Associated signs: Scorpio

Mythology: Pluto (and his Greek counterpart, Hades) represents the god of the Underworld, judge of the dead, and ruler of wealth. Though modern associations with the Underworld evoke visions of Dante’s Inferno, the Underworld was less sinister during classical antiquity. Within Roman Mythology, the Underworld symbolized the domain that is otherwise unseen: including death, sex, occult, and the solitude of winter.

Transit: Pluto is an outer planet, and takes approximately 14 to 30 years to transit a sign. It goes retrograde each year for approximately 185 days.

Aaron Wood

What it means in your chart: Like its mythological namesake, Pluto governs our secrets and undercover information. Its placement reveals the areas of life that call for a deep dive into the soul. Pluto’s presence in the natal chart exposes the areas that require total and complete transformation. Just as the Phoenix rises from the ashes, Pluto reminds us that death is the first stage to rebirth. Pluto exposes what needs to be destroyed in order to fulfill your ultimate destiny. On a bad day, Plutonian energy can be possessive or manipulative, so the best way to combat Pluto’s darkness is through surrender. We can’t control everything in our lives, and when we look to Pluto, we discover the area we most strongly need to release.

Retrograde lowdown: Pluto spends almost half of its orbit retrograde, so a backwards spin defines Pluto’s spirit. When the planet glides in reverse, we turn Pluto’s magnifying glass inward and consider how we are personally being impacted by ideas of control. Pluto retrograde is the time to release yourself from smothering or codependent relationships. Alternatively, if you are the one leading with fear or power-hungry tendencies, Pluto in retrograde will ensure that you loosen your grip — even by force.

Herbs and offerings: Rhododendron, pomegranate, chrysanthemum, rosemary, vanilla, basil, poppies, belladonna, foxglove, and hemlock.

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