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Why Life Is So Hard Right Now, According To Astrology

Refinery29 logo Refinery29 9/14/2018 Sara Coughlin
a close up of a person: Refinery29 © produced by Julie Borowsky; photographed by Rochelle Brock; modeled by Tess Mayer. Refinery29

The summer is basically over, the east coast is staring down a hurricane, and the third season of Stranger Things won't premiere until next year. There are plenty of real-life reasons why we might not feel totally ourselves at the moment. But, if you'd rather blame the cold, dark sky above, we've got a prime target for you.

At this very moment, Capricorn, the sign of tradition, ambition, and hard work, is hosting Saturn and Pluto, two seriously tough planetary customers. As anyone who's survived their Saturn return already knows, Saturn is the planet of discipline, ruling the structures that run our lives. Meanwhile, Pluto likes to slink around in our subconscious, willing large-scale changes and shifts in power to unfold just below the surface. With two planets that love to lob challenges our way posted up in a sign that sustains itself on success, it's just a matter of time before we all start to feel the pressure to perform.

If you're a devoted horoscope reader, you might be wondering: haven't Saturn and Pluto been in Capricorn for, like, a while now? Yes — Pluto has been in the sign of the Goat since January 2008 and the ringed planet joined it last December. But, as is the case with slow-moving outer planets, their effects tend to be gradual, subtle, and, in some cases, may only reveal themselves years into their stay in a particular sign.

So, now that we're in the thick of these two transits (Saturn won't leave until 2020 and Pluto's around until 2024), their influences might be getting more noticeable. Have your routines been called into question or done away with completely? Are your goals shifting to address the longer term? If your difficulties seem to stem mainly from a desire for progress and longevity, that could be thanks to Saturn leaning on your psyche for the last nine months.

Or, maybe your concerns take a more existential shade — if matters of authority, trust, and control are weighing on your mind, look to Pluto. When in Capricorn, this planet can urge cautious, measured uses of power or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, lead you to believe that things would be better off if you seized control altogether. Talk about a recipe for internal strife. Considering the fact that Pluto is retrograde until September 30, we'd recommend following the former and avoiding the temptation to stage a coup. Until this distant planet is direct at the end of the month, it'll reward careful decisions and cooperation over any sort of authoritarian behavior.

Things might seem bleak (and the grey weather isn't helping), but no planetary movement is altogether bad. If you roll with Saturn and Pluto's respective punches, you'll likely learn some valuable lessons in holding onto the status that serves you, letting go of issues out of your control, and staying true to your instincts about the future. That said, you'll still have to wait until summer 2019 for Stranger Things 3.

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