PlutoFeeling a little dark? In the shadows? Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, is now stationary, before turning Retrograde tonight at 7:33pm (Pacific Time). When a planet “stations” — appears to stand still in the sky before changing directions — we get a strong dose of that planet’s energy, and themes related to that planet are up for everybody. If you’re currently “enjoying” a Pluto transit, you’ll feel this one more intensely.

Pluto brings awareness to what has been hidden or repressed — those deep dark places in our psyche that we often prefer not to think about. During Plutonian periods (i.e., now), we are called to delve into the subconscious realm, to feel the feelings lurking there, and to be really honest with ourselves about what we find.

Because what’s hidden tends to be painful (there’s a reason we repressed it in the first place), as we feel ourselves being pulled into our personal Underworlds, there can be a temptation to reach for our favorite distraction. Don’t give in. Avoidance only makes it more likely that you’ll experience Pluto from the outside — in the form of a person or situation — which will trigger the same yucky feelings but in a less pleasant way than if you voluntarily go there.

The only way out is through. The magical, transformative, healing powers of Pluto can only happen when we’re willing to journey all the way through the Underworld — to feel the feelings, get to the root of the issue, and give voice to our inner truth.

Pluto rules the process of death and rebirth, the necessary shedding of what we have outgrown in order to make space for the new. Pluto makes clear what has become stagnant, what needs to be released. We have to trust that what we release will be replaced by something even better — even though we can’t yet see any evidence.

At the time of the Station, Pluto is forming a challenging quincunx (150-degree angle) to Mars in Leo. Mars the Warrior is an important player right now — as the planetary ruler of Aries, he is the presiding deity of Spring. Mars signifies desire, passion and the courage to pursue our goals.

This crunchy Pluto-Mars aspect says, You want that? Then you’ll have to let something go. Ouch. And yet, Pluto also offers support, in the form of a harmonious, helpful trine (120-degree angle) to Mercury and Venus, both in Taurus.

Mercury the Messenger rules the mind and communication. His trine to Pluto supports mental clarity, and the ability to voice your needs and desires. Venus, Goddess of Love and Beauty, helps you say what you need to say with compassion and sensitivity, so that others can hear it. Venus’s involvement with Pluto also indicates deep healing in relationships — through the willingness to honestly reveal feelings, and to let go of what has become stagnant.

Now is actually a very opportune time for letting go because the Moon is waning, and we’re completing a lunar cycle that started with the New Moon in Pisces (on March 15). Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac, is the sign of endings, dissolving, and surrender. As we complete this Pisces cycle, we ideally let go of, heal or transform anything that’s in the way of pursuing our passion.

April 14 is the most powerful New Moon of the year — the New Moon in Aries — an auspicious time for clarifying what you want and setting intentions. This next week, focus on the inner work that will support you in starting the new cycle with a clean slate.