Are you ready for retrograde season? Because underworld-dwelling Pluto is about to take us on a moonwalk through our deepest influences and most profound power issues. Pluto retrograde 2023 begins on May 1 and will storm on until October 10, giving us a full five months to review some of the subconscious work we’ve been doing this past year. Pluto is the most distant planet from the Earth, so the effects of its backspin tend to impact us on a collective level. That said, knowing how Pluto retrograde will affect each zodiac sign personally is integral, as this potent planet can help us venture into the deepest parts of our minds and hearts.
Tiny but mighty planet Pluto spends nearly half of every year retracing its steps through the zodiac, so this retrograde is nothing to panic about. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful! As the planet that rules depth, alchemy, and all things subterranean in nature, much of Pluto’s work in astrology takes place beneath the surface—meaning that its retrograde periods generally aren’t as outwardly disruptive to our daily lives as some others are. However, Pluto transits can still have a powerful ripple effect on our reality, slowly shifting the foundations of our innermost psyches and society at large until something emerges completely anew. Pluto retrograde is subtle, working quietly in the background to revamp and rewire all that’s going on above ground.
Pluto recently entered Aquarius for the first time in more than 200 years and it’s been activating the critical first degree of this air sign since March 23, quietly ushering in a new era of transformation. But just as Pluto’s magic takes time to materialize, so will its full transition into Aquarius—as Pluto retrograde 2023 finds the planet retracing its steps right back into earthy Capricorn on June 11, hovering over the sensitive cusp of these two signs. Pluto spent the past 15 years in Capricorn, and this retrograde cycle will ensure we’ve truly learned our Pluto in Capricorn lessons and are ready to start excavating a new part of ourselves.
This is the first of two Pluto retrogrades that will oscillate over the edge of Aquarius and Capricorn before Pluto finally leaves the sign of the sea-goat behind in late 2024. However, this backspin has its own unique flavor. Throughout this retrograde, Pluto will be in a tight square with the North and South Nodes of Destiny—an aspect that peaks on July 28, but colors the entire transit. This catalyzes a collective experience of evolution, challenging us to push past fear-based limitations in an individualistic and societal sense. Pluto will also continue harmonizing with spiritual Neptune throughout this retrograde, reminding us that we can trust our intuitive spidey senses.
Pluto also makes some other significant planetary connections throughout its 2023 retrograde, too. The backspin kicks off with an action-packed T-square involving excess-loving Jupiter and hot-headed Mars. This three-way cosmic squabble invigorates our drive toward ambition and abundance, but could cause us to go overboard in our quests for success. It’s a battle to balance our trigger-happy passions, visions of grandeur and tactical master plans. In July, both Mercury and the sun will face off with Pluto retrograde, revealing hidden information and prompting some potentially uncomfortable shadow side exploration. But by the time we hit the final weeks of the retrograde in late September and October, these two planets will be harmonizing with Pluto, bringing solutions and clarity to the identity crises and spilled secrets that stirred up drama a couple months earlier.
Let’s dive straight into the heart of it all, Pluto-style. Here’s your Pluto retrograde 2023 horoscope, based on your your sun sign and/or rising sign:
Immersing yourself in an aligned and visionary community is slowly becoming a bigger focus in your life, Aries. But if you want to build a strong support system around your hopes and dreams, it’s important that you know exactly what message you’d like to project into the world. This retrograde wants you to get in touch with your inner authority and start embracing your leadership qualities in an even more authentic way. Is your outward confidence masking chronic imposter syndrome? Or do you truly believe in your power? By drilling down into your innermost insecurities, you’ll gain the insight you need to rise straight to the top.
You’ve recently entered a period of massive change when it comes to your career path and public image on the whole, Taurus. But before you can truly build a lasting legacy through work, you need to know exactly what you stand for. This Pluto retrograde cycle asks you to dig deep into your personal belief system and dismantle any dogmas that could obscure your perspective or limit your potential. You’ve spent the past years readjusting your moral compass and reshaping the philosophies that you live by—and coming months bring yet another opportunity to clarify your core principles. If you need to shift some paradigms in order to open up your worldview, now’s the time.
You’re ready to start bulldozing your limiting beliefs and broadening your horizons in a big way, Gemini—and during the first month of Pluto retrograde, this kind of mental and spiritual growth is on your mind. But over the four months that follow, you’ll find yourself on a more emotional and introspective journey. Are you standing strong in your boundaries and protecting your energy field? What invisible forces might be holding you back from embracing your expansion? Now’s a time to dissect any of the hidden fears or below-the-surface shame that may be weighing you down. Untangle the knots and free yourself of these burdens so you can spread your wings and fly.
Building a deep level of openness and trust in relationships is a huge deal for you, Cancer—as your water sign spirit craves emotional closeness and connection. However, that kind of vulnerability requires a rock-solid container in order to be embraced safely, and this retrograde is all about reinforcing that for yourself. Spend the coming months reevaluating the power dynamics in your partnerships and making adjustments where necessary. Do you need to set more boundaries or be more forgiving? Instead of burying feelings of dissatisfaction or jealousy, push yourself to negotiate them and clear the air. This kind of honesty will pave the way for less resentment, more intimacy and much stronger bonds overall.
Pluto is beginning to shift the foundations of your relationships, prompting a deep reassessment of what you want to commit yourself to. But this retrograde is a reminder that loving yourself first is the key to being able to fully show up for someone else. It’s hard to devote yourself to a partnership—whether it’s romantic, platonic or professional—unless you’re taking care of your own responsibilities and prioritizing your wellness. Self-love is in the details, so spend the coming months reassessing the little things that need upkeep in your day-to-day life. Stacking some seemingly-small habits can lead to momentous changes in relationships and beyond, so make sure yours are aligned with your true goals.
Pluto has just begun igniting a deep and revitalized desire to get your life in order and be of greater service to the world around you, Virgo. But as this retrograde starts rolling, you’ll realize there’s still a deep hunger to satiate in the realm of your passions. It’s time to relight your inner fire to ensure it stays ablaze, whether that’s by revisiting a torrid romance or an inspiring hobby that may still spark something special in you. All work and no play will make anyone feel dull—even a responsible earth sign like you—and pleasure is always a worthwhile pursuit. Focus on reconnecting with authentic self-expression and simple joys. You need to keep stimulating your creative juices in order to keep momentum high for all your other endeavors.
You’re ready to start opening your heart to more passion and pleasure, Libra. But in order to be a vessel for inspiration and magic, you need a rock-solid foundation upon which to pursue your deepest desires. Your safety net has totally transformed over the past years—and while it can be scary to navigate that feeling of insecurity, it’s made you stronger than you ever thought possible. But now it’s time to wrap up this heavy journey and create more space for lightheartedness and love. Make peace with the grudges you hold, the memories that still haunt you and the emotional floorboards that need fixing in order to find your footing.
With the magic of your cosmic co-ruler Pluto on your side, you’re beginning to uncover the strength to heal your inner child and reshape your foundations. But in order to do this deep inner work, Scorpio, you need to make sure your truth echoes through every room you walk into, vibrating your true voice into the ether, loud and clear. Pluto retrograde will find you revisiting challenging conversations and revisiting situations where you may not have expressed yourself in the most authentic fashion. Now’s an opportunity to get even more comfortable speaking your mind and stating your ideas. Remember: your words and your presence carry so much power.
You’re beginning to understand just how much weight your words can carry, Sagittarius, and honing your true voice is becoming a more important endeavor than ever. But before you bare your soul by broadcasting your most existential thoughts to the people around you, this retrograde wants to ensure you’re comfortable standing tall in that truth. Do your personal values align with those of society? If not, are you willing to march to the beat of your own drum in the name of your self-worth? Use the coming months to reevaluate what’s actually meaningful to you and what’s just fluff. Now’s your chance to stop wasting precious resources on things that don’t matter.
Pluto just left your sign for the first time in nearly 15 years, Capricorn—but this powerful planet isn’t done with you quite yet. Your long-term cosmic transformation continues during the upcoming retrograde, as Pluto will backspin into your first house of self and ask you to keep chipping away at the parts of your identity that you might be afraid to grow out of. Reflect on the person you’ve evolved into and focus on reworking any inauthentic aspects of your exterior personality. It can be scary to bare your true self, but that kind of courage and strength is requisite for your growth. Push yourself to continue with this metamorphosis.
In March, Pluto entered your sign for the very first time in your life—catalyzing a total identity shift that will take two decades to fully unfold. But this retrograde is a reminder that you’ve still got some internal work to do before you can make like the Phoenix and emerge from the ashes of your past. Reconnect with the natural sense of intuition you’ve been honing during recent years, and listen to the beat of your inner self rather than being swept up by the tides of the outside world. Don’t be afraid to face the darkness and explore the shadows. Once you face these hidden fears head on, they’ll begin to lose some of their power.
Pluto is priming you to dive into the deepest caverns of your subconscious now, Pisces. But it’ll be much easier to embark on this solitary inward journey when you know that you’re being supported by an outside community—especially when you’re too wrapped up in your own third eye to see them. Throughout this retrograde, you’ll be challenged to step back from the cocoon of your personal perspective and reevaluate your existence from a more objective viewpoint. You’re part of a greater social and spiritual ecosystem, and it’s important to maintain a strong connection with that as you traverse the far corners of your psyche. Don’t lose sight of your place within the collective.