Brutal reality: confronting the Pluto square Pluto transit

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Clarity Readings, Expanded reading

Watching a clip of Alina Habba lose her shit at the press pack after being (very predictably) trounced in court while representing her client, Donald Trump, I had a realization. Habba is an Aries born in 1984, a month away from turning 40 at the time and smack in the middle of her Pluto square Pluto transit—and so was I.

Restriction, constriction, rejection, feeling trapped, frozen, stripped bare, powerless, locked up, locked out, bound up, unwelcome, misunderstood. These are all symptoms of the Pluto square Pluto transit, an aspect that forces us to confront the least integrated, most alienated parts of ourselves. What follows is an unmasking of reality, a realization that all is not what it seems or what we hope for. Unvarnished reality is so savage, so dark and so unrelenting that coming to terms with it can feel like it’s not worth the struggle.

“Pluto square Pluto” is an astrological transit that occurs when the current position of Pluto forms a 90° angle to Pluto’s position in your natal chart. For those of us who are early millennials, born with Pluto in the last degrees of Libra or first degrees of Scorpio, the square forms with Pluto in the last degrees of Capricorn or first degrees of Aquarius.

Not everyone experiences a Pluto square Pluto transit in their lifetime. Due to Pluto’s extremely elliptical orbit, the time the planet spends in each sign differs vastly. So one person could have this transit in their mid thirties, and another in their mid eighties—should they live that long. For anyone turning 40 this year, you’re in the middle of this transit and have been feeling the weight of it since at least the first ingress of Pluto into Aquarius (which happened in March 2023), and likely some months before that.

Of course, not everyone needs to be slapped with such an obvious and tangible lesson in hubris as Alina Habba.  But the difficulty of this transit cannot be overstated, even if it’s subtle: it is a radical confrontation between the self and the world, between desire and truth, between the self-delusion required for ego syntonia and the existential death required for transformation.

For those who maintain that Pluto is a generational planet that has little to no effect on the personal realm, I’d say that depends on how dominant Pluto is in your birth chart. For me, Pluto is by far the most dominant planet in my chart, due to its placement at 0° of Scorpio in the 8th house, opposite my sun at the end of Aries. I also have Mars and Saturn in Scorpio and moon in 8th house, so you could say that my work in this lifetime is heavily centred in Plutonic, Scorpionic themes.

Generally speaking, having heavy planets like Pluto and Saturn in the sign of Scorpio speaks to serious karma touching areas of life that are usually hidden or taboo—not just for society, but for the individual personally. This kind of karma cannot be erased or corrected simply by doing good deeds or being a good person. This kind of karma involves self-hatred, self-deception and self-betrayal that spills over into control and manipulation over others, and must be seen, known, felt and processed consciously.

More insight can be gained by looking at the houses in which the square is happening. While everyone born on the same day has the same planets in the same signs, the house structure of each chart (determined by the sign on the horizon at the minute of birth) will be different. For me, my natal Pluto in the 8th house is being squared by Pluto’s current position in Aquarius in my 12th house (which spans from 12° of Capricorn to 8° of Aqua).

Capricorn can lend a surprising concreteness to the traditionally nebulous 12th house. And Pluto transiting through it (as mine did for the past decade) can unearth unusually strong connections with past lives. Several years ago, I became aware of a significant, recent past life suicide, and uncovering the devastating reasons I chose that path became a singular focus for me. Slowly, I began to see that the themes of that life echoed in this one, and though they presented through different circumstances, we struggled with the same problems. I also realized that my fiercely self-protective Sun and Venus placements in Aries are designed to re-prioritize a sense of self that had been damaged and neglected.

So let me say here that I don’t necessarily want to condemn suicide. Sometimes there are very good reasons. Sometimes there seems to be no other choice. And the galactics/angelics who have never done a fully incarnational “tour of duty” on 3D earth cannot possibly understand the stress that souls here experience every day. Yes, it’s true that you’re not supposed to kill yourself, but not for any moral reason. It’s because there’s no way to escape, not even through suicide. Whatever drove you to that point will be back next life, and the next and the next, until you deal with that shit and reclaim the bits of yourself you’ve rejected.

(An exception, I believe, is intentional suicide from a place of self-possession, inner peace and lucid awareness. Killing yourself from a place of distress is really the issue. But if your body or mind is no longer viable, no longer able to house and protect your soul, and you’re not trying to escape the consequences of your own actions, nobody’s going to hold it against you.)

For me, Pluto square Pluto means repairing a rift within. The self I lost to suicide had to have his pain acknowledged, felt, known and understood. The self I am now must be known, seen with honesty, forgiven with magnanimity and treasured above all else, even if that places me at odds with others or the prevailing ideology. It means I must choose to inhabit the complex moral ecosystem of who I am in a multi-incarnational sense, rather than masking with false selves more likely to please, succeed and garner respect in a given moment. It means treating others as sovereign entities who ought to determine themselves, not as assets or obstacles for me to wield or overcome.

I’m sure the way that I interpret this transit now, while I’m still in the midst of it, will change as time and distance prevail. By December 2025, this transit will be fully complete for me and I’ll be able to look back and analyze the changes it produced. And not a moment too soon, as I’ll already be feeling my next significant Plutonian transit—Pluto conjunct my ascendant—by then. So stay tuned, those of you with early Aqua ascendants: that’s gonna be something too.

Hey, I’m Christel

Aquarius rising / Aries sun / Libra moon

Continually transforming under Pluto’s mysterious tutelage. Uncovering long-lost gifts of divination. Exploring the unknown, unconscious and unacknowledged.

My readings combine tarot and oracle cards with astrology, numerology and a mix of esoteric material, including channelled and transmitted works.