As a recent mother of a new-born I was taken aback to see a Moon square Pluto aspect as the parental signification in his natal chart. As an individual I don’t possess very many Plutonian traits in my own horoscope and so this had me wondering how this particularly emotionally intense aspect was going to manifest in our relationship as it doesn’t exactly provoke luke-warm feelings. I have been reading up all day on parental archetypes in general and agree enthusiastically with Carl Jung’s take on the mother-child relationship.
“My own view differs from that of other medico-psychological theories principally in that I attribute only a limited aetiological significance. That is to say, all those influences which the literature describes as being exerted on the children do not come from the mother herself, but rather from the archetype projected upon her, which gives her a mythological background…the mother must be divided into two groups: (1) those corresponding to traits of character or attitudes actually present in the mother, and (2) those referring to traits which the mother only seems to possess, the reality being more or less fantastic (i.e., archetypal) projections on the part of the child.
The latter applies to my relationship with our second son since I don't possess anything Plutonian. The former actually applies to the relationship I have with my first-born as I do carry the archetypes/personality traits described in his natal chart. I also believe there may be special circumstances around the child’s early experience of mother that further colour his emotional bonding. I have been studying astrology for about 6 years now and I am well aware of the interpretations of a hard Moon-Pluto aspect in relation to the mother. This configuration has unashamedly been labelled the mother-hating aspect; describing her allegedly excessive dominance and control over off-spring. The term “smother mother” is one that is often given to this aspect, and Pluto carries either a subtle or obvious reality that affects the child’s inner/outer experience of the “feminine”. Since this is a subject close to my heart it will be explored further through its themes, signatures and signs as I partake in my own research.
The dark side of mother with such a pattern in the natal chart may represent possessiveness, consumption, and a mother who makes the child believe that they cannot live without her and that the world outside is a dangerous place. In the animated movie Tangled Up we see this shady, manipulative figure of a Moon-Pluto mother (mother knows best). The smothering mother is an interesting aspect to explore in relation to this contact, and evidently this will not apply to every experience, but some individuals have experienced a mother who is overprotective, and may have cared (Moon) "too much" (Pluto) about the child’s whereabouts, emotional well-being, and safety, effectively wrapping the child up in cotton wool. The mother being only too aware (paranoid) of the dangers “out there”. However, this powerful reaction can bring up an increased resentment in the child, and suffocates his or her personal growth. It is also emotionally exhausting when he or she is faced with emotional blackmail, guilt trips and intimidating behaviour. I also believe this has the opposite intended effect and the child is more secretive and will not tell her anything that would make her paranoid, worried, hurt, etc. As always there is an issue of “letting go” with all Scorpio, Pluto and 8th house placements in the astrological chart
Liz Greene’s view in Dynamics of the Unconscious: Seminars in Psychological Astrology, takes an unnerving look at Moon-Pluto aspects and its connection to depression as well as the parental influence.
Sometimes it helps to look more honestly at the mother, not in order to blame her, but to see what may have lurked beneath her surface. This can also make a difference. To realize that she may not have been the strong, self-sacrificing person one thought, but that she may have been deeply bitter and despairing, or perhaps even at the edge of a breakdown – that can be a shock, but unless one can perceive this dimension of her life, one will project all kinds of things onto her. I have heard people describe Moon-Pluto as “cold,” but Pluto is never cold. It can be vindictive, and can make the family suffer because the person has been so humiliated by the denial of emotional needs. But the “cold” mother needs a closer look. Depression is not mutually exclusive of love, and to recognise one’s mother may have been deeply unhappy during ones childhood does not automatically mean that she was unloving. But she may have been emotionally starving and turned to her child for solace from her unhappiness- which of course means turning the child into mother, while the mother is secretly the child…Moon-Pluto is not a “rare” aspect. It represents one of several typical family constellations….To use a rather brutal image, it is like drinking poisoned milk. The personal mother is the mediator of the archetypal mother for her child, and of she is wondering blind and despairing in the dark, then she will inadvertently mediate only the Dark Mother – which means, on a more human level, and experience of life which is negative, hopeless, bitter, and bleak. The depression will come out in the child.
I am uncertain how this MOON-PLUTO aspect will enact itself in our relationship, but to begin and end with Jung I rather liked this quote and applied it to Moon-Pluto mothers.
“There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion. The woman whose fate it is to be a disturbing element is not solely destructive, except in pathological cases. Normally the disturber is herself caught in the disturbance; the worker of change is herself changed, and the glare of fire she ignites both illuminates and enlightens all the victims of the entanglement. What seemed a senseless upheaval becomes a process of purification.”
I am still not sure if I feel any better, but I am trying hard to be objective, and whatever the circumstances, and whatever platform they act upon, I know I am not a “bad” mother and I am an archetypal symbol for something transformative in his personality. Maybe the relationship will be enlightening for the both of us. Many times we hear the experiences of the Moon-Pluto child, but rarely the mother’s point of view and her own personal circumstances. Perhaps both mother and child may have to stand back and see each other’s personal reality.