Image by Marcus Black, 1844
This retrograde takes us by the hand to journey deep into the underworld of transformation, mystery, surrender, and renewal. It’s an invitation to strip back the noise and instead dive deep within.
Dates: 1 May 2023 – 11 October, 2023
It’s Pluto Retrograde. A backwards spin through the underworld. A deep dive into transformation. And a reclamation of our shadow. Pluto retrograde, from 1 May to 11 October, is an invitation to come into communion with the parts of ourselves we are yet to accept and pour love into, so that we may reclaim every aspect of who we are – light and dark.
Pluto in Astrology
Pluto is what’s referred to as an outer planet in astrology, labelled as such because sits outside of the asteroid belt, as opposed to the inner planets – Mercury, Venus and Mars which live within the asteroid belt. When connecting with the movements of the outer planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, we are connecting with larger chapters of our experience.
While the inner planets are fast moving, shifting between signs, and making aspects weekly, the outer planets are much slower in motion, representing years of our lives. When they move, we feel the shift deeply. When they move, they represent an entirely new era for us.
Pluto can spend up to 21 years in one sign and retrogrades every year for around five to six months. The moment in time we currently find ourselves within is somewhat of a straddling of two worlds – the old and the new. Pluto in Capricorn being the old – or the existing, and Pluto in Aquarius being the new – or the future.
In March 2023, Pluto left Capricorn where it has called home since 2008, and entered Aquarius for the first time since the 1700’s.
On May 1, 2023, Pluto began its retrograde in Aquarius, continuing its backwards spin until it reaches Capricorn once again on June 11. Pluto will remain in Capricorn into January 2024, until it shifts back into Aquarius. It will continue this forward-backward motion a few more times until it settles in Aquarius through 2043.
Pluto, and therefore we, took one step forward into Aquarius, and one step back into Capricorn. With more steps in each direction to take place, we are dancing deep with change. We are preparing for a new era. And this retrograde is an integral part of the dance.
While Pluto Retrograde may get less airtime than the well-known Mercury Retrograde, its invitations are just as influential, impactful, and deserving of our attention. It has been theorized that as we move further away from the Earth in our Solar system, the more complex, misunderstood, mysterious and subtle the astrological invitations and frequencies of the planets are.
Pluto, named after the Roman God of the underworld and sitting at the edge of our known Solar system, is no different. Unlike Mercury, which represents linear thought and the logical mind among other things, Pluto’s influence cannot be grasped only with the mind. It is the process of death, rebirth, transformation, power, and the unconscious. It represents the unseen, the mystery, and the hidden aspects of self and humanity. It is the deep reserves within us that are not often journeyed. It is our shadows, darkness, and vulnerabilities.
Retrogrades in Astrology represent R-E words like review, revise, reconsider, realign, revisit, and so on. They are the one step backwards to allow for the many steps forward. They are a sacred pause inviting us to look around, review who we are and the path we are walking upon, to integrate our lived experiences, to consider past journeys that were left behind, to bring closure to what is needing it, and to arrive present, centred, and aligned before continuing forward.
Retrogrades remind us that life, no matter how we try, is not linear. Our journey is cyclic. We move up and down and every other direction possible. And our inner world is no different – especially with the influence of Pluto.
Pluto excavates. It brings to light. It asks us to be with. Pluto retrograde shows us what is laying within waiting for healing. Waiting for acceptance. Waiting for closure. Waiting for our presence. It digs deep within our hidden inner caves, the unconscious, the emotional body, the hidden within us.
Here, we are revisiting what is ready to be transformed. Throughout Pluto Retrograde we may find what we have labelled ‘old’ emotions, stories, or pain points resurfacing. And while transformation is rarely easy, it is deeply nourishing. It is where we feel imprisoned within ourselves that Pluto asks us to find our freedom. It is within the experiences that have us feel powerless that Pluto invites empowerment. And it is through cracking open from within that Pluto welcomes light into dark spaces.
If old stories, wounds, fears, or pain points present themselves to you throughout this time, give yourself grace.
How can you befriend this part of you?
What is waiting on the other side of this wound?
What would it feel like to descend into it?
What does this part of you need?
How can you create safety while you journey with this?
Pluto represents aspects of humanity that for many are uncomfortable.
To journey through one’s inner shadow and face what sits within the discarded parts of us isn’t easy.
It is loving, however. And it is deeply healing.
Pluto is the missing piece of the puzzle that bring us home to the wholeness of our human experience. This retrograde invites us to be vulnerable while it peels back layers to sit with what lies underneath. To witness parts ourselves we have disowned and cast into the shadow – all so that we may reach into acceptance, piece by piece reclaiming ourselves. To witness what has been keeping us in chained, dimmed, powerless, and fearful – all so that we may remember our freedom, power, and light.
As Pluto beings its retrograde, allow the cyclic journey of your becoming and unbecoming to be what it is. Not only are we in the space of retrogrades, but we are dancing deep within the era-defining changes of Pluto from Capricorn to Aquarius.
This planet lives in the realms beyond our control, beyond our grasping. Our part in this is that of surrender, presence, and grace. Allow your humanness to be as messy as it desires for this time. For we are quite literally taking a step back, picking apart the pieces, making a mess, and then placing them back together in a way that is aligned, empowering, freeing, and real, all in time for our forward movement.
Jordane is Girl and Her Moon’s founder.
A devotee to the mystery and wonder of life, Jordane is a life-long learner and explorer, allowing each moment to be her greatest teacher.
From astrology, numerology and energy work, to ancient teachings and poetry, she is here to sink into all that the divine human experience encompasses and connect with magical humans (you) along the way. Connect with Jordane in our Flow with the Moon Membership and Podcast.