I first posted this back when Saturn was in Libra – hence my relationship metaphors. I’ve updated it to include my recent experience of closing Saturn squares. It’s a lengthy read – I make no apology for that.
Saturn represents structures and boundaries. We know that. The Moon represents our emotions, the way in which we unconsciously or subconsciously respond to the crap that life throws at us.
Saturn asks us to work hard and achieve, one step at a time. Saturn asks us to grow up. The Moon relies on feelings and emotional support. The Moon is high maintenance and Saturn is self-sufficient. One of the reasons we feel so unsupported during a Saturn-Moon time is because Saturn lessons are often the ones we need to undertake alone.
Saturn people understand boundaries, commitments and responsibilities and know that to achieve their goals, they need to work hard – and they are OK with that. Saturn people see a mountain and will climb it one step at a time. Saturn people know that the journey there is as important as the peak. Saturn people know how to be self-sufficient and how to be alone. Saturn people approach marathons of any description one foot after the other. Saturn people can stick to diets – ok, maybe that’s taking the analogy too far.
Those who identify more with the Lunar principle will be softer, a little more squidgy around the edges. They have their emotional support structures and dependencies, they need and need to be needed. Emotional safety and security is a big deal as is nurturing others in some way. As for mountains? They are those lovely things on the landscape or the backdrop to the family photo last year, and journeys are things that you do together. As for food? All I will say is Issues. And the “running thing”- the distance looks soooo far away!
If you haven’t done them already, check out Donna Cunninghams’ Skywriter Planetary Tests.
As an indication, my Moon test came in at 67 points and would have been more if I include Saturn as being conjunct the Moon which I choose not to because of sign boundaries (Moon at 27 Pisces, Saturn at 1 Aries). My Saturn score, on the other hand, came in at 2 points- consisting of a measly inconjunct across to Mars. To say I have issues with Saturn is probably the understatement of the millennium.
The Moon and Saturn do badly in each other’s sign (the Moon rules Cancer and is in the sign of her detriment in Capricorn). The Moon is feminine and nurturing, relating to our inner world, Saturn is dry and relates to our outer life and worldly achievements.
When the two of these come together by transit, a crisis in security will nearly always follow.
Support structures that we have always relied upon may no longer be available and we may be forced to rely on our inner strength. When Saturn transits the Moon we’re being asked to grow up emotionally and will need to find emotional support in other areas or within ourselves.
Saturn/Moon transits will always be tough. If you do Saturn well, it will be hard, but at the end, the lesson will be integrated and the mountain conquered and your dignity and self-respect intact. If you don’t do Saturn well natally, it will be, quite frankly, a shit storm- and I make no apologies for my choice of words. The challenge is not to slip into despair and abject frustration and misery when Mr Reality pushes his way into our lives and rips our fingers away from our ears where we are pretending not to hear and singing lalalalalala very loudly.
Adam Smith, in Saturn: Fatal Attraction puts it like this:
“…it is hard to imagine ever having inner peace or feeling content ever again. The problem is not the outside world, but the way we perceive it, and there appears to be no prospect of relief. The Moon says: ‘I can’t help how I feel’, to which Saturn coolly responds: ‘we are more than our feelings’.”
The Saturn lesson, and with Saturn, there is always a lesson, is about emotional growth, self-sufficiency and understanding what and who you need emotionally. Saturn is about maturity, and we all need to grow up (even though I am convinced that they will find a cure for that) and harden up (and a cure for this one too) at some point- these transits help us do that.
A number of years ago, Saturn opposed my Moon- the last in a long train of Saturn oppositions to my Pisces planets. Because Saturn was going through the 7th house, the theatre within which the drama was being played out was in my relationships. And I can honestly say, it was an incredibly isolating and lonely time – the loneliest I’d experienced until Saturn squared my Moon early in 2017. More on that later. But I got through it. We got through it. Personally, though, I’m not sure that I learned what I was meant to. Saturn-Moon is something I can write about only with the distance of a few years.
I mentioned the other day that when Saturn was conjunct my Sun and then my Moon all those years ago, it was when we were going through fertility treatment to have our daughter. We’d been in that state for a few years, but by the time Saturn came around, we’d moved from hope and optimism to “this is never going to happen”. It was emotionally charged, painful, isolating and, well, you get the idea. In hindsight, it was almost a case of how badly do you want this? What work are you prepared to do? By the time Saturn completed his final pass on my Moon I was pregnant. The silver lining to that transit will be 20 in March.
The thing is no one can ever really put into words exactly how a Saturn-Moon transit can make you feel – and we’ll all experience it differently… So here goes, with plenty of credit to Robert Hands’ Planets in Transit, a semi-guide to the more difficult of the Saturn-Moon transits…
Saturn Conjunct Moon
Saturn is a dry planet and tends to drain the life out of whatever else it touches…so when it joins up with the Moon it has the potential to turn a lush emotional rainforest into something which resembles the emotional Simpson Desert. On the other hand, if you are prone to emotional bloating or water retention, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
This is a time when you may feel melancholic, perhaps depressed and quite possibly isolated. Who am I kidding? Unless you have an extremely good relationship with Saturn, you will feel all of these things. You will also feel as if you are not good enough, that nobody cares about you, that nobody can possibly understand how you feel right now and that you can never quite be good enough – whatever good enough is. Having said this, if your natal Moon is conjunct Saturn, you may feel like this a lot anyway!
The real danger of this transit is looking at your support systems, and existing relationships and finding them wanting (or finding yourself wanting) and going on some sort of weird mission of self-destruction. This is a time where you may look at relationships which are actually perfectly OK but may find wanting by projection – simply because you find yourself wanting. The next step is to then look for what you think is wrong and project that onto someone new. Bad idea.
I had a friend who did just that. There were cracks in her existing structures, but her self-destructive actions broke them completely for a time. These cracks had been there for some time but hadn’t been addressed. By the time she was done, they didn’t just need repairing, they needed rebuilding from the ground up.
The world is on your shoulders, everyone seems to want to make demands on you, but no one seems to be there when you need them – and why would they be? You feel like you are a dried up emotional wasteland and may have unwittingly isolated yourself. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t get it. So you continue taking on task after task until you are so freaking tired you can’t stay upright.
The support structures you seek may be outsourcing stuff around the home (if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford it), it may be as simple as asking husband or kids to help out, it may be as complex as prioritising what needs to be done, letting the rest go, and not feeling any worse about yourself for doing so.
This is a time for introspection, withdrawal, and non-judgemental soul searching. It is a time for building security in your roots and ties, not for making irrevocable decisions about your existing relationships. The work that you need to do on yourself is more important than whatever is going on in your relationships. In fact, the work that needs to be done on you is why your relationships may be in some turmoil. Wait till the dust settles and the rain comes down- you may find the garden flourishes again…so to speak.
My friend? Thankfully both were prepared for the rebuilding work. The conversations they had were honest and spoke to each other’s integrity. I hate the word journey, but they’ve embarked on one that’s huge – and they’re doing it together with new stronger structures.
Saturn in Opposition to the Moon
When I went through this, I literally could not breathe. It was as if Saturn had sucked all the air from my lungs and I had my first real asthma attack in many years – one of the proper ones I used to have as a kid when I wouldn’t turn the light out in case it meant I would forget to breathe.
The trigger point was a metaphorical kick in the guts and betrayal from someone I thought I could trust and rely on, resulting in a complete pulling apart of emotional ties. People that I loved and who supported me didn’t just move house, they moved to another country. Another two sets of close friends moved interstate.
Under this transit, your emotional balance has completely disappeared. You may have been working too hard, eating badly, getting into bad habits, stressed out of your brain. You have had no time to reflect, repair or recuperate.
You feel alienated and as if you are standing on one side of the river and everyone else is on the other side, with the bridge that used to be there having been blown up as a result of arguments, misunderstandings or isolation.
It’s that perceived chasm that can lead to break-ups. Can you really be faffed to find a way across the river or will you turn your back on it and head in a different direction. Sort of like that scene in Romancing the Stone where Joan Wilder grabs a vine and swings across the raging river below. Am I showing my age?
Anyways, that’s the concept – you build the bridge and go over it, thereby re-committing to the relationship or you decide that you can’t be faffed, the effort involved in bridge building is a waste of time so you don’t.
In many cases, this transit also represents a crisis of emotional security vs financial security. What parts of your emotional self have you compromised or given up for public achievement? Have your career successes been at the expense of your personal relationships? Have you repressed your feelings to follow your profession? Have the demands of your job dried you up emotionally? Do you have the inner strength to go it alone? Has this in effect, built a great big Berlin Wall with barbed wire and guards patrolling with machine guns, between you and those who really love and support you?
This transit is asking for you to find a way home and a way of belonging again, a way of bringing order into what has become chaotic.
Saturn opposing the Moon – been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, not high on my list of places to re-visit.
Saturn Square the Moon
Oh man, I’ve just finished with this one. Another difficult transit, is there anything but when we are talking about Saturn-Moon? Actually yes, the trine and the sextiles allow a certain amount of emotional maturing and growth without the stress, but that is not the case with this one.
When we’re talking squares, there are two in any cycle – something that’s particularly important when it comes to Saturn. The first, or opening square, is around 7 years after Saturn was conjunct, in this case, the Moon. The closing square will come around 7 years before Saturn is back there.
The square aspect is always one where decisions and choices need to be made.
During the opening square, I was travelling a lot for work, something which given the time and the circumstances – our daughter was in the early years of her schooling – put more than a reasonable amount of stress on my home life.
This is pretty normal. Under this transit there may be guilt – guilt that you are not living up to your own expectations, the expectations others have of you, you may be asked to neglect one part of your life in favour of another. The conflict here is how you can be everything to everyone and still find the emotional energy to be true to yourself and what it is that you need.
A good hard look at priorities, structures and boundaries is needed here. If there is a relationship at work that is impacting the one at home, that needs to be examined honestly…whatever it takes to re-establish the balance which has gone so far off kilter. I pulled back on the work travel and also negotiated a deal whereby I could work more often from home.
In our bridge analogy, the relationship has come to the bridge (which hasn’t yet been blown up, I actually got that out of order). One party wants to cross the bridge, the other wants to continue on this side of the river. At the completion of this transit, you will decide whether to cross the river together or whether to go on separate paths.
Given that Saturn squares are a 7-year cycle, it could perhaps explain the whole 7-year itch thing….just saying….
As for the closing square? Saturn has just finished a series of closing squares to my Sun and Moon. The peak of that for me this time around was while we were moving. Aside from the fact that we moved 1000kms to the north of where all our friends and family lived, my husband and daughter left 6 weeks before I did so she could start University up here. That left me to pack up 18 years of house and memories, and say an awful lot of goodbyes on my own – while juggling a full-time corporate gig. To say it was hard, isolating and lonely was an understatement.
Of course, I had some support, my friends were always there if I needed them to be, and my mother helped me clean after the removalists had taken everything away. I didn’t like to ask for the help though – because we were the ones making the move and it was a move not many people were supportive of. My perception of being alone was stronger than the reality which was that I wasn’t really alone.
I recall sitting on the carpet of the old house after the movers had left and Mum had gone home. I had a couple of hours to kill until I could get a lift to the hotel I was spending the night in before flying to the Sunshine Coast to meet my family and go through the whole thing in reverse. I had a coffee cup and a bottle of red wine, so that’s what I did – sat on the carpet with my laptop drinking red wine out of a coffee cup.
The outcome of those squares is a new set of structures up here in Queensland. We’re almost at the point where we can thank the events that led to this decision being made. We’re well and truly at the point where we can say how much we love our new lives up here. We still have support structures and friendships to build, but that’s underway.