Change is coming.
On March 7, 2023 daddy planet Saturn is leaving its home turf of Aquarius and skinny dipping in the transcendental salt water of Pisces for the first time since the early 90’s.
Once thought to be the last planet in the solar system, Saturn is known as a malefic and is associated with endings, limits, tough love and hard lessons.
Saturn is named for the Roman god of time, agriculture and renewal, oft depicted with an errant party tit out of his toga and a sickle in his hand. This tool is apt when we consider the function of the planet in our lives and the perennial message that we reap what we sow and are only as strong as our ability to sever and sacrifice.
When I picture Saturn I see Clint Eastwood squinting back at me with skepticism in his eyes and challenge clenched between his teeth. A proverbial father figure that wants to keep us in line, teach us the value of hard work and break us down so that we might be built back better, stronger, wiser and more capable. As Saturn’s children we both rail against and absolutely require this crucible. Saturn is punishing but it pushes us forward.
For the past six years the planet has been playing on its home turf of Capricorn (2017-2020) and then Aquarius (2020-2023). Saturn is comfortable in these signs where it can flex its powers. But, Saturn is debilitated in Pisces, meaning the planet is hindered from fully expressing its formative, punishing self. Pisces has little regard for rules and no taste for boundaries making this astrological pair a real deal mismatch.
Saturn is about structure and Pisces is the sign of surrender so energetically it feels a bit like trying to make a sand castle stay or build a sandwich out of soup. The last time Saturn moved through these waters was 1993-1996 and those born during that transit are poised to experience their first Saturn return. Bless up and buckle down for your baptism by fire my babies. It won’t be gentle but it is conspiring for your ultimate benefit.
But it ain’t all bad as Pisces can benefit from structure. The high shine side of this water sign is empathetic, tuned into the collective consciousness, beautifully dreamy and deeply invested in the betterment of self and others. The shadow side of Pisces is nihilistic, addictive and confused, seeking distraction at every turn and walking around in an opiate daze trying to pay the rent with amethyst and bartering for bread with a typewriter poem. Prone as this mutable water sign is to ennui, avoidance and escapism, the accountant energy of Saturn will force us to reckon with the noon day glare of our shortcomings and coping mechanisms so that we might face the future true and bold.
Pisces is unruly and untethered and though Saturn might not be able to discipline the way it wants, it can provide direction and sure up purpose. Capricorn theologian Abraham Joshua Heshel reminds us that, “To be spiritual is to be amazed” and Saturn in Pisces can serve to deepen this wonder. Further, the gray waters of Pisces is where imagination and possibility float and Saturn can serve to give form to inspiration and bones to ideals.
At its best Saturn roots and reminds us that without depth there can be no true growth. Because Saturn is setting itself up in a mutable sign, mutable signs Gemini, Virgo Sagittarius and Pisces will feel its effects most acutely. Read on to learn more about how Saturn in Pisces will make itself known to you. Be sure to read for both your sun and rising signs.
Saturn’s move through Pisces is affecting your twelfth house of karmic closures and self-undoing, Aries. The great teacher is pushing you to break ties with friends, beliefs and former versions of yourself that are limiting your potential for progress. Sometimes survival means severance. May all your cuts be clean.
Saturn is spinning its rings and throwing its rulebook in your eleventh house of community and commitments, Taurus. You need time, distance and discernment to discover who you are destined to walk through life with and towards. Say no to anything and everyone that doesn’t give you a distinct jolt. Choose solitude over stale conversation and keep an eye for anything and anyone that gives you a cold chill or a quickened pulse.
Saturn in Pisces is affecting your tenth house of public image and personal legacy Gemini. Here dwells not only the mark you are meant to make on the world but the history that informs that mark making. Saturn in Pisces asks that you consider your work/life balance, placing emphasis on true fulfillment rather than fulfilling a dream that doesn’t belong to you.
Saturn is kicking around your ninth house of education and expansion Cancer. In order to free your mind you will first have to humble yourself to receive the mentors that can teach you and the messages that can shape you. If you seek earnestly to learn and apply yourself purposefully to listening, you are already limitless.
Stern daddy Saturn is in your eighth house of sex, death and rebirth, Leo. You are shedding a skin and stepping into a different sunlight. Saturn is kicking the crutches out from underneath you and cutting out dependences that are detrimental to your evolution. Like birth itself, it won’t be easy, pretty or anything short of miraculous.
Saturn is saturning in your seventh house of partnerships and mirroring, Virgo. You are versed in viewing yourself as a service provider, delivering what others want before you decide definitively what it is that you need. Saturn will see to it that you learn need is not weakness, boundaries are not walls and asking requires as much grace as giving.
Saturn is doing its work in your sixth house of habits, Libra. You are indecisive by nature and noncommittal by default but the great teacher is here to remind you that passivity is its own choice. With an emphasis on daily ritual and routines, practice operating from a place of true desire rather than placation.
Sweet, sweet Scorpio, the doom and drudgery of lost cause romances has been haunting you long enough. Saturn is moving through your fifth house of fertility and flings, imagination and pleasure. Cheap thrills and half hearted attempts at making art and making love may have lost their charms and thus the time is nigh to redefine what a good time and full expression look like to you. Saturn wants you to take joy seriously and treat creativity as a plant that requires daily diligence and utmost respect. Tend to your potential.
For free spirited, foot loose and fancy free Sagittarius, home is more concept than concrete reality. Saturn is calling you to consider where you come from and where you are going and how the absence of a sense of home makes the former unresolved and the latter impossible. As the poet Kathleen Norris maintains, “Peace — that was the other name for home.”
Ruled as you are by Saturn, our dark overlord, you are better equipped than most to handle the lessons he hurls, Capricorn. As the planet moves through your third house of communications and the minutiae of the everyday you may feel like editing yourself and or avoiding conversation more than usual. This discernment is a path to refinement, shaping both the speaker you will be and the audience you are meant to appeal to.
Saturn is exiting your sign after a restrictive residency, Aquarius but you have been purified by this punishment. Hopefully, Saturn has taught you that you are a rare and precious thing with singular gifts to bestow. The focus on your second house of values, tangible goods and self-evaluation calls you to apply who you are to what you pursue, how you spend and in what and whom you invest. Know your worth and reflect it in every choice you make.
Though it might not feel like it, Pisces, Saturn is in your sign and on your side. Saturn is a great punisher but also a great builder, and his residency in Pisces poses the opportunity to strip away the superfulous and give scaffolding to your authentic self. I offer you this bit of wisdom from Tennessee Williams, “These are the intensities that one cannot live with, that he has to outgrow if he wants to survive. But who can help grieving for them? If the blood vessels could hold them, how much better to keep those early loves with us?” Grieve, grow, repeat.
Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.