Metaphorically, we may be drawn into Hades through the caves and empty places formed from our depression or despair. Grief and loss of meaning in our lives may also draw us into the Underworld. Or we may descend through a chasm that has been opened by a volcanic blast of buried feeling. Emotional catharsis may leave a dark hole through which we now must enter the Underworld to encounter soul, as in Jung’s experience. At critical transitions in the life cycle, when we need to relinquish one stage of life to enter another, we often find ourselves standing at one of the entrances to Hades. The most potent of these times is on the threshold of “midlife.” […] Continue reading
Tag Archives: Pluto
In Greek myth, Hades is not only the personification of the Underworld god Pluto, but also refers to his extensive Underworld kingdom. Mythological tradition and epic clearly differentiate the Underworld and the god Hades, who is regent of this place. The topography and atmosphere of this mythological nether world is symbolic of the sphere we are drawn into during a transit of Pluto and provides a context for the textures and shades of subterranean feelings experienced during this time.
Descent into the Underworld, or catabasis, is a common motif in myth, and this journey is undertaken for a variety of reasons. The journey to the Underworld crosses the crucial threshold between this world Continue reading
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When I try to conjure up an image of the idea most threatening to our culture, a very Plutonian image arises: that of a naked voodoo priestess writhing in ecstasy while the blood of the headless chicken in her hands flows down her sweaty, chocolate skin. This image does not play well on Main Street. Yet, here we have passion, ritual, death, blood, and an undulating feminine body all in one. Pluto is at home here – totally and uncompromisingly. And need I tell you that we all have Pluto in our charts? We all express the archetypal voodoo priestess somewhere. […] Our internal pantheon includes Kali, Lilith and Sekhmet, goddesses with a fierce, frightening, and sometimes ruthless aspect. Each planet must speak through us in its own voice.
Pluto energy appears not only as horror, destruction, and titillation. The yin aspect is also nurturing and receptive. Expressed this way, Pluto is also a bowl – a creative, dark place. The gardener who frets about destructive underground roots also delights in truffles and mushrooms, treasures from the deep, moist earth. Pluto is also a womb – a Continue reading
A Temple for Pluto
By Laurence Hillman, 2001
If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid
My angels will take flight as well.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
In a monastery in medieval Europe, an upstart monk was misbehaving. “How do we know that all the words we are copying over and over again in these texts are accurate?” he asked. “If a monk made a mistake 200 years ago, we’d still be copying that same mistake, no?” The abbot reluctantly agreed with the smart aleck and promised all the monks that, on the morrow, he would compare their work with the original texts that were kept deep in the vaults below the monastery. The next day, as the abbot descended into the forbidden, stony depths, all the monks gathered excitedly at the top of the stairs. After what seemed like an eternity, they heard a woeful cry of agony from below. The abbot emerged, clutching his head with both hands, and exclaimed: “The word is celibrate!“
For about a thousand years, before the Reformation, the Catholic Church controlled the Western world, alongside various noblemen who came and went. The above joke illustrates the twisting that occurred Continue reading
The 8th house in astrology deals with the aspect of self-confrontation, and often involves a method of self-investigation and deep analysis. It is the place where we hold up a “psychological mirror”. The process of analysis involves the need to ‘dig up the old stuff’. Commonly the 8th house rules over psychology, and those with with Pluto heavily aspected, Scorpio and/or 8th house planets in the natal chart are often masters at drawing out the secrets of others, It usually represents how we handle all the deep stuff.
Many people argue over whether we should go stirring up what is down below, maybe we pushed it down for a reason. Perhaps we should let sleeping dogs lie. However, it is here where life demands that we give an open, honest and psychological approach to the issues involved. Continue reading