when pluto gave up her name (cosmic folktale #6)

Welcome back to COSMIC FOLKTALES, my new series that combines memoir, fantasy and astrological/ancestral channeling. This series is dedicated to those of us moving through great times of transition, grief, ending/beginning cycles, and the crossroads. It’s also a deep dive into the character backstories/side-stories, and the world building of my new play in development, OTHERWORLDLY GIANTS: a story of Pluto, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn – the outer planets and their astrological archetypes – who come to life as humans in a parallel universe.

You may find it hard to believe, but Pluto has been dumped far more often than she has been the dumper.

Jupiter’s goading voice rings in her head like the offensively annoying village bells that go off every damn day at 12:03pm because nobody in the town remembers how to shut them up:

Pluto, how many times have you been DUMPED…by some basic…joke of a human, who never comes close to matching your intelligence? WAY TOO MANY TIMES. You chase people who aren’t right for you. You stay when you’re not happy. You say nothing. You let it fester and boil underneath your tongue, until everything implodes. Violently. And I’m the one who has to listen to you cry all night on the phone! You go on and on about how people treat you like you’re disposable. When the truth is, you would much rather be left than ever be the one to leave. Why is that?

It’s true.
Pluto would much rather be left
than ever be the one to leave.

Why is that?

You jumped out the window
I didn’t leave a burning house
somehow, a survivor survives

All her break-ups boil down to this.

I couldn’t leave and you couldn’t stay.
You couldn’t stay and I couldn’t leave.

It’s an obsessive meditation by now.

Who does this!? What kind of motherfucker would just…LEAVE YOU TO FEND FOR YOURSELF…in the middle of a fire?

But that meditation is getting old. It no longer offers the same cathartic result. Now, Pluto has nothing to do but point her questions inward.

What kind of person wouldn’t leave…
when there was a way out?

We both survive, every time.

Every time you jump out the window,
you survive.

Every time I die in the fire,
I survive.

Every. Time.

If this is the curse of the Spiritual Warrior…
no matter how they fuck us over
or how we fuck ourselves over
we never die…

What’s next?

For the one who leaves
it’s the wind that carries you on your way down that screams
thousands of poems and battle cries from other realms
but all the million words are just another way of claiming
Judgement is wind, mental, thoughts, knives.

For the one who stays
the fire eventually stops crackling
it solidifies into resentment and hardens into your skin
is material, balls of hot concrete you carry
in your fists.
All it wants is to feel safe
enough to pick a fight.
Resentment is fire, physical, armour, stone.

Judgement and Resentment.

Resentment and Judgement.

(Jupiter and Pluto)

(Pluto and Jupiter)

It’s a meditation by now.

It was their home on fire. And it wasn’t their fault.

It was a Witch Hunt.

As these things go, Pluto and Jupiter had radically conflicting convictions on the appropriate way to deal with a Witch Hunt. Once best friends. Co-conspirators. Co-captains. And now, Judgement and Resentment.

Pluto never got over the fact that Jupiter abandoned the post they built together. There’s a version of this story where they have an epic showdown. Leader against Leader. Witch against Witch. Divine Feminine against Divine Feminine.

I almost walk into that timeline.

It’s sexy and compelling like a Femme Fatale Superhero poster.

Or, like, that Beyonce and Ali Larter movie.

(IDFK, I never saw it!)

But I stop. I don’t go there. I’d rather write the script than live it.

Because we fight. And then what?

I look back on the night Pluto didn’t leave the burning house. After her love jumped out the window. She begged them to stay. But why? What was she begging for?

Maybe it was the only family she ever knew. Maybe it’s where all her memories lived.

Maybe it was her first home. Her first love.

I don’t care what happens to me. I’ll never leave. Somehow a survivor survives.

But it’s not enough anymore, to end this story with somehow.

Not somehow.


How does Pluto survive a home going down in flames?

Well, She Meditated.

She ate her own death.

She vomited death.

She screamed to the gods
A phoenix howl so unbearable
the gods had no choice
but to bow down before her.

And they said:

You win, Pluto. You win.
We’ll help you.
We’ll do what you ask. We’ll save your home.
We’ll protect it in a different timeline.
It will be salvaged. It will be safe.
Everyone you love will be okay. And well. And happy.

And you will be this way too.

The only catch is…

We want your name.

We want to take it.

You can’t keep it.

Give it up and…

Everything You Desire is Yours.

Pluto hesitates.

This is both too good to be true, and too much to ask.

We’ll give you Nine Breaths.

Then we’ll be back.

And you have to make a choice.

Breath One.

The fire builds to a fever pitch, the phoenix scream engulfs the universe into a black hole and then //

Silence. A room of Nothingness.

In her meditative state, a golden mirror appears in front of Pluto. She’s looking straight at it but nobody’s in there. Then she hears the footsteps approaching – like heeled boots walking across an empty dance floor – purposeful, but with no urgency. The footsteps slowly illuminate into the mirror with clarity. It is Pluto herself, yet she is entirely different.

Pluto-in-Meditation is burned and burnt out, mostly naked except for the few rips of cloth ambivalently dangling from her body. Her hair in knots, eyes red, bags underneath black, lungs scorched.

Pluto-in-the-Mirror is both casual and glamorous. Black ankle boots, black fitted pants, a loose black shirt. Luxurious long, thick, wavy black hair cascading down her shoulders. Her eyes are deep and soulful and awake; her smile comforting and quiet. She sits on a wooden chair like a throne, her legs crossed. She is both a goddess and made of everyday simplicity. She is, sincerely, beautiful.

Breath Two.

For the first time in decades, Pluto-in-Meditation releases physical tears.

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before – look in the mirror and see myself the way others see me. The way you hold space for silence. You say nothing, and yet you hold an ocean of compassion in your eyes. You want nothing. Yet you express everything. The way you hold space for deep resonance, generosity, and patience. No judgement. No resentment.

To look upon myself and know the beauty I possess, it brings me to tears. It soothes the heat.

Breath Three.

Pluto-in-Meditation asks Pluto-in-the-Mirror:

“How are you? How are you today?”

This time it is Pluto-in-the-Mirror whose heart expands with tenderness and aching. Her eyes, too, well up with tears.

Nobody ever asks me that question.

Pluto-in-the-Mirror receives and indulges in this medicine. Her wavy hair turns into the sea, with tiny sea creatures crackling in and out of it. Her hands and feet morph into fins. She short-circuits like quiet lightning sparking in and out of the sky, like she herself is sparking in and out of different dimensions at light speed. Her skin dances back and forth from brown to green. Her eyes glow and contract like an alien, like a cat at night. Her smile stretches and contracts, like a doll from a horror movie. In the midst of all the crackling and sparking, she remains complete.

It’s funny how they make us into villains in all their bedtime stories. It’s neither here nor there.

Breath Four.

How am I? Pluto Answers: I am powerful. But you are exhausted.

What would it take for you to actually rest?

Because even when you rest you don’t stop working. You don’t stop channeling. Don’t stop transmuting. Don’t stop creating. Don’t stop breaking cycles.

What if, everyone you loved was okay and well and happy?
What if all the work was done
and there was no rush

What if we had all the time
we ever wanted

Why do you rush your break-ups?
Why do you rush your healing?
Why do you rush your workload?
Why do you need to finish everything all at once?
What would it take for you to actually rest?

Your need to rush is
at the root
of every choice you make
to mis-use your power.

Pluto steps out of the mirror, leans in toward Pluto-in-Meditation and holds her by the shoulders.

Answer me, Pluto.

Because I’m scared.

I’m scared of losing.

Losing power.
Losing control.
Losing myself.



Breath Five.

I rush because I’m scared
of losing money
losing community
losing momentum
losing my job
losing my place

I’m scared of losing my flow
losing my fire
losing my dignity
losing my


I’m scared of losing my story
losing this train of thought
losing my ability to explain
or convince you
convince myself


I’m scared
of losing my memory

I’m scared she’ll lose

her memory

Breath Six.

a match strikes
tiny beams of fire pop and burst in the room like bubbles

I’m scared of losing land
losing property
losing status
losing stability
losing familiarity
losing clarity

I’m scared of losing inspiration
losing my place in the creative cycle
my place in the cosmic cycle

I’m scared of losing respect
from my peers
from my mentors
from my guides


the fire howls like the phoenix
spreads and leaves no piece of ground untouched

I’m scared of losing
losing space
losing room
my chance
the one
of opportunity

the fire escalates and bellows and fills every pore in the room

losing my connection
to humanity
I’m scared of losing

my faith
my faith
my faith
my faith

I’m scared of losing
my mind
losing my sanity

I need to die but my body won’t let go
I need to die but my body won’t let go

Breath Seven.

I’m scared of losing
my soveriengty
my will
my conviction
my right
my narrative


Breath Eight.

I’m scared I’m losing
my home
my home
my home
the only family I’ve ever known

the fire explodes in illumination, the room blares in orange, red, yellow
Pluto grips her by the shoulders

look at me.

What are you willing to give up in order to be free?

I’m scared I’ll lose my gifts
my blessings
my worth
my perfection
the only thing that keeps me worthy

What are you willing to give up in order to heal?

I’m scared I’ll lose
my role
my role
my role
my purpose

What are you willing to give up in order to change?

Breath Eight.

what are you willing to give up in order to be free?

I’m scared of losing


losing my sanity

losing love

losing sanity


Breath Eight.

what are you willing to give up in order to be free?

I’m scared of





losing you

my child my parent my partner my family

Breath Eight.

what are you willing to give up
in order to
receive love?

losing love

losing time

losing time

losing time

I rush because I’m scared

of losing time

Breath Nine.

I’m scared
of losing

my name.

The full moon in Aries, the Warrior Moon
reaches its accumulation.
It explodes into a billion tiny particles of star dust,
gently floating from the night sky toward the earth,
on a romantic winter’s night.

With the waning moon, Pluto’s name detaches from her body
and ascends into the black night.
Her name integrates with the snow.
It dances upon all of us, with the wonder and innocence
of a child.

It would not be for another 3 generations that she would get it back.

Because the one thing she will not rush

Is Her Resurrection.


Are you a radical, political soul who wants to do a Pluto style deep dive into your ancestral healing, and hone your multidimensional genius and witchy gifts? I want to shout-out some of my most beloved mentors, Dr G Love & Elder Nana Sakara who lead a community of badass spiritual warriors, earth stewards and everyday (r)evolutionaries.

I’ve been involved with this hoop for the last 2 years, and their guidance has undoubtedly changed my life and informed all of the really cool stuff I’m doing, including this series.

Every year they do a week-long retreat during the winter and summer solstice. This is a Black-led, queer/trans/Black/Indigenous/people of colour centered space that is open to all who are called to join this work. If you are interested in finding out more information about the upcoming retreat, please visit their IG: @soulshifting_retreats or email: soulshiftingretreats@gmail.com and tell em I sent ya.


On last week’s post I mentioned I will be doing a free “Goodbye 2019” astro-tarot reading next Sunday, however I’m postponing this until December. (You know, because of the whole Mercury Retrograde and trying not to rush thing ;P). I will be emailing folks and posting information about this on my Instagram – @astrology4survivors – so please keep a look out if you’re interested! ❤

Shaunga Tagore is a writer, theatre artist, astrologer, and ancestral/multidimensional communicator living in Tkaronto / Toronto, traditional territory of the Haudensaunee, Wendat, Anishnabek, and Mississagaus of New Credit. For more from her COSMIC FOLKTALES series, browse her archives and look forward to a new post each Sunday.

Many elements of this story were inspired by my mentorship relationship with d’bi.young anitafrika, and while in meditation working with her anitafrika method. Much love and gratitude to d’bi. for sharing her heart-work!

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