Saturn in Capricorn, Part Five: Saturn’s Journey around the Chart

As Saturn moves along the ecliptic, orbiting the Sun in today’s time, he makes certain angular relationships to the points where the planets were, once upon a time, when you were born. Neither Saturn nor any of the other planets make us do anything. Rather, they mirror what is going on with us….as above, so below….and what is going on with us is mirrored in the events around us….as within, so without.

It’s a mirror, not a simplistic cause or effect. We can look to this mirror to use the energy of the planets and their positions to go deep within and to find those matching energies within ourselves, to use them consciously to create change and to evolve.

We can look to Saturn to help us to balance ourselves with the world around us. He is the Father of the Zodiac, a masculine energy which brings in focus, discipline, responsibility …or the ability to respond…and Karma. He rules things which stand the test of time and his transits mark the birth of or the evolution of themes which stand the test of time. The glyph of Saturn shows the semi-circle under the cross…the soul or that which we reflect or perceive beneath matter…our soul’s evolution through material experiences…material experiences shaping our perceptions…our evolved perceptions shifting our reality.

While Saturn is in Capricorn, he will make aspects to planets in your own chart and some people will be experiencing their first or their second Saturn Return.

No two Saturn Transits are ever the same. There is so much going on in any single moment…your birth chart is a unique and complicated moment as is the moment of the transit. You can’t expect one transit to be like the other. If you need convincing, you need only think of how posts on New Moon and Full Moon moments are never the same…each New or Full Moon is different…or revisit my articles on Jupiter’s move into Scorpio or Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn to get a sense as to what can be going on, astrologically speaking, in any given moment. And then…adding to the complexity of trying to understand what can happen during any given transit, there is that most mysterious, most magical element of them all…human nature…our free will and our extraordinary capacity to go beyond our own limitations.

This is a fancy way of saying that, while Saturn is in Capricorn and while he transits any of your planets, anything can happen but it’s true. I don’t believe in fate but I do believe we have an extraordinary opportunity and it’s up to us how we use it. With what is going on in the bigger picture as Saturn goes into Capricorn, and reiterating what was said in the last part in this series, there is an opportunity for creativity…to do the right thing…to act from the heart…to allow old hurts to rise up from the dark and be healed…to find the healing that is needed for this healing to take place…to balance ourselves with the world around us and, …hopefully, it is an opportunity for Earth herself… and for us all …to thrive.

Getting to know the Stars is a bit like getting to know a person. We can look at their behaviours, we can get to know what they have been through and how they behaved during those experiences but this can never make us certain about how they will behave tomorrow. But we still need to get to know that person if we want to relate with them, if we want to build a connection and if we want to share our tomorrows with them. As we change, they change...the Stars and their potential change and as these changes happen we can even discover deeper depths within which are mirrored in outer space with the discovery of new stars or objects or new astrological techniques.

And just like we can get to know that person, we can get to know Saturn in Capricorn a little better by looking to his patterns and by looking at what happened while Saturn was in Capricorn in the past.

Starting with his patterns… as he moves along the ecliptic, he takes approximately twenty nine and a half years to return to the exact same degree in the exact same sign he was in at the moment of your birth.

Within these twenty nine and a half years, Saturn transits, or makes aspects to, every single planet in your chart. He transits the Ascendant, the Midheaven, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron…not to mention the Nodes of the Moon, all the Asteroids, Midpoints, Antiscions and so forth….

In transiting each of these planets, he makes every aspect to each of these points in your chart. He challenges them with oppositions and squares, he offers opportunities with trines and sextiles and he works them through conjunctions…not to mention all that he does through the minor aspects too.

Within these twenty nine and a half years, he goes through each of the twelve houses...each and every area of your life.

He transits Saturn too…making squares, sextiles, trines and so forth.

And once he’s returned to the position in the birth chart, making a conjunction to himself, the Saturn Return, he spends the next approximately twenty nine and a half years doing it all again.

Once you get to your first Saturn Return, at approximately twenty nine and a half years old, you’ve been through a lot. You have been tested, you have gained in strength and you have endured…you have been through something and have arrived into a place or a state of being which you could not have arrived at without having been through what you went through. At this time, perceptions shift and you start to step into a new way of being. And, as you change within, what is around you changes too….as within, so without.

It has the feeling of a pilgrimage to it…the Gods don’t make us suffer but they do admire and reward us for the efforts we are willing to make. Again, Saturn does not want us to suffer, but he does reward us for caring enough to try. Remember, Saturn is ultimately helping you to balance yourself with the world around you.

If you were born between 13th February and 10 June 1988 or 12 November 1988 and 6th February 1991, your Saturn is in Capricorn and you will be going through your Saturn Return at some point between 20 December 2017 and 17 December 2020. If you were born between 5 January 1959 and 3 January 1962, your Saturn is also in Capricorn and you will be going through your second Saturn Return at some point between 20 December 2017 and 17 December 2020.

Saturn Returns have a bad reputation. They can be difficult… it’s a period of growth that represents years of endurance and of effort. While people can and do sometimes have traumatic or sad or depressing experiences during their Saturn Return, it doesn’t follow that Saturn Returns are always traumatic or sad or depressing. It is hard to climb a mountain, it does not necessarily follow that it is depressing or cruel. The challenge can even be fun. Having said that, if your own experience is or was sad or traumatic or depressing, it doesn’t necessarily follow that what you are or were doing is wrong – it might be exactly what is or was needed for your soul’s growth. It may also be an indicator that you could benefit enormously from healing.

Saturn rules things which stand the test of time. Whether this is your first or your second experience of a significant Saturn in Capricorn Transit, it’s entirely possible that what happens now may be the beginning of something extraordinary which will go on to stand the test of time. If this is your second experience of a significant Saturn in Capricorn Transit, it is possible that your story may follow the same theme as what happened the first time round but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same story will repeat itself.

Because there is such a stigma to his transits and because we are incredibly creative and can make things happen through expectation, I’d like to share some examples of what has happened while Saturn was in Capricorn. These examples are by no means exhaustive…there are many, many more…but as you can see, this article is long.

The first example is one I would like to use because I like and admire the chart owner and because the chart owner has the North Node of his Moon in Capricorn…in 1959, when Saturn was in Capricorn and after a long and difficult struggle to reach a decision which involved considerations of life and of death, the 14th Dalai Lama embarked upon a difficult physical and spiritual journey, crossing mountains on foot and taking his Spiritual Leadership into exile. In 1989, when Saturn was in Capricorn again, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. No doubt this is a very simplistic summary which only touches on the impact he has had upon the world stage and within the hearts of millions but I hope that it illustrates your potential to use wherever Capricorn is in your chart (and we all have Capricorn in our charts) and the Saturn in Capricorn Time to ascend….and I hope that it illustrates that, while what happens the second time around may be of the theme of the first time around, (in this case, for example, having the attention of the world,) they can be two very different experiences.

This is by no means the only example….

In 1961, when Saturn was in Capricorn, the first concrete blocks of the Berlin Wall, separating East and West Germany from one another were laid down. In 1989, when Saturn was in Capricorn again, the wall came down.

In 1960, when Saturn was in Capricorn, racial tensions in South Africa were high and 69 people were murdered with many more besides injured following police shooting at a crowd who were protesting having to carry passbooks. It was the year that the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan African Congress (PAC) were banned and, if they wanted their activities to continue, they were forced to do so underground. In 1989, when Saturn was in Capricorn again, the president at the time, F.W. de Klerk, started to dismantle apartheid, lifting the ban on the ANC. In 1990, while Saturn was still in Capricorn, Nelson Mandela was freed, having spent 27 years in prison…with the warrant for his arrest having been issued while Saturn was in Capricorn back in 1961.

If you are someone who has many planets in Capricorn or who may be dreading your first Saturn in Capricorn Transit…look to Marlene Dietrich. She has her Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron in Capricorn and found international fame in 1930 when Saturn was in Capricorn and her film, the Blue Angel, was aired. Her career endured and the Blue Angel has gone on to be cited as one of the most enduring films of the sound era.

In some of the above examples, the difficulties take place during Saturn’s years in Capricorn from 1959 –1962 and are resolved during Saturn’s years in Capricorn from 1988 – 1990. The times were certainly different and different things were going on astrologically but that doesn’t mean that individuals, affected by Saturn in Capricorn, were not doing wonderful things between 1959 and 1962.

In 1959, Saturn went into Capricorn on 5 January and, during the year, he made his easiest aspects to Pluto…the planet of fear and of power. Saturn squared the nodes, creating a friction that would push events toward their destinies. The fears and the power of Pluto were exaggerated, possibly in an uncomfortable way, through squares to Jupiter who also made squares to the Wounded Healer, Chiron. This poked, stirred and pushed at the wounds while also adding gold dust from the gods in the form of potential to heal. Saturn also made easy aspects to Neptune, the Dissolver, who was dissolving his way into Scorpio’s layered world of many depths. This was the year that the longstanding show, the Twilight Zone, first aired. It was penned by the Capricorn, Rod Sterling, who has his Mercury and his Jupiter in Capricorn too. Rod Sterling’s own Saturn is in Scorpio, where Neptune, the planet of illusion, disillusion and all things strange and mysterious was hanging at the time. Rod Sterling’s own Saturn trines Pluto, mirroring Saturn’s trines to Pluto in 1959. The TV show certainly enchanted and fascinated fans around the world who entered into its strange tales. The longstanding show featured many actors who would go on to have longstanding careers and to become household names, including the likes of William Shatner, Robert Redford and Dennis Hopper.

In 1960, while Saturn was still in Capricorn, the affairs of the world seem to be more dominated by the wide oppositions from Pluto and Uranus to Chiron as well as by Mars’ Retrograde in Cancer. During the year, Jupiter trined Uranus and moved into Capricorn. Each of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune made easy aspects to the North Node and Chiron moved into Pisces. This was the year when Ben E King first recorded his song, “Stand by Me” which went on to win a Grammy and to be covered by many household names, including Otis Reading and John Lennon. The song went on to named the 4th most performed song of the 20th century. The title of the song has been said to be inspired by a spiritual composition by Sam Cooke called "Stand by Me Father" …and don’t forget, Saturn is the Father of the Zodiac. At the time, Saturn was squaring Ben E King’s own Saturn…in fact, a lot was going on for him astrologically but the point is that it is possible for things to go well or to start something that will go on to do well during a challenging Saturn in Capricorn Transit. Incidentally, the number one most performed song of the 20th century is “You’ve lost that loving feeling” released in 1964 when Saturn was in the second of the two signs he traditionally rules, Aquarius. The song entered the charts and became a hit no doubt because of the sheer talent of the song writers, the performers and the producer whose famous Wall (Saturn) of Sound (Aquarius) recording technique is showcased by this song…but also because of the help of a cheeky little opposition from Jupiter to Neptune: the time limit for songs to be played on the radio was three minutes and the producer cunningly said that this three and half minute song was only three minutes and five seconds.

In 1989 while Saturn was in Capricorn and the Berlin wall was being taken down in Germany and Apartheid was being dismantled in South Africa, in another part of the world, in England, horrific stories were told of a human crush at an English football stadium. The hooliganism of fans had allegedly caused the death of 96 people and injuries to more than 750 people. Subsequent inquests revealed cover ups by and of the police and the ambulance service’s failure to fulfil their duty of care. The UK Government has very recently said it is now studying a report into the matter. The report was compiled by the former Bishop of Liverpool and is entitled ‘the Patronising Disposition of Unaccountable Power’…

With the authority of Saturn going into Capricorn and with the power of Pluto already there…here’s hoping that what the families of the bereaved have been through and that all the battles that they have fought will result in measures that will make a huge difference for others...and that this difference will be for the better and will stand the test of time.

In fact, here’s hoping that any of us who want to will all get to start something or to receive the results of something that has already been started which will make a difference for the better and which will stand the test of time….never forgetting that there are other planets and other things that will be going on that can help us too.


Next time…I will be looking at what will be going on in the skies while Saturn is in Capricorn


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This article is an interpretation of the symbols and is written for information, if anything here stirs up difficult emotions for you, please do make sure you seek support from friends, family or other professionals as need be.

The image from the tarot is from the Rider Waite Tarot deck (Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith,) photographed by myself with the kind permission of Rider, Ebury.