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When Pluto Turns Retrograde

What does it mean when Pluto turns retrograde. This slow moving dwarf-planet seems to have a style and pace all of its own and packs a mighty punch whatever planetary status it has been granted. Though small in size it is big on power.

It is also a generational planet, in that its movement from one sign to the next marks out those crucial milestones that apply to vast swathes of humans at the same time. On an individual level there is no doubting its transformational effect when it aspects planets in our natal chart or connects with them via transit.

So its retrograde phase will coincide with a particular movement of consciousness within our psyches that enables us to look at those unresolved situations in our lives and do something about them. Pluto tends to push us into fateful situations when we unaware of how its energy manifest within us. Once you get a handle on it – once you sense the energy of Pluto in your own life and know how it feels when its presence intrudes into a relationship, a conversation, and a much desired outcome, or as dark and compulsive feelings which seem beyond your control – then you can begin to work with it to discover the other side of Pluto – the face that clarifies your destiny and enables you to work along with it rather than resisting it.

Pluto is currently retrograde in Capricorn, which gives it another edge. We have seen how its movement into this sign has coincided with financial upheaval on a global basis – leading to change at a grass roots level. Just prior to Pluto turning stationary retrograde, in fact earlier this week the G20 summit took place in London, which took global financial discussions to a new level. Now is a time of recapitulation. The tide goes in and the tide goes out. Time to rethink all that was discussed, to repair and tentatively restore the economy and to build solid foundations one brick at a time, starting from the bottom up. On an individual basis it is time to take a closer look at what works in our lives and what doesn’t.

For those with Pluto aspecting planets in their natal chart – they will be experiencing the retrograde phase of their transit. Many Pluto transits occur in three parts – although they can also occur in five parts with two retrograde phases. Pluto will be retrograde right up until September 11 2009 this time around. Internalizing Pluto means that we have a chance to watch it at work in our lives and to begin to make changes in areas in which we have felt impotent.

In Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, it may be those patterns handed down from generation to generation – which stick like some kind of ancestral glue that are the ones we need to address most urgently. The Cancer/Capricorn axis is very much about family and ancestral karma. These patterns may come down through either side of the family, but they can be easily identified, as family history begins to repeat itself. The characters and scenarios may be different, but the storyline will have striking similarities. This is where the ‘ sins of the father are visited upon the children’ and it is during the retrograde phase that an opportunity develops to become aware of these hidden storylines that have dominated our lives for so long, and to begin to untangle them. If you are moving through a powerful Pluto transit, then you are being directly challenged to make those much needed changes as soon as possible. Family and ancestral karma can be the most difficult of all to detect as the patterns that form the bedrock of our lives are ones we take for granted. They can be virtually invisible because they are so very present.

In its retrograde phase Pluto’s focus may be more intense than usual and will encourage plenty of inner detective work. Dreams may contain powerful and potent symbols that can bring great richness of understanding to our lives and again help us to clarify our destiny. Often the parts of us that are most despised, most unacknowledged and most repressed contain great energy and may in reality hide precious treasures waiting to be discovered. Pluto has two faces – so any situation that appears as black as black, can be seen from a more life-affirming perspective when we are prepared to stand back from the pain and allow another viewpoint to emerge. Not easy – but then this is part of Pluto’s challenge. Often during the retrograde phase we may have access to greater inner strength than usual – as though we have a direct ability to harness our personal power should we choose to use it.

Pluto retrograde gives us a chance to clear out the clutter from our inner closet, banish a few of those skeletons and to begin to see the beauty that was always there but hidden by unconsciousness, shame, fear, humiliation and at times, a denial of what is. It is a chance to do some much needed soul-work.

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