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Pluto in Capricorn: A Healing Journey

This is a true story about great love, utter loss, and second chances. It’s a story about losing my marriage, finding myself, and forgiveness. It’s my Pluto in Capricorn story.

Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, the year that my husband and I married for the first time.

But the story starts further back, in 2002, the year we met. A decade of dating in New York City had left me drained, brittle, and cynical. At 28, I felt macerated by romantic love’s theater of cruelty. My Venus in Capricorn was over it.

I left my life in NYC to pursue a dream: being a poet. I had been accepted to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, so I packed up and headed to the heartland. At the beginning of my second year in the program, I met him.

We met in my own living room, conveniently enough. He, dewy from undergrad, had come over to play video games with my roomie, a writer from Chicagoland with a dopey dog named Claude and a penchant for playing video games for hours.

By our third living room conversation, I knew that I would marry this young guy from Memphis. We had not yet been on a first date. I was older than him, but no wiser. During my amorous adventures in New York, I had never met anyone like him. His kindness arrested me. He viewed people with a deep and thoughtful compassion instead of cool snark. And boy, could he write.

Our Moons conjoin in Libra. I felt fundamentally understood, deeply held, and vividly seen by him. I knew I could offer him the best version of myself.

I did his chart and discovered that his Venus conjoined my Saturn and South Node. This was karma, baby.

Well, karma’s a bitch, right?

Six blissful years after meeting, we married in a botanical garden in Portland, OR, on a warm and overcast September afternoon. It was a perfect day, and I am glad that I spent it with him.

The first couple of years of married life, we loved (and drank) with abandon. Hilaritas ruled the day. We were a Neptunian/Venusian couple – poets, musicians, and bon vivants. We enjoyed a wide friend group, two awesome cats, and all the wine, whiskey, and craft beer we could swallow. Tomorrow didn’t matter and yesterday had been a blast.

Then Pluto happened.

When Pluto in Capricorn moved into a two-degree orb squaring my natal Pluto in Libra, I woke up with new eyes. I remember the day, December 10, 2010. I woke up and everything about my life looked different.

Pluto in Capricorn was like an old god rising from the swamp. I could feel his dark reckoning. I became aware of my life in a new way. I saw the ugly. Living like we lived, for the moment, for the sheer fun of it, was making us broke, fat, and stuck.

Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, wants the real. The really real, not the veneer. When Pluto answers to Saturn, there is simply no defense. Its power to destroy is absolute.

Over the next two years, our fun, shiny life disintegrated around us. We hadn’t developed the tools to deal with reality, debt, facts, addiction, or our own brokenness. Our conjoined Moons in Libra didn’t want to upset our status quo. In fact, we had no idea how. We deceived ourselves and each other each time we affirmed that we were okay.

I felt death bearing down. The death of us. Therapy hadn’t helped. Nothing was helping. Transiting Pluto was still within a degree square to my natal Pluto. The screws turned ever slowly, drilling into bone, into marrow.

By 2012, I couldn’t take the volcanic pressure anymore, the accumulating debt, the fear that I was wasting my one and only life. After trying unsuccessfully to communicate for two years, I left my husband.

Watching our marriage implode, helpless to stop the destruction, was the most baffling, stunning, and crushing experience of my adult life.

I will spare you the agony of the years from 2012 to 2015. Suffice to say, change happened incrementally. I got my own place outside of Portland – a modest apartment that I could afford. I paid down my debt. I went into therapy. It’s so boring, boring, boring but I was dealing with the structures of my being for the first time. It was a private, soulful time.

By 2015, I felt ready to reconnect to my husband, to start over. We had never divorced. We lived separately and talked every day, often many times a day. But he wasn’t ready to reconnect. In fact, he was ready to embrace his new life as a single divorced man. He was ready for a legal change of identity.

Divorce finally came in the summer of 2017 when Pluto exactly squared the cusp of my 8th house, the house of death, transformation, and contracts. With the legal end of my marriage, I wanted to die. I could not navigate the pain.

I embraced the darkness, but the darkness didn’t embrace me. Instead of dying, I received an angelic visitation. You read that right. The angel offered a succinct message that I heard in my stomach, somehow. The message was this: I have never left you.

When this happened, Pluto was conjunct my Black Moon Lilith. I think Pluto and BML vibe each other. I didn’t feel sexy or powerful or anything like that, but I did feel alive. Not gloriously alive, by any means, but back from the edge of that swamp.

I was sober, physically healthier than I had been in years, and had money in the bank.

Let me be perfectly clear – all of this sucked the big suck. I was in a slow-moving transformation that obliterated the life I lived before. I lost nearly every friend as Pluto crawled through my 11th house. I nearly lost my life. But life isn’t a game of horseshoes – nearly dead isn’t dead. I had a pulse and ostensibly a future, though I could not see it. It was one step in front of the other for years. There was no path, no plan, no goal state except survival.

During this time, my ex-husband was going through his own process of personal transformation. Transiting Pluto was squaring his natal Pluto and Moon as well. I won’t tell his story here, but it was deep, harrowing, and put him face to face with the Real. Maybe he met an angel or two along the way. I don’t know. We all cherish our secrets.

But Pluto in Capricorn wasn’t done with us because destruction is only a part of its process. The other part is creation. It turns out, once we were both sober and independent, that our love had not perished. It went underground into the dark and fecund earth.

I was laid off at the end of 2018. My ex-husband offered endless support: emotional, spiritual, and material. We started dating again, tentatively meeting for coffee or a movie. Now, we could talk about hard things. We could deal with adversity without bathing in whiskey. We started taking writing classes together with a wonderful local teacher. We realized that we still fascinated each other as artists.

We moved back in together in 2020, a full decade after that horrible December morning when I woke up from a beautiful boozy dream. We moved back in together when transiting Pluto squared our natal Moons exactly. The god of death weighed our hearts against a feather and found that we had done the hard soul work. We surrendered our former lives, confronted our demons, and fought like hell for each other.

We remarried on my birthday this year when Pluto was at 28.59 degrees Capricorn, soon to leave this sign of structure, initiation, and integrity.

From the 2008 marriage to the 2023 (re)marriage, it’s been a fifteen-year journey toward integration of our shadows, dismantling our egos, and healing the broken parts of ourselves. Healing is gruesome and slow work. Pluto in Capricorn demanded that we birth a renewed version of our relationship – a resilient one that can sustain our authentic and naked selves.

Ruthlessly powerful, Pluto in Capricorn gets what it wants, period.


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