Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 27, 2008

Pluto in the Career Houses–The Power to Manifest or Fail for Spite

Note: This is an excerpt from a longer chapter about Pluto in Donna Cunningham’s ebook, The  Outer Planets as Career Indicators : The Outer Planets and Inner Life, volume One. This book is especially pertinent now with Pluto in Capricorn, the sign of careers and long-range goals.  Pluto’s sign and house position shows what we resent most, and Capricorn has to do with authority figures–the rising tide of resentment toward corporate fat cats is a demonstration of a trend we’ll be seeing lots more of during the 13-year stay in this sign.

 Over-all themes and issues when the vocational houses of the birth chart strongly feature Pluto or Scorpio are the same as for Pluto elsewhere in the chart. At the lower end of Pluto’s range of expressions, they can include abuse of power, battles for control, resentments and grievances, failing for spite, and being a target of other people’s projections. At the higher end, they can include transforming, healing, and empowering the people and conditions Plutonians care about. With the vocational houses involved, these themes impact people’s capacity for success at major life goals (10th house), their ability to make and manage money (2nd house), or how they operate with day to day routines in the workplace (6th house).     

The difficulty with being a Plutonian type where career is concerned is that many of them have been scarred by bad childhood experiences with authority figures including parents or other relatives, or school or church officials. Many faced losses, abandonment, betrayals, or abuse. Not all Plutonians carry these experiences into the workplace-it may instead be a place of blessed escape into normalcy. However, especially when Pluto or strong Scorpio pmurkybosssm-phcomlacements are involved with the 10th house or the Midheaven, that early history can have a direct impact on career patterns and ultimately on their potential for success.

Feeling powerless may translate to a sense of low vocational potential, which these individuals may either accept as their reality or may work compulsively to overcome.  If these experiences left them mistrustful and afraid of people in authority, their relationships with supervisors are likely to be profoundly affected. They may adopt a variety of strategies to cope with their bosses’ power and to have some measure of control over their work lives. Relationships with co-workers can also be difficult. Plutonians’ early experiences may have left them with a feeling of being set apart by shameful secrets, different and alienated. This emotional residue can make it hard to enjoy an easy, comfortable interchange with peers at work.

The house Pluto occupies in the birth chart can represent areas of life where we fail for spite. That is, we may chronically set ourselves up to fail in those areas in ways that are painful, frustrating, and mystifying to us on a conscious level. On the unconscious level, the motive is often to get back at potent childhood figures who considered that area crucial. The behavior is self-destructive, like the scorpion’s sting. For some Plutonians, however, extracting
vengeance is more important than doing well.   With Pluto in the vocational houses, failing in the career can embarrass the parent or other authority figure, a form of revenge. (“You said I’d never make anything of myself. Well, I’ll show you….”)  Parents can’t control whether their offspring succeed or not, and the more parents demand success, the greater the sting when their offspring fail.

People with Pluto or Scorpio planets in the vocational houses or aspecting the Midheaven are prone to dramatic career turns, for better or for worse, especially under transits to the Midheaven, natal vocational-house planets, or natal Pluto. Many of them glory in intensity, exist at a life or death pitch, and view work situations in terms of extremes-black and white, good vs. evil, shadow vs. light. If they engage in spiteful, self-destructive rounds of hardball, they may crash and burn publicly, even repeatedly, under transits or progressions to planets in vocational houses or to the Midheaven. If they’re evolving past those negative patterns, they’re capable of amazing turnarounds–the Phoenix rising from its own ashes.

(If you’re a Plutonian type and need to transform the patterns mentioned here, this is just part of a longer chapter in The Outer Planets and Inner Life, volume 1.  You might also like to read an earlier post, “Stuck for What Seems Like Forever,” which you can read under the Healing Tools category on this site.) Note: This is an excerpt from a longer exploration of aspects to the Midheaven in my ebook, Outer Planets as Career Indicators, which can be purchased  at moonmavenpublications.comDownload a sampler here: Sampler–2015 OPIL1.  

More Posts about Pluto on this Blog:

More Posts about Vocational Astrology on this Blog: 

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  1. I have pluto in scorpio in the second house and it trines my cancer sun in the tenth. I know pluto in second counts, does the tenth house sun count toward pluto in relation to the midheaven/tenth house? Pluto Biquintile’s my midheaven.

    • You’d get points for a Scorpio Pluto and for the trine. Also minor aspect to the Midheaven, 2 points. Donna

  2. Donna, I love your insights, thank you. I’ve been facing a dilemma since a fellow astrologer told me I had a conflict between my art and making money, Sun 24 deg 30 Scorpio 5th house square Pluto 25 deg Leo, 2nd house. I’m a professional actress, very good and always finessing this fine art, and it has become imperative that I figure out and generate much more income. Strengths are acting, teaching, intuitive/healing skills. I don’t want to buy into idea that Sun sq Pluto 5th to 2nd means not making money through art. Ridiculous concept. Thanks for your insights. Easier to see into other’s dynamics sometimes than into our own.

    • I get so frustrated with astrologers who make “set in stone” predictions like those. Squares can represent a conflict of interest between two houses, but people who only have trines probably don’t have the kind of drive it takes to be successful as an actor.

      As for making enough money, it’s great that you have several gifts to use in making a living, so that when there’s less money to earn at one, you can draw on another. Donna

  3. Hi Donna!
    Pluto in Scorpio 10th, scorpio mc.
    opposite mercury,venus wider:sun, sextile moon (neptune,uranus) square saturn.
    Pluto transiting my 1st house could also shake things up regarding 10th house issues? I am struggling to make something and heading somewhere in life. but I think it’s too soon and I am also afraid of failing for myself , and only after-for the ones around me. (saturn square midheaven as well).

    • Well, generally, having the ruler of the Midheaven transiting the first can mean changing your approach to others and your appearance in a way that furthers your career and shows that you mean business.

      With Pluto, especially in the sign it rules, you’d have to think of transforming your outward presentation to reflect the fact that you can be (or become) a powerful, impactful person. If you hope to be a healer or somehow have an impact on making needed changes in the world, this is the time to make yourself ready to do just that.

      If transiting Pluto also is making an aspect to the Midheaven and/or natal Pluto, then it’s an even stronger indication that it’s time to get going.

      You may need a more detailed consultation with an experienced astrologer with a psychological or vocational focus in their practice (or a good, certified life coach). I am retired, but can provide a list of astrologers whose work I know and respect. Donna

  4. Thank you, Donna!
    I couldn’t find the thread (or remembering I asked for insight) but I found it now and ironically enough, I wanted to comment the same thing.

    Not to sound dramatic, but I feel sorry for us, people (because you retired) Also, I’d be happy to read the list of astrologers. Hoping you will see this.

    (Not sure if I will get to someone right now due to financial issues. But I will keep my ears open)

    • I’d be glad to send you a list of astrologers when you’re ready, but would need an email address.

      However, with funds an issue, you might want to write to Eileen McCabe, the Dell Horoscope advice person. See the tab on my front page about astrological advice. Donna

  5. Hi Donna!
    I have a grand trine in the career houses and water signs (air cusps): Sun/Pluto in Scorpio in the 2nd, Moon/Chiron in the 10th and North Node in the 6th.
    But this Chiron is in a grand square with Venus 1st, Mars 7th and Uranus/Saturn/Neptune 4th.
    Point being that… I’m really desperate and stuck! I’ve been changing careers these last 10 years and although I’ve learned a lot (medical school and psychology) I’m beginning to sabotage myself again and I still feel lost about what to do in this world, and how to do it. So… any advices about how to work with these mayor configurations and Pluto’s influence? Thanks

    • Hi, Laura, it sounds like you need session to explore the complexities of your chart, and I’m older now and retired for quite a long while. If you’d like a reading, I can send you a list of astrologers whose work I know and respect. If finances are a consideration, you could write to the advice column at Dell Horoscope Magazine. See the “advice” tab on the front page of this blog for information about that. Donna Cunningham

  6. Hi Donna,
    I have final dispositor pluto in my 6th house together with saturn; pluto is trining mc while saturn is squaring mc ,does it mean delay in career development for me? or career transformation?

    • Sara, it could mean any number of the meanings of Saturn and Pluto. It could mean you’ve signed on for a career where you address some very destructive issues for the collective–like working on the effects of climate change or the rapidly progressing infrastructure decay. Or, especially with that trine by Pluto, healing people who’ve been harmed by some of these problems. Donna

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