Pluto is the furthest planet from the earth, located in the most remote depths of space. Invisible to the naked eye, he is, as is Hades, the god from whom he takes his name, inaccessible and unapproachable, ruling the ancient, inescapable necessities that inform all life. 

Also known as the Prince of Darkness, Pluto is the lord of hidden and secret connexions between things; and when he enters our life as a situation over which we are powerless and have no control, necessity demands that we must leave a sacrifice of some deeply held aspect of our being as an offering upon his altar. Pluto holds the secrets to transformation and regeneration, for these are his gifts. To travel to Pluto's domain, one first must cross the river Styx, which flows along the border of the nether world and which means abomination. Passage across was by ferry and the ferryman always demanded a toll, usually a gold coin; that is, something of value in which you have identified an vested an important aspect of yourself.

Interestingly, the tributaries of the River Styx are Lethe, forgetfulness; Acheron, misfortune; Cocytus or piercing wounds; and Phlegethon, a river of flames. Only then did one arrive in that realm where forms are broken down and dissolved to be transformed and renewed.

Another equally powerful aspect of Pluto is that of the inexorable dark devouring mother, who gives the gift of life and then draws one into the womb of sleep, death and rebirth. Aware of the invisible worlds which animate all things, Pluto judges according to motivations rather than actions; his insights penetrate to the core of experience, demanding a continual refining process through a sloughing off of the old and the outworn.

Pluto will enter your life as processes that "happen" to you, wished for or not, precipitating cycles of decay, death, and separation, often from someone or something with which there is an intense bond, and from which you need to retrieve your life. The word Pluto comes from a Greek root, Plutuos, which means riches, the hidden and unbounded wealth of the secrets of the human soul.

Pluto rules the archaic, the compulsive, the obsessive, and the experience of fate. Sexuality, particularly its "transcendent" aspects, also fall under Pluto's domain. As does The Great Place Below, its guardians, and the gates through which we must enter, and all that we must leave behind. Heroically, Pluto may be experienced as a profound acceptance of the need to focus one's mind and will on transformation, as the courage to face one's deepest desires and compulsions and to transmute them through effort and experience. Or less positively, as the experience of being overwhelmed by the negative and compulsive expression of subconscious cravings, as well as the willful manipulation of others to serve one's own ends; ruthlessly using any means to avoid facing the pain of one's self, and as an infatuation with having and exercising power over others.

So, whenever you feel in the gripe of something over which you feel you have no control, when aspects of or even your entire life are brought to your knees as a result of crisis that are both unavoidable and inescapable, When all that is heroic in you must struggle and bend in the midst breakdown and decay, then you are experiencing Pluto, "the grisly God, who never spares, who feels no mercy and who hears no prayers." (Homer ~ The Iliad).