A Friend for a Season, a Reason or a Lifetime?
Wherever Pluto is in your birth chart you're engaged in the process of radically transforming yourself. If it's transiting your 11th House it's time to transform your friendships and the groups that you socialize in.
During this period of your life, you'll feel an intense passion to socialize that will result in your being attracted to new activities and groups that you relate to and identify with. As your ideals and goals change, you may be attracted to new friends of depth with similar ambitions. This is when you may meet powerful and influential friends who will have a profound effect on you and what you accomplish. Since shallow and superficial relationships will no longer be satisfying, you'll want to be with people who share your passion and intensity.
You may have grown up never reading books until a new friend exposes you to literary classics; or you may have never understood art until an artist you befriend shares his passion with you; or you may have never invested your savings until a new friend, a self-made millionaire, helps you put together your own stock portfolio. When Pluto transits this House, you'll meet friends who make a powerful impact on you, your thinking and actions. You'll be transformed through their friendship with you.
You May Have Intense Friendships
You may find yourself feeling a deep psychological connection with friends you have or make at this time. You're able to have engrossing personal conversations where you share your inner motivations and your most personal secrets with them. This may result in your having intense relationships where, instead of relating superficially, you reveal your deepest thoughts, becoming vulnerable and open with each other. Your experience with friends will lead to deep connections that are more satisfying than any you've had in the past. However, Pluto's energies in this House often bring a tendency to control, dominate or manipulate in the area of friendship. You may have experienced the negative side of Plutonian behavior with friends who always need to be the center of attention, have a need to control the conversation, or who use manipulation get their way. Here are the four classic pressure tactics:
• Flattery: "You're the only one who can help me."
• Sympathy: "I'm really under pressure, I could lose my job."
• Guilt: "Remember the time I did that favor for you?"
• Intimidation: "If you don't help me, you'll regret it."
So, beware that if you or your friends exhibit these tendencies you can expect some upsetting interactions in your relationship with them. Pluto's influence gives you penetrating insights into the behavior and motivations of others, which may result in your deciding to end a friendship that's toxic for you. You'll have an almost psychic ability to discern which friendships are truly positive and which are negative. You can then weed your garden and transform your friendships by eliminating the ones that are no longer appropriate and allowing the ones of great benefit to blossom and grow.
During this Pluto transit, you're looking for empowering and supportive friendships that allow you to connect with people on a very deep level. It's a fantastic time to meet teachers and mentors who'll share their knowledge and resources, guiding you toward your life goals. You may find a friendship with someone who aids your personal development, helps you learn more about yourself, and affects your life on a profound, transformational level.
One of the ways you can promote such an important relationship is to make time for it and be willing to initiate contact. Three of my most important friendships resulted because I picked up the phone and invited these new friends for a walk or a cup of coffee; and with two of them I had to be persistent before they made time for me. If I hadn't been proactive, I may not have received the gift of their friendship. But I realized these were important people in my life who were worth my added effort; and these friendships have lasted a lifetime.
The Dark Side of Friendship
There is also a dark side to Pluto, since it rules criminal and underworld activities, and people who are socially disaffected, who often represent a threat to society (such as gangsters and terrorists). You need to be aware of this facet of Pluto's energies, since it transits this area of your life for approximately 21 years, leaving plenty of time for you to experience its influences. Plutonian energies can manifest in behavior that's controlling, intimidating, coercing, and power seeking. Therefore you need to be vigilant about the groups you socialize with and the friends you make during this time, since you could be affected by these influences.
While it may be unlikely that during this transit you'll become close friends with people like Bonnie and Clyde, join the Jesse James' Gang and rob a bank, or start an organization called Murder, Inc., you may be unexplainably attracted to certain people who may not have your best interests at heart. In fact, these people may be very bad for you (or your children), but nevertheless you may be drawn to them out of an unconscious compulsion you aren't even aware.
Years ago Rodney, a very conservative, single client, met a new friend at a sporting event. That friend invited him to an exclusive party at a swanky hi-rise apartment. Rodney walked into the social gathering and said hello to a very pretty hostess who brought him a drink and introduced him to a number of people, mostly women. One of the guests casually mentioned to Rodney that this was a private party hosted by a group of high-class prostitutes. He was told that no illicit activities were going on now, because it was just a party among their friends.
Once he was told this, he relaxed, amazed at how everyone was laughing and having fun, just like any enjoyable party. Rather than grabbing his sports coat and leaving, he was amazed at how fascinated he was with the whole experience. He told me that he was thinking, Oh my God, I'm at the apartment of a bunch of hookers! And, I'm having fun talking to these women like they were great friends. He was enthralled. He felt a devilish pleasure as if he was doing something illicit.
Rodney could not get rid of his fascination and attraction, eventually inviting one of the women out for an innocent date with no agenda other than getting to know her like any new girlfriend. At the end of their evening, he went up to her apartment for a nightcap. It wasn't long before a loud knock on the door announced members of the vice squad, who came into the apartment and arrested Rodney, as the woman's "john." Later on at the police station, he was told that even though he wasn't paying for sex, his date was a well-known prostitute, who had been implicated by another "john."
I tell that story because many of us are fascinated with criminals, underworld types, illicit (sexual) activities, as well as "bad boy/bad girl" types who live a life in direct contrast to the "white bread" world most of us live in. The county's obsession with gangster movies such as The Godfather and TV shows such as The Sopranos, illustrate our collective fascination with the underworld, sex and other taboos.
When Pluto travels through your 11th House, be careful of putting yourself in any precarious situation or attracting the type of friends who might put you in danger. Always trust your intuition during this period of your life. If you sense there is something not "right" about someone you've met or the environment you are in, you're probably right. While you may have the self-control and good judgment that Rodney didn't possess, it's still easy to find yourself in unusual circumstances, where fate takes you for a walk down a street you've never been. And you want to walk just a little further. . .even though you know you shouldn't.
Experiencing Pluto's dark side is an extreme but during Pluto's lengthy transit through the 11th House, it may manifest in your life on some innocent level even if you don't end up befriending, Don Corleone, the Godfather or Tony Soprano A more positive likelihood during this Pluto transit is that you'll make intense new friendships with people who will have a powerful impact on you, helping you grow and improve your life in extremely beneficial ways.
If you want to know where your personal transits are -- to see if they are affecting you, go to the Free Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. You may find that the transiting planet, Pluto is affecting your life right now.
Read Larry Schwimmer's latest books, What the Hell is Going On in My Life? Using Your Birthdate to Find Answers About Relationships, Career, Money, Sex & Health;and How To Ask For A Raise Without Getting Fired - And 24 Other Techniques For Resolving Conflicts At Work & In Life; and Winning Your Next Promotion In One Year (Or Less!).
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Larry Schwimmer is president of Astrodecision.com, a San Francisco-based consulting company. The firm uses planetary cycles analysis to counsel individual and corporate clients on picking the "best dates" to make successful decisions of all types: personal, marketing, financial, and political. The firm currently advises a diverse client base that includes politicians, presidents of major corporations and an MLB baseball team. Schwimmer is an internationally known business consultant, life coach and astrologer (with a Fortune 500 M&A background). Visit his website: www.astrodecision.com