I am learning astrology and wonder [in light of Pluto’s reclassification to dwarf planet] – what would one do without Pluto??
I don’t know what one would do without Pluto, but I’d love to find out – maybe I can get a Pluto-ectomy! Oh, wait… I guess we all did.
The short answer is that astrologers still overwhelmingly use Pluto in our work, regardless of what the International Astronomical Union has to say about its status. Of course, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are relatively recent additions to astrological lore anyway. Before their discoveries, astrologers assigned membership of Aquarius, Pisces, and Scorpio to Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, respectively. Some astrologers still observe these classifications, particularly in horary and electional work. But when you’re used to looking at things through a Plutonian lens, it’s almost impossible to stop; once you’ve opened Pandora’s Box, there’s no turning back.
Pluto’s discovery was made within eight years of the discovery of nuclear fission. Quickly, violence and aggression took a leap beyond the bloody, but simple and comparatively individual experience symbolized by Mars. Mastering the psychological forces that compel us to violence became a collective responsibility, because the consequences of failing to do so are also shared. Pluto serves as an eloquent astrological symbol for this collective process.
Of course, as Einstein said, “It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.” Maybe Pluto’s demotion symbolizes the collective unconscious attempting to reverse progress and move to a psychologically simpler, less threatening time. But we’ve looked into the abyss, and it’s changed us… no matter what we call Pluto.