After death comes / nothing hoped for / nor imagined
There is a whole range of mythic images that can help us to get some sense of the Pluto principle. It is almost impossible to articulate it, except in poetic metaphors. There is an intelligent life in substance itself, which seems to be associated with the life force in living things. It is nature itself, or the life force in nature, that will survive. And in order to survive, of necessity, it must go through permutations, changes, death processes that break down forms when they have reached their sell-by date and then generate new forms.
Pluto can be very circumspect although still locked in an attitude of "This is life or death, and I have to win or I will be destroyed." That is what makes people behave very badly sometimes. They get into power battles and they start manipulating, or they set themselves up in some way whereby they are victimised by something very powerful. Pluto isn't necessarily confrontational. It is locked into a pattern of nature itself and is a force which will either grind over everything or become the victim of everything.
Pluto knows that life is very dangerous. Nothing is permanent, everything could be destroyed. There is no real sense of being able to relax and have a nice safe time, because there is an inbuilt understanding or inbuilt instinctive awareness of the cyclical nature of life and the mortality of everything - the inevitability of change. It is that sense of constant danger that could be turned into an extraordinary attribute. It also brings with it a very understandable tendency to depression, because you can't just go and have a party. You can, but at some point when the clock strikes midnight, you realise that all these people are one day going to get old, and they will get sick, and they are going to die, and what is the point? What are we here for? It brings up all these deep questions and anxieties.
The generation groups, as Pluto goes through the signs, describe or are a signature for the way the survival instinct - that piece of raw nature in the individual - enacts itself when the chips are down and the individual personality is no longer relevant or is being overwhelmed. Then, you will see Pluto come out.
Pluto reflects the instinctive survival mechanism of the collective, and of nature itself. It is impersonal and ruthless, as nature herself is; one extinct species, one dead animal, is as nothing in the overall sweep of the evolution of organic life. When we are threatened with extinction, physical or psychological, we discover that we have Pluto in our chart. That which wishes to survive must destroy or transform what is life-threatening or no longer viable, internally and externally; and the process of cleansing of dangerously outworn and useless survival mechanisms, regenerating new survival mechanisms, is reflected by Pluto's 246-year transit through the zodiacal signs.
Slowly but inexorably, Pluto reveals to us our dangerous religious blindness, our naivety, our infantile belief in the "goodness" of authority and the moral rightness of the legal and spiritual systems we have created, and our desperate allegiance to political and spiritual gurus who promise quick fixes and an over-the-counter antidote to the condition of being human.
There's nothing funny about death. We can (and should) laugh at death, at times, if only for comic relief, but death itself is no joke. If it is, then life would be a joke and life is no joke. Life and death are real. To remain aware of death in daily life - especially in an overly sheltered life - is quite difficult. Though the process of death exist everywhere, it is very easy to overlook because it takes on so many forms. Inertia, stagnation, corruption, decay, and degeneration all express forms of death... We are as easily shocked by our naivete about death as we are by death itself. We exclaim, "I can't believe this is happening!" as if death requires our belief to occur. The objective reality of death is everywhere and does not require anything from us at all.
In the wake of being exposed to death, we discover how attached we are to what has died (or is dying) by the degree of our suffering. The more ego clings to what is dead, the more ego hurts. It is natural to want to stop something from dying when we are attached to it. Whether it's the death of old feelings or beliefs or a relationship or project or friendship or reputation, or the actual physical passing of someone who is dear to us, the shock of death is almost always devastating to our illusions of control. Pluto transits coincide with the emergence of a transpersonal need to surrender the ego, to let go of control where no control existed in the first place. In this surrender, the ego transforms by outgrowing its previous naivete like a snake shedding old skin; we wise up to life. There is a wisdom in transformation that empowers us with a greater capacity to endure future changes. Mere control, it turns out, is but a dime-store replica of real power.
Wherever our life situations, needs, habits, and relationships suffer from excessive redundancy and stagnation, another transpersonal need erupts from the evolutionary imperative to grow. It is transpersonal because the ego cannot do this alone; the ego must surrender, die, and be reborn for this to occur. To grow now means to outgrow.
Pluto transits can show us what has been corrupted or has degenerated and what needs to be surrendered, in order to resurrect what has died. The shock of death can annihilate our illusions of permanence in those naive assumptions about death as "an ultimate end" and about life lasting forever. Two transpersonal truths are common to the experience of losing those we love. A part of us dies with them, and a part of them lives on in us. We also discover the objective reality of impermanence: Nothing lasts. Death is a transition to greater cycles of unknowns: Life really is a mystery! And as with all true epiphanies, these insights must be earned through direct experience and the personal courage to continue responding to what fate has in store for us. By taking such a position, the personal becomes the political, and we grow stronger for it.
Pluto represents a much higher spiritual principle. It is a type of light that ultimately serves to guide society, a purifying mechanism that shocks and removes elements which do not serve its spiritual evolution.
It is reflective of death-like processes where a person undergoes a very difficult,no holds barred change process, with the destination being a radical overhaul of the personality. This makes us deal with our worst fears and everything we have avoided dealing with as a result of these.
Pluto influences within a personality give a lot of natural power, fearlessness, ruthlessness, desensitizing to anything but their goals, whatever these may be. It brings a deep, all-around transformative touch. It bestows extremism, a tendency for overkill, and often unconscious destructive tendencies in its natives, especially in those who do not embrace his goals consciously. True Plutonians are people who seek to prod society into transformation, and often not taking a no for an answer.
Whatever it touches in the chart it makes obsessive, extreme and single-minded... It withholds the native his superficial desires and rosy expectations, forcing him to react more deeply or ask himself the truer questions about himself, as would a person on his deathbed.