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“Under any Pluto transit, we feel pressured to eliminate and release the old, outworn, outdated and obsolete in our lives.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!