sight saying, “Hello.”
The only way out is to own their feelings; accept those feelings; and create a new paradigm that doesn’t cast them into the shadows like before. Pluto is about the rejects, and I don’t mean the Uranian rebel archetype/the anarchist weirdos, nor am I discussing the Neptunian mystic detached from society with great perspective and wisdom. I am talking about the Plutonian castaway, hidden in a cave, unloved, rejected, told “you’re not worthy of the light of day, nor of love; you’re ugly, you do not deserve to be cherished.”
Pluto is the Beast condemned by society as a pariah, ugly, outcast, who only stops being a Beast when Beauty comes to redeem him. Only through loving what we’ve been taught to fear does the Beast stop being destructive. Only then does he become the handsome Prince.
It’s about that reject, in the purest sense of the word, whom we’ve failed, coming back into the light of conscious awareness once again, saying,
“Did you miss me?”