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Pluto: The Great Transformer

Demoted to Dwarf Planet - Is it Dwarf or Giant?

by Ann Cortese, BS, MPS

Let’s take a look at (1) why this change of definition came about, (2) will the change affect Pluto’s impact in astrological readings and (3) the meaning of Pluto through the houses of the horoscope.

Why the change of definition?

Since 1919, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has been the official naming body for astronomy. In August of 2006, the IAU met for a 10 day General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic.

One of the items on their agenda was to come to agreement on the definition of a planet. Up until this time there had been no textbook definition of what constitutes a planet. A definition was arrived at and adopted after much debate and on August 24th, Ceres, Eris and Pluto were relegated to the category of “dwarf planets.”

Sadly, in the face of such an important issue, of the 9,785 members of the IAU only 2,412 were in attendance and further only 424 members attended the closing session where the vote was taken; only 4% of the total membership voted. Does this constitute a consensus by the membership?

I would think not. The resolution was not taken lightly and parts of the scientific community, public debates and even outcries from school children were in disagreement with the vote.

Dr. Alan Stern, leader of NASA’s New Horizon Mission to Pluto said he was embarrassed at the vote and called it “a farce.” According to Stern, astronomers are already circulating a petition to try to overturn the IAU vote .Only time will tell what the ultimate naming fate of Pluto will be.

Will the new definition of “dwarf planet” imposed on Pluto make a difference astrologically?

Pluto’s impact astrologically is a done deal. It is not the size of a planet that determines its impact astrologically, but rather it is the energy that is released to the world at the time of its discovery, and becomes part of the world consciousness that determines a planets impact.

The announcement of the discovery of Pluto was made on March 12, 1930 by Claude Tombaugh from the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona: it was the result of research begun by Dr. Percival Lowell, in 1905.

In Astrology, it has been termed the “dark planet” and was given ruler ship of the “Underworld”, a malefic and destructive planet because with its discovery there came a resurgence of wars, assassinations, kidnappings and gangster headed organizations. Its powerful energies were exhibited during World War 11 and the unleashing of the Atomic Bomb.

However, Pluto rules change, transformation, death of the old (way of life, career, partnerships, and life style) depending on where it is placed in the Chart. When a situation, partnership, belief system, place of residence etc. is no longer needed Pluto can, and will, transform the situation.

Unlike Uranus which comes in suddenly and unexpectedly and with a bang, Pluto works very subtlety and irregardless of where the changes take place in our charts, the changes will ultimately affect the very roots of our being.

As an example, Pluto transiting the 4th house of the home can bring about a change of residence, changes in family relationships, and changes in our basic inner nature, our emotional being: our roots. These changes, while they may appear to be destructive to the world we have established for ourselves, in reality, the positive transformation that can come about are much needed lessons in developing self sufficiency and eliminating patterns of dependency.

When a situation exists in a person’s life that is impeding their personal and spiritual growth, and is no longer needed, transiting Pluto to that area, can and will, transform the situation.

Sometimes these changes are welcomed and sometimes they are not. What we need to remember is wherever Pluto transits take place in our Astrological Charts is where, The Universe is calling for us to let go and be open to the next growth period in our lives. For many this is not an easy task. We are creatures of habit and change does not come easy. Evolution in illumination and attunement to the Cosmic Consciousness only comes through painful experiences.

We need to recognize however, that the positive side of Pluto is symbolized by Minerva: the Goddess of Wisdom. Once there is a realization of the need to let the transformation take place, then the themes of death, resurrection and rebirth take place and Pluto becomes the Phoenix rising from the ashes and a new evolutionary journey begins for the Soul.

In summation we can see that Pluto has both constructive and destructive manifestations. Whatever department of life it controls, it is like a coin with two sides, it can either destroy or transform-or—destroy to transform. Often it will split a group into two opposing factions: one group counter to what the other sets out to do.

It is the planet of crime and its opposite; it can work for the benefit of humanity. It is indicative of an extremist; an idealistic revolutionary or the supporter of a totalitarian regime.

Well aspected in ones chart it gives the ability to learn from the past and give insight into the future. It can give a talent for science, for medicine and in some cases, it can mean the rise to the top as a leader of some faction of politics.

Poorly aspected in ones chart, it can bring unrest, conflict, and strife, and even a fall from power. Materialism and cruelty are also found in poorly aspected charts.

Last, but not least, I would be remiss not to mention the wonderful work of Jeffrey Wolf Green, author of “ Pluto, the Evolutionary Journey of the Soul” in which he takes us on a journey, and allows us to experience the age old questions of “why am I here and what lessons am I supposed to be learning” by looking back to the past and to the future, with Pluto as our guide.

The meaning of Pluto through the houses of the Horoscope

Let it be understood that the following meanings of Pluto through the houses of the horoscope are only given as an introduction; an initial assessment of Pluto’s placement in a chart. The full meaning of Pluto’s placement in any astrological chart must be read in conjunction with all of the aspects it is making in a particular chart, taking in consideration the Zodiac sign in which it is found and where it is presently transiting in the chart. This requires a complete Astrological reading of ones chart.


First House: Usually has a strong resilient body. Can become highly successful or be a miserable failure depending on ones self and the choices made. It gives an electrifying and infinite capacity for experiences and accomplishments. May experience many upheavals in life. Greatest lesson here is to do good for others.

Second House: Unusual and fascinating ways of gaining wealth and property. Can go from “rags to riches” and back again. Must learn flexibility. May want to “own” people and shape them to suit themselves. Could have a jealous nature of loved one.

Third House: Intense and deep mental pursuits. Can be either completely absorbed in something-or- ignore the whole thing. They can make fine orators, critics and satirists .They can also be successful at writing and teaching. Unusual circumstances can arise with brothers and sisters.

Fourth House: Home is a focal strong point. Parents influence in the home will have a deep and intense effect on life. Could possibly be orphaned early in life, creating a great hunger to seek a home (peace and security) they could spend a whole lifetime seeking this. This denotes a thoughtful person who can be rather introspective, especially about life and death. This placement may cause constant uprooting.

Fifth House: Strong erotic and sexual tendencies. Sometimes there is a strong tendency towards the opposite, or celibacy. A proper balance in life fulfillment is necessary here. These folks can be bold artistic creators and can make a mark in the Theatrical Field or in the Art World. They can be blessed with exceptional luck or the reverse. They must learn to follow their hunches.”

Sixth House: These folks would have a great interest in healing of body, mind and soul. They make dedicated nurses, surgeons, psychiatrists and metaphysical healers. They will use these means to “serve” their fellowman. Caution: If turned inward these traits can produce a hypochondriac so the individual becomes a victim of his own pent up energies. They can also make good leaders in organized labor. They may exhibit a highly nervous and sensitive nature which can come from always trying to find the right calling.

Seventh House: Here we have persons who have strong and unusual ways of thinking and handling affairs. They can either be outstanding in public life or a recluse who spends far too much time self seeking. Here we see persons with precise views and forceful views and approach to marriage. They are seeking the ideal mate. They can have an indomitable will which when forced upon the mate can cause many marital difficulties.

Eighth House: These folks are avidly curious about spiritual realms. Here we find many occultists, clairvoyants, astrologers, and those able to use to use astral projection. From this house also may come psychiatrists, psychologists, criminal investigators, morticians, racketeers, murderers, victims of murder to name a few.

Ninth House: Pluto in the ninth house lends itself to a sense of adventure in everything. Here we have idealists and spiritual pioneers. There is an inbred thirst for knowledge to explore all peoples and all cultures. They are romantic and curious about all unknown things.

Tenth House: Strong, courageous, self assertive and very determined would best describe those with Pluto in the 10th house. They must always be on top of things, they can be overly dictatorial causing fear and distrust in others. There is a need here to always be on top of things. There are lessons to be learned here in understanding, love and unselfishness. If these lessons are learned they can be much respected.

Eleventh House: Very popular with friends. Natural Gifts for restring self-confidence in others. They love to be needed. Can be greatly hurt when friendships are broken. There may be long periods of loneliness but these can be use to great advantage in order to develop peace, joy, and understanding in your own heart so that it can be given to others.

Twelfth House: Pluto here is in a Karmic position and there may have been failure to learn a specific talent given to you in a previous lifetime. This will cause you to take a longer time to unlock the powers and talents which have been given to you now. The early years can bring a sense of frustration. The lesson here is to learn patience and understanding and make a consistent effort to find your true path in life.

In your chart is Pluto being played out as a Dwarf or a Giant? Have a complete Astrological reading and find out.

The above list is only a guide to Pluto’s placements with in an Astrology chart. If you wish to have a complete reading of your chart with special emphasis on Pluto, please contact me at anncortese531@yahoo.com –or- call area code 610-765-1112

©AnnCortese,BS. MPS, May 27 ,2007 All rights reserved


Britt, Roy: What is a Planet? Debate Forces New Definition: Space.com., Nov,2, 2000

Britt, Roy: Scientists Decide Pluto’s No Longer A Planet: Space.com.-MSNBC.com., August 24, 2006

Fountain, Henry: The Basics: It’s not the Planet, Silly, it’s the Energy: NY Times in Review, August 27, 2006

Hickey, Isabel & Altieri, Bruce H: Pluto or Minerva, Fellowship House Bookshop,Watertown, Mass. 1973

Inman, Mason: Pluto Not a Planet Astronomers Rule: National Geographic News, August 26, 2006

Rincon, Paul: Pluto vote “hijacked” in revolt: BBC News, August 25, 2006

Yott, Donald H.: Pluto: Notes from Astrology Classes given at The Metaphysical Center in Wayne, NJ, 1970

Ann Cortese, B.S., M.P.S.

Has been a Professional Astrologer and Counselor for 40 years, Member of NCGR, ISAR and past member of AFAN and AFA served as Board Member of the NCGR Fairfield Connecticut Chapter of NCGR and studied under Charles and Vivia Jayne, Donald Yott and Meria Epstein of New York City. Taught Astrology and a five year course in Tibetan Buddhism for the MCNJ, teaches astrology classes and gives private instructions, lectures, holds group readings. Private practice includes personalized taped readings for clients. Available for Natal Chart, Solar Return, Present Transits, Sec. Progressions and Solar Arc, and Compatibility readings. Gift certificates available. All readings include a Meditation CD. For information on chart readings or spiritual counseling please call ..610-765-1112.

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