[This article originally appeared on Sept. 11, 2010.]
With Pluto about to go direct, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on a very Plutonic topic, obsession.
Occasionally a client will admit to me that he or she is obsessed with a relationship, but it’s something few people want to admit. Obsessions can cause a great deal of suffering, embarrassment, and shame – another Plutonic feeling – and so we often try to shove it down, forget about it, or overcome it. At the very least, we attempt to hide it so that others won’t know.
I unabashedly advise my clients to focus more attention on the object of their obsession, not less. Some might think that’s mentally unsound, but let me explain my reasoning.
In my observation over the years, there’s always a reason for an obsession. It may not be obvious, and often it’s not what the obsession seems to be about. But usually there is a compelling reason. To my way of thinking, it’s mentally unhealthy to stay stuck in the obsession, but you won’t get unstuck by ignoring it. The very fact that it’s knocking you so hard over the head and heart means that you have an issue that needs to be resolved. The only way to resolve it is to confront it head on.
Astrology is an amazingly effective tool for doing just that, and I’ve helped many clients figure out what is going on to cause them such distress.
Before I discuss this further, let me emphasize that I’m not talking about clinical obsessive-compulsive disorder, which requires professional intervention. Even in that case, though, confronting the tendency to obsess is critical in getting help.
With few exceptions, the clients who come to me with an obsession are fixated on a certain person, or someone is obsessed with them. Sometimes they are in a relationship already and are having difficulties because one partner is obsessed with the other. In these cases, looking at Pluto in the synastry chart is the first order of business.
There are several Pluto aspects that indicate this kind of attachment, but the ones I look for are the conflicting aspects (oppositions and squares) between one partner’s Pluto and the other’s Moon, Mars, Venus, or Sun. Other Pluto aspects can spell trouble, too, but those are the ones that consistently pop up. If one person has a difficult Pluto aspect in the natal chart to start with, the resulting obsession can be extremely intense.
If there are no difficult Pluto aspects, then I start looking for other indicators. Neptune aspects sometimes tell me that the client isn’t seeing the reality of the situation. For example, he or she may wish to be in a relationship with someone who isn’t interested or available. If this is the case, I ask what that person represents to the client. Unfortunately, this puts me in a tough position, because I have to deliver the bad news that the desired lover is in all probability not The One, and that’s not what they want to hear.
Occasionally, I see very close karmic connections between the client and the person he or she is obsessing about. In many ways, these cases are even more challenging than the aforementioned situation, because there are complications. After all, if two people destined to fall in love meet, date, and marry, they usually don’t need me! The only time I’m called in is when one person is either unaware of the connection or is aware but in a committed relationship already.
It does appear that we’re in an accelerated time period in which more and more people are finding a long-lost soul mate. Reconnecting with our intended other is part of the deep healing process that so many of us are experiencing.
If you are obsessing over someone and want to know why, please consider contacting me for a reading. Depending on your situation, you may want to order True Love, the Complete Compatibility Report, or you may want a telephone consultation. Before we talk, I’ll make an in-depth analysis of your chart and give you my interpretation of what’s going on. Together, we’ll figure it out!
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Pat, this reminds me of the William Blake quote, “If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.” As someone with Pluto conjunct Venus and Mercury, I know about obsessions! You’re probably right, as the only way to get beyond the obsession usually seems to be right directly through it. Alas, much pain can be involved. I think it helps to have a good therapist to work with, or some other way of processing things like a journal habit. It also probably just takes time. I met my partner while Pluto was trining my Pluto/Venus and the trine seems to have offered a positive way of bonding.
Les, thanks for this very wise comment!
There is no doubt that moving through an obsession involves work and, sometimes, a lot of pain. Essentially, we’re going down inside ourselves and looking at something that has stayed hidden for a reason. The ego has itself to protect, and disarming it often does require a part of oneself to die.
But after that, as you so beautifully state, there is healing … which brings me to a point I should have mentioned, which is that Pluto is a powerful healing agent. When he transits difficult spots in our chart by sextile or trine, as he did with you, we can transform and transcend.
Maybe I will have to do another post. :-)
Dear Pat, it’s been more than a year since I first started reading about Pluto transits. That’s when I realized that the sort of thing you are talking about hit me for the first time in my life like a hammer and it’s non-stop. I still don’t know what to do with my feelings and thoughts. This is my situation:
Natal Sun and ASC direct square Pluto
Natal Saturn square Pluto
Transiting Saturn square Sun
Transiting Pluto opposition Sun and ASC
If you can offer any comfort, please do. It seems that all my softest spots have been pushed to their limits.