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Surviving Pluto Transiting Your 1st House: From an Astrologer Who's Been There

Updated: Jan 29

A Pluto transit through your first house is one of the most intense (and rewarding) things that can ever happen to you. And fun fact! It doesn’t happen for everyone, since Pluto is too slow to go through all parts of our chart in our lifetime (unless you get to age 250, in that case: teach me, sensei.)

Anyway, because a transit like this is so intense, here’s a “survival guide” on how to best work with the energies to have an easier time with it and hone down on the good parts.

So, first, let’s clear up some of the Astro-jargon here.

What Does Pluto Transit Through the 1st House Mean?

The 1st House (and Houses in General):

Houses are portions of the sky that correlate with all kinds of different life areas. They are dependent on the exact time (to the minute) and place (to the city) that you were born and contain your Ascendant/Rising, the “start” of your chart, and a point of extremely concentrated energy.

The First House is the sign your Ascendant sits in. (You may know it as your Rising (sign)). This house correlates with your body, identity, sense of self, the way you approach new things, your life path, and the way the world perceives you. So… it’s a big deal. NOTE: The Rising is NOT your sun! Please don’t confuse the two.

Note for AstroGeeks (and people who work with house systems other than Whole Sign): There are many different ways to calculate houses, and in some of them, the first house can be extremely big or extremely small. Please don’t be daunted by this! 1) The size of your first house doesn’t say anything negative about you, no matter which size we’re talking, and 2) it’s a very advanced tool for transits that can be a bit iffy depending on your chart. Personally, I stick to Whole Sign which means that the sign of your Ascendant (f.e. Pisces) is the entirety of the first house. BUT you still pay special attention to what’s before or after the Ascendant, and times when a planet passes the ASC.

A transit through the first house:

This means that one planet in the sky, at this very moment in time, is hitting the place where the first house was at the time of your birth. This basically brings the energy of the planet (here: transformation etc.) into the life are described by the house (sense of self, life path, appearance, body). So, a transit through this house hits you on a very personal level, especially if it’s Pluto.


Pluto is an Outer Planet (technically dwarf planet) that embodies the archetypes of transformation and intensity, among other things. We’re going to get deeper into the meaning of the planet throughout the article, so let’s keep it at this: Pluto spends 10-35 years in each sign, so a transit through your first house will take a long time – and is a bit irregular. Let’s map it out real quick:

Timing of Pluto in your first house:

Pluto always goes back and forth between two signs for a little while before finishing/entering a new sign completely. Therefore, the dates aren’t “clean,” but here’s a list for every singly rising sign. ATTENTION: this just works for rising signs, not Sun or Pluto signs.

Capricorn Rising: You are the folks who have the Pluto transit through your 1st at the time of this publication. It's been going on all throughout: January to June 2008, November 2008 to March 2023, and then June to November 2023 and September to November 2024. (2023-2024 on, you are here.)

Aquarius Rising: If you are an Aquarius Rising, you’re up next: May-June 2023, January-September 2024, and then November 2024 to March 2043.

The rising signs that have already been through it somewhat recently are:

Sagittarius Rising: Jan-Apr 1995, Nov 1995-Jan 2008, Jun-Nov 2008. (2023 on, you are here.)

Scorpio Rising: Nov 1983-May 1984, Aug 1984-Jan 1995, Apr-Nov 1995. (2023 on, you're here)

Libra Rising: Oct 1971-Apr 1972, Jul 1972-Nov 1983, May-Aug 1984. (2023 on, you're here)

Virgo Rising: Oct 1956-Jan 1957, Aug 1957-Apr 1958, Jun 1958-Oct 1971, Apr-Jul 1972. (2023 on, you are here).

Leo Rising: Oct-Nov 1937, Aug 1938-Feb 1939, Jun 1939-Oct 1956, Jan-Aug 1957, Apr-Jun 1958. (2023 on, you're here)

The ones up in the distant future are:

Pisces Rising: Mar-Sept 2043, Jan 2044-Jun 2066, Jul 2066-Apr 2067, Sept 2067-Feb 2068. (2023 on, you're here)

Aries Rising: Jun-Jul 2066, Apr-Sept 2067, Feb 2068-Jun 2095, Sept 2095-Apr 2096, Nov 2096-Mar 2097. (2023 on, you're here)

Taurus Rising: Jun-Sept 2095, Apr-Nov 2096, Mar 2097-Jun 2127, Nov 2127-May 2128, Jan-Mar 2129 (2023 on, you are here).

(Gemini Rising: Jun-Nov 2127, May 2128-Jan 2129, Mar 2129-Aug 2157, Nov 2157-Jun 2158, Jan-May 2159.)

(Cancer Rising: Aug-Nov 2157, Jun 2158-Jan 2159, May 2159-Aug 2183, Jan-Jun 2184, Apr 2185. (2023 on, you're here))

… And then after that, Pluto goes through Leo, Virgo and so on again.

But let’s get to the juicy bits: how does a Pluto transit of transformation work – and how can we support ourselves in them?

How Pluto Works and What You Can Do:

Pluto transits through the 1st house are very intense. Essentially, you’re confronted with the fact that you’re much stronger, more powerful, and more resilient than you’d ever think… but you’ll notice it through a proverbial someone hitting you straight across the head with a figurative metal pole until you learn the lesson.

You’re also confronted with life experiences that strip you of any false identities you may carry, inauthentic expressions, or untrue beliefs about life. These processes are a lot like being cooked or maybe giving birth: they are intense, often very uncomfortable, but in the end: highly rewarding. In your case, you’re on a journey to become unfuckwithable, connected to yourself, and your own truth… as well as the truths of the universe (meaning that world views that are naïve/cynic/otherwise untrue are going to be challenged). This is a rebirth that doesn’t leave any area of life untouched.

And this is the reason why there’s some friendly advice here from someone who’s been through it: Facilitate the processes as much as you can, even if you don’t want to.

Here’s why: Pluto transits go on for about 20 years and are incredibly intense. With people who have Aquarius Suns or Risings, the theme of transformation is literally who you are deep down, so the intensity is ramped up even more than for other people. To add to that, 2 of those 20 years will be particularly interesting (when Pluto passes your natal sun/Rising), but all of those 20 years will be transformational.

Essentially speaking, this means that you won’t have the endurance or strength to fight a transit this long or powerful all the time. Your options are to resist as long as you can and then have the house of cards fall right on top of you when you least want it (which it will do), or you can work with it on your own terms as much as you can and avoid a lot of pain through responding quickly and with integrity. (Spoiler alert: the latter works way better and is way less painful).

So how can you do that?

Here’s a list of things that help.

Confront yourself with your own worst fears in ways you can handle

Pluto has a tendency to show us that our worst fears are not going to off us 90% of the time. They may come close – and you’ll need to take that seriously – but a lot of things you’ll think break you actually won’t. A way you can make the transit easier for you is to seek out those experiences in a healthy and safe way, rather than waiting for the universe to put you up for opportunities for growth.

Example: I went on a Free Fall Tower in a roller coaster park to battle my fear of heights. It was a safe way to confront a valuable fear that intended to keep me alive, and it showed me that I was fine in a way that simply “knowing in my head” that height wouldn’t kill me couldn’t. And it worked pretty well: my fear of heights became manageable and doing this semi-regularly every couple of years helps me keep cool completely.

Face Truths Early On and Laugh Where You Can

Pluto brings truth – and truth can be incredibly beautiful. It’s also very freeing. But the truth is, what’s really there – a.k.a., truthful – may not always be easy to hear or witness. What will make this transit easier on you is to not look away from those things, even if it’s hard: With Pluto transits, truths just keep coming up to the surface no matter what you do. The more you ignore them, the more violently they erupt again. Pay attention and react appropriately. Also, please keep in mind that no matter how much goes wrong or how dark the world gets, there’s also light to be found: look for it whenever you find out about something you didn’t want to exist.

Another thing that helps you deal with uncomfortable truths is humor. Laughing about something can be incredibly healing and help alleviate the weight of something. But it doesn’t mean you don’t take something seriously: you can make jokes about death, for instance, and still be very much affected.

Humor, art, and meditation as well as cathartic action (like angry-cleaning or renovating) can help you deal with new knowledge and wake-up calls enough until you adjust to your new reality.

Work With the Parts of You That Help You Survive

Being alive means that we come equipped with instincts and character traits that help us keep living – even if we don’t like those parts of ourselves/what we’ll do when we’re in touch with them. Society, especially society that lives in very artificial, non-nature-revering environments, cuts itself off of many of those instincts or character traits – in part because the necessity isn’t there to use them, in part because it’s not seen as right to have or to use them.

However, we’ve come too far in some cases from cutting ourselves off from our survival instincts. Many women in particular, but also men and people from other genders, get into dangerous situations simply because they’re too scared to be seen as “impolite.” Or to say No to something they know isn’t good for them. Children get abducted every day – in lots of cases solely because they listen to what an adult told them rather than their own fear or sense that something’s off. Never mind how many people suppress their instincts to the point that they don’t even recognize the signs of an abusive person, or incoming abuse (even when those signs are obvious to other people).

Pluto teaches us to get in touch with the parts that keep us safe – like our fears, intuition, and our boundaries. In Pluto transits, you need to pay attention to that part of you. You may learn about your survival instincts by reading about them, doing Martial Arts, or watching a bunch of reality TV and figuring out who the people really are deep down… but no matter how you do it, this will prove to be a valuable life skill that keeps you out of all sorts of trouble for the rest of your life.

There’s one other thing here: fighting the hesitancy to defend yourself. Many people will not leave abusive relationships because they can’t bear to hurt the other person emotionally, physically, financially, socially, or in any other way (there are also other reasons for staying in abuse, but that’s another matter). “Too nice” comes to mind but being “too nice” is not an inborn character trait. Even the kindest, most loving person in the world has fierceness inside of them – and here, that fierceness got suppressed to the point where “too nice” is the only option the person is comfortable with.

Similarly, people may stand by when something awful happens to them without doing anything about it. We have built a culture around this where I live, and it’s not a healthy one. In a Pluto transit, you’re confronted with the part of yourself that’s fierce enough to get up and fight for yourself. By leaving an abusive relationship, or kicking an attacker where it counts, or saying No in a situation where you’re really uncomfortable, or speaking up against discrimination. In these transits, you have to overcome your inner blocks (should you have any) that keep you from doing that – until you’re capable and confident enough to reasonably protect yourself.

Key here is to please not let that energy run amok. The beautiful sides of Pluto are integrity and awareness – which includes awareness of your own power. There are situations where you may think aggression or anger are the only solutions, but where further reflection shows other avenues. Please be responsible with your own power.

That being said: don’t be too nice.

Note for all of my lovely readers who have a history of wanting to save the world: in a transit like this, you may notice that you can’t help people/can only help a few people at a time without harming yourself. Please listen to your instincts and the signs the universe sends you here. Extreme things may also happen: In my case, going through this transit brought multiple situations where I helped others and was damaged for it, including a beggar throwing coins at my head after I gave him all of my change (it was a considerable amount). My point is that helping others can put a target on your back. In a Pluto transit, this can be very pronounced (it’s not the case for everybody). Please be cautious and stay safe.

Release and Rethink Attachments

First of, this obviously doesn’t mean that you should throw away all your stuff or put yourself in a situation where you don’t have what you need for survival. So please keep your medication, money, and so on and so forth. So, what am I talking about? Let’s talk about attachment.

Attachment talks about a state of mind more than an actual situation of ownership. You can have two dollars in the bank (ownership) and not give a shit about whether you keep them or not. The latter would be a lack of/low attachment. Vice versa, if you have those two dollars and cling to them like they’re the heart in your chest and your lifeblood, too, then that’s high attachment. You’re very, very invested in keeping those two dollars. That’s what attachment means.

Now, there’s no judgment here. Attachment is a very necessary thing to have for human beings (which is why we feel it from time to time). It shows us what (we think) is necessary to keep so we’ll survive. And it can be very accurate: there are character traits, physical abilities, people, or material goods we need to survive. BUT. And this is what I’m talking about: you can own something and not be attached to it.

This is the idiom of “if you love someone, set them free.” It doesn’t mean to throw them out of your house with their bags and say “See ya bitch, love ya!” It means to not be so attached to “keeping them” that you put them in a prison/can’t cope if they’re gone. This is part of what Pluto teaches us: to have something and not be attached.

But this goes on: Often, we’re so attached to something outside of ourselves that we think we can literally not live without it, or that we’ll break without it – even if that isn’t true. We may think that we need status. That we wouldn’t survive if we didn’t have love. That we couldn’t cope if we didn’t have our health. That we’re courageous and couldn’t respect ourselves if we ever weren’t (this is then attachment to a character trait).

Pluto transits want to show us that we’re stronger and more resilient than we think we are – a.k.a., they help you challenge your beliefs on what would break you/kill you/make it impossible for you to cope. If you go with the transit and ask yourself ever so often if you could actually survive [insert thing you’re afraid of], this process becomes a lot easier.

Shadow work

Pluto transits through the first house have a way of bringing up everything you’ve ever suppressed inside of yourself. Which includes:

- Things you’re ashamed of

- Your own power

- Your wounds

- Your capacity for greatness

- Your vulnerability

- Your inner light

- Whatever society deemed unacceptable for you.

This sounds odd: why want to suppress your inner light? Well, sometimes the best things about ourselves are the ones that are hardest to live with when we’re children because genius makes you stick out from a crowd: and children are generally speaking not kind to kids that “stick out.” Especially not if, for whatever reason, the adults around them don’t take kindly to your intelligence, strength, kindness, or talent in an area they wish they were good in.

These experiences can make you try to hide who you are deep down, or how gifted you are. They can even make you disvalue the things that make you most to yourself. A Pluto transit through the first house can bring up all points on the list above.

Doing something called shadow work can help you cope with that process and facilitate it. As can working with a trained professional or doing self-help courses. Here, too, community is key to helping you safely step into your potential.

Take breaks

Learn how to rest. With this transit, things can get intense and stay that way for a while. Learn how to prioritize taking time for yourself and figure out the things you need to recharge body, mind, heart, and soul.

Learn what makes you feel safe and cozy and indulge.

This is it, folks! This was my little survival guide for Pluto transits through the first house. There is so much more to say, but we’d have to go into specific charts for this one. If you’re interested, head over here to book!

Also, if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with a friend! If you want to, you can also support my work by donating here - but you absolutely don't have to!

Want to read on about Pluto as it transits through Aquarius?

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See you there,



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