Thursday, February 23, 2023

Backstrokes in the Netherworld: Saturn in Pisces


Astrological energies at work in the Cosmos never fail to manifest in surprisingly primal ways in human awareness: 



such seemed to be the case with a recent NY Times reference by Aatish Taseer to the ancient Greek “lady monster” known as the Chimera. With Saturn's ingress into Pisces a mere few days from now, I couldn’t help thinking about the possible connections between the ancient “composite of terrors” she describes and this impending passageA short excerpt: 

“The Chimera, like the Gorgon or the Greek sphinx — and unlike its Egyptian counterpart, which is male and benevolent — is a lady monster, a composite of terrors. We encounter it first in Homer’s “Iliad” and then again in Virgil’s ‘Aeneid,’ where it appears at the doors of Hades alongside Gorgons, centaurs and Harpies. ‘Three were her heads,’ Hesiod tells us, ‘one of a lion of flashing eyes, another of a she-goat and another of a snake, a mighty dragon.’... In reiterating this idea of the chimera (whose name is likely drawn from a volcano of that name) as a metaphor for a task or entity that lies beyond human conception, the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges notes in his “Book of Imaginary Beings” (translated in 1967 by Andrew Hurley), ‘The incoherent shape fades away and the word remains to stand for ‘the Impossible.’” 

According to Taseer, the Chimera beast is “shorthand for all that was illusory, grotesque, wondrous and out of reach, a three-way bridge between the human, the divine and the netherworldly. Mutants. Monsters. Fantastical beasts.” 

Saturn in Pisces evokes this illusory blend remarkably well, in fact: it melds the uneasily-combined energies of earthy Saturn—woven so intimately into human developmental cycles—and the dual energies of Neptunian Pisces, which encompass its divine capacity for compassion and empathy and its equally compelling fascination—even cultish addiction to—the more shadowy, oceanic “netherworld.” Where nothing is as it appears to be because hybrid “monsters” tend to be masters of deceit, disguise and obfuscation. Where pixels of light flash on a screen, seducing us into 3-dimensional story worlds, filled with "fantastical beasts." Where projected fears and fantasies converge on social media feeds. Where mass panic and confusion evoke feverish nightmare apparitions. Where lies and illnesses like COVID-19 spend themselves with viral ferocity. Where the rules of engagement melt away, leaving inertia-bound conflicts like Ukraine's against Russian aggression to fester and poison global geopolitics. Where natural disasters as just transpired in Turkey and Syria pile up on top of each other like waves on a stormy shore.  

On this latter point, let’s very quickly consider the Saturn and Neptune dynamics of a chart for the Turkish earthquake of this past February 6th—see Chart 1 below. 


Chart 1. Turkish earthquake, February 6, 2023, 4:17 a.m. ST (timing reported as 4:17 a.m. BAT by astrologer Zeynep Ozlem Yalcin, Istanbul), Maras, Turkey. All charts are cast with Equal Houses and True Node on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.  

It should be mentioned as a preface to the events of this chart that one day earlier, in a chart also cast for this same location, the Full Moon would have fallen across the 5th (Aquarius Sun) and 11th (Leo Moon) houses, with both luminaries t-square Taurus Uranus, transiting the 8th house to very destructive impact. The death toll in both Turkey and Syria as I write this has surpassed 47,000.  

As for this chart’s Neptunian dynamics, consider the tight t-square Neptune (Pisces) forms with the Sagittarius-Gemini ASC-DSC axis. Significantly, several other planets and points fall in that second decanate (20-29.59°) degree range and within a generous orb of those three key mutable points, so compounding Neptune’s impact on 4th house grass roots communities and families. Mercury’s wide conjunction with Pluto in earthy Capricorn connects; Saturn, disposing those Capricorn points from Uranian Aquarius connects; disruptive Eris in fiery Aries, trine the Leo Moon, square Mercury-Pluto and sextile Aquarius Saturn, connects. Earthquakes have been known to happen during full moon lunations in the past, but with this tight web of Saturn and Neptune-influenced aspects, this one was particularly intense.

There’s been an outpouring of rage and concern over the sub-standard construction standards that were allowed in earthquake prone areas of Turkey—laws and best practices (Saturn) can be prone to corruption under a powerful NeptuneFoundations beneath multi-dwellings that collapsed under stress like toy block constructions could have very well been eroding for years under Neptune's long Pisces transit.   

Faulty infrastructure is being blamed for mass casualties in Turkey.

Uranus can be literally “earth-shaking” in Taurus, of course, but its proximity to the Taurus North Node in this chart (and in the Feb. 5th lunation chart) seemed to call forth its destructive potential, exacerbated by that impactful fixed full moon. The violence of it all was probably also enabled by an exalted Venus (disposing Taurus Uranus and North Node) trailing behind Neptune in Pisces, squaring Gemini Mars and quincunxing the Libra MC.  

For some fortunate individuals pulled out alive from the rubble after days and days of entrapment, this Venus may have also played a protective role. We would normally look to Jupiter for protection as well, but—potent in Aries—Jupiter rules this chart from that besieged 4th house, widely conjunct Aries Chiron and sextile Mars; an opportunity to unleash aggressive movement that wounded everyone in its wake presented itself and could not be denied.  

Importantly, whereas Uranus can deliver sudden shocks, turning the world upside down in a moment, Neptunian energies operate over the longer term, unrelentingly lapping against rock and stone and concrete in the same fashion they erode systems and structures and institutions—until their very substance slides away into silt with even a medium intensity disturbance. So, a catastrophe seems to have been lurking, waiting for the fateful trigger moment, and that moment arrived on February 6th 



Doing backstrokes in the Netherworld 

We have, in fact, been immersed in this Piscean netherworld for nearly 12 years already, with Neptune very powerfully transiting its oceanic home sign (first ingressed on April 4, 2011) and Jupiter having recently joined it for a new cycle in April, 2022, amplifying its social and environmental impacts.  

Yes, environmental impacts: today's global water crisis—on this broad scale, a Neptunian phenomenon—can no longer be ignored by the U.S. This crisis has been evolving and manifesting in its own chimerical “composite of terrors,” including dangerous levels of water pollution (an array of American cities and towns have experienced major problems with drinking water availability recently), severe water shortages (the Colorado River basin Compact states are now haggling over diminishing supplies of river water), the over-pumping of ground water aquifers, the melting of glaciers that threaten to spill our planet’s fresh water reserves into the salty oceans, where they may overwhelm and erode vulnerable shorelines. And so on; you get the picture! 

In terms of damage done per capita, the U.S. is experiencing relatively light consequences from drought, compared to other regions where populations are suffering actual drought-related famine, risking regional conflicts over water rights, and experiencing undue pressure to allow the privatization of their water reserves.  

All of this, of course, has triggered higher immigration rates, stoking humanitarian crises and turmoil. Immigration itself—the Neptunian river-like movement of peoples away from distress and peril--is often exploited by corrupt, profiteering facilitators and by those who wish to promote xenophobic, nationalist agendas.

So what difference is Saturn’s impending presence in Pisces likely to make? 



Saturn ingresses Pisces on March 7, 2023 

Saturn’s entrance into Neptunian Pisces is notable this time around because, despite a retrograde turn this coming June 18th, Saturn doesn't tick-tock back and forth over the Aquarius/Pisces border again. This means that on March 7th this year, it enters Pisces for the duration of its approximate 2.5-year transit in the sign.  

So, Saturn will be leaving a fixed, pro-active (yang) sign it co-rules with Uranus for a mutable, (yin) Neptunian sign that is likely to challenge and dissipate its energies and focus at every turn. Saturn’s unyielding Aquarian vision of authority and institutional order (which accommodated fascism in the 1930s, but more recently seems to be focused on shoring up governmental institutions that are under attack, but worth preserving) will be challenged to “loosen up” a bit. 

Trump evoked the extremes of this idea with his recent call to terminateall rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” so that he can be reinstated as presidentWe can probably expect more such wishful thinking (and election denialism) from the MAGA fringe before Election 2024 runs its course. 

To that point, the Michigan Republican party just elected Kristina Karamo, a die-hard election denier, failed 2022 Secretary of State candidate and self-described Christian Nationalist (only Christians should be allowed citizenship) to the position of state party leader. Saturn "loosening up a bit" isn't quite the same thing as making a mockery of democracy; however, limits will be pushed, probing for resistance points.

We might also expect to see back-room machinations designed to undermine the roll-out of Biden’s Infrastructure Act during this election year: that monumental bill was passed into law under Saturn in Aquarius, but that didn’t shield it from the potential corruption of “netherworld” forces going forward. Even so, a real sense of urgency exists in communities about rebuilding infrastructures, so perhaps that will help overcome Piscean inertia and/or corruption.  

Projects like infrastructure (Saturn) require thousands of people and local entities to cooperate towards a common goal. Wisely, I think, the administration is framing this massive undertaking in idealistic, competitive terms: “never bet against the American people,” Biden pronounces every chance he gets. We’re “in competition” with China, not looking for a conflict, he says, but materials needed for the infrastructure project should be American-made (i.e., not Chinese) whenever possible. Idealism suits a Pisces Saturn if it inspires organized effort; even so, those managing these projects may need to confront procrastination and corrupt diversionary tactics.

An idealistic approach suits, however, because it evokes the so-called “American Dream”--represented by 10th house Virgo Neptune in our national Sibly chart—and its square to 7th house Sibly Mars in Gemini (competition with China and other "frenemies”)--see inner chart, Biwheel 1 belowThere will be constructive ways to deploy Piscean emotion and idealism under Saturn’s tour in that sign, but to do so effectively will take sensitivity and skill. 

In fact, challenges to the institutional order have proliferated under Neptune’s long Pisces transit: with Saturn in the same sign, waning between now and 2025 into the end phases of its 1989 cycle with Neptune, the pressure will be on for Saturn to either manifest the Neptunian “dreams” of our times (so reaping what we’ve sown as a society over the course of the past few decades), or—perhaps more positively—to muster the institutional fortitude to clear out the toxic energies and corruption that have accumulated over the course of this 36-year-long cycle. The DOJ could absolutely serve this purpose going forward into this next election cycle if it can overcome its current inertia.

A full-blown analysis of the cycle issues at stake in these times is a topic for a longer work (which is in the works), but perhaps it's useful to at least establish the context within which this present cycle launched at 12°+Capricorn in March, 1989. The following is from a February 13, 2016 post on this site : 

“The 1989 Saturn-Neptune cycle (first exact on March 3 at 11°+Capricorn). This new cycle, in close concert with the 1988 Saturn-Uranus cycle, has brought us the presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—a period during which the interwoven trends of Middle East “regime changes” and the “flattening” of the global economy proceeded in tandem. Obviously, the government-managed economies of the Communist world were an obstacle to globalization in the late 1980s, and this cycle addressed that with startling speed.  

On November 9th that year, with Saturn-Neptune still conjunct and accompanied in Capricorn by Venus and Uranus, all opposite Jupiter in Cancer, citizen efforts to dismantle the Berlin Wall were rewarded—the barrier between East and West Berlin was officially dissolved and the reunification process began. As Michael Moore reminds us so eloquently in his new film, Where to Invade Next, the Wall didn’t fall by a top-level edict, however; it fell because ordinary citizens began bringing their hammers and chisels, literally chipping away at it.  

This new Saturn-Neptune conjunction set conditions in motion for other mind-boggling developments—most notably, the wave of protests across Eastern Europe that precipitated the December 26, 1991 implosion of the Soviet Union (chart below)—in many ways, a function of the world economy globalizing around them, threatening to leave them behind. Uranus’s transit through Capricorn (integral to the Wall’s fall) was certainly a factor, especially since it was transiting within orb of its coming new cycle with Neptune (exact on February 2, 1993, at 19°+Capricorn). Amazingly, all these major developments unfolded with the planets of social change planted firmly in this Capricorn ‘power sector.’” 

So, as the current cycle launched, people from former Soviet satellite nations were mustering their collective will and breaking away from that domineering “parent” (Capricorn) nation. However, as this cycle proceeded into its second half, it became more and more clear that under Putin, the former Soviet Union’s imperialist ambitions were far from left behind. As the citizens of Chechnya, Syria, Belarus and most recently, Ukraine know well, those ambitions have been re-conceived for a new day.  


Putin is also suspending Russia's participation in the Nuclear Start Treaty with the U.S.

According to one commentary, Putin favors “creeping annexation” as a strategy for rebuilding the Soviet empire—a strategy we’ve seen in full view with Putin’s arrogant 2014 “appropriation” of Crimea (he simply declares a territory is Russia’s and everyone is supposed to just go along with him) and more recently, his attempted annexation of Ukraine’s Donbas provinces, where so many of the furious battles are focused these days.   

Putin’s passive aggressive strategy may, in fact, suit Saturn’s transit through borders-averse Pisces, unless Ukraine fights more offensively. Being perpetually forced to defend eroding borders is basically fighting on Putin’s terms, and that could end badly.  

This would, of course, be disastrous for democracies across Eastern Europe because it would function as a template for further expansionist designs. Meanwhile, according to Eugene Rumer, with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the quest to crush Ukraine has become quite personal for Putin:    

“The war continues with no end in sight. Neither side is ready to negotiate. Both are preparing to launch major offensives in the near future. Neither side has achieved a major breakthrough in recent months that would change the course of the war. Whereas Russia’s failure to win in a blitzkrieg prompted many predictions of Ukraine’s imminent victory, lately the commentary has been about a stalemate. 

Ukrainians, having tasted victory on the battlefield and united in their desire for justice and revenge, cannot accept a land-for-peace compromise. For Putin, whose war it is primarily, compromise is not an option after the humiliation of the failed campaign in pursuit of his maximalist objectives. This war was not existential for him when he began it, but it is now. He has staked his entire presidency on it and must win it. He is preparing for a long war.” 

These comments also seem well-attuned to the Aquarius/Pisces threshold that Saturn is about to traverse: stalemate, inertia and long, dragged-out campaigns sound very apt, especially while Neptune remains in Pisces. That said, there’s a chance that the cycle relationship of Saturn and Neptune between now and 2025 will help purge any corruption that happens to be driving Putin’s war. Putin's hold on power must feel vulnerable if, as Rumer pointed out above, this war has become “existential” for him.

Putin himself was born [1] just one month before Saturn and Neptune launched their mid-century 1952 cycle at 22°+Libra, so he likely internalized this cycle’s passive aggressive approach to power a long time ago. With hindsight, it’s no wonder he decided to unleash his inner “Napoleon” during the final quarter of our present (1989) cycle, given the immediate impact the early days of this cycle had (in concert with other cycles, of course) on his former Soviet “fatherland.” 

On the other hand, even Napoleon had his “Waterloo.” Especially in its final phases, the Saturn-Neptune cycle is better at breaking things down than it is at building empires.  

Bottom line, Saturn’s entry into Pisces could undermine Putin’s rule; however, we shouldn’t underestimate the danger posed by a Putin who’s been thrust into survival mode.  



Saturn’s ingress chart 

This is a good place to pause and consider the actual Saturn ingress chart into Pisces the coming March 7, 2023. Charts cast for such outer planetary ingresses usually tell us something about social and geopolitical developments we can expect to see over the duration of that transit, so in this case, from this March, 2023, through May, 2025-February, 2026 (the period it will take for Saturn’s retrograde “dance” to bring it back into Aries for its duration there). As with eclipses, there’s usually a short period before and after these transits during which its energies are palpable within public discourse. Planetary energies blend into each other gradually, not as if a cosmic “switch” has been thrown.  

So, in Chart #2 below we’ll consider a few highlights, and we’ll then turn our attention to how this same chart looks when set against the U.S. Sibly chart (Biwheel #1 below).  



Chart 2. Saturn enters Pisces, March 7, 2023, 8:34:34 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. All charts are cast with Equal Houses and True Node on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software. 

Venus rules the Taurus ASC-No. Node conjunction of this chart, meaning the chart is ruled from the 12th house, where Venus in Aries (in detriment) is sandwiched within an amazing 6-point stellium: Vesta, Jupiter, Chiron, Venus, Eris and Juno. Underestimating the sheer volume of suppressed energy and wounded emotion that appears to be gestating behind the scenes as this ingress clicks into place would be a mistake.  

We should probably take the 1st house “warning” this chart delivers seriously, as well: following that Taurus No. Node mentioned above is Venus-disposed Uranus (Taurus), which falls in a frustrating semi-sextile to Chiron, Jupiter and Vesta. Deep grass-roots discontent and perceived woundedness have only grown since Jupiter ingressed Aries last May (2022) and quickly caught up with Chiron (Aries).  

Radical voices like Marjorie Taylor Greene must be sensing the opportunity to pounce on this simmering discontent, in fact: as I write this, she’s issued a message calling for a “national divorce” between liberal and conservative U.S. states, supposedly in response to President Biden’s surprise visit to K’yiv on February 20th. Is she speaking as a new member of the House Committee on Homeland Security? Indeed, several of her Republican colleagues in Congress have spoken out against her comments: Denver Riggleman (R-VA), for instance, has pointed out how disqualifying her statement should be if she wants to remain in that post.  

One artist's conception of mythological Eris.
Maybe MTG is simply trying to tap into the free-floating anxiety people may be feeling for a variety of reasons these days? It makes for great fundraising, and she—who apparently likes the “disruptor queen” role represented by the Eris-Juno conjunction in this chart—gets to whip up even further discontent. For those who refuse to celebrate anything that might make the Biden administration look good, it’s a cynical win-win; hopefully, the GOP backlash to her comments express real sentiments. 

Bottom line, this chart suggests there will be more such political wranglings ahead; unfortunately, Saturn and Neptune in combination are more skilled at fear-mongering, propagandizing and stirring discontent--all “divide and conquer” tactics—than they are at taking responsibility, respecting facts and clear boundaries and forging alliances around a common cause.  

A prime example we’re now experiencing with this fear-mongering tactic is the GOP-led hysteria regarding public school curricula—especially as it touches upon anything to do with the history of race in our nation, racial relationships more generally. Then, of course there’s the major bugaboo of anything impacting LGBTQ+ Americans. Books by great authors who just happen to be black or LGBTQ are being banned in some states like some throwback to the 1930s Nazi book burnings.  Aquarius Saturn semi-sextiled Virgo Neptune at this time. Saturn would go on into Pisces in 1935 and oppose that Neptune in 1936, a critical threshold in the build-up of Hitler's power. 

Present day attempts to leverage our current Saturn-Neptune cycle in similar ways with so-called "Culture War" attacks on teachers and our public school system need to be firmly resisted if we’re to remain a democracy at all.  

Nazi book burnings attempted to erase the work of the educated class in the 1930s.
Notice that Saturn—the “star” of this chart, so to speak—is elevated in the 10th, semi-sextile its Capricorn soulmate Pluto (their 2020 cycle is still in New phase), sextile the Taurus ASC-No. Node and trine the Scorpio So. Node. We might expect that this Saturn, ever in search of earthy, reasonable solutions to social problems, will lean into the Taurus agenda represented by that Node, although the “default” subversiveness of Scorpio’s agenda at the DSC may be compelling and seductive at times as well. 

Do we seek out practical, material progress as the way forward? Or do we remain enmired in fear-mongering intrigue and divisiveness? Clearly, the tension between these choices will drive our public discourse over the course of Saturn’s Pisces transit.  

Yet, it appears that circumstances may develop that basically wash away that tension and force the many divisive forces at work in this nation to coalesce around values we can all share: 2nd house Mars (Gemini) t-squares 11th house Neptune (Pisces) and the Virgo-Pisces full Moon (Moon-Sun opposition) that stretches across the 5-11 axis here. As we’ll see in Biwheel #1 below, this Mars also conjoins Sibly Mars (Gemini), suggesting that our military could be called into action during Saturn’s time in Pisces. I won’t leap to conclusions here, so let’s examine more deeply what Biwheel #1 can tell us.  

The biwheel 



Biwheel 1. (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Saturn enters Pisces, March 7, 2023, 8:34:34 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. All charts are cast with Equal Houses and True Node on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software. 

Since we’re primarily focused on Saturn’s ingress into Pisces in this post, let’s begin by noting here that transiting Saturn (outer wheel, Pisces) conjoins Sibly Moon (Aquarius) here at the same time it sextiles transiting No. Node (In Taurus, over the Sibly 5th) and forms an inter-chart grand trine with the transiting So. Node (in Scorpio, over the Sibly 11th) and Sibly 7th house Venus-Jupiter (Cancer). The American People (Sibly Moon) look to be rolling up their sleeves for the sake of some geopolitical contest with economic implications. We can speculate that this may have something to do with the Ukraine-Russia war: will our defense plants start humming again so we can keep arming Ukrainian forces, or will there be more direct involvement in the conflict on our part?  

That mutable t-square we examined in Chart #2 above is still a factor here, of course, but now we see that transiting Neptune’s opposition to Sibly Neptune (Virgo) adds an additional dimension to its tension. Transiting Mars (Gemini) conjoins Sibly Mars (7th, Gemini) within minutes of arc here, suggesting that our military forces will be called upon to do the “impossible”--to “serve two masters,” transiting and radix Sibly Neptune.  Such “impossibilities” are the stuff of this Chimeric “lady monster,” remember?  

Clearly, there’s no unanimity between the parties on how deeply we should get involved—or on much of anything else, for that matter, but action may be the only way to cut through the Neptunian fog and prevail in no-win dilemmas like this.  


It’s an astrological truism that the resolution for a t-square double-bind is found by focusing efforts on the point opposite the focal planet—in this case, opposite Sibly and transiting Mars. That point would be in Sagittarius, which falls in the Sibly 1st house, so maybe the message is that we should dig deep into our Jupiterian nature as a nation and come up with optimistic and principled solutions to our ideological divides and to the military dilemmas of the moment.  

That Sagittarius point reminds us also that “audentes Fortuna iuvat”--”Fortune favors the bold.” Biden lived out that ancient saying with his surprise visit to K’yiv to affirm American support for Ukraine as they approach the 1-year anniversary of that war, and it's possible that his visit will mark a new stage of this war. IMHO, those who aspire to democracy in these times seriously need this type of leadership.   

Of course, Biden’s trip has inspired both a Putin and a GOP backlash, reminding us (if we needed reminding) that we have been here before: indeed, the ideological divide in this country was equally vicious in the late 1930s and early 1940s , when the issue was whether we should get involved in fighting the Hitler regime or not. That passage probably arose out of virulent conservative opposition to the long FDR administration and was witness to the long “return” transit of Neptune to Sibly Neptune and the determined, Taurus launch of a new Saturn-Uranus conjunction in May, 1942, trine Sibly Neptune.  

For what it’s worth, there are clear astrological parallels between that pre-WWII period and what we’re seeing in Biwheel #1, but sticking with our interest in how Saturn is likely to function in Pisces here, consider again that Saturn also spent time in Pisces from 2/1935 to 4/1937, during the formative years of Hitler’s Third Reich. And from 3/1964-3/1967, during the escalation of the Viet Nam war. And from 5/1993-4/1996, during the volatile aftermath of the Soviet Union’s dissolution and the Balkan Wars. We ignore these passages of Saturn into Neptunian territory at our peril.  

Classical mundane astrology has proposed connections between the Saturn-Uranus cycle and strong-man, fascist-style movements in history, and there are plenty of facts to support this idea, of course. Even so, it’s clear that the Saturn-Neptune cycle and Saturn-Neptune relationships in general (Saturn in Pisces, Neptune in Capricorn and Aquarius) have also played a role in such heavy passages, so perhaps it’s time to consider that Saturn’s interactions with both Uranus and Neptune are key to breaking down one society (Saturn-Neptune) so it can be replaced by another, perhaps authoritarian one (Saturn-Uranus). We forget at our peril that Neptune, in combination with any of the outer planets, can also be deployed to overwhelm and break down its adversaries from within and without. Saturnian vigilance and rigor is acutely needed as we forge ahead into 2023 and the next election cycle.

This will be a long story for another day, of course: suffice to say here, significant Saturn-Neptune milestones (Saturn’s Pisces transit definitely fits) have played a key role in the rise of the ideological warfare and right-wing nationalism that has been threatening many western democracies since Saturn achieved its 3Q (waning square) with Neptune late in 2015.  



Saturn in Pisces and life on Earth 

As the co-ruler with Jupiter of Pisces, Neptune rules the expansive reaches of the oceanic realm of life on planet Earth and the broad issue of Climate-writ-large, while the Moon rules the more local workings of hydrological cycles, the tides, evaporation and condensation and the weather produced by these phenomena. All living beings on this Earth depend on the operations of both the collective and local dimensions of water for their very survival, so when scientists tell us that the globe is basically struggling under climate-change-driven water crisis, it’s not time to bury our heads in the sand. Perhaps Saturn’s tour of Pisces will help with this...we need to hear and pay attention to difficult truths, and Saturn can be that kind of taskmaster. 

However, there could also be the tendency during this Saturn transit to passive-aggressively "manage" the narrative in such a way that people's trust in regulatory agencies plummets even further. There’s a chemical spill in your local water source? FDA and EPA tests (often taken after the chemical residues sink into the ground beneath) are problem!  

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Perhaps since the pandemic grabbed us by the throat in 2020 we’ve become accustomed to scientists caving into politicians who don’t want to be the bearer of tough news: to hear so many talk about him, Dr. Fauci and his annoying adherence to facts was the real problem...not the pandemic itself, or people’s refusal to cooperate with guidelines. Besides, attacks on the good doctor were good for fund-raising! 

So, we’ll have to wait and see whether Saturn’s natural tendency for truth-telling will win out when it comes to our public officials and water issues going forward, or if the facts will be distorted and twisted into sugar-coated Neptunian pretzels. Here are the issues at stake, according to water scientist, author and honorary chair of the Council of Canadians and of the Washington-based Food and Water Watch, Maude Barlow: 

“In March 2018, UN Water released its annual World Water Development Report with a dire warning: if we do not change our ways, more than five billion people could suffer serious to severe water shortages in 30 years. Even today 3.6 billion people live in areas that are water scarce for at least a month per year. This could increase to as many as 5.7 billion people by 2050. On top of these water shortages, there are many parts of the world where accessible, clean water is simply unavailable. An April 2017 report by the World Health Organization warned that at least two billion people worldwide drink water contaminated with feces every day, killing more than half a million people per year. WaterAid says that diarrhea caused by contaminated water and poor toilets kills a child under five every two minutes. The UN reports that 80% of wastewater from human activity is still discharged into waterways around the world without any pollution removal at all.” [2] 

We are blessed with better sewage and wastewater systems in the U.S., thankfully, but that’s where the big difference stops: seven western U.S. states are trying to peacefully decide how the dwindling waters of the Colorado River can be distributed between them as I write this and drought is a very pressing issue in other U.S. regions as well. There are Navajo territories in our southwest that still (in 2023!) have no running water and must rely on bottled water deliveries for even the simplest water needs.  

There has been a wave of aging infrastructure failures over the past decade or so (Flint’s bout with lead contamination in residents’ water began in 2013) that has basically endangered clean drinking water in several American cities, like Flint, Michigan, Jackson, Mississippi, Baltimore, Maryland, and parts of New York City 

It’s not difficult to see the planetary energies that have been at work in all this, of course: Neptune’s long swim in home sign Pisces has had an undeniably erosive impact on infrastructures and institutions, but happily, one of Saturn’s “super powers” is infrastructure, so we can hope that its presence in Pisces will support the repairs, replacements and new structures that are needed to harden our water systems and address water issues and other environmental urgencies that threaten health and human well-being around the world.  

I’m hopeful progress can be made if we pack our patience!  

Final thoughts 

Keyword phrases that might apply to Saturn’s Pisces transit abound: there are literally hundreds of ways in which the blended energies of Saturn and Neptune can manifest, and though the negative possibilities regarding corruption, pandemics, delusionary politics and official misinformation often seem to grab our attention, many Saturn-Neptune possibilities can be quite positive: manifesting dreams; giving form to imagination; containing epidemics; putting flood waters to constructive use; manifesting skillful, disciplined artistry; building structured art installations, and so on.  

Consider the proliferation of public art installations that seems to be happening in communities around the U.S.: for instance, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, rebuilding its image and tourist appeal with the help of mural artists, sculptors and other public artists. Similar projects would perfectly suit Saturn’s time in Pisces, but none may express that combination quite as nicely as the beautiful sculptural show of solidarity with Ukraine pictured below: this installation, entitled “Na Krylah Nadi,” or “On Wings Of Hope,” was inspired by a famous Ukrainian poem by Lesya Ukrainka. To my eye, it combines Saturn’s skill and Neptune’s compassion at its best. 

"Na Krylah Nadi," ("On Wings of Hope") by Torey E. Dunn II and Lena Balger

Where there’s life and people willing to make open-hearted efforts, there certainly is hope! 



[1] Vladimir Putin’s birth info is disputed, but features the following: October 7, 1952, 9:30 a.m. ST, St. Petersburg, Russia (then-USSR). 

[2] Barlow, Maude. Whose Water Is It, Anyway? ECW Press, Kindle Edition, p. 2.  


Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and retired educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact: 

© Raye Robertson 2023. All rights reserved. 



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