Envision a brighter future with Saturn in Aquarius
Explore how the innovative cycle of Saturn in Aquarius can help revitalise old traditions and make modern life fairer for all
2020 is a year of profound planetary shifts and opportunities for growth and renewal. At the end of 2020 a major 200-year cycle ends and a new one begins. Jupiter and Saturn come together first in Capricorn, then move fully into a grand conjunction in Aquarius. These momentous conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn take place every 20 years and can be used to signal changes in politics, culture and everyday life. Those 20-year cycles combine into roughly 200-year cycles in which all of the conjunctions happen in the same element. In the 200-year cycle that is now ending, the conjunctions have been in earth signs. December 2020 marks a major shift, as all of the grand conjunctions for the following 200 years will take place in air signs.
Aquarius wants laws to be equitable for everyone, but perhaps especially for the common person.
This is an epic change, because it means that the developmental pressure and the collective events defined by these conjunctions will have the quality of air, which relate to communications, dissemination of information, and socialisation.
On 23 March 2020, Saturn will enter Aquarius for the first time in nearly 30 years, stepping into this new air portal a few months before Jupiter. In July, Saturn will retrograde back into Capricorn for one last visit before committing fully to Aquarius on 18 December 2020. The grand conjunction takes place with both Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21.
With Saturn as the ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius, there’s some wonderful symbolism unfolding here, as Saturn weaves together the concerns of both signs during 2020, shining light on the connections between them. We’ll have an opportunity to tie up loose ends relating to Saturn in Capricorn, while being introduced to the new topics Saturn in Aquarius will highlight.
Opening the portal of Saturn in Aquarius
From 23 March to 1 July 2020, Saturn will spend its time in the first two degrees of Aquarius. When a planet first enters a sign you can sense a change in the air, not just because the planet’s tone has shifted but because the final and first degrees of signs are especially powerful. They are like the opening and closing of doors, or the turning of tides. When you open the door to a new room and look inside, there’s an anticipation and excitement as the new energy draws you in. Likewise, when you leave a room and close the door behind you, there’s a finality to it, a kind of boundary setting.
Get to know Saturn
Saturn has to do with structure and authority, time, limitation, elders, rules and contraction. As a psychological process, Saturn represents maturation, making tough choices, sacrifice for the sake of getting something you want, for yourself or others, as well as integrity and self-discipline.
Saturn has to do with time; the marking of time, the awareness of time, endings and finality. At your first Saturn return around age 30, you become sharply aware of the passing of time and the fact that you’re getting older. You might feel pressure to make hard choices as you’re called to step into adulthood with more intention, knowing that the choices you make will impact the next 30 years (no pressure!).
Saturn also has to do with the challenges and roadblocks you might face along your journey. Saturn transits can correlate with rough patches, when you might be called to respond to adversity with a sobering, grown-up approach that you might only barely feel ready for. It’s as if Saturn is asking, “How badly do you really want this?”
Taking responsibility with Saturn
Since entering Capricorn in December 2017, Saturn has been in the driver’s seat, as Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn. Since December 2017, you may have been challenged to make a tough choice between diverging goals, to finally say no to one path so that you could more fully say yes to another. That feeling of necessity is Saturn. You might not want to do what Saturn is asking, but you usually know you need to.
Saturn in Capricorn highlights accountability and you may have had a kind of reckoning or clarifying realisation that you are where you are right now because of the choices you’ve made in the past. Sometimes being accountable means there’s a price to pay, like a literal fine or a necessary but unwanted tax bill. Perhaps there’s more of a psychological fine, as you realise you might have to take two steps back before you can move forward.
It can be helpful to think of Saturn as being somewhat impartial, with the idea that “you reap what you sow”. Take stock of your actions, regroup, and make adult choices to forge ahead and change your future.
In addition to obstacles, Saturn can just as likely bring a reward for hard work, effort and dedication to a task. For instance, Saturn moving through your tenth house of career and honours could correlate with a time when you’re recognised in your career for your dedication and the long hours you’ve put in at work.
Your vision for the future with Saturn in Aquarius
As Saturn shifts into Aquarius it’s time to look to the future. Aquarius looks ahead, ready to explore what might be possible. Saturn in Aquarius wonders, “How do we achieve a better and more equitable future?”
Aquarius often reviews the past to find ways to improve the present. With such a strong focus on Saturn, time becomes an important subject. Make a conscious effort to be aware of time, whether that means improving daily time management or getting better at planning for the future.
Old rules Vs new rules
Saturn has to do with structure. This can literally mean physical structures like buildings, but also societal structures, especially those with a chain of authority and rules of engagement.
In Capricorn there’s been a desire to build solid structures, create lasting foundations, and the need to uphold, maintain or reinforce long-standing structures – sometimes to a fault. With Saturn in Aquarius it’s time to step back and think about the structure you’ve made or that you’re a part of. Seeing the big picture can help you understand the inner-workings and connections that makeup the structure, as well as provide insights for how it might be improved. You might invent a solution that rights a wrong, correct an injustice or work within the system to create positive change.
Saturn has to do with the law of the land. In Capricorn Saturn might cling to old rules. In Aquarius Saturn asks: Are these old rules really fair today? Do these rules still apply or has society outgrown them? Both signs focus on rules. With Aquarius being an air sign, it’s time to open up a discussion about rules and regulations and ultimately reinvent them to reflect the times.
Revitalising traditions with Aquarius
In a recent study I did on Aquarians, I discovered a group of famous people born in the early 1960s with Aquarius stelliums – that means having three or more planets close to each other in Aquarius. Some individuals had as many as seven planets in Aquarius.
Here’s something that stood out; this group includes two of the biggest country music stars of all time, Clint Black and Garth Brooks. If you believe Aquarius is the sign of the rebel, which many modern astrologers mistakenly did after the discovery of Uranus and its subsequent association with Aquarius, you might scratch your head over that, but we’ll see it’s really no coincidence when you remember that Saturn traditionally rules Aquarius.
Saturn energy has a conservative nature; it restricts, contracts, limits. Its influence on Aquarius shines here in the charts of two musicians who revitalised a more traditional style of country music in a time when many claimed country music had veered too far from its roots. They tapped into the zeitgeist so strongly that they became wildly popular almost overnight.
Going further, consider the listener base for country music, which is largely conservative, politically and otherwise. In the US, they are the face of rural America, the small town average Joe.
Opportunity for all
Aquarius has to do with the average Joe or the common person. Where Pisces relates to the collective as a whole (we’re all one), Aquarius relates to the individual person who is part of the crowd. Aquarius contains the awareness that each person matters, no matter how small or important their role is in the collective. Country music is the soundtrack for a specific subset of the every man; the blue-collar worker, the farmer, the down-home residents of the rural landscape.
While Saturn is in Aquarius, and especially following the great conjunction in Aquarius, the common man will take centre stage in the collective discourse. Issues of conservatism, conservation, and reclaiming, revitalising and renewing lost or crumbling traditions will also be important topics.
When Saturn comes to Mars in any sign, it’s time for tenacity.
Aquarius offers the chance to find balance between the rules of society that maintain law and order and those that bind us too tightly, limiting personal freedom. Aquarius wants laws to be equitable for everyone, but perhaps especially for the common person.
It’s likely that the lineup of planets in Aquarius that includes Saturn (2020 – 2023), Jupiter (December 2020 – December 2021) and Pluto (2023 – 2044), will bring some proposed solutions – new laws and revisions to current laws, with a focus on improving the state of the common person, bringing in the Aquarian goals of more equity as well as more personal freedom, financial and otherwise.
If Aquarius is strongly represented in your chart – maybe it’s your Sun sign, Moon or Ascendant sign – you might be called to be involved on the world stage, working diligently to bring about these changes.
What does this mean for me?
If you’re an Aquarius, it’s time to step up your game. With Saturn coming to visit your Sun, there will be developmental pressure to push through to your next stage of maturity in ways that are specific to your life path. You’ll want to know which house topics the Sun and Saturn rule in your chart to get the whole story. Let’s go through a few examples.
If your natal Aquarius Sun is in your tenth house, that might mean taking on more responsibility in your career, like accepting a position of more authority (and the extra work that comes with it), or stepping into the role of elder or wise person in some way. If your Sun is in your fifth house, responsibilities with children may come to the forefront. You might commit to having a child or make the decision not to have children.
Venus in Aquarius can get really interested in figuring out what makes their friend or partner tick.
If your Aquarius Sun is in your second house, it might be time to rethink your approach to money. You may find you need to cut back on spending – Saturn can ask you to tighten the belt. Or perhaps you need to rework your retirement plan. Focus on the rewards you’ll reap tomorrow knowing that the restrictions you make today will probably feel more like a bummer!
The I Ching hexagram 60 contains great advice for how to work constructively with Saturn energy, with the reminder, “If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want.”
What if you have other planets in Aquarius besides the Sun in your birth chart? How will those be impacted by Saturn’s transit? Let’s go through a few.
Venus in Aquarius
If your natal Venus is in Aquarius you’re probably great at friendship energy, with a natural affinity for communication and sharing ideas. Venus in Aquarius can get really interested in figuring out what makes their friend or partner tick. This innate curiosity about the system of the personality leads to them asking intriguing questions that draw out the other person. And they often do so with a gleeful twinkle in their eye that conveys their genuine interest.
Let’s imagine that your Venus is in the eleventh house. With Saturn coming to your Venus, it’s time to get more serious about your friends. You might need to do a little pruning. Maybe you’ve outgrown your friend group. Maybe you realise some of your friends aren’t really supporting the development of your future self. It’s time to make some hard choices that are also in your best interest.
Mercury in Aquarius
Let’s say your natal Mercury is in Aquarius and in your ninth house. Your natural fascination with learning or with foreign cultures will keep you young in mind and heart if you nurture that curiosity throughout your life.
With Saturn coming to your Mercury, it might be time to take on a more serious endeavour. Go back to school and get that degree you’ve always wanted but didn’t feel like you needed because you had “nothing to prove”. Do it for yourself, even though you know you can study all of those books on your own. Or it could be a good time to apply yourself to more spiritual studies, or to learn a foreign language – while living in the country where the language is widely spoken. Saturn is asking for a next-level commitment.
Mars in Aquarius
With natal Mars in Aquarius, you have access to a cool, calm and collected energy that tempers Mars in beneficial ways. Where others are too quick to heat up, whether in anger or in actions that are too hasty, you have access to mental resources that serve you well. You might think first where others leap before they look.
When Saturn comes to Mars in any sign, it’s time for tenacity. Mars relates to your will and how you get, take or pursue what you want. Saturn coming to Mars could act like a metaphorical stop sign, or a road block. If you want to push forward, you might have to push hard. Take a moment to step back, access those Aquarian resources of detached engagement, and make your next move from that place, knowing you’re in touch with what you fully desire.
Moon in Aquarius
With natal Moon in Aquarius, there’s a link to your emotional centre and your childhood conditioning. Like with Mars, Aquarian energy can be a real asset here. Where the Scorpio Moon can too easily become unmoored by stormy emotions, the Aquarius Moon is more likely to keep its cool. This Moon placement would be ideal if you require focus and analysis without being hindered by emotions, like a scientist, surgeon or EMT technician.
When Saturn comes to the Moon in any sign there can be a depressive turn. Life’s more serious challenges can take their toll on your emotions. It’s important not to forget to take care of yourself during a Saturn-Moon cycle. Get some rest or have some quiet me-time. The Moon in Aquarius may need regular time alone to reflect and recharge as part of an ongoing self-care plan. Saturn could accentuate the need for solitude, retreat and serious contemplation.
Jupiter in Aquarius
With natal Jupiter in Aquarius, your vision of life – the underlying philosophy that drives you – is impressively person-centred, systems-based and wonderfully complex. To “keep hope alive”, which is the goal for any healthy Jupiter, you need to keep analysing, thinking and talking out your ideas with others who can keep up.
As Saturn comes to your Jupiter in Aquarius, you might need to reel yourself in a bit. Maybe the vision is too grand or too heavenly to be of any earthly use. Maybe there’s something about reality that comes into play – think “come back down to earth” or “get real” as a metaphor for revision. Hard work here will pay off with a more solid plan as you move ahead. You’re a key player in this next 20-year cycle, so get to work!
Saturn in Aquarius
And finally, if your natal Saturn is in Aquarius, welcome home! It’s time for your Saturn return. This will be you if you’re 28–30 or 57–59 in 2020. Take note of all the themes in this article and spend the next year in process. Take stock of where you’ve been, sort through what has worked and what hasn’t, and choose your next path wisely, with as much patience, wisdom and grownup verve as you can muster. You’ll be setting the tone for the next 30 years. You’re also a key player in this next 20-year cycle, and have something to teach the rest of us by stepping into the role of the elder in the area of life where Saturn manifests for you.
Contribute to the collective
Even if you don’t have planets in Aquarius, Saturn (and Jupiter) will be visiting the Aquarius house of your chart. In that area of your life ask: How are the rules I live by limiting my personal freedom? How have I outgrown my own rules? How have the rules of the company I work for created unfair preferential treatment when it comes to raises and promotions? How can I use my voice and vision to shift things for the better for all?
Your insight, careful analysis, stimulating conversations and cool-headed observations will lead you in the right direction during these pivotal times ahead.