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What is the purpose of Pluto transits and why are they so damn hard?

Pluto transits Image author unknown

Pluto moves really slowly, taking 248 years to orbit the Sun. Because of this many people will only experience a few personal Pluto transits in their lifetime. By personal I mean when Pluto moves into a position where it creates an aspect to one of your natal planets or points. For example, Pluto at 18 degrees Cancer forms a square to your natal Venus at 18 degrees Aries.

Pluto transits coincide with some of the most challenging and traumatic events of our lives, so perhaps it’s fortunate that most of us only have to live through a few! However, while incredibly challenging, they also tend to change us in remarkable ways. These phases of our lives are some of the most transformative but they can rip us apart in the process!

So why are Pluto transits so hard? Well Pluto rules, or perhaps represents, the cycle of life, death and rebirth in the universe. As human beings, born with an innate tendency towards attachment, we revere this cycle but we also greatly fear it. Death is one of the greatest taboos in our culture because we cannot bear the pain of letting go of our loved ones; even birth is an incredibly traumatic process for both mother and child.

The principle of Pluto is essential. Without death there can be no life. The process of decay is what creates the soil that nourishes the seed. Mythologically, we see Pluto in the tale of the phoenix rising from the ashes, in the symbolism of the easter egg and in the Christian idea of being ‘born again’. Pluto bring us very close to this process and this can be painful.

What is the point of Pluto transits?

The purpose of Pluto transits is to make room for the new by sweeping away the old. However we are prone to become attached to people and things and situations in our lives and struggle with the fact that fundamentally all things are impermanent.

The most powerful Pluto transits are when Pluto directly conjuncts your natal Sun or Moon. Pluto conjunct your Mercury, Venus or Mars will also have a very strong impact. They usually last for about three years and during this time you will likely experience the angel of death at very close quarters.

I experienced just such a Pluto transit recently because my natal Sun, Moon and Venus are all conjunct between 15 and 19 degrees of Capricorn, and Pluto is now currently transiting at 24 degrees Capricorn. This transit took about six years to complete, during which some of the most significant events of my life occurred. To name a few:

  • I met and married my husband
  • I gave birth to my two daughters
  • My father and aunt were both lost to cancer

On 6 March Pluto transits my Vertex at 24 degrees 23 minutes of Capricorn, as we prepare to say goodbye to my 92 year old grandmother. Whether she passes away during this transit or after, her death will definitely occur while Pluto is in my 8th House.

Pluto transits through the natal houses

The impact of a Pluto transit will be very different depending on which house it is passing through in your natal chart. With my Sun, Moon and Venus all in Pluto’s own 8th House, it’s not surprising that for me the events precipitated by this transit were so typically Plutonian.

The impact of Pluto’s movement through a natal house will also depend on whether it touches a natal planet or point. If Pluto is passing through a house in your chart that is unoccupied you can expect a much smoother ride than if there are several natal planets in residence. To get the most out of the next section you need to refer to your natal chart. You can download one for free at Be sure to include transits before printing.

Pluto transits the 1st House

When Pluto transits the house of identity you are likely to experience a complete change in your personality, much like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon. If there are difficult aspects from the natal planets located in the first house you may find yourself becoming obsessive and fixated during the period that Saturn transits these planets.

Pluto transits the 2nd House

The 2nd house is the house of the home. It represents all our worldly possessions and our earthly environment. Our niche. When Pluto transits this house you may lose your home, money or material resources, regaining them later in a completely different form. This is really about learning to be unattached to possessions and developing a sense of security that is intrinsic rather than extrinsic.

Pluto transits the 3rd House

When Pluto transverses the house of communication, siblings and short journeys you may find yourself experiencing jealousy and tension in your relationships with your brothers and sisters. Trauma from the past may come up to be resolved and their may be some painful interactions and even breaks with people who are unhealthy for you to be around.

Pluto transits the 4th House

When Pluto moves through the 4th house your relationship with your mother will probably be emphasised, particularly if there are issues of power and control that you both need to work through. Old neural pathways and emotional patterns born of childhood traumas will become untenable and you will have to let them go and develop more healthy foundations for your life.

Pluto transits the 5th House

When Pluto transits the house of fun, romance and (pro)creation you may become obsessed with the creative process, develop a serious crush on someone (be careful not to become a stalker!) or even end up pregnant after a short fling. The affects will be more dramatic if Pluto transits a natal planet or point.

Pluto transits the 6th House

Here Pluto’s influence is bought to bear on your work, health and service to the world. You may become obsessed with your work or with a cause, get into a power struggle with a colleague or even lose your job. You may also come into your own in the workplace and gain the respect of those around you. Much depends on whether natal planets are involved.

Pluto transits the 7th House

In the 7th House, Pluto makes itself felt in your partnerships and you are likely to begin or end at least one serious relationship, Power dynamics are likely to be skewed and depending on your personality you may find yourself in either a very dominant or a very submissive role. Watch out for jealousy, obsession and manipulation.

Pluto transits the 8th House

In his own house, Pluto’s lessons are deeply emotional in nature. The 8th House represents all the consequences of our deep interactions with others. Children, shared resources and debts, inheritance, sex and death. During this transit you may experience the birth of a child, inherit money, endure the fall out of divorce or have loved ones pass away.

Pluto transits the 9th House

When Pluto transits the 9th House your philosophical outlook and beliefs may completely change. Long trips are likely to be life changing but very difficult. Many of your ideas about yourself and the world will be discarded as new information comes to light. You may explore theology, especially various cultural beliefs around reincarnation and life after death.

Pluto transits the 10th House

The 10th House represent our place in the world and Pluto’s passage through this house is likely to completely change your role and status. You may lose your job or be exposed and humiliated in some way, or will gain true power and influence in the world. All depends on the aspects that are triggered in your natal chart.

Pluto transits the 11th House

As Pluto transits the 11th House some of your friendships and social networks will end and new ones will emerge. Feelings of betrayal and jealousy are possible, as are power struggles, and you may find yourself disassociating from certain groups. You may come up against organisational politics and power dynamics.

Pluto transits the 12th House

As Pluto transits the 12th House it’s possible that your mental health will be tested. Obsessive compulsive behaviours, self harm and addiction are some of the ways this may manifest. Be careful of internalising your dark feelings. Talk to a friend or a therapist so that you can work through the underlying issues.

Want to learn more?

If you enjoyed this article on Pluto Transits you can subscribe to receive my weekly astro insights. Or if you’d like to learn more about how current transits affect you personally you can download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.

Are you experiencing a Pluto transit?

Are you currently experiencing a Pluto transit? What house is it passing through? What natal planets is it touching? How is it manifesting in your life? Please share your experiences below.

8 Comments on What is the purpose of Pluto transits and why are they so damn hard?

  1. Thank you for your insightful articles.

    • You’re welcome :)

    • I have cusp of my 7th and 8th houses in Capricorn also my Sun Jupiter Neptune are there. Just checked up exact transits dates and every time Pluto made a move over my Sun I got hit final one being my grandmother, woman that raised me, passed away. My Saturn return got me all that Pluto has now taken. I guess bring it in and move on PLEASE

  2. Avatar Colleen Sommerauer // February 27, 2020 at 7:21 am // Reply

    Hello Faith thank you so much for your always very well written explanations.
    I am 68 now and in 2024 Pluto will partile conjunct my Sun at. 1degree Aquarius 5th hse. The no 22 has seriously dogged me ALL my life ( I know it’s a master no and it’s relevance good and challenging ) and there seems to be a culmination coming here as on the 22.2.2024 it goes partile! (Born 22.1.1952 22:22 date adds up to 22 my full name adds up to 22 and and and too many to relate! The thing is that I’m my husbands chart Pluto will be partile conjunct with his moon same time.. so for me this can only mean death… I realise that death must come but my life has been very traumatic and only now am I beginning to have some real relief and peace and security so obviously resisting this and the way time flies … I do write and have put this off for ever to write my memoirs … but it’s the conjunction of Pluto to my husbands Aq moon that seems to convince me it’s otherwise .. can you say something to assist me with this difficult expectation? Id be most grateful thank you. I already receive your news letter Colleen

    • Hi Colleen, firstly I’ll begin by saying that I have a Capricorn Moon and Venus so words of comfort are not really my specialty! So my apologies in advance if I’m not able to provide what you are seeking here. Although Pluto often brings death I’m not convinced that this will be your death or that it will necessarily be a literal death. It could be the death of your Husband’s mother, or it could relate to something else altogether. But let’s say for the sake of discussion that this will be the date of your death. Is that such a bad thing? My personal belief is that death is just the beginning of a new life. As for your memoirs perhaps the prospect of death is what you need to motivate you to get writing. You have four years. Go for it! BTW my husband also feels a great affinity with the number 22. It brings good things into our lives X

  3. My descendant is at 0 Capricorn, and my Sun, Mars and Venus is in Cancer. When Pluto crossed my descendent in 2008, I broke off a 4 year committed relationship. I broke it off because I was not happy and was looking to stop making the mistakes of my past and to find someone who is truly right for me. That relationship turned out to be my last committed one. In 2010, I met the love of my life (our first kiss triggered a rush of spiritual energy shooting out the top of my head. It was the first time I ever felt something truly spiritual! I have never loved anyone like this guy). However, my relationship with my love has been hell – he has denied me a real relationship for almost 10 years now, and that spiritual thing inside of me that went off on our first kiss really wants him, in spite of the state of our relationship. When Pluto was opposite my Mars in late 2013, another man entered the picture in spite of my relationship with my love – this other man told me I was crazy for not choosing him as I continued to be with my love, and when I finally said ‘screw it’ to my love, the other man who wanted me so bad abandoned me when he finally could have me. That whole ordeal really screwed with me and I have been terrified of letting other men near me since then. When Pluto was within 1 degree of my Sun in 2018, my father died (my father died 7/7/2018, my birthday is 7/11/1968, 4:21 am). Pluto has entered my 8th house, but nothing is fixed in my love life. I still want a real relationship but my love still evades it, even though his life is crumbling down (I would like to think his life’s crumbling is his karma, but that may be wishful thinking that the Universe is trying to teach him anything about our relationship). He gives a little more these days but we are from having anything satisfying that most people would take for granted in their relationship. Anyway, Pluto is (or will be) opposite my Venus (Venus is in my second house at Cancer 24, square my Saturn at Aries 24). At this point I don’t care anymore about a lot of things and that’s kind of scary to me. I am not really worried about my job – I have made good progress in my career and I don’t think I have anything to fear with that. I am waiting to see what other BS comes my way.

    What I want to know is – isn’t the Pluto transformation supposed to be over for my love life by now? When do things actually become better again? I have hopes that Pluto will break the Venus square Saturn curse that has plagued me all of my life. But it doesn’t look like it. For my life, it is ‘same thing, different day’, but with a lot less caring from me. It is sad because as a Cancer, I have lived for caring and that is just gone now. All I can look forward to is dying without even experiencing a good healthy relationship with a man I truly love. True love seems to just be a curse in my life.

    I’m fine – I just need to know when it gets better.

    • Hi Deb, it sounds like you’re being held hostage by the promise of a kiss which was never fulfilled. Pluto transits are not just about transformation they are also about reclaiming our power and sometimes this means letting go of something that is actually holding us back. Something we feel we need very much but which is in reality a shackle. I think in this situation you have two choices: you need to let go of your expectations that this relationship be an idyllic romance and be happy with what it is, or you need to let go of the relationship altogether and move on to something that better fulfills your needs. At present your lover has too much control over your happiness, whether he asked for this power or not. It’s time to take back that power for yourself, even if that means living alone for a while. Much love to you in this difficult time, X Faith

  4. Pluto transiting my 8th house since 2008.i have sun and moon in scorpio 10th house and a stellium in 9th house libra (mars conj uranus, venus conj pluto). Mercury conj neptune 11th house. My whole life pluto has beem conjuncting every all my other planets besides was fun with pluto in sag 11th house during my 20s/30s. Now, my power is gone, my will is gone,fear and anxiety are too high, but no need of heavy meds, im glad. Besides autoimmune disease controlled by diet and exercise, health is fine.
    It feels like im a caterpillar waiting years to become a butterfly, but still, i find a lot of pleasure living a life in this “existential exile”.

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