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Updated: Aug 10, 2021

The action of transiting Pluto coming in contact with the natal Sun

The transit of Pluto to the natal Sun is perhaps the astrological transit one will experience in the course of a lifetime. Rather than opening this short essay elaborating on the innate properties of these archetypes (Sun as the representation of Ego function and Pluto as correlative to transformation, power, death and rebirth), we can commence into a reading of the dynamics of the astrological event itself.

Any conjunction of planetary forces — a mathematical “angle” equating to 0 degrees — is, first and foremost, an experience of synthesis, a process in which two archetypes synthesize into a temporary state of wholeness. Although we often think of the term "synthesis" in positive terms, the etymology of synthesis — from the Greek Syn (together) + Tithenai (place) — guarantees no such positivity. In other words, although a synthesis can certainly be indicative of a benign interchange between two independent agencies, it can equally be constituted as a violent encounter, a collision between two forces dramatically opposed that are forced into some kind of relationship because of their sudden proximity.

When thinking the Pluto-Sun transiting aspect, or any transit for that matter, it is first essential grasp this underlying structure, the essential form. And the form of this astrological event is simply that of synthesis — "a togetherness of place” — between an individual’s natal Sun and the transit of Pluto that has come into mathematical contact, thus engendering a “togetherness” for better or for worse.

However, the content of this event — that is to say, the qualitative experience brought forth by the contact — is highly contingent and unique based upon the unique chart the individual and their natal placements.

A Pluto-Sun transit is a universal structure: the mathematics are the same for everyone who experiences it. And, furthermore, the basic signification of each archetype involved are equally universal: the Sun signifies the basic personality structure of the individual, the locus of social identity, and the relational quality to the paternal figure. Likewise, Pluto represents power, the "underworld," and the unregulated psychic forces inscribed into the unconscious.

However, the implications of this universal structure are radically different for each and every individual who experiences it. For one individual, this synthesis could absolutely be felt (as it often is) as cataclysmic, as an annihilation of the Self, and a traumatic encounter of the highest order. Yet for another person, this synthesis could be experienced as radically empowering, transformative, and even enlightening. In both cases the form is identical, transiting Pluto operates on the natal Sun, but the content is entirely dependent upon the unique make up of the natal chart in question.

For example, an individual who has the Sun placed in the eleventh house, ruling the fourth house and with no malefic aspects to the Sun in the natal chart, may well experience the Pluto transit as a time that opens to new contacts and experiences with powerful cultural forces and a dramatic rise in social stature. There could be, in addition to the external, an encounter with a hitherto unknown psychological reservoir of power and self-agency: all potential manifestations of Pluto’s effect acting upon the Sun.

However, in a dramatic difference, if an individual was to possess the Sun in the fourth house, ruling the twelfth house, and with Pluto squaring the Sun from its own natal position, the Pluto-Sun transit could be shattering and traumatizing. What could follow this particular instance — other than the potential loss of one’s home, a profound sense of psychic and emotional isolation — would be a regression into the wounding of early childhood, and even, at the extreme, an sleuth like investigation into intergenerational trauma.

What we have in the above cases is precisely the same, at its zero level, conjunction of planetary energies: a 0 degree contact between transiting Pluto and the natal Sun. However, it is the contingent placement of the Sun in the natal chart that determines the content that will materialize in the life of the individual.

In both cases a potent transformation ensues. But in case 1 the Pluto-Sun contact catalyzes itself as an event of empowerment and a psychological change that may feel easily integrated into the network of subjectivity because of the innate support reflected by the Sun’s position-aspects in the natal chart.

Whereas case 2, the contact becomes — because of the 12th house association and the natal Pluto square — dispersive, unstable, and integrated into the psychic apparatus only through breakdown.

Case 2 is extreme. Case 1 could be considered fortunate, or “lucky.” The majority of people fall somewhere in the middle.

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