We are in the midst of the first Saturn-Neptune square and I can feel it. Sometimes it’s like walking on quicksand, at others like being on a rolling ship, tossed around by the storm.
Neptune conjures up the image of the great cosmic soup, the soul of the world, that which binds us all together. Neptune is the God of the sea, a symbol for our collective unconscious. In our charts, Neptune shows where we have ideals, dreams, wishes and fantasies and where we seek to find a connection to something which is beyond us. It also shows where we are inclined to escape or go into avoidance behaviour or where we feel like a victim of circumstances. Often Neptune’s house placement in the natal chart shows where we may constantly feel like something is missing or where we can feel disillusioned. Yet Neptune also shows us the part of the chart which is spiritualised, where we seek to touch God.
Saturn however gives things form. He defines. He is worldly wise, practical and not really into this spiritual nonsense. Saturn’s buzzword is ‘reality’. He demands that we work hard in the area of life indicated by it’s natal placement because this is where we can achieve mastery. Saturn shows us where we feel limited and where we have fears but he challenges us to surmount them. Saturn essentially shows us where we need to grow up and take responsibility.
Saturn is Time, Neptune is Timeless, Saturn shapes, Neptune morphs. Saturn is dry. Neptune is wet.
Frankly, they are chalk and cheese.
But the universe wants us to find a way to work with both these energies and it isn’t easy with a square. Whenever these two planets come together, there is tension because reality and dreams clash. I remember last year, my lovely astrologer friend Michelle Young said to me that Saturn and Neptune aspects are like ‘the peeling of life’s onion’. I was just coming up to transiting Saturn conjunct my natal Neptune – and yes, I cried.
It’s a natural response. Some dreams we hold so preciously but a dream, however precious is not the reality. This square is like a force of water against a dam. We cannot hold back from the truth. We cannot live in denial. Where we have put up walls to that which we don’t want to recognise, this aspect will tear them down and deposit what’s on the other side at your door. Squares can back us into a corner and demand action.
Both the signs Pisces and Sagittarius are connected to archetypal language – Pisces is the collective unconscious and Sagittarius connects to far sight and divination. It feels as though a thousand messages in bottles have just risen up to the surface of our collective unconscious but these messages are written in the language of dreams. Archetypal language may be a constant companion as we walk this journey – pay attention to dreams and synchronicty during this time as Saturn is carrying these messages to the shore where we need to sit and read them one by one until it makes sense. Saturn square Neptune means we cannot be lulled into a false sense of security any more. For some it may be a rude awakening.
The Sabian symbol of Neptune in this first square is :-
A Girl Blowing A Bugle
This for me always conjures up images of the Judgement card in the tarot. It’s a calling, it’s time to step up, time to wake up from the long sleep. Judgement in the tarot often comes up to represent the world of spirit; that which is just beyond the veil. The card itself relates to the Last Judgement in Christian mythology where the souls of the dead are resurrected.
The Sabian symbol of Saturn in Sagittarius is :-
Within The Depths Of The Earth New Elements Are Being Formed
This immediately conjures up an image of the newly fleshed souls, stirring deep within the Earth after hearing the bugle call of Neptune. Slowly they begin to rise to the surface.
Collectively, Saturn square Neptune is already clearly manifesting with the stream of refugees (Neptune) pouring into Europe, desperate for help but being denied entry (Saturn in Sagittarius). I have already talked about how Saturn in Sagittarius relates to the closing of borders. Neptune wants to erase the lines on the map but Saturn is determined to create them. With the Nodes having just moved into Virgo and Pisces, there’s a push to find practical solutions. But Saturn is a tough authoritarian. Fear (Saturn) of the unknown (Neptune) can create difficult dilemmas. And with Saturn limiting our vision in Sagittarius and creating divides between cultures and countries, there is an urgent need to take action to alleviate suffering on all counts.
On a personal level, certain structures that we perhaps took for granted may dissolve during this time and Saturn will push us to look at our Neptune stuff. Look to where Neptune is travelling in your chart to see where there may be confusion, victim consciousness, loss or disillusion. Saturn will ask you to take responsibility for this, to drag yourself out of the depths of despair and make a course correction. You can find your direction by working hard in the area of life indicated by the house Saturn is currently transiting. We can no longer drift with the tide, wondering where the waters may take us. Now we must decide on a destination and paddle.
I make no pretense that this aspect will be easy but at the same time, it’s important not to lose faith. When the goal posts seem to constantly shift, having a strong internal structure is important. Now more than ever, we need to hold on to our belief in something more – whether in a higher force or simply within ourselves. We cannot afford to lose hope. Having a strong spiritual practice during this time could be helpful. Alternatively, Neptune also symbolises our imagination so this could be the perfect time to bring creative ideas into being. Photographers, writers, musicians, take note. Saturn square Neptune may be a harsh muse but she could manifest as a magnus opus.
Whilst some dreams may inevitably die during this first square, there are other stirring in the depths that have a chance of making it to reality. Both personal and collective illusions are about to be banished but what we can bring into its place could be something far more beautiful. During Saturn square Neptune, we can all be builders of dreams.
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Saturn square Neptune dates
26th November 2015 | Saturn 07°Sg02′ D | Neptune 07°Pi02′ D
18th June 2016 Saturn | 12°Sg02′ R | Neptune 12°Pi02′ R
10th September 2016 | Saturn 10°Sg25′ D | Neptune 10°Pi24′ R
Do check out Michelle Young’s epic series of posts on the Saturn-Neptune square here
Painting – Detail from ‘The Last Judgement’ by Edward Burne-Jones
If you would like to know more about this transit in your own chart, do check out the range of readings I offer.
My moon is 7 pisces opp. Saturn 4 dgs. Virgo 1 & 7. This is a stand alone aspect. But neptune is at 15 libra and is aspected by the majority of my personal planets. 3 trines, 2 sqs and a semisextile and a sextile. For me it is like neptune is dissolving the conflicts this moon/saturn represents for me. A missing father and a not very great relationship with my mother. It’s been an interesting time. Teachers of tai chi and qi qong have come into my life and I am learning how to be grounded and how to be in the body. I have to be careful not to “float” when I am doing tai chi! LOL!
PS I forgot to say how much I enjoy your notices. I share them with an old friend who I used to study astrology with. She enjoys your posts also. Thank you and happy thanksgiving.
Excellent post! Thanks for it.
Thanks for your comments Pamela and for sharing my posts with your friend. I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving. I also started to practice Qi Gong this year and find it amazing for grounding energies.
Thank you Beth 🙂
BTW -It’s not a “stream of refugees”, it’s a DELUGE of economic migrants with a few refugees in the mix. And most of them are MEN aged betw 20s- 40 . Not at all how the media portrays it.
The sabian symbol for Saturn in Sagittarius it always have been my favorite
I too enjoyed your post. Just now I marvelled at how my long night of sleep seemed to really peel the onion. A thousand bottles rising with messages to the surface and we mustwait to make sense of it all. yes exactly how it seems for me. u must be a twelth house person like myself as taurus. And no one else mentions the bigger picture at all as these heavy planets arent so personally oriented anyway. It is aug. 7/16 – one month to go and a waning losing strength time. No one has mentioned the deaths by sea. Young men jupiter is a new one for me but explains my present situation.
My midage daughter in Yukon Canada is completing a beautifl reconstructed log home, gardens two hours from the Yukon COLLEGE Where she is PR officier so dreams do come true. The mountain in the distance and the land that glows. Atlin. Says shes doing a garden tour today. Nice work Leah, much appreciate your site.
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