Pluto in Aquarius
Pluto will move from Capricorn into Aquarius on March 23rd 2023 and will spend the rest of the year and most of 2024 moving back and forth between these 2 signs. He will settle into Aquarius in November 2024 until 2044. My Youtube video detailing what that means for all 12 signs is available. Saturn also charged signs in March of 2023, moving into Pisces for 3 years, and you watch that here.
Pluto in Mythology
In mythology Pluto was God of the underworld, or the afterlife. He was called Hades in Greek mythology. He is the child of Saturn and Ops and his siblings are Jupiter, Neptune, Ceres, Juno and Vesta. Saturn devoured his children because he was told one of them would overthrow him. When Jupiter was born his mother hid him and he eventually triumphed over his father and freed his siblings. In Saturn defense, he also had a bad relationship with his father.
He was somewhat of a loner, and spent his time is his dark underworld, ruling over the dead. He did marry Proserpina, after abducting her to his kingdom. Proserpina was the daughter of Ceres and Jupiter, so her parents were brother and sister, so Pluto married his niece. Oh, those gods!
Pluto in Astrology
Pluto is associated with the shadow side, the underside, the Upsidedown if you watched Stranger Things. Think of when we use the term ‘underworld’ to describe criminal activity. Fittingly because Pluto does rule criminal activity and what is hidden and secretive.
Therefore Pluto shows us what is corrupt, usually through an imbalance of power. Pluto shows us the bad side of a good thing. What needs to be changed, and in Pluto’s terms that’s death and rebirth. A complete dismantling and rebuilding. Pluto is drastic and extreme.
He’s an energy of power and control, death and rebirth, and deep transformation. We also associate Pluto with enlightenment and regeneration through the rebirth process. It is about evolving, transcending and regaining or establishing our power. Not over others but in terms of self. This energy is deeply and profoundly all about the inner self.
Pluto and Karma
Pluto takes approximately 248 years to complete its orbit around the zodiac. Due to the eccentricity of this orbit, the time it spends in a sign varies between 12 and 31 years. It was 16 years in Capricorn. It will spend 20 years in Aquarius. But what’s more interesting is that none of us will experience Pluto in all the signs and therefor houses. Perhaps 5 or 6 depending on the amount of time Pluto spends in those signs and where he was at your birth. For example, if Pluto is at the end of a sign ready to move into another, when you are born, he will cover 2 signs already in the first years of your life. If he is at the start of a sign, the first decades of your life could be under Pluto in that sign only. If he is transiting planets with long stays that will reduce the number of signs he transits in one lifetime. There’s an evolutionary karma there for our lifetime.
Also because of this slow orbit, whole generations are born with Pluto in a sign. Outer planets are said to be generational because they shape a generation.
Pluto since 2020
There was a pile up of planets in 2020. Remember the big Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter conjunction, called the Great Conjunction? It was exact on the winter solstice of December of 2020.
Now these planets have slowly pulled apart, creating more distance between them. Jupiter will be ahead, spending only 1 year in each sign. Saturn second, spending 3 years in a sign. Pluto will lag behind in Aquarius. This is feeling we can breathe easier, there is less energy concentrated in one place. We are heading for more balance, as opposed to so much concentrated energy in one place. As an astrologer I prefer this energy.
Pluto in Capricorn and Aquarius: 2023-2024
Pluto will enter Aquarius on March 23rd 2023, but move back to Capricorn by June. Can we see some final activity of Pluto in Capricorn as he finishes this transit? Will Pluto end his stay, as he started, with the financial ‘destruction’ we saw in 2008 when he arrived? That was the year of the housing crisis and record numbers of people lost their homes, unable to pay their mortgage. It was called the great recession. Presently, mortgage rates continue to climb and consumer debt increases. Pluto will not be truly out of Capricorn until November 2024, so the lag so between increases in rates and its effects remain to be fully seen.
Capricorn rules institutions, especially government and people at the top of the social pyramid. Those with power, wealth and status. There is a social structure aspect to the 10th house. Who sits at the top and what isn’t working with that system? Where does the power and control lie? Where is the imbalance and how do we change in order to function in a new and better way? That is Pluto’s power and control, death and rebirth, transformation and enlightenment.
Pluto always shows the shadow side
Pluto shows us what is not working, by showing us the shadow side, wherever he transits. I tend to be confused when astrologers talk about how awful Pluto in Capricorn was but in Aquarius it will be nirvana. I don’t believe so, we will also see what is not working there, how we have to do better. There can be an over structured aspect with Aquarius, rules upon rules. Striving to attain an ideal but ultimately things mover further from that ideal situation. There is always a shadow side.
Aquarius is about people at the bottom of the Capricornian pyramid. It is very much about equality and fairness. Associated with the 11th house it’s our social side: groups of friends and organizations we belong to, communities, including online. There’s also a futuristic and technological aspect to Aquarius, whose modern ruler is Uranus. Aquarius is associated with the 11th house of said groups but also hopes and wishes, also termed ‘long term goals’. Overall Aquarius is about that future vision of what could be. There’s a utopic aspect to this sign. Aquarius is an air sign, so the approach is rational and conceptual.
The word Aquarius is a Roman word. It is from the latin aqua, meaning water and arium meaning a receptacle or place. Think vivarium or aquarium. It meant water holder or water bearer.
The Romans built aqueducs to bring water to their cities. It was a central meeting place. Rich or poor, patrician or plebeian, everyone went by the fountain, stopping to water themselves or animals or to carry water home. We are all equal in our need for water.
It is the same with the Roman bath. Although the Greeks had smaller versions, the Romans expanded them to the sumptuous affairs we can still see today. And they were in almost all cities, even smaller ones. These were communal, they were a meeting place as the bath was a ritual. People spent hours, talking of politics, business, child rearing or just gossiping. There were different temperature baths, grooming areas, reading rooms and places to sit and talk. All went there, no distinction between rich and poor.
Remember there is also a technological component to Aquarius. This is evident in the brilliance of an aqueduct. The Romans brought water over long distances, almost solely relying on gravity. Also in the complex water works of the Roman baths. Advanced technology in action.
Aquarius and Fairness
As the last air sign there is an encompassing, collective approach, so Aquarius can want a system or rules for everyone that creates fairness. It’s interesting to note the city fountain was a priority over the bath. And both were prioritized over wealthy individuals who paid to have water brought to their house. When the water came into the city via the aqueduct it went to the fountain first, bath second and wealthy house solders third. There’s a ‘your money and power won’t get you anywhere’ vibe to Aquarius.
Farmers sometimes deviated some aqueduct water to irrigate their fields. This was forbidden by law but often overlooked as it kept food prices low: fair for everyone because the prices were affordable, food was accessible to all.
Pluto, Aquarius and Communities
Pluto in Aquarius will restructure communities. perhaps our online communities will be where we meet more than in person. Maybe communities will be based on what we have in common, regardless of where we are physically, rather than geographic lines.
It will be about groups of people at the bottom, regular people having more power. By speaking up and out but also by their actions, concerted or not. Sometimes it’s just reactive, we all think and react the same way.
Aquarius is very much related to technology and futuristic ideas. The accessibility of AI coincided with Pluto hovering on the cusp of Aquarius. As an air sign the approach is concepts and ideas. It can be a colder, rational approach to communities. What if this becomes over regulated, in the name of fairness? Some people worry about a centralized digital profile with all our information in one place: banking, shopping, medical, travel, and all social media. Or a social credit system as some countries already have in place.
In Yuval Harari’s book, 21 lessons for the 21st Century, he questions if we would use Artificial Intelligence to make our decisions, personal or governmental. Then who is in control? Where is the power? What’s the down side? Pluto will show us the bad side of a good thing for us to make out better.
Pluto is not Saturn
This is about transformation on the inside. Yes, it can be events that shape us, but the work happens within us. Saturn is of the physical realm: delays, obstacles, limits. We have to do the work. With Saturn we learn to overcome because we are faced with challenges and we learn skills because we are forced to solve problems and do the work to succeed. But while we are more adept we may not be that different on the inside, albeit more experienced.
Pluto is not a repeat of Saturn, although both are seen as heavy and serious. Saturn functions more on the physical plane. We confront delays and obstacles. It affects what we do and the tasks we must undertake. Saturn is going slow and paying attention to details. But Pluto is transformative on the inside. It can me a powerful person or event that hastens this inner change, but ultimately it is about what is going on inside of us. Pluto is the psyche.
Pluto by Sign and House
My YouTube video is timestamped for each sign. Watch for your Sun, Rising and even someone else in your life. Do know Pluto in Aquarius will at some point conjunct Aquarius Suns and Risings and cross their Ascendant; square Taurus and Scorpio Suns and Risings, crossing the Midheaven for Scorpios and Imum Coeli for Taurus; and oppose Leo Suns and Risings, crossing their descendant. There are also trines to Libra and Gemini Suns and Risings and sextiles to Aries and Sagittarius Suns and Risings. Check your chart, Pluto will not pass 0 degrees in 2023. This is a 20 year cycle, it is a slow deep change that is about, ultimately, being more enlightened.
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash