Midlife Transits: Saturn Opposition

Saturn does his best work when he’s working on something long term.  At age 29 he makes his first return to his natal position where we first realize we are now real grown ups and start taking on more responsibility.  At 44, we have the mid-point of this cycle where we can evaluate how we are doing.  Welcome to the Saturn Opposition part of Midlife Crisis. 

At 28, I was the youngest department director in the pediatric hospital.  It was a dream come true.  I supervised 200 employees, an award winning program I built from scratch, and I was just beginning to date my future husband.  When he proposed at age 31, people thought I was crazy for giving up my career and moving across country.  But here I am at age 44, on the brink of my Saturn opposition looking back and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  My career isn’t anywhere near what I thought it was going to be; its 100% better.  I even have a wonderful husband, two crazy kids, and a dog to boot.  But I had to risk it all to get everything I have. 

Saturn is our planet of hard earned rewards.  Managing Saturn takes true wisdom and it usually affects the areas of life where we are our most vulnerable.  Saturn will hold what Venus attracts.  He can also protect and put up boundaries, but be careful that those boundaries don’t isolate you.  Part of what we do in this transit is evaluate and make choices about what we are going to keep and what we are going to give up in order to pursue what we want in the long range.

For example, if we start to realize that we’ve sacrificed everything just to have a marriage, we might get rid of the marriage.  Or if we realize we’ve rejected every blind date because of exceedingly high criteria we might loosen the rigidity.  Often when we take a good hard look uncomfortable feelings come up.  I’ve had clients express fear of the future, guilt that they settled for being comfortable, inadequacy, rejection, or depression.  All of these feelings are normal.  It’s just part of us recommitting to our path and giving ourselves some grace moving forward.  When Saturn returns to its natal position at age 58, you will be glad you had a chance to check in and course-correct if needed.

Saturn oppositions require us to clarify our path and commit to our values.  It requires a choice between things.  And often it requires clarity and pairing down to what’s essential to success.

Transiting Saturn in the Houses

When Saturn is transiting your First House:  hold onto yourself, pay attention to your physical body, learn to say no to others, set goals that are focused on you.

When Saturn is transiting your Second House:  hold your money, spend less, budget.

When Saturn is transiting your Third House:  hold your tongue, you might have authority problems with siblings and close friends, learn and teach, try to commute less.

When Saturn is transiting your Fourth House:  go out less, mind your boundaries with your father by either being more open or saying no more often, you might have some problems with your home country’s politics, restructure your home or redecorate it.

When Saturn is transiting your Fifth House:  don’t gamble, restructure your love affairs, teach your child, reexamine the discipline of your children, work on your hobbies.

When Saturn is transiting your Sixth House:  keep the job you have, say no to this who serve or work for you, take care of your body, find specialists for the ailments you have.

When Saturn is transiting your Seventh House:  hold onto your identity in your partnership, this can either show that your partner is in trouble or he/she is the focus, restructure your duties and roles within the marriage.

When Saturn is transiting your Eighth House:  experience your loss/grief, restructure your resources to deal with your debt and taxes, do not take any loans, check on your partners finances, get your will and power of attorney in order.

When Saturn is transiting your Ninth House:  hold on to your guiding principles, restructure how you celebrate your faith, start therapy, journal about your dreams, begin going back to college.

When Saturn is transiting your Tenth House:  say no to fame or status, be true to your word, be mature, mind your boundaries with your mom by either being more open or say no more often with her, be mindful if promotions are just an elevation in title only.

When Saturn is transiting your Eleventh House:  pair down your friends or community involvement, say no and have less responsibility within organizations.

When Saturn is transiting your Twelfth House:  Saturn is in his Joy here, hold on to what makes you happy, take time for yourself, practice self-care.

Additional Resources:

Ilhan, Baris (2018) “ Saturn and Its Cohesive Powers.”  Lecture, UAC.  Chicago, Illinois.

Bell, Virginia (2017). “Midlife is not a crisis.” Weiser Books. Newburyport, MA.

Ruperti, Alexander (2005). Earthwalk Astrology Publishing.  Santa Monica, CA.

Solar Eclipse in Capricorn

Astrologically, eclipses are sensitive points of change to the collective.  They point to starts and stops in cycles and we can tell what the themes will be as a collective based upon what axis they fall upon in which sector of the sky.  New moons, as always, are points of new beginnings and places to plant seeds for intentions to manifest.  In general new moons are personal; eclipses are more societal. 

Eclipses occur when the Earth and Moon are aligned with the Sun and the shadowy body cast by the Sun falls on the other.  A Solar eclipse is when the Sun is blocked out by the Moon.  A Lunar eclipse is when the moon is blocked out by the full moon and it occurs close to the moon’s nodes

At a new moon, like today, the moon passes in front of the sun and you can see it as a solar eclipse at a narrow path along the earth.  It all depends upon the orbits lining up with the ecliptics.  Eclipses only happen when a new or a full moon occur near the moon’s nodes.  Typically this only happens 2-3 times a year, but in 2019 we have 5 eclipses!!! But more on that in future posts.   

Today’s eclipse is in Capricorn.  Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, is all about breaking down structures in society and tradition.  This makes sense as we’ve watch the government shut down, errr, I mean “strike”, an unprecedented number of women get sworn into Congress yesterday, and the worst year end close to the stock market since the Great Depression.  I’d say that the foundation is definitely getting a bit shaken up.  

As for what you can do on a personal level, start thinking about internal changes you want to make.  Maybe start laying the mental structure for how you want to harness the Mars in Aries energy for those New Year’s resolutions.  With 5 planets loaded up in Capricorn, solid earth energy, one may have a hard time to harness the fire, but it’s a good time to stoke the coal.

Saturn in Capricorn

Saturn does not play.  It is separating in nature and cold.  It is inflexible and dry.  It is the embodiment of Scrooge.  It Is stern.  It teaches boundaries and discipline.  It is rigid, like the bones it governs in medical astrology.  It is the planet of hard work.  But for me, as a Capricorn rising, Saturn has always been a big planet for me to draw into my personal lens.

With Saturn whatever work given, the rewards will be earned.   It may take awhile though.  There are no short cuts but there will also be  second guessing once you hit the mark.   As a result, I tend to embrace this planet.  No use in swimming upstream when the current is pushing you forward.  You’ve got to work with what you have.  So I nestle right in with this ringed giant and see where it will take me.

Saturn is a slow ringed giant. It is the last planet we can see with the naked eye in the night sky.  For the longest time, it defined our outer limit of our solar system. It was known in prehistoric times but the rings were not seen until Gallieo in 1610.  The other outer planets weren’t discovered for an other 171 years until Uranus was noticed.  Its not a stretch to see why Saturn governs the idea of boundaries in general.  It takes 28.5 years to make one trip around the zodiac.  If the average person lives 90 years that individual will have 2-3 times to see the patterns it presents during a lifetime.  Any time Saturn is at its halfway mark and again when it returns to its natal station in a birth chart can mark big points of demarkation for the lessons its presenting.

I know Saturn.  It has been a BIG hitter for me my whole life.  My first Saturn opposition in 1991  manifested in my first knee surgery.  It ended up as a massive realignment knee surgery that ended my swimming career.  I got married the month of my first Saturn return in 2006 (and it conjoined the astroid Juno, symbolizing the wife).  My son was born the day Saturn crossed over my 10th house which led me to the decision of quitting my full time professional career which included two masters degrees and several administrative positions in large medical patriarchal institutions.  Saturn literally stepped in an restricted my projected career growth.  I became a full time stay at home mom.  Board room to board books, is what I called that step.  Saturns transits literally restructure my life.

As Saturn entered Capricorn in mid-December 2017, I figured I’d get to see this planet in action.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, so it is relatively happy there.  As the rest of the astrological community let out a collective groan anticipating the next 7 year chapter, I thought of all of the blessings that might happen.  Its in my first house of physical self, image, and body.   Bring on the restricted healthy diet and hard exercise!  I figured I would be in the best shape of my life by the end of this run.  That was the intention I set.  Let’s transform my physical self. I was ready.

I laid the ground work for this manifestation.  I went to gyms to interview them about their philosophy.   I booked a medical astrology consultation with Kira Sutherland.  I went back to my sports med doctors to get an all clear.  I got assigned to physical therapy for some rehab work, but hey, it was still early in the Saturn/Capricorn chapter, so some remediation is to be expected.

The first pass of Saturn over my Ascendant in February 2018 wasn’t eventful.  I waited to see what would happen with the retrograde motion after it stationed in April.Reality hit, and it hit hard.

In late June 2018, Saturn made an exact conjunction with my ascendant in early Capricorn.  I honestly didn’t expect things to be so bad.  The night before it went exact, I *decided* to do my own stunt work.  It was a perfect example of how not to do physical comedy.  I took a spill down the stairs while carrying two glass lanterns and heard loud crunching and popping from my ankles.  (But hey!  I saved the glass lanterns!!) The last thing you want to hear from your doctor is, “Oh my God, you are a Board question!”  That, in layman’s terms, means that my injuries were so bad and so complex that they use it as the more obscure question when they test doctors for certification.  I had torn 3 ligaments perfectly away from the bones.  Hello, Saturn.  A break would have been an easy fix:  6 weeks, maybe surgery, and you are on your way.  Ligaments?  They don’t grow back.  Once they are gone, the only thing you can do is cozy up with physical therapy and build the strength to support the structures that were once there.

It is now October and I am still in the boot.  To make matters a bit more complex I went back in for a knee injection last week.  The next day the moon went into Gemini in my 6th house and my knee blew up like a balloon.  It is the size of a cantaloupe.  I cannot bend it past 80 degrees.  I cannot walk on it.  When a joint swells, your body’s first reaction is to cut off the supporting muscles strength.  So my quad is useless.  It is its wise way of saying, “Stop.  You cannot use me.   You must rest.”

Sometimes the lesson of Saturn is to rest and allow others to help.  That, in itself, is the hard work.

We will see what November 9, 2018 brings when Saturn once again grinds across my ascendant degree in early Capricorn.  And again, when it makes its second opposition in 2022-2023.