Pluto, the god of death to the Romans, symbolizes irrevocable transformation. Synchronistically, Pluto’s discovery occurred as the struggles from the Great Depression, build up of WW II, experimentation with nuclear power and psychoanalysis began to mainstream. Whatever sign Pluto transits shows us the areas of life that are up for profound metamorphosis. When Pluto is in Aquarius, we experience a mandate for relentless transformation to steer societies toward social change, humanitarian causes, technological advancements, and unconventional ideas. This period is marked by the emergence of revolutionary concepts that wield powerful impacts worldwide.
Pluto will move through Aquarius for over two decades, during which time humans will decide how and if we can regulate the massive changes our technology creates — some of which may be in our control and others which are not. The genie is already out of the bottle. We do well to consider the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus, the great sculptor and inventor, created sets of wings for both he and his son, Icarus to escape their prison in Crete. The father warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, or the waxen wings would melt. But Icarus was so exhilarated by the flight that he flew close to the heavens and as a result, plummeted to his death. The seductive quality of technology creates the illusion of omnipotence.
Pluto is often considered a generational planet, its impact mapped from the 20th century onward. Discovered in 1930 while in the sign of Cancer, individuals born during this period came to be known as the Silent Generation. Cancer clings to tradition, home, and roots, so Pluto’s devastation affected ways of life, uprooted families, destroyed trust and exposed grievances, while at the same time new allegiances were declared. Legions of women began to work in new and unprecedented ways. Post-war, this generation laid the groundwork for what was perceived as a more secure world. With Pluto’s trip through Capricorn from 2008 through 2024, we grapple with the inevitable erosion of those established foundations.
The subsequent generation, the Baby Boomers (signature: Pluto in Leo), emerged with creative exuberance and the illusion of perpetual youth. The signs adjacent to each other on the zodiacal wheel are disparate; Leo springs from the nest to seek the zenith of self-expression.
For better or worse, Boomers are famous for extreme concentration on their self-satisfaction. Yet Pluto ‘s job in Leo is to crush the perception that “I am the center of the Universe”, so the work of that generation has been to know thyself and put the ego in the background. Not an easy task for those who long to be special. With Pluto in Aquarius, we all benefit from the realization of individual responsibility for actions, thoughts and words. Boomers will determine how society deals with large numbers of an aging population. Aquarius = society, community: the better a Boomer is connected to community, the more graceful the process.
The degree to which an individual embodies their generation’s instincts depends on various aspects of their personal horoscope.
As Pluto traverses a zodiac sign, we collectively undergo a profound experience. It lays bare flaws, corruption, and outdated systems, to compel us to leave behind the old ways in search of new treasures. As the higher octave of Mars, Pluto demands courage and a deep-seated desire for transformation, in spite of the cost. To unearth these transformative gems requires great effort, and so many people resist the perils of the caverns of the unconscious and dark tunnels of change. Whether we actively embrace these shifts or attempt to sidestep them, we inevitably face irrevocable transformations. How to integrate these changes into your life is indicated by the placement of Pluto in your natal horoscope.
Pluto in Aquarius will oppose the natal Pluto in Leo of the Boomer generation; this pivotal crossroads impacts people of all ages. This universal influence underscores the importance of shattering outworn paradigms. Despite urgent signals during Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) certain Boomers and their allies have clung to and propped up outdated structures in financial, corporate, government, and educational domains, notably ‘too big to fail’ institutions. The consequences of holding onto these dying systems are dire. On the flip side, those who embrace transformative changes find opportunities to lead purposeful lives, while others may exit, either daunted by challenges or having fulfilled their destiny. Meanwhile, an impassioned few will rally with a warrior’s fervor and experience a surge in personal power.
The response to Pluto in Aquarius varies widely, encompassing denial, heroism, defeat, inspiration, and surrender—contingent upon the individual’s ego. Those who have undergone a personal Pluto transit understand that it entails a death of ego, paving the way for a new orientation to life. The level of identification with the ego determines the magnitude of resistance to change.
Since companies and countries reflect the transits of Pluto as well we can see this transit reflected in the United States of America. As the USA processes its Pluto return, it needs to determine what to modify or stand by in its founding principles. Does the Bill of Rights (declared when Pluto was in Aquarius) still ring true?
Millennials (born with Pluto in Scorpio) will experience the square to their natal Pluto at some point over the next 20 years. This period unfolds as a profound challenge and presents an opportunity for them to navigate the powerful currents of robust maturity and its power. Many Millennials find themselves positioned to step into roles that will soon be vacated by older generations. Having grappled with intense experiences of death, loss, and disempowerment during their formative years, they now confront a phase in their lives they once doubted would exist for them. Many now hold the responsibilities of guiding youth (Gen Z and Alpha), stabilizing careers and businesses, in addition to their growing awareness of mortality; Millenials stand at a critical juncture in their collective journey.
The contemporary astrological view links the sign of Aquarius to Uranus. Uranus symbolizes change, freedom, and chaos. Uraunus has been in Taurus since 2018, and reflects the havoc created by climate change and financial upheavals. As Uranus completes its last couple of years in Taurus, a showdown awaits. With Pluto in Aquarius, the stage is set for a dynamic interplay.
Yet to overlook the influence of Saturn in the unfolding cosmic tale is to miss a crucial part of the narrative. The planet Saturn has traditionally been linked to both Capricorn and Saturn for millennia. I always look at Saturn as well as Uranus when considering Aquarian themes.
Saturn is the farthest out visible planet. It symbolizes structure, boundaries, limits, discipline and fear. Uranus had winked at humans for hundreds of years – but those who saw it surmised it to be a far-off star. During the last Pluto in Aquarius cycle, the new technology of the telescope enabled Herschel to discover Uranus in 1781. In modern astrology, a new discovery in the heavens reveals an opportunity for greater consciousness evolution. Since everything celestial known beforehand could be seen with the human eye, Uranus is considered the Great Awakener. It is the planet of revolution, change, freedom and technology (to name a few of its themes). The telescope and discovery of Uranus stood on the threshold of the results of the Industrial, French and American revolutions, a time when the world changed.
As Saturn has changed signs through Pluto’s slow movement in Capricorn, we have seen shifts in the symbolism. While Pluto follows a meandering orbit, Saturn moves with precision. The 2008 financial market crash coincided with Saturn in Virgo (the sign that digs out details, as the unethical practices of the housing market was discovered). This punctured the bubble of homeownership stability and exposed corporate greed.
Through its plodding cycle since Virgo in 2008, Saturn has moved to a point of opposition in 2023. Saturn in Pisces encourages the dissolution of untenable structures during Pluto’s transition from Capricorn into Aquarius. Does this signal a sea change to corporate greed?
Unlikely for all, but avenues for new ways to profit and share that benefit in more egalitarian ways can certainly be born. Expect to see more barter systems, like Time Banks. With the inclusion of Pisces in the alchemical mix we can find ways to process the grief that accompanies the loss of familiar foundations: through the arts, music, volunteerism, meditation and healing modalities.
From a Saturn perspective, what’s the differences between Capricorn and Aquarius? Capricorn is cardinal Earth – it initiates, manifests, plods toward a consistent goal. Keep in mind, Saturn was the god who devoured his children because he did not want anyone to usurp him. Not to offend any Capricorns, think of the myths in symbolic terms… the act of squelching “children”— the fruit of inspiration and the promise of the future — is a reaction of fear. Fear is the impulse that we have to monitor with Capricorn/Saturn. Capricorn energy can be lean, it soldiers on with singularity and leads with cold precision.
In Aquarius, a Fixed, Air sign, the Saturn influence detaches, sharpens objective perspective and seems propelled more through alienation (with fear as a root). Aquarius values freedom, individuality and the uncomfortable space of humanitarian ideals juggled with a need for separation. As Pluto moves into Aquarius, we will see the intensification of alienated factions.
Pluto, god of the Underworld, unearths situations, structures, relationships and ego. In Capricorn it plowed through governmental structures, the status quo of the financial world, perceptions of what keeps countries and communities safe with the explosion of arms supplies and militarized police. The pandemic intensified the isolation of youth. Racism, xenophobia and class divisions erupted to the surface as many tried to shove these realities back into the Shadows. As Saturn moves through Pisces, borders dissolve and those who cannot go through this next cycle die. It’s not just people, but businesses, systems and routines erode with alacrity.
On January 20/21, 2024 (depending on TimeZone) Pluto re-enters Aquarius.
It had a brief trip from March 23, 2023 to June 11, 2023 – what happened at this time?
- US Representative Zooey Zephyr made an impassioned plea in the Montana House not to ban gender-affirming care and was formally punished for her strong words. After which her quoted words reflected the transition of Pluto in Capricorn to Aquarius: “If you use decorum to silence people who hold you accountable, all you are doing is using decorum as a tool of oppression.”
- Donald Trump was indicted with crimes, the first former president to be so charged. (A plutocrat who acts like a king).
- The Hollywood writers strike shut down that industry while it gained support from SAG and many famous faces (Aquarian strength through collaboration).
- You would have to be under a rock to miss hearing about Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, and the pushback she received from those unhappy with using her platform to galvanize voting.
- And just after Pluto dipped back into Capricorn, the wealthy passengers in the submergible Titan perished on their junket to see the sunken Titanic. Remember the lesson in the myth of Daedalus and Icarus… With Saturn in Pisces, we will continue to experience tension between the desire for boundless creativity and spiritual exploration (Pisces) and the need for structure and order (Saturn).
Pluto passage in Aquarius begins with Saturn in Pisces and ends with Saturn in Scorpio in 2044. That means it will process through the three water signs, starting with Pisces, which symbolizes endings and rebirth. In 2024, we continue to feel at sea with the turmoil. We will see the dissolution of companies, governments and systems that can no longer hold on to the old ways. Trust your ability to surf the waves. Imagine new possibilities. How we manage the signs of inevitable change will poise us for the dynamic initiatives of 2025.
Saturn enters Aries for the first time in May 2025 when all engines fire and we rocket into total metamorphosis. 2025 is also when Uranus first moves into Gemini and Neptune into Aries… fire and air!
Remember Icarus — It is time to move past the bonds of material possessions and evolve to more collaborative communities… Let’s soar with an awareness of our limitations. Can we foresee the perils of hubris and take responsibility for how our choices affect humanity? Each of us can vow to do our best in whatever small way. Aquarius = society, community
Be alert for the signals of change… Next post will go deeper into what Pluto in Aquarius means for each sign (birth sun).