perfectionistOn September 2, Saturn moves into Virgo where it will bring its trademark influences of restraint, discipline, structure, disappointment, limitation, and karmic lessons. Saturn has a natural affinity for Virgo and its cautious nature and love of service and work, and Saturn in Virgo periods can be very productive ones.

Saturn is far less compatible with Leo, the fiery sign of ego, leadership and drama. When in Leo, Saturn tends to quash these traits and undermine those who appear to be in control. “Who’s in Charge?” Saturn in Leo asks, and demands that true leadership take the place of empty figureheads.

Saturn takes 2-1/2 years to pass through a sign, implementing its trademark role as the Celestial Taskmaster through the areas that are important to each sign. In Virgo, Saturn’s tests move into in the area of health and service and encourage us to live dutifully and honorably. Saturn in Virgo demands organization and resists impulse, requiring us to live practically and cautiously with a high regard for our own safety and security and that of those around us.

While Saturn is well suited to Virgo’s strong desire for improvement and perfection, it is less comfortable for the other mutable signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces) which prefer a life with more flexible options. As Saturn travels through Virgo it will create problems for those of us with planets in the mutable signs unless we stick to the lesson plan that Saturn requires.

Virgo tends to be a more conservative sign, and with Saturn in Virgo we may see a trend towards conservation that is quieter than Saturn in Leo’s flamboyant “Live Earth” concerts. Oil conservation has been associated with Virgo over the years, and automobiles are likely to become more practical and air flight may become more restricted in an effort to conserve fuel and protect the atmosphere from carbon emissions.

Saturn doesn’t always make it easy, though: During the time Saturn was last in Virgo from 1978-1980, the Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979 leading to worldwide oil shortages and the first Islamic Republic in Iran. A nuclear accident at Three Mile Island confronted the US with the dangers of nuclear power, and revelations of a town built on 21,000 tons of toxic waste, the Love Canal disaster, resulted in the Superfund laws of 1980. During this period, Saturn in Virgo was square to Neptune in Sagittarius, and this opening square of the current Saturn/Neptune cycle forced confrontations in these areas which we will not see during the next few years of Saturn in Virgo. We have already been through our Saturn/Neptune crises from August 2006 through July of 2007, and are ready for a new set of lessons.

The Saturn-Virgo trend towards conservatism could mean a return to more conservative values in addition to general conservation. The Thatcher Revolution in England occurred under Saturn in Virgo, as did the Reagan Revolution in the US. This conservative trend would bring a return to “real” conservative values of shrinking government and strong families, rather than the artificial conservatism that we have seen in the US during Pluto’s trip through Sagittarius that has resulted in hypocritical evangelism and a burgeoning government funded by borrowing from countries like China that are supposedly our enemies. Saturn’s entry into Virgo in 2007 coincides with a trine of Saturn to Pluto that helps to facilitate change and transformation.

This conservatism can also lead to economic recession and high interest rates which cause the economy to contract. Interest rates in the US reached an all-time high of 21% in 1980 during Saturn’s last journey through Virgo, and unemployment increased as well. This could be particularly hard on our Pluto in Virgo generation (born 1957-1972) who have experienced a more challenging work environment than other generations, and for those going through their first or second Saturn returns during this time.

Virgo’s rulership over the body-mind connection connects Saturn in Virgo with health issues, so this is the time to get your physical house in order. Changing our habits regarding the food we eat, how and how often we move our body, and incorporation relaxation into our life will please Saturn as we improve our health and stamina. This is particularly true for those of us with planets in the mutable signs of Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces and Gemini, but won’t hurt the rest of us either!

There is no need to fear Saturn, no matter what you read. Saturn is a demanding taskmaster, but his lessons are for our own good. Saturn’s lessons are only hard when we resist the task at hand, which usually involves sacrifice, discipline, and restraint. When we perform our lesson well we are rewarded by Saturn’s great gifts of personal strength and achievement. Saturn rules by both the carrot and the stick, and certainly the carrot is the preferable method!

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