Pluto Astrology Facts:

Glyph: pluto-glyph
Ruler of: Power, Transformation, Rebirth
Named for: Pluto, the Roman God of the Underworld
Sign of Dignity: Scorpio
Sign of Detriment: Taurus
Sign of Exaltation: Leo
Sign of Fall: Aquarius
Physical Body: Pancreas, metabolism, elimination
Changes Sign: Every 13-32 years (due to highly erratic orbit)

What Does Pluto Mean in Astrology?

Despite Pluto now being classified as a “dwarf planet,” its influence over us on Earth has not “dwarfed” at all. As the planetary ruler of transformation and rebirth, Pluto made his own transformation to a dwarf planet seamlessly and with great dignity. 

If you consider, as Joanna Martine Woolfolk explains, that this is the planet of “destruction and annihilation, and then complete transformation,” Pluto’s relegation to dwarf planet status looks less like a demotion and more like a reclassification; a transformation, and a rebirth. Call him what you like; his pull on us humans remains just as potent as ever.

Pluto’s orbit is the most erratic of all the planets, and it takes 248 Earth years to complete one rotation around the Sun.

Like Uranus and Neptune, Pluto is considered a generational planet. These three planets are often called the modern planets or the Trans-Saturnians. Because these three planets move slower and are much further from the Sun, their influence impacts individuals and entire generations.

Your Pluto Sign

Since his comparatively recent discovery in 1930, astrologers do not understand Pluto’s influence to the same extent as the personal planets, also known as the planets that come before Saturn in the solar system.

On the other hand, since we can calculate where it has been over time, astrologers can attribute certain characteristics to Pluto by examining it from a generational perspective. In the natal chart, Pluto’s placement indicates, in Woolfolk’s words, “the highest and lowest of which mankind is capable.”

For example, Pluto was in Sagittarius, the sign of truth, knowledge, and foreign places, during the Information Age, which brought the rise of the Internet and social media. Here, we saw an almost total annihilation of traditional, slower means of communication in favor of revolutionary new tools. Woolfolk points out that Pluto not only transformed how information is transmitted, but it transformed the “concept of distance” itself, enabling humans to connect to one another instantaneously despite geographical space.

Pluto Retrograde

When a planet is retrograde, it appears to be moving backward from our point of view on Earth.

During Pluto retrograde, we see our own intentions and fears, and it is an excellent time to work on facing our fears. 

This transit leaves us lighter spiritually and improves our ability to relate to others and ourselves more positively as we do this difficult work of facing our fears.

Pluto in retrograde is a bit of a break from the demands that this planet usually puts on us. This gives you time to work on getting more in tune with your darkness and depths and to understand your inner demons and fears. This is how you can get to that place of lightness and positive energy.

Pluto Return

Because it is very far away from the Sun, Pluto’s orbit lasts about 284 years. That means it revisits the same place in the sky 284 years after any given event. This is what’s known as Pluto Return

Since Pluto is much longer than the average human life, we as individuals do not experience Pluto return, but events (e.g., the signing of an agreement) can experience a Pluto Return.

Though this can be a challenging time, it provides an opportunity to reflect on the past cycle, continue what’s working, and move on from what isn’t. It’s an opportunity for transformative change.


Pluto’s symbol resembles a “P” and an “L” overlapping. The “PL” stands for Percival Lowell, the astronomer who was an instigator of the efforts that led to scientists later discovering this planet.

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