On December 19, 2017, Saturn the planet of structure, order & authority, moved from the sign of Sagittarius, to Capricorn, where it will remain until 2020. Capricorn & the neighboring sign of Aquarius are both signs of Saturn’s rulership, so this is a significant shift for all of us and strongly influences the Astrological picture for the next 6 years. To put it simply – Saturnine themes of reform, self control, discipline, and realism will be especially strong in our lives and in the world. In the course of this transit we will be forced to confront seemingly insurmountable obstacles – and if we rally correctly, we may even find that we can make significant progress towards reform. But it will require work, focus, deftness and wisdom – a conscious cultivation effort on both the personal and collective levels.
Because this transit is such a big one, I felt inspired to consult the I-Ching for specific insight that I could provide my readers as to what this transit represents for the collective process and what we are to learn through it. The response from the I-Ching was quite fascinating, so I would like to start my analysis with this reading, followed by my usual break down of the Astrological elements surrounding the ingress.
I-Ching Reading for Saturn in Capricorn 2017-2020
HEXAGRAM 53 transforming into HEXAGRAM 57
GRADUALNESS ---------------------- GENTLENESS/SUBMISSIVENESS
Wind over Mountain ----------------- Wind over Wind
Changing line is Line 2:
“When you find food and supplies – they are not only for you.” // “Enlightened instruction should be given to eliminate foolishness and confusion”
These hexagrams were fascinating to me as they both spoke of the wisdom in gradual processes, slow development, cooperating with others, and carried specific insight into creating lasting change with integrity. My interpretation of this reading as a whole was about cultivating the higher virtues of Capricorn and Saturn energy, and utilizing these virtues to establish a new, more appropriate social order.
Hexagram 53 “GRADUALNESS” speaks about the full integration of the elements through gradual, natural development. Taking life step by step without attempting to force progress or trying to ‘read ahead,’ true long-term harmony can be established. This hexagram reminds us that we must accept that the creation and cultivation of anything real in life takes time.
Gradual progress leads us to higher levels of being. Although it may feel slow, the result is authentic and ensures a true understanding. The example in this hexagram is an apprentice working under an elder to gain expertise – to work diligently in this manner, listen, and really learn things thoroughly without skipping steps or attempting to rush ahead is better than trying to prop up one’s own reputation with no foundation beneath you. In this sense, this hexagram is about understanding that true success is earned, and cannot be easily taken.
We must do the work of the soul, honor what is truly wise, and develop deep roots of trust within ourselves. To always protect and value true wisdom is the way to lead life with great vision and great achievement.
Line 2 -- “When you find food and supplies – they are not only for you” -- Is about sharing knowledge & good fortune with others. When we share with a good heart, everyone benefits.
Hexagram 57 “GENTLENESS/SUBMISSIVENESS” is about evolution through a gentle and non-forceful approach. In order for humanity to transcend its darkness and its brutality, we must learn to employ yin methods – soft methods – to address conflict. This includes being patient, cultivating a righteous heart, and having the wisdom to seek external support and assistance when needed (or be an excellent supporter/assistant to someone else whose vision you believe in).
The basic message of Hexagram 57 is that through collaborative efforts we can achieve great purposes – but in order to achieve harmonious collaboration we have to develop a degree of emotional and spiritual intelligence: the ability to yield, listen and cooperate. This also refers to the subtle listening such as being able to receive messages, guidance & support from the other realms. Both types of listening & collaborative support require sensitivity and openness.
This hexagram also speaks about learning from the wisdom of the past. It is important to look to history to learn our lessons and aspire for growth, rather than assuming the old adage that “history repeats itself” as fact. The responsibility ultimately lies upon us both as individuals and as a collective to correct ourselves and disperse patterns of darkness. When we cultivate gentleness, we can look beyond the demands of the personal ego and consider more clearly what is best for all. This is what is needed most in the world right now.
Line 2 -- “Enlightened instruction should be given to eliminate foolishness and confusion” – is about being receptive to information provided by others in order to assess a situation clearly and make proper judgments. This line also instructs us to be clear, firm and gentle in guiding others as well – when leading, lead in a way that fosters cooperation, not control. When supporting, support with a positive spirit.
Saturn in Capricorn In-Depth Astrological Analysis
In light of these times and the general energy of late, I found the messages of the I-Ching to be compelling, somewhat unexpected, and definitely instructive. This reading so clearly reflected many themes of Capricorn: respecting the wisdom of the past, looking to history, taking responsibility, acting/responding to life’s challenges with maturity, slow evolution over instant gratification, etc. I really saw these messages as a gift to help us understand how to hold our integrity, be a positive influence and grow well regardless of the difficulties we might face in our lives and in the world.
Of course, there is no doubt that the coming years will be riddled with Capricorn’s shadow aspects: Arrogance, greed, materialism, need now attitudes, self-serving institutional structures, law for the sake of law, rigidity for the sake of being right, authoritarianism, maybe even attempts at totalitarianism – all the ugliness of the current social paradigm at its absolute worst is up with intense clarity. Society as a whole is in a time of sobering realization, and there is profound need for real and lasting change. The process will be long and unglamorous, humbling but ultimately evolving.
Under Saturn in Capricorn’s vibe – slow effort is required to have mastery. And mastery itself is only partly related to the tangible work – the real work of mastery is about learning lessons. To master one’s lessons is the only way to move towards deep, authentic fulfillment. So, in short, our project collectively and individually, is to recognize, confront, and complete our lessons. We are at the point of being unable to neglect this work any longer. Bandage solutions cannot hold up under these energies. This is a project that requires deep excavation and complete reformation. The house that has been repainted, and built upon for decades without addressing the foundation issues must finally be torn down and rebuilt in a way that serves the needs of all who reside there.
So it could be postulated that the transit of Saturn through Capricorn will bring a lot of progress through the undoing of things. The world has changed since Saturn’s last passage through this space 30 years ago -- the order as it is must adapt to these changes, must make room for reformation – or crumble completely under the weight of the patches and cheap fixes. Ultimately the “patches” have become weighty clutter that impedes the usefulness and efficiency of our social systems, and even our personal lives. Now is the time for letting go of what holds us back and getting super focused on what it is that we truly want to create. Brick by brick, step by step – undoing and redoing. Unbuilding and rebuilding. Cleaning up, perfecting, restructuring with vision & precision.
There are several different themes to this transit that I have come to, and I would like to go into those to help unravel how this all takes place and to interpret – to whatever degree is really possible – what we might expect from the next few years.
First, I’d like to just talk about the Astrological Context of this Ingress – New Cycles of Reform:
The Saturn in Capricorn Ingress occurred during a particularly “busy” week astrologically speaking!
- The New Moon in Sagittarius on December 18
- Saturn moving into Capricorn on December 19
- The Winter Solstice on December 21
- Mercury Rx Stationing Direct on December 22
That is a pretty big line up of entry points all at once. First, the New Moon occurred in late Sagittarius on the point of the “Galactic Center” which is one of the most psychic areas of the zodiac. Saturn & friends had been hovering around this degree for the majority of December, bringing up very deep healing & purging processes for many people. With this new moon there is a feeling of “wrap up” around the chaotic and wild transit of Saturn through Sagittarius. What happened? What does it mean? What is it all for? This lunation is the last one to align with Saturn in Sagittarius for another 30 years, so this next month will be one of concluding those lessons and clearing the decks for what is to come. It is a moon very much about insight, letting go, and determining what is moving forward with us into the next phase.
After that incredibly profound, mystical new moon energy, Saturn made its transition, followed immediately by the Winter Solstice and Mercury’s station. This has really brought in a totally different feeling all together. The weightiness of Capricorn earth, paired with Mercury “stopping” has a feeling of everything suddenly grinding to a halt.
The winter solstice is the initiating cycle for the season and is considered by many the astrological new year. This means that the energy of the solstice defines what to expect in the coming season/year. The winter solstice coming with the sun precisely conjunct the newly arrived Saturn really adds extra oomph to the power of this transit for 2018 – and the themes of deep assessment and slow, hard, continuous effort will be felt very strongly throughout the whole year.
In addition to this, with Mercury stationing to go direct only AFTER all of these initiating transits means that Mercury was retrograde during the New Moon, Solstice & Saturn Ingress – extending its influence not just through this lunar cycle, but through the 2018 solar year AND the next 3 years of Saturn’s transit through Capricorn. Now before you totally freak out about this – remember that Mercury retrograde helps us break things down in order to remake them better. Mercury is in Sagittarius, so the feeling is that we are applying what we learned from the last 3 years of Saturn in Sag. What truth did we realize about our lives and path going forward? And how do we effect that truth in the real world – how do we actually live it out? Where our beliefs hit the brick wall is where we will need to adjust and become more realistic. Or more creative, in some cases.
To add yet another wrinkle to this picture – the Lunar Year coming up in 2018 will be an Earth year (the Earth Dog), doubling up this earthy energy coming out of two Fire years and a Fire Saturn. Uranus will also be moving into Taurus in 2018, adding another sense of shift from very fast, chaotic, difficult to control energy – to more steady, slow, maybe even agonizing processes of structural readjustment. Life will feel a bit more manageable and tangible, but it will also come with more heavy lifting, attention, and effort. The earth energy and grounded feel of Saturn in his domicile after the fire years will really help us regroup, FOCUS, and develop discipline after several years of lightning fast, unpredictable, and wild change.
All of this sets the stage for the current and sustained flow of Saturn in Capricorn’s energy and vice versa – so although I am writing here primarily about the Saturn Cap energy, I felt the above factors were worth mentioning. The overall feeling I have about this line up is that it has heavy implications of something “new” emerging from the old -- the old falling away like a heavy shell – and our new ambitions being put to the test as they develop.
Saturn in Capricorn Ingress Chart Factors Dealing with COLLECTIVE KARMA:
There are several fascinating alignments in this chart regarding our current collective evolutionary process. First, at the time of the ingress, the Sun was precisely trine the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse degree – which automatically ties the Saturn in Capricorn transit to the processes initiated by the eclipse. The solar eclipse in August was a major threshold and turning point – so what I see in this is that this transit is about developing and building upon what was initially seeded through the eclipse in August. This is when the intangible elements start to become more defined and manifest… and throughout the next 3 years we will be working on mastering the lessons, new beginnings, and transitions that came up.
In addition to this the axis of fate, where the collective soul is currently working towards evolving & growing, is closely squared to Jupiter in Scorpio. This combination is very intense – but yet it lends itself well to the “deep excavation” work that Capricorn process is all about this time around. The Leo/Aquarius process as highlighted by the axis of fate is about how we balance heart-centered creativity and finding what truly makes us happy with the needs of society at large. Conversely it is also about retuning group idealism and tribal thinking to greater awareness of individual diversity. Add Jupiter in Scorpio into the mix – an energy inherently about digging into the dark spaces of the psyche – and you have a recipe for a lot of super deep social and personal karmic processing around mucky, dysfunctional psychological programming that leads us into all of the social traps – mob mentality, hunger for power, social distortions around identity issues, etc.
With the aforementioned Mercury retrograde square to Neptune and Venus nearby square to Chiron, people will be feeling especially receptive and sensitive to all of these issues. This brings a sense of reckoning & deep inquiry, whereby we must begin to seek solutions beyond just the rational / materialistic approach. This is a reform of the mind and patterns of belief that triggers confusion, soul searching, intense emotional reactions, vulnerability, and also healing. I see this being particular potent around women’s issues with both Venus & the moon strongly aspected.
The Moon is of course closely conjunct Pluto in a separating aspect and approaching a square to Uranus – which means this is definitely going to be a time of major breakthroughs and collective/personal evolution that is very, very deeply felt.
The changes, adjustments and transformations that are experienced throughout this time are not just occurring in the external world – they are also occurring – and MUST be processed -- on a deep spiritual level. The identity is being reshaped. There is no way around it. What’s worth remembering is that we are all contributing to this through our individual growth. The individual is processing collective issues for the good of the collective – so as we all sort through these things within ourselves and share what we have discovered, this helps keep the collective moving forward. That’s why INDIVIDUAL EMPOWERMENT and finding the INDIVIDUAL PATH is also such an important emphasis of this time. You don’t have to be everything to everyone – just be YOURSELF and that is enough. Individuals being individuals in their most positive possible manifestation is the best thing for the evolution of all.
Saturn in Capricorn Major Alignments:
The final thing I want to cover very briefly is the major alignments of Saturn as it travels through Capricorn. I will no doubt talk about these in much more detail in times to come, but for now I’d like to just touch on them.
First, Uranus moves into Taurus – this will bring the revolutionary energy of Uranus to confront issues of stability, security, financial institutions, value, physical foundations.
In 2024, the USA will be experiencing its Pluto return. This is preceded by a Saturn-Pluto conjunction – this further emphasizes the sense that we will be facing some major epochal shifts in how the world’s systems operate. Pluto has been in Capricorn for 10 years, exposing all of the flaws of these systems. Saturn’s influence here serves only to intensify the break down of these systems.
In 2020, there will be a Saturn-Jupiter-Pluto alignment that is very significant. Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions happen every 20 years and are regarded as watershed moments. With Pluto also involved this is a super-powered alignment that will undoubtedly define the direction of things for a very long time to come. 2020, in short, is basically the year that we can expect all the things that have been building to “pop” in a big way.
After Saturn leaves Capricorn, it will then move into Aquarius, which is the other sign of its rulership. This will be the time of revolutionizing, as Capricorn Saturn focuses most on looking to the past, reforming the old, etc… while Aquarius Saturn is focused on creating the future. Saturn will be in Aquarius approximately through the end of the USA Pluto return -- so this round of Saturn through its home signs will be very significant for the future of the USA.
The significance of this time has tremendously far reaching implications that I expect will be memorable individually and historically. We are at the bottom of the mountain and a treacherous ascent awaits. What we are to find, ultimately, is greater wisdom. The wisdom to find space for multiple perspectives and aspire towards legitimate solutions. The wisdom to treat others with gentleness and kindness – even when being firm. The wisdom to look towards the needs of the collective, not just one’s own self centered desires. All of this is essential maturation to be the best we can be in life.
To be nimble, yet firm. Open, yet wise. Flexible, yet steady. This is harmonization with natural processes, the virtues of achieving perfection.
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