Transiting Pluto Retrograde & You

“Myastrologylife has a fondness for the Planet of the Deep both as a natal planet and a transiting one…we find it offers a person a chance for a subterranean shift that can transform the psyche to a place where there is no going back. A place called Forward.”


Pluto is now retrograde in Capricorn until Sept. 20, 2013.
First, let’s clarify what “retrograde” really means. In as near scientific terms as we can understand and conjure (so please speak up if we get it wrong!), when a planet is retrograde, it’s not actually going backwards as the term implies, but only seems as if it is to those of us who happen to be inhabiting the planets that are passing each other at certain times of their orbits. Earth is closer to the Sun and, thus, on an inner lane of the orbital race track, so to speak, while Pluto is on what might as well be considered, for now, an outside lane of the track. As the faster planet’s (Earth) pulls parallel to the slower planet (Pluto), the planets appear stationary to each other for a “moment’, until Earth passes Pluto. It’s at this point, it appears that one or the other is going backward, depending on which planet you’re living on. “Appears” is the operative word here. Or if you prefer more “earth bound” analogies, consider when a fast car approaches a slower car…for a moment two cars seem simpatico, but not for long. As the fast car pulls ahead, the slow car appears to move backward. That’s not really the case, as we know. Something called physics is happening! In the case of Pluto, a small and distant planet on the “outside track” it will appear to be moving backward beginning April 12, 2013, as the Earth, on the inside track, whips by the dwarf planet. It’s at these times the slower planet is said to be in retrograde motion.

A Few Fun Plutoids

  • Pluto is Retrograde approximately 5 months of the year.
  • Its 40x farther than the Earth is from the Sun and it takes 248 years to work its way around the Sun…and your natal chart.
  • It spends about two decades, give or take a few years, in each of your Astrological Houses.
  • One day on Pluto lasts about 6.5 Earth days.
  • Recategorized as a dwarf planet within the Kuiper Belt in 2006. Also called a plutoid (in this case not our play on words, but meaning a planet that’s farther out in space than Neptune—it’s one of three plutoids we know about so far). Check out our take on whether Pluto is a planet or not on FB.
  • It’s as wide as the United States
  • It has an eccentric orbit around Sun
  • We should know more about the planet when the spacecraft New Horizons, launched in 2006, reaches Pluto’s realm in 2015 (barring any mishaps along its way).
Sideview of Pluto's ecliptic orbit (red) shows its large inclination to Earth's ecliptic orbital plane. Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

Sideview of Pluto’s ecliptic orbit (red) shows its large inclination to Earth’s ecliptic orbital plane. Original simulation by Todd K. Timberlake

What Does Pluto’s Retrograde Mean to You?
Myastrologylife has a fondness for the Planet of the Deep (our dub) both as a natal planet and a transiting one because, generally speaking, when we surrender to its powerful inner command to look intensely within to analyze the area of our lives it’s impacting, we find it offers a person a chance for a subterranean shift that can transform the psyche to a place where there is no going back. A place called Forward. It’s command can be even more intensified when it is in retrograde, as it is now. We won’t dwell on what happens if you choose to leave the white flag at home and wage battle with Pluto. It’s choices like that that will be thrown right back at you during a retrograde if there’s still work to be done by you in the House it is transiting, as well as the House in which it natally resides. As the ruler of Scorpio, you will also feel it in the House that Scorpio resides. Because the inner work Pluto asks us to do is hard and intense, this transformation can take a lifetime, and, thus, the results of all that hard work might not be seen until the middle to later periods of our lives.

Currently, transiting Pluto is in the Cardinal Sign of Capricorn (and will be until 2023), placing emphasis on power, money, responsibility, maturity, revolutionary changes in ways of thinking and how we lead our lives. We can see this influence happening on a mass consciousness level, with governments and economies, for example. On a personal level, these themes will likely surface in the House(s) Pluto is impacting, especially if transiting Pluto is in hard aspect to a natal planet. If you don’t know your birth chart House placement for Capricorn, your natal Pluto, or Scorpio (the planet’s natural sign), consider if there is an/are area/s of your life in which you feel out of control or that you have recurring issues on an inner level, issues that might not be apparent to those on the outside. If you have avoided such analysis, it can manifest subconsciously as an uncomfortable feeling that something isn’t right. If that’s the case, take time to look at this “feeling” square on and try to access it. Is it Relationships (7th)? Work/Day-to-Day life(6th)? Career/Public Life (10th)? Family/Homelife (4th)? Where ever Pluto’s focus is, take the opportunity to dig deep and be honest about what you see. It will pay off in the long run.

On the other hand, if the transiting planet isn’t in hard aspect, or if you’ve done your work to get your Pluto-related Houses in order, you’ll reap one of the benefits: Pluto’s retrograde likely will go unnoticed!