Perhaps the biggest astro news of 2023 is Pluto's movement into Aquarius, for the first time since 1778 after around 20 years in Capricorn.
The planet Pluto represents our discomfort both personally and collectively. It reveals how we work with power--to hide or be vulnerable. Pluto, as a planet connects intimately with the psyche and soul, asks us to dig deeper. While it was in Capricorn we started to see the shedding of what isn’t working collectively within power and capitalism--particularly with economic structures such as student loans and Great Resignation, and my hope is that in Aquarius we can find a new forward.
Pluto shows us what we reject or avoid and then project onto others, and it asks us to integrate the shadow and bring more and more consciousness to our shadow. The transformative power for us move through the death and rebirth cycles of life and Aquarius may move us forward to cultivating power that serves the collective highest good. Rather than the bureaucracy or elitism often preferred by Capricorn.
When Pluto feels out of power it attempts to hide or manipulate and when empowered it can respond with authenticity and directness.
A Brief Pluto History
Pluto's power is so undeniable we aren't even sure we want it to be an official planet includes in our solar system.
After its discovery as 9th planet on February 18, 1930, the International Astronomy Union downgraded it to a "dwarf planet" on August 24, 2006 based on these three official criteria:
It is in orbit around the Sun.
It has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium (a nearly round shape).
It has “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit.
Apparently Pluto lost on the third one as its gravitation pull somehow doesn't quite cut it. I don't fully understand all of this, but I do know this wasn't decided by planetary scientists, which makes it still a bit controversial.
Keywords of Pluto*
Sex, penetration, power, death, taxes, other people's money, depth, and intensity, concern with survival, kundalini, the instincts, libidinal and aggressive, destructive and regenerative, volcanic and cathartic, eliminative, transformative, ever-evolving; the biological processes of birth, sex, and death, the cycle of death and rebirth; upheaval, breakdown, decay, and fertilization; violent purgatorial discharge of pent-up energies, purifying fire; situations of life-and-death extremes, power struggles, all that is titanic, potent, and massive; Freud's primordial id, "the broiling cauldron of the instincts," Darwin's ever-evolving nature and the biological struggle for existence, Nietzsche's Dionysian principle and the will to power, Schopenhauer's blind striving universal will, the powerful forces of nature emerging from its chthonic depths, within and without, the intense, fiery underworld and underground in all senses: elemental, geological, instinctual, political, social, sexual, urban, criminal, mythological, demonic; the dark, mysterious, taboo, and often terrifying reality that lurks beneath the surface of things, beneath the ego, societal conventions, and the veneer of civilization, beneath the surface of the Earth, that is periodically unleashed with destructive and transformative force; myths of descent, transformation, and resurrection; deities of destruction and regeneration, death and rebirth:
Mythological associations with Pluto:
Dionysus, Hades and Persephone, Pan, Medusa, Lilith, Innana, the volcano goddess Pele, Quetzalcoatl, Serpent power, Kundalini, Shiva, Shakti, Kali, Hades, Pluto
Keywords of Aquarius*:
Sudden change, electricity, new ideas, expansion, novelty, awakening, inventiveness and creative breakthrough, brilliance, breakthrough, rebellion against constraints and the status quo, freedom, erraticness, eccentricity, instability, unpredictability, technological advance, electricity, impulse towards novelty and the new, the unexpected and disruptive, creative-rebel-trickster energy, evolutionary, revolution
Mythological associations with Aquarius:
Greek sky god Ouranos, and Prometheus, the titan who rebelled against the gods, stole fire from heaven, and freed humankind.
Key Themes for the Future of Power with Pluto
power to the people and communities, rather than corporations
shifts in financial power
deeper intimacy and relating
transformation from aloneness and solitude to community
empowering archetypal dimension
evolution of depth psychology
shadow side of technology
How will Pluto's shift affect me?
It would be simple to say Pluto moves into Aquarius on March 23 and then that was that, but it moves in and out of the sign and back into Capricorn because of its annual retrograde cycle May 1-October 11, 2023. In 2023, it moves through the degrees of 27 Capricorn through 0 degree Aquarius.
Those with sun, moon, rising near late degrees of Capricorn or early Aquarius may notice this shift the most. Alternatively those with similar Cancer, Libra, Aries, or Leo degrees can become more intimate with Pluto during this time.
Pluto in Aquarius dates for next 20 years:
March 23, 2023-June 11, 2023
January 20, 2024-September 1, 2024
November 19, 2024-March 8, 2043
September 1, 2043-January 18, 2044
Um also that was weird typing "2043."
*Some of these from Archetypal Explorer app