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Saturn conjunct Pluto: why you may not be feeling it and why I am!

Saturn conjunct Pluto Image by Gaia Orion.

Saturn is the ruler of structure, responsibilities, limitations and commitments while Pluto brings transformation through surrender to the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Saturn conjunct Pluto combines these two powerful energies.

Saturn isn’t due to conjunct Pluto until 12 January 2020 but for some people, including me, this once every 33-38 year transit is already having a profound impact. So why is it that some people are feeling it and not others? Saturn conjunct Pluto is generally seen as a transit that affects us at a societal level, breaking down structures that are no longer useful and building up new ones. It has as it’s themes power, domination, hierarchy and order, as well as the dissolution and transformation of these. It’s manifestation can be both violent and oppressive.

A transit such as Saturn conjunct Pluto only becomes personal when a planet or point in your natal or progressed chart is activated. If you’re new to astrology you may have wondered why some people are hit very hard by a particular transit while you feel very little at all. The reason for this is that while the transiting planets move in and out of relationship with one another, they also move in and out of relationship with the unique planetary configuration of each person’s natal chart.

I’m going to use the upcoming Saturn conjunct Pluto transit and my own natal and progressed charts as a case study to illustrate how this works. Let’s start by looking at my natal and progressed charts and the points that are activated by this transit.

In my natal chart, Venus, the Sun and Moon all reside in Capricorn at 15, 17 and 18 degrees respectively. In addition my natal Pluto sits at 16 degrees Libra creating a square to the stellium in Capricorn. As Saturn and Pluto dance in and out of each other’s orb, now at 17 and 22 degrees Capricorn respectively, one or both of them is always activating one or more planets in my natal configuration.

Meanwhile, in my Progressed Chart, the Moon and Mars are sitting conjunct at 23 degrees Cancer, almost exactly conjunct transiting Pluto and within orb of opposition to my natal Sun and Moon. Phew! You can just imagine how this stirs up the mix. In difficult aspect the Moon tends to make us moody, prone to insecurity and sudden changes of heart, while Mars is volatile and Pluto prone to compulsion and obsessive tendancies. Ouch! Thankfully the progressed Moon is seperating from the others now, but progressed Mars, Pluto and Saturn will still be axctivating the Capricorn Cancer axis for some time to come.

The axis of Capricorn and Cancer highlights the yin and yang of our inward going, nurturing and protective tendancies as opposed to our outgoing aspirations and goals. Leaning too far into the Cancerian archetype can make us risk averse, anxious and short sighted; being too heavily Capricornian can cause us to reach too far without a secure foundation to fall back on. We may become ruthless and obsessed with sucesss, acheivement and productivity. When this axis is activated in this way we may feel pulled between these two poles.

Where exactly are we in the Saturn conjunct Pluto transit now?

Both Pluto and Saturn are currently retrograde, which means that from the Earth they appear to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This has a funny affect on transits as it means that planets can make between one and five exact contacts with the planet it is aspecting. For example both Saturn and Pluto will make three passes over my natal planets before they completely pass over. Similarly, though the Saturn conjunct Pluto transit itself will only be exact once, on 12 January 2020, it will also make two almost conjunctions, in April 2019 and September 2020, where the planets will come to within three degrees of one another.

Incidentally, the way this kind of transit often works is that the points of exact contact represent a process of change in the individual, at least with challenging transits such as conjunctions, squares and oppositions. At the first contact there may be recognition of a problem or discordance, at the second encounter there is realisation that something must change, and at the third connection there is acceptance and a readiness to move on.

Going back to our natal chart example, Pluto has completely moved over my Venus and Sun and has still to make only one almost contact with my Moon, however Saturn has only just made its second pass. I know that something has to change but I am still unclear about exactly what that is and how to achieve it.

Meanwhile, both the Moon’s nodal axis and the fast moving personal planets are all activating the same Cancer Capricorn axis. Mars and Mercury we moving through Cancer in June, the Sun is now at 9 degrees Cancer, and Venus and the Moon are all about to enter the watery sign of motherhood and nurturing. The Moon’s South Node is at 17 Capricorn, exactly conjunct Saturn, and the North Node is at 17 degrees Cancer. This particularly axis is currently a super highway of activity and I’m right in the thick of it!

How Saturn conjunct Pluto feels for me right now

With Saturn conjunct Pluto aligning with so many key elements in my natal and progressed chart you can understand why I’m feeling this transit so strongly. In particular, with the axis of Capricorn and Cancer being activated, I am experiencing a strong pull between these two archetypal energies. In real terms this translates to an internal struggle between the demands of motherhood, the need to nurture and protect my family (Cancer), and my own goals and aspirations (Capricorn). This tension is painful in many ways as I now recognise that I can’t do everything I would like to be doing.

As I have often counselled others, the way to deal with oppositions is to work to balance the two energies at play. But with the powerful force of Saturn conjunct Pluto activating one end of the axis this is easier said than done! Feelings of deep sadness, powerlessness and loss overwhelm me. I feel as though I am no longer my own person but instead belong to others. It’s like I’m being pulled in two different directions and unable to give enough in either realm of my life. I exist in a state of profound physical, mental and emotional exhaustion,yet even when I am able to rest I cannot fully relax.

Pluto is a very slow mover and has been gradually moving over my Sun, Moon and Venus for the past five years. It has brought with it a series of major life changes including marriage, immigration to Europe and then back to Australia, the purchase of our first home, the death of my father, followed by the birth of our two daughters within eighteen months of one another. It’s been one life changing experience after another.

Saturn is now following behind and I feel like my already exhausted being is being cramped into a very rigid, tight routine that brings to mind the proverbial rat wheel. Everything feels heavy. Even things I used to enjoy immensely feel like a burden to me. My life feels characterised by the word relentless.

I believe that the partial solar eclipse of 17 July will be a kind of breaking point for me where something important will have to be surrendered. The eclipse will occur at 24 degrees Capricorn, conjunct transiting Pluto and my natal Moon, and opposed my progressed Moon and Mars. I am taking steps to prepare for this by working to build resiliance to stress through meditation and yoga, sharing what I am experiencing with my ever-loving husband, and reaching out to my closest friends for support and guidance.

If you too are in the middle of a major transit and need a bit of encouragement check out our article Working with difficult transits: the power of surrender.

How to tell if your chart is activated by Saturn conjunct Pluto

If your natal or progressed chart is being triggered by Saturn conjunct Pluto you may be experiencing a similar tension as these two heavy hitting planets join forces. But if your chart is not activated you may be feeling very little at all. Have a good look at your chart. Do you have planets or points between 14 and 25 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn)? If so your chart is being activated by Saturn conjunct Pluto.

I’d love to hear your experiences of Saturn conjunct Pluto. What planets are being activated in your chart right now and how has this manifested in your life so far?

Header image is Gaia Orion.

30 Comments on Saturn conjunct Pluto: why you may not be feeling it and why I am!

  1. Dear Faith,

    You are truly kind and brave to share your transits and what you are going through emotionally and professionally. You of all people, know it will pass, and that how you approach, work with, immerse with and distance yourself–in healthy endeavors–is only going to make each of your main roles: mother, wife, brilliant professional astrologer–more resilient, more wise and more loving. . . You are in the hearts of many, many of us, and are so good at addressing the astrological needs of others, including me, with truth, compassion and understanding. . . Thank You! I wish you boundless blessings of inner and other support. Hillary

    • Hillary I was so blessed by your comment. Thank you for taking the time to share this loving and supportive message.

  2. Lesley Cox // July 2, 2019 at 10:39 am //

    Thanks so much for this Faith. I have Jupiter in Capricorn in 8th at 23 degrees !! Yeah, Right!! I’ve just emigrated from South Africa to England, am contentedly happy – so, Jupiter Big time – I am putting on weight +++ A friend of mine is going through a messy divorce, and friends are droping like leaves around me – so I’m hoping that is my “Legal” and “Death” things in the 8th. I’m nearly finished writing a book combining Astrology and Metaphysics, it’s a fantasy, main character being a Unicorn. I’m depleted of energy and will power right now and hoping that is the Saturn/Pluto influence – a lesson to overcome?? Your comments would be welcomed.

    With kind regards, Lesley Cox

    • Hi Lesley, I can’t really give specific advice without seeing your whole chart but I can recommend to be gentle with yourself. Transits from Pluto and Saturn are hard work and can be very exhausting! Focus on what brings you joy and look after yourself body, mind, and spirit so that you are strong and resiliant. Also try not to see the transit as an enemy. The more you can let go and relax into the experience the easier it will be.

  3. Pluto, Saturn and the South Node are on my Progressed Descendant and in my natal 8th house. My 4th house Virgo Moon is feeling that same overwhelm in regards to balancing my family obligations and issues (4 Cancer kids!) and my desire to further my astrology studies to help my friends and family and goal to have my own business doing it. So many distractions right now, like my 2 daughters’ repeating Saturn squares and my husband’s 6th house being contacted by Saturn and Pluto, while Uranus is on his Midheaven. My closest friends and family are mainly on the Cancer/Capricorn axis and hoo boy, are they going through the things! Not enough me to go around but muddling through! ????

    • Sounds so similar to my experience Gaynya, probably because Saturn, Pluto and the South Node are also in my 8th House. I’m learning to cut back on all the non essential stuff and to just focus on what brings me joy. It’s making a world of difference.

  4. You described EXACTLY how I’m feeling!

  5. Great isn’t it! I am 21 cancer Sun, and being continually opposed by Pluto and Saturn as in the 1990’s. Got 2 more exact hits of pluto out of 5! Saturn only once so it means it near New year. Tired depressed does not cover it but its made me see what I want for the first time in my life. I cannot wait for the nodes to hit my and partners composite Uranus at 15 degree Cancer with Saturn on the South node.!Thats a nice new one. Haha. Then in August my progressed moon is exact opposite my Sun with Mr Pluto on it and Saturn laughing behind him. Still, we will have to just bear it Faith. Things are always worse for many other souls. We are not face down in the water trying to get into a safe country are we. We are lucky, very. It just doesn’t feel like that.

    Lovely blog.

    • Thank you Lynne, and yes we are incredibly lucky. It’s so important to remember that. Yet even we priveleged first worlders must evolve and evolution is painful which ever rung of the socio-economic ladder you sit on.

  6. I had this transit when Saturn was in Leo and transited my stellium in that sign. 2005 to 2007. I know.

  7. They will grow and you will kind of forget the tiredness, you will see. If you can, go on a walking holiday with a girlfriend. Saturn and Pluto are over my 7th house cusp and opposite Ascendant. Neptune transiting my natal Saturn and Uranus conjunct natal sun and natal Sun but trine natal moon, só there one easy aspect!
    All the best

    • Thanks Renata, yes I think eventually all mothers forget the tiredness. It’s like suppressing the memory of a traumatic event lol! And yes easy aspects certainly help. I did forget to mention that my Sun, Moon Venus stellium sextiles Uranus. This has always been a great blessing to me. All the best with your own transformations X

  8. Saturn will be conjunct my natal Mars in Capricorn in September. When my progressed moon was conjunct my natal mars I got sick as I picked up something from the nail salon attacked my skin for about a week. Saturn has once already conjunct my Mars..nothing happened. I know the next time it does it will create an event as there will be other planets triggered by aspects.

    • Hey Cindy, what aspects does Mars form in your natal chart? If your Mars is well aspected in the natal chart a conjunction by a transiting planet can be very positive, so long as the transiting planet is also only forming positive aspects with other transiting planets. Does that make sense?

  9. I can really relate to what you are going through. My ascendant is at 22 cancer, moon is 22 aries, mars 16 cancer, jupiter 26 libra, progressed saturn 22 taurus and natal pluto 24 virgo. These transits have been lighting up my chart. A few months back my progressed moon was conjunct both saturn and pluto as well but has now passed. Like you, I have been doing a lot of exercise and meditation and it is definitely helping. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for the reminder not to fight the energy. You are truly an inspiration

    • Thanks Tracey, I think exercise is defitely something I could be doing more of. I especially notice that when I go for a walk in nature it helps a lot. All the best with your own journey and thanks for sharing X

  10. I have Uranus at 14 degrees Cancer. I’m an Aries and Uranus was transiting my sun and still in my sixth house. Saturn and Pluto are in my 2nd and third house respectively. Natal Uranus is in my 8th. I’m going through a divorce and doing some wwoofing in Hawaii for 2 months or more. I have 3 daughters and two are going through breakups as well. One is a divorce.

  11. Gently grasp all things in life…allow them to flow with the gentle direction we evolve our life path from our inner connection. Allow mundane ‘lower’ ego wants to diminish…allow yourself to love yourself first and foremost.
    The stillness of perfect peace is available at any moment….we have to find those moments to experience it…amidst the busyness of life. Those still moments of connection to peace within will then gently bleed into everyday scenarios and you’ll regain the joy you have for the things you’ve lost joy to be felt.
    Let go of all the demands, mentally. Allow that. Then the demands become less demanding because we no longer view them so.
    Your work for the whole is admirable and you do enough. Allow rests. Re-poise. Step forward….fearlessly in peace.
    With love,
    B

  12. Linda Purdy // July 4, 2019 at 1:31 am //

    Oh Faith, I hope all this struggle and weight lifting [in the figurative sense] will leave you stronger and transformed in lasting ways. It is the same as I hope for myself with all this saturn/pluto North Node action happening on my ascendent. Actually with a loaded Western side of my chart, I have a stronger sense of myself, but it was such a struggle and lifting weights that I didn’t even know I was carrying.

    • Hello lovely Linda, your comment makes me think of the passage in A Pilgrim’s Progress where Christian puts down his burden. That’s pretty much where I’m at now. Putting down everything I don’t need to be carrying, and working with the guilt that this sometimes brings up. All the best with your own journey dear xx

  13. Work, work work!
    oh yes. I feel like I don’t have any nice time to do the things I love, even if these two are in my recreative area of the 13th,sextilikg my Sun/Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio – which is almost exact too.

    Oh, not to mention, I have these two big buddies conjunct in Libra… And soon they will pass over my Ascendant as well.
    I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS!

    The years until 2023 or something will be…. Tight, hard work, straining and blessed. Pluto has sent me a man with husband potential when he sextile my Venus/sun/jupiter recently…. It has taken a long time to go there, but that’s 12th house for you!

    I can so much relate to what you say, Faith, about feeling not able to rest even if I need to, and that might be because their energy sends beams to my 12th house Mars as well.

    Saturn will make its third pass in square to my Libra Moon this year, and then it should be clear. My progressed moon has recently moved away and into my natal 1st house. So much is happening in my life!

    • Hi Anette :) So nice to see you back here. Yes these times of heavy transit are so draining, but I think having the oversight of astrology gives me a sense of optimism about the future even when in the midst of the most challenging of times. Love to you xx

  14. myrlock // July 4, 2019 at 9:51 pm //

    I take my hat off to you. You are going through this amazing energy and still have time to share coherently how this is impacting your life. Much gratitude to you.

    • Thank you. Writing is a very therapeutic activity for me. I’m glad my reflections can also be of benefit to others.

  15. Thank you for linking my site below my art, your consideration is so appreciated!

    • I would be very remiss if I did not Gaia! Your work is beautiful and I hope my link to it brings it more exposure :)

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