Saturn in Aquarius: the background
Think back, for a moment, to life before 2020. Before the rules changed forever. Let’s think all the way back to 2019, before Jupiter entered Capricorn. Back to 2017, before Saturn moved into Capricorn. All the way back to 2008, before Pluto moved into Capricorn.
Capricorn represents the skeleton of life. When the major, slower-moving, generational forces in the sky move through Capricorn, everything changes “down to the bones,” on a foundational, structural level. In 2008, as Pluto shifted into Capricorn, the skeleton of our collective life started to remodel itself– from the ground-up, from the inside-out. When Saturn moved into Capricorn in 2018, the rule book started to fall apart. And when Jupiter joined the gang in 2020, the old rules no longer applied.
Here we are now at the end of 2020, and 2 of the 3 planets that spent 2020 in heavy Capricorn are moving on– advancing into Aquarius. Now that the structure is forever changed, we need some new ideas. We need to think about the future. December 2020 turns the page and opens a new chapter that will unfold in 2021 and 2022. From Capricorn to Aquarius is a major shift. 2021 will feel much different.
December 2020 – the end of an Error
I’m writing this in the final weeks before the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter– which knocks right on the front door of Aquarius in the third week of December. This rare moment includes the holy days of Yule, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah. In 2020 it hardly feels like a time for celebration with hospitals nearly at capacity and the White House going out with a “grand finale” of super spreader Christmas parties. But we can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a new future just ahead, just waiting for Jupiter and Saturn to walk through that gate, release the old cycle, and begin the new one.
Jupiter and Saturn ingress into Aquarius within 2 days of one another– and they meet up with each other 2 days after that. A triple magic moment. December 17-21, 2020.
Saturn is the planet of work, duty, obligation. As such, Saturn’s position in the Zodiac represents the work we’re doing, individually and collectively. And as Saturn moves from Capricorn to Aquarius, the focus of the work shifts from the practical, earthy, authoritarian realm of Capricorn to the social, experimental realm of the air signs. It’s all about communications, ideas, relationships– especially those less personal relationships. Friendship groups, organizations, and teams– the domain of Aquarius.
The same thinking that got us into this will not get us out
Saturn is notorious for being heavy, burdensome, and problematic. That reputation does hold up much of the time, because Saturn brings on a boatload of work that tests the strength of your foundation. Aquarius is a wacky, eccentric, “why not” sign that puts a modern spin on the traditional and moves our collective thinking forward.
The early 2020s will also see the rise of new friends, teams, and social networks working toward the establishment of a new reality focused on the future. Take a step back and look at life with a fresh, objective set of eyes. New plans, new projects, new goals will start to take shape in the early months of 2021. Ideas that, once set in motion, begin to take us beyond the limitations of our current situation, current technology, current knowledge.
Saturn shows us where the hardest but most productive work is. As Saturn moves into Aquarius, communities, groups, and teams become centers of activity. Aquarius advances science and scientific discoveries, new inventions, and new, reimagined ways of doing all manner of useful things.
Aquarius also rules hard-headed people who think they already know everything there is to know. Rigid mental attitudes and resistance to new ideas will also be a major obstacle in the early 20s. Saturn in Aquarius brings out “reform” urges. For everyone else. If you haven’t reformed yourself first, if your team is on the wrong side of history, if your rebellion rests on an impure cause: people are sick of your crap! And you’re likely to meet with challenges that give you cause to reconsider your direction in life.
- March 21, 2020 – Saturn enters Aquarius
- July 1, 2020 – Saturn re-enters Capricorn
- December 17, 2020 – Saturn re-enters Aquarius
- December 21, 2020 – Jupiter conjunct Saturn
- February 9, 2021 – Saturn sextile Chiron (1)
- February 17, 2021 – Saturn square Uranus (1)
- June 14, 2021 – Saturn square Uranus (2)
- June 24, 2021 – Saturn sextile Chiron (2)
- December 24, 2021 – Saturn square Uranus (3)
- November 26, 2021 – Saturn sextile Chiron (3)
- March 7, 2023 – Saturn enters Pisces
2021’s defining scandal
The Great Conjunction in December set the tone for step forward in the progressive fashion typical of Aquarius. But the journey is not an easy, straightforward one.
The mythological Saturn and Uranus were not good buddies. Uranus was Saturn’s father. They feared and hated each other. Saturn stabilizes and limits. Uranus breaks structures and hates limits. If you’re a news-watcher like me, it’s going to be a wild ride. The challenges are clear going in: The COVID pandemic still looms large as we head into this fraught planetary lineup. The economy is dragging along. Individual people are hurting for cash. Domestic terrorism. Winds, wildfires, and flooding. Lack of trust in police and authorities. Just to name a few.
There is a flashpoint early on in Saturn’s journey through Aquarius as Saturn moves into a 90-degree angle with Uranus, which hits exact three times in 2021. The square puts Saturn in Aquarius– territory it owns, at odds with the co-owner, Uranus. Uranus is the bringer of truth– often unwelcome truths that break the mold. Uranus rules revolutions, instability, and contrarians. It promises a huge fight in Washington over how much or how little or what kind of reforms are necessary. Restrictions on personal freedom, and the inevitable backlash against any attempt to impose safety guidelines for the good of the public. Technological warfare and woes. Issues with the electrical grid. Shocking truths coming to light. Earthquakes may be part of the picture as Saturn puts the pressure on Uranus in earth sign Taurus.
Saturn says, “you must.” Uranus clears out the old to make space for the new, reforms the rules, and pushes the issue when it comes to making changes.
The new storylines really get cooking by February 2021. The plot thickens as Saturn retrogrades back over the square in the summertime. With a conclusion around the 2021 holidays as the third and final Saturn Uranus square plays out.
Saturn in Aquarius and your personal life
“It is time to look within to find values that extend beyond what is currently acceptable and that can lead humanity to new levels of freedom and universal love.” –Jan Spiller, Spiritual Astrology
Wherever Saturn goes, that is where the work is, and where the work pays off. Aquarius calls you to push the boundaries forward and express a more truthful, authentic side of yourself. So embrace your inner weirdo– and support your friends in expressing a truer version of themselves, too.
When it comes to friends, quality is more important than quantity. Saturn in Aquarius will test the strength of your friendships, showing you who can truly count on.
The sign Aquarius connects you with a vision of the future beyond face masks and hand sanitizer. This pandemic has changed the whole landscape. A new reality, a new set of rules, a new social skeleton will all grow out of this. You’ll plant the seeds for it in the next 2 years.
Saturn sextile Chiron presents new opportunities for those who work in the healing arts. New solutions for chronic pain on all levels– especially concerning the head, brain, eyes, face, sinuses.
The Saturn cycle
Saturn circles the Zodiac every 29 years. His last journey through Aquarius was 1991-93. 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 it get real with the ideas, industries and commodities that Aquarius is associated with. Those are technology, astrology, energy, electricity, science, Congress and other governing bodies, psychotherapy, radio and TV broadcasting, modern art and design.
Saturn in Aquarius and your Sign
If you’re an Aquarius native or have planets in Aquarius in your birth chart, you work for what you get, and you get what you work for. Pre-2020 life is now over. When this all started, we expected to pause and then go back, but the world has changed so much. And so have you. You’ll be moving forward now with a new set of priorities and goals. Saturn will lend its gravitas to your brilliance, but only if you express it in practical terms. So embrace your forward-thinking ideas. And get to work on your new plan, Aquarius. One that is true to your unique “special sauce” so that you can meet the roaring 2020s as the wonderful weirdo you were meant to be.
Taurus, Leo and Scorpio natives— like your Aquarius friends, this 2-year period tests the strength of your plans and ideas. Because change is uncomfortable for you, you sometimes resist until the old system blows up and you can’t avoid it anymore. Saturn in Aquarius challenges all of the fixed signs to be a little more accepting of compromise and willing to embrace the new– while still remembering and honoring what has gone.
Gemini, Libra, Aries and Sagittarius— Saturn’s passage through Aquarius brings you opportunities to step up, take more responsibility, get more work done, build more meaningful relationships in the post-COVID era. The wind is at your back— but if you haven’t hoisted your sails, the wind won’t take you anywhere. Aim high, think long-term, and get to work.
Capricorn and Cancer— the pressure of the past 3 years eases up as Saturn exits your sign (Capricorn) or your opposing sign (Cancer). 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 to include a realistic plan for materially manifesting your dreams. When Saturn enters Pisces in 2023, it’s likely you’ll have opportunities to take it even further.
Pisces and Virgo— you have this two year period to get ready before Saturn activates your birth chart 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 your sailboat to be when the wind picks up again, and start getting ready.