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Saturn transits Capricorn and its meaning

Saturn's arrival in Capricorn

On 20 December 2017, at 3:07 a.m. GMT, Saturn enters the sign of Capricorn. The planet will be particularly powerful in this sign that it rules. It will stay there for two and a half years, until 22 March 2020. During this period, the need for seriousness and rigour will influence the surrounding context.


Identified with Chronos, the Greek god of time, Saturn brings about a general slowdown with the aim of sparing efforts. One might as well say that his rhythm will have to be strictly complied with, otherwise backlashes or situations of blockage may abound. It is useless to hide the fact that Saturn has a reputation for being difficult. He is pictured as an old man carrying a scythe which cuts off whatever is superfluous in order to perform a thorough cleansing task. Fortunately, the planet also represents "the wise old man". Once reduced to the essentials, all that remains to do is to rise, to transcend one's condition, this time on solid foundations. As Saturn enters Capricorn, the sign which honours the same values, he demands that everyone be honest, sincere, and sensible.

From a symbolic viewpoint, this transit in the 10th sign occurs one day before the astronomical winter solstice, since the Sun will also visit Capricorn on 21 December 2017 at 4:16 p.m. GMT. It is the moment of the year when the path of the Sun reaches its lowest point, and therefore, the day is the shortest of the year. Because Saturn's realm associates night with cold, the coherence of these two planetary changes must be underlined. As of this date, it is necessary to hibernate better – both literally and figuratively – in order to prepare for spring. Imagine the seed buried in the soil. Even though the surface of the ground is frozen, the seed can still muster its forces and develop under cover.

The cycle of Saturn

Saturn in rulership in Capricorn

In astronomy, Saturn is the sixth planet of the solar system, the Earth included. It takes Saturn some 29 and a half years to complete a whole cycle, in other words, to come back to the position he occupied in the sky after having roamed the entire zodiac. In genethliac astrology, as Saturn is tightly connected with time, he marks the major stages of human life. For instance, around the age of 30, one really starts to behave as a responsible adult. At 59, with Saturn's second return, one often experiences a new chapter, which could be preparing one's retirement. In addition to these generalities, which could be more or less felt depending on each personality, Saturn is a kind of metronome. He impassively ticks away the days.

In mundane astrology too, it is interesting to analyse his cycles and to look back at the recent past in order to understand how Saturn worked. Of course, situations are never repeated, for the aspects with other planets and their position change continuously. Last time Saturn was in Capricorn was in the late eighties. The main feature of the period was a triple conjunction linking Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, which as a result tremendously intensified the quintessence of the strength of Capricorn. The most important events were anything but trivial, since we witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, then the end of the Soviet Union. While one could carry out a long and detailed analysis of these events, one can reasonably remember that Saturn prompted peoples to take action and to break away from a polarised world.

Nowadays, Saturn return suggests that honest assessment is becoming indispensable again. Which areas will be impacted? No one believes that the consequences will be as considerable as in the early nineties. Presently, challenges are completely different, and the chances are high that people will have to face various struggles. Fighting against excessive consumption or against climate change, for instance. In any case, trends towards combatting wastefulness will be popular.

On a personal level, people having the Sun in Capricorn who were born in the late eighties, as well as people having personal planets strongly influenced by Capricorn, will be in tune with dogmatic exigencies. During this transit, they are most likely to experience events which should enable them to correct whatever needs to be clarified in their life. It must be noted that the same holds true for people going through their second or third Saturn return (return of a planet to its natal place).

By way of illustration, Astrotheme provides thousands of celebrity horoscopes with Saturn in Capricorn or dominant Saturn.

Why Saturn will be very mighty

Saturn, the god of time

Owing to his transit in his domicile, Saturn will generally impose his law. He literally feels at home in Capricorn, for he knows by heart its frozen and austere landscape. Technically speaking, the Saturn + Capricorn equation gives a nervous temperament dominated by cold and dryness.

The Earth element provides stability, permanence, and a need for realisation. Capricorn being the third Earth sign, it represents sublimation; the desire to go beyond terrestrial matters is prevailing. It is the mountain that one wants to escalate. Once at the summit, as the Tibetan proverb goes, one must keep on climbing. This is, in a way, what sums up the general meaning.

And in your chart? Find easily which planets or angles of your natal chart are influenced by Saturn during his extremely important transit through Capricorn.

Saturn in the natal chart

Not everyone has Saturn in Capricorn. But should this occur, it may prove interesting to look at the place where Saturn was posited at the moment of birth, since the said place will express its full quintessence, as just mentioned above.

For instance, those with Saturn in Leo will have to practice some detachment regarding the image their personality sends. Furthermore, the natal house in which Saturn is posited points to the areas where one must be very structured, patient, concise, and honest. For example, Saturn in the 2nd House highlights financial matters, possessions, and how money is earned. In this natal House, the planet suggests that one may experience frustrations caused by all sorts of shortages. It is only through perseverance that material security can be achieved.

In summary, Saturn in the chart describes the resistance axis one will have to cope with in order to progress towards the goals one has set for oneself. This will be more or less difficult depending on the quality of natal Saturn. What is certain is that the currents emerging between 20 December 2017 and March 2020 offer a great opportunity to address this issue. If there was ever a time to understand the Saturnian lesson and to become wiser, it is now.

What about you? Rapidly spot the position of Saturn in your natal chart.

How Saturn expresses himself

The planet's operating mode is quite characteristic, and begins with a feeling of frustration. At first, one is beset by doubts and fears, as if paralysed by the thought of failure. Usually, as a precaution, one tries to mark out the terrain before undertaking anything. It is necessary to learn to overcome this sensation and to start surmounting obstacles by always practising humility and by giving up the easy option of immobility.

One must bear in mind the saying that "nothing ventured, nothing gained", so as to convince oneself of the obligation to pursue one's quest. In modern language, it means for instance leaving one's comfort zone. Nothing is more exciting, according to the Saturnian lesson, than to triumph over what seemed so challenging. By coming up against one's limits, one understands how far it is possible to push them back.

Lastly, before concluding this article, here is a short lexicon of adjectives, nouns, or Capricorn/Saturn values meant to provide a few clues to what might happen.

Saturn in Capricorn – Keywords

Ascetic, careerist, philosopher, wise man, hermit, antique dealer, archaeologer, politician, detachment, insensitivity, patience, slowness, restraint, reduction, austerity, melancholy, endurance, perseverance, courage, structure, morals, virtue, solitude, cold, inflexibility, rigour, righteousness.

But also scepticism, old age, gerontology, solidity, maturation, duty, honour, principles, mutism, summit, ambition, exact sciences, research, and superego.