And finally Pluto: the archetype of primordial energy, the universal life force which impels all evolution and transformation. Pluto represents the principle of power itself, of elemental force, of primal libido and aggression, and is essentially identical to Freud's notion of the id. It is the Dionysian energy of life, the Serpent power, the Kundalini. It compels, empowers, overwhelms, transforms; it destroys and resurrects. Pluto governs the instincts and the forces of nature. It rules the biological processes of birth, sex, and death, and at its deepest level it involves the mystery of death and rebirth.
Pluto rules upheaval, breakdown and decay, but also regeneration and the purifying fire of catharsis. It reflects the archetypal Underworld--the dark, mysterious, and often terrifying reality which lurks beneath the surface of things, beneath our ego and societal conventions and the veneer of civilization, and which is periodically unleashed with great destructive and transformative force. Many of the problematic instincts that lie deep within the human psyche, such as murderous hatred, violent jealousy, compulsive greed and lust and so forth, reflect the activity of Pluto: this is Freud's broiling cauldron of the instincts. Pluto is visible in the elemental power of a volcanic eruption, of a devouring lion, of a war, of an orgasm, of a mother in the climactic stages of giving birth. It is present in all violent, purgatorial discharge of pent-up energies--from the Earth as in an earthquake, or from the human body and psyche as in therapy or in a psychotic break. Pluto is in many ways the polar complement of Neptune--together they represent the great polarities of Dionysus and Apollo, the chthonic and the transcendent, the volcanic and the oceanic, nature and spirit, instinct and imagination. And, like Neptune, Pluto is unfathomable.
In terms of the archetypal birth process, Pluto corresponds to the stage in which the baby is being powerfully expelled from within the mother's body in a life-and-death struggle of bloody biology, when the erotic and aggressive instincts are being aroused to the utmost. Pluto thus has two sides, both expressed in the processes of Nature: a destructive side, personified as Kali, the Devouring Mother, and a creative side, personified as Shakti, the universal divine energy that impels all life and evolution. Pluto is what Schopenhauer and Nietzsche called the universal Will--at one level seeming to reflect only blind, driving instinct, at another possessing all the evolutionary intelligence of Nature, the divine Shakti. Pluto is Nature itself, life eternally transforming and overcoming itself in an immense evolutionary dynamic. It has been said that in the course of life we are all consumed by life's fire: the only question--and this is where our challenge lies--is whether we will be deformed or perfected by that process.
When a planet forms a major aspect to Pluto, that second planetary archetype tends to be greatly intensified and empowered in one’s life and character, sometimes to a compulsive extreme. It may be a source of power struggles in one's life, outer or inner, but also of profound personal transformation.