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  • Writer's pictureErin

Pluto in Aquarius: A New Era of Transformation

Before we get into into this conversation, I'd like to invite my astrological nonbelievers to stay and read, because astrology doesn't have to be your thing for this to make sense. In fact, aside from the knowledge that Pluto has entered a new sign for the first time since 2008, there's really not a lot of astrological talk here - just some patterns to be on the lookout for, and perhaps some practices to try.

Humor me, and thanks for doing so. 🖤

A crescent moon appearing behind a powerline and a bare, winter tree against a purple twilight sky

You may or may not have heard of "The Age of Aquarius," which has been a pretty big reference in pop culture for some time now, first gaining a lot of notoriety with new-age hippies in the 1960's and 70's. The 1967 musical Hair features a song with the same title that many people would perhaps recall if they heard the tune. But what does that really mean? Funnily, the song lyrics are utterly meaningless astrological terms strung together purely for the best-sounding words in the best-sounding places, and the age of Aquarius as a concept is generally understood as the time period we are currently living in, but not all astrologers are in agreement on this. Regardless, it is meant to signify a period of time that will endure technological advances, societal revolution, and general forward momentum in creation and ideas. On the flip side, we will see destruction of old systems, uprising, rebellion, perseverance, and a pendulum swinging back to focus on the collective rather than the individual. These are all stereotypes of the sign of Aquarius in itself, so it would follow that its "age" would showcase these themes.

Whether we are currently in that age is, as stated, debatable, but one thing we know for sure is that Pluto entered the sign of Aquarius on the same day as the sun on this past Saturday, January 20th. Pluto spends roughly 20 years in each sign, so the last time it was in Aquarius was from 1778 to 1798. Why is Pluto important? According to astrologers, it tends to mark the generational themes we experience as our global society evolves. Pluto represents death and rebirth - a chance to look at what is no longer working and establish a plan for repair. Since it sticks around in one place for so long, though, these changes are slow and subtle.

Put these ideas together: Aquarius's focus on technology, community, society, free-thinking, and revolution; with Pluto's tendency to dismantle and rebuild. The message becomes clear, if you ask me: we're in for a lot of big, societal changes in the next two decades.

This notion has been getting louder and louder since the time of Trump's election in 2016. Though this was only about halfway through Pluto's stay in Capricorn (whose themes include conservation, systemization, finances, structure, and "the status quo"), this event, among others, began to wake the collective up to realities of terror and injustice. We began to see patterns that we don't want continuing - systems and structures, if you will, that are not working. As we moved through the end of the 2010's and into the pandemic, we were also plagued with the promise of climate collapse, social media addiction, surveillance capitalism, the "billionaire" controversy, political leaders' scandalous secrets leaking into public view, and so much more. The common citizen began to use their voice much more widely and publicly (via social media) to denounce the injustices being witnessed, to declare the failure of so many systems.

That's where we left off. The end of Pluto in Capricorn did its job, according to astrologers: It made visible what must die as we enter a new realm.

And maybe it's just me, but I don't think so - this has been such a common feeling for so many on a much smaller scale, too. In our personal lives, it seems we are constantly being reminded to figuratively take out the trash - to take stock of what is and is not working, and do something about it. I believe the preliminary work of planning is mostly over. We have had a lot of time to discuss this with ourselves and our support groups. Now that Pluto has entered Aquarius, it's time to do the hard thing, move on, and move forward. It's time for a revolution, or maybe a lot of them all at once.

But here's the funky little astrological catch: Pluto is not staying permanently in Aquarius until closer to the end of this year. It will retrograde for a few months, reaching back into Capricorn in September before returning again in mid-November. Even if you're unfamiliar with what a retrograde is or does, you've certainly seen the memes. Simply put, retrogrades represent "a step back" into certain themes. As Pluto dips into Capricorn again for a few months in the fall, we might expect to revisit some of the things we were hoping to kill off - hence why I said the planning stage is "mostly" over. We may need to take those few months to reflect and perhaps rework a plan we have in place or have already begun to carry out. On a larger scale, we may see resistance or push-back on whatever is being revolutionized. If there is a rebellion of sorts, this could resemble a standstill or a blockage. Regardless, Pluto will continue on it's long, slow journey through Aquarius on November 19th, where it will remain unchallenged until 2044.

Why talk about this now? Well, of course, we are now in a true "Age of Aquarius," or perhaps the "generation of Aquarius." We'll be here a while, and a lot of disruption and unrest has lead us to this precipice. If you are a believer in astrology, you likely feel confident that the cosmos are asking for your full participation in the coming years. And if you're not, that's okay, but you won't necessarily be excused from the work ahead. To get the best footing for this new age, you may begin to consider the following questions - perhaps journaling through them when you get the chance:

  • What is the current "status quo" of my community? What is expected of me, and people like me, to thrive in this world? Does it really have to be that way?

  • How could the "status quo" be challenged beneficially? What might be the new way of doing things?

  • How has technology impacted my life these passed few years? Do I have a good relationship to technology, social media, the internet, etc.?

  • What emotions come up when thinking about the concept of "revolution?" What about the concept of "rebellion?" Are there different connotations to those words?

  • Who is my community, and how do I work with them? How could I more actively, more intentionally work with them?

The last time Pluto was in Aquarius, we had both the American and French Revolutions. The Constitution of The United States was signed into law. Mary Wollstonecraft published the first recognized text of feminist philosophy, Vindication of the Rights of Woman. The planet Uranus was discovered (Pluto was not 😉). Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed and the Reign of Terror began. The cotton gin was invented. A vaccine for smallpox was created. If the theory follows and these Aquarian stereotypes hold any merit, who knows what we could see happen in the next 20 years?

If nothing else, determine what you would like to see. Then, situate yourself so that you can aid in its collective fruition. We've been for so long in a period of rule-following, heads-down, do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do systems leading the scene. If we want this to change, now is the time to band together and make it happen.


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