Pluto, the pokey little puppy of the Solar System, takes 246 years to go around the Sun and thus the Zodiac. It's trip through the signs is not equally divided, however, because of the eccentricity of its orbit; it may "zip" through one sign in 13 years and then take 32 years to limp through another. Thus, its influence is also considered generational like Neptune, but with perhaps slightly less punch. Pluto is currently in Sagittarius and will be there for a while. There is no one alive with Pluto in Aries or Taurus.
Pluto, god of the underworld, rules Scorpio. It was discovered February 18, 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh based on calculations that oddly enough later turned out to be in error. Prior to that Mars was considered Scorpio's ruler. Pluto transits are known for their dark influences that sometimes manifest as obsessions related to the House in transit. Progress is sporadic at best during a transit and any that results is usually heavy and soul-testing. The end result is often compared to death and regeneration where some personality element related to the house in transit figuratively dies and comes back in a new form. In other words, it facilitates deep and sometimes painful change, but the purging effect generally is positive in the long run. On a more mundane level, Pluto also rules all things hidden, including plumbing. This includes your house as well as your own, i.e. your bowels.
I had a particularly Plutonian experience a while back when my vacuum cleaner broke a belt. Of course I hadn't looked at the underside for quite a while and as you'd expect it was clogged with all sorts of lovely things, which I proceeded to clean out. I installed a new belt and voilą, it worked like new. This is a very simple example of the rooting out of hidden problems and eventual healing that Pluto accomplishes so well. This particular event occurred when Pluto was opposite Mercury retrograde. During that particular cycle, plumbing and power issues were common right along with all the communication problems that Mercury RX is famous for. It was actually a great time to do home maintenance and repairs. While several things caused problems, their repairs went relatively well with positive results. After all, everyone needs to clean out their garage or basement every now and then, either figuratively or literally.
Of course it's not as easily resolved or as painless when Pluto is grinding on your chart somewhere. Pluto transits are particularly unpleasant in certain areas of you chart. If you know someone who has one problem after another and absolutely nothing seems to go right, there's a good chance that this poor soul is undergoing a Pluto transit of some sort. Yet, no matter how endless or grueling it may seem, when it's over the person will be able to go forward with his or her life and heal from the experience.
When Pluto, Mars and/or Saturn aspect each other negatively the result is often not pretty and is sometimes a harbinger of death. For example, these planets were in cahoots for both space shuttle accidents. My mother's natal chart had Pluto squaring both the Sun and Moon with Saturn in the 4th house; she lost both her parents to death when she was a child. My father had Pluto in the 4th House and lost his father when he was a toddler to a freak accident.
1st House/Aries: Pluto in the 1st house by birth or transit will darken the personality and infuse it with emotional intensity. The person will have a penetrating gaze and will project in a way that others can actually feel. They are likely to be fascinated by mysteries and secrets and want to explore subjects of interest in considerable depth, making them talented researchers. Obsessional tendencies are possible as well and possibly a need to dominate others. Negative aspects can block these traits, however, and cause psychological problems that sometimes emerge as illnesses. (There is no one alive with Pluto in Aries on their natal chart. This is probably a good thing.)
2nd House/Taurus: Pluto in the 2nd house by birth or transit usually provides a strong business sense. They will have considerable drive to succeed and could become obsessed with building their own "empire" if further strengthened by Earth sign placements in Capricorn or Taurus. There may be a tendency to view their loved ones as possessions. (There is no one alive with Pluto in Taurus, either.)
3rd House/Gemini: These individuals will have a nearly insatiable curiosity. Their mental powers will be strong but sometimes dark and they won't miss a thing. In certain situations they put on a classic, Plutonian poker face and look totally bored and oblivious to their surroundings. However, they're taking in every word, which they will use as necessary to the astonishment of those around them. They synthesize data exceptionally well and can instinctively ferret out or derive information that others miss. They won't be satisfied with inadequate or superficial explanations but will persist in finding the answers they seek. With this aspect Natally, these traits will be lifelong; otherwise, they'll endure for the length of the transit, but remember that Pluto transits take anywhere from 13-32 years! If we could turn on this trait at will during our college years we'd really have something. (Pluto was in Gemini until 1912/13. This era saw great growth industrially and many sweeping social changes. Remember this was the timeframe when the Titanic was built and then sank, where it remained hidden in the deep for decades before its discovery. Individuals with this placement are inquisitive though skeptical, but have a deep appreciation for learning. On a personal note, my mother was a Virgo who had this placement and when she was in a rest home in her nineties she would have me bring her encyclopedias as reading material!)
4th House/Cancer: Pluto in the 4th House often signifies a difficult childhood and adolescence. Perhaps their parents were overly controlling or abusive or other frustrations dominated their life. Often they have a highly developed intuition, perhaps because they needed it to survive emotionally. As mentioned in the general description of Pluto at the top of the page, this placement sometimes denotes death of a parent at a child's early age. (Pluto was in Cancer from 1912/13 - 1937/38. WWI was underway at this time, which left numerous children fatherless or with other substantial hardships related to their homelife. On an individual level, these folks generally have strong intuition and deep emotions. If negatively aspected, they tend to lock up their problems inside and perhaps obsess on them.)
5th House/Leo: Pluto in the 5th house will enhance the person's creativity and provide considerable determination to pursue their potential. They can achieve much satisfaction from these efforts, even if the quality of their work itself is not the best in their field (sounds like Napoleon Dynamite to me, folks). Since this is also the house of love affairs and we're talking about Pluto, as you can imagine they're going to have a very intense and rich love life with many lovers (then again, maybe not....). There may also be a tendency to take risks that are emotionally driven. (Pluto was in Leo from 1937/8 - 1957. During this time WWII broke out. Power and domination were strong themes. On the positive, this was also the advent of today's technology with many who developed computer technologies having Pluto in Leo in the birth charts. On an individual level, it's very possible for Pluto power to combine with the Leo desire to rule and create a real empire builder in one form or another, perhaps an obsessive one. It is very likely that many of the dictators and power-hungry individuals in the world today have this placement in Leo combined with the 10th house in their personal charts.)
6th House/Virgo: Those with this house placement natally or during transit will tend to be rather autocratic regarding doing things exactly right, particularly in the work place and especially if the sign is Virgo as well. There may also be a tendency to dominate others. Health problems, particularly of the bowels, are common with this placement as well as the tendency to turn to food for comfort if emotional fulfillment is lacking. If negatively aspected, there is potential for cruelty to animals as well. (Pluto was in Virgo from 1957 - 1971. During most of the 60s, Uranus was also in Virgo and the combined energy of these two planets was apparent in the social unrest, protests, war activity of a darker nature than WWI or WWII, and even the advent of the computer age which combined Virgo's obsession with detail, Uranus' innovation and Pluto's thirst for unearthing secrets. Individuals born during these years often have obsessional tendencies related to the resident house and if there is a conjunction with Uranus, it could motivate a deep desire to facilitate change or innovation of some type with covert means employed if necessary. They may also be very critical in a harsh way.)
7th House/Libra: Relationships will definitely feel the Pluto influence. It is very likely that this individual will need to be the dominant partner in any emotional relationship and if this occurs by transit to an existing relationship, it could easily cause considerable problems. Besides the power trip angle, Pluto's destructive powers can come into force with the individual compulsively digging through the rubble of old relationships and perhaps creating it for existing ones. The influence is especially powerful when Pluto transits the 7th house cusp where it is also opposite the Ascendant, and even more so if it grinds away on it for a while due to retrograde motion. Nonetheless, the Pluto passion and emotional depth can lend exceptional intensity to a relationship that will have its euphoric moments as well. (Pluto was in Libra from 1971 - 1983/4. It goes without saying that during the 70s there was considerable emphasis on sexual activity and freedom. The "pill" was in its heyday and the abortion controversy was likewise an issue. There was the Vietnam war, rock concerts with heavy metal music and increased drug use thanks to Pluto and the Libran desire for love and harmony evident in the "flower power" and "make love not war" attitudes of the time. For individuals born at this time, the sex life is usually stimulated by this placement, particularly if they have a Libra Sun or Moon. They may also tend toward provoking their partner to prove their affection or lack of it.)
8th House/Scorpio: This is Pluto's homebase. Intuition will be strong but the person will also be able to employ logic to analyze the situation. They will be fascinated by mystical subjects and more than likely have psychic ability to some extent. It is also very likely that they'll have a very strong business or entrepreneurial sense. The emotional level is strong but may actually embody so much intensity that it can cause problems, particularly in sexual relationships. (Pluto was in Scorpio from 1983/84 - 1995. When you consider what happened when Pluto entered Scorpio and began conjuncting natal Neptune for those born from 1956 - 1970 it isn't too hard to figure out why everyone was wearing black and turning punk! It also is evident in the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Major technology-related entrepreneurial efforts also came into their own at this time. The personal influence of this placement adds intensity and determination, though negative aspects to the Sun or Moon can cause psychological challenges. There is a lot of emotional and physical energy, particularly if the Sun, Moon or Ascendant is in Scorpio and it's critical that the person find positive releases of this energy.)
9th House/Sagittarius: Pluto in the 9th house often provides a compulsive drive to study and challenge oneself mentally, sometimes beyond the person's ability. They also tend to have a need or even obsession with perfection that they continually try to reach. Needless to say this causes considerable stress and as a result they are likely to eventually become totally disgusted with their "failed" efforts and give up entirely. Wiping the slate clean and starting over is typically Plutonian, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is usually counterproductive. It is also likely that those with this placement will have a great fascination with foreign travel and they're likely to have numerous weird experiences doing so. (Pluto's current location is in Sagittarius, where it has been since 1995. In the last decade we have seen numerous Plutonian influences, none more obvious that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Here we had a covert attack in the Pluto tradition that was perpetrated primarily for philosophical/religious reasons, whether we agree with them or not! Furthermore, Sag's primary traits are openness, independence and a love for freedom, which certainly personify the USA. In addition, the politics of the last several years have been tinged with dark, secret acts versus highly intellectual ideologies. The personal influence will undoubtedly impart a depth and intensity to the upcoming generation, particularly in view of the world events surrounding them as they grow up.)
10th House/Capricorn: Individuals with Pluto in the 10th House will have a strong emotional involvement in their career or other compelling goal they wish to achieve, perhaps obsessively. If this is missing from their lives for one reason or another they will be unfulfilled and frustrated. If located where it conjuncts the Midheaven, there can be a considerable thirst for power that can be pursued ruthlessly if there are negative aspects to personal planets. These folks need to keep their goals within reach and make sure their tremendous store of energy is directed in constructive ways or they can bring major problems upon themselves and those close to them. (Pluto will enter Capricorn in January 2008.)
11th House/Aquarius: With Pluto in the 11th the person is likely to be too concerned or even obsessed with how their friends and acquaintances see them. They'll worry and obsess far too much over what others think of them and they may miss out on their true mission in life trying to please everyone else instead of themselves. (It's going to be a long time before Pluto goes into Aquarius so I'm not going to worry about it just yet.)
12th House/Pisces: Pluto and it's propensity for things hidden can have a strong effect on the subconscious. These folks will tend to be secretive and even reclusive plus they won't feel comfortable talking about their problems or feelings. Rather they'll pretend that nothing is wrong or trivialize it if questioned. Regardless of how they appear to others, few will really know them or what's going on inside their heads. They will have a strong tendency to analyze and dissect any situation or problem and then obsess on it. Nonetheless, if they can maintain some objectivity, they can often do much on their own behalf as far as self-help, particularly with their knack for research and finding what they need when they need it, including information. They can also provide very insightful advice to others because they spend so much time pondering such matters. (It's going to be so long before Pluto goes into Pisces that it's the least of my worries.)