Astronomer's have recently discovered a fourth moon orbiting Pluto, and have temporarily named it S/2011, or P4 for short. This fourth addition joins the recently discovered, as of 2005, Nix and Hydra, and Pluto's well known companion Charon, which is the largest of the bunch. P4 is estimated to be about 8 to 21 miles long, which makes it the smallest of Pluto's moons. For more on all the technical jargon, check out these articles here.
From the astrological viewpoint, which is my main concern, this is quite fascinating and brings up some rather interesting questions, none of which I have the answers to-so let's ponder them! Pluto is the first planetary symbol to embody the process of evolution, but it is not the principal of evolution in its entirety, it is the gateway to the "underworld" symbolizing the inherited and surreptitious mechanization of biological evolution, churning deep beneath conscious awareness. Pluto is our initiation into the abyss within each of us we just wish would go away, all those deep and embedded patterns and complexes which run amok in our unconscious--which imprinted themselves upon us against our own conscious will. Pluto represents the principal of creation and destruction-the latter being its favorite means of expression. As a "physical" manifestation, Pluto is very much symbolic of the outer edges of our collective shadow, which we know is much larger since the discovery of the Trans-Plutonian planets-those just beyond Pluto in the deeper and colder reaches of the solar system. Pluto, currently transiting the sign of Capricorn until 2024, is currently at work dredging up the shadow side of our collective systems and structures-our ambition to reach the top and control it all, which we express through the creation of corporations and governments. Pluto's power has just expanded, and with it, our collective shadow, and our ability to process and transmute its contents. Moons serve as processing agents, meaning they absorb and transmute energies generated by the planet they orbit-so the more moons, the more capacity they have to process energy (information).
This news reaches us just months after another Plutonian discovery here. Apparently scientists are baffled by the fact that Pluto's atmosphere is growing in size. Now mind you, scientists have only been observing Pluto for a fairly short period of time, and have not been able to actually see its atmosphere at different stages throughout its entire 250 year orbit--it's distance from the Sun may have an effect in causing fluctuation of Pluto's atmosphere, but this is significant for the unconscious either way. The atmosphere of a planet is symbolic of its fourth dimension, which is where energies reside until they are processed by the Moon(s) of that planetary body. Pluto, symbolizing death, which is complete annihilation of ego and identity, seems to be preparing for some massive influx of energies- Pluto is expanding its capacity to process. What all this means, I have no definite conclusions, but we can anticipate that on a deeper spiritual level, there is some "migration" that is about to take place within the unconscious. Pluto's most well known Moon, Charon, is the ferryman who transported the souls of the dead to the underworld itself. Perhaps more people of the earth are ready to confront this shadow, an omen of an advancement in the evolution of the species. We do know one thing about all this. Collectively, we are ready to go much deeper than ever before, we are all, unconsciously, being prepared to make that journey into the underworld to face our fears like never before. How deep does the rabbit hole go? Only time will tell.
**Transit Jupiter (expansion) in Taurus is currently Trine (120 degrees) Pluto in Capricorn. Uranus (Scientific ideology) in Aries is also Square (90 degrees) Pluto. All expanding our knowledge and understanding of the mysterious archetype of the psyche we call Pluto.