Lord of the Underworld…

I wrote here last week about how I found myself in this pitched battle against the forces of that condition we call “strep throat”…and I can restate here that it was a pretty unpleasant conflict.  With the help of a round of antibiotics, I’m at nearly 100% now, and the streptococci have been shown to the door, but for almost a week there, my consciousness was pretty nearly consumed with the whole “I’m sick!!” mode that we’ve all been forced to deal with in our lives at various points.  I do have something interesting in the metaphysical realm to share about it, though…

So if you had asked me before last week, which Planets in Astrology deal most with concepts of “health” in general, I would have said — and probably in this order — that you have the Sun, which signifies (among other things) our overall vitality; Mars, which speaks to the supply of active energy that we can (in theory) direct and harness; and Chiron, the odd planetoid that describes where we can find our deepest “wounds,” and not coincidentally, where we have great ability in healing others afflicted by similar wounds.  You can probably start to look at several other Planets as well — Astrology will continue to match your desire to make it more and more complicated if such is your quest — but those are the first few Planets that would have sprung to my mind in a discussion about Astrology and health.

The Rod of Asclepius -- symbol of health in our society.  And so which Planets might orbit this distinctive wand in discussions about health and Astrology...?
The Rod of Asclepius — symbol of health in our society. And so which Planets might orbit this distinctive wand in discussions about health and Astrology…?

But consider the following…  Last Saturday, during one of the peaks of my suffering during that bout with the strep, I managed to take an afternoon nap that lasted for about two hours…and for the next three nights running, I logged nearly nine solid hours of sleep per night.  And there were a couple of consistent and very unifying characteristics that informed each of those four periods of sleep…

First of all, I slept on pretty much without interruption.  I often do rise in the middle of the night at least once, so this more unbroken nature of my bursts of sleep was a bit noteworthy.  Second, I had fever-dreams each time.  This isn’t so radically special in and of itself, not considering the facts that a) I often have fever-dreams of a distinctive, weird, very identifiable quality when I suffer fever, and b) I was definitely suffering fever during that period of time.  But the specifics of those fever-dreams were kind of remarkable…more on that in a moment…  Third, during each of those sessions of sleep, I awoke to find that I’d become absolutely drenched with sweat.  Gross though that may sound (and gross it was!), I believe my immune system was grappling vigorously with the invading strep bugs, leading to the kind of sweat-storm I usually only manifest while at the gym.  Fourth — and this is the big and most relevant point here — each time I sunk down into the depths of this “healing cocoon” kind of rest, and poured forth a gallon or two of fluid out through my pores, my fever-dreams consisted of someone holding forth about..the Planet Pluto.  That concept alone accounted for pretty much the entirety of my fever-dreaming across all four of the periods of sleep that I’m describing, with nothing else appearing so as to detract from the sheer Pluto-ness of the experiences…

A somewhat stylized rendering of small but undeniably mighty Pluto...
A somewhat stylized rendering of small but undeniably mighty Pluto…

Seriously, for four sleep-periods in a row, I sank into deep dreams made up of little more than some disembodied voice speaking of and/or reading material about Pluto: its importance, its power, its active presence at the time.

As someone with multiple Planets (plus my Ascendant) in Scorpio in his birth chart, Pluto carries extra weight with me: Pluto is considered by modern astrologers to be the ruling Planet of Scorpio.  I also can’t deny that this string of appearances by Pluto in my sweat-drenched bursts of sleep strikes me as nothing short of astounding (because I almost never, ever have dreams that repeat, and certainly not within close proximity of each other).  And I did arise from each of these sleep-sessions feeling markedly better than I had before I’d entered them, too, so I have no doubts about the idea that I was healing mightily while dreaming of Pluto…

All of which has led me to reassess a bit my own cataloguing of the Planets when it comes to discussions about health.  Not only did my experience seem to be telling me in no uncertain terms that Pluto acts to heal us…but most astrologers would already grant you the idea that Pluto has to do with the concept of regeneration.  I honestly had never really thought about Pluto as governing literal regeneration — i.e., the body, or parts thereof, undergoing self-renewal — as I’d always viewed this concept as a much more figurative/metaphorical one…but now that it’s been flagged for me in this new and very personal way, I have to agree that this kind of literal regeneration is actually exactly what we mean when we talk about “healing!”

So the long and the short of this post is that I’m adding Pluto to the short list of those Planets I associate in very primary fashion with notions of healing.  In addition to checking out where your Sun and your Mars lie in your birth-chart (and maybe your Chiron, too), I now feel that if you want a good grasp on your overall personal health predispositions…consider factoring your Pluto into the analysis as well!  I can attest from very recent and vivid experience that the Lord of the Underworld can journey far down into the depths of ourselves to help revitalize and renew us when we’re ailing, and to also help with expelling those invading forces that don’t serve our well-being.  Or to put it another, hopefully illustrative way from my own recent time spent on the health battlefield: Pluto 1, Strep 0!

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