Integrity, accountability, and commitment. These are the keywords that summarise the momentous shift taking place in the sky above us. A cosmic reset button has just been pressed. Saturn has gone home, and a new thirty-year cycle begins for all of us.
Saturn entered Capricorn on the 20th of December 2017, and will remain in its own sign until December 2020. Remarkably, this time it will not retrograde into the preceding sign, Sagittarius, as can happen during its yearly retrogradation motion. This is meaningful. Saturn has been waiting for this moment for a quarter of a century, and nothing is going to get in the way of the changes that are needed. The world has experienced enough chaos, excesses, and false promises until now, and if there is one thing that Saturn won't stand for it is lack of substance.
The Oxford dictionary has several definitions for the word 'substance', interestingly all eminently suited to define Saturn:
"A particular kind of matter with uniform properties."
"The real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence."
"The most important or essential part of something; the real or essential meaning."
"The quality of being important, valid, or significant."
"The quality of having a solid basis in reality or fact."
"The quality of being dependable or stable."
Once the outer limit of what could be perceived with the naked eye, Saturn defines our physical and psychological boundaries. The bones, the teeth, the skin, the nails in our bodies. The foundations, the walls, the roofs in our houses. The borders, the rules, the authorities, the history and traditions in our countries. Saturn also gives structure to our experiences, and marks the frustrations, delays, obstacles, duties, and limitations in our lives.
With such a fundamental remit, it is no wonder that Saturn is often feared in astrology. At its strongest in Capricorn and accompanied by Pluto in the same sign, Saturn will be holding us all accountable for our actions and decisions, and either push us over the edge or encourage us to reverse the damage already done. Honesty, tradition, justice, and morality will take centre stage over the next three years, both at personal and global level. It will undoubtedly be painful for many of us, as are all the hard lessons in life. And one thing is for sure – there are no shortcuts.
Don't get me wrong, Saturn is not interested in private vendettas. Saturn does not spitefully cause failure and suffering in humanity. It merely casts a stark light onto any pre-existing bubbles, any self-delusion we might have been harbouring until this point. Like Uranus, it's a wake-up call, but unlike Uranus the judgement is on our own — rather than societal — shortcomings. Its transits give just as easily as they take away, depending on whether we have overstretched ourselves, avoided our responsibilities, or worked hard and honoured our duties all along.
As the cosmic teacher, Saturn shows us where we are going wrong in our life. It's a reality check that will help us to align with our deepest self, to ensure we are ultimately satisfying our deepest purpose. In this sense, it is about psychological maturity and self-mastery. It is about doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. Any obstacles along the way are symptomatic of one of these three facets of our lives not being in alignment. Stop and ask yourself whether you need to course correct, and how. Then plan for it, but don't expect overnight success. This is not the Saturn — or indeed Capricorn — way.
With its penchant for pragmatism, strong ethics, and relentlessness, Capricorn is redolent of Saturnian principles. Leaving no stone unturned, it follows the sure path to the summit by placing one careful step after another, unconcerned with how long it will take to reach to the top. Capricorn will not do anything unless it can be done well. It has an innate ability to detect quality in everything and everybody around them. But quality for Capricorn is not a vacuous pretext to aggrandise oneself. Quality is ruthless honesty in an overly scrutinising and unforgiving mind. It is the sum of experience, expertise, and excellence. Traditional values hold sway because they are proven. If it has not stood the test of time, it is hardly worth pursuing.
With Saturn transiting Capricorn, we are being asked to translate our vision into an actionable plan and execute it patiently and painstakingly. It is time to build solid foundations that will support us over the next thirty years, through hard work and persistence. Saturn in Capricorn demands that we take our responsibilities seriously, that we take life seriously. Every action, every decision, every word has a consequence. Our dreams can only come true if they are grounded in reality and pursued realistically. We will only succeed if we are brutally honest with ourselves. Integrity and dedication are key to this transit.