“Tidal Waves”: SATURN IN PISCES and the Saturation of Counter-Culture Movements

Saturn in Pisces fears that the whole ‘reality’ trip is going down and will do anything to keep the illusion of control intact.

As the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces embodies the collective unconscious, the prevailing zeitgeist and the dissolution of boundaries. Saturn, the karmic taskmaster planet associated with discipline and structure, feels uncomfortable and ungrounded in the watery and nebulous environment of Pisces. It’s like a tower build upon quicksand, or a cliff along the pounding oceanic waves – the foundations are slyly compromised and undermined by the watery element.

When Saturn transits Pisces, societal structures grapple with the fear of dissolution. There’s a palpable sense of impending chaos and collapse. Sooner or later the tower will sink. The cliff will collapse into the sea. This creeping apprehension can manifest as attempts to clamp down on perceived threats, whether they’re cultural, political, or ideological. The establishment may resort to drastic measures to preserve the status quo, seeing anything unfamiliar or countercultural as a threat to stability.

Artists, anarchic activists, and abstract thinkers who push boundaries become lightning rods during this period. They embody the Piscean energy of defying established norms, while Saturn tries to maintain order. This odd dynamic creates the most unusual tension. While some might flourish, finding innovatively imaginative ways to express themselves. Their work taps into the collective undercurrents, sometimes providing solace, sometimes exacerbating fears. Others become martyrs, placing themselves in the face of persecution, suppression, or even elimination as the establishment might view them with suspicion, seeing them as agents of chaos, even if their intent is to heal or enlighten.

During the ’60s, Saturn was in Pisces from March 23, 1964, to March 3, 1967. It was a period was marked by significant sociopolitical and cultural shifts, when the tension between the established order and emerging countercultural forces was especially pronounced. The world would witness a number of strange, foreign and deeply mysterious undermining agents of dissolution in the forms of:

1. Counter-Culture Movement:

The counter-culture movement was in full swing. There was a collective push against the conservative norms of the 1950s and increasing pressures to conform of the early 60s. The youth began to question and rebel against societal expectations, leading to a significant cultural shift. This challenged the established order, representing the Piscean disintegration of old disciplinary structures.

2. Civil Rights Movement:

The struggle for equality for African Americans came to a head, leading to a significant groundswell civil unrest. Figures like Martin Luther King Jr. rallied crowds allied against systemic racism against the establishment, clinging to Saturnian principles of traditional victimisation, and responded with force to maintain control. Events like the violent retaliation to the Selma marches highlighted this tension. Voices like Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party emerged, advocating for bolder, transformative approaches to racial equality, further challenging the status quo.

3. Feminist Movement:

Sparked by works like Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique”, feminism surged. The male-dominated establishment, anchored in Saturnian tradition, resisted these shifts to liberate women. Forms like the National Organization for Women (NOW) formed in 1966, challenging patriarchal norms.

3. Anti-War Protests:

The Vietnam War became a central point of contention. Massive anti-war protests took place. The establishment (Saturn) attempted to control these demonstrations, often with force, while rising waves of anarchic protestors (Piscean energy) aimed to dissolve the old militaristic paradigms.

4. Music and Art:

Artists like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and Janis Joplin pushed boundaries, introducing spiritual, psychedelic, and countercultural elements into the mainstream. Their work acted as a siren call for many to explore beyond the traditional constraints, changing fashions and tilting the establishment into a sea of boundless experimentation and exploration.

5. Drug Culture:

The rise in popularity of psychedelics like LSD led many to question reality, consciousness, and the nature of existence. This furthered the feeling of dissolution and boundarylessness characteristic of Pisces. The establishment, however, cracked down on this, leading to the imposition of stricter drug laws and spreading of fear campaigns.

6. Spiritual Exploration:

By 1967, there was a boom in interest in Eastern spiritual practices, meditation, mysticism, and alternative religions. This exploration of consciousness and spirituality was very Piscean, challenging the Christo-Judeic Saturnian religious structures of the West.

Saturn’s 29.5yr cycle brought the planet into Pisces again from 1994 to early 1996. Again the prevailing world structure would undergo various undermining events and slippery shifts reflected in the Saturn in Pisces themes of the time:

1. Digital Revolution:

The mid-’90s was pivotal for the Internet’s growth. The public began accessing it more broadly with the “dissolution of boundaries” evident as the World Wide Web connected people across the globe, marking the dawn of the digital age. While the spread of the Internet represented Piscean boundlessness and interconnectedness, it also posed challenges for established industries and societal structures, which had to adapt or face obsolescence.

2. Music Evolution:

Grunge and Alternative Rock: Pioneers like Nirvana and Pearl Jam encapsulated a generation’s disillusionment. Their raw, unfiltered lyrics and anti-establishment attitudes contrasted with the polished music of the ’80s, challenging industry norms and societal expectations.

Hip-Hop and Rap: Steeped in urban struggles, hip-hop became the voice of the marginalised. Artists like Tupac and Biggie narrated tales of systemic racism, socio-economic disparities, and police violence. Their prominence forced a broader society to confront uncomfortable truths.

Techno and Rave Culture: Spawning out of underground scenes, the new technobeats and rave parties became symbols of rebellion against conventional club culture. Promoting a wave of ecstasy-fuelled inclusivity, these gatherings often flouted drug laws and establishment controls, pushing boundaries both musically and socially.

3. Political Shifts:

The dissolution of long-standing political systems occurred, like apartheid ending in South Africa in 1994. This represented the breaking down of rigidly outdated Saturnian structures and the ushering in new, more inclusive ones.

4. Rwandan Genocide:

The horrors of the 1994 genocide showcased what can happen when societal structures collapse without anything to replace them, a dark manifestation of Piscean chaos without Saturnian order.

5. Growth of New Age and Spiritual Movements:

Just as in the ’60s, there was a surge in interest in alternative spiritualities, holistic health, and humanistic and metaphysical concepts. Patriarchal religious institutions faced unprecedented challenges from these alternative spiritual paths.

6. Undermining of Journalism and Media:

In 1995, the O.J. Simpson trial transcended its courtroom boundaries, catalysing the birth of the 24-hour news cycle. Its engrossing narrative surrounding race, celebrity, and justice demanded constant coverage, overshadowing the traditional nightly news bulletins with a continuous stream of analysis, opinion and debate. This insatiable public interest steered networks towards a sensationalist approach, revealing both the potential for ratings gold and the media’s immense power in shaping public perception. The trial thus marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of news presentation, media saturation and consumption.

7. LGBTQ+ Movement:

While the movement for LGBTQ+ rights started well before the ’90s, this period saw significant milestones, like the declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness by the World Health Organisation in 1992. It was a time of increased sexual diversity, posing challenges to established moral norms and laws regarding gender and sexuality.

During Saturn’s transit in Pisces, countercultural surges often faced significant backlash. This “cancel-culture” from conservative factions of society also becomes the new normal, and authorities are likely to employ subversive tactics, including unfounded accusations and smear campaigns, against leading figures of burgeoning movements to curtail their influence. These were evident in both periods discussed above, with some examples:


The British Invasion: Bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were seen as corrupting American youth, leading to moral panic among certain sectors, peaking with The Beatles “bigger than Jesus” Controversy: John Lennon’s 1966 comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now” led to a massive outcry. In the U.S., especially in the South, there were public burnings of Beatles records. Radio stations boycotted their music, and the band faced death threats, culminating in their decision to stop touring.

Anti-Vietnam War Protests: Growing anti-war sentiments, especially among youth, led to widespread protests. Authorities often responded with force, as seen in events like the Berkeley protests.

Martin Luther King Jr.: The FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, targeted MLK. They sent him anonymous letters, one of which suggested he should commit suicide, and sought to discredit him by alleging extramarital affairs.

The Black Panther Party: The FBI’s COINTELPRO (a counter-communism wing formed in the 50s) was tasked to undermine the Black Panthers, using tactics like sowing discord within the movement, framing members for crimes they didn’t commit, and conducting unauthorized surveillance.

Bob Dylan’s Electric Shift: When Dylan transitioned from acoustic folk to electric rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, he faced jeers and immense criticism from traditional folk purists who felt betrayed.

Hippie Stereotyping: The mainstream often dismissed the entire hippie movement as drug-addled and lazy, undermining their genuine calls for peace and change.

Free Love and Sexual Revolution: The widespread loosening into non-traditional sexual norms challenged the conservative fabric of society, causing discomfort among many traditionalists.

Psychedelic Culture: With the rise of LSD and other psychedelics, a countercultural movement emerged. This alarmed authorities, leading to staged drug crackdowns on rock celebrities and the eventual criminalisation of psychedelics.


Hip-Hop’s Demonisation: The genre’s explicit lyrics led to figures like Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. and the infamous East Coast-West Coast Rivalry. The media exaggerated the rivalry, often portraying it in violent terms. This portrayal, combined with real-world events, created a hostile environment, leading to the tragic deaths of Tupac and Biggie. Many believe that the media and authorities played a role in stoking these tensions.

N.W.A’s was portrayed by authorities as a dangerous influence, their song “Fuck tha Police” drew FBI attention, who sent a warning letter to their record company, Ruthless Records, hinting at potential consequences. Ice-T’s “Cop Killer” drew major backlash with Police unions called for a boycott, and it was eventually pulled from the album.

Kurt Cobain and Grunge: Cobain, as the face of grunge, was often at the receiving end of media’s demonisation, being labelled as a negative influence on youth due to his struggles with heroin addiction and mental health issues like depression and suicidal ideation.

Rave Culture: While not targeting a single individual, authorities magnified isolated incidents at raves, such as drug overdoses, to propagate a narrative that these events were inherently dangerous and needed strict regulation or outright bans.

Marilyn Manson and School Shootings: Post the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, Manson, who employed “Shock Rock” provocative lyrics, imagery, and stage performances, faced blame, with critics attempting to draw a direct line between his dark, anti-establishment themes and the actions of the shooters, despite no concrete evidence of such an influence.

… to reiterate, “SATURN in Pisces will do anything to keep the illusion of control intact.” But its past failures, resulting in societal chaos, hint at a push for a more radical ‘new world order’ as Saturn eventually shifts to Aries. Saturn is currently in Pisces, staying there until February 2026. Can we see any of that happening today, or is it too soon?

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