Something in Me, Dark and Sticky


January 9, 2018 at 7:01 am UT
The Sun and Venus Conjoined at 18°57' Capricorn

January 9, 2018 at 9:03 am UT
Venus and Pluto Conjoined at 19°03' Capricorn

January 9, 2018 at 9:32 am UT
The Sun and Pluto Conjoined at 19°03' Capricorn

paintingThe Sun, our central star, will soon form a perfect conjunction with Pluto, distant dwarf planet that represents the chthonic, underlying, sometimes devastating forces of Mother Nature. Profound change, death, rebirth, power issues of survival, the use and abuse of resources, sexual power, all things hidden and taboo — everything buried deep in the vast underground circuits of the psyche are associated with this small, outlying planet. And all of these Pluto-related themes of life are currently being stirred up right now, illuminated by the vital Sun in formidable "take no prisoners" Capricorn.

And this year, Venus joins the party, making the annual Sun-Pluto conjunction a triple one. I covered the combination of Love Goddess and Lord of the Underworld in last week's Full Moon/New Year post, for this already forming Sun-Venus-Pluto triple conjunction was the "point" of that Cancer Full Moon Kite.

AS THESE THREE swiftly close in on their perfect conjunctions, all three (Sun-Venus, Venus-Pluto, Sun-Pluto) EXACT in a span of just 2.5 hours, let's now look at what the Sun-Pluto portion of this combo indicates. Remember, as part of the New Year chart, Venus-Pluto AND Sun-Pluto will both be active themes throughout the year. Indeed, just to prove the point, next July, Pluto will oppose the Cancer Sun as it is eclipsed by the Moon. 2018 may very well be the YEAR of PLUTO.

* * *

Galadriel: I give you the light of EƤrendil, our most beloved star. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.

— J. R. R. Tolkien

Sun and Pluto: Light and Dark

Slow-moving, distant Pluto proves over and over again that neither size nor proximity matters in astrological effects. "Pluto usually begins," as astrologer Robert Hand describes, "by breaking down a structure; then it [eventually] creates a new one in its place. The entire cycle of death, destruction and renovation is accomplished by tremendous powers, for Pluto is not a mild or even very subtle planetary influence." Decay at one level or another, Hand tells us, followed by new life from the old, is the typical Plutonian process. As all the planets beyond Saturn, Pluto is a transcendental planet. Its energies, Hand adds, are not easily harnessed to the purposes of unenlightened egotism. "What you do with [a Pluto transit] should be for the eventual betterment of everyone around you, not just for yourself. You are the steward of this energy, not the owner."

"The ultimate test of Pluto transits is to maintain integrity in the face of fateful circumstances which are symbolically related to disintegration, death and renewal."

— Erin Sullivan

As often is the case, it can be very helpful to look at examples of individuals who natally have the same or similar chart dynamics, and Peter Gabriel is an excellent example with Pluto tightly conjunct his Leo Ascendant and opposite his Aquarius Sun-Jupiter conjunction. I've shared this before, but it bears repeating, a timely reminder of the higher potential here. Gabriel helps us see that Pluto can provide the raw material for creative riches, bursts of new innovative energy and new life direction.

Music from Pluto

In 1992, during a life-transforming Pluto transit, Peter Gabriel released the album, Us, a deeply personal and highly unique project. Transiting Pluto at this time was striking a deep chord in Scorpio, the sign it rules, and squaring both Gabriel's natal Aquarius Sun-Jupiter conjunction on the Descendant, the relationship angle of the chart, and his natal Pluto in Leo conjunct the Ascendant. Having natal Pluto in Leo further connects these two elements in Gabriel's chart as the Aquarius Sun is the dispositor, or ruler of the sign in which his natal Pluto falls. Energetically connecting these two natal elements even more so, in addition to the already powerful opposition falling across his important chart angle — all of which indicates that this particular natal opposition is a primary theme for Gabriel to work out and harmonize this lifetime. Transiting Pluto in Scorpio was, at this time, forming a super intense t-square with this natal Sun-Pluto opposition. Us was released on September 29, 1992, the year the transit was finishing up. Gabriel had worked on the material for the album, recording various tracks from 1989 through early 1992.

Shining that Aquarian sunlight of his through the darkness, Gabriel helps us see that Pluto can provide the raw material for creative riches, bursts of new innovative energy and new life directionThe album is an excellent example of creatively working with that raw and often enough "nasty material" that Pluto can dredge up when it is active in our lives. Gabriel was at that time dealing with the pain of recent personal problems, but was eventually able to channel this in a highly creative way, resulting in a project that expresses both his profoundly brilliant and unconventional Aquarius Sun and the intense and often disturbing personal workings of Pluto in Leo.

Aquarius rules the very social 11th house of the natal chart, and is the 11th sign of the zodiac, strongly associated with the public act of joining with others to forward some important cause. How fitting then is the symbolism of this album in which Gabriel publicly shares his personal album artPlutonic hell in such a creative way, shining that Aquarian sunlight of his through the darkness, helping us see that Plutonic times in our life really can provide the raw material for creative riches, bursts of new innovative energy and new life direction. Us, with its 11 songs, is a very powerful example of the positive uses of the creative, vital Sun combined with Pluto, Lord of the Underworld.

Happening right now in the heavens, all of us can gain insights into this dark process, catch a glimpse of how we too can work these energies in a more potent and profound way. At that time in his life, Gabriel was dealing with a failed first marriage, and a painful, growing distance between himself and his first daughter — more than one reason to give in and give up to depression and angst. Instead, he reaches down into the darkness and finds another, richer dimension of his own self, and true to his Aquarian Sun, shares this creative process with the world.


"All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness."

— John Ruskin


Gabriel's intense Sun-Pluto introspection so evident in the creative content of the album, can be seen especially in the first single release "Digging in the Dirt." Accompanied by a disturbing video that features Gabriel covered in muck, plants, snails and other composting material, the song is a reference to the psychotherapy which Gabriel had begun since the previous album, So, was released in 1986. In another song from the album, "Come Talk To Me," Gabriel describes his struggle to connect with his daughter, and in "Blood of Eden," the third single released, he describes the epic struggle inherent in relationship, evoking intense biblical themes and the basic concept of the integration and disintegration of polar opposites, male and female. The result of this creative outflow from mining these Plutonic depths was one of Gabriel's most personal and unique albums. Following the release, he began a world tour and produced an accompanying double CD and DVD, with the completely Plutonic moniker, "Secret World Live."

Gabriel also employed a different approach to the marketing of the Us album as well, which in itself symbolizes the working of Pluto on the natal Sun, self-image, ego and identity, and this basic quest to transcend the personal identity and individual ego which is so very much the "holy grail" of having an Aquarian Sun in the first place. Wanting to veer away from the more common marketing angle of featuring images of himself, Gabriel instead hired contemporary artists such as Helen Chadwick, Rebecca Horn, Nils Udo, Andy Goldsworthy, David Mach and Yayoi Kusama to create original artworks for each of the 11 songs. His team also used documentary background material as a basis for a promotional, long-form video All About Us and an interactive CD-ROM, Xplora1, using the themes and art from US was also produced.


Digging in the Dirt

Something in me, dark and sticky
All the time it's getting strong
No way of dealing with this feeling
I can't go on like this too long

This time you've gone too far
This time you've gone too far
This time you've gone too far,
I told you, I told you, I told you, I told you

Don't talk back, just drive the car
Shut your mouth, I know what you are
Don't say nothing, keep your hands on the wheel
Don't turn around, this is for real

Digging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I'm digging in the dirt
Find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt



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The portrait of the woman wearing a kind of cornucopia is the work of Mexican illustrator Gabriel Pacheco.

Lyrics from the song "Digging in the Dirt" from the album Us by Peter Gabriel, © EMI Music Publishing. The 1993 video above for "Digging in the Dirt" won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.

Here's Peter Gabriel's natal chart posted at Astrodienst.

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