Pluto, the outermost planet in our solar system, was officially demoted to "dwarf planet" status whilst I was a away on holiday, and blissfully out of touch with current events.
A few days after my return, I was asked "Is Pluto still a planet?" when on air on BBC Radio Stoke. Well, of course Pluto is still a planet! It's not disappeared or disintegrated. It's pretty much as it always has been. Pluto takes an amazing 248 years to make one circuit of our Sun, so in any birth chart it appears to move very slowly and remains in the same Zodiac Sign for many years. Like Uranus and Neptune, it's sometimes known as a "generational planet". I was born when Pluto was in Leo (1939 - 1958) - this generational span covers people born during and after the 2nd World War. Those born post-war are the "baby boomers" who are now reaching the age of 60.
Pluto was discovered in 1930, and like Uranus and Neptune, the other outer planets, it's discovery heralded the splitting of the atom and the development and eventual use of the atomic bomb. Pluto's energy is not cosy. In astrological psychology we view Pluto, as represented within the psyche of the individual, as the drive to renew ourselves and to become reborn. But before we can do this we have to plumb our own murky depths and clear out the things within us which have accumulated in dark corners. This takes courage, and by doing so we may have to confront those parts of ourselves which we'd rather not acknowledge, or would prefer to keep hidden. Pluto is about us becoming a "perfect being", leaving behind our outworn responses and actions, and moving on to a higher and more enlightened plane of being. To help us in this task it may be useful to bring to mind the qualities of people we admire ( such as our heroes and heroines) which we aspire towards.
And of course, Pluto is going to be there at the far distant edge of the solar system, regardless of whether it is classified as a "full" planet or a dwarf planet. It was there long before it was discovered, and now it's been around for over 70 years it's not suddenly going to go away. For astronomers, its size and status might matter, but for astrologers (well, this one anyway!) Pluto will remain as a planet of great significance.
It embodies powerful transformative energies which are there for us as human beings, part of humanity as a whole, to draw upon and use to raise ourselves up to a higher level. How can we do without this at a time when the survival of life on earth as we know it now is under threat from mass materialism and global warming? It's time to wake up and make some radical changes and transform our way of being, and this is the very thing that Pluto's good at!
Read about Pluto and the other planets in my co-authored book "The Cosmic Egg Timer"