There is no planet that takes its time quite like Saturn. It never rushes, never accomplishes anything rapidly, always seems to go a little too slowly. From it we learn the qualities of patience, stoicism and perseverance. Time drags on just slow enough for us to actually build something lasting. Any faster and the foundations would not be solid enough. Any slower, and we would give up the struggle. But when Saturn enters Cancer in its 29½ year journey around the Sun, it does seem a little unfair for those souls who are so sensitive to the travails of this planet, namely Capricorns and Aquarians, or those with these two signs particularly strong in their charts. It takes 5 years for Saturn to traverse Cancer and Leo – the opposing signs of Capricorn and Aquarius – and in this long period Saturn it is in its two signs of detriment, weakened and debilitated.

Which really is no fun. For anyone. Saturn in Cancer brought out the worst aspects of nationalism or “patriotism”, and contributed to the urge to fortify or wall in borders to keep foreigners out. Israel walls out the Palestinians, Bush walls out the Mexicans, Europe walls out all those refugees who desperately want to escape chaos in the rest of the world. On a more personal level, the transit of Saturn through Cancer from June 2003 to August 2005 placed its heavy finger on emotional weaknesses especially as regards family duty, bring a time of emotional struggle for those who did not have their house in order. For Capricorns, it emphasized partnership weaknesses and demanded the sacrifice of personal needs in favor of partnership needs. For Aquarians it placed the focus on work, health and employment, forcing them to address deficiencies in this area.

Saturn in Leo has been particularly bad for political leadership in the period from 2005 to 2007. Bush in the USA has lost all his credibility, even amongst Republicans. The swagger of this man, who always seems not quite to be able to fill out his suit, like a small boy, is very characteristic of Saturn in Leo. (Though he has Leo rising and Saturn in fact in Cancer). Tony Blair has squandered massive popularity through lying to himself and to the people. Jacques Chirac in France fumbled through his last weak years of his presidency.

As the new millennium began, Saturn had conjoined Jupiter in Taurus in its twenty-year conjunction cycle with that planet. With a stellium of seven planets in Taurus in May 2000, a completely new economic cycle started with the Dot com crash, which actually also heralded a long period of investment in solid values like property, bringing in time large economic bonuses for sensible souls who owned property.

But the defining moment for the millennium was the opposition of Saturn in Gemini to Pluto in Sagittarius and the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York – the symbol of western economic imperialism. The world was rent asunder. Polarized. Religious fundamentalism was suddenly on the agenda, both that of Islam and that of American neoconservatives. A strange war against an indefinable enemy began – this “war on terrorism”. On the personal front, the Saturn/Pluto opposition brought individual twin-tower crises, as life structures with weak foundations also disintegrated. For Capricorns this particularly affected work structures (6th/12 house), for Aquarians children and social structures (5th/11th house). [See point 1. in graph]

Saturn in Gemini went on to trine Uranus in Aquarius [point 2. in graph] in what was a honeymoon period for Western foreign policy with a broad alliance supportive of American intervention in the aftermath of 9/11. This led to a successful overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the manipulation of the UN into a half-hearted support of the invasion of Iraq. This was the perfect time for the export of Western democracy. But then Saturn went into Cancer, and things turned sour. Democracy has not proved to sit very well amongst the tribal divisions of Iraq, where clan is far more important than airy concepts of equality.

The next major aspect for Saturn has been the triple opposition to Neptune [point 3. in graph] from Leo to Aquarius. Basically Saturn is on its last legs at this time. Having waded through the mud of Cancer, it is completely defeated by the Neptune’s fog and quicksand. There is only one thing for Saturn to do – roll over and accept defeat. (Though not if you are President Bush… the situation in Iraq can be saved by a “troop surge”. Poor troops.)

On a personal level, circumstances that are seemingly beyond control undermine the situation of the individual in a long and tiring process of dissolution. Being Saturn-ruled, this naturally affects Capricorns and Aquarians most. For Capricorns it is connected with financial, psychological and security issues. For Aquarians, a long drawn out struggle to define the meaning of life, children and relationships is the issue. It is not the worst thing to surrender, or to accept that there are higher forces – karma perhaps – that cannot be avoided. The lesson of Saturn/Neptune is that everything in life is transitory and will be dissolved by time. The kind of acceptance that arises as a consequence is extremely enriching spiritually. As far as the refinement of the soul is concerned, the losers wins, and the winner loses.

At the time of writing (May 2007) Saturn is moving direct in Leo as in trines Jupiter, and things are looking up. Suddenly Saturn-ruled Aquarius and Capricorn start getting the feeling that a 5-year cycle of struggle is about to ease up. The coming trine to Pluto in August 2007 at 26 degrees Leo/Sagittarius marks a Saturn ready to flex its muscles – reborn and ready for a bit of power play. Where Aquarians, with Saturn in their solar 7th house, have had to consistently compromise in relationships and tread real carefully, they will now be prepared to come with an ultimatum if necessary. They are not prepared to be trodden on at this time. Politically, there may be a resolution connected with Iranian nuclear ambitions at this time. Capricorns, who have been going through a period of considerable anxiety with Saturn in their solar 8th house, can expect a powerful emotional catharsis.

When Saturn finally comes into Virgo on September 2nd 2007, there are many who will breathe a collective sigh of relief, as incompetent and over-inflated leaders disappear from the scene, and a new spirit of practical humility takes over. This transition to Virgo is eased by the entrance of Jupiter into Capricorn on December 18th, where it goes on to make a trine to Saturn at 7 degrees in January 2008… just as Pluto moves into Capricorn. Basically this is going to be a wonderfully constructive period – a time to heal and repair. (Though the repeated Mars opposition to Pluto from January – March 2008 points to a crisis in other areas.)

But what a major transition this is for Capricorns, who not only get Jupiter and Pluto entering their sign, but also have Saturn moving out of its most uncomfortable placement in the solar 8th house, and into the optimistic 9th. This will result in a radical lifestyle change, bringing a major focus on foreign countries, international travel and intellectual training. For Aquarians, Saturn’s move into their solar 8th house will highlight working on psychological factors, and worrying about security issues perhaps, but the trine to Jupiter brings a reasonably painless transition, and crucially Saturn has moved out of its opposition placement.

The major event for Saturn in 2008 is its opposition to Uranus – something that takes place only once every 46 years. [See point 4. in graph.] The first opposition takes place at 18 degrees Virgo/Pisces at the time of the US election in November 2008. The aspect repeats in February 2009 at 20 degrees and in September at 24 degrees. Obviously this planetary cycle will evoke changes similar to those in the mid-sixties, notably focus on an enormous generation gap. It will be interesting to see how the virtual world of Uranus in Pisces will collide with the practical world of Saturn in Virgo. Web environments like the video world of will have a huge effect on attitudes. Ultimately the anarchic presentation of material that the TV media prefer to keep hidden, or do not have the resources to show, will completely change the power balance, and have a huge new effect on elections.

For Capricorns this opposition from November 2008 to September 2009, will bring the bridging on worlds on an intellectual level. Radical new educational and communication methods will bring challenges as Capricorns reorient the way they understand their position in the world. New languages, new studies, new countries, international commuting are some of many opportunities. For Aquarians there is a focus on new resources, and a struggle to create economic security with new methods. This will be a time of major psychological challenge and growth, when a balance must be found between the ghosts of the past, and the dreams for the future.

Finally on October 29th 2009 Saturn moves into Libra, where it is exalted. Whatever challenges arise at this time – and a major T-square is approaching involving Uranus, Pluto and Saturn – for Capricorns and Aquarius this will at least be a time when they have strength and dignity. While Saturn was in Cancer and Leo, its debilitated position meant that even if there were relatively good aspects, the benefits would be muted. But when Saturn is exalted, even its difficult aspects will not be enough to throw it off balance. So for Capricorns, when Saturn will be in the solar 10th house and Pluto the solar first, there will be enormous strength and power to recreate ambitions and transform the career to create a new future. For Aquarians, with Saturn now in the solar 9th, there will be a world of new opportunity, where many dreams are fulfilled – not least because of a long-running Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Aquarius all through 2009.

The first square between Saturn and Pluto takes place in January 2010, and we can expect some pretty major political reorganization at this time. What makes it considerably more spicy, is that Uranus enters fiery Aries, recreating aspect patterns that were dominant in the 1930’s. So in July 2010 there is an extraordinary square from Pluto at 3 Capricorn to a Uranus/Saturn opposition at 0 Aries/Libra. Political unrest will sweep the world at this time, and whilst Saturn in Libra will strive to maintain balance – Congress in the USA will be particularly active trying to mediate between individual extremism and state authority – the long term political prospects seem very messy. In fact Uranus will square Pluto not three times, not five times, but an incredibly seven times between 2012 and 2015, and with Saturn moving into powerful Scorpio at this time, the world will be needing some superheroes.

Graph of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

Adrian Ross Duncan 19th May 2007.