Saturn in Capricorn 2017 -2020 Part 1

Saturn in Capricorn 2017 -2020

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As we all know, Saturn is about to “going home”. It will ingress into Capricorn on 20 December 2017, and stay there until March 2020 before its next ingress into Aquarius. It will then retrograde and move back into Capricorn in July 2020, and move out from Capricorn again in December that year. During this period of time, issues symbolised by Capricorn, like order, moral values, systems, governments, authorities, organisations and institutions may confront Saturn’s challenges. Although some astrologers suggest that Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn could be a good thing since it is its ruler, I observe that the ruthless challenges of Saturn would still remind these companies, organisations and structures of traits which are out of date and which need improvements.

Saturn symbolises order, regulations, structures, worries, obstacles, slowness, time and experience. Traditionally, Saturn is cold and dry. Its paleness and slowness made it be seen as a maleficent symbol of old men, patients and damages. It rules Capricorn and Aquarius, and is opposite to Cancer and Leo, which are ruled by the Moon and Sun respectively. Symbolically, it resonates with the loneliness, isolation and distance of Saturn.

Capricorn is a cardinal sign of earth element. The earth element symbolises the material realms of our daily living, and all the objects that we can sense also fall into this element. It specifically emphasises how one approaches the world with practicality and pragmatism. What makes Capricorn different from the other earth signs is that Capricorn is a cardinal sign, which implies that astrologically it is a sign with immense initiative energy. When merging the symbols of earth element and cardinality together, we can derive that Capricorn symbolises a progressive yet pragmatic approach, and it lays a strong emphasis on planning, strategy and execution.

The Adda Seal which depicts the Sumerian god Enki with two rivers pouring from his shoulders. The two-faced figure is his vizier Usimu. On the left is the sun god Utu-Shamash. 2300 BCE. (British Museum London)

Mythologically, Capricorn is related to Ea, the goat-god in Babylonian mythology. Ea built up civilisation and society, and it corresponds to Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom and creation. Enki is also the god of water, and the keeper of the divine powers “Me”, the power of civilisation and creation. This reminds us that Capricorn is closely related to societies, civilisations and structures, and this can even be extended to institutions including countries, companies, organisations and communities.

When Saturn returns to Capricorn, its domicile sign, the society will easily focus on how it is influenced by countries, governments, companies and institutions. What are the functions of these organisations? Are they practical or pragmatic? Are they reliable? Do they fulfil our needs? If not, should they be ruled out?

Other Planetary Influences at same time

From what happened in recent years, it seems like we are in an era of transition. First, Jupiter and Saturn will form a semi-sextile, which implies that something originated from the past will end before winter of 2020 to give room to the blossoming of a new era. Second, Jupiter, which symbolises social changes, has just moved into Scorpio, a sign which is related to truth, withering, death, crisis, rebirth, grasping and letting go. Third, Uranus will move into Taurus in 2018. Taurus governs monetary systems, financial markets, land tenures and agriculture systems, this ingress will inevitably signify tremendous change on them, while simultaneously our relationship to the land and our perspective to our own body will also begin to change. Lastly, Chiron will also leave Pisces and enter Aries in 2018. People’s revolts against deprivation of personal rights will be greatly intensified. Under these ingresses, it would be difficult for us to hope for safety and stability. Our natal Saturn and transit Saturn will both tell us how to make ourselves safe and protected. Saturn in Capricorn illustrates that we would rely on our own personal experience more, or we would follow the suggestions of those authorities and national leaders. Of course, we should be very careful of these advisors but not follow suit. Both our own experience and authoritative figures could be the object that Saturn inspects.

In my previous article on Jupiter in Scorpio, I mentioned the obvious influence of Uranus-Neptune semisextile in the upcoming months. Uranus and Neptune formed a conjunction in 1993, which was when the Maastricht Treaty started to be effective among European Communities members, a historic moment of European integration. This aspect is also closely related to the development and changes of European Communities, which is worth our notice. Also, Saturn-Chiron square will exert its influence till December 2017, which possibly would inflict economic liberalisation policies, and conflicts among conservatism, nationalism, liberalism and socialism.

In this Saturn in Capricorn era, Saturn will form a series of significant aspects. We all know that it will form a waning semi-sextile with Jupiter and a waning square with Chiron, both of which symbolise the ending of a cycle. Also, before its ingress into Capricorn, Saturn will form a trine with Uranus. This aspect not only implies political conflicts between conservatives and liberals, but also the expansion of political power of the middle class who eagerly fight for social development. In addition, it could also mean how governments support and protect those investors in financial markets. However, in December 2017 when Saturn is moving into Capricorn, these interactions will become less obvious and observable. The governments’ attitude might change, or they may have something “more urgent” to deal with. This Saturn-Uranus trine will become intense again in June to November 2018, and the above influences might become visible again by then.

1989 Revolution Picture from BBC

Throughout 2019, we will be under the influence of Saturn-Neptune sextile. Lots of astrologers believe this aspect is closely related to religious fanaticism, Middle-East situation and economic bubbles. We should observe what was going on in 1989 when Saturn was in Capricorn and conjunct Neptune — it was when those eastern European nations freed themselves from control by the USSR, and the time when Al-Qaeda established. These topics may come into the limelight again in 2019. Similar situations could possibly take place in other regions, or these nations and organisations might undergo subsequent yet critical development by then. Besides, Saturn will tightly conjunct the south node in 2019, which implies that our society will obviously experience the Saturnian attributes — economic depression, suppression, authority, conservation and fear.

Saturn-Pluto Conjunction

The upcoming Saturn-Pluto Conjunction has caught many astrologers’ attention. These two planets will form an applying aspect from February to July 2019, approaching each other again starting from November 2019, and form an exact aspect on 13 January 2020. The influence of this exact aspect will sustain till mid-March. They will be in contact again from July to November 2020, but there will be no exact aspects formed. Since both planets are the symbol of fear and ending, lots of astrologers perceive this aspect as the timing of crisis, especially when knowing that World War I actually began in July 1914 when Saturn started to form a conjunction with Pluto in Cancer. If we try to study the reasons and background of this war, like extreme nationalism, fighting for colonies and armament races, it is not easy to stop ourselves from associating these topics to what is going on around us nowadays.

Astrologically, Saturn is depression, conservation, safety, security, suppression, authority and control, whereas Pluto is crisis, fear, death, rebirth, manipulation, slavery and hidden entities — all of these words bring forth intense feelings and fear. When these two planets meet, we are exposed to those truths that were hidden in the past. We see that those scary and threatening objects actually have long been there — it is just that we have overlooked them. However, in times of Saturn-Pluto conjunction, those filthy issues hidden beneath the carpet will all be exposed. Fear will trigger xenophobic behaviours and self-protections, regardless of whether it is in social, religious, political or economic sense. People fear that once the doors are opened and changes are invited in, those rights or privileges that they have long held tight will no longer be guaranteed. Indeed, we can observe intense religious, racial, sexual or hierarchal conflicts in previous Saturn-Pluto conjunctions.

One of the pivotal lessons of Saturn-Pluto aspects is to master our fear. Be it the fear of social conflicts, economic recessions, or of casualties as a result of natural disasters, catastrophes or war, people approach such fear in their own way. Some will learn and understand, some will accept and embrace it, while some will shut the door tight and refuse to acknowledge it. However, when Saturn and Pluto are both in Capricorn, they both require us to confront these issues head-on in a practical way. Putting your head in the sand like an ostrich is not an appropriate way to confront Saturn-Pluto conjunctions in Capricorn.