What does it mean to have Moon Square Pluto or Moon Trine Pluto in the natal chart? In this post, I will address Moon Pluto Aspects: all the major “hard” and “soft” aspects will be discussed. Please note that these are baseline interpretations and may be modified according to the presence of other factors in the chart. You can also study Pluto Houses I and Pluto Houses II discussed in other posts.
Moon Pluto: Conjunction
In evolutionary astrology, Pluto symbolizes the Soul, and the Moon is perceived to be the symbol of Ego (according to Jeffrey Wolf Green’s teachings). The proximity between these two symbols, therefore, can be read as an alignment between the evolutionary path of the Soul and the individual’s personal sense of Ego which is constantly changing throughout life.
As discussed in a previous post, however, in psychological astrology Pluto is perceived differently: it symbolizes what we have managed to repress, especially during our early years of life, probably because of pain or shame, which, nonetheless, can ultimately loom out and spill into our so-called “conscious” space.
The Moon, on the other hand, symbolizes our emotions, our instincts, our “auto-pilot” response to life. It can be looked at as the particular “flavor” of our childhood, the conditioning we received from our caregivers, our likes and dislikes, food preferences, how we comfort ourselves, and how well we listen, accept or nurture in general. In this sense, the Moon stands for that which is highly personal, intimate and subjective about us, whereas Pluto represents that which goes beyond our Ego and its particular preferences or immediate needs, and envelopes something more profound, less sensitive and more spiritually significant.
A conjunction between Pluto and the Moon can thus be interpreted as an inherent alignment between the eternal and the ephemeral in us, the steadfast guiding star and the partially-illuminated night. Here, our most mundane needs are entangled with all that is buried and forgotten in us, hence may assume deep and dark dimensions. We may need to take care of ourselves, feed ourselves and protect ourselves, not just because it feels good, but because it may be a matter of life or death to us. These seemingly simple acts of care may indeed help us evolve faster or play our karmic decks more effectively.
If the energies symbolized by Pluto and the Moon are psychologically integrated through the conscious work of the individual, the Ego can put itself in the service of the Soul, and the Soul can eventually elevate the Ego by stretching it to its own edge and showing it how pliant and strong it is. The individual, in this case, can become capable of understanding life as not only composed of “rational facts,” but also “intangible” elements which can only be felt personally and intuitively, as Hexagram 21 of I Ching describes. Such an individual, therefore, will be able to “bite through” unconscious blocks and get to the bottom of any issue in order to clean and correct it.
However, if this conjunction is under stress in the birth chart and remains psychologically unintegrated, the individual may have difficulties separating the Ego demands from imperatives issued by the Soul, i.e. she may start acting based on pure instinct, assuming that the instinct comes from a higher plane, and thus becoming blind to the possibility of correcting or modifying her attitude.
Alternatively, the intensity of emotions felt by the individual may actually encourage her to think that she is right, or her feelings are coming from a genuine place. In other words, the individual may erroneously conclude that just because something feels so intense and all-consuming, it has to be “right” or in accordance with one’s Soul’s demands.
Either case, the proximity of Moon and Pluto in the birth chart symbolizes a high degree of vigor with regards to reforming one’s Ego structure, and an ability to adapt to new conditionings and re-generate the very programs which control our reactions to life. In its well-integrated form, this conjunction can also point to a high level of emotional quotient (EQ) and a profound understanding of the nature of sentiments which cannot be put into words or made sense of.
Moon Pluto: Square
With this configuration in the natal chart, one’s basic Ego structure may have been challenged by one’s karmic or ancestral predispositions, or by what is demanded by the Soul as part of the evolutionary process.
In some cases, the individual’s spiritual growth may have been hampered by parental conditioning, inappropriate or unceasing demands of family members, or their absolute lack of understanding of the evolutionary path that the individual has chosen to take.
In other cases, either or both parents may have emotionally manipulated the individual to walk the path they prefer by subtly withholding love and carefully dispensing it only when the individual would respect their wishes. Alternatively, they may have been excessively demanding love or support from their child, because they themselves have been unhappy or hurt. If this has been the case, one may have developed a conditioned response to the idea of “care” or “love,” psychologically equating these concepts with “control” or “demand.”
If these energies remain unintegrated in the psyche, the individual may become conditioned to believe that expressing her immediate needs or paying attention to her personal instincts may lead to the loss of love or support from others. This underlying association may explain why later in life these individuals can develop a fear of being themselves and acting naturally in relationships or friendships with others: it is as if the Ego structure has been so highly modulated that it has lost its natural immediacy and spontaneity.
At its best, this energy exchange between Pluto and the Moon symbolizes a lack of fear with regards to experiencing intense or profound feelings (be it of oneself or of others), a toughness of the heart which can help one mourn the most devastating forms of loss and yet stand up, march on and heal.
Moon Pluto: Opposition
With this configuration in the natal chart, one’s Ego structure may have shied away from inclusion of the primal, the profound, or the taboo aspects of oneself, and may thus have inadvertently projected these aspects onto the “other.” In this case, the “other” may be perceived as the ultimate force which simultaneously encourages and controls the process of emotional bonding.
If this configuration remains psychologically unintegrated, the individual may predominantly associate the concepts of love and care with pain and destruction, concluding that the “other,” no matter how attractive or engaging he or she may seem to be, will ultimately inflict pain upon the individual, therefore is not to be trusted. This underlying belief can lead to a frustrating loop of attracting lovers who seem to be profoundly interested in us, and then rejecting them because we are suspicious of their profound feelings and do not want to be caught in their powerful claws.
Alternatively, with this opposition in the natal chart, it is too tempting to disregard our own role in constructing a fulfilling life for ourselves, and instead, we may tend to blame others for our unhappiness, insecurity or lack of trust in life. In every lover, we may see a potential traitor, and in every act of kindness, we may look for an ulterior motive. In some cases, our psychological filter may be so dark that we cannot even see the true nature of our own emotions, hence we may end up playing a defensive game with ourselves, as well as with everyone else.
If we work with these energies in a conscious manner, however, we can develop a sense of trust in life and in our seemingly-suspicious encounters, because no matter what, at the end of the day others can actually help us face our buried fears or psychological insecurities precisely by not giving in to our every single desire, sentimental hypersensitivity or melodramatic displays of emotion.
This attitude, however, will take a courageous heart to develop, as most of us tend to get quite defensive when our Moon, i.e. our Ego is involved. Still, there is a chance that we can actually liberate ourselves from the fear of hurting our Ego in our interaction with others if we accept the fact that life is not about playing it safe, but it is about growth, which, quite often, may involve a degree of pain and discomfort. In fact, if we can transform the fear of pain into an acceptance of pain, by allowing ourselves to take small risks in trust every day, we may, paradoxically enough, feel less pain in our interaction with others, and eventually become less afraid of taking bigger risks, such as falling in love without expecting to be betrayed.
Moon Pluto: Quincunx (Inconjunction)
This configuration may signal that one’s Ego structure has been overpowered or diminished by one’s karmic habits or ancestral patterns, one’s fears, or one’s pain. In some cases, the individual may be scared of listening to her gut instinct, as there is a lack of trust in the validity of intuitive and immediate responses to life, and every single feeling may be heavily scrutinized before reaching the sphere of consciousness.
Alternatively, there can be an expectation of disappointment or failure attached to what is naturally unpredictable and largely out of conscious control (i.e. the lunar functions), which in itself can hinder one’s spontaneous response to life and incline one to constantly plan or monitor the expression of emotions.
Another possibility is that a feminine figure in one’s life (a mother, sister, etc.) could have been undermining one’s confidence in one’s personal instincts or one’s ability to respond to various circumstances on the spot.
Sometimes the individual may be able to reconnect to her emotions and learn how to allow a spontaneous flow of instinctual response to life through intimacy with the other. In this case, sex or erotic touch may initiate a process of emotional healing and cultivate a sense of trust in one’s gut feelings, the capacity to nurture, and ability to love and care for oneself and others.
Moon Pluto: Semi-Sextile
This configuration may signal that one’s Ego may have been polarized from one’s instincts, fears or suppressed emotions. Alternatively, one’s Ego structure may have been indirectly affected by an experience of severity, extremity or crisis.
If the individual consciously works with these energies, she will accept the possibility of an emotional “blind spot” in her psyche and will allow a conscious process of exploring that which may not neatly fit into the safe and secure boundaries erected by her Ego.
Otherwise, if these energies remain psychologically unintegrated, the individual’s subjective perception may stay in the periphery of her fears or inexplicable impulses. In this case, the individual may simply dismiss the existence of what is frightful or painful in her, and thus remain emotionally naïve or unequipped in dealing with life’s traumatic episodes.
Moon Pluto: Trine
With this configuration in the natal chart, there usually exists a degree of psychological cooperation between the suppressed content of the psyche (which includes taboo desires, irrational impulses or buried fears) and one’s Ego needs. In other words, what is initially suppressed may be later approved by the Ego to pass through filters and fully register its presence in the sphere of consciousness.
Depending on the nature of the psychological content represented by Pluto and the overall interaction of energies in the chart, this approval may be beneficial or detrimental to the individual: the French painter Paul Gaugin and the American serial killer Ted Bundy both had this aspect in their natal chart, and yet they chose different forms of expression regarding the suppressed content of their psyche. Therefore, as it has been frequently highlighted in previous posts, having a harmonious aspect between two planets in and of itself does not guarantee a “positive” expression of the energies represented by the archetypes involved.
If this configuration is psychologically well-integrated, the individual will have a bold, in-depth understanding of all the subtleties and complications involved in the process of formation and expression of emotions, which can be utilized in both personal and professional contexts.
However, if the individual has not consciously worked with the energies symbolized by the Moon and Pluto, the unconscious impulses can easily bypass Ego boundaries and as such, they may register themselves as personal needs or well-justified gut feelings. In this case, the individual may become convinced that all she feels comes from a conscious space (i.e. her immediate, subjective perceptions represented by the Moon), and may thus be unable to question or examine what she has karmically inherited, primally suppressed or psychologically feared to deal with (represented by Pluto).
Either case, such an easy energy flow between the Moon and Pluto symbolizes an opportunity to harmonize the evolutionary path of the Soul with the mundane demands of the Ego, and as such, to use Ego’s immediate response to life in contribution to Soul’s plans, and rely on Soul’s steadfastness to relieve uncertainties raised by the Ego.
Moon Pluto: Sextile
With this configuration in the natal chart, one is often presented with opportunities to develop a strong sense of Ego as a result of extreme experiences. One’s immediate environment or connections may have included a high degree of intensity, facilitating a higher intellectual capacity for understanding pain and crisis and developing skills in dealing with difficulties in general.
Alternatively, a female figure in the immediate environment (a mother, sister, etc.) may have been exposed to some form of crisis or extreme experience; they may have struggled with difficult conditions (addiction, illnesses, etc.) or positively, they may have been able to get back on their feet after a traumatic incident.
If the energies symbolized here are well-integrated in the psyche of the individual, she will be able to deal with any form of adversity in a logical, strategic manner. In this case, pain or crisis can propel the individual to take action with the goal of improving her immediate environment or local community. As the energy of the Moon is classically connected with the public arena, the individual may become a positive agent of change in her environment.
Otherwise, if these energies are not well-integrated, the individual may be readily influenced by the input coming from her environment and, accordingly, take actions which she may feel are correct, while, in fact, such actions may be simply fed by prejudice or instincts distorted by pain. Much patience and persistence will be required here, as well as professional help from healers and therapists, in order for the individual to become conscious of her own biased filters in perceiving reality and dealing with it.
In the next post, I will offer a basic analysis of Pluto in aspect to Mercury in the birth chart.