Pluto has been in the sign of Capricorn since 2008 and this is the tenth retrograde period since then. The planet will station retrograde at 21° 17’ on 22nd April and backtrack to 18°45’ where it will station direct on 30th September.
The retrograde period will affect those persons with planets and/or angles in the Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn between 25°-15° (allow a 5° orb applying and a 3° separating, Pluto transits are long). Look to the house axis where Pluto is transiting in your chart for indications of the matters that will be under scrutiny during the retrograde.
Pluto is concerned with power, regeneration, survival, transformation, sex, obsession and possessiveness. Pluto is the god of the Underworld. Pluto in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) is concerned with the deep-reaching transformation of social order, laws and hierarchies. He often works subtly (in our psyche) but always relentlessly and he can be an over-achiever, by using his power and persuasion for his own means, in this Saturn-ruled sign.
During the Pluto retrograde period, matters that were previously too painful to face may bubble up from our unconsciousness and we may have to meet these in the physical realm where we will be required to deal with them. Pluto only forces us to confront and transform that which is in dire need of change. This period may also provide us with the opportunity to find some of the latent sources of power inside ourselves allowing us to harness them in an appropriate way. Pluto shows us the reality of our limitations and even more so since it moved into Capricorn. The retrograde period is really a huge invitation to become more fully aware of the resources we hide in our inner depths. Failure to do this could lead to external events that may puzzle and/or distress us as we take on the role of victim.
One of the more important aspects involving Pluto retrograde is the conjunction on the 25-26th April with Mars (21°17’). Mars is the god of war and Pluto is the Lord of the Underworld … War and Hell, not a good combination at all.
Mars naturally meets up with Pluto approximately once every two years but with the rendezvous taking place in Capricorn, where Mars has its exaltation, makes this very explosive energy (the last times they met up in Capricorn was in December 2008 (1° Capricorn), December 2010 (4° Capricorn), November 2012 (7° Capricorn), November 2014 (11° Capricorn) and October 2016 (14 Capricorn).
The shadow they create together is huge. Pluto turned inwards can be insane, obsessive, especially if we project those issues onto others instead of dealing with them ourselves…our inner demons become real and we meet them in the physical world. Keep in mind that he’s in no-nonsense, get-that-shit together Capricorn. Mars of course thrives on fighting, just give him the chance to exert himself and he’ll go overboard.
I’m afraid that mid to late April for some of us (and some areas of the world) may be in for a hell-of-a-ride in a rather negative way since wielding our power (Mars) in an obsessive (Pluto) manner is never for our best good or, worse, we could be involved in bearing the brunt of someone else’s power. However, let’s strive for a positive manifestation of this heavyweight energy by having the courage (Mars) to make a deep-reaching transformation (Pluto) in the sector of our life where these planets are transiting without overriding others in any way.
Where are Mars and Pluto transiting in your natal chart, what aspects are they making and which houses have Scorpio and Aries on the cusp?
Also happening on this date: Mercury in Aries squaring a contemplative retrograde Saturn in Capricorn (9°). Things that come to mind could be: walk don’t run, don’t doubt your intellectual capacities, don’t only see the dark side of life but steady those thoughts and move forward with resolution and also avoid making hasty decisions about things that matter.
Simultaneously, unpredictable Uranus has reached the last degree of Aries (29° also known as the anarectic degree) this is a bursting through or breaking free degree before entering the next sign as astrologer Michel Adler* puts it, some more hot volatile energy to deal with.
We may however have some rational and cool-headed support from the Moon which will be transiting in the sign of Virgo during 25-26 April and trining the Capricorn planets.
The Sabian symbol for 22° Capricorn: “By accepting defeat gracefully, a general reveals nobility of character.” Indicating the realization that one may grow through defeat as well as, and perhaps more than, through success.
For the antiscion point 9° Sagittarius: “A mother leads her small child step by step up a steep stairway.” Indicating the need in any social situation to assist the less evolved in their management of the problems which society requires its members to solve.
As we hold on to our hats let’s remember:
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Rudhyar D. (1974) “An Astrological Mandala: the cycles of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases”. pp 215 and 242, Vintage Books Edition, Random House Inc., New York, USA
Tierney B. (1983) “Dynamics of Aspect Analysis”, Chapter 10, Retrograde Planets, pp 249-252, CRCA Publications, Sebastopol, CA, USA
Image: Graffiti by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988)