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“Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive”. Theodore Roosevelt
I find this quote by the brilliant Theodore Roosevelt to describe best this tense planetary alignment between Saturn and Uranus that we’ll be witnessing and going through during all of 2021 (with 3 peak dates: February 17th, June 14th-15th, and December 24th).
In order to understand what this will represent in the world and in our personal lives, a quick overview of the Saturn and Uranus archetypes must be presented.
I. Saturn and Uranus in Greek mythology:
“Both Uranus (Ouranus) and Saturn (Cronus) are sons of Gaia. Parthenogenically Gaia gives birth to Uranus, who then mates with her to father the twelve Titans, the youngest being Saturn. In this complex and primal family system, Saturn is both the brother and the son of his father. The original oedipal triangle enmeshes Saturn and Uranus in the triangular web with Gaia, the great mother Earth. This myth reveals the structural human dynamic of rivalry and difference.
This Saturn/Uranus instinctual and archetypal conflict between control and freedom, orthodoxy and innovation, conservation and liberation, obligations and options is inherent in all spheres of life. Whether racial, cultural, gender, generational, professional, political, social, economic or religious differences, the mythic conflict arises. When the disparity becomes extreme, the situation becomes volatile. Gaia is one of the first five deities to emerge out of Chaos. As the temporal and grounding Earth, she gives birth to the Heavens, personified by Uranus, characterised as abstract, disembodied and perfectionistic. Saturn aligns with Gaia to overthrow Uranus. Saturn’s weapon is the sickle; his method is castration. As the myth tells us, the severed genitals impregnate the ocean, the medium through which Aphrodite/Venus emerges. This complex results in Venus’s appearance, the archetypal channel where mediation between Saturn and Uranus, responsibility and freedom, might be possible.
The myth, or at least this version of the myth, suggests Saturn and Uranus can come to some reconciliation through the Venusian way of mediation, relationship, compromise and choice. The Greeks saw the goddess as dual, aligning her with both heaven and earth in her epithets of Urania and Pandemos. Aphrodite’s earthy appellation of Pandemos suggests ‘for all people’. It is through the continuous suppression of and disengagement with Gaia that Ouranus is castrated by Cronus, which allows Aphrodite into the archetypal matrix. Therefore, by Saturn consciously acknowledging and aligning with Gaia and in confronting Uranus’s overwhelming abstract rationalisations, Venus comes to light” (Brian Clark).
Venus rules harmony/balance and love, stressing the above-mentioned Theodore Roosevelt quote again; order and liberty are both necessary in our society; that’s what keeps it harmonious.
II. The Saturn/Uranus cycle from the late 20th century until today:
The square that we will be going through in 2021, between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus is part of a 45-year cycle that started in 1988 with their conjunction (0° angle) in 27-29° of Sagittarius. A conjunction in astrology is the most potent alignment between planets, and it’s the only one that can be considered neutral; meaning depending on the energies that are being blended, it can either be positive or negative.
A Saturn/Uranus cycle starts with a conjunction, an opposition (tense aspect; 180° angle), a 1st square (tense aspect; 90° angle), a 2nd square, to finally end and start a new cycle with another conjunction in a different sign.
We’re currently at the 2nd square ending the 1988 cycle before a new one starts with their conjunction in 2032 in Gemini.
For the sake of brevity, I’m only going to cover the current 1988 cycle.
In 1988, Saturn and Uranus conjoined in Sagittarius, the sign of politics, law, belief systems, religion, international relations, international travel, freedom. As we previously covered, Saturn represents the status quo, established structure, the old, traditions. Uranus represents sudden change, upheaval, revolution, innovation, independence and liberty. Blending these 2 together gave way to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Outdated government structures and belief systems started to collapse, through crises and rebellion, and the emergence of new ones.
Not long after that, in the early 90s, we witnessed:
- The end of the Apartheid,
- the break-up of Yugoslavia,
- one of the worst air show disasters in history at Ramstein Air Base in Germany when 3 jets collided and one crashed into the crowd,
- the world’s first high-speed tilting train service started in Italy,
- the official formation of the European Union in 1992 with the signing of the Maastricht treaty,
- spread of the first well-known internet virus, the Morris Worm,
- the first transatlantic telephone cable to use optical fibres was completed for internet use.
To name a few.
Then, from 1998 until 13 May 2000 when it became exact, we had the first square between Saturn in Taurus and Uranus in Aquarius (with Uranus being stronger than Saturn this time, as it was in its own sign of Aquarius). It was also accompanied by Saturn in Gemini opposing Pluto in Sagittarius, which is a very tense aspect where a balancing act must be found. Having these 2 tense alignments gave way to significant crises: NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, World Trade Centre collapsed when two hijacked planes flew into the buildings, leading to the introduction of the Patriot Act in the US, and the so-called War on Terror, dragging other countries into it.
From 2008 until 2009, we had the opposition between Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces, alongside a final opposition in 2010 when Saturn was entering Libra and Uranus Aries. Saturn in Libra is exalted, it’s very strong there, which is probably why governments and organisations such as the EU managed to artificially handle the financial crisis that hit us then and has never ended in reality. During that same period, we had Saturn in Libra square, Pluto, in Capricorn. Pluto represents power, power struggles, financial institutions, the hidden, transformation, destruction. Capricorn is the sign that rules government structures, world leaders, large corporations, the status quo… Despite Saturn being stronger in Libra than the other 2 planets, the events that followed were disastrous for the world economy.
The peak of the cycle started in 1988. Credit Crunch economic crash. Obama elected as first black president of the US. Tories returned to power in the UK and began 10 years of austerity and underfunding of NHS and social care – now exacerbating the COVID-19 crisis.
The trine alignment (harmonious aspect) between Saturn and Uranus in 2016-18 coincided with the election of Trump as president in the US and the Brexit referendum in the UK that led to Britain leaving the EU.
The final meeting between Saturn and Uranus is marking 2021. This time the square is flipped: it’s Saturn that’s in Aquarius and Uranus that’s in Taurus. And this time, it’s Saturn that’s stronger, as it also rules Aquarius alongside Uranus. Uranus in Taurus is in its fall position. A square depicts a need for a lot of effort to be invested into action in order to reconcile both energies. This aspect represents a change of values, rebellion against the old ways, drastic change and innovation in the monetary systems, restrictions, a major clash between the little people and the establishment.
We also had 2 major shifting alignments in 2020 that have to be taken into account alongside this square. We had the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in January 2020, bringing into light the COVID-19 pandemic and deepening the ongoing economic crisis since 2008. This is a new 36-year cycle that has started.
The last conjunction between these 2 planets happened in Libra in the 80s and brought about the AIDS virus. Specifically, in Capricorn, they met in 1518, the year Martin Luther famously nailed the 95 Theses attacking church corruption to the church door in Germany, and English King Henry the VIII separated from Rome, signalling the start of the reformation in Europe.
And even further back than that, a transit of a very similar nature to the one we are receiving now occurred 735 years ago in the years of 1284/1285. Back in 1284, humanity was at a time in history when world powers were strengthening and the structure of the world as we currently know it was being built. Worldwide trade via the Silk Road made accessible by the massive Mongol Empire, the development of early banking systems & coinage throughout Europe, and the unification of city-states encouraged the urbanization of cities, like London and Paris, that still thrive today. European monarchies were also growing in influence and strength, as their kingdoms also became more defined and consistent (and became fully formed and centralized by Saturn & Pluto’s next visit in the 1500s). With the big figures of Saturn, Pluto & Jupiter aligning on the North Node in Capricorn (the sign of government structures) – the growth of such power structures was energetically supported and fulfilled a need for the greater stability that arose from, the more established and consistent government.
Only in 2020, the South Node was in Capricorn, meaning that outdated government systems are losing power.
Pluto has been transiting Capricon since 2008 and will stay there until 2024. So, it’s been destroying and transforming the status quo. Since Saturn has left Capricorn at the end of 2020, Pluto will be going over what Saturn has stabilised and will either destroy it or strengthen it, depending on its foundation.
The current Saturn/Uranus square was also preceded by the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius ushering a new 20-year cycle of restructuring of world governments and the emergence of new organisations and networks, more focused on the intellect rather than the material stability and accumulation of wealth. Something that won’t happen without crisis and chaos (see my article about this alignment ).
So, yes, it’s a lot to think about. Astrology is a very powerful indicator of the times we’re living in; it’s a system of pattern synthesis and integration. It’s beautifully rational and mathematical, much like Aquarius.
Before closing out, let’s take a brief look at the 3 dates when the Saturn/Uranus square becomes exact this year:
- February 17th: Saturn will be at 7°of Aquarius and Uranus at 7° of Taurus. Numerologically, the number 7 is linked to Neptune representing high spirituality, empathy, imagination, karma, but also dissolution and illusion. So we will see some kind of fallout. The Moon will also be in conjunction with Taurus, which indicates that emotions will be running high on that day, and unexpected impulsive reactions of rebellion will be most probably taking place. Saturn will also be sextiling Chiron in Aries, which gives us the opportunity to find some stable and long-term healing of our identities.
On a personal level, this call to action for change will affect most strongly any person with his/her Sun, Moon, Ascendant in 5°-9° of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio. Anyone with his/her angles (descendant, Imum Coeli IC, Medium Coeli MC) in these degrees and signs as well.
- June 14th-15th: Saturn retrograde in 13° of Aquarius will be squaring Uranus in 13° of Taurus. 13° is reduced to 4 and is linked to the planet Uranus. So there’s a very unstable and unexpected flair to this aspect. It also indicates a stabilisation through wild change. Since Saturn will be retrograde, this might bring up issues from the past. Jupiter will be in Pisces then, so Saturn will be standing very strong in Aquarius, and its influence strengthened as retrograde planets are usually closer to Earth. More restrictions may be imposed. Further remedies may emerge or get reviewed, or even secrets may be revealed since Neptune in Pisces will be starting to sextile Pluto in Capricorn on that day. There will be a lot of confusion and uncertainty since the Sun, Mercury retrograde and the North Node in Gemini will be squaring Neptune in Pisces.
This will affect in the strongest way anyone with his/her Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in 11°-15° of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio. Anyone with his/her angles (descendant, Imum Coeli IC, Medium Coeli MC) in these degrees and signs as well.
- December 24th (Christmas Eve): Mixed energies. Saturn in 11° of Aquarius will be squaring Uranus retrograde in 11° of Taurus. 11 reduces to a 2 and is linked to the Moon, a very emotional day. Again, unexpected upheavals when it comes to the economy, protests and rebellion. We will also be coming out of an extremely tense aspect called a Grand Cross among the Moon in Leo, Mars in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Aquarius, and the North Node in Gemini. This brings situations of heightened tension and danger. Thankfully, we will also be having a Minor Grand Trine (harmonious aspect) stabilising the situation among Mars, Saturn and Chiron. Venus will be retrograding through Capricorn though and conjoining for the 2nd time Pluto. This will bring about issues from the past about money, diplomacy, relationships, self-worth and value.
This will affect in the strongest way anyone with his/her Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in 9°-13° of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio. Anyone with his/her angles (descendant, Imum Coeli IC, Medium Coeli MC) in these degrees and signs as well.
To conclude, as you can see, 2021 will be mainly marked by this Saturn/Uranus square that adds up to the tension and major changes that started in 2020. It is important to stay grounded and rational and to know that things won’t remain the same, and there’s no going back to the old ways. Stay strong through the crisis and be hopeful about the future (Aquarius). Better times are coming…
Your Astrologer – Theodora NightFall
P.S. If you’d like to know how this alignment will affect you personally in your own life, you may book a “your year ahead horoscope” astrology reading in the consultations section on my website.
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