Saturn transits are never easy, simple or swift. Saturn reveals its wisdom and its ways, slowly. The lord of time takes no shortcuts and causes serious issues for those that do. The taskmaster isn’t a fan of the cult of youth, fast fashion, quick bucks, or breaks for getting ahead without paying the price. Saturn helps us to cultivate patience. It honors experience over praise. Moral fortitude needed to do the right thing over getting ahead no matter the cost.
Saturn reminds us that knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing is far too expensive a state to exist in.
In Capricorn, where Saturn has been since December 2017, its lessons have been dense. Saturn rules all things weighty. Lead. Dull stone. Underground caves and graves. When in this earth sign, Saturn seeks to teach us through the lessons of the material realm. Capricorn works with what is tangible. Reliable. It tells tales about tradition and how to adhere to it.
Aquarius isn’t so convinced.
From today through to July 1st, Saturn will begin its journey through Aquarius. Here for a little over 3 months, Saturn will retrograde back to Capricorn come July (staying there until December of 2020). Saturn will then settle into Aquarius for good come the close of 2020. Comfortable in and ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius, Saturn is high functioning and dominant for an extraordinary amount of years (2017 – 2023). This timeframe highlights the rules, boundaries, borders, and structures we live within. Saturn always comes bearing the hard truths we need to know in order to mature.
Most of the world has been running on cheap, fast, and unsustainable solutions for decades now. The drain on our environment, on our relationships, on our psyches and selves is undeniable. We bail out banks and big business before those at the highest risk of being swept under: the chronically ill, the entrepreneur, the single parent, the student, the teacher, the caretaker, the nurse, the survivor, the artist, the healer, the activist, the undocumented, the elder, the disabled, and the marginalized among us.
We are a world out of balance, in desperate need of a social reorganization.
In Aquarius, Saturn seeks to build innovative social structures. This air sign is known for its intellectual rigor, humanitarianism, and thoughtful visions for the future. In Aquarius, Saturn focuses on the needs of the group, bringing forth rules, regulations, and systems change for the masses.
The last time Saturn was in Aquarius (1991-1993), apartheid was dismantled. Before that, Saturn was in Aquarius from 1962-1964, when the Civil Rights Act, which banned school segregation and employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex or national origin, was signed into law in the United States. And before that, Saturn was in Aquarius from 1932-1935. The Great Depression had begun in 1929 causing unemployment to reach 25%. These years of Saturn in Aquarius saw the beginning of FDR’s New Deal, which brought social security, government infrastructure and banking regulations to the US.
While none of these measures are perfect, while none were a remedy in and of themselves, they were all attempts at creating social structures that centered the needs of the collective over the individual.
Saturn is back for more.
While we don’t know how the coming days, months, and years will unfold, we do know that we must wash ourselves clean of any misconceptions that we can remain in this system and be successful. As we move through these enormous challenges ahead, we need to prepare space internally and externally for new solutions to come forth. We need to be patient with our process as the external systems crumble, for they are all we have known. Even when we want a new world, letting go of the old can be unnerving. As structures and systems show their incompetence, our internal worlds will need time to adjust, refocus, and realign with what can carry us the distance. We can and we will find new ways to organize and care for one another, but it will take a Saturnian effort to do so. It will take our determination, dedication, and patient persistence. Today, and for many more days to come.
To learn more about how Saturn’s entrance into Aquarius will impact you, download A Workshop for the Vernal Equinox, New Moon in Aries, Full Moon in Libra, and Astrology of Mar 19 – April 21 + Bonus Ritual for Saturn Entering Aquarius.
Every 29.5 years, Saturn returns to the same place it was in when you were born. That means that at the end of our 20’s, 50’s and 80’s we go through a Saturn return. The first is possibly the most shocking and the most commonly spoken of.
It’s the most shocking because it’s the first time Saturn, one of the most challenging planets we work with, comes back to our natal placement. Shocking because it’s a reality check. Shocking because, for the first time, our mortality starts to dawn on us in a way that is rooted in our physical experience.
No matter how cute you are, you too will get old and die.
The first Saturn return asks us to define ourselves for ourselves. Not for our family. Not for society. Not for any fantasy anyone else has of us. It’s a time of separating ourselves out from our conditioning enough to appreciate the beautiful aspects of it, as well as what we need to do away with. If you were born from 1991 – 1993, you are beginning your first Saturn return.
The second Saturn return occurs at the end of our 50’s, encouraging us to move into more of a mentorship role. Now we are supposed to turn towards those entering their first Saturn return and offer the wisdom we have gathered since then as a guidepost. This is a time of moving into eldership, something our society desperately needs to cultivate an appreciation for.
The Saturn return that occurs at the end of our 80’s is one that gathers the wisdom of our life, distilling it into seeds to be left for future generations.
NOTE: If you don’t know which sign your Saturn is in or which planets you have in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius, you can pull up your birth chart on my site.
If you have Saturn in Aquarius, in my opinion, you are officially in your Saturn return from the moment Saturn enters Aquarius to the moment it exits. Not all astrologers will agree with that sentiment, but I consider the entire 2-3 years of Saturn’s journey through the sign it was in when you were born to be your Saturn return. The weeks and months that transiting Saturn is at the exact degree as your natal Saturn will be the most informative, perhaps even the most intense, and definitely months to pay attention to. However, the entire 3 years, in this case, 2020 – 2023, will have a theme to them that will be very discernible once the entire transit has passed. Pay attention to the house that your Saturn return is occurring in. Look for how Saturn is asking you to participate in shaping those areas of your life.
However, the Saturn Return isn’t the only game in town. There is also the Saturn 1st quarter square, the Saturn opposition, and the Saturn 3rd quarter square.
If your natal Saturn is in Taurus, Leo, or Scorpio, transiting Saturn will square (Taurus and Scorpio), or oppose (Leo) your natal Saturn at some point from March 2020 – July 2020, or December 2020 – March 2023. Here’s a little breakdown of what you might expect if you are in one of the other 3 major Saturn transits:
If you have Saturn in Scorpio, the next 3 years mark your Saturn first quarter square. This transit asks you to look at what you have been busy building since your Saturn return. This is a time period when the choices that you make feel heavy, weighted, and extremely important – and they are – but this is a longer process than your mind can wrap itself around. The mid-late 30’s are a potent and defining time in our adult life. We have just enough experience under our belt to know what feels right, what feels off track, and what could be sustainable and satisfying over a longer period of time. These years and the choices you make during them will ultimately help you flourish in a meaningful way come your Saturn opposition (starting in 2028).
If you have Saturn in Leo will begin their Saturn opposition. Over the next three years, you will get to see the fruits of your labor. It’s been 14 years since your Saturn return and at this point, you’ll have the clearest perspective on what you have been building throughout your adult life. An opposition from Saturn is best met with a deep dedication to our work. It is a call to take what is formidable and defining to the next level. It is as if Saturn’s steely gaze falls directly upon us and it is time to show up with all the wisdom we’ve acquired. These next 3 years mark the halfway point between one Saturn return and the next. This is when you get to witness the growth of your intentions set 14 or so years ago. This is the time to fulfill the promises that you made to yourself, illuminating the life lessons you have learned thus far.
If your natal Saturn is in Taurus, the next 3 years mark Saturn’s last square to itself. This is a transit that is about releasing old structures that no longer serve the overall architecture of your life. Much will need to be composted and repurposed. Trust in what you are guided to let go of and know that it will take these next 3 years to clarify what that is and is not. These years will ultimately help you distill your learning down to a seed of wisdom, something that will be planted come your (next) Saturn return beginning in 2028.
If you have any planets in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius, Saturn will reach them at some point between now and March of 2023. Planets between 0°- 2° of these signs will begin their Saturn transit between March 2020 and July 2020. Planets in these signs but in later degrees will begin their Saturn transit come December 2020. Saturn’s lessons are always about maturity, authority, discipline, structure, and patience. Consider how this may impact you given the nature of the planet and the topic of the house it is in.
If you have planets or points in Taurus or Scorpio, Saturn will square them at some point over the next 3 years. Squares cause friction, require action and generally feel irritating but activating. Squares from Saturn are extra challenging because the action we may want to take can become that much more difficult to. Saturn impedes movement often, forcing us to learn how to wait out discomfort in order to get to the most optimal moment for action. Saturn’s squeeze always forces us to face and conquer what we would otherwise avoid altogether.
If you have planets or points in Leo, Saturn will be opposing them at some point between now and March 2023. Oppositions from Saturn can feel like there is a harsh taskmaster constantly staring directly at us, witnessing, judging, and critiquing everything we do. Something Leo likes the least. Planets in Leo want to shine and be applauded for doing so. They want devotion, not denouncement. They want fans, not hecklers. While Saturn’s gaze feels unrelenting at first, we can learn to discern the difference between its helpful wisdom and its unhelpful criticism. By the end of the transit, you’ll be unafraid of feedback and unwilling to take constructive reflections personally or unfair critiques to heart.
If you have planets or points in Aquarius, Saturn will conjoin them at some point over the next 3 years. A conjunction from Saturn reshapes us. The weight of it forces us to contend with what we have put off, what we weren’t ready to deal with, what we are only now mature enough to cope with. Saturn conjunct a planet or point in our natal chart grows us up. Stops us in our tracks. Restructures our lives in significant ways. Demands we become stronger in order to contend with the realities of our situation and more reliable in our approach to conquering obstacles. Self-pity is not a song Saturn dances to because it is no avenue towards self-mastery which is the aim of this planet and this transit.