I finished reading Into the Darkest Corner: A Novel during a Mars’ transit over my natal Pluto (classically one of the aspects associated with abuse, violence, jealousy and control). The book could quite easily be filed under those kinds of Pluto taboo topics we want to pretend doesn’t happen. The statistics are shocking and each hour, 75 women are raped in the United States, and every few seconds, a woman is beaten.
Synopsis: “Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.”
The book is similar to the film, sleeping with the Enemy, except the drama teacher is swapped for an equally adorable psychologist as the new love interest and it falls along similar lines. The storyline involved the difficulty of moving on to the next romance, because the past usually has repercussions on new relationships and in this kind of situation it often involves the woman’s low self-esteem and fear of trusting someone again after being so badly hurt.
Some of Catherine’s friends you will hate a third of the way through the book, and it feels like the ultimate betrayal to tell close pals what has happened and to have them accuse you of being dramatic. The story is amped up with lots of sex and violence (Mars-Pluto) and it can make for uncomfortable reading at times. The female lead frequently goes out partying, drinking to excess and bringing men home. Later in the book her older self refers back to that time as being careless and naive and she has grown a lot wiser since and that is usually one of the important lessons that Pluto teaches us all. The Myth of Persephone is always lingering in the background of every woman’s difficult transition from naivety to grown woman, it almost feels like it is our greatest test to overcome.
After the trauma of the relationship Catherine developed OCD an extreme form that has her checking the locks and bolts on the door over and over again, almost mirroring Lee’s hyper-vigilance over the relationship. Both obsession and compulsion are ruled by Pluto in the horoscope, survival, power and powerlessness. At the outset of the story we have an inkling of what this man is truly capable of and it makes it that more terrifying when this young, happy-go-lucky woman, begins dating him.
We are fully aware of what she has entered into and something that she will find hard to escape. Near the beginning of the book, she asks him If he is a good man or a bad man, and he says: Well, that depends are you a good girl or a bad girl? By that statement he stays true to his words, and the green-eyed monster commits his most monstrous acts under this all-powerful influence when he thinks Catherine has betrayed him.
The root causes behind why someone is jealous and controlling fall under Pluto’s keywords: fear of abandonment, early humiliation, threat to a valuable relationship, and the desire to protect the bond. Abnormal jealousy produces hatred, lowered self-esteem, depression, suicide, violence, and domestic abuse. Pluto in astrology is the planet that spins dangerously out of control, and the abusive partner is like a hurricane, dangerous, powerful, unstoppable and inevitable force.
Throughout the book the author creates paranoia (Pluto) in the reader, as there were a few times I suddenly became hyper-alert and swore I saw a shadow move in the corner of my eye. It is an excellent thriller and page turner and it runs two stories at the same time almost like it is two different people. Catherine and Cathy, the younger naive version of herself and the over vigilante, wiser and stronger counterpart that has developed since the attack. It is a massive personality change and transformation and the necessity to start all over again and rebuild a new life (Pluto).
During the last horrific attack perhaps the old Catherine died right there on the floor and the new Cathy emerged with more strength, determination, self-esteem, and personal power. We still struggle along with her until she reaches this turning point and refuses to be afraid of him anymore effectively taking back her power similar to all good Pluto stories there is the final reckoning.
It is a difficult task to name what aspects in the natal chart and transits are predisposed to to fall into violent, abusive, jealous and obsessive relationships. Transits are usually the timers for when these kinds of experiences could happen to an individual. The aspects are usually Sun-Pluto, Moon-Pluto, Venus-Pluto, Mars-Pluto, and Pluto in the 5th or 7th house, planets in Scorpio and in the 8th house.
Psychology believes that these relationships don’t just happen and that choice is involved, meaning that whatever drives this choice of partner is telling the individual something about their romantic image. Pluto as a significator as part of the woman’s psyche and relationship aspects means we have the key to understanding why woman fall in love with a certain type of man.
Psychologists strongly stand by the theory that jealous individuals tend to have more traumatic experiences, are more damaged, with memories that carry a great emotional charge usually replaying childhood traumas and have had earlier experiences of jealousy, loss of love and crisis. The psycho-dynamic approach says the unconscious forces (Scorpio, 8th house, and Pluto) operate in cases of jealousy. Furthermore, assuming that people play an active (even if unconscious) part in creating these types of relationships and circumstances.
Jealousy isn’t all bad and it can add excitement and passion to relationships, and shows that we take don’t the other for granted, and that we desire the individual and are committed to the relationship. It becomes a problem when it is the abnormal kind of jealousy that destroys everything.
The Jealous Type described by The American Psychiatric Association:
When the central theme of the person’s delusion is that his or her spouse or lover is unfaithful. This belief is arrived at without due cause and is based on incorrect inference supported by small bits of “evidence” (e.g disarrayed clothing or spots on the sheets), which are collected and used to justify the delusion. The individual with the delusion usually confronts the spouse or lover and attempts to intervene in the imagined infidelity (e.g. restricting the spouse’s automy, secretly following the spouse, investigating the imagined lover, attacking the spouse.