Pluto Says You Can’t Always Trust Your Feelings

Pluto and Emotions

Sayings like “feelings never lie,” or “trust in your gut feelings” reflect the importance of being in touch with our emotions.  While it’s true that your feelings can pick up subtle signals that your conscious mind may miss, there are times you must choose not to trust your feelings.

How Feelings are Born and Stored Within

Feelings occur as a result of experience.  From the time you were born, your mind began to collect and store all of your experiences in terms of feelings and emotions.  Astrologically, Moon symbolizes the inner repository that stores all emotional impressions (hence its association with memory).

The store of emotional impressions can be pictured as a vast ocean within your psyche.  This inner ocean has multiple currents and undercurrents to represent your various needs, desires and fears.  Moon cycles through all of these emotional currents every month, while other planets such as Pluto tend to stay in one area for a very long time.


Pluto and Repressed Emotions: When Not to Trust Your Feelings

Pluto controls currents in the deepest, darkest part of the psyche, representing particularly intense feelings of shame, hatred and trauma.  These feelings tend to be repressed when they are first experienced (typically during childhood, but not always).

Such repression occurred automatically as a defensive measure, because it was not safe for a child (i.e. you) to feel or express these emotions at the time.  Left untended, however, these feelings tend to become twisted, and begin to negatively affect your self-image.

Noel Tyl said “We easily turn feelings into facts,” believing things like “because I’ve felt worthless for so long, it must be true!”  (Substitute “worthless” with anything that you feel to be true: unlovable, not good enough, etc.)

It’s these types of feelings that you must not trust.


Pluto Transit and Emergence of Repressed Feelings

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Your Natal Mars: Keys to Passionate Creativity

Astrological Mars - Passionate Creativity

Mars represents the thrill of the hunt, or the aliveness you feel when you are exerting all you have in order to win.  In your birth chart, it is your passion in motion.

Mars Symbol: Keys to Creativity and Passion

Mars symbol represents male sexual penetration.  Thus the energy Mars symbolizes is intimately tied to your creative impulse (its pursuit of Venusian beauty and ideals results in the creation of something new.)

By reflecting on this symbol, we can appreciate a few components of creativity:

1) Penetration: Digging deeply into one’s chosen field of study is a masculine quality (regardless of your gender).  The idea of penetration suggests deep involvement with a subject or a person, not just on an intellectual (Mercurial) level.  In other words, creativity comes from deep involvement.

It’s very difficult to experience passionate creativity when you are just scratching the surface of things.  If you want to experience more creativity, try going deeper into your path (work, hobby, relationship, etc) instead of jumping from one thing to another.  [Note Mars’ classic rulership of Scorpio reflects this idea of masculine depth and fixedness of purpose.]

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Relationship Astrology: Sun-Venus Aspect & Midpoint

Sun Venus Image

Sun – Venus ASPECT: Too Sweet?

In transit or solar arc, Sun-Venus contact suggests energized social and/or romantic activities.  Unless it occurs under a more serious long-term influence (e.g. Pluto, Saturn etc), we can expect this to be a pleasant period where you might spend more time enjoying other people’s company than usual.

Natal conjunction (or semisquare) of Sun-Venus often suggests a pleasant personality.  Venus function tends to help form bonds between people, so a healthy expression of this placement will be expressed as the genuine ability to attract and befriend others.

The only issue here might be that Venus’ focus tends to be a little shallow (for better or worse), so a lot of ego energy (the Sun) being focused on her sphere could starve other parts of your psyche (Mars, Uranus and Pluto, especially).  Young person with Sun-Venus aspect might refuse to see the darker side of her friends’ character, and may end up being hurt or disappointed upon finding out.

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Sun-Mercury Aspect & Midpoint in Astrology


Sun-Mercury ASPECT: Ego-Energy infusing the Thought System

Sun represents the energy of your evolving self.  Mercury represents how you need to think and communicate in order to be effective. The two ‘planets’ in aspect evoke the feel of ego’s energy infusing the thought system.

Sun conjunct Mercury: Idealization as a Defense

Traditional astrology describes the danger of Mercury “burning up” in proximity to the Sun, thereby losing objectivity.  In childhood the emerging ego could immerse itself in a web of comfortable thoughts and ideas, thus distancing itself from (and defending against) painful reality.  A tendency toward idealization is a definite possibility.

As the self matures, the combination could evolve into a strong intellectual gift of one kind or another.  The nature of sign occupied by Sun and Mercury will significantly affect this pair’s expression.  Fire and Air signs tend toward brilliant expression of thoughts, whereas Water and Earth may suggest contemplation and discernment.

Sun/Mercury MIDPOINT: The Point of Intellectual Self Expression

Here are some examples of the potential manifestation of Sun/Mercury midpoint:

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Ascendant, 1st House and the Crisis of Identity

stones1st house, representing “identity,” is the focal point of the 4 Angular (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) houses.  Poorly defined identity makes one feel awkward in social settings, and can limit career achievement because ambition cannot form on a weak ego.  If you do not have a secure identity, it may feel as if you aren’t quite sure where your place is in society.


Identity Needs to Be Defined Through Tension

The process of identity formation is similar to developing a sculpture: Knocking off chunks of stones from a block of marble to approach a clearly defined shape.   The further the sculptor gets in his work, the more refined his tools become in order to smooth out rough edges.  The process involves a lot of force (or tension) being applied to the block of marble.  

This tension, essential for identity formation, is often defined by challenges.  Your natal chart can reveal what challenges you faced (and perhaps still do) in the process of developing and refining your identity.

How to Assess Tension in the 1st House & Ascendant

The patterns suggesting identity development concerns include the following:

1) The ruler of Ascendant is under high developmental tension (i.e. receives a hard aspect from Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto)

2) Hard aspect (conjunction, square, opposition or quindecile) to the Ascendant by the planets mentioned above, or their presence within the 1st house

Interpreting Planets on the Ascendant

If one or more of the above mentioned planets are on your Ascendant, or form a tense aspect to it, you may face following challenges in the process of identity formation:

Mars on the Ascendant suggests that your ego is challenged to grow in assertive, action oriented ways.  Often, physical activities are important to discharge energy.  Courage to display leadership, as well as a certain degree of cooperative attitude, will be necessary in order to avoid the lone-wolf tendency.

Saturn on the Ascendant suggests the need for heavy-lifting in terms of mental attitude, especially when you’re young.  Your identity is strengthened through assuming & meeting responsibility, as well as creating and accomplishing goals.  As you get accustomed to completing challenging projects and making things happen, the heaviness turns into solid self-confidence.

Uranus on the Ascendant suggests intensified ego needs, as well as the desire to somehow make a statement of one’s individuality.  There is something special and intense about you.  Channeled effectively, this energy could help you excel in your field of work.  Otherwise much of the energy might be spent on ego-aggrandizement.

Neptune on the Ascendant suggests ego suppression and bewilderment. Identity formation might have been especially challenging for you, if your special sensitivity was not recognized by your parents.  The self is challenged to grow through the integration of creative vision and aesthetic ideals.  Working with the formless, unseen dimensions of life might be pivotal in your identity development.

Pluto on the Ascendant suggests the ego’s need for assimilating depth and death concerns.  It is said that this position suggests a difficult birth, which might impact the child’s overall attitude toward life and survival.  Identity is empowered through dealing with or uncovering secrets and hidden truths.

Transits and Solar Arc to the Ascendant: Refinement of Identity through Time

As we go through different periods of life, we are continually challenged to develop and refine our identity.  During heavy transit or solar arc to the Ascendant by the planets mentioned in this article, you may want to consider whether you’ve become stagnant in your self image, and explore new activities and directions for growth suggested here.


photo: Peter Allen

Planets and Positive Emotions

Positive Emotions
When functioning normally, each planet in your horoscope helps to generate a certain set of positive emotions.  Here is a simple table to show you some of the positive emotions associated with each planet.

Planet Positive Emotions Generated By the Planet
Sun Pride, Self expression
Moon Satisfaction of Core Emotional Needs (sign-dependent)
Mercury Curiosity
Venus Pleasure, Harmony, Peace
Mars Vigor
Jupiter Hope for Reward
Saturn Control
Uranus Innovation, Authenticity
Neptune Wonder, Inspiration
Pluto Regeneration, Empowerment


Isn’t it interesting that missing even one of these planetary functions could generate feelings of unhappiness?  Consider a few scenarios:

  • Lack of healthy Mars (vigor) function means lethargy – it’s difficult to get up in the morning.
  • Jupiter’s “Hope for Reward” equals a “vision of a better future.”  If your Jupiter function isn’t working well, you might start believing that nothing better will happen in the future, and become depressed.
  • Without Saturn’s sense of necessary control, you may end up feeling victimized by life, unable to focus yourself enough to accomplish meaningful goals.
  • When Neptune is ignored, you turn your back on your dreams and inspiration.  You may end up with the sense of quiet desperation, asking yourself “Is this all there is to life?”
  • Without Pluto, you may become weighed down by burden of your past, unable to renew yourself through catharsis and elimination of toxic emotional residues.

Heavy Aspect Tension Signals Challenges to Overcome

Nothing in a horoscope can prevent a planet to function well and generate positive emotions.  However, a presence of heavy developmental tension (i.e. hard aspect by Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto) often suggests that a challenge has to be overcome before the planets involved can begin to function well.

Peregrine Planet Tends to Become Hyperactive

If a planet is peregrine (i.e. unaspected by another planet by a major aspect), its function may go into overdrive and turn excessive.  Example: Mercury peregrine could make the mind work overtime, so much so that it tends toward excessive analysis or criticism instead of (or, in addition to) generating positive emotions of curiosity.

Retrograde Planet May Require Special Effort

When a planet is retrograde, straightforward expression tends to become challenging.  You may need to make a conscious effort in order to tap into the positive emotions associated with the planet. Example: Someone with Jupiter retrograde may have to consciously cultivate a positive vision of the future in order to maintain a positive attitude.

In Closing: Horoscope as a Diagnostic Tool for Emotional Well Being

Looking at the table above, do you feel a lack of certain positive emotion?  Your natal chart may hold a clue as to why that emotion may be difficult for you to experience naturally.

If there is a heavy tension placed upon a natal planet by transiting Saturn or an outer planet, check to see if feeling the positive emotions associated with that planet suddenly became difficult (or somehow different) during the transit.

If you become aware of a blockage, you may be able to activate the missing positive emotion through conscious effort.  Examples: Mars can be invigorated through exercise; Jupiter can be lifted up through gratitude and faith.

Looking at your horoscope this way, astrology can be used as a real-time diagnostic tool for your emotional well-being.


photo: Werner Kunz

Pluto and Perspective: The Moment of Transformation


One of the keywords for Pluto is perspective.  Often, the most significant moment in our life comes from a small shift in perspective.  It could be a very simple idea that changes everything (such as: you’re forgiven, or your mother really loved you.)  People pay a lot to go to workshops or therapists seeking just such a shift of perspective.

Shift in perspective leads to empowerment.  In financial history, the idea of compound interest was so powerful that it was initially regarded as sinful or immoral.  Now the idea governs and empowers financial institutions and individual investors alike.  All it took was a shift in perspective – what used to be considered taboo and immoral is now embraced by all.

Could there be other such ideas that, if embraced, could empower your personal or business life drastically?  You bet.

Pluto and the Moment of Transformation

Whenever Pluto approaches key areas in your horoscope, think in terms of shifting perspective regarding the planet and houses involved.  The change of your view may be subtle, and may even seem insignificant.  But like an aikido master subduing an opponent with minimal force, the right change in perspective has great leverage.

Especially noteworthy transits include Pluto squaring its natal position (a significant shift in perspective), Pluto in hard aspect with the Sun, Moon or the Angles (change in the way we view ourselves, our needs and emotions, or our relationships and profession, respectively.)

Shift of Perspective Involves Emotional Experience

Plutonian experience often involves birth or death situations.  When transiting Pluto squared his natal Pluto, a businessman found his perspective shift through a birth of his granddaughter.  His tender emotional connection with her transformed him, and gave him a whole new view of life.

Plutonian shift of perspective is characterized by its emotional immediacy.  We experience the shift firsthand, and no one can take it away from us afterwards because its ours.

Pluto and the Fear of Change

A shift of perspective happens only rarely, because it threatens our ego.  Our familiar perspective, however flawed, keeps us feeling safe precisely because it is familiar.  This is why it’s difficult to break the habit of depression – the sufferer would rather remain depressed than feel the fear of adopting a new worldview.

Closing Thoughts and Questions

If you’re going through a Pluto transit, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you experiencing a shift in perspective, perhaps being forced to reconsider your long-held belief?
  • What ideas seem taboo or scary, but could actually be empowering?
  • Is there a topic, a person or a feeling that you habitually run away from?  What if you confronted them instead?

The key seems to be in creating the space for a new perspective to emerge.  Possible activities for this purpose could include meditation, journaling, counseling and therapy sessions.  A skilled counselor may be able to suggest a single change in your thinking that can resolve multiple emotional issues.  Such simple but powerful shift of perspective is the essence of Plutonian transformation.


(photo credit: hjjanisch@flickr)

Neptune Aspects: Dissolving Archetypal Boundaries

Sea Wall

Neptune represents dissolution of boundaries, which can manifest in a thousand different ways.  Here we’ll explore the interpretation of natal or transiting Neptune aspects.

Neptune – Sun aspect: Sun represents the sense of self, so a strong contact from Neptune threatens to melt down the boundaries of the ego.  In a best case this can heighten intuition or a sense of inspiration (accessing the previously unknown psychic resource).  In other cases there may be a possibility of confusion (losing the framework of where one stands) or deception (suppression of authenticity).

Neptune – Moon aspect: Often a special sensitivity is added to emotional needs.  There could be refinement through aesthetic pursuits or spiritual studies.  There could be a strong awareness of one’s own subconscious that manifests in the form of dreams or imagination.  Being grounded becomes key.

Neptune – Mercury aspect: Mercury represents the conscious mind, whereas Neptune represents the massive sea of subconscious impressions.  In this aspect, the conscious mind could become an explorer of deep feelings and visions, communicating and accessing profound depth.  Or the mind could be prone to fantastic imaginings, not fully connecting with the here and now.

Neptune – Venus aspect: When boundaries melt away in love, often a strong romantic tendency results.  There could be a tendency to lose oneself in love (resulting in confusion), or potential for extending love to a great number of people (resulting in compassion).  Aesthetic sensitivity could be heightened dramatically.

Neptune – Mars aspect: Mars represents our methods of action. When Neptune dissolves the boundary of Mars’ procedures, an imaginative quality enters all of our actions.  Because Mars is most often associated with action, this combination has potential for inspired, visionary action.  When not grounded, vision and imagination could overwhelm and paralyze the decision-making process, resulting in loss of focus.

Neptune – Jupiter aspect: When boundaries disappear in Jupiter’s higher mental pursuits, there is no stopping the enthusiasm.  There could be grand idealism with a spiritual or philosophical bent.  Lofty philanthropic vision may require a focus of action to bring it down to earth.  If the primary focus is on having fun, extreme self-indulgence could result.

Neptune – Saturn aspect: Saturn builds order and structure in life.  When Saturn’s boundaries are dissolved, you could feel a real loss of control that may even lead to depression.  Ambition could go to sleep as you question the meaning of working so hard.  After a deep contemplation, you may emerge with a less rigid sense of goals and inspired long range plans.

Neptune – Uranus aspect: Uranus intensifies the individuation process.  When boundaries dissolve in the course of self-realization, intense creativity or spiritual sensitivity could awaken.  In a less developed ego, Neptune’s effect could result in a blurry self-image and questionable independence.

Neptune – Pluto aspect: Pluto represents the dark, primal part of our subconscious.  When Pluto’s boundaries are dissolved, our consciousness opens up to a deep and powerful undercurrent of psychic energy.  There may be unusual, supernatural experiences or sensitivities.  Interest in the occult or other realities may emerge.


In Closing: Neptune’s Gift

Neptune represents our mind at its vastest, unbounded state.  When Neptune archetype is activated, the concept of time often ceases, and ego awareness fades into the background.  Through such experience, we expand our self-awareness and become more present to all aspects of our being.

All Neptune aspects could be viewed as contacts with the unbounded sea of impressions within your subconscious.  Learning to recognize and direct Neptune’s inspirational energies can dramatically enrich your day-to-day experience.


Uranus in Astrology: Breaking Free from Old Patterns

Uranus in Astrology

Emphasized Uranus, either in natal chart or through transit & solar arc, seems to grant us the capacity to ignore rules and traditions that keep us stuck in a rut.  Uranus represents our ability to think outside of the box, as well as deviate from the unspoken code of conduct imposed on us by others or (more often) ourselves.

If some people with strong Uranus emphasis choose illegal means to get what they want, it’s not because they lack conscience – they’re merely more able to ignore rules of morality imposed upon them by society (all revolutionaries, by definition, break rules.)

Uranus Aspect in Natal Chart or Transit & Solar Arc

Uranus involved with 7th house or its ruler suggests an involvement with alternative thinkers or individualists that break rules in various ways.  The suggestion here is that such influence may be necessary in order for you to break out of your limiting patterns.

Uranus – Sun aspect suggests a drive to break free from the mold, by becoming someone different from your former self.  Reinventing the self does not always work out positively, however – some become more withdrawn and reclusive under this placement, moving into a fringe of law and society.

Uranus – Moon aspect represents emotional shock or turmoil, and the drive to escape it.  Some people shut down in order to distance themselves from the pain.  Other people renew themselves with intensity, investing all to fulfill their needs.

Uranus – Mercury aspect suggests the need to know or think of something new, as well as intense fear of boredom.  There may be nervous drive and anxiety, and an escape into the world of abstract ideas.

Uranus – Venus aspect suggests the need to extricate oneself from stifling relationships.  In both love and friendship, there tends to be a drive to seek excitement through people.

Uranus – Mars aspect may manifest as a burst of anger at any obstacles.  The feel is that of a sudden attack in order to win.  This aspect intensifies the Uranian drive for freedom and the need to extricate oneself from confining circumstance.

Uranus – Jupiter aspect suggests the drive to broaden one’s worldview.  There may be a tendency to feel constrained by one’s own culture or religion, which leads one to seek out new knowledge.  There is also a strong drive toward optimism.

Uranus – Saturn aspect represents a clash between the old and new: Valuing the old, yet seeing the need for change.  This could manifest as frustration with the world, or a patient resolve to effect change.

Uranus – Neptune aspect could lead one to reach out for new inspiration, or escape into fantasy and intoxication.  Neptune lures us with the promise of freedom from difficulty – but the easy way out tends to be costly.

Uranus – Pluto aspect suggests a deep desire to right a wrong.  There may be a need to extricate the self from negative or malicious circumstance – and perhaps a drive to help others do the same.

In Closing: When Your Old Pattern No Longer Works

Living under Saturn’s inertia, which could be thought of as “repeating what worked for us over the years,” our thinking and behavioral patterns tend to solidify and stiffen.   We stay out of trouble that way, but in exchange we may also feel stuck in the same disempowering pattern year after year.

Observing the natal or transiting Uranus’ placement could help us recognize the opportunities we have to reinvent ourselves in a certain area.  Just like a butterfly extricating itself from the cocoon of its old life, doing so could help us form a brand new identity with much more inner & outer freedom.

Share Your Experiences & Insights

If you want to add your own experiences and insights regarding Uranus in your horoscope, please feel free to do so in the comment section below this post.