Thank your lucky stars (or, should I say, birth chart) if you happen to experience transiting Pluto conjunct your natal Ascendant. Yes, I said that right. This is an incredible opportunity! Remember that this is a transit that a lot of people go an entire lifetime without experiencing. So, it’s a rare event in a person’s life and you should take this transit as a sign of empowerment, instead of a time to crawl into a fetal position and curse your fate. Living to experience a transiting Pluto conjunct Ascendant transit means that you have been chosen by the Universe to radically transform.
And isn’t that a beautiful thing? How many people live their entire lives sticking to the same old script, never moving beyond what’s familiar yet ultimately disempowering? How many people simply live into old age complaining about how much their upbringing stunk and what a bad hand they were dealt? Well, if you get to experience transiting Pluto crossing your Ascendant, you have a chance to flip the script entirely. It’s a chance to become a whole new you who no longer lives by the rules and the expectations that once defined you.
To achieve this, though, Pluto has got to break you down. And he does it by entering your 12th House and staying there for a long time; years and years. The 12th House is where we have shoved those things that we were told, explicitly or implicitly, by our parental figures and other authorities were unacceptable. These are the things that we have repressed or denied or remained totally oblivious to over the years. And when Pluto is moving through your 12th House, all of that stuff gets dug up in a really powerful way. To be honest, it’s like your worst nightmare coming to life.
Whatever planets are in your natal 12th House, Pluto will bring some extreme situations into your life to wake you up to them. Got Uranus in your 12th? You’re going to be thrust into situations where you feel horribly misunderstood and alienated. Is the Moon in your 12th? You won’t be able to stop all the feelings from flowing out, to a point where all of your vulnerabilities will be exposed. Your 12th House planets will have nowhere to hide when transiting Pluto crosses them. And this might be a very scary, very painful time for you, when you deal with your deepest problems, anxieties, fears, and complexes, which you’ve been running so far away from throughout life. Well, it will be very scary and painful if you resist the process of facing the truth. Pluto transiting the 12th is often a real bottoming out, as if you’re an alcoholic who finally has to admit, after getting fired and evicted and divorced all because of your drinking, that you have a serious problem.
Now, in spite of it being so scary, the weight that’s lifted off of you is tremendous and eventually so peaceful! The things you’ve shoved into your 12th House are no longer things that you’re terrified of or uneasy with, once transiting Pluto crosses them. You no longer care that your parents or even society doesn’t approve of them. You are now learning to treat these qualities with an attitude of acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love. There will be a time when transiting Pluto is in the 12th and conjunct your Ascendant. This attitude will prevail during this time, especially if you have 12th House planets in the same sign as the Ascendant.
This prepares you for the point when transiting Pluto conjuncts your Ascendant to the exact degree. It’s a time of enormous changes in your life, releasing all of the baggage and all of the crap that has ceased to work for you. If that includes people, then so be it. Extreme letting go is the key theme of this transit, especially when Pluto’s still on the 12th House side. You must surrender everything that has prevented you from developing a fully authentic place in the world. Again, it might feel painful. But, Pluto doesn’t want any bullshit from you. It wants you to go very deep, figuring out how all of the most important resources are internal. So, when Pluto finally moves into your 1st House, you’ve got nothing else to lose. You are more of a force than you ever were before because now you don’t rely on the superficial trappings that everyone else gets so caught up in.
Transiting Pluto conjunct the Ascendant radically changes the expression of your Rising sign. Some sort of transformation has to occur here and it will be highly noticeable. People who knew you from several years ago, maybe even three or two years or only a year ago, might just give you a puzzled or stunned “what?” when it comes to your change in demeanor. The Ascendant is how we behave and it’s inevitable that a person will start behaving much differently once transiting Pluto hits their Ascendant, especially at the exact degree. Depending on the sign, and the person, it can be anything from really lightening up to getting really serious to being a lot more compassionate to displaying much more personal power. Our Ascendant can be too much of a performance, at times; a way to get approval that we learned as children. But, Pluto is telling you to screw all of that. You don’t need to perform anymore! Just be uncompromisingly authentic. Nothing better than that.
If you know a Capricorn Rising person, give them a good hug. They need it right now, or have needed it at one point in the past several years. Since Pluto is in Capricorn, every person alive with Capricorn Rising will be experiencing this transit, at some point, until it leaves Capricorn in about 2024. It’s been a deeply exhausting time for us Capricorn Rising folks but we’ve needed all of these struggles in order to achieve all the more psychological growth and renewed strength.
For those with the Ascendant in Capricorn, Pluto has been making them confront and transform ideas of success, failure, responsibility, structure, etc. Pluto in Capricorn is undeniably symbolized by the Recession which is still reverberating throughout society. How many people with Master’s Degrees are still having a rough time? Pluto has been exposing to the world, since about 2009, how false our ideas of success and status and recognition are. That has been hitting Capricorn Rising people hard; the majority of whom, I bet, have suffered some devastating setbacks and have painfully fallen short of their goals. But, that’s the problem with this Rising sign. There’s too much of a plan, too much emphasis on worldly gain. Pluto is teaching Capricorn Rising people to base their place in the world on something much deeper than what they have in their pockets or how far they’ve climbed up the ladder. The lesson for us now is that failure is only a matter of perception.
Capricorn is famous for loosening up as they age. This is probably the transformation that most Capricorn Rising folks are feeling, thanks to Pluto crossing their Ascendant. They are learning to destroy the idea that they always have to measure up, that they can never slip up and show the chinks in their armor. With Sagittarius as the 12th House Cusp, Capricorn Ascendant people have had to hide their looser, more casual side while growing up in order to conform to the expectation of their environment that they must be responsible; usually responsible for the parents in some psychological way. Now, that harsh, judgmental voice is being killed off. As excruciating as it might have been to stumble so hard during these years, Capricorn Rising is seeing that they have the maturity and resilience to recover, as well as to simply laugh at themselves in the process. They are finding an amazing freedom (Sagittarius) from all of these mental restrictions (Capricorn).
The Rising sign can never just go away, of course. It’ll always be there. Capricorn Ascendant will always be purposeful and mature and have a very accomplished, respectable air. But, the rigidity and the graveness that they can be known for is (hopefully) being killed off by transiting Pluto, in order for them to be truly liberated and empowered. Instead of being all business, they are adopting a more business-casual style of making their way through the world. After all, that over-seriousness is usually just a result of insecurity. With Pluto on their side, Capricorn Rising is learning that they have nothing to be scared of anymore and that they’re secure in their inner power.
That can also rid them of the pessimism that might haunt their days. Capricorn Rising can expect the worst way too often. Transiting Pluto is showing them the boomerang effect of their negative thoughts, urging them to trust that they are strong enough and capable enough to survive anything that comes their way. So, if you have this Ascendant, you may be finding yourself feeling more positive than ever. Again, hopefully, you are. Transits can go either way. People can really take advantage of them and learn from them or they can simply wallow and complain their way through the negative ones without being proactive at all. I hope you’re doing the former, not the latter. Take advantage of this knowledge available to you via astrology. It gives you an upper hand.
Only if you’re in the teenage to forty-something age range and you have Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, or Taurus Rising (depending on your age) will you be next in line to experience transiting Pluto conjunct the Ascendant. I do think we choose the charts we have during this lifetime to really learn something and change our ways. So, you incarnated in this lifetime and chose that Ascendant so you can experience this phenomenal transformation. Don’t be terrified of it. Embrace it.