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Pluto in Aquarius Is Bringing More Unprecedented Times

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

The year is off to a great start! And before the month is over, on January 20, Pluto will shift into Aquarius. This is a big deal, people. In fact, Pluto’s movement into this innovative zodiac sign only happens every 248 years. So the fact that it’s happening right now, during this time of endless back-to-back(-to-back) unprecedented events is … notable.

So what does Pluto in Aquarius mean? Here’s everything you need to know about one of the most important astrological occurrences of 2024.

What does Pluto represent?

As you probably already know, your sun sign represents your personality, Venus is associated with love and relationships, and Mercury Retrograde is guaranteed to wreak havoc on your morning commute — the other planets further out in the solar system, though, don’t work like that. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are referred to as “transpersonal” or “generational” planets, meaning their influence is large-scale, long-term, and experienced en masse. And of these celestial bodies, Pluto has the longest orbit (and, likewise, largest impact) of them all.

Named after the Greek ruler of the underworld, Pluto represents all that exists beneath the surface. (Think clandestine plots, hidden agendas, systemic oppression.) It also represents the incredible pressure that builds on a subterranean level … and what happens when that extreme intensity gets released. Ultimately, Pluto is about truth and power — it’s about peeling back the layers to identify who’s really in charge. What’s really at stake. What’s really going on.

Despite being a small celestial body in our solar system, Pluto’s astrological significance is enormous. In this pursuit of exposing truth and power, Pluto’s touch is far from delicate; it does, indeed, come in like a wrecking ball. Clever and calculating, Pluto isn’t afraid to tear apart the most complex systems from the inside out. Metamorphosis, evolution, transmutation — that’s the Plutonian way.

Since 2008, Pluto has been marching through Capricorn’s industrious sign. Capricorn is associated with big business, Wall Street, corporate power (cough greed), and traditional economic structures. In fact, many astrologers associate the mounting acceleration of late stage capitalism with Pluto’s journey through Capricorn. As the middle class shrunk and billionaires reigned supreme, this disturbing economic stratification sure felt Plutonian, if you ask me.

But this extreme dichotomy is, like, not good? And I’m sure we can all agree that something’s gotta give. Fortunately, the cosmos have a pretty sophisticated checks-and-balances system. Enter Pluto in Aquarius. (There are no coincidences, remember?)

What does this Pluto in Aquarius transit actually mean?

After a long cruise through Capricorn, Pluto’s upcoming journey in Aquarius will offer a markedly different experience. Despite its “aqua” prefix, Aquarius is an air sign — and all the air signs of the zodiac (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) are associated with relationships, community, and networks. As the final air sign of the zodiac, Aquarius is focused on the People (with a capital P). Governed by Uranus, Aquarius is motivated by collective care, humanitarianism, and large-scale societal matters, and associated with rebellion and revolution, along with scientific breakthroughs, medical advancements, and technological achievements.

So when the planet of transformation gets tangled up with subversive Aquarius, we should expect some radical dismantling to occur, as well as some extraordinary developments that may change life as we know it. Futuristic and forward-thinking, Pluto in Aquarius may yield everything from new governmental structures to flying cars (finally!). But will it be a utopian paradise or a dystopian hellscape? That remains TBD.

Because Pluto moves so slowly, it will take time for us to really understand the implications of this powerful transit. Pluto entered Aquarius briefly in 2023 (from March 23 through June 11) before skipping back into Capricorn’s domain. This year, Pluto will find its footing in Aquarius’ sky: Pluto will be in Aquarius from January 20, 2024 through September 1, 2024, briefly retrograde back into Capricorn to tie up loose ends, and reenter Aquarius on November 19, 2024 … where it will remain until March 8, 2043. That’s right, friends, Pluto will remain in Aquarius for the next 19 years (!), so we have plenty of time to get to know this sign.

Who will be impacted by Pluto in Aquarius?

Everyone. Remember,  Pluto is a transpersonal planet — it will impact all of us on a societal level. Of course, those with prominent Aquarius placements will certainly experience Pluto’s movement even more acutely; you can expect large-scale transformation to occur wherever you have Pluto in your birth chart. For instance, if your Moon (symbolizing emotions) is in Aquarius, you may experience radical shifts on an internal level. Or, if you have an Aquarius Mercury (representing communication), the way you express yourself will change radically over the next two decades. Even a big-picture planet like Saturn (associated with lifelong responsibilities) will be impacted by Pluto — your relationship with work and legacy will surely evolve during this powerful transit.

Don’t have any planets in Aquarius? No problem! Everyone has every zodiac sign in their birth chart (that is, the 360-degree map of the sky based on the exact time, date, and location of your birth). The astrological House Aquarius illuminates in your chart will reveal exactly where this cosmic movement will ignite you on an individual level. For example, if Aquarius falls in your second House, you can expect shifts to occur relating to money and values. Alternatively, if it activates your ninth House, don’t be surprised if you experience revolution relating to your philosophies and worldviews.

Of course, with a transit that comes around only every 248 years, there are lots of unknown. Will this finally yield the Age of Aquarius promised in Hair? Or will we find ourselves slipping into some Orwellian novel, defined by rogue AI and fascist algorithms? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Pluto in Aquarius Is Bringing More Unprecedented Times