Everyone seems to have some sort of obsession in life, from a need for dark chocolate to a need for something much darker.

In astrology each planet is said to exert some influence in our lives that helps us grow and evolve to our potential. As the planet Pluto travels through each house of our horoscope it brings us the opportunity to transform ourselves in a way that heals and improves us.

Take out the psychic garbage.

When Pluto transits our 8th or 12th house, our energies become intensely focused on our inner growth, spiritual development and transforming ourselves profoundly on a deep psychological level. We become an excavator, digging into our past and bringing to the surface, fears, psychological problems and neuroses that have plagued us over the course of our lives. Think of Pluto as a roto-rooter that allows us to drill into the center of our psyche and uncover the psychic garbage contained within us.

We can then bring it up to the surface of our consciousness to confront, change and improve ourselves for the better.

Astrologers believe that Pluto’s influence can connect us to the psychology of who we are as we become aware of how our subconscious mind has repressed unpleasant experiences from our childhoods. Pluto’s energies give us the remarkable capacity to tap into our intuition and psychic abilities to discover knowledge we were never aware of before. Our keen ability to access our unconscious mind helps us uncover compulsions and obsessions that have influenced us. This can be a time when we seek enlightenment through activities that bring self-knowledge such as psychotherapy, meditation, or frequenting a spiritual retreat.

Our secrets can poison us unless we face them.

We may have learned from childhood to hide elements of our personality and behavior that aren’t likely to be approved of by others, as well as society in general.

Since the 8th and 12th house of our horoscope rules our secrets, during this period of our life we may discover hidden aspects of ourselves that we’ve avoided showing others or that are buried in our psyche. Pluto is like a high-powered flashlight that lets us see into places where the light has never shone—allowing us to understand things about ourselves we never knew. Unless we confront those hidden secrets, their toxic effects can sabotage our self-esteem and life in a powerful way, as they did for a client named Jonah.

Jonah came from a poor family with only one parent to take care of him and his five brothers and sisters. In order to survive he learned how to shoplift food, clothing and anything his family needed. Then, he graduated to committing worse crimes such as muggings, burglaries and even armed robberies. He is now an adult, but he continues to feel a great deal of shame over his past criminal behavior. He searches his mind for how he can repay the debts he owes and ponders what he can do to right these wrongs. The stores he stole from are no longer there for him to make amends and his neighborhood victims have moved away. His punishment for his crime has been a life of feeling guilty, inferior and inadequate.

It’s now time to finally get help to confront the secret he’s had for so many years, since he can no longer live with the pain and shame.

We can confront our unconscious compulsions.

When Pluto transits a person’s 8th or 12th house, their unconscious motivations rise to the surface to help them understand the ways they are empowered by them, as well as how they may be sabotaged by them. At this time, we are compelled to come to grips with an obsession, compulsion, or even an addiction—and confront it. Pluto’s influence may force us, in a positive way, to overcome it.

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