Some Year-End Astrology and a Saturn-in-Capricorn Inquiry

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

During the last week of December there’s a sense of winding down, review and setting intentions for the next year, but that happens between major celebrations. Amanda Painter notes that the astrology as we head into the weekend is noticeably calmer compared to last week, which may come as a relief — though we are building to a Full Moon on New Year’s Day.

By Amanda Painter

This last week of December always feels rather like it’s in limbo, doesn’t it? There’s a sense of winding down, review and setting intentions for the next year, but that happens between major celebrations. Fittingly this year, the astrology as we head into the weekend is noticeably calmer compared to last week, which may come as a relief — though we are building to a Full Moon on New Year’s Day.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Today’s trine between Mars in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces should lend some practical idealism to your New Year’s resolutions, goals and intentions as you formulate them.

Yet regarding how that aspect affects your activities today, think in terms of helping others. You may find yourself more sensitive to the needs, desires and energy of someone else, and willing and able to meet or assist them. You don’t have to play ‘savior’ (in fact, it’s best to avoid that mentality); it’s more like allowing an awareness of interconnectedness to guide you.

On Saturday, Venus makes a conjunction to the asteroid Eros in Capricorn. Some potential ways this could manifest: receptivity and connection feels sexy, especially through ‘practical eroticism'; down-to-earth kink; cool on the outside, molten on the inside; solving an erotic problem together.

I know many people pin big expectations on New Year’s Eve romance, but it appears Dec. 30 could hold a little more potential for that. Dec. 31, on the other hand, looks like a better time to shift your mentality away from ‘getting some’ and more toward offering nourishment by speaking from the heart (thanks to a Mercury-Ceres trine from Sagittarius to Leo).

Softening those expectations could also help you to manage any emotional intensity that builds as we approach the Jan. 1 Cancer Full Moon. This is the Moon in Cancer, its home sign, opposite the Capricorn Sun, exact at 9:24 pm EST. Oppositions — especially Full Moons — are about relationships: the meeting between Self and Other. Sometimes this meeting is like a dance; other times, like a tense standoff.

If you notice that homebody urges start conflicting with ideas about traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations, that might be a manifestation of this Full Moon. There’s also a reminder here to be extra-sensitive about others’ sensitivities. Neptune making harmonious aspects to the Sun and Moon bodes well for making music part of your celebration, getting imaginative with how you navigate any conflict, and heightened intuition.

However, what I’d really like to do today is to check on how you’re doing with Saturn’s recent shift to Capricorn. Most astrologers are heralding this transit as a relief; after all, Saturn rules Capricorn and expresses itself quite comfortably there. But what if your experience of it so far feels anything but comfy?

It’s entirely possible, and you’re not alone. Specifically, if you have Capricorn on a particularly sensitive angle of your chart, you might be experiencing some discomfort, frustration or uncertainty in the area of your life represented by Capricorn.

This is because Saturn is an enforcer. He’s the stern teacher who won’t let you get away with ignoring or half-assing things; he’s the limit you run into when you overextend in some way without replenishing, balancing or finding extra support; he’s time flying by when you’re not prepared or organized enough to use it well.

In short, Saturn represents the principle of self-mastery. So if you’re struggling with the sudden concreteness of whatever it is that you’re running up against right now, that’s a valuable clue. It’s pointing you to a place in your life where you still have to learn how to take greater responsibility for yourself, some way in which you need to become more accountable for your choices.

That’s not necessarily an unpleasant thing. For example, I recently took a weekend workshop designed to foster greater ownership of one’s creative choices through playing ferociously. Although participants experienced moments of discomfort in facing certain insights, we also had a hell of a lot of fun in the process — and we were able to hold space for the ‘itchy’ bits with empathy and presence.

There are ways to meet and begin to embody Saturn in fun or enlivening ways. The thing is, if you’ve been avoiding doing so for a long time, chances are the learning curve is going to be on the steeper side. Embrace the process, and that curve might begin to even out sooner than you’d expect.

The toughest hurdle is often facing the fear that gets generated when you’re in this position. Fear of the unknown — which is what this is, because we never really know how our lives or sense of self might change if we commit to growing — can be incredibly paralyzing. You might find you need help, such as in the form of a support network, one trusted friend, or a therapist, to soften the edges of the fear and see it as the fertile mystery of potential that it is.

I know, I know; easier said than done sometimes. But it’s not impossible. One key to getting started is to want to feel better — to want to feel like you’re in the driver’s seat of your life as much as possible; to want to feel clear about your desires, intentions, commitments and identity, even when they’re fluid; to blame others less and understand consequences more; to make space for healthy interdependence where unhealthy dependency once existed.

Saturn in Capricorn could be a very powerful ally in this process, should you choose to enter into it consciously. We’re still getting a feel for how it operates and what it’s asking us to take a good, honest look at. Discomfort, dissonance and uncertainty are not necessarily signaling ‘the worst'; those feelings might simply be pointing you to a new level of inquiry. Sounds to me like a good guide for setting some intentions for 2018.


The Art of Becoming, the 2018 Planet Waves Annual by Eric Francis, will be your best guide to the major astrological shifts ahead. If you pre-order now, you’ll not only get all 12 signs of the written reading for $99, but we’ll include three extra videos covering the forthcoming sign changes of Saturn, Chiron and Uranus.

16 thoughts on “Some Year-End Astrology and a Saturn-in-Capricorn Inquiry

  1. LizzyLizzy

    Thank you for this beautiful piece, dear Amanda. My natal Saturn is in Capricorn (as well as opposite my sign), so I’ll have my second Saturn return coming up over the next few years. During the first one, as often happens, me and my life fell apart. A little bit wary about coming back here again – but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and it feels like it’s a kind of homecoming. Saturn in Sagittarius exhausted me, particularly in the last few months – so its move into Capricorn felt like a blessed relief, and very grounding. But… no, not easy, either – and as usual, good old family Christmas time has rubbed my face into parts of me that just never seem to grow up and leave me in peace! But I have more compassion for myself these days, and am really cultivating that part, which seems to be the most important thing of all. And I
    so advise others having a hard time to do the same. ((((()))))

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Lizzy, I trust that water that has passed under the bridge will serve you quite well indeed with your second Saturn return. May the force be with you! (along with plenty of that compassion for yourself)


  2. DanielDaniel

    Thanks Amanda! Saturn is on its way to meet my natal Venus in Cap. And Saturn is going to be directly opposite my natal Saturn. And hey, Venus is now conj my natal Venus! It’s all gooey good really. I’m just gonna stop worrying about it. I’ve been laying some good foundations and intentions so I know and trust that things are moving in really positive directions. There is a manifestation feeling here. Sure, I keep growing and learning. But I’m not going to get stuck on a perpetual belief that “I am defined by that which has authority over me.” Here is a moment for conscious creative sustainability. I think we should all remember our self worth and all the experiences that have shaped us. We are powerful and beautiful because of them. We are the garden soil for our future forest.

    Happy New Year All! :)

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Sounds brilliant, Daniel — thank you for chiming in! I was pondering the thoughts about Saturn in my essay because that planet has been making itself quite known on the house cusps of my 7th and my partner’s 4th. Definitely felt the itchiness of adjustment there; whereas I had gotten quite accustomed to Saturn in Sagg as useful and productive and not so bad. ;)

    1. DanielDaniel

      Hugs back to you dear Lizzy! You’re awesome and you are going to ace whatever comes along. ;)

      Amanda, that’s great that Saturn’s time in Sag was good for you! I think you wrote once you are Sag Moon? Perhaps also an emotional anchor for you.

  3. marie hawthorne

    Thanks to all, best wishes to all..

    ‘Practical eroticism’ – so far i’m thinking t-shirts with numbered arrows, something in the kitchen and/gardening and something about auspiciousness…
    Intentions for the incoming year? Practice, practice, practice, practice….
    Mentor? Maybe Veblen – makes me think and laugh at the same time…

    ‘Invention is the mother of necessity.’

    ‘The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.’

    ‘Born in iniquity and conceived in sin, the spirit of nationalism has never ceased to bend human institutions to the service of dissension and distress.’

    Hmm. Is it weird that i love the sound of my own laughter?

    May 2018 be most auspicious for us all!

  4. Bette

    Thank-you, Amanda, for this thought-provoking & encouraging piece. I can say that I am hugely relieved to have Saturn in Sagittarius in the rear-view mirror of my life, as it crossed both my Sun & Mercury (6th house) thrice, including retrogrades, & although I had tried to be prepared, it was rough. Depression & anxiety & physical issues made for some tough sledding. I got it that between those transits & its crossing my South Node at Solstice, I really needed to eliminate from my life what no longer serves my growth. Alas, I can at present work mostly only on the inner clutter, as a slow-mending back injury limits what I can do with the physical stuff.

    Also, my closest friend in the small village where I life left us suddenly via a massive heart attack in early December, so all of us who knew her loving heart are grieving, while accepting that it was her story, & she is doubtless fine now, & free of her pains & burdens.

    So – now I eye Saturn heading for my 7th house in a couple of years – I’ll deal with that as it approaches. In the meantime, I plan to work on the physical clutter as I am able.

    May 2018 bring us all some relief & many blessings.

    1. Bette

      Thank-you, Lizzy. All the best to you also. I’d say, looking back, that my second Saturn return a few years ago was less laborious & challenging than my first had been. Greater awareness & maturity probably make our second easier to navigate, especially if we have dealt with some of the lessons offered in the first round.

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