Coping with Saturn

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People who know something about astrology tend to look forward to Jupiter's transits — and view Saturn's transits with alarm. Saturn takes almost 30 years to whirl through the zodiac. It spends about two and a half years in each sign, and it's associated with duty, discipline, effort, obstructions, limitations, boundaries, and lessons learned. Gloomy Saturn can bring despair, apathy, and a dangerous case of the blues. But just as Jupiter doesn't necessarily deliver matchless love, best-selling first novels, or winning lottery tickets, Saturn doesn't necessarily beget misery. It can bring responsibility in the form of a better job, limitation in the form of a committed relationship, and the enhanced self-esteem that accompanies self-discipline. To benefit from a Saturn transit, you need to create structure, get organized, and figure out how to manage your time.

Transits, by definition, are transitory. They don't last long, so you must act promptly to take advantage of them.

i Saturn conjunct the Sun: You reap what you sow: That's the message of this challenging and sometimes discouraging transit. Saturn stimulates your ambitions, increases your need for security, forces you to learn discipline, and may confront you with your weaknesses. But it can also bring security, fulfillment, and recognition for work well done.

l Saturn opposite the Sun: Pessimism and low vitality characterize this difficult transit, which takes place approximately 14 years after Saturn conjuncts the Sun. Other people may oppose your efforts. Be patient.

Note: The squares of Saturn to the Sun, which occur seven years before and after the opposition, are also trying.

I Saturn conjunct the Moon: Worries afflict you. You may feel melancholy, misunderstood, unloved, or unlucky — not to mention filled with self-doubt. You're imprisoned momentarily in the abyss, where the time is always right for confiding in a journal, talking to a therapist, and reminding yourself that this too shall pass.

I Saturn opposite the Moon: Insecurity, bitterness, and stressful relationships may cause you to withdraw during this isolating time. Though you may wish for sympathy from others, you aren't likely to get it. Avoid self-pity and take practical steps.

l Saturn conjunct Mercury: You're in a thoughtful and possibly pessimistic mood that favors study, concentration, and regular schedules. This is the ideal time to read War and Peace, Moby Dick, or any other massive classics you've been avoiding.

l Saturn opposite Mercury: Circumstances may cause you to question your ideas or to look for a more effective communication style.

l Saturn conjunct Venus: Weak relationships may crumble. You may feel lonely, inhibited, unloved, and underfunded. And yet a new, more serious relationship can begin, possibly with an older person. This is also a fine time to launch an artistic project.

l Saturn opposite Venus: Breaking up is hard to do, even if it's the only move to make. Healthy relationships survive this stressful transit. But even then the blinders come off as you face the truth.

l Saturn conjunct Mars: Your efforts are frustrated, provoking you to feel resentful and overburdened. If anger is an issue for you, learn to manage it now. This is also an excellent time to hire a trainer or to join a gym. You're being challenged to learn control. If you act methodically, you can accomplish a lot.

l Saturn opposite Mars: This transit can be rough, especially if you're the sort of person who collects enemies. Obstacles impede your progress as Saturn forces you to accept reality, take appropriate action, and — worst of all — be patient.

l Saturn conjunct Jupiter: Even though the opportunities that arise during this tedious time may not be flashy, they're nonetheless real. During a Saturn transit, facing reality is essential. Although you may need to streamline or limit your goals in some way, Saturn rewards your efforts.

l Saturn opposite Jupiter: Luck isn't with you, though it isn't against you, either. Instead, this is a time of restricted growth, dampened enthusiasm, industriousness, and acceptance of the status quo.

i Saturn conjunct Saturn: Saturn returns. This is a pivotal moment, a time to face reality. Saturn returns to the position it occupied in your birth chart when you're between the ages of 28 to 30, 58 to 60, and 88 to 90. The first Saturn return represents the true onset of adulthood. During this typically trying time, you're forced to face the truth about yourself, stop messing around, and grow up. The second and third returns represent further turning points, during which you must admit to your dissatisfactions and prepare for a new phase in your life. In each case, Saturn encourages you to confront your fears, acknowledge the obstacles in your path, name your ambitions, and change your habits.

i Saturn opposite Saturn: This transit, which forces you to see yourself in relationship to the larger world, can be upsetting, especially the first time around, when you're about 14 years old. Subsequent experiences occur roughly at ages 44 and 74. In each instance, you may feel lonely and insecure. What helps? Focusing on specific tasks and practical efforts can increase your sense of security. The message: persevere.

i Saturn conjunct Uranus: Though you may feel constrained, it's pointless to rebel. Instead, seek controlled ways of expressing your individuality, which will allow you to sail through this transit with aplomb.

i Saturn opposite Uranus: Born free? That's not the way it feels. Events conspire to make you feel as if your options are limited, but don't underestimate the positive power of Saturn. Saturn supports organization and self-discipline. It rewards you by allowing you to develop the most idiosyncratic and original aspects of your self.

i Saturn conjunct Neptune: You may feel steadier and more in control during this introspective phase — or you may be pessimistic and creatively stymied. If you've been troubled by alcohol or drug abuse, you'll likely be forced to come to terms with it.

i Saturn opposite Neptune: You may feel beset by confusion, uncertainty, and despondency. Dreams can come true, yet you feel disappointed. This transit presents yet another chance to accept reality (sigh) and grow up.

i Saturn conjunct Pluto: Issues of control and manipulation arise during this long-term, transformative transit. Despite restrictive and frustrating circumstances, you can find a way to acknowledge your mistakes (or obsessions) and rethink your purpose. As always with Saturn, reaching these goals requires you to acknowledge the realities of your situation.

i Saturn opposite Pluto: Your desire to control your circumstances and pursue your goals collides with external pressures, which may be more powerful than you are. An obsession that may have you in its grip needs to be broken, and yet you may feel incapable of doing so. Look to areas of your life that are going well and focus on those.

1 Saturn conjunct the Ascendant: You strike people as dependable and trustworthy, and greater responsibility may come to you as a result. Though you may feel restrained and overworked during this difficult time, this transit brings some benefits. It improves your ability to concentrate, stimulates you to regulate your behavior (making this the ideal time to start a sensible diet), and encourages you to rethink your ambitions. At the same time, you're beginning a seven-year stretch known as the obscurity cycle, which is characterized by introspection and a search for personal growth.

1 Saturn opposite the Ascendant: This transit marks a turning point in the way you relate to the world. It may bring dissatisfactions to the surface and disrupt relationships, both personal and professional. Established relationships (if they aren't solid) may break up. New alliances are likely to be with people who are older or more authoritative. Though relationships are likely to be a challenge during the next two and a half years, the good news is that you're beginning a seven-year period of opportunity and accomplishment known as the activity cycle. For 14 years, your focus has been primarily internal; now you're opening up to the world.

1 Saturn conjunct the Midheaven: With this transit, the seven-year influence cycle begins. If you've been paying your dues, you can expect to reach a peak of recognition and responsibility. This is a time of success and prominence during which you establish your place in the world. But if you've been slacking off, this transit could herald a wave of failure and defeat. If that's your situation, remember that Saturn always responds positively to increased structure.

1 Saturn opposite the Midheaven: Issues regarding home and family beg for attention. Though you may feel weighed down by family needs and the burden of the past, you should know that you're beginning another component of the Saturn cycle. Having just completed the seven-year obscurity cycle, which is described earlier in this section, you're now entering the emergence cycle, a more creative and exciting time. A move is also a possibility.

As the planet of limitation and loss, Saturn requires a clear-eyed assessment of your situation. It also brings responsibility and rewards hard work.

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