Pluto is a planet that can knock us to our knees. Where he lurks in our charts represents places of extreme vulnerability as well as woundedness. He has a knack for dredging up that which is hidden, either from past lives or the darkest recesses of our minds. Because of this proclivity for the dark, the buried, the underworld, Pluto also represents our collective shadow.

When I dream of people covered in tar, I know I am conjuring up parts of myself that I have not yet faced: my shadow. Often this dwarf planet will show his hand by revealing repressed memories, glimpses of another life through dream states, shadow material, or by leaking out seething emotions we have bottled up for a long time. In true Plutonian fashion, when we finally unbottle the cork, those stuffed emotions erupt volcano-like to the surface.

Suffice it to say, Pluto tends to bring out the darker side of humanity, allowing inner demons to rampage through parts of our lives. As an example, I once knew a woman who sold her integrity in order to get ahead during a 6th house Pluto opposition to Mars. Since then, I’ve come to label this configuration as: Winning at Any Cost. Pluto rouses strong survival instincts and if a person feels there is a lack of money or power, they may choose to do all sorts of unethical things to eliminate the competition.

Pluto is a hungry planet. What he wants, he desires with an absolute, single-minded intensity…and he is willing to pay any price to get it. He can also have a ravenous ego and will pursue his desires relentlessly and with cunning calculation.

As with most planets, there is an alternate side to this dark story. Pluto can also force you to dig deeply for meaning in your life. He gives you the capacity to face pain and loss and overcome with a fierce tenacity.

For a while I was hooked on reading books about survivors, people who had faced horrible odds in their lives due to various accidents, and how they overcame. As you might surmise, surviving comes down to a few simple things, a determined attitude to overcome coupled with the faith that anything is possible.

This Plutonian combination enabled members of a rugby team to survive a plane crash in the Andes by eating the accident’s victims. The survivors of this tragedy developed an enormous reverence and feeling of spirituality for the dead they consumed. In the Utah desert, a young man cut his arm off with a pocket knife to free himself from an enormous boulder that would otherwise have cost him his life. During periods of delirium, he saw visions of his future wife and unborn child, both of whom spurred him to finish his Plutonian deed.

Harness the power of Pluto and you become a woman (or man) who runs with the wolves. Someone who embraces life with an intense fire in the belly. Pluto wants you to embody spirit, to have a dream, a mission, something that lights your soul on fire.

Our true power is in our soul. Pluto can enable you to unearth hidden talents to bring your soul’s dream to fruition. The key is to feel electrified by your vision and to bring spirit down to earth.

Lately, Pluto has been carousing through Capricorn showing us the shadow side of money and large corporations. Besides showing us the underbelly of how we do business, Pluto is also linked to themes of rape, abduction and loss. He is, after all, the God of the Underworld and he is well-known for abducting Cere’s daughter into his dark lair where she became his captive Queen.

Though Pluto had tried a gentler tack for wooing Persephone, when he was thwarted, he chose to use more underhanded methods to obtain her. Flaming hot desires have fueled more than one Plutonian deed. Once Pluto had is hands on the young maiden, he was not going to give her up without a battle. Just as she herself was forbidden fruit, Pluto enticed her into eating pomegranates which sealed her Underworld fate for at least a portion of the year.

The only reason she was returned to upper earth was because Ceres, Persephone’s mother, chose to take Pluto on, with a fury. As the Goddess of Grain and ruler of the harvest, Ceres caused the crops to fail, threatening humanity with starvation until her daughter was returned. Eventually, a bargain was struck. Pluto was to keep Persephone during the cold winter months and Ceres was to have her during the summer and spring.

I tell this tale because I have always been curious what would happen if Ceres were to confront Pluto in a birth chart. As Carl Jung put it, “To enter into the figure of Ceres means to be pursued, to be robbed, to be raped, to fail to understand, to rage, to grieve, but then to get everything back and be born again.” Obviously, she packs a punch similar to that of Pluto.

“Mother issues” and loss are often provoked under hard Ceres aspects. So are life and death battles with food. Rape and abduction scenarios are also possible. The grace of such a combination, however, could allow a woman to rise up and overcome harrowing deeds with fierce determination.

Since Ceres also represents mother earth and environmental issues, a collision between these two could unleash some cataclysmic events including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Due to concern (Ceres) for the planet’s annihilation (Pluto) some other interesting events have unfolded when these two planets have tangled. Consider that on November 28th, of 2005, when these two planets were conjunct, the United Nations launched a climate change conference. In January of 1996 when these two met again, the French decided to cease nuclear testing. In November of 1981, the U.S. and Russia started arms reduction talks under a Ceres/Pluto conjunction.

Just as both of these power hitters have the capacity to knock us to our knees, I think that they also have the ability to bring us into our highest potential and power. This is evident in our willingness to address the destruction of the earth as mentioned earlier. It can also occur when a person gets stuck between a rock and a hard place in their life…and they choose to live.

If Pluto and Ceres are duking it out in your chart, I’d suggest reading survivor books so you can find the light and grace of your Plutonian event. “Deep Survival,” by Laurence Gonzales sets the stage by underlining the fact that attitude, more than anything, has a lot to do with who survives harrowing calamities.

His book investigates a variety of human trials from plane crashes, to mountaineering accidents to getting lost in the wilderness. Case after case proves that having a positive mental attitude is essential for surviving a “full-metal jacket” type of disaster.

“Alive, the story of the Andes Survivors,” written by Piers Paul Read, that I mentioned earlier, tells the tale of how a rugby crew sets about the serious business of surviving their plane accident in the mountains. Out of the original forty-five passengers, sixteen made it out of those barren, snow-covered peaks alive. Had it not been for one very courageous soul who finally saw “the rock and the hard place”, it is quite possible they would all have starved to death on that mountain, afraid to leave the relative safety of their cursed perch within the guts of the broken plane, which was protecting them somewhat from the howling wind and snow.

This group of fighters had to overcome many psychological barriers in order to survive for they had to feed on those who died in order to stave off starvation. All I can say to them is Hoorah. Let anyone who has nearly starved to death on broke-back mountain cast the first stone. I applaud them for overcoming all they did in order to make it out of the Andes alive after months of severe winter hardship.

Joe Simpson’s book entitled, “Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival” is another cornerstone book to read, if you like Plutonian tales. Tenacity is the one word that comes to mind when I think of Joe falling from a vertical cliff, breaking his leg, and then dragging his crushed body over fields of lumpy ice in order to get home.

When Joe faced the unfortunate crevasse he got wedged into with his broken leg, he realized that without action, he would surely die. Though he didn’t know the outcome of cutting his rope and sliding down the crevasse to see what was at the bottom, what choice did he have? And yet many people would choose right at that moment to give up, to freeze to death in place, rather than try.

Someone with the heart of a warrior cuts the rope and hopes to live. That’s what it takes, tenacity, focus and the willingness to plunge ahead even though the outcome is not only uncertain but looks grim as hell. So long as the heart hopes, and one believes with rock solid certainty, there is always the potential to change the course of events and survive. That is the faith and determination part of Pluto shining through.

Just look at Aron Ralston, the kid who sawed his own arm off in the Utah desert, in oder to survive his personal “Rock and a Hard Place.” After being trapped by an actual rock in a remote canyon, for approximately 127 hours, Aron quickly realized that taking no action would equal a slow and painful death. Bit by bit, he gnawed through the gristle, fat and bone of his arm in order to embrace his future.

“Skeletons on the Zahara,” by Dean King, depicts another true story of heroism and survival but this one takes place in the African desert. After their boat shipwrecked, several American sailors faced atrocities as they struggled to survive the heat of the Sahara. Tested by starvation, dehydration, slavery and hostile natives, another story of courage emerges.

Extreme pressure may be the way the Universe creates diamonds out of us. It is my personal belief that hard Ceres/Pluto contacts can give a person the tenacity to dig to the guts of their soul to overcome some of the worst events life can offer up should they choose to undertake the battle.

Though both of these dwarf planets can raise soul-crushing issues, some people choose to harness the higher density of their collision, creating a shiny metamorphic diamond out of their plight. And that, my friends, is the absolute beauty of the human spirit.

If you have a Pluto/Ceres story you would like to share in confidence, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at When we choose to overcome adversity, we can shine a bright light out onto the world and provide hope to others. I would love to hear about your hero’s journey.

My Ceres/Pluto video has now been posted at: If you enjoy these videos, please subscribe to my channel and share with friends!


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