My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing.
by Hazel Dixon-Cooper & Bridgett Walther
This is a book that would appeal to those interested enough in astrology to read about the specific effects of different planets. It begins with an introduction called "Why we wrote this book" and gives some general information about astrology and Pluto's significance, touching on the official 'downgrade' of Pluto from planet status and the irrelevance of that to Pluto's position in astrology.
The book acknowledges Pluto's bad reputation and clarifies its purpose in presenting challenges, then goes on to talk about how best to use Pluto energy for positive reinforcement. Death is one of Pluto's areas of influence, but the book claims that this is the death of self-destructive behaviors and promises to show you how to overcome self-imposed obstacles.
There is an interesting segment on how the name Pluto comes from Mythology. The official part 1 after the introductory information is about how Pluto has affected each generation. Part 2 is how it relates to each of the sun signs. This part is very general and padded with some information that is likely to be redundant to anyone with enough interest in astrology to be reading books about specific planets.
The third part is about Pluto in the houses. Readers are encouraged to read both the sections on their natal Pluto house and on the current transit. Since Pluto moves slowly, the information is likely to be relevant for the next ten years.
While most people reading this book will probably already have a natal chart for themselves, I think with all the other generalized (beginner) information included in the book that it would have been useful to include a diagram to show the reader how to determine their natal and current house transits for Pluto. It's familiar to me, but there is no guarantee that all readers will have this much previous knowledge of reading astrology charts.
Much of the information offered in the third part sounds rather like a Psychology book, speaking of repeating life patterns that hold us back, only it postulates that Pluto will reveal when and how we are making choices that will continue the repeating patterns. The one thing that bothered me was the level of negative reinforcement, suggesting that everyone has self-destructive behaviors and that Pluto points out the area where they are focused. When I looked at my own transited house, I found an area where I was very much aware of issues and was already on top of taking control of them.
The biggest weakness of the book is not the fault of the authors, but of the limitations of the medium of books written for a wide audience. I felt that the only way to fulfil the promise made in the introduction would be for every reader to obtain an individual analysis to see how Pluto's transit if effected by other elements of their personal natal chart, as well as other current planetary transits. Astrology is a fairly complicated system when done properly.
The one thing I thought would improve the book and overcome the need for padding with general astrological information would have been to be a little more specific with the natal-transit information. Instead of telling the reader to read the segment for both their natal position and the transit, to have sections that related them like "Natal 3rd house, transit 7th house". I have seen Sun and Moon or Sun and Ascendant combinations done in this way in other astrology books.
Overall, I thought the book was interesting and useful and could give someone some perspective on the effects of Pluto in their chart, but it fell a little short on detailed analysis.