Original
Western Astrology

Pluto Retrograde: The Unbearable Lightness of Be-ing

by Jessica Shepherd April 06, 2010 08:23 PM EST

 As I sit down to write this, I receive an email that the cemetary we recently buried my grandmother in, needs the cremation certificate. Oops, I forgot. Hello Pluto retrograde. Today, Pluto, planet of taxes, death, rebirth, resurrection and sex turns retrograde (April 3-Sept 13, 2010). In my opinion, personally or collectively we are not good with handling Pluto. It's hard to effectively deal with what no one wants to either do (die or pay taxes), or talk about (death, sexual taboos). Ahem. We'd rather...not. That's just part of the problem. The other is that Pluto transits are plain slow. Frustratingly and agonizingly...slow. Pluto is the furthest non-planet (since it's untimely demotion) from us, and thus by the time Pluto delivers it's final blow we earthlings are plum tuckered out. So, a level of frustration, fatigue & even flat out denial goes hand in hand with Pluto. We are also dealing with a lack of resources. How to cope with the sheer intensity of this non-planet without cultural support beyond therapy, can be staggering. I'm trying to be positive here, but frankly, Pluto doesn't do Pollyanna positive. The stuff of Pluto is just difficult. There's no getting around it.

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In alchemy, Pluto is associated with the burning stage called calcinatio, that of frustrated desire. Frustrated love, frustrated ambitions, frustrated finances. There's nothing like wanting something or someone you can't have, really bad, to remind you that you're a little tiny human being, just a speck of dust, really, floating around in space. Pluto is the planet over which we have the least control so represents those things in life over which we must allow to transmute, transform, die and be reborn or we our self may risk becoming errr...irrelevant. Best to submit to the slow burn of purification vs. banging head against a wall. 

The goal of calcinatio is to contain the burning, to let everything that is not essential to life, burn off. We logically need a container for this, a place to hold our high levels of frustration. An art form, a practice. It's hard to deal with this stuff directly sometimes so working with dream and subconscious imagery helps. Some images I've been having are of literal burning, or dreams of windstorms so strong the traffic lights bent as people tumbled by like tumble weeds. Pluto isn't comfortable with being revealed, so we may be ashamed or embarrassed to admit our secret desires. Last night I had a dream I was in high school and finally, my elementary school crush kissed me, my name was in lights, and I was riding around on a nuclear missile, showing everyone my 'power'.  Embarrassing stuff to admit!

Come back for astrological tips on how to remain relevant in the face of change, have Plutonian sex, and let it all out. 

 
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Sherene Schostak is a Jungian psychotherapist, author and metaphysician who specializes in helping creative artists transform their addictions and blocks. She has been in private practice in New York City for the past 13 years consulting, writing and... read more

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