Astrology Transits

Your Mind on Pluto – What happens during a (hard) Pluto to Mercury transit

One general rule of thumb to keep in mind during a Pluto transit to, well, basically anything in your chart, is, if it crumbles down, it wasn’t steady and reliable and meant to last in the first place.
Does this sound scary? Good. Pluto is meant to scare us. No matter how much Pluto and Scorpio you have in your chart already, no matter how well-equipped to handle it you think you are, Pluto is meant to make us feel the fear in every fibre of our being. I’d go as far as to say that if the Pluto transit you are experiencing is not scaring you, you’re not doing it right. (Pluto to Mercury transits make no exception.)

That was the case for me, with my natal Pluto lurking in my 4th House. I am fairly accustomed to find menace and crushing pressure wherever care and shelter are supposed to be. And still, throughout the past ten years (I have most of my personal planets in Cardinal signs) Pluto scared me, humbled me and tore me down. I was still functioning, externally, but internally I was basically screaming 24/7 (well, sometimes externally too, to be honest). That’s how it’s done. How else are we supposed to not just outgrow our comfort zone, but completely forget how comfort remotely feels like and just get out of our own way?

Pluto is not a gentle nudge, especially when it comes to hard aspects. It’s a crash course, it’s apocalypse, it’s chaos and tough love. Pluto is radical, unforgiving, uncompromising, relentless. Those who claim otherwise, saying they are perfectly able to handle Pluto, to mould Pluto, to control Pluto, because they have X in Scorpio or Pluto herself conjunct their whatever, are probably talking from a place of Ego (and a huge one at that). That would be a contradiction, since self-importance and hybris would not allow us to surrender the Ego and experience the complete upheaval that Pluto requires, the baptism of fire, the radical rebirth. Clinging on to what we think we know might and does definitely work in other contexts, but not with Pluto, ever. Only after the storm has passed and the dust has settled, we realize that we could perfectly handle it, like in fact we did.

But what does it mean, specifically, to experience a Pluto transit to Mercury?

Let’s start from scratch:

Mercury: mind, ideas, communication, language, speech, writing, networking, connection, learning style, you get it.

Pluto: crisis, power struggles, the unconscious, death, transformation, rebirth, fear, regeneration, more death.

 Pluto first started transiting my Mercury in early 2017, back when I was graduating from my MA while working a regular day job. Even though at that point I was also dealing with the aftermath of a Pluto to Sun transit, I vividly remember the feeling of Pluto squaring my Mercury being different than that of Pluto squaring my Sun. If Pluto transiting my Sun felt like my identity was being squished and the very baseline of my existence obliterated, my Pluto/Mercury transit felt, unsurprisingly, challenging from a mental standpoint.

That was when I started to feel like there were holes and tears in the very fabric of my mind that I had not previously noticed. I discovered shortcomings and fallacies in my reasoning that weren’t previously addressed. I started to think that my mental skills just weren’t up to the task, any task. Shame and impostor syndrome ensued. Almost simultaneously, my language skills started to deteriorate – both in Italian and English, which is my second language. Or at least, that’s how it felt to me. My mind became a very claustrophobic place, and not in terms of moods and feelings, even though I wasn’t certainly at my happiest, but rather because my built-in mental content was seemingly crumbling apart. Everything I thought I knew. Every bit of knowledge. My once vivacious intellect, flair for words, ideas, memories and opinions were fading away like fog and leaving me with doubts and many, many questions.

If you’re a long-time follower of mine, you probably remember that Zodiac Poetry was put on hiatus shortly after. Entering a long distance relationship, working a regular 9 to 5 and having to make time for learning  a new skill – while basically re-learning how to use my brain in the process – left me with little to no time for running a blog and performing consultations for my clients. I often describe that phase of my life as having a gag over my mouth (which is also a very apt BDSM reference, since that would be Pluto’s thing, too), because the willingness to express myself was just as strong as before, but everything seemed to conspire against that.

When Pluto transits your Mercury, you have to re-wire your brain. But first, you have to unlearn, to make a clean slate out of it.  Tabula rasa. Staring into the void, dismantling every concept, prejudice and dogma that has been drilled into your head and give birth to what philosopher John Locke described as the “free, self-authored mind”. In a nutshell, it’s about reverse-engineering your own thought patterns, questioning them, and deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you.

I cannot say I have completed the process, as I’m in for more hits from Saturn to my Mercury in the coming months. But I have recently started to realize how this complete renewal of my mental structures and processes was desperately needed. Giving up astrology for a while, as frustrating as it was, helped me learning a new skill that is now allowing me to have an additional source of income and pursue my aspiration of living independently, without being chained to a 9 to 5 life that I never deemed suitable to my wants and needs. Since this new skill is based on my understanding of language and it requires it to be meticulous and crystal-clear, I couldn’t have acquired it without questioning and upgrading my communicative functions in the first place.

Yes, Pluto seems to take everything from you, but the truth is, she leaves you with much, much more. Becoming your own person is a gift, and it has a price. The price is letting go and trusting the unknown, the process. Whatever you’re going through, Pluto-related or not, it’s not the end, I promise.

Did you ever experience a Pluto to Mercury transit? How did it feel like? Leave a comment and let me know!

If you are experiencing a Pluto to Mercury transit, a Pluto transit to other planets/points in your chart or find yourself in a similar situation to the one described in this post, you can request an astrology consultation or a Tarot reading.

(Pictured: image by Lina White on Unsplash.)


Astrologer. Tarot reader. Translator. Anthropology M.A. Vegan. Bisexual. Cat mom. I like potatoes a lot.

Comments (9)

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    Hi Cristina,

    I Googled Pluto square Mercury and your article caught my attention. Thank you for posting and I bookmarked your site! I have a 26 Cap rising (yes Saturn & Pluto taking a slow stroll over my ASC), Mercury 26 Aries and Sun 29 Aries. I’m no spring chicken, spending the last 35 years of my life self-employed in the communication field (writing, publishing, teaching). Over the last year and a half, my workshop (main source of income) clients dwindle down to 2 for one fateful reason or another (corporate buyouts, new management, retirements, etc). During that same period, two articles and one TV interview about my work was published and not one new client or phone call!!! Talk about a trend 🙂 I recently relocated. Now pondering a book or two shedding light on what I’ve learned teaching communication for all those decades. Not autobiographical, but a practical and useful guide. Two personal takes after reading your excellent article; First, that Pluto/Mercury square is going to provide deep insight into this writing adventure, or… my brain turns to scrambled eggs and pursue music (another hobby to satisfy Moon/Venus in Pisces). Last time Pluto was active squaring my Venus/Moon, I experienced 9 losses of friends and family members over a 3.5 year period. That changed my life. Anyhow, keep pursuing your astrological path as you’re one of the better writers I have read. If you are interested in punishing your brain figuring out what transits, Solar Arc progressions really mean in a chart … feel free 🙂 No feedback necessary. 4/20/1955 @ 1:57AM EST Detroit, MI. Cheers…

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      Mark, thank you so much for this feedback and for your extremely kind words. I do see the Plutonian principle at work in losing clients and opportunities for networking, AND also in the creative force that was coiled down underneath the ashes, which is now emerging (the new ideas about writing books, and I’m sure there are many more). A new potential is awakening, and this is only the beginning, which, of course, as Pluto would have it, is wrapped up in an ending. BUT it will be worth it, in the end. I find that Pluto separating from my Mercury has given me a greater vision and sense of purpose in regard to the ways in which I harness my mental energy, and THAT makes up and pays off if you make it a point to turn that newfound clarity into power and into a more authoritative voice.

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    Hi Cristina, thanks for writing this article. Happening upon it is like finding the hidden lever to a concealed magical decompression chamber. I’m a pretty plutonic person (Pluto conjunct MC, Moon in 8th in Leo, Venus in Pluto). But even I am totally over all this Pluto transformation, transmutation, transcendence shit. In tarot of the spirit they talk about offering up the ‘bloody fruit’, but it’s like the ‘bloody fruit’ glut is never ending
    I’m right in the thick of Pluto squ Mercury, a five hitter & it’s really sucking at every turn at the moment. I seem to be being given opportunities to ‘Truth speak’; calling out the crap unethical underbelly antics of various sectors (legal, medical, local council, financial). So many opportunities to tear the house down simply by speaking up and calling foul everywhere I go. It’s been bizarre!
    I just want to get on with my life, study holistic interior design, immerse myself in the beauty of life (6 natal placements in Libra) but the seriously unethical & unconscionable shit I keep finding myself in the midst of, means I HAVE to keep speaking up just to make my way through it and out the other end, Shifting entire systems like tectonic plates as I go. I’m finding it beyond cripplingly overwhelming at times, especially as one of the situations involves my mother having been injured by surgeons who refuse to acknowledge what they’ve done & turned our lives upside down via 3 weeks of agony & near death experience. But it’s fascinating that I’m being put in situations where the dark plutonic stuff is so transparent (to me anyway; I am watching the bare faced lies & evasion) ) that the only real challenge is in gathering all the relevant data/evidence of wrongdoing, articulating it & aiming the whistleblowing communications in the right direction, to the people who then have little choice but to begin dismantling the systems which allowed the old patriarchal control systems to stay in power.
    What I’m doing is working, but it’s exhausting, & most of the time feels insurmountable & having me wishing I was dead. Not uncommon with Pluto transits in my experience; the between a rock and a hard place feeling of extreme pressure.
    My Asc is 18:56 Cap & ive just had both Pluto & Saturn conjunct it & then both square my sun at 20 Libra & my my Mercury now also, pretty much all concurrently.
    I had been doing soul readings prior to now but seriously don’t have the bandwidth for offering services that require me to be mostly centred rather than teetering on the brink of destruction constantly like I am now.
    Communications with others generally are seriously trying & fraught (other than all the official writing, of calling people out), particularity with my mother but that’s exacerbated by Tr Chiron on my IC now also (I just overturned the eviction of my mother, thank god and simultaneously found myself homeless due to a toxic mould issue in the house I was renting *eye roll*.
    But thank you, I have really appreciated reading your article because mostly I feel like crawling under a rock and dying, especially with communications so difficult/inharmonious (very painful for librans).
    Now however thanks to you, I have perspective on this Pluto transit and more like a member of a secret Harry Potter-esque sacred chamber, where I can flip the hidden lever, come in & escape the muggles.
    This in itself is a lifesaver!

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      Oops, that was meant to read ‘Venus in Scorp’.
      As you can see my thought/communication faculties are pretty much Closed for Renovation.
      Except for the stream of consciousness stuff using me as a tool (lol) to transmit inconvenient truths in support of this great collective ‘Redistribution of Power & Wealth’ we’re in now.

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      Trudie, wow. Thank you for being so open and genuine about your experience. I can truly, truly relate to a lot of what you have written here — including the not-so-pretty feeling of just… wanting to crawl under a rock and just plain die. Back when I was in the thick of this transit, I was definitely feeling like that as well. Sometimes because of sheer despair, other times out of pure exhaustion, as you said. Ditto about homelessness, too! I found myself without a house and sleeping in a friend’s living room, too. I know it’s trying and tiresome and exhausting, but I promise you, it does get better. One day you’ll wake up and you’ll be tired as hell, but things will start looking up. Perhaps it’s already happening. Sending you love! ♥

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        I have Sun20%, Jupiter16,% Saturn20% and Mecury23% in Capricorn and the 6th house. and what a horrible few years it has been. Since 2015 I lost my brother, my dad and my best friend to varioys ilnesses. I was made redundant and then had a string of poorly paid jobs which made me very unhappy, My health has been dreadful as I have had a shouler replaced, my appendix burst,I have an autoimmune disease, my other shoulder needs replacing and I am awaiting bowel surgery. My relationships have changed immensely and not for the better and at present I am pretty miserable. I do think pluto may have had a hand in all this. In 1983 Pluto was exact with Saturn and they conjoined on my Moon, the day that happened I lost my son, which lead to a string of life changing events.

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    Thanks for your article. I have Neptune Mars Uranus and mercury all from 26 capricorn to 1 aquarius in my natal chart and pluto Jupiter and Saturn have all been weaving around up there…. Have always been super involved in researching music, movie, media industries in general but I experienced an event that made me drop all interest in modern media… Wanted to become a musician but recently realized I am never going to have anything to do with those big businesses. Now I am much more interested in what is happening locally with the people I love and grew up with. Seeing others in the community create lives and businesses that they love and somehow maybe I can be a part of that. I had a massive mental breakdown right before Covid happened.

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      Hi, Brandon. I’m new here, so I hope I am not stepping on any toes! 😉 But I was reading your comment about “I am never going to have anything to do with those big businesses.” I’ve known other artists who feel the same way. What they do, instead, is offer their art to the God/dess or All-That-Is or their Muse or (as you’ve suggested) their community! For me, that doesn’t make them any less an Artist. And they get along just fine…because they are always practicing and growing in their Art! Good luck to you!

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        I love your response to Brandon’s comment, Mar-garet! Thanks for weighing in. ♥


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