“If you are interested in security and certainty,” says the Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, “you are on the wrong planet.” Not the most heartwarming words, I know. But oh so true, right? As human beings, we’re forever seeking stability—the proverbial rock beneath our feet. Yet, change is inevitable. If we fight it, scrambling to maintain the status quo, we suffer more. And as every spiritual teacher attests, the more we resist, it persists. So we learn, over time, that grace is found in the letting go. But that’s a lot easier said than done.
In astrology, Pluto represents the underworld, the dark crevices we’d rather not visit (unless, that is, we’re Scorpios or have Pluto heavily aspected in our chart). It brings us in contact with our own shadow, often through intimate relations, losses and gains. Not everyone will experience a Pluto transit to their personal planets or points (it takes 248 years to travel the zodiac), but the experience is unmistakable. Some ineffable change occurs. And we are never quite the same.
Right now, I have Pluto transiting conjunct my Moon (emotional landscape, needs) and square my Mercury (thought and communication). Needless, to say, I’m transforming. I am about midway through (Pluto transits last approximately 3 years), and I can already tell you that I am unrecognizable to myselfand to others. I wouldn’t exactly call it a cakewalk—I’ve been tremendously challenged emotionally on more than one occasion. Still, I find myself increasingly empowered with each passing day. My bulls*#t meter has gone way up and I find myself, for the first time in my life, confidently navigating my boundaries. But here’s the thing: the process is slow. Sometimes excruciatingly slow. Half of the time I find myself mired in confusion, unsure of where this is all leading. All I know is that I’m changing, drastically. Into what I’m not sure but I feel closer to the bones of my existence. Everything superficial has been torn asunder. All that’s left is the meat and I must, for the sake of my own sanity, embrace it and find the power within, that, in fact, is the only true place it can be found. Not in a red lipstick or a Ferrari. In ourselves, our core. And maybe that’s just it—maybe Pluto comes along to show us that we can survive and thrive in the unknown. Because, after all, that’s the truth isn’t it? Nothing is guaranteed. Except, of course, death and taxes, which, of course, are ruled by Pluto.
Pluto is currently in Capricorn, where it has been shaking up and restructuring our lives (perhaps some lives more than others) since 2008. Wherever we have Capricorn, we play by the rules, we climb the mountain. Over the course of this transit, those rules are rewritten—their very foundation torn down and rebuilt until 2024 (check that). Here’s a brief synopsis of what you may be experiencing in your own life, based on your rising sign:
- Capricorn Rising -1st House: our identity, our mask
- Aquarius Rising – 12th House: our addictions, our relationship to the divine
- Pisces Rising – 11th House: groups and organizations, our hopes, wishes and dreams
- Aries Rising – 10th House: our career or social standing
- Taurus Rising – 9th House: our philosophy, religion, our higher mind
- Gemini Rising – 8th House: our sex life, our inheritance, shared resources, the skeletons in our closets
- Cancer Rising – 7th House: our partnerships
- Leo Rising – 6th House: our daily routines, our health, our relationship with co-workers or those who work for us
- Virgo Rising – 5th House: our creativity, relationships with our children, romance and play
- Libra Rising – 4th House: our home, our family, our roots, our ancestry
- Scorpio Rising – 3rd House: our communications and community, our relationships with our siblings
- Sagittarius Rising – 2nd House: our income, our self-esteem, our values