Saturn Libra
The planet Saturn enters the sign Libra on October 29, 2009.

Saturn will back into Virgo one last time, on April 7 2010, and will return to Libra on July 22 2010, where he will remain until October 6, 2012.

From 2007 until now, Saturn has been in Virgo, sign of service, efficiency, craftsmanship, precision, routines, duty, health and health consciousness, worry, criticism, nit-pickiness. And it has brought out issues around these ideas. Some of us have grown more responsible and accountable to the minute requirements of our jobs, our crafts, and our bodies. Many of us have reaped the rewards of being organized and managing our time well, and we have suffered the consequences of poor planning as well. We have all faced worries and critical natures in ourselves and others. There have been issues with employment on both sides— bosses and employees. Health insurance, another Virgo issue, came to the fore with the release of Michael Moore’s film, Sicko at the beginning of Saturn’s journey through Virgo. And at the end, we seem to be coming closer to an agreement on how best to reform to the system.

Saturn represents the hard work we’re doing, individually and collectively. And as Saturn moves into a new sign, the work we’re doing and the lessons we’re learning shift to a new level. Libra represents balance, partnerships, contracts and agreements with other people.

Click to see full-sized chart

There are some challenges early on as Saturn immediately moves into a 90-degree angle with Pluto, exact in November 2009. In 2010, Saturn will repeat this angle two more times, in January and August. Saturn will also move back into Virgo and complete the 4th of 5 oppositions to Uranus in Pisces in April, 2010. The 5th opposition completes in July 2010, around a different idea, Aries and Libra. Uranus in Aries is a fascinating story of its own. But that is for another article. For now, it is sufficient to say that this set-up will challenge us all on many levels, especially those of us with planets in early degrees of cardinal signs— Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

The ups and downs of Saturn in Libra


Saturn in Libra challenges us to pay attention to relationships. We become more aware of the balance of give and take (or lack thereof) in our relationships— professional and personal. To have a good partner, first you must be a good partner. Saturn tests the strength of your partnerships and commitments. On a deeper level, Saturn tests your idea of what a relationship is. Relationships that are out of balance will face challenges that ultimately either break up the agreement, or restore balance and trust. Saturn asks us to be realistic. If you are pinning your hopes on a relationship that doesn’t have the potential to go well, you will keep having trouble until you get the message.

Libra thrives on harmony and mutual benefit. I think we will see lots of mergers and synergies in the business world, and meaningful international treaties to address things like climate change, nuclear proliferation, and human rights. How we can help each other is more important than how we can hurt each other.

Libra is a sign that likes to please others. How we look, the form in which we present ourselves and our work becomes important at this time, and is a good place to focus your energies.

Jan Spiller has this to say about Saturn in Libra: “Acknowledging yourself as creator of the harmony and disharmony that you experience gives you security in your ability to experience what is created. Once you are willing to undergo the possibility of disharmony in relationships, you have the capacity to actualize yourself by sharing your honest, individual point of view.”1

Libra rules duets and duels. It is not all sugar and spice— the shadow side of Libra is Aries, sign of war and anger. This side of Libra is not often talked about. Libra can get hung up on etiquette and decorum. The way something is said becomes more important than what is actually being said. I once explained it to a client like this: someone says to you, “Dammit, I want the best for you.” Libra only hears the “dammit” and not the “I want the best for you.” When Libra elevates style over substance, her righteous anger and passive aggression only serve to alienate her from folks who would help her.

Having said my piece about the downside, it is also true that Libra is a good sign for Saturn. Every planet has a sign or two that it is “at home” in, and a sign that is like its best friend’s house, or grandma’s house. It’s not home, but it’s comfortable. For Saturn, Libra is the best friend’s house, the sign of its exaltation. Exalted planets work well and tend to show their best face— not always, but more often than not. That’s why I think Saturn in diplomatic Libra is going to feel a lot better overall, than the last 2 1/2 years when Saturn’s heavy energy was turned up to 11 in nit-picky, micromanaging Virgo.

The Saturn cycle

1982 Best Dressed

Saturn circles the Zodiac every 29 years. His last journey through Libra was 1980-82. If you are old enough, you may remember what those years felt like for you. Were they easy, were they difficult? Of course your circumstances have changed after 29 years, but you are likely to encounter similar opportunities, lessons and choices, as Saturn revisits the same part of your birth chart.

We are likely to see action and consolidation, heavy issues around the ideas, industries and commodities that Libra is associated with. Those are fine arts, beauty, fashion, cosmetics and cosmetic surgery, sugar and candies, copper, luxuries, jewelry, marriage and divorce, social networking.

Sign by sign

If you’re a Libra native or have planets in Libra in your birth chart, this two year period is a heavy time for you. This is a growth period which requires great self discipline. You work for what you get, and you get what you work for. Some of you Libras are hung up on appearances. Behaving nicely does not necessarily make you a kind hearted person! Saturn will help you drop the artifice of harmony, stop playing the games, and become answerable to a truer set of priorities, bringing yourself into a more genuine harmony with those around you. Your skin and kidneys, Libra, are the most sensitive parts of your body, and you may get a visible signal or feeling when something is up that you need to pay attention to.


Each sign benefits from embracing the principles of its opposite. Libra’s opposite is Aries. It’s not about being aggressive, but it is about assertiveness, sense of self, and willingness to speak up when the time is right. Libra is the sign of the scales, constantly evaluating, judging, considering matters from many points of view. It gets confusing sometimes, when you are out there on the arms of the scales, going up and down, back and forth. Sometimes you need to move into the center of the scale, put your feet on the ground, and consider yourself— who you are, what you want, and what is the most straightforward expression of that. When you do so, things come into focus.

Aries, Capricorn and Cancer natives— like your Libra friends, you will have to work to stay in balance during these two years. Your best strategy is to do what you can to improve your situation, and resist the urge to blame others or make them wrong. Yes, other people may be at fault. Yes, their methods may suck, but you get nowhere if you focus on them. If others are doing you dirty, perhaps you need a different approach. Appearances are not everything, but they do matter when Saturn is in Libra. It’s about finding the “Goldilocks” place— not too hard, not too soft. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too bitchy, not too accommodating.

Gemini, Aquarius, Leo and Sagittarius— Saturn’s passage through Libra brings you opportunities to take on more responsibility, get more work done, build more meaningful relationships. Remember that success only comes to the degree that you put in the work. The wind is at your back— but if you haven’t hoisted your sails, you won’t get anywhere. Aim high and think long-term.

Virgo and Pisces— the pressure of the past 3 years eases up as Saturn exits your sign (Virgo) or your opposing sign (Pisces). The lessons you’ve learned, you get to keep, and if all has gone well, your thinking about yourself and your future has broadened and deepened, and includes a more realistic plan for materially manifesting your dreams. When Saturn enters Scorpio in late 2012, it’s likely you’ll have opportunities to take it even further.

Scorpio and Taurus— you have this two year period to get ready before Saturn hits your Sun again. How do you get ready for Saturn? Make realistic decisions. Make plans for a bright future, and start taking steps toward it. Even if they are baby steps. Saturn is not always a big drag— it is a planet of consequences, but also of rewards. You will likely take on more responsibility in the coming years. Decide now where you want to be when it comes, and start moving in that direction.

Molly Cliborne

1 Spiritual Astrology by Spiller and McCoy.