Sure, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet in astronomy back in 2006. But in Astrology, Pluto is one of the most potent planets, and it will be even more so as Pluto retrogrades in the serious sign of Capricorn from April 29 - October 8, 2022.
At times, deep Pluto is a cosmic detective, determined to find the real story; other times Pluto is like an outspoken dinner guest who blurts out secrets and reveals hidden truths about everyone at the table.
When a planet goes "retrograde," or moves backward through the zodiac, it often creates a "Bizarro World" of everything it stands for -- communication planet Mercury creates miscommunication and technology breakdowns when retrograde, for example. But Pluto's backward shift doesn't make us confused, it makes us reflective. Instead of Pluto creating sticky situations in the outside world, it forces us to look inward.
First, it's important to realize that Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld -- aka, the land of the dead. Like its namesake, the planet Pluto rules over the shadow side of everything and everyone. So when Pluto is charged up and moving direct (forward), issues of corruption and buried stories may surface; we could learn that a politician has been taking bribes, a celebrity has been having an affair, or that a friend has been saying negative things about us behind our backs.
When Pluto brings out our dark side
So when Pluto goes retrograde, it forces us to focus on our own personal shadow sides -- specifically, the unpleasant parts of our personalities that we may not really like. Two big themes that Pluto likes to highlight are power and desire. With Pluto retrograde, we'll have to get honest with ourselves about how much we're motivated by a need for recognition, money, and authority.
At the same time, we might have to confront the darker sides of what we want; for example, are we working hard to get in shape because we are truly concerned about our health, or are we spurred by a desire for revenge on an ex who didn't appreciate us?
With Pluto retrograde for five months, this period of personal reckoning allows us to do a lot of purging, too. Once we see traits in ourselves that we dislike, we can work to improve them. We can also revisit old hurts and hang-ups as Pluto sheds light on the darker corners of our experiences. In this way we can grow, which highlights Pluto's key role in our lives: transformation.