Manipulation: It’s Not A Dirty Word

Manipulation is a neutral word with a negative connotation. I just had a client concerned over the idea her man might be manipulative. Seeing his Mars conjunct Pluto, I assured he was manipulative. But so?

People manipulate other people for good or ill. I manipulate people and things all day long. This client hired me to manipulate her and I did. I took this wire out of that slot, put it in this other. I moved that charge from where it was to this other location, washed her windshield, shined her bumper and sent her on her way.

I have confidence she will benefit not only in the near term but further out. Had I not penetrated and manipulated, well then… then nothing.

Tell us the story of a time you were manipulated in your best interest so this word (and Plutonians) can cut a break.

36 thoughts on “Manipulation: It’s Not A Dirty Word”

  1. Conny – agreed. But when you see aspects that indicate a manipulative nature, you can’t judge them up or down until you see how the person applies their skills.

  2. You’re right Elsa, and I wouldn’t judge them at all because it always takes two to tango. A strong Pluto can be a great asset, especially when you teach people or offer orientation. That’s at least how I see it because it’s conjunct my sun and I can’t return it 🙂

  3. My libra son is so good at manipulating me – “Oh Mom, can blah-blah-blah come over to hang out? Of course, why not? Oh yeah, and also blabbity blah, him too – sure , who cares? 3 hours later, 4 or 5 teenagers, and oh now it is dinner time, hey Mom can they stay for dinner, or should they leave now…….of course, they can stay – hey wait a minute, how the hell did this happen, lol.

  4. my best friend manipulates me a lot. i trust her so i benefit daily. she’s beautiful. and now we’re learning tango and i’m being manipulated on the dance floor, yay.

  5. Elsa, I have spent the night trying to wrap my mind around this post. I have very little cardinal energy in my chart, and I don’t have any pluto/venus stuff, maybe that is why my mind doesn’t wrap around the term as you use it, my mind goes “what/ No comprende”.

    Absolutely, I can see where I practice certain types of manipulation in various house areas of my chart, but I am having trouble ifferentiating ‘manipulation’ from having a goal and wanting to meet it, and taking the steps to meet it, and more importantly, it is difficult for me to integrate that concept of ‘manipulation’ into the idea of being practitioner or client in the astrology or counseling process.

    Thanks for making me think and question my own way of viewing certain terms. I still might not end up agreeing with you but who cares? You offered a term with an idea, and it gave me a lot to think about. That’s cool!

    I think of it (to me) as the philosophy section of your blog/class/beginner class, and I love to think about words and their meanings (mars in Gemini, third house).

  6. I have come accross both sides of manipulation.. and I agree with what you said ! Some people have a natural ability to manipulate others..Then its up to them how to use it differently(positive or negative purpose).

  7. I remember this post. I had just gotten a reading from Elsa about my then-new relationship, and I had a concern about his Mars-Pluto conjunction in Virgo. It turns out that my concerns were founded. “Motivation” (a nod to Carrie) consisted of some underhanded ways to get me to do what he wanted… Such as cc’ing me on texts to a nonexistent woman to make me jealous, showing up unannounced and giving me the silent treatment until I broke my plans and went off with him, grandly presenting me with a Chanel watch when he met my parents (which later turned out to be a Chinese fake)… The Mars/Pluto could have been expressed better, but I blame their square to his stellium in Gemini in the 12th house. He is very effective in acting to bring about his desired outcome, but he’s utterly unconscious of how his actions come across to other people. He cannot read social cues.

    “I have total confidence she will benefit not only in the near term but further out.” The only benefit I derived from this relationship was a couple of trips to Vegas and the steely determination to never get myself entangled with someone like him again.

  8. Beautiful 🙂 I still remember complaining my Taurus friend M whos like a sister about my husband who is now my ex.. “he is SOOOO manipulative!” She in her typical calm grounding way said “everyone is” I just stared at her Mouth popping open and closed silently As my Pisces Sun (sexitile her sun) processed ever soooo slowly..

    And she’s right. I do it all the time maybe in a different way than he did and maybe I follow through with what I promise as a reward for the manipulation but I do do it.

    I’d also hazard to say here that the type of manipulation we encounter time and again is a direct result of what we attract/project and accept.. If we refuse to receive and process certain types in our lives it won’t be abusive controling manipulation… There are no victoms only participants or non participants..

  9. @ Lis, sorry but we Cap Suns always think others can benefit form our wisdom hahaha

    Manipulation can be above board, and done with a genuine wish to help; or behind the back and below the radar, which is all too often intended only to help the manipulator. Very different things indeed!

    @ JerriAttricks86: tmi purleeze, lol (we have a separate thread for s*x

  10. Haha sorry y’all, my shit attempt to demonstrate how I personally view the word ‘manipulate’ as simply a word. I see the point about the negative connotations in society though, of course 😉

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    I’m being manipulated a lot in my workplace. I don’t know if it is for good or ill. But is a heavily female environment and one of the manipulative ones in particular has a sweetness that, to my somewhat trained eye when dealing with women, is genuine, she does not have that streak that some women have. Especially in the new age, where women can find justifications for their behaviour.

    But I think the point about manipulativeness is that you can’t get away from it. I’m going to a job interview, the gender of the interviewer matters. Correctly observing others and you have to use that information. What other choice do you have? If there is a woman that seems to like me so will get a more polite ‘look’ and a ‘shyer’ smile, than a guy that would interpret a long ‘look’ as confrontation, and a bit weird!

      1. It goes both ways. Men have power over women in that way too. Well, some men.
        Theres some men (usually scorpios) who can get me to do things i wouldnt normally do. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Usually, ill look back in hindsight and go “how the hell did that happen?”

        Im guilty of getting men to do things they wouldnt normally do, but ive learned, with age, to have more integrity about it. Not just use it for my selfish ends as i did when i was younger. Or alternately feeling like i was only a negative force for people and staying away from them. Took a lot of soul searching to rectify that. Ultimately i discovered that its up to me, how and where this was directed. (Like Elsa said), and i decided on the service to orhers path.

        Its amazing to me though, how many men WANT me to get into their heads. Ill do it if i feel like i can go in with a pure heart. But if i feel like im still carrying something that could be harmful, I wont go there. Or conversely, if they are carrying something that would be karmically entangling for us, I understand that theyre not ready and itll hurt them and/or me.

        Usually that happens when they dont trust me or my intentions, because im not going to beg anyone to let me help them or be accused of controlling anyone. Ive learned that the very hard way.

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          Yeah, what’s amazing is how easy to manipulate some guys are to girls, my old school friends were, and mostly are like this. But girls don’t try it with me right out the gate.

          But I do think guys are genuinely getting wiser to female tricks! You meet these guys sometimes that just see through women and I meet more and more of them than I used to. An internal joke I say to myself is that when a guy is 20 it’s like: ‘Aww, look at that sweet little angel, she is capable of no wrong’ and when you’re 30 it’s like: ‘If you pull any s*** I’m going to make your life a f****** misery I swear!’ By 40 it’s something like… ‘I know I shouldn’t give my daughter all this money but she asks so nicely’.

          But there is… Definitely a level of which women manipulate men for good. Where a mans rough edges start to get bent into shape by the attention of them and him having to adapt to it. The point is women obsess over men and that energy can’t be opposed really by a lot in a mans arsenal. Sometimes they work on guys for months or years to change something.

  12. For someone with mars pluto saturn conjunct in 7th (projections that i painfully assimilated) and natal venus conjuncting ‘plutohhhh’ in cap in 9th i spent a lot of my manipulative/calculating energy to dodge, maneuver out of games and understand human intent, even my own. What i understood is that what we manipulate manipulates us(however one interprets that word). Having sun and moon in aquarius (gives me a repugnant dislike for mind games) did not help. The recent uranus in aries transit to the 12th added fuel to the fire and exaggerated irrational fears, anxiety and overthinking.

  13. I can’t think of a practical example of me being manipulated, but de-escalating someone angry (or subduing someone riled up by softening your voice etc.) would be an example of positive manipulation.

    I don’t mind manipulation myself, except if it affects or feels like tempering with my dominion (me – physically and not – and my life), particularly if not solicited. I am a self admitted control freak though.

  14. Really? Missed this thread from years ago but see how it really helps to manipulate my thinking about the 7th House Pluto that is natally conjuct my Mars-Saturn conjunct in 8th House Leo. “Yeah, I’m gonna manipulate.” Or is that be manipulated and since I’ve been unconscious about this natal energy … what havoc it has bestowed because I project the manipulation? Lose all the potential to benefit from the heat??

  15. THAAAAANK YOU! I argue this all the time. I had a discussion with my Scorpio roommate about this. I told him we ALL manipulate one way or another. It is our character that choses which one

  16. If you are good at it you are also good at spotting the manipulation…. and then you can turn it back on them, call their game and you can both either laugh about it or fight like mad because they don’t like having their game rejected…. 😉

  17. My husband is a master of manipulation – he doesn’t know his birth time but I’m sure he’s libra ascendant (he has dimples in his cheeks when he smiles)! He applies the softly softly approach. After years I’ve realised he always has a game plan and starts the manipulation months before the desired result. He starts by gently and casually talking about something. Then he does all the background research, focuses on the positive points and keeps gently chatting about it but only sporadically so it doesn’t feel like nagging. As a Sag sun, when he first mentions something hairbrained, I of course tell him not to be such a twat. And lo behold, several months later I’m doing exactly what he intended! And he’s always right! Gotta love my Aquarian ?

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    James Slattery

    With Pluto on the Desc in Virgo trine Saturn in the 10th,sextile Gem sun in the 4th and sextile Neptune in Scorpio I am willingly manipulated by personal and business partners to my advantage! Pisces Asc keeps me flexible and glad to please others. It’s occasionally a challenge with Sag 9th house Moon square Pluto but no complaints.

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