Saturn and Neptune in the Mutable Signs
It’s so funny the things we remember. At my age, it’s a miracle to remember anything at all, but on beginning to think of the Saturn-Neptune square in the mutable signs, what popped into my head was an old Alka Seltzer commercial. Remember Terry Kiser from Weekend At Bernie’s? In the commercial he was the green-around-the-gills young groom, who paced in the bathroom as his bride lay in bed in a poufy blue peignoir, and they discussed the meal she’d just made, a frighteningly enormous dumpling, oversized to “impress” her new husband. As he gulped and tried to hide the evidence of his digestive discomfort while offering her loving praise and assurances, she made suggestions for tomorrow’s dinner from the cookbook clutched in her newly married hands. “Marshmallowed meatballs,” she said, and he winced, holding a towel over the glass to muffle the plop-plop-fizz-fizz.
Marshmallowed meatballs. All these years later it stays with me, the image of something much too horrendous to eat. Some things aren’t meant to go together. They just don’t fit. That’s pretty much how I feel about Saturn, the planet of Karma and earthly life lessons, and Neptune, the planet of illusion, delusion, and spirituality. They don’t understand each other, they have a hard time collaborating, and they just don’t belong on the same plate. Neptune is marshmallows and Saturn is meatballs.
And while we’re on the subject of disgusting foodstuffs, let me mention one word: cannibalism. Don’t get squeamish on me, please, because I promise this mention will be brief. And no recipes will be included. But just the other day, I saw an episode of Perception, the Eric McCormack crime drama in which he plays a schizophrenic brain expert who consults with the FBI and uses his hallucinations as insight into the case. In that episode, a robber was hospitalized, certain he had a disease contracted in an exotic island where he participated in ceremonial consumption of human flesh. Weird, I thought, never having heard of this before except in cartoons about cannibals. But then as I started looking at past transits of Saturn and Neptune in hard (clashing) aspects (square, opposition, and I also included conjunction) in the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), one of the events listed all the way back in 1809 was called the Boyd Massacre, in which natives of that same island killed and ate sixty-six crew members and passengers of the brigantine Boyd.
It’s mid-summer 2014 at this very moment, and obviously that episode was written before the current Saturn in Sagittarius-Neptune in Pisces square, which is precise on November 26, 2015, June 17, 2016, and September 10, 2016. But the thing about energy is it’s in the ether, a floating, formless vibration of sensation that lurks within reach of our sensors until it’s channeled in by some human who makes it a reality. If you think about it, that very process is the combination of Saturn and Neptune which actually works. Neptune is the vibration and Saturn the actualization. Obviously I’m not advocating eating humans as a means of internalizing their spirits, but I am saying that ideas float until someone grasps them. And in this case, the idea was in the ether before the transit and that writer used it to create a plot for a modern television show.
And this just in: here I am sitting writing, and a friend on Facebook just commented on a post I made about never having seen any of those Planet of the Apes movies, the newest of which opened this weekend, and were they the ones in which Charleton Heston commented that Soylent Green was made of people. Finally we realized that no, Soylent Green was the title of another science fiction movie, but it was about eating people. And guess what two planets were opposed in the mutable signs Gemini and Sagittarius in 1973 when the movie came out? Apparently eating human flesh is connected to Saturn-Neptune hard aspects. I’m not going to obsess about this idea too much longer, but you have to admit that it’s quite peculiar what comes up when you think about astrology. I do want to include a quote from Wikipedia about the movie, “The film combines the police procedural and science fiction genres, depicting the investigation into the murder of a wealthy businessman in a dystopian future suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans, and a hot climate due to the greenhouse effect. Much of the population survives on processed food rations, including ‘soylent green.’” What I think is interesting about this is the dystopian theme, something widely in use now in movies and TV shows. Saturn-Neptune in the ether already.
And while we’re mentioning dystopian realities, the climate issues are very interesting, partly because right now, forty years after Soylent Green’s cinematic reality of greenhouse effect, we’re experiencing it. If you think back to the winter of 2013, there were record temperatures, frightening cold on the U.S. East Coast, not much of a winter at all on the West Coast. One of the patterns I observed during Saturn-Neptune clashes in the past several centuries was record temperatures all across the globe. It went down to minus degrees in places like Florida, Louisiana and even California, and way down in the minus degrees in places more used to winter, although not winter as cold as what happened.
In addition to the strange merging of reality and fiction, right at this moment in the news is a story about a Malaysian jetliner which was shot from the sky by rebels in a Russian stronghold. While jets being shot down isn’t a pattern in my Saturn-Neptune research, jets crashing into each other is. I don’t think of these planets as airplane-oriented, but maybe they are. I also don’t think of them as energy-oriented, but they definitely are. Of course you know that Neptune rules the seas, the mist, drugs and drink, and fuels that fit into those categories do come to prominence during these transits. For example, the first steam propelled vessel crossed the Atlantic now. The Hoover Dam was completed and began transmitting energy to Los Angeles. In Kansas, the first alcohol power plant was formed. The same year an explosion caused by leaking gas ripped out part of a Cleveland Stadium. In further events involving the seas, a lighthouse was built on Alcatraz Island, and the Suez Canal was given a royal concession and linked the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.
Another story in the news recently was a law passed in France forbidding women to appear in public in veils, which some felt was a slap in the face to those whose religion demands they wear them. During a Saturn-Neptune clash in the 1800’s, wearing masks at balls was forbidden in Boston. Religious freedom is another issue, as is slavery, during this transit.
Drugs are under the Neptune umbrella and during various Saturn-Neptune hits, many drug related issues arose. In Portland, Maine there was a Rum Riot. Along the lines of rum, it was during Saturn-Neptune that Javans first began to arrive in Suriname to work on sugar plantations. Rubber isn’t sugar, but Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was founded now. In the 70’s, America worked with the USSR and 70 other nations to agree to ban biological weapons. In the same year, the Kentucky Derby winner was dethroned because of drugs administered before the race. And most famously, Richard Pryor was badly burned while free basing cocaine. Also that year, the Supreme Court ruled that new forms of life created in labs could be patents, and in my mind, most shamefully this year, they truncated personal freedoms of workers by siding with Hobby Lobby whose claims of religious prohibitions allowed them to stop providing certain forms of birth control in health insurance policies.
I also think of Saturn-Neptune energies as bad for money, and in fact the first great financial panic of the 19th century occurred in 1819 during this connection. Also during this energy, diamond workers in Amsterdam went on strike and gold hit a record $400.20 an ounce in Hong Kong in 1979. The price today is about $1310, which if you think of it isn’t that much more considering it’s been thirty-five years.
As you can see, the energy we’re discussing produces events that are odd, quirky, strangely dangerous, and philosophically perplexing. Let’s take a moment to consider the vibrations of these two soon-to-be-warring planets.
Although many people consider Saturn their least favorite planet, it’s not difficult to understand. Saturn is the energy which allows you to work toward improvement on the things with which you have difficulty, even from lifetimes past. Saturn requires that you deal with our Karma, and if you’ve done something not so nice, chances are that will be returned to you in kind so you can see how awful it is. Sometimes this can represent weaknesses that can’t easily be overcome. A simple example might be tobacco. I know of a case of a high school boy who tried chewing tobacco for a short time and soon developed a fatal carcinoma in his mouth. He didn’t survive until college. Chances are this is a substance he can’t tolerate in any lifetime and he was learning how risky it is. Theoretically in the next lifetime he’ll be more like me, someone who despises tobacco in all its forms and speaks up to anyone smoking near me. I shouldn’t be so smug, though, because sugar is my drug of choice and maybe some Karma from that will be visited on me, in a form worse than my expanding waistline. One of the roles of Saturn is to help us all reject negative substances.
Saturn is also all about work, and it’s not easy work, but the kind where you plug away for a long, long time. Saturn shows that effort expended results in rewards attained. This can be a good thing for those impatient folks who like only instant gratification, because sometimes it feels more rewarding to build something over time. Doing so also gives structure to your life, and structure is another Saturn theme. As the ruler of Capricorn, the architect of the Zodiac, Saturn requires a sturdy foundation to support something, whether a building, or the decades of your life. A person who has spent many lifetimes floating from one thing to another without investing in anything might come in with a prominent Saturn in order to learn the value of discipline and commitment.
Learning the value is a good phrase to use when considering Saturn and its role in the universe, for that is what Saturn provides, a system whereby you can learn the value of something you might not naturally understand, but once learned you’ll be grateful you did. People who have difficult marriages but who stay in them and make it past the crises say they’re grateful for having weathered the bad times because ultimately there are good times and they like the shared continuity. Of course, people who have the courage to leave bad marriages are often also grateful when they find a better pairing with someone else. In either case, Saturn is usually involved. For Saturn can teach you to make what’s not working work better or to understand what never will work and to move on. The whole point being work, another Saturn theme. Saturn just wants things to work smoothly and move forward adroitly, like the hands of a fine Swiss watch. This makes sense because Saturn rules time.
Time is a very important Saturn concept, for we here on earth are all bound by its limits. For those of us who drift along, never focused on the fact that tempus fugit, eventually comes the realization that opportunities we thought were limitless are in fact limited. For everything there is a time, and eventually that time is gone. You can’t wait until you’re sixty to become pregnant, for by then your uterus will be a dried up raisin. You also can’t diddle your way through life and feel that you can start a career later. Law school won’t accept you at seventy. Saturn is here to help you with internal and external limitations so you can make the most of the short span of your life here on earth. Its goal is that by your death you can look back and feel you’ve made progress. Saturn is a planet whose energies function on the earth plane. Once you leave the earth plane, the rules change. And here we come to Neptune.
Unlike Saturn, Neptune works best on a different plane. Neptune is about the spirit world, the essence of reality that exists beyond our time-dominated earth plane. In spirit, a year can seem like a blink. Something can be true and yet untrue. Something that is far from concrete can make the best sense, even if no facts are there to support its veracity. With Neptune, there is a different way of knowing, a sensation rather than a fact, in a realm where two plus two is no sort of standard at all.
Neptune is experiential rather than goal oriented. It doesn’t care if something doesn’t work out, for having had the experience is all that matters. Fall madly in love with someone who turns out to be a bozo sleazebag? Why not. For even if it crashes and burns, you will have had the pleasure of feeling your heart soar, and that experience opens you up to other, more universal and more loving vibrations such that ultimately you will be a better person even if your heart is shattered and you can’t leave the bed for a year. It’s worth it to understand the nature of true love.
In life here on the earth plane, we are all grounded within the flesh, but Neptune seeks to unground, to soar, and to release. With Neptune you can sense the infinite, connect with spirit and with God, and its energy is pure and holy. But for those people whose drug use allows them to feel this abandon into the infinite, its energy is a scourge, for they are too weak to resist the lure of the drugs. It’s like being madly in love with someone, breaking up, and receiving that call to go out for a drink. Your heart leaps, you think this is it, we’re back, and you go. Maybe it’s a booty call. Maybe it’s a request for a loan. Sleazebags don’t change their stripes, but inside this person, you see something better, something magical, and you want to go for that drink. Such is Neptune, it allows you to see what might be, the best possibility, the dream rather than reality. And the fact is that what you’re seeing is genuine, but that still doesn’t mean it will supersede the crap and become the blissful vision your heart yearns for.
I’m writing about Neptune in reference to romance, for that is easiest to understand, but when you exchange romance for drugs, the metaphor is the same. When you exchange it for a career goal, you can wait tables for thirty years and keep going on acting auditions, waiting for your big break. The dreams Neptune brings are so magical and seductive, they’re hard to resist, hard to reject. They’re just that real. And the thing is, they are real. They show what could be in the best of all possible worlds. If you can truly believe without the doubts to say no way, that could never happen, I could never pull that off, then you can take a Neptunian dream and make it a reality. You can be a movie star, whether you have talent or not. The only thing that prevents it are your own doubts. Or sometimes it’s a desire for security, something Saturn knows all about. You might not want to be a vagabond on friends’ couches for decades while waiting for that break. So it might feel better to settle for something you know you can have.
This is the war that many people endure, the safe vs. the sorry. Aim lower, be assured of success. This is Saturn versus Neptune. Saturn doesn’t do it to be mean, for Saturn wants you to be safe, and the easier route is usually the safest. Neptune, which knows no fear, not even fear of death, just shrugs and figures the experience is worth it and after that comes another experience.
The question is, inside your own heart, which energy speaks most to you? Can you picture yourself being an actor, a ballerina, a writer, and can you picture your efforts being rewarded? Do you hate alarm clocks enough to risk being self-employed and all the vicissitudes that could come with that choice? Do you need to know you’ll have people around you and choose to reproduce with a so-so partner just because you see no other option, or are you willing to see what else could come.
Ultimately, push always comes to shove in our world, and it is our own choices that define where life takes us, even if we have no clue we’re making those choices. If you feel safe and secure, you easily take more risks. If you need money to feel safe, you might like a more secure job choice. Stop for a moment and consider your own life. What does it say about your genuine needs, about you and the choices you have made, for wherever you are, you made the choices to get where that is. And, it was Saturn and Neptune at work nudging you to that destination.
We have been in an interesting period of time, first with Uranus and Pluto breaking down lots of structures in the world. Now, with Saturn and Neptune, the question is where can dreams lead you and what can you do with them. That is always the aim when these two planets collude, even if the aspects are contentious as they are now. There will be a see-saw effect. “Should I go after that dream, can I make it happen, how can I make it happen, can I take a year off, living on savings and see it through?” Those are the sorts of questions we all will be asking as Saturn and Neptune hit our horoscopes. Don’t be mistaken, however, for with these challenging aspects, it’s far more likely that we will be giving up dreams that don’t work than working toward dreams that will. Maybe. In any case, whatever actions are taken during this period of time, personal life lessons will arise, and more clarity about the true nature of our own heart’s desires will result.
Neptune has been in Pisces, its own sign, for some time now, and will remain there until spring 2024. Saturn moves into Sagittarius in December, 2014, and will already be in aspect to the Saturn-Neptune square (90 degrees apart). In fact, if we want to be precise, the square will begin when Saturn is in Scorpio, for a 10 degree orb is normal for that aspect, and thus we will feel it in November, 2014. I hope you won’t be serving your neighbor for Thanksgiving instead of a turkey! In June of 2015, Saturn is back in Scorpio but still in aspect to Neptune. It returns to Sagittarius in September of 2015.
With Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces, obviously those two signs will strongly feel this energy. Both signs are known to be dreamers and to enjoy a lack of rigidity in their daily lives. Now this will change. Maybe you’ll have the idea to begin a new hobby, or even a career, and it will require training. Every craft requires the acquisition of skill, and that could be something as simple as learning to take better photos with your cell phone. You might feel the call to volunteer some of your time to a good cause, to work for the betterment of your world. Or you might sense that you’ve been dreaming too long, and that you should make those talents pay off. That’s assuming your Sun is what’s being hit by the Saturn-Neptune square. If other planets are aspected, you will deal with the issues of those planets. If it’s your Moon, you could decide to stop drinking, or to go on one of those liquid diets, or you could move, downsize, or take in a border, perhaps a relative. If Venus is involved, you might have to choose between suitors. If Mars gets hit, you might have to work on behalf of someone else, like those who join the Peace Corps. Those are direct hits in the two signs, but more than those signs will be affected.
There are four Mutable signs, and any planet in Virgo or Gemini will also be affected, perhaps even more strongly. Planets in Virgo will oppose Neptune, making a T-square out through Saturn, and that would tend to imply that dreams will be heeded but they won’t work out. This could be the point at which you decide that you’re not going to be a movie star and that you should put that accounting degree to good use. Planets in Gemini will oppose Saturn, making a T-square out through Neptune, and that could mean logical, solid efforts won’t exactly pay off, for unknown eventualities will present themselves. Or you could toss that accounting degree the day before you’re slated to slip into the three-piece suit and move to Hollywood to follow your bliss as a wanna-be actor.
Another thing to consider is transits by the other planets which will amplify this energy. The Sun, Venus, Mars, and even Jupiter will be in the Mutable signs at some point during the period of this transit. Some of the two years in which Saturn and Neptune are involved in their square will be more intense than others because the aspect will be more precise. In August, 2015, Jupiter enters Virgo and it will amplify this energy quite a bit.
Fall of 2015 features connections from Mars and then Venus in Virgo along with Jupiter. That will mean there will be a T-square focalized out through Saturn. People can ask for help that others don’t want to grant. During this period the first precise square will occur. It makes me wonder if there will be some sort of natural disaster in which people have to come together to volunteer to help the affected. In December, 2015 through January, 2016, the Sun in Sagittarius and then Pisces, Venus in Sagittarius, and Jupiter in Virgo will create another T-square.
Spring and summer, 2016 will be significant months. In March, the Sun and Venus are in Pisces, and Mars is in Sagittarius, while Jupiter is in Virgo, once again making a much-amplified T-square. By May and June the energy is more extreme because the Sun and Venus are in Gemini, and thus there is a Grand Cross. It sounds to me like there will be many attempts to create a workable solution to a difficult problem, perhaps caused by personal attachments on the individual level. Also in June, the Saturn-Neptune square is precise, so that increases the energy even more. It’s during these months that we will see the real power of the transit and what it truly means. Anyone with planets in any of the mutable signs, particularly in the middle of the sign will feel this energy profoundly.
So does this mean that if you don’t have planets in any of the Mutable signs that you’re getting away without being hit by the Saturn-Neptune square? Do you really think that could happen? Um, no! The two houses of your horoscope where Sagittarius and Pisces lie will be hit by this aspect, and because these are slow, repeating transits, they will affect you over a longer time period than just an aspect to your Sun. In short, we all will feel this energy, and must be ready to make the most of whatever life tosses us.
If you have Aries Rising, Saturn will transit your ninth house and Neptune your twelfth. Are you living according to personal deep truths? Are you honest with yourself and honorable with other people? Neptune lures you into some deep moments of introspection, where events from the past can play out again in your mind so that you can make better sense of your own past. Then Saturn asks you to reevaluate your system of morals and to find an inner justice that will become your credo for living.
If you have Taurus Rising, Saturn will transit your eighth house and Neptune your eleventh. The obvious caveat here is to avoid financial entanglements that could be disadvantageous involving friends. The issue goes deeper, however, for now it’s up to you to make sense of the role of money in your life and how other people figure into it. Did you give up a set of goals or expectations to ally yourself with a partner who is financially secure? Do you now regret that and wish you could be set free? Have you sold out? Are your dreams buried somewhere in favor of a life you now view as mundane? Once you ask and answer these questions, you can go forward to build something that matters to you, perhaps a smaller life with more meaning.
If you have Gemini Rising, Saturn is transiting your seventh house and Neptune is in your tenth. Are you with a partner whose company you no longer adore? Is your career working out or are you in the grips of someone else’s dream. This is your chance to evaluate your connections with other people and how everyone in the world views you. You need to find the path that truly matters to you and the companions who will enrich your life.
If you have Cancer Rising, Saturn is in your sixth house and Neptune your ninth. First of all, focus on your health. If you need to take better care of yourself, do so. This is not the best time to become involved with alternative health practices. Go get a check up. Make sure the meds you take regularly are properly prescribed at the correct dosage. Once you’ve done that, examine the day to day of your working life. Are you happy with your job or do you feel you’re surrounded by people who are not simpatico at all? You may want to begin meditating, particularly if you’re in a stressful work environment. Finding inner peace is essential now.
If you have Leo Rising, Saturn is in your fifth house and Neptune in your eighth. This could mean that you could be seduced by a partner who wants your cash, or you could mess up a relationship and also lose money as a result. Or you could feel that your relationship is crashing and burning emotionally and sexually. Clearly you have some questions to ask yourself about your romantic life. Children also may cost you money. Your creative side is another factor in this transit. Maybe you’re afraid to try to earn money doing something you love and wish your mate would carry the financial burden so you can shine. If you have a mate who expects this of you, that could be problematic.
If you have Virgo Rising, Saturn is in your fourth house and Neptune in your seventh. You must confront issues with family, such as your childhood background or even your mom in present day as well as a sense that you’re not getting what you need from a mate. Perhaps you’ll flee a strained home environment to run to the arms of someone who turns out to be other than what you initially believed. The real point here is to work on yourself. You need to look inside your own heart and uncover the falsehoods and equivocations you’ve been using to make it through the day. It might not be comforting to discover new truths, but it will be helpful.
If you have Libra Rising, Saturn is in your third house and Neptune your sixth. Don’t assume that everything you need to know about your health is right there on the Internet. Ask an actual doctor, but then do your own research to understand your health more completely. Be careful about the meds you take, and the negative substances you consume. You might decide that this is the perfect time to volunteer your services in a neighborhood program and although frustrating, such a choice can be very rewarding. You might also express yourself via writing.
If you have Scorpio Rising, Saturn is in your second house and Neptune in your fifth. You might have been on a creative path you loved but which was financially unrewarding. Now you reevaluate that choice. If it’s work, you should be paid for it. Or you may feel you’re on such a compelling journey with a creative project that a little belt tightening is well worth it, whether you make money immediately or not. You may thus reconsider some of your expensive hobbies in an effort to expend less of your resources. Children can cost you money now.
If you have Sagittarius Rising, Saturn is in your first house and Neptune in your fourth. Emotional issues come into play. You feel strained and over burdened and it seems that nobody loves you. Everyone who loved you before still loves you, however, and it helps to remind yourself of that. While it’s positive to examine the feelings emerging connected to your childhood, make sure you’re viewing them honestly and accurately, not through the lens of some hurt feelings. Insecurity is a big issue now, and it comes in handy if you’re working harder to prove yourself and become a success. If you find depression is a big issue now, get some help.
If you have Capricorn Rising, Saturn is in your twelfth house and Neptune your third. The past seems particularly compelling now, and you might feel like sitting around, snuggled under the covers, and daydreaming about whatever used to be. This can be useful if you have events and feelings which were long-buried and you need to confront them so you can move on to a happier present day. You might spend time connecting with a psychic on the phone, but make sure it’s a reputable one. This can be a creatively rich period, one in which you get many inspirations about projects, but not one in which you necessarily produce anything beyond thought.
If you have Aquarius Rising, Saturn is in your eleventh house and Neptune your second. This is another one of those situations in which you could get bilked by a friend’s pie in the sky ideas for huge success. Neptune in the second doesn’t always steal your money, however, because sometimes it brings the big dream that does pay off. The key is in understanding your own goals and desires and what you truly want as well as what you’re capable of doing. Another issue is keeping up with other people. Are you insecure and determined to impress your friends with your wealth and success? If so, you might learn that other things are more meaningful.
If you have Pisces Rising, Saturn is in your tenth house and Neptune your first. Obviously there’s a call here to actualize your dreams, but first you have to look after your physical self. Are you well? Do you eat right? Are you swallowing buckets of coffee and sugary beverages daily? Do you need a drink to get through the day at work? These are serious questions and they point to serious issues, for the temptation now is to say it’s all too hard and just to drift along in a fog of inactivity. Life is hard, yes, but discipline combined with good ideas can really pay off.
We are in a very interesting period of time, one in which we all can be transformed into much better versions of ourselves. This is happening on a societal level as well as an individual one. The key is in being willing to allow that to happen and knowing what your genuine best looks like. It’s a process—a worthwhile process. Good luck!