“Out of death in nature life springs.” Walter Russell
As Pluto orbits in its wide sweep the remote reaches of our solar system it encompasses all of the other planetary bodies within its sphere. They are all touched with Pluto’s influence, the outermost, enigmatic wanderer.
Astronomers have little to say about Pluto, so distant it is a thousand times fainter than its nearest neighbour Neptune, so small its diameter is estimated to be only 1400 miles, about the size of Mars. The great distance of Pluto, at its maximum orbit around 4,600,000,000 miles from the Sun, gives it a year equal to approximately 250 Earth years. Thought to be coated with a surface of methane ice Pluto is, in comparison to our warm and sunny Earth, a remote and shadowy glacial world, an infinitely strange and lonely outpost receiving and transmitting the solar and galactic forces.
Although the astronomer Percival Lowell is generally credited with the calculations leading to Pluto’s discovery in 1930, it was an employee at the Lowell Observatory named Clyde Tombaugh, an amateur astronomer, who spotted the tiny moving star-like object in a series of photographs taken of the night sky. But the true nature of Pluto only came to light in 1978 when James Christy of the U.S. Naval Observatory discovered a large orbiting satellite, half the size of Pluto itself and twenty times closer to Pluto than our Moon is to Earth, which he named Charon. Scientists speculate through spectroscopic analysis that Charon, unlike Pluto, is covered with a surface of water ice. Together these mysterious twins are locked in rotation, turning their faces forever towards one another “like two dancers who spin one another around an invisible center.”
As the only binary planet we know Pluto is unique in our solar system, but its orbit is also quite unusual being more markedly elliptical than any of the other major planets. The orbital planes of all the other planets lie within 7° of the plane of the Earth’s orbit, called the ‘plane of the ecliptic,’ but the orbit of Pluto is inclined 17° to that plane. In comparison, the plane of Uranus is less than 1°, the closest to that of Earth..
During its innermost orbit Pluto swings in closer to the Sun than Neptune, a rare event and one we are now witnessing as Pluto moved into this position in 1978 (the year of Charon’s discovery) and will remain there until 1999.
THE PLUTONIAN FACTOR
Since Pluto’s discovery astrologers have been greatly interested in defining the nature of its influence, both on an individual and on a planetary level. Through studying countless birth charts a picture of the Plutonian character has emerged, but like the planet itself there is an unfathomable quality to the Plutonian forces.
“It seems there is always something hidden about Pluto,” astrologer Stephen Arroyo writes, “something subtle and difficult to conceptualize in ordinary logical terms… Pluto always symbolizes a form of extremely concentrated power. This power is so intensely concentrated that the physical shape or size of Plutonian phenomena (like the planet itself) is irrelevant…although smaller than the Earth, its “influence” affects life on Earth in a proportion far greater than its size would indicate.”1
Described as a tremendous force for transformation, Pluto represents processes that are essentially unseen and unconscious, operating at a level hidden deeply beneath the surface of life. Although discovered and named so recently, it is curious to see how closely Pluto’s nature is allied with the deity after whom it was named. In magical traditions it is believed that the power of a thing is contained in its name, that to use the true name of something is to invoke its power, which makes one wonder how strongly the naming of a planet affects the influence of that sphere on life and human consciousness. If the planets had been given different names, would different forces have been invoked, with correspondingly different effects on Earth? Although this seems a far-fetched idea, consider the fact that the gods ruling the planets since Graeco-Roman times have been a predominantly male hierarchy witnessing, and also helping from their lofty abode, the rise and entrenchment of powerfully patriarchal religions across the world, hostile to any expression of female spiritual strength. Only two goddesses are admitted to our planetary pantheon — Luna and Venus — the others, on the whole, are named after warring kings and jealous tyrants. Mercury alone is ambivalent, the androgynous one. If the planets had been named instead after goddesses of ancient power, would there have been a corresponding elevation of the female principles, a reverence towards the beauty and life-giving power of Nature instead of the destruction, fear and violence which characterize our times?
In Greek mythology Pluto was the fierce and inexorable god of the underworld, ruler of the invisible universe, the ‘nether’ or ‘other’ realm which lies beyond the world of the living. According to this story Pluto seized the goddess Persephone and carried her off to his lower world to live for six months of every year, a myth closely connected with the growth and fertility of corn and the vegetation on earth, as both Persephone and her mother Demeter were ancient corn-goddesses symbolizing the mysteries ofbirth and death, the cosmic rhythms of the seasons, of light and darkness.
“Pluto can be said, in one sense at least, to symbolize the seed falling into the humus made of the dissolved and chemicalized remains of the ending cycle of annual vegetation (the product of a Neptunian process of dissolution),” astrologer Dane Rudhyar comments.1
Buried deeply within the earth the structure of the seed is destroyed to give birth to a new form of life. Its roots remain forever in the dark spaces of the night but its sprouting leaves are drawn upwards to the light and warmth of the Sun. Likewise the physical body at death decays and returns to the earth but the soul, on entering Pluto’s darkness, is ferried by Charon the boatman across the river Styx, and passes through the underworld into the light of the spiritual Sun.
Being the regents of the lower world Pluto and his queen Persephone also control all of the treasures found underground, especially the metals whose source lies in the dark womb of the earth. Mined and extracted, smelted and cast, Pluto’s treasures have been brought into the world and created our civilization. Without these gifts of Pluto there would have been no bronze or iron age, no industrial revolution, no sophisticated technology as we know it. But do we ever stop to wonder where the metals we take for granted come from, of the chain of events that brings iron, for example, from one part of the world to be processed in giant steel mills in another part, and passing through further factories and countless hands reaches the store where we exchange more metal in the form of money for the final product. If by some chance the source of our metals vanished, if we could no longer obtain anything made from metals, our way of life would be totally transformed — almost overnight we would find ourselves returned to live in a new stone age.
From the mid-1980s to the mid-90s Pluto is not only in its closest orbit to earth but is also passing through Scorpio, the zodiacal sign it rules, a time remarked upon by astrologers as a period of crucial and revolutionary changes both in human consciousness and in the structure of the planet itself.
In the power of the sacred substances hidden underground which evolve and grow according to their own laws, Pluto’s dual nature of transformation is expressed. “The ancient miners who brought metals up out of the earth and treated them in their furnaces thought of the metals as seeds planted in the earth by gods,” writes Michael Jones.2 But while metals have been used with reverence throughout history to create tools and implements useful to humanity, objects of beauty, art and worship, these precious substances have also served to place fabulous wealth in the hands of a few select cabals.
While individual artisans still honour the beauty and soul nature of the metals with which they work, the vast multinational corporations who now control most of the mining operations throughout the world no longer have any regard for the spiritual qualities of the metals. For them these” condensations of the stars” exist purely for personal profit and power. It is not surprising then that Pluto is found to be a strong influence in the birth charts of bankers, powerful industrialists and politicians, the corporate gangsters who are mainly responsible for the stripping and poisoning of Nature, adept at the manipulation of public opinion while keeping their own motives well hidden.
It’s interesting to note in passing that Pluto’s discovery coincided with the first television transmissions by Philo Farnsworth, an invention that has transformed the world perhaps more than any other during this century. What a tremendous tool for education and creative adventures it was first thought, until the authorities also recognizing television’s revolutionary potential, took control and turned it into a vehicle for propaganda and mindless violence.
But while the Plutonian shadow masters scheme and plot for ultimate global power, other forces are stirring, elemental forces which are far beyond even their control.
Deep in the earth beneath our feet Pluto’s passing is marked by increasing seismic activity as tremendous chthonic powers build up in the movement of vast tectonic plates to discharge unpredictably in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Ancient prophecies warn of catastrophic events to come, of earthquakes tearing the land apart, submerging whole continents and pushing up new land from the ocean floor. Ancestral memories of Atlantis and Lemuria linger to haunt the imagination, of ancient upheavals that destroyed most of the Earth’s inhabitants and sent the survivors to live in subterranean caverns. There is an underlying tension and unease in the world of Nature, an increasing apprehension of the damage that humans have inflicted upon the planet. How much more abuse can the organism of the Earth tolerate before it begins to die?
As ‘the transformer’ Pluto destroys the old, the outworn and outgrown to make way for the new, breaking through any blockages to evolutionary growth and demanding change when its tremendous creative potential is resisted. Its influence is seen in the sign Scorpio, in the hidden processes of sex, death and regeneration, the unseen mysteries in the world of nature and spirit, described in the / Ching as “the mysterious place where all things begin and end, where death and birth pass one into the other.”
On a personal level Pluto compels us to confront our deepest desires and fears, the atavistic forces and memories of the past that are a deep and driving influence behind our actions; the fear of death and what lies beyond. Death is the forbidden subject for Westerners, even more so than sex. It is dangerous and irrational and may force us to look into the unknown from which we came, and into which we will all return.
While the ancient traditions taught a thorough knowledge of the death process and the future life of the soul as shown, for example, in the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Egyptian Book of the Coming Forth By Day, such knowledge is abysmally lacking in modern religion. When someone dies the vultures gather, to claim the body for the sanitized mortuary, and the soul for heaven or hell. While the Egyptians provided a system to guide the souls of the dead through the labyrinth of the underworld, there is no way out of the christian hell. But with a knowledge of the actual process of death, through all the stages of dissolution and detachment from the material, etheric, astral and other more subtle bodies, the soul is consciously aware of its own transition into the spirit world. With knowledge the fear of death dissolves, and it becomes easy to understand why our ancestors celebrated birth and death equally with joy.
With Pluto’s passage the taboos of the old order which have served to bind the soul into a rigid and artificial morality and dependence on external authorities are breaking down, and in the deeply ingrained taboos surrounding sex and death are found potent keys to the occult knowledge and power which lies beyond orthodoxy, a knowledge which is based not on dogma and superstition, but on a direct perception and understanding of Nature’ s cycles.
ANCIENT OF ANCIENTS
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life Pluto is attributed to the first cosmic sphere called Kether, the Crown, and’ ‘the Hidden Intelligence,” but rather than a sphere Kether represents the ultimate point of power which emerges from the primal chaos. Described as “the intensest form of existence, pure being unlimited by form or reaction… underlying, maintaining, and conditioning all,” Kether is also’ ‘the abyss whence all arose, and back into which it will fall at the end of its epoch.”3
“Pluto represents the outermost power-zone, the pylon set at the utmost rim of the planetary system beyond which stretch the vasts of Outer Space,” occultist Kenneth Grant writes. “When applied to the microcosm (the world of human consciousness) Pluto represents the pylon at the gates ofthe sanctuary of Inner Space. Kether, the Crown of the System in the Outer and in the Inner, is thus equivalent to the Height (and Depth) of physical and psychological space… .It is the ultimate gate to both Outer and Inner Space.’M
As the most intensely concentrated point of cosmic power, Pluto signifies the bindu or seed of creativity from which all form evolves, from the simplest geometric form to the most complex organic systems. Here is the source of primordial cosmic energy, identical to the orgone energy of Dr Wilhelm Reich which he isolated and scientifically verified, the basis of all the natural fields of force in the world and the vehicle ofthe life-force in the human organism. It is this raw psycho-sexual energy which is taken and transformed by way of an inner alchemy into magical and spiritual power.
Artist and occultist Michael Bertiaux describes this potency of Pluto as “the fundamental magickal energy at the root of sexual radioactivity,”5 the energy which fuels the traveler of inner space and the gnostic explorer who seeks illumination in the hidden mysteries. Symbolized by the black dragon in its dormant state, this serpent power is aroused from its sleep at the base ofthe spine and raised through the subtle energy body to its height in the Crown centre, the Thousand Petalled Lotus above the head to bring “a knowledge ofthe divine beyond any human concepts.”
But always manifesting in opposites there is a shadow side to Pluto, a dark and chaotic realm of primordial power evoked from the depths ofthe unconscious in such grimoires as the Necronomicon given life by H. P. Lovecraft who calls Pluto by the secret name of Yuggoth, ruler of qliphothic and alien nether worlds haunting the void between the stars, a brooding ancient intelligence ever seeking entrance to the human world.
THE “DARK SEED”
There is no metal which traditionally corresponds to Pluto as the Sun does to gold, or silver to the Moon. Although a kinship was shown between the Uranian energies, electricity and radioactivity, and Neptune evoked the invisible ocean of etheric forces which underlies the material world, with Pluto we are dealing with the source of all the various energy fields, with the immeasurable qualities of the soul, with evolution, with creation and annihilation.
But if we were to take a substance to symbolize the intensely concentrated Plutonian power in its most negative and destructive aspect, we could choose the heaviest element known on Earth which shares its name — plutonium. The discovery of nuclear fission in the 1930s coincided with Pluto’s discovery, and some 12 years later the silvery metal plutonium was isolated for the first time (it was also the first creation of a synthetic chemical element) marking our entrance into the atomic age and the beginning of a potent transformation of life upon this planet. Scientists had discovered how the structure of an element could be destroyed and, more importantly, the enormous amount of energy released in the process.
Plutonium is not a metal found naturally on earth, except in extremely minute quantities, rather it is a man-made, artificial element created by the neutron bombardment of uranium; the uranium first forms neptunium which is then transformed into plutonium. Because it is so extremely toxic, plutonium requires special handling. All work is carried out inside ‘glove’ boxes filled with helium or argon to prevent the plutonium and its alloys from being attacked by moisture and atmospheric gases, and to prevent the workers from ingesting or breathing even the smallest quantity.
Used in nuclear power reactors throughout the world plutonium is a lethal but concentrated fuel where one lb of the substance is said to be equal to 10 million kilowatts of electricity. It is also used to power the fantastically expensive space exploration into the outer regions of the solar system, such as the Voyager expedition, and on the Apollo lunar mission to power seismic and other experimental instruments placed on the Moon’s surface.
But the first nuclear reactors were for the military to produce plutonium as an explosive ingredient in nuclear weapons — it is produced primarily to kill. Atomic scientists and the governments that fund them have discovered Pluto’s power to destroy substance and life, but they are powerless to control the consequences.
The greatest danger of plutonium is not only as an explosive but also in its storage and the disposal of its waste. In his book Atomic Suicide, Dr Walter Russell describes plutonium as the most deadly of all the radioactive metals. ‘ ‘Its great importance as a killer, lies in the fact that it loses only half of its radioactivity in 23,000 years. Its primal effect upon the human body is in its direct attack upon the bone marrow where human blood corpuscles are formed. Together with strontium, these super calciums could cause more defective skeletal births and agonizing deaths than any plague heretofore known to have hurt mankind.”6
Radioactivity also attacks the human reproductive cells; the hidden processes of sex and procreation ruled by the zodiacal sign of Scorpio, the fusing of sperm and egg in the body at conception are the very areas most vulnerable to damage. According to a statement from the National Academy of Sciences: “Any radiation which reaches the reproductive cells causes mutations that are passed onto succeeding generations. There is no minimum amount of radiation which must be exceeded before mutations occur. Any amount, however small, that reaches the reproductive cells can cause a correspondingly small number of mutations. The more radiations, the more mutations. The harm is cumulative. The genetic damage done by radiation builds up as the radiation is received, and depends on the total accumulated gonad dose received by people from their own conception to the conception of their last child.”6
The danger is not only to human reproduction but to all species, as the matrix of the seed pattern itself is altered, gradually making regeneration impossible and causing widespread sterility in every form of animal and vegetable life.
There is little protection from radioactivity, the silent and invisible killer…’ “The idea of constructing shields of any material at all for protection against uranium and plutonium is only a temporary expedient.” Russell warns. ‘ “The time will come when the shields will be as dangerous as the cause. The time element may be long, but when that time comes, the greatest migration history has ever known will take place, and its road will be paved with millions of dead, largely from leukemia which will rapidly increase until it becomes a scourge.”6
This is the fear of the nuclear shadow under which we live; that life on earth will be destroyed and the world turned into a barren wasteland.
Apart from the mutations caused by radioactivity there is also the deliberate mutation of animal life carried out in the laboratories of biotechnology. Scientists are creating what jt hey call ‘transgenic’ goats, sheep and cows by injecting their embryos with human genes, in other words crossbreeding human with animal to produce drugs in their milk for experimental medical purposes. This scientifically respectable bestiality echoes the latter days of Atlantean sorcery spoken of in occult tradition, where humans and animals were experimentally mutated into horrendous life forms, precipitating the downfall of that once mighty civilization.
“Nuclear power is a frightening symbol of death and decay. It sums up the horror of our times.” Michael Jones There exist two forms of motion in Nature, one that builds up and creates, and the other that breaks down and destroys depending on whether the driving force is centripetal (moving towards the centre) or centrifugal (moving towards the outside). In Nature there is a continuous interplay between these two opposing forces but modern technology, particularly nuclear technology, concentrates on the destructive force of explosion.
Apart from the devastating physical destruction caused by nuclear explosions there is a more subtle and insidious damage inflicted on the invisible etheric web which underlies and sustains the material world. While based in the desert during bis rain making experiments Dr Wilhelm Reich commented on the state of the atmosphere after atomic tests, producing what he called DOR or Deadly Orgone Radiation that filled the desert, seeming to suck the life-force from the atmosphere, the earth and all living beings.
The research of some contemporary occultists has also focussed on the repercussions of nuclear technology on the subtle energy body, the aura of the Earth and the human being.
‘ ‘Our world is surrounded by a thin atmospheric skin which protects and sustains the balance of life on Earth, but when a breach is made in this protective ionized envelope the delicate balance is destroyed. Nuclear explosions release tremendous pulses of electrical energy from the spaces between the nuclear particles, and as the very fabric of matter is torn asunder these forces rend holes in the protective ionized barrier of our atmosphere… Through this breach internal forces can escape or external forces seeking entry can pour through.'”
“Pluto opens the gateway of Chaos,” Grant writes, “the way of reversal to the ‘night side’ of the Tree of Life.” He goes on to say: “These forces which have been gaining momentum through successive aeons, are pouring astrally from the averse side of the Tree and are threatening to overwhelm human consciousness with the waves of negative vibration that underlie all positive (i.e. phenomenal) existence. It is not therefore surprising that sensitive souls are now recoiling in horror because they have seen — in the swirling black mirror of the abyss – the shades massing for an unprecedented influx into the cosmos.”4
In this bizarre Plutonian world where art and magic join in their most extreme forms, ancestral memories merge with visions of the future to give fleeting glimpses of strange and alien worlds, transmissions from trans-Plutonian dimensions beyond any human point of reference. Evoking the mythology of primordial powers, of the Ancient Ones who stir restlessly in the depths of pre-human memory, Bertiaux observes: “Dagon will come again, as will mighty sorceries… for the mighty beasts of the deep have been unleashed and they have gone about their pathway of destruction, and far worse is expected…”
Alone the shaman in native traditions descends into the underworld, into the vertiginous qliphothic tunnels of the soul to confront the demons of darkness within, to overcome these monstrous projections and discover the knowledge and power within.
Today there is no need to seek the underworld beyond. Through the forces unleashed by nuclear technology the whole human race has descended into Pluto’s sub-atomic realm, or rather the underworld has risen to meet us, called up by a profane science that worships death over life.
But it is not only in nuclear technology that the death-wish of our civilization lies, although the domed reactor temples are the ultimate symbol of humanity’s insane race towards destruction. We now live in an unreal, artificial, backwards world, no longer fed and nourished by Nature. Our rivers and lakes are dying, polluted and stagnant, our forests and wilderness are rapidly being destroyed. Our agricultural land poisoned with chemicals and pesticides grows poisoned food for our children to eat, even the oceans have increasing “dead zones,” for example, a recent study near Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific where the French have conducted nuclear tests since 1966, found high concentrations of plutonium in samples of water and marine life.
Once sacrifices were made in return for the precious metals and treasures given in trust to humans by the subterranean gods and spirits. Now they are repaid with underground nuclear blasts which reverberate throughout the planet. Surrounded by the death of Nature, we have become the souls seeking passage through the darkness of Amenta.
But returning to the myth of Pluto, and even our existence will be a myth in some future aeon, we remember Persephone who was abducted to live in the realm of death but who returned to the sunlit world for half the year, to become queen of both worlds. In Pluto all polarities, all extremes are mated; the destruction and creation, the pain and the healing, the Dark Ages and the Ages of Illumination. The influence of Pluto is shown in every birth chart, and any aspects it makes with other planets in the individual horoscope shows where the deepest metamorphosis of consciousness will take place.
As Stephen Arroyo writes:’ ‘In any house, the Plutonian energy can be tapped to make way for an impersonal ~ yet controllable — heightened consciousness and for the will power to direct that awareness into creative activities. As with Saturn, the negative aspect of Pluto has been overemphasized; for the real power of Pluto only becomes negative if we are seeking to interfere with its work.”1
WHAT LIES BEYOND PLUTO?
“…hear the mournful sig ho fthe vortex, the mad rushing of the Ultimate Wind that Swirls darkly amongst the silent stars.” The Necronomicon
The search for more distant planets continues. Scientists say that Uranus and Neptune have perturbed orbits which cannot be caused by Pluto and Charon alone, theorizing another giant planet “X” that is yet to be found. Some have imagined a dark companion to the Sun (a hypothetical dark star like the dwarf companion to Sirius) which they call Nemesis, while Soviet astronomers have speculated, from the orbits of groups of comets, that two other planets might be present ~ at 5 billion and 9 billion miles from the Sun, with orbits of thousands of years.
They suggest that the orbits of these infinitely distant planets periodically (over millions of years) disturbed comets, some of which collided with the Earth. ‘ ‘A large planetary body moving in an orbit reaching to the Oort cloud of comets, possibly in a highly inclined orbit, would dislodge comets each time the planetary body passed through the aphelion of its orbit,”8 possibly accounting for past cataclysmic events on our planet.
Astrologers have also speculated on the existence of two further planets to complete the zodiacal pattern of 12. In his work, Carl Payne Tobey shows how the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto logically fits in with this pattern, (see chart above) In this system he assigns the creative energies of Pluto to the fire-sign Aries, to co-rule Scorpio, but two spaces yet remain to be filled.9
Zecharia Sitchin also attempts to prove the existence of a 12th planet known to the Sumerians by drawing on ancient Mesopotamian texts, such as one tablet transcribed as meaning “all in all, 12 members where the Moon and Sun belong, where the planets orbit,” and another Sumerian list of 24 celestial bodies that paired the twelve zodiacal constellations with twelve members of the solar system.10 In occult lore, Grant names this planet, describing Pluto as “the gateway to transplutonic aethyrs (dimensions), symbolized by the planet Isis.”
While the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft travel deeper into space never to return to Earth, scientists wait in anticipation to find out where the Solar System ends and interstellar space begins, a boundary they refer to as the heliopause. Perhaps they will never know. Such a boundary might not even exist. There are no arbitrary boundaries in inner space, only an infinite unfolding of consciousness.
1. Astrology, Karma & Transformation, Stephen Arroyo, CRCS Publications WA, 1978
2. Nuclear Energy, Michael Jones., Floris Books, Edinburgh, UK, 1983
3. The Mystical Qabalah, Dion Fortune, Samuel Weiser, Inc., New York, 1984
4. Nightside of Eden, Kenneth Grant, Frederick Muller Ltd., London 1977
5. The Voudon Gnostic Workbook, Michael Bertiaux, Magickal Childe, N.Y., 1989
6. Atomic Suicide, Dr Walter a nd La o Russell, Univer sity of Science and Philosophy, Waynesboro, Virginia, 1957
7. Silk and Nuclear Explosions, Brian Hildreth, Living Sphere Magazine Vol. 4, BSRF, Garberville CA
8. Uranus and Neptune — The Distant Giants, Eric Burgess, Columbia University Press, N.Y., 1988
9. Astrology of Inner Space, Carl Payne Tobey, Omen Press, Tucson AZ, 1973
10. The 12th Planet, Zecharia Sitchin, Avon Books, NY., 1976
Contact with Space, Dr Wilhelm Reich, Core Pilot Press, N.Y., 1957
The Necronomicon, Corgi Books, London, 1978
The Horoscope, The Road and Its Travelers, Alan Oken, Bantam Books, Inc., N.Y., 1974
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, Vol 19. McGraw-Hill c.1987
Astronomy Magazine, Sept. 1988, Kalmbach Pub. Co., Milwaukee WI
- NEPTUNE’S PRIMORDIAL OCEAN
- LOST SCIENCE