Can Pluto Water Come Back?

In almost every hand was the drink fashionable that season, benedictine and Pluto water, with a sprig of mint.”

Kurt Vonnegut – Player Piano

Yes, let’s bring back Pluto Water! It’s very name suggests it should be able to pull off a rebirth stunt, right? Sadly, the one-time cult mineral water – ‘America’s favorite cathartic!‘ – was banned in 1971.

How come? Well, aside from its sulphuric stink and tonnes of magnesium sulphide, Pluto Water was high in lithium. When that became a controlled substance in the early Seventies, oddly enough just as Pluto arrived in Libra, it was goodbye to the one-time global phenom.

You can still visit the Pluto Spa to bathe in the waters but you can’t drink them. (Interestingly, some recent studies have found mental health benefits from naturally high-lithium water.)

Pluto Inc naturally morphed with the times. These days they’re still close to the original Pluto Springs in French Licks, Indiana and making presumably quite strong cleaning products. But no everyday consumable has been as iconic a brand as Pluto Water in its day.

It sold millions of bottles a year and fans like stunt artiste Harry Houdini and the musician Louis Armstrong (who drank three bottles a day at one point) helped make it ultra-popular with men.

“Misery really likes company. Jocks always try to stay together when they’re reducing hard. We’d always pair off to hit a box together for a long session. Or three or four guys would hit the Pluto Water together.”

Billy Pearson – Never Look Back

You see, a “catarthic” is an elegant euphemism for laxative – Pluto Water was mostly renowned for its potent ‘flushing’ effects and it’s core slogan reflects this: When Nature Won’t – Pluto Will.

This is super-resonant to anyone astrologically inclined because Pluto transits are comparable to a psychological colonic – complete with the forcible discharge of hazardous material you’ve been retaining for dubious reasons.

The astrological Pluto is also associated with cultural subcurrents, clandestine desire and underworldly people. French Licks, the spa town built around Pluto Springs, has a suitably plutonic history.

It’s far too lengthy to go into here – this article has a heap of info – but it was the gangster Al Capone’s favorite retreat, one of the original owners had to relinquish possession as he was sentenced to be executed by hanging for his part in the Civil War but was then reprieved and demanded it back and there was a mysterious fire at around the same time the plutonic springs ceased to be naturally sparking.

The 1929 stockmarket crash and consequent depression killed the spa market for ages: A Jesuit monks collective purchased Pluto Springs a few years late and and immediately dammed all the springs up with concrete.

They weren’t reopened again until 2007! Pluto Water’s marketing conflated the Greco-Roman god of the underworld with the Christian conceived ‘red devil’ villain so it (sort of) makes sense.

If your natal astro is Pluto-prominent or you can recall a recent (current?!) Pluto transit, you’ll know that damming things up just means they erupt elsewhere. FYI there is more than one spring – the neighboring one is called Prosperine, an old name for Persephone and while I am sure the water is as effective, it didn’t prove so simple to brand.

Perhaps it’s time for Persephone Water?

12 thoughts on “Can Pluto Water Come Back?”

  1. Oh my!! The next time I go to the (American) midwest, I’ll have to stop in French Lick and visit its Baden Spa, where its waters are uncapped.

    I quietly smile because one of my favorite professional basketball players, Larry Bird, was born and resides there. He has a very Plutonian history (Mars quincux Pluto, Pluto square Saturn) that include a family suicide and an extremely intense professional rivalry. His chart and bio show a man who redirected some extremely intense energies, and he’s an intense person besides. He remains a humble guy despite his successes, is one of the greatest American athletes, and his rivalry with Magic Johnson turned into a visibly strong friendship.

    1. Thanks again, Mystic, for your astrological travails! I had no idea about French Lick’s springs and I grew up in that larger region!

  2. So time apt as usual MM
    Pluto-prominent – and feeling damned

    I’m attempting an extreme psych unblocking and transformation of a lifelong and powerful trauma response that morphed from self-preservation to all-consuming and unbearable.

    There’ve been valiant therapy attempts. But in all I considered myself lucky to get away with suppressing, hiding, faking and skimming the surface to avoid evolving. Even when that resulted in regrettable love/career/friend/family casualties.

    I’m strong-willed and feel responsible for holding myself in this powerful spell, so it feels impossible to let go. But I’ve pushed myself and loved ones to critical love/psych/career/$$$ exhaustion – and honestly I’m also at an age+beauty flashpoint(!) – so it’s evolve in the age of Pluto in Aqua or die (alone, in my home sans cats).

    Natal Pluto
    1st Libra conj Asc+Venus+Mars
    trine Gem Moon 9th
    sextile Leo Merc/Saggo Neptune
    Sq MC+Part of fortune Kataka 10th
    Sq Ceres Cap 4th
    Semi-sq Sun Virgo 11th
    Opp Eris+Vertex Aries 8th
    Sextile Persephone Toro 8th
    Proserpina cusp Scorp 1st (never knew both asteroids existed!)

    Transit Pluto is currently trining my NN 12th and 1st Asc, and opp Jupiter Kataka 10th
    My natal Pluto is busy being trined by Mars+Venus and conj SN and opp NN+Chiron

  3. Has anyone had that horrid spring water at Bath … at the Pump Room … I could barely sip one mouthful of that warm suphuric offering.

  4. “making presumably quite strong cleaning products” Lol mystic 🤣🤣

    Unrelated but are cancer sun-venus men actually psychopathic love monsters? I have one in orbit rn, friggin hell 😳🤯 (there’s quite a bit of synastry. But he doesn’t speak aquarius 💀)

  5. In the early 70s, Lithium as a drug was a favourite of many psychiatrists for treating bi-polar disorder.
    Which is interesting after the comments about health reports in spa areas..:)

  6. There is a hot natural spring at Pilliga that my family visited when I was a kid. It was a do not drink ever water hole, fenced off from cattle although the local kangaroos would dabble at the cool end. It was relaxing but after a while you’d feel nauseous, can’t remember if it was toxins coming out or the prolonged heat.

  7. “When nature won’t, Pluto will” 😆😆 Ain’t that the truth.

    I almost bought a home in Ashland, Oregon and they are famous for the high lithium content of the water! There is a public fountain where you can drink it. And I think two places where you can soak in lithium hot springs… I remember reading that low lithium content in local water actually seems to help the mental and physical health of the people who live in the region and drink it. But obviously lithium is not something to be fucked with and you need to not overdo it!

  8. Plutonic!
    Appreciating you Mystic for resurrecting the history of Stygian bitters

    Seems a cabal of mega wellness resorts (hello Mudlavia Hotel) planted themselves atop local springs and adjacent salt licks bankrolling Indiana post-war just like French Licks Hotel.

    Great trivia, the resorts even had renowned Negro League baseball clubs ie the French Lick Plutos aka the Red Devils.

    Bonus reading how once the hotel began bottling Pluto Water the AMA apparently rained hellfire on the brand for concentrating it to 80x more sodium sulfate and 100x more Epsom salt in each bottle than found in the spring(!) calling out the politician-owner for shameless exploitation to which he shamelessly continued.

    Perhaps Persephone Water can regulate menstrual cycles or promote fertility, in states where that won’t get you arrested

    1. I LOVE this. Tales of corruption & chthonic deities. Also, as there seems to be a link between PME & lithium serum levels, you could be onto something with Persephone water & regulating periods – and, not for nothing was she called the goddess of fertility and the cyclical birth of life. I also read in some book i’ve now lost that she was also revered as the goddess of water & springs, but under another name (which i can’t remember) because using her real name was considered inauspicious in Ancient Greece as she was connected to death. So Mystic has struck an ancient chord of truth – why NOT call it Persephone Water?

      1. Thanks for the reference! I found the name Nestis for Persephone’s water + spring affiliation, and Kore for the euphemistic re-brand used for the abundance of festivals held in her and Demeter’s honor.

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