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OPPOSITION FROM SATURN TO URANUS, 2008-2010,
AND A LOOK AHEAD TO 2012
planetary bodies in our solar system are engaged in a never-ending
series of cycles that while repeating on a regular basis, continually
unfold into a totally new experience of their effect on humanity.
An opposition of Saturn to Uranus now will have a very different
influence than it did 100 years ago because of the way human beings
continue to change.
is now, in mid-October 2008, moving into an alignment with Uranus
that will perfect on November 4 just in time for election day
in the US. Saturn is the outermost of what we call the "personal"
planets - the planets that describe the basic psychological experiences
and needs that motivate us as individuals. Uranus is the first
of the outer or transpersonal planets which exert their effect
on us from outside, creating experiences in our life that demand
that we grow and evolve and transform.
ancient and medieval astrology, and n Vedic astrology still, the
outer planets are not considered, For these practitioners, Saturn
is the most powerful of the planets - the Lord of Death and Karma,
a "malefic" planet that would generally bring about
bad things. Modern astrology tends to take a different view of
Saturn - one that recognizes his ability to create form and structure,
to organize humans into social bodies using customs, morality
and rules of law, and to offer up the mundane virtues of discipline,
hard work and a desire to achieve something in the physical world.
In his guise as the Lord of Time he reminds us that life is fleeting
and we'd better do something that will make our lives amount to
was not discovered until 1781 (coincidentally, Pluto at the time
was in the sign of Aquarius which is ruled by Uranus). Uranus
is the first of the "outer planets" and is associated
with experiences that urge us to be free of the shackles of moral
responsibility that Saturn enforces - to find our own personal
and individual liberty in pursuit of an ideal life. The discovery
of Uranus coincided with the spread of these concepts that resulted
in revolutions in the New World and in France. These successful
revolutions gave rise to a wave of revolutionary (Uranian) fever
that spread to Russia, China, France, Peru, Serbia, Mexico, Argentina,
Paraguay, Korea, Spain, Portugal, Greece and the Ottoman Empire
over the next 30 years.
is a dark side to the idealism of Uranus - in mythology, the god
Uranus, Lord of the Sky, was horrified at the monstrous children
that were the result of his union with Gaia, and banished them
all to Tartarus (a form of the Underworld). He became a cruel
and despotic tyrant, hated by all of his children. Saturn, one
of the offspring of Uranus, conspired with Gaia to castrate Uranus
and Saturn then inherited the government of the world.
two planets are old enemies and fiercely competitive. Where Uranus
urges us to seek the perfection of ideals, Saturn reminds us that
the world we live in is full of challenge and shattered dreams.
Where Uranus wants to break free of restrictions that bind us,
Saturn binds us to our responsibilities and social morality. Uranus
prefers chaos and the unlimited scope of new ideas and visions
- Saturn requires that we crystallize these visions into solid
structures that are acceptable to the society in which we live.
opposition cycle will last longer than most as Saturn and Uranus
face off a total of five times between November 2008 and July
of 2010. Saturn and Uranus have opposed each other twice in the
past 100 years: between 1917 and 1920, and between 1964 and 1967.
We can learn a great deal about the effect of the opposition between
these two planets by looking back to the past.
in the fall of 1917 Saturn in Leo began a series of oppositions
to Uranus in Aquarius, and halfway through the cycle Uranus entered
Pisces followed by Saturn's entry into Virgo to mirror the opposition
that is beginning in November. World War I was already in progress,
having begun in June 1914 with the assassination of the Archduke
Ferdinand in Austria-Hungary by a Serb nationalist, just two months
after Pluto entered Cancer in April. Cancer of course is the sign
of the homeland, and Pluto's journey through Cancer witnessed
a world war (Pluto) over national boundaries (Cancer) and the
subsequent complete redrawing of the world map. These new national
boundaries gave rise to cultural sensitivities (Cancer) that fostered
the beginnings of World War II as Pluto left Cancer for Gemini.
the Saturn/Uranus opposition in the context of the greater Cancerian
dynamic, the most interesting timing coincidences of this period
is the Balfour declaration which establishes a home (Pluto in
Cancer) in Palestine for the Jewish people and the Bolshevik revolution
in Russia just as Uranus and Saturn aligned in opposition. The
Old and the New, battling for supremacy. During this period too,
women (Cancer) all over the world won the right (Uranus) to vote
and to become a part of the political process (Saturn)
wasn't until 1920 that Uranus had moved into Pisces and was opposed
by Saturn in Virgo. At that time the Russian Civil War had turned
the liberation (Uranus) of the Bolshevik revolution into the repressive
regime (Saturn) of the Soviet Union. The Irish fought a war of
independence (Uranus) that was brutally quashed by the British
the battle between Saturn and Uranus, it is difficult to predict
who will be the winner. Often there is a dialectical process in
which a successful Uranian rebellion brings a period of Uranian
chaos which is then followed by a Saturnian repression in order
to consolidate order, but the old way of doing things has been
next Saturn/Uranus opposition occurred in the spring of 1964,
this time with Saturn in Pisces and Uranus in Virgo. This effects
of this opposition are inextricably woven in with the conjunction
of Uranus to Pluto that occurred at the same time, so the pressure
for conformity of Saturn was battling not only with Uranus but
also with the powerful climactic urge of Pluto for change and
transformation. This was a period of unprecedented cultural rebellion
and revolution: so-called "free love" and open marriage,
revolutionary ideas in psychology and psychiatry, Black Power
and the civil rights movement, Women's Liberation and the battle
for female equality. The Beatles and the British Invasion, and
Chubby Checker brought black music into the homes of middle class
white folks for the first time.
is said that the easiest way to tell a liberal from a conservative
is to ask them about the 60s. If they say "it was a great
time," they're a liberal. If they say "it was horrible,"
they're conservative. The liberal mind loves change and easily
embraces new ideas (Uranus). The conservative mind abhors change
and seeks security and stability (Saturn). This is the underlying
dynamic in the opposition between these two planets.
what is in store for us over the next two years?
first stage of the opposition is beginning to align at this moment,
and in the US election we're seeing a vivid portrayal of the battle
between the new America (Barack Obama) and the old America (John
McCain). Saturn represents the voice of the establishment, "the
way it has always been done." Uranus is the innovator - the
unusual. The One who does Not Belong.
the past couple of years astrologers have looked to this major
planetary cycle for clues as to who would win the election, with
divided results. Planets give us a weather map, but they do not
reveal the future. Who will prevail in this battle? Just because
Saturn won over Uranus in Greek mythology (see Part I) doesn't
mean Saturn will always prevail. After all, Uranus is the lanet
with more astrological oomph. In fact, the pull between Saturn
and Uranus is a continuing process which begins with the radical
urge of Uranus to bring change and new ideas puts pressure on
Saturn to evolve and transform, resulting in tremendous resistance
and fear and a longing for the past (Saturn). When Saturn regains
its foothold, the cycle begins again.
current opposition cycle began with the conjunction of Saturn
and Uranus in 1988-1989 which began in Sagittarius and moved into
Capricorn. This period witnessed the economic restructuring in
the Soviet Union called perestroika which began the radical changes
(Uranus) to the Soviet order (Saturn), and Soviet forces (Saturn)
withdrew from Afghanistan under pressure from "freedom fighters"
there (Uranus), setting the stage for the battle underway at the
present time. In Poland, the communist government (Saturn) legitimized
the Solidarity trade union movement (Uranus). Neptune became involved
in that planetary system in February and March of 1989, resulting
in the biggest oil (Neptune) spill in history, and a geomagnetic
(Uranus) storm (Neptune) wiped out a huge power grid (Saturn),
resulting in the loss of power to six million people.
opening square occurred in 1999-2000 with Saturn in Taurus and
Uranus in Aquarius. At the time Enron traders of energy (Uranus)
were circumventing established rules (Saturn) to create artificial
energy shortages (Saturn again) and get rich. The murder of young
gay teen Matthew Shepard in late 1998 as the square began to form
resulted in a battle in Congress over whether to include homosexuality
(Uranus) in federal hate crime legislation (Saturn) which failed
at that time, and Dr. Kervorkian pushed the legal envelope (Uranus)
on physician assisted suicide and was found guilty (Saturn).
we are in the opposition phase, where Saturn and Uranus are 180
degrees apart creating a tension that requires balance and assimilation.
The opposition will "perfect" in exact alignment on
November 4, Election Day in the US. It looks right now as if Barack
Obama (Uranus) will be elected president, in which case the Saturn
backlash that we're already seeing at McCain and Palin's campaign
stops will continue to heat up. Sarah Palin's "Joe Six Pack"
and "Hockey Moms" are terrified of the change the Barack
Obama represents. He is like an alien to many who grew up in small
towns with a homogeneous demographic, and for the Saturnian individual
who cherishes stability and security above all else, the concept
of Uranian liberation/chaos is horrifying.
the other hand, for the Uranian individual, for whom personal
liberty and social justice is paramount, the Saturnian need for
control and pressure to confirm is similarly abhorrent. This is
the very battle which will take place over the next few years
against the backdrop of Pluto's entry into Capricorn and the transformation
(Pluto) of social and governmental structures (Capricorn).
an American I am rather focused on the outcome of the US election,
but this planetary cycle of course will affect the entire globe.
Every European country has experienced a wave of immigration that
has been integrating the culture, and there will be a greater
desire for human rights (Uranus) that shake the established order.
In Britain, there are rumors of a parliamentary coup against Prime
Minister Gordon Brown, and I have long thought that Pluto in Capricorn
would bring a rebellion that would topple (Pluto) the monarchy
(Capricorn) once and for all.
second exact phase of the opposition cycle will occur on February
5 2009 but Saturn and Uranus will not be more than two degrees
apart between November and February, so the effect will remain
strong. Events that are put into motion in early November under
the first "hit" will continue to unfold over the next
few months. Most major planetary cycles have three hits, but this
opposition cycle will have five phases, signaling its particular
significance for permanent change.
third phase occurs in September (15th) 2009, but a total eclipse
of the Sun in August (22nd) conjunct Saturn will instigate the
events of that phase of the cycle. Retrograde Pluto will be stationary
(moving very slowly) in September and will change direction to
turn direct just a few days before the exact opposition, so this
period is likely to be rather intense. Saturn and Uranus are in
challenging 30 and 150 degree aspects to Neptune, which will erode
any potential for understanding the nature of the events that
occur at that time. It will be important then (and don't worry,
I'll remind you!) to remember that this is a natural evolutionary
cycle that requires the letting go of the old in order to bring
in something that is more true for us at that current time.
fourth phase takes place April 26, 2010, again in exact aspect
to Neptune. By that time we likely will have integrated the lessons
of the Saturn/Uranus opposition and are better prepared to take
the steps necessary to move forward. Neptune demands that we become
visionaries and transcend boundaries that limit ordinary mortals,
and in doing so there is sometimes a dissolving of aspects of
our life that limit us (Saturn). Challenging Neptune times require
that we pursue a disciplined (Saturn) spiritual practice (Neptune)
that enables us to open up our eyes and our mind to a completely
new way of being alive on the planet (Uranus). This third and
fourth phase will be extremely exciting for those who are able
to let go and enjoy the roller coaster ride, and less comfortable
for those of us with more fixed natures (like me) who have a high
need for control and safety.
fifth phase on July 26, 2010 occurs at -0- degrees Aries and Libra,
within range of a square to Pluto at 3 degrees Capricorn. Normally
the late stage of a multi-phase planetary cycle is less difficult
than the earlier stages, because we have usually assimilated the
necessary planetary energies by that time. The addition of the
square from Pluto will create greater urgency and pressure for
conflict and war in order to achieve the goal of change and transformation
(Pluto) into a new way (Uranus) of living as societies (Saturn)
in the world.
fifth phase of the Saturn/Uranus cycle is actually the harbinger
of two Pluto cycles: the square from Saturn to Pluto (visiting
three times between November 2009 and August 2010) and the square
from Uranus to Pluto which will come within winking distance in
July 11 but not perfect until June 2012, continuing through 2015.
I'll cover these other major cycles in separate articles, but
you can see that what happens during the Saturn/Uranus opposition
will set the stage for the next eight years.
this information is not useful if we use it to scare ourselves
to death. It's important to view these cycles within a framework
of faith and understanding so that we can use the information
to our advantage and not become overwhelmed by it. This is a time
to examine our own lives and see where our life is not authentic,
and where we are not being true to ourselves (Uranus) and where
changes need to be made to the structure of our lives (Saturn)
as a result. This is the perfect time to cultivate faith in the
natural flow of life and to increase our understanding that we
are spiritual beings having a human experience. It's a wonderful
time to learn to let go when all of the doors to our desires are
closing, but to remain strong in our intention to manifest a life
of beauty and adventure that resonates with our deepest Self.
This after all is the ultimate challenge of any planetary cycle.