Pluto Retrograde 2024 Gets Tricky (Hug Your Inner Child!)

You say you want a revolution? It’s an inside and outside job. Pluto is retrograde in forward-thinking Aquarius from May 2 to September 1, then in old-school Capricorn until October 11. How to cope, by zodiac sign.

Mysterious Pluto, the ruler of the unconscious, is the keeper of our secrets—ones you bury deep. Pluto shifts into reverse for five months every year and during this time you may plunge into a period of shadow work.

Pluto rolls back through Aquarius in 2024, beginning on May 2. With Pluto retrograde in Aquarius, you may find yourself reeling from technological developments and scrambling to keep order in your communities.

Then, on September 1 until October 11, Pluto retrogrades back into Capricorn for the final time in our lives! Since 2008, Pluto in Capricorn has shown us the dark side of patriarchy and corporate greed. We may witness one final showdown in 2024 as old powers clutch onto the dominance that is slipping from their grasps.

On a personal note, Pluto retrograde can reveal ways that we all vie for power when we need to let go and share.


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Pluto is the most complicated planet in the solar system

As the ruler of our unconscious urges, we’re not always present to its machinations. In fact, if you’re blaming someone else for your very own demons (but not actually realizing it), bet your arse Pluto’s at play. Projection is one of this trickster’s favorite deflections.

So when Pluto pivots into reverse every year, it holds up quite the mirror. Wait—maybe you did have something to do with the discord after all? Maybe it wasn’t just because the person you’re pissed at is a narcissist. Conversely, maybe someone you’ve been letting off the hook needs to be held accountable, at last.

What to do during Pluto retrograde: Shadow work

As Pluto reverse commutes through the zodiac, you have an opportunity to go back and revisit some of the buried stuff you may have glossed over in your life.

What have you shoved down to the recesses of your consciousness?

Pluto dwells in the underworld, a kidnapper of young Persephone—which is a metaphor for your own inner child.

As any parent worth their salt knows, kids need positive reinforcement more than harsh punishment. We’re not saying some restrictions don’t apply, of course; kids also need boundaries. So think about tending to your own inner child during Pluto retrograde. When you’re gentle with the hijacked parts of yourself, it’s a helluva lot easier to be compassionate to other people.

The truth is, we all have a shadow side—the part of ourselves that we’d rather deny than lay claim to. No one’s cedar-lined closet is without rattling skeletons. For the five months of Pluto retrograde (May 2 to October 11, 2024), you may have to face a few specters head-on. While its ultimate effect is for good, there can be a few intense moments at first—so hang on tight!

Silver lining: During Pluto retrograde, you may actually feel relief from the planet’s intensity. Retrogrades are times for introspection. Deep-diving Pluto’s backspin can bring penetrating insights.

Progress may be put on hold as you process everything from pain to grief to revenge fantasies.

Pluto in Aquarius: A “sneak peek” of the next two decades

Pluto spends six weeks in Aquarius in 2024 (and spent two months there in 2023) giving us a preview of its longer, 20-year journey through the sign that rules activism, science and tech. After Pluto weaves back and forth between Capricorn and Aquarius for these two years, it settles into Aquarius for 20 uninterrupted years on November 19, 2024 (until January 19, 2044)!

In 2023 and 2024, we get a small taste of the Pluto in Aquarius transit, as the dwarf planet shakes it up in this avant-garde, eccentric air sign (September 1 to October 11, 2024).

A few of Pluto’s fingerprints are already evident:

  • Chat GPT disrupts media as we know it, creating both fear, outrage and awe of the power of technology to replicate humans (and violate copyrights/lawsuits pending)
  • President Biden signs a law forcing ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell in 12 months or be banned in the U.S.
  • Youth activism surges on campuses demanding Universities divest from Israeli investments because of the Israel-Hamas war
  • The U.S. Supreme Court divides on whether federal law should allow doctors to perform emergency abortions in states with near-total bans on the procedure
  • Mass shootings are rampant making gun laws a top issue for the 2024 U.S. election
  • U.S. schools in some states ban teaching factual history about slavery and systemic racism and squash DEI programs
  • Polarization continues to Aquarian extremes: Armed Neo-Nazis show up to drag shows
  • Lawmakers in some states attack trans rights with bills that restrict or outlaw gender-affirming health care for youth and adults, along with protections in schools and public spaces
  • Books are banned in schools, specifically in Texas, Florida and Tennessee
  • World powers assemble and disassemble as war rages on between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas, among many other conflicts, sadly

The Opportunity of Pluto Retrograde

Alarming, right? Like we said, Pluto retrograde is a time for doing shadow work. Wherever you’re pointing the finger, Pluto retrograde advises: stop and take a look within. Is there a more effective way of dealing with conflict?

If the storm of social media wars has shown us anything over the past decade, fighting dirty only drags us all deeper into the mud pit. But no one wants to just “lie down and take it,” nor should we. The opportunity of the Pluto retrograde is to mobilize your communities and continue to speak truth to power with integrity.

It’s important to remember that Pluto is not simply destructive. It’s also regenerative. As the planet oversees alchemy, reproduction and hidden resources, its brutal teardowns can reveal buried treasures to be found.

Your Pluto retrograde horoscope

Below are our tips for how to navigate the five months of the planet’s retrograde, by zodiac sign.

Pluto retrograde in Aquarius: May 2-September 1, 2024
Pluto retrograde in Capricorn: September 1-October 11, 2024

In this Article

Aries (March 19-April 19)

Teamwork could slip into flux starting May 2 when alchemical Pluto spins into its annual retrograde. This year, the backspin begins in Aquarius and your communal eleventh house until September 1, then backtracks through Capricorn and your professional arena until October 11. If you’ve been collaborating on a group endeavor or navigating a bureaucratic system, mind your p’s and q’s. And reconsider before dropping out of any long-term—but potentially lucrative—projects. Is someone slacking off, even after countless warnings? You might need to show them the door. If social media is sucking up tons of your time, conquer your app addiction and enjoy real-life interactions with your favorite people.

Aries horoscopes, read more!

Taurus (April 19-May 20)

Slow down, Bull. As metamorphic Pluto pivots retrograde in Aquarius and your ambition corner, career progress won’t be so easy to come by. Don’t worry! Between May 2 and September 1, you have an opportunity to fortify your quest by networking behind the scenes. It’s possible that a challenging coworker will throw a wrench in your plan, and rather than going toe to toe, try quietly watching and waiting until you hit on a solid solution. Pluto reverses through Capricorn and your expansion realm from September 1 to October 11, shifting your attention to far-flung connections and meaningful travel plans. Think about returning to a spot you already visited—and loved!

Taurus horoscopes, read more!

Gemini (May 20-June 20)

You have a lot on your plate, Twin, but are one or two of those incredible projects about to slide off? As relentless Pluto spins retrograde in your exploratory ninth house, you’re compelled to examine your undertakings with a keen eye. If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, start trimming the fat wherever possible and step back from dicey or pricey ventures between May 2 and September 1. You could be preoccupied with a serious case of wanderlust, but that restlessness might lead you astray until the dwarf planet slips back from Aquarius into Capricorn and your soulful, sultry eighth house from September 1 to October 11.

Gemini horoscopes, read more!

Cancer (June 20-July 22)

Commit…or quit? As intense Pluto pivots retrograde—first in Aquarius and your intimate eighth house May 2 until September 1, then back through Capricorn and your partnership zone until October 11—you could reconsider a specific bond. Take your time figuring out what you want and deciding whether your priorities and values mesh. If you’re already all in, you might require more alone time during Pluto’s five-month reversal. Sneak off by yourself when you need to. A healthy amount of personal space can stoke the flames of attraction. Plus, this backtracking phase can allow coupled Crabs to sort out any longstanding issues in the relationship. A word of warning: Your heart-to-hearts are bound to stir up strong emotions!

Cancer horoscopes, read more!

Leo (July 22-August 22) 

The green-eyed monster could live rent free in your head as jealous Pluto turns retrograde, first through Aquarius and your relationship realm from May 2 until September 1. If you’re feeling abandoned or replaced, stop and ask yourself whether that’s the reality. It may be difficult to maintain a clear lens on certain connections—and if things start to spiral, you might explode in anger and go off on a rant. You’re much too proud to seem so possessive and don’t want to represent your regal sign in that way, so find ways to manage those intense feels. For instance, don’t confront someone when your blood sugar is low or you’ve been imbibing. And when you do talk, call a timeout if a discussion starts to become volatile. Assess any budding relationships very carefully and don’t push the pace. When Pluto reverses into Capricorn from September 1 to October 11, you can view this from a more objective angle.

Leo horoscopes, read more!

Virgo (August 22-September 22)

Thanks to your stellar organizational skills, it’s tempting for you to take control of every plan, Virgo. As Pluto pivots retrograde in Aquarius and your helpful sixth house on May 2, take inventory of everything you’re juggling. Have you taken on too much? During this slowdown, which lasts until October 11, don’t shortchange your pet projects in favor of busy work. Reshuffle your priorities so the most rewarding projects are at the top of the list. And before Pluto backs into Capricorn on September 1, reassign duties to others where possible, and think about bailing on a pointless obligation. Then look for fun, talented colleagues you can team up with to bring joy back to your work. Block off time on your calendar this summer for self-care that puts a smile on your face, like rooftop yoga classes and bodywork sessions.

Virgo horoscopes, read more!

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Do you have Champagne wishes on a Prosecco budget? Regardless of your financial status, tighten the purse strings when powerful Pluto turns retrograde on May 2 in Aquarius and your pleasure-seeking fifth house and then backs into Capricorn and your security-craving fourth from September 1 to October 11. Over the course of the next five months, DoorDash deliveries and lazy Uber rides could be off the table. But you don’t have to live like a monk, Libra. Just give it serious thought before deciding to splurge on something you’re coveting. And be just as judicious when it comes to romance between now and September 1. While sexy Pluto muddies the waters in your amour arena, you should take your time before leaping into a new love affair.

Libra horoscopes, read more!

Scorpio (October 22-November 21)

Order in the Scorpio court! As your galactic guardian Pluto turns retrograde May 2, it will reverse through two signs—Aquarius until September 1 and Capricorn until October 11. Shift your attention to home sweet home for the next two months. It’s not a great time to attempt a reno, but you might relocate to a more suitable space or reconfigure your abode to enhance solitude and efficiency. Maybe a reading nook and standing desk are in the cards? Get in touch with family members you’re fond of, but give triggering types a wide berth. Don’t feel obligated to get together when you’re craving alone time. Savor some peace and quiet, and then after September 1, start reconnecting with people you miss.

Scorpio horoscopes, read more!

Sagittarius (November 21-December 21)

How many people do you really need to keep on your favorites list, Sagittarius? Private Pluto goes retrograde on May 2, first reversing through Aquarius and your communication court, then backing into Capricorn and your money zone from September 1 to October 11. Keep your contact list short and sweet for the next couple of months. You’ll spread yourself too thin and may wind up neglecting your inner circle if you try to add interesting outsiders to the rotation. Be careful to vet people thoroughly before you share classified intel with them, especially if finances are involved. That bubbly newcomer could turn out to be an epic tea spiller (or not!) For now, stay on your guard and give people a chance to earn your trust.

Sagittarius horoscopes, read more!

Capricorn (December 21-January 19)

Are you spinning too many plates, Capricorn? As alchemical Pluto pivots retrograde on May 2, first in Aquarius and your money chamber until September 1, you might have to rein in a few income-generating commitments. Be smart and only sign on to the most vital endeavors between now and September 1. While the dwarf planet reverses through Capricorn (its final retrograde in your sign for the rest of your life!) from September 1 to October 11, you’ll need plenty of whitespace on your calendar so you can concentrate on personal growth. Until then, create realistic schedules and be honest with people about what you can and cannot do, particularly if they’ve been leaning on you too much lately to perform tasks that they can tackle on their own.

Capricorn horoscopes, read more!

Aquarius (January 19-February 18) 

Pump the brakes! Today, metamorphic Pluto, who’s been causing tremors in your sign since March 23, goes retrograde May 2 until October 11. This reversal starts in Aquarius and your first house of identity, then the icy dwarf backs into Capricorn and your mystical twelfth house from September 1 to October 11. Try your best to be patient, even if that means temporarily shelving a handful of your pet projects so you can concentrate on more pressing matters. Yes, that’s pretty annoying, but there’s an upside: You’ll gain something from pulling back and looking at the big picture. Aim to bring more balance to your life. This respite will refill your tanks and may result in surprising insights.

Aquarius horoscopes, read more!

Pisces (February 18-March 20)

Should you speed up or slow your roll? It could feel like you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic while turbulent Pluto reverses through your reflective, healing twelfth house until September 1—and then backpedals into your inventive eleventh for the rest of its retrograde until October 11. During this murky period, what seemed like a slam dunk could be put on hold, while fresh opportunities show up out of left field. The best approach for surviving this unpredictable period is to accept that you can’t control much and just go with the flow. Pluto’s slowdown can give you a chance to turn inward for inspiration—ideally while unwinding near water or engaging in your spiritual practice of choice.

Pisces horoscopes, read more!

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Feature art by Rosie Dienhart


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Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.