©June 2010 by Fabienne Lopez
Vampires have come along way since Bram Stoker claimed Dracula back from the dead in 1897. Since that time, vampires have invaded the media world. Book series bring into vampire’s struggles to life. Films turn them into major heartthrobs. And their legends and myths translate to real time role playing games over the internet. They have become a cash cow to feed from and the livestock of many novel writers.
In a word, vampires have become fashionable, sexy and drop dead gorgeous. But they haven’t lost all their original characteristics.
The vampire myth has been around for quite some time. It appears over the centuries in almost every culture, beginning with the earliest recorded epic from Babylonia, about 2000 years B.C and continuing through ancient Greece and Rome. From the Japanese Kasha to the Irish Dearg-Du and the Tlaciques of the Mexican Nahautl Indians and the Arabic Algul. The legends are diverse and the cultural variations numerous, though all involve humans returning from the dead, needing fresh blood to survive. But all the legends have one defining trait: they all involve humans returning from the dead and needing to consume blood to survive.
Blood stands for life, and blood is also the archetypal symbol of the soul (life energy). Therefore blood is a central symbol in many religions, including the Christian. The central image of all vampire lore is blood.
There are many reasons for why vampires are a hit in our popular culture. In my eyes, the most fundamental reason for their popularity is that vampires carry the archetype of Pluto, of birth and death that each of us has to confront in our process of becoming human. In mythic and religious terms, Pluto is associated with all myths of descent and transformation, and with all deities of destruction and regeneration, death and rebirth. Vampires seems to be the contemporary versions of this myth. Seen as creature of evil, soulless, and destroying innocent lives, they can be saved by the purifying experience of love and passion in it’s most intense form.
In astrology, Pluto represents the principle of death and regeneration. A principle that vampires have transposed into their ability to come back to life after dying, each and every night while sleeping the sleep of the dead during the day. Vampires have conquered death and achieved immortality.
Pluto also reflects the archetypal Underworld — the dark, mysterious, and often terrifying reality that lurks beneath the surface of things. A common trait of vampire stories is that they hide among unaware humans, going to great lengths to keep their existence a secret. The contemporary novels emphasize how vampires control the minds of their subject and can erase memories of their existence.
An astrological encounter with Pluto is always an experience associated with power, depth, and intensity. An encounter with a vampire is a terrifying experience, inspiring fear, repulsion laced with fascination, curiosity and awe. In the romance novels, the domineering nature of vampires (physical strength, sexual aggressiveness) provides the necessary characteristics associated with the Plutonian qualities of power and are intensified by their supernatural abilities to use mind control and telepathy with humans to get what they want.
The intensity of Pluto’s touch in our lives is a reminder that nobody can escape the experience unscathed the same way nobody messes with vampires without suffering dire consequences. Unlike men in today’s society, vampires can and do display aggressive behavior, often of sexual nature. They represent the perfect archetype of the dangerous male. They are the embodiment of Pluto’s “boiling cauldron of instincts.”
One of the most prevalent characteristics of Pluto is it’s capacity to impel, burn and consume its intended victim during the time it touches your chart. In similar fashion, in Christine Feehan’s Dark Series, Carpathian males, essentially vampires with souls and morals, are destined to become ever more desolate, losing the capacity for emotions, until they choose to become vampires, soulless, and viscious creatures. The only salvation for a Carpathian male is his lifemate, the one and only woman who can fill his soul and enable him to feel emotions. If a lifemate is not found, the hero will be consumed by his dark side and lose any chance at redemption. A vampire’s lover is transfigured and often times dies and resurrects, changed forever as the heroine becomes herself often becomes a vampire.
Pluto rules the domains of regeneration through a violent experience of birth and death similar to the moment where the baby is expelled from the uterus and has to go through the birth canal in order to survive. In similar fashion, a vampire’s power is counterbalanced by the torment he experiences. Anne Rice was the one of the most successful authors to introduce the notion that vampires were soul searching and tragic creatures pondering what it meant to exist as a vampire. Only through sacrifice (often their death) can the torment be resolved and ended.
In mythology Pluto was God of the underworld, called Hades where burns the Eternal Fire. This fire corresponds to sex, the procreating force. When analyzed, Pluto indicates all phases of sex, and, as sex activities are the strongest in matters of life and death. e Vampires are mythic creatures associated with both blood-sucking and eroticism and sex, both matters pertaining to the domain of Pluto.
A difficult Pluto transit can be compared to an encounter with a vampire. There is no way to escape the transit. You are, at the same time, revolted by the dark, icky stuff irrupting from the depth of your subconscious and at the same time fascinated by the range and depth of fears, obsessions, and taboos coming up from that Pluto transit, much like an encounter with a vampire in a romance novel. The heroine is attracted to the vampire while fearing for her life. Pluto will require you to deal with your inner vampire, inner taboos and hang-ups about life and death at the gut level. There is a certain quality of life and death in a Pluto transit as it requires you to give the “ONE” thing that you rather die for in place of giving it up. Liz Greene speaks of the image of Pluto letting you hang on a meat hooker until you beg for your life. But in order for you to regain your life you have to abandon the old one. A decision that requires you to let go. A difficult decision. I have found myself many times during a particularly difficult transit of Pluto at that crossroads. The One thing you need to give is the thing you deeply believe you cannot live without. A very difficult decision, as you believe you will die if you eve let go of this ONE thing. Eventually, as the Pluto transit finishes you will give up and be transformed. But it is a transformation by fire which will leave you radically different. Much like a vampire bite, where you die to yourself and awake radically transformed. Pluto transit teaches you that death is part of life and there is no avoidance of this fact.