Category: Astrology Basics Written by Robert Wilkinson
Saturn transits are the most important periods of testing our responses to the “hard realities” of life, both stressful as well as transformational. Our inner Saturn is the means to take command of our life, and when it makes conjunctions to our Ascendant and planets we go through a period of seeing which limits we can transcend, and well as the limits within which we can live fulfilling lives.
Though Saturn is often regarded as a harsh taskmaster, Saturn is the part of us which is limited by our lack of understanding until we take responsibility for learning to do what must be done in our highest, best interests. As Saturn is the last of the visible planets and the Gatekeeper to Uranus’ infinite freedom to be unique on our own terms as agents of Spirit, Saturn transits often show us where our learned social and cultural biases, fears, and resistance to change meets the Cosmic Timekeeper of our Higher Transpersonal responsibilities, aka Dharma. Simply put, when Saturn makes a conjunction to natal planets or the Ascendant we must rise to the occasion and find the understanding we need to grow into greater effectiveness.
What Is A Conjunction?
Any planet approaching the same degree of any other planet or significant point in the chart is making a conjunction (at or near the same longitudinal degree as) that point. In other words, two planetary principles are fusing their energies. In the natal chart, a conjunction shows we begin with a fusion of those energies; progressions and transits make conjunctions with natal, progressed, and other transiting planets. Each of these fusions creates the beginning of a cycle which unfolds as the planets continue to move forward.
A conjunction, like any other aspect (angular relationships between planets and points), has a range limit which is called an “orb.” Conjunctions and oppositions get maximum orb, usually anywhere from 8-12 degrees, depending on which planets are involved.
The Sun and Moon get the widest orbs of aspect influence, and so we may find a planet conjunct one of our Lights being a fair distance from that Light. That’s why a conjunction is happening even when it’s a few degrees away, whether forming or separating. In all phase relationships, we have a period before the exact phase, a period of the exact phase, and a period of leaving the exact phase. These three periods represent a span of time when a certain type of “fusion” energy is in play related to the planets in conjunction.
Forming conjunctions show impending energy that’s in our face. Exact conjunctions show we’re in the heart of the energy. Separating conjunctions show we’ve been influenced by that energy. That’s why the time after any significant conjunction to our Sun, Ascendant, or any other planets is important, since the exact conjunction period transformed whatever was conjuncted by the planet making the conjunction, setting a new cycle into motion.
Because Saturn is the part of us which re-sets our limits, duties, and responsibilities from time to time, it requires our attention to let go of whatever we must let go of, and accept whatever we must accept. When transiting Saturn makes a conjunction to our natal Saturn, Sun, Ascendant, or any other planet we go through major changes which make our lives radically different than the time before the Saturn return. Any Saturn transit brings profound understanding about that part of us, transforming us in that area for the rest of our lives.
When Do We Begin To Feel A Saturn Conjunction?
We definitely feel the influence of Saturn when it’s in the same sign as one of our planets, regardless of how distant they are from each other. For example, my Saturn is in the 29th degree of Virgo. I remember feeling its influence the day it entered Virgo in September 2007, even though it was still 28 degrees away from an exact conjunction to my Saturn.
Continuing, my exact Saturn return happened the first time in October 2009. Saturn then retrograded back over my Saturn in May 2010, went stationary direct at 28 Virgo, and then crossed back over the exact degree and minute of my Saturn in June 2010. In my experience, my second Saturn return lasted for about 3 years!! And yes, my life was radically restructured over that time span, and the person I was the Summer of 2010 was radically different than the person I was in the Summer of 2007.
My sense of responsibility was different, my sense of purpose was different, what I could and could not live with was different, the roles I was willing or unwilling to play were different, with the critical factor being that I CHOSE MY PATH EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. The Saturn return is when we make choices to throw off the chains of mental and emotional slavery and renew our ability to shape our lives in more fulfilling ways.
Of course, the Saturn return also makes it clear where we’ve allowed inertia to make our lives a long tiring slog. That’s why the when a planet or our Ascendant is conjuncted by Saturn, it often leads to feeling depressed, oppressed, or repressed, limited, frustrated, and "saturnine." Saturn is a sobering influence, and over the long haul we learn patience, maturity, and responsibility through a deepening awareness of that planetary influence which has been touched by Saturn.
What Do We Learn From Saturn Transits?
Saturn's conjunctions to our planets and Ascendant show us something in our life structure has outlived its time. Some things just become “old” and Saturn shows us what and when. Through the heaviness we feel while going through a Saturn lesson, we are slowly but surely taught to see what is obsolete so we may eliminate old structures and limitations which have prevented us from living our sense of purpose on our own terms. Saturn allows us to find our way to our true selves, freed from prejudices and traps of fear or limiting behaviors that stifle our Spirit.
Saturn transits are times when we get clear about who we are and who we aren't. We learn what we do and do not want to deal with and our bottom line regarding self-limitation. Saturn is what keeps us focused until we learn the lessons we must learn from the events happening during a Saturn transit. By making Saturn our friend and teacher, we can throw off attitudes which keep us from fulfilling our potential. As we leave behind old beliefs and ineffective responses, we see how all our tests help us refine our understanding by processing experience into wisdom and personal “authorship” of our lives.
Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and TransPluto transits all symbolize forces "beyond our control" affecting us, and we respond to these transpersonal forces the best we are able via the “seven Sacred Planets.” The Transpersonal planets open up a much vaster field of Spiritual activity, but as we have no control over how things manifest, all we can do is adapt within the larger field and be our Higher Self the best we're able.
With Saturn, though, we learn what we can influence and what we can't, and are given opportunities to grow beyond unreasonable or immature expectations and "shoulds." The four Transpersonal planets make things seem very weird indeed, while Saturn makes things crystal clear, even though sometimes this clarity comes with difficulties and limitations.
Saturn has the effect of deepening and restructuring whatever it touches. It is where “the chickens come home to roost,” for better or worse, based in what we’ve been doing since the last time it touched that planet or our Ascendant. When Saturn conjuncts our Ascendant or a planet, it marks the end of an old way of defining those energies, and the beginning of a new long term cycle connected to those energies.
When Transiting Saturn Conjuncts the Inner Planets
When it touches our Sun, our light and life are confined, and we find we must restructure our lives in ways which are more mature and responsible. Our long term experience (Saturn) comes to our Light (Our Sun), so our Illumination takes a more mature form. Of course, in the case of a dysfunctional Saturn or Sun, rigidity, fear, and authoritarian tendencies are crystalized.
Whether for good or ill or both, Saturn conjunct our Sun is when we reap the results of living our Light over the long haul. During the period Saturn is near our Sun, we receive what we deserve for our prior long term efforts, with the experience offering us newer, more mature and appropriate ways of living our life and expressing our Light.
When Saturn conjuncts our Moon, our personal feelings deepen, we become much more introspective, and we restructure our habits and ways of experiencing our day to day life. Many have to confront fear under this transit, and these periods off us a chance to reprioritize how we are and are not taking care of ourselves and others appropriately. This time restructures our personality, and what we care about (and what we don’t!)
Going through this conjunction is always a heavy time. Our direct experience of each moment, shown by our natal Moon, is being visited by the necessity to become more mature in our needs and emotional responses. It is an emotionally sobering time, where “being realistic” is of great importance in any domestic concern.
When Saturn conjoins our Mercury, our thinking becomes more structured, profound, or dogmatic. How we coordinate our affairs becomes organized into a workable routine. We learn what we know and what we do not know, and whether our thinking is too narrow or pessimistic. It's a great time for studying, reading, writing, or any of the mental disciplines.
As Mercury is “The Guide of Souls” and Saturn is our path to fulfilling Dharma, which itself is the expression of our Soul, Saturn/Mercury contacts are great for finding “spiritually mature” ideas leading us to a greater understanding of who we are within “All-That-Is.” It is said these contacts encourage us to deepen our connection to our spiritual community and take the long view of how we have been and are being guided to our Soul as a result of the clear lessons Saturn brings during these contacts.
When it conjuncts our Venus, our relationships change dramatically, and we drop obsolete associations, those that are more trouble than they're worth or no longer reflect who we really are. Any time Saturn touches our Moon or Venus there are usually hard lessons in human relations, but that frees us to take care of our likes and needs appropriately.
I discuss the dance that our Moon and Venus do in shaping our relationships in my new book The Magic of Venus: Friendships, Soul Mates, and Twin Flames. In it I have other sections about how the maturing of our personal and social emotions affects who we attract in the future, and how to work consciously to replace old unconscious patterns with healthy intentional patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. Saturn’s cycles with our Venus shows us the way to fulfilling relationships on all levels for the rest of our lives.
When Saturn conjuncts our Mars, our energies are somewhat restricted. These period show us what frustrates or aggravates us so we can learn ways of planning releases of the pressure before it explodes or implodes. It’s great for working patiently with our “fight or flight” principle. It's always a time to reorganize what we think we're supposed to be doing and slow down! These times show us how to make time our ally in implementing our plans.
Saturn conjunct the Jupiter in a chart restructures the imagination, the promise of the future, our philosophy and spiritual beliefs, and all the other areas ruled by Jupiter. Some things are cut back, while other things are perseveringly carried out. Experience is incorporated into the broader view of opportunity. The philosophy matures, and becomes more organized or dogmatic, depending. This can show us how to achieve a wider future using time, structure, and patience.
Saturn conjunct Saturn is the "dreaded" Saturn return, discussed earlier. You can find much more about the meaning and influence of this very important period that happens every 29 years in the article “The Saturn Return.”
It's not such a bad time if you're ready to take responsibility for what IS your stuff, and drop the learned limitations that keep your life from being the grand adventure that it could be (and is!) Mainly we see that our experience has exhausted certain ways of living, and it's time to live that which we haven't yet experienced. It's also usually accompanied by feeling a sense of limitations and boundaries never felt before.
Saturn Conjunct the Ascendant
The time of day we were born determines our rising sign, or Ascendant. When Saturn forms a conjunction with the Ascendant, there is a real sense that we've grown up, and usually have to deal with heavy responsibilities or duties that show us how mature we are. There often are feelings of being weary with the world, or even a fatigue due to being put through a "rigor."
As I explain in my book, Saturn’s transit of our 12th house before it conjuncts our Ascendant is the period when we review “the movie of our life,” and see our long term sorrows and motives from a more mature angle that we had before that period. By what we learn when Saturn transits our 12th house, we prepare for a more mature version of us to come forth when Saturn conjuncts our Ascendant.
Saturn in the same sign as our rising sign or near our Ascendant is a serious time, where our purpose is examined with an eye to the future. There is a solemnity we don’t usually feel, along with a "strictly business" approach to life. We tend to be more serious when Saturn conjuncts our Ascendant, and are capable of doing "the long march," accepting duties we may not feel like doing.
Things seem more weighty during a Saturn transit, not surprising since Saturn symbolizes density. When Saturn conjuncts the Ascendant, a part of your self-image is leaving forever, to be replaced with a new way of being in relationships, with the self, the Self, and the world. We know something is complete, and are ready to use our instinctive wisdom-experience in new ways.
The Ascendant specializes your unique purpose and being, distinguishing you from everyone else born on your birthday. It is your self-referencing Self-awareness, your window on reality. Since nothing clarifies things better than Saturn, when Saturn is near or in the Ascendant, we find a whole new Self-discipline.
We often accept new responsibilities and long range tasks, training or retraining who we see ourselves to be in new ways. Often we may feel or seem to be older than we were not very long ago. We definitely feel our age under a Saturn transit, and eliminate everything that's a drag on our line and more trouble than they're worth.
Saturn usually conjuncts our Ascendant (and our other planets) more than once in a life, usually twice or even three times if we live to our '80s or experience a conjunction when we’re very young. Each time it conjuncts our Ascendant, we end old lessons and our sense of purpose and self-identity while resetting our defaults in our self-definition (relative to our world) of power, authority, influence and our instinctive self.
You can find more about these important conjunctions in my book Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend, as well as all the other “stations” of a Saturn transit, including what to expect when Saturn squares or opposes one or more of our planets. There’s a section about what happens as Saturn moves through the various quadrants in our charts, and why we begin experiencing the turning points before they happen.
It includes valuable information about when Saturn affected various generations, and understand why some things which happened “back then” seem to be yielding results in the here and now. If you don’t already have your copy, please consider getting yours via the link.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
© 2022 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.
CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
Spirit Animal Totem Of The Day!
Who is Online Now
We have 837 guests and no members online