Saturn Pluto is on the march…fasten your seat belts!

A recurring theme in recent talks with colleagues and students has been the powerful impact on our collective and personal lives of the current transit of Jupiter through Scorpio, currently sextiling Scorpio’s ruler Pluto in Capricorn, potentised by Saturn’s recent entry into his own sign of Capricorn – and the start of his long march toward the 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction. We can already feel the exacting challenges of the latter combination beginning to build. 

As well as deep, long-standing institutional corruption of various kinds including sexual and financial being dredged, confronted and exposed, there seems to have been an outbreak of a greater sense of collective responsibility regarding how we are treating one another, and our planet. Here are just a couple of examples, from the UK:

The UK’s series “Blue Planet Two – oceans of wonder” fronted by that venerable and influential national treasure the 91 year old Sir David Attenborough, has been shown to huge audiences worldwide pricking our collective consciences into action regarding the damage plastic is doing to our oceans. Also in the UK, a minister for Loneliness has been appointed to co-ordinate attempts to tackle more effectively that scourge of modern living.

This upcoming January 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn – Saturn’s home sign – offers a strong earth/water signal as we move toward the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius at the end of 2020. We are being challenged to clean up our act in relation to our home planet, and behave with more integrity toward one another as a human community – or face the consequences.

We are moving from an emphasis on  planetary exploitation which characterised the Industrial Revolution and the whole materialist culture arising, to one of global social development – that of ideas, information, communication, and relationships – expedited by technology, for the coming 200 years or so.

So, despite the tough times we are living through and Saturn/Pluto’s upcoming challenges, I feel optimistic on the whole about the new order being birthed in the turmoil of ending, although we baby-boomers will likely not live to see it.

Pondering on Saturn/Pluto and its challenges – a topic of especial interest to me since I was born under an exact combination of those two and am still here (as far as I know…) – reminded me of a column I wrote for the UK’s Astrological Journal a while ago, which described a striking incident evoking Saturn/Pluto. Here it is:

‘…Something oddly unsettling happened to me on 1st June 2016. Not a surprise, you might say, with the Sun that day conjunct Mercury in Gemini square Jupiter in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces – all churning between 10-15 degrees of the Mutables: my Asc/Desc plus Mercury tossed and turned within this restless brew.

I was peacefully preparing some notes for an especially interesting-looking client booked in for that afternoon. I like noting when clients’ progressed planets change signs, or turn retro/direct, as their life pattern unfolds.This offers good material for enlightening contemplation and discussion. But it’s not something you can quickly and easily do using a computer.

So – I reached for my 20th century Midnight Ephemeris, turned to the 1990s, and made an unpleasant discovery. Someone had torn out pages from the 1990s. But not random pages. The whole of 1993 and 1994. Nothing else was damaged.

There were two possibilities, given that I had purchased this ephemeris second hand on moving into my current office in January 2015. One – someone with keys to my office had come in and torn out specific pages at some point in the last year or so. (You’d never spot my MercurySaturnPluto line-up here, surely…)

Or two – the more credible – whoever sold the ephemeris had hated those two years so much that he/she had taken their revenge via this act of Mercurial vandalism. It was odd, however, that I had not noticed the damage earlier…

What to do, now that I had a maimed ephemeris? Every client from now till forever, I thought, is BOUND to be born in the 1990s or have key life events happening then which require close symbolic examination and elucidation. With the passage of decades, one becomes fully cognisant of Sod’s frequently malign intentions …

Whilst reluctantly concluding, therefore, that a new ephemeris was probably required, a sudden memory lit up my grumpy, puzzled, somewhat paranoid mental processes. During the 1990s, I had made up my own ephemeris for each year. Perhaps I could use two of those to cover the missing years? Had those ephemerides survived one of my periodic purges?

They had! Their distinctive, colourful covers impressed me. How arty I was, briefly, in the 1990s… included with the photocopied ephemeris pages were lined sheets of yellow paper for notes; these were full of astrological significators linked with personal and mundane events for 1991 to 1996. Why had I stopped then? No idea…

A morning was spent browsing through those notes, focusing especially on the two missing years of 1993-4; what a harrowing read! Staggering out semi-traumatised into gorgeous sunshine, I restored balance by basking outside my favourite boho cafe. Sipping delicious coffee and feasting on sandwiches followed by jammy creamy fruit scones, I reflected on our –fortunately – well-developed capacity to forget grim events. How unpleasant and upsetting it is to be reminded.

These were awful, turbulent times: not only at a macro level, but also in our small personal worlds…many of us ‘plugged in” to the same degrees as the major planetary patterns of those years suffered very considerably. I often found myself talking to clients about family traumas which in many cases closely mirrored my own.

From my notes, January 1993 “…the start of a momentous year, with a triple conjunction of Uranus/Neptune at 18/19 degrees Capricorn in February, August and October, AND a triple meeting between Saturn in Aquarius square Pluto in Scorpio from 24-27 degrees of their respective signs in March and October 1993, then January 1994…world situation incredibly unstable, turbulent and cruel throughout 1992 as exactitudes approached…”

The notes went on to describe planetary links to major oil spills, earthquakes, mudslides, volcanic eruptions…and that was just January and February 1993! There followed, as many of us will remember, ongoing IRA bombings on the UK mainland, the first attack on the World Trade Centre, attempts to stop a genocidal war in the Balkans, and horrific genocide in Ruanda…Worth quoting, from the UK’s ‘Sunday Times’ on 22/8/93, two days after the second exact Uranus/Neptune conjunction:

“Islamic fundamentalism, if it remains unchecked, could destabilise Egypt, Sudan, Africa, Middle East – the whole world community…” Grimly prescient.

I now understood why that mysterious reader had torn out 1993 and 1994. Feeling very reflective, and grateful that life had eventually reached calmer waters in recent times, I headed off home. There in the mail was a letter: the first for many years from a close relative – from whom I was forced to cut off contact in 1993/4.

As a famous scientist once observed, life is not only stranger than we suppose. It is stranger than we CAN suppose…’



This post was first published as my 8th Not the Astrology Column in the July/August 2016  Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.


20th Century Ephemeris


1200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

21 responses to “Saturn Pluto is on the march…fasten your seat belts!

  1. It does make one wonder what the psychic toll was on the children born just before and during this time… would family circumstances have been that much less strained if all these cosmic gears hadn’t been turning? Or was that the point of the Pluto in Scorpio generation having this formative experience en masse? I shall try to keep my wool-gathering to a small corner of your comment section…


  2. Hi Anne, your post discussing the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction has encouraged me to give new thought towards the movement of these planets which carry the potential for great personal progress in my own chart, particularly with natal Pluto in Leo on my MC (you know, the me-generation of eternal youth, the ‘self-absorbed’ generation). Thank you, and as you suggest, I expect to have to fasten my seat belt for this ride. And then the conjunction of Jupiter-Saturn, for me a pair of combatants turning stablemates at the end of 2020 which should be particularly interesting as they are naturally at loggerheads in my horoscope. Although conjunctions are signified as difficult aspects, I personally experience the combined energies at a level of interdependence, complementary principles working together for my greater cause when I consider the integrity of the chart as a whole. But this week I have been caught up in the indications of the total lunar eclipse on January 31st at 11LE37 which will influence my natal MC/Pluto and associated aspects, and turn my attention to the lunar eclipse at 11LE20 on 31st January 1999 according to the 19 years Metonic cycle. My only child was then four years old. This proved to be a most sensitive and major time of huge emotional change in relocating my temporary home office back to my business office when my daughter began kindergarten, seemingly disconnected and far away. I felt I had been eclipsed. I was 47, struggling to intellectualise how my Aquarian Sun-Moon could find identity in motherhood when challenged by a Pluto in Leo on the MC. This powerful planet had been hell-bent on transforming my professional role in society over 27 years – not an easy challenge, sometimes dark and ruthless, a planet notorious for working underground – and all the while consciously being reminded that you can’t go back with Pluto. I believe that the day my beautiful creative Taurean daughter was born is when my initiation process as guide and mentor truly began under the influence of Pluto, somewhat earlier than the usual later years of one’s life cycle. In 1999 that January penumbral lunar eclipse brought about tough changes. I am not so certain that I can say I am ready for the upcoming total lunar eclipse on the 31st, although energies to do with self-reflection are beginning to surface.

    Today I awoke to my standard ritual – scan the curtains for evidence of first light, squint at the bedside clock in the stillness, glance down at Princess and Jasper waiting for sure signs of breakfast pending, groan quietly if sleep has been restless, alight quickly to shuffle through the hall to prepare that first espresso (such a nurturing aroma), then turn on the laptop at the kitchen table to interact with the greater world. No doubt I live alone, that is, apart from Princess (a mutually befriended, yet calculating ex-feral feline) and old Jasper, an affectionate, blue-eyed Rag Doll, a breed of cat which is guaranteed to faithfully flop into your arms. My day’s plans can easily be reshaped by the unexpected arrival of Mercury; no matter the form he takes he is instantly recognisable as a carrier of useful information. Forget about the caduceus, for me it’s all about the winged feet (metaphorically of course) which means that new knowledge to articulate is being swiftly delivered to my door (Inbox) at the most auspicious times. Mercury is the mythological brother of Apollo and is aligned with the Sun in the heavens. Anne, I notice that your post was written on the annual return of my Aquarian Sun, January 27 – how magical is that! This artful traveller first arrived on the cusp of my 3rd house at birth.

    So, back to the Jupiter-Saturn topic. The qualities of my Sagittarius Rising in action can truly exhaust me at times. This instinctively tribal half-horse, half-human Centaur incessantly on the roam in search of truth and wisdom can truly lead me astray when I break from the pack. It is at this point of depleted energy that I pull up and contemplate the role of Sagittarius’ planetary ruler, Jupiter, overseeing my chart in impatient Aries from the 5th house of living. When my Jupiter flaunts the potential to expand his vitality, he tends to scoff at caution and limitations which manifests for me in the ballooning of a headstrong will to jump into situations – ‘take a chance’ he says, ‘bigger is better, don’t look now – look later’. The problem is that balloons can either burst or deflate which is capable of evoking energies likened to those of childish disappointment – or much worse – losing faith in one’s philosophies. Yet unpredictable fires can burn furiously in the early degrees of a Sagittarius Ascendant with flames leaping out of control at 01SAG09. Inspiration is the fuel thrown onto this fire, igniting my aspirations to search paths of discovery – to explore the most enlightened horizons of life. It is here I have stood many times in awe of a deeper vision of my worldview, my beliefs, in moments of understanding that there is a need to project my self-awareness into the world. As individuals we each express our innate creativity in different ways. In my lifelong process of becoming I have learned that my 5th house carries a signature which symbolises a great need to reveal my creativity in a way that can be gifted to others and expressed as a sense of joy in seeking to identify myself with metaphysical doctrine. And the planet(s) urging me to counter-balance the weight of this emphasis? An 11th house Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Libra. Saturn can be restrictive with his lessons of life about the here-and-now, but Saturn in Libra is fair in that I will always be urged to reconsider and/or review my work, I can go back and look it over during the retrograde period of a transit. It is here that I can stabilise my understanding of the big picture of the 5th by the grace of Jupiter, and with a heightened sense of awareness that visionary Neptune allows me to experience, as one might expect, as a fairytale romance. My Neptune in Libra, an air sign, is deeply compassionate when it comes to the Lord of Karma, when Saturn can express a sensitivity to other people which manifests in me as an innate fear of social failure.
    P.S. I love your story about the ephemeris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful exegesis on your life through the astrological lens, Page. I hope you already write a blog,..or are contemplating doing so. You should! Truly interesting times lie ahead…and no doubt much will be written as we go. But we can all contribute, by sharing our life stories as the years to come unfold with all their challenges and gifts.
      Yes, that ephemeris story is one of my own personal favourites amongst the columns I have written. At times, life really is stranger than we CAN suppose…


  3. Perhaps I should have torn 1993 out of my ephemeris too :). Like you I was born under a SA-PL conjunction, and I too found the early nineties challenging, to say the least. Your post prompts me to have another squint in the rear view mirror. When it comes to astrology, hindisight is a wonderful gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe there are more ephemerides in circulation minus 1993-4, Brian! However, we Saturn/Pluto folk are very tough nuts to crack…and yes, agree re hindsight. The fact that our track record on accurate specific prediction is poor cheers me no end…as Richard Tarnas so pithily observed, astrology is archetypally predictable…see this post of mine, if you want to take that one further:


  5. Via Facebook:
    Morgana Dee:
    Yes, great read, and oh my what a topsy turvy time it was for me with the transits of Uranus and Neptune conjunct my Mercury. Pluto making last square to my Sun. It ended up with me inheriting a house [last Neptune hit], selling it within a month of inheriting so never seeing inside it cause I sold to the renters who had been there for years. I also noticed a house on the Bay of Fundy for sale. That is Nova Scotia and I was on the West Coast of Canada. I bought it sight unseen, realized I needed to learn to drive and get a vehicle to make the cross country move; got an old van, learned to drive it in two weeks and packed up and way we went. Dog, cat, six year old. LOL. That is Neptune for you. We lasted five months before almost freezing to death, packed up the van with a blizzard on its way and took off for the west coast. We made it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an adventure, Morgana! Yes, these were wild days indeed…glad you made it through 🙋⚡️


  7. Morgana Dee:
    I figure I must have special angels working overtime on me because I have had the wildest escapades and come through them. I don’t feel as brave anymore now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, Morgana, I know that feeling – I was much braver, and much more foolhardy, when I was much younger!


  9. Via Facebook:
    Rosie Mesa:
    Great read! I’ve marked down Saturn Pluto conjunction on my calendar in the 90’s after Uranus Neptune conjunction to my 22 deg DSC in Capricorn! That was my worst time when my mother had her first stroke in Dec 93 and then died after her second stroke in Nov 94. I felt like a true orphan even though we lived thousands of miles apart.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks, Rosie – yes, for those of us ‘plugged in’ to the same degrees as Saturn square Pluto during 93-4, family life in particular was very tough…


  11. Via Facebook:
    Silke Bigg:
    Echo the sentiments…life changing events.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks, Silke, getting your and other people’s feedback is brilliant – puts flesh on the bones of symbolism!


  13. Via Facebook:
    Nancy Best:
    1993, my year from hell! Once a month a friend died unexpectedly, my daughter had an internal spinal cord injury causing paralysis from her chest down, her father had a fatal heart attack right in front of her, my rental house of 11 years sold while she was in the hospital and caught on fire. And that’s just a brief summary. My chiron is at 21 degrees Cap involved in a grand square with 5 planets.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Indeed, Nancy. see my reply to Rosie…those of us whose charts linked with the Uranus Neptune conjunction degrees during 93-4 also had a very tough time…your situation sounds particularily grim.


  15. Via Facebook:
    Peggy Stoy:
    I loved January 1993, my first baby was born!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good to get some life affirming feedback from that year, Peggy! My wonderful nephew, 25 in April, was also born in that year… And what an achiever he has been, despite very difficult family circumstances around the time of his birth. Saturn/Pluto at its best tempers people into fine steel…


  17. Via Facebook:
    Moragh Mason
    I have great hopes for the generation just reaching the age of majority ie born from 2000 onward (I think they’re called the i-Gen). They’re much more environmentally aware than any that’s gone before and they care about what’s going on in their communities.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yes, Moragh, this group are one of the big reasons for my optimism regarding the future…


  19. Pingback: #January #recurring #transits #Saturn #Pluto is on the march…fasten your seat belts! — #Astrology: Questions and Answers – Ola Queen Bee of Astrology

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