“If every choice you make comes from an honest place, you’re solid, and nothing anybody can say about you can rock you or change your opinion.” 

Angelina Jolie – Pluto in 3rd House

The Meaning of Pluto

Pluto generally feels like a very unpleasant energy. Wherever this planet is in our birth chart, we go through crises that never seem to leave us. Very few are interested in investigating Pluto, so… congratulations! You have dared to enter the world of shadows!

Why are we going through crisis? Pluto symbolizes death and rebirth. With Pluto we go through a metamorphosis. It’s kind of like the werewolf when the full moon rises. The triggers of this change are in the area of life symbolized by the astrological house in which it is found. When Pluto is activated, behaviors that we have repressed come to the surface in every possible way.

Although it feels unpleasant, it is a great opportunity to get to know our instinctual nature and see who we really are, since this will allow us to transform what does not allow us to progress.

Pluto awakens our instinctual reactions so that we make them conscious and thus transform what does not allow us to progress.

The difference between the natal position and the transit of Pluto through the houses, is that the natal position indicates the area of life where our evolution will focus in the present incarnation, while the transit of Pluto activates temporary processes that assist our evolutionary path.


Read more: Your Birth Chart


The power of transformation that Pluto represents is experienced both individually and collectively. This is a planet that moves very slowly: it takes 248 years to travel the zodiacal wheel and stays in each sign between 12 and 31 years. In this sense, we are all part of a group that will evolve the characteristics of the sign where Pluto is when we are born. At the individual level, we live this process within the area of life (or astrological house) where Pluto is located.

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When Pluto is in the 3rd House

The 3rd House symbolizes our perception and intellect. Here we see how we solve problems, the type of intelligence we possess, and our approach to studies. On the most mundane plane, it represents short trips, our neighborhood, the relationship with siblings and neighbors.

When Pluto is in this house, we undoubtedly have a very deep intellect. This is the quintessential investigator’s mind placement. However, the position of Pluto in the house of the intellect indicates the need for transmutation of our perception.

Pluto brings to the surface behaviors that need to be put aside in order to continue our evolutionary path. When it is in the house of the intellect, it is our perception that will go through the tunnel of hell. This can manifest as obsessive thoughts that do not leave us. Or thoughts that embarrass us or make us feel guilty.


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With this position, what we observe can awaken our instinctual reactions. Today it is very difficult to deal with our animal side without judging it as “wild” or “brutal.” Our civilization has been separating itself from it until it has become something unseemly. So, for those who have Pluto in the 3rd House, many times they feel that what is going on inside their minds scares them. So they learn to suppress their thoughts. And without knowing why, they fall into depression from time to time.

The compulsive thoughts that indicate this position are a manifestation of what we don’t allow ourselves to think. In order to correct this condition, we need to dare to listen to our thoughts, even if they are grotesque or even violent. If we see this as a process of intellectual purging and we open the Pandora’s box that is in our mind, once it is emptied, we will find Hope. Instead of seeing everything pessimistically, our intellectual strength can be used to find the core of everything.

This position indicates an unmatched passion for understanding and great strength of concentration. The mind is extremely focused and is capable of creating mental projections so strong that it can modify the perception of others. As I have said before, Pluto will activate the behaviors that arise when we feel in danger. So we find ourselves telling lies or changing the truth in a way that works best for us. Until we communicate honestly, Pluto will exacerbate our compulsive thoughts. This should not be taken as a punishment but as a real desire of our soul to show us what we are feeding our mind with.

Pluto in the 3rd House indicates a shrewd and resourceful mind. We know it and we like it. However, sometimes we can act as if we are the ones who understand everything better than anyone else – a self-preservation mechanism that has developed perhaps from being intellectually degraded by siblings or at school. This “intellectual pride” allows us to maintain a certain power within our conversations and is especially activated when we feel in danger. So, we are scathing and even poisonous in our words, and thus we disarm any possible aggression. As we discover that it is our own fear of not being so smart that leads us to act this way, and we learn to laugh at our own miseries, we begin to develop a sarcastic humor that will make everyone laugh.

Danny: Now, they tell me I paid my debt to society.
Tess: [sarcastically] Funny, I never got a check.
“Ocean’s Eleven”

Pluto seeks to tear down everything that is not authentic to make way for the great potential that the astrological house where it is located holds . In the 3rd House it will be the use of our mind that will be transmuted through time. Pluto asks us to communicate honestly and to open ourselves to the possibility of error in perception. In this way, we not only sharpen our perception but we can also understand the behavior of others and help them understand themselves. Carl G Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, is an example of the depth of mind that Pluto in the 3rd House indicates.