It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way
– in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only….
~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Saturn changing signs is like the end of a mini-era. When the Lord of Karma first entered Sagittarius in December 2014, it was only for a 6-month spell, briefly returning to Scorpio before formally changing signs in September 2015.
The 2 1/2-year transit was here to teach us about faith, authenticity and Truth – things we generally get excited about but take much for granted, and often never question, just believe. If so, if we just go along, blindly and in good faith on what society tells us is true, then we may have learned some serious lessons over the past 2-3 years. We may have learned ‘the hard way’.
As challenging as this period was, as tough as some of the lessons may have been over this time, we take away some tremendous gains and accomplishments for the times where acting upon our intuition – our own, inner truth-teller – has served us faithfully. To some degree though, we also leave behind a trail of sadness for the times we failed to believe what the inner voice was telling us, or acted in wild speculation, deceit or ignorance to our spirit.
Any way you approach it, the Truth comes out in the end. Against the expectations, the physical pressures and limitations of time and space as sternly imposed by Saturn, we eventually come to terms with one truth – that whatever goes up in Sagittarius, must eventually come down in Capricorn. The forces of gravity are very, very strict. So, whilst it was a heartening, belief-defining period for us, it posed society and each and every individual with all sorts of moral/ethical questions and challenges to religions, politics, education, publishing and law.
THE OLD SCHOOL – A PhD on life.
Saturn’s change of signs will be akin to leaving your old school, the final, post-graduate year, in which tough lessons were learned, often through much exploration of your own, field studies and travels & adventures – real life-defining moments, where you may have wondered if you had the capability, substance or endurance to make it through. Whilst you may have been put through gruelling, ‘make or break’ examinations, after graduation you may look back with some sense of accomplishment and say… “well, that really taught me a lot. I wouldn’t be who I am now without those experiences.
If nothing else, you survived, and that in itself is a testament of your ability to withstand the test of time, to some respect. So, well done! Another notch on your life-development belt. Another degree in the universe’s great university of life.
Saturn in Sagittarius were the years you studied your PhD – a study of life’s meaningfulness – how everything fits together into one neat philosophy or manifesto, and where you eventually learned whether you qualify to teach your own philosophy on life’s truths to others (or not).
Relatively few of us were ever born to profess this role in society. Most of us have had to contend, either pliantly or against our will, with having others impose and instill their beliefs and philosophies upon us. In this we have implicit faith that they what they are telling us is true, and we should believe.
In short, this period has made us question whether we are the diviners of our own truth, or whether we take it from others. Through trials and tribulations, we have come to learn who and what to trust, and what, in the end informs this thing we call ‘truth’.
My truth; your truth; the truth; ultimate truth… whatever truth.
By this stage, as Saturn leaves Sadge, if the meaning of life still remains a mystery, you are probably still rambunctiously roaming about, in a world of wild speculation and projection, still trying to come to grips with your reality.
If you are still speculating and trying to figure it all out, then you are most likely going to struggle with what’s about to come. As you try to ground yourself in this great scheme of things to come in a way that is meaningful – something that’s very possible with Neptune still in the first half of mutable Pisces, then an uncomfortably harsh reality may start to dawn upon you and your entire perception of your world. If you are not coming into things with a high degree of certainty and full strength in your own capability, there may be consequences.
Why? Because we are now about to enter the harsh, grown-up, business world of Capricorn.
Saturn Capricorn: (‘ᔕᑕᕼOOᒪ Oᖴ ᕼᗩᖇᗪ KᑎOᑕKᔕ’)
Dec 19, 2017 – Mar 21, 2020; July 1 – Dec 17, 2020
Regardless of what just happened there in Sagittarius, the moment Saturn steps ahoof onto the craggy slopes of Capricornia, we all enter a whole new level of ‘reality’. Unlike the vastly speculative, horse-roaming plains of Sagittarius, the terrain we will face over this next 2-3 years is far more harsh and punishing to the uninitiated. Rocky ground, steep, treacherous heights, sharp peak after peak, one common pinnacle for everyone to reach, strictly no cheating, short-cuts, piggy-back rides, and certainly no turning-back options, and only shame and disgrace should you unceremoniously slip and fall along the way.
Not for the faint-hearted, Saturn immediately turns this part of our journey into a major test on our ambitions for worldly power, status and authority, usually manifested through our business, science, or political interests. If these areas do not interest you now, then prepare yourself for a crash course. It is by taking a hard-nosed, more professional, socially formal or scientific approach that we hope to see this period through with some degree of success. We will either become the leaders, contenders or abysmal failures of this very shrewd, sometimes excruciatingly arduous realm. There is always an objective to be met here, and by the time we graduate out of this transit (2020) we will each have some degree of a ‘business administration’ diploma in ‘How to Claim Your Stake in Society’.
Capricorn is a Cardinal (Initiating/leading) Earth (practical/materialistic) constellation. As initiates in this school, we may immediately feel an overwhelming pressure to define just how we plan to make our mark in contemporary society. Regardless of who you are or where you stand, the calling for you now is to make a significant and worthy contribution to society. This becomes unavoidable because Saturn in Capricorn metes out a fair-minded, yet dispassionate justice: How you deal with it is another thing.
Almost immediately, you will observe the pressure not to take on any endeavour that does not have some practical purpose behind it. Anything that does not appear to have a meritorious payoff may simply not be worth pursuing and you will learn rather quickly that it has to be ‘justified or gone’.
To get through Saturn’s transits in this sign without feeling the guilt of wastefulness, immaturity and irresponsibility, we will need to employ some careful, skillful planning and a grown-up, practical sense of organisation. We must step up, answer the call with driving ambitiousness, place our attention on maintaining a secure footing in our social role, or job position by playing by the rules at all times. The objective is always on working towards taking the next step upwards, climbing up the steep escarpment of progress, seeking to achieve maximum recognition for our efforts, minimising any risk of losing any gains we have may have achieved so far. And the authority – the parent, boss, government official, conscience is watching, ready to scrutinize and judge your every action.Those whose character already possesses a degree of social impeccability, a reputation backed with a track record of dignified credibility, esteem and honour will have the early advantage. It is these highly-positioned members of our world, those paragons of respectability, who immediately take up positions of considerable authority and assume to be the masters of this period. They may appear austere, cold and emotionally unyielding, may even expect you to obediently take instruction from them without question. Being the living exemplars of their domain, we will learn to take lead, aspire to meet their expectations or accede to follow them/ be like them. Otherwise, there may be consequences…
In this however, we will also watch them closely for any cracks or chinks in their armour. Those who lord high positions but fail to stay absolutely impeccable through this time will become exposed and unceremoniously brought undone in the most spectacularly public falls from grace ever seen (see Nixon/Watergate/1974). This is particularly likely during the periods where Jupiter in Scorpio creates a tense semi-square to Saturn (Dec 2017-Mar ’18, Sep 2018). During this time, it may seem that whatever we do is not enough to meet the expectations of others, and this creates a deep social divide that is filled not just with unfulfilled ambition, but an element of hypocrisy and spite which will create all kinds of upsets and setbacks.
Unlike the wildness of fiery Sagittarius, earthy Capricorn chooses to stay conservative in both business and politics. Hence, it is through paying respect to traditional power structures that we expect to pass the major reality tests and life-examinations. During this period, those who lack the practical experience to deal with the responsibilities of power will fall under, and must follow suit of those who possess the capacity to attain worldly security and self-sufficiency. It isn’t just money, or practical skills, but more the prestige, honour and social clout among society that holds its victors in control.
During this time, we will all be pressed to hold some degree of seriousness and sobriety, not just in adopting a conservative attitude but to provide a verifiable track record that we have been able to maintain our respectability in all past endeavours. One way or another, we must learn to successfully manage our own affairs, drive our own careers, be authorities in our public endeavour, even give advice to others where necessary. In short, we must demonstrate how well we comprehend and handle ourselves within larger political or economic responsibilities than just our own.
Whether it’s through showing due respect to the established bodies, the prevailing structure, the earth itself, or perhaps learning what that means ‘the hard way’, we come to see that everything on this planet has its rightful place, its practical value, its own price. The importance shifts to each and everyone somehow finding out how they contribute to the greater social scheme by doing the work (paying due respect) that this planet so needs us to do, both as unique individual and as a collective unit.
Saturn in Cardinal/Earth in is his domicile (ruling) placement, so he can afford to be the hardest task-master of all. His justification for meting out discipline/punishment/karma comes from his indisputable sense of earnest accomplishment. He has done it all the hard way, every step of the way, and now it’s our turn. According to this force, everyone should earn whatever they deserve through the merit of their own efforts. There are no ‘free rides’ in Capricorn. Just due credit for efforts made. In the highest, most trusting sense, those who either already are or manage to graduate to the top will not only achieve their just rewards, but then responsibly seek to help others help themselves.
There will be times during this period where people might use their acquired wealth and material goods to control others. This is especially true as this transit evolves towards the end of its run. How successfully power and authority are achieved and administered will depend on the level of understanding and the degree of spiritual awareness of each individual, tribe, collective culture.
Those who generally cultivate a strong sense of family pride and honour; who encourage strong traditional rule, often from established, influential families who are highly respected in the community will emerge as the leading exemplars of this period.
However, those born into wealthy and socially prominent families are also in danger of being extremely callous about human values, mainly because they lack a certain empathy which relates to the experience of personal struggle without resources. With Pluto also in this sign closing a conjunction in January 2020, we may see the ruling classes closing tighter and tighter into extremely conservative and authoritarian regimes. Unless there is a fair degree of spiritual cognizance about what general governance is trying to achieve, and Capricorn, being the Sea-goat is capable of much wisdom and compassion, there may be a harsh, unforgiving administration of social order and structure.
Social imbalances are likely to see greater division in the population, seeing social and economic inferiors as manipulable commodities rather than as sensitive human beings. Again, this tendency can be offset, particularly through 2019 (when the North Node in Cancer opposes Saturn), dredging up crises and calls for greater spiritual understanding and compassion, afflictions of collective fate which seems inherited from past incarnations. As it was during his transit through Scorpio, Saturn in Capricorn can help humanity reach either the heights of spirituality or the depths of materialism and selfishness, and this will probably play out as an extreme polarisation of both – one versus the other.
As a whole, this period eventually presses us to take a deeper look at the dynamics where parent-child neglect, poverty, abuse and family dysfunctions have often been overlooked or ignored as the source of many problems in our society. A child raised without structure and discipline becomes a burden to itself and others in later, adult years. The lessons we learn through these years provide the necessary impetus for projects and ventures to learn how best to overcome these early, formative difficulties, and through improving our parenting we learn to allow individuals to achieve greater self-reliance and fuller empowerment. We come to learn that parenting, like governing is a serious business and if not handled with a great degree of presence of mind, not just for now but with respect to all posterity, it creates individuals who struggle to hold their own place in society as they grow.
Some of the current symptoms of a fast-fading consumerist culture – one which thrives on achieving fame and fortune through superficial celebrity status, the fostering of disposable relationships just to get what one needs to feel important stems from our lack to appreciate and to promote any true aesthetic sensitivity.
Any individual or culture whose primary choice is to judge things solely according to their price-tag, hashtag or facile media-celebrity status is subject to being placed under intense scrutiny, denigration and possibly condemnation of character during this very harsh time.
We are encouraged to maintain a lightness, a sense of humor and an understanding of life’s deeper values – beyond mere materialism and status. The desire for status, if carried too far, can become an unsatisfying end in itself rather than providing a structure by which we each contribute to the greater social order.
Here is a timeline of the greater planetary aspects to Saturn during his passage through Capricorn.
ASPECTS involving SATURN (Summary)
Many of the effects of specific aspects to Saturn over this period will be covered in individual articles, published periodically on this website. Generally, the more harmonious aspects to Saturn in Capricorn will highlight themes where we focus on maintaining a composed, upstanding code of conduct, keeping an untarnished sense of integrity and consistency in our character where business, political, and professional dealings are concerned.
During more difficult (hard) transits, we may have to contend with the more mean-spirited, unscrupulous side of Saturn, where to achieve wealth, power and prestige come at some expense to one’s feelings and community concerns. Here, there can be a tendency to use literal, unyielding and unforgiving interpretations of the law for unfair advantage or even cruel measures to get to the top. The most dire effects of this sort of thing will be seen toward the late part of 2019, and 2020, when the Saturn/Pluto conjunction builds to a rise of extremist, unyielding power structures, and dictatorial behaviour, especially in government/corporate bodies.
Of course, any unscrupulous means to advance one’s position will ultimately have to align with the forces of natural law, and as the cycle progresses, such conduct almost certainly brings about reversals of fortune, defamation, public disgrace, and, ultimately, a fall from power.
Let us now learn all about taking our responsibility to society seriously, without imposing our expectations, our attitudes and our rules too rigidly.
© All rights reserved, Ang Stoic 2017
How does Saturn play out for you through Capricorn?
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