This pleasant configuration occurs every 40 some years, and lasts for approximately 2. It happened for a few years during the late 60’s, and before that from 1918-20. It marks polarized, unstable and nonetheless revolutionary periods of history. But we’ll get to that.
In Greek mythology, Saturn and Uranus have a story. It goes a little something like this:
Saturn, Kronos to the Greek, god of the limits of time and space, took his sickle, the mighty symbol of his rulership over limitations (and fecundity) and castrated his eternal father, the mighty Ouranos/Uranus, lord of the unlimited sky. He did it for his mother, Gaia, the earth, for the lack of compassion Uranus had shown her and her children. And so the real castrated the ideal, and the process of creation continued. Saturn/Kronos went on to eat several of his own children, but that is another story.
These two powers, whose thrones are the planets bearing their names, were never in harmony. Saturn is the guardian of the real, while Uranus, the unyielding ideal. And so as these planets come into opposition once more, we see that Uranus did not die from his wounds, but has arisen to challenge his son once more to make more of the real than an unending harvest. Saturn bears his sickle, hoping he can at least limit Uranus’ power, if not destroy him, and Uranus swoops down again, with all the powers of heaven at his command- the sourceless winds of change, the lightning bolts of discovery and the resulting brushfires of chaos.
There is another piece of this myth, odd and seemingly incidental. When Saturn cut off Uranus’ balls, they fell into the ocean. And being no ordinary balls, but the balls of an elder-god, they retained their procreative power. And so as the balls fell into the womb of the ocean, a being was born. Aphrodite. Venus to the Romans. She came fully formed, surfing out of the ocean on a clam-shell, as famously pictured by Boticelli. What the archetypal intelligence of the myth-makers tell us is that out of apparently bloody and heartless conflict between the real and ideal came the living embodiment of passion and sentiment. Though she stands with the Olympians, Venus/Aphrodite is one of the old Gods, the Titans. She is not the sister of Zeus/Jupiter like Hera, nor the child, like Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, or Haephaestus. No, she’s Zeus’ aunt. Crazy aunt Aphrodite, the embodiment of beauty born from patricidal mutilation.
As above, so below. And so in myth, so in history. The last two passes of Uranus and Saturn in opposition to each other has had an irrefutable effect on the status of women, whose symbol is, to this day, the symbol of the planet Venus. Women got the right to vote in the U.S. during the opposition in the 1918-20 opposition. The women’s movement gained mass appeal during the late 60’s opposition. And as we stand on the cusp of another set of oppositions, women now stand within inches of the presidency. Not only that, but each former pass also broke the ground for unprecedented sexual debauchery. What followed the Saturn-Uranus oppositions of 1918-1920? The roaring twenties. And the Saturn-Uranus oppositions of the 60’s? The sexual revolution. The slutty 70’s. Oh yes, as above, so below. So go down, baby, go down…
In astrology, Venus certainly signifies women, but its meaning is not limited to the female of the species. Venus also ignifies those passions which bind us to others. And little binds people as powerfully as a common plight. And what makes for a common plight? Why, social injustice, of course!
One of the larger-scale facets of the Saturn-Uranus oppositions is a concern with social justice. The inequalities between different groups of people tend to be exposed during this periods. If we look at the last time Saturn opposed Uranus, we find ourselves in the late 60’s. The late 60’s were an extremely important to the feminist movement and the so called “sexual revolution.” They were also an pivotal time for race relations in the U.S. So the wheels have turned and gears have ground around, and on the eve of the next set of Saturn-Uranus oppositions, we have a female candidate for vice-president and a black candidate for president. America just may have learned something.
But social inequality comes in more than just two flavors. Race, gender and…oh yeah. Class. Kind of a big one. Although there are still quantifiable imbalances in pay scale between men and women, and race in the U.S. is still touchy, there is a gulf which has widened and which threatens many with brutal injustice- class. Oh, the U.S. and the most of the post-capitalist world certainly doesn’t have a hereditary nobility. But there is a divide, and there is injustice. Lou Dobs talks about it. Incessantly.
Several decades ago, a semi-skilled laborer in America could work in a factory and have enough to support his wife and raise children. That dream is all but gone. Certain aspects of the globalization process have dissolved that particular possibility. Many of these workers have had to turn to the service industry. And guess what? You can’t raise a family on a McDonald’s salary. Or working at the Gap. Or at Wal-Mart. You can barely live. But that’s all there is for many, many, many Americans. And that’s all there’s gonna be, unless things change.
Although Americans have been raised to expect prosperity, the key is health care. Prosperity is meaningless if you’re dying. But health care is not provided by many employers, nor is it affordable to many employees. The fundamental need for health care will force the situation into crisis. Who is going to pay for it? If the government won’t, then the business will have to. Which they won’t. Unless people organize and unionize. Which the businesses don’t want. And so the businesses will push on the government to provide health care.
One wonders whether class-consciousness, which set fire to the psyche of the 19th century, will be rekindled after the so-called fall of communism. As H.P. Lovecraft once wrote, “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.” The spectre of Marxism indeed.
Last But Not Least
Ah, but something’s been left. Sex. Sex with people sporting the same form of equipment. Homo-sex. Yes, the topic which even the political “liberals” on the national stage have grown quiet about will not roll over and die simply because it has become uncomfortable. The Saturn-Uranus oppositions bring up social injustice and energize the passions of the wronged. The issue of gay marriage will not go quietly into the night under the auspices of the Saturn-Uranus oppositions.
But What About Me?
The Saturn-Uranus oppositions have a demonstrable link with certain phases of collective development. But what about on the individual level? The Saturn-Uranus oppositions will create an intense dissatisfaction with structure and limitations. They stimulate the idealistic and freedom loving section of the psyche and pit it against the pragmatic and responsible part. The inner conflict generated between the two will lead many people to change their lives abruptly, and radically. Our tolerance for a less than ideal life becomes paper-thin. The ideal must become real, and real ideal. It is a tall-order, and likely to lead to frustration. The key is to recognize these conflicts as they occur within you, and bring both sides to the table in mediation. Without accepting both the idealistic and realistic urges within your head as valid, there will be little progress. Many people will be swept up by their ideal, and hammer incessantly at their reality, but to little avail. Others will attempt to repress their desire for change, and end up sabotaging themselves. Reach across the aisle IN YOUR MIND. Deep, I know.
Note on Horoscopes: 12 Fold horoscopes are a way to assess the general condition of the splayed rays of the zodiac. Although not without value, they are a blunt tool, and can only describe the archetypal activity in each power-zone. In order to sharpen the accuracy of the horoscopes, read your Sun Sign if you were born in the day-time, and read your Moon Sign if you were born at night. Reading the Sign in which the Ascendant is placed is also advised. For information on where the Ascendant and Moon are in your natal chart, check out the accurate, free, chart calculation programs at astro.com and khaldea.com
Aries: Free-Style Dishwashing
Saturn in Virgo signifies the limitations of your work situation, and may also highlight health issues. On the other hand, Uranus in Pisces beams bright blasts of insight and insanity into your conscious mind from the nether regions of your subconscious. Your job, Aries, is to figure out how to incorporate Uranus’ strange energy into your daily routine. In practice, there is a pressing need for you to find a place for your highly individual, creative vision in the practical side of your life. Failures to do so may result in psychosomatic issues, as well as a series of “oh fuck this!” moments. The challenge with this one is that the need for authentic self assertion is coming from a part of yourself you’ll need a set of mirrors to see, making it difficult for you to decide whether you’re inspired or insane.
Taurus: A Discerning Buyer at the Meat Market
Saturn in Virgo ratifies the need for structure and organization in your love life and creative work. Uranus in Pisces, on the other hand, brings you into contact with unexpected people and odd organizations who want to break down the walls and redecorate. While Saturn may suggest that you close your doors to people, Uranus keeps summoning weirdos who want in. The key is not to let go of the emerging structure, but instead to simply filter the people appropriately, and learn when and why to make exceptions. Learn to appreciate the difference between “good crazy” and “bad crazy.”
Saturn in Virgo highlights the difficulties and limitations inherent in your living situation. Its hard on housemates and on the real estate. Uranus in Pisces tosses a zig-zag into your career trajectory. These two factors get ready to tango fiercely over the next several years. Radical changes in career direction as well as the likelihood of location change are both highly probable. The two will likely move hand in hand. The key is recognize the urges boiling within you before they spill over into reckless manifestation. If you need to quit, don’t wait to be fired.
Cancer: Destination Unknown
Saturn in Virgo points a stony finger at your tendency to isolate yourself within your local environment unless it’s your duty to mingle. Uranus in Pisces, on the other hand, kindles the desire to take out-of-nowhere journeys into who-knows-where. BFE, if you will. This series of oppositions has a lot to do with both travel and communication. It will likely haul you, kicking and screaming, from your quiet shell into the great unknown. The oppositions will also fire a series of chaotic pulses into any of your pursuits that involve writing or communications.
Leo: Better Luck Next Life
Saturn in Virgo has intensified problems with cash flow, freezing it or drying it up. The problem is too much holding on. Uranus in Pisces, on the other hand, brings unforeseen changes to resource sharing arrangements, like business or (ex) marriage partners. This may be one of the more difficult pairs of topics to have hit by the Saturn-Uranus opposition. Although many of the effects of the oppositions will occur on a strictly material level, they are likely to further awaken you to the flow of energy between yourself and others, the give and take. This reinforces some of the aspects of the Leo/Aquarius eclipse cycle, which will be running concurrently for much of the next year. In this sense, there is a karmic balancing of the scales. Work with it. You will not prosper by holding on what used to work. Take that portrait of yourself off the wall and burn it. Smear the blackened remains on your face and wear it around for a day. Then wash that shit off and see how good it feels.
Virgo: Love Is A Battlefield
You’ve likely gotten to know Saturn in Virgo over the last year. He’s your invisible buddy that makes you work extra hard and keeps saying insulting things about your efficiency. He’s challenged you to achieve levels of robotic productivity that would put John Henry to shame. Uranus in Pisces you’ve likely encountered through the other people in your life. They’ve provided you with emotional revelations and challenged you to deal with unexpected behavior. The opposition of these two planets will result in a series of dramatic changes in both you and the way you approach human relationships. You are becoming a more creative, effective and on point version of yourself, and you’re learning to do that in dialogue with the other people in your life. However, nobody said it’ll be easy.
Libra: Personal Inventory
Saturn in Virgo has, so far, served to condense and clarify the self imposed limitations in your life, while Uranus in Pisces has been trying to randomize the physical and financial impediments in your life. The oppositions between these two are going to transform the way that you take care of yourself, mentally, physically, financially and spiritually. The oppositions will exacerbate latent problems so you can and then work through them.
Scorpio: Lifestyle Alteration
Saturn in Virgo has likely been putting a damper on social engagement. A reticence to join groups of like-minded folk is the most common symptom. Meanwhile, Uranus in Pisces has served to make you more idealistic, picky and idiosyncratic about love-relationships. This attitude may well have brought you further isolation. As these two energies come into opposition with one another, your social landscape will likely go though some powerful changes. Although this set of oppositions has definite social implications, it will also oversee a series of changes to your lifestyle that need to be made in order for you to better approximate your ideal life.
Sagittarius: Mutating Foundations
Saturn in Virgo has served to define both the expectations and limitations in your professional sphere. Uranus in Pisces, on the other hand, has served to de-stabilize your emotional and physical foundations. A certain idealistic restlessness surges unsteadily beneath you.
The oppositions between Uranus and Saturn will bring these two currents into conflict. Deeply felt idealism and creativity needs to find a place in your professional world. An inability to make that compromise will result in deep alienation from the career path. Overall, this set of oppositions also involves physical foundations, and may very well involve relocation for career reasons.
Capricorn: Strange Roads
Saturn in Virgo has thus far provoked you to try and concretize your long-term goals and define your worldview. It may also have forced you into the realms of higher education. It mandates a long, and possibly boring journey. Uranus in Pisces, on the other hand, has served to make your social life more idiosyncratic. For some that might mean meeting a collection of bizarre people in odd situations, and for others it’s likely been an isolating influence. It provokes a desire to contradict whatever your standard social pattern was in the past.
Uranus’ unpredictable energy slamming into pattern-bound Saturn will result in some carefully planned ventures going in a completely unexpected direction. These unexpected roads you travel down are likely to be full of a strange combination of colorful characters and social isolation.
Aquarius: Unexpected Possibilities
There is contention in astrology as to whether Aquarius is ruled by Saturn or Uranus, or both. This abstract concern has everything to do with the results of the Saturn-Uranus oppositions for those with Water-Bearer heavy charts. For if, as the Baron believes, that Aquarius is a fusion of the idealistic but erratic Uranian wavelength and the structure heavy and melancholy Saturnine outlook, then the interplay between these two planets may serve to create powerful and unforeseen benefits for Aquarius. Saturn in Virgo has put a certain freeze on your ability to access other people’s resources. It’s likely put you on your own in a significant way. Uranus in Pisces’s influence serves to destabilize your values, seeking the ideal. In being unsure of what to value, it has likely interfered with your ability to accumulate it. This process has been ongoing for several years, but now comes into conflict with the structure of energy and resource exchange between yourself and others.
Pisces: Electric Head
For the past year Saturn in Virgo has been asking you to strain yourself through a realistic, responsible filter. And its likely that you’ve experienced this primarily through your personal relationships, especially if you have a “special someone.” On the other hand, Uranus in Pisces has been filling your head and heart with electric ideas for the last several years. Over the next few years, these two factors will align, forcing you to confront the contradictions between your more eccentric and interesting ideas and the more reality based needs. This configuration will likely de-stabilize insecure relationships. Its important that you don’t project the growing need for a grounded and responsible framework onto your partner. Extremely potent results can be reaped by finding the discipline to harness the lightning that likes to strike your antennae.
(Originally published Nov. 2008)