Hold tight, Pluto is going direct. Pluto has been retrograde since May 1st and today it will 'station'.
Recently, astronomers (not astrologers) published findings from a 2015 NASA space probe in which they claim to have discovered a colony of ice volcanoes on the planet’s surface. “Ice lava,” ejected eons ago, has frozen into bizarre, “hummocky” terrain near the blast sites. Like dormant volcanoes on Earth, Pluto’s might still be active, meaning the planet’s core could be warmer than previously thought. Heat+water=the ultra slim possibility of microscopic life there.
But we astrologers have long known that Pluto is very much alive with a dark, strange, “hummocky” influence on us, an influence that will be making itself felt even more keenly as Planet Underworld begins its yearly station direct today.
Retrogrades refer to transits where a planet looks like it’s moving backwards in the sky relative to us. They manifest, accordingly, in wonky ways: a Venus retrograde, for example, tends to make romance more difficult, while a Mercury backspin might flummox communication.
Let’s dig more deeply, then, into Pluto and its direct station transit to see what it could mean.
“Dig” is the operative word with Pluto. Its influence on our personal lives is like that of the bulldozer, unearthing the past, secrets, lies, fantasies, hang ups. Yet, as one of the outer planets (along with Uranus and Neptune), Pluto’s real impact tends to be less personal and more political, less selfie and more social. Its movements are usually thought of in terms of “revolution.” For instance, think back to Pluto’s last notable transit–its massive conjunction with Saturn to start 2020 just before the great upheaval of Covid. That’s Pluto. It changes our personal lives almost by default because it changes life in general as we know it.
On a symbolic level, Pluto connects to Hades and the Underworld in all its sexy and/or criminal valences. It’s far from the light, but it brings things into the open that you don’t want to be seen. Discovered in 1930, Pluto made its way into the astrological lexicon during the high-water mark of Freudian psychoanalysis. As if by osmosis, the language around Pluto has taken on a Freudian flavor. Words like drive, instinct, obsession, and the Unconscious are often used to describe it.
Currently Pluto, whose orbit around the Sun takes about 250 years, is ensconced in Saturn-ruled, commercially-minded Capricorn, where it entered in 2008, when the world economy convulsed due to shady subprime lending practices in the US real estate market (again, that’s pure Pluto: huge change, underhanded dealings emerging).
A “station” refers to that balance point during a retrograde when a planet starts moving backward or forward relative to us. Each retrograde will have two stations—the first, when, say, Venus, heads backward, and the second, when it jolts into its more normal direction again. These brief stations are perhaps the most important moments in the retrograde cycle and we tend to feel them most the week leading up to and after them.
Because this station occurs in commercial Capricorn, the Cardinal earth sign, prepare yourself, as well, for themes related to money/power and/or earthiness.