by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturn inconjunct Uranus: Reality as a Reason to Change

A photo of Saturn showing a giant storm in Saturn's northern hemisphere
(photo credit: NASA/Cassini - December 24, 2010)

As planets cycle around the Sun, they come to moments when they strike angles to each other, which metaphysically describes periods when the whole world seems caught up in some ‘mood.’

In this case, Saturn is inconjuncting Uranus. Inconjuncts (also known as ‘quincunxes’) are 150-degree angles which come in two…um…we’ll call them “flavors.”

The reason why there are two variations on this theme is pretty obvious if you think it through…

And yes, there is a difference between one flavor of inconjunct and the other. But they’re both based in the same idea: adjustment. Whichever way you go, adjustment is required.

So we have two rules to apply here. The first (and generally more basic) is which is the faster moving planet? Since in real-time motion, that planet will be “catching up with” the other (in theory, of course!) that planet is applying the force that the ideals, aims and energies typified by the other planet will have to adjust to.

Since we’re talking about Saturn and Uranus here, that makes Saturn is the adjuster and Uranus (and all things Uranian) the adjustee (as it were!).

The net of this? The net here is that the whole of the period between November 4th and November 27th is going to effectively be a very Saturn-inconjunct-Uranus period.

The technicals here are as follows: Saturn comes within the 1.5 degrees orb (of allowance) to ‘inconjunct range’ to Uranus on November 4th. The inconjunct between Saturn and Uranus ‘perfects’ on November 16th. And Saturn (which is direct motion) exits the 1.5 inconjunct orb-allowance to Uranus on November 27th.

The last time this ‘discomforting’ relationship occurred between these two planets was back in July/August 2006. I don’t know where you were or what you were doing, but I do recall that as a period of time which while perhaps not quite as raucous or contentious as the one we’re in right now was nevertheless rather snarky.

If you want to know what the astrological indicator would be as to why our current Saturn-Uranus inconjunct is so unsettled and unsettling, my first answer would be “Pluto’s conjuncting Facies. Isn’t it a frolic?” (Not!)

But my second would be about the signs Saturn and Uranus were in at that time: Saturn was in Leo (not Saturn’s most graceful position, but workable!) and Uranus was in Pisces. This combination – on both sides – would have engendered some degree of instinctual ‘trying to hold it together,’ particularly as Pisces is all about that underlying emotionalism which at pretty much all costs we try to not contend with.

Uranus in Pisces (the basic dates for which are March 2003 – May 2011) was a very ‘emotionally escapist’ time. There was a lot of looking the other way, a lot of ‘oh, that won’t happen!’ and a whole lot of rose-colored glasses thinking going on. The Uranian tendency to separate the reality from the theory worked rather well with the side of Pisces which doesn’t want to feel the feelings which go along with life’s hard-and-fast truths. There was a lot of substituting of theory (and beliefs) for reality which took hold in this time.

And now we are getting our next celestial lesson in how that does and doesn’t work according to the signs Saturn and Uranus are now in.

Call it ‘how we will deal with realty 2012-style.’

  In Greek mythology, Ouranos (from which we get the name 'Uranus') is the wide open sky and Saturn is one of Ouranos' children. As you can tell in this painting 'The Castration of Ouranos by Cronos' by Georgia Vasari and Cristofano Gherardi (c 1560) where Cronos is the embodiment of 'time' and time is Saturn, we can tell that this is far from a happy primeval family.

With Saturn in Scorpio, as we have been saying, there is a necessity to care about the ‘other guy’s needs (wants, aims). And the difficulty? That’s pretty simple: nobody likes being told what to do or how to do it.

Depending on what sign and house your natal Saturn is in, you have a set of goals and standards within which you live. Call them boundaries, call them expectations…whether they’re cultural, parental, peer-group or dreamed up in your own substantial noggin, they are what they are.

Saturn in Scorpio is all about testing those standards. And no matter where your Saturn is natally, that feels either like a challenge…or like your belief system (see: Saturn/Uranus 2006) is being challenged. Either way, that’s a lot of work and a lot of soul searching. Saturn represents our ability to build…and our tendency to build walls. One is expansive and one is self-limiting. And whoever you are, this November is going to test those concepts at a level you will be aware of.

Remember – planets don’t just strike a harmonic then let it go. Life presents a problem or a challenge and we take it on (or slough it off) and go on dealing with those results for a good long time, tinkering and (yes) adjusting as we go.

As far as that goes, this particular Saturn/Uranus inconjunct is going to revisit us in September/October of 2013. By then, while both still in the same time, Uranus will be (again in retrograde) inching back out of 2nd decanate (emotional) degrees into change-what-you’re-doing/who you are 1st decan degrees as Saturn (in direct motion) is moving from Scorpio’s 1st decan personal/action degrees into the Scorpio uber-test of our emotional ability to deal with stability-instability/certainty-uncertainty which is Scorpio’s 2nd decanate.

Oh joy, oh rapture, right?

That Uranus is currently in the first decanate of “I Am” Aries has given us a lot of ‘trying out new things’ and changes of stance or direction (which may explain a lot). And much of that is good – Uranus in Aries is absolutely all about changing your Self, your sense of self, your direction in life and/or how you’re going about trying to reach your various aims and goals.

The test here really is why. Speaking as an American it’s an interesting fact (or factoid, depending on how interesting you really find it to be) that as soon as Saturn entered Scorpio back on October 5th, politicians on both sides of the aisle started shifting some public positions. (Or at least how they were presenting those public positions!)

 1000 Cubes by Nevit Dilmen (2002)

And this makes sense. They were trying to find ways to reach the people and create cohesion among/with voters, which would be entirely Saturn in Scorpio. After all, whether you believe them or not, whether you like their positions or not, the shift of tactic is very Scorpio. And their efforts are very Saturn - as is the job of President they're trying to secure.

The changes...and that they may be saying they're the person who can create change? That's entirely Uranus (change) in the "I Am" sign of Aries.

And the adjusting of positions? Or their assertions that we should adjust how we see or do things? That's very much the essence of Saturn inconjunct Uranus.

Mind you, there are astrologers who work full-time with what’s known as ‘Greek Whole Sign Astrology.’ Such astrologers just look at planets in signs - wherever they are in that sign, saying for the whole of the time that those planets are in those signs, the RELATIONSHIP holds.’

And that does seem to hold merit. After all, the candidates (and maybe many of us) shifted our positions pretty much as soon as Saturn moved into Scorpio.

But there's something very much also to be said about planets being in aspect. Call it 'whole sign astrology on steroids' or something like that. So if you appreciated that first dose of planetary shift, you’re going to appreciate this November 4-27 shaking of our marimbas that much more.

Or maybe not. After all, Hurricane Sandy came into destructive being pretty much exactly as Saturn and Uranus came into a 3.5 degree orb of inconjunct.

The standard orb is 1.5 degrees. And personally, I work with 2.0 degrees when it comes to inconjuncts because that's where I find the effects most obvious.

Not that Superstorm Sandy wasn't obvious, no...and to be complete here here, Sandy hit the US eastern seaboard as Saturn and Uranus hit a 2.5 inconjunct orb. But  as an astrologer - specifically as someone who spends a lot of time writing and teaching to those who may not know all that much about astrology - I try as much as possible to keep things simple.

And they aren't simple, are they? But then, neither is life. Neither is our universe, or our existence.  

So looking back...what started at the end of the first week of October as a cosmic nudge has now become a blatant reality. We do need to change. We need to change what we're doing and how we're doing it. We need to change our outlook on life, what life is or can be and maybe most of all, the Aries 'me' versus the Scorpio 'all of us' of it all.

That said, ‘adjustments’ the techicals here are that we make will be based on six things:

1. Where Saturn is by sign, house and condition in your natal chart.

2. Where Uranus is by sign, house and condition in your natal chart

3. Where Scorpio and its rulers - Mars and Pluto - are in natally your chart

4. Where Aries and its ruler (Mars) is natally in your chart.

5. Current Mars (in Sagittarius) effects in your chart

6. Current Pluto (in Capricorn) effects in your chart.

Take a minute...look at your chart, whether you have it in hand or you go to a place like Astrolabe ( or Astrodeinst ( to get it cast reliably and for free. This is the glyph you're looking for... 

The reason to look first (and foremost) for Saturn is that Saturn represents all those things which we can reach for. And that we can change, build, restructure or otherwise work on.

Next, remember that chart houses are counted from what we think of as "9 o'clock" in a counterclockwise direction.

Got it? Okay...then here are some basic basics:


1st House (or) Aries: Uranus inconjuncting Saturn says that at some level, you need to change what you do or how you're doing it. Don't think you and your efforts don't matter - they do, and you'll find that out through doing.

2nd House (or) Taurus: Don't be defensive, be proactive. It's through your relationships with others and what you learn through others that your life feels more whole, more secure and something you respect more deeply.

3rd House (or) Gemini: Your growth, your changes will come through thinking, and in terms of understanding the power of your mind. Whatever you choose as a personal standard, hold yourself to it. The more you offer others, the more you will achieve

4th House (or) Cancer: Your task is to build for a future which will not wait because you are afraid of that which is no more, whatever that may be. What you've learned to this point needs to be applied. Don't wait for the optimal, deal with reality. Create new opportunities.

5th House (or) Leo: During this period you may feel overwhelmed. Hopefully that will fuel your determination, as finding long term solutions which don't depend on others is important. Look to what you can do, not who you/what are. 

6th House (or) Virgo: Cut back to the truly necessary so that you have the time and energy to develop, learn about and implement that which will create a new path for you going forward. Know your limits - and those of others.

7th House (or) Libra: Be honest with yourself about what means what in life. Time counts, right? Devote yours to doing something worthwhile enough that you earn your own self respect. Such things will earn you applause - and more than that, help others, which matters to you.

8th House (or) Scorpio: You're in a period of testing when the most important thing is to prioritize. Don't let difficulties stop you. Believe it or not, what they're taking away is unneeded right now - you can succeed despite all.

9th House (or) Sagittarius: Changing values are a natural manifestation of this time. You can change what you're doing or life will change it for you. The lesson is about growth and how any given thing is but a step in your process. It's time to take another step - a hard one.

10th House (or) Capricorn: It's time to move into a more inclusive, multi-lateral, multi-faceted means of making life work. Join with others. Let others join with you. Some letting go is needed in order to move ahead.   

11th House (or) Aquarius: Taking on responsibilities, keeping yourself on track and not overburdening your resources is essential now - and going forward. Comfort cannot be the aim if situations are going to improve.

12th House (or) Pisces: Face your fears. Work on being as realistic as you are optimistic. Life will settle down as soon as you stop thinking some thing or person will release you and take on the challenge of freeing your own soul and feelings. 

  As photographed by Cassini, Saturn and Saturn's shadow, something of a
perfect metaphor for all those things we're afraid to 'turn around and see.'
(photo credit: NASA-JPL)

Not into looking at your chart?

Okay...if you’re not all over that, the pageant which is the US Electoral process is still giving us all a good look at how things can change.

And how things need to change.

And how we will go about trying (or attempting) to change them...and change with them.

Whoever wins this election (and that doesn't just for for the President, that goes for the President and Congress and whatever other office or propositions Americans may be voting for this year). They're all being voted in or out under this Uranus/Saturn inconjunct. So we can expect difficulties, protests, and unexpected problems with the process, and in the wake of the election.

As a matter of fact...let's pertains to this election in particular...the Saturn/Uranus inconjunct will 'perfect' on November 15th (adjusting for local US time zones). That's nine days after election day, right?

That tells us that nine days, nine weeks, nine months and nine years (yes, I said years) are the points at which the choices made on this election day will surface and show their pluses and minuses. 

Meanwhile, back on the campaign trail, presidential campaigns are a good example of how this inconjunct works. Candidates may have come to a point (presumably when Saturn entered Scorpio) when they realized they wanted to change some of their rhetoric. Or when they needed to change a position or two. But when they get to that 'uh-oh' moment, there are already miles of speeches speech-ified and engrained in stone. There are acres of votes, acts and deeds already on the record books and there are those who have already decided that they each or dislike each candidate.

How to change and not alienate those folks?

It's a classic Scorpio tangle. For yes, while Scorpio asks that we find solutions which work for everybody, most of us arrive at the Scorpio situation with our wants and aims in mind. We declare ourselves by getting involved, taking a side and picking a stance.

Then we find out we may not be right. For whatever reason. We may figure out we're not even in the right arena.

It's not often the physical 'how to change' which is the Scorpio problem - that's Uranus in Aries. But the cost? Be it emotional, ethical, financial - the cost?

That's Scorpio.  

Oh yes...Saturn in Scorpio is the land of 'they’ll get me if I do that' and 'they'll hate me if I don't do that.' Emotions rise as we deal with others (and as they deal with us) and the temptation to ‘work’ the situation to our benefit or pleasure is absolutely there. to achieve all that and still be true to who we are?

That's the question. And what happens when you realize that who you 'are' is really not who you will be happy with yourself for being?

You get my Scorpio/Saturn point? 

Maybe you're reading that last and thinking ‘oh, that’s not me!’

If it isn't, congratulations. Since most of us do fall into one of those Scorpio slots, I might question that, but if it's really not you then, lucky you!

And welcome to the world of others not liking you for not being as mortal as they are.

Irregular Moons being discovered around Uranus
(photo credit: NASA-JPL)

The Saturn quality here is a question of the aim. Since Saturn is always the premise that life teaches us how to succeed in part through seeing how we deal with the reality or even just the threat of failure, Scorpio in Saturn tests our ability to navigate interactive waters with attention on keeping and even keel and eyes on the prize. That person who irritates the tar out of us is life not about how out of line or ridiculous they are, but how well we can work with or around their klunkiness.

That’s one part of ‘adjusting’ ourselves. The years of Uranus in Aries will have us all being more easily set off and excited. They’ll also be years during which we learn more about ourselves than at many an other time. So those who get in our way or who frustrate or irritate us are really teaching us perseverance, forbearance and ingenuity. Being that this is Saturn in the interactive challenge position, the test is whether we can innovate, renovate (old habits and ways of operating) and in general come up with solutions not to their idiocy, but to our tendency to get bothered and to that extent, distracted from our growth, our goals, our aims.

You know, all that Saturn stuff.

For some, Saturn passing through Scorpio will bring on a heavy dose of karma. With Uranus in Aries, this can take a very unpleasant toll on our lives – or even our physicality. Where we have neglected ourselves, November is likely to stumbling us into a wall we’ve built through neglect.

Have you overstepped your bounds? This is the kind of combination which is going to deliver the news that you have (as they say in the Peter Principle) risen to your level of incompetency.

Uranus in Aries is the kind of transit under which some people reach for things they are totally not suited to. we hope they get their fingers out of the door before life slams it shut.

Uranus in Aries is also the kind of transit which causes people to want to ignore all the rules. Arrogance bubbles to the top of their personality and society (Saturn) does a Scorpio boil-over and tells them to put a lid on it.

So we have this transit running all month long. Mercury retrograde will start under this adjusting, side-stepping, coping, frustrating, provocative influence. A solar eclipse will occur just before it perfects.
Saturn inconjuncting Uranus is going to be like an electronic hum which goes on (just about) all month long. Like any such sound, it tends to become background. We get used to its presence.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

That’s the hard part of transits like this one: we accept them and pretty much forget them. And because we do that, we tend to fall afoul of the pitfalls.

Fortunately blog posts stick around. So if someone drops a house on your foot, after you shriek OUCH and hop around for a while cussing and yelling, you’ll be able to put your foot up and come back and do some reflecting.

Which is rather the point of the transit to begin with, right?

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