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Pluto Retrograde ~ April 9 to September 16, 2011

An artist's impression of the view of Pluto and Charon from one of Pluto's smaller moons (either Nix or Hydra). Credit and Copyright to NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

It's time for Mr. Intensity's retrograde cycle. This year Pluto retrogrades from April 9 to September 16 and will go over the road he's already traveled from 8 degrees back to 5 degrees in Capricorn. Do you have natal planets/house angles between those degrees? If yes, then Pluto has been hanging around agitating that part of your chart/life. Just when he moves past the degree of your natal planet/house angle, he switches gears and heads for it again. But it's not personal. It's his job. And it's each of our jobs to endure with whatever transformative change he is helping us make. The more we resist, consciously or not, the more difficult his transit on our charts/in our lives will be.

Pluto in Capricorn turns its focus inward. He questions our structure, the very foundation that we operate from, the beliefs we hold so dear, the disciplines we practice, the principles we abide by, and that which we have always known to be our truth. From previous posts, I've briefly explained the importance and meaning of Pluto in Capricorn:

Pluto represents rebirth, regeneration, and transformation. He is our compulsions, obsessions, ability for control, and empowerment. Pluto gives us the power to tackle obstacles in life through deeply understanding our situations, which results in our letting go and being transformed in the process. Pluto's process usually brings endings, purging, destruction, complete annihilation of what no longer works before a renewal can occur.

As he transits signs, he moves through our natal and solar houses affecting our lives slowly, subtly but with glaring, remarkable life-altering results. Pluto currently moves through Capricorn, where he is ambitious, practical, and determined. Capricorn represents social status, public life, reputation, hierarchies, and established government. Globally, Pluto's transit in Capricorn until 2023 may bring changes in government systems, restructuring of proven but antiquated methods, issues with security, and the like. Expect these issues to be extended to our personal lives -- how we feel about security and what makes us secure; a look at what we do, hold on to, practice, believe in that no longer reflects our current life, our present self, our present drives; establishing or reevaluating of our goals/aspirations and taking steps toward achieving them.

While Pluto is retrograde in Capricorn, he will revisit the period from now and back to mid-December 2010. Perhaps, recurring issues or events that you went through on and off for much of 2010 but left unfinished may also get another look. How have things progressed since then? What's different? What's the same? Where's the hang up? Why can't you seem to give it up or let it go? What are you really afraid of?

Make use of this Pluto retrograde period as best as you can. Whatever you ignore or whatever you remain 'blind' to may come back to really bite you in the ass, especially when Pluto (purging/cycle of death & rebirth) and Uranus (revolutionary/radical change) square (conflict/war) each other next year. They will come close to squaring in July-ish but their square won't perfect. However, late June to July-ish could give some of us a big, loud wake up call or maybe something less harsh like a bright light bulb resulting in a long awaited a-ha moment. Those with natal planets/house angles between 4 or 5 degrees of cardinal signs might experience this more forceful than most.

Pluto retrogrades from April 9 at 1:50 a.m. PDT / 4:50 a.m. EDT until September 16 at 11:24 a.m. PDT / 2:24 p.m EDT. The retrograde occurs at 8 degrees back to 5 degrees of Capricorn. Early born cardinal Sun signs or Risings and those with natal planets/house angles between 5 and 8 degrees of cardinal signs may feel the effects of this retrograde stronger than others. For those with natal Pluto in the early degrees of Libra (born approximately October 1973 to April 1974; August to November 1974; April to August 1974), you're going through your Pluto square Pluto years. These are trying years where external forces demand that you face up to your own shadow and become in contact with the buried parts of the self. So, you're not going crazy. Hang in there and work with the changes that needs to happen. Resisting just makes the transition more painful. Be mindful that resistance can come in the form of unconscious drives.

For me, Pluto has been in an opposition my Sun & square my Uranus for most of 2010 and will continue to do so for all of 2011. This Pluto transit puts extra pressure to my natal 10th house Cancer-Sun that is natally in a tight square my Uranus (in Libra & in natal 1st). As if that's not enough, Neptune has also been square my Neptune for quite some time & will continue for much of 2011/some of 2012. I'd have to 'checked out' not to feel the pressure. 'Luckily' for me, my birth chart is natively strong with Pluto energy. I have Pluto-rising and sextile my natal Neptune. So, it's a "familiar" energy of delving deep, accepting harsh truths, cutting off unnecessaries and restructuring deeply rooted foundation. What's pushing the envelope, however, is that Pluto's opposition to my Sun and square to my Uranus forms a cardinal T-square with my natal Uranus as the focal point of the T-square's tension! For the non-astro folks, a square is the most challenging relationship between two planets. Think of the planets involved being at war. Each forcing upon the other the strength of their will. Action is required with a square, although agreeing to disagree is sometimes the best way to handle the forcefulness of a square. An opposition is also challenging but can be solved by balance, compromise and meeting each other half-way. A t-square has at least double the square energy in addition to the challenges of the opposition between at least two planets. Square=conflict/war. Opposition=requires balance. T-square=ouch. Squares, oppositions, t-squares -- it's all about growth/personal development and sometimes growing pains inevitably comes hand in hand with maturity.

How might this Pluto retrograde manifest in your personal world? Unsure if you have natal planets/house planets on or around 5-8 degrees of Capricorn? Cast your own birth chart at for use as reference -- birth date, time, and place required.

Alternatively, I am also available for a 24-month Pluto Transit reading or a customized reading tailored to your needs. Schedule your session. Are you celebrating a birthday? Or know someone who is? How about a Solar Return (birthdays) or 3-Chart Reading (detailed natal & overall outlook for the next 12 months) or request a quote for a more customized reading tailored to your needs. You might also consider giving a loved one the gift of insight.

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Image: An artist's impression of the view of Pluto and Charon from one of Pluto's smaller moons (either Nix or Hydra). Credit and Copyright to NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI).

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