Pluto, the planet of transformation and regeneration, is so very far away from the Sun that it takes almost 250 years to make its entire orbit around the fiery center of our solar system. It spends many years in one sign, and is so slow and far away that it is retrograde almost forty-five percent of the time.
You can’t see Pluto, of course, unless you happen to have access to a powerful telescope, but it’s hard to avoid feeling its influence — especially when it’s at a dead standstill, spending up to four months in the same degree of the Zodiac, at what are called the stationary points of its cycle. On the days when it finally seems to start cranking up and moving again — whether it is going retrograde or direct — Pluto themes are all over the headlines, and they aren’t usually very pretty: terrorist attacks, mining disasters, things long hidden coming to light. In short, scary stuff.
On a personal level, Pluto is all about personal growth and transformation. And let’s be honest: You can’t grow all the time without pausing occasionally to absorb and integrate the lessons you’ve been learning. Pluto Retrograde periods are perfect for this. Personal evolution is a two-steps-forward, one-step-back process, and the pace is determined by the direct and retrograde motion of Pluto.
Occasionally the Pluto retrograde period is characterized by painful loss, or events and circumstances in your life that are far beyond your control. In many ways, Pluto represents factors that are much larger than any individual; it is the planet of human evolution, after all, and that trumps any single person. But for most of us, most of the time, Pluto retrograde periods offer us the chance to delve deeply into our own inner resources and determine what is most important, when all is said and done.