Mutable signs rejoice, and Capricorns roll up your (undeniably handsome) cuffs: big boy Saturn is coming home today, and you were kind of literally born to rise to the occasion.
Saturn is the paradigm of the hard-knock finishing school, and it’s a natural bedfellow of Capricorn, the industrious mountain goat that scales the peaks, no matter how steep or improbable. Though Saturn is not an energy that ever relaxes or takes it easy, this is a much more comfortable placement for him than Sagittarius, where he was backpacking in his rigid suit for the last three years.
The era of 2014-2017 brought Saturn’s contracting, deflating force to bear on Sagittarius’ naturally buoyant, expansive demeanor. We saw a great deal of scrutiny, “weeding out,” and restriction around Sagittarian themes like multiculturalism, travel, truth, higher education, and belief systems. Border walls and travel bans, anyone?
It’s kind of a relief that Saturn is no longer chaperoning Sagittarius’ party, but let’s be honest — most of us had to prove ourselves in some capacity before we could be the adults at our own party. In the cosmic Sagittarian sense we’re talking about here, the “party” is our enthusiastic embrace of the world and its possibilities, and it’s usually a blend of talking politics and swinging from the chandeliers.
Now, Saturn’s in his home sign, Capricorn — a place where he can operate comfortably and potentially help us be in right relation with order and structure. This period won’t be without its trials, but at least the taskmaster charged with keeping us in line is in a slightly better mood.
Whenever Saturn visits any sign, you know he’s about to clean house. Actually, it might be more accurate to say YOU’RE going to clean house — but under his exacting standards. Saturn is tradition. Saturn is “doing things right.” Saturn is “building a structure that’s totally up to code.” Saturn is “the man” — sometimes literally representing authority and institutions. Saturn is the health department scrutinizing your restaurant and giving you a B- until you do the work to satisfy the requirements.
What’s important to understand about Saturn is that it once represented the known outer limits of our solar system. Before the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, Saturn was the end — hard stop — of what we knew about our universe. That’s why Saturn governs limitations in astrology. The two opposing forces of expansion (Jupiter) and contraction (Saturn) are the foundational characteristics of universal behavior. Unchecked growth is essentially cancer, and it’s easy to get lost in a sea of unbounded possibility. When there are healthy structures and boundaries in place, your flight path can more easily discern its destination.
It’s no wonder, then, that Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn. Capricorn is associated with power, authority, big business, governments, institutions, and essentially any structure that governs society. On a more personal level, Capricorn involves hard work, diligence, not cutting corners, material reality, pragmatism, striving for success, and earning respect and esteem — maturing into your own version of a leader or authority figure that other people can look up to.
On a broader scale, Saturn in Capricorn might operate in two ways: by challenging the authorities and institutions that are not currently up to code in our society, or by crystallizing and hardening some of the structures that are already in place.
Keep in mind that Saturn transits don’t always immediately weed out things that aren’t working. Sometimes they create formidable hurdles that make the rest of us work overtime to “get the message.” When Saturn was in Sagittarius, the rampant xenophobia wasn’t so much something that happened “for the best,” but rather a test of our resolve and commitment to diversity. How hard were we really willing to work for it?
It’s possible that Saturn in Capricorn will operate in a similar way: collapsing weak systems and structures, but potentially strengthening the already vise-like grip of corporations and the ultra-rich (tax scam, anyone?). For better or for worse, Capricorn is associated with hierarchy, and previous Saturn in Capricorn cycles have been associated with the further stratification of wealth in our country: the Great Depression period immediately following the crash of 1929, for example. For what it’s worth, the New Deal came about immediately following that Saturn in Capricorn cycle, and with Uranus, the planet of revolution and change, about to move into Taurus, the sign of money and security, it’s possible that this could all eventually lead to a stronger social safety net. Ideally, Saturn’s constraining energy will “reign in” big business and perhaps create helpful regulations in that regard, but it’s probably best to temper our optimism.
Other interesting historical footnotes: Saturn was in Capricorn during the construction of the Berlin Wall, and also during its destruction. It solidified a geopolitical order at one point, and it razed it to the ground once that era had run its course.
Speaking of foundations and structures, Saturn in Capricorn will have a similar effect on whatever we’re all personally trying to build. Think of the next three years as your personal period of “building things that last.” Saturn and Capricorn are both dense, material energies that are associated with manifesting things on the physical plane. What are the weak, crumbling buildings in your life that are ready for the wrecking ball? What small steps can you begin to take now that will eventually lead to the creation of a solid-as-fuck house? Where in your life are you ready to assume the mantle of responsibility and become an authority in your own right? Sometimes, you can only grow through failure, and this is certainly one of Saturn’s favorite teaching methods.
Other potential benefits of Saturn in Capricorn include higher standards for our leaders and authority figures. As we saw just yesterday with the withdrawal of Matthew Petersen, Trump’s judicial nominee who was embarrassingly unqualified to wield any sort of influence in a court of law, Saturn in Capricorn is most certainly not here for amateur hour. Capricorn prizes experience, qualifications, and expertise. Let’s hope that we can return to a sense of order in our society, or at least one where we value the input of experts and scientists, and petulant toddlers don’t get to become American presidents. This period could very well see the further punishment of rotten authority figures, and perhaps greater accountability imposed on institutions and police. Given everything that Jupiter in Scorpio has already done to expose the sordid misdeeds of the people in power, we can probably expect real, material consequences to follow, especially when Jupiter and Saturn form a cooperate sextile. Keep in mind that Capricorn is also associated with reputation. Whose “brand” is due for demise?
Capricorn is also associated with old age and maturity. Planning for retirement, while not “a thing” that most young people can realistically accomplish the way their parents did, could be something we reckon with more directly during this period. Let’s be honest: millennials are kind of screwed, but Saturn is not about to stick its head in the sand. What are we going to do about our eroding social security program, given the reality of what we’re currently working with?
Ultimately, the two words we should all keep in mind during this transit are “healthy structures.” If you find yourself struggling throughout this period, look to the support systems and bones that give form to your life. Repair the weak links in your foundation, and the rest will follow. In the realm of Saturn, you only earn what you worked for. Karma isn’t actually that big of a bitch. She’s just more inclined to reward an honest effort.
What will the next three years of Saturn in Capricorn bring your way? Sign up for hyper-personalized insights and your natal-chart-specific, personal horoscope in your inbox.