Pushing the Collective Forward: Saturn in Aquarius

Are you ready for a new dawn?  It’s coming as Saturn enters Aquarius on March 30, 2020.  While in the sign of the sea-goat Saturn set the stage by having us take inventory of what is working vs. what is tradition.   But in Aquarius, he is ready to take on the status quo and redefine our boundaries.  Saturn in this sign tolerates loneliness, but fears abandonment.  He can be consumed by the idea of reform.  He likes learning the limits so that he cannot push beyond them.  

Important Dates

Saturn in Aquarius – March 21st, 2020 – July 1st, 2020 (approximately 3.75 months)

Saturn in Capricorn – July 1st – December 17, 2020 (6 months)

Saturn in Aquarius – December 17, 2020 – March 7, 2023 (2.25 YEARS)

On average, Saturn spends about 2 – 2.5 years in each sign and it takes about 28 years for him to journey through the zodiac.

As you can see this initial pass of Saturn in Aquarius is a 15 week preview.  As Saturn retrogrades for about 6 months every year, this will be fleeting and it will return to Capricorn on July 1st.  Pay attention to what themes arise as it will give us a sneak peek of what will characterize December 2020 – March 2023.

Saturn’s Nature

Aquarius is ruled by Saturn just like Capricorn,  but the planet asks very different things in each sign.  Saturn is the planet that rules boundaries and norms.  He is like father time and the task master of hard lessons.  Here he asks us to be present with the discomfort and do the work.  He gets rid of things that are no longer working for us and by the end of this transit, we will be more self-reliant.  For those with a night birth chart, this is the hardest planet in your chart.  Often Saturn transits will bring endings, but also increased self-reliance.  

Historical Perspective

The past three years have asked us to question our authority figures, our government, and the society structure that have existed.  With this we saw the Me Too movement remove men from the patriarchal stance of sexuality contingent on career advancement.  We also watched the presidency change tones dramatically with an impeachment trial.  He gets upset with entitled authority vs. leadership that is earned for its own merit.

The last time Saturn was in Aquarius was 1991 – 1993.  In 1991 Ross Perot launched his independent run for President.  His roots were in the technology industry (largely influenced by Aquarius) before politics.  Ultimately, it was a failed run, but it was largely influential.  Also during Saturn’s last tour, trade sanctions lifted between the US and China, General Noriega was finally convicted of drug charges in America, and NAFTA was signed.  By 1992, the Cold War was declared officially over.  The boundaries between Nations were renegotiated and their changes endured until recently.  It was also the height of the grunge scene where most youth cued their self-identity from not fitting in.  Ironically, it created a populist movement where being on the fringe was mainstream.  At the tail end of Saturn’s tour, “www,” was released as a source code forever changing how we referenced information and the modern internet became mainstream.

Looking Forward

We can expect more growth in grassroots organizations striving for reform.  I anticipate we will see an uptick in groups dedicated to social justice and equality.  Aquarius also brings about an integration of technology.  I also hope to see advances in how we use technology in our daily work flow.  With Uranus in Taurus, this is prime time for innovations in food technology and even the way we get our groceries.  Perhaps brick and mortar grocery stores will become a dying breed.  There will be many failed experiments in this time, but there will also be successes that will endure.

Keep your eye on the December 2020 as the prize.  This initial push forward into Aquarius will feel a bit more difficult than what’s down the road.  This is because both Saturn and Mars are the malefic planets and they are moving together.  Fear and a call to action are in the mix for March.  Change can be scary.  

However, in December 2020 we have a great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  This energy will govern almost all of 2021.  This dynamic duo gives us the inspiration and trusting our instincts to move forward and create something substantive.  It is the embodiment of Obama’s chant, “Yes We Can!”  2021 brings us the promise taking this spirit and making it reality.  This is where the hope lies.

Viva La Revolution!  What Can You Expect?

Depending on what house Aquarius occupies in your birth chart, you will feel an urge to reorganize and reform your standard operating procedure.  You may experience scarcity for part of this transit, but at the end you will experience increased self-reliance.  But at the finish line is a total empowerment of the collective.  And that, is a true goal.

Aries Rising:  Your call to action is in your friendships sector.  Examine who really has your back and is supporting your self-development vs. using your talents without anything in return.  Saturn will be sextiling your identity which will gives you self-discipline to create lasting results.  

Taurus Rising:  Work is asking you to take on new responsibilities.  It’s time to level up.  Embrace your ability to challenge the status quo.  For some of you this may mean a complete change of career.  With Uranus and your Ascendant being in a square with Saturn, you might have some sudden changes or make a split decision to leave the security for pursuit of self-worth.  

Gemini Rising:  You are getting asked to examine how you challenge the boundaries of your mind.  Are you thinking of returning to school or traveling extensively?  With your Ascendant trining Saturn, the gears are greased and ready to make your goals become reality. 

Cancer Rising:  It’s time to restructure how you pay off the debts you owe or shared finances.  It’s time to examine your long term financial planning.  Some of you will be in the market for a new advisor all together.

Leo Rising: Your romantic partnerships are renegotiating the rules and boundaries within the relationship.  Perhaps more freedom is in order or responsibilities are getting shifted.  For some of you this means a complete ending if you cannot get your needs met.  With Saturn in opposition to your Ascendant, you are definitely feeling the push of Me vs. Them.  Choices will have to be made.

Virgo Rising:  Your daily routine is getting called on the carpet.  Do you need to structure in more time for exercise and health?  What you have been doing isn’t working anymore.  Expect breakthroughs and new habits.

Libra Rising:  Your children are questioning the status quo.  Expect them to be asking for more independence.  You also may have a new creative project that will blow away your expectations. As a whole, this transit will not feel as hard for you as it will for others and will feel like a break from 2017-2020.  Enjoy the process!

Scorpio Rising:  It may be time to refinance your home, move, or renovate.  As this sign likes to explore, you may find yourself moving to a completely new city.  This decision will be one not to take lightly as it will have lasting impact.  Your Ascendant will be in a square to Saturn indicating that you are making some tough decisions about if this is better for you or others.  

Sagittarius Rising:  How are your relationships with your siblings?  Boundaries and obligations are redefined.  With your Ascendant sextiling Saturn, it is a great time to take on any intellectual discipline that needs concentration like learning a foreign language.  The rewards are there if you put in the work.

Capricorn Rising:  Your individual finances are under the microscope.  The way you earn money will experience a shift.  You may take on work or freelance.  These next few years will not be as revolutionary as 2017-2020 was for you. This is the time to consolidate.

Aquarius Rising:  You are being challenged to redefine yourself. It’s time to change how you take responsibility to rework your self-image, health, and independence.  The intrinsic evolution will almost feel like a compulsion.  These years will set the foundation.

Pisces Rising:  Are you your own self undoing?  If you are thinking of entering therapy this is a good time to do it.  These years might be a good time to prepare for how to become the best version of yourself starting 2023.  

What are you looking forward to with Saturn in Aquarius?  Let me know in the comments!

Rising Into Your Ascendant

Let’s talk about one of the most important points in your birth chart:  the Ascendant/Rising Sign.

It is the sign that is just on Eastern horizon, where the light first hit your chart on the day you were born.  I love that symbolism!  In fact, that is why I named Ascent Astrology after the Ascendant; you only go up from there.  But, back to my blog post. (Ahem…)

The sign on your ascendant is a power point and part of the big 3 when determining personality (Sun, Moon, and Ascendant).  This sign is the way that you present yourself to the outside world, how you interact with others, and the way you get things done.

The moment you were born, you first left your mother and became your own separate person.  The sign of your Ascendant expresses that essence and characteristics of how you will view the world forever.  It is key to your personality. Some astrologers refer to it as “your mask” as it’s the first thing people see about you.  However, I’ve found that the longer you wear a suit the more it becomes part of you.  It intertwines into your identity.  Think about your first professional job.  You probably felt like an imposter your first day, but the role you occupied became more ingrained the longer you stayed.

In social situations astrologers get asked the party trick question called: “Guess my sign.”  I know the average person is asking me to guess their Sun Sign, but what we pick up on is their Ascendant.  So 9 times out of 10, even if I guess, I’m going to get it wrong from their point of view.  

What’s the Difference Between Sun/Moon/Ascendant?

The Ascendant represents your Self-Awareness, Self-Sufficiency, and Self-Interest.  It signifies your goals, your ambitions, and the way you direct your energies to make things happen.

The Sun Sign represents your Identity, Soul Urge, and Ego.  It takes time to evolve and can be a bit hidden.  Your Ascendant is your shield of your Sun and Moon Sign.  Most people don’t grow into their sun signs until their teens or early adulthood.

The Moon Sign represents your Inner Emotional Life.  It’s how your gut responds and how you best nurture yourself.  Some people cry it out, others talk, while others have to get active to work through their feelings.  All of this is in your Moon. I wrote more about that here.

How to Find Your Ascendant:

Most people don’t know their Ascendant unless they have been to an astrologer or have done their chart online from a reputable source like www.astro.com or www.astro-seek.com

You also will need your exact birth time to figure out your Ascendant.  Find your birth certificate for this vs. relying on Mom’s euphoric memory.  The Ascendant hour changes roughly every 2 hours so it’s important.

Depending on the house system you use, the Ascendant can fall anywhere in the first house, but for the purpose of easy visuals, I’ve put it on the cusp line dividing the 12th and 1st house.  Always look for “As” or “Asc”.

If you don’t know your birth time, it’s still possible to figure out your Ascendant through a process called rectification.

Ascendant Signs:

Aries Ascendant:  There is nothing shy about this individual.  They have strong opinions and an innate way of raising their hand to go first.  They are enthusiastic, jump in head first, and like to get projects off the ground.  They like recognition but sometimes have a hard time sticking with things through the end.

Taurus Ascendant:  They are steady-eddy’s of the Zodiac.  They will order the same thing off of the menu because they know it will be consistently yummy.  They have a reputation for being resistant to change, but once they see the proven results they are 100% on board and it will be hard to get them to alter the path.  Refined and slower paced, these individuals don’t like to be pressured with time or opinions.  They aren’t afraid to put in the long hours and can accumulate wealth.

Gemini Ascendant:  Their hands move as fast as their mouths when they are talking.  There is always potential for everything in their minds which is why they are natural worries.  They are excitable, witty, and love to be with people.  They love to have multiple projects going on at the same time.  Don’t worry about deadlines; they will make it at the last minute by a hair.

Cancer Ascendant:  These individuals are warm, affectionate, and wear their hearts on their sleeves.  They are sensitive and can pick up on moods of others.  It’s almost like they have a 6th sense of what other’s need before that individual can articulate it.  When they perceive their security is threatened, expect a little emotional spiraling. Cancer Ascendants are the natural mothers of the Zodiac.

Leo Ascendant:  The magnetism these individuals possess is astounding.  They attract people, but sometimes doesn’t have the natural ability to organize them like Capricorns do – just in a sense of their radiance.  They celebrate everyone’s uniqueness and they believe life is fun as a basic principle.  They are natural cheerleaders and love to be celebrated.  False pride and grudges can be their downfall though.  Loyalty is the number one value until they feel betrayed and then expect to be shut in the darkness forever.  There are no second chances.

Virgo Ascendant:  If you get unsolicited advice in a crisp manner and it’s coming from a helpful place, chances are it’s coming from a Virgo Ascendant.  They want to be helpful as their core principle, but logic can feel a little cold.  They aren’t as stubborn as a Taurus; in fact they will change their opinion if the opposition has sound logic.  If given a problem their first instinct is to hit the information sources and gather as much information as possible.  Expect these individuals to be extremely health conscious.

Libra Ascendant:  Indecision is one of the hallmarks of this Ascendant.  It’s not because they don’t know what they want; it’s because they don’t want to offend anyone else by stepping on their toes.  They love hosting and making sure everyone feels welcome.  They are neat and discriminating.  In fact, their houses will look like an interior decorator swooped into every room and it was just their own eagle eye putting things together.  Don’t open their closets though; you’re going to find all of the unfinished design jobs they forgot. 

Scorpio Ascendant:  These individual are some of the hardest go get to know and they pride themselves on it.  They keep secrets like currency, but wouldn’t dare to cash in because they know the value of relationships.  Their minds are always working to go deeper and uncover the next piece of information.  They like to work behind the scenes and have amazing powers of observation to solve problems.  Like Virgo Ascendants, not much slips by them.  They can be cruel when crossed and will sting with their tempers if provoked.  They will never let you know how deep you hurt them.

Sagittarius Ascendant:  They would never try to box another person in which is why it is hard to get them to commit.  Respecting everyone’s need for independence, exploration, and ability to be themselves are key values.  They love a spirited debate and honestly don’t take offense when opposing views are expressed as long as clear thinking is shown.  These archers have a wide range of friends and are optimistic about the future.  Generous with their time and money almost to a fault.  They can be impulsive and will value any action forward in the spirit of trying to solve the problem.  They love to brainstorm.

Capricorn Ascendant:  As children you wonder if they know how to play.  Their ambition is focused and everything is directed toward making a better life and improving themselves.  All goals are just stepping stones where hard work and self-reliance are expected. They tend to have older person health problems when they are younger (need reading glasses, joint problems, etc).  They are extremely intelligent and build things that last.  They are the CEO’s of the Zodiac.

Aquarius Ascendant:  Lively and friendly, Aquarius risings are fun to be around.  They paint pictures with their words, expanding the “what could be’s” for everyone to see.  They don’t like conflict like Libra, but it’s more on a global/group level than on a personal/individual level.  They can be inflexible in their opinions though and will be intolerant of other’s short comings.  Their minds are quick and expansive and they have no patience for those who cannot see their vision.  They find the flaws in other’s arguments effortlessly and point them out with humor.  They don’t mind being independent.  They believe they are special.

Pisces Ascendant:  These individuals have the reputation of being the scatterbrains of the Zodiac.  They follow their instincts without reservation.  They are naturally optimistic, devoted, willing to help, and flexible.  Sometimes these traits get interpreted as them being wishy-washy.  But really they are so devoted to others that just have a hard time setting boundaries, sometimes to their own detriment.  They endure and believe in miracles and if that doesn’t work then they will play the victim so others will set the boundaries for them.

Bonus Astrologers Tip:

Most horoscope columns are written from the Ascendant’s point of view so try reading them from your Ascendant’s sign.  It’s particularly important when they are talking about topics that will be highlighted that month or year and the accuracy of the timing and issues will improve.  

Houses: Everything In Its Place

Since I went over the birth chart last week, I thought I would take a bit of a deeper dive into the astrological houses.  The houses help us take the wheel and make sense of the map by dividing it into sections.  By figuring out which areas of the chart have the most energy we can see how one’s life will develop and which themes will stand out.

1). There are 12 houses and there are 12 signs.  Depending on their different combinations, everyone gets a unique flavor. A Libra first house person will be a lot more flirtatious on first impression than a Capricorn first house person for example.

2). Each house is responsible for a different area of your life.  

  • First House:  Self image, Health, Life, Stature, Physical Appearance
  • Second House:  Self-Value, Money Earned, Possessions
  • Third House:  Communication, Early Education, Writing, Siblings, Neighbors, Short Distance Travel
  • Fourth House:  Your Roots, Family, Matriarchy/Most Nurturing Parent, Home, History 
  • Fifth House:  Hobbies, Children, Sex, Creativity, Gaming, Recreation, Performance
  • Sixth House:  Work Place, Daily Habits, Health, Pets, People Who Work For You
  • Seventh House:  Marriage, Legal Commitments, Business Partners, Open Enemies
  • Eighth House:  Shared Resources, Taxes, Death, Inheritance, Merger, Investments
  • Ninth House:  Higher Education, Religion/Faith, International Travel, Beliefs About People Different from You, Philosophy, Astrology, the Law (lawyers)
  • Tenth House:  The Way You Present Yourself in the World, Your Vocation, Your Employer, Honor, Prestige, Advancement, Responsibility, Reputation, Those Who Enforce the Law (judges), Your Father/More Authoritative Parent
  • Eleventh House:  “The House of Good Fortune”, Friends, Groups, Benefactors, Those Who Help Us Behind the Scenes, Hopes
  • Twelfth House:  Hidden Issues, Secrets, Prisons, Enemies Not Seen, Sorrow, Hospitals, Monasteries, Self-Care, Retreat 

3). Everyone has different signs ruling their houses.  The first house doesn’t always have to start with Aries.  Your first house could be occupied by any of the zodiac signs depending on what time you were born.  From there it will flow in traditional zodiacal order.  For example, A person with Gemini rising, and his second house will be Cancer, third house will be Leo, and so forth. 

4). Astrologers are extremely interested in the ruling planet of that particular house.  How happy that planet is and what aspects it’s making with other planets tells us a lot about that area of your life.  Its kind of like the difference of being at home with your shoes off vs. being the guest of honor at a party vs. just hanging out in a relatives house or being at a party you don’t want to attend.  Each of those scenarios have totally different comfort levels.  

5). There are 10 planets and 12 houses.   Everyone will have empty houses, and it’s ok!  The planets in the houses tell us your motivations, expressions, and lessons to be learned, but the houses tell us where you are likely to play out and learn those lessons.  When the planets get activated, you will have at least two areas of your life light up.

6). There are different house systems, and every astrologer has their favorite one to use. It’s just a way of diving up the sky into parts.  Whole Sign is the oldest system and it is a favorite of Hellenistic and Medieval Astrologers.  It’s also the one I prefer.   Placidus is a very common house system in modern astrology and it is usually the one defaulted to on most websites. It emphasizes the quadrants visually and so you can end up with some very large or very tiny sized houses.  Some house systems preserve each house having 30 degrees per house, others will take latitude into consideration and thus the sections will have varying sizes. Regardless, what matters the most is the sign on the cusp of each house.

7). A cusp is a line that divides the 12 houses.  It is the sign on the cusp (aka beginning that house) that rules that section and what matters the most in interpretation. Houses 1-6 are on the bottom of the chart; Houses 7-12 are on the top of the chart.  You follow the houses counterclockwise. Let’s start at the first house.The first house is where your Ascendant is located (As) on the Eastern horizon, right around where 9:00 is on the clock.  

See the example below:  We can see that the first house starts at Sagittarius at 9:00 (the symbol with the red arrow with the line through it).  The Black Arrow is pointing to the exact degree of the Ascendant angle of 12 degrees in Sagittarius.  From there we know that Capricorn (strange VS glyph) is on the 2nd Cusp (occupies the 2nd house); Aquarius (water squiggles) is on the 3rd cusp (occupies the 3rd house); etc.

8). What if there is a topic that is not listed on that list that I have a question about?  Oh, my dear, there are derived houses.  For example, what if you want to know about step-children?  I would direct you to look at your House of Partnership (7th) and count 5 counterclockwise.  Why 5?  Because the 5th house is what rules children – thus you will see your step-children in the 11th house.   What about your Mom’s money?  Mom is in the 4th house, but it is her resources (8th house domain).   So you would start in the 4th house and count 8 houses away thus it would be found in the 11th.  What about your grandchildren?  Go 5 houses from the 5th house = 9th house.  

9. I would argue that the most sensitive point of your whole chart is your Ascendant. It is determined from the time of your birth and it sets up the whole order of the rest of your chart. Since the Ascendant sign shifts roughly every two hours it can make a difference of having someone with a 4th house Sun who likes to be at home vs. a 5th house Sun who places high value on self-expression and being creative.

10. There are houses that are naturally more helpful and those that are more difficult in nature. By their nature, the 12th and the 6th house are houses that bring difficulty. Health and secrets are not topics you really want to mess with generally. That being said, the Sun finds great joy being in the 9th house, Venus loves being in the 5th house, and Jupiter is friends with the 11th house. Even the harder planets, like Mars and Saturn, have their places of joy. Mars actually does well in the 6th house with his nose to the grindstone and Saturn’s likes the isolation of the 12th.

The art of astrology comes in the form of blending the geometry of the aspects between the planets, the common themes of the houses, the timing of the transits, and the natural expressions of the signs. From there, you get a 360 degree view of a whole person.

For more information:

Houlding, Deborah. (2006). The houses: temples of the sky. Bournesmouth, England. Ascella Publications.

Kent, April Elliott (2011). The essential guide to practical astrology. [Kindle Version]

Hand, Robert (2000). Whole sign houses the oldest house system: an ancient method in modern application. Las Vegas, Nevada. ARHAT Publications.

Brennan, Chris (2018). Hellenistic astrology: the study of fate and fortune. Denver, Colorado. Amor Fati Publications.

The Birth Chart: 10 Fun Facts

Let’s chat it up about the most fundamental building block of astrology:  The Birth Chart.  It is a map of where the planets were the moment you took your first breath.  It is your astrological DNA. From that, astrologers can tell what your gifts are, what your challenges might be, and help you time what events can manifest in your life.  In short, the birth chart  is the natal promise of who you are.  Let’s talk about some of the fundamental parts of a natal chart.

1). The birth chart looks like a wheel divided up into 12 segments.  Each of those segments represents a different area of focus in your life.  For example, the first house is all about your health and self-identity while the seventh house is all about relationships.  

2). There are 10 planets to divide up among 12 houses so everyone will have empty houses.  Do not worry about that.  An empty house doesn’t mean you have nothing going on in that area of your life.  I have an empty house of children, but I have 2 very healthy kiddos!

3). Each house is ruled by a different planet based on which zodiac sign occupies that house. For example:  My first house is Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn.  Therefore Saturn is the most influential planet for my first house topics.

4). The Big Three points of a personality in a chart that you will hear in pop culture are the Sun Sign, the Moon Sign, and the Ascendant.  The Sun Sign is what most people are familiar with; so when someone says, “I’m a Libra,” what they are really saying is my birthday is between September 20th and October 19th when the Sun is in Libra.  

5). Planets make aspects to each other.  This is a fancy way of talking about how the planets are seeing one another.  If two planets are in a friendly aspect, like a trine or a sextile, then they get along and the energy usually manifests easier.  However, if they are facing each other, squaring off, in each other’s blind spot, or hanging out in a house they don’t like then you are going to feel more of a struggle.

6). You aren’t going to feel everything in your Natal Chart all at once.  Different years will highlight different areas and planets.  A good astrologer will be able to time this out; birthdays are especially optimal times to have this done.

7). Most pop culture horoscopes are actually meant to be read from your Ascendant’s sign, not your Sun Sign.  This one is always a *Surprise* for most people!!! You can figure out what your Ascendant sign if you have your birth time and calculate your chart.  Be sure to double check your Mom’s memory with your birth certificate for an accurate time.

8). The horizontal line running from Asc to Dc is the horizon.  You can literally see where the sun and the moon revolved around you the moment you took your first breath! This line says a lot about you and your relationships.

9). The MC is the highest point in the chart and it can give us clues as to where your career aspirations are.

10). When the planets are moving direct, they follow counter-clock wise around the wheel, with the exception of the Sun.  Only when planets are moving retrograde will they travel clockwise.

For more information, you can look up your own birth chart on www.astro-seek.com or book a reading with me for a more personalized reading.