Descriptive material about astrological Pluto is lacking, a fact which is ironically very Scorpio-esque of the planet: keep everything regarding your infrastructure away from the public, so no one can use your information against you. Nice try Pluto, but I’ve dug into your planetary & mythic innards…
Astronomical and astrological Pluto seem like two separate entities. One lies in the far reaches of the solar system alongside other icy dwarfs; while the other is often associated with death, destruction, and regeneration. But the two celestial bodies have one thing in common: whether astronomical or astrological Pluto is a highly complex and mysterious planet; and its ruling sign is even more so.
The first insight the dwarf planet gives us into Scorpio are its geology, atmosphere, and transit length. Geologically, Pluto is one third water and two thirds rock; 98% of Pluto’s surface is covered with ice and icy mountains. Its atmosphere is thin, composed of the noxious gases nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. And one year on Pluto is the equivalent of 248 years on Earth; one day on the icy dwarf planet lasts 153 hours!
If we look at these planetary characteristics symbolically, the ice-dominated surface and icy mountains correspond to the qualities of Scorpio that pop astrology propagates: frigid, aloof, and unsympathetic Scorpio who’s always. That trite image of the fixed water sign does what all the ice and icy mountains do to the planet. It shrouds an otherwise profoundly compassionate, demonstrative, and loyal sign; these qualities — symbolized by Pluto’s ⅓ water and ⅔ rocky core and its slow revolution around the Sun — are at Scorpio’s core.
In astrology, water is the element of emotion and soul, the interrelatedness of meaning and feeling; and earth is the element of the physical realm. Now, let it be clear: Scorpio is a water sign, not an earth sign, so it seeks soul and emotional understanding over sensory creation. However, Scorpio’s modality (or movement of energy) is fixed. And like the other fixed signs, Scorpio has a natural strength and instinct to stabilize and concentrate energy (which can, at times, come across as rigidity and stubbornness), which are very earth-like qualities. These qualities also align with the slow, determined speed at which Pluto revolves around the Sun.
But to better comprehend this planet and sign, we need not look to the sky, but gaze instead at the mythic world below.
In Roman mythology, the cthonic god Pluto (Greek: Hades) was ruler of the underworld. He presided over the dead, and the deep, dark, subterranean mineral wealth of the earth (cthonic actually translates to “in, under, or beneath the earth”), and he often appeared in tales as the possessor of some magical object. Pluto was also the god of wealth.
In astrology, Scorpio rules the 8th house, which is the house of many dark uncomfortable things like sex, secrets, the occult, and shadows of your unconscious — all of which are Plutonian topics. The astrological planet rules all areas of the unseen.
But the 8th House is also the house of shared resources and other people’s money; it opposes Taurus and the 2nd house, a sign and house concerned primarily with material possessions and personal resources. To Pluto, money is meaningless in the afterlife, for there is no room for possessions in the underworld. What Pluto, the 8th House, and Scorpio are concerned with most are a person’s inner resources, their creative depths.
As such, Scorpios (and Pluto-dominant and/or 8th-House-stellium individuals) see the value of the emotional and psychological riches — the deep, dark, subterranean parts of a person — as opposed to that person’s monetary status. Scorpios don’t care if you are loaded or broke, but it is crucial for you to have and acknowledge your painful depths.
The fact that Pluto appeared in myths as the possessor of magical quest-objects is also a trait shared by the astrological planet and sign.
Astrological Pluto plunges into the secrets of life in hopes of permanently altering what is there. Both in the natal chart and during his transits, Pluto asks us to look with a penetrating mind at the unseen parts of ourselves — our inner cthonic abyss — and release what shame, secrets, or taboos lurking there. The ultimate goal of any Pluto transit or birth chart placement is to alchemize our pain, so that we can find the riches within.
There’s danger in underestimating the ninth planet from the Sun. It is equally risky underestimating Scorpio. And it’s even riskier and more dangerous to confuse such a mysterious and complex sign with trite stereotypes. But Pluto and Scorpio don’t care — at least not really. As evidenced by Pluto’s reclassification from planet to dwarf planet and back again: The Pluto-ruled always come back, just to show earth how important they really are.