When: March 7th, 2023 – May 24th, 2025
What: Saturn in Pisces
Takeaway: For the first time in 30 years, the planet of boundaries and commitment plunges into the mutable waters of Pisces, double-daring us to get serious about our dreams.
Understanding boundaries and time with Saturn in Pisces
Saturn is the farthest planet we can see with the naked eye. Though we now have the technology to reveal planets we can’t detect without a telescope, Saturn still represents the boundary. It is the barrier, the limit, the rule. And by extension, it’s also the planet of time and reality. In Pisces, however, Saturn’s walls become more elastic and permeable.
Pisces is a mutable water sign, known for its openness, compassion, and intuition — traits that Saturn could use to soften its rigidity. But there’s a shadow side to Saturn in this sign as well: Our boundaries could become so soggy that they disintegrate altogether. Pisces has a profound capacity for trust and fantasy, and with the planet of discernment here, it can be easy to fall into the undertow of a charismatic person or movement without first pausing to think for ourselves.
Saturn in Pisces will force us to adjust to a realm where hard limits aren’t necessarily obvious — like boneless jellyfish, adapted to a world of currents and slipstreams. This process won’t happen overnight, though. It will involve consistently checking in with our boundaries to ensure they’re flexible and responsive enough to change — but still resilient. And it will also require that we actively listen to our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and choose for ourselves which rules we want to live by. Remember: Saturn is about steady persistence over time, not Band-Aid fixes.
Why this shift is noteworthy
In traditional astrology, Saturn is considered a malefic, or challenging, planet. As such, Saturn changing signs is always big astrological news — but this shift is especially potent. That’s because the cosmos’ timekeeper has been lodged in its home signs of Capricorn and Aquarius for the past six years. Whenever Saturn is in a sign that it governs, it possesses all the resources it needs to be, well, Saturn. It does its Saturnian functions — containment, regulation, restriction — at full strength and without filter.
Aquarius, the sign that Saturn has occupied for the past few years, is oriented to the needs of the collective. Here, our solar system’s realist made its challenges literal. From pandemic lockdowns to the need for social reorganization following waves of unrest, Saturn’s recent reality checks impacted us all. But we’re also emerging from its upheaval with a clearer knowledge of the societal structures that are not load-bearing. The inequity gaps that must be bridged. The climate crisis that is our own doing. We now know that what’s convenient isn’t always sustainable, and we have to turn this thing around.
Saturn’s last stint in Pisces
Content warning: This section mentions genocide, apartheid, and war, as well as other subjects that may be distressing to read about.
The last time Saturn passed through Pisces was between 1993 and 1996, a period that witnessed collective optimism and waves of grief. The timekeeper’s role as both destroyer and rebuilder during this time reminds us of our shared sorrow, as well as our ability to heal and repair together.
During this epoch, South Africa held their first interracial elections in 1994, electing Nelson Mandela as their president. While this was a momentous milestone for the anti-apartheid movement, the work of actually unstitching racism, oppression, and apartheid from the country’s systems would take decades — a journey that’s still ongoing. The period when Saturn was last in Pisces also seeded major peace treaties, such as the Oslo I Accord in 1993, the Irish Republican Army’s ceasefire in 1994, and the Oslo II Accord in 1995. In all these cases, the world witnessed the constructive aspect of Saturn the builder in an open, borderless sign.
But hope and inspiration weren’t the only movements that transcended these passable walls — nationalism, fear, greed, and hate did as well. In Rwanda, Hutu nationalists were roused by government officials to attack the Tutsi minority in 1994. In the genocide that followed, a hundred-day killing spree left 800,000 Tutsi people dead. War and genocide also raged in Bosnia, where 100,000 people were killed and 50,000 raped in a war that lasted from 1992 to 1995. And on American soil, the Oklahoma City Bombing terrorist attack killed 168 people, including 19 children.
Saturn has an authoritative streak, which can be taken to devastating extremes, as demonstrated by some of the above examples. Its regulating capacity can also bring order to previously unordered domains, such as the global market. An example of this can be seen in the signing of the Marrakesh Agreement and the consequent launch of the World Trade Organization. In 1995, 123 participating nations signed the WTO’s establishing agreement to ensure that global trade — in all its Piscean boundlessness — flowed as smoothly and predictably as possible.
In terms of fashion and pop culture, the early 90s also brought high-glamor supermodels, “heroin chic,” and the season of the ethereal slip dress, as Pisces can bring idealized and dangerously unattainable expressions of beauty. Grunge music flooded into the mainstream during this period as well, with an emphasis on emotional atmosphere, introspection, and murky sound. In April 1994, the passing of Piscean grunge god Kurt Cobain symbolized the harsher realities of extreme fame. His suicide sent shock waves of grief throughout the collective, but it also helped jumpstart a larger conversation around mental health and drug addiction.
As Saturn returns to Pisces for the first time since this period, we’re reminded why it’s so important to question social narratives if they don’t have everyone’s interests at heart. Delusion, conspiracy theories, and brain-washing schemes can flourish with Saturn in this sign, but remember, you can always think for yourself.
How to work with Saturn in Pisces
Though we don’t have a crystal ball to divine which systems will be swept away and what will solidify in their place while Saturn is in Pisces, we know that our visionary capacity will be tested. It’s up to us to architect compassionate new social structures that swell beyond the limits of our imaginations. We must dream expansively, but remember to also match our reveries with dedication and perseverance.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this once-in-30-year transit.
1. Explore your inner realms. Whether you choose to delve into dream-journaling, psychoanalysis, or quiet time alone, Saturn will reward your commitment to go within.
2. Trust your intuition. With the cosmic architect in this introspective water sign, our guts will receive information before our brains. This may take some getting used to, but recognizing the voice of your inner wise one will support you for a lifetime.
3. Commit to your boundaries. If someone or something is draining your energy, wish them well (and away).
4. Discern the movements with true potential from the fads that are flashes in the pan. If lines blur between wise teachers and charlatans, follow your hunches.
5. Surrender to the mysteries of the next few years. Saturn in Pisces doesn’t come with a user manual, so get comfortable making plans and setting goals without having all the answers.
6. Embrace a spirit of flexibility, adaptability, and curiosity. With Saturn in this shape-shifting sign, the ability to change your mind is a superpower.
7. Check your Saturn placement in the CHANI app or via our online chart tool then read all about it. Hint: If you have Saturn in Pisces, that means you’re entering your Saturn return. If you have Saturn in Aquarius, congratulations — your Saturn return is now complete.
8. Find out if Saturn in Pisces will impact your natal placements by regularly checking your Transits in the CHANI app. These readings update in real-time, so it’s worth checking them every day to avoid missing a beat. You can also read your Current Sky horoscope for Saturn in Pisces, which outlines how this transit will affect your life based on your rising sign.