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The Mini Planet Makes a Mighty Move:

Pluto Enters Aquarius


Pluto → Aquarius March 23, 2023

Pluto (Retrograde) → Capricorn June 11, 2023

Pluto → Aquarius January 21, 2024 until January 2044

The longer an astrological event lasts, the more influential it is at deep, evolutionary levels.  Pluto (which, because of its small size, has trouble keeping its status in our solar system), the intense planet of healing, transformation, rebirth, and empowerment, the planet holding our deepest karmic wounding and the energies needed to heal it, takes about 240 years to cycle through all twelve signs of the zodiac. Because of its erratic orbit, it spends anywhere between 13 and 32 years in a particular sign, but regardless of duration, Pluto’s arrival in a new sign ushers in a profoundly important period when its powerful energies can help us grow and evolve at all levels – personally, societally, and globally – in qualities related to that sign.


A little historical perspective.  The last time Pluto entered Aquarius was in the mid-1770s. This was the era of the American and French Revolutions, when cries of “Give me liberty or give me death!” and “Liberty!  Equality! Fraternity!” resounded.  As we will see, those cries channeled Aquarian themes flawlessly.   Moving into modern times, Pluto entered it current sign, Capricorn, in 2008.  Among other things, Capricorn represents societal structures like government, financial institutions, and big corporations, and we had a global recession right then to draw our attention to needed reforms in those areas. 


When the slow-moving outer planets get ready to make a big shift, we become attuned to the new themes months and years ahead of the actual move.  For the past couple of years, Saturn, the planetary teacher, has been passing through Aquarius, giving that anticipatory sensitivity a big boost.  Think the “Me, Too” movement and “Black Lives Matter.”  The rise of technology and social (group) media.  Advances in the space program.  Electric cars.  Think, also, of the work that still needs to be done in these areas.


The opportunity.  Building on the positive foundations of what has been learned and accomplished during Pluto’s time in Capricorn, we can use the combination of Pluto’s huge transformative and healing power and Aquarian humanitarian-oriented perspective and brilliant, innovative thinking, and take advantage of a brilliant opportunity to advance our world and its people in profound, positive ways:

  • to make way for the voice and rights of all the people;

  • to establish equitably-distributed power among the citizens of our planet;  

  • to come up with new, innovative, humane ways to solve our problems and take advantage of our opportunities;

  • to address and correct environmental issues;

  • to right the mistakes and wrongs of the past.  


And let us not forget that we get the chance to bring these qualities personally into our own lives, especially in the areas of life experience represented by the Aquarian energies in our own unique birth chart.  


Now, this is important.  We want to launch this era in the most positive way.   It will take all of 2023 for Pluto to settle into Aquarius, making it a year of transition.  We are being given a window of time to do what poet and spiritual advisor Mark Nepo describes as “Cleaning the Acequia.”  I write about this every year at the Spring Equinox, and it is only days after that date that Pluto makes its first move into Aquarius in 2023:  


In Finding Inner Courage, Nepo writes of an annual ritual in a small Peruvian village that relies on mountain springs, called the acequia, for its water supply.  During the winter, the waterway gets crowded with natural debris – stones, tree branches, leaves, small creatures, etc. – that could block the water.  With the coming of spring each year, virtually the entire village of several hundred climbs the mountain to the source and cleans out the acequia.


Nepo likens the acequia to our human pathway to spiritual connection, and urges us to keep that connection clean and flowing by clearing away anything that blocks the path: wounds, limiting beliefs or practices, resentments, unresolved issues…


This is precisely what needs to get our attention in 2023.  We need to do “spring cleaning,” to eliminate whatever is toxic or stands in the way of unlocking the potential of the Pluto in Aquarius passage, individually and collectively.  We have time…Pluto, aided by the other planets in our solar system as they move and evolve, will be in Aquarius for about 20years. 


Let’s get going!   

An earth sign: “solid,” grounded in practical, common-sense thinking; advances towards its goals using deliberate, step-by-step, tried-and-true approaches.
An air sign: left-brained, logical, objective, and open to new ideas and ways of achieving its goals.
Structured; security-minded, looks to the past and tradition for guidance.
Future-focused, progressive, thinks “outside the box.
Favors top-down control and direction; acts from a position of authority.
Group and community-oriented; acts from the strength of the collective
Conventional and conservative.
Individualistic, independent, and freedom-loving.
Guiding motivation: Set a goal and make it happen. Build strong, safe and secure foundations.
Guiding Motivation: Make a positive difference in the world you live in. March to your own drummer.
Negative Expressions: Controlling, “bossy” and domineering. Status-seeking. Stuck in outworn ways. Unforgiving. Emotionally armored. “End justifies the means” thinking.
Negative Expressions: Exaggerated eccentricity. Lack of empathy; impersonal. Stubbornness. Rebelliousness and disruptiveness.
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