Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 14, 2010

Outtake from a Moon-Pluto Life

©7-14-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Since we’re considering the effects of mundane squares just now on Skywriter, I’m looking once more at my own mundane square. Pluto is just 1° off my Leo Ascendant in the 1st house and my Aries Moon is 4° off the Midheaven in the 9th. Though there’s no other type of aspect between Pluto and the Moon, my difficult and highly Plutonian relationship with my mother has been a central theme in my life.

I do have other difficult aspects to the Moon, but I know how they feel and what they mean, and, believe me, Pluto doesn’t feel like any of those.  Pluto is unmistakeably Pluto. Let me illustrate this aspect with a strange story about a pivotal moment…

February 9th, 1980

 There are eight of us in a circle in my home office in a Brooklyn brownstone. Neighborhood women in their 30s and 40s, educated, intelligent, articulate, insightful. Mostly single, two the mothers of young children.

 I’m leading Week 3 of a 4-session group exploring their relationships with their mothers through their astrology charts. Most are astrology clients, not students.

 I mention something odd I noticed in their charts. Every one of them has an aspect of some kind between the Moon and Pluto, and the chart for our first meeting had that aspect as well. I describe the qualities of the aspect, and they start to share how it applies to their relationships with their mother.

 I mention the threat of abandonment and that these mothers may use it as a form of emotional blackmail to control their offspring.

 One of them laughs—a dry, hollow laugh like the rattling of bones. “My mom threatened suicide on a regular basis. She told me that when I came home from school, I’d find her dead with her head in the gas oven.”

I ask, “Did she ever really make a suicide attempt?” 

“Never. But I believed her,  and it terrified me. I would run home from school to see if that was the day she finally did it.  She still threatens me over the phone about once a week.”

 Several of the others chime in. “My mom didn’t threaten suicide, she just told me all the time that she was going to leave us and we’d never see her again.” 

 “I was in foster care a couple of times when my Mom had breakdowns.” 

 “Mine is always telling me she’s going to die and I’ll be sorry when she’s gone. She’s sick a lot, but not that sick.” 

My stomach clenches, listening to them. I won’t tell them this, but my mom IS going to die…and I hope it’s sooner rather than later. She’s so far gone with Alzheimer’s that they’re tube feeding her.

 I ask myself again, how can that be? She’s only 57, but her brain was nearly black on the CAT scan. Alcoholism. Almost 40 years of unfiltered cigarettes, 2 packs a day. A life of relentless hardship.  And those battered aluminum pans she’s cooked on forever and refuses to throw out.

 The session winds down, and the women prepare to leave, but hang around talking to one another individually, swapping horror stories about their Moms.

The phone rings, and I decide to answer it, since nobody seems to need to talk to me.

 It’s my sister, calling from California.  “You have to come. We need you. Mom is dead.”

 I tell her I’ll come, hang up, and sit at the desk with my head in my hands. I didn’t really think it would happen this soon, as the decline had been so slow. I break out in a cold sweat and feel like I might throw up.  

 The group notices and asks what’s wrong. In a daze, I tell them, then realize I shouldn’t have. They’ve just spent the last hour talking about their mother’s death threats.

 One asks if I want her to call someone. I call a friend who lives nearby, and she rushes over. My body is chilled to the core, and she tells me I’m in shock. I scarcely notice when the women leave.   

 When I return from California, I call the women to schedule the 4th and final session of the series. None of them can make it. They’re all suddenly much too busy.

I try to discuss the traumatic end to our last session with them individually, but they deny that it bothered them. Right. All their lives, their mothers have threatened to die on them, and in the group, they’re confronted with the reality that mothers DO die at some point.

 Professionally, I know they really need to talk it through, but I can’t MAKE them come in.  And I have my own grief to work on, as deep and as raging as my feelings about my mother have always been.  

Like calls to like, so all of us Moon-Pluto women were called together for a purpose that my mother’s death fulfilled. I can only imagine that there’s some reason for them to have this vicarious experience.  Perhaps it’s to prepare them for when the inevitable does happen and their mothers’ threats finally come true.

    *   *   *   *   *   *   *

 You’re probably wondering whether Moon-Pluto aspects figured into the transits. The Pluto transits to my Moon and IC had finished already, after a two-year engagement with a variety of important lunar issues that included her diagnosis and accelerating decline. Nor was there a progressed aspect between Moon and Pluto. It was a progressed new Moon near my IC, which is a major departure and new beginning in lunar matters. 

Oh, and another thing. If you are having a transit of Pluto to your Moon or IC, DO. NOT. conclude that your mother is going to die.  You’ll have a major transit of Pluto to your Moon at least once every 12 years, depending on how long Pluto is staying in a particular sign.  By the time you reach 60, you will already have had 5 major transits of Pluto to your Moon.

Your mother is only going to die once, but each time you get an important Pluto transit to your Moon, you’ll undergo an important shift in your way of relating to your Outer and Inner Mother…hopefully in a progressively healthier direction.     

UPDATE:  This was only posted a couple of hours ago, and already the sharing that’s going on is powerful and healing.  If you have a Moon-Pluto story, whether natally or by transit,  read what people are saying and tell us your own experience in the  comment section down below this post. 

Incidentally, if you’re a subscriber and haven’t requested the ebooklet, Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, this might be a good time for it.   See below.

Take the tests, if you haven’t already:

Posts about the Moon:

More Articles from the Series about the Lesser-Known Aspects:

free astrology booklet by Donna CunninghamIf this post was helpful, 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. What a story. Hey Donna – Can we do a similar thing on Sun & Saturn? (Yes, yes, it’s for selfish reasons, BUT)

    I just wondered if people have issues with their fathers through either the Sun or through Saturn.

    Just wondering, since you brought the Moon up.

    • Transits to the Sun by the slower-moving planets surely do stir up father issues and often bring events about the father…as do many Saturn transits.

      I never know WHAT I’ll be moved to write any more, Lostshoe, it all comes bubbling to the surface unbidden, usually in the middle of the night. A new phase of my writing career, this is, and I cherish the freedom of it. So I don’t know When or If I’ll be moved to write about fathers, but when we get to Leo in a week or so, that would be a possible thread. Donna

  2. Yes! I experienced transit Pluto opposite my natal moon in 2006-2008. My mother did not die! What I did experience, however, was deep emotions coming to the surface for healing, transforming the way I nurture myself, and transforming the emotional bond between myself and my mother. I also experienced every Plutonian archetype possible — power being seized away, being stripped of everything, going to the underworld, and reemerging reborn.

    • Yes, both Pluto and the Moon have so many different levels of meaning that go to our deepest core, so I’d have to say it’s one of the most profound and wrenching transits there are. It’s root chakra/survival stuff. Sun-Pluto transits aren’t like that; they help/coerce you to look deeply into the WHO am I/solar plexus issues. Donna

    • PS — I enjoyed your story and would enjoy more sharing of your experience with astrology . . . if you feel up for delving into these highly personal accounts.

      • Thanks, Katie, there is a category at the left called “Memoirs” that has a number of articles about my own life. But I don’t write about clients’ lives at any length, as it tends to be pretty traumatic for them, seeing themselves written up as a “case.” Donna

  3. I have a natal Pluto/Moon opposition. I think it means: “Forget your mother. She’s not going to be there when you need her. Mother yourself.” Which, in our mother-centric culture, is a huge taboo to voice.

    I read this story and I think maybe that’s the message that the other Pluto/Moon women were supposed to get when confronted with the fact that mothers do die. When your mother threatens you with abandonment, for all intents and purposes, she has already abandoned you emotionally. The rest is technical.

    I dated a man with a Pluto/Sun square who finally told his mother that if she kept threatening to kill herself that she should just do it already. So she did. Very very tough thing to live with. But on the other hand, I can also relate, if only because when someone keeps threatening me with something, eventually, I just want the worst to happen already instead of living with the horrible dread of anticipation.

    I don’t know. I know it sounds very cold but eventually all parents die and the best thing you can do for your children is teach them to listen to the inner voice that will guide them in times of trouble, whether or not you’re there. But then again, easy for me to say. I don’t have children, although I’d like to someday.

    • Great share and great conclusions, Eme, thanks. Donna

    • wow, what good advice. Yes, just yesterday my mother told me that because of something I said once long ago (about being close to my husband) that there were MANY things that she did not share with me (as a mother to daughter, her words) because of that.
      So what she was saying right there is that she wasn’t there for me and won’t be there for me.

  4. Wow, Donna! Thanks for sharing such a deeply personal story – I know it wasn’t easy. Though I’ve no Moon-Pluto aspects in my natal, I do have a Moon-Neptune conjunction which echoes some of the stories from the women in your group so I feel for them and for you. Alcoholism, substance abuse, a constant “you-don’t-love-me” guilt trip, a promise that (to use her own words) “One day we would all grow up and become rotten teenagers and leave (her)” which ultimately became a self-fulfilling prophecy as she left us no choice given that her ability to function as a parent became severely impaired by all the drugs and booze.

    Several years ago I speculated about an upcoming transit when tr Pluto conjoined my natal Moon. Though I was well aware of the possibilities as to how this could play itself out, I wondered if the prediction she herself had made long ago about her own death would come to pass during this transit. It didn’t. But what did come was the sudden illness and subsequent death of my aunt – her sister – who had complications arising from years of alcoholism and IV drug use.

    My aunt was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks, during which time I visited the hospital daily to help give support to her and to the rest of my family. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I would bump into my mother who I hadn’t seen in over 12 years. One day I visited the hospital after getting off work. The hospital’s rules stated that only 2 people at a time could visit a patient in an ICU bed, so I went into the waiting room to wait my turn. Imagine my dismay to enter only to find my mother glaring at me from across the room. I stoically resolved to ignore her and to focus instead on doing what I came there to do – be there for my aunt, uncle and family. It was when I left an hour and a half later that she decided to force a confrontation with me.

    She said some very hurtful and venomous things to me, all the while playing the victim as if we had somehow “wronged” her by leaving an abusive, alcoholic household. She called my brothers and sisters “fuckers” to which I replied “You have five WONDERFUL children”. Her response: “No I don’t – you all suck. S-U-C-K, suck, suck, suck!” as she proceeded to curse at me and flip me the bird.

    The beauty during all of this was being able to keep my cool the whole time. I knew she was trying to illicit a reaction out of me and I wouldn’t play that game and give her the satisfaction of getting to me. Furthermore, I refused to stoop to her level and hurl curses and insults back at her. When she told me to go fuck myself, I sarcastically said “Yeah, that’s a GREAT idea. I’ll get right on that” and calmly disengaged as I pressed the down button for the elevator to leave. As I was doing this, a group of my family rounded the corner to see the spectacle my mother was making of herself. I simply stepped into the elevator and watched as the door closed on a rage-filled and vengeful woman.

    I took a deep breath as I rode the elevator back down to the lobby and was struck by what a blessing this awful experience was – it had finally given me some closure. I was finally able to face her and not cower from her wrath as I had done when I was a child. I was now strong enough to defend my brothers and sisters against the verbal onslaught she had launched. I was able to handle myself in a collected manner and was able to resist my own base impulses to hurl back insults in retaliation. Furthermore, it gave me a greater appreciation of exactly what it was I had escaped as a child and validated for me why I did it. I feel on that day I cleared my emotional slate with her, and though the reckoning was ugly, it taught me more about my own emotional growth and resiliency in a few terrible moments than I ever thought possible. How’s that for a Pluto transit to the Moon?

    Thanks for allowing me to share, Donna. Your post really struck some chords with me about the complexities of having a difficult mother-daughter relationship and I thought my story would help to further illustrate the ways in which a Moon-Pluto transit can function. For me, a HUGE shift in my emotional consciousness occurred for the better on that day and I would not change a single thing about that experience.

    • What a killer story, Alethea. And that was a fitting use of a Moon-Pluto transit…the real and healthy conclusion to a very poisonous relationship.

      I didn’t anticipate when I wrote this that others would share so deeply about their own Moon-Pluto experiences, but I am so very moved and glad if it promotes further healing for others. What an amazing collective we are here on Skywriter. Donna

  5. Wow Donna, that’s quite a story. I feel for you. Really. And now I’m even more shocked. I took care of my Mom for the last few years of her life as she died slowly of ALS. It took me out of my career path, possibly permanently, I’ve never gotten back on track.

    And now after reading your article, I checked my chart: I had Pluto transiting opposite my natal Moon when she died. Actually, I have a natal Sun/Moon conjunction, just to double the effect of an opposition. And then for extra strife, I have a natal Pluto square Sun/Moon.. which I just realized means Pluto Square Pluto.

    • Strong stuff, Charles. So that was part of your midlife series of aspects, and so it invoved Sun, Moon, and natal Pluto. I cannot imagine a deeper or more profound initiation into midlife than both lights, Sun and Moon. Donna

  6. Thanks for sharing Donna, amazing how things happend that day… Moon/Pluto is never shallow…I have a Moon-pluto conjunction in 1rst house in libra. thankfully I have a good, deep relationship with my mother, grandmother, aunt…and the women in my family, but of course it hasn’t always being smooth, we are strong willed, and that doesn’t make it easy to live under the same roof. We need our space to love each other.

    The cardinal T-square is activating that conjunction, so we’ll see how it goes…
    p.s the ‘one day I’m going to get sick and die…what are going to do?’ rings a bell 😉 I thought a lot of moms said it, but it does sound pluto/scorpio.

    I wonder how people perceive that kind of placements on the ASC or 1st…are we a bit intimidating?

    • Moon-Pluto conjunction on the Ascendant–powerful, deep, and transformative for all you meet. If they’re intimidated it’s because they fear looking within. That combination speaks of a matriachal lineage of very powerful women, not so easy to live up to!

      I’ve been very taken with Jillian Michaels, kamakazi personal trainer, and her series, Losing it With Jillian this summer. God does she take risks, very confrontative, but somehow it always works out and you wind up seeing how loving and compassionate and very, very real she really is. Your chart sounds a bit like that. Donna

      • I would love to see Jillian Michaels’s natal chart and I HIGHLY respect her often misunderstood Plutonian energy. Girl is one part battering ram, the other part counselor, blasting through people’s false belief systems without mercy. She was born February 14, 1974, so I don’t think she has a Libra ASC. Wonder how else Pluto/Scorpio figures in her chart.

      • When I was guessing her Moon, I guessed Aries, but maybe it’s Aries Rising instead, as she’s quite the generalissimo. Given that date, she COULD have Moon in Scorpio if she was born early morning. Donna

      • Ooops. Let me correct myself by saying February 18th, NOT 14th. Regardless, she is indeed quite the generalissimo.

      • Yes, that’s more like the date I looked at. Moon in Cap square Uranus in Libra, trine Mars in Taurus. Pluto in Libra, but not c0onnected with the Moon. We’re off track, but maybe not so much. Donna

      • Moon-Pluto conjunction on the Ascendant–powerful, deep, and transformative for all you meet. If they’re intimidated it’s because they fear looking within. That combination speaks of a matriachal lineage of very powerful women, not so easy to live up to!

        Thank you ,thank you, thank you. I needed to hear and remember that. I have Moon Pluto Jupiter conjunct the ASC. I have always thought of myself as a CATALYST for others. It definately makes you stronger, but it can be lonley sometimes.

  7. Natally I have an 8th house moon in 0Cap and when transiting pluto approached within 3 degrees my Mom died. She had been sick for many years, not unexpected. What was unexpected (I should have known) was the 8th house chaos that happened with her will. My 8th moon is opposite venus/merc conj in gemini, and my siblings and I have been at odds since she died. Seems a mysterious 2nd will came about leaving me less than any of my 4 other siblings…..Mom never mentioned this. A couple of sisters of mine were plotting behind my back – the executor “borrowed” $100,000 from Mom one month before she died with no promissory note, among other things I found out. I called my lawyer and Mom’s making me quite unpopular with her to this day. It had to come from her part of the will.
    My Dad is now 96. My sun is 11Cancer in the 3rd and Pluto will oppose it soon…..the same sister is executor here too (funny how she managed thatt )- only he’s a tough one to manipulate. (she’s a very manipulative piscean). My sun is semi-square natal pluto in Leo, natal moon is trine natal pluto. I had been in an argument with my Dad where he hadn’t spoken to me in 2 years and now we’re back in speaking since the eclipse. I’m now prepared for the ___to hit the fan when he passes….He’s a very alive, independent and eccentric 96 though 🙂 so all bets are off. I come from a very intense and fiery family.
    But when pluto hit my moon I also went through menopause and a very dark time emotionally that I’m finally through. Had some mysterious thyroid/immune system disease discovered that I’m now on top of and feeling great. I’d never want to go through the betrayal of my sisters and mother again. Maybe it’s because I’m a Cancer and had my heart & soul bruised so thoroughly, I trusted them & it hurt so much. I now somehow feel freer to be me completely without always seeking their approval. Preety plutonian stuff, huh?

    • The will and the feuds that happen after death are so Plutonian too. It’s like fighting for a piece of the deceased that we never got while they were alive. Donna

      • As my parents age, I think sometimes about the wills & their impact on us siblings, who currently relate very well with much love & respect. I experienced sibling conflict over wills via my grandfather’s passing when I was a young teen & vowed then to never allow myself to engage in such behavior. Your comment above “fighting for a piece of the deceased” has been a major vein of my thoughts on this subject. An object or money will never replace/substitute what is missing emotionally & it won’t change your relationship w/ the deceased. I pray when the time comes, I am strong enough to keep my vow, walking away from any pettiness that may occur. Thanks for the reminder.

      • You’re on top of it, Dixie, good going. I think what happens is that people are unconsciously so angry at the deceased for abandoning them that they look for someone to blame or to take it out on. Donna

  8. What an awesome and deeply personal story Donna. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, it just reminds that we can all heal ourselves if that is what we really want.

    Here’s my story relating to Moon-Pluto:

    My mom has her Taurus Moon square her Leo Mars/Pluto conjunction. She cannot let go of anything, whether it be the death of her parents, the abuse she suffered at the hands of my father (20+ years ago now), a 10-year tiff with her neighbors, or the fact that I am in my 30s, totally independent, and a very happy person.

    Death threats, abandonment threats, and other manipulation were just par for the course during my childhood. I remember several times where I physically blocked the front door so that she wouldn’t leave…Even to this day, she is very lunar and still projects her own issues of negative self-worth and esteem, including telling me that I’m not a happy person and that I need to change.

    No one can give her advice about anything because she is always correct no matter what. As with many negative Plutonians, it’s like dealing with a brick wall, so even though I have suggested therapy, told her she needs to let go, and said many times that there is nothing to fear if she gives in a bit, it is all for nothing. I know that only she can help herself in the end.

    • For some added background, I should mention my own moon is in Scorpio. Two lunar Plutonians going at it, one who has learned the lessons and the other who has not.

  9. Thank you for being so open and helping us all.

    I have Pluto square my moon. Also, Saturn in Capricorn in the 4th. My relationship with my mother was so horrible that I ran away from home at 16 and never looked back. I haven’t voluntarily spoken to my mother in 30+ years and she has never met my children.

    She also threatened suicide. When I was 5 yrs. old and my brother 4, she sat us down at the kitchen table and told us she was going to kill herself. She told us that we would go live with our Nana. Day after day she didn’t kill herself and I was getting upset because I really wanted to go live with Nana. So one day I asked her when she was going to kill herself because I wanted to go live with Nana. Her response was to beat the crap out of me. To this day, I don’t regret my question.

    I’ve heard that we pick our path in this lifetime. I guess the good that came out of my childhood is that I absorbed the emotional and physical pain I endured as a child and I was determined to be a better parent. Now, my kids are grown and I have a grandson. I have a close and loving relationship with my children. So I guess I’ve succeeded.

    • wow, Terry, good for you!

    • Wow, Terri… that was a tough choice!

      My chart is similar to yours in that I too have Saturn in Capricorn on my IC, and Pluto in hard aspect (opposition) to my Moon.

      BTW, I have to ask you… what if your mother had really committed suicide? Could you live with the idea that it might be you who pushed her to the extreme step?

  10. No two ways about it, Moon-Pluto aspects natally make for an “interesting” relationship with mothers. Mine is a sextile and my mother spent the last half of her life talking about “dying”. [when she did die, it was when tUranus was exactly inconj my Moon.]

    I loved my mother and on the whole, our relationship was not too bad. However, her favorite method of manipulation was guilt – and to this day, I react badly when others try to do the same, often with great anger.

    Thank you for sharing your Pluto story, Donna. And all the rest who have too. 🙂


    • I have Pluto opposite my Moon, and yes, I have a tough relationship with my mother. I noticed that my mum too, often uses guilt and scare tactics to manipulate me into doing stuff she wants. And yes, I recognize it now and can’t help reacting with anger when other people try that method with me!

      However, in her defense, I would say that my mother is hardly dysfunctional like the mothers of some of the people who are sharing their stories here. I have an exalted Moon in Taurus which forms a trine to my Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn Uranus and Neptune stellium!

      My mum is a very tough and able mum in many ways – but when she’s mean she can be very cutting.

  11. Thank you for sharing this powerful story, Donna. I have the the Moon conjunct Pluto, the Sun and Uranus, and when I looked at my mothers chart I discovered her Sun in conjunction with three of my stellium planets. (Uranus is just out of orbit). That explains a lot, actually. My mother despised my father, and transferred those feelings onto me. That’s not uncommon, I think.
    Thankfully there was no alcohol abuse, no drugs or anything like that, but we could have lived in a boardingschool for all the nurturing we got.
    I’ve never had much of a relationship with my mother even though she raised us alone (three daughters by three different fathers). I never had children myself, I was so convinced I would be the kind of mother she was, and I didn’t want to subject anyone to that. She was very cold and distant, and I never trusted her. I never counted on her for anything, and when I was 18 (finishing high school), I was outta there. A few years later we clashed big time and I haven’t seen her since. This was almost 30 yrs ago. I doubt if I will see her again before she dies – she’s not one to forgive easily and I feel no need to see her or get her forgiveness. I have worked on how I feel about my relationship to her for years, and I have forgiven her. First I had to accept that not all mothers love their children, and that I wasn’t responsible for her feelings. It was a wonderful and liberating discovery. It took some time, though. But I have found my peace with the whole thing.
    Wow, not something I have thought about for some time. Thank you again for sharing such a difficult story.

  12. Incredible. NO ONE would come back!
    that’s a story, thank you.
    Yes, I’m having the cancer IC/capricorn eclipse thing right now.
    I finally told my mother last night that i did NOT read her email and if she couldn’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. so she sent me a blank email!!!

  13. besides that eclipse, the transiting Pluto is semisquare (30 degrees) my natal moon.

  14. I have never commented before on your blog (far as I can remember) but I am a big fan of your books and astrology! I have a natal moon pluto conjunction in virgo in my 1st house. The good thing is that it is well aspected, sextiled/trined by various earth and water. My mother died suddenly when I was 26. (Father had already passed when I was 21, also suddenly) but even before her death, there was trauma. Also, her Mars in Gemini squared my virgo moon pluto. Once I saw her chart, so much made sense (she was a scorpio sun mercury venus btw). I have never looked at the transits surrounded her death or surrounding the difficult teenage years– But I have always felt like she and I were fused, despite all the difficulty and I still mourn her even though it’s been years, still miss her, still wish she were here… despite everything. We were able to do some healing before she passed. So my moon pluto-ness was all pretty literal -death of mother, family trauma, and so on…. The other thing about moon pluto for me is the incredible emotional intensity. (I am cancer sun btw).

    About what you wrote here: I get it. People are terrified of death. I remember when my mother died, I lost close friends. THEY couldn’t handle it. It only made them think: when will be my mom’s turn. I felt alienated, a freak. People who have death around them…. are special 🙂 because it’s not so normal unless you are in a war-torn country, you know?

    • You know, Goldy, I never thought of that part of what happened before….people’s discomfort with other people’s grief. And especially if the grieving person is some sort of authority figure/mamma. Therapists call that transference.

      I remember one other time, I had taken my cat to a vet with a clinic near my home in the middle of the night, and she died, so I was very sad. I was walking home crying in the early morning hours, and who should drive by but one of my therapy clients. (She didn’t even live in the area, so it was weird that she happened by at that hour of the morning.)

      She stopped and asked me what was wrong, and I told her. She quit therapy quite abruptly. Yeah, people don’t know what to do with our grief. Donna.

      PS My mother had a sister named Goldy. I’m so sorry your Mom died young.

  15. These are amazing stories..I resonate so much. I am a cancer sun with moon conj neptune in 2nd house and have T saturn coming to conjunct, and tPl coming to square. My Mom died during the first Sat to moon transit many years ago . The current tranists are bringing up so much irrational fear…body panic and frozen dreads…I sold my house last year and the fears seem to be about losing all the money and never again having a home. In childhood we moved constantly, my mom was very unstable and yes, would show me the scars from her suicide attempts and say I was the only reason she was alive but then run guilt victim trips on me. Being an only child I took it all on. Thanks for the forum for all of this. It helps knowing I am not alone and that people do get thru it.

  16. wow, thank you ALL for sharing your stories.

    for me, i’ve got an aquarian moon (8) on the cusp of the 6th in exact trine to my libran pluto (8) in the 2nd. my mom is a double scorpio with moon in leo and nearly all planets either in scorpio or leo in her chart, which i’ve never EVER understood when i think of her. my mom is wonderful, giving, loving, nurturing, definitely passive, and at times even kind of ditzy! she was the balance to my dad’s assertive/aggressive, outspoken, dominating personality. her moon and pluto are nearly conjunct and i certainly see that her relationship with her own mother was a cold and manipulative one.

    everything i’ve ever read about aquarius moon tells me my mother is supposed to be cold and uncaring, perhaps even emotionally abandoning me. not true at all. BUT i do feel that *i* can be very cold and emotionally unavailable to others, and i have a deep fear of motherhood and feel like i’m a terrible aunt to my siblings’ kids because i do not spend a lot of time with them (we all live in the same town). i just feel kind of like a robot (aquarius?!) around kids! i’m also the youngest in my own family and just don’t have that kind of younger sibling experience.

    but man, i really resent the “cold mother” aquarian moon thing.

    • Pop astrology books tend to go overboard with their lists of positive and negative qualities of particular signs and planetary placements. Aquarius is an objective rather than a subjective sign. That means when all about you are losing their heads in an emotional crisis, you could be keeping yours and staying aware of just how to solve the problems that are causing everyone else to go off the deep end. What a gift, to be “cold” in that way!

      The north node of my moon is in Aquarius, so I am working on trying to bring more of that truly valuable and benevolent energy into my life.

      • margaret, i agree the aquarius moon has its value in some situations, but i have a terrible time allowing myself to really FEEL my feelings. so in that way, it’s been very trying in my young 34 years of life. i detach and bury. it’s no gift for me because eventually i BLOW a gasket, which i am more and more aware of (and am in therapy currently) to work that out. but i should add my moon sextiles my neptune (within 1 degree), trines pluto (exact), and is quincunx my virgo ascendant (exact). i’m sure my virgo sun/ascendant also does not lend itself to getting my emotions out, either! lest i sound like i’m whining here, i actually do really well with intellectualizing (aquarius!) all this! 🙂

    • Hard to understand where your Aquarian Moon qualities come from, then, Erin. Was there some sort of interruption of mothering in your childhood years (age 8, perhaps?) or was there shared mothering around that age with other relatives? Donna

      • donna, no interruption. uhhh…i would say, though, that my dad was quite the “mother hen” growing up – nagging, criticizing, mommying more than i feel my mom did. my mom was like a wallflower in some ways. my dad was super sensitive and critical and (i came to realize in my 20s) lacking self-esteem. i DID start gaining weight around age 8/9 and my father was on me about it throughout my teens (which only made me rebel against losing it). there’s a connection somewhere in there to food/feelings – moon on cusp of 6th/aquarius. i am digressing away from the moon/mother thing, though.

        the non-maternal kind of feeling i have…well, i am reminded now that my aunt (dad’s sister) never had children (she is married) and has a hard time relating and has always been at odds with all her nieces and nephews. and her aunt mamie (sister to my great-grandma nellie) was a spinster in her time, but MUCH loved by the nephews and niece. i often worry i am following in my aunt’s footsteps and will wind up being the outcast aunt in the family. 😦

        but honestly, i have never made much sense of my aquarian moon except that i “think” through my feelings rather than feel them and my mother is not cold!

  17. Beautifully written post! I know it’s painful stuff but man what a gorgeously written and educational piece. I feel as if I was there that night and would give you a hug if I could.

    Transiting Pluto conjoined my natal 2 degree Sag moon and my mother DID NOT DIE either. It did stir up deep emotions and I felt emotionally erratic during that time. Oh – and my mom’s 80 and still thriving. Blessings to her.

    • hey Janice, you’re my twin. 2 degrees sag moon and 80 year old mom! how about that.

      • What a lovely coincidence! I welcome an astro twin with 2 degree Sag moon!

  18. Great post, Donna! It’s a wonderful example of the way the universe will step in to complete a pattern and provide a necessary learning experience. Probably learning about your mother’s death in that dramatic way was precisely what your students needed to complete the course. No one would believe this story if it was an episode in a novel! This blog is such a great astrological learning tool. I’m fascinated by all the stories here.

  19. Hi Donna and fellow moonplutions-

    I was told by an astrologer that I have a Hard Moon/Pluto. I’m not experienced enough to figure this out, but I have a 16 deg. sadge moon in the 7th house, and a 7 deg. pluto in virgo in the 5th. I don’t see this aspect in my chart…any insight?

    • No, that’s too wide for a square–it’s 12 degrees apart, so I don’t know what else they might have seen in the chart. Donna

  20. Thank you everyone for sharing bits of your stories. Natally, my Scorpio Moon is squared by it’s ruler Pluto in Leo… almost exact. My mom and I were never close, although better in her final years. Earlier in my life she had relationship and alcohol issues for many, many years so she was not very accessible for me, or even later when my children were young.
    But it makes me feel some sadness to read some of the stories here of those who have had no contact with their moms for many years, and some even, never expect to before their mothers die. I feel that I lost a lot of years of life with my mom through no fault of my own, but as I reflect back I can’t blame her, as I know whatever was happening within her and with her life, was probably foretold in her chart as well. I was not with my mom when she passed away 13+ years ago and it haunts me still, as I know she was afraid and felt alone. She made her peace with the Lord in her last years, and I believe that whatever was between them, she was forgiven for her ‘transgressions’ so to speak. I can do no less than He… I only wish it wasn’t too late to verbalize it to her. For many of us, life IS a ‘real drama’… we can only do our best, and hope our best is good enough!!

    • Please don’t feel bad for any of us, Leslie.

      It can be hard to understand unless you’re physically in one of our shoes as each person’s circumstances are unique, but not having a relationship with Mom doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily angry, unforgiving, or that we lack understanding toward her. For some of us, it isn’t physically possible to have a relationship with her due to the severe level of dysfunction that is present. You may not understand that having a relationship with someone who is so emotionally toxic would be the equivalent of committing emotional suicide.

      For me, I understand that “hurt people hurt people” and that in many ways my mother was a victim herself. The problem is she was never willing to rise above the role of victim and then turned around to become an abuser. We all make choices in life, and though I’ve been through a lot in my relatively short life here on Earth, I’ve also chosen to take responsibility for my actions and to strive to be a better person. There are some people in the world who are just completely unwilling to do that.

      I’m truly glad you were able to come to terms with things regarding your mother and salvage some kind of relationship with her, but the regret you express about not having her in your life for a long period of time shouldn’t be transferred onto any of us. I don’t regret that I have no relationship with my mother and am not angry with her. She just is how she is and there is absolutely nothing I can do about that. I can say with 100% certainty that no good would come of rekindling a relationship with her – only more pain and abuse. She’s well into her 60’s, still drinking like a fish and doing drugs, and is as verbally and mentally abusive as ever. Nothing has changed since the day I ran away when I was 13 years old….so why would I sign up to receive more of the same thing? It’s not a matter of anger, blame, or a lack of forgiveness – it goes back to basic survival. Had I stayed in that home or chosen to maintain the mother/daughter relationship, I myself would likely be an alcoholic/addict or even worse – I might not be alive to speak about my experience today.

      Try and think of it this way: you wouldn’t ask someone who had been sexually abused to cuddle up and make nice with their attacker, would you? While you can forgive the act, you certainly don’t need to buddy up with the abuser.

      While it’s a shame that things are this way, the only thing worse I can imagine is vounarily subjecting myself to more of the same. Sometimes the best relationship you can have with someone is none at all. Yes, it’s disspointing and sad not to have a relationship with your own mother for 17 years but what would be FAR worse to have a masochistic relationship with her just for the sake of saying I talk to her, you know?

      The reason I wanted to explain this is because when people like me have to explain to others how/why we don’t have a realtionship with our moms, a lot of times they get the mistaken impression that there must be some kind of anger/resentment on our part and that we’ve just amputated them out of our lives because we’re holding some kind of ancient grudge. I’m here to say it’s not like that at all, and to explain how and why it’s like this for some of us – especially those of us with Moon/Pluto contacts or who have gone through a heavy Moon/Pluto transit. Back to what Donna said about it being about root chakra/survival stuff. For me, it was and is about basic survival, and nothing more.

      • Amen, Alethea. What you said. Amen. Eliminating a toxic presence like that from your life isn’t avoiding the healing, it’s healthy self-preservation unless they’ve changed enough to stop abusing you. Donna

      • Well… twice I’ve begun a response Alethea… first a few lines and poof it just went away… 2nd time, I was almost finished with a long reply… and poof again it went away. I’m giving up I guess… because apparently I’m NOT supposed to post a reply!!! Arrrrgh! Want you to know that I understand everything you said completely, and it was a great reply! Life goes on and it IS for the living… sometimes we have no other alternatives than basic survival… I appologize if I came across like there is something wrong with that, because I didn’t mean that at all. Regrets are agonizing for ME… and I was only meaning to point that out as thought provoking. I envy and admire everyone who can rise a notch above the ‘regrets’ thing! It’s much healthier! Anyway, thanks for a great reply post… and I’ll just hop off here now… since I lost my first two reply posts *ha, ha*… perhaps I need to give it up! Thanks again, Leslie

      • That happens to me all the time, Leslie, when I’ve written something more than I should say. Perhaps it’s the energetic sheild of protection I regularly place around this blog. But it’s a handsome amends in its final form, so thanks. Donna

  21. If moon and pluto square by angle
    But trine by sign…
    Does this have any mitigating impact?
    Moon taurus 28 degrees and some
    Pluto Virgo just under 4 degrees

    • No, Snow, the exact trine would be between Pluto at 4 Virgo and the Moon at 4 Taurus. Or between the Moon at 28 Taurus and Pluto at 28 Virgo. They are 24 degrees from an exact trine, so it doesn’t make a trine. Donna

  22. I don’t have any close aspects between my moon and pluto, except that my pluto is square a stelium that includes my moon. So, most of my issues with my mom pale in comparison. However, when Pluto conjuncted my moon, my reality of my mom actually changed. I believe I now see her in a different light…I still love her, but from a different perspective.

    Please consider doing Moon/Uranus aspects. Moon conjunct Uranus…is the mother unusually detached?

    Love all these insightful offerings!


    • We talked a bit about Moon-Uranus aspects in the comment section of the Moon test, so have a look. But, yes, the mother can be detached or fairly erratic or very busy with her own rather unique or avant guard interests (social causes, etc.). Sometimes it’s a mother with an Aquarian Moon. Donna C.

  23. Great stories in response to Donna’s chilling account!
    I have pluto in cancer but no aspect to my moon, yet when pluto came close to natal moon, my mother died. She always said she would “haunt”me (for my misdeeds) and she does!

    Louise Bourgeois the sculptor who died at 99 in May had moon in exact trine to pluto (astrodatabank) and her most famous works are enormous thirty foot black spider scuptures called “Maman” (see images on google)

    • Folks, you can–and should–put a stop to any haunting, because it can seriously complicate your life in negative ways.

      Plutonian abusers tend to think they OWN their victims, and that sense of ownership can continue after death, without guilt or remorse. If things take a decided turn for the worse after an abuser dies, suspect that this may be going on. I have seen it many times in my practice, and I used to have a ghost buster on retainer to work with my clients.

      As I’m not actively in practice now, I don’t know anyone to recommend, firsthand. But I do have a positive impression of Patricia Walsh, who had an article related to this in the Pluto collection of the blogathon. They’re called earthbound spirits. Have a look at it on . Donna

      • Donna,
        I have worked extensively with earthbounds as a medium and energy healer and have always found it to be by the acquiescence of the incarnate that allows for earthbound soul to have any contact whatsoever. Often the individual is not aware that they are approving of the contact for their approval stems from previously ingrained patterns of a possibly manipulated/forced sense of responsibility to the now deceased.
        Bottom line though..if you do not want contact with earthbounds or any form of non-incarnate entities you must renounce such privileges(if this is already taking place) and reaffirm your personal sovereignty and freedom from influence by any influence outside yourself. Boundaries. 🙂
        Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts on this.

      • I’m grateful for your input, Kachina. And yes. one of the barriers to healing in these situations is definitely the reluctance of the living to let go of the hope that they will one day finally win the deceased’s love and caring. So they have a really hard time releasing the spirit of the deceased. Donna

      • Kachina is absolutely right! I am also a trained clairvoyant and highly sensitive neptunian medium. There is an old metaphysical saying ‘nothing can harm us unless we allow it’ The key is being in contact with that unconscious part that allows it. In my training, I’ve run across all sorts of beings on the otherside that intefere with people’s life’s until they run into a healer who is able to make them aware of it and help them. One of them are karmic contracts we have with past relatives and often these transits can bring up these old contracts for healing. Sometimes it is as easy as forgiviness to the other part and yourself and calling in divine spirit to release these individuals from our space and onward into their journey. Of course there are other sorts of beings that require a little more agressive tactics.

        Peace and blessings

  24. Hello,

    I am new on this forum and just received Donnas’ amazing and timely post.

    Currently, I am experiencing the following moon transits. , transiting Pluto in strong opposition with natal Moon, Jupiter square natal moon, Saturn Square Natal Moon, Uranus in strong square with natal Moon, Transiting Neptune in strong trine with natal Moon, transiting Pluto in strong opposition with natal Moon, Transiting Chiron in strong trine with natal Moon. Yes folks, I’ve been Mooned!

    Since the lunar eclipse, my root chakra (groundness and security) and my second chakra (emotional well being and stability) have been literally going bonkers. I am a healer and have been spending most of my day healing when I’m not sleeping. Oh my body aches. And when I have the energy, I am reading a ½ dozen astrology books as I am a relative newcomer to the subject.

    I was reflecting on Donna’s post on “the threat of abandonment” In my Jungian studies, we called this “mother symbiosis” It’s more popularly known as co-dependence or negative bonding. It is all the ways and times mom falsely nurtured us. It runs from the in your face trauma’s to the very subtle unspoken energies. It’s “eat your food or I won’t love you, put your jacket on or I’ll tell your father. It’s betrayal, and it’s shaming.

    When I was in the 6th grade. I was at school on the playground with my class and my teacher playing softball. It was fall so it was getting slightly cool and so I had my jacket off just like most of the kids. We lived very close to the school and my mother was on the board of education and she had a meeting with the principle. She walked past the softball field and saw me running around without a jacket. In front of the teacher and all the other children my mother yelled at me and told me to put my jacket on. I was mortified. And then my teacher joined in and told me to put my jacket on too. It felt like a total breach of my boundaries and lack of respect for the sanctity of my individuality. By the 6th grade, most of us have the ability to determine whether or not our bodies need a jacket or not.

    This form of love borders on what I call dark magic as it is truly a form of control. Love has no conditions. Of course, they didn’t do it consciously as our parents loved us and did the very best they could. And down deep, they fear being totally abandoned, and isolated not only from human companionship but from source. My mothers did it to her and it has probably moved through our family lineage nestled deeply in our DNA through our ancestor and culture. While it is prevalent among Jewish families, I have seen it in just about every culture and religion. Italian, Iranian, Catholics, Muslims and some native American cultures such as the Navaho’s. It seems to be very prevalent in cultures that have were victims of genocide or very intense cultural trauma’s. Our culture’s have lost true initiation process’ and they have been substituted by ritual ceremonies that have lost their true meaning such as the bar mitzvah.

    A few years back, there was a movie called “Along Came Polly” with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston where this archetypical story is played out Ben plays Rueben Feffer whose fiancé cheats on him and he his mother is incestuous and the father can’t speak. His mother shows up everywhere in the movie, on dates, the way he keeps his house with all the pillows and wounded male friend who is dysfunctional and shamed (probably crones) that he “sharts” in his pants at a party.

    Rueben can’t hold any spicy food and he manifests the same problem in the body and destroys Jennifer Anistons bathroom on a date. He is also obsessive compulsive and a perfectionist. (He can never be good enough) He is an analyst and has no creativity which he gains after his call to adventure and goes on the hero’s journey and kills his mother (metaphorically) and eventually gets the girl and heals all his unconscious issues in the span of a movie. Jennifer Aniston, who is running her own archetypical betrayal programs fears commitment except for her pet ferret which when shows up as an animal totem teaches us that when we are frightened that we must raise our tails and excrete bad odors but also teaches the need for a secure life.

    The other archetype present in the movie is the absent father who never speaks. (Saturn) In the movie, the father goes through a transition and by the end, he has wise words for his son but otherwise he is speechless for the entire movie. Of course in grand Hollywood style, Stiller goes from the call to action and crisis to emerging as the hero in world records time. It’s not so neat in real life.

    As I sit here contemplating my moon transits, I realize that mother emotional attachment is much bigger than mom. It is our connection to the divine. Our wounding colors our relationship with the divine. Often our spiritual connection is colored by trauma based experience of mother in childhood. If we go deep into our views of Mothers problematic qualities and behaviors, we would find they match closely to our perceptions of God’s problematic qualities and behaviors. If you accept theories of reincarnation, we can add that our conception of the mother has been shaped over a long journey of many seasons. Part of what I am healing seems to be just not only mom stuff, but my entire relationships to the feminine, and the ability to be free of self-imposed bonds.

    I see that there are many women on this forum but if you are open to reading this journey from a male point of view, a good read on the subject is “Mother, Sons and Lovers” by Michael Gurian.

    • Hello, David, welcome to Skywriter. Good input here, and you’ve given us much to think about! Donna

    • Hi David!
      Just jumping into share that I am also having the same transits as you with a 29′ Gem. Moon..what a workout we are getting too..right? 🙂
      Root and sacral..absolutely..and all the fun goodies that come with.. like waking to go pee every 2 hours. Arghhh..
      Best wishes to you David and thanks for bringing us a male’s perspective!

      Hi Donna and All~
      As I mentioned to David my Moon is very active right now and I carry the natal Moon-Pluto square..Moon/12th on ASC to Pluto on IC..and reading all of the sharing here today was difficult. Painful. And Beautiful.
      One of my daughters also carries Moon-Pluto, hers an opposition, Pluto in Scorpio/12th on ASC opposing Taurus Moon on DC. A few years past my world crumbled and post divorce and financial loss she and I WERE separated when she was 15.
      For 2 years she lived with her grandparents and it saddens me that was a cause of abandonment issues for her..I am fortunate thought that we were able to reunite and she did reside with me for a year until recently when SHE made the choice to leave the nest and find her way.
      She and I are very close and there is a lot of love between us but I do acknowledge that though we work through these issues regularly I have no idea when they will ever be ‘done’ for her..nor do I believe I can ever take away her pain..all I can do is be the best I can be for her NOW and continue to move forward and not get stuck in what has passed.
      As for myself and my mother..Alethea’s sentiments are a perfect reflection on where I also have come to be.
      Thanks Alethea for speaking so eloquently and truthfully!

      • Such a difficult and poignant situation, Kachina, and what a blessing that you are aware enough to work it through with her and for your own healing. I can only imagine, if I’d ever had a child, what her chart would be like, poor darling. Probably Moon/Pluto on the Midheaven in Scorpio! God knew what he was doing when he made that plan for my life! Donna

      • Hahaa, yes so true with the evening pee’s. My friends that don’t know better tell me I should go to a doctor;) I’ve had root chakra growth periods before but this one is pretty intense. It’s all day and night. I just keep releasing the past trauma’s. And while the body and the ego is not happy with such intense growth periods, they are truly amazing growth periods. Soul is loving it.


      • And BTW, the other really good example of the male symbiosis type is George Costanza from Seinfeld. He lives at home well into his adulthood, where’s a mask and is emotionally dependent on others. Apparantly, the creator of the program Larry David molded the character after himself.

        It is one of those ‘unfortunate’ limitations of language and literature that many of these archetypes are casted in the male form. However, we have both these male and female archetypes with us. The quintenssential hero’s journey is the Oddessey but a female can just as easy relate to the journey coming into her queen. There is an obvious lack of literature in the Jungian tradition and stories using the female going through her transformative journey. But more and more female hero’s are coming forward. I read both the female and male archetypical stories because as I said, we have both of those parts within us. The high priestess is alive in me just as much as it is in a women. I think these moon transits help us come into a greater male/female balance within ourselves.


      • Hi Kachina,

        Thanks for the kind words – I love your blog, in2themystic. You’re a great writer and I always enjoy reading your insightful perspective on all things astrological.

        I can’t help but feel like I’m hearing so much of my own life story in this post. As you’ve said, it’s both painful and beautiful to read what others have shared… much of it hit very close to home for me. In light of that, I just wanted others to understand that it’s OK to distance yourself from a truly toxic familial relationship and that doing so isn’t a matter of coldness, resentment, or anger – it is a simple matter of self-preservation. It is the separation from such individuals that affords us the opportunity to truly begin our emotional healing, as this is not something that we can do if the wounds are constantly being reopened. Perhaps enough time will pass and the individual will change their behavior, but either way we have no control over whether they do or don’t and must continue to live our own lives regardless.

        As for your daughter, try to remember the emotional healing that can also come with Moon-Pluto aspects. With a truly loving parent like you by her side who is committed to help her work through these issues, I’m sure she’ll do just fine. Blessings to you both.

      • Thank you so much Alethea. 🙂
        Love and Blessings to You, also! xxx

  25. My moon at 13 aquarius opposes Pluto at 19 leo.
    My mother would lay on the couch and act like she was having a heart attack to keep me from going out to play. I would get very scared and stay around close to her – and not go out to play w/friends.

    • Tina,

      That is a very literal example you have had. Aquarius/natural 11th house/friends, Leo/natural 5th house/pleasure. I am curious if you still have things arise that prevent your “playing” with friends when that aspect is triggered? Blessings~kachina

  26. Hi, Donna..
    Excellent post that got me to thinking. I have Pluto conj ASC (Leo – 7 degrees) square Moon which is conj my MC (Taurus). I never had problems with my mother, she was my best friend. But, when my brother was born almost 5 years after me, he caused a staph infection in her breast by biting her. Apparently she couldn’t handle that and both of us, too, so she sent me away to stay with an uncle, aunt and cousins.

    Their house was a disaster compared to ours; dirty, kids in rags, an uncle who liked to give enemas (Oh, yeah!) and I remember feeling like I was being punished for something I didn’t understand. I was there for quite a while, I do remember that and I think it has affected me my whole life. Insecurity, need to be loved, feeling like an outcast so that I had to act out. It wasn’t until recently that I have come to terms with it.

    Also, at that time, Pluto in transit was crossing my ASC. Natal Pluto is exactly square my MC and 2 degrees away from my moon which is applying. There are many more aspects to my Moon and Pluto but this is one that has affected me deeply…

    • Hi, Larry, glad you wrote about that experience…very profound interruption of mothering. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but one old timer taught me that the numerical degree of a natal planet represented the age of an experience related to that planet’s meaning (as does multiples of that number). So Pluto or the Moon in an early degree of the sign could represent an early experience where one of those planets represented a trauma with lasting effects. Donna

      • aHA! that explains your question to me about a mothering interruption around 8 years of age (8 degree moon)! i was wondering…!! 🙂

      • oh no, that means age 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc etc, my moon is at 2 degrees!!

      • What if your moon is at 0degrees? Trined by a 25 degree Pluto…every 25 years or…?

      • Are you talking about an out of sign trine, e.g. Moon at 0 Aries, Pluto at 25 Cancer? Your Moon will still get an aspect from transiting Pluto at least once during Pluto’s transit through a sign, so still approximately every 12 years. Everybody does, not just Moon-Pluto people. Donna

      • Thank you, Donna. Both planets and the MC are in the second decanate – 17 (Pluto/ASC) and 15 (Moon) respectively. So I’m not sure how that applies. The Pluto transit to my ASC happened at 4 3/4 years old, activating the experience.

        I think I remember reading Noel Tyl a long time ago (I think it was Tyl) about a factor of 7 years to 1 degree of separation in an aspect. I believe that was the equation. It was 30 years ago that I read it…my memory is swiss cheese now so be gentle…

      • Ah, Larry, I don’t work with decanates, and I never heard anything about a factor of 7 years to a degree, so I can’t help you there. Donna

  27. thank you David for the wonderful insights

  28. Pluto trine Moon and my mother left me the first time when I was 8/9 for two years, then again when I was 17, just finished school and without a job. She told me she would send the odd bit of cash so I could eat whilst I tried to find a job. She never did, so I had to follow her interstate as I couldn’t get a job and I was down to 103 lbs. She left me after I had my first baby and had no idea what to do and finally, I left her and will not see her again.

    • Oh, my dear, THAT is abandonment and ought to be criminal neglect. Donna

  29. Thanks for sharing your stories, Donna. For me, that’s when astrology really comes alive. My natal Aquarius Moon in the 5th is quincunx my natal Virgo Pluto in the 12th, so most of my issues with my mother never felt resolvable. I always wanted to make her happy, but never felt good enough. Once during the holidays – after a particularly brutal fight with my father – she took off, leaving my younger brother and me with my alcoholic dad. I still remember how overwhelmingly empty I felt, as if a part of me had died as I worried and wondered if she was okay. I think I was around 8 or 9 years old at the time. She came back, but from then on, I had constant nightmares of her being carried away in a coffin after being killed by a giant.

    Much later in life, when transiting Pluto entered my 4th house and came within a few degrees of my natal Saturn, my mother began showing signs of Alzheimer’s, and I took on the role of care manager. For the next eight years, I struggled with the demons in our relationship as I watched her slowly deteriorate. When transiting Pluto was exactly conjunct my natal Saturn (and exactly semisquare my natal Moon in the 5th), my mother took a serious turn for the worse (we were told she only had months to live), and I was filled with a profound sense of regret over the years I’d wasted being angry with her; I felt at least partially responsible for her illness. So I vowed to make her last days as comfortable as possible, and moved her to a small homey environment just a block from my home.

    Not only didn’t she die within months, she actually lasted almost four years in her new home, finally passing right after my progressed Moon squared my natal Pluto. Just like you, Donna – shortly after she passed, I had a progressed New Moon; in my case, it fell in my natal 4th. The last two years were the hardest, as I faced my own health issues, while transiting Saturn was conjunct my natal Pluto in the 12th and quincunx my natal Moon in the 5th.

    I should also mention that before my mom’s dementia became really bad, she told me she planned to come back and haunt me, which totally freaked me out since I believed she’d do it. As it ended up, she did make her presence known, but in a very loving way.

    • OMG…. that’s an intense story right there! I’m so glad you got over your anger towards your mom and took good care of her during her last years.

      I am curious to know… what is the loving way in which she made her presence felt? If its not too personal, please do share…

  30. Donna, thank you for sharing your profound tale.

    I have Scorpio Moon septile Pluto and I’m not entirely sure that it works but I have the same history of my Mother threatening to leave. I can remember the first time it happened and she said she would take me with her and packed our bags; I remember being excited! But it was a constant threat after that and I was part of the ‘problem’ by then. On the occasion when she did leave, for a few days or a week, she seemed to enjoy the power of not telling us where she’d been. Her absences were always an uneasy quiet after the storm.

    Pluto transited to my moon when I was 19 and it was then that I left my family home and haven’t lived there since. I was so happy to be ‘free’. In fact, the closest I’ve got to living near my home town is 2.5hrs drive away!

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I might feel when my Mother dies (a symptom of Neptune and Chiron being conjunct my IC?). I feel like I should be trying to break through some of the coolness I feel towards her. I want to bond with her, but don’t think it’s possible. Our phone conversations are always difficult and I still turn into a bad tempered teenager when I see her.

    As always, food for thought…

  31. Thank you Donna and everyone for your posts. I have Moon in 12th sextile Pluto in 11th and Moon square Uranus in the 10th.
    I have 9 siblings and experienced the typical alcohol drivien dynamics. I think the sextile is that I would often wish she were dead. I would step on every crack going to school and when she was in a very bad car accident, my first question was, “did anybody die?” almost hopeful. Thinking of that as an adult at first made me feel guilty but now I see it as an understandable response.
    Thanks, Kathleen

    • Hmm. I think maybe all of us wish, however fleetingly, that our parents would die and the story we have going on with them would end. Certainly we Plutonian types are more prone to it than others.

      (I hereby confess that I spent at least 10 years actively wishing my brother would die and thus his destructive influence on our family would end. He did. It didn’t.)

      And maybe that’s part of why a toxic mother’s death can be such a difficult passage…the magical child part of us thinks we did it with our wishes. Donna

  32. Such a flood of responses shows what a sensitive aspect this is. I too have a Moon/Pluto square and my mother was unavailable to me emotionally and physically. Right before she died the Moon was conjunct Pluto opposing my natal Moon. Even though I had made peace with my feelings towards her I was greatly relieved. There is a great book by Judy Hall called “The Hades Moon” that addresses Moon/Pluto aspects and the emotional issues that come with it.

  33. This might be useful as well:
    When transiting Pluto was conjunct my moon, my mother and grandmothers were fine, but we had developed a great relationship with this wonderful older woman who was babysitting my kids. We were so thrilled to have found her. One day they found her dead. Right at that conjunction..

    • The Moon can represent all the mother figures we’ve had in our formative years–like a babysitter or nanny even, or a grandmother who raised us.

      A reader has just reminded me that this is a good time to tell you all that if you’re a subscriber and haven’t requested the ebooklet, Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, it might be helpful. Look at the bottom of the post and forward a recent email article. Donna

  34. Hasn’t this topic brought up a lot of “stuff”?

    I have Moon Neptune conjunction sextile Pluto. Mother has been quite an issue.

    But, since my progressed moon has gone into Capricorn, and yes, even if it is conjunct T Pluto, hey my mother has been so much better to me, all right she wonders why I come visit her, but that’s so much better than bitching that I never come see her when I was there yesterday.

    There never was any pleasing her, when my progressed moon was in Sagittarius oh, wow, she was so demanding.

    The Neptune/Moon played out as conditional love, she pretended to love me, if I did what ever it was she wanted, but I had to guess what that might be.

    The really interesting thing happening now is that someone is projecting his mother issues onto me. Really. Will these mother issues never go away?

    Thanks for your wonderful blog Donna, and those books about moon and Pluto you wrote so many years ago, sure helped me feel like I wasn’t the only one with mother ‘issues’.

    • Hi, Judy, it’s very interesting that your progressed Moon tracks the shifts in your relationship with your mother. Of course! I would never have thought of it, but I don’t work much with the progressed Moon. Donna

  35. Hi Donna-Moon trine Pluto here, my Mom has no Natal aspects between the two.

    She left my 5 siblings and Dad once leaving a note intimating she was going to kill herself so money could be collected for insurance to cover the huge amount of debt she secretly incurred behind my Dad’s back. Police were called to search for her, our extensive property was searched, till she finally called a few days later alive and well. She came back acting as if she had been on vacation. Took a long time to forgive her for what she did to my Dad, siblings, and I, but I did and that includes her emotional aloofness, mental abuse. She feels ethereal to me, including my Grandmother who treated her the same. I had a very positive relationship with my spunky, loving Great-Grandmother. I always feel a sense of nostalgia for those whose mother’s are maternal, loving, and present.

    Our relationship is better these days, but there always seems to be a gulf I cannot cross with her; perhaps it’s projection on my part? I hope not! In any case, thank you for sharing, it REALLY helps!

    All the best to you Donna.

    • Is the gulf proJECTion or proTECTion, Jade? Sometimes, despite forgiveness work that seems complete, it’s better to keep a certain distance from an abusive person who hasn’t done any work on changing their patterns. Forgiveness doesn’t mean letting yourself go back to being a doormat. Donna

  36. I have Moon sextile Pluto and had a very difficult relationship with my mother. She died suddenly when Pluto was a couple of degrees past conjunction with my Moon and Uranus was on my IC. After I got over the shock of it, I was relieved she was gone, felt released from bondage – I’d always felt I had to conceal myself and my life from her because she was so controlling and had polar opposite values from mine about so many things. Not content with leaving me to live my life, she would pry and try to catch me out. Mostly about whether or not I was having sex (this in my twenties!). Her Saturn was conjunct my Scorpio Moon, so not surprising in some ways.

    My son has Moon opp Pluto, and I was very ill after giving birth for reasons outside of my control. He has had separation anxiety of one form or another since, but we are very close, and I’ve worked on this with him. So I’m hoping we can make the aspect empowering for him.

    • Thats interesting… I have Moon opposition Pluto in my chart and I know that my mum fell seriously ill right after I was born… her in-laws (my paternal grandparents) were extremely cruel to her and she was suffering from malnutrition. She fell so ill that her life was in danger. Also, she never breastfed me because her malnutrition prevented her from lactating.

  37. Donna, you’re right, it IS protection and thanks for challenging me to think about my choice of words. Not a doormat anymore and I limit my contact, living out of state helps too. It’s remarkable, the theme of abandonment, physical or emotional with this aspect.

    • Good for you, Jade! Yes, I have been quite stunned by the similarities of people sharing on this post. And now that I think of it, my mom didn’t threaten to leave or die, she just up and left abruptly from time to time. Donna

  38. A lot of good stuff here when most needed.
    I noted your comment Donna about the Plutonian abuser,
    basically……I have Pluto last degree cancer,2nd, trine scorpio moon 6th ,24, pisces jupiter 28,10th.
    Last July’s eclipse fell right on it & sparked a transcendant experience, lasting until the Jan 10 eclipse on my 22o capricorn mars. 8th. & fully terminating with the June 26, July 11 eclipses, on my N chiron, with T chiron on my MC!
    I guess I was emotionally abandoned early on….I used to tear my hair out & eat it, so they put a cap on my head to stop that. My Mother didn’t live in truth, & when I was 8/9?, she had developed a secret drinking, social drugs habit, functioning but NOT THERE. SHe had a love hate relationship wiuht her sister which she transferred onto me, which effect caused me to live out her dream, rather than support WHO I WAS. Her mars was 27o cancer on my pluto, She castigated me for doing the things she encouraged/ taught me to do. ( Be yourself) when she wouldn’t couldn’t. SHe got worse into my teenage years ( competition) so I of course got pregnant & married, compromising my ability to utilize my many innate gifts. Of course he was alcoholic too, competative, and blocked my efforts at self actualizing. ( took me a few moments to conjure up that word even now 40 years later.) I divorced him because he was also gay or bi, just as AIds was becoming widespread.
    I flourished on my own for 20 years until the socio economic changes kept eliminating my professional offerings.
    I had major surgery, & got engaged to be married, ( note he fell in love with a convalesent, needing nurturing….) ANd with his “Mothering”
    care & financial support I began to flourish again.
    ( his chiron conjunct my sun)
    Death knell! He wanted a dependant woman! At the time my Mother blamed me for his leaving…….I didn’t play the game the way she would have ( false, manipulative totally dependant in him!) This all occured when Pluto went into sacorpio, first conjunct my NN then opposed my taurus sun & uranus, finally conjuncting my 24o scorpio moon. I did rebuilf d muy business to better than it had been but socio economics kicked harder…………..
    With Gemini rising I am flexible & resourceful, but have not been able to get ahead of the changes for suffcient comfort,remaining at the survival level.
    WHen my son abandoned me through & drug induced hostility, then death, a female friend, ( also with pluto trine moon) rescued me, & coached me back into productivity over several years…………OK I am sailing along,
    doing great, SHE gets sick, becomes the victim & I the rescuer…………then she becomes the s abuser……..classic case! I refuse to be a victim again…… she abandons me. I am having a struggle with this on an emotional level, even tho I can intellectualize it to perfection! I have been abandoned in at least 5 past lives……..through death, not because of my actions, as parent/child, child/ parent, mate.
    The whole thing ( july eclipse last year) hit like a 2 X 4 out of nowhere, obviously karmic, I get it! the lesson…..I just can’t get past it. You know put a smile on your face, & sooner or later you will feel happy. I can’t make myself move forward because the reward for giving 150% is always loss! I’m in a jupiter return, have good prospects…………I just DON”T CARE ANY MORE!
    I read Healing Pluto Problems years ago!
    ANy ideas?

    • Read it again? I’ve had tons of people tell me they read it again after 20 years and were finally ready to use certain parts of it. It is still available in hard copy from RedWheel/ Weiser, plus there are used copies around. Donna

  39. Wow, yes, my mother did blackmail me emotionally so this hit home. If she was upset
    with me, she wouldn’t speak to me or one time
    when I was very young she actually left without telling me where she was going so all day I was
    scared where she went. Even now women tend to do this to me in general. I am having a difficult time with a niece who is giving me the cold treatment and not talking to me. So the Moon in our charts tend to attract the same kind of women in our lives for those of Moon square Pluto.
    Is it so bad if my son has Moon trine Pluto or is it
    the same type of thing for him? Yikes. What
    kind of mom was I????

    • A reader asked on another thread what oppositions between the Moon and Pluto were like, and since it’s appropriate to this discussion, I’ve cut and pasted it here.

      The opposition is an aspect of resistance and projection, so here the person is rejecting the Plutonian qualities of the mother and saying, “not me, I’m not going to be like her!” Then they bend over backward to be as different from the mother (and the mothering role) as possible. The mother may have been very controlling, and so there could have been a power struggle and alienation from the mother.

      What the person is resisting depends on the signs involved. People born with Pluto in Leo and Aquarian planets of all kinds carried the Aquarian rebelliousness to the extreme, for Aquarians balk at any attempt to control or possess them. I’d imagine that people with Pluto in Libra opposed by Moon in Aries would resist the obsession with women’s appearance and fashion. The Moon’s sign and aspects has much to do with what we’re taught is the “proper” women’s role. Donna

  40. Forgot to add. My Mother is still living! She will be 95 in Oct.having pulled through the recent eclipses, with OMG! 8 sun 13 venus, 0 sappho libra , 3 pluto, 15 saturn, 19 Amor, 22 moon, 27 mars, all in cancer!
    11 karma capricorn………..& bless his heart my Dad’s astroid/ star? name is 3 her chart!
    That is one tough lady!
    I said goodbye to her 2 years ago when her mind was going. In later life she tried to correct her earlier errors ( she grew & evolved) and the tradition passed down to me, & now my daughter, working to clean up the dysfunctional family mess!
    She’s doing a pretty good job, my Grandchildren are in a better place than any of us!

  41. So what is a Quintile with Moon and Pluto usually indicate? Or is this dependent upon location and

    • Oh, one day I’ll do an article on quintiles, but essentially it does show a gift or talent, even one’s particular genius. When the Moon is involved, it could be a talent that the mother had and then nurtured in the child as well. Here it might be a gift for healing, herbalism, mediumship, ritual, magic, or a natural therapist. (The kind of thing where it’s known both in the family and by outsiders that Aunt so and so had “the gift.”

      (I’m reminded here of one of my favorite movies of all time, Practical Magic, with Sandra Bullock and Michelle Pfeiffer as two sisters in a family of hereditary witches. Their little girls were witches in the making too. Very sweet movie, with Moon-Pluto qualities.)

      • Wow, I never looked at this aspect in my chart until now and no astrologer ever pointed it out to me. I have moon quintile both pluto and uranus both of which are heavily aspected to Chiron. i have been into healing most of my adult life but my mediumship and alchemical abilities didn’t come online fully well into my adult life afters some heavy duty transits. But when it did, it did so strongly and a bit scary at first. Mediumship, clairvoyance, a kundalini experience etc… Nobody in my family including my mother activated any conscious healing abilities. However, through my inner dream work and a vision I saw that it was part of my family lineage back thousands of years. Likely, it was on my mothers side. So it has been sleeping for awhile. I also realize that their is so much wounding that is within my family DNA and in many ways I feel that I’ve been healing the wounding my families lineage.

      • David, the Pluto and Uranus in Virgo alone can be an excellent aspect for a healer, but with a quintile to the Moon, fabulous! And it often does come out during outer planet transits, particularly the midlife series of Pluto square natal Pluto, Uranus opposite natal Uranus, and Neptune square natal Neptune. Are those the transits you mentioned? Donna

      • Donna, Those are indeed the suscpects that drove me deep into my inner depths.

        I wish I knew then, what I know now. And I wish i would have known to pick up the phone and call a qualified astrologer to tell me to put my affairs in order because those transits were totally debilitating. I did have a cadre of wonderful healers/teachers assisting me through my journey.

        Thank you for being such a wonderful source of information. I enjoyed your recent article in the Mountain Astrologer. I need to reread it.


      • Glad you liked it, David. Donna

  42. This would be wonderful, Donna, as my son has
    this Quintile and since he has a powerful 6th house I always hoped he could somehow become
    a healer. He has had health issues over his 32
    years and I am hoping that he can turn that into
    healing ablilities. I am a Reiki Master so perhaps
    in time he will come into his own, too. Took me
    51 years maybe not so long for him.
    Yes, I saw the movie you mentioned. Never thought of the Moon-Pluto theme. Interesting.

    • So often people who wind up becoming healers have persistant health issues that are hard to diagnose and hard to fix, and I often think the reason for the health difficulties is to create a curriculum in the healing arts in which their first and primary patient is themselves. Donna

      • well, people with persistent and chronic hard to diagnose and hard to fix problems tend to become experts on this stuff because if they stop at one doctor’s visit, they still have a problem.
        ps i put that movie on Netflix today!

  43. I am an exception. I just did a major Reiki healing for a friend with stage 4, She is back to work and I have never been healthier!
    OH & I DID call my Mother in the nursing facility yesterday. My Brother & his Wife are on vacation, so I thought I would check in.
    They put her on the phone with me. SHe sounded very ploeased to hear from me…..but she can no longer form coherent words, frustrating. so I told all the news from here……..then she f drifted…They were playing some kind of game there, laughing, cheering, praising, someone’s performance, & soon caught my Mother’s attention SHe disappeared..( put the phone down in her lap?)
    I finally shouted “I love you” and hung up.
    It was reassuring, that behind the scenes view. The staff there are excellent, love working with their patients. SHe is in good hands.

  44. Donna, I have wondered how I got along without
    your website as you have taught me so much
    in just a short time. Been studying astrology on my own for 25 yrs and one never stops learning.
    Thank you for your powerful insights.

    • I’m so glad you’re getting a lot from it, Mary. Welcome to Skywriter! And you’ll never stop learning–after more than 40 years in astrology, I’m learning as much from this blog from what people share in the comment section as anyone else. Donna

  45. I’ve been studying astrology on my own as a hobby for 30 years and the Internet has been the most wonderful tool! Every a.m. I visit, cafeastrology, (Holiday Mathis), Daykeepers Journal, and yahoo’s astrology and now another one in Donna’s blog:)

    As a natal moon/pluto conjunct in early Virgo, I’ve read the blog postings with interest. My mother never actually threatened death, but she used emotional abandonment as a manipulation tool (if you do want I want, I’ll love you, otherwise, you’re on your own). And as number 5 out of 7 children (my mother had 5 children by the age of 25), I actually lived with another couple from about 2 – 3 1/2. When I did return, I remember being very afraid when my mother would travel without us.

    What’s really interesting is that I’m the only one of her children who will call her out on her “little white lies” and other manipulation tactics (my Sag sun, mercury and jupiter probably help here and with her Gemini sun, mercury and mars it’s bound to happen).

    While I admit there were many years of tension and misunderstanding between my mom and me, I’ve been doing my best to heal it as I’ve aged. I’m now 50 and she’s 76, and we probably get on the best now that we ever have. I also made it a goal to make peace w/ her before she dies so that I wouldn’t fall apart afterwards. No one is happy when their mother dies, but if you can do “the work” before the event, then it’s just the normal grief and not all of the other stuff piled on top. Let’s hope that’s true anyway!!

    • It sounds like you’re doing amazing work on this issue, Karen, and if it doesn’t change what you went through in this life, I’d have to believe it will make a difference in releasing both of you from any karmic obligations for the future. Donna

      • Thanks for your reply Donna! And wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

        My 10 yrs w/ my ex-husband turned out to be a huge karmic debt repayment. When I divorced him in 2002 (he had what I’ll refer to as the “Tiger Woods Syndrome”), I went to a psychic who told me we’d been together in a former life (which I always believed; I had told him since I met him he was Cajun French from New Orleans) … turns out we lived together in New Orleans and I was the man and he was the woman. It was information that affected the way I handled the entire divorce; took the high road on everything, gave him the majority of our belongings, didn’t ask for any money and took half of the debt. My ex was a very non-metaphysical type, but still I looked him in the eye and said, “I know you don’t believe any of this, but I do, so I need to tell you. We were together before, I was the man and you were the woman and I did you wrong. This time together was my karmic debt to you. It is now repaid. My higher self is telling your higher self that we are now done. We are both free now.”

        That knowledge has affected how I look at every relationship now; even things I read about on CNN and Yahoo about people killing each other, etc. It always makes me wonder if there is some sort of karma involved (well, I guess if there wasn’t, there certainly is now)!

      • Wonderful story, Karen. You don’t need this, it sounds like, but for others who might be struggling with some Plutonian connections with family or romantically, here’s a post that people have found helpful: Donna

  46. Karen, your karmic situation speaks to me. I have struggled to reach the high ground regards my recent friendship, which is clearly karmic as well.
    Now time to move on……
    Sychronistically with beginning to re-read Pluto problems…..I have discovered that my 14 year old Grandaughter, has her scorpio pluto conjunct my moon by 1o59′. in her 9th H my 6th H. SHe doesn’t have sufficient knowledge of astrology ( although this is obviously her starting point in that field) to read it herself, so I will pass on the important pieces to her to help her navigate her teen years……..thus begins a new plutonian relationship that will help heal my heart, and benefit her as she sets out in life!
    Yes she is very open to it!

    • Hi, Pat, one of my fellow astrologers says that a strong Pluto in a person’s chart often refers to the grandmother having a powerful influence in the person’s life. You can clearly be an initiator for your granddaughter. Donna

  47. Yes now that you bring it up, my Maternal Grandmother was a strong & comforting influence in MY life. She was like me a Taurus, so she understood the complexities better than ,my Libra Mother.
    My beloved Pisces daughter, ( we are very close) is also dealing with a different set of tasks to work on in this incarnation. Does it cartwheel every other generation, I wonder?

  48. My mother did not die when Pluto squared my Moon in Scorpio (5th house) in 1991 (although Pluto is square my moon, natally). Saturn is now transiting my 4th house, so it will be interesting to see how many family members will pass on. So far, one uncle (mother’s brother).

  49. “My mom didn’t threaten suicide, she just told me all the time that she was going to leave us and we’d never see her again.”
    “Mine is always telling me she’s going to die and I’ll be sorry when she’s gone. She’s sick a lot, but not that sick.”

    sounds like my mom… blah blah blah.

  50. I have Moon in Sagittarius squared by Pluto in Virgo. I don’t have any of the threatening/unstable/suicidal mom issues a lot of people have been talking about, and I’m actually posting mainly because I want to show that Moon-Pluto aspects don’t have to mean that. My mom is unusually wise and better at boundaries than the moms of most people I know.

    So how does Moon square Pluto come out for me? My mom is severely handicapped. She’s been handicapped as long as I can remember (and my memory goes way way back), and in a wheelchair since I was about 9. She’s had recurrent health issues and as a result I have always been afraid that she was going to die soon. She was actually told when I was 6 that she probably wouldn’t live to see me graduate from high school. (Being wise, she didn’t tell me that at the time–in fact, she didn’t tell me that until I was in my thirties–but on some level I must have sensed it.)

    • Even though she actually sheltered you from her doctor’s dire prediction, you picked up on the threat of losing her, so it’s still an issue around the possible loss of your mother. Donna

  51. PS When transiting Pluto conjuncted my Moon in Sagittarius, my maternal grandmother died. She was almost 91. It was, oddly enough, a really uplifting and beautiful death. She had a stroke and was in the hospital for two months, drifting in and out of lucidity, so many many of her extended family members and lifelong friends had time to come be with her and say goodbye. While she was dying I witnessed some intensely beautiful moments between her and my mother, who spent most of those two months at her bedside.

  52. Moon 17 Aquarius in exact opposition to the midpoint of Pluto at 10 Leo and mercury at 25 Leo..
    I loved my mother very much , she was a younger sister from a past life and we had other types of relationships as well. She was a friend. She had some hard knocks in life and never seemed to be able to get over it..
    I remember she and my father never raised their voices to each other until they thought we were asleep and then it was in whispered mode, towards the end of their relationship.
    She cried herself to sleep but never showed us this face during the day. My heart broke for her but there was nothing I could do to get her over it. During the day she told the best original jokes and made us laugh.

    My mother was in the shipyards during WWII, and exposed to radiation there. As a consequence she had thyroid problems and had her thyroid removed when I was little. I saw the scar and clamps on her neck and thought she may be in danger of her head falling off.
    The loss of her thyroid caused her extreme nervousness etc and her marriage fell apart and we went to Boarding school for 4 years. I KNEW she would come after us when she could, even though my brother and I were the only kids there who lived there winters and summers and were called orphans.
    She did come after us and never had another thyroid episode until she went through menopause ( hormone changes effect people with thyroid problems) and then was institutionalized for 2 years. She lived out the rest of her life normally after that.
    Seeing my mothers behavior when she was in menopause and I in my Sr. Year of High school was extremely upsetting to me to say the least. She was a good woman and I couldn’t stand seeing her so disoriented.
    When she passed away I was 31 years old and had never cried and had learned to stuff my emotions just like I stuffed and transcended physical pain in Boarding school, so I could continue my battle with the Nuns to protect other girls.
    Transferring this to emotional pain was NOT good. When my mother passed I did not react for a month and then all hell broke loose and I cried for a year. My moon is quinqunx the Venus / Saturn conjunction, parallel in Cancer.
    When she passed transit mercury was 7 Libra and transit Pluto was 12 Libra and my ascendant was midpoint them at 9 Libra. Transit Saturn opposed my moon and was conjunct the mercury/ Pluto mid-point.
    Back then people did not know as much about the thyroid and they say its epidemic today specially amongst women but effects men as well. Probably due to all the radiation since they started with the bomb tests in N.M. in the 40’s. I make sure after a rain my grand daughter has Iodine on her wrist and we do cleanses periodically.

    • PS/ For the cruel and unusual Pluto Mercury Moon story…I did battle with a crazy Nun with two different colored eyes. The Church used their craziest Nuns to brutalize Native Indian children and psychologically messed up a lot of the children.
      The nun in charge of the littlest girls…1st through 4th grade was the one I took on. It was her birthday and I wanted to get her a symbol that would show her how cruel she was , so she could see herself. I climbed the forbidden 7 chalk hills and KNEW it would be there. On the 4th Chalk Hill I found a prickly pear cactus . I had been sliding into them all along the way. Yes that was it! It took me a while to get it out with the roots intact. It took me all day from early morning to just before sun set to make this journey. I finally got it back to the little girls play room without being detected by other Nuns.
      There she was. I ran forward saying, ” Happy Birthday!”. She was shocked and slowly took the cactus and wavered as if she were going to faint. Then through chocked sobs she cried,” You are the first one to ever think of me on my birthday!” . After chocking out this info. she ran from the room wracked in sobs .
      I stood there with my mouth open, and realized she was so cruel because she had NEVER been loved. She sobbed uncontrollably for 3 days after that. Finally she went to the Sister Superior and said I did that on purpose to her and she wanted me punished. But everyone was puzzled and later she got other nuns to try ad HIT me psychologically but I could always see through their tricks and they could not get me.
      By the next year she settled down a bit and showed me how to make a kite which she wanted me to fly in a watermelon patch. I had to jump huge watermelons and fly the kite at the same time. She stood to the side , the wind blowing her black habits and laughed uproariously. It was the only time I ever saw her smile and laugh. After that she would revert back to her cruel self and our war continued. When one has never been loved they can only handle a little bit at a time and its a long slow road to recovery. I like to think that she learned a valuable lesson and slowly made progress. I know it gave me a deeper
      understanding of what the lack of Love can do.

  53. Besides a Moon/Pluto aspect (sextile), I have 2 other indicators that my relationship with my mother should be cruel and unusual (like moon being placed in the 8th, and conjunct Lilith) but it wasn’t. I can’t relate to the “Mommy Dearest” horror stories, or to a relationship steeped in emotional blackmail or any of the sort. Should there be a more positive intepretation for the softer aspects, or is it really hard all around? I *can*, however, relate to the fear of losing mother as early family life was volatile (an understatement, actually) until my parents split when I was 11. My most toxic relationship was and still is with my dad…who happens to share the same Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, and Saturn with me (we’re 30 years apart).

    • there are many different ways for that aspect to express itself–such as a family breakup that results in a permanent alienation with your Dad, your Mom then becoming a single parent. Donna

  54. Amen to that, Genevieve! No doubt, if we could compare the charts of the women there, there had to be complicating factors, but it was decades ago and I don’t recall anything other than that they all had Moon-Pluto aspects. Donna

  55. Holy Cow! I posted last summer 7/18/2010, about my Mother & her 27o Cancer Mars on my 29o Pluto, in 2nd house, & her drug alcohol addiction, still living 95………. I completely forgot about this part of the story! In May or June of 1959, she tried to commit suicide by overdosing. My daughter was 14 or 15 months, I was pregnant with her Brother………..& had to drop out of college………..a not completely concensual, albiet, married, situation. Although I would have gone to that town to give birth in Sept., family Dr., being there………I just stayed through the summer to watch my 2 Brothers. ( She having been put in the State Mental Institution, for trying to kill herself.)
    Jupiter was on my 24oo Scorpio Moon, trine 29o Cancer Pluto ,Saturn 5o Capricorn ,conjunct my Chiron @ 6o, Mars & Venus@ 29oCancer on June 1 & 6 / 59, NN 10 Libra…………………………….
    Anne Ortlee keeps mentioning we have until Sept 19 to resolve recent eclipse issues…………., ( July 1st eclipse was 9o Cancer 3o past my Chiron………) Mars hits 29o Cancer on that, day that we leave the shadow of the Mercury retrograde. And as I write all this…………..the suspicion dawns………
    Will my Mother make her 96th Birthday on Oct 2? If not it will be a blessing for all around…………..Words were her weapon of choice, and to have lost that and live on..may be painful for her inside her mind, no way to tell.
    I have been passing fair at psychological astrology from a natal chart. Recently have read Green’s Pluto The evolutionary Journey of the Soul, and The Eagle And the Lark! Now I begin to see the larger picture of predictive astrology!

  56. Gosh Donna, I am pretty overwhelmed too, reading about everyone’s experiences. Speaking as a Moon exactly semisextile AND parallel Pluto, things with my mother were OK and sometimes even helpful, though distant and sort of disjointed – but I see now she wasn’t really capable on that level, due to her backgroun. On a deeper level though, I had to come back to my birthplace to see how really weird things were, and it is more on an energetic level than in the physical – but still stressful! I will also mention that my Moon is opposite Venus and Saturn and squaring Neptune (and she is a Pisces)! While many stories reported here have been outright abusive, either physically, verbally, etcetera – it was “pleasant” on the surface with her being talkative, non-confrontational, mousy and a victim, unless she was complaining, which was often, about someone else (then she can go on and on forever and never let go). Energetically, however, you can just feel the jealousy and the attempt to use passive-aggressive techniques to undermine you, and that it is so subtle you could skip right over her. Upon discovery, and confrontation, she cannot handle it and runs – and returns when she thinks you have forgotten or at least won’t bring it up. I totally forgive her for this, realizing she doesn’t really know better and is scared to leave victim consciousness and to forgive – and I do hope one day she decides to be brave enough to let go and embrace love.

  57. Oh god donna…the worm holes of priceless info just will not stop and here we go..just got mega hooked on this one.
    Thank you. I have Moon in Virgo conj Pluto in the 7th house. I am the third of three daughters. My mother was alcoholic, smoked and finally got sober when I was 13 yrs. she never quit smoking. M sisters and I adored her..she was a prolific artist not so much professionally but privately. she died from complications of lung cancer (sepsis after surgery) in 1997. I was 37 yrs old just one year younger than she was when she had me. I consider this a potent circle “cycle”. Both sisters have pluto inviolvemnts. Oldest has Pluto sun conjunct in Leo 2nd sister has Pluto Square sun. We loved her and miss her but the damage done during the alcoholic years left considerable damage which we have all dealt with and educated ourselves about but the need for therapy is still clear today. Okay thats my imput hope it adds to what is already a loaded section!

    • P.S Mother was an Aquarius with a Mars in Scorpio in the 12th

  58. I have moon opposite pluto.when I was young my mom nurtured me as I got older and through my thirties I always felt I let her down and I was not good enough, we seemed to argue frequently. . As I aged we became very close, actually she was my best friend, she passed at 91 in my arms.

  59. Hi Donna, I accidently found this link whilst looking at the info on semi-squares but it is certainly relevent to me.
    My continuing Plutonic experiences began when my mother had started gassing herself when she was around 8 months pregnant with me. Her mother-in-law came in and stopped her before she lost consciousness. As far as I know, this became their secret, I can’t imagine that either of them would have told my father.
    Then, when I was finally born, two weeks late, blue & purple in colour, jet black eyes, jet black hair two inches long that refused to lie down (regardless of all my mother’s later attempts to make it), and finger & toe nails so long they were curling around my fingers & toes; she pronounced to the midwife, ‘that is not my baby, take it away!’ To which the midwife replied, ‘I can assure you that it is, no one else in this room has just given birth!’ I was removed and brought back the next day and, as my mother would say, of course she took me in her arms. To this day I don’t quite believe that part of her story; or it was just a co-incidence that there are no baby pictures of me but a good number of my older brother and my younger siblings. Added to this were her hilarious stories of how things went after we were home.
    My brother 1 1/2 yrs older, could have been a pin up for a baby poster, round and rosey, bright blue eyes and soft blond hair, hmmm. Now at that time we lived in a small rural village and all the shop keepers were keen to see the new arrival. My mother had other ideas – it was an unusually warm summer but my mother covered me from top to toe in blankets and raced through the village doing the shopping and finding different excuses so as not to let anyone see me. Also during this warm summer she would put me outside the front door in the evening in my pram and then forget all about me! She’d go upstairs to bed about midnight (she used to read in the evenings) and get to the top of the stairs before realising that the pram, with me in it, was missing from the hallway. She’d do this during the day as well and one time after getting home, she was bringing in the groceries and had forgotten to put the brake on; the pram started rolling down the hill and my mother saw it from the window & came out screaming for help to stop the pram. It had gathered speed and was heading for the main road when a neighbour managed to grab it as it passed by.
    Then we all heard about how my brother had cried for 23 out of 24 hours, for nearly two years. When I came along, I didn’t cry at all, for anything (what a good baby I was!) not even to be fed, my mother had to wake me up to feed me.
    Of course, neither of us knew just what a disconnect this created between us, one that sadly lasted on and off all her life. There were many moments of freindship at odd times in our lives and she was a very witty, sociable, extremely glamorous, friendly, generous and kind-hearted person. She was just the worst mother on the planet – or so I would think. But then so too would family friends, neither of my parents should have had children, they hadn’t a clue but then who does??
    They both had histories that made it impossible for either of them to develop into reasonably good parents. And those invisible wounds left their marks on all of us – off I went and made some of the same mistakes and some new ones all my own and I did it all my way. After all, it took until I was in my mid-forties, and they were both dead, before I even recognised that my parents had had any effect on me at all. Not because I was ‘in denial’; I actually had no daughter/parent connection to them at all, it simply did not exist, from my point of view the relationship consisted of fury, rage, anger, silence and fighting, arguing & screaming. I discovered that I came from a long line of drama queens and I certainly wasn’t one to back down from anything.
    As a child I resented any and all interference in my life and firmly believed they had no right to order me around. The family lived in uneasy truces and lurched from one arguement to the next.
    After I started teaching myself astrology, I discovered that I have Moon conjunt Saturn in Scorpio. In one of the groups I attended, someone asked me about this placement, theirs was in another sign; I just said that if they’d seen either Fatal Attraction or Basic Instinct they may get some idea of the dark side of Moon in Scorpio.
    I discovered many other things; my mother had Ascendant, Sun, Moon, Mercury from 07 to 17 of Leo, square my Saturn Moon. My father had Pluto & Mars conjunct at 06 & 08 of Cancer, in a widish square to my Sun in Aries. His & his mother’s Ascendant were both in Scorpio. My grandmother’s was widely conjunt my Scorpio Moon and had her Sun Venus conjunction in opposition, along with my father’s Moon. My mother’s South Node was also widely conjunct my Moon in Scorpio, with her North Node conjunct Chiron both conjunct my father’s Moon in Taurus.
    Apart from the Pluto connections, my grandmother’s Moon was at 04 Capricorn, in opposition to my father’s Pluto Mars & also square to my Sun. My Saturn Moon fell in my father’s & grandmother’s 12th House and my Mother’s 4th House – all those family secrets & skeletons in the closet!! My Uranus in Cancer conjunct my mother’s Pluto in her 12th House. It is also conjunct my South Node in the 8th House and at the mid-point of my father’s Pluto Mars conjunction to his Sun Jupiter conjunction. In his chart Cancer was intercepted in the 8th, and the two conjunctions stretched from the cusp of my 8th across my 9th.
    My grandmother never picked me up or spoke directly to me; except when she tied me to the tree in the front garden to force me to walk, telling my mother that I was perfectly capable but was just being stuborn in refusing. She wasn’t wrong, but hell was about to freeze over before I would get up and walk. I sat there the whole day, refused food and fuumed silently.
    From that time on, rejection was very much active on my part, even as my mother would try to hug me and tell her friends how much she liked my straight blonde hair and blue eyes; because they had been admiring my choclate box pretty dark, dark brown curly haired, velvet brown eyed, frilly, girly girly baby sister! (We’re the best of friends as adults but fought like wild cats as children – I had no time for either my sister or baby brother, only my older brother).
    I was highly amused to discover that my mother’s progressed Moon in Cancer entered her 12th House the summer after I was born, when she was hiding me from the villagers. My own progressed Moon in Scorpio entered my 12th House in the Autumn. Just as interesting was discovering that 28 years later, the month my daughter was born my prgressed Moon was back in Scorpio and entered my 12th House.
    My daughter’s Nodes are almost exactly opposite mine, she has her Moon in Capricorn in a wide conjunction to her South Node conjunct Venus. These are square to her Saturn which is in the middle of her Mars, Saturn, Pluto stellium in her 1st House in Libra.
    As time goes on, so do the Pluto Moon connections (along with many, many others). Two of my 3 grandson’s have Pluto Moon conjunct in Sag (conjunct my Mars in my 1st House!). My first grandson has Scorpio Ascendant with Pluto in his 1st House also conjunct my Mars but closer to an opposition to my Jupiter. Then, two days after my birthday my 4th and only granddaughter was born with the Cardinal T-Square (Pluto opposite Jupiter square Uranus and her Sun at 04 Aries), she also has her Moon conjunct Pluto and these are conjunct her mother’s moon!.
    I’ve, rattled on amd on so will end this now.There are far too many connections to fit them all in; not to mention all the past life connections to most of the people I’ve had major contacts with on my travels.
    Donna, thanks for this site and keeping these comments open. I should perhaps look at the 2nd Saturn Return Project as I’m STILL trying to recover from its return to Scorpio! You’d think I’d be used to it by now!!
    Blessings to all on the sometimes rocky road of Moon Pluto (& Saturn).

    • Thanks for contributing, Deirdre. A very sad story, such a lot of suffering, but so very typical of Moon-Pluto combinations. Donna Cunningham

  60. My mother and I had a horrible relationship, especially as she was severely NPD sociopathic. Checked out the transits for her death, pluto in 26 Scorpio, conjunct my natal moon/Mars, and square my natal 6 house pluto. My moon/Mars square my pluto

  61. I have Moon sextile Pluto. My mom not just threathened me but also punished me with fake suicide attempts when i was a child (since i was 8) So many times i thought she was dead (and that it was my fault) while i was waiting in the hospital. She is still alive. I don’t talk to her. She was also alcoholic, chainsmoker, misused psychiatric drogs and exeptionally creative in emotional abuse.

    • I’m so sorry for what you had to contend with, Watersong.She was the worst kind of Plutonian. A sextile from the Moon to Pluto doesn’t show that kind
      of mother however–if anything, it would show how you managed to survive. I’d look instead for a combination of Pluto and/or SCorpio placements.


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