The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 3

As we found in the study of previous Saturn returns (The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 1 and Part 2), every 28-30 years, the US is challenged by the transit Saturn over the US natal position. During each past occurance, problems with the structure of government were pushed into the public spotlight and the future course of the nation was decided by a single generation. The US was, in a sense, challenged to "grow up" and take on greater responsibilities through drastic reform in government structures. Often, there was also a cosmic call for humility.

The current Saturn return is likely no different, and the fate of the US again hangs in the balance. Today, we are in the midst of what may become known as the worst depression in US history, with prolonged and record levels of unemployment, blatant fraud and corruption running rampant throughout the highest levels of our economy, and sweeping policy changes, such as health care, being made (and possibly undone) in a mere matter of months. The US is entrenched in what has been dubbed a "global war on terrorism" at the same time as the nation has become intensely divided amongst itself over a veritable laundry list of political, social and economic issues. We are bombarded daily with headlines that scream at us the extreme importance of making the right choices today, and the dire consequences that await our nation if we don't.

In the conclusion to this extended three part posting, I will take a closer look into the current Saturn return. I'll begin by first analyzing the global and generational forces, namely those of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, that give us clues to the forms of challenge the US currently faces. This will establish a sort of framework that was put forward during the initial transit of the Saturn return on December 3, 2010. I will then take a look at the more "personal" aspects of this return, taking into account other planetary transits, and the various aspects to the US natal chart, at the subsequent transit points of the Saturn return. This should give us the detail we need to "flesh out" the framework established.

In January of 2008, Pluto began it's 18 year long transit through the sign of Capricorn, which will culminate in 2022 with the first Pluto return to be experienced by the US. This sign placement has, as it did last between 1762 and 1777, turned the global focus toward revolutionary transformations in both government and "big business". The flavor of this transit has an organizational quality, lending to the structural, Saturnian nature of Capricorn, where new organizations are brought forth from individual desires for transformation.

December 3, 2010
December 3, 2010
Currently, Pluto is transiting the US natal 1st house, placing its influence on matters of personality. In fact, the nature of 1st house transits on the US chart could be said to define the "face" of the nation, both domestically and internationally. The 1st house acts as a dividing line between "self" and "other", represented in the opposing 1st and 7th houses. Activation of the 1st house by any planetary transits tend to focus a spotlight on this dividing line. In 2000, when Pluto entered the 1st house in Jupiter ruled Sagittarius, issues of personal freedoms and of philosophical or ideological conflicts, all Sagittarian issues, were dragged into this spotlight. The US quickly found itself at war with opposing ideologies all over the world through the expansive "War on Terror". Since entering Capricorn, however, this "expansive" nature of the war has been under constant public attack. A more conservative, Saturnian desire to define and restrict the line between "self" and "other" has taken the spotlight. Focus has turned toward the individual's place in the world, and toward the governmental structures that directly represent him. In a sense, the John Q. Public is being compelled to literally transform the "face" of the nation into a more accurate representation of himself.

Looking to Neptune, and the role it plays in defining the "American Dream" (see Part 2 for more on this), we find it conjunct the US natal Moon placement in Aquarius and the 3rd house. The US natal Moon here has often been thought to represent the "melting pot" mentality of the public, the high ideal of "equal rights", as well as the "Don't Tread on Me" attitude that the US has always held in high regard. Neptune in this place, however, is said to create a fog that causes confusion, and potentially delusion, surrounding the functioning of a natal planet. Neptune first moved into Aquarius in 1998 while in the US natal 2nd house, and it transited into the 3rd house, making its current conjunction with the US natal Moon, back in the early summer of 2008. This was just as the presidential election campaigns were reaching their fever-pitch. Neptune's transit here had led to a sense of confused devotional fanatiscism surrounding the campaigns, especially that of Obama who was heralded on more than one occassion as a messiah and was subsequently awarded a Nobel Peace Prize before he had even completed a year in office. Obvious, too, was the effect it has had on the campaigning of Sarah Palin and the continued frenzied support of Ron Paul.

As Neptune transits the rebellious sign of Aquarius and the 3rd house of mind, a push for more open and high-minded ways of thinking has, in fact, become important to the individual. The American Dream today is to actively stand up and fight for the highest ideals, including personal freedoms and the rights of man himself, rather than to stand by while a greedy and powerful elite strip these freedoms away. This placement of Neptune in the early 3rd house, however, is also a harbinger of lost direction and mistranslations. Neptune confounds the sense of logic while in the 3rd house, causing rational decision making to become difficult. With Aquarius considered the sign of the masses, this confusion becomes most apparant when looking at large groups of people.

A more intuitive approach to thinking is required under this placement, as Neptune is capable of revealing hidden truths while in this house. It can be expected, however, that neither will the books balance nor the truth be spoken with any sort of elloquence. Poetry, art and music become more effective means of communicating with this placement, and deep meditation or occultic research will prove fruitful. Public speeches and the figures of accounting will suffer. George W. Bush, with his natal Neptune placement in the 3rd house, shows us how difficult it can be to say what you mean under this influence with his countless blunders ("Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.").

Uranus, the planet of revolution itself, also is seen transiting late in the 3rd house, near the cusp of Pisces and Aries. It was last in Pisces during the Saturn return of the 1920s, which manifested as a sort of "drunken revolution". Since it entered Pisces in early 2003, it has called for a return to a conservative balance in all things, and to avoid the decadence of extremes that forever challenge planetary placements in Pisces. Just as it did then, it shows we are in a time of fiscal extremism where the money supply has been increased beyond all reason. The threat of the wrong decisions with this placement are clear, as 7 years after the Saturn return of 1922 and 1923, with Uranus transiting early in Aries, the US found itself experiencing the Great Depression.

So our framework is established, as Pluto tells of a time where the symbolic face of the nation is being transformed through radical adjustment of governmental structure and big business, and Neptune of a time where the American Dream itself has become an irrational, confused frenzy of devotional fanatiscism, personal freedoms and high ideals. Uranus tells us that the time of Piscean extremes and the "too much is never enough" mentality are nearing an end, that we may be about to experience an Aries induced financial hangover.

December 3, 2010
December 3, 2010
As we look to some of the aspects of these generational influences, we do find a spectacular opposition from Pluto to the natal US Jupiter and Venus conjunction at the first transit of this Saturn return. These planets, often considered the Greater and Lesser Benefics, respectively, play an integral role in international relations by their placement in the 7th house. Specifically, these planets lend a pleasantness to international affairs, and help ensure the US is held in high regard by our closest allies. With Pluto making an opposition to them, however, the very nature of these alliances is being pushed to transform, and the "self versus other" paradigm is again brought to mind.

The 7th house, however, defines all close relationships, both "good" ones and "bad". This opposition, then, also marks relations with US enemies. The placement of Jupiter conjunct with Venus has given the US an appearance of almost mystical strength to such "enemies" throughout much of American history, but this opposition is highlighting every weakness of the US on the world stage.

We also find a sextile from Uranus in Pisces to the natal Pluto position in Capricorn and the 2nd house. In this relationship, an easy exchange of energies between the revolutionary nature of the transiting Uranus and the transformational nature of the natal Pluto is being manifest through the push we see for revolution in our monetary policy. Debt has been called front-and-center, as it becomes the biggest hurdle to American progress. The US public has found itself shackled with credit card and mortgage debts that it simply can't pay, and big business is drowning in their pools of "troubled assets". Debt relief is on the ticket and Uranus is daring us to go for the ride.

Jupiter, itself loosely conjunct with transiting Uranus, is seen in a loose opposition to the natal placement of Neptune. This is marking a time when the American Dream is itself seemingly opposed to our own philosophical ideals and direction of growth. This can also be seen manifest in the financial troubles afflicting the country. Americans have found themselves unable to save, barely making it paycheck to paycheck, when they know that's exactly what they should be doing.

With Venus and the Moon transiting the 11th house in Scorpio, we glean an important element of how the return initially manifests itself. Specifically, we see a feminine energy, likely a woman, brought into the spotlight in the international affairs of the 11th house. This relates to secrets, which is the domain of Scorpio. The Sun is also seen conjuncting the natal ascendant, a time of world attention being focused, for better or worse, on the personality of the US itself.

Interestingly, on November 29th, just 5 days before the first transit of Saturn to its exact natal degree, WikiLeaks released the first group of US diplomatic cables. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seen frantically traveling the world trying to minimize damage to international relations leading up to the release of what was subsequently dubbed "Cablegate". Since this time, of course, the US government has been publicly pursuing various ways in which to charge Julian Assange of WikiLeaks for espionage.

Also of note is the sextile aspect of transiting Mars in Sagittarius and the 1st house to the US natal Moon. This speaks clearly of anger relating to human rights, and matches nicely to that caused by the increased security at airports nationwide during the latter half of November. This reached it's climax just before the first transit of the current Saturn return, marking it as another key event in deciphering the root challenges facing the nation.

March 22, 2011
March 22, 2011
On March 22nd, the US will experience the second, retrograde transit of Saturn over the natal point. At this time, we find the Moon again transiting the 11th house and Scorpio, bringing a woman into the spotlight on international affairs, though it appears she's in effect "distancing" herself from domestic issues, signified by a striking lack of accompanying aspects during the hours of closest conjunction.

Venus, this time, is seen conjunct the US natal Moon, along with transiting Neptune, showing some form of confusion being brought to light surrounding an issue connected with immigration or humanitarian aid. This could signify Obama, as well, with his election under this placement and the continuing debate over his official birth certificate. Also likely here is a public outburst of political dissent, organized by a woman of some prominence, over a personal rights issue.

Mars is in a strong opposition to the natal Neptune placement, and is loosely squaring its natal position in Gemini and the 7th house. This, I hate to say, is a very warlike aspect, showing outward hostilities against the US and the "American Dream". Though war is unlikely, rhetoric and posturing is to be expected with this placement, and issues relating to oil (Pisces) will be likely to make the headlines on a daily basis.

Jupiter is seen loosely opposing the natal (and transiting) Saturn placement, and squaring the US natal Sun, as the transiting Sun conjuncts with Uranus and the IC in the first degrees of Aries. This portends an especially heated time domestically, when national security is on a literal knife's edge. It's likely that we'll see a man come into the public eye at this time who is vehemently indicting the US on the world stage, through the exposure of some form of corruption in the highest levels of government or big business. This, in turn, causes public outcry. Protests and demonstrations, domestically and internationally, are very likely. Another possibility is that this man is actually being tried in the court system by the US government on charges that are contrary to the public opinion, thus sparking the protests and public outcry.

Synthesizing these aspects and placements with the framework we established earlier shows us that late March and early April will most assuredly become the pivotal point in this Saturn return. Protests, political dissent, posturing and rhetoric will be grabbing headlines. The US will be domestically, and maybe also internationally, challenged to take a conservative, face-saving approach. It will be called out to rectify political and financial excesses of the last 7 years as the confusion that has surrounded issues of individual human rights and immigration, and even delusional political divisions, will begin to be lifted. The exposure of corruption, human rights violations and what look to be "decidedly un-American practices" by government or big business, through trials or public hearings, will cause public outrage, civil unrest and protests.

With Uranus entering the first degree of Aries, and conjunct the IC, the threat of a sudden and violent uprooting of domestic life and culture in the US, through natural or unnatural disasters, and possibly a complete collapse of the financial system, is a looming threat throughout both the spring and summer. It also shows us that the only good solution to the challenges of this return are in reforms that bring us back to our roots, as represented by the IC. Truly conservative, constitutionalist or libertarian policies will be debated on the floor of Congress and in the Senate for the first time in a more than century, almost certainly with support from the majority of Americans.

August 28, 2011
August 28, 2011
On August 28th, the third and final transit of the Saturn return will likely take place without much fanfare. At this point, Neptune is in retrograde, moving back into a tight conjunction with the US natal Moon placement, and thus bringing confusion back to the masses until late spring of 2012. With the Jupiter in Taurus and the 5th house, however, a sense of optimism is possible as there appears to be a clear direction established. This placement of Jupiter shows an increase in creative innovation for the nation, and a likely time of material stability, that should also last until late spring of 2012.