Saturn is the most distant and by far the slowest moving of the planets used by traditional astrologers. Therefore he has the deepest impact on the sign in which he finds himself. Saturn rules boundaries, gloom, depression, restriction, rules, harvest, death, structure, bones, old age, longevity, melancholy; the bare necessities, the bare minimum, the nitty gritty.
I saw an interesting lecture by Rick Levine last September at the Astrological Association Conference. He pointed out that in English, words beginning with st are often Saturnine in meaning: stone, static, steely, steady, stern, setting a standard, sturdy, steadfast, studied, stone-cold sober, structure, strict, stranded… and even some words such as astringent, with that st sound buried in the middle echo Saturn.
Sagittarius, in contrast, is a sign of freedom, adventure and bounding over obstacles. Centaurs are entrepreneurs, explorers and enthusiasts.
These are two opposing energies. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter. You’ll remember from the Greek myth that Saturn (Cronos, time himself) is overthrown by his children led by Jupiter (Zeus). Saturn is the old king and Jupiter the king in the prime of life. Saturn makes rules; Jupiter metes out justice. Simply put Jupiter expands, Saturn contracts.
Both energies are necessary. Without the restraining hand of Saturn, we would expand to dissipation; without the expanding force of Jupiter, we would contract to a speck of nothing. Maintaining the equilibrium between these two forces is a matter of good governance — these are planets of leadership. It’s what keeps human civilisation going. And also, this dynamic tension is fruitful and creative.
Saturn harnesses and restrains the energy of the sign he’s in. He puts it to work.
This season of Saturn in Sagittarius opens with Jupiter powerfully placed in Leo. Both kings are in fire signs and although they are not in aspect, they work well together. Potentially, they are pulling in the same direction. This is fiery inspiration, but with Saturn involved, there is the chance of actually doing something practical, rather than just talking about it.
During this whole period of Saturn in Sagittarius, Uranus will also be in a fire sign at an easy angle. Think of it. This is three generations of the god-kings. First there was Uranus, the sky god, who imprisoned his children in the depths of the earth. Then he was castrated by his son Saturn (with a sickle) who proceeded to eat his own children until Jupiter stopped him, and put Saturn in the bowels of the earth instead. … and we thought our families were dysfunctional…
Saturn trine Uranus
25 Dec 2016
19 May 2017
11 Nov 2017
One thinks of the right to rule here. Which energy has the right to rule? But when they are in harmonious aspect, these enemies can work together for the common good — or bad. Saturn will be in some harmony with Uranus throughout his time in Sagittarius because they are both in fire signs, but the Grand Trine in fire only lasts until June this year, because Saturn goes back into the end of Scorpio over the summer, and by the time he gets back into Sag, Jupiter has moved on.
- Jupiter is only in warming Leo until August 2015. Then he moves into earthy Virgo from where he will square Saturn: back to the usual conflict. Jupiter in Leo brings benevolence, generosity and optimism, but also arrogance. Jupiter in Leo is also in one of his favourite natural houses — the 5th house of gambling and children. Jupiter in Virgo increases workload in general.
- In the summer of 2016, Jupiter will move into airy Libra and back into a healthy sextile with Saturn — BUT he will be opposite Uranus.
So the time for smooth(ish)-running change is really between now and June. Get your horses (Sag) in harness and your reaper hitched up. Bring in your wheat before the weather changes.
More on Saturn in Sag in the next post.