As we know, astrology is not astronomically correct and planets don’t really move backwards. But occasionally from our perspective the apparent direction of their movement changes, which we call “retrograde.”
Most of us are familiar by now with Mercury retrograde periods, which (because Mercury is the messenger planet and deals with all kinds of communication and communication devices) tend to bring about communication glitches and endless renegotiations of contracts. Even people who don’t “believe in” astrology know that when Mercury is retrograde, things are just different.
This doesn’t mean, though, that retrograde periods are “bad.” The sort of “two steps forward, one step back” flow of life that we experience during retrogrades are essential for cleaning up old messes, perfecting projects, re-establishing friendships – anything that involves going back over an event that has already occurred to be sure we are finished with it.
No planet is better at completing old patterns and clearing away the leftover detritus than Pluto, and when Pluto is retrograde, as it is for about half the year, we are forced to look backwards at our successes, our mistakes, our plans, our relationships – anything in our lives that has unfinished business will be re-examined during this time and anything that we are carrying around that is no longer needed will be swept away like the pollen after a rain.
Pluto is the planet of destruction and regeneration, and it also deals with issues of power and its uses. Its not surprising that now, with Pluto having been stationary in the sky (from our perspective here on earth) for the past few weeks as it prepared to change direction, things have been so intense for so many of us. When a planet is stationary it shines a laser-like beam of energy that reflects the energy of the planetary symbolism, and Pluto is all about intensity and getting to the root of the matter.
If Pluto is transiting your chart, as it is mine at this very moment, this laser-like beam may feel like a razor blade, cutting through any unnecessary claptrap that keeps us from delving to the core of the issue at hand. Anywhere we are not honoring ourselves truly – any relationship that disempowers us – any old emotional pattern that no longer serves us will be excavated as we are taken into Pluto’s underworld during this time.
Retrograde Pluto offers an opportunity rather than a punishment – an opportunity to clean out the basement of our lives so that when this project is finished we can enjoy our lives that much more.