Astro Journal

How to survive the Saturn Pluto conjunction without going mad!

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.

Yellow Vest protest in Brussels

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

  • Fear
  • Denial of your problems
  • Blaming others for your problems
  • Avoidance
  • Depression
  • Cynicism
  • Controlling of others

Positive expressions of Saturn

  • Self-control and discipline
  • Self-responsibility
  • Accepting your natural limits
  • Accepting your weaknesses and willing to work to change them
  • Inner security
  • Resilience
  • Patience

Negative expressions of Pluto

  • Victimisation and feeling powerless
  • Giving your power away to others
  • Addiction and self-destructiveness
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviour
  • Paranoia
  • Cruelty
  • Abusing your power over others

Positive expressions of Pluto

  • Self-empowerment
  • 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.

Buddha you are

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:

Images: Protesters; Flag

14 thoughts on “How to survive the Saturn Pluto conjunction without going mad!

  1. I wonder how you all are doing now that we see 1st hand what this transit is about. this virus situation may get worse by sept, oct of course

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mars will be triggering Saturn and Pluto by square from August through to January 2021 – so yes, I expect things are likely to continue to be difficult for quite some time.


  2. As irony would have it, this year is my Saturn Return, so I currently have Saturn conjunct my natal Saturn…..and yep. Pluto conjunct my natal Saturn. I also just went through Jupiter opposite my natal Chiron. At the start of that, I got badly sick…Now, while the transit ended, Pluto conjunct my natal Saturn started up – and I am still horribly sick. Eight visits to the hospital but with no diagnosis or medicine, and my condition just seems to be getting worse.
    I can’t deny that I’m scared – really, truly scared. This transit will last 2 years for me (in my 5th house). How in the Hell am I going to make it through…?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like you’ve been having a tough time lately. The Saturn return can be challenging and doing that at the same time as Pluto being there makes it doubly so. But Jupiter is about to cross that area of your chart too so maybe that will bring some help and perhaps a diagnosis so you can at least begin to start healing. Jupiter should also help you to feel more optimistic about your prospects and provide some inspiration for ways you can change so you can heal. Just take it one day at a time. Best of luck, Di – I hope you turn a corner towards healing soon.


    2. i had my second return a couple of years ago, before that con moon, which being in cap con sat in 5 is NOT a party! then sat square mc, con venus moving into 7. now opposite uranus with uranus square asc. and pluto square mc, that was activated by a big explosion when mars went sq mc.
      i’ve spend the last 4/5 years in crisis, almost constantly suicidal, with a few breaks in between. mars/venus going along that same path, has been terribly painful, anything venus seems to activate my chiron in aqua con sun in pisces/opposite pluto in virgo/2, with c at the end of 7/aqua and sun in beginning of piscse/8.
      the man i love has cast me out of his life for the second time, something he does because of his own fears, not malice, but partly with an attempt to punish me as i activate all his stuff big time, as he does mine. just got a relationship horoscope, love the way it’s all worded re ”the healing power of your emotional bond ”
      i’m used to being chronically ill. but there’s some new symptoms, but i’ve no truck with the medical system anymore. idk what your symptoms are/what can be done, i’d investigate ”alternative ” methods.
      someone recommended ”emotional clearing” by John Ruskan to me. very helpful but a bit dry.
      then i found lorie ladd, similar, but more accessible for me.
      this video literally saved my life

      thank you for giveng me an opportunity to talk about this.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much Jessica. Your wisdom and advice is golden. No doubt I’ll be returning to this page from time to time over the next year for a reminder. Best of luck to you too!.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent article, very in depth and helpful.. but I could only bear to skim through.
    There’s a slow train coming…
    My MC is 22 deg Cap .Plus a natal Sat-Plu between 8th & 5th. (and some things in my progressed ) Quite honestly terrified inside.. TERRIFIED.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you found it helpful. It’s understandable that you feel scared of what’s coming but with Saturn and Pluto in aspect in your chart you have great resources of inner strength and resilience to cope with whatever happens. I have my fingers crossed for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This Saturn to Pluto conjunction is happening in my 11th house with Pluto already conjunct natal moon and Uranus about to go over my Ascendant at 26 Aquarius.
    Does this mean the need to change required by Saturn Pluto will be supported by Uranus?
    Just trying to find something comforting and supportive in these various transits…


    1. I’m not sure what you mean – Uranus is currently in Taurus so if you’ve got Aquarius rising, Uranus will square your Ascendant but not for a while. It’s at around 5-6 Taurus right now.

      Any other transits you’re having that are harmonious – sextile or trine – will be supportive. But you can also draw on supportive parts of your natal chart – so well-placed or strong planets and harmonious aspects.


  6. Thank you, Jessica, for visiting my blog. The astrological currents definitely mirror big changes going on in both my inner and outer life. I am amazed at how much stuff is surfacing which is allowing me to see much bigger patterns that coincide with Uranus and Saturn in my natal chart. Also, Venus is at 22 degrees of Cancer, and Uranus is conjunct Leo sun at the midheaven. Although I have gone through some very tumultuous emotional periods in the last few months, I feel the much needed release as well.

    I’m enjoying your posts and look forward to reading more as time allows.

    Liked by 2 people


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