Pluto is the god of underworld. As the governor of hidden depth in all things, Pluto represents hidden potentials, extreme passions (which are often repressed by society), and a perception that penetrates the darkness in all things – solving mysteries and unlocking new powers (think psychology and molecular physics).
Ascendant is your persona – the mask your wear and show to the world. Your name and all that it represents to you. Because it always opposes the Descendant (the 7th house cusp), Ascendant represents what others (your partner, friends, the public) will see and identify as your unique personality.
Transit or Natal Pluto conjunct, square or opposite Ascendant can suggest the need for the mask to break at one point, so that a different identity can emerge, perhaps one that reflects more of your inner truth.
Pluto conjunct, square or opposite Ascendant: Emergence of the Hidden Self
Natal Pluto in aspect with Ascendant can suggest hidden depth within your personality. At a certain point in life, you might startle everyone by going against the flow to become someone almost unrecognizable from your former self. In relation to the Pluto archetype, such change is often called transformation or empowerment of the personality.
Natal Pluto-Ascendant Aspect: Potential for Prominence
The transformational potential of Natal Pluto conjunct, square or opposite Ascendant can manifest as a rise to prominence and fame, as well as a dramatic change of socioeconomic level. Examples include:
- Sir Richard Branson (Natal Pluto conjunct Ascendant) is famously known for being dyslexic and a high school drop out, but he ended up founding the Virgin Group, became a billionaire and even got knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
- Kurt Cobain (Natal Pluto conjunct Ascendant), the lead singer of Nirvana known for his rise to fame and tragic death – he had extreme difficulty coping with his fame and public image (a new ‘mask’ thrust upon him by the public).
- Christopher Reeve (Natal Pluto conjunct Ascendant), rose to fame through his performance in Superman films. After the fateful accident that made him quadriplegic, he founded Christopher Reeve Foundation and contributed to finding treatments and cures for paralysis.
Transit Pluto conjunct, square or opposite Ascendant: Empowerment of Identity
Similar to natal Pluto-Ascendant aspect, transiting Pluto in hard aspect with the Ascendant might suggest a time when your identity goes through an empowering transformation, in effect making you a different person. Examples include:
- Tony Blair: In May 1997, Tony Blair won a landslide victory to become the youngest Prime Minister of UK – receiving 97% public approval rating by September of 1997. Transit Pluto was opposing his Ascendant throughout 1997, marking a time of extraordinary empowerment.
- Monica Lewinsky: In her TED talk given in March 2015, Monica Lewinsky reemerged into the public eye, but this time as an empowered woman speaking up against cyber bullying. Her TED talk has gone viral, and it’s clear she reclaimed her identity after years of silence. Transiting Pluto was exactly opposing her Ascendant.
Conclusion: Pluto-Ascendant Aspect and Potential for Identity Transformation
All of these examples involve dramatic changes of identity. Even in a ‘normal’ person’s horoscope, natal or transit Pluto-Ascendant aspect can suggest important potentials for radical changes of personality in one’s lifetime.
While not everyone with natal or transit Pluto-Ascendant aspect will be famous, this aspect still carries much potential for rise in social status, and/or a significant deepening of character through powerful life experiences.
Do you have natal or transit Pluto conjunct, square or opposite Ascendant in your horoscope? In what way did your identity go through transformation? Please feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comment section.
Photo: Mariusz Kluzniak