Your Saturn Cycles

Certain doom ... or a chance to bloom?

saturn cycles astrology

Saturn in Scorpio is closing in on an opposition to my natal Taurus Sun and I already feel it ... big time. The familiar feeling of restriction, isolation and resentment. As if the life is being suffocated out of me and that no matter how hard my Taurus Sun tries to shine, it can't. Want to know what you'll struggle with in the near future because of Saturn? Run our Saturn's Lessons Report to find out what your next test will be.

Saturn will make an aspect to your natal Sun (or any other planet or point in your chart) approximately once every seven years. Astrologers begin tracking this reliable phase with Saturn's conjunction. Then, seven years later, it'll make a square. Seven years later brings the opposition and seven years from the opposition is the closing square. Finally, in another seven years or so Saturn will return to a conjunction starting the cycle all over again. A full revolution of transiting Saturn around any part of your chart takes about 28.5-29 years in total.

One planet, many lessons

Every planet and point Saturn touches will bring unique lessons regarding karma, restriction, limitation, discipline and commitment. Saturn is the great taskmaster but when he touches your chart it can feel more like slave labor. Rewards do come if you submit to the work but those rewards never come on your timeline, only Saturn's. While you're clocked in, you're only expected to work.

In general, Saturn to the Sun is a transit that brings significant limitations (Saturn) to one's ability to freely express the vital self (the Sun). Where and how this comes out in your life will depend on the house placement of your Sun and the house the Sun rules in your horoscope (the house that Leo is on the cusp of). 

In my case, the Sun is in the 1st House of Self and rules my 5th House of Children, creative self-expression and romance. I thought it might be helpful to illuminate the significance of a Saturn cycle by sharing my personal experience of Saturn's transit to my Sun beginning with the conjunction -- which occurred about 14 years ago.

The first test

In 1999, I was 25 years old and gave birth to my son Vincent. I became a mother for the first time and the physical birthing experience resulted in an exceptionally difficult recovery followed by major post-partum depression. I did my best to hide how incredibly overwhelmed I felt as a new mother. I had an awful time reconciling the fact that my new responsible (Saturn) role completely stifled (Saturn) my identity (Sun in the 1st house).

I love my son deeply and wanted very much to become a mother. Yet the enormity of this commitment didn't occur to me until I was knee deep in it. I had idealized thoughts of mothering (natal Moon-Neptune conjunction). I thought that motherhood would be the key to my personal fulfillment. The transit of Saturn to my Sun in 1999 was the beginning of me learning that this was not to be the case. It was the launch of a long, karmic lesson regarding my identity that was "to be continued" seven years later at the first opening square.

I found myself...

Transiting Saturn in Leo was square my natal Sun in late 2006 and early 2007. By then Saturn was touring through my 5th house. I was 32 years old. During this time my ex-husband left and I was suddenly alone to raise my two children and deal with their emotional scars. Once again, Saturn brought incredible personal weight and limitations my way. No sooner did I finally discover my creative, authentic self (1st house Sun, Sun rules the 5th) as an astrologer, than it seemed I was punished for it. I lost love and my children lost their childhood (5th house). I had to deal with indescribable pain, isolation and weight as I was thrust into single parenthood. I had absolutely no help -- no child care options -- no capacity to experience joy during that time in my life. But there was a gift in this pain, just as there was a gift in the pain from 1999. I went through seven years of truly discovering who I was (1st house) and now, at the opening square, I finally met Maria.

It's time to make a decision

Today, I am on the cusp of the opposition. Saturn in Scorpio is now touring my 7th House of Relationships and the lesson will once again have to do with a close partnership and my children. In December I'll have an exact mathematical hit of this transit but I already feel Saturn's grip. Now I'm 39 years old, and my children are 14 and 12. Yet I once again feel the enormous strain of parenting weighing against my sense of self. I used to have minimal time for social fun which included spending every other weekend with my "part time boyfriend" but that has recently changed. My daughter, for various reasons, has elected not to go to her father's house every other weekend and it has been this way since mid-July. I've had no time for me ... no time for fun. My part time relationship has become even more part time, and the writing on the wall is clear: if things keep going the way they are then the relationship probably won't survive. Very fitting for a 7th house Saturn transit opposing my natal Sun. If a relationship isn't strong enough to stand Saturn's tests, it's not meant to endure. Period. And the Sun rules my 5th house so it's no surprise that my children and the lack of freedom I experience as a parent ties into my personal limitations and romantic lessons these days.

The wise astrologer knows that Saturn plans on teaching me a valuable lesson about maturity. I'm sure that eventually I might even come to appreciate it. But right now, I wish I could slap Saturn with a ruler. When Saturn transits your Sun it's all work and no play. Saturn wants us to grow up so if you throw a tantrum about your strife during this transit, expect a cosmic scolding. Saturn is always no nonsense. Yet somehow, at the same time, he's also maddeningly wise.

Track Saturn's movements and plan ahead for its next stressful aspects in your chart with our Saturn's Lessons Report »