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Pluto, Saturn, South Node: Going back to move forward

Saturn is going retrograde today on 20 degrees Capricorn.

Pluto went retrograde last week on 23 degrees Capricorn.

The South Node is retrograde (nodes are always retrograde) currently on 21 degrees Capricorn.

What does this mean?

Firstly, these three planetary power-brokers are all together right now which strongly impacts their influence on each other. This combined influence has a stronger than usual impact on us (personally and collectively) than any one of these planets/points would have on their own. On their own they can and do trigger major life events and shifts in perspective. Together, they are likely to trigger massive turning points that offer collapse and stability all at once, quantum leaps that feel destined, end of one life/beginning of another life type situations, and huge healing moments when it comes to finally understanding what's been holding you back - and letting go of it once and for all!. Halleluljah!

Not only are they together, but as of this week they are ALL moving in the same direction - retrograde - until mid-September when Saturn starts moving forward again.

(Note: technically speaking retrograde doesn't mean any planet is literally moving backwards. They only appear to be, just like when you drive faster than the car next to you and from your perspective it looks like the car next to you is going backwards in that moment. Even though the planets don't actually move backwards, the occasional appearance that they are is known as "retrograde phase". Retrograde periods mean that each particular planet has a slightly different affect on us than when it is in "direct" phase.)

We also have Jupiter Retrograde at 23 Sagittarius. So he isn't in the exact same space as the other trio, but it's safe to say he's there via video-conference call adding his expansion-loving, abundance-focused, adventure-seeking mojo.

Retrograding planets love introspection. They love putting the microscope on things. Been avoiding a certain life area or situation? Been neglecting a big part of your self? Have you been trying to make things happen but they just haven't worked out due to unresolved old patterns? A retrograding planet will shine the torch on those things, helping you to see issues, and solutions, more clearly. If you're paying attention to inner and outer nudges, retrograde phases can feel like deep dives into whatever needs exploring, expanding, healing and shifting. If you are trying to plough on, business as usual, ignoring signs that something needs to change, well, you're still going to be sent on a deep dive in one way or other only you might experience it like "Why is it so dark in here? Why is this space so tight? Why can't I be back on the boat on the surface?" Enjoy the deep dive for what it is: a seek and find treasure hunt, a soul search and rescue period. You'll get back to the surface eventually, and when you do, you'll be all the richer for it, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and yes, even financially.

So how's this all going to play out?

We all have 20-23 Capricorn somewhere in our natal chart. So a good place to start is go to and see where that is for you. It will be in one of your 12 houses. The house that these degrees are in, will give you a heads up as to which area of your life is most due for deep diving right now. Also check out if you have any natal planets on those degrees because if you do, Pluto, Saturn and the South Node will have an extra big affect on you.

Saturn represents: the Father - your biological father or anyone in your life that had the role of father, it includes your inner father, your inner parent voice. How did your father affect you? Is there healing to be done? Or unfinished business? Are you still carrying old wounds or old words around via your inner parent/inner father voice? Sometimes we grow up, live our own lives, but we still continue to carry these old wounds or old words with us as if our critical parent is right there on our shoulder. Do you talk to yourself like your father did? Are you becoming your father? For some of you this might be a good thing. For others, it's time to say enough. Saturn can be about us stepping into our own healthy inner (or outer) father role. Being the father that we never had but needed. Being our own protector and provider, or stepping up and being that for others. Creating the healthy role model we so wanted.

Saturn also represents people in positions of authority, governments, lawyers, the legal process. Rules and regulations. Contracts. If this is something that's around you right now, know that certain t's have to be crossed and i's dotted. Rather than looking at it like someone has authority over you, ask yourself: How is this on some level helping me, protecting me, setting me up for more stability and security (in the long-term), or teaching me something?

Saturn is about growing up, being an adult and putting on your big girl or big boy boots. Owning and claiming your inner authority, as well as outer authority and sovereignty over your own life.

It represents duties and responsibilities, as well as restrictions, limitations and discipline (in an, "for your own good, to protect you/serve you later down the track" kind of way, although it often doesn't feel like that at the time). While Jupiter is over there waving the rewarding carrot in freedom loving Sagittarius, Saturn in Boss Capricorn wants to make sure you are ready for it and get there in a solid honest way. We've all heard about the people who win millions in the lottery only to have lost it all just a few short years later right? Well not on Saturn's watch. Saturn asks: Have you cleared your inner worth issues before I hand you this? Have you done your homework? Have you studied hard and passed your exams before I can give you this degree? (Or if not, if you've been, let's say, part of a college admissions scandal, Saturn will shake his head sternly and say no you can't do that anymore.) Saturn asks Have you eaten your vegies before I give you dessert? Do you know how to drive safely before I hand you the keys to this high-powered sports car? If you have a business and want it to be more financially fruitful, Saturn wants to know: what systems do you have in place? What are you doing on a day to day, week to week, scheduled, routined way to get where you want to go? Saturn can seem like a real party pooper, but he really has your best interests at heart and is all about the long-term as opposed to short-term gratification.

Saturn also represents karma, time and timing. There's no getting past the red light once Saturn has it on which can feel mega frustrating if you don't realise what's happening. But, he'll turn it onto green once he sees you are good and ready. So buckle up, read your manual, prepare your foundations, do your homework, trade dodgy shortcuts for a slow and steady wins the race approach. It's not true that things can't happen during a retrograde phase. Absolutely they can. ONCE you've done any necessary reviewing, repairing, renovating etc.

Pluto represents: Transformation, Death, Rebirth. Pluto is the Tower card in the Tarot - it's the ending and collapse of the old, so that new life and energy can rise from the ashes. During a major Pluto transit you can go through a major identity overhaul, or identity breakdown wondering who even am I anymore? This eventually leads to an identity breakthrough as the next, newer, better version of yourself comes through.

Pluto represents your shadow. What part of yourself have you been avoiding or neglecting? What part of yourself do you project onto others?

Pluto is about power. Do you own your power in a healthy way? Do you shy away from your power or hand it over to others? Do you abuse your power or take it from others in any way? Do you have negative associations with the word power, and need to re-define it in healthier terms?

Right this minute, what words or images do you associate with Power?

If your words and images need an upgrade to something more positive replace them now or make a note to journal about it, draw it out or even do a Healthy Power vision board!

On a collective level we are in the throes of a massive shift when it comes to who we've given our power to, what they've done with that power, who has had authority over us, who we've deemed as a voice of authority, and what has been hidden in the shadows that the majority of humanity have not known about.

The "Power Pyramid" is being dismantled brick by brick, bottom bricks first (lower power players), then going to medium before eventually reaching the top. So we've been seeing revelations of sexual abuse of power in Hollywood mainly in relation to women, and now slowly we're starting to see well known public figures being exposed in relation to the sexual abuse and trafficking of children. The more that the bottom of the iceberg melts, the more that there will be less and less to hold the rest up.

The South Node represents: what is familiar and a comfort-zone, however it isn't necessarily a huge area of growth for us if we were to just stay there our whole life. Some people say that our North Node represents what we are here to move toward, while our South Node is what we have to let go of, which isn't entirely true. It's taken me a long time to really understand the Nodes (and I'm sure there is plenty to yet understand), because I think it's not until you really live out their lesson over and over again that you start to get what they're here to teach us. A more accurate description of the Nodes is: We're here to live an integrated, balanced life embodying the best of both our North and South Nodes. Life will let you relax into your easeful South Node, once you've taken the time to really own your North Node. But even then, the South Node won't let you just be in South Node mode all the time. It wouldn't truly fulfill you on a soul level. For example:

If your North Node is in the 10th house of Career, and your South Node is Home and Family, your comfort zone is the latter but life will keep pushing you to follow your own work-related ambitions whether out of necessity or a nagging inner drive. This doesn't mean you have to abandon your home and family or live without them. It means that life isn't set up to let you be immersed in them full time. Either circumstances won't allow it, or you will feel like something is missing if your life is solely about that. The more you follow your career goals or get out there in the world, the more fulfilling, easeful and healthy your home and family life will be.

So we can look at the North and South Nodes as a see-saw. One side is very developed, so the other side needs extra attention so that you can achieve a healthy balance. Some people crave their North Node, while others have to really be pushed into it.

What does it mean then for the South Node to currently be meeting with Pluto and Saturn? Astrologers associate the South Node with the past - be it past lives, or ancestral patterns. With it aspecting Pluto and Saturn so closely, when it comes to our transformation, rebirth and 'firming up our foundations' processes, for a lot of people this may involve "going back to move forward".

For example: old family patterns or issues coming up so that you can deal with them, shift them, move on from them; finding out things about your family line, family history or personal history that helps you to understand things that never made sense, and that can now help you to move forward in a new way; having certain situations come full circle; karmic endings and new beginnings; going through old papers/photo albums/diaries, sifting, sorting, letting go.

The North Node is directly opposite Pluto and Saturn this year so you might find yourself being catapulted out of your comfort zone into things that feel very destined and exciting even if you're also feeling "How am I going to do this?!!"

Balance will be a huge theme during this period. If you keep getting setbacks at work, is your home and family life needing more attention? If you are all about taking care of others and regularly feel drained, it's time to make sure you are attending to your self - making time for self-care, and asserting your needs. If you are big on planning and routine, you may be experiencing huge signs that it's time to trust and surrender to the flow that is wanting to perhaps take you to other destinations, in other ways.

May - June - July - August: These are all big months thanks to all of the above. You may find yourself in a very different place at the end of this time than you were at the start. This is an excellent time to do any sort of self-overhaul project: Commit to a workout plan, take on a challenge of journalling or meditating every day for 100 days, declutter or re-organise your home, make a new vision board and get your family to do one each with you.

Can you feel the winds of change in the air?

Has this Saturn/Pluto/South Node conjunction started to affect your life already? How?

Share below.

(c) Dana Mrkich 2019

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