Mercury retrograde has been causing a ruckus for the past couple weeks, as expected — but now another planet is entering its backwards dance era. Pluto retrograde will begin on May 1 in Aquarius, move into Capricorn on June 11, and last until October 10. The planet goes retrograde every year for around five to six months, so we've gone through this astrological happening many times before. While it's nothing to sweat, it is something we should all prepare for.
The days we should mostly be aware of during this retrograde are the station days, aka the days Pluto begins and ends its retrograde, according to Stephanie Campos, astrologer and author of Seasons of the Zodiac: Love, Magick, and Manifestation Throughout the Astrological Year. "Pay attention to themes, conversations, and people that pop up in your life on these days as they will offer more insight to your personal Pluto retrograde story," she says. "It may also be helpful to look back at March 23, the day Pluto entered Aquarius for the first time in our lives."
Retrogrades are a time of reflection, and Pluto's specific backwalk will have us inspecting our relationships with our ego, power, control, obsessions, fixations, and our shadow side, Campos says. "We are also tasked with confronting our motives and unspoken desires," she says. "Facing our fears and addressing our triggers with grace, compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others — if it feels aligned — can spark healing and transformation."
Pluto is the planet of destruction, death, and rebirth, meaning that its influence has us experiencing major changes. "We will continue to see big names — politicians, billionaires, and media personalities — fall from grace as Pluto continues to expose the hypocrisy of the so-called Plutocracy," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. "While we are already seeing this trend, it will exacerbate when Pluto forms a square with the Lunar Nodes of Destiny, between June and September. It will be mind-blowing to see how this is strongly related to the decomposing of our old structures, paving the way for new ones to be built once Pluto finally stays in Aquarius for good, which will not happen until November 2024."
Because Pluto's retrograde begins in Aquarius, it will "bring new energy and fresh perspectives, as Aquarius is one of the most inventive signs in the zodiac," says Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app. "During this period, you will feel the intense influences of Pluto retrograde, helping you move forward and fearlessly take on all the changes in front of you. In fact, Pluto retrograde will motivate you to challenge yourself." Naskova says that when Pluto goes retrograde, the planet's influence is not reversed, but transformed "into high or excessive energy, hence the strong motivating energy you'll feel."
Pluto's dive back into Capricorn will be truly newsworthy, says Jessica Lanyadoo, astrologer and author of Astrology for Real Relationships: Understanding You, Me, and How We All Get Along. "Pay close attention to June 12, 2023 through January 22, 2024 when Pluto revisits Capricorn for the last time in about 250 years," she says. "The revolutionary forces put into motion by Pluto in Aquarius won’t go away, but the themes of power, hierarchy, and transformation of old structures will come back with a force."
Another date to be aware of, according to Campos, is July 22, when the sun in Cancer will be opposite Pluto in Capricorn and Pluto will be forming a tense square to the Nodes of Fate in the sky. "When the sun and Pluto sit across the sky from one another, secrets are revealed, we may be moving through a period of crisis or regeneration in some way," she says. "There is also an opportunity to heal, purge, release, and embody a deeper level of empowerment." This energy will "stir up karmic fate around the world.," Campos continues. "Topics related to corruption, destruction, power, taboo topics, and control will play out and secret motives are revealed in a dramatic and powerful way. "
For the next five months things may change slowly at first, but over time we’ll go through a deep transformation — one that only Pluto can guide us through.