Search and Destroy: Horoscopes for Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn

April 23, 2019



DIRECT: OCTOBER 2, 2019, at 20°38′ CAPRICORN

Amongst the planets, there is slow, and then there is Pluto. Taking over 248 years to orbit the sun, Pluto can stay in a sign for anywhere from twelve to thirty-two years.

Pluto first entered Capricorn for the first time January 25, 2008, and will only exit Capricorn for good on November 18, 2024. Once a year, every year, until Pluto enters Aquarius, Pluto will retrograde in Capricorn for almost half the year.


Capricorn is the sign of tradition and business as usual; as an earth sign, Capricorn’s manner is grounded and persistent as it slowly plods towards concretizing its goals. With Saturn as its ruler, Capricorn has latent connections to authority and achievement, and a perverse sense of delight in following the rules. While it’s true that Capricorn has a strong, integrated sense of itself, it’s equally true that it is inclined to chase after success according to traditional, mainstream values.

In Capricorn, Pluto has his targets set on busting up the bigwigs: it’s no coincidence that the Great Recession, which toppled many long-standing institutions, coincided with Pluto’s entry into Capricorn. Who’s really in power, Pluto in Capricorn asks, and most importantly, do they deserve it?
Read me: Planets In Retrograde: Meanings & More

As Pluto’s transit of Capricorn has continued, we have witnessed increasing breakdowns in the roles that traditional paradigms of authority play, and the respect that they are normally awarded in return (see: election 2016). A burgeoning group of empowered young people sit ready and waiting to hold any slick-talking corporate-cum-politicians feet to the fire, retweeting their hypocrisies and organizing boycotts between classes. This narrative of trimming corporate fat and contesting authority will continue to unfold as Pluto transits Capricorn. When Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn, search and destroy tactics will go underground; Pluto’s direct stations are notorious for exposing hidden agendas.

On the personal level, Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn punctuate the slow, gradual process of release. If you’re carrying anything unnecessary, particularly anything that’s unnecessarily Capricornian (traditions, responsibility, burdens, emotional austerity, torturous goals, achievement needs, authority complexes) it may be time for a psychic yard sale. The only way to walk with Pluto is to hand over everything you have. Like magma rising from below, Pluto will burn through everything within you, scrubbing your soul from the inside out with his special brand of chthonic firepower, leaving only the essentials.


These Pluto retrograde insights can be read for both your sun and ascendant sign. 

Aries (and Aries Rising)
Since 2008, Pluto in Capricorn’s transit of your tenth house of career and reputation may have put you in the hot seat more than a handful of times, forcing you to grapple with internal and external power struggles as you forge ahead at work.
Shadow material in relation to your career might have also surfaced, bringing into question what you do and why; some may have been weighing up equally important questions about notoriety, fame, and even their mothers (a tenth house affair).
As Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn, you’ll be able to squeeze the best from this transit if you can delve below the surface, refining your career aspirations and positioning your power in only the worthiest of vessels.

Taurus (and Taurus Rising)
When the going gets tough, many tough folks get going to their safe havens: faith can be a panacea for burdens of the soul. With Pluto in Capricorn transiting your ninth house of spirituality, religion, foreign places and people, you may have found your normal cure-all in short supply or sorely lacking.
Pluto is pushing you to manifest true abiding faith in the face of an existence that can sometimes feel meaningless. Faith is not just knowing that all will be well eventually, but that the intransient moments of pain serve a purpose, too, even if we cannot always understand what that purpose may be.
The Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn can help nudge you along the hermit’s path, enabling you to seek grounded, immoveable answers to some of life’s biggest questions.

Gemini (and Gemini Rising)
Pluto in Capricorn has been bewitching a part of your chart associated with shared resources (bae’s cash, in short), inheritance, death, and, to use a very Victorian term, ‘vagaries of the mind,’ since 2008.
Since then, you may have been psychically pushed to the edge of your threshold or had to deal with more than your fair share of death and rebirth. True, too, however, that the intensity of Pluto’s transits may have gifted you an ultra-acute sense of how money and power can intertwine to toxic effect, and how to best avoid the pull of such slippery slopes.
As Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn, you can expect to ruminate further on getting to the root cause of all that threatens to unseat you in matters of money and mentality.

Cancer (and Cancer Rising)  
All is fair in love and war, especially where Pluto is concerned. Pluto in Capricorn’s transit of your seventh house, the sacred space of coupledom and committed partners, is teaching you just how much war seethes beneath the surface of even the most blissfully loved up duos.
In this transit, you may have to work on healing any deep-seated wounding that allows toxicity to infiltrate your relationships; in particular, Pluto has a penchant for jealousy, betrayal, manipulation, and its closest cousin, gaslighting.
During the Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, turn your attention inwards, deconstructing how you may be aiding or abetting the devolution of your partnerships. It’s not pretty, but it’s purposeful – leave no stone unturned if you want raw, authentic love.

Leo (and Leo Rising)   
Pluto has been grinding away in a part of your chart dedicated to the daily grind for the better part of a decade; the results of this reckoning may have profoundly impacted you, body, and spirit.
On one hand, you may be well on your way to discovering exactly what kind of work or service it is you feel most pulled to proffer, on the other hand, you may have been feeling like your life is encased in drudgery (it is worth noting that the sixth house used to signify indentured servitude). Equally possible is that you will have been tested, again and again, to move towards an ever-deepening relationship to your health.
The Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn will afford you more time to get to the root of and generate holistic answers to all these challenges.

Virgo (and Virgo Rising)    
Pluto in Capricorn plundering around in the house of the chart normally reserved for fun and frivolity has been no picnic. Pluto’s excoriating gaze burns through anything superficial, which is especially problematic when he travels in the fifth house, which embodies the relatively shallow pleasantries and indulgences of life, whether that is found in the laughter of children or the sighs of our lovers.
Light-hearted fun may have been a challenging energy to tap into this transit, and there may have also been traumatic upheavals in the realms of sex, children, and creative pursuits.
The Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn provide a small window of opportunity to allow yourself to lean back and breathe a little bit easier, and if you can, to remind yourself that all work and no play is no way to live. Life is for the living.

Libra (and Libra Rising)
Having had Pluto in Capricorn for such an extended time in your fourth house, the part of the chart that describes our roots, childhood, family, and especially our fathers, you may feel as if the psychological study of your origin story and its impact on your life is never-ending.
Here, Pluto is testing your ability to see family for what it is, minus the pretty facades. Just as important is internalizing just how necessary some of the failings of family life can be for our personal growth and transformation.
If you’re amid delving deeper into family narratives or muddling through home turf drama, the Pluto retrograde in Capricorn transit can be a boon time for studying your posse through Pluto’s razor-sharp lens. Seek not to assign blame, which will only victimize yourself or others, but to build stronger ties based on brutal truth.

Scorpio (and Scorpio Rising)   
Pluto has been playing around in a many-splendored area of your chart: the third house embodies everything from siblings and neighbors to communication and short-distance travel. Some may be called to step up their relationships with brothers and sisters (as well as aunties and the like), a shift that may be necessary if any underhandedness presents itself in these relationships.
More likely, your processes of thought and speech are undergoing a serious rework. Powerful ways of communicating may be emerging, and you may be applying that newfound voice to causes connected to your community.
The Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn are a time to revisit the power of words. If you’re in doubt about the integrity of your communications, hit the pause button until you better understand your deeper motives – what you say is just as important as why you say it.

Sagittarius (and Sagittarius Rising)
The second house, where we currently find transiting Pluto, is our personal bank. Although more euphemistic understandings of this house include our sense of self-esteem and our talents, the core of this house’s significations are tied up in greenbacks.
Having Pluto here is not easy. There is an indelible link between what we earn and how we feel about ourselves. Hosting a Plutonian obstacle in our house of funds is enough to derail anyone, even the eternally optimistic Sagittarian. Keep the faith. By transit’s end, you’ll have earned a consummate education in money, both in how it corrupts, and how it empowers. With that knowledge in tow, you’ll be able to control your finances instead of being controlled by them.
Use the Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn to consider how the modern worship of money may be disconnecting us from what’s truly valuable, as well as studying how well you’re adapting to your new role as money master.

Capricorn (and Capricorn Rising)   
Trying to live easy while Pluto in Capricorn has transited your first house has likely been impossible to ignore. Seeing that this house covers our sense of self, how we appear to others, and even our vitality, Pluto transits in this key part of the natal chart can feel particularly destabilizing.
Some may have faced huge, no-turning-back changes in their personality, while others may have faced challenges maintaining their health or energy levels.
The Pluto retrogrades in Capricorn will provide you with ample breathing space to explore just how well these transformations of body and persona are going; with careful introspection, you can take stock of just how far you’ve come – and how much further you wish to go.

Aquarius (and Aquarius Rising)   
It’s been said that there is no good time for a Pluto transit, just an appropriate one; Aquarians that have tussled long-term with Pluto in Capricorn inhabiting one of the trickiest parts of the natal chart may be more than inclined to agree.
In some ways, Pluto is likely at home in the twelfth house, where we find hidden enemies, addictions, self-sabotage, and the deep, cavernous seat of our subconscious. Pluto acts like a dark mirror, reflecting all that we would normally avoid seeing, and for that, we must be thankful.
To know who we are, warts and all, and to accept those ‘lesser’ parts of our being, is a radical act of compassion. As you continue on this journey, employ the Pluto retrogrades as much-needed pit stops to ground yourself and refuel, before heading ever deeper into yourself.

Pisces (and Pisces Rising)   
As Pluto in Capricorn continues its transit of your eleventh house of groups, friends, hopes, and aspirations, you may have been undergoing intense transformation through key friendships or collectives.
Truth be told, this is one of the least difficult houses to host a Pluto transit, being that its significations are so sunny and optimistic. All the same, Pluto has set out a rigorous syllabus for you. As part of his passage in this house, you may have completely upended your ideas about the friends and groups that dominate your calendar. This has likely involved cutting cords with old comrades or undergoing tremendous shifts with particular pals; you may have even found yourself pitched into a circle of powerful movers and shakers.
During the Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, aim to review this transformational path, ensuring that whoever you align yourself with has the same heartfelt intentions as yourself.

By Lee Coleman
Art by Lori Menna