On 17 February we will experience the first of three exact contacts of Saturn square Uranus, the much discussed and defining transit of 2021.
Rebellion against authority is the key theme of Saturn square Uranus and we can see its influence already in the recent riots in the Netherlands against COVID-19 curfews, protest against new abortion laws in Poland, ongoing resistance in Hong Kong against Chinese government crackdowns, as well as recent protests in Nairobi, Manila, Cape Town and Guadalajara, among others.
Due to retrograde motion, Saturn square Uranus will make three exact contacts over the course of the year. This is the first pass and those with planets or points between 3 and 9 degrees of the Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius) will already be feeling its effects. If you have planets up to 20 degrees of the Fixed signs you will feel this transit later in 2021 and early 2022.
With Saturn in Aquarius, the ruler of Uranus, we say that Uranus rules Saturn. This is very telling and suggests that change will prevail in this clash against the status quo. It is finally time for things to shift towards greater equality, empowering new technologies and a new vision for the future, all things governed by Uranus.
While Saturn is in Aquarius, a transit I covered in depth in my article Saturn in Aquarius: Activists and Revolutionaries get organised, Uranus is in Taurus. Taurus is ruled by Venus, who presides over all forms of connection and relationship, including the interconnectedness of Ecology. For me this suggests a shift from the rigid, bricks and mortar of Saturnian structures to a different kind of foundation, the grounded solidity of roots.
While bricks and concrete are enduring, can last even for thousands of years, they are eventually worn away by the forces of nature, by the perpetual dripping of water and the steady, unstoppable push of growing things. We’ve all seen that weed push its way up through the footpath.
In the same way, the old structures of Saturn, the rules and regulations we know are unjust, the systems that favour some people over others, the commitment to policies we now recognise as self-destructive and divisive, the bureaucratic red tape that holds us back from making positive change, these will all eventually be overcome by the desire and impetus towards our own growth and evolution.
Another thing that gives me a positive feeling about Saturn square Uranus is an ongoing sextile between Saturn and Chiron. This supportive transit will remain within orb for most of the year, suggesting that this great clash between Saturn and Uranus will ultimately have a positive healing impact. Saturn in sextile to Chiron suggests commitment to social healing and ‘doing the work’ that needs to be done to overcome cultural trauma and our shared history of oppression and division.
The exact dates of Saturn square Uranus
The exact dates of the Saturn Uranus square are 17 February 2021, 15 June 2021 and 24 December 2021, and each exact contact has its own unique quality. The two become close again between 1 and 12 October 2022 without making an exact contact, but this means that we will be experiencing this cultural upheaval for most of the next two years.
With Saturn square Uranus on 17 February 2021, at 7 degrees of Aquarius and Taurus respectively, both planets are direct and the action will be overt. Progressive politicians will be taking action and demand for change will be clearly stated and proactive.
On 15 June 2021, Saturn square Uranus may manifest in a more underhand way, as Saturn will be retrograde. This time the planets connect at 13 degrees of Aquarius and Taurus respectively. There may be a sense of pulling back to regroup or of hidden or deceptive actions on the part of the powers that be as they try to maintain the status quo, especially as the Sun squares Neptune on the same day.
On 24 December 2021, the planets connect at 11 degrees of Aquarius and Taurus respectively, and the quality of the transit will be different again. This time Uranus will be retrograde and so we may see protest and rebellion get out of hand or violent. Those demanding change may find themselves compromising their ethics as a means to an end, in a desperate attempt to gain the upper hand.
In October 2022 both Saturn and Uranus are retrograde and there may be a feeling that change will never come, even a sense of disillusionment and fear. At this time, both planets are at 18 degrees, only minutes apart. Saturn turns direct on 23 October, just before it reaches Uranus and the two remain within orb until the beginning of December.
We may only feel a real sense that things are changing in this dynamic when Uranus turns direct on 23 January 2023.
How will Saturn square Uranus effect you?
If you have planets or points between 3 and 20 degrees of the Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius), you will likely experience Saturn square Uranus more personally as internal conflict between the conformist part of you that wants to be accepted and liked by society, versus the part of you that says, ‘to hell with your expectations, I’ll do what I think is right.’
Which of the two come out on top depends on which of the two planets is stronger in your chart. For example, an Aquarian generally has a strong Uranus, while a Capricorn has a strong Saturn. To find out how you’ll fare I’m offering a short 15-minute check-in for those who are going to be hit hard by this transit, to give you a heads up on how things are likely to play out for you. You can order it here.
For a more detailed analysis of this significant transit check out Benjamin Bernstein’s 20-minute video on Saturn square Uranus.