Saturn square Neptune is the biggest astrological news of 2016. It will be in effect for most if not all of the year, and hits exact this June and November. Like any other major difficult aspect, it doesn’t guarantee doom for everyone, but for some of us it will be difficult, especially if you have major placements around 6-12 degrees of the Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). Even if you don’t, it’s certainly going to have an effect on the world in general, and likely on someone close to you.
As I have written here before, it’s hard to imagine two planets with more different agendas. Saturn wants your life to have structure and order and stability… or it will break your legs trying. Neptune wants you to dive deep into the spiritual side of life and embrace it… or possibly dive deeply into a drink or a drug or an ideology that ultimately won’t help at all.
The square aspect indicates a conflict that has no obvious resolution. Sure, if we were under the influence of Saturn trine Neptune, I could lay the “love and light” on thick and tell you that “all your dreams can true if you put in the work, hooray!” However, the square requires a lot more work and a lot more patience.
So how the heck does one manage this seeming no-win scenario? Well, there are two ways to do so. One is to simply keep in mind that if you are here and alive and reading these words right now (I’ll pause here for a second so you can check your pulse just to make sure)…
…then you’ve lived through aspects at least as difficult as The Great Saturn Neptune Square Of 2016.
Part of the way you can get through these times, other than to simply take it on the chin and struggle through, is to use your Mercury… in other words, your brain. Saturn has a way of making people frightened, but so (in a very different way) does Neptune. Frightened people don’t tend to make wise choices for themselves, and the more frightened you are, the less likely you are to find a proper solution for yourself.
Easier said than done? Maybe, but beware anyone or anything that offers you uniformly easy answers. You’ll have to put in the work (Saturn) and have the faith (Neptune) to think your way through.
Here are some examples of typical modern fears that are being fueled by Saturn square Neptune, and how you can use your Mercury to solve these dilemmas.
Saturn: “If I complain more, my mate will eventually stop doing X, which I hate.”
Neptune: “Maybe if I just show more compassion to my mate about X, he/she will come around to my way of seeing it.”
Mercury: “If X hasn’t stopped despite your efforts, is X a deal-breaker? If so, leave. If not, try a different tactic… or give up.”
Saturn: “If we take away all the guns no one would get shot!”
Neptune: “If everyone had a gun no one would get shot!”
Mercury: “Simple, slogan-like answers rarely solve complex problems. ”
Saturn: “If we just drop more bombs on the right people, we can end terrorism!”
Neptune: “Maybe if we just leave them alone the terrorists will stop hating us!”
Mercury: “Terrorism works because of the terror it induces. Your odds of dying from food poisoning are a lot higher. Put it in perspective.”
Saturn: “I never put time into that project I want to take up, because I suck.”
Neptune: “I’m sure one day I’ll get around to that project I want to take up.”
Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no ‘try.'”
This is a question that even fans of his have struggled to answer, perhaps without ever really admitting it to themselves. Of course he was a huge rock star, of course he was an actor, and of course he was a great showman. But there was always a quality about him that suggested he was an object of extraterrestrial origin. He wasn’t distant and unreachable: he was just always slightly to the left of where everyone else was, and his persona compelled you to step that way to see if you could get a little closer. Sometimes you could and sometimes not, and sometimes when you got there what you saw wasn’t what you were expecting at all, until he moved again and shimmered and became a new iteration of his own theme.
Now the show has ended, and there will be no encores. David Bowie has died in the shadow of a Pluto-laden New Moon on top of his Sun. It’s as if the Solar System itself conspired with him to make one last statement.
“I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey, that’s far out, so you heard him too!”
David Bowie was born January 8th 1947 at 9:00 AM, in Brixton. I have a hard time imagining what an astrologer of the time would have made of it, describing the birth chart of this new arrival to his mother, Peggy Jones. With a Sun-Mars conjunction in Capricorn in his 12th House, he was obviously a fighter of some sort, someone who would always be struggling with or towards something. This was most obvious as a child, when he got in a lot of fights… most notably in 1961 when a fight over a girl left his with a permanently damaged left eye, forever dilated more than the right eye (The Moon rules the left eye, and Bowie had Saturn and Pluto conjunct his Moon). That Moon-Saturn-Pluto aspect was opposite his Ascendant, and his showman’s charisma beamed through his Aquarius ascendant like an unexpected signal from Andromeda.
Today in the early 21st Century we struggle to adapt to ideas like “gender fluid,” but since his fame in the early 1970s David Bowie was gender-fluid, stylistically-fluid, and something approaching species-fluid. That Sun-Mars conjunction, with Mars exalted in Capricorn, drove him to strange landscapes in the mind and we followed him, if only to see what the heck he was up to.
Perhaps that theoretical astrologer would have told Peggy that, with Uranus in the Fifth House and Venus on the Midheaven, her son would be prone to creating strange and shiny works of art, and that perhaps he’d even have some material success at it. Peggy might then say something like “what kind of works of art?” And if that astrologer were honest, he’d look at young David’s Neptune in Libra, aspecting six other planets and the Nodes in his birth chart… and that astrologer would probably be forced to say something like “God only knows. This child’s creative imagination is a lot better than mine.”
Who was David Bowie? He was The Starman. He was Ziggy Stardust. He was The Man Who Fell To Earth and The Thin White Duke and Jareth the Goblin King.
David Bowie was an artist.
(The following is a transcript of a recent conversation with my imaginary celebrity client George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars films. Unfortunately his side of the conversation didn’t record, but I’m hoping it can be spliced in later when I release the Special Edition of this blog with better effects.)
Hi George! It’s been a while since we’ve talked.
Really? Are you sure everything is going great with you? Remember, I’m your astrologer and I can see what transits you’re having.
Yeah, I know… you already made a gigantic fortune from Star Wars and then you sold the rights for four billion dollars. Of course you’re happy with that. But at the same time transiting Saturn is opposite your Uranus and transiting Jupiter is going to station square your Saturn. Those are difficult transits to be happy with. Even if I wasn’t your astrologer, I’ve read your comments about The Force Awakens, and —
Yeah, I know you didn’t say you hated it, but your praise was pretty, um, faint, and —
…And yes I know you had treatments for the next trilogy all written up and the new owners tossed them. That has to hurt, especially when you consider how much money the movie featuring none of your ideas and a bunch of characters you didn’t create is making even more money that your original films did.
That’s because the two planets ruling your career, Saturn and Uranus, are under such stress.
That’s right, I’m using Whole Sign Houses, George. I’m glad you read my article about that. So pretty much anything happening with your career and public life is going to be… well, kind of painful. And by the end of 2016 you’ll be having your Saturn Opposition, just in time for the release of “Star Wars: Rogue One,” which will probably stray from your vision a lot further.
No, it’s not my job to depress you. It’s my job to provide guidance. You see… there’s actually incredibly good news here for you too.
You see, transiting Pluto will be trine your Ascendant for the next three or four years, and that’s a huge opportunity to reinvent yourself. You already have all the material resources, but now the planets are right to make this the best time of your life! And let’s be honest here: we all could stand to reinvent ourselves sometimes, but not all of us will get that useful a transit for it.
Well, for example you could… okay, I’m going to be more blunt with you than I usually am with my clients, George, but it’s all said with love, okay? Thematically speaking, most if not all of your films have been about some combination of parental/authority issues and hot-rods.
Well, spaceships and airplanes are hot-rods, in a sense. And I don’t have to point out all the father issues in the Star Wars films, do I? In fact, you’ve even lived this scenario out and (in a sense) became the monster you railed against. Your creative control over the “prequel trilogy” meant you were surrounded entirely by sycophants, so that no criticism could reach your ears until it was too late and the critics tore them apart. And you stranded your actors in gigantic soulless green screen studios and gave them little or nothing to react to other than concept pictures of CGI effects that hadn’t been created yet. And your reliance on CGI is really just another version of your fondness for hot-rods… and machines in general. The only water in your chart is Mars in Cancer, which contributed to both your control issues and your fondness for machines… Mars rules machines in general. Did you know that?
And even with all that… you still created great, successful entertainment! In a lot of ways what you’re feeling about The Force Awakens is the same as what happens when a child grows up and turns out differently than what you had expected or hoped for. That’s not failure… that’s how life works. So I say: embrace what you’ve done for the world, take advantage of your circumstances and that Pluto transit, and do what makes you happy, whatever that may be.
You’re welcome, and I’m glad I could help. Now go be your best self and discover what else you can do for the world, or yourself, or whatever pleases you. You’ve earned it.
You’re welcome again. And please, whatever you do… no more Jar Jar, okay?
Mercury is now retrograde, bringing with it cluttered thinking and a tendency to grasp at the wrong solution to difficult issues (if you aren’t familiar with the concept, click HERE and HERE for all the details). This is a time when Mercury-ruled things like packages in the mail and short trips and software updates and agreements can all go unexpectedly wonky. Good ideas can turn out badly, and sometimes bad ideas can gain ground. Like, for instance, that time the Indiana State Legislature tried to re-write how The Universe works.
Politicians love simple, straightforward facts. Unfortunately, life is too often filled with messy details that don’t fit into a soundbite or a poster. Politicians sometimes respond to this by rounding the uneven corners off of The Truth. And, in one rather famous case, they decided to tell the Universe how to do its job.
You’ll probably recall the concept of “pi” (π) from High School: it’s the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In other words, if a circle is 1 meter across, it is π meters around. π itself is what’s called an “irrational number” like √2, for example. Most kids sitting in a classroom get a little nervous at the concept of a “number” that is, in fact, a long string of numbers (3.1415926535897932… and on and on for billions of decimal places with no end).
So, on January 18th, 1897, with Mercury retrograde in “don’t tell me what to do” Aquarius, and with Saturn (the traditional ruler of Aquarius… “laying down the law”) conjunct Uranus (the modern ruler of Aquarius… “the weirder the better!”)… the Indiana State Legislature began debate on a bill which defined π as exactly 3.2. That’s all: just plain old 3.2. Finally, a government makes things simpler and easier to use! Too bad that the bill contradicted the Known Universe actually works. Other than that small problem.. great idea guys!
The original mind behind the bill was a Dr. Edwin J. Goodman, an amateur mathematical enthusiast and physician who had claimed to have discovered the true value of pi… right down to patenting the idea, so that anyone attempting to use the “more accurate” version of the mathematical constant would owe the good Doctor a user’s fee. His math may have been questionable but his business instincts were impeccable.
The bill passed the House unanimously, and moved on to the State Senate. Fortunately for Indiana engineers (and the people who rely on their vehicles and elevators and public schools) the Bill died in the Senate… once an actual Professor of Mathematics explained to the Senators how utterly ridiculous the concept was. So — once Mercury was no longer retrograde — the bill died.
So you see: don’t feel too badly about any bad decisions you’ve made lately, any drunk dialing to exes you may regret, or any recent bad decisions. You may have misinterpreted what The Universe wanted you to do… but at least you didn’t tell The Universe how to do its job.