I emphasize Pluto transits as the ones that set the context for the rest of the transit picture. That is because they last longer and deal in changes of identity, personal transformation, times for rejuvenation, even regrouping within yourself (rather than accomplishing outwardly). We can never understand what we are going through astrologically at any time unless we understand the issues involved in current Pluto aspects in transit or progression.
That brings me to one of the basic strategies I have witnessed others taking intuitively during their tougher Pluto transits and which I have experienced myself: withdrawal. Pluto was god of the underworld (Hades) and often the instinctive and best way to deal with cumulative stresses relating to matters we cannot personally control is to withdraw to our home base domain, becoming more focused internally and on what we truly do control – our personal kingdom.Interaction and work within the social sphere often brings up inner demons we did not know we had. They generally relate to conflicts relating to issues of dominance, disempowerment, control, and can bring up deep feelings related to previous life traumas that we are still unconscious of, but are deep personal matters we want to keep private. These can be uncomfortable to acknowledge before others. We don’t like others judging us for flaws we know are no worse than what they themselves may display overtly.
These transits that most often produce this desire to withdraw and regroup within ourselves are:
· Pluto conjunct, square, or opposite natal Asc
· Pluto parallel or contra-parallel natal Asc: rarely occurs simultaneous with the conjunction/opposition, but when it does is quite powerful
· Pluto conjunct, square, opposite, parallel, contra-parallel natal Moon
· Pluto conjunct, square, parallel natal IC (4th house cusp)
Notice that many of these transits occur in declination. They can only be discovered and timed if your astrologer watches the declinations and like with the conjunctions, they are working with a precisely accurate chart.
This strategy of withdrawal to process, whether or not there are inner demons involved, is appropriate. So I am posting this partly to affirm that this is a good strategy. Pluto deals with the inner world of our own inner kingdom, as well as our relationship with death and endings of all kinds. Those are not necessarily things that can be dealt with simultaneous with normal social life and extroverted behaviors. Worst of all is enacting such Plutonian forces outwardly as a desire for possession or control of others, just like Hades/Pluto himself learned in his mythical and criminal capture of his queen Persephone.
If you look back on your life and see a period of this type of withdrawal it is quite likely you were undergoing one (or more) of these Pluto transits. Once it is over, and especially when some strengthening Jupiter transits come along, you can once again break out and start interacting with renewed confidence with others, carrying with you a greater sense of yourself — or at least a more rested self.