© Philip Graves
Sometimes considered a 'higher octave' of Mars, Pluto is similarly powerful and penetrating, but on an unconscious and psychological level. It gradually permeates the subconscious with its drives, leaving the conscious unaware until suddenly and explosively it emerges in an instinctive response that brings sweeping and often devastating change in the psyche and way of living. It can thus be a force for great personal good or ill. It evokes the principles of resurrection and determination, which when positively expressed bring resolution; when negatively expressed, coercion.
Pluto governs the conversion of apparent lost causes into successful projects, but at times the receding of objectives when their point of realisation seems imminent; cycles of death and rebirth; disregard for vested interests; extremes of good and bad (including luck); the frustration and annihilation of plans; idealistic socially motivated organisations; ideas ahead of their time; the inspiration to put an end to failing conditions; involvement in organised groups and movements desirous of social reconstruction, which may include altruistic interest groups, political parties and think tanks, professional associations and trade unions, and also gangs and underground organisations; the negation and transformation of conditions; non-recognition of the legitimacy or impositions of officially established authorities; righteous indignation on behalf of social causes; and the voluntary relinquishment of worldly interests in order to advance spiritual development, or of home, country or fortune for marriage. It manifests in writers and dramatists who seek to inculcate reformist doctrines into their literary works. It is compulsive, intense, and sometimes manipulative.
People signified by Pluto include aeronauts, anonymous writers, archaeologists, leaders of large organisations and movements, nuclear scientists, sociological writers, space explorers and scientists, television engineers and technicians, those working underground, and weather forecasters.
Physically, Pluto governs metabolic balance, and the nerve centres connecting the solar plexus with the sacral plexus and the top of the spinal column with the pineal gland. When prominent, it confers medium stature; a rugged, sturdy build; delicate skin; and fine, soft head hair but little body hair. Illnesses include ailments resulting from mineral deposition caused by acidosis; arthritis; and arteriosclerosis.
Meaning of Glyph:
The glyph for Pluto is, according to Moore and Douglas's model, a cross of the Soul, atop which sits a horizontal bowl-like Crescent of Matter, within which nestles a Circle of Spirit without direct contact, seen by Moore and Douglas as the 'seed of the Sun or Spirit', cradled by the 'chalice of the Moon', a 'husk of the past'. Thus, Pluto's function as an agent of regeneration from the death of the old, and transition between states of existence, is symbolised. Pluto is closely linked to the urge for reproduction to perpetuate life beyond death, and thus to the drive for sex, which operates unconsciously through its influence, and in so doing confuses sex with death in the psyche.
Schulman interprets the glyph for Pluto as the Circle of Spirit 'soaring free' above the crescent of Soul that lies atop the cross of Matter, indicating a journey into the unknown being required before the deepest self-understanding can be achieved. The disconnection of Spirit from the Soul and Matter leaves the individual prone to suffering base energies. The challenge faced is to 'transcend oneself', in rising from lower ways of life to connect to and embody the purity of Spirit and Light that encapsulates goodness. In leaving behind what is of no further value to one's own growth, one is channelling the Plutonian energies in the most constructive way possible on a personal level.
The following sources were consulted:
'Astrology: The Divine Science' by Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas
'Karmic Astrology Volume II: Retrogrades and Reincarnation' by Martin Schulman
'The Manual of Astrology' by Sepharial (1960s revised edition).
'Encylopaedia of Astrology' by Nicholas DeVore
5] 'Encylopaedia of Medical Astrology' by Howard Cornell, M.D.
has studied astrology and its history since 1995, was manager and astrological writer for the now-discontinued online MSN astrology community 'Horoscopeschat' from 2002-2006, has personally collected thousands of astrological books and journal issues, and is presently developing a new website focused primarily on an extensive astrological bibliography, which is to be launched at
He can be contacted by email at