SYMBOLS OF THE PLANETS
Marcia Moore & Mark Douglas
All creation follows a threefold scheme. First comes the concept of what is to be.
Something is needed which does not exist. Second, a method must be formulated by means of which the concept can be expressed. Third, the raw material must be produced which will embody this concept. That is to say, there must be a purpose, a plan, and the substance required to materialize this plan.
These three cosmic principles are called Spirit, Soul, and Matter. Their qualities
are Will, Wisdom, and Activity. Together they constitute a trinity recognized in virtually every religious philosophy.
The symbol of Spirit is the circle.
Since it has neither beginning nor end, the circle represents infinity. Pure and pristine in its simplicity, it needs no augmentation but can be divided. The complete round is the fundamental form of creation. In response to its originating impulse, nature everywhere coalesces into spheres, ranging from galaxies, suns, and planets to drops, cells, and atoms.
The symbol of Soul is the cross.
The cross represents the down-pouring power of Spirit passing through the horizontal plane of Matter. This interaction between spiritual and material realms locates an object or individual in time and space, as in the crossed hairs of a sighting mechanism or the intersecting X and Y axes of a graph. Hence, the cross is the symbol of man's crucifixion, and of the Spirit suffering the limitations of confinement within a body of flesh. The ego, set apart from the continuity of Life, simultaneously glories in its uniqueness and suffers the anguish of being alone. The cross divides man within himself and separates him from the world.
As an entity increases the scope of its outgoing relationships with the universe beyond itself, the number of horizontal bars multiplies and the cross begins to rotate on its axis until the horizontal lines form the equator of a spinning orb. Thus, symbolically, the cross becomes the three-dimensional sphere.
The symbol of Matter is the lower half of the circle of Spirit.
This bowl-shaped figure results from the division of the original sphere into higher and lower states, and shows that Matter is subordinate to Spirit and only half complete. It may be considered to be a chalice containing as much of the power of Spirit as any form can express.
The vertical arc of the circle resembles a crescent Moon.
The Moon and Matter are associated with the feminine pole of creation which results from the division of the perfect whole into opposing positive and negative forces. However, the symbol for Matter is an abstraction while the symbol for the Moon is filled out to suggest the actual shape of the lunar orb. The Soul is born of "the mating" or crossing of Spirit and Matter, and thereafter serves as a focusing agent or medium of transmission for spiritual impressions.
Some astrologers correlate the cross with Matter and the Moon with Soul, thereby
reversing the order given above. According to this assignation, the lunar signs Taurus and Cancer would be associated with Soul and not with material growth. Taurus would cease to complement Aries, and Cancer would cease to complement Leo.
There should be no reason to debate this point because in every astrological system the Sun represents the positive and the Moon represents the negative pole of creation. Traditionally, and logically, these poles are associated with Spirit and Matter, God the Father and Mother Nature, male and female, active and passive principles.
The cross, composed of the vertical line of Spirit and the horizontal line of Matter, represents the interplay between these cosmic parents. Thus, the cross is the Soul in man and nature which comes into being as a result of the relationship between primal opposites. At the same time, it is the seat of consciousness which gives rise to any entity's innate capacity for relationships. Spirit incarnates in Matter via the Soul, and Matter is re-spiritualized via the same mediating factor. Both processes involve a form of "crucifixion" as man is torn between contending dualities.
The cross is also the symbol of Christ, often pictured as a child, or as the babe born in Bethlehem. Metaphysically, Christ is the redeeming principle described by St. Paul as "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Similarly, Christ is reported to have said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
This is an issue which the student need not decide on authority, but which can
be resolved through study and reason.
The glyphs for the planets are composed of various combinations of these three elements. In each case, the arrangement of the circle, semicircle, and cross suggests the way the planet operates. Signs of the zodiac express geometrically determined relationships within the cosmic hyper-sphere. Planets focus the effects of the multi-dimensional energies which flow through this zodiacal lens to produce terrestrial phenomena.
SUN - The Source of Life
The symbol for the Sun represents the circle of Spirit with the addition of a dot at its center. This pivotal point makes the figure vital and dynamic. It shows that Spirit has manifested itself through a particular form, thereby incarnating in Matter.
The Sun represents the individualizing principle in nature. It is the ego or nucleus of any being and the determinant of its identity. The inherent purpose of each separate entity is to radiate light and power just as the solar orb illumines the vault of the sky. It has been said that God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose periphery is nowhere. Within this boundless sphere of potential existence every animate unit is a miniature Sun or center of creative self-expression.
An ancient aphorism states, "Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm." This means that man, the dot within the center of the circle, reflects the entire round of the heavens. He is linked by a direct radius to every segment of surrounding sky. All the powers of the universe have their correspondence in his Soul, which is the focused image of Spirit projected into the heart of Matter. Eventually, he must consciously reaffirm his kinship with the starry spaces of his celestial environment which he finds to be not empty but throbbing with life and surging with a love that unifies every separate part within the larger Whole.
All existence involves an interplay between a central point containing an infinite
number of dimensions, and an infinite number of points of no dimension. As long as man is preoccupied with superficial affairs he finds himself wandering far out on the edge of this hyper-sphere, but when he awakens to the radiance within himself, he is drawn back to its emanating center. From the periphery, the many small entities journey toward their mutual point of origin, each one following its own radius. Thus their paths converge to bring them closer to each other as well as to their common goal.
Anatomically, the Sun represents the heart which impels the blood to circulate and vitalize the entire community of cells. It is the source of life at the core of any system. In an individual horoscope, the Sun stands for the native's sense of identity, and also for any positive male figure of authority with whom one might identify, such as a father, husband, or sovereign. It represents the will of the true Self and indicates the lines along which this essential quality of being can most advantageously be expressed. Symbolically, every individual is a small Sun whose ultimate purpose is to realize his innate potential and become an enlightening influence in his own milieu.
Within the horoscope, the Moon discloses how a person's inner feelings accord with his observable behavior and the objective facts of his situation. The Sun-Moon relationship is a particularly sensitive indicator of the extent to which an individual is in harmony with his environment. The Moon's track around the Sun is shaped like a gear with thirteen cogs, representing the thirteen lunar months which mesh the Earth into the rest of the solar system.
As the cosmic mechanism of response, the Moon symbolizes the ability to adjust to the ever-changing challenges, pressures, and opportunities of daily existence. It shows the capacity of the total organism to assure its welfare through the arousal of feelings and desires. Without these emotional reactions the body would be indifferent to its own survival. Consequently, the Moon represents the mother who assumes this protective function for the helpless infant.
Some esotericists have called the Moon "the prison house of the soul," because of the extent to which man is at the mercy of his moods. However, when the Moon has lost its power to delude, this shell of sentient matter becomes a lighted house in which the Soul gladly dwells, and which it illumines from within.
MERCURY - The Messenger
Mercury serves as emissary for the Sun which it alternately precedes and follows. (In a horoscope, Mercury and the Sun are never more than twenty-eight degrees apart.) The task of this wing-footed messenger of the gods is to weave the shimmering strands of light which stream through space into a web of intricate design. Shuttling back and forth with wavelike motion, it draws parallel threads together and binds the frayed edges of the universe into a vibrant network of meaningful connections.
While the glyph for the Sun expresses primal unity, and the two horns of the Moon convey the concept of duality, the figure for Mercury is triple. The Moon surmounts the Sun, which is placed over the cross of the Soul. Mercury represents the practical mind. It is intelligence crowned with Matter. Hence, the quality of intellect is directly influenced by whatever the Moon is "reflecting" - whether this be the light of Spirit or the singeing flame of material desires. Even the word "mercurial" suggests the lunar quality of changeability.
Mercury mediates between the pairs of opposites. If the Sun is the cosmic father
and the Moon is the cosmic mother, then Mercury is their child, neither positive nor negative but pre-pubescently neuter. Human progress begins with Mercury's gift of analysis. Through the use of the discriminating mind, man can hasten and control his own evolution. He can formulate concepts, explain ideas, and manipulate matter. Mercury represents the gradually accruing knowledge which enables Homosapiens, the thinking man, to study not only the external world of nature, but also to observe the nature of his inner world of thought and feeling.
The astrologer who wishes to ascertain the manner in which a person's mind works must look to the placement of Mercury in the natal chart. This planet provides a channel for the will to communicate and shows how an individual registers and classifies the phenomenal effects which impinge upon his senses. If its operations are restricted, then all other potentialities, no matter how impressive, may remain unexploited. The Sun is consciousness in the sense of essential being; but without Mercury's talent for making connections, this central identity would constitute nothing more than a vast incomprehensible abstraction - a mind with no nerves. Anatomically, Mercury rules the nervous system whose impulses vivify every tissue and cell of the body, relating objective and subjective realms of experience.
Mercury is sometimes associated with mischievous, childlike, and amoral behavior.
Yet without this agile offspring, the Sun and Moon would remain aloof and isolated from each other, accomplishing nothing. The Mercurial intellect partakes equally of the Sun's ability to act and the Moon's capacity to react. Deriving its qualities from both parents, the mind can operate in two directions simultaneously. Thought can be employed to analyze or to synthesize, to divide or to rejoin the multitude of separate perceptions by which man is attached to the various worlds with which he interacts.
VENUS - The Goddess of Love and Beauty
The symbol for Venus resembles the symbol of Mercury without 'the Moon on top. The circle of Spirit is not held down by the weight of Matter but rises out of the corporeal world as though re-ascending to its own realm. This glyph can also be taken to depict the Sun energizing the field of relationships (the cross) and stimulating growth.
Venus represents the cosmic principle of attraction which causes all things to cohere into orderly designs. It carries out nature's beneficent decree that ever finer forms of esthetic expression be fashioned. Thus, the cross anchors the circle of the Sun to earth and makes its power demonstrably effective.
Mythologically, Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The Venusian
desire for harmony sublimates the basic sexual urge into socially acceptable modes of behavior which promote cultural enterprises and ensure mutual cooperation. Venus sounds the mating call which draws the opposite sexes together, but at the same time insists upon the adornments and proprieties which hold male and female apart. In this way, the instinct for procreation is channeled into artistic creation. The romantic influence of this planet is seen in the colors of flowers, songs of birds, and all the amorous devices of nature which make the coming together of the sexes an ecstatic ritual of courtship and union. Mercury, the stellar master of ceremonies, has initiated the festivities by introducing the partners to each other. Now Venus plays the tune to which they enact their roles in the great dance of love.
The symbol for this planet may be imagined as a looking glass in which the goddess of beauty contemplates her captivating reflection. Venus is Nature, the coquette, courting admiration by showing off in a multitude of ingeniously contrived disguises. In its more elevated aspect, the Venusian spirit is displayed in every graceful form and act of devotion which mirrors the divine quality of love.
In the body, Venus rules the venous circulation, the afferent nerves, and all inwardly directed impulses. It refers to the taking in and absorption of food, sensations, and affections, as well as to the feeling of gratification resulting from their assimilation. As the power to attract and to create an alluring appearance, this agreeable planet richly deserves its traditional title of the lesser benefic.
MARS - The Warrior
The outgoing potency of Mars contrasts sharply with the ingathering feminine magnetism of Venus. Originally, the glyph for this planet of personal initiative was drawn with a cross instead of a barb on top, in the following manner:
The cross surmounting the circle shows that the Spirit in man and nature must submit to the necessity for struggle and pain. Venus glorifies matter, but Mars sets out to conquer and overcome the limitations of earthly experience.
The commonly used symbol for Mars has sexual overtones, as does the symbol for the sign Scorpio of which it is co-ruler. The uprising arrow represents the instinct of aggression, the passionate urge to pierce through resisting barriers and to fight for the objects desired. In Greek mythology, Mars was known as Ares, the god of battle, and to this day he maintains his reputation as the warrior of the zodiac.
Venus, which circles the Sun on the inner side of Earth's orbit, draws all things inward toward the center. Mars, by contrast, travels on the outer side of Earth and pulls all things away from the center. The former is a centripetal force, the latter a centrifugal force. In the natal chart, their relationship to each other pertains to an individual's social adjustment, just as the relationship between the Sun and the Moon describes basic character.
Earth, which is located between Mars and Venus, is symbolized by a circle containing a cross - a figure resembling the framework of the horoscope. This cross suggests a man standing with outstretched arms. He represents neither Spirit nor Matter but the indissoluble union of the two. A person walks with his spine erect, yet nature requires him to spend a part of each day in a horizontal position. The cross within the circle also refers to the four directions, the four seasons, and the four elements. Since Earth is, symbolically, at cross-purposes with itself, occultists have labeled it "the star of suffering." The three related arrangements of the same components are shown below:
Venus Earth Mars
Venus shows the Spirit rising above material limitations and aspiring to return to its source. Mars shows the Spirit held down by the weight of the cross. Man on Earth is torn between these opposing drives. He craves the peace and harmony of the Venusian ideal, yet his Martian assertiveness makes him an instigator of war and strife.
Mars rules the arterial circulation, efferent nerves, the elimination of waste products, and the body's emission of heat. However, it can function effectively only in cooperation with Venus. If the Sun and Moon are the father and mother of creation Mars and Venus are the heavenly lovers, magnetically drawn together, with each one needing what the other has to give in order to achieve completion.
JUPITER - The Prophet
The glyph for Jupiter shows the crescent Moon turned outward and surmounting an arm of the cross. It is reminiscent of Venus but with the Moon rather than the Sun raised aloft. This elevated Moon suggests the spiritualizing of Matter through the orderly process of evolution. Jupiter, the planet of wisdom and planned expansion, is related to the Moon and Venus because the unfoldment of man's higher abstract mind is a natural outgrowth of his gradually developing psychic mechanism of personal feelings and social responses.
According to legend, the infant Jupiter, known as Zeus to the Greeks and as Jove to the Romans, was raised on the milk of a goat whose horns continually overflowed with food and drink. This was the origin of the horn of plenty, or cornucopia. Therefore, Jupiter's symbol shows a horned Moon pouring out its gifts through the cross of experience. Mythologically, Jupiter was supreme among the gods. The name Jupiter derives from the words "Jovis Pater," meaning Father Jupiter.
Although Jupiter is a planet of growth, its function extends far beyond the capacity to accumulate raw materials (in the manner of the Moon) and to arrange them into pleasing patterns (in the manner of Venus). Jupiter coordinates the assimilated personal and interpersonal experience of the Moon and Venus. The Moon represents the masses and Venus represents society, but Jupiter represents the collective order which determines the behavior of aggregates of individuals. The Moon signifies simple quantity. Venus adds quality, and Jupiter is mindful of the deeper implications of what has been wrought. Since this farseeing planet operates within the confines of Saturnian convention, its expansiveness is generally contained within the bounds of propriety.
Together, the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter represent successive stages in the evolution of consciousness through the creation of family, social, and civic relationships. Jupiter lives up to its name of the greater benefic by bestowing the abundance for which the Moon provides the raw materials and Venus the artistic inspiration. It stimulates the mind to look beyond the names and forms of things in order to encompass their deeper purposes and philosophical implications.
Physically, Jupiter is a large planet in keeping with the largesse it promises. It is also extremely light, being composed of rarefied gases, and conveys a corresponding psychological quality of buoyancy. However, the real magnitude of Jupiter lies in its power of vision. The spiritually evolved Jupiterian has the gift of prophecy and is imbued with an optimistic faith in nature's abundance. As a result of this capacity for positive thinking, he is often favored with the personal prestige and general prosperity he assumes to be his due.
SATURN - The Lawgiver
The glyph for Saturn is composed of the same cross and crescent as the glyph for Jupiter, but this time the cross is on top and the crescent turns inward. Unlike the Jupiterian, who derives satisfaction from ownership, the Saturnian person feels burdened with the weight of material responsibilities. The cross then becomes the symbol of crucifixion and, like the marker on a grave it casts a gloomy shadow.
As the planet of limitation, Saturn demarcates not only the circle in space, but also the cycle in time. Being concerned with endings, Saturn stands for seniority, senility, and the termination of life. Anatomically, it rules the skin which confines, and the skeleton which defines, the structure of the body. It represents the contracting, crystallizing tendencies of the aging process whereby forms grow hard and rigid, finally becoming so brittle that they shatter and are pulverized into the dust from which new forms are shaped. The power of Saturn can be impersonally compressive or personally oppressive according to circumstance.
All lives are limited by time and death. Saturn's symbol is the sickle with which Father Time, the grim reaper, cuts down the harvest of man's years. Mythologically, Saturn is Cronus, the god who killed and ate his children - which, if not a pleasant image, is at least a graphic way of saying that whatever is born of time, dies in time.
Saturn solidifies structures. Although it can be a tough taskmaster, its walls are
basically protective and its restrictions ensure growth and survival, as well as death. While occupying a place in space and time, all entities must bow to the Saturnian necessity to abide by the law, whether these laws be natural or man-made decrees. Should they refuse to cooperate, conflict ensues and forces the often painful process of discovery that freedom arises only out of self-control. Thus, laws can be external like the skin and shell, or internal like the backbone of an organism.
Saturn can denote a hard time - or hard work. It is often feared because it dictates
that each individual shall receive precisely what he deserves, regardless of whether he thinks he deserves it or not. It is exact and exacting. Once its discipline has been accepted, however, Saturn turns and shows its true nature as the planet of perfect justice and highest achievement. Adherence to duty is rewarded in full measure.
In infancy, Saturn's touch is gentle upon the malleable clay of sentient substance. As time presses on, however, the grinding edge is sharpened on the inexorably revolving wheels of fate which shape the hardening form. For some individuals this compulsory polishing of character entails resistance, friction, and pain. Then Saturn's mill wheels are regarded as gears in a malevolent mechanism which relentlessly crushes and pulverizes whatever has become withered or encrusted with extraneous matter. Only those who submit willingly to this refining process can shed their dry husks and become like grain which, having been threshed, ground, and kneaded, is transformed into bread, the staff of life.
It is possible to trace a line of development linking the Sun, Mars, and Saturn, which parallels the line linking the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter. Mars is called the lesser malefic and Saturn the greater malefic. Mars projects the Sun's primal fire into the storm and heat of battle; Saturn shuts it out in the icy cold of death. Yet they work according to plan - for conflict and death release the Spirit imprisoned in Matter and permit its return to the solar reservoir of radiant energy from whence it originally came.
URANUS - The Awakener
The symbol for Uranus is said to be a representation of the letter "H" in honor of its discoverer William Herschel. At this point, the tidy system of circle, cross, and crescent seems to break down. However, many astrologers consider the upright pillars of the "H" to be two crescent Moons placed back to back in the following manner:
The deviant construction of this glyph serves as a reminder that Uranus is the most eccentric of the planets. It even travels in a freakish way. Instead of spinning like a top, Uranus lies on its "side" and rolls about its orbit. This causes its five Moons to appear to revolve backward, even though they move in normal fashion with regard to the planet itself. Consequently, Uranus stands for all that is anomalous, original, and unconventional.
Between the two outward-facing crescents, the cross surmounts the circle, showing the Mars-like power Uranus exerts to shatter and transform outmoded structures and strictures of the past. In its cool, impersonal way, Uranus unleashes a force more potent than any previously known to man. It stands for electricity and for atomic radiation (first released through the agency of the element Uranium). Novices can remember the symbol for the planet because it appears to be dropping a bomb. These explosive energies may at first seem destructive, but they are required to smash through Saturnian walls and liberate the spirit of man.
Uranus is generally considered to be "a higher octave" of Mercury. Hence, its glyph includes the twin pillars of Mercury's sign Gemini, which stands for the ability to relate the dualities of life. The cross depicts the forces circulating between these two poles. Mercury makes logical connections, but Uranus, having gone beyond the bounds of Saturn, overleaps the barriers of space and time. Mercury rules the telephone which is dependent on wires, while Uranus rules radio waves flashing through the ether. Mercury is the nervous system, but Uranus is the electrical force which flows freely through the subtle nerve channels and radiates into the atmosphere.
The intuitive insight of Uranus is apt to come in flashes. It is original, scientific, and devoid of sentimentality. Uranus is neither benefic nor malefic but, like lightning, illumines or shatters with scant regard for the havoc left in its wake. As an electromagnetic dynamo with an alternating current, Uranus is not sexless like Mercury, but bisexual, being simultaneously masculine and feminine. It is revolutionary in its mission of overthrowing Saturn's established order, as well as in the literal sense that electricity circulates around a central rod and causes wheels to revolve. Uranus sets out not merely to reform but to transform the world. To accomplish this stupendous task, it must draw upon sources of energy superior to those on which mankind has traditionally been dependent.
NEPTUNE - The Lord of the Sea
Neptune's symbol, the trident, signifies sovereignty over the sea. Metaphysically, this sea is the reservoir of primal substance from which all forms are fashioned and into which all are reabsorbed. It is the oceanic flux of ceaseless change as well as the waters which cover and permeate the earth. Neptune dissolves the scattered debris left over from Uranian upheavals so that the residue may recede into the whirling torrent of undifferentiated matter to be re-individualized in a new cycle.
The trident depicts the chalice of the Moon superimposed upon the cross of the Soul. Chalice and cross together represent the psychic effluvium known as the anima mundi, "'the soul of all things," and the sentient principle in nature. Neptune is the consort of the Moon with which it shares dominion over the waters of space. Therefore, Neptune's trident is sometimes drawn as though composed of two crescent Moons, the one mirroring the other.
As a higher octave of Venus, Neptune tantalizes the senses with the ideal of a
surpassing love and beauty beyond the capacity of the ego-encapsulated intellect to conceive. It terminates existence in the mundane world, not through the slow constriction of Saturn or the smashing impact of Uranus, but as a blessed release into a heaven of peace and bliss. Neptune carries the love of Venus and the foresight of Jupiter beyond Saturnian limitations and onto a higher plane of consciousness where it envisions the ultimate redemption of matter.
Neptune completes the sequence of the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter, showing that the final outcome of growth is the crossing of the threshold of the physical realm into a subtler dimension of being. This planet transcends the separative personality and is primarily concerned with mass emotions and mass movements. If unsuccessful in its socializing action, Neptune may also stir up the mess into which foggy idealism can plunge a crowd of misguided people. Since so few human beings respond sensibly to its ethereal vibrations, Neptune's influence is almost invariably diffused, like a ray of light passing through the surface of a pool.
In the horoscope, Neptune can indicate compassion or confusion. It engenders
saintliness and satanism, spiritual sensitivity and susceptibility to drugs, dreams, and delusions. The lightning flashes which Uranus evokes out of the atmosphere are brought down by Neptune and dispersed through every luminously responsive cell in the teeming world of nature. In the human kingdom, the Neptunian energies instill a deep yearning to renounce the pursuit of passing mirages in order to contemplate and reflect upon the numinous essence of all being.
Scientists now know that nothing is as solid as it seems. Yet orthodox investigators still presume that only the physical universe is genuinely real. Under the aegis of Neptune, the illusory quality of the world of phenomenal effects begins to impress the mind of the seeker who undertakes to navigate the surging sea of cosmic consciousness in which all creatures swim like fishes, unaware of the subtle currents in which they drift and from which they draw their sustenance.
PLUTO - The Lord of the Netherworld
The symbol for Pluto is sometimes written as an amalgam of the letters "P" and
"L" in honor of the astronomer Percival Lowell who calculated that a planet must exist beyond Neptune. The true discoverer of Pluto was Clyde Tombaugh.
No one seems to know how modern astronomers were inspired to assign Uranus,
Neptune, and Pluto to their correct places within the pantheon of ancient gods and
goddesses. The coincidence that Percival Lowell's initials happened to form the first two letters of the name Pluto hardly accounts for the fact that this planet received its correct astrological name after being discovered February 18, 1930.
Since modern personalities are not congruent with the Olympian deities, most
astrologers have discarded the alphabetically formed glyph in favor of Pluto's proper symbol which is composed of the 'cross of the Soul and the chalice of the Moon, cradling the seed of the Sun or Spirit. This seed of new life, enfolded by the husk of the past, signifies the Plutonian potential for regeneration and renewal. The seed generally appears in the most remote part of the plant, and similarly, Pluto is the most remote planet in the solar system. Mythologically, Pluto is lord of the netherworld. Therefore, the seed must be buried in the earth before it can grow toward the light.
There has been surprisingly little controversy among astrologers with regard to the meanings of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, even though the nature of Pluto is inherently inscrutable. Despite the fact that these planets are billions of miles out in the solar system, their effects have proven so potent that virtually every astrologer now takes them into consideration. The influence of these planets is mainly on groups, although they also seem to affect the lives of individuals who are sufficiently evolved to tune in on their subtle vibrations, or in whose natal charts they are strongly placed. Uranus transforms) Neptune transcends, and Pluto makes the great transition into a new state of being. As the supremely potent seed which abstracts and concentrates the life of the plant, Pluto is not only an end product but the beginning of the reborn entity.
Pluto is considered to be a higher octave of Mars, with the difference that it does not project outward but retreats penetratively inward. Then when Pluto's deep instinctual power finally bursts loose, it resembles a volcano erupting from the bowels of the earth rather than a bomb exploding. While Neptune is a down-pouring avataric energy which falls like rain and spreads pervasively throughout the material world, Pluto extracts the essences of outworn forms and canalizes them in a sudden fiery upsurge. It is the stalk shooting skyward from the seed, the phoenix mounting up from its ashes, the soul ascending to heaven. Among yogis, Pluto is known as the root-force Kundalini, "the serpent power," which after a disciplined life of prolonged meditation can be induced to rise up the spine and into the head of the illumined sage.
Pluto, like Mars, is associated with sex as a force which ensures the perpetuation of life. The only cells in the body which have the potential for immortality are the reproductive cells formed in the lower depths. In Pluto, the processes of sex and death merge. The seed dies that the plant may be renewed. Man, too, must die for the sake of resurrection into a higher form.
Astrology, the Divine Science