We often hear about the impact of the so-called "inner planets" (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) stationing retrograde in astrology, and it's with good reason: those planets rule the minutia of our day-to-day lives. The outer planets, which take significantly longer to orbit the sun, therefore represent big picture stuff, the overarching themes in our lives. Pluto, for instance, enters its 2019 retrograde on Apr. 24 until Oct. 3 — so, astrologically speaking,
how Pluto retrograde affects your love life is very different to how, say, Mercury retrograde (which occurs more frequently but only lasts about three weeks at a time) affects it.
"In astrology, Pluto is the planet that represents the process of change," astrologer
Linda Furiate tells Bustle. "Pluto rules those aspects of our lives that allow us to transform our being so that we may advance the growth of our soul." She goes on to say that these transformations can relate to "intimacy, sex, a change in our financial or spiritual wealth, our psychological well-being, or death and rebirth." Because of how much time it takes Pluto to move around the sun — about 248 years in Earth time! — transiting its action in our charts is a slow process. For instance, it spends 14-30 years in each sign. This particular Pluto retrograde takes place in the sign of Capricorn, which means that cardinal and earth signs are most likely to feel its effects.
"Pluto retrograde is a time to reevaluate the power dynamics in your relationships," astrologer
Rachel Lang tells Bustle about love lives specifically. Whether freeing yourself from patterns of control and possessiveness, or letting go of a person or situation you've been obsessing over, Pluto retrograde is the perfect time to slough off these dynamics.
Here's what each sign can expect in their love life over the next few months.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
"If Pluto retrograde is hitting your sun or moon, you will undergo a major rebirth with your love life," astrologer
Cindy Mckean of Kansas City Astrology tells Bustle. "If you're in a relationship, it'll will be tumultuous, but you'll survive together."
According to astrologer
Lisa Stardust, meanwhile, Aries signs would benefit from putting their relationships on display during this time. So go ahead and give in to that impulse to put your babe on Instagram. "Open your heart and share your happiness with the public," she says. "Don’t be shy." Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
"An earth sign like Capricorn, Taurus might find that their relationships may have the opportunity to become more solidified and grounded," Furiate says.
"We may feel a stronger desire to assume or regain our personal power," she goes on to say about Pluto retrograde's effects in general. "It is possible to end a relationship if we feel we are being controlled or manipulated. For others, it may be a time to express our intimacy with our significant other to further deepen our bond."
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
This is definitely a time for Gemini to make the most of letting go. Says Stardust, "Letting go of past baggage will let your heart soar, if you are dedicated to healing and growth. If not, issues from the past may arise causing conflicts within your partnership."
Lang agrees, saying, "This is a time to heal."
In general, Lang suggests that this is a good time for all the signs to work "with a therapist or healer to face your inner demons or unpack your deepest relationship fears."
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
"If this Pluto retrograde is making a connection with your sun or moon, you will find yourself on a quest for more answers when it comes to all facets of love," Mckean tells Cancers, "whether it be maternal love, romantic love, or joie de vivre."
But, your quest for answers may trigger your control issues. According to Stardust, "Power struggles will be intensified as past issues come out of the woodwork."
"You don’t have to control your partner or the relationship to ensure your happily ever after," she helpfully reminds us.
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
According to astrologer
Jake Register, Leo has a vested interest in examining the ~routines~ of their relationships during this time.
"If their everyday interactions with their lovers or the way they go about meeting new people isn't getting the desired results, it can cause stress-related psychosomatic symptoms, like anxiety, tension, headaches, etc.," he tells Bustle. "Leos would benefit from adjusting the way they approach their everyday connections and their habits/go-to behaviors in relationships."
Virgo (August 23 - September 23)
According to Register, Virgos (another earth sign) are positioned to feel the effects of this Pluto retrograde deeply.
"Virgos are submissive by nature and if their partner is taking advantage of that or being too controlling, now is a time when Virgo can break free," he says.
"Virgos are also prone to being too intellectual and logical, which closes them off from their emotional side," he explains. But for single Virgos, "Pluto retrograde can bring along someone who encourages them to open up and 'feel' things like romance and love more."
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
This Pluto retrograde occurs in Libra's 4th house, which represents our emotional core and identity. Register suggests it could even be a component of sexual orientation, so this Pluto retrograde might mean some big, burgeoning queer feelings on the horizon for Libra.
"Opening up to yourself, honoring your deepest feelings and desires, and letting yourself create deep, emotional bonds — even if it means coming out of the closet or being with someone who others might not approve of — is a theme of this Pluto retrograde for Libras," Register says.
"If you're in a relationship, expect lots of new experiences together," Mckean adds. "If you're single, this is a great time to sexually explore love."
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Scorpios are infamous for their opacity and this Pluto retrograde may finally break them out of those habits — much to the delight of their partners.
"For Scorpios, Pluto retrograde is encouraging them to open up to their partners," Register explains. "Scorpios are so secretive by nature that being wide-open and 100% honest isn't how they always operate. The information they withhold can be especially problematic during Pluto retrograde, and over the next few months, they'll learn the value in being up-front and holding themselves accountable for being honest with their partner."
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Sagittarius may feel a bit of an identity crisis coming on during this Pluto retrograde — but don't panic! It's all for the best. "Your self-worth and values will be stripped away...or at least questioned," astrologer
Alby Toribio tells Bustle. "During this time, Pluto will make you very sensual. Just be careful of your vices and use this energy to explore your desire and transform your taste in people." Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Capricorn is due for a love life makeover this Pluto retrograde and it could show up in a few different ways. As McKean points out, this could apply to people whose sun or moon signs are in Capricorn — and these signs have already been experiencing major shifts in the last few years.
"Not one to really go on adventures, this Pluto retrograde will bring adventure to you," Mckean tells Capricorns. "When it comes to your love life, Pluto (which rules sex and transformation, among other things) will bring new ways of you experiencing dating, mating, and relating."
Toribio goes one step further and suggests, "This retrograde, expect to transform and confront the deepest part of your being, as you will face events that will question the superficial parts of yourself."
"This retrograde will transform who you are," Toribio confirms, "And hopefully, by embracing the new changes, it will bring in more love, either by giving more or by vibrating differently to attract better people."
Aquarius (January 20 - February 19)
Aquarians: prepare to reclaim your time this Pluto retrograde.
"Pluto retrograde will be happening in your house of imprisonment, and it will have you confront and take back your power in love," Toribio says. "Take notice as Pluto will make you see your blind spot when it comes to love."
Pisces (February 20 - March 20)
Pisces is another sign poised to figure out some major love life puzzles this Pluto retrograde.
"This era will push you to confront and think deeper on what you want out of your future," Toribio advises. "Through this time, you will meet people who will open your perspective of this world and force you to think deeper. Look at the big picture of what you want out of your love life."
Ultimately, this is a great time for every sign to be working through their childhood trauma as it relates to their partnerships. "Pluto helps reveal what has been hidden or to bring subconscious matters into the light," Lang explains. "So, you could recall memories from childhood that left an imprint and still affect your relationships today."
"Retrograde cycles allow us to press the 'rewind' button on our lives, and we get the chance to revisit the past," she goes on to say. "Sometimes, you might even have the opportunity to remake a decision, doing things differently this time around."