Saturn enters Aquarius: prequel to a new world order…

Saturn entered Aquarius on Sunday, 22nd March, 2020 at 3:58 uk time. On Mothering Sunday (i). That symbolic ‘co-incidence’ really struck home. The planet is our Mother, and we humans have been abusing her for a very long time.

To me, the symbolism (and the corona virus with its attendant worldwide consequences) is saying clearly to our human community (Aquarius) that it is time to take responsibility, accept widespread restrictions (Saturn), for the sake of our communities – and our planet.

The very next day, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston told the nation in no uncertain terms that we are now in lockdown ( another vivid manifestation of  Saturn’s entry into Aquarius), following the actions of other countries from China onwards in attempting to limit the spread of the corona virus. 

Saturn in Capricorn

Saturn entered Capricorn on 20th December 2017, beginning his long march towards a grim summit with Pluto, coming within close orb of their conjunction during the spring and early summer, then the winter of 2019.  Since that entry, intensified hugely by the conjunction, all our organisational systems from nationhood, to politics, to health, to education, to formal religious institutions, to finance and business, have been tested to their very limits, and been found seriously wanting one way or another.

At the conjunction’s closest point in April 2019, their symbolic danse macabre with the South Node in Capricorn gave rise to Greta Thunberg – the youthful feminine voice of the Great Mother? – and the Extinction Rebellion movement. To an astrologer’s symbolic eye, the North Node in Cancer was now forcing us to pay attention to the crisis point which our planet has reached and pointing us in the direction we needed to go in actually dealing with it instead of our politicians world wide indulging largely in ineffectual posturing or downright denial. “Crisis – what crisis?”.

That much-feared Saturn/Pluto conjunction took place exactly on 12 January 2020; we are now at the outset of a drastic but hopefully positive, if painful cycle of restructuring culminating in the next Saturn/Pluto conjunction at 13/14 Pisces in 2053/4. I am not alone in thinking that a major instrument of that reconstruction arrived in the shape of the corona virus, now shaping up as a world-wide pandemic.

As a consequence, all our complacent ways of living are now being upended. Everyone is feeling the pain, one way or another. Anyone could die of this virus, even Trump or Bolsonaro…( hmmmm…) 

We have found out in recent days that Boris Johnson and several members of his team spearheading management of the pandemic in the UK are now self-isolating, having tested positive for the virus. Prince Charles, UK head of state in waiting, has also contracted it – more manifestations of Saturn in Aquarius, as male leaders fall prey to an affliction crashing like a malevolent wave through the world-wide human community.

Capricorn and Aquarius

Both Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn, Saturn being Aquarius’ ‘old’ ruler. I take some comfort from this as I watch events unfold, stunned and awed as usual by the symbolic accuracy of the planets’ unfolding patterns. Saturn is at its potentially most constructive as it moves through those collective signs.

The transit through Capricorn has been saying, in essence ‘I have checked out all your systems. They are not what our Mother planet or its creatures need – although much of it may be what some humans want: eg no minority on the face of this Earth needs to accumulate billions whilst many of the majority go hungry – so I have given these systems, and the illusions and denials that go with them, a good kicking. I have joined forces with Pluto and the Nodes – since a good kicking is apparently not enough – and sent you the highly unpleasant gift of corona virus. Great for the planet, but awful for humanity. Let’s see if that’s enough to make you pay attention to what needs to change…’

Saturn in Aquarius

And now we have Saturn in Aquarius: he dips in for a while, then returns to Capricorn from July until the end of 2020. Saturn has just told us that the old order represented by Capricorn is no longer viable – it’s long past its sell-by date, so to speak. Aquarius is a forward-looking collective sign, more concerned with the hidden potentials hovering in the future than with the past. Uranus, its ‘new’ ruler, amplifies that with its brilliance in developing new technologies in service of the human project. So – we can look forward to new, as yet undreamed-of solutions to the problems threatening us all with possible extinction in the present time.

A much bigger context, though, is this: there is a vast epochal process of turbulence and change happening which reaches a major developmental stage when Jupiter meets Saturn at 0 degrees of Aquarius on the winter solstice of 2020. What does this portend? Baigent, Campion and Harvey in “Mundane Astrology” describe this powerful twenty-year recurring cycle as  ‘…the ground base of human development which marks the interaction between perception of ideas, potentialities (Jupiter) and their manifestation in the concrete world ( Saturn).’ (ii)

There is more. The symbolically world-shaping duo of Jupiter and Saturn take over 800 years to go through the four elements, reflecting changing epochs as they go. I’ve written about this in some detail in ‘Some notes on cycles in a time of crisis’, published last year on Astrodienst if you’d like to take a look.

The Materialist Era

For now, let’s just look back to 1802. That was the year of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction’s early entry into the Earth element, where it was to remain for over 200 years, its last meeting in Earth taking place at 23 Taurus in May 2000, its final departure in December 2020. That 1802 date co-incided with the Industrial Revolution’s gathering pace and impact at the beginning of the nineteenth century, as the materialist age of exploitation of our Earth’s natural resources for material gain began.

Let’s not get too holier than thou’, here, though. Political philosopher Thomas Hobbes in the mid seventeenth century posited that in the state of nature people’s lives are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short …”(iii) and there is no doubt that the lives of a massive number of humans – especially in developed Western  countries – have gained hugely improved health, longevity, quality of life and opportunities for personal fulfilment as a result of  our astonishing progress in harnessing the forces and resources of Nature.

However the point would appear to be that, at the very end of Jupiter/Saturn’s sojourn in the Earth element, we have been brutally made aware especially in the last couple of years that the costs of ‘the march of progress’ now heavily outweigh the benefits, to the extent that the very survival of our lives on planet Earth is under threat…

The Airy Future…

I find it fascinating that the years since 2000, if you like the 12th house phase of the long Jupiter/Saturn traverse through the Earth element, have offered us more than a glimpse of what the impending shift of the conjunction into the Air element may look like. The appearance of the first iPhone in June 2007 and its spread – like a virus! – until smartphones became ubiquitous technology across the globe in less than ten years, has revolutionised the way we live. The generation born from the Millennium on are the first in human history never to have known what a life without airy inter-connection was like.

Astrologers have known for a long time that the year 2020 was to be one like no other: it is the first year for over 200 years of ‘…the transition of the (Jupiter/Saturn) conjunction from one element to another – the ‘Mutation Conjunction’ – has always been considered to be of particular importance marking a major shift in emphasis and orientation in the world…’ (iv)

Thus far, as we live through stormy turbulence at the beginning of 2020, we can see the emphasis and orientation’ of the approaching Air era becoming clear. One major consequence of the corona virus pandemic sweeping through our world as Saturn shifts into Aquarius inviting us to live differently and more responsibly as humans, is already very obvious. In the last couple of weeks, there has been an explosion of collective Zooming, Skyping, WhatsApping, etc as we set about working from home and transferring our individual and group lives to the airwaves.

Still to come after the Mutation Conjunction into 0 Aquarius on the Winter Solstice of 2020 ( how’s that for a Fated-sounding date?!) – Pluto’s shift into Aquarius in 2024.

Fasten those seatbelts, folks. We’ve been selected to be present at the dawn of a new epoch…


(i) Mothering Sunday is celebrated by Christians in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other English-speaking countries… It is increasingly being called Mother’s Day, although that name also belongs to the American and Canadian secular holiday which is quite distinct from the original Mothering Sunday. (c/f Wikipedia)

(ii) Baigent, Campion and Harvey in “Mundane Astrology” (publ. 1984, 1992,1995), p184

(iii)…from…”Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil”, commonly referred to as “Leviathan”, is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. 

(iv) Baigent, Campion and Harvey in Mundane Astrology” (publ. 1984, 1992,1995), p185

1500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2020

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

28 thoughts on “Saturn enters Aquarius: prequel to a new world order…

  1. A wonderful piece, dear Anne. I find all of this interesting and inspiring. Much isn’t yet known about what will change or how it may change. Many of us simply know there will be no return to what we know as “normal”. For that I’m grateful. Thank you for the historical part of this. It makes all of what has been building and is now occurring feel even more like there is a potential for a promising new and different way of being here. I hope we move in the best possible direction…for ALL…including our Mother Earth.

  2. Thanks, Carrie, glad you liked it. I certainly find that taking the longer historical view helps me greatly to be more philosophical and accepting of the flow of things than I would otherwise be. It’s good to share those perspectives and to know that reflective folks like yourself find it useful.

  3. Thank you Anne, interesting article, really enjoyed as ever. I feel, change has been evolving for some time. A lot of uncertainty going forward with perhaps Saturn bringing in new structure. Saturn can be a great teacher which I have certainly found throughout my experience.

    Even in our charts you can see great change that’s occurring/manifesting – currently I have Saturn creeping up to cusp of the 9th house with Mars there too. I have Pluto/Jupiter in my 8th. I have a natal sun/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius – I am ever the optimist and always look forward. To add to that. I have Progressed Saturn conjunct natal Saturn on my ascendant! Progressed Moon conjunct Mars in 12th. Very Interesting times and growth ahead!

    Peace to all.

    1. What an interesting selection of transits and progs, Rachel! I am thinking of following this post up with one taking a look at what Saturn might be asking of each of us, focusing in general terms on Saturn in Aquarius through the houses and `Angles…

  4. “They are not what our Mother planet or its creatures need – although much of it may be what some humans want: eg no minority on the face of this Earth needs to accumulate billions whilst many of the majority go hungry” interesting that you use this quality of “need” as part of Saturn’s agenda. I see this having more of a Jupiter flavor (especially in Capricorn). Saturn tests us to be sure but it is looking for hard work put in over a long period of time towards any goal, no?

    1. I’m not using it as part of Saturn’s agenda -it’s a comment on what’s been happening increasingly in our world in recent times, and what needs to change if we are to make real progress as a human community. As such, the word ‘need’ can be said to embrace all the planetary archetypes, in the context in which I have used it here….

  5. Via Facebook:
    Leah Whitehorse:
    Fabulous post Anne. It is incredible to think of what may come with these new airy cycles. I think Saturn is paving the way for Pluto. I do wonder how Pluto in Aquarius will change the face of technology, maybe the time when the machines take control… (said partly tongue in cheek!)

  6. Via Facebook:
    Nika Middleton:
    I agree with Leah, I often thought Saturn in Aquarius is showing what’s to come once Pluto finally moves to Aquarius. Never did I envision such extreme measurements with Capricorn stellium and now with an airy Saturn. I think our lives are forever changed and altered. Let’s hope in a good way.

  7. Via Facebook:
    Mara Owens:
    I’ve found Fixed Air Aquarius trait of cool detachment, equally as indiscriminate as the airborne coronavirus affecting both good or evil, pauper or king.
    Lacking the warmth and energy of its opposite, Aquarius keenly observes the whole, but cannot necessarily relate. Fostering such same attitude for Saturn and all others cycling through its domaine?
    I think of the Utah Aspen colony named, Pando, a single organism over 80,000 years old, having endured many such 800 year planetary cycles. Perhaps it has some inherent wisdom to offer we mortals regarding resilience and adaptability.

  8. Via Facebook:
    Jeanette Henderson Han:
    Thank you for taking the time to share your insights – It is so helpful during this massive change in our lives 🙏

  9. Via Facebook:
    Kara Peters Parkinson:
    I love this article and wanted very much to share it, but found I couldn’t.. I understand not wanting to sound ‘holier than thou’ when discussing alternatives and precursors to the industrial lifestyle, but I find Hobbes’ quote to be dismissive of the richness and good society of Indigenous cultures and indeed every culture before the industrialization of the world.
    I understand that a great deal of suffering may result from an end to this lifestyle, but there’s no need to speak so disparagingly about the lifestyles (arguably quite enjoyable and harmonious in many instances) which it displaced.

  10. Absolutely agree with you regarding what you say about earlier cultures, Kara! Their wisdom, in contrast to our abject ignorance of how to conduct interconnected lives at every level on the planet with respect, is becoming increasingly recognised. So pleased you loved the article! If you copy the URL on the post itself, you can then share the link anywhere you like…

  11. Via Facebook:
    Howard Bradley:

    Hi Anne, I’ve had a proper read of your article now ( just reacted toto the “new world order” headline)and I love the amount of detail you’ve gone in to..saturn in capricorn has maybe shown tbe ultimate in commercialisation and exploration of the planet and its resources…whereas saturn in aquarius could easily signify a clampdown on society and our freedoms..from that point of view I concurr with you that a new order of “this is what’s best for you” type of government is coming in…one other major worry is that although Aqua is forward looking it’s also a bit disconnected to its feelings. Which dosent auger well for a more compassionate society…all the best x

  12. Yes, Howard, I very much agree with and share your concerns here… However, this is a broad brush overview article – no doubt there will be much more fine tuning to follow as the shape of what we are heading into in the Air era becomes clearer…

  13. We live in interesting times is an oft quoted saying. These last few weeks have been unprecedented and merely the beginning. Hope springs eternal though and human beings can reach great achievements when necessary. I am hopeful my dear Anne. Thank you for this clear and insightful overview CxXx ♐️💜

    1. To be precise, Sharon, the Jupiter/Saturn triple conjunction of 1980/81 occurred on the following dates:

      1980: December 31st, at 9 deg 30 mins Libra
      1981: March 4th at 8 deg 06 mins Libra
      1981: July 24th at 4 deg 56 mins Libra.
      (data from Michelsen’s Tables of Planetary Phenomena, Second Edition, p 91)

      The definitive book on that triple conjunction was re-published in 1991 under the title ‘New Insights in Modern Astrology’ by Stephen Arroyo and Liz Greene. You should still be
      able to obtain a copy, and it will tell you everything you could possibly wish to know about the political, social and personal impact of that unique planetary event. Enjoy!

  14. Dear Anne, i have so much appreciated your posts over the Easter period. As you know, I don’t have any grasp of astrological terms myself, but find the way you explain the implications of the changing forces in the heavens so apt to the world as we are experiencing it in the present stormy moment. I wonder whether our states-men and -women will rise the immensely challenging situation across so many dimensions that humanity and our world face? I can understand how astrology provides a sense of each of us as individuals being tied in to these planetary forces. May your own sense of being part of this continue to strengthen you in the face of your terrible loss. In your next post for Good Friday/ Easter you write of those severe experiences in which we die to our old selves. I remember how you honoured where I had been when I had been plunged into just such a severe experience. I remain forever thankful that you were there for me guiding me as I grasped towards a new self. lots of love Jane

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