What Happens When Transformer Pluto Ends Its Retrograde?

Be honest: You’ve felt something coming on for a little while now, even if you couldn’t name it or point to where you’re feeling it. You might have experienced a similar, but milder, sensation in mid-August or mid-September. No, we’re not talking about that night you overdid it with the tacos and margaritas. This is that queasy feeling you can get when planets shift into—or out of—reverse mode, aka retrograde.

Expansive Jupiter straightened out on August 11 after four months of back-spinning, and cautious Saturn corrected course on September 18, after nearly five months in reverse. Perhaps overnight, all those roadblocks just vanished…or just seemed less oppressive. This Thursday, October 3 (shortly after midnight EDT), the Master of Metamorphosis, the Regent of Revisions, the Sultan of Switcheroos—aka Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld himself—wraps up a five-month pivot and resumes forward motion.

To be fair, Pluto energy isn’t gentle under the best of circumstances. After all, even when we say we’re open to and ready for change, we tend to resist it kicking and screaming. (Because what gets served up in the name of growth and evolution usually isn’t what we had in mind when we told the universe to “bring it.”) Pluto deserves his reputation for kicking our butts for our own highest good. But he’s nobody’s BFF.

Technically a dwarf planet (about two-thirds the size of our moon), Pluto may be tiny, but when he hits a planet or major point in your chart, there’s no missing it. Pluto, which shares rulership of Scorpio with Mars, its ancient ruler, is associated with power, control, intensity, desire, secrets, sexuality, metaphysics, alchemy and our shadow side. Oh yeah, and death. But that’s really just the ultimate transformation, isn’t it?

When Pluto swings back into forward motion on Thursday, you may noticeably feel things shift. Depending on where 20º Capricorn falls in your chart and what else you have around that degree, the effects can range from an about-face with your finances to an amazing new romance (or breakup) to a new job, a move, the resolution of a health issue or a spiritual awakening. And hang onto your fedora because on January 12, Pluto will make an exact conjunction to Saturn, the other heavenly heavyweight, for the first time since 1982. Every astrologer and his pet ferret has theories about what will happen, and while I respect that niche of astrology (called “mundane”), I’m far more interested in exploring how these planetary movements might affect individuals, based on their unique charts and, well, lives.

If you haven’t had an astrology reading in a while, this would certainly be an excellent time! Everyone I’ve worked with this year has been going through some intense shifts, and those who are truly motivated to release old baggage and make positive changes in their lives have had tremendous success. While it’s not my job to do the heavy lifting for you, I can help you gain more insight, a broader (and perhaps more spiritually based) perspective and, hopefully, some confidence in your sui generis talents to create the life you want and deserve. This is not a hard-sales pitch—just a friendly heads-up—that I will be raising my rates in 2020. I will honor the current rates for anyone who books a session before the new rates go into effect.

So take a deep breath, set some bold intentions for the next six months (until Pluto shifts into reverse again) and keep the faith—in yourself.

Suzanne Gerber