Why is Pluto the Higher Octave of Mars?

mars PlutoFollowing up on my post about Neptune being the higher octave of Venus, I thought I would also go into how Pluto relates to Mars. As I mentioned, when the outer planet is considered the higher octave of the inner planet, it means that it takes the principles of the inner planet and creates a deeper, more universal expression.

Mars is dignified in Scorpio, which is the sign that Pluto has a special relationship with. In traditional astrology, Mars is particularly happy in Scorpio in a night chart, which dovetails nicely with Pluto’s association with darkness. Mars is also considered a malefic planet, and I think we can all agree that Pluto is about as malefic as they come. So there is an obvious and natural affinity between the two.

But it goes deeper. Mars has three major significations – our inner drive, aggression, and cutting. Mars is the energy we use to scope out our target and go after what we want. It is the fury that powers us. And it is the means by which we remove things from our life that no longer serve. And Pluto takes each of these things and drags them deeper.

· While Mars signifies our drive and what we are willing to fight for, Pluto cracks open our psyches to reveal our true motivations. You may desperately want something and use Mars to get it, but Pluto causes us to stop and ask why. In what way will obtaining that thing serve you? What inner psychological need will it address? Is there a way to address that psychological need directly rather than through a proxy? Pluto sees right through us and tolerates no excuses.

· Mars is our anger and aggression. Through the expression of that anger, we assert our power in the world. Pluto takes that power and pushes it to the extreme. It is through Pluto that we learn how to wield our power, and usually learn it the hard way. Pluto exposes us to corruption and abuse of power and shows us what not to do. It asks us what impact we really want to make on the world, and what we’re willing to sacrifice to do so. And it forces us to accept the consequences of our actions and the ripples that reverberate throughout our lives and all we touch.

· Mars is also a knife. Through Mars we cut and are cut, sometimes literally. When we break contact with someone or remove them from our lives, we are tapping into Mars. But Pluto digs deeper. Where I live, honeysuckle is an invasive species. If you just cut it down, it won’t kill the plant. If even a little bit of the root is left in the ground, you can count on it springing up again the next year in its full glory. Instead, you have to dig around and make sure you’ve removed every single part, and then often treat the area with an herbicide for good measure. That is what Pluto does. Whatever needs removing from your life, Pluto comes in and digs up the roots. Mars may be able to create a nasty flesh wound, but Pluto cuts to the bone. If you want something gone for good, Pluto is the one to get the job done.

Pluto takes everything that Mars is and pulls it down into his underworld. And it is in this darkness that we are able to commune with the root of all things Martial. Through this process, we are able to wield our Mars tools in a more profound, mindful way. Pluto makes us stronger.

Have you found the roots? Where are Pluto and Mars in your chart?

10 thoughts on “Why is Pluto the Higher Octave of Mars?”

  1. Insightful post.? Unless I count a fire chiron or a scorp mc, mars and pluto are singletons in my chart and in their domicile too. I’ve experienced both the cut/surgery of mars and the discarding of the bone of pluto, quite literally.

  2. It’s my Mars placement. Best give my life to God, as it’s been a mess in the past. I have S Node there too, conjunct my Scorpio Ascendant. I’m glad your mega 12th transit is moving into the 1st. Brand new life and opportunities I hope for you!

  3. A powerful article, Midara! I don’t like the honeysuckle analogy, but that’s mostly because of the use of an herbicide to ensure her death. I have such a fierce (Mars) history with concentrated chemicals. But the insight is keen, and important for me to come to terms with.
    Mars-Pluto (and Saturn)in the 7th and 8th square my Scorpio Sun and Mercury in the 11th and 10th. Being able and willing to address the “drive and what we are willing to fight for, Pluto cracks open our psyches to reveal our true motivations” is a long-time recurring process. To do this directly has taken me decades of spiraling around the issues of legacy (8th House) and relationships. With Covid’s persisting presence any hidden motivations are dredged up. My Scorpio Sun is in the 11th House, so hopes, wishes, dreams and foreign (not of my native home) associations are where the work must be done.
    Those Pluto-Mars aggressions sextile a 6th House Uranus, unexpected health manifestations and changes in my work add to the expression of power, or powerlessness. My teeth are in bad shape (talk about root causes) and it will be creative finances and alternative power sources that will help with that.
    Whew. Rest between bouts is wise; good there’s my Cappy Moon Cave.

  4. Hi Midara, very insightful series. I am looking forward to Mercury-Uranus now.
    I have a a few questions. How would you categorize the interplay between Mars, Saturn and Pluto (leaving out Jupiter to simplify) on a macro and micro level? Let me explain. These three are classic masculine archetypes – the warrior, the father, the stalker(?)/soul consumer. How do they build on top of each other to present a complex picture of masculinity in our society?

    As a corollary, how do they affect someone if their natal chart has an interplay between these three? Would gender matter?

  5. Mars without Pluto is just brute force.

    Pluto without Mars is dexterous manipulation.

    So, I really like them together, and when functioning cohesively, the energy is capable of effectuating a great deal. The subtlety is that the higher octave has to lead, in this case Pluto. This applies to the other lower-higher octave combinations as well.

    When it comes to aspects, the squares and oppositions are likely the most problematic because chances are that Mars will not “stand down”, necessitating more work or perhaps help from other planetary aspects. This is the situation we’re in with the current transit of Mars-Pluto square because Mars is out numbered – Pluto has Jupiter-Saturn in Capricorn, till mid-December in the same camp. I think, the true nature of Mars-Pluto, will likely reveal it’s self around Dec 23rd.

    One thing for sure, Christmas 2020 is not going to be boring!

  6. I’m having this transit and still being totally weak and wasting it even as the sky is grinding away at my mars in the 12th house I shy away from doing anything.. often I’m not sure what to do and the big question is always how.. how do I do it how do I start and continue when there is no one to point the way.. I just sit there waiting for someone to help me

  7. These shitty patterns I have with my Mars and self sabotage have to be removed at the root.. believing I can’t do it, ego shame if I fail and be worse than other people so why bother trying just stay in the margins.. other stuff. I hung out with some activists and barely helped at all.. avoided getting arrested.. did get teased.. the baby steps I make often get erased as I step back.. I don’t know what to do with myself and am failing this transit.. saying all these things to lower people’s expectations of me.. trying to give my mars to higher causes.. but I often don’t do much or it gets erased in theory.. fuck the volikov test

  8. I would say Mars is a blind, overreactive energy while Pluto is a slow insightful energy. Mars is visible and explosive. Pluto is hidden. Mars is about the building of the self while Pluto is about its destruction.

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