This transit is exact on December 26, 2012
Our scene opens at a wine and cheese reception. Human Being arrives, along with The Astrologer and a host of deities, heroes, demigods, monsters and other fabulous beings. Some of these are fabulous in the mythical sense, others are fabulously dressed. We hear the tinkling of a glass being struck by a spoon and quiet fills the room. The Astrologer steps up to a microphone on one side of the room.
The Astrologer: Thank you for joining us tonight for this very special reception. It’s what we astrologers call a “mutual reception.” That’s a situation where two planets are occupying each other’s signs. This doesn’t happen every day. Please allow me to introduce them to you: Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn!
Up steps Pluto, his dark, grumpy brow furrowed and his usually messy black shock of hair well-groomed. He is wearing a tailored business suit, gun-metal gray, and looks menacingly handsome and intimidating. Joining him is Saturn in Scorpio, a white-bearded curmudgeon in flowing magician’s robes, carrying a wand and causing a shimmer of invisible power wherever he walks. Both acknowledge the roar of the audience. Then they turn to each other and bow lower and lower, each striving to do more honor to the other than received. The Astrologer interrupts before they hit their heads on the floor.
The Astrologer: This mutual reception is very important and you may be wondering why. Here’s why: Every planet has a mission. The sign it is in shows how it needs to pursue its mission in order to succeed at it. To feed its mission, it needs food of the sign it’s in. It gets that food from the planet that rules that sign. In today’s case, Pluto makes Scorpio food, which Saturn needs to eat while he’s in Scorpio. Meanwhile, Saturn makes Capricorn food, which Pluto needs while in Capricorn. So they feed each other and both planetary missions are speeded and fulfilled. How about you two showing the audience what this mutual reception is like? I see you’ve dished up some fine treats.
Pluto and Saturn step up to tables that have been loaded with trays of delicious looking food.
Pluto: I’m serving up Pluto food—yummy Pluto food. Get your Transformational Treats here! Fabulous yummies for your planets in Scorpio, including Intensity Stew and Pickle of Extremes (for those who like being in a pickle). Oh and be sure to have a Magical Muffin for dessert—there’s no telling what you’ll turn into!
Saturn: I’m serving up Saturn food—Satisfying Stability, Cute Career Creams and Delightfully Delicious Discipline. Eat this stuff and the ambitions of all your planets in Capricorn will be well-fed.
Human Being (pipes up from the audience): They sound good, but why would anyone want to eat them?
Saturn: Any planet you have in Capricorn feeds off your self-discipline. If your Saturn is helping you be more disciplined (i.e. making healthy Saturn/Capricorn food), then all your planets in Capricorn will benefit from it. For example, let’s say you have Mercury in Capricorn. You like concrete ideas, ideas that are useful and going somewhere. But Mercury is inherently unfocused. So you want to focus your mind. Since it’s in Capricorn, feed that Mercury of yours Capricorn food—self-discipline, structure, goals, etc.—and it will respond with clearer thinking.
Human Being: Ah—I see. And you and Pluto are feeding each other right now, yes?
Pluto: Exactly. It means that while I’m in Capricorn I can do my job of transformation better when Saturn gives me Capricorn food. Meanwhile, Saturn in my sign of Scorpio does his job of creating structure better, because I’m feeding him Scorpio food. Because we feed each other, once we get started it’s practically a perpetual motion machine.
They are standing in the middle of the ballroom, each holding a tray of food and dishing it out into the other’s bowl. They hold their bowls up to each other and exclaim, “Blessings! May you never hunger!” Then they chow down.
The Astrologer: I’d just like to point out that the babies born during this sextile of yours will benefit greatly from it. Tell the audience at home just a bit about the fine traits these babies may enjoy as adults. . .
Pluto (talking with his mouth full): Well, they’ll be able to trust authority figures.
Saturn (carefully wiping his chin): Which means they’ll be able to get good mentors, even while they are young.
Pluto: Which means in turn that they’ll be able to sniff out corruption and avoid it—
Saturn: Enabling them to more powerfully climb the ladder of success—
Pluto: And essentially to be unstoppable without being ruthless—
Saturn: There will be no hardship they won’t be able to overcome—
Pluto: They will learn to trust life and themselves—
Saturn: —without having to harden themselves, but just having good, healthy boundaries.
The Astrologer: That’s great stuff, but there’s more. Not only are these two in mutual reception, but they are also in a sextile with each other. This means they are traveling about 60 degrees apart, one-sixth of the zodiac. It means they are in agreement with each other and ready to have fun together.
Saturn: I’d say we are in a harmonious conversation.
Pluto: Yes, exactly—mutually curious about and pleasantly stimulated by each other. Our twin agendas of achievement and transformation are working together fairly smoothly.
Saturn: Even though I mostly enjoy building, while I’m in Scorpio I see how building can only happen as part of a cycle that includes death and destruction.
Pluto: And while I’m in Capricorn I see that corruption must be purged so that forward movement can happen.
Saturn: And power must be wielded carefully—
Pluto: —and wisely!
Saturn: Oh, we certainly agree on that!
The Astrologer: Let’s move on to the eating part, where everybody can enjoy themselves.
Saturn and Pluto go back to munching happily on all the food while the audience tucks in.
This harmonious sextile relationship between Saturn and Pluto lasts from December of 2012 to September of 2013. More about it here:
We all have, built right in, the urge to do something great in our lifetime, to build a monument (symbolic or literal), to create a legacy, to achieve. Saturn in our astrology chart tells us how to build that monument and where. Saturn in Gemini? Write something. Saturn in Cancer? Build a home. Saturn in Libra? Build fine relationships. The sign Saturn occupies in your chart begins to tell the answer, and the rest of your chart fills in the details of that answer. But what you may not know is, Saturn also tells you when. In your Saturn cycle, which begins the moment you are born and isn’t over till you die, is the natural timing of your achievements, fallow periods, times of frustration and pressure to perform. Get on that track and your career unfolds logically. Not necessarily effortlessly—in fact, you can count on there being effort involved, because Saturn’s very purpose is to show you where to put your effort in life for the best results. So perhaps not effortlessly, but certainly your career can unfold in a logical, practical way. Saturn invites you to practice and promises you will become very, very good if you will only do the work.
The timing of Saturn’s cycle dictates that you will have a Saturn Return approximately every 29 years—once the year you are 29, then again around age 58. The exact timing will be specific to your chart. This is incredibly useful to know because it explains that immense sense of pressure, fear, limitation, obligation and seriousness that comes over us when we are approaching 30—and then repeats itself in age-appropriate ways as we approach 60. There’s a hard barrier at the Saturn Return, and once you have passed through it and entered your thirties (or your sixties), you are a different person—a more mature, grownup version of yourself. Even those who spend their Saturn Return evading responsibility do not come away untouched by the lines of care in their face. It’s a true rite of passage.
But Saturn’s times of pressuring us to achieve are not limited to ages 30 and 60. The Saturn cycle is divided into quarters, each of which is seven years long. At the end of each seven years there is a milestone—accompanied by the usual Saturn feelings of seriousness, obligation, duty, pressure to perform. Thus the famous “seven-year-itch” or that feeling of being trapped that comes over us after seven years’ involvement with anything at all. If you are truly committed to something and you stick with it over time, Saturn will bring you periodic feelings of entrapment, limitation and “no exit.” That’s just part of the package. If your response to those feelings is to run away, you will be unable to build anything lasting. If instead you can push through the fear, stick to your path and keep pushing forward, you will break through the wall of fear that appears to be stopping you and you’ll find Saturn just on the other side, cheering you on, saying, “I knew you could do it. I had to test you, and you have passed.”
Where are you in your Saturn cycle right now? Resting and allowing momentum to gather, spinning your wheels or perhaps in the thick of some really big push? A look at Saturn in your natal chart and the location of transiting Saturn right now can explain why things feel the way they do and in a reading you can learn the very specific dates of the next milestone you’ll be facing. (Because I think this is really important information, I’ve designed an astrology reading around it, focusing on career, purpose, your life’s Great Work and your own personal career cycle, along with how to use right timing to make career moves–and leaps. You can find out more about that here.)
Saturn bestows upon us that wonderful sense of purpose, importance, and power that it’s possible to have as we pursue a meaningful career. This is his promise: “do the work and you will get the reward.” The reward is the respect of your peers, a feeling of momentum, the joy of speed as you barrel down the track sitting on a train that hums.
If you don’t know when they are coming, those milestones—those testing times—feel like pop quizzes, which can feel really oppressive, even punitive. But they do occur at sensible, predictable intervals. Find out when—and be ready.
Uranus goes direct today, as it does every year. If you feel that things have descended into chaos in the last few months, change is afoot and clarity may be right around the corner. . . (read about it)