Astrological events like Mercury retrogrades, lunations, and zodiac sign seasons tend to occur frequently. But because Pluto is so far away from the sun, it moves through the zodiac much more slowly. As a result, each generation tends to be bound together by having the same Pluto sign. Most millennials, for instance, have their Pluto in intense Scorpio; Gen Zers have it in rebellious Sagittarius. So it’s a big deal that Pluto is entering a new zodiac sign, Aquarius, on March 23 — the first time it’s made a move since 2008.
For the last 15 years, Pluto has been in hardworking Capricorn. The planet of transformation, destruction, and renewal’s position in Capricorn illuminated the nefarious nature of age-old hierarchies and authoritative powers that no longer serve the greater good of the community. Opportunities to tear down political, economic, and social infrastructures came to fruition over the years. An excellent example of how the power struggles with tradition, conservatism, and restriction came to head was the US’s Pluto return in 2022.
Pluto in Aquarius, on the other hand, will represent the beginning of a communal and technological revolution that will unfold over the next few decades. With the planet of destruction moving through the sign of the Water Bearer, there will be a call to seek liberation through radically unconventional means. Pluto in Aquarius is the cosmic dawn of a new age.
In general, March is shaping up to be a turning point of a month. Astrology-wise, January and February 2023 were more about finishing up transits that had begun in 2022. But in early March, Saturn will enter Pisces, followed by Pluto entering Aquarius on March 23. Both transits will awaken the beginning of a new era.
For more about what to expect during Pluto’s long, slow dance through Aquarius, read on.
What Is Pluto’s Role in Astrology?
With a nickname like “the planet of destruction,” Pluto initially comes across as a perilous planet. And it’s true that Pluto’s position in the sky or a birth chart can represent unsavory qualities that we would rather hide than face. Hidden in the darkness lies our obsessions, control issues, relationship with violence, death, disempowerment, and even power struggles.
But Pluto also oversees metamorphosis or transformation. The planet shines a light on things that are no longer working, encouraging us to throw out outdated beliefs or behaviors and grow into new, better ones instead. The idea of going within to get out is amplified by Plutonic energy since this deeply introspective transit encourages us to face our shadow side to come out empowered, in control, and self-aware.
But the changes that Pluto brings aren’t in your face. The tiny planet is very, very far away from us on Earth. Its effects can seem subtle and even subconscious — but like a pot that boils over, the brooding energy can eventually reach more extreme heights.
When Is Pluto in Aquarius?
Pluto will be dancing in and out of Aquarius until 2044, as it shifts from direct to retrograde and back again. Pluto will be direct in Aquarius from March 23, 2023, to May 1, 2023, and then Pluto will station retrograde in Aquarius from May 1, 2023, to June 11, 2023. Pluto won’t re-enter Aquarius again in 2023, so the next time we’ll see this transit will be in 2024.
However, once Pluto re-enters Aquarius on January 21, 2024, it will be there until 2044, which isn’t unusual for this planet since Pluto can spend anywhere from 12 to 31 years in a zodiac sign.
What Does Pluto in Aquarius Mean For Us?
When considering astrological cycles, it’s useful to turn toward history to gauge where the cosmos may have left off the last time a transit was in action. According to Astro.com’s ephemeris files from the 18th century, the last time Pluto was in Aquarius was from 1778 to 1798. This incredible, if unpredictable, period represented the beginning of immense societal changes and technological advancements.
Some notable moments from this historical period include the discovery of Uranus in 1781, the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, the beginning of the Reign of Terror in 1793, and the invention of the cotton gin in 1793.
Of course, the new Pluto-in-Aquarius cycle won’t follow the exact same playbook — but it may bring back elements from this time frame that will allow us to make the most of technological and societal revolutions.
Overarching themes to expect from Pluto in Aquarius will be the destruction and transformation of Aquarius traits and associations, which may include the following: the greater community, friendship, humanitarian efforts, individuality, authenticity, liberation, and eccentricity.
We can expect societal rules to change, with it becoming increasingly cooler to be weird and quirky instead of trying to “fit in.” (An Aquarian paradox: uniqueness becoming mainstream.) Part of this shift will be accelerated by technological advances, which will likely involve strides in artificial intelligence.
While this will likely be a period of growth and change, Pluto will be in a fixed air sign, so the time may also be marked by a desire to feel in control intellectually. As a result, it might be challenging to let go of stagnant beliefs or judgments and embrace radical new outlooks, even with the planet of transformation nudging us forward.
Ultimately, though, the Pluto-in-Aquarius transit will encourage the collective to consider what would be better not only for the individual, but also for the greater society. Unpredictable yet empowering social movements will likely pop up during this new Plutonic period that has the same antagonistic, mutineer-like momentum as those from the 18th century. We may see shifts involving the government as a greater number of people call for real change; but this time around, people may use the internet, social media, and other forms of technology to support their movements.
The changes brought by Pluto in Aquarius will likely be slow, punctuated by unpredictable events that call for rebellious action. But what’s put into motion will stay in motion. There’s no stopping Pluto-in-Aquarius energy once a greater community has banded together to explore uncharted territory. And while there is a risk of dogmatism, Pluto in Aquarius will likely be an opportunity for some of the greatest minds of the 21st century to lead the way.
When Is the First Pluto-in-Aquarius Retrograde in 2023?
From May 1, 2023, to June 11, 2023, Pluto will station retrograde in Aquarius at zero degrees. Typically, zero degrees is a critical degree since it represents a pure, almost undiluted, zodiacal energy. Like most Pluto retrogrades, this one will be psychologically and emotionally intense, since Pluto retrograde will encourage us to reflect on the shadow side of Aquarius.
However, this Pluto retrograde will feel a little different since it’s occurring in a fixed air sign. We may need to initially overcome the fear of changing our minds or opening up our worldviews to radically different perspectives. It’s a perfect time to push ourselves to go beyond our comfort zone.
Expect to feel exceptionally uncomfortable during this period, since Pluto retrograde in Aquarius will square Jupiter in Taurus on May 17, oppose Mars in Leo on May 20, and oppose Venus in Leo on June 5. The initial Pluto retrograde/Jupiter square will stress the importance of belief systems, especially if the collective mentality is slowly but surely turning away from means of comfort in favor of new waves of thought. An innate desire to plow forward will be prevalent, since the square will heighten relentlessness.
These feelings will arise once again when Pluto retrograde opposes Mars, especially if action needs to be taken to reach new heights. However, whenever Pluto retrograde and Mars meet up, there’s potential for intense destruction and violence — so be careful; watch your actions, your words, and your surroundings, and choose your movements carefully.
Finally, the Pluto retrograde/Venus opposition will encourage us to reflect on what we truly value and want to commit to. It’s time to figure out what we should stand for, striving to come from a place of authenticity instead of loyalty, ego, or stubbornness.
How Will Pluto in Aquarius Affect the Zodiac Signs in 2023?
Although Pluto in Aquarius has a rather short transit in 2023, this is still an incredibly impactful period, since it’s a glimpse of what’s to come over the next few decades. But for now, focus on what arises for us personally and collectively from March 23, 2023, to June 11, 2023.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Aries, expect to feel some relief in your sector of career and accomplishment for the first time in over a decade once Pluto enters Aquarius in late March. While Pluto is direct in Aquarius, you may become increasingly focused on your sector of the greater community, humanitarian causes, wishes, and technology. An immense desire to pursue new networking opportunities and chase unique dreams will be heightened.
But you may need to pause for the cause to ensure that you’re empowered and in control of your pursuits when Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius; the backspin could also encourage you to scrutinize some of your friendships. But once Pluto retrograde slides back into Capricorn in June, you’ll have the rest of 2023 to finalize the professional transformations you can over the last decade.
By 2024, Pluto will re-enter Aquarius and your attention will turn back toward your greater community, wishes, and relationship with technology. Expect to see immense changes within your network and online over the next few decades.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Find your silver linings from the last few years, Taurus. You’re at the end of one journey and the beginning of the next when Pluto enters Aquarius in late March. The immense yet unpredictable transformation will begin to take place in your sector of legacy, notoriety, accomplishments, and vocation. Depending on where you are in life, Pluto in Aquarius could be the checkpoint that you need to course-correct whatever you’re striving to attain or be known as.
Once Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius during your season, you may need to pump the brakes to reflect on what you need to work on to achieve your goals. By early June, Pluto retrograde will slide back into Capricorn, where it will stay for the remainder of the year, giving you ample time to put in some of the work you identified. When Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024, you’ll find it easier to tap into your power and accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
Gemini (May 21-June 21)
You know what it takes, Gemini! After all of these years of Pluto moving through your house of intimate affairs, you may feel like you’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel when Pluto enters Aquarius in late March. However, Pluto in Aquarius marks the beginning of a unique journey through new lands, worldviews, and belief systems. You may feel like you’ve entered a cultural reset during this astrological period. But if you want to make the most of it, then you’ll need to reflect on your dogmatism, judgment of how others live, and poorly founded beliefs when Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius.
By early June, Pluto retrograde will regress into Capricorn, which will be the perfect time to reconsider personal and financial entanglements. Focus on ending entanglements once and for all throughout the remainder of 2023. When Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024, you’ll feel ready to assume control over your unique journey.
Cancer (June 22-July 22)
After years of transforming your sector of relationships, once Pluto enters Aquarius, you’re ready to undergo intense introspection as you consider your relationship with entanglements, intimacy, and finances, Cancer. Although Pluto in Aquarius has a brief astrological period in 2023, it can still be psychologically and emotionally profound if you need to work on establishing better boundaries to avoid complex yet secretive affairs. So, when Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius, think about what you need to work on to have a healthier relationship with the people closest to you and your financial life. You have more power than you give yourself credit for!
Remember this when Pluto retrograde slides back into Capricorn in June, where Pluto will remain until the end of 2023. This is the perfect opportunity to take your relationships to the next level, which will set you up for success in 2024 when Pluto re-enters Aquarius. By the time 2024 rolls around, you will know exactly who and what you’ll want to invest in.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Leo, are you ready to go deeper than ever before in love? The last few years were excellent for transforming your daily routine and healthy habits to feel more in control of your life. However, your focus is about to shift to invite more authenticity and freedom into your romantic relationship(s) when Pluto enters your opposite sign, Aquarius, in late March. By the time Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius in May, you might need to reflect on how well you share your power or control with a romantic partner. It could be time to loosen the reins.
Depending on what you adjust, this could be your cosmic cue to revise what plays a part in your everyday life when Pluto retrograde slides back into Capricorn in June. Pluto will then remain in Capricorn throughout the remainder of 2023, so this is your time to course-correct whatever influences your habits and health. Keep this in mind for when Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024, since you’ll want to capitalize on the right commitments.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Expect to feel empowered in your self-expression and pleasurable activities when Pluto leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius in late March. Now that the new Plutonic period is here, it’s time to focus on what will help you feel like you’re in control of your day-to-day operations. Virgo, this is just the beginning of a health-and work-focused period as you radically transform all aspects of your routine to ensure that everything in your life is tailored to your needs.
Use Pluto retrograde in Aquarius, which begins in May, to reflect on where your shortcomings are and what you’re willing to let go of to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle. Doing so will give you the perspective you need to focus on your happiness when Pluto retrograde re-enters Capricorn in June. Given that Pluto will remain in Capricorn for the rest of 2023, yo’ull need to take your power back by focusing on your hobbies, creativity, and love life. Expect to feel more empowered by having pleasurable activities to focus on when Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
As personal matters, like the home and family, begin to resolve, you may feel like there’s a growing emphasis in your sector of self-expression, joy, and romance when Pluto enters Aquarius in late March. Libra, think of Pluto in Aquarius as the time to dive into your weird and wonderful desires since Pluto will shine a light on what makes you feel truly happy. Although this will require intense introspection, you will have a better understanding of your sexual and creative nature throughout this period.
By the time Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius, expect to feel a little isolated while exploring the outlets that encourage you to let your freak flag fly. When Pluto retrograde slides into Capricorn in June and stay there through the end of 2023, you may want to use the time to wrap up any issues in the home and family before Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024. Laying personal matters to rest will let you shift your focus back to your self-expression and joy.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Scorpio, you may feel more empowered through your curiosities, immediate community, and communication skills by the time Pluto leaves Capricorn for Aquarius in late March. As Pluto in Aquarius begins its long transit, your perception of home and family will begin to transform. A private yet intellectually-stimulating awakening will begin since Pluto in Aquarius will ask you to reflect on where you started versus what you’re trying to build now.
Don’t be surprised if you’re a little aloof when Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius in May, since you may feel called to review private family matters behind closed doors. As you do so, you could find that you need to work on your communication skills before reopening personal matters when Pluto retrograde re-enters Capricorn in June. Find your power through communication, community, and curiosities while Pluto is in Capricorn for the remainder of 2024. You’ll be ready to dive back into your home and family when Pluto re-enters Aquarius that year.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Look at how far your finances and security have come, Sagittarius! All of your hard work will finally pay off when Pluto leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius in late March. As one fiscal period ends, a new communication-focused period begins since Pluto in Aquarius will emphasize how you feel about your sector of the immediate community, dialogue, and exploring your curiosities. You may feel initially odd about going outside of your usual comfort zone, but Pluto in Aquarius is the perfect time to experiment.
Reflect on how you can feel more self-assured while exploring topics and opportunities that aren’t your area of expertise when Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius in May. Doing so will put what you value into perspective, so expect your attention to turn toward your finances and security when Pluto retrograde slides back into Capricorn in June. Use the remainder of 2023 to wrap up any money matters, and expect to feel more stable and self-assured when Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
The pressure is finally off of you, Capricorn! You must be more excited than any other zodiac sign for Pluto to enter Aquarius at the end of March. The commencement of a new Plutonic cycle will turn your attention toward your values, financial matters, and sense of personal security. The next few decades could go one of two ways: you could either work on feeling more stable by pursuing whatever is unique to you or you may struggle to break free of societal expectations in your pursuit of security. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on what you value personally, financially, and professionally when Pluto stations retrograde Aquarius.
By the time Pluto retrograde regresses into your sign in June, you may need to focus on who you are. The remainder of 2023 will be one of your final pushes to feel fully confident with your identity and body, When Pluto re-enters Aquarius in 2024, you’ll feel relieved once again as your attention shifts back toward your values and financial stability.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Aquarius, the next few decades are all about you — no pressure! When Pluto enters your sign at the end of March, you may feel an immediate shift within the sector that rules over your identity and body. The initial ingress might be unnerving since Pluto will bring all of your insecurities and self-doubts to light. You’ll have to work through any self-imposed inhibitions during the beginning of Pluto in Aquarius. It might be especially tough when Pluto stations retrograde in your sign, since you may feel too self-critical. But you can use this Plutonic period to overcome whatever is holding you back from self-love and self-acceptance.
Luckily, you’ll get a bit of relief when Pluto retrograde leaves your sign for Capricorn in June. Pluto will then remain in Capricorn for the remainder of 2023, so this is a subtle yet powerful cosmic cue to focus on your mental health. Doing so can prepare you for 2024 when Pluto re-enters your sign once again.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Are you ready to go within, Pisces? After taking back your power in your social circles and following your dreams over the last few years, you may feel like a subconscious transformation is coming to fruition when Pluto leaves Capricorn for Aquarius in late March. Your inner weirdo will slowly but surely come out during Pluto in Aquarius since this introspective period is about getting in touch with the real you. However, you’ll have to overcome some hidden fears surrounding your authenticity when Pluto stations retrograde in Aquarius. Unsupportive frenemies will make themselves known during the retrograde, and you may need to adjust your inner circle.
By June, you may feel (subconsciously) relieved when Pluto retrograde leaves Aquarius for Capricorn. Your attention will also shift back toward your social circles and dreams for the remainder of 2023, which is perfect for finding your true calling and friends. Once 2024 rolls around, you’ll restart your introspective Plutonic period when the tiny but mighty planet re-enters Aquarius.