by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
A professional astrology group I belong to initiated a discussion thread on the entrance of Saturn into Libra, and there have been many interesting contributions from around the world. I am just as interested as any other astrologer in the general and personal applications of a long-term planet changing signs and what that might mean to our unfolding lives, and it is always fun to look through the eyes of another astrologer to see a different perspective. I chose a somewhat different route for my own contribution to the subject and thought it might be interesting as a general read. Because of my latest research project, I have been focused on political astrology and the USA country pattern so that will contribute to my different route.
The United States (USA) in particular and the world in general have been recently devastated economically by the Saturn and Uranus opposition which is currently in play, and it does not matter that Saturn will change signs for part of this process. Standard orb of effect will render this as a still-active aspect whether Saturn is in Virgo or in Libra. Saturn and Uranus have five exact aspects (oppositions) over 21 months, of which we have completed three. The whole of this pattern will be finished at the end of July, 2010. We have been and currently are reeling under the impact of conformity versus change in our politics. Thank goodness the end of that pattern is at least in sight, only a few months off. I am aware of the world-wide economic impact, but such a tremendous body of information would have to be developed on an individual country basis that is just not possible in this article. I will concentrate on the USA effect because that is what I understand best. I hope other astrologers will apply these concepts I am about to outline to other countries and experiences.
I want to focus for the moment on Saturn moving out of Virgo (and therefore, the Virgo/Pisces axis) and into Libra (an ingress) for three exact connections: October 29, 2009 direct, retrograding back into Virgo April 7, 2010 for about three months and then Saturn moves solidly back into Libra July 21, 2010 (ingress) to go on and complete its passage through Libra over the next two years. Think of the three-month return to Virgo as if you were returning to an old house to finish up the details of closing that episode in your life. The new episode is Saturn in Libra. To me, in a multiple stage activation such as this, the stage is set with the first pass, conclusion is reached with the final pass. The retrograde pass in the middle, while part of the process, tends to be very strong at times, perhaps even pivotal to the overall impact of the experience. Again, that often-overlooked middle passage could be an actual pivot point in whatever process is being mapped. Because of my research, it is important to point out another impact point in this nine-month passage, usually overlooked in determining the key days within such a multiple pass. That is the heliocentric date of ingress.
Using the American Heliocentric Ephemeris that lists outer planet positions every five days, the date of heliocentric Saturn’s ingress into Libra, which can only occur once in a complete 29-year orbit, is February 12, 2010 and is an aspect usually ignored. In my long years of astrological study and practice, I have deemed it to be equally as important as any geocentric ingress. At times in the practice of astrology, something hits an event at such an odd time in the unfolding of a pattern that the cause of that odd timing can be difficult to determine – consider this as a potential solution. Just because a date is not provided from a geocentric aspect, it is still valid; after all, heliocentric (Sun in the center) is the map of reality and geocentric (Earth in the center) is the map of our personal perspective. Let us use an example.
In the current Saturn/Uranus opposition there are five passes, normal for the opposition phase. Geocentrically, the third and middle pass was on September 15, 2009. Heliocentrically, the single date of exactitude was September 1, 2009. The great debate in the USA at that time centered on health care reform. It is not difficult to see the battle between conformity and change, a colossal tug of war between two planetary giants. The battle actually started on Election Day 2008, made its second pass within two weeks of Inauguration Day (January 20, 2009), and we recently experienced the middle and, to me, pivotal passage in the first two weeks of September, 2009. It just so happened that the geocentric middle and the heliocentric exactitude were only two weeks apart, placing double emphasis on that time period.
This illustrates a tense time frame, almost surreal in nature (if you watched any television news during that time), with the release of the actual Senate Finance Committee bill on September 16th. My personal take on this timing is that decisions were made as to the final content of the bill on September 1st, with the minutia (details) worked out over the next two weeks. Why? Because heliocentric is the reality of the energy (concept) and geocentric is how it affects us here on Earth (personal perspective): the concept in form and manifestation. It is common to first have a concept and then to have it reach concrete materiality, an idea usually precedes concrete manifestation. Be aware that you can do this exercise with any aspect passage, whether it is a single- or multiple-hit passage. Back to Saturn in Libra, but first another why – what will take so long for the bill to go through all its machinations before actual vote? Chalk it up to any branch of government that operates with the usual bureaucratic nonsense; some of this is real theater and none of it is accidental.
The outer planets set the overall stage for humanity’s lessons. Starting around World War II, first Neptune traveled through Libra from 1942 to 1957, inspiring, idealizing, disappointing, deluding all things Libra. Uranus traveled through Libra the last time in 1968 to 1975, electrifying, spotlighting, and exploding theories about all things Libra. Pluto then traveled through Libra from 1971 to 1984 and dug up Libra’s psychological basement (I call that roto-rootering) for all things Libra. The qualities of Libra are really well known, but a few keywords would be relationships which in country terms would be alliances, networks, treaties and cooperative ventures, marriage in terms of country-by-country practices and laws, the attendant rights of the women of those countries, which leads to so many issues I couldn’t even list them. The theme is relating on a country level and all the peripheral issues that stem from the theme. It is not possible to trigger a single point in an astrological complex and not have the complex itself respond. In addition, all things Libra means across the board, all of it, positive and negative, good, bad and indifferent – all of it! The stirring up of Libra’s issues has been going on since World War II.
Enter Saturn with its issues of structure, discipline, order, and responsibility. With everything Libra in a constant state of chaos since World War II as the outer planets stirred up everything they could reach, Saturn really has had its work cut out for it. Every 29 years, Saturn dutifully starts its rounds – again and again – attempting to make order out of chaos. It would be lovely if the outer planets could leave things alone and let some structures stay put. Sometimes Saturn follows the chaos produced by the outer planets and is able to structure successfully. Sometimes Saturn leads the chaos and the structures it manages to put in place get disrupted by one of the outer three energies determined to force the changes that encourage progress. Sometimes Saturn cleans up the mess of one outer planet only to be followed by another outer planet creating a new mess. Busy, busy, busy. If Saturn leads change (is further along in the zodiac), it can get back to such Libra chaos (or any other sign in question) created by such change only when its 29-year cycle allows access upon its entry (ingress) into Libra. In the meantime, all things Libra are in a state of disarray until Saturn gets there with its broom and dustpan and cleans it up, makes sense out of it and creates the new structure. Where are the outers at that point? Are they ready to initiate more change? Does the structure Saturn puts in place stand a chance of surviving, or will it be subjected to a different level or kind of chaos?
Bear in mind that, compared to the three slow-moving outer plants, Saturn takes only 29 years to complete one orbit. If we go back in 29-year increments to 1942 when all this Libra action was set into motion, there was a Saturn geocentric ingress on November 20, 1950 (single pass). Think back to the returning soldiers from World War II (the war ended in 1945); occupation of the conquered countries took a bit longer. The women of the USA had filled the men’s roles while they were off doing battle and effectively ran the country for several years. The war was over, the soldiers returned home, the women’s jobs were relinquished to their returning husbands, brothers and sons, the women went back into their homes and kitchens and a baby boom ensued. These capable women who supported the war and ran the factories and their homes and families all at the same time were relegated to their homes and kitchens with barely a pat on the back. The true heroes, those who placed their lives on the line for several years, resumed their rightful place in society as the assumed head of household and breadwinner. Can you see the possibility of a few problems cropping up here and there in this scenario?
Another cycle forward and Saturn entered Libra (ingress) on September 21, 1980. Ingress simply means to enter… as in entering or leaving a highway on an access ramp. Ingress is to enter or “get on” the highway and egress means to exit or “leave” the highway. I remember the 80s well. Everyone remembers the colorful 60s, but the 70s and 80s were not so shabby as far as being colorful as well. Women were coming into their own, slowly but surely, as the generations changed and society slowly changed.
Another point I would make now is that no one pays attention to the retrograde end of sign ingress, but it is still a form of ingress just on the back end of the sign rather than the well-known front end. With that puzzle in mind, there was a retrograde, end of sign ingress (Scorpio to Libra) on August 13, 1954 and another on May 6, 1983 (again Scorpio to Libra). I would encourage research on this end of sign ingress possibility so we can determine if it has any real value. If valid, this concept then should be able to be used in all types of prediction. In the USA pattern, this would signal economic, financial or value system activations because natal Saturn is located in the US Declaration of Independence Virgo rising 2nd house.
In any country’s natal pattern, there is a natal Saturn by house, sign, degree, and aspect — Saturn is in a house (holds influence over) and rules other house(s). Those energies are connected in lock step throughout the existence of that country because that is an indivisible construct. To trigger Saturn is to trigger the construct. Periodically that Saturn is touched, affected, de-structured and then restructured by the natural cycles of the planets and other activations. The outer, slow-moving planets set the stage for all the action involving Saturn and its structuring capability and the faster-moving planets carry out the details of the experience for Saturn. Saturn is informed and changed by experience itself. At the next contact by those outer bodies and their energies, they are filled in on what Saturn learned from the previous passage as they initiate the next lesson plan.
In the USA Virgo rising Tropical Placidus pattern (my preference and the basis for my research and my teachings), Saturn is at 14 Libra 47 in the 2nd house, ruling the 5th and 6th houses. All the Libra lessons focus on those three arenas (houses) of activity. What does that translate to in terms of human experience? Values of all types: economic, relational, integrity, responsibility, personal, cultural, alliances, all the lovely 2nd house keywords are in lock step with the creative, children of the mind and body, speculative 5th and work, service, health 6th. Saturn returns to its original position every 29 years. This is not a death aspect or none of us would have survived our Saturn return. It is a restructuring moment.
There is a Saturn return about to occur in the USA 2nd house of values starting in December of 2010, with three passes over nine months, finishing the end of August, 2011. Uranus will not be involved with Saturn at that time. Conformity will reign supreme without direct interference from Uranus. The middle retrograde contact occurs the 3rd week of March 2011. The heliocentric contact occurs May 1, 2011. The first pass sets the stage or the experience in motion. The last pass concludes the experience. The middle is just that, part of the process itself, but is at times pivotal in effect. In general, this passage illustrates that concrete manifestation (geocentric position) precedes the full realization of the concept itself (heliocentric position). We will learn more about what we should have done after we actually do it and that is 2nd house, affecting 5th and 6th houses in all things Libra as given above. How do we make the best economic decisions possible? We need to look ahead when making such decisions because we are not going to be making those decisions based on a fully-known set of facts. The full ramifications will be available on May 1st, 2011 for the decisions made in March. Doesn’t that sound pleasant? Remember also that Saturn is still cleaning up after Neptune, Uranus and Pluto’s passages through Libra, but at least Saturn’s new structures will stand a chance of reasonable-term survival until Uranus moves back into Libra in 2051 and starts its earthquakes, explosions and surprises for all things Libra. Yes, it will experience the opposition from Aries and the square from Cancer as Uranus occupies those signs, but the direct hit has to wait for Saturn’s next passage through Libra.
I used Libra to describe the process, but this pattern can occur with all sign ingresses. The ingress of the slow-moving planets into any sign signifies the start of a new set of cosmic lessons of the nature of the planet and related to the sign. This could happen in a single pass in the case of Saturn or in multiple passes in the case of Saturn and the three outer planets. The first pass initiates, the last pass concludes, the intermediate passes (up to three when Neptune and Pluto are involved) are part of the process but can also indicate pivotal moments. I call these multiple patterns the dance of the planets and this can also be viewed with the heliocentric position inserted as a blast of reality to our personal perspectives.
Whenever you use material like this to study a single theme, if the principles are valid, they should be able to be used to study similar themes such as Saturn moving into Scorpio or any other sign or in any application. If theory doesn’t hold true through various applications, it is an interesting anomaly, but not a fact. I hope I have whetted your appetite for new possibilities or at least turned on your thinking cap.
Published on EZine online December, 2009, republished with slight editing.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.