By John Marchesella
When planets with the largest orbs enter new astrological signs, new trends develop in the collective. And when these planets relate to each other in what astrologers call aspects, these developments take shape even more clearly.
One of those planets is Saturn, who is most popularly known for restriction, limitation, frustration and delay. Even in His most likable form, Saturn is discipline, determination and durability; virtues, true, but still not the life of the party.
Beyond such dreary adjectives, though, bottom line, it’s Saturn’s job to balance the dynamics of the sign through which He is transiting, and He does this by bringing out the best and the worst of the sign until the job is done.
Because His ultimate task is balance, what better sign for Him to transit than Libra, the sign represented by the balanced scales of justice! This sign allows Saturn to do His job most effectively.
Since, in the early days of Saturn in Libra this time, namely between November ’09 and October ’10, He was interacting with – or in aspect to – Pluto in Capricorn, we have to tease His effects out from the other.
For instance, the blow to Tiger Woods’ marriage as well as his squeaky clean image is the work of Saturn in Libra, but the sex addiction is Pluto.
Pluto, by the way, is not one of the sweet little dwarves who whistled while they worked with Snow White. Pluto is a War Lord, the god of transformation. Yes, transformation is a wonderful thing – when the experience of transformation is over. Until then, it’s war, and not the honorable kind, but rather guerilla warfare.
His time in Capricorn is wearing away the world of capitalism, and eventually, He will recreate a new socio-economic system. In the greater process, he is also wearing down many old men, the individuals and institutions that represent the old world order, or in other words, the world of Capricorn.
Here’s another example of teasing out one symbol from another. Saturn in Libra represents the controversial Nobel Peace Prize to our President Obama, but within a matter of weeks, Pluto’s symbolism is seen in the ramping up of our war effort in Afghanistan.
The Release of Pressure Makes For Tragedy
As for the astrological symbolism of Haiti’s tragic earthquake in January 2010 – just pick something. So many dramatic symbols of traumatic passages were at work in such a concentrated moment of time. Saturn’s station, His square with Pluto, the Solar Eclipse, the station of Mercury, the retrograde of Mars, Jupiter’s transition from Aquarius to Pisces – so much imagery of passages had to make tragedy happen somewhere in the world.
For more detail, a station begins or ends a planet’s retrograde phase, and therefore intensifies the planet’s meaning. The square between Saturn and Pluto is the aforementioned aspect, which signifies the build-up of pressure, until only an explosion can release it. And when a planet leaves a sign to enter a new one, it rallies the qualities of the previous signs like a swan song. In a humorous instance, we might say the song that is associated with Jupiter leaving Aquarius is “Shake, Rattle ‘n’ Roll.”
The images of Saturn and Pluto are in the volcanic ash explosion of the mountainous volcanoes of Iceland too. Pluto, obviously, is the ash that came from the depths of the volcanoes, but Saturn represents the mountains and overall geography of Iceland.
In September 1923, when Saturn was in Libra and separating from a square to Pluto in Cancer (with Uranus in Pisces, by the way, and on a Solar Eclipse), there was the greatest earthquake in Japan’s history. It leveled Tokyo and Yokohama, and killed 300,000 people! (The tragic earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, is an astrological lesson for another day).
Libra As Not So Strange Bedfellows: Politics and Marriage
On the political side of Libra, Saturn symbolizes the teetering of the balance of parties in Senate, in large part due to the loss of the Democratic seat of Massachusetts. Pluto in Capricorn, i.e., the fall of the Old Order, signifies the end of the “Kennedy” name in Congress now that Senator Edward Kennedy is gone and Patrick Kennedy is not running for re-election in the House.
Ironically, John F. Kennedy went to the House of Representatives in the 1940s, but it was when Saturn was in Libra in 1953, that he made his important move from the House to the Senate, and positioned himself for the Presidency.
By the way, Jackie and Jack Kennedy were married in 1953, when Saturn was in Libra, and it was called the wedding of the decade.
Another royal wedding, literally, of course, took place when Saturn was in Libra in 1981, namely, Charles and Diana. Interestingly, Elizabeth was crowned Queen on the previous transit of Saturn in Libra in 1953.
Ironically – or perhaps aptly – with Saturn half-way through Libra this time, Prince William took Kate Middleton to the altar.
And on this side of The Pond last summer, just when Saturn was making His last ingress to Libra, we saw Chelsea Clinton’s royal wedding – American style.
Conversely – and this is an excellent example of Saturn’s balancing act – we recently saw the break up of another kind of royal couple, that is, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.
And speaking of divorce, shortly after Saturn entered Libra last year, the New York Times reported that divorce rates are down, not because of love; but rather, because of the economy. Couples can’t afford to get divorced any more!
Gay marriage is the phenomena of Pluto in Capricorn, i.e., the fall of conventional social institutions, but Saturn in Libra represents the recent setbacks for the issue, such as the surprising loss of support from New York State. Similarly, the increasing popularity of polyamory is a similar foe to the traditional institution of marriage.
Saturn in Libra often makes for breakthroughs for women. (See headlines below). For instance, Kathryn Bigelow won the Academy Award for Best Director for “The Hurt Locker,” a small independent film. Not only was that the first time in Oscar history for a woman, but more to the point a la Saturn in Libra, she was in competition with her ex-husband, James Cameron of “Avatar,” a huge Hollywood money-maker, who was expected to go home with the award.
Libra As Sophistication and Intelligence
Saturn’s emphasis on the intellectual side of Libra in the 1920’s saw the publication of some of the greatest written works of the century, i.e., “Ulysses” by James Joyce, “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot, and “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse. F. Scott Fitzgerald became the voice of the Jazz Age with his first two novels, W.B. Yeats won the Nobel Prize, and Eugene O’Neill received the Pulitzer Prize for “Anna Christie” and notoriety for “The Hairy Ape.”
Saturn in Libra in 1951 brought the publication of “The Catcher in the Rye,” but Pluto in Capricorn in 2010 made for the death of its author, J.D. Salinger, another example of “the fall of the iconic old man.”
Astrology in the Headlines – For Those Who Do Learn From the Past
Economically, astrologers were transfixed by the T-square of August 2010, while it was approaching, as well as on its infamous earlier incarnation, the T-square of the Great Depression. However, we could also look back to 1922-23, when the square from Saturn in Libra to Pluto in Cancer signified the fall of the German mark, Hitler’s rise in influence, and Mussolini’s Fascist march on Rome.
For those not in the know, a T-square is a more powerful form of aspect, i.e., relationship between planets. It’s a grouping of aspects between three or more planets in the shape of a ‘T’, which complicates and heightens the stress that challenging aspects cause. Suffice it to say for our purposes here, a T-square is an aspect of thwarted energy, in search of a release.
In short order, the best way to learn about the future is to review the past. So, here are a few headlines from Saturn’s previous journeys through Libra in the last century. Look for the cyclical themes from one to another to another to current events.
September 1980 – November 1982, and May 1983 – August 1983:
John Lennon Taken by Fanatic
Iran Releases Hostages
Jean Harris Guilty of Doctor’s Murder
Mae West Dies
Carol Burnett Wins Libel Suit with The Enquirer
First Woman Named to Supreme Court
Soldiers Murder Sadat
Door Opens in China; Private Sector Wider
AIDS, a New Plague, Identified First Time
Washington Settles AT&T and IBM Cases
DeLorean Car Plant Is in Receivership
Von Bulow Tried to Kill Wife, Jury Finds
Argentina Invades Falkland Islands
Princess of Wales Has Her First Child
4,150 Married by Reverend Moon in the Garden
Automobile Wreck Kills Princess Grace
Brezhnev Is Dead at 75
First American Woman Sally Ride’s in Space
Thatcher Sweeps to Victory in Britain
November 1950 – March 1951, and August 1951 – October 1953:
George Bernard Shaw, Preachy Playwright, Is Dead
U.N. Forces Halt Red Drive in Korea
The Inventor of the Permanent Wave Is Dead
Porche, Designer of Rear-Engine Auto, Dies
British King Gets His First Pay Raise
US Presidency Is Limited to Two Terms
Rosenbergs Found Guilty
Hearst, Flamboyant News Tycoon, Is Dead
Truce Reached and Lines Drawn in Korea
G.M. Offering Cars with Air Cooling
Eva Peron Dies at 33; Argentina Mourns
Sex Operation Make Mr. Jorgenson a Miss
Joseph Stalin Succumbs to Stroke
Hillary Scales Mount Everest; World Applauds
First Woman Breaks the Sound Barrier
October 1921 – December 1923, and April 1924 – September 1924:
Valentino Stars in “Sheik” and Makes Fans Swoon
Female Freedom Can Lead to Divorce
French Bluebeard Sentenced to Die
Southern Ireland Becomes Free State
Communist Party Organized in China
A Little Magazine: The Reader’s Digest
Gandhi Imprisoned for Civil Disobedience
Highest Altitude Reached on Everest
First Flight by Woman across US
Aimee Semple McPherson Opens Temple
Sarah Bernhardt Is Dead
Health Forces Lenin to Quit
KKK Imperial Wizard Opposes World Court
Teapot Dome Scandal: Daugherty Ousted
Major Film Merger: Goldwyn and Mayer
Anguished Author Kafka Dies Young
Germany Introduces Currency Reform
Libra, The Sign of Class and Style – And Not
A clear example of Saturn bringing out the extremes of a sign is seen in the dichotomy of these two news stories.
On Saturn’s last leg in Libra in 1924, the New England Association of Retail Clothiers and Furnishers met in Boston. After much deliberation, the group issued this selfless resolution: “Whereas it has been abundantly proved that proper attire aids in success; therefore, it is resolved that this association commends the efforts being made to stress the importance of pride in appearance.” A motion for Congress to repeal all current excise taxes was also carried.
In September 1952, when Saturn was deep in the conjunction with Neptune in Libra and square to Uranus in Cancer, then-Senator Richard Nixon declared, “I am not a quitter,” in a televised address in which he defended the existence of $18,000 political fund and vowed to stay on the Republican ticket as Eisenhower’s running mate. In his speech, Nixon also said that his wife, Pat, doesn’t own a mink coat, “but she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat.”
Once again, astrology is often as illuminated in the small news stories as it is in the big events in the collective.
About the author