Pluto in the 4th house is a special placement – whether you were BORN with it, or a Scorpio Rising (who all now have Pluto in their fourth house via astrological event, since Pluto entered Aquarius recently). Anyway, this seemed worth exploring – but writing two separate articles made little sense, so I grouped them together as much as possible.
Let’s begin. Why is Pluto in the fourth house special?
The Fourth House and Pluto
The fourth house is the house of home, your roots, your family of origin, your private life, and your most private self. It’s the place we only show people who truly know us well, the place that some people will never see – and others only after years of living with us. The fourth house is the house of the home of the soul: more than just a physical place, it’s where we feel rooted, where we’re safe, and where we retreat to.
Lastly, the fourth house is also considered the house of the heart, the mother, parenthood, and psychology – so, it’s one of the most important houses in someone’s chart.
Pluto is the planet of total transformation, of death, birth, and rebirth – and just to make this clear: Pluto on its own does not signify death or your death. As a quirk of astrology, you need MANY different combinations of symbols in transit or your natal chart to actually indicate the physical death of yourself OR other people. So, please don’t worry, you’re not going to lose your own life and you also don’t have to necessarily lose other people. Rather, it often talks about metaphorical death or changes so severe that they are like death in some way. The caterpillar ceases existing for the butterfly to take its place, yet they are one being. That process (metaphorically or literally) is signified by Pluto.
Now, let’s put all those Plutonian themes into the house of foundation, private life, your psyche, etc. – see now why it’s special?
In the following article, we’ll go over the main themes of Pluto in the fourth for both people who were born that way, and people who currently experience it due to present-time planetary movements. But before we can go over that, let’s briefly look at the difference between both.
Natal Chart or Transit?
The natal chart is the astrological blueprint you were born with, a transit an astrological event: a planet in the sky hits what, in your chart, would be your fourth house. There are differences between natal placements and transits, but we’re not going to go too deeply into that here. Just know: natal is for life, a transit ends eventually. With natal, it’s easier to capitalize on the gifts because you have much more practice with the placement, but even with transits, you can lean into the positive expressions.
Currently, Pluto sits in Aquarius (since March 23rd, 2023) and it’ll dance back and forth between Aquarius and the previous sign, Capricorn, until November 2024. Pluto won’t switch signs after that until 2043-44 when it’ll enter Pisces.
Therefore, people with Scorpio Rising currently have Pluto in their 4th house by transit.
People with Libra Rising had Pluto in their 4th house already by astrological event (Pluto continues wrapping up said house until Nov. 2024). There’s also an extra article on Pluto entering a Libra Rising’s 5th house here.
People with Sagittarius Rising are up next (2043-2044).
And when it comes to your astrological blueprint, you’ll have to look into your own chart and see which house Pluto falls into. As a trick: you can count signs from your Rising to the sign of your Pluto to see which house it falls in. For example, Taurus Risings with Pluto in Leo have a 4th house Pluto. (People with Pluto in Leo were born between ca. 1937 and 1958).
Other people with Pluto in the fourth are:
Gemini Risings with Pluto in Virgo (*ca. 1956-1972),
Cancer Risings with Pluto in Libra (*ca. 1971-1984),
Leo Risings with Pluto in Scorpio (*ca. 1983-1995)
Virgo Risings with Pluto in Sagittarius (*ca. 1995-2008)
Libra Risings with Pluto in Capricorn, (*ca. 2008-2024)
And Scorpio Risings with Pluto in Aquarius. (*ca. 2023-2044)
If you were born in one of the overlap years (f.e. 1995, or 1971-1972), you’d have to look up your chart manually or book a chart reading with an astrologer you trust.
Note for nerds: this table is according to the Whole Sign system. Placidus is just as accurate, so feel free to read this article even if your Pluto falls into the fourth house in Placidus, but into another house in Whole Sign. The information in the article will still apply.
The fourth house is your foundation in life. Psychologically, it’s what you fall back on when everything else is uncertain, changing, or in flux. In real life, this is your home, the country you come from, the Earth you stand on, the people who raised you, your genealogy, your culture of origin, and the culture/home/place you adopted. It’s also in part the family you form and the people you live with – but that’s a topic for later.
With a planet like Pluto in your 4th house, this foundation is continuously getting updated/transformed. This can look like moving (a lot), specifically when Pluto is transiting through this house (a.k.a.: Pluto in the 4th is an astrological event that ends at some point) or even moving to another country. This can mean going through massive transformations in your family, like physical changes (f.e. parents getting divorced/re-married while you live with them) or changes in how you relate to your family. This can also mean that the cultural roots that you have are being transformed in some way. Maybe you don’t completely agree with your culture of origin and change things on a very drastic level – that’s Pluto in the 4th. So is being very aligned with your culture, but suddenly analyzing it on a deep level and changing the way you relate to the culture: aligning more with its values, or less than before, depending on your unique situation. Maybe you get transplanted into a different culture, too, which changes the foundation of your life.
On that note, remember when we talked about death? That had two reasons. One, people are generally really scared of Pluto, so I wanted to address this early. But also, people with Pluto in the fourth house are either born into (if they are born with Pluto in the 4th) or gain a way of life that’s very aware of mortality and death (and also birth, but less so). This becomes something that really defines people and changes them as individuals on the deepest level. “Awareness of mortality” can be many things: being born to a mother who’s a homicide detective, for instance. Having a near-death experience that rocks your world but otherwise leaves you whole. Picking up a book on hospice work at random which then changes the way you view life. Being born next to a graveyard and playing on that ground when you were a child. Having a sudden curiosity about death, life after death, and what makes life worthwhile. All these things are examples (for both transit and natal placements) but there are many more expressions here.
At the end of the day, no one leaves Earth alive. We can use that knowledge to become paralyzed, we can put our heads in the sand and try to forget it – or we can live with that knowledge and let it make us wise and passionate for life. Pluto in the fourth can set us up for the latter. It’s not a complete breeze, but essentially, it sets you up for more aliveness and a life of deep meaning – if you work with it and let yourself face harsh things. It’s up to you.
Our foundations aren’t just social or physical, though. They’re also psychological – and Pluto and the fourth house both rule psychology. So, this is a big theme here.
Real quick: This article is far from over, don't worry. But I would love you forever if you could consider donating a sum of money of your choice to help support me in writing these in-depth analyses that really, really help people. I also fully understand that not everyone is in the position to do so, but it would really help. Alternatively, if you could spread the word about my website, you'd help me a lot as well. Thank you!
First of all: no, you do not have to get therapy if you don’t want to and you also may not even NEED to get that kind of help during this transit (or at all in a natal placement). Many people with this event/placement may want to though, and if you’re one of them – or you’re someone who’s really suffering and wants to feel better – then I encourage you wholeheartedly to seek this type of professional help. Because Pluto in the fourth house, by birth or temporary event, makes psychology work really well for you. However, having the right therapist and healing modality is key for this, so any Jeff, Jane, and Johnson won’t do. Find the right fit.
But again: please don’t worry that the rest of your life/the next 21 years will be one giant therapy session. That’s not how this works.
To best explain how Pluto, the fourth house, and psychology work, I’d like to walk you through a quirky little simile/metaphor first. In the German language, psychologists are nicknamed “soul plumbers.” I think that’s a wise nickname because the way psychology works are literally like trying to unclog your bathtub. You get all those gross and gooey hairballs and whatnot up to the surface, scoop them out, and suddenly, things work again. Sometimes, you may have to up the game a little – but mostly, that’ll do the job.
Pluto is the same way when it falls into the fourth house (by event/birth). Whatever clogs your psyche, or better yet, “clogs your soul,” a.k.a. keeps you from feeling fully alive, is being brought up to the surface. That’s what Pluto does.
But what are those hairballs that metaphorically clog our souls? Well, they’re psychological baggage. Wounds from our past that lay on our hearts or keep us from trusting ourselves. Wounds severe enough to disconnect us from the core of ourselves or lock up our vulnerable sides deep where no one can reach. Wounds that tell us that we need to become someone we aren’t in order to stay safe. Fears that rule us more than they should. These kinds of things are the metaphorical hairballs Pluto may unearth for you – and psychology is then supposed to give you the help and the tools to facilitate that process. Also, psychology is one possible tool to help you deal with what’s coming up, a.k.a. to “scoop up the hairballs” metaphorically speaking.
So, in that way, Pluto in the fourth house acts like a very active personal “soul plumber” that a) brings everything that clogged up your psyche/soul up to the surface, and b) does routine checks so nothing new gets stuck down there. The things that do come up though come up to be dealt with and hopefully released – but that’s something you have to actively take part in. Just as you’d have to make yourself physically scoop up a gooey hairball you really don’t want to touch, you have to make yourself engage with the psychological material. Just sitting there and hoping it goes away will just reclog the entire thing – that goes for Pluto AND your bathtub.
This can look like confronting a debilitating fear of intimacy or of being a bad parent. This can look like facing how you shut off your heart after being betrayed at fifteen, and how that makes it hard for you to be in relationships thirty years later. This can look like actively questioning the belief that you’re just not good enough to be loved and finding proof of the opposite. This can look like making peace with your past or your family’s bad parenting choices – not by shoving things back into the box, but by actively working through and releasing the pain and anger. It’s not easy work, but it gives you years’ worth of happiness and peace you otherwise would waste by being half-alive. We can’t change our past, only our future: you can’t make it hurt less for your past self or give yourself back the years you wasted. But you can give yourself the gift of years to come without the weight you’re carrying now.
Resiliency and Power
One lesser talked about thing in modern psychology is that things such as betrayal, heartbreak, and trauma don’t necessarily break people apart. Similarly, none of the things mentioned above ever had to have touched you deep enough to wound. And that’s the second dimension of Pluto: it’s not just about psychology (and wounds), it’s also about never getting the wounds in the first place.
Pluto is about resiliency. Pluto is about bouncing back. Pluto is about getting to a place where the past pain makes you stronger, better, more – not broken. So that’s what we’ll talk about with Pluto in the fourth house.
Firstly, Pluto fosters resiliency by giving you a lot of strength of character (natally or temporarily through growing your proverbial muscles in transit). It also gives you/builds your endurance and sense of wanting to take charge or control things, which can help up resilience. Pluto also gives you/builds an ease with and a desire to seek out truth, especially in the realms that are hidden and taboo. Lastly, Pluto is like a shaman: it helps you alchemize hard experiences or put them in a healthy, empowering context even as they’re happening to you. All these things set you up for handling tough experiences without developing trauma (though trauma can still be developed, even with the best mindsets and for the strongest people – and that’s okay).
Next, Pluto in the fourth house means that your foundations are being set up in such a way that you can tap into your natural power and gift zones – as well as in such a way that you can truly own yourself and set boundaries. We all have things that make us powerful, but for some people, this power is laced with shame or fear. In part, this is because all gifts have a shadow side: truthfulness can breed cruelty or an inability to protect yourself/someone else’s privacy. Compassion can set you up for being hurt and betrayed; it can make others think you’re weak, and it can make you self-destruct based on the love you feel for someone. An ability to perform well under pressure can isolate you (because others may claim you’re heartless), or keep you stuck in situations where too much pressure lies on your shoulders and harms you. It’s also that sometimes, other people don’t like our powerful gifts or the way we tap into them. Sometimes, they have a point, other times, they don’t.
Under Pluto in the fourth house (natal/by transit), you are eventually going to be pushed into experiences where you have to OWN those gifts, toss the shame and fear, and make the best of it. This is often in your private life or a process that happens way below the surface of your psyche: sometimes, people literally seem to “change out of nowhere,” shedding old limitations that kept them from standing in their gift zone. In reality, this is a process that’s been brewing under the surface for a while. So, don’t be scared if this isn’t going to happen immediately or visibly. But just because something’s private, it doesn’t mean it’s not potent.
Family and Privacy
The most obvious way Pluto in the fourth house plays out natal/through transit is through family stuff. And that “stuff” can be many things – mostly, it’s transformation. Family life can transform without a clear visible demarcation line being crossed or an outside “cause.” One day, a member of the family decides that they just don’t want to relate to the others the exact same way anymore, and there’s that. The system will change somewhat because one person changed.
Other times, there is an event: such as a pregnancy or childbirth that transforms the foundations of who you are, a choice to form a family, move in with someone, or a choice to become a lot more involved in life at home than you were before. This is all about private life, not work or the public sphere, but sometimes, recognizing the need for privacy through an escalation of public interest in you; or the need for family time because you suddenly have so much work – this is also how this can play out.
With Pluto in the fourth house, it’s always a good idea to keep things close to your chest or only share things with people you can trust absolutely. It’s not a good time to share things unthinkingly or talk at your workplace about intimate topics. Privacy is your friend: you’ll want to be discerning with whom you share what things.
If this article helped you, I would love if forever if you could consider donating a sum of your choice to help support me write these in-depth analyses that really, really make a difference for people. I fully understand that not everyone is in the position to do so, but it would really go a long way. Alternatively, if you could spread the word about my website, you'd help me a lot as well. Thank you!
This is the part where we’ll leave off, as a Pluto transit and a natal Pluto placement are too different to group together from this point forward. However, if you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy:
Reading about Pluto transiting through different houses: 1 (currently Aquarius Rising), 2nd (curr. Capricorn Rising) 5 & 7 (curr. Libra & Leo Rising), 8 (curr. Cancer Rising), 11 (curr. Aries Rising) 12 (curr. Pisces Rising)
See you there,