An exploratory post on Saturn cycles. Questions to be answered:
- What’s Saturn cycles?
- Why might they be felt more keenly than other cycles?
- What are the ages involved in Saturn cycles?
- What’s the difference between Saturn return, opposition, squares, sextiles and trines? What’s the difference between a waxing and a waning aspect?
- What’s the difference between the first, second and third Saturn cycles?
- What’s likely to “happen” internally and/or externally during Saturn cycles?
- How to make the best of Saturn cycles?
What’s Saturn cycles?
Using a geocentric perspective, when you are born, Saturn is in a certain degree of the zodiac. After the moment of your birth, Saturn “moves” on from that degree. It will first form the following degrees from your Saturn:
- 360° or 0°
Why might they be felt more keenly than other cycles?
According to Martin Freeman, “Of the various 28-38 year cycle indicators, Saturn is the most definitive. It is the strongest and the easiest to observe.” I wonder why. I suddenly thought of Saturn being the boundary marker in the solar system before the outer planets – Uranus (discovered in 1781 by British Astronomer William Herschel), Neptune and Pluto were discovered. I would imagine that before the discovery of the outer planets, astrologers had Saturn cycles to work with, which were considered significant.
Also, the orbits of the outer planets are irregular when compared to Saturn. It seems tougher to ascertain the timing of the outer planet cycles although this might not factually true.
What are the ages involved in Saturn cycles?
The quick and dirty way is to think of multiple of 7 i.e. 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63, 70, 77, 84. However, the sevenfold quality of cycles is symbolic and doesn’t actually represent the actual ages in the Saturn cycle. Nevertheless, it’s a useful tool for us to remember the ages.
- 90° – 7, 36, 66
- 180° – 14, 44, 72
- 270° – 21, 51, 80
- 360° or 0° – 29.5, 59-60, 87 (?)
What’s the difference between Saturn return/conjunction, opposition, squares, sextiles and trines? What’s the difference between a waxing and a waning aspect?
They differ in the angles or degrees. The quality of the numbers are different too e.g. conjunction is 1, opposition is 2 while square is 4 (2×2). Trines are 3 which are flowing and smooth e.g. trinity of somethings. Sextiles comprise 3×2 which are flowing with some effort involved (2). In any case, Saturn returns, oppositions and squares are more likely to be experienced by people than the trines and sextiles (I’m keeping it simpler by disregarding sesquiquadrate and quincunx).
- Conjunctions: an ending and beginning.
- Waxing square: time for action involving the beginning
- Opposition: climax, harvest of the action. May involve challenge of some sort
- Waning square: time for action involving what was harvested.
I like to use the analogy of a wall builder to illustrate the cycle:
Conjunctions: Over the past many years, you have been building your wall of life. What’s your wall made of? A job that doesn’t quite fulfill. A relationship that’s so-so. Some friends here and there. A body that you aren’t too proud of because of societal expectations. And others, etc.
Your wall will be in view of everyone soon. You feel this sense of urgency that time is running out. Are the different dimensions of the life that you have built appropriate and relevant to you? If not, do you knock down the wall and build again? Or you can choose to continue with it and continue building based on a foundation that doesn’t quite work for you. This might get more difficult during the second Saturn return.
You might feel: sense of urgency, sense of loss of what has ended, sense of a new start.
Waxing square: You have been building your wall for some time now. Now is the time for stress testing the wall to see whether it’s firm and strong. Just like those Ikea furniture which supposedly go through stress testing. Others, especially those considered as authority over you may test your wall.
If the wall that you have been building is appropriate and relevant for you, you have nothing to fear really. It’s business as usual – you examine what works and what doesn’t work and adjust accordingly.
On the other hand, if you feel insecure about the strength and validity of your wall, it’s likely that others can pick up on that. Employers and other superiors may wonder whether you are the right person for the job you are doing. Consequently or in spite of that, it’s a time of soul searching, a time of identity crisis where you question what you are/have been doing.
You might feel: a sense of fear, inadequacy, doubt or consolidation.
Opposition: Again, it’s time to show the world your wall that you have built!
If the wall that you have built is relevant and appropriate to you, this is a time of culmination and harvest of your past efforts. That is assuming you have worked hard at it. It’s almost as if you are shouting to the world while standing on top of your wall “Hello World! This is me!” The world yells back at you “Awesome! These are your accomplishments!”
On the other hand, if you hadn’t cleared away the parts of the wall that weren’t working for you during the waxing square, about 7 years ago, you may receive concrete evidence that your life (work, relationship, etc) isn’t working for you. Your efforts at work may be blocked by coworkers or superiors, even if you are doing good work. If that’s the case, this is a time to find out what works for you.
You might feel: a sense of objections from others, which consequently makes life feel like it’s tough going, a struggle, self-doubt, despair or accomplishment and mastery.
Waning square: A time of action based on the output during the opposition about 7 years ago. You can only work with the crops of the harvest that you have to produce something else. In other words, you can only build on past accomplishments when they are available. Otherwise, it’s a time of relinquishing the wall that you have built so that you can start with a clean slate during the next Saturn return.
What’s the difference between the first, second and third Saturn cycles?
- From innocence into initiation into adulthood: productive times,
- From adulthood into preparation for death: creative achievement, happy retirement, marriage partnership, grandchildren, breakthrough
What’s likely to “happen” internally and/or externally during Saturn cycles?
Refer to the house of Saturn, aspects to and from Saturn and the houses ruled by Saturn.
How to make the best of Saturn cycles?
Be honest with yourself. Examine what works and what has worked. If something doesn’t work perhaps from feedback from others, consider that seriously and perhaps end that and start over again. Also, are you building a life that is true and authentic to you or based on the expectations of your parents, bosses, society, etc?