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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 202 Transcript: How Did Pluto and the Outer Planets Get Their Meanings?

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 202, titled:

How Did Pluto and the Outer Planets Get Their Meanings?

With Chris Brennan, Kenneth Miller, Sam Reynolds, and Leisa Schaim

Episode originally released on April 27, 2019


Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: theastrologypodcast@gmail.com

Transcribed by Teresa “Peri” Lardo

Transcription released December 8th, 2023

Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This is episode 202, and the date is – what is it? – Wednesday, April 24th 2019, starting at 8:04 p.m. in Denver, Colorado. So this is gonna be – joining me today we’ve got a bit of an experimental episode where we’re gonna be talking about first the history of the development of the significations of Pluto, but also the broader question about how astrologers developed the significations of other outer planets in general and some issues surrounding that. So joining me today in the studio is Kenneth Miller, Sam Reynolds, and Leisa Schaim. Welcome everybody.

LEISA SCHAIM: Thank you.

KENNETH MILLER: Thank you, Chris, for having us.

SAM REYNOLDS: Thank you for having us.

CB: And running our equipment in the background is Cameron White – hey Cam.

SR: Cam!

CB: Cam is in the back. All right, guys, thanks for joining me today. So you guys —

KM: Of course.

CB: — are in town this week. You are both on the board of the International Society for Astrological Research, and you guys are in town for a board meeting, right?

KM: Correct.

SR: And planning meeting for our conference coming up in 2020.

CB: Yeah, let’s hear a little bit more about that. So I think we’ve mentioned it in passing, but you guys are planning to have a huge international conference here in Denver in 2019.

KM: 20.

CB: 2020, okay. And that’s gonna be in September?

KM: Yes.

SR: That’s correct.

CB: Okay, and we’re talking about hundreds of people flying in from not just the U.S., but all around the world.

SR: That’s correct.

KM: That’s our intention.

SR: China, Brazil, anywhere we can find people where people are doing astrology.

CB: Cool. And you guys just finished the first round of speaker selection and announced your first 30 speakers, but you’re still in the process of nailing down and figuring out other speakers for the conference?

KM: Correct.

SR: That’s right.

CB: Okay. And how many tracks are there gonna be?

SR: Well, I mean, I think we’re still figuring that out, but it’s actually not just going to be like, rigid tracks as much as some, you know, blending of some things, and multiple tracks between like, mythology also crossing over in terms of history. We’re trying to find some way in which people realize how things hook into multiple areas, except maybe the financial astrology track. That is gonna be a track that’s very different –

KM: Yeah, it’s going to be like, an investment —

SR: Yeah.

KM: — futures kind of thing. Our intention isn’t – I don’t know what the final product is gonna be, of course, but – our intention is to code the lectures and the presentations in such a way that they’ll be coded by different categories, because certain topics, as Sam said, cross over between more than one topic, and we’re hoping that’ll help people choose what really like, interests them, rather than just having a rigid —

SR: Right.

KM: — thing, but there will be tracks, and there are many of them. The exact number I can’t remember off right now.

CB: Brilliant. I know I made it onto the traditional astrology track, if there is going to be one at least.

SR: Right.

KM: Yes.

SR: But that also may put you also for history depending on your topic.

CB: Okay.

KM: Yeah.

SR: You know? So that’s what I mean.

CB: Cool. Well, I’m really looking forward to it. I’m glad that you guys picked Denver, and the venue looks really amazing. I’m actually looking forward to that.

KM: So far we’ve only been there a day, but yes, I believe it will be quite a lovely experience for everyone.

SR: Nice rooms, lovely set up. Also very spacious for those who are staying. There’s lots of ground to cover to be able to do running, you know, there’s geese. It’s like, really chill.

CB: Cool. All right. Well, looking forward to that. We’ll of course have more information about that as, you know, it builds up and as we get closer and closer. Thanks for stopping by today in the middle of all those board meetings and everything to do this. I’ve had both of you on the podcast like, multiple times.

KM: Yes.

CB: I think Sam, you’ve been on at least three times?

SR: Three times, at least three.

CB: Okay, and Kenneth, you’ve been on —

KM: At least two, maybe three?

CB: I think three.

SR: I wanna say three too.

CB: Yeah.

KM: Okay. That feels right.

SR: I’ve listened to you for a few, yeah.

CB: Because Sam, you and I did the famous like, duo episodes back to back of criticisms, responses to criticisms from scientists and skeptics, and then also responses to religion criticisms.

SR: That’s right.

CB: Which is like, one of my favorite sort of sets of episodes. And then Kenneth, we did the sidereal zodiac one at one point —

KM: Yes.

CB: — and that’s one of the like, classic episodes that we highlighted when Leisa and I did a retrospective a couple episodes ago in episode 200. But we’ve also been on another episode —

SR: The age of Aquarius one, that was my favorite.

CB: Oh, the age of Aquarius, yeah.

KM: The famous charts one.

CB: Okay.

KM: Which – I don’t know what we called that, but —

CB: Yeah.

KM: — normal people versus famous charts in the study of astrology.

CB: And there was actually one other, which was the Star of Bethlehem.

KM: Yes. Christmas episode, yeah.

CB: That was a good one.

KM: Yeah.

CB: So this is your first time on together, and of course we’re all in the studio, so —

KM: Yeah.

CB: — bit of an experiment.

KM: Great to be here.

SR: Right, first time in the studio.

CB: Yeah. But it’s exciting to be here in person. So all right. So where do we start with this topic? So I think the starting point is that Kenneth, you wrote an article for the second volume of the Ascendant journal, which is the journal of the Association for Young Astrologers, and that just came out last year, right?

KM: Yes. Came out last year, last spring, and my article aside, it is a great issue. I mean, it is really packed with good articles, and there’s very few journals I could actually say that about. So I was proud to be in there.

CB: And what was the title of your article?

KM: It was “Pluto’s Weird History: Dumb Luck, Dumb Note, Dumbbell.”

CB: All right. So in this article, you chronicled both the discovery of Pluto but then focused on how astrologers started to ascribe meaning to that planet as an outer planet over the course of the past century. So has it been – it’s not even been a century now that it’s been discovered.

SR: No.

KM: No, not yet. Yes, so the purpose of the article – I mean, a lot of things we just sort of take for granted because, you know, we read it in books or a teacher’s taught it or, you know, we learned it in the tradition. Pluto’s the one planet that there’s all this near living testimony about and a lot of print about, and when Pluto was discovered, astrologers immediately started debating its meaning, and there were crazy debates and a plethora of meaning that almost seems like, nonsensical to the modern astrologer because we all are kind of united – or are we? We’ll explore that later in the talk, I’m sure – about the Pluto experience. And I wanted to trace what astrologers said about Pluto through the timeline of the 20th century and into the early 21st century. So the article covers the discovery, we look at the charts of the discovery, covers all the history and then the latest stuff on Pluto, from our flyby a few years ago where we discovered Pluto has a big heart and water and blue atmosphere and all this other cool stuff.

CB: Right. The heart was perhaps the most important discovery.

KM: Yes.

SR: Yeah, Pluto has a heart.

CB: Yeah. Well, it was a really good article. I really wanted to congratulate you on that.

KM: Thank you.

CB: Because I’ve had this journal for a year, I just hadn’t looked through all the articles yet. But I started – read not just yours, but there’s a lot of other really good articles in there as well, so I really have to give a shoutout to Jen Zahrt, who is the editor of the journal —

KM: Yes.

CB: To Danny, who is the president —

SR: Danny Larkin?

CB: Danny Larkin, who’s the president of the Association for Young Astrologers, and everybody that was involved with putting this —

SR: Nick.

LS: Nick Civitello.

CB: Nick Civitello.

LS: Yeah.

CB: And I think there’s one more person I’m forgetting who did the illustrations.

KM: Oh yes, there was another person.

CB: I’m gonna look that up really quickly so I don’t… Oh no, I mean the editors were, you know, Jen, Danny, and Nicholas, so —

KM: Yeah.

SR: Okay.

CB: Shout out to them and everybody at the Association for Young Astrologers. It’s a great journal, so I’d recommend checking it out. I think their URL is like, youngastrologers.org or something like that. All right. So that’s one sort of way we’re gonna be accessing this, and it’s actually weirdly good timing, because Pluto is like, stationing retrograde like, now, right?

SR: Right.

LS: Yeah.

SR: I mean, it’s like, perfect.

CB: Literally today.

KM: If only there was free will!

SR: And for me, I mean, Pluto is directly on top of my Mars to the exact degree, partile degree, and exactly trine to Pluto, my natal Pluto.

CB: Nice.

SR: So it’s like, that we’re talking about Pluto —

KM: Dang!

SR: Right! It’s like a Pluto moment.

CB: Right. And Sam, I wanted to – not just because you’re in the town, I wanted to have you on the podcast while you were in town, but I thought you guys would make a good pair to be in this podcast today because I remember you’ve had a lot of discussions and you’ve brought up some objections to the way that outer planets develop their significations, and you have your own particular like, perspective on that as a broader topic, right?

SR: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I do use outer planets.

CB: Okay.

SR: I don’t use them as rulers, and so that’s confusing for people. You know, they’re like, “Well, have you just chucked them?” And I think, you know, my question – and there are a series of questions that I’ll even be presenting at NORWAC – and I think outer planets really present a larger question of like, well, what’s astrology’s parting or departure from astronomy? Because the significations or even the naming of the planets are coming from astronomers. It’s not coming from astrologers.

CB: Right.

SR: So that has direct implications in terms of how we look at these things. And when I’ve talked about, you know, Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune, I think we also should be talking about the trans-Neptunians and the other KBOs – the Kuiper Belt Objects – you know, so those other implications. Because that’s one of the reasons why Pluto also got demoted, because now we’re discovering all these newer bodies, and so it’s like, what do we do with them? And then we’re also, you know, astronomers are naming them and astrologers are just going like, “Well, yeah, okay – that’s Eris, and so we’re gonna call that related to discord in the myth of Eris.”

KM: And this is one of the questions I have – which maybe go beyond today’s topic but – do we include every object in the heavens? And then, if so, why? And what is our rationale for what we include and what we don’t include?

CB: Right. Because that’s really one of the issues where when Pluto was discovered, that wasn’t yet an issue. It was like, one of the things it was clear from your article, for example, is just, it was discovered, it was decided it was a planet, and then so there was just this natural assumption that it has to then take on some of the same role and we have to start incorporating it in the same way that we do with the other planets and assigning it rulership and drawing on the mythology or the name associated with it as having symbolic importance and all of these other things.

SR: That’s – yeah.

CB: But then over the course of the past, what? Like, three quarters of a century, suddenly we’ve had the discovery of tons of other Pluto-sized objects, other just hundreds of thousands of asteroids I think, or maybe I’m overexaggerating that. Is it hundreds of thousands or is it like —

SR: Yeah, there’s lots! I mean, like, someone said –  think it was Mike Brown, the Pluto killer, right? I think he said like, we’re discovering like, hundreds daily.

CB: Okay.

SR: So I mean, the implication is pretty big if you look at it that way.

CB: Yeah. And even like, back then one of the things you documented, Kenneth, was the search for Pluto to begin with was initiated by what they thought at the time were like, irregularities in Neptune’s orbit.

KM: Yeah, so there were perceived irregularities in Neptune’s orbit. That’s how they found Neptune, because Uranus wasn’t behaving quite normal, and so then they find Neptune and they realize, “Wait, that’s not behaving the way we think it should, so there must be another planet.” And then different mathematicians – and that’s in the article – they calculate where they think the orbit is gonna be to find what becomes in the press like, Planet X, you know, and that will now account for Neptune’s irregularity. And then the irony is that after Pluto’s discovered and science gets a little more sophisticated, we find out that Neptune’s actually not misbehaving. Pluto is not impacting Neptune’s orbit. Neptune’s orbit is fine. So it’s interesting that the whole search for Pluto arose out of a misperception about Neptune’s nature, which may not have surprised astrologers.

LS: Right.

SR: And there’s something else in your article that you also point out that I should be fair in talking about, because I talk about what astronomers are doing, but astrologers have been looking for Pluto for a while, too. And when I say “looking for Pluto,” there actually was a planet – I’ve forgotten – Maurice Wemyss, right?

KM: Yes.

SR: He also had a Pluto.

KM: Hypothetical —

SR: A hypothetical planet. And so was this whole gamut of astrologers who had hypothetical planets in mind, including like, for instance – those who are Star Trek fans will recognize Vulcan. Vulcan was believed to be out there somewhere, and we still haven’t found Vulcan, so —

CB: Right.

SR: — there’s this search, you know?

CB: I mean, that brings up a really interesting point which is just for hundreds of years, for thousands of years, all astrologers had were the seven, you know, quote unquote seven traditional planets or seven visible celestial bodies, which is the two luminaries – the Sun and Moon – which are just classified, let’s just say for the sake of this, as a planet because it’s being used as a celestial body in astrology.

KM: Yeah.

CB: And then we have the five wandering stars, which are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, which – if you go out and you look at the night sky, you can actually see them. They look like twinkling stars just like any other fixed star, except what’s weird about them is if you pay attention to them consecutively over the course of several nights or weeks or months, you’ll see them moving against the backdrop of the other stars. And so that’s what originally set them apart. For centuries, that’s all astrologers and astronomers knew about and that’s all we used, and then suddenly in the 18th century, there is this sudden discovery of Uranus.

SR: Right.

CB: And that’s the very first outer planet that’s discovered beyond Saturn, and suddenly that changes everything because it turns out that the solar system is not just limited to those seven traditional celestial bodies, but there may be other ones out there. Then eventually they find Neptune, and then at that point we get into the stage that you guys are talking about where people are starting to realize there may be even more out there and we should start looking for them or even sometimes hypothesizing what they might be like or where they could be, and both astrologers and astronomers are engaging in that.

SR: And —

KM: So —

SR: I’m sorry.

KM: Go on.

SR: I was just gonna say, and what you just highlighted also brings up some political issues, you know, that also is like, embedded in that. I mean, one political issue was even just a discovery of Uranus, which was not called Uranus for I think, you know, 60 or 70 years. There was like, Herschel’s star.

CB: Right, it was called Herschel.

SR: Yeah. You know, so —

CB: Who was what? Was that like, the king at the time?

KM: No.

SR: Well, he named it Georgium Sidus.

LS: Yeah.

CB: Okay.

SR: But the French were like, “I’m not calling it that – after your king? I’m not doing that.”

CB: Right.

KM: Herschel was the discoverer.

SR: Right.

CB: Okay.

SR: William Herschel was the discoverer, but —

KM: The glyph for Uranus preserved that H in Herschel.

CB: That’s hilarious.

KM: Yeah.

SR: Right. So I mean, we have that, and then still brings up other questions like in terms of the politics. Ceres – which was once classified as an asteroid, is now a dwarf planet like Pluto – was discovered before Pluto, but one thing that’s interesting is that Ceres, who’s bigger than Pluto but named after a goddess, is not given the same credence and worth as Pluto. So it’s like, all these different political dimensions that kind of nuance into it.

CB: Sure. And asteroids were discovered some time like, after – wasn’t it after the discovery of like, Neptune but before the discovery of Pluto?

SR: Yes, that’s what I was —

KM: Yeah.

CB: The primary like, five big asteroids or something.

SR: That’s correct.

KM: Yeah.

CB: Okay.

KM: So I wanna take a little step back and just sort of set the stage in all this. And you have astrologers practicing astrology. The scientific revolution happens, heliocentrism is discovered, and astrology in the west kind of loses its bearings. I’m just giving a really quick history lesson here.

SR: Right.

KM: And by the time Uranus is discovered, there’s been a kind of loss of why things are the way they are in astrology. Why are there – why do we have these traditional rulerships? What’s the rationale of that? And so you have Uranus and then Neptune, and so there’s this desire of like, well, let’s fit these new guys into the scheme, you know? They have to – since planets always rule things, they must rule something, rule a sign. And then, at the late 19th and early 20th century, you have all this speculation about hypothetical points. You have the rise of Uranian astrology. In my article, I talk about some British astrologers that had hypothetical points that were, according to the journals, like, in use by astrologers who were like, experimenting to see like, did they really exist?

CB: So these are the —

KM: One of which was called Pluto, but it had – this hypothetical Pluto was way, way further out than our Pluto.

SR: And the ruler of Virgo.

KM: And the ruler of Virgo, according to Wemyss, or however you pronounce his name. So another factor in all this was theosophy as a religion and philosophy, a spiritual kind of a blending of Indian philosophy and some – well, a blending of Indian philosophies and kind of adapted to a western audience and this notion of spiritual evolution, you know? It’s kind of taking Darwinism and applying it to the soul and having this evolution of the soul concept. There was this belief – and I don’t really get into it in the article, but that we’d eventually find 12 planets and each planet would get to rule one house and there’d be this beautiful symmetry. So part of the rationale of like, “Well, why were they so desperately trying to figure out what house it rules?” was because of this notion of we’re eventually gonna get 12, and they all need to have their proper place.

SR: As a statement of our evolution.

KM: Yeah, as a statement of our spiritual evolution, yeah.

CB: Well, it’s really funny that Uranus played that role and it broke up the traditional rulership system, which itself is so symmetrical and so beautiful. And that’s one of the things that sometimes draws modern students of astrology back to traditional astrology, once you see the symmetry underlying the original rulership scheme, where it’s like —

SR: It did it for me, yeah.

CB: — yeah, it’s like you have the Sun and Moon assigned to Cancer and Leo, and then all the other planets are flanking out in zodiacal order based on their relative speed and distance from the Sun. First to Mercury, then Venus, then Mars, then Jupiter, then Saturn. But then you throw Uranus in, and if you take the assumption that it needs to be assigned to a sign, once you do that, it immediately starts breaking down all those symmetries. So I can see then why there would immediately start being this assumption of well, maybe there’s more planets out there that will eventually complete and make it symmetrical again by making 12 planets and 12 signs.

KM: Yes. You know, it’s interesting to contrast this with the Indian tradition. You know, they were also aware of these planets being discovered. If you read books – let me phrase it this way: The books I have seen and read written in Indian English from the middle of the 20th century, they’re still calling it Herschel.

CB: Okay.

KM: And they may reference Neptune and Herschel as planets, but the thought of making them rule something doesn’t enter the mind, because the rationale of why planets rule certain signs is a consistent model in Indian astrology. It didn’t have the breakup or loss that we did in western astrology. So you never find, or at least I haven’t found anyone like, speculating, “Oh, we need to find a ruler for this,” because it didn’t prop up. It crops up with us because we didn’t – at the time, most astrologers didn’t understand why things ruled what they rule.

CB: And let’s talk about that, because actually I wanna talk about that premise and almost push back on that a little bit, because one of the things I notice as a traditional astrologer, as a Hellenistic astrologer – I blend Hellenistic and modern astrology – is that part of the rationale for the original rulership scheme was the Thema Mundi, where you have a chart, this mythical birth chart for the birth of the cosmos, where it has Cancer rising and the Moon is assigned to Cancer, and the Sun to Leo, and then Mercury gets to the next sign, which is Virgo, then Venus gets to the next sign, which is Libra. Then Mars is Scorpio, and Jupiter is Sag, and Saturn is Capricorn, right? And so that’s the starting point for the traditional rulership scheme, and the rest of the rulerships are just a mirror image of that superimposed on the other signs.

But if you go back to the Thema Mundi, and then you start from the Moon and then you work your way all the way out to the planets to Saturn in Capricorn, if another planet was discovered, following that logic, further out than Saturn, then it would be theoretically if you’re following that scheme, assigned the next sign after Saturn, and that would be Aquarius. It’s the next open sign after Capricorn. And then similarly, if there’s another planet after that, if you’re still following that scheme, the next open sign would be Pisces, so that would be Neptune, the next planet out. It’s when you get to Pluto that this whole thing breaks down, though, and that’s when you run into problems. And that’s why you get into some of the debate over whether Pluto rules Scorpio or Aries, which you documented were happening in the mid-20th century when astrologers were trying to assign it to a sign. And I’m sure the Aries argument was partially based on that original sort of symmetry of just like, following out from Cancer all the way around the zodiac.

So what do you, I mean, what are your thoughts about that in terms of, at least for, let’s say, for the sake of argument, just Uranus and Neptune? If that’s part of the original rulership scheme, that’s something I feel like traditional astrologers need to contend with, and I’m saying that as someone where I only use the traditional rulership scheme at this point, so I don’t assign Uranus to Aquarius or Neptune to Pisces or Pluto to, you know, Scorpio or Aries. But I see that as like, sometimes a shortcoming in the logic, sometimes, of traditional astrologers when they try to criticize that system. Because I think some of the astrologers might have been following a certain sort of traditional logic, or at least extending that logic, when they made some of those assignments originally.

KM: That could be. I mean, honestly, the thought that popped into my mind when you said that is if we’re gonna embrace these notions that maybe we need to kind of unbound ourselves from pure traditional thinking and think, okay, we find a new planet, maybe it does need to rule something – why are we not expanding the houses in the horoscope to accommodate these outer planets? I mean, life is getting more complicated. I could also make a philosophical argument that we need 14 houses instead of 12, 16 houses, and now every planet can rule two signs, because as you go further out in the cosmos, maybe the wheel needs to get bigger. Now I’m not advocating that, but it seems like one could, if they were to go down that road.

SR: Well, there are other layers to that too, just to kind of piggyback off of that. One of the beauties of the Thema Mundi is also the balance between the idea of the masculine and the feminine.

CB: Right.

SR: Not that I’m arguing for the binary, but I am saying that that is some aspect of it, and that we got in terms of the duality. Even between the lights, the Sun and Moon, have their own duality. But then every planet also gets to have that duality. And that gets lost with the introduction of the outers as rulers.

CB: Right. So with that, each traditional planet gets one masculine sign and one quote-unquote feminine sign.

SR: That’s correct.

CB: So that it almost, like, becomes balanced because then there’s a realization that there’s a masculine and a feminine expression of each planet.

SR: Right. Or we could say assertive and receptive if we don’t wanna get into gender bias.

CB: Yeah.

SR: So I think that was one aspect of it. Then I think there’s even a more profound question, which I often have brought up with more modern astrologers. Because the argument that also comes up related to what you’re saying is that, what you were just saying, Kenneth, is that, well, we’ve evolved. We’re changing. Our culture, in terms of civilization, and we need something that matches that. Which brings up the fundamental issue – is that true?

CB: Right.

LS: Right.

CB: I love that you were laughing at that, Kenneth, because you were – you object to that, but at the same time, you were invoking that earlier as like, an argument somebody could make.

KM: That’s right. But not an argument I would agree with, because I think human beings are human beings. The whole notion of how spiritual Darwinism got into astrology and new age thought is probably a topic for another day.

SR: Right.

KM: Because we could go down that rabbit hole, but yeah.

CB: Well, no, I mean, let’s get into – because it’s important as a piece of like, the cultural context of the practice of modern western astrology and some of the assumptions that modern western – especially in the late 20th century – astrologers were making, that they were using as justification. Some of their justifications were that things are so radically different now than they were in ancient times, that this is part of our justification for changing the system and for things changing because they would argue that life is so radically different now, that things change and astrology should change. But one of the traditionalist sort of counterpoints that’s been coming up over the past 20 years and one of ones I’ve made and both of you are making at this point as well is that, in point of fact, like, the fundamentals of life are still pretty similar to what they were 2,000 years ago. And while a lot of like, technology’s changed, or sometimes there’s been other superficial changes, in terms of like, the 12 houses, for example, the fundamentals of life are still the same.

SR: That’s correct.

CB: You have health, wealth, siblings, parents, children, illness…

LS: Relationships.

CB: Right, relationships.

SR: Government.

CB: Mortality. Travel or religion. Career. Friends. And enemies, or loss. And that’s like, pretty universal. So those things haven’t necessarily changed, I mean.

KM: And yet, the way we – even us traditionalists, and I – for those of you that don’t know – try to do a kind of traditional Indian astrology. We’ve adapted it to modern times.

CB: Right.

KM: To modern life and circumstance and I mean, the fact is we are adapting and changing, and astrology always has to adapt to the culture and the day that it finds itself in.

SR: Always has.

KM: So I studied western astrology as a kid and teenager and young adult before I found Indian, and one of my western astrologers, you know, what he taught about the outer planets – all three of them, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto – is that they had to find a way into your life through your chart by connecting to one of the traditional planets. You know, so if you had Pluto conjunct your Moon, or Pluto trine Saturn or something like that, then that outer planet has found a way. It’s kind of dialed into the energy of the chart or however you wanna conceptualize the chart. But if a native had an outer planet that didn’t really configure with anything else, then probably it wasn’t gonna have much of an effect. Because what we haven’t talked about is the natural boundary of what you can see with the unaided human eye —

CB: Right.

KM: — which is Saturn. So another argument is that hey, the light you can see ends with Saturn – and that’s another traditionalist argument.

CB: And that’s a really important argument, especially in the context of the way that ancient astrologers conceptualized as a form of divination, because in divination, that which like, appears or that which is visible to the senses or perceptible is the thing that matters. And if something is hidden, then that either is not taken into account, or the fact that it’s hidden is an additional symbolic factor in and of itself.

KM: Right.

SR: Just to kind of also dive in with that, I mean – that is an argument that some modern astrologers make. By the fact that the outers are hidden, it kind of belies the fact that that symbolizes – and this is the language that they’ve also learned to use from, I guess, Jung, also from theosophy, that this also highlights a particular kind of change in our consciousness, our collective unconscious. What is, I guess – what’s the word? Trans…

LS: Transpersonal.

SR: Transpersonal.

KM: Yeah, the transpersonal planets.

SR: The transpersonal. Going beyond, you know, the dimensions of how we just interact in our own kind of cubby holes. Right? So that’s one thing that does support their argument that it’s beyond what we can see.

CB: Right. And it’s like, I’m always sympathetic to that but Leisa, we were talking about this earlier today, I wanna bring you into this. I kind of dragged you into this conversation —

LS: Yeah.

CB: — so I’m sorry. Because we’re all the history geeks. Like, Kenneth and I went to —

KM: Kepler College.

CB: Kepler College. And you are now the president, I’ve heard, of Kepler College.

KM: True. Rumor’s true.

CB: Congratulations. You’re also one of the few people in the world that graduated from Kepler with a master’s degree.

KM: One of five, I believe, yes.

CB: Five. Wow. Okay. And Sam, like, you’ve done also a lot of research into the history of astrology and that’s something that’s really like, bringing that almost like, academic interest into and that historical – not just historical but also studying the cultural backdrop and the cultural context of astrology is something that’s very important to you.

But Leisa, you are somebody over the past 10 years, where you’ve made the transition not just like, from modern astrology to traditional astrology, but you’ve merged and synthesized like, modern, contemporary western astrology with some ancient like, Hellenistic and other types of traditional astrology. And sometimes you’ve had to weigh and balance some of those different ideas, which sometimes astrologers put forward. And one of them is that idea that maybe the outer planets only are relevant if they’re like, closely configured to a visible planet or something like that.

LS: Yeah, and I think that’s where you get into like, theory versus practice, for me personally. Because that’s actually not what I see in practice.

KM: Yeah.

LS: Like, I see them matter, not necessarily more than other planets, but I see them matter wherever they’re placed. I think a lot of the history of outer planet discussions within the community has been theoretical, and has been like, “I have this idea about how this should work.” And so anyway, that would be what I say about that.

KM: I’m glad you brought that up, because the crux of my article, which I don’t think is clear to the people watching so far, is I do take you at your word that they matter and they may not be the most important, but Pluto is a big force no matter where it is in the chart. When you look at the history of Pluto in astrology, you have many astrologers in the mid- and early and even late 20th century, and actually recently – what was her name? Anyway, a prominent astrologer that’s recently passed away, saying that it doesn’t always manifest, it’s very confusing, we need to study it more —

SR: Donna Cunningham?

KM: — one of the question – no. The one who wrote Plain Vanilla Astrologer? Pam…

LS: Pam Geisler?

KM: Yes. So I have a quote from her in here where she’s like, “Hey, I’ve been looking at Pluto for, you know, 60 years, and it’s a weird little thing that I can’t, you know, rely on.” That goes against the younger or 21st century astrologer who will say like, “What are you guys talking about? Like, how can you not notice the transits of these things? They’re like, so heavy; they happen all the time.” So one of my questions is, how do we account for the fact that it seems so obvious today, and yet in yesteryear, a lot of people were saying it didn’t even have an effect. And that’s one of the mysteries that I try to explore in the paper.

CB: Yeah, and one of the comments that you wrote in our outline is you said – I don’t think this was in the article, but – you wrote the question, you said, “If you examine 10 medical textbooks or ask 10 physicians to describe the function of the liver, you’ll probably get very similar answers, but when I, Kenneth, ask astrologers about the function of Pluto, I get answers that are all over the place.”

KM: Even today, yes.

CB: Yeah, “same with written works. What does this say about astrology as a practice?” And see, I think the question you put at the end there is you make it really broad, because I think one counterpoint that I would make is – is this true for other outer planets like Uranus and Neptune? Because I don’t think it’s as true for Uranus and Neptune, where I think astrologers are more on the same page about what their meanings are and they’re pretty well defined. Even with Neptune to the extent that it’s like, not well defined – that is the definition. But with Pluto it’s been much more all over the place, and that probably has to do more though with the cultural context of like, radical shifts in astrology and its conceptualization over the past decade perhaps or other things than it has to do with like, a broader issue with astrology per se.

KM: Yeah.

LS: I mean, do you honestly feel though that it’s more across the board compared to, say, like, a multivalent like, read of like, any other planet? In terms of it can express in different ways —

KM: I mean —

LS: — or it can symbolize different things?

KM: Well, now we’re just gonna guess, right? Because I’d have to actually interview people. But when I interviewed contemporary astrologers about Pluto, a few of which I quote here, you just get pretty – they’ll all say it has a big effect, but they’ll define it, what that effect is, or what its influence is, pretty differently.

LS: Sure.

KM: And maybe we do do that for all the planets. I don’t know the answer. But I would guess if you asked about Venus, you’d get a much more consistent list of keywords than you would for Pluto.

LS: True, although there’s still different ways it can manifest or it can symbolize a list of different things and not just one thing. So that’s just like a counterpoint I was thinking of.

SR: Yeah, I actually would tend to agree with what you’re saying. I mean, I think that there is more, there can be a consistency. But even with that consistency, it can be even a certain kind of vagueness. Now the word that really gets under my skin with Pluto – I even tell my students like, when they use it in my class, just know that I’m gonna challenge you on it – is “transformation,” right? That’s the word that gets bandied about I think pretty consistently if we kind of go through some of the books you know, on Pluto.

KM: I think Michael Lutin calls Pluto the butterfly planet because it’s the caterpillar.

SR: Yeah, the chrysalis —

KM: The butterfly —

SR: I think my problem with that, you know, not beyond it being associated with Scorpio and the 8th house, is that it’s a really vague term, you know? Because the whole chart is the statement of transformation, arguably. And when you say “transformation,” I think what people are talking about specifically with Pluto is really kind of more a crisis that actually incites what could become a transformation.

LS: Right.

SR: So I think it’s more crisis —

CB: Right.

SR: — right?

LS: Except no one wants to say that to clients, though.

CB: It’s a euphemism.

LS: You’re having the crisis —

SR: Right.

LS: — transit coming up.

SR: But that “transformation” word does an injustice, I think, to what they’re trying to say. Because when you say “transformation,” it’s kind of like, well, okay, that sounds really cool. But what does that really mean? Because I’m one of those clients, you know, when I am a client, like —

CB: Yeah.

SR: — yeah, yeah, okay.

CB: Yeah.

SR: Give me something specific, something I can hold on to. “Transformation” is not a word that really …

CB: And that has to do with the broader issue in like, late 20th century of like, using euphemisms so as to not freak out clients. Even though they’re partially getting that because they’re associating Pluto with Scorpio, and Scorpio with the 8th house, which is traditionally associated with death.

SR: Right. Not all crisis has to be like, bad, you know? Even that kind of mistranslation of a Chinese saying like, crisis means opportunity, right? I mean, it can also mean the idea of a crisis, something that you’re going with that leads to a change in your thinking, right? A growth in your thought process. So I mean, it doesn’t have to always be – because I don’t always find, per what we were talking about in the car, I don’t find Pluto always a consistent manifester in terms of like, correlative to a particular event.

LS: Right.

CB: But that in and of itself is an issue then, and that’s an issue you were bringing up, Kenneth, is that some of the astrologers – like one of the things you documented was that there was this phase from like, 1930 until almost the early 1970s when astrologers —

KM: Mid.

CB: — mid ‘70s where astrologers are much more ambiguous, and some of them were like, sometimes they don’t know what it means at all or that it doesn’t always manifest in all charts.

KM: And they’re still arguing like, what sign is it associated it with? And again, I wanna be clear. I’m not anti-Pluto. I’m just raising the question. What puzzles me is that you have that experience of it being this definite reality. How could anyone have like, questioned it or found it to be like, weirdly relevant in only a few charts? Isabel Hickey in I think 1970 – this is where I get the dumb note quote, and I’m gonna misquote her, but it’s in the thing, but she says, “You know, I’ve been looking at Pluto since its discovery, and in some charts it’s like a dumb note. It doesn’t have any effect.” And then she goes on to say that “I think it only resonates for people who are like, spiritually evolved, or spiritually sophisticated.” So any person reading that book in 1970 is gonna be like, “Well, I’m one of those people.”

LS: Right.

KM: And now, they’re gonna be thinking, you know, Pluto’s gonna work for me. And then you have Robert Hand’s classic “Planet in Transit.” I really believe that book is kind of the epicenter that kind of starts pulling everyone toward the same kind of Pluto understanding.

SR: Right, that’s just six years later.

KM: Six years later, it’s a bestseller. It’s still a bestseller today. Everyone has it. It’s still big influential. But even with that book, again, you interview contemporary astrologers, you get quite a wide variety of things about Pluto. And it feels like it’s more with Pluto than other planets. And I just think it’s an interesting thing to explore and to try to account for that. I mean, have we created something? I mean, this gets into, “What is astrology? How do these things affect us? Is it a force? Is it a symbol? Is it a clock just telling us what’s happening?

CB: Yeah.

LS: Yeah.

KM: It raises all these great questions —

SR: Right.

KM: — for us to grapple with.

LS: Definitely.

SR: And especially Pluto, I think, did that as well. Because I mean, we’re still, even after – when was it? 2005 when it got demoted?

KM: Yeah, or six, I think.

LS: Six? One of those.

SR: 2006?

LS: One of those, yeah.

SR: So I mean, in terms of its demotion and what that means, you know, one basic thing that we might start off with in terms of, you know, I have a question for astrologers. I mean, I always say to my students and then also even when I get on Twitter, is if I ever went to the dark side, right, and became like an anti-astrologer —

KM: Wait, there’s a dark side?

SR: Yes, of course. There’s always the dark side. Right? If I ever went to the dark side, became like an anti-astrologer, you know, I have particular things I know I would attack. But one of the things I know I would attack is I would ask an astrologer, maybe I’ll come at you, Chris, right?

CB: I love that you’re like, thinking this out as a Scorpio, like —

LS: Right?

CB: — what are the weaknesses …

SR: This is what we do, right? So one thing I might come to you is like, so what’s a planet in astrology? Right? And I don’t know if we have a really good answer, you know. So like, yeah, Pluto got demoted. So what does that mean for you as astrologers, because you call it a planet, but it’s not like, technically.

CB: Well, the response has been like, nothing, because astrologers weren’t involved in that decision.

SR: That’s true, we weren’t. But that’s more disciplinary an issue, right, in terms of the discipline. But why is that a planet and say, like, what’s it – Haumea or Quaoar —

CB: Yeah.

SR: You know?

CB: Sedna.

SR: Sedna. Right?

KM: See this is where I find there are some astrologers who’ll say that the discovery of Pluto was timely and that somehow that in itself is a metaphorical happening that has astrological significance.

LS: Right.

KM: I mean, you’ve heard that; I’m not just making that up.

LS: Yeah like, the historical things happening around the same time, yeah.

KM: Yes, and yet they don’t apply that same reasoning to Pluto’s demotion. Because one of the things I raise in my article is, are the children born post-2006 – are they gonna experience a different kind of Pluto because the culture has changed the signification of Pluto? So if you’re an astrologer who believes in the cultural attribution of, you know, power to these planets or whatever, then it puzzles me why no one is taking into account the latest science —

SR: And that is the history of the outer planets because one of the things I know we wanna talk about are significations.

CB: Yeah.

SR: In terms of how Uranus gets its signification, like, well, it also comes around the time that we were discovering electricity.

CB: Yeah.

SR: And with revolutions. Not acknowledging, like, okay, so Uranus is discovered at this particular time but the revolutions happened before. Same thing with Pluto, with people say like it’s dealing with radiation and things related to nuclear —

KM: Yeah.

SR: — changes, and I’m like, well, that also was in motion; you said that even in your article.

KM: Yeah.

SR: That’s in motion at least eight years before, and also even some time after.

KM: Yeah.

SR: So it always gets fuzzy in terms of how we time our changes in human history.

CB: Right.

SR: Related to the significations that we now attribute to the planet.

CB: Yeah, and I realized that was – do you wanna say something?

LS: I was just gonna say, I mean, but that’s only one piece of, you know, how the meanings get their meanings, right? And so it’s like, historical events is like, one take on that, and then mythology is another take on that.

KM: Yeah.

LS: And then looking at it empirically or looking at charts in front of you is another one. And I was actually impressed in your article with the CEO Carter in —

KM: Yes.

LS: — 1931. That was one year after it was discovered.

KM: Yeah.

LS: And, you know, supposedly that was based on looking at his own chart.

KM: Yeah.

LS: I didn’t know if you had more background on that. But I was actually impressed by those four lines in there. They were pretty on-target one year after discovery. You know, so I think there is something to be said for like, he was looking supposedly at charts and then…

KM: Yeah, a lot of people were looking at charts. And the beauty of this – the article quotes all kinds of astrologers, so if you’re looking for like, keywords and approaches of Pluto, one of the services I’ve done with this is I’ve pulled it all together from an insane amount of sources.

LS: Right.

CB: The only one you didn’t cite that I was missing was Tarnas, because Tarnas has that like, huge paragraph on each one.

KM: The next version will have Tarnas in it.

CB: Okay. I might wanna pull that out, though, just to center this discussion at some point because I think he —

KM: Yeah!

CB: — does a good job of summarizing what most astrologers could get on board with as the basic significations of the three outer planets. But Sam, in terms of the empirical things, that was one of the – not arguments, but like, debates you and I had at one point, because you were questioning how much astrologers were developing the significations of the outer planets based on empirical considerations and actually looking at it in charts and looking at like, a transit of an outer planet to a natal planet, and then seeing something happen and then, you know, developing or drawing conclusions from that versus you were arguing that they may have put too much emphasis on other considerations like mythology or stuff like that, right?

SR: Yes.

CB: And then my – I don’t know if you wanna expand on it anymore, but my counterpoint to that was I had always read in Patrick Curry’s – I think it’s Patrick Curry’s – book, A Confusion of Prophets, he has this great story about the astrologer John Varley from —

SR: Yes.

CB: — like the 18th century, who was a painter and also an astrologer. And it’s like, this great story about him seeing this Uranus transit coming up in his chart, and he developed from looking at it in charts this general idea of like, unexpected disruptions or happenings taking place. And he was pretty sure on this specific day that something specific was gonna happen with Uranus. And then —

SR: His house.

CB: Yeah, right at the appointed hour, the appointed hour comes, and then his house catches on fire. And he’s so excited that he goes outside and begins like, furiously scribbling down his notes. And somebody comes up and asks, “What are you doing? Your house is on fire; you need to put it out.” And he just ignores it and lets his house burn down because he’s so amazed that he’s been able to confirm empirically the meaning of this newly discovered outer planet. And that to me was always – because that is a funny story; it’s like, always been a funny anecdote, but it’s also so relatable because I think a lot of astrologers get in that zone. We joke about it I think sometimes on Twitter that it’s like, “astrologer good” when something just like, terrible happens in your life, but you’re so impressed by the astrology that you’re almost like, okay with it, because the astrology is matching so well that it almost like, makes it worthwhile, whatever terrible thing you’re going through at that time.

SR: Well, yeah I don’t think —

KM: I was just gonna say, Andrea Garrets has a great quote, which is called “therapeutic blaming of the planets.”

CB: Okay.

KM: You know, so sometimes like, a misfortune happens, but you can see it in the chart, and that will often give you a little bit of distance to then start actually emotionally handling the thing and dealing with it by therapeutically, quote, “blaming the planets” —

CB: Sure.

KM: — for the misfortune.

SR: Yeah, I don’t know if I ever took complete issue with the empirical or the experiential dimension of it, the anecdotal. Because I know the Varley quote – it’s also in Holden’s book, “History of Horoscopic Astrology.”

CB: Yeah.

SR: So I mean, I know the Varley story, and I also have like, a funny Neptune story to share. I mean, I probably can’t read all of this, but it was actually I was talking to Ken about how Neptune went through multiple iterations of near discovery, only like, for people who ignored it, you know, each time ‘til finally it was discovered, and then within hours, like, it’s right there in the sky. So that’s very Neptunian, so I acknowledge that, but I always had this vision before I started doing the research on outer planets that astrologers got together, had like, this conclave, right? And they had this meeting, and they compared notes —

CB: Right.

SR: — and then said together like, “Well, thus it must mean this!”

CB: Where it was like, much more like a committee, and everybody was on the same page —

SR: Right.

CB: — and it was much more like, scientific or something.

LS: Organized.

SR: That didn’t happen.

CB: No.

SR: It never happened.

CB: It’s more haphazard.

SR: Right.

LS: Yeah.

SR: So that’s kind of what, you know, I think – we also see like, you were recounting with Pluto, but you also can see this with Uranus, you can see it with Neptune, how we’ve taken like, these histories of meanings and associations that really when put to scrutiny, you know, like, especially with Uranus, are challenging, you know, like, when I mentioned in terms of electricity and revolutions. And even the name, which Tarnas also talks about. You know, Uranus doesn’t fit the idea of sudden change and revolution at all. Uranus ends up – I know this is a family show, but —

CB: The mythology of Uranus?

SR: Yeah.

CB: Okay.

SR: Uranus ends up with his testicles cut off into the sea, which gives us Venus, and he’s deposed by his son, Saturn, who actually is more the real revolutionary. So I mean, that’s fascinating in terms of how we come to associate Uranus as revolution even in the tie to the mythology. So there is like, the question with mythology, there is the question of the experiential and how it matches up, but then we have all the other things in terms of how we kind of connect additional meanings to the outer planets, which may or may not really hold up, you know. So that’s the question.

CB: Sure.

LS: Yeah, and with all these specific meanings, like over time, I mean, I think about people doing research into the newer bodies now, and how long it can take to really coalesce around like, this is definitely expressing in this certain way. And then you have, I mean, I don’t wanna sound rude, but as you mentioned, it’s not an organized committee, and so you have just like, this haphazard like, random people doing this, and they’re probably of different quality researchers, right? You know, and some of them are probably foregrounding more empiricism and some of them are probably foregrounding more their preconceived ideas about what it should they be —

SR: Right.

LS: — or the mythology or their particular spiritual philosophy, you know, and so I don’t know that just having a history of like, decades of like, this being all over the place is necessarily, to me anyway, argues for like, there not being a true meaning for Pluto or a true group of meanings for Pluto just because a whole bunch of people like, maybe didn’t have it the way we think of it now.

KM: And I wouldn’t make that argument.

CB: Which argument? Just articulate it really quick, I didn’t follow.

KM: That because Pluto’s been all over the place that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a firm set of meanings.

LS: Yeah.

CB: So that’s not your argument.

LS: Yeah.

KM: No, I’m not arguing that at all.

CB: Okay.

KM: I’m arguing, assuming you’re right, how do we account for all these people that were all over the place, even though they were much more experienced than we were, and were seeing hundreds of clients over time?

LS: Yeah.

KM: So anyway, that’s just the question to explore. The other thing is what we never get into in astrology hardly ever is kind of the philosophy of science and what’s going on. You know, in other words, if I am taught that Jupiter is a great benefic, and I’m like, as I’m seeing clients I’m like, wait, it doesn’t always do good things, and wow sometimes it brings cancer.

LS: Yeah.

KM: Okay, it’s the great benefic, but it does occasionally do bad things. If I teach you, yeah, Pluto’s this really bad thing, start looking for it in charts – now, because of Pluto’s slow movement, what you’re gonna fish for in your mind is all the —

SR: Horrible things.

KM: — horrible things, crises, transformation, whatever you wanna do it. If you taught as an experiment, like someone who doesn’t know anything about astrology, “Yeah, Pluto brings wonderful opportunity – go through all these biographies and see what you can find” – I’m wondering what we would find.

LS: Yeah, that’s kind of what —

KM: Because we have our blinders when we learn this stuff, and now we just start to look for confirmation.

LS: Yeah, that’s kind of what I mean. You know, like, what are people really foregrounding when they’re doing this research, and how good are they at doing research and really focusing in on what they’re seeing versus what they’re thinking about beforehand?

KM: Right.

CB: And that’s a really great point that you bring up, because that’s right there, we should probably put that at the top of the list, because I agree with one of your basic premises, which – at least to me, the way I would frame it is that Uranus and Neptune, their significations in astrological literature seem more consistent to me compared to Pluto over the past century.

KM: Right.

CB: And Pluto seems a little bit more all over the place, to some extent, compared to the other two. And then question of why that is, or what are some possibilities. And one of them that you just mentioned that’s really interesting that I’d never thought of is that, because Pluto is so much slower compared to the other planets, that when people are trying to like, look at, follow it, or test it empirically by transit, they are gonna picking up far more events and having to sift through far more events because its transits are so slow compared to some of those other planets.

LS: Definitely.

KM: Another thing that I just remembered is that it wasn’t quite settled about Neptune, at least its rulership. So before Pluto’s discovery, at least in the British journals I had access to, they were debating where to put Neptune. Like, we all think like, “Oh, in modern times you put, you know, if you use modern rulerships, you throw it with Pisces.” But there was a fierce debate going on. But as soon as Pluto’s discovered, it’s kind of like, we don’t have time for that anymore, we got this other thing to deal with. And it’s really weird, it almost like, the conversations about Neptune just vanished —

SR: Dissolved?

LS: [Laughs]

KM: — from the literature. I mean, I don’t know what was happening in the clubs in stuff, but at least in the literature it appears to have just like, “Oh, we got more pressing problems now at Pluto.”

CB: Sure. And then the other thing that changed in terms of between the time frames of when Uranus was discovered and Neptune was discovered and astrologers trying to figure those out is by the time we get to Pluto, we’re already like, firmly in almost like, mid-20th century astrology, and some of the major changes that came along with that, the most important of which I think is gonna be Alan Leo and the adoption and the integration of the 12-letter alphabet or like, what’s the other name for it? There’s other names for it, but the idea of equating —

KM: The astrological alphabet.

CB: — like Aries equals —

SR: First house.

CB: — Mars equals the first house. Or in this case, Pluto equals Scorpio equals the 8th house, and then starting to interchange the significations between those. Immediately once you start doing that, you see a lot of the astrologers in your article that you were citing, Kenneth, drawing significations from the 8th house, or drawing traditional significations from Scorpio and applying them to Pluto.

KM: Yeah.

CB: So that’s almost like, a new conceptual structure then that might partially explain —

SR: How it happened.

CB: — some of what was happening at least, or at least an element that was different when they started trying to figure Pluto out compared to when Uranus and Neptune were discovered initially.

SR: So that brings up lots of philosophical issues, but one thing related to what you’re talking about, Kenneth, in your article but what you also just said – and, you know, I’ve been reading an author who I think has been very much influenced by thought from the ‘70s and the ‘80s, and how she actually did her delineation that tapped into Pluto and the 8th house, and I think she also looked at Mars and Aries related to the first house. Here’s a question I often wonder about – different methodology than we might use as more traditionally influenced astrologers and especially in terms of the Vedic tradition – was she wrong? I mean, she got the right delineation in a very different means – what does that mean in terms of how we do astrology?

CB: Was she wrong? What do you mean – explain it again.

SR: Meaning that, when someone talks about, well, you’re like this because I’m looking at Pluto in your eighth house and it’s this and that, related to the significations of the 8th house —

CB: Okay.

SR: — collapsing those, and then collapsing that with Pluto. Or looking at Pluto in your first house, which is drawing on significations of the 8th house —

CB: Right.

SR: — and then additional things, like so for instance, I’ll go with something that we can see with some modern astrologers – “Ooh you got Pluto in the first house; you’re really sexy.” Now, for a traditional astrologer, you go like, “Where’d that come from? How’d you get that?”

CB: Right.

SR: Right? Yeah, I think I’m – you know, most people are gonna say, “Yeah, I’m sexy, I’m too sexy for my shirt.” But how’d you know that? Now that could be any number of factors.

CB: Right.

SR: Right? That we would look at like, 5th house, Venus, whatever. So that’s what I mean. You know, like, how we now have gotten these associations and these combinations that really change the landscape of it. And I used to be of that mindset and you know, we used to talk about that in MySpace days and then a little bit on Facebook – well, that’s just wrong. I think I’m softening in that, not going like, “Oh that’s wrong,” as much as like, well, it gets confusing. That’s all I say now. Yeah, that’s all.

CB: Sure.

SR: Yeah, it’s those nuances of now how we’re using it with these combined associations as you’re saying.

CB: Right. So I’m trying to think about – there were some other like, basic things we needed to touch on. One of them, just to circle back to the historical discussion, because I meant to get that out of the way first, because you had done such a good job of documenting it in your article, but you showed how there was much more, things were much more all over the place in terms of Pluto’s significations up until the mid-1970s, and then after the mid-1970s, it all just like, collapses really quickly, and astrologers get more or less on the same page pretty fast. And at the epicenter of that, of course, seems to be Rob Hand’s seminal book, Planets in Transit.

KM: Yes.

CB: What year was that published again?

SR: 1976.

CB: 76. Because I was wondering like, a few years ago, I was trying to remember, I was trying to think like, why is Rob Hand so popular in the astrological community today? Where he is, at least within astrological circles – like, not necessarily outside of the astrological community where you might point to somebody else like Linda Goodman or like, Susan Miller or somebody like that that’s more well known for doing horoscopes or Sun signs or something, but within the astrological community, for the past three or four decades, like, Rob Hand has been, is often looked up to as one of, if not the, leading astrologer in the world.

SR: Well he’s also the astrological Zelig, right? If you’re familiar with that movie – it’s a Woody Allen movie – where it’s about this character who kind of has like, been throughout different periods of history that we see. And Rob really does capture that. And how does he do that? Because he’s the only astrologer I know who’s kind of gone – speaking of “transformation” – through so many multiple transformations in his work. I mean, the only other person I can think as comparable is Demetra, right? In terms of how she’s also made different transitions, but I mean, he’s done cosmobiology —

KM: Demetra George, for those listening at home.

SR: Yeah, right. You know, like, we are on a first name basis with them, but it’s not like everyone else is.

KM: The name-dropping show.

SR: We’ll just say Doctor Hand.

CB: Yeah.

SR: But, you know, if you look at his career, you know, he really has gone, he’s really like almost the penultimate modern astrologer in that sense, going from you know, being cosmobiology to dealing with midpoints, to dealing with just like, how we deal with aspects, until he also now went into looking at Hellenistic astrology, traditional, medieval astrology. He’s kind of done the whole swath of the 20th century in miniature.

CB: Right. But I was trying to figure out why his perception was so big, because even my perception of him was —

SR: You mean from that particular moment?

CB: Of just like, a few years ago, like maybe not as much to some extent now, he’s become a little bit less active. He hasn’t been going to conferences for years now. But definitely like, when I came into the community like, 10 years ago, it was like, Rob Hand was like, the guy. And I was wondering like, “Why was that?” at some point, and I realized at some point that Planets in Transit was probably a large part of the reason.

KM: I think there’s a couple of reasons, maybe three I can think off the top of the head.

CB: Okay.

KM: One is the cookbook style of Planet in Transit made it —

SR: Accessible?

KM: — accessible to even the beginning astrologer. Second, it was written with some psychological sophistication of the time.

CB: Right.

KM: He’s a second generation astrologer; his father was an astrologer. And he’s one who wasn’t afraid to change his ideas. Like, if you buy some of his early books of essays, he now practically disagrees with almost every one of those because he’s grown as an astrologer —

SR: Right.

KM: — and he’s also been a consulting astrologer seeing clients over decades.

CB: Right.

KM: And many of us, many teachers of astrology seem to stop seeing clients when they start teaching, or they don’t see as many, and then there can kind of become a disconnect between what you’re teaching and what actually works in the real world.

CB: Right.

KM: And I’ve seen this happen to teachers. But with Rob, he always had his hand in seeing clients. And Rob is one of the very few – you know, every professional astrologer, someone will say, “Oh yeah, I got a reading from so-and-so; it wasn’t that great.” But Rob – everyone I’ve ever met who’s gotten a reading from Rob Hand was like, “It was helpful. It was insightful. He like, you know, knew his stuff.”

CB: Sure.

KM: Including me. So I think all of those things about his character has made him this. When he does go to these big conferences, he often does a workshop called Problem Charts or something like that?

LS: Dealing with Difficult —

KM: Dealing with Difficult Chart Combinations, and he’ll just throw up audience charts, examples, and he just has a finesse with it from all those decades of experience. So I think all of – and he’s quite accessible, even though you know, he’s really smart and famous.

LS: Yeah.

KM: He’s happy to talk to you.

SR: Yeah.

LS: I mean —

CB: Yeah, he’s accessible, and he knows like, the history of astrology really well —

KM: Yes.

CB: — and he gives like, an amazing like, keynote lecture that’s always really inspiring.

KM: Yes.

CB: What were you saying?

LS: I was just gonna say I agree with all those things you said. In addition, I just think he thinks more deeply about the topic than many people do.

KM: Of course.

LS: And then he expresses it well.

KM: Yes.

LS: So, I don’t – I mean, not to say that no one else thinks about it deeply, but I think he keeps it at like, a higher level, but then makes that accessible, and that’s pretty unique.

CB: Sure, so but I feel like —

KM: The Rob Hand tribute show.

CB: Right, yeah, we’re just —

SR: We love you, Rob!

LS: Any disagreements?

CB: But you know, I think a large part of his start – his first book was actually Planets in Composite, I think, if I remember correctly.

SR: Was that first?

CB: I think he actually got started with Planets in Composite first. I don’t think we have a copy. We have Planets in Transit. But the Planets in Transit, though, because it became a staple of everybody’s library and everybody could read it as one of the first really accessible but also comprehensive books about just looking up your transits on a day-to-day basis and his delineations were really good, that became a staple of everyone’s library, and that’s continued over into subsequent generations in the past two decades because astro.com incorporated Planets in Transit into their personal daily horoscope.

KM: Fascinating.

CB: And in 2000, like —

KM: I didn’t know that.

CB: — from like, you know, when I got into astrology in 1999 through 2000, that was one of the first resources I found because they have the free chart calculator, and everybody for the past two decades that’s gotten into astrology relies on astro.com primarily for, you know, reliable charts. And the fact that they also use Planets in Transit in their personal daily horoscope means that this whole other generation or two of astrologers have gotten started with Rob Hand’s delineations. So it’s kind of continued and perpetuated that, but what was interesting, what you wrote, Kenneth, is that from the 1970s onward, that generation of astrologers that probably came in the 1960s and ’70s, things really start getting collapsed down in terms of the interpretations of Pluto, and that Rob’s delineations in Planets in Transit could’ve played a significant role in that because of the popularity of that book.

KM: Yeah, that’s my guess.

LS: Well, it stayed in print, right?

KM: Yeah, it’s been in print today.

LS: I mean, that’s a huge factor as well. Because most astrology books don’t for very long.

SR: And he actually said that he’s almost finished or nearly finished with a new edition of it, which is interesting because he’s also said that there are things that he said in that book that he wouldn’t say now, that would be completely different —

KM: Well, he was a young man. I mean, like —

SR: Yeah.

LS: Yeah.

SR: So I mean, that’s just a statement to his evolution.

KM: Right.

SR: And his growth.

KM: Or his growth.

CB: So, that being the case, so historically, to wrap up the historical portion, from the 1970s onward, western astrologers start largely getting on the same page, and you start seeing a lot of similarity in the way that they’re talking about —

SR: Right. And rulership of Aries disappears.

CB: Right. So it all just becomes Pluto assigned to Scorpio, Pluto’s connection with the 8th house and Scorpio, and that in and of itself I’m sure once you get on the same page about that, is just gonna reinforce and help to standardize a lot of the significations to some extent.

SR: Right.

CB: You know, death, sex, whatever other —

SR: Regeneration.

CB: Yeah, transformation. I’m sure there’s other things like, I’m thinking of like, Stephen Arroyo’s book – what is it? Astrology, Karma and Transformation?

KM: Yeah.

CB: Probably contribute things to that as well.

SR: Jeffrey Wolf Green, who you didn’t really talk about in your article, which I —

CB: Yeah, I was surprised about that as well.

LS: And Steven Forrest. Yeah —

SR: Steven Forrest, yeah —

LS: — Steven Forrest, and Jeffrey Wolf.

SR: Kenneth mentioned it.

CB: Because that’s – so astrologers start getting – and that’s all that generation that came in like, the 1960s and ‘70s, which are like, the Pluto in Leo generation, if we were to break things up by Pluto generations, which is a common thing that’s done in the astrological community. I think it’s that generation that’s getting on the same page from the 1960s and ’70s forward, who originally came in when they were in their like, 20s and 30s, who were largely born in the 1940s like Rob was. And yeah, so you get more standardization, you get the standardization of late 20th century astrology, because it’s not just Pluto, but also just like, what modern astrology is became much more standardized in terms of like, modern psychological astrology towards the late 20th century by the 1980s or so. Yeah, so there’s a lot of things going on just in terms of things getting smoothed out a little bit by that point, and then you also start getting some extreme sort of areas where Pluto isn’t just like, this new thing, but becomes like, the focal point of their system, and that’s been a more recent development of the past two or three decades, like in the evolutionary astrology community —

SR: Definitely.

CB: — and the work of Jeffrey Wolf Green, where they start putting a ton of meaning onto Pluto —

SR: He has two books on it.

CB: Right. And says that Pluto is like, the soul, and that’s like, one of their primary like, tenets as evolutionary astrologers. I call that development like, that almost goes really far to something I almost call the fetishization of Pluto, which is just taking a single object which different traditions have a propensity to do from time to time, and just like, heaping a ton of stuff on that specific point so that it doesn’t become the only thing they’re focused on, but it becomes the center point in some way for some traditions. Other traditions have things like, the nodes for example. Some traditions, even of evolutionary astrology, like the Steven school tends to focus more on the nodes I would say than Pluto, whereas the Jeff school focuses more on Pluto. You’ve got other astrological traditions like the —

SR: Chiron?

CB: Yeah, Chiron’s a big one.

SR: Chironic tradition.

CB: Sure. I’m trying to think of some traditional ones.

KM: By the way, it’s not in the article, but when I lecture on this topic, another weird thing that happens is Chiron’s discovery. And I wish I remembered Chiron’s chart, but I looked at where – I was like, “That’s weird. Pluto significations kind of collapse at around the time Chiron’s discovered.” And so I looked at where Pluto was in the Chiron discovery chart, and I remember that being very interesting. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the chart, but we can all look at it tonight —

SR: Another time, yeah.

CB: Sure.

KM: — and look at it there. Because that was in ‘77, I believe.

CB: Okay. So we sort of wrapped up the history, but one of your points then is even though astrologers are more on the same page in the past, let’s say, two to three decades, about Pluto, there’s still – compared to other planets – you feel like a certain degree of ambiguity surrounding it that makes it a little unique?

KM: Yeah, in other words, I’ll just use a metaphor and hopefully I’m not oversimplifying it, but I mean, the modern perception of Pluto is, “Ahh, this thing burns!” You know? And yet, okay, everyone agrees it burns, but why is it that my grandfather was like, what are you talking about? Or yeah, it feels kind of warm to me, or ah, it is hot – like, how do we account for all those different experiences? So that’s – I’m lifting a mug.

CB: Right.

SR: For those listening.

KM: For those listening and not watching, I was lifting a mug with a drink in it for that metaphor.

CB: So you’re saying like, why? Because some astrologers will just say, it’s the most important thing, and it’s so obvious what it means, how could you not —

KM: Yeah.

CB: — know immediately what it means —

SR: Right.

KM: Right!

CB: — you’re contrasting that with like, five or six decades ago —

KM: Yeah.

CB: — where astrologers are like, “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to do anything for some people.”

KM: Yeah, I mean, when we get to Pam Geisler – okay, so she’s got 44 years of experience, and in 2013, she’s writing like, “Well, maybe in another hundred years we’ll understand more about Pluto, because its discovery was only 70 to 80 years ago” – I’m quoting her – “so we are hardly in a position to judge completely what it can do,” and then, you know, it goes on. And I’m like, any young person like you would be like, “She’s out of her mind. Like, what are you talking about? It’s so obvious what it does.” So that’s a mystery to me. I’m not saying one’s right, one’s wrong, we need to figure out – I’m just saying it’s all true. Why is it all true? That’s the weird mystery.

SR: I think something became woven deeper into like, our matrix, right? And this idea that we’re skirting around now, we’re coming full on to it – this spiritual Darwinism became much more embraced.

CB: Right.

SR: You know, that it’s a matter of, you know, it may have been in the early 20th century as we were, you know, kind of absorbing some of these ideas, theosophy, like, oh we’re talking about spiritual consciousness. As more people reached a critical mass it’s like, our spiritual consciousness and how we evolve, and we have more people saying like, “Well, I’m a very evolved soul.” Because what’s interesting is that in terms of significations related to what you’re saying, we have the development in the broader sense related to the outer planets. Then a refinement comes, moreso around the ‘50s and ‘60s with the nodes, between Martin Schulman and Dane Rudhyar, right?

CB: Right.

SR: And then we have a maturation of that thought or crystallization of those thoughts and ideas into the ’70s and ’80s. So by that time, we have more people who came to believe that we can talk about consciousness, the evolution of it, and heightened or lower consciousness in very clear and what seems evident terms. Which is interesting because now that is also I won’t say under attack, but under critique. But previously, it’s been a build up to that, and that was like its crescendo moment. So I think what happened is that it just became absorbed in our culture. It’s like, you know, yeah —

KM: There’s a book… Oh man, it just came out recently, by a physician. It’s on healing something or other. But it’s actually an analysis of all the recent research on the placebo effect and the nocebo effect, and there’s tons of research in the medical literature that’s all in this book. It’s really great. And I read it and I thought, “Wow, this has implication for us,” because one of the implications is that there is, he notes – and this has been studied, and I wish I could articulate it better, but – cultural beliefs have an influence on us as individuals, even if we as individuals don’t partake of that particular belief.

SR: Right.

LS: Right.

KM: And I’m wondering if somehow that is a piece of this Pluto puzzle. That we defined it kind of clearly as a culture, and so now it’s having an effect, which also – are we creating our own reality with some of this stuff? And like I say, if you took someone who didn’t know anything, put a different spin on Pluto, would they be able to overcome that cultural belief? Would they find something different in its transits? I don’t know.

CB: So I think you’re proposing an experiment where we get a brand new astrology student and we put them in a room —

KM: Yes.

CB: — and we teach them that Pluto is a benefic planet —

KM: Yes.

CB: — and that they need to follow their transits, just believing that. See if they will have the opposite experience —

KM: Yes.

CB: — and say, Kenneth, and start to like, question your teaching.

KM: Right! Exactly.

CB: Yeah.

KM: Exactly. Another thing is, you know —

SR: We’re not fully serious; this is not gonna happen.

KM: I don’t wanna —

CB: Just a disclaimer.

KM: I don’t wanna forget this point before we reach the end. We gotta be more on the ball when these objects are found, because we attribute a mythological name or creature to the thing and it’s usually a malefic force now. And I’m like, we need to like, tell these astronomers like, “Pause, and we need more benefics in the world,” and you know like, we keep, you know, blowing it with each thing that’s discovered.

SR: I know, I mean, when I read like, the delineation with Sedna, or I should say the mythology, I was like —

CB: Oh right.

SR: Why would we do that?

KM: Yeah.

LS: Right?

SR: It’s horrible.

CB: Well, and that’s one of the discussions that came up recently online, where they’re trying to name some new planetary —

SR: Yeah.

CB: — or celestial body, and the push to like, start reaching out to like, other cultural mythologies —

KM: Yes.

CB: — instead of just continuing to use purely like, western cultural myths.

LS: Right.

KM: Well, like in Indian astrology, the myths around the planets are quite different than the western counterparts. And so there is a cultural piece to this that we often don’t talk about, you know.

LS: Yeah. I wanted to say one alternate explanation for —

KM: Yes.

LS: — because it definitely can be a self-fulfilling prophecy community-wide in terms of – or, you know, something, you know, cultural —

KM: Yeah.

LS: — that we then absorb, but I think also like, a potential simpler explanation could be just that there was a consensus finally around either observations or theories or whatever about what Pluto means, and then everyone newer coming into the field knows that off the bat —

KM: Yes.

LS: — and knows what to look for off the bat —

SR: That’s true.

KM: Yes.

LS: — and then sees all the charts, and it’s like, yes, it’s indeed manifesting in all these ways. And so it’s not as confusing to them, because it’s like, yes, I see that and it’s working that way. So it’s, you know, I just wanted to throw that out there.

KM: I wish that were right, but I don’t think it – I think if we were to really dig into it, that isn’t what happened. I think what happens is you have a big book published —

LS: Sure.

KM: — that’s very accessible —

LS: Yeah.

KM: — and now everyone starts to get on the same page, but I mean that’s a critique you could make of a lot of things.

SR: We don’t have to put it just on the book. I mean —

KM: Yeah.

SR: — that book could just —

KM: Yes.

SR: — symbolize a coalescence of ideas —

KM: Yes.

LS: Yeah.

SR: — that have been germinating —

KM: Right.

SR: — for a while.

KM: Yes.

SR: And then like, you know, in terms of Rob’s ideas —

KM: Right.

SR: — because you can read his book again, you’ll see, I mean, the psychological model of astrology, going back to Leo, Alan Leo —

KM: Yes.

SR: — and that had been in development for at least, like —

CB: Yeah, and that’s a great point because —

SR: — 60 years.

CB: — some of the statements that have been made about Rob’s book is some detractors try to say that it was just warmed over Ebertin in The Combination of Stellar Influences, and I don’t think that’s the case, and I think that’s going way too far. But he was definitely —

KM: Influenced by that, yeah.

CB: — heavily influenced by Ebertin, so that’s a great point that you’re making that there was a longer buildup to that, and that wasn’t just like, Rob himself coming out of nowhere with a bunch of stuff, but instead he was synthesizing some traditions that he was drawing on at that point.

KM: But even your argument, to me, falls down in the fact that in modern times and with modern, younger astrologers, it is so obvious Pluto’s meaning.

LS: Sure. Yeah. And I don’t disagree with you —

KM: Yeah.

LS: — in terms of I don’t actually think that everyone like, closely observes and make sure that… Like, I do think that people take, you know, for granted when they read something in an astrology book. They don’t think like, “Oh, anyone could write an astrology book,” and then it’s out in print, and then you take it as an authority, so I do actually agree that plenty of people just take that for granted and run with it, and don’t necessarily keep testing it all the time or rethink it or, “Am I definitely seeing this play out that way?” So I agree with you in that respect.

CB: And by the way, I asked Leisa – I dragged her into this episode because I knew she’d do a better job of pushing back against some of the arguments —

KM: Oh, it’s great.

CB: — that both of you wanted to make.

KM: I think the four of us are doing great.

CB: Whereas I was gonna play more of the mediator and occasionally pushback role, but —

LS: So I’ve been!

CB: — so please be forceful, Leisa, pushing back.

LS: I’ve been recruited for a specific —

CB: Yeah, you guys can go at it.

KM: I mean, what would your – if you were teaching a beginning student, what keywords would you throw out for Pluto?

LS: Well, before I answer that —

KM: Yes.

LS: — I wanna say one of the things that I actually think is one of the issues —

KM: Yeah.

LS: — with why we can’t narrow this down more than we have so far is with the traditional planets, there are traditional rules —

KM: Yes.

LS: — to specify, “How is this gonna play out?” Not just the entire range of possibilities around an archetype, right?

KM: Right.

CB: So let’s name some just for people who don’t know.

LS: Yeah, so there’s like, traditional dignities, for instance.

KM: Right.

LS: So, you know, is a planet in its own rulership? Is it, you know, exalted, et cetera.

KM: Right.

LS: There’s sect, you know. Is this gonna behave more positively or, you know, with more challenges given a day or night chart? Things like this are really helpful in terms of being more specific with your astrology. Well, with the outer planets, we don’t have any rules like that.

KM: Right.

LS: Right? So we have the entire archetype to play with. And for me, that’s what I’ve noticed anyway as like a huge factor in why it’s more broad.

KM: I think that’s a fantastic point, and I’m glad you raised it. Because yeah, you’re right. If we don’t have those other containers to modify it, so it just has to carry everything.

LS: Right.

CB: Right.

KM: And I think that might be – although I’ve never heard this articulated before, but I’m sure I’m not the first – that might be why they were called transpersonal, because they aren’t contained by dignity and other factors that we might put on the traditional planets.

LS: Right.

CB: Right, because there’s something —

SR: Well, I don’t know if —

KM: Here we go. Come, bring it on, Sam.

SR: I’m not disagreeing fully with that, because I don’t know for certain.

KM: Yeah.

SR: But I think it goes to the thing that we’re talking about. I mean, they’re an argument about how consciousness work. And in terms of being transpersonal, like I said, it’s kind of like this augmented belief that we’re going beyond how we have been as a species. And the question, again going back to what we said earlier —

KM: Oh!

SR: — is that true?

KM: Okay, so – okay, so my use of the word “transpersonal” was I think more in the – we can’t use traditional – the modern, the 20th century astrologer. My understanding was it meant more, it applied more to the culture or the group.

SR: Right.

KM: It transcended the person.

SR: Right.

KM: Because they were so slow moving, it had like, a more blanketed effect on everything.

SR: Which is more how it’s affecting us as a species —

KM: Yes.

SR: — as humanity.

KM: Yes.

LS: Well, I think people have talked about it as like, how it affects collective more, but also in terms of a certain psychological twist.

SR: Right.

LS: Like internally, I think it’s also meant that way.

KM: Yeah. The other weird thing is the section on consumerism, which I don’t know if we wanna get into that, but the weird role Pluto appears to play in our own buying habits and —

SR: Oh!

KM: — generational – you remember that section?

SR: Yeah I do, I wanna tap into that, you know.

KM: Yeah.

SR: So, well, first, before I do that, and let’s just remember that you have – actually there’s a question on the table for you, right, so how would you do that for –

LS: Oh.

SR: — how would you talk about astrology to a beginning —

LS: Well —

SR: — or Pluto to a beginner student? Because I also have my own take on that.

LS: Sure, I mean, I would use a lot of the same keywords. The problem though is I like to be more specific than that. And so that is actually troublesome for me when I do talk about some of those outer planets, because I can’t narrow it down as much as I would like to. So, you know, but that said, you know, when I talk about any other transits, there is still some range. It’s not one thing.

KM: Right.

LS: And so often times I’ll be like, it could be like, this type of experience or this type of situation or circumstance, and I’ll name like, three or four. So I guess —

CB: Let’s give an example. Let’s say Pluto – instead of talking about as a natal placement, let’s talk about it as a transit —

LS: Transit? Sure.

CB: — so Pluto transiting your seventh house and your Descendant.

LS: I mean, I’ve often talked about it in terms of frequently there will be power struggles. There will maybe be situations where you get into a situation where you feel like your power is really strongly being challenged, and you have to somehow figure out how to deal with that. Yeah. I mean, with – also I think the uncovering of the hidden. I was just really impressed that that was already in the 1931 CEO Carter because there’s several of those, like the uncovering of the hidden, that we talk about today very commonly. So I would say that like, for instance, with Pluto transiting the Descendant, 7th house, like, well, hidden things could come up that you didn’t know were going on in your relationship. Or you could get in bigger power struggles with your partner and that kind of thing.

KM: Just the uncovering of the hidden, I mean the 2015 flyby where we actually got to see what it looked like and get an idea of its composition —

LS: Right.

KM: I mean, talk about blowing everyone’s expectation —

LS: Right.

KM: — and it’s like, wow, there’s been a lot of interesting things hidden from us from Pluto.

LS: Right.

SR: So I want to tag along with that. For me, Pluto I define as, in terms of keywords, as the digger. How we experience, how we go into depths. But related to the consumerism, I’m not big into like, talking about octaves. So we like – one of the language that we use from theosophy was that the outer planets, Neptune is the higher octave of Venus, blah blah blah. But one thing I did find instructive as a thought experiment was like, what if we kind of switch that around? And Robert Blaschke came to a similar set of conclusions. So he saw a connection between Pluto and Venus. And even if you look at the glyph, one of the glyphs because there’s the PL glyph —

KM: Yeah.

SR: — for Percival Lowell.

KM: My favorite.

SR: Right? And then there’s the other glyph of like, I call her the dancing girl, right —

KM: Yeah.

SR: — which is kind of like, what do they call it? The cross of manifestation and the crescent of soul and then the circle of spirit, right?

KM: Yeah.

SR: If you look at that, that even has some parallel to Venus. Now where am I going with this?

KM: Please.

SR: What’s interesting – Pluto does correlate to the idea of desire. The depth of desire. Strong desire. Obsession. Right? In terms of “what I must have. This is what, you know, I need to have.” Because if you look at the mythos of Pluto, of Hades, there’s always some parallel story dealing with desire, from, you know, his introduction to Persephone, to how we talk about Orpheus, right, and going down there. There’s always some aspect dealing with love or the story of how we deal with the heart. And so when I saw that picture of that flyby, I was like, “Yes! Pluto has a heart!”

KM: Yes.

SR: Right? It became like, almost a testimony of like, how I was thinking about Pluto as really this way in which we experience the depth of heart. And in terms of the consumerism, you know, that’s kind of going along with this – if there has been any growth or change in human development – it’s kind of what we want, we either want to get it faster or more.

KM: Yeah. Well, and I speculate that because the United States is a consumer culture that it has that particular manifestation for us as a culture, but anyway.

SR: Although —

KM: Yeah?

SR: Still with that argument, U.S. culture is infecting the world, right?

KM: Yeah.

SR: Because Amazon is everywhere, for example, right? So there are people who are expecting like, “Well, why can’t I get it like, within like, the week?” You know?

KM: So I like what you said, Sam, but I will confess that one of the things that popped in my mind was, “Well, wait a minute – Zeus has a lot of desire, but we don’t use that particular part of the myth in explaining Jupiter.”

CB: I mean, actually, to be fair, we used to. In Valens, if you read the first few —

KM: Oh nice.

CB: — things of Valens, like children and procreation, and like —

KM: Yeah.

CB: — things like that were some of the significations they associated with Jupiter early on. But we’ve forgotten about that. I was glad, though, Sam, that you brought up the idea of octaves, because that’s another one of those things that developed during the course of the past century where that was another one of the access points where astrologers attempted to come up with significations for the outer planets was by trying to make correspondences and say certain outer planets were connected with certain inner planets by being higher octaves of that, but there were different systems for doing that. I think there was one or two that were more popular —

SR: Right.

CB: — but I’ve seen a number of different variations of that. And that’s another access point that astrologers have attempted to use.

SR: Right. You know, so I mean, most —

KM: I mean, the traditional one was what? Mars is —

SR: Mars is Uranus.

KM: Uranus is the higher octave of Mars.

LS: I thought it was Mercury.

CB: I honestly don’t know because —

KM: Or, no no no —

CB: — there’s a lot of them.

KM: — you’re right.

LS: Yeah, it was Mercury.

SR: Uranus is Mercury, you’re right.

LS: Yeah, and Mars is Pluto.

KM: Even thought —

SR: And Mars is Pluto, and then —

LS: Venus is Neptune.

SR: Venus and Neptune, right.

KM: And yet, I would argue if you just did a keyword analysis, Uranus would match more Mars —

SR: I agree.

KM: — and Pluto would match more Mercury. Because if the transformation planet, or the caterpillar into butterfly planet is Pluto, who used to rule that? And that was Mercury.

SR: Mercury.

KM: Yeah. So he took some stuff from Mercury.

LS: Sure.

KM: More than we usually think about.

LS: Well, and it’s interesting the other way around, too. Like, when I was doing all my research on like, Saturn and sect things, and Saturn returns.

KM: Yeah.

LS: I really realized like, halfway through that so many of the significations that used to be associated with Saturn got put on Pluto once Pluto was discovered.

SR: Absolutely.

KM: Absolutely, yeah.

LS: I was like, that’s bizarre. And that’s how Saturn got to be nicer, because Pluto took all of the negative, you know, associations, and now Saturn just gets to be constructive, but that’s not actually how it plays out.

SR: Yeah, I —

LS: I was fascinated by that —

KM: Yes.

LS: — just noticing that shift.

SR: There’s so many different changes with that. I mean, I think Neptune took a lot of the Moon’s significations. I also even kind of joke related to the Moon and the nodes – especially like, the South Node, I would say – the South Node, I think I tweeted this recently, I said the South Node wrote Neptune, “I want my significations back.” You know, it’s kind of like this idea.

KM: You know, I haven’t done this, but it would be interesting to look at Alan Leo or other like, 19th century astrologers to see how they were using Uranus and Neptune in their natal readings and examples and their books, because I honestly don’t know the answer to that. Because one of the reasons why I think they play the role today they do is that in the 20th century, what happened? You had the downplay of houses, the increase in play of the aspects between planets. And so when you get rid of part of our language, more weight has to be carried by these other things.

LS: Right.

KM: So the outer planet significations start to expand to like, cover what’s been lost by sort of like, not paying attention to houses, or not paying attention to planetary dignity.

SR: Or rulerships, yeah.

KM: Yeah. So that you’ve got, well, now how am I gonna get my meaning? I’m just sort of looking at aspects now, and so more has to go on the planets. And now at least I’ve got the outer planets to pick up the slack.

LS: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I mean, I’m not really a fan of the octaves either, but I do think that there can be overlap, like authentic overlap, between significations of some of the outer planets and some of the inner planets.

KM: I think there can be, I would say there’s overlap even between some inners and inners.

LS: Right, yeah.

KM: So I mean, yeah. Life is complicated.

LS: Right.

CB: Right.

LS: Yeah.

CB: You mentioned that article, Saturn and sect, and that was actually in the first Ascendant journal originally.

SR: Yeah.

CB: What was the title of that?

LS: I think just “Saturn Returns and Sect.”

CB: Okay, and that’s —

SR: It got republished again recently.

LS: On astro.com recently, yeah. That’s very exciting.

CB: And that’s a really good article for anybody that wants to understand either the concept of Saturn returns or the concept of sect, which is the distinction between day and night charts. So you can find that now on astro.com’s website in their article section.

LS: Yeah.

CB: Cool. All right. So octaves, we talked about octaves. I’m not a big fan of the octaves thing either for various reasons.

KM: But should someone champion it? Maybe I should defend – I don’t understand it enough to defend it.

LS: Yeah.

CB: Well, one of the objections that traditional astrologers make is they will push back and say that too many of the significations of the traditional planets have been ripped off from the traditional planets and applied to the outer planets, which has weakened the astrologer’s ability to interpret the full variety of significations of the traditional seven.

SR: Correct.

CB: So is that an argument that – I mean, we all tend a little bit traditional at this point, so is that something we would all get on board with?

SR: Yeah, I mean, even though I don’t, like I said —

KM: We should have invited a strict modern astrologer —

CB: Right.

LS: Right.

CB: But then it would have been like, four on one.

SR: Right? Yeah, that wouldn’t have been fair.

CB: Yeah. But Leisa’s playing a good role and —

KM: Yeah.

CB: — pushing back.

KM: She’s good.

CB: What were some of the other points, though, that you’re —

KM: Bring up more points.

CB: — I’m trying to remember what else you were gonna push back on. One of them was just the idea that sometimes an outer planet, when it’s prominent, can do things on its own, and it does not need to be necessarily connected to an inner planet or something to manifest.

KM: Yeah, I think that’s kind of the modern take.

CB: Well, and that’s a point she was gonna argue more strongly, right?

LS: Well, only in that I was just, you know, reading through your article again and you know, talking about some of the other people saying takes like, “Well, it can only express if it’s in aspect with an inner planet or something.”

KM: And you would disagree with that?

LS: Yeah.

KM: I would say most modern astrologers would agree with your position.

LS: I mean, I also wouldn’t over emphasize it, you know. Where I think sometimes it is over-emphasized.

CB: Well, some traditional astrologers, like I think like, Warnock tries to treat the outer planets like fixed stars —

KM: Yes.

CB: — and say that they have only that limited capability, so you only pay attention to like, very close conjunctions and you wouldn’t look at like, other Ptolemaic aspects, for example.

LS: Right.

SR: What about angles? Would you say, when you’re saying that it doesn’t have to be inner planets, are you then saying that it’s more about in terms of aspects to angles? Or like, it could be anywhere in a house —

LS: I think —

SR: — so like Uranus —

LS: I think it colors a house, if it’s there.

SR: So Uranus going into the 12th house still has significance?

LS: Yeah, I think it still colors a house. I mean, I definitely think that you can integrate it with some other rules such as, yes, it’s gonna be more prominent if it’s on an angle, because anything angular is more prominent.

SR: Right.

LS: You know, but no, I do think it still means something. I think the other one was generational.

SR: Right.

LS: Like a lot of people try to say they’re not specific, they’re not specifically meaningful to you as a person, they’re more generational influences.

KM: That’s an older, that’d be —

LS: Yeah.

KM: — even before my generation.

LS: I mean, I’ve heard people say that though.

KM: Yeah.

SR: My issue, though, with that – let’s go with Uranus for a second. And I could go with the argument in terms of a temporary midpoint with saying, okay, let’s say Uranus going into the second house by transit. That could be descriptive of an adjustment maybe within its first year, right, in terms of someone’s experience of like, the shock of dealing with Uranus in the second. But I would find it hard to believe if a client came to me like, you know, Uranus has been in my second house for like, six years destroying me. Like, I don’t know if I would believe that. Like, Uranus, really? I mean, like, not because Uranus can’t do that. Six years? Right? That’s not Uranus. That might be mismanagement of your funds. It might be a lot of things —

CB: Right.

SR: — happening. But I don’t know if I could just like, isolate it to it being in a particular house.

LS: Sure. I mean, there’s always, you know, as you mentioned earlier, Kenneth, if you look at a long enough span of time, there’s always lots of other things going on at the same time —

SR: Right.

LS: — and that’s actually kind of part of how I use outer planets is I look at what’s concurrently going on, and see does that sway it this way, or does that sway it that way?

KM: Right.

LS: And use more traditional techniques to do that.

CB: And that was one of the things that —

KM: So you use it as an additive factor – is this the three logs that make a fire, so to speak?

LS: Exactly.

CB: So one of the things that impressed you was how outer planets can sometimes work with traditional techniques like profections.

LS: Yeah, I’ve actually seen that just recently, and I haven’t done a ton with it yet to keep, you know, get like, a hundred examples or something. But I’ve definitely seen it trigger profections. Like, for instance, if you’re in a 12th house year or a 6th house year, and then transiting Neptune or transiting Pluto comes to conjoin the ruler of that profected sign —

SR: Oh yeah.

LS: — I’ve definitely seen that. And that’s fascinating, because a like —

KM: That is fascinating, yeah.

LS: — one way that you can integrate them.

KM: And one way to explain again why sometimes nothing happens and sometimes something happens —

SR: Sometimes something happens, yeah.

LS: Yeah, definitely.

KM: — because without another timing technique, you know, if the inner planet that’s being – see, this is interesting. So it may be that, if you don’t know at home, the profected house activates its lord, or ruler, so when you have an outer planet transit, maybe it won’t have such a dramatic effect on a planet that isn’t activated by one or another timing systems —

LS: Right.

KM: — but more dramatic when, for example, a profected – so that’s a fascinating thing.

LS: It is.

KM: And I would expect that, actually.

LS: Right.

KM: According to the principles of profection, you know?

LS: Right, so you can use some of these other principles and then use some of the, you know, outer planets within that I think in interesting ways. And I think that now is just kind of like, the beginning of when people can start to do that, because enough people know a lot of these other rules.

KM: Yeah.

LS: But just like any other transit, it won’t always be one thing.

KM: Right.

LS: Any Saturn transit’s not gonna be one thing. And people then argue endlessly over, “Saturn means this, no, it means this,” because they have different triggers going on and they have different specific rulerships in the chart, you know? And so I think that also happens with the outer planet transits.

SR: Yeah. And I think, I mean, the one thing to always kind of emphasize is some level of proactivity, especially in terms of talking about the outers. So, I’m a Pisces rising, right?

KM: Sweet.

SR: So when Neptune went over to the exact degree of my Ascendant, I felt pretty ungrounded in that sense, so that signification of feeling that, but what I did proactively – and I was talking about this well, yesterday at dinner, it seems like it’s like a week ago, last night at dinner, one of the things I talked about. So one of the reasons why I converted to Islam was not dogmatic, and it wasn’t as a matter of dogma. It was a matter of like, literally wanting to kind of connect to the ground, at least five times a day. I thought that was a lovely idea – of actually grounding Neptune.

CB: You went through a religious conversion when Neptune hit your Ascendant?

SR: Yeah.

CB: Wow, okay.

SR: So yeah.

CB: That’s pretty good.

SR: Yeah, but I’m also, you know, as an astrologer, you know, you have to look like, well, did I do that because I’m an astrologer and dealt with the signification, or —

CB: I mean, while I realize that’s always a threat, and I’m sure there’s astrologers that sometimes do that sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, I’m always convinced, because I try to be cognizant of that possibility, how often that’s really not the case.

SR: Right.

CB: Where you really are just like, going on and living your life as an astrologer, and you do notice that this thing is going on, but you’re not like, forcing yourself to like, go through that much upheaval or that radical of a change of beliefs or lifestyle just because you have that in the back of your mind. Like, it’s actually just something that’s happening in your life.

KM: Although, the flip side to the placebo effect I talked about earlier, which is the nocebo effect, or you think something bad’s gonna happen and it happens, there are astrologers and lay people who see – they’ve been taught that Pluto’s bad, they see something bad coming, and they’ve been thinking, “Something bad’s gonna happen, something bad gonna happen, something’s gonna bad happen,” and now during this time period, something bad is gonna happen, because bad things happen all the time, right? Good and bad. So it’s just something to be – I think we as professional astrologers, of course, have to be aware that we’re not like, putting fear into someone and then they’re manifesting things from their fear.

SR: Right.

CB: Yeah, and all of this is part of the broader like, epistemology of how do we develop, put constraints and develop meanings on, you know, specific things in astrology in our personal practice and what kind of things can we put in place to do that carefully and deliberately so that we’re not being influenced by factors that are not actually coming from the thing that we’re trying to study.

SR: Right.

CB: All right. So I’m trying to figure out where we’re going with this, and where we’ve ended up. So you guys are —

SR: I mean, we’re talking about the outer planets, so we went into the outer limits!

CB: Yeah. And I think it’s actually been a really good discussion so far. I’m trying to think if we need to take it in any specific directions before we start heading towards the end of this. Have we covered all of – one of the things we didn’t cover is the rise of the use of mythology in the 20th century as well as the idea of synchronicity between whatever the body gets named, and that having some great symbolic significance which astrologers immediately start drawing on and assuming has astrological like, tangible astrological meaning. And that, to me, I think is a big difference where even though mythology was much more prominent in ancient times and much more like, part of the culture in a very literal way, in ancient texts like Ptolemy or Valens, I don’t see them invoking mythology to describe or explain the significations of the planets as much as you would expect if you were coming to it as a modern astrologer, and that that was more a relatively new development that also developed in the 20th century and really changed how astrologers approached dealing with the significations of new bodies. So that’s a whole issue in and of itself.

SR: I mean, yeah. That is a big issue.

KM: And I think that Pluto’s – because Uranus as a planet, and Uranus as the myth, I mean it’s not a real good —

SR: It’s not a fit.

KM: — astrological thing, it’s not a fit. And Neptune isn’t really a fit. It’s not like we have a bunch of mythology about the god of the sea being like, confused and wishy-washy —

CB: Right.

KM: — and stuff.

CB: Which implies to me that those two planets might have been developed their meanings astrologically might have been developed more empirically —

KM: Right.

CB: — whereas by the time you get to Pluto, astrologers are just drawing right on the mythology.

KM: And then everybody after that, it’s like, “Let’s wait and see what the name is, and now let’s read the myths, and now we’ll all start delineating charts.”

CB: Yeah. Well, and that’s exactly, and that’s almost sometimes like, the only thing, because —

SR: Well, I mean, I’ve heard two answers to that. Because I mean, like, I’ve gone to the severe side, the more Saturn side, and be like, oh, I think that’s a sloth and slothful in terms of like, astrologers kind of like —

KM: One of the seven deadly sins.

SR: — you know, astrologers kind of just like, heeding what astronomers say and going like, “Okay. Crib notes? Thanks. We’re gonna use that and go with that.” But one answer that did come to me from actually Geoffrey Cornelius —

CB: Okay.

SR: — is that it could be a moment, and I’m not buying this, I’m just saying that this is like, an answer – it could be a moment of divine synchronicity, and I think you alluded to that. This idea that well, the astronomers named it that because that’s what the cosmos wants that planet to be named.

CB: Right. And that is the underlying, usually implicit philosophical assumption that astrologers are making when they go that direction, to use that approach —

SR: That’s correct.

CB: — and it’s become so commonplace that people just use it at this point as a principle without sometimes even recognizing that that’s what they’re doing or just taking for granted that that’s what they’re doing, as if that’s – like, of course you can do that —

LS: Right.

CB: — or of course they assume, they project it back and assume that that’s always been the case, but in fact some of the traditional significations of the planets developed from other things entirely aside from the mythology and having nothing to do with the mythology.

KM: Pause for a second. I made this point before, but I’ll do it again. Given that, why aren’t those same astrologers taking the demotion of Pluto as some cosmological synchronistic sign that we need to change how we treat it in astrology?

SR: Well, you said, as you also said, some do. Some did. Right?

KM: I mean, I don’t know! No, I don’t know if anyone did.

SR: I thought some did. Okay.

KM: No, I don’t know of anyone who has. I haven’t known anyone who’s raised the question other than me, although I’m sure other people have. But it’s kind of like we ignored it. In fact, I’m still surprised at how many astrologers don’t know what Pluto actually looks like. They’re just not even like, keeping up with the news. So they’re – “Wait, Pluto has a heart?” I mean, still like in the last month I’ve run into people that didn’t know what had been discovered recently about Pluto. So I hear that argument, but then it’s like, well, if that is your argument, then don’t we need to take this seriously? Like, if science is sort of acting as a proxy, a synchronistic proxy for astrologers, then shouldn’t we be paying more attention to what they’re doing?

CB: Well, actually thinking it about symbolic, I’ve never thought of this before because I thought of that but I think most astrologers maybe generally might think, yeah, sure, but they don’t know what then symbolically that means. But actually thinking about it, maybe the symbolic significance of that – and I hope I don’t get struck down by some cosmic rays for saying this – but maybe Pluto is not as important as we thought it was. That could be one of the symbolic —

SR: Pluto?

CB: Yeah, I’m —

LS: Yeah.

CB: I hope – if I drop dead tomorrow, like, I think we can take that as a counter signal.

KM: It’s not, I would say, okay, if we wanna like, now go way out on a limb —

CB: If you wanna go there, then we’ll go there.

KM: — you know, I would say, I don’t think he’s gonna strike you down because I think what Pluto is is a place for us to put our shadow, our darkness, you know. I mean, when you’re scared of a shadow, you’re really scared of the shadow, until you figure out, “Wait a minute – it’s just a shadow.” But until then, your body is having a physiological experience of fear. And I’m wondering if Pluto has become this receptacle of just all of our negative stuff.

SR: I mean, that’s putting on it —

KM: Hang on, hang on. And if that is the case, it’s not that it’s less important, it’s that we’ve misunderstood the meaning of Pluto, which is it’s a mirror to ourselves. And we’ve just been putting on it all the negative things. What if we —

SR: I mean, that’s a deep psychological read of it. What about some actual —

KM: I like deep psychological reads —

SR: — I mean, yeah —

KM: — as a non-psychological astrologer.

SR: — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have like, physical correlates or material correlates in terms of people’s experience, right? I mean, that’s always a question with astrology, so we’ll just put that on the table, right? That could be any number of factors for why x happened.

KM: Yes.

SR: Right? But I mean, there are people who have had experiences of Pluto like, conjoined – like, I can testify to myself.

KM: Yep.

SR: When Pluto conjoined my Sun, my mother died. I mean, that was a Plutonian experience. Other things also happened that testify too – it was at my lunar return, all these other things – progressed lunar return, just to be clear. But I mean —

KM: Did you look at the converse tertiary?

SR: No, I didn’t look at the converse tertiary.

KM: Tonight we’re looking at it.

SR: I mean, okay, it could have been that. But, I mean, it could have been all these multitude of factors, but one thing I do remember looking at was like, Pluto conjoined my Sun. Now, did Pluto kill my mama? No. But Pluto did signify some particular event that wasn’t just psychological or my shadow.

KM: Right.

SR: I mean, it did evoke those things.

KM: Okay, I see what you’re going, and I didn’t mean to imply that. I agree with you. I’m not saying it’s just a psychological thing. I’m saying that it becomes a golem for – like, we make it into something real. And can we make it into something else?

LS: I mean —

KM: With no disrespect to Pluto.

CB: Well, does —

LS: Are you saying that metaphysically? Like, that we —

KM: It’s the question —

LS: — can we do that?

KM: — I’m just, yeah, I’m asking it metaphysically, yeah.

LS: Because I do feel similarly to Sam, you know, like, that not everyone is as deeply enamored with Pluto as like overemphasizing it, and I know that like, I don’t feel like I do, but I’ve still had some major Pluto transits —

KM: Sure.

LS: — that correlated with some major events that are typified by Pluto keywords. Other things were happening in the chart as well that I could track, you know, to say why it would definitely be something like this. But I don’t know if, you know, I was thinking, speaking to the the moment of synchronicity for discovery, I wonder if that’s – I don’t think most people think about it as clearly as this, but I do think maybe there’s an idea that like, the moment of discovery is a certain synchronicity —

KM: Yeah.

LS: — and so maybe the 2006, for instance, isn’t being thought of that way because we’re not saying everything about that planet subsequently is like, equally important, kind of like an inception moment.

KM: I don’t remember the chart, but you can look up the time it was demoted and look at Pluto’s place in that chart, and I remember it being very interesting and telling, you know, when you compare it to the discovery chart. You look at Pluto in the Chiron chart, and then you look at the Pluto in the chart of it being demoted – again, do this at home, folks – but I remember it just being very suggestive of like, oh wow, this chart looks like someone’s like, getting demoted, you know. So, you know, look at that. It’s interesting.

LS: We’ll have to link all these charts to the episode.

CB: I’ll see what I can do. And I wanted to put it out there that if, you know, some people might object to what I was saying earlier about it maybe being less important when it was demoted at that point.

KM: Or changed, it just changed.

CB: Some sort of change related to it.

KM: I mean, what if Pluto is the planet of coming to you in the darkness to help? But because it only shows up when we’re experiencing some crisis, we have put, “Oh, you’re the harbinger of doom,” it’s like, “No, I’m actually here to help you hold your hand through it!”

CB: Well, yeah, but that’s exactly ultimately what’s behind the transformation keyword that you guys were objecting to at the beginning of the episode, is that’s why they use “transformation” as a euphemism because they’re trying to explain that it’s part of some broader, almost like providential design of going through a difficult or a traumatic period that strips away a lot of things, often in a way that’s experienced as subjectively difficult or negative but that ultimately has some broader growth type or evolutionary type potential. So you just circled back around to what —

KM: Yes.

CB: — the modern like, sort of interpretation is, broadly speaking. But I wanted to say if people didn’t like whatever that suggestion was I threw out earlier, then come up with a different suggestion. I’d love to hear suggestions if other people have speculations about if there is any symbolic significance of Pluto being demoted back in 2006 or whatever it was —

KM: Yes, 2006.

CB: — like, what is that?

KM: Yeah.

CB: I mean, one of the things —

KM: And then the stuff we found out in 2015. You know, blue atmosphere, water. Warm. Like —

SR: And we don’t know where the warmth comes from.

KM: We don’t know why Pluto is warm, you know. And remember, the little girl who named Pluto thought of it because she thought, “Oh, it’s so distant, cold,” and she had just learned mythology in school. And so she said let’s call it Pluto, you know. So turns out – it’s got weird warmth and stuff. So I mean, there’s a lot going on with Pluto that we need to meditate on.

CB: Sure, and one of the things that’s happening now since then, since that demotion, is that there’s like, tons of not just small asteroids and stuff, there’s other major, almost planetary bodies being discovered. And I think they’re still doing like, a search right now for like, a major body —

SR: That’s what Mike Brown is doing.

CB: Yeah, they’re on the search right now, on the hunt for like, a major, what they think is a big planetary body out there —

SR: Calling Planet X, yeah.

CB: And this isn’t just like —

KM: The new Planet X.

SR: Yeah.

KM: Ironically, we may end up with 12.

CB: Yeah. I mean, we’ll see what happens. But we’re all waiting and that in and of itself will be like, a new epoch not just in astronomy but in astrology. One of the things, though, that I think would be good is sometimes astrologers taking a little bit more time to figure it out —

SR: Yeah.

CB: — and like, letting it play out, because I’ve also seen – one of the things I’ve noticed over the past decade is this kind of like, rush sometimes for people to publish or to be like, be the first to publish and get down what the significations and the meanings are of a new planet. Like, there’s like, four or five different books on Eris already at this point —

SR: Wow.

CB: — and it hasn’t been around for that long.

SR: No.

CB: And I have to admit, I have not studied all of them that closely, so they may actually be perfectly brilliant and deep and insightful and thoughtful works on that subject. It just seemed from the outside that some of them had been published relatively quickly after the discovery of that body.

SR: And that’s a reasonable question. I mean, it’s like, how can we know? Because there’s always this lingering issue of like, are we doing quote-unquote empirical studies —

CB: Right.

SR: — of astrology, or is this more philosophical? Speculative? Which is fine, I mean, like, we’ve also talked about the speculative nature of some of the significations to the traditional seven, you know, like, how those came about.

CB: Right.

SR: Right? So maybe there’s a tradition that we can extend even to these new discoveries, but I still agree with you that we should be a lot more contemplative and cautious about how we come up with these meanings. But you’re right. I mean, like, between Sedna, right? And the books that have come out about Sedna, like —

CB: Yeah.

SR: — find out what your Sedna means. You know? It’s like…

LS: Well, and I think people do rush to that because of the mythological. They’re like, I can explain it right now —

KM: Yeah.

SR: Right.

LS: — because I know the mythology.

KM: That’s right.

LS: I’ve read like, you know, a few books, and I mean, I’m not to say that some people might not actually be tracking this, you know, also. But I think it often comes out of the mythology, and that’s why people can rush to do it. I think another alternative that I just want to throw out since you were joking about it earlier, is like, we need more positively named —

KM: Yeah!

LS: — planets. Like, I mean, there’s that other theory out there that it’s more of a causative thing, where like, by the act of us naming it —

KM: Yes.

LS: — collectively, it turns into that. And that’s kind of the approach behind a lot of the asteroids, I think. A lot of the little, you know, minor asteroids.

KM: I mean, think of the planet’s point of view. It’s just been waiting to be discovered by us, and then finally it is, and then it’s like, “Wait, you’re giving me this job?”

SR: “That’s my name?”

KM: “I could have been the guardian angel planet. I could have been the blessings – the universal healing solvent!”

LS: Right. We need a letter writing campaign.

SR: I mean, there is an attempt for this new planet, right, to kind of solicit names, right, for this —

KM: Yeah.

CB: Right.

SR: — new thing? Yeah, so.

CB: Yeah.

SR: I don’t know…

KM: Yeah, have some in the ready, you know. Get into the myths and pull out some good ones.

SR: But we also got in trouble doing that, too. We had plenty in the ready. Like Pluto. Pluto wasn’t just like —

KM: That’s true. Right.

SR: What is her name? Vivian, the little girl who named —

KM: The little girl, yeah.

SR: Yeah. I mean, she named it, but Pluto had already been circulating —

KM: Yes.

SR: — and then of course we had Vulcan —

KM: Yeah.

SR: — that had been circulating, and then all these other names. Like, I think there was a Pan; we had a Pan waiting, so you know, we’ve had no shortage of names.

CB: Yeah. And I meant to mention one of the interviews I wanna do at some point is Keiron Le Grice, who I interviewed and we did a great episode a while back on Jung’s conceptualization and theories for the mechanism underlying astrology. He actually has written a book on Eris that I’ve been meaning to check out because he said – in his defense, he said – like, “I have gone through and one of the things I try to do in the book is review the different ways that astrologers historically have developed the meaning of planets in addition to or not just in terms of the mythology.” So at some point I’ll hopefully talk to him about that to see if —

SR: Who is this again?

CB: He’s this cool scholar named Keiron Le Grice – I hope I’m pronouncing his name correctly – but he wrote a great book about Jung and Jung’s work on astrology, and he’s also written a few other books at this point on astrology, like modern – he’s of the Tarnas school. He went to C.I.A.S. and studied under Richard Tarnas and has written some books in that like, vein of that school of astrology. Anyway, so I’ll have to look into that at some point and maybe in a future episode. In the meantime, we’re getting towards the end of this, so what sort of final things do we need to settle on? Where have we come, have we come to some sort of conclusions with this? Have we accomplished anything?

SR: Have we been transformed?

CB: Right.

KM: We haven’t talked about Neptune enough.

SR: No, yeah, we’ll —

LS: That’s true. We haven’t.

KM: Another —

SR: Another time.

CB: Yeah.

KM: Another night.

CB: Neptune – I did like that you quoted Alan White, because that’s always been one of my favorite… You actually just mentioned, you used his first name because you were mentioning people anonymously, but —

KM: Right.

CB: — I wanted to give him credit. That is Alan White who always said, and I always liked this interpretation of Pluto, where he says it takes small things and makes them big, and big things and makes them really small.

SR: Yeah.

CB: So he again, and tying in with that sort of modern astrologer thing, which you may or may not agree with about tying the discovery with Pluto closely or roughly approximating or being tied into the discovery of the atom bomb or some of the things surrounding nuclear fusion, that being like, an example of taking something like an atom and splitting it and it turning into like, a mushroom cloud.

SR: Yeah.

CB: And that being like, part of the imagery that he associated with Pluto, I always thought was interesting and sort of a useful metaphor for part of what it seems to do astrologically. Yeah. So I was glad you quoted him in the article as one of like, many astrologers.

KM: Yeah.

CB: All right, guys. Well, I think that’s it for this episode.

KM: Another fantastic episode.

SR: Right? Thank you, yeah.

CB: Yeah, we said we’re gonna keep it under two hours; we are at one hour and 54 minutes —

KM: Wow.

CB: — so I think we’ve accomplished that —

SR: We have.

CB: Thank you guys so much for joining me today, for coming into town.

LS: Yeah.

SR: Thank you for having us.

KM: Yeah, thank you for having – it’s always a pleasure being on your show, Chris.

SR: Yeah, and live!

CB: Yeah.

KM: Yeah!

CB: You guys are only the second pair of guests —

KM: Wow.

CB: — that have been in here in the new studio to join us in person, so thank you —

KM: Second guest on episode two-oh-two. Let’s start looking for the number two this week.

SR: Exactly.

CB: Yeah.

SR: Let’s play that number.

KM: Yeah.

CB: Yeah, so thanks for joining me. Be sure to check out Kenneth’s article in the second volume of the Ascendant journal. Kenneth, how can people get a hold of you if they want to?

KM: Kenneth@CelestialIntelligencer.com and I think also if you do Kenneth@KennethD – as in Donald – Miller.com or net, both those will get me —

SR: Oh, I didn’t know that.

KM: Well, but I’m also president of Kepler, so you can write president@keplercollege.org and I’ll get it.

CB: Yeah, and definitely go to Kepler’s website, which is Kepler.com?

LS: E-D-U.

KM: KeplerCollege.org —

LS: Oh.

KM: — oh and also, this Saturday – well, I don’t know when you’re gonna post this, but on the 27th, I’ll be starting a introduction to vedic astrology class through Kepler.

CB: Brilliant.

LS: Nice.

CB: Okay. And Sam, where can people find out more information about you?

SR: UnlockAstrology.com or also UnlockAstrology@gmail.com to write me.

CB: Okay. Brilliant. Leisa, what’s your website?

LS: Just LeisaSchaim.com, or LSchaim@gmail.com.

CB: All right, brilliant. And you’re scheduling consultations but you’re kind of booked up a little bit at this point?

LS: Yeah, but still scheduling, but a few months out.

CB: Okay. And you can of course find out more information about me at TheAstrologyPodcast.com. Thanks to everybody who subscribes and listens to the podcast and got us through 200 episodes.

KM: Yes.

CB: Hopefully there’ll be 200 more, and we’ll keep talking about the outer planets and hopefully figure them out by episode three-oh-two.

KM: Yeah. Actually, we should all come back at four-oh-four.

SR: Right? Four-oh-four.

KM: To recreate.

CB: Okay.

SR: Or maybe we’ll be back next year —

KM: Yes.

SR: — or two years from now —

KM: Yes.

SR: — especially for the conference.

CB: Definitely.

KM: Actually, I’m gonna be back in a few months, but I’ll talk to you about that later.

SR: Yeah, ISARastrology.org.

CB: Okay, yeah. ISARastrology.org for the conference, September of 2020.

KM: Yep.

SR: That’s right.

CB: Gonna be a big deal, so sign up soon before tickets sell out like they did for NORWAC this year.

SR: Right.

CB: Cool. Okay. And also, thanks to all the patrons who supported us.

KM: Yes.

CB: So for more information, I meant to mention at the top of the show, if you wanna get early access to new episodes, access to higher quality recordings and a bunch of other subscriber —

KM: Blessings from outer planets?

CB: Yeah, exactly.

SR: Right, especially Pluto.

LS: That’s the top tier.

CB: That’s the highest tier.

SR: Raise your consciousness.

CB: You can sign up to become a patron at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/subscribe and just find our page on Patreon. All right. And thanks, Cam, for running the cameras.

KM: Thank you, Cam!

LS: Thank you.

KM: Excellent job.

CB: Cam White. All right, that’s it for this episode of The Astrology Podcast, so thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.

KM: Bye-bye.

SR: Bye-bye.