Saturn in Libra: Mirror and Scythe

Saturn in Libra: Mirror and Scythe

On October 29th, 2009 Saturn left the nitpicky confines of Virgo to explore the palatial pleasantry of Libra.  The old titan will spend most of the next 2 ½ years in Libra, marred only by a temporary excursion back into Virgo during the Spring of 2010.   There’s quite a bit to say about what Saturn will be doing, so let’s begin with the basics, shall we?

Saturn in a Venus Ruled Sign

Libra is Venus’ palace, where guests are received are treated to scrumptious luncheons, lovers share milk shakes and diplomats discuss tense issues pleasantly.   It is the domain of Venus, where the contrary comes to find a balance between Self and Other. The scales of Libra are hung on the fulcrum of this relationship.  They measure out a balance, they find what is fair and mutually agreeable.  It is these calculations that provide the foundation of ease and pleasure between people, the spaces where Venus lives and breathes.  Saturn’s entrance into Libra brings a more serious tone to the white palace.  Harmony becomes not only a desirable thing, but a serious thing.  The mirrors that line the walls reflect more somber faces, and deep structures of interaction and inter-relation are revealed.  Nonetheless, Saturn is softened whilst in the white palace, his naturally harsh manner moderated by a bit of etiquette and a change of clothes.


Not surprisingly, Libra is strongly associated with romantic relationships.  Saturn’s movement into and through Libra highlights the structure of relationships.  In fact, the structure of relationships can be said to the fundamental bond which virtually all of Saturn in Libra’s meanings are linked to.   Saturn’s movement through Libra will reveal the fundamental agreements in relationships, exposing the skeleton of mutuality with a series of x-ray bombardments.   Saturn’s xray reveals the unspoken and often unconscious agreements that lie beneath the apparent communications between people.  Those agreements include a willingness to-be and not-to-be different things in each other’s life.  Those agreements will have to change.  The contract underlies all agreements, a covenant, the whole thing written in heart’s blood.  These agreements will be revised, rewritten, and deepened.

Saturn in an Air Sign

Libra is an air sign.  That means that Saturn’s action there will be primarily visible within the social world, as well as the world of ideas.  Air is light, swift, rational and relational.  In an air sign, Saturn is concerned with the way things and people relate to one another.  It is interested in the mental frameworks by which we approach knowledge, as well as the set of principles that guide our interactions with other people.  On a small level, we see Saturn in Libra operative in relationship dynamics, as well as those of small groups.  On a more collective level, Saturn in Libra is concerned with how shared laws do or do not create justice.


Saturn in an Air sign brings structure to the intellect.  Libra, the cardinal air sign, is especially connected with the branch of knowledge called “Epistemology”, which, for non-philosophy students, is how we know what we know.  What data do we trust?  The “scientific method” is an example of one particular epistemology, as is “phenomenology.”  It is our approach to inquiry.

Saturn in Libra will bring minds to focus on the need for a new approach to knowledge.  Much of the failure witnessed during Saturn in Virgo, a Mercury ruled sign, was the result of being stuck in the vast amount of accumulated “Facts” derived from old angles of inquiry.  These ideas about the way things work have proved to be rather useless for addressing the mutating present.

Saturn in Libra opens our mind to new approaches to truth, which will, in turn, yield new truth.  If we have been using our hands to feel the world, we get a different picture than if we use our ears.  Some things are easier to perceive with certain senses.  Some times are more easily negotiated with certain paradigms.

Saturn in a Cardinal Sign

Libra is a cardinal sign.  This means that Libra is a new, initiating, creative  energy.  When Saturn is in a cardinal sign, it indicates a time period that creates structures and laws that will preside over the next several years.   Saturn, the architect, has not been a cardinal sign since he was in Cancer, from 2003-2005.  Then, Saturn hung the cloth of the material world on a skeleton of fear.  The ill thought creations that proceeded from that time period have characterized Saturn’s subsequent pass through Leo, where they were exaggerated, and Virgo, where we saw the consequences of such poor governance of the world.   Now Saturn enters another Cardinal sign, and its time to remake the rules.  This time will be different from Saturn’s previous pass through a Cardinal sign.  While Saturn is considered debilitated and unable to stimulate structure built on solid principles in Cancer, the cranky old spirit of space and time will be in his Exaltation in Libra.  Not only that, but he’ll join Pluto in Capricorn, and be joined by Uranus in Aries in 2010, forming a smoldering love triangle of quasi-malefics.

Saturn is Exalted in Libra

When a planet is Exalted, it is said to give its finest effects.  However, it lacks the raw strength of the planet in one of its signs of rulership, but it makes up for that by having more precise, targeted effects.  The raw energy of the planet is filtered by the Sign, and ends up being the better as a result.  In Libra, Saturn does not slam down with his full weight, as in Capricorn, but is forced to filter the judgment through the deliberative process of Libra.  Judgment is withheld until due process is performed.  Boundaries are maintained, but with Libra’s diplomatic, Venusian delivery.

The Spirit of the Law

What does this say about Saturn, about law, about structure, that he is Exalted in Libra?  What are the so called Exalted effects of Saturn here?  Within the elegant expanse of Libra, the law is approached not with regard to pure material efficacy, as in Capricorn, nor is it a matter of a floating castle of ideals, as in Aquarius.  Instead, Saturn in Libra approaches law and rules through the lens of mutuality.  The spirit of the law is the social contract, the agreement between 2 or more parties to abide by a set of tenets and strictures.  An agreement both to-do and not-to-do certain things in order to create and maintain harmony.   One of the key ingredients to social harmony is, of course, Justice (XI), which is the Tarot card to which Libra is allocated.

We have suffered under the reign of Saturn in Virgo for the last few years, where the law, the rules, are pushed to be interpreted literally.  There we either follow the law to the letter or reject it.  Quibbling about clauses on page 502 of a bill, enforcing unjust laws because that is the way they are written, adding fine print, cutting pork- all of these are in the class of Saturn in Virgo, where the rules are modified by means of their letters.  Saturn in Libra frees us from the prison of the letter and returns us to the spirit of the law, harmony as the result of justice.


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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. Codee Gortat 13 years ago


  2. TiJean 13 years ago

    Greetings, Baron:

    Shortly after entering Libra (later this month, in fact), Saturn will square his position on my natal chart; as the year changes, he will oppose my Ascendant. Any thoughts?

    Similarly, Jupiter will be squaring his TiJean-natal position soon…

    Yr. Obdt. Svt.,


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Saturn in Libra: Mirror and Scythe

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