Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shiva & Pluto

My avatar, the dancing man, is Shiva the Destroyer. Not destructive in the usual sense, but in the regenerative sense. Shiva eliminates the old so that the new can appear. It is somewhat like the astrological symbolism of Pluto. The planet Pluto journeys into the underworld to cleanse himself and to prepare.

I did not originally know who the illustration represented. I just liked the veils and the balanced posture. I have long since forgotten where I found it.

Shiva is the god of the yogis, self-controlled and celibate, while at the same time a lover of his spouse (Shakti). Lord Shiva is the destroyer of the world, following Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver, after which Brahma again creates the world and so on. Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of destroying the ego, the false identification with the form. This also includes the shedding of old habits and attachments.

All that has a beginning by necessity must have an end. In destruction, truly nothing is destroyed but the illusion of individuality. Thus the power of destruction associated with Lord Shiva has great purifying power, both on a more personal level when problems make us see reality more clearly, as on a more universal level. Destruction opens the path for a new creation of the universe, a new opportunity for the beauty and drama of universal illusion to unfold. As Sat yam, Shiv am, and Sundar am - or Truth, Goodness and Beauty - Shiva represents the most essential goodness.

Pluto, the lord of the underworld, symbolizes the forces of deep transformation in our lives. A slow-moving outer planet discovered in 1930, Pluto's influence is in general most clearly noticeable as it distinguishes one generation from the next.

In our personal lives, Pluto's significance is found in its house position and the aspects it makes to other planets in the chart. The psychological process is one of being faced with obstruction, struggling to overcome it and being transformed in the process, leading to a regeneration of the area affected by house, aspect and sign. Pluto rules intense energy, signifying the areas in which we consciously or subconsciously seek to exercise power or control. Linked to our karmic responsibility, Pluto also indicates those areas where we need to gain the deepest level of understanding.

On the up side, Pluto is associated with renewal and rebirth. It represents endings and new beginnings, as well as spiritual growth and rebirth. Negative expression of Pluto is an obsessive desire for power and control and general destructiveness.

Pluto's energy may be subtle, but its results will hit you like a ton of bricks. This planet is about transformation, regeneration and rebirth. Things aren't pretty with Pluto, but they do get done. Pluto says 'out with the old and in with the new,' and we'd better be ready for it. If we're not, this planet will simply have us wallow in our misery. Pluto asks us to transcend that which we know, redeem ourselves in the process, and come out stronger as a result.

For all that Pluto (re)creates (it also governs the reproductive system), it loves to destroy. This planet rules destruction, death, obsession, kidnapping, coercion, viruses and waste. That's definitely not pretty. Pluto also governs crime and the underworld, along with many forms of subversive activity (terrorism, dictatorships). This planet is about all that is secret and undercover, that which is hidden from view. Is this the story of good versus evil? Yes.

No one will deny Pluto's power (it rules atomic power, too) and intensity. This planet's energy is often focused on the masses and what the collective will do. Pluto beseeches the masses to look inward (and to their subconscious) to see what's there. It may be scary, but Pluto doesn't care. This planet knows how to push buttons.

It takes Pluto approximately 248 years to complete its orbit around the zodiac. Due to the eccentricity of its orbit, it takes this planet between 12 and 31 years to pass through a sign. It rules Scorpio and the Eighth House. Pluto is the last of the transcendental planets and is the higher octave of Mars.

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