In astrology we have planetary cycles within cycles marking the passage of time. This month just after the Winter Solstice, Saturn will exit the sign of Scorpio in the zodiac and begin its three year transit of Sagittarius. What can we expect during this period? What challenges will we face? In what areas of life will we be taken to task?
To comprehend what we have in store for us, we need to take a step back and view this cycle in the broader context of the Pluto in Capricorn cycle. In astrology Pluto represents the principles of death and rebirth, of destruction and regeneration. It wades into the deepest recesses of our psyche in order to bring up into conscious awareness our shadow material, so that we can eliminate or transform it. In this way we evolve.
Pluto has been moving through the sign of Capricorn since January 2008. It will continue to apply its disruptive and purging force in this sign until 2023. Pluto’s work is necessary before we can manifest new foundations, political and economic systems, societal organizations and infrastructures that will stand the test of time.
Adding intensity to Pluto’s powerful process is the relationship it has to another celestial player, Uranus, the planet of rebellion and progressive reform. Pluto and Uranus have been in a planetary configuration called a “square,” which represents two forces at cross purposes. The tension between these two planets creates conflict and explosive pressure. Because of the retrograde movement of planets, the square between Uranus and Pluto does not happen just once. Between June 2012 and March 2015 we are experiencing seven exact squares between the two planets. This has been an extraordinarily challenging, chaotic and emotionally trying time.
Against this backdrop we have a series of Saturn cycles taking place that each last about two and a half years. As the dispositor of Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn is the cosmic player that applies the deconstructive power of Pluto more specifically. Saturn is known as the Lord of Karma, who teaches us we reap what we sow. Through the Saturn principle we learn to take responsibility for what we have created in our life. It demands that we come down to earth and get real. We experience consequences for our decisions and actions and learn self-discipline. We gain wisdom over time, and mature.
Witnessing the changes in our material world wrought by Pluto generates feelings of fear, loss, and vulnerability. While Saturn has been in Scorpio we have been challenged to take responsibility for transforming our fears into courage to face our shadows. As we descend into the depths of our emotional abyss we came face to face with deprivation, trauma, anguish, termination, even death. We need to learn to contain the emotional intensity we feel with healthy boundaries and ground ourselves in the reality of the here and now. We need to assess our emotional, spiritual, and material resources and discover how to make wiser, more efficient use of them in order to move forward in life. We need to apply ourselves and do the necessary ground work.
While Saturn has been in Scorpio we very likely have felt weighed down by our heavy emotions. The chaos and suffering has been extreme, even brutal. It has been difficult for us to stay optimistic about the future. We will turn the corner this Winter Solstice as Saturn moves out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius. Being a fire sign, Sagittarius will bring more humor, lightness and buoyancy to our experience. It will help us be more hopeful, more uplifted as we work with Saturn’s principle.
Sagittarius raises us up and gives us a broader and higher perspective. It expands our horizons, broadens both our internal and external vistas. It helps us view our personal situation in the world in a greater context. When we do this we can understand our experience from different perspectives and gain new insights.
Sagittarius excites and inspires us with its spirit of adventure. It gives us the freedom to explore. It motivates us to venture out into the world and find our purpose and direction. It asks us to aim high when we set our goals. It wants us to find answers to our questions and greater meaning in life.
In Sagittarius, Saturn will turn its serious attention towards our beliefs, our philosophy of life. It will ask us to take responsibility for our view of the world. We will be taken to task to ground-truth our suppositions in reality. We will need to take responsibility for the ways our lack of connection to our inner Truth has blurred our vision, and take steps to correct them.
A belief is a fixation or attachment to one version of the truth. We need to examine what is it we choose to believe in. How have we structured our lives around these beliefs? Which beliefs, opinions and values do we need to eliminate, to let go of? The next few years will be a time for us make re-visions.
How can we reframe our worldly experiences so we can find value in them, no matter how challenging they can be? How can we envision our life in ways that changes our experience of reality? When we change our perspective, we change our experience. Sagittarius helps us feel gratitude, blessed for having opportunities to learn and expand ourselves, to connect to our own inner Truth. It gives us hope for the future as we transmute and evolve.
Saturn in Sagittarius wants us to find personal meaning and Truth that is grounded in the real world, that is practical and helps us be successful in achieving our goals. Picture an anchor dropping from a hot air balloon. That is the affect Saturn will have upon us through Sagittarius. It uses its contractive and gravitational force to condense our overly inflated ideals and bring them back to earth so they can manifest. It asks us to have integrity, to examine any unmet promises and honor our commitments. It curbs our over indulgences and wastefulness. It asks us to use self-discipline to check impatience, restlessness and procrastination.
Those of us who practice yoga are familiar with the phrase “root to rise.” This is very true for Saturn in Sagittarius. We cannot reach the heights without first being grounded in the tangible, physical world. We must establish a solid base before expanding out and up. We must mentally and emotionally ground ourselves before making decisions and moving forward toward our goals. Saturn helps us crystalize our visions with clarity and asks us to test them in reality. Being mindful of Saturn’s principles we can chart a course into the future with surety.
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
– Theodore Roosevelt