Skip to content

Inner/Outer Landscape

Pluto stations retrograde on April 6 at 5°32’ Capricorn. We can see how slowly (i.e., deeply) through the inner/outer landscape Pluto travels as it nears its station: it will be in the 5th degree between late February and mid-May, when Pluto moves back into the 4th degree of Capricorn again.

As I’m writing this, the earthquake in Mexico has just been reported. As of Monday morning, “It sounds like it was felt by at least 20 million people. . . Most of Southern California felt this earthquake,” U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones said in Pasadena. (1)

Aside from those directly experiencing the earthquake and aftershocks, those of us with planets or angles in aspect to 5° Capricorn in the natal chart may be feeling Pluto strongly. Those with Scorpio Sun, Moon, or rising sign in the birth chart are also especially sensitive to Pluto’s command. If you can use more of a map, try looking at the chart for the moment of the station at your location. Set the time of the exact retrograde for your place of residence; the angles for that chart in relationship to your own horoscope may be revealing.

When considering Pluto as guide to the interior life, we may know a raw scorching as we are pressed into our hidden selves, our shadows, the secret corners of the soul where terror and remorse and shame dwell.

Pluto’s placement in the zodiac aligns it now with the ongoing square from Saturn in Libra: how we relate to one another is being purposefully and profoundly re-visioned by the great gods of the sky. We’re traveling along and can see the signs on the road: Pluto station just ahead. Treacherous emotions arise to be seen in their emptiness. Proceed with heart. Resurrection assured.

I laughed with a friend today in recognition of the irony that what we need to do now – whether it’s taking an action,  letting go of a habit, or facing a particular demon – is that it’s also what we really, really, really do not want to do.

Norma Nakai Burton, the minister at Unity Church here in Ashland, said on Sunday she had a feeling that even Jesus in Gethsemane didn’t know about the resurrection. He moved toward his fate because he had to. We all have moments at the crossroads of our fate. We may be frightened or deeply anxious, but something in our souls is aching, or howling, as we careen towards an as yet unimaginable new dawn.

One of the great gifts of our astrological view is that with Pluto we know that a rebirth, a surprising and glorious resurrection, will come. We have seen and felt that over and over, and have helped one another through many dark passages. So, look around at everyone with you, both near and far. We may feel starkly alone, especially and poignantly at moments with our closest intimates, but we are all on this life road together.

In my ongoing fascination with planets at the bending, I noticed the Sun squares the nodal axis on the same day as the Pluto station.
(The Sun is at 16° Aries and the nodes at 16° Capricorn/Cancer on April 6.) This is a harbinger of Jupiter and Uranus coming to the Aries Point in early June. The Sun is at the North Bending, which suggests energy coming in, e.g., the planet becomes visible and manifests (in contrast to the South Bending, which implies a surrender of that planet’s function).

So here we have the Sun, dignified in Aries, at the North Bending. I guess we’re on a path towards individualization, whether we like it or not. I’ve got a notion to capture some brave self-sufficiency from the Sun in Aries and use that solar fire in a firm step towards individuating, and give it all up to Pluto’s deepest transformative and purifying possibility. Sounds like a big job, but there’s no time like the present, and I know there’s nothing to lose.  (Sounding more like an Aries already.)

(1) huffingtonpost


  1. Thanks, Mary, you have such a poetic way of writing- even I can feel what you are saying. I am going to try your suggestion about doing a local chart for the station and put it together with my natal.

  2. wow! my shimmy-ing sister Kate..

    Thank you..

    Glad you liked it…it was quite personal as I know you can tell..

    Big hug (as we say here on the west coast)

  3. Thank you for such a positive and inspiring article. I also took your suggestion and lined up the retrograde chart with my natal….I’m excited for the future.
    Peace and love, Julie

  4. Mary, your writing is always helpful to me but this one seems particularly profound to me. I may link to this on my FB page – I think even my non-astrological friends could read this and get a lot out of it. Thanks, Mary – we DO live in large times, to be sure. It’s interesting to me that Pluto having left Sag is only NOW uncovering the Plutonian underworld dealings in the Catholic church – I guess it’s hitting more at the bureaucracy (Cap) than the theology (Sag).

  5. Mary, your descriptions of Pluto are haunting in their depth of perception and accuracy. Seeing the emptiness of treacherous emotions has been one of the greater challenges of Pluto for me. May we all have the courage to face those secret corners and be graced with the howling of the soul.

  6. I agree with your sister, your writing is beautiful and poetic. I especially appreciate the reminder of our call to transformation, individuation, and purification.

  7. Hello to all,

    Thank you so much for your comments…it’s so helpful to feel that we really are going through something together.

    Diane, I appreciate your distinction about the bureaucracy within the church..

    I’d love to hear if anyone notices anything about the relocated station..

    Best to you all,


  8. Inner Outer landscapes is backed up by a lecture I went by a chinese astrology, (though not Chinese) over here in Berkeley. named Liu Ming.

  9. how can i receive a natal chart so i can figure out my life?

  10. Hi Penelope,

    You can get a free chart at

    There are lots of sources for free information on the web. At some point, you may consider having a session with a professional astrologer..

    Enjoy the journey..

  11. Hello Miriam,

    Thanks for the link. I went there and found this quote from Liu Ming:
    “the spiritual path of animism is defined by the willingness (rather than ability) of the practitioner to relax his/her personal story or stream into the Big Story or Limitless Sea of the natural environment (Dao, Heaven). In animism, it is not a goal accomplished by effort but a matter of relaxing into naturalness. Forgetting and remembering become a dance that is not bound by a fixed or hardened sense of “my story”.”

  12. Hi Mary – Thanks for the wonderful article on Pluto Rx. I took your advice re: doing a chart for the station and the results were quite intersting. The station AC is conjunct my natal MC and trine my natal Uranus, and the station MC is sextile my natal Mars. This turns out to be very pertinent to what’s happening with me astrologically right now.

  13. Dear Mary:
    I just discovered you and am delighted to have done so. Your writing is hitting me right where I live. With three planets in cardinal signs and my ASC at 2 Capricorn I am FEELING all this with everybody and personally, intensely and deeply. Blessings to you with a grateful heart for the way you so beautifully express your giftings. I’ll be looking forward to reading and learning more from you!

  14. As the volcano in Iceland is erupting, all I can think of is: Saturn opposition Uranus – the sudden explosion of structures.

    Couple that with a Pluto t-square and…hey, I think we got us a revolution about to erupt here.

Comments are closed for this article!