Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 30, 2009

Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit #1—Houses & Areas of Life Affected

Identifying the Houses–and Areas of Life–Affected by the Transit

©10-30-09 by Donna Cunningham, MSWfirstaidkit

How many of you have emergency preparedness kits at home and in the trunk of your car? And how many of you have a first aid kit?  I couldn’t find any statistics online, but I’d venture to guess not more than one in three of you do. 

This new series isn’t about those sorts of kits–although this wouldn’t be bad timing to create one.  Instead, we’ll be talking about how to prepare for the long square that’s forming between Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn.

We’ll be learning about ways you who’ll be affected can gear up to meet any challenges that pair of transits might provide. At each stage, we’ll be taking stock of possible vulnerable areas to see exactly where your weaknesses and strengths lie. We’ll look at pitfalls that could result from the transits and how taking action in advance could help prevent the worst outcomes. And we’ll consider resources you can tap to bolster your capacity to cope with any difficulties that might arise. 

That’s a big chunk to bite off, and I can’t promise any magic amulets to ward off destiny.  You’ll be tempted to slip into denial and just coast until it’s over—or on the other hand to walk around chewing your nails and fearing the worst. 

 I’m not recommastrologerinspaceabs-a2dending either extreme, just asking you to get real.  It’s time to take an honest look at where you just might have to contend with a rough patch. Then start to analyze what you need to start doing right now to prevent or alleviate a problem. 

Prevention is where astrology can be a godsend–if everything were really written in stone, what would be the point of studying it?  Astrology is not an augery of fate, it’s a practical, problem-solving tool.  At least that’s how my background in social work has conditioned me to see it.

In this first stage of our joint project, I’m sure the terminally positive astrologers out there will label me as negative, but that’s not my intent. I just want you to consider both the worst that could happen and the best that could happen in the areas of life affected by this transit. Then, if you do identify a problem area, figure out what you need to do to prevent the worst, as well as how to direct energy toward creating the best that might come from it.

Not knowing you and your situation, I can’t suggest which actions would work best, so if it looks like you need support, seek it out locally. If your astrological situation is complex and looks especially difficult, find a qualified professional astrologer to discuss it with.

Stage 1:  Taking Stock of the Houses Involved

Your first step would be to identify which houses of your chart will be affected by transits from Pluto and Saturn. Download a blank chart form, complete with house meanings, for you to work with:  Blank chart with house meanings.   Here’s what to do:  charthouses

  1. Get a copy of your birth chart done with your date, time, and place of birth.
  2. Locate or have someone who knows astrology locate the house that contains the early degrees of Libra. Put Saturn there.
  3. Locate or have someone who knows astrology locate the house that contains the early degrees of Capricorn.  Put Pluto there.
  4. Figure out how many years slow-moving Pluto has already been in that house, as this usually signifies a process that has been ongoing for some time.
  5. Note and highlight any planets in those two houses that are between 0-5° of Libra or Capricorn. Has Pluto already been transiting those planets since its entry into Capricorn in January, 2008?
  6. Also note and highlight any planets in other houses that are between 0-5° of Aries or Cancer.  Has Pluto already been transiting those planets since its entry into Capricorn in January, 2008?
  7. Now consult the table below to find out what areas of life those 4 houses represent.  Usually they will be 3 houses apart, but in some north-south latitudes, they might be closer or further apart.GCAPRIC1-ANCITITA


               Here are the symbols for Libra and Capricorn, with Libra left and Capricorn on the right: 


First: First impressions and first  approach to situations, appearance, image, self-presentation, the basic physical vehicle.
Second: Money and ways of earning it, money management and attitudes toward finance, things valued more than money.
Third:  Communication, thinking and learning style, siblings and near relatives, neighbors, basic coursework, commuting.
Fourth: Home and home life, roots, family ties, heredity, family influence, the nurturing parent, senior years.
Fifth: Children, romance, creativity, self-expression, performing, leisure activities, gambling and other forms of risk-taking.
Sixth: Work and its meaning, work habits, types of jobs, coworkers and employees, health and health habits.
Seventh: Partnerships—personal and business, close, committed relationships, types of people we attract, sharing.
Eighth: Sexuality, money you don’t earn (inheritances, grants, etc), taxes, partner’s resources, birth, death, transformation, healing.
Ninth:  Religion and philosophy of life, higher education, advanced studies, legal matters, foreign lands, distance travel.
Tenth: Career and long-term goals, how you are remembered, parental authority, bosses and the type of boss you are.
Eleventh:  Friendship, relationship to peer group, group membership, social consciousness, activism, aspirations.
Twelfth: Secrets, things that are repressed or hidden, self-defeating behavior, chronic illness, service, retreats, spiritual quest.

Donna Cunningham's Email Astrology Course

Each house of the horoscope represents several crucial areas of life, and as you study astrology in more depth, you’ll find they’re all related at a deeper level.  An important transit—especially by one of the slower-moving outer planets–can set off changes and challenges in several of them at once. It can be a turning point in one’s life.

 It would take weeks for us to go through all 12 houses in depth on this blog, so what I’ve decided to do is to upload the chapter on houses from my basic to intermediate level ebook, An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness. You can find it at this link:  AGSA ch13-houses  (The book itself is for sale at . It contains additional chapters on transits and on each of the planets.)   You can also download  an article with projects for all 12 houses here: Shovel-Ready Projects for the 12 Astrological Houses.

The next stage will be an inventory of the risk factors and strengths in those areas of your life.  For now, however, start thinking about how you’ve been operating in those areas and how other important people in your life contribute to problems, solutions, or both in those areas.

PLEASE NOTE: I can’t comment on how this transit affects individual charts on this blog, by phone, or through private email. If you write to me at, I’ll send you a list of people whose work I am well familiar with and respect, but that’s as much as I’m able to do. No exceptions. I am retired from active duty in order to write pieces like these that can reach many more people in this difficult time. 

I wish I were 40 years old again–you can bet I’d be right out there on the front lines with you. But like the old codger in my astrodrama the other day  said, “there’s a time to shine, and then there’s a time to go home.” What I’ve learned from joining the blogosphere is how many gifted and well-qualified astrologers there are in the Pluto-Uranus in Virgo generation. This is THEIR time to shine, and mine to go home.

If you’re affected by that early Cardinal square, there are many pieces on this blog that can help with issues that are likely to come up. Take a look at any on the list below that apply to you or your loved ones. Donna

More Posts for your Pluto-Saturn Preparedness Kit:

More Posts about the 12 Houses Here:

 Related Posts for Using the Transit to Change Unwanted Patterns:

FREE EBOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: NEW: FREE BOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS!  If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.


  1. Made me look at my chart and current transits. ::fastens seatbelt::

    • Oh, Neeti, you always make me laugh. These are surely transits that will take some planning and thought! Donna

  2. Yep. I bet this series helps a lot of people. Just posted the link on my Facebook page.

    Oh, and I always fasten my seatbelt before any serious planning and/or thought. Only way to stay in one place 😀

  3. Thankfully, Pluto has been in my second house for a couple years . . . “check” Saturn in Libra will be largely affecting my 11th house (& conjoining my Neptune, Moon & Sun) but it will be at least a year before it hits any planets. “check”

    Judging from what happened in the early 80’s, my circle of like-minded friends will be honed to a minimum and I will get more lessons in saying NO, unequivocally NO! You know, one of those words Libra types like myself need to exercise and to avoid the peace at any price place.

    “there’s a time to shine, and then there’s a time to go home.”

    Being on the shady side of sixty myself, I understand. Have been sending potential clients to Pluto-Uranus generation astrologers myself. Too many years of propping people up long enough for them to find their feet and get going again. Hey, being an elder/grandmother does have it’s perks! 🙂

  4. thank you for doing this. With a stellium in libra, mine and my husband’s 2nd saturn returns, (libra) and my Jupiter in early deg. Aries, you have my complete attention.

  5. Thanks for offering your superb chapter on the houses, Donna – it’s excellent information for beginners and experienced astrologers alike.

    Pluto has been in my House 3 for awhile, and Saturn is in my House 12. I can really see this playing out in my life, as I’ve been consciously working hard on transforming the way I communicate (Pluto squared my Mercury last year, too!). With Saturn in House 12, I’ve been dedicating a lot of practical effort to delving into my subconscious and exploring early childhood events that have led to self-undermining habits of thought and behavior. So for me, this square has been a gift, even though it’s also come with a lot of turmoil.

  6. Oh man- transiting Saturn’s in my 5th house now, and transiting Pluto’s been in my 7th House pretty much since I was in late high school-early college and isn’t leaving until 2012. I’m in the process right now of totally deconstructing my approach to relationships and trying to figure out who’s doing it wrong- me, or everyone else. (Honestly, I really couldn’t say. While you think about that, I’ll be over here having a cupcake with Morrissey.)

    I’ll definitely be poring over your guide in greater detail- I have a feeling it’s the start of a pretty psychologically important time. Eep!

    • Hang in there, Lucy. Pluto’s transits through a house can be really, really long, especially if the house has an interception in it. I THINK the rule might be: check how many degrees are in the house, divide by two, and you can pretty much guess how long Pluto will be around. Not sure about the math, I’ve been writing an awfully long time today. Donna

  7. Saturn’s in 5th and Pluto’s at the beginning of the 8th. I don’t have any resources (financial or otherwise) that I share with anyone, (or sex either for that matter- could be Pluto wrecked my (real) partnerships in the seventh) So I’m curious as to what the planet portends for me here now.
    I’m working on several creative projects now and hope that some indication of a shared financial matter with somebody in that regard even if its’ a difficult one. (hope, hope, wink, wink, cross my fingers and my heart, throw a little salt…) so I’m anxious to see the goal setting kits

    I have a question for one of yor other commentors
    Netti: are you the astrologer who used to read for Josianne E? in Arizona?

    • Hi Belle, I’m not that Neeti. Is there an astrologer with a name similar to mine? That’s so cool!

  8. Hello, Donna,
    It’s hard for me to get focused on Saturn in Libra. I’m still feeling the aftershocks of Saturn leaving my sign, Virgo. My dad died on Oct. 27. I spent a grueling 13+ hours at his bedside. Saturn is touring my 9th house and indeed I find myself wrestling with the issues of religion and philosphy. Visiting my dad in the Alzheimer’s unit of the nursing home made me question whether I believe in a God and now that he is dead, I’m faced with the same questions about an afterlife that I had when my mother died 2 years ago in Dec. [I was there for her last breath also. I have a stellium of planets in the 8th house.] To lose both parents within 2 years plus an 8-month stint of having my nephew live with me [he has schizophrenia] — phew, I felt like Saturn was picking on me personally! So I’m most grateful Saturn has left Virgo and it’s with deep interest that I will now start checking out Saturn in Libra. I’m so glad I found your blog!

    • What a gruelling time for you, Trishia. The Pluto part of the transit may be about working thorugh your grief about your father, as well as any grief for past losses, and it’s an important, healing phase. Don’t neglect it. Donna

  9. Just finished Saturn return (2nd) and Pluto is in 6th, almost opposite Ascendent – a couple degrees! My Uranus is 1 degree Cancer, in my 12th, so Pluto is in opposition. Trying to understand what this means. History of addiction, health issues resulting. Aquarius with Cancer rising. So glad I found this, thank you Donna.

    • Thanks, Ellen and John. I’m so glad if this series helps people sort out this complex set of transits. Donna

  10. Saturn just entered my 7th house, and will transit over my natal Pluto, Venus, Mars, Sun and Uranus, in that order while in the 7th, Yikes!

    Pluto is in my 10th house, and is a 2 degrees Capricorn.

    Uranus will enter my first house in May when it goes into Aires, which should be fun, but intimidating.

    Let me know what I should prepare for…
    Thanks Donna!

    • Obviously relationship (7th house) and career (10th house) concerns will be paramount. To deal with relationship issues, read the posts on this blog that contain “Libra Alert” in their titles plus the list of links in those articles to other relationship articles. For a picture this complex, however, you really could use a chart consultation. I’m retired from doing them but if you want recommendations, write to me at and I’ll send a list. Donna

  11. Thanks for the insightful and helpful post!

    I have Capricorn rising, and Pluto is just about done with my 12th house, and will be heading out and on to my first house soon. Saturn has recently started it’s journey through my 9th house, closing in on my natal Libra Pluto square Asc. I’m honestly ready for this, as I feel I’ve been preparing my whole life 😉

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