Notes On Alchemical Psychology* is a series of texts dedicated to personal creative therapeutic work, merging the old ways & the new. This one is another astrological musing on the upcoming exact square of Saturn in Aquarius (2020-2023) and Uranus in Taurus (2018-2026).
The celestial event flying under the radar of the drum rolls following the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on 21 December 2020, yet so much more present in our immediate experience than the brief, era-defining, philosophical meeting of the Olympian rivals, is the ongoing square (a contentious angle) between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius – exact on Wednesday, 17 February, and on repeat throughout 2021/2022.
Uranus, which dipped into Taurus Spring 2018, and entered it in full March 2019, is currently aligned with the ruffled Mars in its own detriment in Taurus, acting as wingman. While Saturn, who briefly checked into Aqua Spring 2020, stepped royally into the sign of the Water Bearer on the Winter Solstice, and is now surrounded by a great stellium (group) of planets, not seen in Aqua in such numbers since February 1962. The two Titans will be facing off in the arena of our social and personal relationships – the outcome TBC only in a few years, or so.
Before we can even grasp the pattern of this revolutionary impulse, we must first meet the players – in their essence, allegory, and myth.
The bit of lore that pop astrology often forgets to mention is that the rebellious Uranus (Sky) in Greek myth is chronologically older than the conservative Saturn (Cronos) – as the Sky is the father of Time. This emphasises the delicious irony of the master of flux being an initial state of existence, our primary impulse – not order, but chaos. With its trajectory unpredictable, its nature unruly, its motivation unknown, it bends towards freedom, particularly from the constraints of structure and time.
Saturn/Cronos, with his strict, fearful need to tame in order to control, punish to subordinate – then order, measure, bound, classify, and finally, calcify to maintain – symbolically castrates his father Uranus (upon the pleading of mother Gaia, using the proverbial sickle), rendering the unmanageable wild unable to reproduce further, and thus create more storm, wind & lightening, and in effect, become self-orientated and sterile.
To give the dutiful son punishing an unpredictable father his full due, without our structure of bone, bodily boundaries, and the orderly, timely workings of all our organs, we would not be able to exist – at least not in this earthly matter. Similarly, civilisations, themselves, would not have been built, or thrived, as their growth required time, the discipline of routine, not only the the ingenuity of thought, the Promethean gift of fire.
Now, with this insight, place the Uranian revolutionary compulsion towards change in the conservative sign of the nature-loving Bull, where it resides until the year 2026, the Venusian slow-to-go Taurus loving its own turf, soil, food, pleasures, its heritage, and above all else – respecting biology. And then, position this in tension with the dogma of Saturn, transiting the following two years the socially-conscious Aquarius, with its burning desire to conceptualise reality according to a highly customised schema of universal justice, favouring sociology over biology, as well as the individualised psychology, the unusual over the conventional, and certainly, the abstract over the palpable. In this juxtaposition, the extraordinary becomes the rule, and the ordinary – the exception (and not too pleased about it).
Both the planets are in fixed signs, neither will budge, yet they are entirely at odds with each other, the chasm wide as the one that divides our wild nature and our rational structures, doubled up in intensity by explosive incongruence of Uranus in Taurus, itself.
Saturn is quite comfortable in its home sign of Aquarius, just as it was in Capricorn, its more obvious domicile. The impulse towards order and rule, and in excess, towards totalitarian control, is neither liberal (Aquarius) nor traditional (Capricorn), yet comes from the inherent nature of systems – once they are established they perpetuate their own stability by marginalising anything that threatens their smooth delivering of operational excellence. A system takes time to establish, and a much longer time to dismantle. Time is the key word in the Saturnian inner cosmology, turning this outer planet into its own central point – a melancholy second Sun. Everything within its gravitational pull orbits around it, as clockwork. The mechanical (or digital) object measuring time its most obvious metaphor.
However, it’s the drive towards rebellion placed in the sign that tends most towards stability that we should be focusing our attention on first, in terms of urgency – Uranus in the sign of the Bull, the truly dark horse, or rather the horned contender. A country-dweller, the Uranian outsider, rushing at the gates of the Aquarian urban castle (Saturn is also the establishment), a trend that we are already continuously witnessing in symbolic and syncromystic ways across the globe.
In individual realms, and more specifically depending which of your houses the square between Saturn in Aqua and Uranus in Taurus activates, the way we sustain ourselves is becoming increasingly the centre of our concern. The Taurean basics of shelter, nourishment and financial stability were rocked to the core in the year 2020 by the stellium in its fellow Earth sign Capricorn, and the infernal dance of Saturn (structures/infirmity) and Pluto (decay/death) ushering in the pandemic with their exact conjunction 12 January 2020. Augmented by the lofty Jupiter (law) in the sign of its Fall, and fortified by the relentless exalted Mars in Cap, throughout March 2020, a placement which never leaves anything undone. All this followed by half a year of an extreme, fierce battle between that Cap stellium of Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter and the forceful Mars in its home in Aries, retrograding through early Autumn 2020 – with its scorched-earth approach in war games.
If there was ever a scorched-earth year, it was 2020.
Now our disrupted, inherent, basic tendency to maintain the nurturing, protective balance in food, shelter, sensuality, touch, companionship (all Taurean key words) meets the new social order in Aquarius, an air sign, the physical constraints of the palpable world becoming fixed in the digital matrix. The result of this tension is clearly visible in every segment of our existences.
Finally, we must not overlook the mythical tendency of the Saturnian force to subdue and keep structured that which by its nature is elusively unruly (Uranian) fully giving way to tyrant mode with the third generation of gods, the Olympians. Saturn/Cronos, in fear of his successors overthrowing this cosmic management, proceeding to eat his progeny, whole and alive.
So we return to gaze at the Great Conjunction, which aligned at Winter Solstice, announcing two-centuries of the Epoch of Air, Jupiter (Zeus) meeting his father Saturn (Cronos) in his father’s house in Aquarius, for the first round of peace negotiations.
Welcome (in)to the new order, but equally, to the new revolution.
© Milana Vujkov
*NB These notes follow a personal journey, and are offered as philosophical & creative inspiration. Although I am a psychologist by education, the material within them is not therapy or substitute for therapy. However, they are dedicated as temenos for accessing the therapeutic numinous, in hope of being of good service to your soul in exploring the potentials of each moment in time. My astrological musings are a sum of knowledge of a great many teachers, old and new, a lineage of wisdom I was lucky to have received and am lucky to pass on, in my own philosophical (re)interpretation, thus these words should be taken more as a (hopefully) thought-provoking piece of stellar mapping, less as an astrological forecast.