It's been a relatively calm start to 2022, astrologically speaking — almost too calm. But things are about to turn up with a planetary backwalk. On April 29, Pluto, the Planet of Transformation and Destruction, will turn retrograde in the sign of Capricorn. Although Pluto's backwards dance isn't as chaotic as say, Mercury retrograde, there's still plenty for us to look out for as the astrological event continues until October 8, 2022.
Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, meaning that we've dealt with all of the associating themes before: business, structure, patriarchal constructs, karma, and stability, says Madi Murphy, co-founder of the CosmicRx. Pluto retrogrades roughly once a year for around six months at a time, so we've survived — and maybe even thrived — through it before. The main theme here? Reflection. "Under Pluto’s influence, we are called to examine themes like our psyche, our subconscious selves, shadow work, and transformation," says Murphy. Things are getting deep here.
Although the effects of Pluto's retrograde may take longer to feel, they are long-lasting — and this astrological event is all about implementing change into our lives. "We will work hard to mend our hearts and to embrace our fears," says Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck. "Old wounds can resurface, but we can handle the situation and work through them by embracing change once our lives come crashing down." Things will get emotional for the next five months, but Stardust says we can use this time to "understand and reflect upon your life and the direction you’re headed down." Use the theme of reflection to also fuel your growth — Pluto loves to change things up, so focusing on using its energy to create positive change will be of the utmost importance.
This particular Pluto retrograde is happening right when we're experiencing a powerful new moon solar eclipse in Taurus on April 30. "This will magnify its effects quite considerably," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. "Our minds will feel heavy, and it will be hard to pinpoint what’s making us feel down or low energy."
Pluto will also be forming a trine with Mercury in Taurus, which Montúfar describes as super-charged, since the Planet of Communication is about to enter Gemini. "Indeed, the universe is trying to tell us something, as a connection between Mercury and Pluto always brings up information to the surface," she says. "Big news with long-term effects will be getting delivered left and right."
Kalina Trifonova, astrologer at Nebula, says to look out for the span of time between May 23 to May 27. During this time, she says how we see and understand love may be challenged. "You might feel the need to stand your ground and leave everything that is no longer serving you behind," she says. "If you decide not to act on your decisions from that period, on June 29 you will be put in a situation that challenges them again. It's advisable to stand your ground, yet try not to let yourself be provoked to act rashly."
Remember, Pluto is a planet that's all about transformation and facing our shadow sides. Don't fear it — embrace it by owning your deepest and darkest selves, says Murphy. "You can use this transit for your personal empowerment by looking at the ways you self-sabotage or get in your own way and making small adjustments." Now's the time to ask yourself, what's holding you back from your spiritual evolution? "When you face them and decide to make changes, you will become aware you have way more power than you realize," she says.
Take stock in what's going on in your life and figure out where you need to make the change — Pluto is slow, so don't be afraid to take your time. It will all work out in the end.