“Saturn ascends / Choose one or ten / Hang on or be / Humbled again”
–TOOL “The Grudge” (Lateralus, 2001)
This is the planetary event I’ve been looking forward to all year—more than August’s dramatic total solar eclipse, more than Jupiter entering Scorpio in October. As of last night, the great karmic task-master esoterically embodied as the planet Saturn has entered His home sign of Capricorn—where transformative Pluto awaits Him! This glorious transit will last a whopping three years.
You better believe that the Saturnalia revels and rituals that I’ll be hosting with my Chicago-based Fellowship of Isis Iseum of the Rekhet Akhu and Lyceum of Alexandria this week (starting tomorrow night for Winter Solstice) will be extra, extra merry and bright! I have always fervently loved Saturn (both the God and the planet; if you’re new to my blog you will see that as an esoteric astrologer and a devout Polytheist, I equate Deities’ energies with the planets named after Them) and have been extremely grateful for Saturn’s influence in my life—from my personality (I take life seriously and am very disciplined, especially with my creative self-expression: thank you, natal Saturn in my 5th House!) to life-changing events wrought by major planetary aspects that featured Him. Heck, even my first Saturn Return was amazingly wonderful!
In the astrology practiced by Westerners from the Classical epoch all the way through to the 18th century, the planet Saturn (which, prior to the invention of the telescope, was the last planet in our solar system that could be seen with the naked eye) was dubbed “the Great Malefic.” Baleful attributes were ascribed to His station in one’s natal chart and His aspects formed in relation to other planets. Why?
Saturn gives form and structure and thereby sets limitations; from a Kabbalistic perspective, He rules over that which is made manifest, the this-worldly kingdom of Malkuth. Not surprisingly, His archetype if not iconography was stolen by the early Christians and applied to their Satan, the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). In the Western zodiac, Saturn is the planetary ruler of the Earth Sign of Capricorn (symbolized by the Goat, another symbol appropriated by the Christians for their Devil!), a hard-working, ambitious, practical, and sensual sign known for its pursuit of worldly status, of reaping the well-deserved fruits of accomplishment. As Pagan author and astrologer Raven Kaldera puts it, “If Leo believes that he is a king, Capricorn is well aware that he is a peasant—but he firmly believes that he will become prime minister” (Myth Astrology, Llewellyn Publications, 2004, p.296).
And once we’ve reached our limits, attained the level that we were meant to reach and no higher, Saturn is there to remind us about it. With scythe in hand, He arrests our movement, mows us down, shouts “Basta!” (“Enough!”), or, Gandalf-like in The Fellowship of the Ring, bellows “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” from the tops of His mighty lungs. He is Father Time (equating Him with the Greek God Kronos, Whose name informs our word “chronology”) and the Grim Reaper as well.
Considering all of this, in my experience as an astrologer I’ve therefore found that people who harbor dread at the mention of Saturn’s energies in their charts are people who, for the most part, are uncomfortable with (at least) or are self-delusionally unwilling to accept (at the extreme) the reality of their mortality. They may also be people who are radically emotionally immature (i.e., “Peter Pan Syndrome”) and who harbor more than a little affinity for laziness, for “cutting corners” and not putting their full productivity into an endeavor whilst still expecting a successful outcome.
Umm, no. Saturn won’t let that shit fly. Sorry, not sorry!
As a Lord of Karma, which also ties Him to Kali-Ma of Hindu belief (She governs time as well), He sees the work that you do and will reward you well for sustained, disciplined effort. Saturn blesses us with endurance, with the ability to withstand the tests He puts forth in the areas of our lives (depending on which house He transits) to determine the viability and pragmatic application of what we think we want that will make us happy, but which may turn out to not be for our highest good after all. Whatever Saturn seems to take away from us, truth be told, was removed from our lives because it was something that was actually getting in the way of our well-being and evolution, but we may have been too addicted to illusion (Neptune’s domain) to have seen it for the needed “cleaning house” that it was at the time.
Saturn’s Transit in Capricorn: 12/19/17 – 12/18/2020
Obviously, Capricorn natives (Sun Sign “Cappies” in particular, but folks with Ascendants and Moons in Capricorn, too) will benefit the most from having their ruling planet of Saturn in their sign for the next three years. However, fellow Earth Sign natives—Taurus and Virgo—benefit as well, as Saturn will be creating supportive sextiles and trines to planets in Taurus and Virgo. (Once Uranus leaves Aries next May and begins His transit through Taurus, it’s going to be a huge Earth Sign party with lasting effects for all Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo natives! Awwww, yeah!)
I know that folks with a Sagittarius Sun, Moon, or Rising Sign are sighing a huge sigh of relief today at Saturn’s departure from their sign, as the past two-and-a-half-years of Saturn transiting Sagittarius have been very difficult for them, to say the least. Sagittarius and Capricorn square each other as signs, and so the experience of having Saturn—with His emphasis on discipline, structure, responsibility, duty, limitations, melancholy, finality—in a Jupiter-ruled Fire Sign known for expansiveness, freedom, spontaneity, cheerfulness, and higher-minded focus, has given my Sagittarius friends perpetual stumbling blocks and headaches since 2015. My centaur friends, you are now free to gallop as you will!
For all of us, Saturn’s entry into His home sign means that we will have the chance to rebuild the structures of our lives over the next three years, especially because transformative Pluto continues to transit Capricorn. These two planetary powerhouses will become exact in Their conjunction on January 12, 2020, at 22° of Capricorn. If you follow numerology, you know that 22 is a “Master Number” and the lead-up to this karmic event will undoubtedly have us witnessing some drastic shifts and rebuilding on the global political stage. Stay tuned!
If you want to know which areas of your life Saturn’s transit in Capricorn is going to affect, have a look at the solar house corresponding to your signs—Sun, Ascendant, or Moon—in the table below. For more in-depth analysis tailored to your individual natal chart, contact me for an astrology consultation! I’ve done readings for individuals, couples, and businesses since 2004. Email me at hekua dot yansa at gmail dot com.
or Moon Sign
|Solar House Saturn Is Transiting|
|Aries||10th House of Worldly Status, Career|
|Taurus||9th House of Expanded Horizons|
|Gemini||8th House of Sex, Death, & Shared Resources|
|Cancer||7th House of Marriage & Partnerships|
|Leo||6th House of Work, Service, & Health|
|Virgo||5th House of Creative Self-Expression, Romance, & Children|
|Libra||4th House of Home, Living Situation, Emotional Foundation in Life|
|Scorpio||3rd House of Communications|
|Sagittarius||2nd House of Earned Income & What Is Valued|
|Capricorn||1st House of Self|
|Aquarius||12th House of the Occult, Subconscious, Mystical Depths|
|Pisces||11th House of Friends, Groups, & Wishes|
What have now come down to us in the secular Western world as “Christmas” customs and traditions owe a huge debt to the Yule celebrations of Germanic Pagans and the Saturnalia celebrations of the ancient Romans. As with many aspects of the God Mars, Saturn to the Romans was largely revered as a God of farming. The wealth of the earth (measured in livestock and grain, not just coin) was His domain, and at Saturnalia exuberant revels took place to give thanks and offer sacrifices to Him and to Ops, Goddess of Abundance (Christianized as Abundia in the later Roman Empire) for the harvest that ended earlier in the year and to pray for success in the new agricultural year (beginning in March).
Saturnalia was a liminal time, when the old had passed away but the new had not yet come into being, and so to celebrate such “in-betweenness,” various forms of social subversion were widely celebrated amidst the festivities: household slaves would trade places with their masters, officials would step down from their posts and be replaced by fools (what would come to be known as “Lords of Misrule” in other countries), etc. Of course, there was and is the custom of gift giving amidst feasting.
As you gather together with loved ones near or far for your Yuletide and New Year’s Eve celebrations this year, why don’t you collect a plate of goodies and a goblet of wine and set them aside in a place of prominence as an offering to Saturn, thanking Him for the gifts of maturity and self-growth reaped from the harvests of experience? Who knows, He just might wink at you in return and bestow a blessing or two in your roster of planetary aspects to unfold over the next three years.
Welcome home, Lord Saturn!