What Do You Want? A Trip Down Memory Lane with Pluto… retrograde and transiting the 4th House… I guess we won’t be skipping.

What do you want? is one of those questions which I ask in my mind so often that it could be considered a mantra. It serves several different purposes and means various things to me. Some of these are superficial, yet they are not trivial because they are the outer manifestations of the inner conundrums within my pysche.

It struck me the other day, that I was from an early age a very cynical child. Which would explain why adults in particular found me hard to like. I was always suspicious of the hidden motives behind people’s behaviour towards me. This attitude is still very much a part of my life. Which explains why I make people nervous. Well, it explains part of it.

“In the natal chart, Pluto tends to operate even more Plutonian when it is retrograde. It is far more intense, it possesses a higher degree of concentration and it, therefore, gives greater insights into the subconscious. Because of this intensity, the individual can see much more than normally possible and it is easy to become suspicious of the motives of others.” – © Lynn Koiner – Astrological Research – from Pluto Retrograde 2013

I have Pluto retrograde in the 1st house of self in my natal chart. I never used to pay attention to whether a planet was retrograde or not, either natally or by transit, until this year when it became very relevant. This was due to Pluto doing the Hokey Pokey over the cusp of my 4th and 5th houses.

Because of my natal 1st house Pluto, I am very tuned into those energies, even when I am ignoring astrology completely because I’m going through an astrology is rubbish phase. At the moment I am smack in the middle of an astrology is so spot on it is scaring the crap out of me so I need to know more about it phase.

Right now transiting Pluto is retrograde in my 4th house. One of the things it has been doing is stirring up memories of my childhood. The purpose of this is not nostalgia, but a need to review the past to understand it, how it shaped me into who I am now, and how certain parts of it haunt me and affect my behaviour. This has been very unnerving, but also incredibly liberating due to new insights into old things.

“Under any Pluto transit, we feel pressured to eliminate and release the old, outworn, outdated and obsolete in our lives. When Pluto is transiting retrograde, we are urged to let go of attitudes, thinking or communication patterns, security drives, rigid emotions; a time to undergo an internal form of house cleaning.” – © Lynn Koiner – Astrological Research – from Pluto Retrograde 2013

I drew a curtain between me and my past a while ago. I blocked all memories from being allowed access to my conscious mind, including anecdotes. This was surprisingly easy to do because at the time Pluto was transiting my 3rd house of the mind and my focus was on seeking out and embracing new concepts. Reprogramming how I thought and how I used my thoughts, information, knowledge and the mind itself. I did a lot of in depth studying of philosophy, psychology, science, metaphysics and anything else which pertained to knowing and knowledge.

I enjoyed that period because it freed me from an old self which was weighing me down and holding me back. I became someone new, still myself, but a different version. I even performed a very powerful ritual wherein I destroyed all traces of my past selves which I had held onto and carried with me, old photographs, trinkets, letters, yet never looked at. They were mementos which took up space in my luggage wherever I traveled, which I kept for no reason other than that they were fragments of me. But they were fragments of an old me, one I would never be again, and just having them stopped me from fully embracing who I had become and was in the here and now. Since I traveled extensively at the time, and since wherever I went was my home, carrying these mementos was physically impractical as well as psychologically and emotionally burdensome.

When Transiting Pluto crossed over the cusp of my 3rd and 4th houses, quite a few life changing events occurred. Just before the crossing of the cusp, I fell in love with my partner and subsequently pursued him across the world, and eventually settled into a new life with him. Shortly after Pluto entered the 4th house of family, home, roots, and childhood, I severed ties with the last elements of my past which I had held onto, I cut my parents and all those connected to them out of my life. It was a necessary move.

My relationship with my partner underwent a similar journey as that seen in the story of Hades and Persephone. My mother was Demeter, a negative version of her, an overprotective mother whose idea of love for her child involved dominating and eventually destroying her. A consuming mother who under the guise of being good, did some very bad things. She tried every trick in her book of tricks to severe the bond between me and my partner. We put up with it for a while, as much as it caused my partner to suffer he supported whatever choices I made concerning my life even though this affected his life too. It took me while to realise what a sacrifice that was for him, and how deeply he loved me. I had never been loved before, so it was a steep learning curve for me.

My father was not any better than my mother, but he shared his poison from a safe distance, safe for him, so that he could play innocent if ever a finger of blame should point at him. His preference was to use others to do his dirty deeds for him, them he could redirect the finger of blame to them.

I found it very difficult to let go of my parents. I knew they had never loved me, that was something they made very clear from the beginning, yet… it had been drummed into me that as a child I owed my parents undying allegiance. My parents agreed and encouraged it, because it meant they could do whatever they pleased, and treat me however they chose to, without ever having to deal with consequences. If I protested, they would enlist the help of others, of society to put me firmly in my place of obedient child, even when I was an adult. And society… society does not approve of children who out their parents as assholes and refuse to put up with their behaviour… behaviour which no one would be expected to put up with coming from anyone other than family. Eventually I reached that final straw. Enough was enough and I didn’t care anymore what anyone thought, other than myself and my partner. I sliced my umbilical cord and became a orphan by choice.

Over the course of the years that Pluto has been transiting my 4th house, many of the memories which I had suppressed began to resurface, always when they were relevant to my present, to show me how my past influenced who I was in the now. My ideas of home, family, and security were challenged repeatedly and transformed. My partner and I had to move home several times, each move pushed us closer and closer together, the spaces we lived in got smaller and smaller as our joint finances diminished. We eventually ended up living in my partner’s old room in the house of his parents. It was only temporary, but sometimes temporary feels as though it is so much longer. Experiencing life with his family was a culture shock for me, and for them. They were very different from my parents and their lifestyle was, dare I say, too normal for me. I had quite a few very Plutonic breakdowns there. I tried to keep it private, but that is a hard task when in close quarters with others, and where Pluto is concerned. Pluto’s energy can be secretive but it is never subtle.

When we moved to where we are now, things seemed to be destined to get better, but first they demanded a few more dark nights of the soul and Plutonic transformations through breakdown and destruction of old structures of being and doing. Much of this was connected to reviewing how much the past affects the present. It has been very harrowing, yet also very liberating and enlightening. My entire view of home, family, and of myself both past and present has been irrevocably changed. I am grateful for the experience… I just wish transiting Pluto would hurry up and get out of my 4th into the 5th, because the brief visit it made there a few months ago gave me a glimpse of something powerfully moving and exciting.

“…this process promotes a reformulation of the individual’s purpose in life. New dimensions of personal capacities and possibilities will surge forth from the depths of the soul. By taking charge of his or her personal destiny, the individual will recreate the self in some way if he or she can follow the inner creative urges and outer environmental feedback as they manifest. This process may require elimination of preconceived ideas and beliefs about life purpose and destiny.” – © Jeff Green on Pluto’s transit of the 5th house from Pluto: Evolutionary Journey of the Soul

That just sounds like intense fun, and the taste I had of it was incredibly delicious. I want more. I finally know what I want. As much as I have asked in my mind of others – What do you want? – I have asked it of myself too. I have just always found it easier to figure out what others want, especially when they want something from me, and it can be quite complicated to suss that out because people skirt around their true intentions as though it is something which must not be spoken about openly. I ahve become very adept at reading subtle hints, and I hate doing it. I prefer directness. Yet, as much as I try to be direct with myself, getting a definite answer from myself about what I want has always been a guessing game. It’s not that I’m being difficult or evasive, though I am that at times, it’s just that… well, I don’t know. And yet… I think I soon will.

But first I have to deal with the last throes of death of my old self as Pluto finishes its transit of my 4th house.

“…this evolutionary process promotes a total rebirth or metamorphosis of the inner emotional structure and self-image of the individual. By eliminating and changing all the old emotional patterns and minimizing external dependencies, a new person is born. A new chapter is beginning in the individual’s life.” – © Jeff Green on Pluto’s transit of the 4th house from Pluto: Evolutionary Journey of the Soul

Lately I have met some people who remind me of my parents. Who have behaved with me in a similar way. At first I put up with it because I have been programmed to put up with it, trained to accept unacceptable behaviour and to love those who in some ways are unlovable because they don’t know how to love, they often think they are paragons of love, yet love to them is something other people must give to them. They take and never give, and what they give always has a hook attached designed to get more by giving a little. Emotional blackmailers. Bottomless pits of endless need. Starving egos in search of food. Narcissists. These encounters have been very rewarding, they pissed me off profoundly and forced me to face what I really want from relationships, from others.

I have in the past focused perhaps too much on what others want and need from me. I have tried to meet their demands. Sometimes due to knowing that it is the one way to get certain people to go away and leave me alone, but this backfires as they come back when they need more. And because subconsciously I am always aware of what it is like to be rejected, what it feels like to cry out for attention and be ignored, what is is to be made to feel invisible and unwanted.

A memory popped up the other day of an incident in a shop. I was with a friend who was buying some skin products, and the shop assistant suddenly turned to me and told me that I should but some vanishing cream. At the time I was horrified by her suggestion, firstly because I was surprised that she had noticed that I was there, and secondly because I was invisible enough as it is and I wasn’t bothering her, or at least I didn’t think I was, and yet I must have been for her to offer me a product which would make me vanish. I know what she meant. My freckles offended her and she thought I might want to get rid of them. I told her I liked my freckles, and it was her turn to be horrified.

This memory, although seemingly pointless and innocuous, holds the key to my past, present and future. It holds within it elements I need to tackle, release and change. Attitudes which are hard habits to break, yet they must be broken for new, more life and self affirming attitudes to enter my conscious reality. And it relates to thoughts I’ve had about everything I am doing on the internet, in social media, especially with my blogs.

I asked a question about that the other day when… I wanted to just wipe myself of the face of the internet. I have these moments, less frequently these days, but still. They are a reflection of how I feel about my life. There are moments when… I wish I didn’t exist. I’m used to this, I’ve had it all my life and it comes with having Pluto in the 1st. Death and life have an equal hold over me, but I swing between the extremes. I also have Uranus in the 1st (just about, it’s on the cusp of the 2nd, and it influences both houses). One minute I want to die, the next I want to live, both experienced with equal fierceness and passion.

Transiting Uranus right now is also bringing my past into sharp focus. It is working in tandem with transiting Pluto, just as the two work in tandem in my natal chart. I have to deal once and for all with my past, properly, as in realise how I encompass all time zones I have lived within each moment of the now and they affect who I am in this moment. It is imperative that I understand every element of this because my future depends on the choices I make in the present.

The question – What do you want? – can only be answered once I know exactly what I don’t want, then whatever is left is what I do want. This may seem a backward and back to front way of doing it to those who are not me… but that is the point, I am me and thus I have to live my life in a way that suits who I am, and not who I am not.

The end… for now. My feet hurt from this walk down memory lane, perhaps I should have worn shoes… Nah!

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9 thoughts on “What Do You Want? A Trip Down Memory Lane with Pluto… retrograde and transiting the 4th House… I guess we won’t be skipping.

  1. Very interesting insights. I also have natal Pluto in the 1st (conjunct my ascendant) and pluto is just now transiting my 4th house. I’m 33 years old (and age that I always assumed would be a transformative year) and over the past 10 months I returned to my family home in Mississippi after living in NYC as an openly gay man for about a decade. I am now back in NYC couch surfing with just one large duffle bag full of belongs, a new physical identity (my hair is longer than I’ve ever allowed it to grow), looking for new career (after leaving my $150K per yer advertising industry job that always overwhelmed me to the point of breakdown and need for therapy) and I have a mind to take the last of my funds to move to Sydney. My mother has alway been a controlling figure in my life, my sister can barely talk with her, tho I do believe she loves me but a gay son was likely not what she expected for her family; my sister is a much more open lesbian. I do think this is a time for me to be pioneering.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Pluto in the 1st conjunct Asc is a powerful dose of very intense energy. In some ways Pluto isn’t comfortable in the 1st because it is an impersonal planet trying to live in a personal house, and those with Pluto in the 1st are forced to and attempting to embody energies which can be too big to fit into a body.

      “The outer planets, however, are forces outside our personal experience as individuals. We can neither embody nor master these energies. When we encounter these energies, all we can do is surrender to them, keep our heads down, and ride out the storm.” – via https://www.plutoschool.com/blog/45-main/139-the-impersonal-planets

      What came to mind while reading about your recent changes was that although some of it definitely has the signature of transiting Pluto (with the help of transiting Saturn which for awhile was in mutual reception with Pluto), certain aspects of it could be due to transiting Uranus which is working in concert with Pluto and has been doing so for awhile now through a square.

      You said that it’s time for you to be pioneering – that’s a very transiting Uranus in Aries thing to say (supporting by t-Saturn in Sag at this time in a practical go for it manner).

      Uranus in Aries gives a strong urge to break free from convention, habit, routine, and with Pluto in Capricorn it also wants to break free from old structures, knock them down and build something new, something which fits its unique self – Pluto is a good partner for Uranus because it tidies up the mess Uranus makes when it breaks free and through a barrier.

      Transformation has several stages – first there has to be an almost excruciating pressure build up which pushes the individual to take the leap out of the comfort zone. The comfort zone has become too uncomfortable, so might as well go beyond the safe zone as the safe zone doesn’t feel safe anymore. Then comes the messy part as walls come tumbling down, windows get broken, barriers are smashed… a sudden rush of power, of freedom, of thrilling adventure, then the onset of fear, of wanting to undo what has been done, to go back but going back is no longer an option. Uranus has done its job, now Pluto has to step in and bring about a creation out of the destruction. This can take awhile, Pluto moves very slowly. It has to sort through the debris of the old to find the pieces of the past which are relevant to building the future.

      When we break free from old constraints we often break what is valuable along with what is no longer valuable.

      It’s also worth checking out what transiting Neptune is up to in your chart, as this can show the collective active of the personal experience – how what you are doing for yourself affects the world in which you live, how the ‘I’ is connected to the whole ‘we’ on this planet. What you do for yourself can be inspiring to others without your knowing it.

      I’m curious about your choice of Sydney as a destination. What does it represent for you? What do you think you will you find there that isn’t where you are?

      I’ve moved a lot in my life and although most places seem to have the same issues, problems, challenges, especially if they’re personal because we pack them with us and take them wherever we go, there is a difference in them that definitely is worth exploring. Places have a way of tuning into us as we tune into them. When I lived in Paris I got very existentialist 😉 When I moved to the UK I became more eccentric because it’s not only okay to be quirky here, it’s encouraged.

      I’ve never been to Aus. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand, which isn’t the same as Aus at all. It’s such an incredibly intriguing part of the world, but so far away to go there, perhaps that’s part of the appeal.

      One of the things I like to do with my natal chart is restructure it based on where I’m living – put the present location in the place of my place of birth and see how it changes the placements. There’s also a great tool on astro.com in the extended chart selection under Special Charts called Astromap world which allows you to see your natal chart spread across a world map, it shows you what parts of your chart will be activated/in play in certain places. It’s an interesting way to approach the natal chart, the places we live and the choices we make about where we live.

      Sounds to me as though this decade for you is definitely about self-transformation – becoming more who you really are, discovering that as you do it. That’s an amazing experience to go through!

      Best wishes on your adventure!

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  2. great article, thanks! I have pluto in the 4th in my natal chart. as I was reading your article, I was screaming to myself, “omg, her parents must be narcissist’s!” currently, I have transiting pluto square my nodal axis, tr. uranus conjunct my NN/saturn. talk about sudden, shocking and traumatic revelations… I recently found out (just prior to my 47th birthday) that my father has narcissistic personality disorder. so-very disturbing!!! hi msfullroller. 🙂 FB kicked me off because of their stupid “real name” policy. 😉

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    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      Wow, that’s some powerful transit action going on. Are you also having a Chiron return? Is t-Uranus conjunct NN/Saturn in your 11th, as that might explain the FB incident.

      I just read this post – http://sophias-children.com/2015/08/10/jupiter-in-virgo-and-phoenix-time-for-gen-x-to-serve-or-not-to-serve/ – which gives some good news to those of us going through Pluto/Uranus experiences, and also explains some of the underlying purpose of our experiences. T-Jupiter has just moved into Virgo, so the area of our charts influenced by Virgo (and Sagittarius due to rulership) is going to get some much needed opportunities for release.

      At least that’s how I’m interpreting it based on what I’ve read about it, there are some really good astrology posts cropping up now discussing this transit of Jupiter.

      As I see it, whatever the issues are which have been stirred up (sometimes which feel like a hornet’s nest full of life’s painful stings) and which we’ve been forced to face due to the transiting Uranus/Pluto square over the past few years are now reaching a resolution, but it requires that we do our own healing work, and deal with things head on.

      I always knew that there was something not quite right about my parents, but that knowledge was too much to handle, so I did it in dribs and drabs over the years, and I could never quite put my finger on what was wrong, and I often thought that the problem was me, that I was defective. Recently things have fallen into place and I’ve been gradually figuring my story out. Some of that is due to there being so much information available these days, especially about NPD, both professional info and people sharing their personal stories of having a parent who is a narcissist.

      As disturbing as it is to come to terms with finding out that your father has NPD, there is also the side of it which is healing, as in understanding how a narcissist parent affects their family, how he has affected you, you can clarify the confusion which a parent with NPD invariably causes to the mind and heart of their child. It’s distressing but also liberating.

      This book helped me a lot – http://andywhiteblog.com/2015/06/23/going-mad-to-stay-sane/ – the author’s father was a narcissist. When I read his book I thought he’d written it about my parents, and about how I had experienced them.

      This is also a blog worth checking out – http://www.rubbershoesinhell.com/daughters-bad-fathers/ – she writes about having a father with NPD.

      This is a great post about parents with NPD – https://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/surviving-the-narcissistic-parent-acons-adult-children-of-narcissists/

      And this is a forum for children of NPD parents – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists

      Take good care of yourself!

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      1. Thanks for the reply, with links. I very much appreciate it! And yep, you’re correct, I do have my Sat/NN conjunction in the 11th house, which also forms a tight yod, with my 20d aqua moon 9th, 20 degree saturn in aries, and 20d Pluto in the 4th as the focal planet. My Saturn/NN is also a finger of fate/focal planet, for another yod (Nep sextile Uranus) only not as tight in orb. So my chart is being triggered everywhere. I should also mention that I have my venus, sun, mars and mercury in the 12th, so I definitely have karma with my crazy narc father. His natal saturn is exactly conjunct my 8th house cusp, 16 d Cap, making the nightmarish karma all the more seriously difficult. LOL Transiting Saturn is currently opposite, and frankly has been, waxing/waning for the past 2+ years, and triggering my fixed grand cross. Ha, what a mess! But so-very fascinating, too… at least from an astrological perspective! I just finished up with my 3rd nodal reverse transit, so I’m not quite there yet for my chiron return. Soon though, as my Chiron is early degree Aries. Anyway, I’m so happy to have found your blog. It’s a shame that I can’t “like” your page or friend you on FB. Too bad we’re not local to one another either, as you’d be an awesome person to connect with for NP and astro talk. 🙂 LOL You take care too. and thanks again for the links!!

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  3. I hope that you accept my gratitude with the utmost sincerity as I’m truly grateful that you have not decided to do away with your internet presence. If you had I would not have been able to read this incredibly healing post. I don’t have words to say what I’m feeling.

    I too have Pluto and Uranus in the 1st house. They are conjunct and also conjunct my Ascendant. And Pluto has been transiting my 4th since 1998 and will be leaving a few months after it turns a direct for the last time. I thought for a minute I had written this post. And yeah I’ve had a small taste of Pluto entering my 5th as well and I’m looking forward to birth…of the new me.

    Thank you so much for writing this!!

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    1. Thank you so much 😀 I was doing a review, trying to collect my thoughts, and take a time out to assess what’s what. There is so much going on in the universe, in the world, in my life and in the lives of everyone right now, and everything seems speeded up. I quite like chaos, but sometimes… a bit of ordering of the chaos is needed 😉 Thank you for reading and I’m happy it helped.

      Wow! Uranus and Pluto conjunct ascendant! That is some awesome energy to live with! Kurt Cobain had that. Takes a powerful person to handle it and thrive.

      Best wishes and many blessings on your journey through life and for the birth of the new you!

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      1. I was born a little less than a year before Kurt Cobain, 3 days before the 2nd exact conjunction of Uranus and Pluto so mine is much tighter than his, though Pluto is sitting right on his Asc where I’ve got 7 degrees of breathing room. lol we (Kurt Cobain and I) also have the Saturn/Chiron in Pisces conjunction in common as well. Since he’s a year behind me, he has the tighter opposition to the Uranus/Pluto conjunction, most notably Uranus. I think that along with the placements in Pisces makes this combo even tougher to handle. As we know all to well Uranus and Pluto together alone is a hell of a lot to handle. I’m trying though. 😉

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        1. I think that with such a strong energy as the Pluto/Uranus conjunction, especially when it is in the 1st, the rest of the chart and how the other planets interact with it, either supporting it or not, makes all the difference. Having the Sun in a Cardinal sign, yours being Aries, mine being Capricorn, I think makes the individual tougher and more determined to harness the power and use it, rather than being used by it. Kurt Cobain was a Pisces Sun with an emphasis on Pisces energy, perhaps he expressed Pluto/Uranus more powerfully, through his music and words, because of it, but I think it overwhelmed him. Which it does tend to do, especially when a transit amplifies it. Having said that I know someone with a similar stellium in Pisces opposing Pluto/Uranus conjunct in the 1st, and they don’t seem to express the energy at all, it is very subtle which is unusual for it.

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