I’ve been thinking a lot about transformation, lately.

During Scorpio season we talk about the transformative power of letting go. I have to admit that during a Pluto transit this idea has proven personally elusive to me. Culturally, we tend to value the external rewards of radical change with our obsessive glamorizing of transformation (fashion, weight-loss) & starting over (a la Eat, Pray, Love). Things would be better if… But unless we’re Lady Gaga, change isn’t often so dramatic, nor external. And what is it, exactly, that we are letting go of?

I’ve been tracking Pluto in my clients, and myself. We may identify with the alchemy of burning, or freezing (both Pluto images); our inner world heats up, or resembles a barren tundra plain. Maybe we face a tragedy, a crisis, maybe we feel trapped, or the movement or flow of our life, stops. We realize we are in the middle of a frozen lake, waiting for it to thaw, hoping we don’t fall through and drown. We feel like we’re dying, yet we feel acutely, and so we are very alive. The pressure builds and intensifies. It’s dark in there. Have you ever been forced to be in the dark when you didn’t want to be? What happens in the dark varies from person to person. A lot of waiting. Struggle. Anger at the futility of it life, impotence, fear, shouting into the darkness, and hearing our own voice echo back. We learn of our own powerlessness, the inevitability of death and loss- the dark is anything from scary frozen to hot & terrifying.

There’s clear value in letting go. Buddhists say our attachments cause us to cling, and holding on being the opposite of letting go, if we can confront our own resistance to change and our clinging to ‘safety’ we’d have an easier time of it, generally. For those of us in a Pluto cycle (and I’d venture to say Plutonian people) it’s difficult to see what it is we cling to, what’s false, what’s outworn because much of the time what’s outworn is psychological, and like being Little Red Riding Hood relying on bread crumbs to return  home, I find that often we can only ‘see’ one step ahead at a time. Transformation is nothing if it’s not invisible. Much of the time we’re in the dark, invisible to our self.

With Pluto the invisible is where it’s at. But don’t be fooled by the stealth and stoney silence, or the rapid descent into oblivion and ‘why bother?’. When nothing’s happening, a lot is happening. And something more than giving up is required of us; Pluto/Scorpio requires participation. When it seems that God has left our side, or stopped speaking to us, God is just wearing a different face, asking us to befriend our ancient pains. There is no better way to “let go” into transformation than to befriend our darkness, to listen to what our soul really says.

Scorpio rules the taboo, everything that’s scary dangerous and humiliating for the ego to admit. How scary is it to realize you wish someone dead? How disturbing to discover that although you love your partner, you also want to leave your life? How humiliating is it to realize you’re so jealous that you’d kill for someone else’s life, career or partner?  What if, you really hate someone you also love? As a Plutonian experiencing Pluto transit, clients and friends are more and more likely to say, “I’ve never told anyone else this, but…” and “I almost want to take back what I just said.” It is painful disturbing to face the depth of our own darkness. But how can we truly let go of something or someone, without going into the depths and our admitted powerlessnesness over the loss? For as much as we idealize radical change, to talk about flushing old partners or the past down the toilet, is lip service to the Dark God. Transformation is an exercise in ruthless self-honesty. To actually “let go” during this Scorpio New Moon, requires radical honesty about your thoughts and feelings, and yes, your ‘I really shouldn’t be admitting this…’.

What do you do with that information is up to you. Often it’s not appropriate to act out in real life as people do go to jail for that. Here is where creativity helps. In my last moon post I spoke about rescuing my artist archetype. She’s now helping me to dramatically act, instead of acting out in my life, which is helpful since no, I really don’t want to blow up my car, or leave my husband (one thoughtful Cancerian friend watched my video and immediately emailed me, subject line: R u okay?) I love my Plutonian friends who actually enjoy listening to my shamefully messy psychological state (you know who you are, you sick creatures!). It not only relieves pressure, but there are practical reasons for doing this: If we’re unable to name what has hurt us in the past, our wounds blindly drive us toward recreating a self-destructive future. During Pluto times we need containment, safehouses to contain our darkness.

For me, contemplating the ultimate ‘letting go’ into transformation is a change in psychological perspective. Plutonian tools, probing honesty, the ability to contain our darkness and pain with love, and creativity can help this along. ‘Cause if it’s true transformation you seek, not her sister simulation of makeovers and failed attempts to escape what you cannot see, you have to meet the Dark God or Goddess on his/her territory. This requires getting familiar with darkness, and the invisible -perhaps the potent power behind this changeling moon.  Dana Gerhardt beautifully speaks to this in her new moon essay, “If you don’t visit the archetypes, don’t expect any special favors.” When the Queen of the Damned comes a knocking, show her some respect by honoring how death & darkness has made you a deeper, richer, more compassionate person. Show your scar tissue. Embrace your darkness. Speak your truth. Taking a cue from Lady Gaga here, a true Goddess of Transformation, “To me, being honest means being private in public.” As retrograde Venus in Scorpio joins this New Moon, there’s new life, beauty & art to be created from our perceptions. Allow the opening and unfolding of your innermost perceptions to change you.