Here's what to watch for:
* When Venus and Pluto combine it's normal to see turmoil in relationships. Why? Because the planet of harmony, friendship, and diplomacy is moving into a Mars-like relationship (squares are of the nature of Mars, traditionally speaking) and Pluto is the lord of the underworld.
* The "underworld" is one of those words we should have to put a quarter into a jar for every time we use it mindlessly in astrology. The word definitely evokes strong feelings and images, but all too often people think of the underworld as something like the unconscious, and because we're all programmed to light up at the possibility of probing or getting in touch with the unconscious, (emphasized: "even when it's difficult"), we usually think of Pluto transits in terms of the potential for personal growth. We think of getting in touch with invisible patterns that we can't see, and we think of transforming those patterns as they erupt to the surface of our conscious/waking awareness, our "overworld" awareness. This is fair enough, Pluto can definitely represent the unconscious, but it's important to remember that there isn't just one idea or theory about what the unconscious IS or what it's role is in human existence.
* Ironically, we take the unconscious itself for granted in new age speak. I'm guilty of this myself sometimes. We act as though something that is by its very nature deep, mysterious, and..."unconscious," to be something easily understood, something we all unanimously understand. How is it that a region as fundamentally mysterious to our waking consciousness becomes the most common altar-call of a word? The truth is that it's because we love the theater, the art, the aesthetic, of the underworld. We love it as an image in the psyche just as much as we love it as an actual place, or an actual experience.
* There is nothing wrong with having a love affair with Pluto. In fact, this is where Venus and Pluto make a kind of sense that we rarely talk about. Venus and Pluto isn't just THE DARK UNCONSCIOUS SHIT THAT WILL COME UP IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS...Bah ba BUMMMMMM! It's also the love that we have, the love that arrives and displays itself, within ourselves, within our jobs, within our words, within our thoughts, within our families, within the world, for what is dark, what is mysterious, what is erotic and hungry, what is destructive and beautiful at once, etc. The new age love of the word "unconscious" is actually an aesthetic preference, a taste of worlds, a special taste for the image of an underworld. And of course it is! Of course! Because of the many familiar new age values, those most prevalent involve light, growth, integration, balance, harmony, self-development, evolution, co-creation, etc. So of course in order to get there, we need things like the darkness, the unconscious, and the underworld. We need to get really excited at our new age workshop when we hear someone say, "Let's be real, we're all working on our shit." The shit has to have some real appeal to us, in other words, and so Pluto and the unconscious becomes a beautified picture of our own poop...Pluto is the most necessary, lovely, challenging but you can do it poop that we all need to play with in order to level up on the otherwise rainbow trail to heaven.
* I'm teasing. But I'm also serious. Venus and Pluto brings up an idealized way of looking at elements of our lives that we can't even really understand or see or name or redirect toward our happy self-growth paradigm, or our desire to keep things civil or balanced.
* Sometimes the need to keep everything beautiful is the unconscious issue. Sometimes making Pluto into a good guy, is the real problem. Sometimes bad guys aren't just turds in the process of being polished, they are actually bad guys. Sometimes life serves up tremendously painful and irrational events, events that deconstruct our conspiracies of meaning and challenge us to see divinity instead, which is sometimes a sight far beyond the mind and its meanings.
* Consider it again, Pluto asks us to go beyond meanings and explanations and rational ways of making the darkness beautiful. We should be careful not to tempt Pluto into disfiguring us due to our constant attempts to reconfigure Pluto into a sexy gothic visitor on the highways of light and love.
* Now, this isn't to say that Pluto isn't the unconscious, or that Pluto isn't meaningful, or that Pluto may not bring up "stuff" from the underworld of relationships as Venus and Pluto collide today. This post is mostly about pointing out that so frequently we see Pluto through the lens of other planetary archetypes, or through our metaphysical assumptions, rather than attempting to understand Pluto on its own terms.
* Venus and Pluto together can also, truly, bring beauty and darkness together in fascinating ways. Lets just not forget that darkness, in order to be understood, has to be entered into on its own terms. Shining a light around in the darkness and describing it is usually going to result in nothing but a description of the light we're using amidst the darkness we're now pretending to "see."
Prayer: Show us the divinity of your darkness. Let it guide us with its own wisdom.