Why Pluto's Move Into Aquarius Is the Biggest Astrological Transit of the Year

Whether you want to call it a planet (all astrologers do) or not, when Pluto changes signs, it is a very big deal. After all, it is an event that only happens every 12 to 30 years. On Thursday, March 23, 2023, it will officially change signs into Aquarius, marking March 2023 as one of the most exciting months of the year, astrologically speaking. Depending on how old you are, you may have seen this occur just once, twice, or three times in your life thus far; for some of our younger readers, this may be the first-ever Pluto transit they'll bear witness to.

Just how monumental is this, exactly? Well, someone with an average life expectancy only experiences Pluto transiting in approximately three to seven signs. As such, Pluto is sometimes known as a "generation planet," because whole generations of people are born with the same Pluto and a new outlook. When Millennials clash with Boomers, that could be because their Plutos are simply square. So, why is Pluto so special through the lens of the zodiac? And how might its transit into Aquarius potentially impact your life?

By the way, if you’re looking for your sign’s full rundown for the month of March 2023, you can check out your monthly horoscope here.

In this story:

  • What does Pluto signify in astrology?

  • What sign has Pluto been in since 2008?

  • When will Pluto retrograde back into Capricorn?

  • What does Aquarius represent in the zodiac?

  • Why is it such a big deal for Pluto to change signs?

  • What Pluto generation does my birth date fall under?

  • How does your birth chart factor into this transit?

  • What years was Pluto previously in Aquarius, and what happened?

  • How does Aquarius being fixed air sign play into this transit?

  • What it says about the internet and technology

  • What it says about aviation and space travel

  • So…what will Pluto’s transit into Aquarius be like for me?

Why does Pluto signify in astrology?

Discovered in 1930 and named for the Roman god of the underworld, Pluto is the planet of death, rebirth, and transformation. When it changes signs there are huge cosmic shifts. Thanks to its lengthy 248-year orbit around the sun, Pluto typically spends anywhere from 11.5 to 30.5 years in a single sign and it is retrograde half the year (it’s not just for Mercury).  This relatively wide variation is the result of Pluto’s highly elliptical orbit and the fact that it is pitched up 17 degrees. (If you find visual aids useful, I find that this GIF from fellow astrologer Patrick Watson’s website does the trick.)

What sign has Pluto been in since 2008?

The last time Pluto changed signs happened in 2008, when it moved into Capricorn, where it has stayed for the last 14 years. While it will, as mentioned, transit into Aquarius on March 23, 2023. It is notable that Capricorn rules government, structure, and the practical. With Pluto in Capricorn, we have seen authoritarian governments and corporations grow in power. This is not, of course, intended to attribute these shifts to planetary movements, only to connect what is happening on the ground and in the sky.

<h1 class="title">Pluto Transit Into Capricorn Zodiac Sign — March 2023 Astrology Guide — Pluto Into Aquarius</h1><cite class="credit">Bella Geraci / *Allure*</cite>

Pluto Transit Into Capricorn Zodiac Sign — March 2023 Astrology Guide — Pluto Into Aquarius

Bella Geraci / *Allure*

When will Pluto retrograde back into Capricorn?

As you may notice in the outline below covering the dates for each of Pluto's movements over the last 100 years, Pluto briefly makes an appearance back into the previous sign. As such, Pluto won’t have to say goodbye to Cap for long, retrograding back into Capricorn on June 11, 2023 before returning into Aquarius on January 22, 2024, where it will remain for the next 19 and a half years.

What does Aquarius represent, and what does that mean for this transit?

In contrast to Capricorn, Aquarius rules independence, community, innovation, scientific reasoning, and the rational. When Pluto goes into Aquarius we can expect reckonings and innovations around technology, air travel, and community organizing.

Pluto is almost always the planet the furthest away from the sun. (Fun fact: This is not always the case. Every 228 years, Neptune takes that title for a couple of decades.) Let’s put it into context with our other celestial friends. We have the personal planetary bodies: the Sun and the Moon (which are also known as luminaries); MercuryVenus; and Mars. These pertain to our day-to-day lives and can take anything from a few months to a year or two to complete a cycle around the zodiac.

Then, we have the transpersonal, or social, planets, which are Jupiter and Saturn. These two symbolize how we relate to society. Jupiter takes 12 years (one year per sign) while Saturn takes 29.5 years (two and half years per sign), hence why you hit your Saturn return at that age. Saturn, by the way, just transited from Aquarius into Pisces on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, which made for a fascinating juxtaposition between a planet of boundaries, limits, and responsibilities and a zodiac sign of limitlessness.

Then, we have the outer, or generational, planets, which correlate to our relationship to the cosmos and collective consciousness. These orbits last much longer, with Uranus taking 84 years (spending seven to eight years in each sign), Neptune taking almost 164 years (spending 12 years per sign), and Pluto taking a whopping 248 years. Interestingly, due to its elliptical orbit, Pluto’s time in each sign varies dramatically: It can spend anywhere from 11.5 years (when it is in Scorpio) to 31.5 years (when it is in Taurus) in each sign.

Why is it such a big deal for Pluto to change signs?

As mentioned, Pluto spends considerably longer in nearly each sign than the rest of the planets. To better understand the significance of Pluto changing signs, I invite you to consider the following: If a person is 25 or younger (meaning they were born in 1997 or earlier), they have experienced Pluto changing signs just once in their lifetime so far, when Pluto moved from Sagittarius into Capricorn in late 2008. If they are between 25 and 35 (born 1987 or earlier), they’ve witnessed it just twice: once in late 1995 and again in the aforementioned 2008. Those born in the 1970s may have seen Pluto in Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn — so, even if you are in your 50s, you’ve still only seen Pluto in a maximum of four signs. And, if one of our lovely readers is 90 and was born prior to World War II, you have still experienced this just six or seven times.

Which Pluto generation does my birth date fall under?

Here is a full list outlining each of the approximate Pluto generations from the last 100 years. To recap, a Pluto generation is a group of people born under Pluto in a certain sign. Because Pluto is only in each sign for so long, we call them Pluto generations. At first, this chart may look a little more complicated than one might assume based on how slowly Pluto moves into different signs, but please note that it includes all of Pluto’s retrograde movements, as well. Pluto’s moves into fully new signs are noted in bold.

  • January 1, 1922 to October 7, 1937 at 8:13 a.m. (EST*) — Pluto in Cancer

  • October 7, 1937 at 8:14 a.m. to November 25, 1937 at 4:06 a.m. — Pluto in Leo

  • November 25, 1937 4:07 a.m. to August 3rd 1938 at 12:57 p.m. — Pluto in Cancer

  • August 3rd 1938 12:58 p.m. to October 20, 1956 at 1:19 a.m. — Pluto in Leo

  • October 20, 1956 at 1:20 a.m to January 14, 1957 at 9:36 p.m. — Pluto in Virgo

  • January 14, 1957 at 9:37 p.m. to August 18, 1957 at 11:27 p.m. — Pluto in Leo

  • August 18, 1957 at 11:28 p.m. to October 5, 1971 at 1:17 a.m. — Pluto in Virgo

  • October 5, 1971 at 1:18 a.m. to April 17, 1972 at 2:43 a.m. — Pluto in Libra

  • April 17, 1972 at 2:44 a.m. to July 30, 1972 at 6:43 a.m. — Pluto in Virgo

  • July 30, 1972 at 6:44 a.m. to November 5, 1983 at 4:08 p.m. — Pluto in Libra

  • November 5, 1983 at 4:09 p.m. to May 18, 1984 at 10:32 a.m. — Pluto in Scorpio

  • May 18, 1984 at 9:33 a.m. to August 28, 1984 at 11:45 p.m. — Pluto in Libra

  • August 28, 1984 at 11:46 p.m. to January 17, 1995 at 4:15 a.m. — Pluto in Scorpio

  • January 17, 1995 at 4:16 a.m. to April 20, 1995 at 9:56 p.m. — Pluto in Sagittarius

  • April 20, 1995 at 9:57 p.m. to November 10, 1995 at 2:11 p.m. — Pluto in Scorpio

  • November 11, 1995 at 2:12 a.m. to January 27, 2008 at 9:37 p.m. — Pluto in Sagittarius

  • January 27, 2008 at 9:38 p.m. to June 14, 2008 at 12:12 a.m. — Pluto in Capricorn

  • June 14, 2008 at 12:13 a.m. to November 26, 2008 at 8:03 p.m. — Pluto in Sagittarius

  • November 26, 2008 at 8:04 p.m. to March 23, 2023 at 7:22 a.m. — Pluto in Capricorn

  • March 23 2023 at 7:23 a.m. to June 11, 2023 at 4:36 a.m. — Pluto in Aquarius

  • June 11, 2023 at 4:37 a.m. to January 20, 2024 at 7:55 p.m. — Pluto in Capricorn

  • January 20, 2024 7:56 p.m. to March 8, 2043 at 8:01 p.m. — Pluto in Aquarius

  • March 8, 2043 at 8:02 p.m. to August 31, 2043 at 10:11 p.m. — Pluto in Pisces

  • August 31, 2043 at 10:12 p.m. to January 19, 2044 at 4:48 a.m. — Pluto in Aquarius

  • January 19, 2044 at 4:49 a.m. to June 17, 2066 at 10:30 a.m. — Pluto in Pisces

  • June 17, 2066 at 10:31 a.m. — Pluto enters Aries

*All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time (EST)

How does your birth chart factor into Pluto’s transit into Aquarius?

Before we go any further in this investigation, I want to emphasize that everyone is unique and therefore has a different experience of Pluto. You may experience the planet and its transit differently based on where Pluto is in your chart, as well as which of the 12 Houses it is in and what aspects (angles, relationships) it makes to other planets in your chart.

When I was 25, Pluto crossed my ascendant sign (also known as a rising sign). A short while later, it opposed my sun. Without going into too much personal detail, I will simply say that it was an intense and life-changing time, to say the least. Fascinatingly, if I live to be 100, Pluto will cross the bottom of my chart; if I’m still alive, I would be fully onboard for Pluto to take me into the great beyond.

If you are a Capricorn, sometime in the past 15.5 years, Pluto was on your sun, and your life likely underwent a major transformation. Fortunately, I am happy to share that you will never have Pluto on your sun again (yay!) — unless, of course, A.I. takes over and our brains all live on into infinity, in which case, I’m sad to report that it will happen over and over again. (Luckily, we’re a long way off from that, however many strides artificial intelligence has made thus far.) You have probably learned myriad major lessons and, at this point, you deserve a gold medal for adaptability.

What years was Pluto previously in Aquarius, and what happened?

Astrologers for centuries have observed phenomena in the heavens and connected them to whatever was happening on Earth when that phenomenon repeated itself. Therefore, one way to understand what Pluto in Aquarius might bring is to go back 248 years into the past — that is, the last time Pluto awakened the Aquarius consciousness.

The last time Pluto moved into Aquarius was at the end of the Eighteenth Century, between 1778 to 1798, which coincided with the beginning of what some historians consider the Age of Revolution, a time in history when countries all over the world were rising up and challenging the ruling authority. These included major political and social revolutions on every continent.

Going another 248 years back in time, Pluto’s previous stint in Aquarius (1532 to 1553) bore witness to the Protestant Reformation challenging the Catholic Church’s authority. Aquarius is the sign of the revolutionary and the visionary — and, in and of itself, is not about war nor destruction. But, we see that in times when Pluto has implemented the Aquarian vision of equality and freedom, many societies indeed experienced war and destruction. (That said, as an excerpt, republished by the New York Times, from Will Hodges’s What Every Person Should Know About War states that "the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history." Oof.)

Each time Pluto goes through Aquarius, the status quo and what is considered both real and established (both Capricorn words) are turned on their head. So, what will it be this time? Perhaps the ubiquity of the internet and technology? Perhaps we will see capitalism, the individualistic mindset of success, and anti-labor efforts flipped around on those who push them. I cannot hope to broach all the areas of life Pluto may touch on, but here are a few that peak my interest.

<h1 class="title">Pluto Transit Into Aquarius Zodiac Sign — March 2023 Astrology Guide</h1><cite class="credit">Bella Geraci / *Allure*</cite>

Pluto Transit Into Aquarius Zodiac Sign — March 2023 Astrology Guide

Bella Geraci / *Allure*

Aquarius is a fixed air sign — how does that impact Pluto’s transit into it?

Aquarius is the last air sign, making it concerned with thought, intellect, and reasoning as well as how we communicate and how we organize information. It is also a fixed sign, which means that, like the other fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio), it wishes to maintain the current state of things. Aquarius can be stubborn and unaccepting of anything that does not fit into its idea of how things are and how they should be.

This stubbornness provides an interesting contrast with Aquarius's role as a radical thinker, one who often brings new ideas to the world. However, this sign can be extreme and exacting about those ideas. Aquarius does not do a lot of hemming and hawing; there's not, for example, a whole lot of, "Hey, I think…" "Would you mind if…" or "Can we tried things this way?" Instead of asking for permission first, Aquarius simply takes action. It says, "I did it because it needed to be done. It was for the greater good. And if you do not see that, too bad."

Aquarius is the sign of scientific reasoning and logic. As a result, while Pluto is Aquarius, we may see some beliefs we have long held turned on their head. During the Age of Revolution, people often struggled with new ideas about government and rulership — conflicts and tribulations that many faced with bravery and came out the other side better than before. Aquarius challenges the status quo. The question is: What status quo will we challenge this time? In 1796, during Pluto's last stint in Aquarius, the first vaccines were developed when physician Edward Jenner inoculated a child with cowpox, leading to the development of the world's first vaccine for smallpox, a disease that wreaked havoc on hundreds of millions of people over the course of many centuries. What new information about disease — and, more importantly, about treatment — will we learn this time around?

What Pluto in Aquarius says about the internet and technology

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear "Pluto in Aquarius" is the internet. Rather, it is the change, transformation, death, and rebirth that are bound to happen to — and within — the internet. Aquarius rules television, the internet, and technology; as such, we will likely see major changes and realizations around our phones, computers, and pretty much anything that syncs, updates, downloads, or features like and/or follow buttons.

Pluto is also the planet of immense power and wealth — both of which have become profoundly attached to Silicon Valley over the last few decades. As Pluto is going through Aquarius, expect to see conflict between people and the technology they use; dissolutions and mergers in the industry; and power struggles between big tech and the government.

As the Roman god of the Underworld, Pluto is also the planet that exposes and unearths things, revealing secrets and exposing lies of the sign it is in. During Pluto in Capricorn, we saw the uncovering of government corruption and secrets, thanks to data leaks, special interest groups, and brave whistleblowers. Now, with Pluto in Aquarius, I anticipate the secrets of some of the biggest tech companies being fully exposed.

Additionally, humans will continue to make advancements in artificial intelligence — an evolution that will keep stoking fears of the robots taking over, even if the real risks of A.I. are less "sci-fi" and more "insidious in everyday ways that are already here."

What Pluto in Aquarius says about aviation and space travel

We astrologers often say Aquarius sees the big picture and has a bird’s eye. In classical (pre-Nineteenth Century) astrology, it rules high places — and what is higher than airplanes and rocket ships?

Pluto in Aquarius will see much-needed change to airline travel. It is very hard to talk about this without going on a rant about how much I hate air travel — though, in this instance, I suppose it is relevant to the issue at hand. A brief anecdote: The last time I flew, I was utterly disgusted to see a service using biometrics (face and eye ID) being incentivized by allowing those who purchased it to skip the line. Of course, some people may love this type of technology deal; I, on the other hand, can’t help but fear seeing more of these technological, ahem, innovations coming down the pike. Perhaps there will be new airlines launching with Aquarian ideals, like a plane where all seats cost the same, you can move your legs without spending an extra $500, and there are no "sections."

Additionally, we are already moving into a new era of space travel. What this era means for humans, including space’s long-term effects on the human body, remains to be seen. Of course, if we make it to Mars, life for the planet’s first colonists will be a hard existence — no matter what Elon Musk claims.

So, what will Pluto’s transit into Aquarius be like for me?

Pluto in Aquarius is bound to be a revolutionary time. It would be silly, if not downright offensive, to claim that we will see world peace bloom by the end of this transit, though only good things can come from taking action to make movements, whether slight or major, in that direction. One can hope that we will see as many of us as possible striving for the Aquarian ideals of equality and community and working together to build a better, fairer society.

On a more personal level, Pluto can bring transformation, evolution, revelation. Perhaps this means the death of something in your life and the birth of something (or someone!) completely new, or bringing forward of something long hidden. If you think back to a time in your life of irreversible change, it is almost certain Pluto (or possibly Neptune or Uranus) were active in your chart. For now, though, I have an assignment for you: Pay attention to what happens for you personally during the week before March 23, 2023, and throughout the week after. During this time, it will echo some of the ways that you, personally, will experience Pluto’s transit in Aquarius. See you in another 29.5 years.

Originally Appeared on Allure

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