The gods and goddesses of western myth were created in the ideals of ancient Greece. Too bad they abused their morals, ethics, nobility, and power. As greedy, narcissistic, and incestuous gods, they tempted fate and influenced human destiny forever. Those same gods and their dysfunctional families are in the here and now, incarnate as us with new names, scripts, roles, sets, and relationships. Nothing else has changed.
Pluto is death. He’s the last stop on the train to never ending nothingness. The shit doesn’t stop until it gets to Pluto where it gathers for all eternity. Imagine the stench. Ravenous vampires mercilessly await us along the banks of the River Styx, anxious to suck our souls. The myth of Pluto tells us that he got tired of hanging out with corpses and decided to reward himself with a tasty perk from the world of the living. Persephone was the tastiest perk of all. She’s the feminine side of Pluto. The well-guarded daughter of Demeter, earth goddess, was sniffing a narcissus in a meadow one day when Pluto (the ultimate narcissist) erupted from the earth in his chariot and abducted her to be his High Priestess and Queen of the Underworld.
Persephone was off limits. In desperation and panic, Demeter pleaded with her brothers and sisters for help. Unfortunately, no one dared take initiative because they all feared Pluto. Demeter took matters into her own hands and killed all vegetation on the earth. That’s how we got winter. The gods began to worry. If we perished, who’d worship them? They went to bat for mankind, intervened, and negotiated a compromise between Pluto and Demeter. Persephone spends spring and summer with her mom and winters with Pluto as his Queen of the underworld and High Priestess of the unconsciousness.
Venus was married to Vulcan (Hephaestus), lame god of the forge in mythology. Beauty wedded Craftsmanship. Vulcan got his muse, however, Venus needed a lot more than craft. She craved sensual and sexual satisfaction, resulting in casual flings with Mars, Mercury, and her other brothers who fathered many different children with her. Mars and Venus produced Phobos (fear) and Deimos (terror), the twins who served Mars in battle. Their daughter, Harmonia, and son, Cupid (Eros) served Venus. Hermes (Mercury) and Aphrodite (Venus) conceived Hermaphrodite, androgyny of hetero-bi-homo-sexuality.
In this particular story, Mercury and Venus were happily married. Mercury needed a lot of intellectual stimulation, along with emotional and physical freedom. Venus had no problem giving that to him. Venus required emotional stability, consistency, reliability, affection, and sensual pleasure. Mercury gratefully embraced his responsibilities.
Venus and Persephone met through a mutual friend. They bonded as soon as they found out that they shared a passion for the arts, beauty, and nature. Venus, the muse in music, was goddess of fine art. Enchanting and quixotic, Persephone was an extraordinary artist. They decided to collaborate on an art project together. Persephone and Pluto offered Venus a full scholarship for a summer residency at their country home.
Persephone embodies the hypnotic power of the personal and collective unconscious. Plutonian types have mesmeric personalities and healing powers. It’s easy to feel special when you’re with them. They can bring out the best and worst in each of us. Helen of Troy (Persephone) was so charismatic; men fell hopelessly in love with her. The Trojan War occurred when young Paris wrongly chose Venus in a goddess beauty contest and as a result, fell foolishly in love with Helen, Queen to King Menelaus.
Pluto and Persephone were Scorpios. Pluto had Sun and Moon in Scorpio and Leo rising. That’s a recipe for double trouble with a heaping helping of the melodramatic. Persephone was making art all over the world when she and Pluto first met. Many princes had wooed Persephone, but all turned out to be frogs or beasts. Desperately, she craved true love, but Persephone was still as emotionally innocent as Little Red Riding Hood who met the Wolf (Pluto) in the forest on her way to Grandma’s house.
Persephone had a long graceful heart line ending under her index finger. She saw people and circumstances as she wanted them to be. Pluto, Emperor of Darkness, presented himself as the Prince of Lightness. He was physically strong, intelligent, handsome, expressive, funny, adventurous, and a talented craftsman. Pluto beguiled Persephone with caring words and loving actions. He treated her like a real goddess and fulfilled her soul mate fantasy. Persephone’s lust for love literally attracted the man from Hell.
Pluto and Persephone had a waterfront estate on the outer banks of the River Styx, far from Mount Olympus where Mercury and Venus had grown up. Mercury and Pluto were instantly compatible. In myth, Mercury had escorted departed souls to Death’s door and couriered messages from Mount Olympus to the underworld. Mercury had planned to spend the summer by himself, but Venus pleaded. “These people are incredible. You won’t believe this place and community. I’ve met a couple who you’re going to love. You must come”. Community had been an occasional weekend barbecue with the locals for Mercury. Venus described Pluto and Persephone in flowery superlatives. “Sounds too good to be true” Mercury responded. It was and took over fifteen years and a series of very painful character building experiences for absolutely everyone to unveil that truth.
Mercury changed his plans after Venus’s call. He spent his summer with her. Maybe she was right. People were warm and friendly. Strangers waved when they drove by. Pluto was one of the kindest people Mercury had ever met. His words were thoughtful and his actions generous. Mercury thought Persephone was Pollyanna. Warts were beauty marks to her. She saw the best in everyone. Mercury put his skepticism and sarcasm on a back burner when she was around. She softened him. Who was he to be cynical while she was embracing the best? Mercury grew to adore Persephone. Pluto and Persephone were surrounded by fascinating friends and loving families. Mercury and Venus began to wonder if maybe they had found their Shangri-La.
Mercury rules hands and palmistry (with Chiron). Mercury had known Pluto for a while before Pluto asked him to look at his hands (most people want that as soon as they find out you read hands). Pluto’s large rectangular palms, long stiff fingers, and tightly tied head and lifeline confirmed he had a Scorpion personality. Like Manuel (the child serial killer), Pluto’s ball of the thumb (Venus) had no lines parallel to his lifeline. His heart line dipped to touch the beginning of his head and life lines.
Mercury felt confused. A large ball of the thumb person can fool even the best judge of character with feigned warmth and generosity, but not Mercury. He asked Pluto if he was challenged by intimacy and by verbalizing his true feelings. Pluto replied that he had no idea what Mercury was talking about. Everyone knew he was a loving person and caring community member. Mercury decided that Pluto must have risen above his challenges and his intimate relationships would eventually show up in his hands. They never did. Mercury continued to ignore Pluto’s other ambiguities and incongruities.
Pluto was a hugger. Mercury was androgynous, but Mercury wasn’t comfortable with so much physical affection so soon. It didn’t take long for Pluto to catch on to Mercury’s uneasiness. His mission became to hug and kiss Mercury regularly and turn this “Man of Steel” into “Organic Man”. He was successful. Pluto helped Mercury become a more trusting person as he passionately cultivated his friendship. Holding Mercury squarely by the shoulders, Pluto would gaze straight into Mercury’s eyes and say, “You’re the greatest” “I love you sooooooooooooooooooo much” “I can talk with you about things that I can’t say to anyone else”. Sometimes they laughed so hard that they cried.
Mercury loved Pluto like a real brother. He would have freely given him anything. He and Venus cherished Pluto’s friendship. Pluto, however, methodically exploited their love and trust as he covertly plotted their individual seductions and betrayals. Pluto prepared Mercury and Venus, like virgins, to be spiritually raped on the altar of hell.
The twisted handwriting was always on the wall. Pluto recited poetry from his journal for Mercury and Venus. His delivery was dramatic, but his content seemed contrived and cliché. He wrote for the reader, not for the writer. Mercury and Venus were reticent to criticize Pluto’s art. It somehow made him even more lovable. They giggled as they recited corny poetry when he left; not realizing their friendship was also bad poetry.
Pluto asked Mercury to spread his tarot cards. Concerns of gossip, betrayal, and painful endings would arise. Mercury interpreted them hopefully. It never occurred to him to put himself and his family in that picture. Mercury looked at Pluto’s hands many times over the years and always blocked the truth. Why shouldn’t he trust Pluto? Pluto had certainly made them feel lovable and they were positive that Pluto loved them.
Pluto would show up with huge dark circles under his eyes. In hindsight, they were polluted pools of deceit reflected in a murky swamp. Terrified of dying, he secretly wished he could, but that wasn’t an option. Mercury and Venus comforted Pluto. In a moment of weakness, Pluto blurted “One day you’ll hate me and turn against me”. Mercury and Venus recited in chorus, “You’re crazy”. Turned out everyone was right.
When Pluto’s indiscretions first surfaced, Mercury and Venus rationalized his behavior. Everyone makes mistakes they thought. They figured that by successfully seducing his best friend’s life partner, Pluto had unconsciously killed off his father and married his mother. Pluto had grown up in a suburb of Metropolis with a very loving, sensitive, and artistic father (a beautiful man) who feared his own shadow. Pluto’s powerful mother (Scorpio) wore the pants in the family. Pluto had climbed every mountain and hiked every trail in search of his manhood but hadn’t found it.
Even when the connections that Pluto and Persephone had worked so hard to create began to unravel and disintegrate, Mercury and Venus were still protecting Pluto. They thought they were ‘special’ and different from everyone else. They were. They had indulged Pluto in his narcissistic fantasies and kept his treacherous secrets from everyone including themselves and each other. There’s a very thin line between perpetrator and victim. Masochists and sadists are co-dependent. Voyeurs and exhibitionists are magnets for one another. Just watch Jerry Springer for live action.
Pluto and Mercury nourished each other’s ‘Pig Dogs’. They drank home brewed beer and ate hot buttered popcorn while they watched porn and fantasized erotic sexploits. Once in a while they’d find a sleezy lounge where they’d watch people lap dancing. While sitting in front of a crackling fire late one night, Pluto turned to Mercury and asked, “Would you mind going upstairs and fucking my wife?” Privately, Pluto had been priming Persephone by saying that Mercury was hot for her, even though he wasn’t. Mercury declined. He loved their polyamorous fantasies, but they were just fantasies. It wasn’t the same for Pluto. Mercury learned that Pluto had actually lusted over, coveted, seduced, or tried to seduce almost every female they’d ever fantasized about including their good friend’s wives. Mercury felt ashamed and remorseful for “his part”. He’d encouraged Pluto’s pathology by indulging in the sick fantasies that turned them both on. He’d have had clearer boundaries had he known the truth about Pluto, and himself.
Hindsight dealt everyone a challenging blow. Mercury realized that he and Venus were just like everyone else when a mutual friend confided to Mercury that Pluto had foolishly bragged about how he had attempted to seduce Venus. Mercury confronted Venus, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Venus told him she didn’t want to hurt their friendship. “It’s been so long since you had a real buddy”. She assured him that she had no intention of indulging in Pluto’s persistent advances. Mercury and Venus had been living in Pluto’s home for the first year and a half of that relationship. Venus had hidden Pluto’s behavior and kept a secret from Mercury for fourteen of the fifteen years they’d known Pluto.
Venus told Mercury about the first time that Pluto attempted to seduce her. Mercury had sworn off physical labor, but he felt compelled to try to help Pluto and his partner save their failing custom furniture making business. They were wonderful craftsmen, but didn’t know how to get paid well for their work. Being a natural salesman, Mercury offered to bring work from Metropolis. When possible, he’d help make, deliver, and install jobs. One day, they were all hard at work in the shop when Pluto exclaimed, “Damn, I forgot something at home (Venus was home alone). I’ll be back soon”.
In hindsight, Mercury remembered Pluto forgetting things a lot. Venus was back at the house taking a bath (in the only bathroom) when Pluto arrived home. He knocked on the door and asked if she could please close the shower curtain. He needed to use the toilet. She said OK. The next thing she knew, Pluto abruptly drew the shower curtain, and stepped confidently and completely naked into the bathtub with a huge smile on his face. “What are you doing?!!!” yelled Venus. Pluto pretended he had been in some kind of trance. His master plan hadn’t worked out yet, but he’d seen what he intended to see and shown what he intended to show.
The whole community became hip to Pluto. One distraught wife told Venus that the usual topic and focus of female get-togethers was, “Who was Pluto hitting on at that moment and how bad was his influence on their husbands?” Persephone had no clue that Pluto was betraying her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, every single day of their marriage. She blamed herself for his selfish behavior. Pluto’s inability to truly love her remained his secret. Other wives tried to enlist Persephone into group discussions; however, she declined, maintaining a ‘hands off Pluto’ attitude.
Pluto used every technique in the book to get what he wanted. Flattery worked. Mercury could see how Pluto boosted Venus’s self-esteem. He wanted her to feel queenly and goddess like. His behavior taught Mercury how to be a more passionate and desirable husband. Dishonesty worked too. Pluto would innocently offer to physically “wrestle” female anxieties and frustrations away. That notorious ‘walk in the woods’ was his favorite venue. He was infamous for saying, “I just want to kiss you”.
Once Mercury and Venus stopped protecting Pluto, reluctant females peered cautiously from cloistered closets, confessing that Pluto had seduced or attempted to seduce them. One more irreverent pastor had faked faith and tempted trust. By driving an invisible psychic wedge into his friends’ marriages, Pluto fostered guilt and shame and forced everyone to hold onto their secrets. Pluto’s `beloved’ victims were full of remorse. One tearful woman told Mercury that she had spent nearly twenty years of her marriage feeling guilt, shame, and fear that her husband would eventually find out about her and Pluto.
The last straw for Mercury was when he observed Pluto seducing his good friend’s wife, right under everyone’s noses. She was another Persephone type and artist. Pluto was trading in Persephone 1 for Persephone 2, the sequel. The speediest path into her panties was through her vanity, so he immortalized her artwork. Mercury had confused Shangri-La with Xanadu. Pluto was Citizen Kane, incapable of truly loving while endeavoring to turn his conquest into a star. Pluto urgently wished to love and be loved, but only knew lust. Rosebud was the love he so deeply desired but could never have.
Years prior to Persephone 2’s conquest, a friend told Mercury that he had walked in on Pluto while he was jerking off over pictures of Persephone 2. Persephone 1 was in the next room. Even though Pluto had fantasized about, lusted over, coveted, and carefully plotted the seduction of Persephone 2, he still pretended they “fell in love”. Unless Pluto has actually transformed his severely damaged character, it will be a very sad day in hell for Persephone II when she discovers that her cup is half fool.
Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and Persephone were destined to share a very powerful love experience, followed by a very negative outcome. Trust would forever forward be an issue. Pluto betrayed Mercury, Venus, and Persephone by working so diligently to make them love him while he was unable to truly love them back. He brought out the best and worst in them. If Pluto’s love was real, you’d see the lines in the ball of his thumb. Pluto was in Mercury’s. He stops at a perpendicular cross line, the roadblock where Mercury exorcised his evil twin. Mercury had pondered who, what, and when that might be.
Mercury and Venus chose not to confront Pluto in person because Pluto had no real remorse for his actions. He was in denial, explaining that he was sorry for “his part”. He made himself into a victim and even seduced a female psychotherapist into believing his stories. What Pluto could have used was a no bullshit male therapist who’d help him to see himself through the eyes of the loving beings he had so pathologically deceived.