The main astrological backdrop to this year is a tense series of squares between the constrictive authoritarian forces of Saturn and rebellious, unpredictable energy of Uranus – these will occur on 18 February, 15 June and 24 December. Whenever these two planets connect there are huge social ramifications as collective humanity is pulled into the antagonism of these seemingly opposite energies.

Square aspects produce friction, as the two parties negotiating often have little in common. And fixed squares are even more dramatic, with both sides too stubborn to open their minds to new possibilities. In this case, it’s a judgemental eagle and a mutinous bull trying to understand each other – is there even a language on which terms can be negotiated? Looking to the past may hold some solutions…

The current Saturn-Uranus cycle

Saturn and Uranus go through a cycle together, lasting approx. 45 years. Involved in revolutions in the past, they often signify when the breakthroughs are made and new futures are planned. American Independence was signed under one such cycle, the suffragette movement gained momentum under another and the Cold War in Europe ended under this energy too.

This square is the final of the current Saturn-Uranus cycle that started in 1988, so reflecting back on previous meetings could offer some insight on what’s to come.

The beginning: Saturn conjunct Uranus – 1988/9

Worsening economic conditions in communist countries across the world birthed a new wave of revolutions in early 1988, within days of the first conjunction between these two planets. These nonviolent revolutions continued across USSR, Europe and Asia for the next few years, from the peaceful pan-European picnic across Eastern Europe, to Tiananmen Square protest in China. By November 1989 the Iron Curtain was lifted and the Cold War ground to a halt. An exciting new era of freedom was ushered in for many communist countries, yet without the offsetting effect of communism, capitalism began to rapidly expand.

The First tension: Saturn Square Uranus – 1999/2000

The end of the century saw global markets gripped by fear of global system collapse due to Y2K. Suddenly we realised just how flimsy our technology and financial systems were, as countries and banks worked feverishly to ensure disaster didn’t ensue. Many people prepare for social collapse by stockpiling food, medicines, water, and weapons while banks and governments threw time and money to ensure it didn’t impact the world’s financial systems. At the same time, apartheid was being dismantled in South Africa and Nelson Mandela freed from prison, the Serbian revolution overthrew corrupt autocrat Slobodan Milošević and Scotland reclaimed it’s legislative power with the first Scottish Parliament in 300 years.

 

Tipping Point: Saturn opposite Uranus – November 2008

In late 2008, poorly regulated financial practices in the global markets suddenly met Saturn’s reaping in the Global Financial Crisis. With Pluto newly in Capricorn at the same time, the effects of corporate greed, corruption and lack of regulation filtered into every corner of the world as both banks and economies teetered and collapsed, sadly bringing poverty to many countries who had forgotten it’s sour taste.

And now for the Final Square

So now we’re beyond 2020 and staring at the rubble around us, it’s time to ask – how do we rebuild? The joy of the final square, it encourages us to hone the tools we already have, and use past experience to guide us towards the right choices. Will we finally take the proverbial bull by the horns and come back to the real roots of capitalism and free economy but with better systems of regulation in place? Can more sustainable economic systems, such as the Doughnut economy, help us reign in Earth Era materialism and consumption to reduce damage to the planet? It’s really up to each of us, and here are some thoughts on where we can find commonality between Saturn and Uranus.

Freedom AND responsibility

Uranus is all about breaking our shackles towards freedom, while Saturn loves adding in the burdens of duty and responsibility. So it’s no surprise Freedom and Responsibility are seen as polar opposites – for our individual-focused Western minds anyway.

Over the coming year, you may feel parts of yourself at odds as you crave freedom in one area but also honour and respect your responsibilities and duties in another. For Taurus rising, this could be self-expression versus career goals, while Leo rising wants to change their home environment but relationship commitments may stand in the way. The tip; find creative and innovative ways to do both, instead of seeing it as an either-or.

Individual rights versus collective responsibilities

In many societies around the world, family and community are everything and their very survival depends on it. You are a recognised individual, and also part of a series of collectives – family, community, culture, society – and there’s a constant evaluation of your own needs against the needs of the collective you belong to.

My husband’s culture is like this, and when I first met it, it seemed confining, everyone watching and engaged in your life. Yet, there are few elderly dying alone, or parents raising their children in isolated silos. The eyes of the town do watch; in the worst cases with judgement but more often to support and uplift and help check the individual whose actions may harm themselves or others. You are never alone unless you make a clear choice that you want to be.

Get realistic about the changes we want to create

Uranus in Taurus has already seen changes in the women’s movement, environmentalism and currency structures. This test from Saturn in Aquarius can create the visionary yet pragmatic structure requires for the Uranus in Taurus changes to have a lasting effect… but it needs a delicate hand to ensure forward momentum. Too far Uranus’s way and it could break, too far towards Saturnina regulations and stagnation is likely.

Anchoring in the unknown

We’re all standing on the edge of a new terrain, staring out across the landscape and wondering what’s ahead. As we straddle two epochs, there is a tingling excitement about the possibilities of this new Era of Air yet it requires us to embrace the inevitable changes this entails. Sometimes change happens in increments and sometimes, like now, huge leaps are required.

My sense is Saturn in Capricorn saw us climb to the mountain heights but, with Saturn in Aquarius, we’re building structures to enable us to soar into the blue beyond. Corruption, greed, injustice have been exposed; and now we can choose to leave these behind and create expansive possibilities of integrity, equality and true humanism. To lift our feet from the ground feels like a leap of faith yet it’s just a matter of knowing what is right and doing that.
Nelson Mandela once said to his own country “A bright future beckons. The onus is on us, through hard work, honesty and integrity, to reach for the stars”. My sense is, he was seeing well beyond just his own country.

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