In Part One of this series we explored the effects of the Uranus/Pluto square and associated celestials (see Part 1 here). In Part Two we’ll look at planetary stations to see how deep space energies impact our understanding of these patterns.
Saturn is the last of the visible planets in our solar system, and to the ancients it represented the end, the ring-pass-not, of our cosmic existence. Science and technology have expanded that view considerably since the discovery of Uranus in 1781, and continue to do so, with the discovery of millions of additional bodies sharing our sun’s neighborhood. But Saturn still represents boundaries and limitations, restrictions and those things which bring us, and our ambitions, to a screeching halt. Also related to mastery, self-discipline, acknowledgement, recognition and success, Saturn can be hypercritical and harsh, but its goal is to improve and refine, challenging us to do our best and creating roadblocks or delays to our progress until we’ve proven that we have learned and are applying our lessons.
Saturn is the teacher, the taskmaster, the exacting overseer who demands perfection, but is also a source of inner strength, resolve, determination and tenacity. It is an energy of structure, grounding and foundation-building, establishing the footing upon which we build our lives, evoking responsibility, focus and perseverance. On a mundane level, Saturn governs governmental structures, business and career matters, and heads of state.
Saturn forms two stations in 2013, turning retrograde on February 18 and resuming direct motion July 8. During the intervening period, we can expect the brakes to be applied to our forward momentum and progress, as we are forced to go back and review prior actions, mending fences and altering tactics to ensure continued advancement in the future.
At its retrograde station degree of 11 Scorpio, Saturn is exactly conjoined one Black Hole and tightly squared another, at 12 Aquarius. Black Holes, collapsed stellar remnants whose gravitational force is so great that not even light can escape them, represent the principle of transformation and change, and evoke the volte face, the sudden, swift, unexpected and complete reversal in the status quo reality. They absorb massive amounts of energy, in the form of time, resources, attention and focus, and their connections with parallel universes and alternate dimensions ensure that what they evoke will be truly new, dramatically different, and frequently mind-blowing or record-setting. Conditions alter in the twinkling of an eye, and the reality that replaces them is wholly separate and apart from what came before—in essence, you have changed universes, and can’t go home again.
When traveling at its normal pace, Saturn spends about a week and half per degree it transits. But as it approaches a station, it appears to slow, then stop, before changing direction. Saturn will be at the 11th degree of Scorpio for over a month and half, from 26 January through 15 March, affording an extended period wherein the Black Hole’s disruptive, creative tendencies can interact with Saturnine affairs, and projecting massive change in these areas into the collective and personal realities of everyone on the planet. Unexpected manifestations of Saturn’s energy, culled from the infinitude of potential universes which the Black Hole grants access to, will appear, often without warning, as so many rabbits pulled from a celestial magician’s hat.
Saturn’s subsequent station direct of July 8 is similarly encumbered galactically, but with a twist. At 4 Scorpio, Saturn fills in a T-Square of Black Hole energies by an exact square to an anomaly at 4 Aquarius, opposition to a second Black Hole at 3 Taurus, and square to a third at 3 Leo. So we’ll be seeing much of the same types of changes and instability we noted at the retrograde station, extending now from 24 June through 23 July.
The twist comes in the form of Saturn’s other galactic aspects at this time. From 4 Scorpio, Saturn is closely conjoined the Quasar at 5 Scorpio and opposed a second Quasar at 5 Taurus. Quasars are the polar opposite of Black Holes. Once termed “White Holes” by the scientific community until their make-up was better understood, Quasars are the exploding cores of proto-galaxies, and some astrophysics theories state that they may be a point of exit for the matter engorged by a Black Hole in a parallel universe.
Quasars are among the furthest distant and brightest objects in the universe, and they act to spotlight whatever they touch, like setting a beacon on a hilltop. They promote and enhance, providing grounding and manifestation, anchoring events into our reality and making them highly visible and obvious to all. They relate to success and accomplishment, advancement, recognition and reward, many of these also Saturn’s keywords. So having the planet of long-term success allied with the deep space anomaly governing promotion and public notice or attention can indicate a period for unexpected advancement, growth and establishment.
There is a cosmic push-me/pull-you effect when Black Holes and Quasars are activated simultaneously, but this can reap rich rewards. The Black Hole opens doors to possibilities that were once unthinkable, but the changes it brings may not be stable enough to be lasting in their original form. That is, they alter the status quo beyond repair, but what they initially bring may also pass quickly into alternate conditions.
Quasars, however, may help to ground the Black Hole’s less predictable effects into a firmer foundational form, something truly lasting and stable. The two together can work at cross purposes, but they can also support one another, the Black Hole granting an unexpected opportunity, and the Quasar allowing us to capitalize on that and bring it into permanence.
Additionally, other minor bodies of our system interact with Saturn at its stations. For the retrograde station in February, Saturn is accompanied by TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object, from the Kuiper Belt past Pluto) Deucalion at 13 Scorpio, and squared by asteroid Requiem at 12 Aquarius, exactly on the Black Hole there. Deucalion’s myth is the Greek version of Noah and the flood, and combining with Saturn at this time, it may feel as if we are overwhelmed, flooded, by responsibilities, demands, and “shoulds,” those societal and familial expectations of others that bind and control so much our freedom of action, particularly at times of archetypal significance, like bereavements.
And death is definitely on the table at this time. Not only was Saturn considered by the ancients as the lord of death and final endings, but asteroid Requiem in the mix is a secondary indicator of the importance of this theme in the ensuing months. Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, is often an indicator of life’s end [see “The Deathly Asteroids” in October’s issue of Daykeeper Journal], or endings in general; allied with Saturn and the associated Black Holes here, there is a strong indication of the passing of something or someone, likely unexpected and with major ramifications for altering the current reality or perspective.
At the direct station in July, Saturn’s companion is asteroid Persephone, an image of the need to attain balance and harmony between opposed factors. At 5 Scorpio, Persephone will be exactly conjunct the Quasar, suggesting that this theme of balance will predominate during Saturn’s station period in a very visible way. Balancing the demands of work or career with those of personal and family life is one likely issue; finding time for fitting in every aspect of life is another, as we apportion our limited temporal resources and prioritize our available hours.
Put it all together, and 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for Saturn affairs, for good or ill, with pervasive, dramatic change and the potential for major advancement or success.
Neptune’s is the next station to be considered. On June 7, Neptune turns retrograde at 5 Pisces, conjoined the Quasar at 6 Pisces, and exactly squared a Black Hole at 5 Sagittarius. Neptune is an energy not as easy to get a handle on as Saturn. It represents fantasy; where Saturn is the harsh light of reality, Neptune projects in soft focus, with gel on the lens. It is spirituality in all forms, true, and relates to empathy, sympathy, unity and selfless or altruistic actions. But it also governs escapism, alcohol or chemical abuse, addictive and codependent behaviors, deception, illusion, confusion, obfuscation and mental aberration. Neptune’s is a difficult energy to control, or even to grasp, slipping between the fingers like so much mist or fog, which it also rules.
Neptune’s retrograde station conjunct a Quasar may afford a period where its affairs are easier to define, lit in bold relief, more apparent and more readily susceptible to interaction or intervention. Neptune’s extended stay at 5 Pisces runs from May 2 to July 15, a period which allows us to go back into the Neptune areas of our lives and examine them closely under the scrutiny of the Quasar’s spotlight glare, exposing issues and problems and allowing them to be dealt with.
The Black Hole in square indicates that creative solutions can be found, but also ramps up the unpredictability and instability in the situation, so that even well-intended actions may result in very different consequences than expected or desired. Neptune squared the Black Hole can evoke crisis situations in its affairs, which may reach the make-or-break phase at this time, prompting extreme reactions or futile responses. This is an especially important period to be wary of alcohol and substance use and abuse, as the Black Hole can evoke radical responses and changes in everyday patterns which may establish new norms harmful to oneself.
Neptune’s retrograde station ignites an impressive T-Square of planetary energies, which becomes a Grand Cross when the Sagittarian Black Hole is factored into the mix. Principally, Mars squares exactly from 5 Gemini, where it is accompanied by asteroids Pallas and Lachesis at the same degree. Neptune is also opposed by asteroid Achilles at 3 Virgo.
Mars squared Neptune signals that sexual addictions and fantasies may be an issue at this time, as well as problems with expressing anger directly and a tendency toward passive-aggressive behaviors. Failing to see sexual partners clearly, or getting into situations more complex than expected, and more difficult to extricate oneself from, are common manifestations of these energies when linked by hard aspect. Neptune’s action can be corrosive but also insidious, with a slow slide into circumstances beyond our control before we are even aware of the slippage. There is an opportunity to inject spiritual values into sexual relationships at this time, but codependency and addiction are more common when Neptune works out its issues in the human sphere.
Pallas and Lachesis exactly with Mars send a powerful message as well. Pallas is about pattern-seeing, the ability to assess a situation, think ahead, and plan or strategize for solutions to problems. This has great significance for dealing with Neptune’s issues, particularly as embroiled with Mars’ spheres of anger, aggression, assertiveness and sexuality.
Lachesis is named for one of the mythic Greek Fates. Known as “the Allotter,” she determines the life span of individuals, as well as the duration of any circumstance or situation. Lachesis here may be helpful in ending nonproductive behaviors, putting a final period on aspects of Neptune’s influence which are harmful or hold back the individual. It will take an act of will, a Mars function, and a well-crafted plan, Pallas’ contribution, but any addictive, codependent or fantasy-based issues will be more susceptible of resolution at this time.
Achilles in opposition suggests that what we are dealing with is something inherent in our lives, a congenital weak spot “Achilles heel” which threatens to reduce our efforts to futility. This is also a very aggressive, warlike energy, something it has in common with both Mars and Pallas, so there is the ability to face situations directly and honestly, and to apply ourselves in the resolution of problems of our own making, though not necessarily our fault. The temptation here which Neptune will feed into is to, like the great mythic Greek leader for which it is named, “sulk in our tent,” choosing Neptune’s remedy of isolation and withdrawal rather than active engagement.
When Neptune turns direct once more on November 13, it will do so exactly conjoined the Black Hole at 2 Pisces. There is no significant Quasar activation now to ameliorate the Black Hole’s worst effects, and the possibility of Neptune run rampant is a real one. Pallas is once again present to lend support for change via careful planning, which the Black Hole can facilitate, though often with results very different from those intended. Pallas now opposes Neptune from 1 Virgo, granting some degree of clarity and perspective to Neptune’s fog of illusion, and is further supported by centaur Asbolus in square from 3 Gemini.
Asbolus is named for a mythic centaur seer, a reader of auguries in the flight of birds, and represents the ability to tap into the zeitgeist, or spirit of the times, keeping one’s finger on the pulse of the collective to determine not just trends, but how to navigate these to best effect. Pallas and Asbolus here may be pivotal in managing Neptune’s more difficult energies, helping to craft solutions to Neptune-based problems that are practical and in keeping with the current atmosphere.
But there is also further celestial complication, in the form of three asteroids which may tend to reinforce Neptune’s drive toward dissolution, assimilation, and abandonment of self. These are Ophelia in conjunction from 3 Pisces, with both Atlantis and Sphinx opposed at 2 and 3 Virgo respectively.
Ophelia and Atlantis in particular point to feeling overwhelmed or inundated by Neptunian energies, with Atlantis named for the mythic early civilization flooded into extinction, and Ophelia named for the tragic Shakespearean character in “Hamlet” who accidentally drowns herself in a stream after going insane (another Neptune keyword). Both these points may feed into Neptune’s propensities toward hopelessness or despair, a sense that whatever we do is not enough to meet the challenge, encouraging us not to even attempt to extricate ourselves from the circumstances in which we have become mired.
Sphinx evokes a sense of inscrutability, an opacity of meaning that can rob us of momentum or purpose, with no clear direction or intention to guide us. There may seem no answer to the riddle of life, but Pallas is there to suggest options and devise solutions.
These stations seem to point to a crucial role in 2013 for Neptune’s issues and effects in our lives, and a need to gain a clearer perspective on how this puzzling and enervating energy pervades our culture and existence.
These two planets, Saturn and Neptune, so very different in their approaches, will strongly flavor the year, in tandem with the deep space galactic points and minor bodies of our solar system with which they interact. Their energies underpin 2013, mutating and transforming the collective, but the degree to which they affect you personally will be determined by the placement of their stations and transits in your own birth chart.