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Pluto spends so much time retrograde each and every year (roughly six months) that it tends, in whatever direction it’s exhibiting apparent movement, to become like background noise, a steady, grating grind, often convincing us that the conditions it offers are unavoidable, inevitable, ‘just the way it is’, simply because they take shape and then, because of Pluto’s snail-quick movement, stay that way. This is especially true at points of retrograde and direction; the circumstances around both Power and Change seem cemented in place, even as deep and scary changes well beyond our control appear unavoidable. So, simultaneous feelings of being stuck, accompanied by a sense that all will soon be flung into chaos from massive change.

At this point in time, ‘America’s Laxative’ might be exactly what Pluto is! Antique bottle of “Pluto Water” from French Lick Springs. From a display of memorabilia and antiques at the West Baden Springs hotel, French Lick Indiana.
Photo by Geoffrey A. Landis CC BY-SA 3.0

This time, the first aspect it makes after direction will almost be inadvertent; as Pluto shifts its apparent direction (while still at the same 22 Capricorn 29 position), Mars in retrograde motion in its own sign of Aries slips toward a square, perfecting on the 9th of October–and what do we get from Cardinal squares? Action! Change! And no small amount of conflict, fiery pushes to express, and temper. It’s almost as if these two don’t mean to meet, as neither is in actual forward motion–and that can imply that the conflicts engendered aren’t ones we look for, but stem instead from more compartmentalized energies that happen to find themselves at odds. BUT, Mars will be moving retro, and Pluto will still be at the station position–and that could signal regressive upsets (that is, ones springing up, re-ignited, from the past), old territory of resentments, grievances, and Will thwarted, clashing with an entrenched power position or entity that is both immovable and seemingly permanent–yet here is the lesson of a square: that the particulars, the specific circumstances of each body, speak of the actual situation from which the conflict will arise–so that the anger may have a difficult time knowing where to go, that actions may be timid or find us ‘holding back’, and that the stock-still and apparently impenetrable nature of power matters at present is not at all the reality–things are on the brink of changing.

We may get some of the story, of both the square repercussions and the overall disposition of energies, if we examine a few other contacts on and around the 9th. At that point we actually see Zeus in Libra step in opposed Mars, forming a tight T-square with our heroes just as their contact reaches perfection. That implies that what we see aflame will be fueled by frustrations or denials around ambitions and desires. We also see that Pluto will be quincunx, Mars sextile, and Zeus trine the North Node=creation of our future comes directly from pursuing those ambitions, with success dependent on how well we adjust to and are able to modify the power situation, or to create change or even to change ourselves.

But perhaps most telling about the atmosphere may be a Finger of God with base of Venus-Juno, apex Chiron. This suggests that for each of us the power situation may feel very personal, but that with some effort, we can actually heal some significant facet of things (and this is so no matter the frustrations of the square/ T-square, though we should note, these matters aren’t necessarily the same–they could exist in two completely separate situations). We use our talents, our assets, what we care about, our relationships, or our values, applying them to the power we currently hold, even if that power seems inadequate to address a larger situation. (This is one of those times when doing what we can ends up multiplying its effect, being far more potent than we imagine possible). Putting into action what we have, doing what we can, opens the door to healing a personal wound (Chiron in Aries) around the Self, the identity, the ability to act as an individual, and around expression of the Will. Sound familiar? This may be a further expression of what occurred at the recent Full Moon, building (Pluto in Capricorn) on new, different, necessary changes to the power landscape, ones that will in time reveal Truth, and in doing so offer transformation of one kind or another to each individual.