OK, so yeah, it feels like we just made it through the first 2019 Mercury retrograde. And yes, it's true that Jupiter is also retrograde as of April 10. So like, I'm not trying to pile it on ya or anything, but we've gotta tell it like it astrologically is: Pluto retrograde 2019 begins on April 24, and this five-month-long backspin carries on through Oct. 3.
But before you get stressed, realize that you have survived many Pluto retrogrades already. Just as Mercury retrograde hits several times a year (surefire!), this transit is also nothing outside the ordinary astrological mayhem. In fact, Pluto is retrograde for about five months every year, so the planet actually spends nearly half of its time in a backspin.
Pluto is the planet of transformation of all kinds. Symbolized by the god of the underworld, this planet rules over power and control, the subconscious and our shadow selves, secrets, and deep karmic change. That said, retrogrades are all about the "re"s: Rewinding, reflecting, reviewing, reevaluating — you get the picture. In the case of Pluto's retrograde, we're going to be looking at ourselves — specifically our shadow sides and issues. Shadow work is tough, as it involves facing the parts of ourselves and our lives that we tend to want to suppress, change, hide, or ignore completely. But darkness loses some of its power in the light, so facing (and even embracing) our own darkness and bringing it into the sun is a good way to transform and understand ourselves even better.
"Over the next few months, expect to adhere to and accept personal views based on intuition and former views on matters from the past that poke up," says astrologer Lisa Stardust, who spoke exclusively to Bustle about the upcoming retrograde. "Power struggles and love triangles from the past may pop up during this time. Therefore, it’s important to protect your energy." Be aware of the fact that much will be surfacing at this time — most of it being things we've intentionally bottled up, swallowed down, or pushed aside — so be gentle with yourself and be conscious of the energy you're putting out and inviting in.
"Pluto retrograde is a time of reflection about power and control in your life," wrote Astrology King. "This is not a time for power tripping but a time for elimination." And eliminate you will. Think about control/power in your life. What controls you? What do you feel the need to control? Perhaps you're overly controlling over a relationship or person. Perhaps you have a vice that is controlling you. Wherever your power struggles lie is where your Pluto retrograde work will need to be done.
Ready to embark on some deep, transformational work? Pluto retrograde is here to serve. Stardust weighed in on how Pluto retrograde 2019 will affect each zodiac sign, so read on for a heads up on what you should expect.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Power is addictive. You're a born leader, but check yourself when it comes to over-exerting said power in the workplace during this retrograde. "Be careful not to control the market at work," warns Stardust. "Let your boss keep their power." Know where to draw the line and let your power shine in other ways.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Call on your spiritual side to guide you through the shifts and energetically guard you against the beneath-the-surface drama that's likely to bubble up. "Higher minded activities such as meditation may consume your energy," shares Stardust. "Embrace positive change and growth." The esoteric side of life is calling to you.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
This retrograde is going to be about trusting yourself. "Your personal magic is on point, making your intuition and inner strength very powerful," shares Stardust. Your third eye is on fire, so those power struggles you need to face? No need to make an agenda: Your higher self will show you the way.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
The power of love can overtake even hearts of stone — but who has the power in your relationships? "This current roller coaster of love you’re on may be up and down, filled with twists and turns," explains Stardust. "Stay grounded to avoid drama." Don't be afraid to burn things to the ground to start anew.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Power struggles are showing up in your professional life, but you'll need to look out for other people's drama more so than your own. "Issues with coworkers may make you feel isolated at work," warns Stardust. "Try to make nice and hang with your colleagues out of the office for a change." Your charm will walk n' talk you through.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Retrogrades are famous for serving us the ghosts of love affairs past, so beware the temptation of an ex. "Love triangles pop up, as a former flame brings drama to your current affair," explains Stardust. How tempted are you to give into your vices? Exert your power and let go of what you know you need to.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
You're easily swayed, but this retrograde is testing you and asking you to stand your ground and root yourself in your personal truth. "Your home life may be dominated by a forceful person," shares Stardust. "Give yourself a break to avoid conflicts with your family." Stand tall; don't fall into the trap of appeasing.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Pluto is your ruling planet, so this retrograde is highlighting your shadow self and bringing some of your darker personality traits to the surface. Dig deep, but beware: "Being a detective will force you to discover truths from past arguments — some of which you didn’t want to know," warns Stardust.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Reevaluating your relationship to money is inevitably taking place of the coming months, so prepare to deal in the details, tedious as they may feel. "Taking control of your assets may prove hard, but will eradicate and clear the deck of any financial mishandlings," explains Stardust. It'll pay off in dividends.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
"The power struggle within is real, but you can survive by not pushing too much dominance over others," advises Stardust. You know what a powerful force you are, and this retrograde is going to put your self-control to the test. When is it appropriate to flaunt your power? You'll explore this theme in depth.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Pluto retrograde is taking you way back, bringing up serious ghosts from the past. "Squashing anxieties will be hard and force you to wrestle with changing psychological issues from youth," warns Stardust. Your relationship to your trauma can always change. Allow yourself to face the darkness.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
What have you given up on, and when did you lose your belief in your power to make it happen? Revisit those past goals. "Connecting with a past dream will help you work with your friends on a former project," explains Stardust. Perhaps the missing ingredient was simply trusting others to handle something you held so precious.