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Lessons from the Ruling Planet Pluto
Pluto is the furthest planet from the Sun that's used in Western Astrology. Pluto is a dwarf planet, but that's beside the point.
In Roman Mythology, Pluto was known as the god of the underworld. His symbol is a crescent placed above a cross. Inside the crescent curve, there is a circle.
Pluto is known as the planet of transformation and change. Those associated with the planet have the ability to pick themselves back up. They're resilient to failure. This is the planet of resurrection.
The planet in modern astrology rules Scorpio. In ancient astrology, Scorpio was ruled by Mars. Mars represents the aggressive, passionate side of Scorpio. Pluto represents the deeper, more Mariana Trench emotions of Scorpio.
- Scorpio is the 8th sign of the zodiac. It is the fixed sign of water. It occurs during the middle of autumn.
- The sign has three unique symbols attached to it: the snake, the scorpion, and the phoenix. The phoenix, like Pluto, also represents rebirth and resurrection.
- I consider Scorpio, Aquarius, and Pisces to be the three magical signs and prophets of the zodiac. These three all live on a dreamy edge and are trying to wake up the others to a bigger reality and a bigger cosmos.
Pluto and Your Natal (Birth) Chart
Pluto's influence is shared by a whole generation. It is a slow-moving planet since it is so far away from the Sun and the Sun's gravitational pull on the planets.
People ruled by Pluto are truth seekers. They want to know what is real and what is fantasy. Scorpios love to pull off people's disguises. They also love costumes. Scorpio is about finding authenticity. It is ruled by the root chakra.
If your natal chart has Scorpio as your Sun sign or your Pluto sign, you'll have some of these deep truth finding qualities. You'll have a boost in your creativity, jealously, and emotions. Scorpio has some of the most distinct qualities of the zodiac, because the sign doesn't want to be like everybody else. It has a different set of skills and goals.
The negative aspects of this planet are pronounced: jealously, manipulation, controlling tendencies, obsession, stubbornness, and inflexibility. Pluto can make people power hungry. Scorpios are known for a lack of self-control. Pluto can get people so into their emotions that they can forget essential necessities and etiquette.
Scorpios are always on the edge; they want to go into uncharted territory. They help expand darkness so that light has more room to travel.
Those who are influenced heavily by Pluto will likely have an intense personality. Pluto-ruled individuals are looking for answers as to why things are the way they are.
Plutonians are relentless truth seekers, and they demand 100% loyalty from those close to them even if they don't give back 100% loyalty. They expect you to be a better person than them. They want people to be trustworthy sources and not flaky.
As a god of the underworld, Pluto knows how to figure out what lies beneath the surface. Those with Pluto's influence are very intuitive about others. They can also hold a grudge, to the point that they will write someone out of their lives permanently.
- Pluto reminds people that failure is okay. Rebirth is always right around the corner.
- Gravity pushes things down, but that doesn't mean things will always stay down.
- There are always more doors to open. There are always more mazes to conquer.
Facts about the Planet Pluto
Pluto is in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was the first and the largest Kuiper belt object to be discovered.
- Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.
- Its moons are Charon, Nix, Hydra, Styx, and Kerberos. These names are also associated with the underworld.
- Charon is the boatman at the river Styx. He ferries souls to the underworld.
- Nix is the mother of Charon, who is also the goddess of night and darkness.
- Hydra: a nine-headed serpent that guards the underworld.
- Kereberos: the three-headed dog of hell. Also spelled Cerberus.
- Pluto was classified as a dwarf planet in 2006.
- The planet is smaller than the Earth's moon.
- It has a heart shaped glacier the size of Texas and Oklahoma.
- It has mountains as high as the Rockies.
- The planet's snow is red.
- The planet is about 1,400 miles wide. It's about half the width of the United States.
- Pluto orbits the Sun about 3.6 billion miles away.
- A year on Pluto equals about 248 Earth years.
- A day on Pluto lasts about 6 Earth days.
- It has a thin atmosphere of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. The atmosphere has a blue hue. It has distinct layers of haze.
- The only spacecraft to visit Pluto was NASA's New Horizons. It passed by the planet in July 2015.
- The planet cannot sustain life, at least as we know it. The surface is too cold at -378 to -396 degrees F.
- Venetia Burney, at just 11 years old, suggested the name Pluto for the planet.
Pluto in Roman Mythology
You know him as Hades in Greek mythology. You might also know him as Dis Pater or Dispater. Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld.
Pluto is the chthonic god of riches, agriculture, and underground mineral wealth. He was also equated with Orcus.
Dis Pater translates to "Rich Father" and is likely a direct translation of Plouton.
Pluto in Roman mythology ruled the deep earth, the core of the planet. He was in charge of the seeds necessary for harvest. The name Pluto became widespread with the Eleusinian Mysteries: he was venerated as a lover of Persephone.
The couple received souls in the afterlife. They had couple names: Plouton and Kore. Hades, on the other hand, had few temples dedicated to him and was considered a violent kidnapper of Persephone. (Hades: malicious and controlling. / Pluto: loving mystical partner of the underworld.)
Pluto and Hades differ in their characters, but they had similar roles in the myths.
- Hades got really upset if people tried to cheat death. He had Zeus kill Asclepius with a lightning bolt. Asclepius was a physician who had learned how to bring people back from the dead.
- Both Hades and Pluto appear in myths pertaining to Orpheus and his descent into the underworld. The underworld gods also appears in other myths about heroes and their deaths.
Pluto is the most common name for the ruler of the underworld in Western literature and other art forms.
The name Plouton does not appear in Greek literature of the Archaic period. Hades is one of the children of Cronus and Rhea. He took Persephone by force with permission from Zeus where Pluto charmed her.
Plouton was one of several names for Hades. It was used in the Iliad as the god most hateful to mortals. Plato suggested people prefer the name Plouton because Hades was fear-provoking.
- Plouton refereed to the riches of the earth, the crops on its surface, and the mines hidden below.
- Plouton was expressed in art with the horn of plenty, the cornucopia. He was distinguished as positive compared to the gloomy Hades.
Other Notes from Myth
Pluto in myths rarely had children. Melinoe is the daughter of Persephone by Zeus disguised as Pluto. The Eurmenides are the offspring of Persephone and Zeus Chtonios, often identified as Pluto.
The poet Vergil said Pluto is the father of the furies, but the mother is the goddess Nox and not Persephone.
In The Faerie Queen in the 1590s, Pluto has a daughter named Lucifera.
The Orpheus Myth
One of the most popular myths around Pluto has to do with the musician Orpheus. He went to the underworld and played a song to Pluto and Persephone in hopes of retrieving his bride Eurydice. Pluto was touched by Orpheus' sadness at losing his bride. Persephone pleaded for Pluto to do something about it. Pluto assured Orpheus he would be reunited with his wife in death.
Pluto Not Part of the Calendar
Pluto was not one of the traditional Twelve Olympians. He was worshiped with Persephone as a divine couple. In some places, the couple was known simply as God and Goddess, Theos and Thea.
The names of Hades and Pluto are found in Greek Magical Papyri and curse tablets. Hades generally referred to the underworld. Pluto was generally described with Persephone. Five curse tablets from Rome, dating to the mid 1st century BC, note Persephone and Pluto promising a union with an offering of dates, figs, and a black pig. These curses would have to be fulfilled by deadlines.
Pigs were often sacrificed to chthonic deities. The sacrifices to Pluto were usually black or dark colored animals.
A sanctuary dedicated to Pluto was called ploutonion. An altar for him was at Eleusis. A Pluto and Persephone ploutonia was between Tralleis and Nysa. Visitors would seek healing and a place to have divinely inspired dreams.
Pluto is often mentioned with a scepter, keys, throne, and horse. He had the keys to a carved cedar chest at the Temple of Hera in Elis. Pluto holds the keys to Hades, which was considered forbidden to go into before one's time.
A golden key was laid on the tongue of his initiates. This was a symbol of the new knowledge they were instructed to keep secret. A key is a common symbol among other infernal deities including Hecate, Anubis, and Persephone. Guardians or timekeepers also used them, like Janus and Aion.
Wreaths of narcissus, maidenhair fern and cypress were given to Pluto. Narcissus wreaths in stories were used as crowns for Demeter and Persephone. The flower was associated with creative awakening, libido, and death.
Pluto is also depicted with a bident and a helmet that makes him invisible. Early Christian writers took ideas from the classical underworld and incorporated them into the concept of Hell.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence