Saturn in Libra versus Saturn in Scorpio: The Lord of Karma Moves from the Sign of the The Marriage and Family Therapist to the Sign of the Deep Cover Detective, the T-800 Terminator, and the Doctor of All that is Taboo
Saturn is in the final days of its transit through Libra where it is considered “exalted”. Saturn is the planet of sobriety, justice, and the school of hard knocks. Libra is about balance of power in relationships. Astrologer Jessica Murray has analogized Saturn in Libra to somebody opening a window in a closed room full of fetid stank. (Source) It’s during Saturn’s transit through Libra that misaligned relationship dynamics have their best chance of being rebalanced in a manner that is fair to all parties concerned. Kate Middleton and Prince William, for instance, both have Saturn in Libra in their birth charts. Not coincidentally, their wedding date – one that was certainly planned astrologically – also occurred when Saturn was moving through Libra.
On Friday October 5th, Saturn will move into Scorpio, the sign of the Shamaness and the Spy, and Sorceress and the Spell-Caster, Hitman and the Detective, the Investment Banker and the Contract Killer, the Criminal Deviant and the Depth Psychologist. When Saturn moves into Scorpio, the Lord of Karma turns her powers of discernment towards the unearthing of buried secrets, the use and misuse of sexual power, and the psychological underworld of joint financial matters.
Saturn in Libra can be analogized to an appointment with a marriage and family therapist or a retired divorce court judge known for her firm but fair approach. This is the judge or therapist whose goal is not to let the dissolution of a romance lead to the dissolution of a friendship. Saturn in Scorpio is a whole different ballgame. It’s more analogous to a three a.m. knock on the door from a veteran detective who sees right through career minded ass covering, corporate double speak, and new age glitter-gabber. To illustrate: the 1985 film Witness starring Harrison Ford as a police captain who must hide an Amish boy who witnessed a brutal murder was released during Saturn’s last transit through Scorpio. The film is, of course, a fictional work but it happens to do a grisly accurate job of demonstrating how this placement often ends up being experienced or expressed (Warning: embedded scene is grisly):
Note that both Harrison Ford’s character and the young Amish boy are Saturn in Scorpio “types” albeit ones at opposite ends of the experience spectrum. Witnessing a murder and investigating a murder are also both Saturn in Scorpio type experiences, albeit extreme ones that most of us will fortunately not experience. Don’t be surprised, however, if you do become familiar with or alerted to the consequences of emotional or economic violence during the next three years.
Saturn is the “heavy hitter” of the zodiac no matter what sign it is in. But when it moves through Scorpio, the sign of sex, death, and obsessions with sex and death, things get extremely dark, extremely fast. Last time Saturn moved through Scorpio from 1983-1985 we saw the emergence of AIDS, the Satanic sex abuse scandals, and a resurgence of paranoia over nuclear war. It was during Saturn’s last transit through Scorpio that the films The Day After and Threads, both of which graphically dealt with the horrors of nuclear holocaust, were released. Threads, generally considered the better of the two films, was produced without a soundtrack. This gives the film a cold, silent vibe that very much fits the modus operandi of Saturn in Scorpio:
Saturn in Scorpio is a starkly realistic transit so here is some stark reality for you: although fears of a nuclear war have greatly receded with the public consciousness during the last 30 years, there are still approximately 20,000 live nuclear weapons around the world. Amazingly, most are still aimed at the same targets they were aimed at during the Cold War. Many of Russia’s weapons are even hooked into something called “The Dead Hand”, an automated doomsday computer built in the 1970s that Russia’s nuclear engineers are unwilling to disarm for fear that doing so might accidentally set the thing off. (Source) There’s also the potential for more Fukushima type disasters in the form of 400 nuclear reactors around the world including over 100 here in the United States, many of which happen to be built on active earthquake fault lines. If this is all too much reality for you then just consider nuclear warfare and nuclear meltdowns as metaphors for the large scale release of deeply buried radioactive emotions.
Too dark for you? Okay, here’s some Saturn in Scorpio humor that you might feel okay laughing at. The 1954 film THEM! was released when Saturn was in Scorpio. The name of the film may not ring a bell but you’ve likely come across if you ever awoken at 2:00 am and turned on some late night television. It’s the one where fallout from nuclear bomb testing mutates harmless ants into giant man-eating monsters:
Of course this being Saturn in Scorpio it’s only funny only until you remember that here in the modern day we are facing an epidemic of ecological “blowback” from things like electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Saturn in Scorpio implies hard work (Saturn) involving shadows (Scorpio) and EMFs and GMOs can certainly be likened to the 21st century equivalent of shadows. Like other environmental poisons, they’re everywhere and yet nowhere at the same time. We all know about them yet we’re all in denial about them. While we’re unlikely to be attacked by giant man-eating ants anytime soon, the deleterious effects of these technological, genetic, and agro-chemical shadows will likely be unearthed in a much more profound way during Saturn’s transit through the sign of sex, death, and deep cover detective work. In particular you can expect to hear – or experience – some very disturbing news about the effects of these things on reproductive health as Scorpio rules the genitals in medical astrology.
Still have that smart phone on your hip?
As far as environmental issues are concerned, it’s probably no coincidence that the only president who had the psychological fortitude to tell Americans the truth about their oil predicament was Jimmy Carter, a man with a Moon/Saturn conjunction in Scorpio in his natal chart. Nor is it a coincidence that Carter spent his twenties as a submarine warfare officer on-board a nuclear powered submarine. Scorpio excels at navigating shadowy undercurrents, handling radioactive emotions, and is considered the sign most directly associated with nuclear energy. When a person has Saturn in Scorpio they are compelled to work hard (Saturn) at being emotionally courageous (Scorpio) even if doing so means getting tossed out on their ass by people who want it to be “morning time in America!” so they can hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.
It was Ronald Reagan who uttered those famous words about it being “morning time in America” right before he dramatically intensified the war on drugs (“war on addicts”?) when Saturn last went through Scorpio. It was during this time that it became clear to informed analysts just how dependent the U.S. national security apparatus had become on laundering money from the drug trade to finance covert operations abroad. Not coincidentally, the film Scarface starring Al Pacino as a ruthless drug lord turned real estate investor premiered at the same time. The chart for its premier includes a Saturn/Moon conjunction in Scorpio. (Chart) If you’ve never seen the film this clip will give you some idea of how nasty this placement can be when it turns to its less pleasant expressions.
Fast forward thirty years and some of the world’s largest financial institutions are now just as dependent on money from the narcotics trade as some of the world’s largest intelligence agencies. According to Antonia Maria Costa, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it was drug money that kept the large multinational banks afloat following the financial crisis of 2008. (Source) It was shortly after the financial crisis hit that Barack Obama launched a surge of troops into Afghanistan, which has since become world’s number one producer of both heroin and marijuana. (Source) One can’t help but conclude those troops have been sent there not to stop the flow of drugs but to make sure the drugs get produced because it’s money from those drugs that’s keeping the large banks so incredibly profitable. How else do you think they’re making record profits during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression? (It sure as hell isn’t from creating jobs.)
Saturn is karma and Scorpio is sex so you can some pretty serious unearthing of abuse scandals within certain religious organizations, and maybe even within the highest levels of the political and financial worlds. It’s also possible we’ll see the rise of a new sexually transmitted disease or find out that a current one has mutated into a much more virulent strain. To illustrate: Saturn was last in Scorpio when Rock Hudson announced he was dying of AIDS. A 6’5″ actor named “Rock” who makes a career out of portraying super butch tough guys in movies like Giant and Pillow Talk only to end up as an icon for a disease then associated with gay men is an example of Saturn in Scorpio modus operandi. Hudson happened to have Saturn in Scorpio in his natal chart so his death from AIDS came at his second Saturn return.
Speaking of genetically modified organisms, apocalyptic disasters, environmental collapse, and weapons of mass destruction . . . director James Cameron has Saturn in Scorpio. (Chart) His first major motion picture Terminator was released (born) October 26th, 1984 when Saturn was at 17 degrees Scorpio. (Chart) Watch this scene from the film and just substitute “Saturn in Scorpio” every time you hear Reese say “Terminator” and you’ll get an exaggerated but fundamentally accurate feel for the vibe of this transit. Keep in mind that the Reese character is also symbolic of a Saturn in Scorpio “type” just as much as the Terminator. He’s obviously there to help our protagonist get through this transit but it is a psychologically raw, almost primordial type of “assistance” as radically different from the exalted diplomacy of Saturn in Libra as can be imagined:
Actress Linda Hamilton, who starred in Terminator as Sarah Connor, has Saturn in Scorpio in her natal chart. (Chart) So too does Michael Biehn, the actor who plays Kyle Reese. (Chart) What you’re really seeing when you watch Terminator is two actors each having one hell of a Saturn return as they portray fictional characters each having one hell of Saturn return.
Saturn in Scorpio is associated with hard won (Saturn) transformations (Scorpio). In Terminator Sarah transforms herself from a wilting violet who must be rescued by a soldier from the future into a self-sufficient badass who defeats a cybernetic killing machine. You can think of Sarah transforming herself in order to a eliminate a demonic machine from the future as a metaphor for transforming yourself to eliminate your internal demons from the past, in particular any that hail from the psychological underworlds of joint finances and sexual relations. The Terminator in this regard can be thought of as a metaphor for an emotion or fear that has stalked you in regards to these matters more so than an actual machine.
According to astrologer Raven Kaldera, Saturn in Scorpio is associated with the Celtic myth of Cerridwen, a goddess who “assists” others by regenerating slain corpses in her cauldron. (Source) “Slain corpses” is essentially a metaphor for “dead parts of the psyche” or “fear ridden portions of the emotional terrain”. You and I won’t be dipping ourselves into actual cauldrons (at least not in most cases) but Saturn’s cave dive into Scorpio is absolutely, positively the best time to consult with a modern day witch such as a trained therapist, energy worker, financial planner, or sex educator. Even some astrologers might fit the bill. None of these modern day witches will be soldiers from the future like Kyle Reese but like Mr. Reese they should have an absolute unwavering commitment to assisting people handle the darkest aspects of the human experience. Whether their respective cauldron involves the psychological, the sexual, the occult or even all three, it will likely be very hot, probably not to pleasant to look at, and almost certainly have some pretty wild stuff in it. The film Ghostbusters, for instance, has a Mars/Saturn conjunction in Scorpio in the chart of its premier.
Even if you don’t believe in the paranormal, you’re human so that means you’ve likely got a few metaphoric “ghosts” haunting your financial, sexual, or psychological lives. Saturn in Scorpio affords you the opportunity to bust these ghosts once and for all or, if not bust them, at least dialogue with them to figure out what their root ecological purpose for existence is.
The next three years will likely see a collective upsurge in attempts to heal or make art of the economic, environmental, and psychological horrors inflicted upon us humans by those modern day Terminators known as Multi-National Corporations and the Military Industrial Complex. To illustrate: using its original release date as its date of birth, the 1954 film Godzilla has a Sun/Venus/Mercury/Saturn conjunction in Scorpio. (Chart) People often think of Godzilla as a mindless monster flick but the deeper (Scorpio) reality (Saturn) is much more profound. Released in 1954, it as actually an exploration of the unspeakable trauma inflicted upon the Japanese people when two of their cities were wiped out by nuclear weapons less than 10 years earlier. J.Hoberman tells us in a 2004 article for the Village Voice, “As crass as it is visionary, Godzilla represents a daring attempt to fashion a terrible poetry from the mind-melting horror of atomic warfare.” (Source)
Fortunately Saturn in Scorpio is not all doom-and-gloom. On the upside this transit is associated with opportunities for rehabilitation. But this isn’t celebrity rehab at a resort town on the California coast we’re talking about here. Saturn in Scorpio is much more subterranean than that, psychologically if not literally. Think less $300/night beachfront yoga retreat and more medieval witch’s lair or moss encrusted cave if you want a metaphor for the vibe of Saturn in Scorpio’s brand of rehabilitation. Whatever the exact setting or modality, it will be one that suggests a depth of emotional courage congruent with the depth of the work to be done.
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