Pluto the Planet: Propaganda and Power
The planet Pluto in the chart tends to represent where and how we have experienced trauma in our lives - and how we will experience it in the future. This has a great deal to do with our personal psychological makeup, what we react to and what doesn't bother us, i.e., "isn't our issue."
When we are brought to the edge of tolerance of life's vicissitudes, those changes which test our ability to remain sane and centered, the energy which Pluto represents then comes to the fore. With a powerful will, we can strictly repress our emotional reactions, or with an equal amount of power, blow up in rage. We may slyly and calculatedly work out devious strategies to regain control over our lives, or we could arrogantly enlist the aid of allies in order to strengthen our position, and thus, our ability to handle the threatening situation.
No matter what means we may employ to deal with the feeling of disaster which has come upon us, in each case the same energy is operational - the powerful, yet subterranean energy of Pluto.
Plutonic energy exists in the subconsious for most of us. In some ways we might even say that it represents the personality of the subconscious for us, being the characteristics we can observe when trauma is upon us. Are we cowering in fear or braving it out? Are we hiding behind anger or coming together with others in compassion? The chart may tell us this.
Our current situation, with the world's attention focused on the United States' declared War on Terrorism, makes this energy of Pluto very relevant. I recently had it brought home to me that psychological warfare, or propaganda, is a large part of this issue.
With Pluto opposing Saturn in Gemini, we see that entrenched ideas and concepts have taken on structure, a concrete reality. Plutonic pressures brought about by trauma and disaster, such as wars in the Middle East, have opened psychological wounds that are ready to accept any explanation or focus of blame. We have all experienced the phenomenon of when a tragedy occurs, we have a need to blame someone or something. This is part of the mind's effort to find meaning in the event, to somehow make sense of it. Pluto looks across the table at Saturn, seeing that Saturn has an explanation. Accepting this as 'truth' (Sagittarius), the pent-up psychological energy of Pluto explodes in violence. Interestingly enough, we who have been involved with metaphysics for awhile and have practiced it in our daily lives have discovered a truism, which is that when the real truth is revealed, anger and violence tend to dissipate. When a false 'truth' is accepted, the psyche revolts, knowing at some deep level that something is wrong, and thus the anger energy becomes manifest.
This cycle is personified in the current situation of terrorism and anti-American sentiment expressed by some of those in the Middle East and elsewhere. It is exemplified through the use of anti-American propaganda. It's effectiveness is shown through using it's own faults and attributing them elsewhere, such as calling United States citizens brainwashed while stimulating a mob mentality and denigrating potentially objective sources of information. My experience with this came from a Yugoslav national, a citizen from a country which has more often than not been restricted in information other than what is allowed by its government, claiming that United States citizens, the home of free expression, are unaware of what our government is doing. We are talking about the same U.S. government who can't keep its mouth shut about anything, whose whistle-blowers write books and has television cameras at every corner taping all its activities, right??
Acting on the emotionally battered citizens of countries who have been used and manipulated by their governments, to the point of having Aid supplies stolen by those governments, putting innocent civilians in the line of fire in wars that they instigated, and more - these harried individuals are willing to accept any explanation that can give them some sense of power and dignity. It is far more dignified to accept that some far-off big bully is hurting you than to think that your own people are. Remember, another Plutonic attribute is that of betrayal. These people have been told that the United States has betrayed them. This is hurtful, but emotionally is far easier to take than the idea that their own government is stealing from them, lying to them and manipulating them.
This is also where feelings about power come in. How can you feel powerful against this monster of military might and economic superiority? A significant source of feelings about power and powerlessness is that of envy. Even if someone is trying to help you, the dark side of the psyche will resent the sense of powerlessness that this brings up. For right or wrong, the United States has experienced the consequences of being envied from both within and without its shores. 'Welfare consciousness' is a bitter problem which all Americans have to share in the consequences of, wherein the person(s) being helped become so dependent on the aid given, that they no longer can or are willing to fend for themselves. There can be a deep and terrible envy on the part of those being helped, a desire to be the one powerful enough to give the aid rather than to receive it. Poverty is traumatic. Starvation and lack of medical treatment is a disaster. The psyche is triggered to thoughts of anger and acts of violence when these Plutonic elements are stirred up. Personal responsibility becomes inconceivable and the giver becomes 'wrong' no matter what course is taken from that point. If aid continues it is interference, if it is discontinued, it is abandonment. If there is someone on the outside, deliberately stimulating these psychic wounds through poisonous words and pointed fingers, we come upon yet another Plutonic manifestation - hypnotism.
Psychological warfare is a type of hypnotic battle for the mind. The subconscious mind is trying to accept suggestions from what it believes to be a credible authority. It is open and vulnerable to suggestion when it has been traumatized. Propaganda, when employed skillfully by those in the same cultural environment can influence public thought to a very great degree. When a propaganist can say, "We," a significant battle has been fought and won right there. It is then "You and I," against "Them" and of course, "we" are the 'good guys'.
Just to make myself clear, there is a difference between voicing an opinion and spreading propaganda. By definition, propaganda has a purpose, to spread or 'propagate' certain ideas to either injure a person, institution or cause, or to help one. Like sowing seeds, telling one or two people doesn't achieve the aim. The idea(s) must be spread broadly, fertilized and kept watered through consistent effort.
We have been observing the propaganda of hate being sown for several decades now. In my encounter with this phenomenon, the individual did not even recognize that hatred was the energy that was pumping through him. This is how much below the level of consciousness the situation exists.
Perhaps the biggest lie of the whole Plutonic event as it comes up in human consciousness is that of separatism. Due to the function that Pluto provides, that of protecting a vulnerable psyche from the terrors it encounters, a schism is created which we then manifest in our outer world. When we can face the painful truth that the hated 'other' is actually ourselves, that we are all humans trying to live out our lives in the best way that we know how, we may be able to find a true and lasting peace. Pluto's basic purpose is to force us to evolve, to grow up to be able to cope with the tragedies and traumas of life. As we grow more capable of facing and integrating these events, we are stronger, more objective and can find a deeper happiness and meaning to life. We may see how this occurs when we look back into our past to an event that was difficult at the time, but which we have since learned to deal with. It is clearly an advantage to our perspective on life to have coped successfully with it. If we have dealt with it well, we will have found some forgiveness in the situation and formed a philosophical basis for a deeper understanding, one which often has permanently altered our perspective on life. We are transformed and evolved. We have included the event, the players on all sides and our own darker side into our understanding. This is the function of a healed Plutonic event. There needn't have been any physical or environmental changes take place in order for this to occur. It is strictly within one's own consciousness.
Propaganda prevents healing. It doesn't matter who's it is or why they're doing it. It creates distance between people. It is malicious gossip taken to the next level and as such, stirs up anger and bad feelings. Is your hate and anger coming from what you yourself have seen and experienced, or from an interpretation of it that comes from someone else? Pluto in Sagittarius says that we must come to find our own truth and learn to face that, no matter how heinous it may at first appear to be. This will often include facing what appear to be heinous truths in or about ourselves. This is part of the evolutionary process. When we look within, we are taking responsibility for our own choices (Saturn) and cease projecting our negativity onto the outside world.
We can regain power and control over our world as we let go of blame and accept our own inner authority. Even though terrible things may have been done to us, as spiritual beings, we have a measure of power. That can be regained and put to use in making our lives better from this point forward. Otherwise, we languish in our victimhood and cannot improve our state. A victim must continue to carry their wounds. As soon as one chooses to move past the woundedness, he/she is no longer a victim. Thus, in some cases, anger can create a vested interest in remaining wounded. A victim can righteously maintain anger against her/his oppressor. Someone who is regaining their power has let the anger go in order to focus on more constructive, positive activities.
The power of propaganda is only the power that we give it. Just as when we were children and would indulge in or otherwise experience whispering campaigns against another, the truth had very little relevance to what was being said. The thrill and 'shock value' of the gossip and rumor-mongering were all important, and the value to our ego in knowing something that others didn't could help us to feel superior. Propaganda gives us this false sense of intellectual superiority, allowing us to feel important while another looks foolish (or so we believe).
The Plutonic energies that we all carry from the influences of Pluto the planet within us are subtle and complex. Although the answers may sometimes appear to be easy, their implementation never is. Today we are all being called upon to face the pain and tell the truth about it. This includes revealing our fears, doubts and uncertainties as well as our grief and tears. We must also listen to each other. In my opinion, propaganda is the effort to say, "Hear me! Hear me!" but is unwilling to listen to anything unlike itself. We all have to both listen and be heard.
By Jeri Noble