©4-23-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
The house Pluto or Scorpio 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.
Pluto in the 2nd–Games of Hard Ball over Money
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.
Pluto or Scorpio personal planets in the 2nd denote an emphasis on shared resources in much the same way as 8th house concentrations of planets. To find out exactly whose resources are involved, look at house rulers.
If the ruler of the 7th is in the 2nd, the partner’s money is important, and these individuals may well marry or stay in a bad marriage partly for financial reasons. (Pluto-Venus natives may have similar dynamics.) If the ruler of the 10th or 4th is in the 2nd, family money may play a role.
Many with Pluto or Scorpio planets strong in the 2nd house suffered from painful early experiences around money that led to troublesome adult financial practices. The experiences include bad role models and dysfunctional financial dealings that the individual copies.
Often, parental purse strings were used to control and bind the person. Typically, this was not open-handed generosity. No matter how financially comfortable the parent is, money is often doled out begrudgingly in dribs and drabs and costs the receiver plenty in humiliation. Often, being remembered in or written out of The Will is dangled as a way of keeping control.
2nd House Pluto–The Haves vs. the Have Nots
Pluto in the 2nd natives may or may not have money depending on which role they choose to play in relationships—the Haves or the Have Nots. The Haves are typically compulsive about making money to use in controlling others, especially in close relationships. If the ruler of the 2nd is in the 7th, the native may be bankrolling the partner’s enterprises or luxuries. If it’s in the 5th, the native’s money may be a factor in codependent relationships which bind adult children to them, yet subtly undermine the offspring’s will to become independent.
The Haves learned to use money to buy love—or at the very least to avoid abandonment. Such people are not usually into their work as a career or calling, but instead are motivated by money, which they equate with control.
They can heavily resent what they have to do to earn it, yet can overwork compulsively because they fear abandonment if they don’t have anything material to give to their partner, family, or friends. People with Pluto in Virgo (the adult children of the Baby Boomers) can especially resent having to earn money in jobs they consider menial.
People playing the opposite game (the Have Nots) don’t get their money act together because not doing so means some significant other has to keep rescuing them. (“See, you can’t abandon me, I won’t survive!”) They may give away their power, becoming deliberately though unconsciously self-destructive, so they can’t be expected to provide for themselves. In such cases, the person perennially messes up where money is concerned because of enmeshment in a relationship.
Failure as a Form of Revenge
Chronic financial failure can be a form of revenge in which a reduced or perilous financial status is an embarrassment to the family. In order to appear more affluent—and thus more important—they may also run up huge debts on luxury items and vacations they couldn’t possibly pay for and then declare bankruptcy. (That’s different from running into, say, huge medical or legal expenses that you couldn’t help.)
Plutonians who are hooked on playing this sort of game can find it difficult to give it up for a healthier pattern of self-support. My sense, from working with long term therapy or astrology clients, is that if they’re grown—e.g. in their thirties—and still receive regular financial supplements from their family, it may be quite difficult for them to change, though it can be done. There are simply too many perks for being broke.
Their benefactors’ seeming gifts have a shadow side, for there can be emotional blackmail on both parts. “Givers” wield control through money and manipulate in treacherous ways to undermine the receivers and keep them dependent so they won’t be able to leave the giver. “Takers” may involve themselves in increasingly self-destructive failures in order to justify their need for support. The interaction becomes more and more tainted, as the increasingly resentful and often abusive “Giver” has to keep paying the bills.
Beating the System? Think Again!
The Plutonian person is not always relying on an actual, living individual but still may be doing so on a symbolic level as a form of revenge. Sometimes the parent in question is long since dead, but the native still plays out the support issue with financial institutions. For instance, they may maneuver themselves into some sort of financial assistance that they’re not strictly entitled to, concoct law suits, or may be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to the IRS.
Others with Pluto or Scorpio prominent in the 2nd or with a strong 8th house may be saddling themselves with massive debts to Mommy Master Card and Daddy Visa.
Under very difficult transits—like this long Pluto-Saturn square and the coming Cardinal t-square—these strategies can fall apart, with disastrous effects. Still, the phoenix lives to rise again from its own ashes, so this need not be a permanent state.
In years of intensive work with incest victims around the time Healing Pluto Problems was published, I often found a connection between a history of sexual abuse and compulsive shopping that runs up ruinous debt. Especially where the ruler of the 10th is in the 8th, incest survivors may have been seduced into the abuse by money and gifts or were given special treats to silence them.
In adulthood, buying themselves presents on credit was unconsciously connected with this form of compensation—they felt entitled, especially if they were currently enmeshed in situations or relationships that evoked the childhood shame. As they tackled healing the remnants of the abuse, many of them spontaneously cleared up longstanding debt.
Healing the Scorpion’s Sting
People with Pluto or Scorpio in the 2nd generally can’t clear up their money problems unless they clean up their Plutonian motivations and behaviors. They often need to work on releasing resentments and their attachments to power struggles. Coming clean about their motives helps, as does getting honest, at least with themselves, about what they’re getting from such games. They may also benefit from structured debt counseling and debt reduction programs, where they can avail themselves of professionals who are healthier role models for financial management than their parents.
As difficult as this healing work can be and as hard as it can be to get solid in terms of money management, the results are well worth it in reducing the harrowing stress and emotional turmoil bad money management creates for these individuals and those close to them. Remember, the keywords for the 2nd house (Earnings) and for Pluto (Power) show that people this placement have great potential for Earning Power—they can be money magnets and do very well financially.
If this article rang bells for you, you’ll want to read the followup pieces: Pluto Transits to the 2nd or 8th —Money Issues Get Murky and The Unsuspected Role of the 8th House in Fiscal Fitness .
Readers: Do you have Pluto or Scorpio in the 2nd–or does someone you’re dealing with have it? Tell us about it in the comment section. Does this article ring any bells for you–or, conversely, make you indignant? Sorry about that–readers have been pestering me to publish this for the past week, and for some of you, it may fall into the category of “be careful what you wish for!”
There’s some consolation to be had in the Plutonian version of the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Even though the bastards don’t deserve it!”
(If you suspect you’re a Plutonian, or if one lives or works with you, you’d want to read the rest of this chapter about Pluto as a career indictor from my ebook, The Outer Planets and Inner Life, volume 1: The Outer Planets as Career Indicators, available at moonmavenpublications.com.
More Articles about Pluto on Skywriter:
- How Strong is your Pluto? Here’s the Score!
- Pluto in the Career Houses–The Power to Manifest or Fail for Spite
- Purge Yourself of Pluto’s Negativity—Get Free of Bitterness
- Stuck For What Seems Like Forever? Maybe Areas of Unforgiveness are the Cause
Articles in the Astrology and Finances series:
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 2nd House
- Your 2nd House—A Clue to Extra Income
- Uranus in the 2nd—Freedom & Individuality, vs. Financial Stability
- Neptune in the 2nd—Money, Boundaries, & Codependency
- The Unsuspected Role of the 8th House in Fiscal Fitness
Posts from A Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit:
- Surviving the Pluto-Saturn Square—5 Helpful Articles
- Pluto-Saturn Preparedness #4–Taking Charge of your Life
- Pluto-Saturn Preparedness 2: Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios
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Art Credit: The animated Scorpio is from a collection of zodiac animations at the Animation Playhouse Free Animated Gifs, Jpegs, Clipart, & Graphics. Other images are from Clipart.com.