According to Stephanie Burke, psychic medium and Reiki Master Teacher based in the Massachusettes Seacoast, Pluto has been in retrograde since Tuesday, April 27, and will stay that way until Wednesday, October 6. Pluto goes retrograde once a year for about six months at a time.

Burke has been the point person for all of our astrological needs, so we asked her for the best advice to keep in mind when dealing with Pluto in Retrograde.

“Although we’ve experienced this before, each retrograde is always a little different, and our lives are constantly evolving so that brings about change and growth for us,” said Burke. “This retrograde will have a focus on the last six months of our lives and what we can do for the next six months to be a better version of ourselves once we come out of it.”

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Maybe you’ve already felt intense effects this first week. According to Burke, here are some things to consider. Have you been feeling a shift? Are things changing and quickly? Does everything around you feel like it’s falling apart? Are things around you kind of wonky and breaking? Welcome to Pluto retrograde.

I can attest to this feeling of many things changing, and all of a sudden. Burke reminds us that it is not always a bad thing.

“Pluto is the planet of destruction,” said Burke. “Although that all sounds horrendous, we should always view retrogrades as a time for growth. Pluto will destroy anything that’s not authentic or good for you. It’s a time to rediscover, rebuild and take back your power. Utilize this time to do the work that’s necessary in order to propel you to where you want to be and who you need to be. If you’re not on the right path, here is where Pluto comes into play. It pushes us to transform and evolve. Pluto has a focus on transformation, authenticity, structure, stability, and working on the parts of yourself that you tend to ignore because it’s hard. This can look like admitting your wrongdoings, changing your own bad behavior, or coming face to face with the deepest and darkest parts of you. It’s time to face the truth about yourself.

Are you self-sabotaging? Do you get in your own way? Are you afraid to reach for more because of past traumas or failures? What is it that you don’t like about yourself? Instead of hiding behind it, embrace it. Look at it and work with it. Realize that it’s part of you and it’s ok, but figure out ways to work around it or change it for the better so you don’t stop yourself from succeeding, and you don’t keep repeating the same lessons. Be aware of those little things that you do that stop you from being happy and take action. The best thing that you can do is welcome the change. Slow and steady wins this race.”

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