Saturn square Uranus is a conflict that goes back to the dawn of time. The Greek myths tell us that before the Gods existed, The Titans ruled the world. Uranus ruled the skies and his wife Gaia ruled the earth. To cut a long story short, although they had many children (including Saturn), it was not a happy union. In fact, the whole family was dysfunctional and, as the result of a family argument, violence broke out. Serious violence – as Saturn castrated his father and stole his crown.
Of course, as in many dysfunctional families, history repeats itself and Saturn turned out to be just as bad (if not worse) than Uranus and he was, in turn, dispatched by his own kids. Families eh? I mention this myth because this ‘family conflict’ is providing the major background noise in the heavens right now. Just when we thought things were looking up after the big Capricorn transits of last year, we find the age old confrontation of Saturn square Uranus is playing out above.
So how did this happen? In this post I’m going to look at the astrology of this celestial configuration and how it applies to us mere mortals living on Planet Earth.
How it Started: The Mars Trigger
We have to go back to January, around the time of The US presidential inauguration, to see who pulled the trigger. As usual, there is a prime suspect – Mars. In astrological terms, Mars is the ‘trigger planet’ because Mars ‘makes things happen’. To be more accurate, aspects from transiting Mars are often used for timing events, or shifts in consciousness, because Mars signifies new beginnings. Mars is the astrological starting pistol – or some would say ‘smoking gun’.
Mars conjunct Uranus
In this case, Mars left Aries and entered Taurus on 7th January 2021 and, approximately ten days later, was in an approaching conjunction with the ‘Uranus end’ of the Saturn square Uranus configuration. A quick word is needed here about the nature of Mars Uranus conjunctions – and the nature of both planets. Mars is noted for rapid, rash and violent actions. Uranus is also quick off the mark and known as the planet of revolution. Put the two together and what happens?
Well, in astrological terms we would say the time is ripe for rushing into new and radically different states of being – and with Uranus it’s not uncommon for radical change to have a head start. If I look back at this from the perspective of Mundane Astrology (the astrology of society, world affairs and events) then we can appreciate the effects of Mars conjunct Uranus in the real world, as there were a couple of events in January that epitomise that conjunction only too well.
On 6th January (remember Uranus gets in early) the US was dealing with the storming of the Capitol, and the UK was seeing the first signs of Brexit chaos in its ports and exporting industries. Chaos is a Uranus keyword and Mars is reckless. However well those events demonstrate the kinds of things we can expect with Mars conjunct Uranus, I think we need to remember that Mars was making a square aspect to Saturn too, just as Saturn square Uranus was getting into position for a ‘square dance’ that’s going to last throughout 2021.
Mars square Saturn
Saturn entered Aquarius in late 2020 and, by mid-January 2021, was in an approaching square aspect with Uranus in Taurus – and transiting Mars conjunct Uranus. Mars may be rash and bold but Saturn is none of those things. Saturn represents hard work, old age, ambition, delays, a steady approach and keeping things real. Saturn loves the ‘tried and tested’, in fact ‘reality’ and reality checks are truly Saturn’s buzzwords. Saturn does not rush in where angels fear to tread.
So, when Mars squared Saturn, what was revealed was the tension (squares are indicators of stress) between the past (Saturn) and the future (Uranus). Mars Saturn squares are often indicators of blocked energy and frustration. Now is often not the time to take risks or start new projects, as the time is simply not right and often it’s better to hold onto what you have rather than take a risk in starting something new. It’s an aspect associated with defensiveness, caution and limitation. Small wonder people get mad with this one.
It’s worth mentioning that in Mundane Astrology, Saturn – as well as symbolising the things I mentioned above – is also a signifier for life threatening epidemics and national death rates. So, as Mars contacted the ‘Saturn end’ of the Saturn square Uranus configuration, it’s fair to say that frustration with the limitations placed on our lives by the pandemic was becoming a source of unrest. And that’s the point. There’s a lot of frustrated and repressed energy with nowhere to go when transiting Mars aspects Saturn, and with that square to Uranus? It was a real lightbulb moment for many people.
How it’s Going: Saturn square Uranus
However, to get a clear idea about how the Saturn square Uranus transit is going to impact on our lives during the year, I think we need to look more closely at the underlying themes, rather than simply their surface manifestations, to determine exactly what has been triggered. To do that we need to bear in mind that Uranus is in Taurus and Saturn is in Aquarius. The signs are important because they show how Saturns and Uranus’s energies are being expressed during the year. They also, by their nature, give us a clue as to how the main impact of the Saturn square Uranus transit is playing out.
Saturn in Aquarius
Saturn is in Aquarius. I wrote about Saturn’s transit through this sign earlier this year so I’m not going to repeat it here. However, key things to remember are that this is a combination that can signify things like a fear (Saturn) of change (Aquarius), disciplined (Saturn) progress (Aquarius) and idealism (Aquarius) needs to be combined with practical common sense( Saturn). So, the underlying themes we have here is of a disciplined approach to change – and a need to overcome fear of change – by working hard to overcome the limitations we impose on ourselves by giving in to those fears.
When Saturn is in Aquarius (and Saturn is the traditional ruler of this sign so is quite at home here), the best way of using this influence is often to work hard (Saturn) at raising awareness (Aquarius). In astrology (as well as in life) the solutions to life’s problems are often found to contain the same dynamic as the problems themselves. It’s often a question of resolving issues by looking at things from a different angle. The reason for this is that all transits represent process – the evolution from one state to another made possible by a process of awareness and learning from experience.
So, with Saturn in Aquarius, the ‘Saturn part’ of the Saturn square Uranus transit is reminding us that the process of change (Aquarius) is inevitable (Saturn) so we have to work hard at making it work for us. This is as true at a personal level as it is at a societal level – after all whatever happens in the outer world affects us too. We are part of society – and as Aquarius is the sign most associated with society and, as Saturn is associated with structure and form, perhaps this is the issue being signified by this placement during this year.
Uranus in Taurus
Turning to Uranus in Taurus, I’ve also written extensively about Uranus’s transit through that sign so won’t repeat it here, except to say, get used to ‘the new normal’. There’s a big question however. What exactly does the ‘new normal’ mean if we don’t yet know what it is? There are clues, however, and to find them we need to unpick both Uranus and Taurus to get to the bottom of things. Uranus is the celestial revolutionary, concerned with radical change and the shock of new things. Electricity, science and technology are Uranian in nature.
However, Mundane Astrology reminds us that Uranus is also associated with demonstrations, separatism, right wing political forces, rioting and the free market. With Uranus in Taurus, Uranus is shaking up any fixed ideas we may have had about economic affairs, financial stability, the environment and our fundamental social (Uranus) values (Taurus). Who are we as a society and what do we want? Uranus here wants social and economic revolution – and really doesn’t care how. The ‘how’ part of the equation is really up to us.
So, what we can see with both Saturn and Uranus is a certain synergy. They are both about process and they are both about change – however, they are coming at that change from different directions. Uranus wants change almost at any cost (Taurus) and Saturn is resistant to new conditions (Aquarius) unless they’re implemented at a slow and steady pace. While that opens up a whole range of conflicted positions, there is one thing that appears certain. The Saturn square Uranus transit will result in both change and conflict because it demands action – as all square aspects do.
What it Means: Saturn Square Uranus
So, what can we expect the ‘Clash of the Titans’ to produce in 2021? The Saturn square Uranus transit indicates a period where we are going to be made aware of the the tensions between the two planets as they transit through their respective signs – and what this means for us is already being seen. Perhaps the easiest way to highlight those issues is with a practical example, so here goes:
Saturn square Uranus = pragmatic/practical (Saturn) scientific (Uranus) action (square). So, for example, we see this in the roll out of the Covid vaccination program – a practical solution to the tensions (square) of the pandemic’s social (Uranus) limitation (Saturn), and (of course) its implementation has not been without fear and resistance (Saturn) to scientific innovation (Uranus).
Now that you can see how the language of this transit is working, there are a few more possibilities we can see contained within the Saturn square Uranus transit. The things to watch out for – and not be surprised by (Uranus) – may be as follows:
- Political tensions (Uranus) as action is demanded by the public (Uranus) to limit (Saturn) the negative economic effects and costs of (Taurus) the pandemic and challenge (Uranus) the established order.
- Tensions as the public (Uranus) demand that government (Saturn) is more accountable – in any number of areas – including employment, trade and financial affairs. Also in the area of responsibility for public health – a real Saturn square Uranus issue
- Legislation (Saturn) concerning social concerns (Uranus) and welfare issues.
- Conflicts of interest (Uranus) between the ‘asset rich’ and powerful (Saturn) and the general public interest – especially concerning asset redistribution – a mark of revolutionary Uranus.
- A ‘changing of the guard’ as the priorities of a new generation (Uranus) replace the priorities of the older generation (Saturn).
- Right wing political activism (Uranus) and authoritarianism and political divisiveness become part of the social framework (Saturn).
I’ve looked at the above list from a Mundane astrological perspective, and while none of the above are new issues, they may be more prominent during this year or be actively engaged with during the year. In the US you have already seen Joe Biden, an elderly president (Saturn) take rapid action (Uranus, square) to redistribute wealth and create new welfare structures (Saturn square Uranus). Saturn square Uranus can take many forms, but with an emphasis on Taurus and Aquarius, there will almost always be economic and social implications.
And at a personal level? Many of you will be affected by this transit as it may touch important planets or points in your natal chart particularly in the fixed signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. You may be challenged to accept new practices or conditions – even if you don’t want to. It may be time to carry out a personal review – which parts of your life are working (Saturn) and where could you use a radically different approach (Uranus)?
No doubt, in true astrological style, you will have experiences or moments of realisation (Uranus) that may alter your perceptions, or give you the insights you need to formulate a new approach and plan more efficiently and realistically for your future. This is wholly in accordance with this Saturn square Uranus transit – and if you’ve been feeling frustrated and in need of a ‘re-fresh’ in any part of your life then this is a great time to work methodically through the process of doing so.
A lot of us may be picking up the pieces from the past year or so – however, be aware that this transit is sending us an important message. You don’t have to reassemble the pieces in the same order as they were before. In fact, if you try and do so you’ll probably find that they don’t fit together in the same way. Building your own ‘new normal’ may be a challenge, but with a little patience and a flash of inspiration? Who knows what you may be able to achieve.
© Sara Shipman 2021