There are specific times in your life where your relationships may turn very intense – and transformative. In times like these, the people you meet can be beautiful and wonderful for you – but you may run into some people that aren’t in your best interest to have around. This is nothing to be afraid of: awareness is key, and this is what this article is about.
One is Pluto in the 5th house, the house of dating and romance (among other things). The other is Pluto in the 7th house, the house of 1-on-1 partnerships in general (that include but aren’t limited to marriage), both natally and in transit.
Whether it’s via transit (a.k.a. a “visit” of Pluto in the sky to the place the 7th or 5th house was at the time of your birth) or an inborn trait: Pluto in the seventh house is a big deal and may be very beautiful… once someone learns how to navigate it. [If you’re an Astro-newbie: don’t worry, I’ll explain!]
Navigation is the key concept here. If you know how to deal with Plutonian energies, it’s one of the most interesting experiences of your life especially when it comes to relationships and people you fall in love with. If you don’t know how to deal with it… well, strap yourself in and read on, because not knowing what’s going on can bring you some not-so-interesting, more like catastrophic, kind of trouble.
But don’t worry: this article will set you up for success and provide a great starting point for further reflection, training, and so on. Also: be sure to check out my readings for further advice that’s completely tailored to your individual needs and innate strengths, challenges, and weaknesses.
So, let’s jump right in! But first, let’s clear up the Astro-talk.
Astro-babble in translation: What do those terms mean?
(Feel free to skip if you already know this.)
Pluto is an outer planet (astronomically: dwarf planet close to the Quiper Belt and planet Neptune). It stands for transformation, power, intensity, truth, integrity, meaningful existence/life purpose, the soul, and wounding – as well as consciousness and, in its shadow-form, abuse. The key with Pluto is that awareness changes the expression. If you are aware of how Pluto works – and how you can work with Plutonian energies in a conscious, responsible way – it’s the part of you that makes you wake up with a sense of purpose, passion, and natural resilience.
If you’re not aware, it can manifest as:
You giving away your power to other people (which is something you can avoid, which we’ll cover in this article)
Other people wielding power over you in ways that aren’t fun for you (again, something we’ll cover)
Excessive shame, wounding, and suppression of the self (which is beyond the scope of this article)
You hurting yourself deliberately or unconsciously
And in some cases, you knowingly or unknowingly exercising control over others in a manner that’s unhealthy for them
As well as obsessions, compulsions, addiction, and general psychological shadow-type stuff.
It’s a list. But don’t worry! Firstly, everyone has Pluto in their charts somewhere. So these possibilities for mayhem are entirely human and something we all have to deal with. Secondly, people can and have been successively, safely, and responsibly dealing with Pluto for all of humanity’s history. You can, too. Fact is, you might even be doing a fantastic job already if this website called to you!
You’re doing great.
Houses are portions of the sky that correlate with areas of your life. There are houses for literally everything: your body, your pets, your money, love, career, life purpose, sleep, vacations, travel, your grandma, the home you’re staying in right now… the sports teams you loved in high school are also in a house somewhere. Everything imaginable is represented in astrology somewhere.
The 5th House:
The 5th house is the house of romance, dating, sex, the inner child, creativity, joy, the heart, hobbies, and also physical children you may have/creations we may nickname “children,” like a book you’re writing.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on only two aspects of that: romance and dating. The reason for that is that this overlaps with the 7th house:
The 7th House:
The house of 1-on-1, “contractual” relationships. Marriage and business partnerships are the most obvious relationships of this house, as are sworn best friends, enemies, fiancés, client-relationships, etc. If the intention is there for the relationship to hold forever or if something is signed (even without intention of it being forever), this is the house it falls in.
The last thing to mention is that this house signifies your overall relationships to other people – whom you attract, what you look for in others, why other people look toward you.
So, it’s a big deal.
Since dating, romance, and some of the 7th house themes overlap, I grouped them together as “relationship houses” for the sake of this article.
Pluto in the relationship houses:
Pluto is the transit of meaning, intensity, and molecular-level transformation. The kind of stuff that divides your life into “before and after.” It’s about power – personal, and autocratic power – and it’s about meaningful existence and what you need to feel like you have a purpose. Or what your purpose even is!
In its worst potential, Pluto in the house of relationships has you meeting the dark side of life through another person or multiple one-on-one relationships. This can look like a lot of things, but essentially, you have a choice of how to deal with this and your choices can steer you away from this negative potential. That being said, part of the article is meant to educate you on how to avoid the worst: which means that I’ll need to cover those uncomfortable topics before going to the good parts – and there are good parts, don’t worry.
The worst means all kinds of abuse known to humankind, mental illness, loss, and so on. With Pluto in the 7th/5th house natally or by transit, you may be confronted by other people going through that: say, being victim of abuse with you on the sidelines trying to help – or them being an abuser themselves (potentially to you). Or someone you know may hold potentially dangerous secrets, or has obsessions, control issues, life-threatening experiences, and/or mental illness that really impacts them on a deep level. You can also be the victim of other people or notice that the above is triggered in you (through your relationships). This could be for instance that you get PTSD from a toxic relationship, or notice unhealthy patterns through a business partnership, and so on. AGAIN: this is potentiality. Potentiality can be avoided by human choice and dealt with healthily. This article will teach you how to do that.
Here comes the good news: Pluto raises awareness. The entire “job” of the (dwarf) planet Pluto is to teach us what lies beneath the surface so we can work with it consciously – so as soon as we do that the energy and expression in your life becomes less intense. A.k.a., as soon as you realize you have a problem and are willing to do something about it, the entire universe will help you deal with it and find a way out. Rather than stunting you and giving you more shit until you learn the lesson.
So, here’s the good part of this transit or natal pattern.
The Great Potential of Pluto in Houses of Relationship:
Pluto brings passion for being life – and another human being. In the seventh house this means that your relationships will be – temporarily/forever – absolutely breathtakingly hot. The type of stuff you read in adult romance novels: there’s steam, there’s intensity, there’s a deep and almost unbreakable bond that survives radical honesty and the worst possible circumstances. There’s depth to the other person that shows you depth within yourself, and vice versa. And the love – friendship, or romantic?
We’re talking the kind of love that makes you feel like you’re alive for the first time.
The kind of love that would make others go through the underworld itself to help you, and vice versa.
The kind of love that makes you survive anything.
The kind of love that transforms you in the best of ways and makes you touch your own soul while with another.
THAT’S the kind of great potential we’re talking about.
And obviously, relationships that are this intense and love that goes this deep requires some responsibility, consciousness, intensity, and a bit of knowledge on pop-psychology to stay healthy. We’re gonna talk about that later on, don’t worry. But for now, I want to paint a picture on the beauty of this combination before we’ll go into the nitty-gritty detail on how to deal with the entire thing.
Pluto in the 7th and 5th houses allows you to find strength within, through, and from relationships. It allows love to inspire you to get to new heights in your own life and to face yourself in ways you never thought you could. It shows you the vibrancy of life: for better and for worse.
And it puts you in touch with how other people can help you fulfil your life purpose – and what your life purpose even is.
So. Let’s dive in now.
The Nitty-Gritty Detail: How to Work With That
First of, Pluto in these houses works on two levels: one is within you. This means that you’ll notice the themes directly within you/your life. For instance, you may deal with topics around you giving away your personal power – and the lesson of stepping into your own power and being responsible. Or you might learn secret that’s big – that’s something you then have to deal with.
The second level is on/through your partner. Here’s how it works. You’re naturally drawn to a specific brand of people (that are very affected by Pluto’s energy and themes) and they may bring the topics handled by Pluto into your life either by going through them themselves (in ways that affect you) or putting you through them (in a healthy/unhealthy way). We’ll cover specific examples later on.
For now, just be aware:
You need to apply everything I’m covering to both yourself AND your partner(s).
YOU need to learn some stuff about relationships around a Pluto in a relationship house transit/natal placement. One of those things could be personal responsibility, which includes (but isn’t limited to) naming what you need, treating yourself well, treating someone else well, trying to be a good partner without throwing yourself under the bus, etc. You also need to PICK A PARTNER (or friend/counsellor/business partner/hair stylist/…) that displays skills for a healthy relationship (such as honesty, integrity, boundaries, and so forth).
Or to give another example: in psychology and relationship-based pop-psychology, we often learn to look at ourselves when something isn’t going well in our relationships. Where did we send the wrong signal or enable bad behavior? Where did we ignore red flags early on? Where didn’t we communicate well? This is extremely valuable – and part of what you need to do in a Pluto transit and with all the topics I’m going to cover next. Just ask yourself “where am I with this?”, with everything that follows. It'll definitely help avoid a lot of the negative potential of these placements.
But at the same time, YOUR PARTNER IS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP. It isn’t all you. Being aware of “how you enabled abuse” or “ignored the early warning signs that this relationship wasn’t good for you” isn’t enough. You need to see the other person’s role in this. They abused you – that’s not okay. It also was their choice to do that – you didn’t hold a gun to their head and made them do this. It’s not your responsibility to fix someone else’s bad behavior. You can and should set boundaries and so on, but fixing it? Taking the blame or responsibility? Hell no.
You need to be aware of someone else’s responsibility and where to let them carry their own burdens and give them the consequences – including leaving the relationship, if necessary. It’s not all you. So here are two vital things to start you off with: 1) Learn when to step back and when to take responsibility, 2) Don’t ever ignore red flags
When to Take On Responsibility, When to Step Back:
This is twofold: one of the topics of this section is the hardest question ever: when to stay and when to go.
We all have different boundaries and hard limits. Especially with other people. With Pluto in these houses, a lot will be tested and transformed over time: which means that sometimes, you’ll know someone crossed a line that was uncrossable and you still stay and try to figure it out. You may even decide to look at your own role in bringing about the situation.
In other situations, you can and should draw the necessary consequences such as leaving, seeking professional help, etc.
Here is a good way to figure out when to do what:
Are you safe in the relationship? If you aren’t or don’t feel safe in the relationship, step away. Either your partner can somehow make you feel safe again (depending on the severity of the boundary violation or your feeling of dread around them), or the relationship is over completely. Safety is a key thing of a Pluto constellation and NOT to be messed with. If you KNOW you aren’t safe, things may escalate to the point of lasting damage – or worse. That’s not something you want. If you have no proof that you’re unsafe but feel it anyway, LISTEN. During these types of configurations, you have very attuned survival instincts. Step away from the relationship even if others say you’re crazy (or your own mind does). You can go to therapy if you think you’re “too hypervigilant,” but do it while you’re out of the relationship. Better to be safe than sorry – and besides if you were wrong, you can try to mend fences after you figured that out. If it’s meant to be, it’ll work. If not, you’ll find other people.
Is the other person willing to work on it/see their own responsibility? If a boundary violation occurred or serious issues weigh down a relationship, both parties need to act and be willing to fix it – you do, and they do. The “what” differs based on the problem: one person may need to take a giant leap of faith and trust again while the other needs to learn how to not disappoint the trust and make up for the issue. But both need to be in it. If one of you isn’t, there’s almost no way things will work out.
Next is another topic worth considering:
Hyper-responsibility is a trauma response or learned behavior pattern that basically means: you take on the blame for stuff you never did and had no control over. You either try to fix it (though you can’t/shouldn’t), apologize for it (though it wasn’t on you), or try to prevent/affect an outcome (though it’s your partner’s responsibility to carry).
The problem with this is that it keeps your partner from growth and makes a relationship destined for failure and toxicity. As adults, we grow resentful when someone treats us with kid gloves. We may love it for a time depending on how we view ourselves or how uncomfortable our life/problems are, but the unconscious communication of “I don’t respect you enough to let you do your own stuff” slowly undermines the relationship. Also, some stuff can’t be fixed, prevented, or affected by you. If your partner learns that you’ll do all the work anyway, they might never try to step up to the plate. If your partner learns that all their problems end if they just throw them on you, you’re enabling them in patterns that aren’t good for them.
You’re coming from a good place when you’re in hyper-responsibility mode. And the problem is that intention still doesn’t keep the bad stuff from happening. No judgment here: Been there, done that, ruined the relationships, bought the self-help books to fix it. From experience, the key is awareness. If you know what’s happening and what the consequences will be, you’ll be able to avoid the problem or do damage control. Consider a reading if you have questions on this.
Figure Out Whom to Let In And Whom to Keep Out
Since part of the way this configuration works is literally by throwing other people into your life – people you can reject, let in, learn from, love, etc. – you need to learn who is actually good for you, and how to weed out potential abusers early on. With a configuration like this, it’s like people wear a neon sign on their forehead that says: “POWERFUL PEOPLE, HERE!”
But, as we all know, power can make people do stupid, hurtful things: which means why SOME people with this configuration natally/in transit happen to meet some really abusive people. THE WORST CAN BE AVOIDED through education on how red flags look like and what to do to de-escalate, diffuse, and send out vibes of “don’t mess with you or I’ll mess with you worse.”
Power can also make people extremely interesting, wonderful, and high in integrity. So please don’t be disturbed by this! But by learning about red flags and not ignoring them when you find them, you’ll be able to let in the wonderful ones, and avoid the creeps.
Explaining Red Flags
Essentially, abusive people don’t want anyone to know straight off the bat that they’re abusive – most of them, at least. But the secret is, even those who try to hide aren’t very good at it if you know what to look for.
Red flags aren’t the overused internet word of “he ate pizza with a fork” or “homegirl likes to dress up as an alien” or whatever else people like to say on TikTok. It’s LITERALLY a system of clues that shows if someone’s going to hurt you or capable of hurting someone else that way.
Examples of that are (and this is NOT a comprehensive list):
How do they act when confronted with your boundaries? In the German TV dating show, Princess Charming, a candidate told the Princess about a traumatic experience that impacted her to this day: the candidate couldn’t handle being kissed out of the blue, or being kissed by someone she didn’t know all that well. The Princess acknowledged this, said it was no problem, and, upon seeing her next, kissed her out of the blue and gave her no way to escape after. They had no in-depth connection to speak of. This is a red flag. Not just when it comes to sexuality or touch, but in general: if your boundaries are willfully ignored or pushed against a lot, then this is a red flag. Even if it’s “to help you.” Extreme circumstances not with-standing, this is an unnecessary action that violates trust. Period.
How do they treat people they consider beneath them? Look out for people who aren’t beneath anyone, but whom some (idiotic) people consider beneath others like employees, service staff, children, animals, people with disabilities, etc. How they treat these people is a tell-tale sign of who they are inside.
How do they act on a bad day? Consider how they handle rage and frustration specifically? Say, road rage they express aggressively, hitting physical stuff right in front of you, trying to intimidate you/someone else with displays of physical power, using someone else’s extremely vulnerable topics against them). Next: how do they act when the bad day’s over? Do they apologize, do they take responsibility, do they try to fix things – and do they do it in a way that’s so overdone and so public that it’s more for their reputation than for you?
What’s their sense of humor like? In my experience, people tend to say “that was just a joke” to a) mask a slip-up, b) avoid consequences in a social setting, and c) mask actual harmful behavior. So, let’s look at someone’s humor: Do they make “jokes” that make other people feel bad – regularly? That’s something to look out for. Do their “jokes” reflect racist, misogynist, etc. attitudes that might be harmful to you – and is this a theme overall? Do they follow it up with “oh, you’re so sensitive” or a variation of that? How do they act if a joke actually hurt someone?
Are they controlling or trying to make you dependent on them? If someone manufactures situations that tie your self-worth, finances, etc. to them, keep an eye out and leave if necessary (sometimes, there are valid reasons for physical/financial dependency, like illness or stay-at-home parents, but only up to a point and never for self-worth/identity). This also includes extreme reactions to jealousy and people who do a lot of stuff “for your own good” without your consent or input. If someone continuously shows they don’t consider your opinion in “what’s for your own good,” then they are overcontrolling. To protect someone, you need to respect them. If you can’t respect them, you’re not being protective, you’re being harmful (esp. in the long run). Obviously, there are situations in which acting on someone’s behalf is still appropriate, but that’s the exception for extreme cases, not something that should happen regularly.
How do they criticize you or others? How do they handle their own mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes and that includes you. A partner, friend, or associate needs to address that at some point – so, how do they do that? Do they respect it if you ask for a specific type of way to be called out (f.e., boundaries could be: please don’t criticize me in front of ___, don’t talk badly about my kid’s father in front of them, don’t ever use word X about me, don’t raise your voice, etc.) Also, are they able to react well if you call them out (respectfully)? How does “making up” work? Do you need to grovel and/or humiliate yourself? We’re looking for patterns and/or extreme behavior here, since criticism can really hit someone’s most vulnerable points without the other person being fully aware of it. This is also something that naturally changes when trust between two people grows – however, if someone’s a complete ****, then all the trust in the world is not going to make a difference.
Are they asking things of you that put you on the line – and if yes, why? If someone asks you to take the heat for their own mistake, they should have a really good reason for it – and it shouldn’t impact you overall. If someone asks you to a) put your relationships/health/ job/financial security/safety on the line for another… or b) if they “test” you, especially on stupid things that harm you but don’t do much in the long run… Red flag. Concrete examples could be: expecting you to cancel your doctor’s appointment or health related treatment because “if you really love me, you would…,” – no emergency etc. Or, suddenly needing you to be there for them 7 days a week (for no apparent reason!) when you need that time for an important job project or for studying for a final. That’s in essence sabotaging your future.
Do they isolate you? This can be physical isolation, continuously “having problems” when you’re about to go out with your friends/family (they might still push you to go out, but it’s a guilt trip), or talking you out of your relationships with other people. Note: Sometimes, someone new who enters your life will point out stuff you don’t want to see about your loved ones, like: “Friend XYZ is bad for you,” or “Your Uncle Terry doesn’t treat you well,” etc. That is not a red flag. But it can be a way people “mask” behavior that’s meant to isolate you. Here’s how you can tell: when people tell you someone you love isn’t good for you, they will explain their stance. F.e., “I don’t like that friend for you, she’s always pushing her opinions on you.” Okay – now, what happens if you flip the “concern” on the other person? A.k.a., reflect: How do they handle it if you set ANY kind of boundary with them that connects to the “concern” mentioned? Does the new person do the same to you they say your friend’s doing – and if you tell them to stop, how do they react? What happens if you solve the problem with your friend, but keep them in your life? Someone who’s not abusive and seriously looking out for you will be happy anyway. Someone who’s trying to isolate you will find a new problem with your friend/uncle/... very, very quickly - and one that hasn’t ever been mentioned before.
And there’s other specific Red Flags like: untreated mental health issues (someone doesn’t want to get help for), ongoing addiction (someone isn’t verifiably trying to get out of), stealing from you, harming you, doing power-plays with things necessary for your survival or health (say, taking medication from you and so forth).
Again, this is not a comprehensive list – please google or get informed in other ways.
Know Your Personal Red Flags & Listen to Your Intuition
There are things that YOU absolutely can’t handle from another person that may be perfectly fine for someone else. F.e., I know several people who get close to catatonic when someone raises their voice at them – and I also know several other people who need (play-)fighting in a relationship and for whom raising one’s voice is part of that.
Neither is problematic unless they date each other.
People are weird! And that’s okay. Fact is, no matter how “weird” or “too sensitive” or whatever you think you are, there are things that would make you really, really unhappy in a relationship. Know them and know you get to keep people out who do that with you.
These things don’t have to make sense to other people. And you don’t have to prove that someone is a bad person to know you want nothing to do with them. Let me repeat, you don’t have to prove that someone is a bad person to want nothing to do with them. You also aren’t obliged to give people “a chance” to prove you wrong. Sure, you can give them a chance – but there are cases were it’s not a good idea, and you get to say No then without guilt.
No one is entitled to you, other than you.
Part of this is following “hunches” about people through listening to your intuition, dreams, instincts, and body.
If you feel physically ill around someone or always physically tense up, there’s a reason: stay away
If you’re instinctively afraid of someone, there’s a reason – you don’t have to figure it out
If you continuously dream that someone specific may hurt you… your subconsciousness is probably picking up on something you’re not seeing (one-offs don’t count)
As mentioned above: these are all cues from your subconsciousness that something’s off. Listen. Only a small percentage of information processed through the senses makes it to your conscious mind. The rest is in your body and your intuition – so pay attention, and train yourself to take it seriously. These signs may not mean someone is a bad person – but they can still be bad for you.
Okay, now that we have a good basis to know who is or isn’t great for you: what do you do when you have this knowledge?
How to Avoid Bad Situations/Get Out of Them Quickly
Depending on who you are and your individual strengths, you can do multiple things. The most obvious is learning martial arts or running and keeping safety-related emergency funds – but not everyone has the money or physical capacity to do those things. (And you may never need those things!)
Fortunately, there are other things you can learn.
De-escalation skills: let’s keep things from getting to the point where someone’s aggressive
Training your intuition about people: watch people you have a bad feeling about and see what happens – from a distance. I recommend Reality TV if you see people for multiple seasons/years/etc.
Learn to communicate clearly and assertively, through words, tone, and body language
Learn to say No without guilt: Funnily enough, even the most cocky, dangerous-type people lose all their confidence if you stare them straight in the eye and say “No” without a hint of being uncomfortable – even if you’re small-ish, innocent looking, female, and the type of person people chronically underestimate
Learn how to notice manipulation attempts and learn easy ways to break out of them
Training your intuition
Reading people’s body-language
Using Google to get specific information on your specific situation: let’s say you’re with someone who has a mental illness: regardless of whether you think this affects your relationship, this affects your relationship. Learn about that mental illness, how you can help and what to look out for. Or let’s say you’re with someone you’re uncomfortable around/don’t feel safe with, and want to leave. The internet has thousands of websites that are geared to help people figure out how to stay safe, when and how to leave, and where to get help should you need some
Prioritizing honesty and learning how to handle honesty – and express it kindly – helps you foster healthy relationships, repel people who aren’t too honest, and notice when someone isn’t honest
Learning what deep integrity looks like and how to become a person of deep integrity also helps you figure out you when someone made an honest mistake vs. when someone just isn’t integer, and how to spot people who have high integrity
Stepping into autonomy and authority and handling it justly yourself shows you how people handle power and what to look for
Connect to A Greater Mission:
Okay, this one is going to take some explaining. First, Pluto is the planet connected to meaning. As in, a meaningful existence. Living your soul’s purpose. Waking up in the morning having the feeling that you’re doing something that matters.
With Pluto in the relationship houses, part of what you’ll notice is that this meaning is connected to other people in some way. Either, a) you’ll meet people who push you towards or support you with something that makes you so passionate it gives you meaning, or b), it’s literally something you do with another person. This goes especially for the 7th house.
Another aspect of Pluto is an intense, primal passion that – you guessed it – also shows up in your relationships. Great news: your sex life (if you’re ready for that) can get really interesting. Bad news, intensity may lead to eruptions of a different kind.
Here’s the thing: connecting these two things with each other helps you avoid the pitfalls of too much intensity. What happens when you do stuff you’re really passionate about? You’re not focused on your relationship 24/7, so you guys get breaks from one another. You may get different perspectives or the opportunity to calm down before a fight, your need to have a picture-perfect relationship diminishes because you have more in your life to make you happy and give you a purpose.
Even if you work with your partner/date, you’re focused on other stuff and that helps.
Also, you’re more than your relationships :) people’s health, wellbeing, and relationships always improve when they fill up their life with things that give them a purpose. This goes especially for transits or natal configurations that include Pluto.
Well, that wasn’t even close to everything that can be said for these configurations – but it’s a start - and the ending point of this article. If you’d like to learn more, consider booking a reading or continue to check out my blog.
Want to read on about Pluto as it transits through Aquarius?
Here are some more articles that may interest you:
Until next time,