The International Astronomical Union met in 2006 to discuss reclassifying our solar system, and as a result Pluto was deemed to be a dwarf planet, the former asteroid Ceres was promoted to planetary status, and the newest planet, formerly named UB313, was named Eris after the goddess of discord. Because the astrological Pluto deals with the transformation that comes from looking death in the eye and annhilation of the personal ego, it stands to reason that the reclassification of Pluto could open a door to how this process operates.
The last “planet” to be discovered in our lifetime was the comet/planetoid Chiron, and it took some time for its astrological signficance to become known. Through the magic of synchronicity, the name of the planet itself reveals the god whose energy manifests through that planet.
You can read more about Ceres here.
Pluto’s discovery in 1930 brought with it the introduction of the atomic bomb and the fear of ultimate annhilation, the ultimate power. In these days of terrorism when a single individual with a toiletry bottle can potentially wipe out thousands of people, our concept of power is changing. In centuries past, whichever country had the biggest guns had the most power. When the US was the only nation with the bomb we were the only superpower. When Russia developed the bomb, they were the other superpower. At this time nine nations have nuclear weapons, with several more to attain that status soon (including Iran). The whole concept of power, as embodied in the archetype of Pluto, is changing and this will become very clear in the 2010-2013 square of Uranus in Aries to Pluto in Capricorn. The power of Pluto hasn’t lessened one iota, but it has become universalized rather than being owned by just a few countries and individuals. Perhaps this is symbolized by the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet, a status shared by many others.
Perhaps too the introduction of Ceres into the Plutonic archetype offers hope for resurrection and regeneration from Pluto’s threat of total destruction while calling on us to nurture each other and the earth on which we live. After her daughter Proserpine (Persephone) was abducted by Pluto, Ceres searched for her throughout the land and in her grief caused famine and destruction that caused the death of her people. Ultimately a negotiation with Pluto brought the return of the crops, but also meant that Prosperpine would remain in the underground for half the year. Ceres represents the harvest and the food that sustains us; a process which has been endangered by the technological advances of the last 100 years.
Eris is the other new addition to the Pluto complex, and you can read more about her here. She is the one who threw the golden apple into a room at a party, causing the Trojan War which lasted for ten years and decimated the population on both sides. As the goddess of discord, Eris throws a monkey wrench in our plans and causes havoc that uncovers areas that need to be transformed.
Pluto’s reign in Planethood marked the most violent century in human history. In mythology, Pluto ruthlessly ruled over the underworld, judging the dead and sending them to their post-life destiny. Pluto’s astrological influence over death and rebirth does not respond to our pleas for mercy; the cycle of life goes on uninterrupted by human desire. Perhaps it’s the influence of Ceres that instigates the regeneration that follows Pluto’s destruction and keeps the lifecycle flowing and fresh with hope.
The modern mystic Andrew Harvey says it best in this passage from an interview he gave last year:
[I]f you know the wisdom of the dark night, then you are looking out for protection. You’re aware that through this terror, protection will be given. This is the universal testimony. They mystics have gone through this process. It’s the testimony of Rumi. It’s the testimony of the great shamans. You are given tremendous divine protection, because as the human is being destroyed, the divine consciousness comes up. So one side of you is being annihilated, but the other side is stronger than ever in the ashes. So great dreams will come and light will become more and more vibrant. The divinity of life will become more and more naked to you. Miracles will take place to protect you. To anybody who comes to this path, the divine is both extremely ferocious and extremely tender. Ferocious to destroy the illusions, but tender to give the human being the courage to hang in there and do the work.
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