Pluto Retrograde: Embracing our inner Demons


Blog No. 7 from Phoebe, 21st-28th April 2020 – “Fears, when Pluto is involved, will always be existential and transformative, and, if we are brave enough to move through them, can lead us to the discovery of a deep faith in life.”

Pluto cr NASA
Pluto – cedit NASA
21st April: Sun in Taurus squares Saturn in Aquarius

‘What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!’

Dark thoughts cast shadows (Saturn) on our sensuous enjoyment (Taurus) of the warm, sunny Spring weather, bringing low morale, lethargy and depression. In the UK the covid death toll remains too high, and politicians warn of a longer lockdown – for those over seventy until the end of the year!

Saturn’s grip is tightening globally with borders closing, and strict lockdowns being introduced along with policing and surveillance. We hear of repressive governments (Saturn) using covid as a reason to curtail civil rights (Aquarius) and put democracy on hold.

However, on the health front, where Saturn stands for the immune system, he becomes an ally of the Sun (our life energy), crucial for defence against the virus. The anti-bodies (Saturn) created in those who survive the infection serve to strengthen their systems. ‘What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!’ says Saturn callously.

22nd April: Sun in Taurus, Earth Day

‘A wake-up call in this brief window of sanity!’

Earth Day, appropriately falling in the Taurus month (Taurus being the sign of mother earth’s resources) celebrates its 50th anniversary today. It’s also the anniversary of the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the unaccustomed silence of the lockdown, with the normal busyness of our lives on pause, perhaps we’re in the right place to take heed of its wake-up call.

The contrast between the heavily impacted environment we now take for granted, and the glimpses of its pre-industrial pristine state granted us by the lockdown is stark. Just how fast Nature can regenerate has been shown in recent weeks – clearer waters, bluer skies free of the perpetual smog layer, animals repossessing their natural habitats.

And now many of us have time to stop and stare – at the trees in luxurious blossom, at the profusion of daisies in the grass, each one a jewel, and we come into contact with a layer of deeper peace inside, that’s more real than our anxieties.

23rd April: New Moon in Taurus conjunct Uranus

‘A freak coronal burst slips under the radar’

A new moon, when the Sun and Moon conjunct, is like a monthly rebooting, and this time our restart is dominated by Uranus (shocks, the unexpected, mutation). With Sun in Taurus we can expect volatility on the stock markets (Taurus = investments) and sure enough there’s an alarming slump in the oil price today creating panic.

We can also expect extreme weather events such as the devastating tornadoes now claiming lives in the U.S. And this Uranian New Moon has also coincided with news of a freak weather event in space. Uranus is associated with electro-magnetic phenomena, and though there’s a solar minimum at present (when normally the sun is quiet) it seems a freak coronal burst has slipped under the radar, as a sudden jump was recorded in solar wind and magnetic field values pointing to a coronal mass ejection. And sure enough, examination revealed evidence of a hole in the sun’s corona facing the earth. Ah ha! Uranus is making his presence felt, and strange that the word ‘corona’ applies both to the sun and to the round, pink virus with its sticking out knobs!

25th April: Mercury square Pluto and Sun Square Uranus

‘An erosion of trust in governments and erupting public protest!’

Trust in governments (Saturn) is being eroded in many countries, and there’s now wide-spread protest (Uranus) against the lack of transparency in the way the crisis (Pluto) is being handled.

The UK government is accused of being too slow in revealing facts about the initial spread of the virus, which together with their failure to inform the public about the true numbers of daily deaths seems to have been politically motivated (Pluto in Capricorn). They’ve also been secretive about the sources of the scientific evidence on which their decisions are based and which are questionable.

In the U.S. Trump halts press interviews in order to proceed avoiding this form of public scrutiny.

In a number of states there are displays of defiance (Uranus) such as protest marches and anti-lockdown rallies. One march was led by protesters proclaiming their democratic freedom to choose to become infected!

26th April: Pluto turns Retrograde

‘Time to draw our inner demons into the light!’

A new phase begins in the covid saga. For the next six months Pluto is retrograde, which means he seems to move backwards. When Pluto is taken to represent covid, this means the outward spread of the virus will lose momentum. Our attention will turn away from the developing outer drama and focus more on the toll taken and the lessons learned.

While retrograding Pluto returns past the crucial points of his recent advance, memories of our significant experiences in the first quarter of 2020 will present themselves so we can deal with them. Some must digest the sickness and deaths of loved ones – perhaps the most difficult and painful experiences they’ve known. Others must confront their own compulsive fears about catching covid and suffering the helplessness of the gruesome death it can bring. Others must deal with the deep survival fears that unemployment can trigger.

Fears, when Pluto is involved, will always be existential and transformative, and, if we are brave enough to move through them, can lead us to the discovery of a deep faith in life. There’s a strange magic surrounding Pluto that makes every experience, and especially those hardest to bear, deeply meaningful.

Thus the 2020 retrograde Pluto phase offers a spiritual healing opportunity. We’re encouraged to embrace our inner demons of anxiety and despair, and draw them towards the light, reassured intuitively that every death contains the seed of a rebirth.

26th April: Mercury squares Jupiter

‘Looking for light at the end of the tunnel!’

Positive, optimistic thoughts (Jupiter) dominate today with news of success in some countries, notably New Zealand and South Korea, in containing the virus and returning to normal, while some European countries are taking their first steps to exit from the lockdown.

In the UK, a once-bitten-twice-shy prime minister recommends caution, and a release from lockdown still looks distant. Government hopes lie in ramping up testing and contact tracking to control the covid spread, using a newly invented smartphone app.

The WHO announce a landmark collaboration to make technologies for dealing with covid available world-wide (Jupiter) and also recommend that medicines and vaccines should be shared equitably. The world must come together at a global level (Jupiter) as we’re all in this together.

There is still hope (Jupiter) that with the flu season ended infections will decrease, and there’s a wide opinion that a higher percentage of people have had the infection than estimated, and have developed immunity. Thus herd immunity could soon kick in.

But Mercury is moving on now to square Saturn, so before we make up our minds we should hear the pessimists’ side of the story.

27th April: Mercury enters Taurus

‘Why spend money on new clothes in lockdown?’

Encouraged by a retrograde Pluto, and with time on our hands to look inside, we could notice that our values (Taurus) are changing under lockdown. It could have had the side-effect of increasing our appreciation of the green spaces in our neighbourhood, where we exercise once a day, and where we’re seeing Nature with new eyes.

Perhaps we are simply enjoying getting into our physical energy and being in our bodies, while we jog, cycle and walk (Mercury in Taurus). Talking of values, we may find our outer appearance has become less important. Why spend money on new clothes or a hairstyle (typical Taurus pleasures) when we have no social life except on zoom? We needed these things to feel good about ourselves through attracting admiration or approval. Now we see we’ve been living behind a facade, and may start to ask, who we are when the facade drops? Authenticity may become one of our main values from now on.

April 28th: Mercury in Taurus squares Saturn in Aquarius

‘We have worse things to worry about today!’

Saturn (pessimism) says, Don’t pin your hopes on a vaccine. They are never effective against RNA viruses which continually mutate. Neither should we put our trust in antibody tests which can prove unreliable for the same reason, and hopes of a cure in the near future have also been dashed.

Check mate Saturn! But we have worse things to worry about today. The UN has issued a dire warning that the world is on the brink of a huge hunger pandemic in which millions could face starvation caused by climate change together with the economic effects of covid (Taurus = food supplies, food banks, money).

Globally, the economic impact of covid could kill more than the health impact is killing. Thus, governments are faced with the hard choice of continuing a strict lockdown and risking ruining the economy and starving the population, or easing the lockdown and risking a second surge of infections, by which the value of all the efforts already brought and the sacrifices made to stem the virus would be lost.

So, where do we go from here? It seems we urgently need an intervention from the higher intelligence at work in the universe, to give us some proof that breakdowns are necessary in order to break through. If we are not saved from ourselves, we are in danger of becoming the first species on the planet to engineer its own extinction.

For an introduction to the basic cosmic archetypes through twelve diagrams that clearly order their different types of themes into sets, see my book Inside the Cosmic Mind: Archetypal Astrology and the New Cosmology (Floris Books, 2014).

All the blogs in this series can be found in Osho News under ‘2020 – The Year our Reality Changed Utterly’

Phoebe Wyss

Phoebe Wyss is a regular contributor for the monthly horoscope and is the author of various books on astrology –

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