Virgo – Transpluto burnout

This piece is found in my contribution to the book, ASTROLOGY’S SPECIAL MEASUREMENTS, by Noel Tyl. It was originally written as Virgo Burn-Out. Years ago, Donna Cunningham advised me to put this article in a book. It did, only changing Virgo to Transpluto. These words are interchangeable.


When Transpluto is strong in the horoscope by House position or aspects to the personal planets, it can create a condition whereby the perfectionist, self-sufficient person cares too much what other people think. This personality type tends to be a “giver” who feels uncomfortable receiving. In Transactional Analysis, this trait is called Heavy Parenting. It describes a person who was only rewarded for perfect conformity, obedience, compliance— doing exactly what he or she was told… blocking out personal nurturing needs. These people become so fearful of receiving (nurturing) that they cut off others when they try to give and they set themselves up with a bevy of “receivers” or people who enjoy taking and dependency. This “giving” service provides the perfectionist, self-sufficient personality type with a considerable amount of control over others (the receivers) and a valid purpose in the receiver’s life.

This fear of receiving stems from childhood experiences wherein the early environment stressed obedience, compliance and a critical emphasis upon detail so that the individual came to be molded by the parental ideal without regard for the true inner self. Such individuals possess a subconscious childhood memory of being quite vulnerable in the position of “receiver” (from the parents, as all children are)— a position in which they were subjected to criticism, the parents trying to change them and being cast into a parental mold. As adults, when in the position of receiving, the Transpluto-afflicted individual does not feel worthy. In receiving, the individual fears that he or she will once again be placed in that position wherein the person giving will try to change them and tell them what to do.

When raised in an environment of conditional love— I love you if… if you do your homework, if you get good grades, if you clean your room, if you choose acceptable friends, if you do this or if you do that— such individuals learn that they can only gain approval though service and that they are only deserving of love and approval when they do something for it. The Moon’s House position and sign will show where approval and acceptance is sought. It is this aspect of Transpluto that directs the individual to employment in the “helping” professions, including astrological counseling, which is an outbranch of the core feeling that the individual is only worthy when doing something for others.

Being sensitive to criticism as a result of the perfectionist childhood environment, the goal and ideal of the Transplutonian individual is to strive for self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is a psychological protective mechanism whereby others are not allowed to get so close that they could criticize, reject, try to change or make demands.

The life-direction of service is actually as means of being in control. That is, those on the receiving end of the service are dependent upon the activity of the server.

The Burn-Out dilemma of the perfectionist, self-sufficient, other-directed personality type arises from a pattern of many years of giving energy to others and not allowing the reciprocation of receiving. Usually at the time of strong transiting Saturn afflictions, the Transplutonian individual comes to feel depleted and burned out. Feelings of anger begin to surface under the pressure of fatigue. The “receivers” in the life are resented because it is felt that they have used without returning. While blaming others, the fault actually lies within the Transplutonian individual. These individuals control their relationships through their giving and doing for others, becoming frustrated when the giving starts to control them!

The Transpluto Burn-Out symptoms are physical and emotional exhaustion, feeling unloved and unappreciated by the “receivers” in the life, no sense of purpose or drive since most of the activities are geared towards the needs of others. Caught in this pattern for many years, they have no idea how to change this situation. As perfectionists who fear criticism, they are driven by the projection that people will not love them if they do not continue to give their time and energy, coming to resent the people to whom they give. Yet, the thought of allowing others to do for them gives shutters of horror since their primary memory of receiving is from the critical parents. They see nurturing as dependency and vulnerability. If one cannot get nurturing from others by allowing them to do things for you, at least nurture yourself. This means getting in touch with what you want, what you need and what you feel. The action of Transpluto upon the developing psyche is to detach and intellectualize the emotions. Getting in touch with real feels becomes very difficult. Shop-a-holic compulsions and the Sara Lee Surrogate Mother Syndrome are merely emotional substitutes!

There are entire generations of individuals who are highly susceptible to the perfectionist burn-out of Transpluto. Those born during 1946-48 when Saturn in Leo was conjunct Transpluto, during 1953-55 when Saturn in Scorpio squared Transpluto. For such individuals I developed the following suggestions for dealing with Burn-Out:

  1. Learn to ask for what you need and want. When another offers, do not cut them off – SAY YES! Sounds easy? If you wince at this thought, you are a prime candidate for Transpluto Burn-Out.
  2. Do not give unless the other person asks. This will eliminate compulsive doing and giving. Put an end to volunteerism!
  3. Make yourself less available to others. Wean off the receivers and seek other types of relating. Find activities that are for your pure pleasure alone. If employed in a “helping” profession, decide when you are working. Simply because “problem solving” is easy, you may not consider it work but it is work!
  4. Do not do what you do not want to do! You cannot eliminate everything that is unpleasant but you can eliminate those things over which you have control.

NOTE: From my friend and astrologer, Amanda Owen: With people who cannot receive, it is etched in granite that the only people you will have in your life is people who cannot give!

2 Responses

  1. This sounds just like me, and I was born in 1947! Luckily, I have understood that people like to reciprocate, and I am working on letting them do so. (It takes time and practice!)

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