Saturn Virgo
The planet Saturn enters the sign Virgo on September 2, 2007.

Saturn is an outer, slow moving planet which stays an average of 2 1/2 years in each sign of the Zodiac. So this sign change marks a change in the vibe of the times. Saturn will exit Virgo and enter Libra in the fall of 2009, retrograde back into Virgo for one last, quick visit between April and July of 2010 before settling into Libra for the next 2+ years.

Since 2005, Saturn has been in Leo, sign of the boss, Father, leadership, and authority, recognition, respect, and ego. And it has brought out issues around these ideas. Some of us have grown more responsible and accountable to our passion and creativity. Others of us have faced ego reducing challenges.

Saturn represents the hard work we’re doing, individually and collectively. And as Saturn moves into a new sign, the focus of the work we’re doing and the lessons we’re learning shifts to a new level. Virgo represents the way we digest, analyze and assimilate new ideas, our routines. Those of us with overly cluttered or chaotic routines will be challenged to bring our house into order. Those of us with overly rigid, formulaic routines will also be brought lessons to learn, especially when Saturn opposes Uranus in Pisces, in late 2008 to 2009.

When Saturn was in Leo, we got clear on what’s in our hearts, and what passion we wish to serve in our lives. Now that Saturn’s moving into Virgo, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and make it happen by applying ourselves to understanding all the parts that make the system work, by attending to the details with care, and meticulous attention.

Saturn in Virgo challenges us to get our act together. The upside of Virgo is efficiency. We will all be looking for ways to simplify, make better use of our time. If your desk looks like a tornado hit it, or if you can’t cook a meal without bringing down a tower of unused dishes crashing down over your head, then maybe it’s time to really think about how you’re going to manage the material reality around you— Virgo is an earth sign, so we are dealing with physical “stuff.”

The downsides of Saturn in Virgo are criticism, worry and perfectionism. We want to get our act together, but not too together. Some folks will put off even starting to do the work it will take to achieve their heart’s desire, because of the fear that it’s too big, it will take too long, or the result won’t be good enough. Don’t be one of these folks. Just get something down on paper. Perfect or not. You have to start somewhere. Then you can nip, tuck, edit, revise, and perfect your ability as Saturn moves through Virgo. Study the how’s, the why’s, the details. Ask for constructive (Saturn) criticism (Virgo). Even if it hits you a little harshly (Saturn’s character is not gentle), it can be quite helpful if you are willing to put your ego aside and take the essence of it to heart. But don’t let destructive criticism stop you in your tracks. Some people have their own stuff going on that makes them lash out at others in a mean way. Don’t let it get to you.

Virgo represents employment, so employers and employees may find this time challenging in some ways. Good help is hard to find, so if you have it, don’t take it for granted. Good bosses are hard to find too.

Saturn circles the Zodiac every 29 years. His last journey through Virgo was 1978-1980. 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 energies, similar lessons and choices, as Saturn revisits the same part of your birth chart.

If you’re a Virgo native or have planets in Virgo 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 Virgos work too hard in the first place— and Saturn will help you to become answerable to a truer set of priorities, to stop wasting time on unimportant details, to stop doing others’ work instead of or in addition to your own. You are only human, and your guts will remind you. (Virgos tend to have delicate digestive systems.) In her book Modern Transits, Lois Rodden writes: “The order, sanity, and stability of our lives come from the methodical patience of Saturn, and from its lesson we learn to have the enduring calm that comes from inner strength.” Trust your gut, Virgo, for it is the most sensitive part of your body and will literally tell you when something is up.

We are likely to see action and heaviness around the ideas, industries and commodities that Virgo is associated with. Those are animals, pets, bees and beekeepers, building and crafts, agriculture, diet, digestion, pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine, dietary supplements, the healthcare industry— big issue as Michael Moore’s movie Sicko wakes us up to the need for reform just a few months before Saturn’s entry into Virgo. Virgo rules service industries and the labor movement. Military service as well.

Virgo is very sensitive to criticism, and many have critical parents, family members, or friends who push this button. Saturn makes these issues more intense and heavy. It’s an opportunity to develop skills and mechanisms to deal with it more dispassionately, not to take it to heart and let those things wreck your peace of mind.

Each sign benefits from embracing the principles of its opposite. Virgo’s opposite is Pisces. So your meditations, dream analysis, artwork, and ability to let yourself go with the flow when the time is right, will all be helpful while Saturn is in Virgo. Most of all, Pisces rules compassion. When you take time to step outside of yourself and see the truth, the source of these things that bother you so much— hurtful expressions and criticism come from a place of woundedness or fear, things fall into perspective. It has very little to do with you. And you don’t have to let it shake your foundations.

But don’t do the Pisces thing and make yourself out to be a victim. “I can’t help the way I am, xxx happened when I was a child,” or “xxx took away yyy from me.” It is better to be the agent of change than the victim of change. And the choice is yours.

Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces natives— like your Virgo 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 better boundaries. Maybe you need to express yourself positively rather than negatively. A long time ago, a teacher taught me to form my critiques like a sandwich: The colors you picked are fabulous! I think you need to repaint the ceiling, it looks dingy. But the room will look great when you’re done. You’ve done a fantastic job! See, I told you I thought your ceiling was dirty. But I pointed it out in a way that I hope will encourage and inspire you to keep working.

Taurus, Capricorn, Cancer and Scorpio— Saturn’s passage through Virgo brings you opportunities to improve your efficiency, take on more responsibility, get more work done, improve your health, and build something long-lasting in your world. 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.

Leo and Aquarius— the pressure of the past 3 years eases up as Saturn exits your sign (Leo) or your opposing sign (Aquarius). 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 Libra in late 2009, it’s likely you’ll have opportunities to take it even further.

Libra and Aries— you have this two year period to get ready before Saturn hits your Sun again. Uranus and Pluto, two indicators of major life changes, will soon impact these two signs— you are at the crossroads of change. Honor the energies by tuning in to the feelings of restlessness and exploring the possibility of making a lasting change for the better in your life.

Molly Cliborne