One of the most important transits of the year – perhaps of the decade or even the century – is beginning on March 23, 2023: Pluto will enter Aquarius for the first time since 1798. Yep, literally since the 18th century!
Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 and this month, the planet of death, rebirth, and transformation will dip its toe in the psychedelic waters of Aquarius.
So, what can we expect from this society-altering transit? Let’s dive in!
The Details: What Does it Mean for Pluto to be in Aquarius?
In astronomy, Pluto is classified as a “dwarf planet”, but in astrology, we still count it as one of the generational planets.
The generational planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move so slowly that entire generations have them in the same sign, (versus quick-moving planets like Mercury and Venus, which change zodiac signs every month.)
Pluto is the slowest moving of these and spends 13-20 years in each zodiac sign, taking about 250 years to fully orbit the sun. Wherever Pluto goes, it brings about slow change and transformation, burning down one way of being and rebuilding the next version of society.
Pluto transits also tend to align with “generations”: Gen Xers primarily have Pluto in Libra, Millennials primarily have Pluto in Scorpio, and Gen Zers primarily have Pluto in Sagittarius, though there is some overlap.
Pluto has been in Capricorn, the sign of structure, authority, and tradition, since 2008. I think we can all agree that in the past fifteen years, we’ve seen massive changes to our society, social infrastructure, and political systems.
Some of that has been big and dramatic, like the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the C0VID-19 pandemic, beginning in 2020, and the terrorist attack on the United States Capitol in 2021. Some has been smaller, slower, but no less impactful.
On March 23rd, Pluto will enter Aquarius, the sign associated with everything from revolution and social justice to astrology, aliens, and alternative healing, but it won’t initially stay for very long.
Throughout year 2023 and 2024, Pluto will move back and forth between Capricorn and Aquarius, tying up loose ends from the last generation and giving us a glimpse at what the Aquarian Age could truly look like.
Aquarius is represented by the symbol of the Water Bearer, although it is an air sign, (not a water sign.) This is because Aquarius represents a collective, communal energy of sharing resources and making sure that everyone in our world is resourced and cared for.
This is why Aquarius transits have a focus on the community and on justice for everyone.
Pluto In Aquarius Transit Dates
Once Pluto leaves Capricorn and settles fully into Aquarius in late 2024, it will remain there for a full 20 years, not moving into Pisces until 2044. Here are the Pluto in Aquarius transit dates to be aware of:
- Pluto enters Aquarius: March 23, 2023
- Pluto retrograde enters Capricorn: June 11, 2023
- Pluto enters Aquarius: January 21, 2024
- Pluto retrograde enters Capricorn: September 2, 2024
- Pluto enters Aquarius: November 19, 2024
- Pluto enters Pisces: January 19, 2044
What Happens When Pluto Enters Aquarius?
The last time Pluto was in Aquarius was from 1778 to 1798. Before that, it was in Aquarius from 1532 to 1553.
There is literally no one alive today who has experienced the energetic effect of this transit, which means we have to look to Pluto in Aquarius history to tell us something about what to expect.
Within a year of Pluto entering Aquarius in 1532, the Reformation of the Church and the establishment of the Church of England began, under the reign of King Henry VIII, and his daughter, who would become Queen Elizabeth I, was born.
These were massive events which shaped the future of religion, colonization, monarchies, and the whole of Europe, transforming centuries of tradition within the Catholic church.
In the 18th century, Pluto entered Aquarius during the height of the power struggles of the American Revolution, just months after the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States was formed.
In fact, the entire Pluto in Aquarius transit in the 1700s was marked by revolution, including the French Revolution from 1789 to 1799.
Whew – sounds like powerful stuff, right?
There’s another area that Aquarius rules over which is really important in this upcoming transit: technology. Aquarius is the sign of the rebel and the revolutionary, but it’s also the sign of the inventor and innovator.
We’ve already seen huge leaps in technology in the past two decades, but over the next twenty years, we are likely to see huge increases in the way we use tech, virtual reality, AI, social media, and more in our daily lives, in politics, and in society.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, so we can’t predict exactly how Pluto in Aquarius will manifest – whether it’s revolutions and rebellions, reshaping of the underpinnings of society, massive technological growth, or even contact with life on other planets… but we’re all along for the ride.
How Pluto in Aquarius Will Affect the Collective
The thing to remember is that Pluto moves very slowly. On the one hand, we tend to be able to see the long-lasting effects of Pluto’s transformations more clearly in retrospect.
On the other hand, Pluto will remain at 0 degrees of Aquarius for the duration of its first, short move through the sign in March 2023 to June 2023.
This is significant because 0 degrees is one of the karmic degrees in astrology, the first degree of each sign in the zodiac. When planets rest at 0 degrees, it signals a time of beginnings, initiations, and new lessons to be learned.
For this reason, I expect spring 2023 to be one of big shifts on the collective level. The news cycle is ever-faster and more ridiculous these days, so it takes a lot to really shake us awake as a society.
During this 0 degree Pluto transit, and while Pluto dips in and out of Aquarius over the next two years, we’re likely to see some headlines that feel truly bonkers even by today’s standards. What exactly they may be… remains to be seen.
How Pluto in Aquarius May Affect You Personally
Pluto transits might sound big and scary on the collective level, but on a personal level, they can be a bit hit-or-miss how much we really feel them. As a generational planet, Pluto doesn’t have a huge impact on most people’s personalities or personal lives.
However, we are all likely to feel a shift while Pluto transitions from one sign to the next – it may feel like everyone is going through it and experiencing change and transformation, at least in some way.
To help you prepare for this, here’s a little overview of the areas of life most likely to be impacted for you based on your rising sign. (If you don’t know your rising sign, you can read for your sun sign, but it will be less accurate, you can check out my post on Astrology 101 to learn more about your rising sign):
- Aries Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation around your friend group, community, and technology.
- Taurus Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation around your work and career.
- Gemini Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation around your educational or spiritual pursuits or be called on some kind of travel.
- Cancer Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation on a deep soul level.
- Leo Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation in your most intimate relationships.
- Virgo Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation in your daily life, work, and possibly in your health.
- Libra Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation in your relationship with the children in your life and around your creativity.
- Scorpio Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation in your home and living situation.
- Sagittarius Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation in your relationship with your siblings or closest friends and around how you communicate.
- Capricorn Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation around money, pleasure, and tangible experiences.
- Aquarius Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation around your identity and sense of self.
- Pisces Rising: You’ll experience powerful transformation around your intuitive gifts and subconscious desires.
Remember: this transformation will unfold slowly over the next couple of decades, but this spring is your first taste of what is possible when you open up to the potent magick of the underworld.
The underworld is Pluto’s domain, as the planet is named for the Roman god of the underworld – this is the Roman version or epithet of Hades.
The underworld is a place we often try to avoid, a place that sounds scary and dark. But the underworld is a necessary place we have to tread at times in order to rise again, renewed and rebirthed.
Like Hades’ wife, Persephone, we must traverse through the underworld during some cycles and seasons of our lives in order to emerge, and transformed.
Pluto supports us in the constant rebirths that we undergo throughout our lifetimes, and when it changes signs like this, it can signal a more momentous rebirth than those we experience with every day, moon cycle, season, and year.
Those experiencing the most significant transformations and rebirths during Pluto in Aquarius, and perhaps especially during this initial 0 degree transit, will include those who have:
- Sun in Aquarius: Your rebirth occurs by reconnecting with the joy you find in pursuing your unique interests.
- Moon in Aquarius: Your rebirth occurs by rediscovering what makes you feel safe in your own skin.
- Aquarius Rising: Your rebirth occurs by rediscovering the truth of who you are.
- Scorpio Rising (because Pluto is your ruling planet): Your rebirth occurs through remothering and nurturing and becoming a home for yourself.
Not sure of your rising sign or if you have any of these other placements? Click here to get your free astrology birth chart. I recommend changing the settings to Whole Signs Houses.
Pluto in Aquarius is sure to be an unpredictable transit that will probably have long-lasting and far-reaching effects on our world. But like all things in astrology, it’s not here to scare us or to mess with us.
Rather, Pluto in Aquarius asks us what parts of our society, what parts of our community, and what parts of ourselves are no longer in alignment with justice, truth, and healing.
And then it asks us to release those parts into the void, to burn them away so that we can rise again, so much gentler, stronger, and at peace.
In ancient mythology, the underworld was not necessarily equated with our modern, Christian idea of “hell”. The journey to get there may have been dark and scary to our mortal, human selves, but it was more of a pleasant afterlife than a punishment or paradise.
Pluto beckons us to explore the underworld that exists within all of us and to go on this journey of self-discovery.
In Aquarius, the god of the Underworld invites you to go on this journey not only for yourself but for the good of all.