One of the significant transits this year is the square between Saturn and Neptune (see below for dates) and the principles associated with these planets are the themes that will occupy our attention, requiring energy and action. Archetypally Saturn is symbolic of many things, foremost among them discipline and restriction. Boundaries, be they physical or psychological, combine discipline and restriction.
Archetypally Saturn is symbolic of many things, foremost among them discipline and restriction. Boundaries, be they physical or psychological, combine discipline and restriction. They are the lines created around what needs to be protected or contained and the structural support to maintain those lines. Those of us who are creatives know that boundaries are necessary in order for us to court our muses, to hold space for the creative process, and produce our work.
Neptune on the other hand takes one look at the hard-won boundary and blows a spout right through it, turning the wall into a fountain. Sometimes he comes into our lives like a tidal wave that rises up and submerges the sand castle, or slowly erodes the stone. The living waters of Neptune are in search for the underlying unity and connectedness of all beings, so he dissolves boundaries. Think of Shiva dreaming the universe into being as he drifts upon the cosmic ocean – a most profound mythic image of the power of the imagination.
So where Saturn keeps us toe to toe with the reality of things, our have to’s, Neptune draws us into the dream (or illusion), ideals, possibilities. When these two meet in the tense angular square it can get tricky because both energies want to express themselves fully.
The levels at which the Saturn Neptune square are at work are many because the archetypal expression of these energies is limitless. Where for some this may be front and center in personal relationships and family, or with work, we are all navigating this theme of boundary and opening, where everyday reality is meeting and being challenged by the other waters. Reflecting on this archetypal theme, where in your life are you experiencing these issues and questions? Where these two planets are transiting your birth chart tells us what areas of your life are implicated and how to make meaning of the time. For example, Neptune may dissolve the boundary that has been keeping someone feeling isolated, cut off from others which is one way that Saturn can manifest. This could be the year where your vision (Neptune) can be manifested (Saturn), from the realm of imagination into reality. Conversely some of your dreams may not have the solid legs they need to manifest (Saturn) and so it could be a period of shakedown in goals, focusing, getting real and the seeds of that process becomes the laying of fertile the ground.
I have Saturn transiting my 6th and Neptune my 9th – so one way of reflecting on what these gods are asking of me is in to look at how my attitude towards my day-to-day reality and schedule (Saturn 6th) needs the spiritual (Neptune). Nose to the grindstone (Saturn 6th) may need to loosen up a bit and connect with larger visions (Neptune 9th) so that great big beautiful ideas (9th) or principles are undergirding my work ----like Dostoevsky’s belief that beauty will redeem the world.
This archetypal energy is living in the collective right now too as this is a world transit. This past Sunday morning one of the cover articles in the New York Times was about Syrian women refugees and the challenges they face in protecting themselves from assault and rape as they try to start new lives in safer countries. How do these women protect the boundaries of their bodies? Are the facilities that are harboring them able to provide them with safe bedrooms with doors that lock? What is their experience psychologically of going from their homeland to countries with entirely different cultures, languages, values – that must seem like destruction of the reality they knew(Saturn) and into some new and strange landscape, and can they trust it (Neptune)? Europe’s borders are being suffused with refugees, humanity is being brought closer and closer together in these difficult times – Neptune is working at levels of humanitarian concerns and dissolving Saturnian cultural markers, which is also bringing new sets of challenges.
So while most of us are not dealing with situations like those brave women from Syria, you can see how these archetypal energies live in the very essences of our lives and the situations that comprise them, individually and collectively.
What the gods want most of all is to be remembered, for us to bring the right gifts to their altars. By reflecting on how Saturn and Neptune are moving in your life right now, and what they may be asking of you, is to pay them homage. It is in these ways that we can come to make meaning of our experiences on a soul level.
Saturn square Neptune began in October this past year, in the early signs of Sagittarius for Saturn and Pisces for Neptune. Because of retrograde cycles they will continue to be close through this year until mid October. The exact dates of the transit for 2016 June 18th at 12 degrees Sagittarius and September 11th at 10 degrees Sagittarius.