Reflections on Pluto Retrograde

Image by: Sharon McCutcheon

Image by: Sharon McCutcheon

Can you still show up when you don’t know the outcome?
— Brene Brown

Who else has watched Brené’s new Netflix special ‘Call to Courage’? Truthfully, I have yet to read any of her books (I even surprise myself on that fact) but the Ted Talks and interviews, quotes, and articles by her that I have enjoyed always leave me inspired. I don’t find it coincidence that I curled up with tissues and a notebook during Pluto Retrograde to watch it. (Does anyone else cry when they get super inspired?)

The single question that grabbed my heart entirely was: Can I show up without knowing the outcome?

I have been deep diving into shadow work through Lacey Phillips To Be Magnetic Pathway and one of the root shadows I habitually play with is trying to control everything. I make things ‘safe’ to try and ensure they will work out the way I dreamed them. I often keep my mouth closed if I am not certain that what will come of it will be pleasant. I was a peacekeeper in a past life that tendency toward false equanimity shows up in many aspects of my life.

So what does this all have to do with Pluto being Retrograde? Everything.

Pluto is the planet that guides us into the darkest corners of our life and asks us to examine that shadow, those secrets, the deepest desires and unfulfilled aspects of who we are. As the ruling planet of Scorpio, this dwarf planet also reminds us that we can be reborn like the Phoenix and that there is life after death. And a Scorpio likes nothing more than to annihilate their own ego over and over again to be reborn. I would know, I’m a pretty solid Scorpio with 4 planets hanging out there. This is like a typical Tuesday.

Are you feeling the call to do deep reflection? Are old patterns and outdated modes of thinking surfacing asking you to rewrite them? Are old wounds and soft spots feeling tender and reawakened?

It is time to look at them, roll up your sleeves, and get to work on what you need to reconcile and heal from within.

This shadow work is a call to courage- because we don’t know with certainty what will show itself to us when we dive in. But we can be certain that we will live. That we will be reborn into a higher frequency of ourselves. And even sometimes that can feel uncertain- but damn that’s exciting isn’t it?!

There is also a lot of confusion around what is shadow work exactly. It seems to get the reputation of being heavy, dark, trauma filled. And yes, sometimes it is that. Shadow work is looking into our dark corners and bringing it to the light … this enlightenment in its most simple form. The shadow is chaotic, wild, and untamed- an uncomfortable place for someone who is trying to ‘control’ as much as she can in life.

To access your shadow you can begin to ask questions like …

What shame do you hide?

What parts of you- personality, thoughts, beliefs - have you hidden thinking they wouldn’t be acceptable?

What have you not forgiven yourself or others for?

Where do you hold anger, resentment, or feelings of abandonment and invisibility?

These questions are all powerful gateways. To begin exploring them with courage and without judgement is where we can do the work that exponentially changes our lives.

Another way to look at this inner work is through the yogic perspective. The shadow is ruled by the energetic Guna of Tamas. Tamas is our inert state and is why we often get ‘stuck’ by what we keep hidden and rejected in the dark. By doing the inner work we engage with the energy of Rajas- which is the fire of transformation and moves what is in our shadow toward the light. The light is Sattva- bliss, peace, wholeness.

So as Pluto continues his retrograde through October of 2019 we are supported energetically to work on integrating our shadow selves and move towards the knowing of our wholeness. Think of Pluto as your extra bit of rajas, providing some fire for your transformation. And remember that you don’t have to do it alone- find a counselor, healer, or group that can hold space for you and your experiences.