Pluto’s retrograde motion starts on April 20th, 2017, at 19 degrees Capricorn, and ends on September 28th, 2017, at 16 degrees Capricorn. In astrology, this planet, called „the great renewer“, is associated with power and magnetism, governing wealth, occultism and inner transformation. Pluto is ruler of Aries and Scorpio, having exaltation in Leo, detriment in Taurus and Libra, fall in Aquarius.
In mythology, Pluto was the ruler of the underworld. His Greek name was Hades, being the oldest son of Cronus and Rhea. After he and his younger brothers Poseidon and Zeus defeated their father’s generation of gods, they claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea. The consort of Hades was Persephone, represented by the Greeks as the beautiful daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest and agriculture. Persephone (the Roman goddess Proserpina) spend one third (or half, according to roman poet Ovid) of the year with her husband, in the underworld, and two thirds of the year with her mother, above.
Catabasis or Descent into Underworld
Catabasis is a term designing a hero’s journey to the underworld or to the land of the dead. Then, he returns on earth with a quest-object, a loved one or with heightened knowledge. There are many mythological characters who make visits to the underworld ruled by Pluto. We remember you some of the best known:
- Gilgamesh, the main character in the Akkadian poem „Epic of Gilgamesh“ descended to the underworld to meet Utnapishtim, the man who survived a flood, in a quest for immortality.
- the Greek hero Herakles, during his twelfth labour, capture and then bringing back Cerberus, the hound of Hades, a monstrous multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.
- Psyche, the beautiful princess loved by Cupid, the god of love himself. Venus, jealous of her beauty, imposes many trails to Psyche, the last of them being a journey to the underworld. There, Psyche has to take a box and to obtain in it a dose of the beauty of Proserpina, the queen of the underworld.
- the Trojan hero Aeneas, to speak to his father Anchises (in Virgil’s Aeneid)
- Jesus Christ, during the Harrowing of Hell. The triumphant descent of Christ into Hell (or Hades) took place between the time of his Crucifixion and his Resurrection, when he brought salvation to all of the righteous who had died since the beginning of the world.
Descending into Your Personal Underworld
Pluto retrograde invites each of us to descend in our personal underworld. How? You have to confront your fears, because they will never just go away, if you ignore them.
Aries – you have to deal with difficult people at work. You also must learn to speak in public with confidence.
Taurus – you have a stronger desire to explore remote places, to understand different cultures. You can start your spiritual journey.
Gemini – intimacy becomes more important than ever, in your relationship. Some Geminis become attracted to taboo things.
Cancer – maybe you need to re-evaluate your relationship. Maybe you give too little, maybe you give too much (a common mistakes, for Cancers).
Leo – you have to take care of your own health. You’ll need a lot of energy at work.
Virgo – you will probably feel more love and compassion for yourself and for others. You need to learn how to express these feelings.
Libra – old experiences, especially things from your childhood, resurface. You need to find the source of your fears and anxieties.
Scorpio – dealing with some people can make you feel frustrated, angry and even despairing. Identify these people and avoid them, if this is possible. If you can’t, set some clear limits or solicit the help of a mediator.
Sagittarius – You will re-evaluate what you want or what you think you need. What are you working for?
Capricorn – you need to re-evaluate who you really are. This is an inspiring quote for you, during this transit: „You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be” (Vironika Tugaleva)
Aquarius – this is the time when your secrets come to the surface. You need to be more sincere.
Pisces – it’s time to re-evaluate friendships. Maybe, at the end of this transit, you will have a friend or two less. But the remaining friendships will be stronger.
An Ancient Hymn dedicated to Pluto
Subterranean is your dwelling place, O strong-spirited one,
A meadow in Tartaros, thick-shaded and dark.
Chthonic Zeus, sceptered one, kindly accept this sacrifice,
Plouton, holder of the keys to the whole earth.
You give the wealth of the year’s fruits to mankind,
And to your lot fell the third portion, earth, queen of all,
Seat of the gods, mighty lap of mortals.
Your throne rests on a tenebrous realm,
The distant, untiring, windless and impassive Hades,
And on dark Acheron that encompasses the roots of the earth.
All-Receiver, with death at your command,
you are the master of mortals.
Euboulos, you once took pure Demeter’s daughter as your bride,
When you tore her away from the meadow and through the sea.
Upon your steeds you carried her to an Attic cave,
in the district of Eleusis,
Where the gates to Hades are.
You alone were born to judge deeds obscure and conspicuous.
Holiest and illustrious ruler of all, frenzied god,
You delight in the worshiper’s respect and reverence.
Come with favor and joy to the initiates. I summon you.
(The Orphic Hymn 18, to Pluto)