Dimensions of Pluto

Alex Stein
3 min readOct 6, 2020

Pluto stationed direct a couple days ago, making Pluto more present in the collective consciousness (and collective unconscious). I’m a fairly Plutonian person, interested in the dark and hidden corners of the psyche and primed for the kind of healing and total transformation that can only come through a deep inner confrontation. Not for the faint of heart, but that’s the way it is. Such work takes a certain obsessive, relentless focus.

I’ve been contemplating Pluto a lot from my new perch in Maui. There are so many strands in the Pluto tapestry… For one thing, Pluto represents a certain face of the archetypal feminine: the fearsome, all-powerful, devouring face of the divine mother; the power of life and death, the sense of inexorable fate, and the power of regeneration. With Pluto, there is no escape. The only way out is through — to let yourself be propelled down the birth canal.

For those familiar with the Lord of the Rings, Pluto shows up in the Ring of Power. Such power is not to be possessed, and the ring must be returned to the volcano where it was forged. The Hawaiian Islands have a deeply feminine energy, which I can feel through several astrological archetypes — the immersive, womblike infinitude of of Neptune and the Moon, the natural beauty and abundance of Venus, and the volcanism of Pluto. As a child, I took a piece of lava rock home with me from a trip to Maui. This, I have learned, is a big no-no and an affront to Pele, the goddess of the volcanoes. Pele is an avatar of Pluto. I recently found that rock and brought it with me to Maui, because, like Frodo, I must return it to the volcano where it was forged. Pluto’s power is not mine to possess.

There’s more to Pluto. Pluto represents the urge to dig and uncover what is hidden. Its sights are set on the truth, however ugly it may be. To that end, Pluto is dogged, obsessive, and compulsive. This is why Pluto relates to the twin archetypal figures of the psychologist and the detective. Only a strong obsessive streak can stand up to the natural revulsion we feel at confronting our dark sides. If you watch mysteries and crime dramas, you know that their detective protagonists are never simply do-gooders out to make the world a better place. They are almost always flawed — often alcoholic, bitter, and lonely — and they have a unique psychic resonance with the criminals they hunt. The detective is suspicious, knowing that even the sweetest granny is capable of lacing her cookies with cyanide. And the detective is secretive, knowing that it is best not to reveal what they already know, and knowing, too, that they harbor their own darkness. Above all, they are obsessive: no amount of red tape and orders from above can halt their pursuit of the criminal, and of the truth. And this is not just the stuff of fiction, as the thriving subculture of true crime and citizen-detectives attests. (See the documentary I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, about journalist Michelle McNamara’s pursuit-unto-death of the Golden State Killer).

Pluto loves to dig for clues (the detective), for complexes (the psychologist), or for artifacts (the archaeologist) — anywhere you can apply the metaphor of digging, there you will find Pluto. I’ll wrap this up by saying that I had a beautiful synchronicity today, relating to these Pluto thoughts. Opening my eyes from a meditation, I saw a black hauling truck drive by my window, with the words “Truth Excavation” written on it. Indeed.