Posted by: Donna Cunningham | November 12, 2009

Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit #5: Key Players in your Drama

Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit, Donna Cunningham©11-12-09 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Almost every major episode in your life story involves other people, and if the Pluto-Saturn square is triggering parts of your birth chart, this is a good time to take a closer look at the folks who’ll be cast in the roles of Pluto and Saturn.

 Some players will be brand new; others will have been important figures in your past. Even the new ones are almost certain to be “just like” someone who was important to you before. They’ll stir up old feelings and evoke old issues, needs, dilemmas, and strategies.

 So that you’re alert to those familiar feelings and patterns, we’ll take a look at this cast of characters. You’ll examine what role they’re playing in the current episode, what they’re likely to be demanding of you, and what the relationship is about.

 What House Positions Reveal about Key PlayersPluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit, Donna Cunningham

In your chart, the houses Pluto and Saturn are transiting—and the areas of life they represent—will show you which players and thus which relationships are likely to bring out those old familiar scenarios. 

 Each major life arena involves a supporting cast—the 6th, for instance, shows co-workers and employees. Since that’s the house of health as well, it portrays health-care professionals you might be encountering.  The 9th might be teachers–whether in formal education institutions or in spiritual studies–or lawyers, publishers, or people from foreign countries.

 Who are the cast of characters in the houses Pluto and Saturn are transiting in your own chart? We looked at the houses and their meanings in The Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit—Part 1, but you may want to review it now. If you haven’t already done so, you can download a chapter about the deeper meanings of the houses here:  AGSA ch13-houses.  For a detailed list of potential participants in this transit, see A Who’s Who of your Horoscope–the Players in all 12 Houses.

What You Can Learn from Natal Pluto and Saturn

You’ll get important insights from examining NATAL Pluto and Saturn as well, including their houses, signs, and aspects. Through all my years of bearing witness to clients’ lives, I’ve come to this important realization: wherever a transiting planet goes in the chart, it carries the natal placement along.

The natal factors represent key people and past situations–as well as your learned patterns of coping with them. Difficult past circumstances and toxic relationships can evoke knee-jerk responses that determine your current behavior. That history overshadows the situation you’re now facing now. Therefore, if you still have issues to resolve regarding Pluto and Saturn, they’re likely to be stirred up by this transit.

 Unless you’re highly conscious, whatever strategies and tactics you employed to deal with the old situations are likely to be your initial response in the new situation—whether it’s the most helpful response or not.

 Examine the old tactics to see if they’re at all appropriate now. If you gained strength from those dealings, that’s an asset to call on today. If it didn’t work so well then, it’s not likely to work on the new challenges either.  Consider the cast of characters in the current episode.  The players may either be the same or have very similar traits and thus may play very similar roles.

 What Parts are the Plutonians Playing?

We’ll meet the Saturnians another time. They’re not so tricky—they’ll let you know in no uncertain terms what they want from you and what you need to do to get along with them.  They’re really good at setting boundaries.  The trick there is in stepping up to the plate so you live up to their expectations. Or, if you’ve already got too much on your plate, setting some limits of your own.You yourself may be taking on the role of the Saturnian in this episode, gaining a new determination and maturity to take on some challenges that move your  own importantgoals forward.

The Plutonians, however, are a different story.  Negative Plutonians aren’t as straightforward as the Saturnians.  Saturnians tend to put their goals ahead of the relationship; for the Plutonians, the relationship is both a goal and the means to other, usually covert goals. 

Healing Pluto Problems, by Donna Cunningham Covert is much harder to deal with—they can be secretive, manipulative, and controlling.  They’re just as gifted as the positive Plutonians at spotting your dysfunctional areas. The use they make of that laser vision, however, is to get what they want from you. They’re masterminds at guilt trips and at persuading you to turn over your power and your resources. They can be intense and passionate about what they want–the plays they star in may not be a drama so much as a soap opera. 

There’ll be more posts about dealing with their tactics as this series unfolds, but here are two already on tap:  People who Misuse Pluto and Saturn—Don’t be Fooled by Scare Tactics!  and What Makes a Person Controlling? How Can It Stop?  My hardcopy book Healing Pluto Problems has many more insights into the dynamics of the Plutonian personality and the natal and transiting Pluto aspects in your own chart.  It’s still available from the publisher at

Are there Positive Plutonians in the picture as well?  Yes,  you’re likely to encounter some during this transit. There are healers among them that you can call on to make this era a life-transforming one.  People of a deep, abiding strength who see beneath the surface of daily living and can help you identify what’s gone wrong and how to fix it.  They aren’t afraid to face intense feelings and to help you face and deal with them as well.

Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Co-StarsPluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit, Donna Cunningham

 In sorting out this transit and your connection with the people involved in your current situation, here are some productive questions to ask:

  •  If they’re new connections, who do they most remind you of?
  • If they’re familiar faces, what did they represent to you in the past?
  • How are these people different now—and how have you yourself changed?
  • Is the role they—or people like them—played in your life changing and how?
  • What expectations did you have of them—or similar people–in the past? Was that realistic then, and is it realistic now?
  • What expectations did such people have of you in the past? Was that realistic then, and is it realistic now?
  • What choices did you make in dealing with them or similar people before?
  • Were they the right choices then or were they damaging to the two of you or others?
  • Are those same choices appropriate today, or do you need to step up and handle the relationship in a more mature, healthy manner?

It helps to write out your thoughts and answers to those questions. If you’re following this series and working with it, keeping a journal of the process and the insights you’re having can help in the months to come, since this transit is in range off and on for about a year.  Writing can be both a catharsis and a tool for healing. 

More Posts for your Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit:

Related Posts for Using the Transit to Change Unwanted Patterns:

If this pfree astrology booklet by Donna Cunninghamost was helpful, DON’T MISS THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN THIS SERIES.  Sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers Only: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: NEW: FREE BOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS! 

 If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.


  1. does transiting Pluto have to necessarily represent people? or could it just be circumstances?

    • Sometimes just circumstances and events, but especially in the people houses (like the 11th for friends, or the 7th for partnerships or the 4th for family and roots) there are often people involved who are crucial to the house matters. Donna

  2. hello, I am not sure how this all relates, but that evening, as Libra moon was transiting my husband’s saturn and my mars, a coworker of his took us out to dinner as we were visiting his home town of phoenix.
    He showed up in a convertible car, and i dutifully got into the back seat as he was a local and said the restaurant was 10 minutes away. It was about 60 degrees, so it was cold and windy; annoying for 10 minutes; but wait, he took a wrong turn. and another wrong turn, and another and another. After more than 1 hour of driving (and ignoring my husband’s suggestions) we finally arrived at the restaurant. This driving pro quipped that he was glad his wife wasn’t with us, she would have killed him… I wanted to. I spent an hour ducked behind my husband’s seat shaking my head in disgust.

  3. The parts that people play in this Pluto-Saturn gig… I have it activating a saturn squared moon conj. pluto in libra in my natal chart. At the very beginning of this aspect, my MOM visited me for a week. The thing was I took pretty good care of her while she was here (as a host should do), but she liked it so much she wants TO STAY! May I add that she never was very good at taking care of herself. Uh-oh… Dependency and boundary issues at play again, just as they were when I decided to leave home…

    • OMG!!! There’s such a thing as shooting so far past forgiveness that you leave yourself open to becoming a patsy again. Now I guess you’ll get to learn the part about saying NO. Donna

  4. although I don’t have planets at these points, the coming t-square has Saturn conjunct my Libra ascendant, Pluto at the IC crossing into the 4th house and Uranus going across my descendant into the seventh. I’m expecting some upheaval but am not clear exactly what. Do these cardinal angles give a particular significance to the t-square?

    • Hi, Shelley, I must write about that. Most people with early Libra or late Virgo Rising have all four angles square one another, so many will be affected by aspects from the cardinal t-square to all four angles at once. A very complex picture with many challenges at once.

      You just have to sort them out one at a time, and with Uranus in the picture, you never can predict for sure anyway. Someone who is married or living with a significant other might have to relocate due to the partner’s job, for instance. Or an older parent might need to come live with them, and that could put stresses on a marriage and be physically challenging as well.

      There’s no way to predict without getting into specific details about the living, work, relationship, and health situations, and thankfully that’s not my job any longer, since I’ve retired from doing charts in order to focus on writing. If you were ever to invest in a reading with a good, solid, experienced astrologer with some psychotherapy background, this would be the time.

      I got an article today submitted for the Blogathon by Lawrence Grecco that covers Pluto transits to all of the 4 angles–watch for that next weekend in the Pluto collection. Donna

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