In astrology, Pluto rules over the dark side—think: death, sex, power, and control—and the light that can come from confronting these things head-on. Though it may be the smallest planet in astrology (actually considered a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union), don’t let its petite size fool you; the heavenly body is far from delicate. It rules the elusive Scorpio and gives rise to the zodiac sign’s strong, dark vibe (which totally checks out, since in Greek mythology, Pluto is associated with Hades, the god of the underworld).
“Pluto [transits] are about embracing how cathartic it is to make peace with [and let go of] parts of yourself that no longer align with the truth and complexity of who you are.” —Andrea Donnelly, spiritual mentor
“Pluto's energy is about clearing out the patterns, places, people, and things in your life that have met their expiration dates,” says spiritual mentor Andrea Donnelly. “It’s about embracing how cathartic it is to make peace with [and let go of] parts of yourself that no longer align with the truth and complexity of who you are.”
On a societal level, Pluto similarly pushes us to unearth old ideas and traditions that may be hiding beneath the surface and consider whether they’re due for reinvention. Given that the planet is now in Aquarius, that process will likely occur in Aquarian realms of life, like humanitarian rights and technology—which we’re already seeing, á la the rise of sophisticated artificial intelligence and the political battles around bodily autonomy and gender expression. It’s no wonder astrologers are calling Pluto in Aquarius one of the biggest astrological events of the year.
What does Pluto in Aquarius mean for the overall vibe in 2023?
Because Pluto is a generational planet, it's worth noting that its transit in Aquarius will have a collective impact over the next several years (until 2043), rather than triggering individual-level change right now—as is more typical for transits of personal planets (looking at you, Mercury).
According to astrologer Aubrey Houdeshell, author of the forthcoming Oracle of Pluto deck, “Pluto brings a palpable intensity to a person that can manifest in many ways, such as extreme ambition, drive, passion, or jealousy.” The planet’s shift into Aquarius, specifically, is bound to dial up these qualities as they relate to larger societal and humanitarian themes.
In particular, Aquarius is the sign of rebellion, social justice, and community. “This sign strives to implement systems and structures that are more accessible, equal, and sustainable for all,” says Houdeshell. With Pluto’s intense presence in Aquarius, we can expect a push for total transformation—however messy that might be—in order to bring about that Aquarian ideal of equity. And as political tension involving gun reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change seems to be reaching a head, it’s clear that Pluto’s reign in Aquarius is well underway.
During Pluto’s travels through the avante-garde air sign, we’ll be prompted to take a look at our current structures, norms, and dogmas, and to dismantle the systems that are no longer serving the greater good. According to Houdeshell, it’s possible that we’ll reform our economic system or shift away from capitalism altogether during this 20-year transit. “Climate change and sustainable practices in major industries such as fashion will also come forward as our need to live in harmony with our planet becomes [more pressing],” she adds.
In the meantime, Pluto’s transit in Aquarius will also have unique ripple effects for every zodiac sign based on the astrological house in which it falls for each one. Keep reading to learn how Pluto in Aquarius will affect your personal metamorphosis, based on your sign.
How Pluto in Aquarius will affect each zodiac sign in 2023 and beyond
Pluto is putting your social life in the hot seat, Aries. According to Houdeshell, this period is all about finding a group that aligns with your values and into which you can fit naturally, as Pluto in Aquarius moves through your 11th house of friendships. “Pluto may clear out relationships that have surpassed their shelf life, so don’t be surprised if people start to fall away,” she adds. “During this time, you may also find a new group [whose purpose] you want to serve or support.”
Who are you when nobody’s looking, Taurus? Pluto is gracing you with the courage to be your authentic self as it pushes you toward your higher purpose, says Houdeshell, describing the planet’s jaunt through your 10th house of career. Be on the lookout for changes or shifts in your professional life. “This is a call to find the work that really aligns [with your values], even if it’s also totally outside of the box,” she says.
Prepare for spiritual and mental revelations, Gemini. Houdeshell says that Pluto is transforming the way you see the world as it moves through your ninth house of exploration, and it may even inspire you to take your education to the next level—so, seize any opportunity to expand your mind. “Spirituality, religion, and philosophy may become important issues for you, given that what you believe in may evolve,” says Houdeshell.
Uncomfortable shifts and inevitable endings may find you during this Pluto transit, Cancer. The planet of privacy could bubble secrets up to the surface or leave you with a monetary windfall from an unexpected source, as it moves through your eighth house of taboos, resurrections, and other people’s money. In general, Pluto is helping you cope with loss, “and certainly, you will undergo a kind of death pertaining to your emotional depths,” says Houdeshell.
Pluto is rocking the boat in your seventh house of relationships, Leo, and according to Houdeshell, this may have you confronting commitment. It’s a great moment to address the functions of your partnerships and ensure your desires and needs are being met.
“You may redefine what you believe in when it comes to committed partnership and grapple with what actually feels authentic to you,” says Houdeshell. This might include considering less conventional systems of partnership. (Polyamory, anyone?) Ultimately, any changes you make will help you experience a more fulfilling relationship with a partner, “regardless of what society may or may not deem as normal,” says Houdeshell.
You might realize that some aspects of your day-to-day routine are in need of reinvention, Virgo. Indeed, Pluto’s influence in your sixth house of rituals and health may prompt you to totally revamp your schedule or take a new approach to your everyday well-being and self care, says Houdeshell. “It’s important to be able to prioritize your health in a way that feels good,” she adds.
Pluto is bringing out your inner child and all the growth and healing that can come along with it, Libra. Per Houdeshell, this transit—which activates your fifth house of pleasure and fun—will help you step away from your echo chamber so you can find a fresh and personal perspective on creativity. “This will be a period of time to really commit to your vision(s) and execute them,” she adds.
Now’s the perfect time to sneak away from the noise of the outside world and home in on your private life, Scorpio. Pluto (which is also your planetary ruler) is pushing you to rethink family values, according to Houdeshell, as it moves through your fourth house of home and familial roots. “There is potential for a great amount of healing to be had if relevant,” she says. “However, consider also that, as adults, we get to choose whom we consider family.”
Pluto is helping you see how you fit into your social scene, Sagittarius, as it moves through your third house of communication, short-term travel, and close family. “During this time, you will be pushed to get social, whether in your neighborhood, city, or even with your siblings,” says Houdeshell. Don’t waste time with conversations that don’t nourish your mind or help you expand your perspective; in fact, taking a break from social media might feel apt right about now.
Brace yourself for major revelations and financial shifts, Capricorn. “You may redefine where you place value, on what you place value, and why,” says Houdeshell, of Pluto’s transit through your second house of financial resources and income. “Your approach to material security may change, too,” she adds.
While Pluto is having you question what truly matters to you, from your liquid assets to other people's valuations of you, Houdeshell suggests focusing on acknowledging and building up your self-esteem.
Talk about an identity crisis, Aquarius. Pluto is calling upon all versions of you, helping you filter out the perspectives and reservations you’ve been holding onto lately that don’t necessarily serve you or the collective good. After all, it’s moving right through your sign, aka your first house of self and identity.
“It is truly an invitation to let your old selves die, and to embrace who you are today, completely and unabashedly,” says Houdeshell. Throughout this time, don’t be afraid to change your mind—and to change your actions accordingly.
Retreating to your shell could make this transit all the more beneficial, Pisces. This period is about recognizing the inner wounds and other parts of yourself that keep you from enjoying life and working to shed them, as Pluto moves through your 12th house of the inner psyche.
“Whatever you tend to ignore or haven’t dealt with in your life will now be brought into the light to be acknowledged,” says Houdeshell. But you don’t have to confront these things alone; confiding in a trusted loved one or therapist can provide you with the catharsis needed to morph into your highest self, says Houdeshell.
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