Pluto Retrograde Is Your Sign to Move Beyond Your Past and Into the Future

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About once a year, Pluto retrograde becomes the reason you may suddenly feel off. But while it’s all too easy to point to what planet is retrograde as the reason you’re experiencing every mishap and headache in the world, unlike other faster-moving celestial bodies, Pluto takes anywhere from 12 to 31 years to cruise through each sign of the zodiac. (This means it spends 248 years moving through all 12!)

In other words, it can be tough to put your finger on how the Pluto retrograde will affect you given it moves at a snail’s pace — at least, compared to the pace of an event like Mercury retrograde. But that isn’t to say that it doesn’t affect you at all.

Named for the God of the Underworld, Pluto’s purpose is to urge you to contend with your inner shadows, potentially toxic beliefs and patterns, and deep-rooted psychological and emotional wounds in order to come away healed and empowered. It’s also the planet of death, rebirth, and regeneration, so you can think of Pluto’s symbolism as the phoenix rising from the ashes. It’ll burn down anything that’s no longer serving you in order to spur growth.

Pluto also moves backward through the sky, entering retrograde periods annually for about five to six months. Read on for the meaning of Pluto retrograde, and details on how the planet of transformation stands to affect you as it moves backward in 2024.

When Is Pluto Retrograde in 2024?

In 2024, Pluto will be retrograde from May 2 to Oct. 11 — at first, in Aquarius and then later in Capricorn. (Capricorn is also where Pluto retrograde spent the majority of its time from 2008-2023.)

What Is Pluto Retrograde?

In order to understand what happens when Pluto is retrograde, it helps to wrap your head around how it functions when it’s direct (or moving forward). Pluto tends to bring attention to the darkness that underlies everyday life. When it links up or squares off with other planets in the sky or in your natal, aka birth, chart, it could set off power struggles, toxicity, or control issues or uncover nefarious secrets in our relationships. When Pluto is direct, we feel its effects far more externally. However, when Pluto is retrograde, its effects are more internal, psychological, and emotional.

What Does Pluto Retrograde Mean in Astrology?

During this annual astrological transit, the planet named for the God of the Underworld will challenge you to check — and ideally address — your own toxic, negative, and self-destructive behaviors, patterns, and belief systems. Ideally during this period, you might become more interested in resolving these compulsive behaviors or addictions.

As with any astrological event, there’s no guarantee you’ll feel this Pluto retrograde in a wildly apparent way. Even if it’s hitting a key point in your birth chart, it’s crucial to remember that Pluto’s snail pace means you’ll generally notice its effects in terms of patterns or mindsets, rather than something obviously outward like communication, money, or love. You might find that by fall, Pluto’s nudges — and mission to purge anything toxic — have managed to put you in a new, empowered headspace.

In 2024, Pluto will move backward primarily through the early degrees of fixed air sign Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus, the planet of sudden change and is associated with the eleventh house of networking and long-term wishes, a love of striking out against convention, contrarianism, humanitarianism, technology, and progressive ideals. In turn, it’s a time to prioritize inner work around all of these subjects — and being willing to look at your shadow side in relation to platonic bonds, how you use technology and social media, and groups you associate with and causes you go to bat for.

June 2 could be an especially eye-opening day, as Jupiter, moving through fellow air sign Gemini, forms a harmonious trine to Pluto, magnifying its powers. And when Mars, the planet of action, trines Pluto on July 21, you may be inspired to take action on realizations that the retrograde has spurred.

How the 2024 Pluto Retrograde Will Affect the Zodiac Signs

When it comes to Pluto’s 2024 retrograde, people who have their sun or other astrological placements in the fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — will feel it more than others. If you want to get even more specific, see if any of your “big six” (sun, moon, rising, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) birth chart placements fall around zero to 2 degrees of a fixed sign; if so, you’ll feel this one more than most.

Here’s how the 2024 Pluto retrograde will affect your zodiac sign. (Be sure to read your rising sign as well as your sun sign.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)

While Pluto moves backward through your eleventh house of networking, your social life could feel more intense than usual, Aries, specifically in terms of how you’re perceiving dynamics with friends or colleagues. This is a moment for soul searching around these connections and pinpointing just how healthy — or toxic — they may be. You could also be reflecting on long-term wishes and tinkering with the idea of manifesting something entirely different than what you’ve been moving toward for years.

Taurus (April 20 to May 20)

While Pluto’s retrograde, Taurus, you’ll be reflecting on toxic dynamics with higher-ups. You could grow even more conscious of ways in which you’ve potentially been enabling or adding fuel to any fires that have been sparking on your professional path. It’s time to root out negative patterns and behaviors with self-reflection so you can more readily step into your power. And once it moves back through your ninth house of adventure, you could experience transformations around your belief systems and personal philosophies.

Gemini (May 21 to June 20)

Pluto’s retrograde falls primarily in your ninth house of higher learning, Gemini, affecting the lens through which you see the world. The way you experience the world, aim to broaden your horizons, the philosophies you adhere to and champion, and anything you’ve believed in strongly is up for reassessment now. Sure, this may set off a bit of uneasiness, but you could ultimately come away from the transit feeling even more self-assured. And as Pluto moves back through your eighth house of emotional bonds and intimacy for roughly the last month of its retrograde, you’ll be exploring deep-rooted emotions related to sex, joint resources, or debt.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

For the lion’s share of Pluto’s retrograde, it’ll be moving backward through your eighth house of emotional bonds, intimacy, and joint resources, encouraging you to do some heavy-duty meditation around these deeply emotional topics, Cancer. Getting to the root of fears, insecurities, or anything else that’s causing you to feel uncomfortable in these areas of life can ultimately prove incredibly healing. Once Pluto retrograde re-enters your seventh house of partnership during the last month of its backspin, reflect on particular behaviors, thought processes, or dynamics that may be inhibiting long-term growth in one-on-one relationships. This phase is a wonderful one for better understanding yourself in relation to others, such as a family member, dear friend, significant other, or even business partner.

Leo (July 23 to Aug. 22)

Pluto kicks off its retrograde in your seventh house of partnership, encouraging you to reflect on how you’re showing up in one-on-one bonds and ways in which you could be holding yourself back from achieving shared goals, Leo. It could be that you’ve been telling yourself a particular narrative about what you want or don’t want, or you’re exerting too little or too much control. Either way, expect major inner transformations now. And for the last month of Pluto’s retrograde, its backspin in your sixth house of wellness is an opportunity to consider how you’re approaching your daily routine and thinking about how to quash any unhealthy habits once and for all.

Virgo (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)

Pluto’s retrograde falls in your sixth house of wellness and daily routine, the sector of your chart that your sign is actually associated with, so you know it well, Virgo. Over the course of Pluto’s backspin you have the opportunity to consider whether certain everyday habits are serving you well and leaving you feeling more powerful and in control — or quite the opposite. Think through and tune into your intuition to zero in on the best ways to makeover your hustle now. And when Pluto dips back into your fifth house of romance and self-expression during the last month of its retrograde, explore what commitments you could cut out or behaviors you might move past in order to step even more fully into your creative power.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Pluto’s retrograde in your fifth house of romance and self-expression can be extremely empowering, because you’ll be compelled to own your voice in a more self-assured and creative way, Libra. So the inner work of this period would be best devoted to considering what you really want to say — and what could be standing in the way of you projecting your passions and channeling your emotions into an artistic outlet. And as Pluto revisits your fourth house of home life for the last month of its retrograde, you’ll be grappling with deeply-rooted emotional issues that may have originated with your family or in childhood. What can you let go of now that will make way for transformative healing once and for all?

Scorpio (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)

Pluto’s presence in your fourth house of home life challenges you to take a microscope to issues of power, control, and toxicity that may be ingrained in your roots and family dynamics, Scorpio. You have the chance now to root out this darkness, and as Pluto moves backward this year, lean into comforting self-reflective practices like therapy. Through this work, you could be learning that beliefs you’ve held about yourself aren’t true, and it’s time to rewrite your story in a way that offers you the main-character energy you deserve. And as Pluto revisits your third house of communication during its last month of retrograde, deep, meaningful conversations and self-reflection serve as a balm for your spirit and soul.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)

This Pluto retrograde occurs primarily in your third house of communication, Sagittarius, which means you’ll be finding it tough to tolerate surface-level conversations — yes, even more than usual. Pluto’s energy is deep, powerful, and at times controlling, and its intensity shows up in how you’re interacting with others, learning, and trading and soaking up information. Allow yourself time to contemplate how you can deliver winning results without being quite so hard on yourself. And as Pluto returns to your second house of income for the last month of its retrograde, you’ll have a chance to gain clarity around the behaviors, patterns, and habits that may be holding you back when it comes to moneymaking.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)

Pluto’s retrograde in your second house of income can spur quite a bit of deep thought around how you’re generating cash flow and whether or not your approach is truly in line with your values, Capricorn. You might also become more conscious of how issues of power and control rear their ugly head in this area of your life — and how you can tackle them. And for roughly the last month of Pluto’s backspin, it’ll move back into your sign and first house of self — a place you’re absolutely familiar with it being. It may be time to address unfinished psychological work related to crafting your personal brand and bolstering self-empowerment and self-assuredness.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)

Pluto has spent more time in your sign than it did last year, Aquarius, so you’ve really gotten a taste of what this means for transformations that could be coming down the pike related to how you see yourself, your identity, your confidence, and how you want to present yourself out in the world. You can think of Pluto’s retrograde as a quieter period in which you get to take a beat to really think on all of these themes and consider how to best proceed once its direct in the fall. For the final month or so of the retrograde, it’ll be in your twelfth house of spirituality, so use that time to tap into your intuition and care for your mental health as a way to explore your sense of self — and your dreams — even more.

Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20)

Pluto moves backward through your twelfth house of spirituality for the bulk of this year’s retrograde, allowing you to really dig into self-work, particularly around long lasting emotional scars and heartaches from the past that you might be struggling to let go of, Pisces. Now’s your chance to put it all out there and move through it, perhaps alongside a therapist or trusted mentor, in order to get to the light at the end of the tunnel. And as Pluto moves back into your eleventh house of networking for the last month or so of its retrograde, anticipate significant self-reflection around your platonic bonds and what you need to feel connected, seen, and centered when showing up as part of a team.

This post was originally published on PopSugar

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