I am a Scorpio experiencing my second Saturn Return, so this subject is very timely and intensely personal for me. I am also in a place where I feel like I am finally finding my tribe through various group associations with like-minded people who share my struggles and goals and with Jupiter in 20 degrees of Cancer in my 10th house, I am sensing that this is an ideal time to share my second Saturn Return as part of my Phoenix experience. My life is still in a major transitory phase and at times it feels like it is collapsing as I seek to establish a new career as an astrologer. I need to keep sight of the fact that my foundations of the last twenty two years were no longer solid and it is time to build a new solid foundation. It is very much a part of the dance of the phoenix as I set a clear intention and surrender to the process of creativity. Saturn’s nickname is the “Great Teacher” because it rules responsibility, structure, commitment, discipline and authority. It is currently at 12 degrees of Scorpio conjunct my natal Saturn. This is it for me—do or die!
And on this Saturday, October 26th, I will be teaching my astrology workshop Knowledge is Power: Understanding Relationships Through Astrology at Unity Boston Church in Brookline. Please see this link if you are interested in attending:
Saturn entered the sign of Scorpio on October 5, 2012 and will remain in the sign of Scorpio until December 24, 2014. Fear of endings is a big theme with Saturn in Scorpio. Many Scorpios will experience Saturn in Scorpio as cutting ties with the past and being honest about people and places that they have outgrown. This needs to happen in order to clear the decks to make room for new positive changes to occur. Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, the planet of power and transformation, is in mutual reception now with Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, which rules Saturn. Pluto in Capricorn can definitely indicate potential for abuses of power, but rest assured that Saturn in Scorpio will expose them.
I began my study of astrology during my first Saturn Return in 1983. I am dealing with a lot of the same issues that I faced during my first Saturn Return—financial worries, job and health concerns, and relationship issues. I couldn’t help wondering why I still have the same issues in my life with a slightly different cast of characters. Hadn’t I learned anything in the last 29 years? Then I read Elizabeth Spring’s book Saturn Returns: The Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer and was blown away by her explanation—that these issues are back because you have almost resolved them and that last straw can be the hardest. So I have learned that if things happen more than once, it means that you are holding some energy that is creating the experience, even if you are determined not to have that experience. Elizabeth Spring said that the hallmark of the second Saturn Return is that if you deal maturely with the old pockets of unfinished business you can gain the gift that will last until the end—the gift of wisdom so that you become an elder. It also requires surrender and humbleness, which is no small feat. Saturn is known as the Teacher, and I couldn’t help but note the irony in my picking up that book during my second Saturn Return! Be open to the possibility teachers will “spring” up for us when we need it most.
Saturn transits are also known for giving us the choice of exhaustion or depression. Either you can become exhausted by the hard work that Saturn demands of you or you can become depressed from procrastinating and doing nothing. The bottom line is that Saturn transits indicate a time to take action and ultimately those actions can bring rewards. The big BUT is that Saturn can also delay those rewards; we can’t control the timeframe in which the rewards will come. Saturn, like the Lord, works in mysterious ways. Things never happen quite how you expect them to and certainly not on our desired timetable. Saturn controls time, not us. And that may be a bitter pill for many of us to swallow.
Saturn is the Spirit of Father Time and we need to make peace with the transits of Saturn, especially the returns, as an opportunity to accomplish the goals that our soul set forth for this life. Saturn doesn’t like quick fixes; Carl Jung advocated the need for holding the tension of the opposites and conflicts within yourself until you can see the birth of a new idea. I love what Elizabeth Spring said about Saturn transits having a “bridge effect”-first there is insight, then action and finally change. Waiting and patience are the hard work of Saturn. You gotta hang in there until you can see what needs to be done and then expend the energy to do it.
I was born in 1954 when Saturn in Scorpio symbolized paranoia, a common Scorpio trait of those times, which the Cold War vividly represented. I am repulsed by the repression that existed in that era, especially that unsavory chapter of McCarthyism. It was definitely not the America that our founding fathers envisioned during the American Revolution, which was the last time that Pluto was in Capricorn.
Does Saturn in Scorpio in mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn mean that things will be easier for Scorpios than the last time Saturn was in Scorpio (1983-1985)? That was my first Saturn Return, and it was not pretty. I survived a health scare and averted cervical cancer (how Scorpionic can you get) thanks to early detection despite my lack of health insurance, but some other Scorpios were not so lucky. Richard Burton died in 1984 of a brain hemorrhage during his second Saturn Return. He also suffered from kidney and liver disease. In 1985 Rock Hudson died of AIDS during his second Saturn Return and AIDS emerged as a major health concern. Saturn in Scorpio in the 1980’s also uncovered many sex abuse scandals. Scorpio is known as the sex sign, so none of this is a huge surprise.
So, how will Saturn in Scorpio play out in the 21st century? Well, since Scorpio is the sign of transformation, it can definitely mean that things could indeed get worse before they get better. Surrendering to the process of deep change will bring personal power and the strength to set boundaries. But the sticky part is the potential for hitting bottom so that transformation (Scorpio) can occur by building new foundations (Saturn). Saturn in Scorpio can teach us to be fully responsible for our power. New approaches to old problems are required. For many of us, that may seem easier said than done. Trusting in the process is difficult, and Scorpio issues involve trust, betrayal, feeling guarded, intensity, resourcefulness and last, but definitely not least, vindictiveness. Didn’t anybody ever tell you not to cross a Scorpio? Scorpios are known for their loyalty and their memory. They can be your best friend, but if you cross them, they can also be your worst enemy. I recall a line in the movie Prizzi’s Honor: “A Prizzi never forgets.” This was a movie about the Mafia (something Scorpio rules, by the way) that came out in 1985, the last time Saturn was in Scorpio. Are we seeing a pattern here? Saturn in Scorpio is associated with the Saturnian hard won Scorpio transformations.