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Saturn Square Neptune—Fear Turns Dreams Into Nightmares

By November 25, 2015September 17th, 2021Neptune, Saturn

This year, Saturn enters into a square with Neptune, which lasts almost a year and spans 7 to 12 degrees of Mutable signs, affecting those with Sun in Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini and Virgo everywhere. Neptune is the planet of dreams and visions while Saturn rules constriction and fear. What could this stressful planetary aspect mean? The script at the bottom of this page describes one way it could go, but first, how will you know if this even matters to you?

Does this transit affect you?

If you were born within the following dates, you will feel this transit strongly:
Feb 25 through March 3 of any year
May 28 through June 3 of any year
August 30 through September 5 of any year
November 29 through December 5 of any year

This post is for you if. . .

  • You’re trying to get clear on your career vision and put it into practice
  • You have difficulty manifesting your dreams because your mind fearfully asks “but how do I get there?” and “but what if things go terribly wrong…?”
  • You’re ready to live the dream instead of escaping the responsibility

How the Saturn square Neptune works
(this part is technical, but brief)

If your birthday falls on November 26, 2015, June 17, 2016 or September 10, 2016, then Neptune and Saturn will have powerful lessons expressly for you in this birthday year.

Saturn will square Neptune 3 times this year. The first pass happens on November 26, 2015, while Saturn is direct at 7º Sagittarius and Neptune (also direct) is at 7º Pisces. If you have anything in 7º of a Mutable sign–like your Sun, Moon or Ascendant, etc –you will feel this (see diagram for pass 1).

Saturn square Neptune, pass 1

The second pass happens on June 17, 2016, while Saturn and Neptune are both retrograde and at 12º of their signs. If you have anything in 12º of Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini or VIrgo, you will feel this (see diagram for pass 2).

Saturn square Neptune, pass 2

The third pass is where this transit ends, on September 10, 2016 with Saturn direct at 10º Sagittarius while Neptune is still retrograde in 10º Pisces. This will affect you if you have anything in 10º of a Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini or Virgo (see diagram for pass 3).

Saturn square Neptune, pass 3

What could this stressful planetary aspect mean?
The following story illustrates one way it could go. . .

Neptune is floating along on a cloud of dreams, idly making multicolored waterfalls and pretty sparkle patterns in the air. She has just made a very satisfying sky painting when the cloud she’s wafting on encounters Saturn. Saturn is packing 10 suitcases and weeping.
Neptune: What are you doing, Saturn? Why are you crying?
Saturn: (wiping a tear) I have to go on a trip and I’m trying to get organized. I’m SO overwhelmed.
Neptune: I’m really good at envisioning things. Tell me about your trip and I’ll make the mental pictures that can help you get organized.
Saturn: Well I have to visit 3 countries, all of which have different weather and speak 3 different languages. In Sagittarius I have to practice being a world traveler, but to tell you the truth, I’m afraid of heights, big places and going outside.
Neptune: But just imagine the fabulous views you’ll see in an airplane!
Neptune grabs some cloud-stuff in her hands, sprinkles a sparkly dust into it from her sleeve and a vision appears—of distant landscapes viewed from high above.
Saturn: You’re going to make me ill!
Neptune: And imagine all the fun you’ll have meeting people who are new and different!
She conjures an image of a variety of people, dressed in exotic costumes and of many ethnicities.
Saturn: You mean all those strange people with strange customs and places where I’ll be out of my element?
Neptune: And imagine all the amazing sights you’ll see in far-off lands!
She shows him the Sphinx, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canyon. Upon seeing the Grand Canyon, he turns a little green.
Saturn: I really just want to crawl into a hole. A small one. Where I don’t have to go outside at all.
Neptune: That can be arranged.
Suddenly, with a gesture, they are in a dark cave.
Saturn: Wait a minute—I didn’t mean—
Neptune: Remember who you are talking to? I am the goddess of visions, fantasies, imaginings. I make dreams come true.
Saturn: You mean nightmares!
Neptune: Nightmares are dreams too.
Saturn: But this is REALLY dark!  What if there’s a bear?
Neptune: A bear, you say?
They hear a growl emanating from a tunnel leading off the cave. There’s a shadow on the wall.
Saturn: What if the walls cave in?
Neptune: Ah, what if they did?
The walls do begin to move. The space is becoming noticeably smaller.
Saturn: I can’t breathe!
Neptune: Why do you need to breathe? You’re an Earth planet.
Saturn: But I’m in Sagittarius—a Fire sign! I need Air!
Neptune: Be careful what you wish for!
Suddenly they are atop a mountain, wind whistling all around. They sit on a craggy peak, with barely enough room for the two of them.
Neptune: Is this enough Air for you? Enough Earth?
Saturn: Aaaaahhhh!
He grabs onto her cloak, trying not to fall down the icy mountainside.
Neptune: Haven’t you figured this out yet?
Saturn: What is there to figure out?
Neptune: Don’t get caught up in fear. Fear turns dreams into nightmares.
Saturn: I think you should tell that to those frightened little humans down on Earth.
Neptune: I just did.

If you are feeling this transit
and want to understand its meaning in your life,
an astrology reading will clarify this and much, much more.

How to find out more

You can read more about Neptune’s activity this year here.
You can read more about Saturn’s activity this year here.
You might also try Are You Currently In Transition? 
And to get oriented to the many transits going on this year, check out Transits This Year. 


Jamie has been practicing astrology in the Bay Area since 1992 and teaching since 1997. She is currently certified at NCGR Level 3. She specializes in feminine archetypes and a positive, empowering approach. Jamie enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families to improve the quality of their lives and expand each person’s choices.

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