Frustrated couple
Western Astrology

Power in Relationships



by Jessica Shepherd April 06, 2012 01:28 PM EST
Power in Relationships

My girlfriend and I met for tea, and one item on the agenda was Pluto & power. She said, 'I realize that I give the powerful people in my life, my power. I'd rather be behind the scenes.' She has Pluto in Libra in the Twelfth House. So do I. Heavy topic for tea-time but my progressed Moon is conjunct Pluto so the timing was perfect. It got me to thinking about personal power in relationships. 

The Pluto in Libra generation* are sorting out power dynamics through intimate commitment, but we also have a wound here; where Pluto falls in our birth chart, there is a wound, which, through healing, we feel on purpose and alive. If we aren’t in our power we can walk through relationship (and life) brooding, feeling emotionally dull, or, as Steven Forrest says, not exactly depressed but blah. That’s because unprocessed wounds take energy, and when we process them we free the energy.

When unprocessed wounds interfere with healthy relating, the balance of power in relationship is always disrupted. It can’t help but be. Imagine trying to have an independent identity with a partner who hasn’t dealt with abandonment/betrayal fears; that person holds more ‘invisible’ power.

Pluto in Libra folks are charged with discovering how they use power in relationship, but wherever Pluto touches a planet in the birth chart that planet is Plutonified and you will face wounding/power. For example, if natal Pluto squares your Moon you will feel the darker dimensions of biological need, nurturance, love because you experienced a wound. But you have an opportunity to heal, to care for your self & others in an empowered way.

How do you handle power in relationship?  Who holds the power? If it’s another, how? What role do you play in allowing them to hold the power?

Points for consideration:

 -It may help to define power. It is strong and influential energy. Power can be persuasive, manipulative, charming or defensive. Power can also be alive, energetic, and make you feel plugged in, purposeful and alive. The nature of power is to remain hidden. That’s where it wields energy.  Pluto is the planet of power; everything I’ve just said about power is true for Pluto.

-The more insidious form of power is control. Control leaves little room for independence, individuality –or- negotiation and problem solving. This kind of control arises from a defense against vulnerability, and deep wounds. It renders the democratic negotiations inherent to relationship void.

-The power balance is in constant change. For example, when one partner needs more from the other partner and, for a time. A power struggle can occur when one partner wants to change something from the way it is/has been. I love this quote (unattributed): "Great ideas alter the power balance in relationships.  That’s why great ideas are initially resisted."

-Consider gender and your family dynamics. For example, women have been historically socialized to defer to men.  Research studies show women are to be less competitive/put forth ideas when in the company of men; separated into ‘women only’ groups, women are more assertive, competitive.

*If you were born between 10/6/71-11/5/83 (except for a brief retrograde in Virgo 4/18-07/30/72) your natal Pluto is in Libra.

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