Pluto in Aquarius: a Fundamental Shift


2023 is the year that starts some monumental shifts.  Three planets will be changing signs: Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.  While Jupiter changes signs every 12 months, and Saturn every 30 months, when Pluto changes signs, it signals a huge, generational shift.

What's more, this will be followed by more major shifts in 2025-2026, as Uranus and Neptune will also change signs!  

The world is heading into an important period that may feel like a new era. 

Let's start with Pluto (and I will write another post on Neptune and Uranus at a later time).

Pluto's Role in Astrology:

Well my friends, Pluto's energy is not easy.  It's about deep transformation that comes under a considerable upheaval. Think the "phoenix rising from the ashes" experience.

Pluto clears what's become outdated and stagnant, to pave the way for a new wave of societal change. And when I say "clears",  what I see is a powerful hurricane tearing through and uprooting everything in its path. That's Pluto alright. 

One thing is for certain - when Pluto changes signs, we can go through a tumultuous experience collectively, and our lives and society as a whole can change in unprecedent ways.

But, after the initial shock and turbulence passes, a new paradigm usually emerges.

Pluto Will Be in Aquarius for a Good Long Time...

Owing to Pluto’s elliptical orbit, these big and societally important periods can span between 13 to 33 years. It moves very slowly and only advances 1-3 degrees a year, depending on the sign.

Pluto will dip its toes into Aquarius in 2023, visiting it from March 23 to June 11 2023.  It will then retrograde into Capricorn, before re-entering Aquarius on January 21 2024.

Pluto will then settle into the water-bearer sign until March 8 2043, and then get ready to change signs again. It will flirt with Pisces between March 8 to Sept. 1 2043, and return Aquarius for one final hurrah, until Jan. 19 2044.

In other words, we will feel it's presence in Aquarius for almost 21 years. 

When a planet is changing signs, we feel its energy very strongly. It's like, it wants to make its presence known when it first enters the sign. And when it's about to leave the sign, it's as if it rushes to complete any unfinished business.

As Pluto is About to Leave Capricorn...

Pluto first moved into Capricorn in 2008, it brought a financial crisis. And now its exit is accompanied by the prolonged stock market turmoil, and now the banking system coming under pressure again.

Governing structures and governments are another area that can be shaken up by Pluto's exit from Capricorn.  There can be one last, desperate bid for control and power. (The war in Ukraine comes to mind).

There may be some big political reversals experienced by the governments in power in some countries, in the coming years.

Pluto in Aquarius: a Retrospective

Pluto takes 248 years to go around the Sun. The last time Pluto was in Aquarius was between 1778 and 1798, a period of massive change all over the world.

A big part of Aquarian energy is about revolutions and "power to the people". And so the last time Pluto was in Aquarius, we had the French Revolution and the last years of the American Revolution. 

248 years have passed, and a revolution these days doesn't need to be violent (although it can be). The important thing is, there can be a collective desire and drive to overthrow something that no longer works and feels oppressive.

Another big Aquarian theme is innovation and scientific breakthroughs.

A radical overhaul of the map of the solar system happened when Pluto was also in Aquarius. In 1543 Copernicus first set down his findings that the Sun and not the Earth was the center of the solar system.

Some of the other notable events included development of the smallpox vaccine - the first successful vaccine; development of the telegraph; and invention of the first dental drill. 

This is not to go into an exhaustive review of the previous Pluto cycles in Aquarius, but to give you a flavour of its energy.

Pluto in Aquarius: Going Forward

Paving the way for Pluto's entry into Aquarius, Jupiter and Saturn both visited the water-bearer sign between December 2020-December 2021 (Jupiter) and December 2020- March 2023 (Saturn). 

True to form, when Jupiter and Saturn both moved into Aquarius in December 2020, viable COVID vaccine was confirmed.  See? When a planet moves into sign, and especially when two planets join forces, we can really feel their impacts.

And, as I mentioned, technology and scientific discovery are two big Aquarian themes.

All things technology soared (predictably) when Jupiter was in Aquarius. Zoom became a household name during the pandemic. It was technology that was connecting us all, quarantined in our homes and going stir-crazy.

Some Possibilities:

Here are some possibilities that an upcoming move of Pluto into Aquarius can bring:

  • Political revolutions
  • New political parties emerging and becoming mainstream
  • The next industrial revolution
  • Big changes around the way information is disseminated. It's hard to imagine our life before Internet and social media now. Perhaps some new developments that we can't even fathom just yet will arrive.
  • Big technological shifts. Perhaps AI (Artificial Intelligence) will develop in the ways we can't fathom now. 
  • Significant developments related to outer space
  • And other technological breakthroughs that we might not be able to envision yet! 

We Are All Connected:

Aquarius is egalitarian. It connects groups of people and flattens hierarchical structures. It brings greater equality. 

But...I'm curious about the talk of de-globalization, following the brutal year of supply-chain disruptions, that highlighted just how fragile the world's interdependence can be. 

Will we be experiencing the shift to a greater interconnectedness of the world, or will we be moving in the opposite direction? Or doing some zig-sags? 

2023 will give us a taste of what the next 20 years of Pluto's reign in Aquarius will bring to the world. 

May 2023 is the month to watch for:  Pluto will be squaring Jupiter and opposing Mars on May 17.

Who is Impacted?

This year, Pluto energies will be impactful for you if you have personal planets or angles (Ascendant, Descendant, IC or MC) between:

  • 27-30° Capricorn, Aries, Libra, Cancer, Virgo, Taurus
  • 0-1° Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Libra, Gemini

If that’s you, this might be a good year to have an astrology reading.

So Much More to Share with You! 

So much more to share with you in my webinar, "Navigating 2023", now available as a recording! Global trends. Impacts on your sign. Practical tips to navigate your year ahead. 90 minutes of insights. 

You can purchase the recorded webinar here.  

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