In the last couple of posts we’ve been exploring what happens during a Saturn Pluto alignment. There’s often a lot going on in the world at these times and it can feel oppressive and heavy. Even if these events don’t affect you personally, the stress can suck you into the prevailing mood. So in this post we’ll look at how to cope with the energies of the Saturn Pluto conjunction.
The first thing is to remember this is a cycle and it will end. By the time we get into 2021, the tension should ease off a bit. We do have a Saturn Uranus alignment that year which could feel stressful but it won’t be as oppressive as the Saturn Pluto conjunction. And by the middle of the coming decade things could feel great – although that depends on how we respond to the current situation.
How you experience this alignment also depends on your personal horoscope. People who resonate with Pluto are less likely to be surprised or freaked out by what happens because they’re used to this powerful energy. That includes anyone with a strongly placed Pluto, or Pluto in aspect to the natal Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, or lots of planets in Scorpio or the 8th house.
It could also be significant if Saturn and Pluto are in aspect to each other in your chart, especially the hard angles, because that means you were born during one of the previous alignments of this cycle, or the one before. For example, my natal Saturn is at 22° Taurus and trine Pluto at 26° Virgo, so the conjunction is going to form a Grand Trine with my natal placements. Pluto is currently transiting trine to my Saturn, but Saturn doesn’t get there until January 2020 – looking forward to that!
As my example shows, this conjunction is significant if you have natal planets at or near 22° in any sign, except Sagittarius and Aquarius, and possibly Gemini and Leo unless you work with quincunx transits. I also have Venus at 22° Libra so Pluto is transiting square to that point too. Check your chart for any planets at or near 22° Capricorn, Aries, Cancer, or Libra because Saturn and Pluto will be conjunct, square or opposite those points.
Also check for planets at or near 22° Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio, or Pisces because Saturn and Pluto will be sextile or trine those points. These transits should be easier to work with and you should be able to make constructive use of the energies involved – depending on the planet and how you relate to it already. Don’t forget to check for progressed planets, angles and other points like the nodes or part of fortune, because these could be significant too.
Finally, check the house position of the conjunction because this area of your life is due for transformation. No doubt you’re feeling it already and you might be getting nudges to change or do something about a situation that needs fixing. Listen and cooperate. Look at your life – both inner and outer – and see what needs to change, then get to work.
Saturn Pluto alignments represent the need for cyclical change to the structures of life and how you relate to reality. This kind of deep change is always a challenge because it involves loss, endings and death. But no matter how bad things get, it’s important to remember there’s nothing inherently bad about any planet or transit. Everything happens for a reason and nothing is meant to be mindlessly destructive. It only feels that way because it hurts and that’s why we tend to react badly to these transits.
But if you’re willing to work with the energies of Saturn and Pluto, you can use these times to transform outworn structures and systems in your life by taking responsibility for yourself and your choices. This is especially true now because the conjunction is happening in Capricorn which reinforces the need for integrity and the constructive use of power and authority.
At best, these times can be empowering, when you can work with great discipline to organise systems and resources that improve life and create abundance. While in dark times, you may discover an ability to endure hardship with courage and perseverance, and the strength to resist destructive forces, both inner and outer.
This all sounds very dull and unexciting – the message to ‘work hard and take responsibility’ isn’t what we want to hear! – and this is where the problems start.
We tend to see more negative events during Saturn Pluto alignments because people try to avoid the truth about themselves and reality because they don’t want to change. And that plays out in the world the way it does because the inner and outer worlds reflect each other.
So what happens in the world depends on the state of your consciousness – yes, you! That means: If you want to see peace in the world, then you need to have peace within yourself.
When Saturn gets together with Pluto it represents a collision between the hidden forces of the unconscious (Pluto) and the structure of the psyche (Saturn). This tends to trigger your deepest fears and defences because your psyche is under assault by the forces of change. How you react depends on the strength of your natal Saturn and your ability to express it positively.
As the reality principle, Saturn has to contain Pluto. In other words, you have to find a way to work with your deepest instincts and handle their transformative power so it doesn’t destroy either you or anybody else. With a healthy Saturn you can harness the energies of Pluto and use them to transform your life in constructive ways.
But if your Saturn isn’t strong enough you can’t contain the forces of Pluto. This leaves you wide open to the energies erupting from the depths and can lead to breakdown or irrational behaviour. If your Saturn is too strong you repress the instincts and try to control or ignore the energies coming from the unconscious. This leads to obsessive and paranoid behaviour, trapped behind defensive structures and driven by compulsions you don’t understand.
When something is repressed or denied it doesn’t disappear – it leaks out in distorted form and becomes destructive. So if you give your power away, that power will be used against you. If you refuse to take responsibility for yourself, then somebody else will control you.
Ideally, you want to be as conscious as possible about what you’re doing and the reality of your situation, whatever that might be. This makes it easier to express the energies of Saturn and Pluto in a positive way. Here are some examples:
Negative expressions of Saturn
- Denial of your problems
- Blaming others for your problems
- Controlling of others
Positive expressions of Saturn
- Self-control and discipline
- Accepting your natural limits
- Accepting your weaknesses and willing to work to change them
- Inner security
Negative expressions of Pluto
- Victimisation and feeling powerless
- Giving your power away to others
- Addiction and self-destructiveness
- Obsessive compulsive behaviour
- Abusing your power over others
Positive expressions of Pluto
- Making positive changes
- Letting go of the past
- Allowing yourself to grieve loss
- Allowing yourself to heal
- Deliberate positive self-transformation
- Using your power to help others
During these times, Pluto brings up whatever is hidden in the shadow so you can see it and deal with it – and it won’t necessarily be bad. The shadow contains all the unloved or unacknowledged parts of yourself, so you could discover hidden talents or skills that are waiting to be expressed.
But if you do unearth something dark and scary, the worst thing you can do is pretend it doesn’t exist. In fact, the more unconscious you are, the more likely it is that you’ll experience the destructive side of this alignment. Your denial and avoidance will act like a magnet that pulls the dark side of the shadow to manifest in your life. (More on that: Shadow Attack: Instant Karma and a Wake-Up Call)
Saturn teams up with Pluto to let you know that you can’t avoid change. If you try to ignore what’s happening and keep your head down, you’ll invite a catastrophe into your life. Having said that, you might experience a catastrophe anyway, even if you’re super conscious and awake and totally on top of everything. There are no guarantees with these alignments – sometimes shit just happens.
But as I said, everything happens for a reason, even if you can’t understand why at the moment. Sometimes dark and difficult stuff has to come up so it can be healed and integrated into wholeness. Your soul may have its own deep and obscure reasons for wanting to go through certain things. Whatever happens, how you choose to deal with it will influence the outcome and it’ll become either self-destructive or transformative.
This alignment represents an opportunity to heal the past and let go of what no longer works. If you work with the energies you’ll be able to create a new life that truly reflects who you are. However, no matter how conscious you are, you still have to live in an imperfect world full of other people who are far from conscious. So despite your best efforts, you may experience problems with external power structures and authority via the collective unconscious.
This includes situations where you need to take back power or control that has been taken from you. It’s safe to say that you can expect a certain amount of resistance and pushback. If you find yourself in this position, you’ll need to channel the positive side of Saturn and Pluto to deal with what happens.
It’s a good idea to find where your own shadow intersects with the collective unconscious. It’s easy – just ask: What really pisses you off? What triggers you?
Any extreme emotional reaction is a sign that you’re projecting something from your own shadow onto others. This is particularly obvious in arguments, especially online. If you don’t accept responsibility for what’s lurking in your own depths, then you’re more likely to get overtaken by the collective shadow – and that can be really dark.
Beware of becoming polarised on any issue because the further you go to one side of an argument, the more you push the other person to the opposite extreme. It can quickly degenerate into a screaming match – just look at Twitter or comments on YouTube to see how this works.
The interesting thing is that polarised positions end up sounding the same – it’s like they turn into each other. This happens because when you polarise against something, you become possessed by it. The thing you hate so much begins to control you from your own unconscious and you start accusing others of doing what you’re doing yourself.
Remember that everyone is affected by this alignment so if something annoys or upsets you, take a deep breath and don’t be too quick to react. Everyone is struggling with their own demons and the real enemy isn’t out there in the world. The real enemy – if we can call it that – is unconsciousness. So it’s your job to be as conscious and responsible as you can.
Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are encouraging you to become more conscious so you can work towards self-mastery and self-empowerment. It’s a good idea to cooperate because these alignments tend to force change. You can’t negotiate with Pluto – you either let go of old relationships, situations, and ideas, or get your arse handed to you. If you don’t cooperate, Pluto will grind you into the ground and Saturn will help. The more you resist and try to hold on or control events, the harder you’ll make it for yourself.
As the saying goes: Let go or be dragged. Or even: Let go or lose your fingers!
If you try to hold on to what’s ending, your life will be centred around an old, dead structure and this can only lead to exhaustion and depression. Holding on to the past is really an attempt to do the impossible – to stop life from changing. You need to grieve for what’s dying and let it go. Then your energy will return and new life will start to sprout.
Pluto destroys what needs to end and Saturn rebuilds and gives form to new life. But don’t try to rebuild until Pluto has finished his business of purging the old. If you try to get ahead of yourself, you’ll only hit a brick wall and have to start again.
If things keep going wrong it may be because you need to rethink. You might be doing the wrong thing, or doing the right thing in the wrong way or at the wrong time. Sometimes things end because you got lost and need to get back on track. But sometimes they end because it’s just time.
Take a realistic look at your life and see what works and what doesn’t. Then make specific, concrete changes. Don’t expect positive results to fall into your lap without effort because both Saturn and Pluto are tough on laziness. Make a plan and a schedule and create a positive routine to bring about change, and then methodically work your way through it.
This is a really good time to get stuff done. Saturn is great for bringing ideas and creative possibilities down into manifest form. So if you’re willing to do the inner and outer work to transform yourself, you could achieve a huge amount. By taking responsibility and walking your talk, you can make long-lasting, positive changes to your life.
Next week, some tips from the excellent Liz Greene on how to cope during times of collective meltdown in: Saturn Pluto and the End of the World as we know it…
More on Saturn Pluto:
- Saturn in Capricorn
- Pluto in Capricorn
- Saturn Pluto Cycle: Archetypes and History
- Saturn Pluto Conjunction in detail