Nearly a month ago Pluto was demoted by the International Astronomical Union from the status of planet to dwarf planet. This happened due to the discovery of a 'planet' larger than Pluto in the 'Scattered Disc' beyond the Kuiper Belt, which was provisionally named Xena (a warrior goddess), but has now been officially named Eris, the ancient Greek Goddess of Strife, who at one point was snubbed and indirectly started the Trojan War. And she has certainly caused trouble as a heavenly body, as the demotion of Pluto was highly controversial, with senior members of the IAU claiming that the vote had been hijacked. As far as I can tell from www.astro.com, Eris has been in approx the first 15 degrees of Aries for the last 50 years - a sign she no doubt feels comfortable in!
The scientific reasons for re-classifying Pluto seem fair enough to me, and I'm not complaining. Good scientific reasons or not, however, the fact is that on an archetypal level we have demoted the Lord of the Underworld, which is a really stupid thing to do.
So what might this mean? Pluto has been in Sagittarius since 1995, and has a couple more years to run. Sagittarius at its worst is fundamentalist and intolerant, and we have seen plenty of this in the world as Pluto has passed through this sign, whether it is brainwashed Arabs and their version of Islam, or brainwashed Americans imposing 'democracy' on other nations. Fundamentalism in whatever form divides the world into Good and Evil (Christianity, of course, has a long history of this), with Evil being 'out there' and to be combatted.
As Christianity declined in the West during the 20th century, there came to be room for the Shadow, an idea that tends to diminish Evil as 'out there', and encourages us to look within for what we don't like 'out there'.
It seems to me that the rise of fundamentalism - both Middle Eastern and Western - has medievalised us, it has reduced our ability to recognise our own Shadows. The demotion of Pluto may be a reflection of this process. We are no longer taking our underworld so seriously.
The meeting to decide the fate of Pluto began at 2pm on Aug 24 2006 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Sun was conjunct the Moon in 9th House Virgo, and the Moon was opposite Uranus. Sag was Rising. So you could say it was all very mental and scientific (Virgo/Uranus), and as for 9th House/Sag, Sag is known for being a sign that flies off without consideration for ordinary human realities, and certainly not much consideration for the Underworld. (With Sun in Aquarius, Libra Rising, and Sag Moon, I really have had to learn this one!) That is why the esoteric ruler of Sag is the Earth.
As for the chart for Pluto itself, I couldn't find anything in the discovery chart (18 Feb 1930, 4pm, Flagstaff, Arizona). However, the naming chart (8am, 14 March 1930) has the Sun at 23.19 Pisces, which you could say is Pluto's 'identity', which has just taken a hit. Eris was first discovered on Jan 5 2005, setting in train the series of events that would lead to Pluto's demotion, while Pluto itself was at 22.54 Sag, just 11 days off its first exact square to planet Pluto's Sun. This square transit, therefore, covered the whole period of the debate about Pluto's status. Of course Uranus will be conjoining Pluto's Sun in a couple of years time, so I don't think the story around Pluto's status is over just yet.
By the way, Eris' Moon is named after her daughter Dysnomia, a goddess of chaos and lawlessness. Someone's been having fun. Lock up your sons.
Eris Pluto Astrology