Pondering Saturn in Pisces and Pluto in Aquarius
Astrologers tend to overstate, especially when confronted with major astrological events. How many times in the last several years have we seen predictions of imminent doom or salvation? Certainly conditions have become more severe, yet we’re still here. The world changes, we learn, we love, life goes on. Hopefully we have learned to cherish the simple moments.
Saturn in Pisces began last week and is with us through the first week of January 2025 with a respite in the summer of ‘24. Saturn in Pisces is an emotional placement, representing the end of a cycle that began in May 1993 and lasted until 1996. These were the years of the Clinton presidency. In 1994 the famous Pisces Kurt Cobain perished, a sea change that many mark as the beginning of the marginalization of the era of rock stars. The depressed frustrated melancholy harshness of grunge typifies Saturn in Pisces. This was the end of the world as we knew it as the internet began to transform every area of our lives. From the vantage point of 2023 have a look back to 1993 and contemplate the arc of life, individual and collective.
Pisces is not a comfortable placement for Saturn. Neptune rules Pisces. Neptune confuses and dissolves; Saturn wants facts and stability. Saturn is generally leery of emotions while Neptune is deeply emotional, given to melancholy and nostalgia, and drawn to the intoxication of crowds sharing feelings of sympathy and sentimentality. If you watched this year’s Oscars you know Saturn in Pisces was in full effect, with many winners and attendees crying and nostalgiac call backs, for example with the hug shared by Ke Hu Yuan and Harrison Ford, an Indiana Jones reunion for the audience to empathize with.
We also saw quite a foreshadowing of Pluto in Aquarius in speeches urging diversity and never giving up on our dreams. The enthusiastic sharing of the honor with “hundreds of thousands” of people who made it possible, is typically Aquarius, with its appreciation of the entire community that goes into something or someone whose accomplishment appears singular. It’s about us not me. We did this.
With Pluto in Aquarius beginning on March 23 we’ve been seeing what I’ve been calling the grand finale of Pluto in Capricorn. With the failure of the once prestigious Silicon Valley Bank the world banking system has caused panic again, as it did when Pluto first entered Capricorn in 1998. Saturn in Neptune contributes to the uncertainty as it indicates a tendency to apprehension, doubt, dour mass sentiment, rampant speculation, and feelings of imminent endings.
The rest of March promises more choppy waters as this week’s Mars square Neptune causes overreaction, and sun and Mercury conjunct Neptune fog the view and amplify Neptune’s influence on Saturn. With Mars inconjunct Pluto March 25 fear is indicated. In the last three years this aspect has indicated fears associated with the pandemic, but it may be that the panic regarding financial institutions is exasperated then, just after Pluto enters Aquarius. It could be that a major intervention at a level we have not seen before occurs, facilitated by Pluto in Aquarius. The war in Ukraine is another potential source of anxiety this aspect could exasperate.
Saturn in Pisces will be T-squaring the US ascendant and natal Uranus in Gemini beginning the second week of April. The square will be especially strong mid June when Saturn is stationary retrograde. The asc describes how we relate to the world from our point of view. The dsc, directly opposite, shows how the world in an immediate way relates to us. Planets there can be powerful lenses strongly influencing our lives. For example, a person with Neptune opposing the ascendant might inspire all sorts of strange and usually inaccurate rumors. They might be admired or despised but they are in some way a powerful presence in the imaginations of the people they meet.
With natal Uranus opposition the asc the US is a difficult country to do business or diplomacy with. America’s Sagittarius ascendant is optimistic, outgoing, loves to get involved in foreign places for reasons that are presented as inclusive and even fun but more is promised than is delivered, the insensitivity is insulting, and all that really matters is the American agenda. Uranus in Gemini opposing is perfectly symbolized by our two party system which allows us to reverse course every two years, with bigger reverses every four to eight years. You know that America you were dealing with? Yeah, we’re not that America anymore. All the bad things that America did, and we agree they were bad, we don’t do those things. We’re the new America, the America you love.
Our enemies see us as something like the Borg from Star Trek except less ethical, while our friends see us as eccentric but also potential liberators if we could just focus long enough. We are the new tech that changes every game. Pluto in Aquarius is likely to indicate more game changers. New technology that will at first struggle against the established old technologies, but will inevitably burst through. Think of what music streaming did to the music business, which is a small thing compared to the impact that AI, robotics, nanotech, neuralinks, and other innovations will have.
With Saturn T-squaring these points America is going to be taking some tests and facing some challenges that will expose our hypocritical ways. We will be asked to live up to what we preach. To be responsible, as problems around water, oil, and lies will shake America’s self-image again. With Pluto currently returning in America’s second house continued financial turmoil and innovation by necessity are to be expected at least through 2025.
Saturn in Pisces can indicate a return to traditional religion, and Pluto in Aquarius could indicate esoteric spirituality under attack from established institutions. On the other hand Saturn in Pisces also suggests a further decline of interest in traditional approaches, or lack of interest in the psychic and intuitive, except perhaps in the most personal ways.
At the moment we are pent up in a corporate system that has exasperated the ever present civil war between the American right and left. With the pandemic forcing self reflection and contagious mortality having over shadowed our lives in ways living generations had never seen before, the collective is especially vulnerable to divisiveness and pessimism. Facts are slung like weapons. But as Saturn in Aquarius proved and Saturn in Pisces will continue to, the ability to manipulate has become so extreme that no one can be sure about the validity of what they are reading or watching.
What is needed is a commitment to applying compassion and attention to facts in our own immediate lives. As the Rosicrucians have always advocated, the Universal Reformation happens at home first. By bringing compassion, care, intuition, imagination, and inspiration (all Neptune qualities) to our families and to our work we can inspire others to do the same. It may seem too humble but it’s far less a waste of time and energy than arguing online or fretting over the feed. Have a personal renaissance. Then maybe we can have a collective renaissance. History proves it doesn’t require that many renaissance enthusiasts for something good to happen.
The last time Pluto was in Aquarius revolutions in America, France, Ireland, and Haiti changed politics all around the world. Liberty and equality are Aquarian themes, and so is a stubborn unwillingness to conform. As one would expect from a sign associated with breakthroughs in science and technology, last time around the era of industrialization began, transforming economies and societies in good and bad ways that have become quite clear to us over the last several years.
As Pluto enters Aquarius it lingers in the early degrees in spring 2023, again in 2024 through the beginning of 2025. Essentially over the next two plus years Pluto is conjunct the Great Conjunction of 2020. Great Conjunctions, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, indicate new cultural cycles, and this one is the first in Aquarius since the Renaissance at the beginning of the 15th century.
Saturn in Aquarius has been a bad time for big tech companies. Facebook, Twitter, and other tech monopolies began to face the consequences of their policies. Saturn exposed weaknesses and eliminated supports. Pluto in Aquarius is foreshadowed in the failure of a bank that was once the darling of the tech world. Cryptos are racing to find safer harbors. A nation and a world in deep debt, far from recovered from a pandemic, and exhausted by years of traumatic events, will see the weaknesses Saturn has exposed turn to ruins from which new approaches will emerge. This does not mean that all the world’s markets will collapse. As always we will be tested as to whether we have learned. Have companies and governments done enough after 2008? We’ll be finding out. Are plans in place to deal with such emergencies? If so they may not be as severe. Having a plan B and learning from your mistakes is what Saturn is all about.
What will Pluto in Aquarius look like? How will the next two decades unfold? Will it be a dystopia of failed electric vehicle charging stations and medical bureaucracies where elites use AI to distance themselves from the suffering masses? Idiocracy without the laughs? That is an Aquarian possibility on the low end of the spectrum of how our collective and individual decisions will impact the opportunities and the challenges. In blockchain we see glimpses of this future. Could AI help us figure out how to repair environmental damage? New tech and medical breakthroughs will surprise us.
The Pluto in Sagittarius generation 1996 to 2009, the youngest are fourteen and the oldest twenty seven and approaching their first Saturn returns, will be a driving force of the next two decades. They grew up on computers. Their Sagittarian love of freedom will resonate well with Pluto in Aquarius. With Pluto in Sagittarius they are a generation willing to face death for their idea of freedom. What will their idea of freedom be?
At fourteen and younger we have the Pluto in Capricorn generation. These are some serious kids. They are the pandemic children, some born with Saturn conjunct Pluto. Perhaps the Pluto in Sagittarius kids will provide the necessary enthusiasm and optimism for transforming the way things work and integrating the new science in less harmful ways. But they are likely to be most concerned about their own success and good times.
The Pluto in Cap kids are going to do what is necessary. Detractors of these generations should not only hold hope for them but also assist and mentor where possible. I’d hate to think of what a generation of Pluto in Capricorn people without a sense of social contract due to the chaos of their lives since birth would do to earlier generations when it comes time for them to make the big decisions. So far they have grown up in a world where facts themselves have been undermined (facts: Saturn; undermined: Pluto). By the way, the last time Pluto entered Aquarius Rousseau wrote his revolutionary book The Social Contract.
To close let’s consider the vivid quality of Pluto’s sign shifts. When Pluto was in Sagittarius optimism knew no bounds. Fortunes were made from computer and internet stock investments. A few shares of Amazon bought in the beginning made people millionaires. Jupiter ruler of Sagittarius and Pluto ruler of wealth opened the coffers. There were rumbles near the end, but boundless optimism interpreted them as necessary corrections.
Then Pluto’s friendship with Jupiter ended. Jupiter walked out the door and Saturn entered. The cop, the dad, the bank president, father time, Saturn ruined the party. Suddenly facts mattered more than speculation. World markets crashed. Since then we’ve had all the classic Pluto in Capricorn themes: rule by old men, restricted rights, corruption in high places, fear of dictators, proxy wars, pandemics, extreme weather, economic crisis, distribution disruptions, failed institutions, rigid political extremism, isolation, collective pessimism. 2008 has cast a long shadow and here near the end of its sojourn in Capricorn Pluto reminds us again of how it first said howdy upon entering the sign of Saturn.
The shift of Pluto into Aquarius may be equally vivid. One of the jobs of Saturn is puncturing the hot air balloon of Jupiter. A job of Uranus is puncturing the smothering inside a bag effect of Saturn. Uranus can be disruptive, shocking, eccentric and destructive, but it also indicates liberation, new approaches, modernization, replacing the old and outworn with brilliant innovations, and a love of the new and the futuristic. Uranus can indicate youth and extreme age. If America were to elect an eighty year old president (of either party) it could happen with Pluto in Aquarius. The youth vote promises to be a force to be reckoned with as the number of young voters increases and the number of older voters declines over the next twenty years.
With the US Pluto return ongoing square Eris the effort to suppress the rights of minorities, LGBTQA, the young, the poor, the old, the sick, the long enduring system of exploiting them, will be seriously challenged. We can expect an invigoration of culture as new tech and new perspectives open the way for people of every origin to be creative. New energy technology is inevitable with Pluto in Aquarius, and with Saturn in Pisces we are likely nearing a landmark moment in the decline of the use of coal and oil.
The pace of change is about to quicken. There will be surprising discoveries and inventions. There will be shocking abuses of technology. Places where revolutions are already underway may replace their systems of government. So how do we meet this bright new era whose threshold we stand upon feeling a little shabby? Don’t be in a rush. Wait and see. It’s like entering a new terrain. Stop and have a look around. Pluto is giving us a mixed bag of Capricorn and Aquarius for the next couple of years. We’ll have plenty of time to acclimate ourselves, and to become familiar with a different state of affairs. In the meantime, we can try not to allow our Pluto in Capricorn traumas to overshadow Pluto in Aquarius with apprehensive speculation. Don’t view the future through the eyes of the past. Let’s clear our minds. Keep things simple. Relax and notice which way the wind blows. To cultivate clarity, practice tranquility.
“Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of calamity before calamity. Strong action is training the body without being burdened by the body, exercising the mind without being used by the mind, working in the world without being affected by the world, carrying out tasks without being obstructed by tasks. By deep knowledge of principle, one can change disturbance into order, change danger into safety, change destruction into survival, change calamity into fortune. By strong action on the Way, one can bring the body to the realm of longevity, bring mind to the sphere of mystery, bring world to great peace, and bring tasks to great fulfillment.” The Book of Balance and Harmony