April 17, 2013

Neptune over Saturn (Nasty Little Transits)

A client asked me to take a look at a planned event in her life that would involve her entire family. She gave the data for each member. It was while looking for the event to show up in their individual charts that I noticed one family member happens to have transiting Neptune in conjunction with his natal Saturn at this time (and all the way until early 2015).

Neptune over Saturn is such an insidious aspect.

Saturn represents our framework, our structures, our bones. It's organization, security, and tradition (the way things "have always been," or "are supposed to be"). It shows what we can depend on, who we can turn to, who is in charge, who holds it all together for us. It represents the rules as we know them. It's reality. It's science. It's the father

Neptune is a solvent that dissolves whatever it touches. 
It represents illusion, delusion, deception and confusion. 
It's a candle in the wind. 
It's fantasy, faith, and escapism. 
It is the exact opposite of Saturn.

When Neptune passes over Saturn, it dissolves our structures, and removes those things we have always counted on. It pushes us out of our safe harbors and casts us adrift on a sea of confusion, desperation and self-doubt. 

 When Saturn is afflicted, it becomes our disappointment, fear, guilt, and grief. It is our pain and suffering.

This is an aspect under which bad things happen to good people. Where Neptune is involved, there will be at least one, and likely many, elements of confusion, doubt, mystery, conspiracy, alcohol, drugs, chemicals, precipitation, gas, or liquids involved. In fact, this aspect is known as "the Killer Fog."

For example, Neptune was transiting over Princess Diana's natal Saturn at the time of the car crash that killed her. I've been looking online for other examples, but I'm afraid I've been wasting too much time doing it.

  Let's stop and take a look at the natal chart of  my client's son. His birth data is:

November 14, 1994
9:58 A.M. CST
Memphis, TN 
Tropical / Placidus

This is the chart of a young man, 18 years old, from a suburban middle-class background in the southeastern part of the United States. His parents are divorced. He has been living with his mother. Recently, in February, after a falling out with her, he went to live with his father. It's interesting to note that Reinhold Ebertin called this the aspect of "involuntary detachment."

I did exactly the same thing at 17, and curiously enough, under the very same Neptune aspect to my Saturn. My mother had Saturn opposed to Neptune in her natal chart (she was bi-polar), and we never could get along. This young man's mother has no aspect between her Saturn and her Neptune.

Saturn, of course, represents the father, older men, and authority figures. With Neptune passing over Saturn, we "escape" from our responsibilities and "hard" life by projecting our fantasies onto the father figure, glorifying him with all kinds of unrealistic expectations and false qualities that he doesn't really have. This is not to say that his father is not a fine person; I don't know, as I have not met him, nor seen his chart. But it is highly unlikely that he is all that this young man believes him to be at this time, because his son is observing him through foggy glasses. When the aspect has passed it's almost certain the father will fall from his pedestal. God knows mine did.

Neptune afflicting Saturn is also associated with illnesses like the flu, vertigo, alcoholism, drug abuse, nervous disorders, Munchhausen's by Proxy, mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, auto-immune disorders, hypochondria, and many more. Neptune is nearly always present in illnesses that elude diagnosis. 


This is a very impressive chart. With five planets and the Moon's North Node in Scorpio, among them the Jupiter / Pluto conjunction, this guy has sex appeal to burn. Or, at least, he will have, when he grows into it. I really like this chart. It has many aspects of someone I knew a lifetime ago, who was truly a fine person...many planets in Scorpio, Venus retrograde, a quick, hot-tempered Aries moon. That guy died way too young. I hope this one does not. I should mention here that the Neptune / Saturn conjunction can bring an obsession with death and dying (especially with a huge amount of Scorpio in the chart, which is, by nature, fascinated with death and transformation). 

Scorpio is co-ruled by Pluto, the planet of extremes, 
so they are equally sinners and saints. 

Scorpio is a very introverted sign; their thoughts are profound, their personalities are intense, and their passions are smoldering. They must have time alone to think and sort things out. They are extremely private and secretive.


Usually when they are young, they are jealous and possessive; it's just a matter of degree. This is particularly true when the sun is in the clingy Cancer duad of Scorpio, as it is in this chart. An example of one who let his passions overtake him is Oscar Pistorius, who has four planets in Scorpio and the moon in a fire sign.

Scorpios who have not yet mastered their passions are vindictive. They know everyone's weakest point, and they store that information away until the right moment to use it. Then they go for the jugular. 

Scorpios make talented surgeons and skilled butchers. They also excel at psychiatry because they are fearless and possess the ability to plumb the very depths of anything. They make good detectives, researchers (especially of the afterlife), end-of-life counselors, coroners, funeral directors, and plumbers.

Hopefully, as they mature, they develop control over their instincts and often attain great spiritual heights. They make devoted clergy, priests, nuns, monks, disciples, and spiritual leaders. Of course, relatively few reach that height of spiritual mastery. An ordinary Scorpio can be rightfully proud of simply obtaining self-mastery. This is the life lesson and obligation of Scorpios. This is how they obtain an almost mesmerizing charisma and the very real power to simply draw to them whatever it is they need or want. 

Here is a way for any Scorpio to test this power for himself: 

Go to a party, or a bar, or any crowded, noisy place and stand quietly off to one side. Be totally chill. Don't initiate conversation. Don't do anything to call attention to yourself. Make eye contact with what (or who) you desire. Scorpios have very magnetic, intense gazes. 

Now just count the seconds until it moves within your reach. It's a lot like a spider waiting for the prey to crawl onto its web. Repeat as often as necessary until it sinks in. Passivity is key to finding peace, calm, and self-confidence in the Scorpio life. 

Even men, particularly Scorpio men, benefit from yoga and meditation (not to mention those classes are a great place to meet cool women). It soothes the soul and prepares the mind to receive inner guidance.

There are two major differences between this chart, and that of the Long-Ago Guy that I mentioned earlier. Their rising signs are exactly opposite, to the very degree. The man from the past had Mars in Aquarius (and friends in a quantity comparable to dollars in the national debt), where this guy has Mars in the opposite sign, Leo, and will have to work all his life to control his ego.

He is ordinarily self-confident, funny, and creative. This is someone who struts his stuff and lives large. He can be dramatic, and wants his masculinity to be recognized and appreciated. If anyone ever humiliates him, they will not be forgiven, and woe be the one who offends a Scorpio. Do not play with the heart of a Scorpio unless you are looking for a death match. I am not going to go into detail about this young man's sexual prowess because his mother is going to read this, but let's say that Mars in Leo in the 8th house of sex makes it a significant amount if he can control his ego. If, as a Scorpio gentleman, he learns not to kiss and tell. Fail in either of those areas, and he will be just another guy who thinks he's all that.


Mars is a very important planet in this chart because it is the handle of a bucket pattern. This is the pattern the planets (only the planets) make in this chart. The bucket ( or bowl) part of this pattern takes up one half of the chart, leaving the other half empty. That causes him to feel there is something missing in his life, something that should be there, but is not, and he is unable to define what that missing part is. He should spend his energy trying to anchor himself to something (yoga would be one good option) that will make him feel balanced and complete, and as he matures, should turn his effort toward self-improvement because he does have something important to contribute to the world. 

Unfortunately, the planets that form the rim of the bowl--Venus on one end and the moon on the other--don't make a perfect opposition, so he lacks self-awareness of these facts. Therefore, there is a constant subconscious grasping to reach for that particular something that will make him feel he has a direction, a defined path to follow in life. This is even more difficult due to Libra, the sign of indecisiveness, being on his Midheaven. Mars in Leo in the 8th house of sex and death, as the handle of the bucket, becomes the lens through which he will focus his need to contribute to society and make something of his life. Until he grasps this concept, he acts out in a rash, impulsive manner, completely in line with his quick-tempered Aries moon. Mars is the co-ruler of Scorpio, and therefore the lord of his 11th house, as well as the 4th house, where Aries is on the cusp. That's two houses of endings and the house of accidents, and so that peacock of a Mars is very likely to become a lead player in this young man's eventual demise. Until then he will live life fully. As he matures, he will use that Mars to teach and inspire others in some way. But because Mars squares Jupiter, the ruler of his 12th house of confinement, let's hope he's not doing it behind bars. That is a very real possibility unless he masters himself very soon.

Another thing that makes the Leo Mars exceptionally important in his life path is that it's conjunct his vertex. The vertex is a date with destiny. It represents things and events that are not under our control. With all this said, and I hope his mom will take this in stride and also to heart, the very best thing anyone could do for her son while he is still young is to buy him a 5-year supply of condoms, and pray he uses them.


When we take an overview of his chart, his key points are equally divided between cardinal and fixed signs, but the majority are in water. This gives him an overall signature of Scorpio. And although there is no Cancer in his chart anywhere other than the sun being in the Cancer duad, this signature is also colored with Cancerian traits. Positively, those are love of home, mom, family and country, the urge to nurture and protect, a strong intuitive or psychic ability, and a love for the sea. Negatively, it can be possessive and clinging, and overly tenacious. He only has one planet in a mutable sign, so he's not very flexible or adaptable about most things.


He was born under a Gibbous moon, which is is resourceful and goal-oriented. He seeks purpose and meaning in life, and knowledge to add value to it. The moon was moving slowly on the day of his birth, and Mercury, planet of the rational mind and ability to communicate, rose ahead of the sun, which gives him a balanced mental chemistry. He processes communication from his senses slowly and deliberately, and then responds quickly.

The moon in Aries can be a problem to him, though. Aries is an impatient, ardent, selfish, goal-oriented sign, and not one where the moon works very well. The moon is a mom, all nurturing and emotional. She represents our emotional needs and reactions, ingrained habits and our inner child. When the moon is in Aries the emotional nature is impatient, quick-tempered and prone to tantrums - not the kind of mom written of on Mother's Day cards. The Long-Ago Man had the moon in Aries, too. In the many years I saw him daily, I never once saw him lose his temper or display any kind of impatience whatsoever. Nothing. He was the most easy-going, laid-back, chillin' dude you could imagine. Decades after his death when I was able to obtain his birth data and cast his chart, I was confused by his Aries moon. How could that be? I asked a couple of his relatives and his closest friend. Turns out that as a child he had terrible temper tantrums. As a grown man he had learned to hide his temper from all but the closest of confidants, but the stories they told about it sent chills up my spine. The moon is the hardest of the planets to master because it is tied to our instinctual response of fight or flight. It seems the ability to control it is a testament to the strength of Scorpio and its ability to transform and renew.


Before I talk about the rising sign in this chart, I want to talk about the conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in his 11th house. This conjunction is one the most powerful and lucky aspects a person can have. So let's take it apart and look at it carefully.  

Because Pluto is the dispositor of four other planets and the North Node, and because he plays a key role in this guy’s life, I want him to thoroughly understand Pluto, so that he may begin to recognize where his fortunes lie. 

Pluto is dark, intense, and extreme. He has the power to bring to the surface things that are hidden, and bring to light things that are secret, whether they are deep in the subconscious or deep in the pockets. He is formidable and ruthless. 


Begin with the ancient myth of Hades, god of the underworld. Hades is the brother of Zeus. After the overthrow of their Father Cronus (Saturn), Hades (Pluto) drew straws with his brothers Zeus (Jupiter) and Poseidon (Neptune), for shares of the world. He drew the short straw and was made lord of the underworld, ruling over the dead. He is also the god of wealth, because of the precious metals mined from the earth. He is a greedy god who is greatly concerned with increasing his subjects and disinclined to let any leave his kingdom.

There was a beautiful young woman named Persephone (Pers if
' ini) who was the daughter of Demeter, also known as Mother Nature. One day Demeter went to supervise her bountiful crops, and allowed Persephone to play in a sylvan valley until she returned. But Hades knew of Persephone and had fallen in love with her. Seeing his chance, he opened a chasm in the earth and kidnapped her. He absconded with her to his lair, and raped her, which made her his wife.

When Demeter returned, she was unable to find her daughter, though she wandered the earth for days in grief. Finally, she met Hekate, the deity of magic, witchcraft, spirits and crossroads, who told Demeter all about how Hades had dragged Persephone into the underworld. Demeter was furious. She went to Zeus and demanded that he force Hades to let Persephone go – or else! But Hades could not be persuaded.

Demeter, as Mother Nature, would not give up. She caused the earth to freeze and the crops to die and all the subjects of the various kingdoms to starve until Zeus could convince Hades to give up Persephone. Unfortunately, while in Hades’ lair, Persephone had also become hungry and had finally given in and eaten a few pomegranate seeds. Zeus finally struck a bargain with Hades and Demeter. Persephone would be freed, but she would have to return to live with Hades one month for every seed she had eaten. And for each of those months, in protest, Demeter inflicts winter upon the earth again. When Persephone emerges, we have renewal, resurrection, and a new spring.

From this myth, we get most of our meanings of Pluto: extreme wealth, greed, depth, power, yearning, lust, desire, jealousy, possession, kidnapping, crime, rape, sex, force, ruthlessness, fanatical compulsion, fury, death, renewal, resurrection, and recycling.

Pluto also takes some of its meaning from the state of the world when it was discovered. This has been the case with each of the "modern" outer planets. 

Uranus, for instance, was discovered around the time of both
 the French and American Revolutions. 
It represents revolt, rebellion, freedom and liberty. 

Neptune's discovery coincided with the rise of religious sects 
and secret societies, 
the use of oil and steam for power, 
and photography. 

Pluto was discovered during the race for nuclear energy, 
financial collapse and renewal, 
the birth of Social Security, 
the rise of gangsters and the Mob, 
and when King Edward VIII abdicated the throne for the woman he loved (passion). 
This is the planet of extremes. There is no "half-way" with Pluto. It's all or nothing, do or die. Pluto is intense high drama, and he intensifies everything he touches. In this case, he's touching Jupiter. So take all those things that Pluto represents and multiply them by a hundred. Or a thousand. 

Jupiter is our biggest planet, being more than 317 times larger than Earth. The storm on
Jupiter that we call the "red spot" alone, is bigger than the entire earth. Jupiter is the principle of expansion, and increases the size and amount of everything it touches. It is known as the Santa Claus of the zodiac because of its propensity to give and give and give. It is the planet of bigger, better, and more.  

Old Jove is a do-gooder and idealist who wants to improve the world. He expands and explores and reaches out to all and everything. He is an adventurer, the lord of travel, journeys, long distances, immigration, and imports and exports. He rules over foreign places, and their people, cultures, and languages. He takes us along as he travels the universe seeking Ultimate Truth, opening and expanding our minds. He gives us philanthropy, religion, philosophy, advanced education, medicine, law, literature and publishing. He supplies our hope, faith, and optimism. Sounds like the perfect planet, doesn't he? Not quite.

Jupiter does have drawbacks. There are some things in life we don't want increased! If Jupiter is on the ascendant, it increases our waistlines. Put it with Venus and you get diabetes. Too close to the sun and you may be extra jolly, or you may have a very big ego. Afflicting Mercury, you get a motor mouth. It spreads cancer, tumors, viruses and plagues. One of the biggest drawbacks to Jupiter is when we rely too much on luck, and not enough on our own effort. We can have too much faith that things will turn out and too much optimism at the poker table. We can over-react, over-do and over-reach our limitations. But any small effort we make is magnified and intensified by leaps and bounds, and the tide flows our way.

Because Jupiter represents our ideals and the seeking of Ultimate Truth, when it conjuncts Pluto, which is deeply profound, intense, destroying and renewing (through the process of death and rebirth, like the phoenix), the things that we no longer need for the growth of our souls are removed from our lives. Sometimes that is a person, sometimes a place, a thing, a way of being or doing. It has fulfilled its duty to teach us a particular lesson and now it must be released. If this is not done willingly, Pluto will take it by force. Doubt the Plutonian process at your own peril.

Like all planets and their combinations, there are both positives and negatives. Pluto plumbs the depths, reaching the very bottom line, getting into the sewers and swamps, dredging up the very dregs of our souls and psyches. Jupiter seeks the Truth in what we have found. We must ruthlessly examine our own opinions, ideals and motives. Opinions are stated and power is wielded with great passion and intensity. This is an aspect of great reformers, leaders, charismatic personalities and plutocrats. It gives big ideas and the desire to influence others, to wield power, to lead and make great achievements, and to reach enormous success. Let’s take a quick look at some famous people who have this combination in their charts, and then we’ll look at the conjunction in this one.

Known as Mahatma (great soul), Mohandas Gandhi was an Indian lawyer and civil rights champion, the spiritual and political leader of India through the birth of its independence. He created the nonviolent disobedience method of protest. How fitting that his Jupiter/ Pluto conjunction was in Taurus, given that his great success was in the country and religion where cows are sacred. 

Nelson Mandela is a civil rights hero and martyr who ended apartheid and established democracy in South Africa. He was arrested as a political prisoner in 1962 and spent 27 years in prison. He was released in 1990. A highly charismatic personality, he went on lecture tours to campaign for public office. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and became the nation's first white president in 1994, serving until June 1999. He is also the author of two books. His Jupiter / Pluto conjunction is in Cancer, the sign of home and country.

When conjunct, planets reinforce each other. Not every person with a Jupiter / Pluto conjunction uses it in a positive way. In fact, this aspect is like the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem about a little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead:

     There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

When the conjunction is afflicted and Pluto is allowed to dominate, instead of powerful forces for good, there are powerful forces for evil. Instead of the earning or winning power, there is the seizing of power. Used negatively, this is an aspect of high drama, epic gestures, grandiose schemes, and extreme exaggeration. This is where plutocrats draw lines and dare others to cross them. It is where people get locked into their own ideals without regard for a higher truth, or the possibility of a higher power. And Jupiter multiplies it all.

Cult leader Jim Jones formed the People’s Temple in Guyana based on his interpretation of Jupiter’s idealism and religion. Pluto did its job of dredging up the darkest, and most despicable parts of his soul and psyche, but that’s where he stopped. His narcissistic Leo Mars prevented him from realizing that there is an Ultimate Truth or from examining his own motives, and in the end, he ordered the murder of a congressman and several members of the press, then forced 920 cult members to commit suicide. This is from where the counter-culture term "Don't drink the Kool-Aid" comes. He had Capricorn, the sign of leadership rising, Libra on the Midheaven, the moon in Aries in the 3rd house, and Mars in Leo in the 8th house. That’s quite a few similarities with the chart that we’re working on here. But there are some major differences. An important one is that Saturn opposes the Jupiter/ Pluto conjunction in the Jones chart, and the moon and her nodes square it. That is what led to Plutonian misuse and abuse.

Pluto is the planet of plutocrats, a person or party who rules through wealth. It focuses its formidable will toward increasing whatever opportunities Jupiter is interested in, and no rock will be unturned. It feeds a crazed longing and cutthroat rivalry. It is a steamroller that will decimate the competition.

Warren Buffett, American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist is widely considered to be the most successful investor of the 20th century, and one of the richest, worth 54 billion dollars. The "Oracle of Omaha," primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has pledged to give 99% of his fortune to charity upon his death, most of it through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Like Jim Jones and Nelson Mandela, his Jupiter / Pluto conjunction is in Cancer. It is square his Libra Midheaven. Libra’s ruler, Venus is conjunct the Midheaven.

Bill Gates, American business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor and philanthropist, the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft which he co-founded with Paul Allen, is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He has authored and co-authored several books. He has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion that has been upheld by some courts. He has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His Jupiter / Pluto conjunction is in Leo, the “look at me” sign, in the 2nd house of money. His moon is in Aries, and Uranus, the planet of computers and inventions is conjunct his ascendant.

Ivanka Trump, daughter of asshat Donald Trump, is an American businesswoman, heiress, former model and author of a business book. She is the Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at The Trump Organization, involved with all aspects of the company's real estate and hotel management initiatives. She owns Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry. Her Lifestyle Collection includes fragrance, footwear, handbags, clothing and makeup. Her Jupiter / Pluto conjunction is in Libra, a sign very concerned with beauty and relationships. Her birth time is unknown, so we don’t know the house it is in.

Mick Jagger, British musician, singer, songwriter and actor, is best known as the lead vocalist and founding member of the Rolling Stones. His Jupiter / Pluto conjunction is also conjunct his sun (ego and identity), Mercury (communication, and also the chart ruler with Gemini rising), and his North Node (a benefic; going forward in life) in the egocentric, creative, show business sign of Leo. He had enormous influence not only in music, but over an entire generation of fans. Though he was married three times, he has never pretended to maintain monogamy. His masseuse said, "He looks like an old raisin but he's still wicked sexy. He has this giant Grand Canyon ego and it just can't be filled by one woman." He is worth $230 million.

Robert De Niro, beloved and highly-regarded American actor, director and producer with four Oscars to his credit is also an astute businessman who owns hotels, restaurants, and commercial real estate in New York. His Jupiter /Pluto conjunction is in Leo, sign of show business, in the second house of money. His sun (ego, identity) and North Node (a benefic; going forward in life) are also there, but not close enough to be conjunct Jupiter or Pluto, so while he probably has a healthy ego, it’s not the enormous size of Mick Jagger’s.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Wales have Jupiter / Pluto conjunctions, both with Pluto in Libra and Jupiter in Scorpio. William’s is conjunct his Midheaven, so he will be a very powerful king. Kate’s birth time is unknown, so we don’t know which house holds her conjunction.

The daredevil is in the details for Felix Baumgartner, who fell to earth from a capsule lifted by a helium balloon above New Mexico. Traveling over 24 miles in four minutes, he broke the sound barrier. His Jupiter / Pluto conjunction is in Virgo, the sign of analytic details. We don’t know his time of birth so we don’t know which house it’s in, but we do know it’s also conjunct Uranus (original, inventive, non-conformist) and part of a yod, also known as the Hand of God or Finger of Fate.

So now we finally come to the Jupiter / Pluto conjunction in the young man's chart that we’re working on here. For what will he use his great power? That is the billion-dollar question.

The conjunction is in Scorpio, the sign of extremes, the sign of either sinner or saint. Will he mature overnight and decide to aim for the extreme wealth and power he can have someday, or will he be teaching and inspiring others from behind bars? It could go either way, and this is where free will comes into play. It is entirely up to him.

The conjunction makes three aspects:

# It’s conjunct his sun, but not in Leo. However, it tells us that what he does with it will be strongly associated with his name and identity.

# It’s sextiled by Neptune, an aspect that gives a little help, one that provides opportunities if the person is willing to make the effort. Neptune covers a lot of ground, from spiritual awareness to alcohol and drug abuse, from charity to music and art. It will be different things at different times and I can’t pick just one at this time, although I’ll be taking a closer look at it in a few minutes.

# It’s squared by his Mars in Leo, and that’s a difficult aspect. It indicates that there will be times when he may abuse his power either for the glorification of his own ego, or simply because he’s angry. Any time Mars squares Pluto, it’s like lighting a match under a keg of dynamite. There’s a significant potential for an explosion, and with Jupiter there as a multiplier, the odds increase.

There’s a test of this theory coming up with the solar eclipse on May 10th, which will fall into his 4th house of home, family, and domestic matters, where the action will take place. (In the chart, it looks like it falls in the 5th house, but there was no room to fit it in the 4th. You can see that the eclipse happens at 19 degrees Taurus, and the house cusp is at 21.) This is also one of the houses of endings. It will square his Mars in the 8th house, and oppose his sun, his ego, the ruler of his 8th house. It also opposes the Jupiter/ Pluto conjunction, but it’s a wide opposition. The 8th house is the house of death, one of the houses of endings. It’s also the house of sex, crime, surgery (Pluto = invasion and penetration, Mars = sharp tools, knives, scalpels, weapons). Additionally, it's the house of other people’s money.   

I also think this is a bomb on a timer, set to go off a week later, between May 17 - May 19
when transiting Mars squares his natal Mars. Mars is the penis planet, ruling everything associated with men: anger, aggression, hostility, war, bloodshed, tools, weapons, sharp objects, burns, fires, sports, and sex.

I’m afraid this eclipse will come too soon for our guy to learn control over his anger.  I can't even control mine at my age, sometimes. Sadly, if things turn out badly, he may never get the chance to live up to the potential indicated in his chart.

There’s another possibility here that he should also be aware of. Pluto represents not only “The Mob,” but mobs and crowds of people, as well. It’s group energy. The 11th house, where his Pluto is located, also represents groups, associations, clubs, fraternities, gangs, brotherhoods, societies, etc., as well as friends in general. He should stay away from crowds from May 8 through May 20, until transiting Mars has finished the square to his natal Mars. Even if he controls his temper, he could be the victim of someone else’s. 


Normally, the ascendant (rising sign) is one of the first things I begin with when doing a reading. I have intentionally changed the order of this chart for a reason. The ascendant is like a mask we wear that hides our inner self. It is the face we present to the public, and the first impression that we make. 

So often when people "test" astrologers to see if we can 
guess their sign, it is the rising sign that we guess, 
not the sun sign, 
because that is the first image you project on the screen.

This young man's rising sign is Capricorn. This is a very serious sign. It is ruled by Saturn, which was the first thing I talked about in this reading, remember?

Saturn represents our framework, our structures, our bones. It's organization, security, and tradition (the way things "have always been," or "are supposed to be"). It shows what we can depend on, who we can turn to, who is in charge, who holds it all together for us. It represents the rules as we know them.  reality. It's science.  It's the father.


Here's why I left it until the end: Our guy's natal Saturn is in Pisces, ruled by Neptune. His natal Neptune is in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. That puts them in mutual reception (there are several other posts on this blog that explain mutual reception). Ordinarily, that's supposed to be helpful. There is no doubt that the planets work together, but sometimes it is to their own detriment. It depends on their individual strengths. Neptune is in the sign of its fall in Capricorn, so that weakens it. Saturn is not at its best in Pisces, but it's not considered to be debilitated there, and in this chart, it receives a trine from Venus, the ruler of the Midheaven, so it is the stronger of the two. Unfortunately, Saturn and Neptune semi-square each other, so they aren't cooperating with each other. And a very important point to remember is that transiting Neptune is conjunct our guy's natal Saturn, so the chickens have come home to roost. That is the thing that caught my eye and instigated this reading in the first place.

As stated before, every planet has positives and negatives. The negative side of Saturn rears its ugly head when we do not accept our responsibilities. It is the taskmaster and the Lord of Karma, so it punishes us for our transgressions. It is the planet of fear, guilt, sorrow, suffering, sadness, depression, loss and difficulty. This planet beats us with a reality stick. This is not MTV’s “Real World.” This is Saturn’s “Real World,” and our guy is getting a wakeup call that’s going to leave a mark. No one is going to rescue him or kick him off the show. He has to tough it out. Here’s some advice for him: the sooner and better he takes care of his responsibilities, the less it will hurt!

Let’s look at the various combinations that are beating on our guy right now and for the next two years because of Neptune’s very slow transit and its back and forth retrograde motion. He will get a little breather a few times as Neptune moves a degree past the exact conjunction in each direction, but it won’t be much, or for long. It is like an underwater swimmer finding a pocket of air here and there before his lungs burst. 

Let’s begin with Saturn in woe-is-me Pisces: 


With Saturn, the planet of hard lessons, karma, and responsibility in Pisces, this young man has to learn the lesson of compassion. At this time especially, he is of the age and social class that is vulnerable to slipping through the cracks. He’s too old to be considered an endangered minor, and too young to find a firm foothold in the world. He comes from a middle class with too much money to qualify for most government or charitable benefits, and too little money to survive alone. He pictures himself as a tragic figure, a victim of the world or one where the system has failed him, and that his life is one of suffering and sacrifice. This is a martyr aspect. Jesus Christ, who gave his own life to absolve the sins of humanity, had Saturn in Pisces.

# At worst, he may be dropped into events that present him with the dilemma of sacrificing his own life to save another’s.

# Middle-ground, he may find himself in situations where he must sacrifice his own wishes or well-being to help another.

# He must find compassion for those weaker and less fortunate than himself, for animals, and for all living things. If he does not do this voluntarily, it may be forced on him in ways such as community service, but that is the least of the possible evils. 


Saturn represents authority figures and fatherhood. With this Saturn / Pisces / Neptune / Capricorn combination, our guy feels like a victim of authority figures, or he may in fact, be victimized in some way by his father, or his father may be victimized. He may want to escape from his father, or his father may want to escape. Sometimes the father acts like the victim, or is weak or debilitated in some way. Often the father abuses drugs or alcohol. Sometimes the father disappears, either through abandonment or death. Sometimes he’s a con man. Another possibility, but not one I think applies here, is that the father could be an actor (Saturn = father / Neptune = fantasy). Or maybe the father puts on an act, but is not a professional actor. One or both could be a master of illusion.

Going the opposite direction, our guy may idealize his father, especially now, while the Neptune transit over his Saturn is in effect. The odds are that he’s not seeing his father clearly at all.

Saturn represents structure. In our bodies, it rules our skeleton and our teeth. In our employment, it rules building, construction, craftsmanship, architecture, and engineering, as well as authorities, executives, masters and experts. It is Kronos and Old Father Time, the timekeepers.

Neptune, remember, dissolves things, and makes them filmy and foggy.

This is an inability (Neptune) to get his act together (Saturn). Our guy is probably having a hard time following a structured routine. Instead of meals at the table, he probably catches fast food when he gets the munchies. Like so many young people who have been raised in a liberal, relaxed or permissive way, he probably parties all night and sleeps all day. This is not to say that everyone in the world has to follow the same set routine as everyone else; the world is full of variety, and we all need to follow our own internal clock. I’m only pointing out that the effect of the aspect prevents one from seeing the boundaries, but gives a clear view of the life he has known disappearing beneath his feet.

At this time, he is stagnating and lacks any kind of ambition. The economy sucks; wages are low; unemployment is high; why even bother? It is a feeling of being caught in limbo between now and whatever is next. He feels


In addition, he also believes that others are burdening him too much with their own issues or responsibilities or forcing him to take on more than he feels he can cope with right now. It just keeps coming, and there is no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. He feels he is having a hard enough time coping with own life, without bearing the burdens of someone else, so he withdraws and drops out.

If he is not burdened with responsibility for others, then nothing at all is expected of him. He doesn’t have to work to produce anything and slides by without any effort on his own part at all. His dreams and fantasies may be so intertwined with reality that he may not be able to tell them apart. It is very possible, but would be a sad situation, if he put his trust in men who are involved in some seriously shady business and make very slick promises. Attempting to get away (Neptune) with it (“it” being responsibility – Saturn). Fleeing (Neptune) from authorities (Saturn). Escaping (Neptune) responsibility (Saturn).

At the same time, he is looking for a foothold, for someone or something to point the way and give structure to his life. Saturn wants to turn dreams into reality. With Neptune’s help, he can imagine his ideal world and use Saturn’s ambition and effort to create it. Some of the abilities of this conjunction are

Using (Saturn) artistic skills (Neptune) in business (Saturn)
Working hard (Saturn) to develop artistic skills (Neptune)
Developing (Saturn) photographic, writing, acting, or dancing (Neptune) skills

Effort (Saturn) in a spiritual (Neptune) discipline (Saturn) such as meditation or yoga

Voluntary work (Saturn) for charity (Neptune) or in a care-giving (Neptune) capacity

Working (Saturn) to develop spiritual and psychic abilities (Neptune)


Saturn = fears. Neptune = unknown. Fear of the unknown, fear of dissolving into nothingness. Fear of disappearing.


 This is a test of faith for our guy. Saturn is the planet of science, and science declares that if you can’t prove it, it doesn’t exist. Neptune is the planet of intangibles, of things that do exist, but can’t be proven. He can’t seem to reconcile spiritual hope and faith (or other beliefs) with practical concerns. He feels he is “in this world and yet not of the world.”

We return to the ascendant, the mask, and the first impression we give to others. Our guy’s rising sign is Capricorn, ruled by Saturn in his chart. Capricorn is associated with winter, and with earth signs, which makes the personality cold and the sense of humor dry. To Capricorn, life is deadly serious. Anthony Hopkins and Susan Sarandon have Capricorn rising.
Those with significant Capricorn in their chart are serious people. When Neptune is added to the mix, add doubt and pessimism. These are people who like sad music and have depressing fantasies. They take it upon themselves to shoulder the burdens of the world, and feel responsible for the weak, ill and underprivileged. Because they live with depression, they can have great empathy for others who are dealing with it. With Neptune involved, there is disillusionment, self-pity and depression mixed together. Victim mentality and pessimism mixed together. Confusion and rigidity mixed together. A great big pity potty. This can be an aspect of confinement (Neptune) to a mental institution or hospital (Neptune), setting limits (Saturn) on how much personal sacrifice (Neptune) the person will have to endure (Saturn). 


Neptune makes our guy overly sensitive to Saturn’s harsh reality. It is dissolving his structures. It could get to the point where he can no longer tell the real from the illusion. When Saturn and Neptune conjoin, real life is an illusion; reality is an illusion. It becomes malleable and whatever he makes of it. Subconsciously, he is attempting to use this force to create his ideal life.

“Reality” TV is not real. It is Neptune blurring the lines between what is real and what is fake. It shifts the boundaries of reality and incorporates deception. Our guy has begun to act his way through life and to glamorize his reality. He is attempting to make his life seem more magical than it really is.

His fantasy life is at odds with his real life. Any real responsibility he has prevents him from fully submersing himself into flights of fancy, but for how long? He may feel thwarted from pursuing his dreams, or believe that he is being prevented from living his “real” life, which is a fantasy life. Fantasy now bleeds into his reality while reality bleeds out of his fantasies. His normal, everyday life takes on a fantastic narrative. He wants to live a fictional life, so he is making it up as he goes.

This has only begun to touch on the possible meanings of Saturn / Neptune aspects. There are scores of key phrases that may still shed light on our guy’s situation. Here is but a small sample:

Fairy tales (Neptune) with life lessons (Saturn)

Great (Saturn) Sacrifice (Neptune)

End (Neptune) of Time (Saturn) / Final (Neptune) Days (Saturn)

Karmic (Saturn) release (Neptune)

Responsibility (Saturn) of tying up one’s affairs (Neptune)

Resignation (Saturn) and surrender (Neptune)

Repentance; (Saturn) Learning (Saturn) from endings (Neptune)

“Doing it right (Saturn) at last” (Neptune)

Penance (Saturn) for the past (Neptune)

Forced (Saturn) termination (Neptune)

Responsible (Saturn) Idealist (Neptune)

Humility (Saturn) and sacrifice (Neptune)

Isolation (Saturn and Neptune)

Obligation (Saturn) to show compassion (Neptune)

Obligation (Saturn) to be charitable (Neptune)

Secret (Neptune) sorrow (Saturn)

Secret (Neptune) guilt (Saturn)

Secret (Neptune) fear (Saturn)

Depressed (Saturn) to death (Neptune)

Hidden (Neptune) responsibilities (Saturn)

No (Saturn) exit (Neptune)

Stand on your own two feet and take responsibility (Saturn);
or feel like a victim and blame others (Neptune)

Haunted (Neptune) by guilt (Saturn)

Skeletons (Saturn) in the closet (Neptune) 

Here are some examples of famous people who have Saturn in Pisces and how they have used it. 

The 14th and current Dalai Lama, head of the monks of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and has traveled the world, advocating for the welfare of Tibetans, teaching Tibetan Buddhism and talking about the importance of compassion as the source of a happy life. Saturn in Pisces in the 9th house of the higher mind (religion)

Alexander II, Russian Czar, emancipated the serfs. He released thousands of political prisoners, removed conditions of exile and reduced censorship. Saturn in Pisces in the 9th house of the higher mind (law)

Woody Allen American screenwriter, director, actor, filmmaker, comedian, author, playwright, and musician known for his neurosis and a penchant for psychoanalysis. An anhedonic, one who is psychologically unable to enjoy himself, he has a fear of water, heights, airline stewardesses, dishwashers at Holiday Inns, the dark and death. In August, 1992, when a new moon conjuncted his ascendant and opposed his Saturn in Pisces in the 7th house of marriage and relationships, his longtime girlfriend, Mia Farrow, discovered her adopted daughter, Soon Yi, in his apartment, along with nude photos of the girl. A scandal and court battle ensued. Allen and Soon Yi have now been married for twenty years.
Susan B. Anthony Early anti-slavery and women's suffrage advocate. Her birth time is unknown, but her Saturn in Pisces is conjunct Pluto (transformation), Venus (women), the Moon’s North Node, and probably the moon itself.
Annie Besant, British-Indian social reformer and feminist, was deeply religious as a child, and longed to serve humanity with some sort of glorious martyrdom. She took up the cause of birth control, about which she wrote and was arrested. In 1889 she became interested in the doctrine of Theosophy and served as the President of the Theosophical Society in India. She took the young Krishnamurti under her wing and nurtured him as the New Avatar. She founded the Order of the Star in the East. Her Saturn in Pisces was conjunct her Neptune in Aquarius in the 12th house of secret orders and societies.
Edgar Cayce American mystic known as "The Sleeping Prophet." While in a sleep state he could discuss history, geology, metaphysics, philosophy and medicine. He gave approximately 30,000 life-readings and medical diagnosis to people during his lifetime. He founded a hospital, a university, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that promotes research on his readings and continues his work. His Saturn in Pisces is conjunct Mercury, Venus, the North Node and the cusp of the 8th house of death.

 Jane Fonda American actress, feminist, political activist, businesswoman, philanthropist and wife of famous men. As she reinvents herself in a series of different incarnations, all in this lifetime, she has been the object of admiration and outrage. An extremist who has frequently demonstrated poor judgment, earning the nickname "Hanoi Jane,"she is also known for her courage and convictions, standing up for that which she believes to be right. Her Pisces Saturn is in the second house of money, and rules her Capricorn ascendant.
 Sir Isaac Newton, British astronomer, physicist, mathematician and astrologer who showed us how the universe is held together. He is known as one of the greatest minds in the history of human thought. He sought to combine a scientific and spiritual understanding of the Universe and calculated that the world would end in 2060. His Saturn in Pisces is considered to be in his 5th house of creativity, conjunct Jupiter, the planet of the higher mind. It rules his intercepted 3rd house of the rational mind. 
.Sir Lawrence Olivier, British actor, director and producer, considered to be the greatest actor of the twentieth century. The Founder of London's Royal National Theatre and the Festival Theatre in Chichester, he successfully adapted Shakespeare's plays to film. The youngest actor ever knighted. He then became Lord Olivier at 63, the first peerage ever given to an actor. Married three times, including twenty years to actress Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara), he was nevertheless a closet bi-sexual. His Saturn in Pisces was in the 11th house of friends, groups, and associations, and ruled his intercepted 8th house of sex.
 Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher and writer known for his fine prose style and
pessimistic philosophies. He led a solitary life and became deeply involved in the study of Buddhist and Hindu philosophies and mysticism. His philosophy was atheistic but influenced by Eastern thought; he was a misogynist, never marrying and discouraging any friendships. His main work was, "The World as Will and Idea" in 1819. 
"All Truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

This is Part 1. Part 2, How to Look at the Future is here. It examines Uranus transiting over the natal moon, as well as what the future holds for this young man.

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