The Real Meaning of Pluto Going Retrograde

Pluto retrograde in 2017 started on April 19 in Capricorn at 19 degrees and will go through to September 28 also in Capricorn at 16 degrees. To work out how much you will be affected by the retrograde you first need to look at your natal chart or ask an astrologer to look at your chart and explain what areas will relate specifically to you. As a general rule however we can look at some people who will feel the retrograde more than others.

The first groups of people who will be affected the most are those who have their Sun in the sign of Capricorn. Others who will also feel the strong effects of the retrograde will be those who have the Sun in Cancer in their natal chart as this is the opposite sign of Capricorn. If you have any planet between 17 and 19 degrees or your Ascendant or Midheaven at these degrees in your chart you will also be affected.

How will you be affected?

Pluto retrograde stirs up a lot of things from the depths and brings them to the surface. However, it doesn’t make sense in astrology to look at whether you have good or bad aspects to the Pluto retrograde as it all depends on how you handle it. As such, we need to look at what it means as whole rather than just its positive or negative qualities.

Whatever the aspect you have with Pluto in your natal chart, a Pluto retrograde is a time of change and opportunity. Whatever happens, this is not something that you can ignore no matter how hard you try. Pluto is a very domineering planet and it won’t be pushed away when you feel its influence. Those with Capricorn and Cancer Sun signs may already have been making small changes before and during the retrograde cycle, and if this is true then you can expect these to continue. Pluto is not going to suddenly mess all of this up for you.

If however, you have been refusing to change things that aren’t working for you and have been stubbornly clinging to the past then you will certainly start to feel the Pluto retrograde as it rumbles along. That’s how Pluto works as it pushes for changes when they are needed.

I am strongly affected (My sun is in Capricorn) by Pluto & I have seen it at work many times with clients in my work as an astrologer. With that in mind, I can speak from experience about how Pluto can affect you. Having seen Pluto up close in so many of the readings I have done, I know how its energy manifests and how it can push and pull people in all different directions. One of the things I have seen with clients with strong Pluto aspects is the way in which they are forced to confront themselves during the Pluto retrograde, which can be like pulling back each layer of an onion to get to the inside. Once they dig down deep, they realize hidden gems that they didn’t even know were inside them or abilities they never thought they would be capable of.

Some people fear the power of Pluto or a Pluto retrograde but there really is nothing to be frightened of. Pluto will not affect you in a negative way if you work on areas of your life that need attention. This planet is there to protect you and transform your life in a way that is probably long overdue. It can, of course, feel scary when we go through any big changes.

The flipside of this, however, is that if you ignore Pluto and refuse to change then we will be pushed in the right direction by this planet whether we like it or not. This is not simply Pluto being mischievous and wanting us to make changes for the sake of it, but rather making us confront uncomfortable truths about our lives which will lead to a breakthrough. Part of the transformative energy of Pluto is that it will take us to where we need to be rather than where we thought we wanted to be, or where we thought was best for us.

Pluto is the planet of change and you can look at this change in a positive way, like a transformative experience, or you can look at it negatively and allow it to throw your life into chaos and then throw your hands up and stop trying. You have the choice about how you handle Pluto and that is a very important part of this retrograde period. Part of the push from Pluto is about getting in touch with our inner selves and realizing the work we need to put in. If we don’t know ourselves fully, then we tend to push back and not want to make changes, so Pluto asks us to dig deep and look honestly at the areas where we need to make some effort.

One of the issues that many people have with a Pluto retrograde is that there is no escape. In fact, the more you fight it the more difficult this time will be. The sooner you listen to the planets and start on your journey, the smoother the ride will be. If you don’t make the changes quickly, then Pluto will keep piling on the pressure and things will seem far more difficult than they need to be.

So how do we know which areas we need to work on? Well, for one thing, Pluto deeply affects our subconscious and this can even mean our dreams and times when our consciousness is alerted like when we are meditating. When Pluto is retrograde make sure that you pay more attention to your dreams than you would usually as these will give you clues or even answers as to where the issues are in your life that you need to address.

It is also possible however that during a Pluto retrograde you won’t feel the same intensity all the time and it may rise and fall in line with other aspects in your chart. If you have started to work on some of the issue that have been thrown up by Pluto however then the worst thing you can do is ease up when things feel a little easier. The breaks in the energy are giving you the space to see how the changes you have implemented are working for you and to alter your course if necessary. It gives you breathing space to asses you life, but it doesn’t mean that you need to stop.

An example of Pluto retrograde:

A good example of Pluto retrograde would be that you are working in a job you don’t like. You may have been promoted but the promotion comes with tons of extra work and responsibility and the money doesn’t make up for it at all. You find that your work-life balance is completely out of whack and you never have time to see your family or your friends. The tension starts to build up and you start to hate everyone at work and resent your job. Then the Pluto retrograde comes and you may suddenly feel that the pace slows down and that you don’t have as much work to do as you used to. This is not however a sign of things getting better but actually a sign from Pluto that you need to seriously think about your life and your job. If you sit back at this time and think that everything has worked out then you will be in for a rough surprise. Now is the time to make a plan not to rest on your laurels.

The one thing you can’t do is leave things as they are. That is the worst defense during this time. You need to make choices and they will probably be difficult ones, but you need to plan and then put these plans into action. Pluto is also pushing us to be brave, when usually most people prefer to keep to the status quo. We may be brave in a life or death situation, but in other areas of our lives that we feel matter less such as quitting a job then we may not have the guts to actually do it.

If you are ready to make a plan and move on it then all will be well, for you are taking the right steps forward. If however you refuse to move, despite all the cosmic help from Pluto, then finally this planet will run out of patience and will push you to make the moves whether you like it or not. In the example above, this is when things will get ugly. If you don’t do anything about changing your job then Pluto will suddenly pile on more work than you can handle. You will be so stressed and tired that you may snap at a colleague and all the tension will cause a huge fight in your office. The best case scenario is that you will be disciplined but the worst case scenario is that you will be fired. This will bring with it upheaval and financial difficulties, and you may struggle to find work. In the end you will, and you will be happier in your new role, but you will have made it really hard for yourself.

Either way you will be forced to make changes by Pluto but you are in control of them. You can either realize that your job isn’t working and make thoughtful changes (If this is the area that even needs your attention) that will make your life better. Or you can be fired, with all the emotional and financial problems that will come with that. It is your choice, but Pluto knows that you can’t keep working yourself into the ground and it will make the changes you need.


Pluto in the Houses:


In a natal chart there are twelve houses, and during the retrograde Pluto will be transiting through one of them. Make sure you find out which one applies to you so that you can get an idea of which area of your life is going to be most affected. This is where you will need to transform and evolve.

First House:

The First House is concerned with our public persona, the mask we wear in public, our appearance, our demeanor, our behavior in front of others, our body, our costumes, the public in general, how we want to be seen.

Second House:

The Second House is focused on money, banks, banking, debts, finance, income, inheritance, possessions, our values, what we will sell out for, our voice, the vocal cords, and the throat and thyroid.

Third House:

The Third House is concerned with the arms, wrists, and fingers. It is also focused on brothers and sisters and the ways in which we communicate. It is also related to communication devices, agreements, contracts, correspondence, intelligence, journalism, messages, the nervous system, postal orders, mail, speeches, study, tests, and writing.

Fourth House:

The Fourth House rules domestic life, in-laws, home, hotels, motels, leases, parents, your private life, security, the stomach, traditions, and family generally.

Fifth House:

The Fifth House is concerned with the back, the heart, the spine, and circulation issues. It is also related to children, courtship, creative endeavors, drama, groups, hobbies, holidays, love affairs, entertainment and enjoying oneself, social gatherings, parties, the entertainment business, gambling, teaching, and taking action.

Sixth House:

The Sixth House is linked to small animals, pets, the army, cafes, the civil service, daily work, routines, health, doctors, nurses, employment, hygiene, duty, labor, labor practices, nutrition, relations at work, servants, service to others, work, our work environment generally.

Seventh House:

The Seventh House is related to contracts, commitments to others, competition, courts, divorce, fugitives, legal issues, love and lovers, the kidneys, ovaries, and veins. It also links to marriage and marriage contracts, public interest, relationships, rivals, social issues, social groups, war, and negotiations.

Eighth House:

The Eighth House rules alimony, bankruptcy, death, debts, change, the genitals, rectum, hemorrhoids, bladder, inheritance, insurance, the occult, money linked to a partner, recycling, regeneration, reincarnation, sex, drugs, suicide, surgery, taxation, and wills.

Ninth House:

The Ninth House is concerned with advertising, airline staff, attorneys, lawyers, churches and religion, courts of law, dreams, foreigners, foreign policy, foreign lands, freedom, education, grandchildren, university. It also relates to the hips, legs, and sciatic nerve. We can also see how it links to travel and journeys, literature, meditation, metaphysics, and philosophy. It also rules religion, publishing, and science.

Tenth House:

The Tenth House is concerned with achievement, advancement, ambition, people who crave ambition, authority. On the body it relates to the bones, joints, knees, and skin. It also links to business, careers, professions, employers, esteem, privilege, fame and people who are or want to be famous, government, illness in children, parents, morals, leadership, honors, popularity, pride, promotion, responsibility, reputation at work, duty to others, and social status.

Eleventh House:

The Eleventh House is concerned with the calves, circulation, income from work, organizations, congress, colleagues, collective enterprises, companies, contacts, finances related to work, friends and wider acquaintances, groups, membership, legacies, humanitarian causes, hopes, wishes, projects, and goals. It also focuses on sons and daughters in law as well as other groups like sororities and fraternities.

Twelfth House:

The Twelfth House relates to large animals, the feet, hospitals, prisons, institutions, confinement, medication, siblings, the sea, anything nautical, sailors, loneliness, solitude, seclusion, sanctuaries. It also links to self contemplation, analysis, and our subconscious. It can also rule sorrow, hidden pain, secrets, enemies related to secrecy, thieves, welfare issues, and retirement.

Some of the words that we associate with Pluto are as follows:

Being alone, atom bombs, biological warfare such as VX gas and anthrax, Big Brother, clairvoyance, construction, cell multiplication, chemical war, control, death, tumors, regeneration, destruction, resurrection, dictators, fascists, fanatics, extremism, doctors, detectives, and those involved in secretive jobs under the surface. It is also linked to genetic flaws like chronic disease, intense emotions, things that are invisible, hidden depths and multiple layers, magic, manipulation, near death experiences nuclear warfare, psychic ability, the police, rebirth, sex, sexual issues and diseases, shocks, the soul, the subconscious, therapy, terrorism, transformative experiences, deep trauma.


The key for this Pluto retrograde cycle is to look at the area of your chart that is affected and put this together with the keywords that relate to Pluto to see how it may manifest in your life. The sooner you can act when it comes to Pluto retrograde and take positive steps to make any changes, the smoother the retrograde cycle will be. Whatever happens however, Pluto retrograde will show you where you need to do the work, and you will emerge stronger and transformed by the Plutonium power.

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Blessings, Bree

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