Astrology of Now: In the Footprints of Saturn

Tuesday December 12th 2017
Rowan berries in the snow.

Rowan hips in the snow.

We woke up to snow on Sunday. Swirling, twirling flakes, hurtling fast, then fluttering delicately past the bedroom window. The garden had vanished by 6am and by mid-day a soft, heavy blanket of white had covered everything. With snow comes silence.

It’s easy in the first snowfall to imagine yourself in a different time — maybe a horse-drawn sleigh will trot down my suburban street. And then time slows too. Instead of cars, people and their dogs trudge and stumble down the street. We went out for a while and, coming home, walked past the end of our road, unrecognisable in its new guise.

A snowfall like this one is magical. It transforms the world, and refreshes it, and stops time.

This week, Mercury is mid-Retrograde, trudging gamely backwards, perhaps, like King Wenceslas’ page, treading boldly in each old footprint. Imagine then, Mercury, walking, not flying, through the crisp and even snow, collecting winter fuel.

King Wenceslas and his page

King Wenceslas and his page

This retrograde is a part of the deep midwinter stabilising at this year’s extraordinarily important Solstice on December 21. Yes, extraordinarily important. I’ve looked back over the last 500 years and found only one instance of Saturn at 0° Capricorn on the day of the Winter Solstice, when the Sun himself is also at that degree. That was December 1664. More on this later.

Mercury turned tail at 29° Sagittarius, and he is currently going back over not only his own marks, but also the footprints that Saturn has left in Sagittarius over the last year. This is a huge opportunity for everyone to reflect, rethink, and understand more deeply the lessons of Saturn in Sagittarius. Mercury is able to retrieve evidence — if we need it — renegotiate and reset our direction.

On Sunday, Mercury made an friendly trine to Uranus (the planet of the time-machine). He may have gathered some information about the future, or about technology. He also trined the planet of wisdom, Pallas, who is right next to Uranus and about to run direct herself. This contact with Aries is about battles, disputes, adversaries and beginnings. It may answer a question on how to be a hero.

On December 13, Mercury meets the Sun. It’s usually at this moment in a retrograde that things start to make sense, wires become uncrossed, and messages clear.

On December 15, Venus meets Mercury — a good evening for a party, for talking about love and maybe, regret — and on December 17, the Moon spends the day with the little messenger — a time for an emotional, nostalgic exchange.

Mercury stations direct at 13° Sagittarius on December 23. If this degree is occupied in your own chart, you may feel the shift. FYI, Saturn crossed this degree on January 19, 2016, and again on June 4 and October 17 in that year. (12° Sag is an important degree for the United States, if you use the Sag Rising chart. Pluto was on this spot on 9/11.)

So look at Sagittarius in your own chart. What house does it rule? What planets are in there? Can you pick out a personal story about Saturn’s walk through Sagittarius? Step into those footprints boldly.

Here are some articles written when Saturn first began his journey through Sagittarius.


Saturn in Sagittarius: Part One

Saturn in Sagittarius: Part Two

More Saturn in Sagittarius: The Birth of Trash Radio

What Astrologers Are Saying About Saturn in Sagittarius



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  1. Rachel says:

    Hi Christina

    In as much as I was born at the very last degree of Aquarius (29 deg 58′ 3″), so my son, who turns 21 next week on 21st, was born at the very start of Capricorn (0 deg 10′ 15″). Should I be concerned about the upcoming conjunction of Saturn with his natal Sun???!!!

    From my own personal point of view, I shall be counting down the days and months until I get my own Saturn showdown, as I have both Saturn AND Jupiter at 25 degrees of Capricorn!! Lovely!
    BTW it would be fascinating if you were to look at David Davis’ chart (unless I’ve forgotten and you’ve already done it) …..just a thought! 🙂

    • Christina says:

      I don’t think you should be concerned — but excited!

      • Rachel says:

        Ooh good! Thanks for reassuring me, Christina. Despite being highly intelligent (but lazy) he refused to stay on at school and has drifted around ever since, working in bars, and going off to Spain for the summer season last year, then NZ, then Spain again for a few months this summer. He’s currently doing a dead-end factory job near his father’s home down in Norfolk, but intends to go back to Spain in February (the irony being that he wouldn’t learn Spanish with me, an MFL teacher!). I’m hoping that he will finally find something that ignites his passion and that he can make a success of, so perhaps this is the moment – fingers crossed!
        As ever, thanks for your insights and highly readable style of writing. I always look forward to getting my email alerts for your posts, especially those of the “Astrology of Now” variety.

        • Christina says:

          Saturn in Capricorn is going to be a big reality check for everyone.

          • Rachel says:

            Weirdly I can already feel that happening for myself – my working life has been very precarious since being made redundant 5 years ago from teaching, and although I have managed to survive with the help of my mum, I need to find more security and financial independence. I’m involved in a couple of projects that as yet haven’t paid off monetarily, plus I’m doing bitty bits of private and supply teaching as they come up, but there’s no real coherence – I feel as though I’m clutching at straws at times. I hope to try and sort myself out over the Christmas holidays!! Hope you have a lovely and peaceful festive season.

  2. 44 and counting says:

    I will be glad to see Saturn to get out of Sag – almost three years to the day since it entered back in Dec 2014. Just that brief sojourn back into Scorpio in summer of 2015. It’s my 8H and I’ve also had prog moon go through the 12H during the same period so I’ve been very reclusive. I’ve cut away a lot of friends who weren’t doing much for me and cleared out a lot of past baggage.

    Usually the lesson for people with Saturn in 8H is learning to give more but I have Jupiter-Neptune on the cusp so I’ve had to learn to take and not be as generous in my giving. There were a couple of occasions where I couldn’t give away my help for free!

    The 8H Neptune has been particularly insidious throughout my life as I’ve never had a clear picture of just how much other people value me. That has really cleared for me and I’ve started to see the truth in so many areas of life. I’ve started to trust my instincts a lot more.

    Saturn squeezing on the two planets of trust, optimism and faith has been very dismal. I lost hope for a while.

    But the best lesson came with my Saturn half-return. I have Saturn in Gemini over in the 2H. I came to realise that my (lack of) self-esteem came from never believing I knew enough and projecting that into a belief that others knew more. I’m ready to graduate from being the student to being the teacher. I’ve found that other people rarely hold any answers for me anymore.

    As for traditional 8H matters. Sex life absolutely dead and not a single date or look from the opposite sex but that always seems to be the case with the even numbered houses for me!

    And as for death, I’ve always been comfortable talking and thinking about it in the past but these few years I’ve felt fearful about what happens with my parents now hitting 80. The difficulty wouldn’t be the emotional loss, it would be all the practicalities of actually having to deal with their house and its contents if they pass. But hopefully they’ve got a few more years in them yet.

    Definitely ready to welcome Saturn into Capricorn and my 9H. I believe it’s one of the easier houses to transit and, as the length of this post shows, I’m ready to finish writing my book and bring this round of my life’s work to a culmination that I began 20 years or so ago!

  3. Severne says:

    Yes the snow can be magical, and the light around this time of the year is too.
    Looking forward to that Solstice, and your post about it.
    It will sextile natal Jupiter at 0 pisces and ruler of IC and NN at the end of Sagittarius. Plenty of soul searching and truth telling and preparing the soil for the next few years. It has been slow, constant work. Learning new skills and developing connections -mostly related to foreign languages, schools and community, all 3rd house and flowing into the 4th-.

  4. Vesta says:

    I have a stellium in Sag, it seems to be quite important in my chart (as far as I understand astrology!). It starts with 2 degrees in my 2nd house, then the rest is the 3rd. I have south node, moon, venus and mars along with some asteroids in Sag, all very busy aspecting and doing stuff. Venus/Mars are conjunct in the mid degrees, so I’ll feel mercury go direct.
    I left home and moved to London when saturn was in Sag in the mid 80s. When it moved into Sag again recently, it’s so funny, I moved to one of the areas I lived in back then before I got I first proper job. So I’ve literally come full circle 🙂
    Today, after all my uranus/pluto losses, and saturn in Scorpio finishing the job, my story in London has come to an end, I feel. There is nothing keeping me here. So I have decided it’s time to move back up north. It was problems with my new home and the (slippery neptunian) landlords that forced me to decide. That’s it, I’m done. I haven’t told them yet, it might be a while what with the housing crisis anyway.
    Talking of proper jobs, there was a big recession near the end of the 80s just as saturn was leaving Sag. I was affected too. After that, I joined the precariat, I never took a permanent position again. I had other plans anyway, travel, university.
    My natal saturn is in pisces in my 5th house, which puts a damper on fun! But I was thinking, maybe it balances out all my Sag, which is all the fun! Maybe my 5th house boring Saturn isn’t so bad after all and it helps ground me, or at least calm down my inner Tigger.
    I hate boring stuff. I haven’t enjoyed the extremely serious and sobering years we’ve had of late. I appreciate I had to learn hard lessons and all, but boo! I have given up on relationships, if I make it out of the Tory years to the safety of Labour, then why don’t I prioritise doing everything I love and enjoy? My creativity shut down during these hard times, but once I feel safe again, I’m sure it will return.
    Sag is the opinionator, the glass half-full, the one who bounces back. These qualities are extremely irritating to Eeyores. I say ignore the Eeyores and opinionate, tip the half-full glass over their heads and bounce off. It’s not like they’ll have the wherewithal to catch you. 😀
    There’s a reason and purpose for people with opinions – we help others form theirs, either in agreement or opposition. When I realised that, I realised I had to be sure what my opinion was before I shared it, so I could stand by it. It also gave me confidence to share them. So that’s 3rd house communication and Sag. 🙂 It’s actually ok to have opinions and more than that, it’s actually ok to share them.
    Venus/mars are part of a t-square with uranus/pluto conjunct in my 12th house, and that saturn in my 5th. I still don’t know what to do with it yet or what it means, but I think it’s important. Maybe it’s my purpose, if I ever figure out what my purpose is.

  5. Jem says:

    A great post Christina! Wonderfully written, solidly practical with plenty to muse over in preparation for Saturn’s epic move into Capricorn on the solstice. Many thanks.

  6. Jen says:

    On the 19th May (the trine between Uranus and Saturn I think) my close friend and flatmate died. Two days later I was the one who found her. Saturn was sat on the cusp of my 12th house.
    We were both quite similar people- shy, sensitive, with a fondness to escape the world through various different intoxicants. It sounds seedy but it never felt it, we’d stay up all night listening to our patron saint Kate Bush, communicating through a rainbow stream of conscious. Anything felt possible. With her, I felt both completely safe to be me and also felt completely free at the same time. Before her death I never really saw our shared problem for what it was. Unfortunately she was the one to draw the short straw.
    My only vice now is a glass or two of wine. I’m in therapy and I have meds for depression that went undiagnosed for years. I’m now pursuing a career that I think allows me a chance to shine and grow as a person, that will use parts of my personality I used to resent, because I wanted to be anyone else but me.
    Saturn in Sag taught me that there’s actually a maturity in being open and optimistic. I am less shy now… I see it more as giving people more a chance. Be a little bit vulnerable, you never know what may happen. I say yes to things, rather than retreating into my own little world out of fear. Life is far too bloody short, I’ve witnessed it firsthand.
    My AC is 14 degrees Cap. The past few years have been rough (Pluto problems), but I’m hoping that Saturn changing to Cap will bring a bit of stability.

  7. Eleonora says:

    Hm. Interesting. Tomorrow is the UN vote on the Jerusalem Resolution. And Trump openly threatens… the entire world, in case they don’t vote as he wishes.

    Now, blackmailing everyone is not a brand new behavior pattern. But Trump is stupid enough to actually speak it out loud. (And the night is still young, he might even tweet it)

    The first intifada took place as Uranus, Neptune and Saturn were all aligned in Cap. The cildren born during that time are all grown-ups now. And with that Neptune placement, many of them are still stateless. Some of them even seperated from the rest of the world, through a border barrier (Saturn) their entire life, kept on a tiny strip of barren land (which is Saturn, all over again).

    This time when Saturn comes along, he will meet Pluto instad of Neptune here, and it can turn violent again – or it can help heal the wounds.

    Whatever the case, Jerusalem seems to be connected to Saturn. Perhaps because it is ancient, perhaps because of the Western Wall and all the symbolism. But perhaps because it is driving a wedge between the people, not only in the city itself, but around the world.

    • Christina says:

      You’re right about Jerusalem and Saturn, I think. It would be good to find some dates to work with. Note that the Six-Day War is having a Chiron Return in 2018. Saturn was in a fire sign then and in 1948 when Israelis first captured part of Jerusalem.

      This could be a significant moment on the path to American loss of global influence — because of course if you stop sending “aid”, you stop having “allies” and you stop having markets. And that is the way things are heading anyway. Let’s just hope it slips away peacefully…

      • Eleonora says:

        Never trust anything what does not have a founding chart! 😀 Seriuosly, I think you are right about using the chart of the Six-Day War (7th June would be the exact day of the capturing the Jerusalem, I think, and it’s celebrated as its birthday). There is even the Saturn conj Eris, the Golden Apple of Discord in that chart, wich is one of the most accurate descriptions of the Jerusalem today (usually, I do not use Eris, but here her influence is so obvious). Sun and Moon in Gemini and Mars in Libra, it points to some sort of partition, of conflict between the equals, cousins even.

        On the other hand, there is an obvious problem with using this date, with regard to Palestinians, for this this day symbolize their suffering rather then birthday of the beloved city.

        However – that’s not unusual. Founding acts of cities and states are seldom undisputed by everybody. Take the chart of the US for example – we may argue whether the rising sign is Scorpio or Sag, but the more important question is, what sort of legitimacy can someone possibly have to declare independence on the land which is not inherited or exchanged for something else, but taken away by force and swindle?

        Wouldn’t be the founding date of the, let say, Iroquois Confederacy (August 31, 1142, solar eclipse, n. Node 28° leo, corresponds strongly with Trumps natal chart), more suitable? Does the 1776 chart represent only the european shade and our perspective of the country (although there are many more) and its current global influence? I mean, 1776 is certainly chart of something, but not necessarily that of America. We can try to find a more independent POV. But at the end, we can only hope that the founding chart we use will at least be coherent to the original one – and that is also true for Jerusalem.