From Here to Saturn in Capricorn


Detail of infrared image of our native galaxy, the Milky Way, captured by IPAC/Caltech/2MASS. You can view the full-size image in all its 9,600-pixel glory at this link.

Just before noon Eastern time on Tuesday, Dec. 19, Saturn arrives in Capricorn. Saturn’s pass over the Galactic Core and through the last degrees of Sagittarius describes the high-pressure madness we’ve been seeing, as well as the feeling of some people waking up.

For a brief refresher, Saturn (associated with structure, productivity, responsibility and authority) orbits the Sun in about 29 years, and therefore takes about two-and-a-half to three years to pass through each sign. It’s been in Sagittarius since late 2014 and is about to enter Capricorn. This particular change is significant in that Saturn will be entering a sign that it rules for the first time in a generation and, in the process, will make an aspect to the Aries Point, with its theme of the personal meeting the collective. This also commences the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which peaks in 2020.

There are so many distinct astrological events between now and Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn that it seems like we’ll experience a microcosm of history in that time: of shuffling of developments and ideas, of changes, referrals in course, many little surprises and revelations, and a few big ones. World events have been so compressed lately that few might notice the difference.


View from closer to home: the Milky Way over a mountainscape in Concordia, Pakistan, in 2014. Photo by Anne Dirkse/Flickr.

Then when Saturn enters Capricorn, all eyes are on government, and on family, and the relationship between the two. Remember that when you’re reading about the activities of Robert Mueller III, the special counsel.

Along that line of thought, last week dwarf-planet candidate Quaoar entered Capricorn. Quaoar, discovered in 2002 (in Sagittarius, where it was till a few days ago), was considered such an important discovery at the time that it was given the honorific minor planet number 50,000. Its overarching theme is the creation myth and family patterns.

One discussion we have not heard in the mix of all the #metoo protests is the connection between how people conduct themselves in corporations and government, and how that relates (and indeed has its origins in) the family. However, we do need to keep that in mind, since psychology has done an excellent job of mapping that out. This is a subject to focus on as Saturn makes its one and only conjunction to Quaoar, for this Saturn cycle, on Saturday, Dec. 23. (The next one is March 11, 2051.)

Also note that Mars is now in Scorpio, having just arrived Saturday. This represents an infusion of sexual energy, in the style of hormonal desire, into the current equation. For quite a while, Mars has been in Libra, and its presence in Scorpio, a sign Mars rules, is more palpable. So that, too, is influencing our environment. The assertion is being made over and over again that “this is all about power; it’s not about sex,” though that’s barely possible to demonstrate, much less to prove. Mars is a reminder to own your sexuality, your desire, your choices and your freedom to choose.

And Now for Some Future

OK, that’s the background. There are so many events between now and Saturn’s ingress that I’m going to list them, and then summarize what I think this represents as a gestalt. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Mercury and the Sun form their interior conjunction (when Mercury is exactly between the Sun and the Earth), which is the midpoint of the current Mercury retrograde. (Mercury stations direct on Friday, Dec. 22.)

Also on Tuesday, Dec. 12, Vesta and Jupiter form a conjunction in Scorpio. This describes the wisdom of sexuality, and the fact that any actual discussion of sexuality requires the acquisition of knowledge and a deep form of self-honesty. It also describes the scale of the space we need to hold open for healing to occur. If we presume there’s some element of maleness that needs healing, consider this aspect. Vesta (priestess of tending the flame, and she who holds space) conjunct Jupiter (benefactor, and in myth, the one who fucked or raped a good few goddesses and lots of other kinds of beings) in Scorpio (the sign of sex) describes the feeling and intention of creating the healing space, and keeping it sacrosanct. This is not a trending subject yet, though there do seem to be some open ears and hearts vibing in that direction.

Vesta in this placement also describes the knowledge that can be gained from conscious experiments in celibacy. Sexual healing begins with masturbation, the most accessible place to unravel guilt, shame and shadow material, and not drag in others through projection.


Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Photo by TsaiProject/Flickr.

If Scorpio is also the sign of psychology, then this conjunction also suggests a commitment to internal work — and to conscious magnanimity; that is, actively practicing generosity and mercy, and perhaps forgiveness.

On Friday, Dec. 15, retrograde Mercury and Venus (in direct motion) form a conjunction in mid-Sagittarius, close to the Great Attractor. That should spark up an interesting conversation.

That same day, the Sun in Sagittarius is square Chiron in Pisces. If we want know more about the nature of what injury our masculine side is processing, that’s a good day to make the inquiry, to have the discussion, or to notice the revelation.

On Monday, Dec. 18, the Moon and Sun form a conjunction with the Galactic Core, also known as the Sagittarius New Moon (conjunct the center of our home galaxy). Note, the GC is probably a feminine influence. Listen for some wisdom from the Goddess. Clue: it will not feel like rage. It will feel like something else. The New Moon will also be conjunct Pholus, the centaur planet associated with the catalytic agent or the release of something, such as an idea.

That’s the last big hurrah (and it is impressive) prior to Saturn entering Capricorn at 11:49 pm EST on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.

And that, you might say, is when a whole new world arises. Several days later, on Dec. 22, Mercury stations direct in Sagittarius; any doubt we might have that something is indeed in the process of change will be answered on that date. We may see another wave of revelations from the Special Counsel’s office.

Here’s my take on what this all adds up to. When having discussions as important as the ones we’re trying to have, it’s vital to maintain a circumspect approach: that is, to keep shifting your viewpoint. Study the scene from many angles. Study yourself from many angles. Do not get stuck in false clarity. Dance with your quest for knowledge. Let your curiosity lead you, and seek the next layer of the onion, or to observe some unusual or interesting pattern.

4 thoughts on “From Here to Saturn in Capricorn

    1. Amanda Painter

      Very cool video of Mercury! So amazing that NASA could take still images from the Messenger craft and create the impression of flying around our innermost planet.

  1. Sara Victoria

    The context of ‘Family’ is so profoundly right on. The entire Uber Structure of the culture, extending into religious constructs; the chain of command, the sanctioned and the taboo – the latter having a bit of the spotlight, perhaps throughout Jupiter’s sojourn through the 8th sign…

  2. Amanda Painter

    I thought I’d post this here, because the conversation about the astrology and things like the #metoo movement keeps rolling along and seems to relate to everything. It’s a short story from the New Yorker that crossed my feed, posted by someone who says she wants to have a conversation about it. I’d noticed that most of the comments her post was getting were along the lines of how “gross” it was; I had to read to the end of the story to understand fully why that was being said: it’s an all-too-common and relatable tale involving expectations, poor communication, making up stories about a person to fill in the gaps as you get to know them, ignoring warning signs and making excuses for them…and also about the familiar dance between male ego-fragility and female care-taking.

    To my mind, both characters share some fault. Yet since this dynamic is so common, I’m more interested in where we go from here — both as our adult selves, and also in terms of how parents can begin to guide their kids differently in the face of the flood of toxic media and cultural models of relating that we’re all trying to wade through.

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