Hades Moon II: The darkness that is mine

Parts I and III.

cups05Judy Hall’s book spooked me (in a good way) because nearly everything she described about the Hades Moon I recognised from my own life. Now, I like working with astrology, but there are times when the general descriptions in astrology ‘cookbooks’ don’t necessarily apply, and thus require creative interpretation. Because Hall’s book focuses on individuals with the Pluto-Moon aspects, and thus their specific life circumstances, description and implication of the aspect become that much more personal and vivid. The Hades Moon is not about behaviour or circumstance but about psychic experience so deep there are few words to describe it.

Until I read Eric Francis’ delineation of the Capricorn Moon, I could never really identify with textbook descriptions of the Cap moon as ambitious, money-grabbing, and so on. It is likely that many with Cap moons come across that way because they channel their repressed emotions into tangible achievements, as if to say ‘If my material circumstances are okay, I’m okay’. The impact of Pluto aspecting this fragile but tough moon never really crossed my mind until, in consultation with Eric Francis himself one day, he said, ‘Pluto aspecting your moon gives me the sense of hanging onto a cliff by your fingertips’. He meant having both planets at their anaretic degrees, or the last degrees of the signs. My Pluto at 29+° Virgo was in exact trine to my moon at 29+° Capricorn.


Whoa, how did he know?, I thought. My entire birth circumstance was about precisely that. To cut a long story short, when my mother’s water broke, she didn’t go into labour and thus saw no urgency to rush to the hospital (I don’t know why). By the time she went in the next day, I (the foetus) was apparently pronounced dead by at least three doctors and midwives until one of them heard a faint heartbeat. Labour was induced and out I popped.

Years later, I learn that it is not uncommon for Moon-Pluto people to have to face the precariousness of survival, or as Hall recounts many times in her book, experience a traumatic, or difficult birth, including her own experience of nearly dying at the birth of her child. In the chapter on the ‘Devouring Moon’, there is a whole section on the ‘Unsafe Womb’, where the womb of the mother is not a nurturing space but a hostile one.

The father’s genes are directed towards a large baby which survives at all costs. The mother’s genes oppose this. For her survival, the baby cannot grow too large in the womb. So the ‘devouring mother’ is both a physical and psychic reality. An inheritance passed down through the genes, the battle with the devouring mother starts pre-birth. She is much more than a mythological archetype. The Plutonian experience of rejection also begins in utero.

It may well be that Pluto-Moon attuned fetuses are the ones who resonate most strongly with this battle for survival. Certainly, in all the pre-birth work I have carried out with clients, it was those with the Hades Moon who were most tuned in to the possibility of destruction, and to the mother’s fear of annihilation and loss of control that accompanied the pregnancy. …

The Hades Moon, and the devouring mother, is reflected too in life-threatening childhood events: difficult birth, traumatic separations, alienation and rejection. (76–77)

The story of my miraculous survival at birth was always related to me as such — a miracle, and by silent implication a sense that I owed it to the universe, the divine, the ineffable, for allowing me to enter this world. Until Eric Francis asked me, and until my therapist pointed it out quite recently, it never occurred to me to ask why it was my mother never reacted at all to the breaking of the water, even going back to sleep soundly, as she tells me. Sure, I was her first child, and she wasn’t sure what to expect, but most new parents tend to err on the side of over-anxiousness. I am not seeking to blame my mother, nor even to try and account for her behaviour; indeed my relations with her at this stage in my life are pretty good. What this new understanding of the birth (non-)trauma, if one could call it that, has opened up for me is an exploration of the emotional and psychological issues I have with this abandonment of sorts, and more specifically with acknowledgement, with being seen and understood and heard, as is the due of any human being on this earth, not only because someone accidentally discovered they were alive. And perhaps even more significantly, I find myself wondering why I didn’t try harder to be heard, or noticed? (See my recent issues with invisibility). I wonder if I was waiting in the dry womb for someone to notice I was in danger, otherwise I was just going to not be a bother to anyone…

Pluto aspecting Moon is powerful in any case but I think Pluto trine Moon can feel less frictional than a conjunction, a square or an opposition, and the smoothness of the trine can make one less conscious of the energies working through it. Very often I don’t feel the pain until I notice I’m bleeding, metaphorically speaking. That’s partly the Cap Moon too — it sometimes doesn’t realise it’s in pain until someone points it out.

Anyway, I’ve pointed out way too much now and I may regret it and retreat tomorrow. But hey, if part of the call of the Hades Moon is to transform, then I’m damned (forgive the Plutonian language) if I’m going to ignore it.

The closing words are Judy Hall’s:

There is indeed a treasure at the heart of the Hades Moon. It offers the gift of empowerment and regeneration, the strength to face fearlessly whatever must be, to transform, transmute, transcend, but never to lose touch with the roots, with the ground of being.

Image: Five of Cups, Rider-Waite tarot deck.

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6 Responses to Hades Moon II: The darkness that is mine

  1. Shawn says:

    Very good book review and story. I think I should like to read this book, as I have Moon in Scorpio, sextile Pluto. I understand that my mother lost a lot of blood during my birth and it may have been touch and go there for awhile. This Moon is also opposed by the transneptunian , Hades!

  2. hitchhiker72 says:

    Hi Shawn, thanks for the comment. I looked up the TNO Hades and it is trine my Moon…

  3. Togi says:

    I have a cap moon trine pluto as well and can relate. I also have sun conjunct pluto. I am in touch with my pain…sometimes too much. It’s never too far away regardless of how ‘happy’ I am.

  4. hitchhiker72 says:

    Thanks, Togi. You describe it very well, being ‘in touch with [your] pain’. Mine’s never very far away either.

  5. Keabird14 says:

    Oh Gee I do relate to this – I have Pluto/Uranus in Virgo in the 12th trine Moon in Pluto in the 4th. My relationship with my mother was pretty strange too, like you no blame now I am an adult but she rejected me at birth and left my sisters to raise me.
    I can relate to what you describe I find the painful times very intense, but they tend to sneak up on me.
    By the way love your blog – pat yourself on the back – and yes you are right about tweeting I wonder about that Pied Piper dude too….

  6. hitchhiker72 says:

    Keabird – the Hades moon is certainly striking once you put together the experiences of people who have it. Good to be able to share with like minds. Thank you.

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