18, 1930, a 24-year-old astronomy researcher by the name of Clyde Tombaugh
discovered a small planet at the periphery of the solar system. Named
after the Greek god of the underworld, Pluto has fascinated astrologers
ever since. In Greek mythology, Pluto was responsible for the abduction
of the young maiden Persephone from Earth down into Hades. Through divine
efforts, she was released from Pluto’s domain, but in exchange she had
to return for six months out of the year (three months in some versions). During this time, the land would
lay barren and winter would prevail.
says a lot about the nature and character of the planet Pluto and how
it can affect our health and well-being. In this story of abduction and
eventual release, there is a sense of a transformative process taking
place. Many of us have gone through a difficult process of our own, such
as the loss of a friend or a loved one, or have gone through interpersonal
and financial difficulties. The emotional strain that these experiences
may cause can directly affect our physical health as well, and we may
feel fatigued, depressed and anxious.
experiences often seem frightening at the time, there is often a message
of importance that can be learned through the process. By working with
different healing modalities, we can go to the core of the issue to discover
the underlying root. Through this awareness, a greater sense of compassion
can arise along with a transformation of the soul. I want to look at activities
that will help us to garner wisdom from these “Plutonic” experiences.
Art: A Vehicle for Plutonic Transformation
way of moving through difficult passages is by working with them in a
non-linear and artistic way. Many artists and musicians can more easily
and readily release deep-seated emotions through an expressive medium.
There is no need to be immensely talented, only to have the desire to
channel feelings through words or paint brushstrokes.
I enjoy music and find it can be easier to express myself through writing
lyrics to songs or through playing music. This helps me to contact emotional
depths that I am sometimes not aware of on a conscious level. If I am
going through a difficult process, I can then come to an understanding
of its meaning and release it through my words and expression. Oftentimes
I will come to a place of deeper self-acceptance and empathy for others
who are struggling. I may not have eliminated the pain I am going through,
but I am more aware and connected to the meaning of my experience.
Diving into the Unconscious
tool for bringing clarity and wisdom to difficult situations is seeing
a counselor. Good counselors are adept at drawing out the root of the
problem and the dynamics that led up to the current situation. When I
was going through a particularly difficult time in my life, I worked with
a Jungian counselor who was especially adept at dream analysis.
often potent symbolic representations of psychological processes going
on in our unconscious. By bringing them to light, a counselor can help
translate these images into tools for deeper awareness and understanding.
Often we lock away and store memories and experiences that were
too difficult to process at the time. Counseling can help draw forth these
experiences and allow for release and letting go.
for working with Pluto problems require going to the core of the matter.
Physically, the body can store much of the tension and pain from difficult
experiences in the muscles and ligaments. To mitigate this effect, it
can be helpful to see a trained bodyworker who can assist in the release
of body strain and tightness. Deep tissue work like rolfing or soma will
often trigger an emotional response when a particular area of the body
is worked on. For example, massaging the stomach might bring up issues
of personal security. Massaging the neck might bring up issues of communication
and self-expression. By working with a trained bodyworker, greater awareness
of the mind-body connection can develop and deeply stored emotional issues
held in the body have a chance to be released.
times we are more familiar with techniques of suppressing pain and emotional
turmoil. We are surrounded by gadgets and devices that help us forget
our own experience and numb our pain. Drugs and alcohol also provide ways for losing touch with ourselves. It is much more difficult, but
can be enriching and beautiful to allow for difficult experiences to teach
us something of value, to have a relationship with ourselves that incorporates
these darker elements in life. Pluto, then, can become an ally and an
assistant in our awakening. Instead of a dark force to be feared, it can
be seen as a transformative agent, helping us to become more compassionate,
loving and authentic.