On March 21, Saturn will ingress into the sign of Aquarius, marking the end of one mini-epoch and our collective entrance into another.
Saturn has been in the sign of Capricorn since December 2017, bringing attention to the structure of our institutions and “the establishment.” Saturn’s shift into the sign of Aquarius will shift the focus to the collective ideals that underpin government and society with a critical eye as to their current function or dysfunction.
Astrology is built upon a series of cycles, timed by each planet’s particular speed as it traverses the signs of the zodiac. The swifter planets, Mercury and Venus, will speed through the zodiac and due to their relatively short time in each sign and aspect, signify more fleeting things. The moon, the fastest moving of them all, rules over daily life, all the details that come and go, appointments, moods, hair appointments, and meals.
Saturn, originally the outermost known planet until the discovery of Uranus in 1781, was called the leaden planet because of its slow march through the sky that takes on average 27.39 years. As the final planet, Saturn stands for what is bound in the temporal and corporeal planes of existence. Saturn is the limitation imposed on us because, despite the possibility of deeper spiritual truths (Neptune), we are in fact mortal meat suits who live in actual relationships and communities, in shelters made of matter that must be logged, mined, transported, and erected with effort.
We eat food grown through great strain on both earth and man. Each of us will die, and before we do, we will probably have our hearts broken a few times by losing those we love to the inevitable vicissitudes of time. We are essentially limited creatures, and Saturn’s work is that limitation. Cheerful, no?
The planet Saturn finds his mythological roots in the figure of Chronos, the father of Zeus, who devoured each of his children so they could not supplant his power. Chronos is also the root of chronology, the type of time wherein one thing follows another in the causal sequence. Saturn is called the Lord of Time and governs structural changes in ourselves and society that take years to come into form.
Saturn rules both Capricorn and, in traditional astrology, Aquarius as well. No other planet rules two adjacent signs.
Capricorn is the sign of goals accomplished and plans realized. No other sign has the discipline and willingness to apply oneself fully over long periods of time. It also represents the status quo in systems of power and government. Saturn in Capricorn can feel quite oppressive, and it’s sharing the last year there with Pluto and the South Node have seen a calling up of collective shadow from within our institutions and those in power.
The strength of Saturn in Capricorn and its iron grip can only be matched by Saturn himself. Saturn in Aquarius is as strong as Saturn in Capricorn, but with an eye toward the future and the mind of a revolutionary. Instead of embodying systems, Saturn in Aquarius examines the architecture of ideas underneath them.
It is irreverent and bold with a stubborn rebelliousness that is fully committed to humanitarian ideals. When Saturn shifts into Aquarius on March 21, a devil-may-care attitude may breathe new life into an exhausted populace.
Saturn spends around two and a half years in each sign, and there will be plenty of time for new stories to take root. Among them, we can expect to see themes of a more populist nature, but also we should be wary of rigid individualism. Capricorn is the sign of elders, and though Aquarius has the mental acuity to cut losses, I hope that the rising panic around the Covid-19 outbreak does not dull our compassion towards those older and more vulnerable.
Saturn will be in Aquarius until July 1 when it will retrograde back into Capricorn until it re-enters Aquarius on Dec. 1.