Remember when Pluto was a planet, the ninth from the Sun? I do.
That’s why it’s so lamentable that Pluto has been downgraded to a (I really hate to use this word) dwarf planet, even a “plutoid.” I’m shaking my head – a plutoid? Really? Those foolish earthlings at the International Astronomical Union!
See, Julia Bonatti, my protagonist in the Zodiac Mystery series is a San Francisco astrologer, and she worries about Pluto – a lot. She knows just how important the planet is and she’s rather concerned about this downgrade. Knowing that Pluto rules Scorpio and is the natural ruler of the 8th house, she fears vengeance.
Pluto was officially discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, a Kansas farmer and amateur astronomer. Astrologically, it is associated with nuclear power, the Cold War, and totalitarian states, as well as the birth of psychoanalysis when Freud and Jung began their exploration of the unconscious mind. Carl Jung was an astrologer, by the way. And believe me, a Pluto transit will definitely bring your own shadow to the fore.
Pluto rules detective work and any effort that involves digging under the surface to bring truth to light. It’s a natural for the mystery and thriller world, for astrologers and detectives, and even amateur sleuths like Julia. Given Julia’s current adventure in The Madness of Mercury, and her upcoming ones, she pretty much lives under Pluto’s sway, even if she isn’t a Scorpio. She’s constantly facing mystery and death but astrological clues save the day for her.
The planet (yes, I’m going to call Pluto a planet) is one-sixth the mass of our Moon with an extremely eccentric orbit. It takes 248 years to make a full circuit of the zodiac and spends between 15 and 26 years in each sign!
Now if you know anything at all about astrology, you’ll know that when a Pluto transit hits a sensitive point in your chart, it’s best to hide under the bed and wait oh . . . about a year . . . maybe longer . . . for it to go away. You might cry a lot. Astrologers have great respect (if not fear) of Pluto. Like Shiva, the destroyer and creator, it tears down what is no longer needed in your life. You probably won’t agree, but resistance is futile. It transforms and makes way for new growth and renewal and it’s often painful! I repeat, you might cry a lot.
I’m not alone in missing Pluto. A principal investigator with NASA’s mission to Pluto, stated that “the definition stinks . . .” Online petitions have urged the IAU to consider reinstatement and everyday citizens have also rejected the change, claiming they have always known Pluto as a planet and will continue to do so.
The California State Assembly facetiously called the IAU decision a “scientific heresy.” The New Mexico House of Representatives passed a resolution in honor of Tombaugh, its discoverer, who was a longtime resident of that state and declared that Pluto will always be considered a planet while in New Mexican skies. March 13 has been named Pluto Planet Day there. The Illinois Senate passed a similar resolution in 2009 on the basis that Tombaugh was born in Illinois.
I hope you’ll join me in honoring Pluto. It’s not always a friendly planet, but it’s essential to show your respect for the forces of death, decay and transformation.