Pluto transits: Bearing witness

617094_melting_hearts_3 One of the hardest things to do during one’s own Pluto transits, as well as others’, is to learn to bear witness to the transformation without judgement.

Here are two enormously insightful articles: Elizabeth Spring’s ‘Healing Pluto’s Wounds’, and Radiant Woman’s ‘Five Ways to Use Pluto Square Pluto Positively’.

The only thing I can think to do, apart from psychotherapy, is to keep practising, to keep being aware, and to learn to bear witness to that which is changing in me alchemically, and to stay aware of that change without trying to control it, and without judgement over what results may follow. Easier said, than done, of course, but there aren’t too many other options.

Today, I am going to try and draw a lesson from Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck, who, in Nothing Special: Living Zen, uses the metaphor of the melting ice cube to describe how practice may help us become more open to others and ourselves.

The comparison of human life to an ice cube is of course silly. I see people battering one another, however, hoping that by battering others, something will be gained. It never is. Someone has to stop battering and just sit with being an ice cube. We need to just sit and watch, and feel what it’s like to be what we are — really experience that. We can’t do much about the other ice cubes. In fact, it’s not our business to do so. The only thing we can do is more and more to summon that witness. When we turn to the witness, we begin to melt. If we melt, other ice cubes do, too, little by little. Once we’ve begun to melt, it’s perfectly natural to resist the melting, to want to go back to being frozen, trying to control and manipulate all other frozen creatures we meet. I never worry about that, because for anyone who’s been practicing for a while, there’s too much knowing. We can’t become rigid again, because deep within us, we know something we didn’t know before. We can’t go back. (135)

I take comfort from that, because on some days, the resistance is great, and while I feel myself wanting to claw back some measure of control, I also watch myself trying not to lay it at the feet of someone close to me, whom I know is undergoing a Pluto transit over a chart angle of their own. It’s not enough to guarantee perfect calmness on my part, but perfection isn’t the goal, awareness is. And that includes making amends where necessary.

Image: Melting hearts. Source: stock.xchng.


6 Responses to Pluto transits: Bearing witness

  1. mm says:

    Pluto square Pluto. I remember it well!

    Life isn’t the same afterwards, in my experience. And yes, it is slow.

    Whatever transits are manifesting, HH72, bon courage.

  2. hitchhiker72 says:

    Thanks, mm. Hope you’re well.

  3. Rene says:

    Oh, I like your blog! I was thinking about starting one of my own as I explore astrology, but I’m happier to hang out on yours 🙂

    I’ve got some heavy Pluto transits coming up–Pluto opp Sun/Mercury, Pluto Conjunct MC–along with Pluto trine Pluto, which I’m hoping will ease it all somewhat. I’ll be interested to know how your square is going. What houses are you talking about?

    I saw you mentioned a Yod–I have one of those as well, with Pluto sextile Sun/Mercury. I’m not certain whether or not the Pluto transits will affect that.

    I’m not ready for therapy, but I have been singing “I want to be sedated” a lot.

  4. hitchhiker72 says:

    Hi, Rene, thanks very much! And you are very welcome to ‘hang out’…! I try and post semi-regularly but sometimes I feel like I need to let Pluto do the underground work first.

    Pluto is currently transiting my 1st house, squaring natal Pluto in the 10th. Pluto transited opposite my natal Sun-Merc-Saturn conjunction around 2000-1. It was pretty heavy-going but then I wasn’t aware of any of these processes at the time. Awareness helps a great deal.

  5. Jayne says:


    I am in the midst of a pluto transit and am feeling so heavy and burdened

    I have pluto conjuct Natal IC


    pluto sextile Sun

    What do you make of this?

  6. hitchhiker72 says:

    Hi Jayne,

    The effects of Pluto transits on an individual’s chart really vary from person to person. The Plutonian themes of power struggles and transformation may be there but the details will vary.

    It is not clear from your post whether transiting Pluto is conjunct your natal IC, or that your natal Pluto is conjunct your IC. I am going to assume you mean that Pluto is transiting your IC at the moment, and without looking at your whole chart, it could reflect on a number of things to do with the home – anything from a major refurbishment to a radical transformation of your own sense of home, which may or may not be a physical place. Transiting Pluto on the nadir also means it is transiting opposite the midheaven and this can have an impact on your career or your public presence. Again whether this is due to power struggles or internal or external transformation, only you can know.

    It might help you to consult a professional astrologer to deal with Pluto problems. S/he may have some insight that can help you address them. However, much of the work will still have to be done within yourself — cultivate awareness, compassion, and a lot of patience.

    Good luck and best wishes.

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