What Is Pluto Retrograde?

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If you're a believer in the effects of planetary retrograde, you're going to want to know what Pluto's retrograde is all about and how to best protect yourself from the chaos — or lack thereof. Despite the fact that in 2006, Pluto got laid off from planetary status and demoted to mere star status (though scientists are trying to rectify that now), people still think of its movements as influential to our lives here on Earth. But while a retrograde often elicits fear in us Earthlings regarding how it will affect the state of our affairs, don't worry: Pluto's retrograde is different.

When Mercury goes into retrograde, believers of its effects run for the hills. They basically put themselves in metaphorical bomb shelters, living their lives to the bare minimum, protecting themselves, while waiting for the storm to pass. But Pluto's retrograde shouldn't evoke the same fear in us. Because while it's believed that Mercury's retrograde causes all sorts of miscommunications and misunderstands, Pluto's retrograde only causes an urge to reflect. That doesn't sound so scary, does it? But before your rejoice, consider this: are you ready to take a good hard look at yourself?

Believers of the effects of Pluto's retrograde experience strong urges to look into the depths of themselves. The good, the bad, and the really ugly. Because the planet Pluto is named after the Roman god of the underworld, Hades, it is said that Pluto's retrograde causes people to look into the underworld of their own persona. Not exactly the same kind of happy, uplifting yogic reflections one might first assume. According to, Pluto's retrograde brings out your dark side. The five month period is a time to look at your darkness and figure out how to purge it from your being.

But while it's a dark time, it's also a progressive time. It's a time to look at your life and yourself and get rid of what isn't serving you — to make room for positive, healthy replacements, of course. So don't freak out, just because Pluto went into retrograde on Apr. 20, doesn't mean you're going to wake up and see a demon in the mirror. Rather, it means you're going to get the energy you need to do a little weeding and a little reflection.

So if you change your attitude about the effects of Pluto's retrograde, it's actually a really good thing. You can never have enough encouragement to better yourself. It's always a great time to be contemplative and forward-thinking. So really, you can thank Pluto's retrograde for helping you find the time and motivation to shed some darkness and find a bit more room for lightness. After all, you'll need it to deal with Mercury's retrograde — that planet has a whole other bag of tricks in store for you.