Saturn Square Neptune: An allegory


One of the ways to look at the recent transit of Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces is through illustration.

Imagine a young person has dreams to move up in the world (Saturn) but is not socially privileged enough (Saturn in Sagittarius) to be in the worldly spheres in which going to a university and taking advantage of the privilege of social status helps. One of the things that is very difficult about being poor and disadvantaged is that support network, if there is one, doesn’t either know how to properly encourage the young person, or fears losing them to the world (Saturn in Sagittarius). This is one of the reasons a lot of young people don’t really have social mobility in America. They lack the culture and the support networks. Working class values don’t apply to the white collar world; it is not true that simple hard work for long enough brings success (Saturn). There must also be the glamour of success (Neptune), because desperation is a stench everyone can smell and no one likes. There is learning to play the game that poor people just don’t get a chance to try. There is a shared culture that the poor is shut out of; even if you make it through self-reliance (Saturn), you haven’t learn how and when to lean on the middle- and upper-classes for help, because you have never had that opportunity. You were probably taught NOT to lean on other people, to not bother your teachers or bosses.

One of the ironies of the middle- and upper-class is that these people aren’t really anymore sophisticated than the poor — and perhaps are even less so in some regards, because they haven’t had to learn to entertain themselves or appreciate all their cultural capital — but they have no need to feel self-conscious about it. There is a sense that they’re okay, and will be okay, no matter what they do or don’t do.

And always haunting you is your past; if you think that you aren’t worthy, will other people also think that you’re not worthy, too?

Poverty and lack of resources tends toward fatalism (Neptune in Pisces). There is helplessness. You better do whatever the boss says and eat his shit, or else you don’t have a job. This is how the world works; it is patently unfair, and there is nothing you can do about it (Neptune in Pisces). Shut up, do your job, go home. No one cares what you think, and you can’t change anything (Saturn in Sagittarius). You get a job to cover your bills. People treat you like shit. Too bad. You work hard for peanuts and you will not advance. This is your lot in life. Sure, there are opportunities, but not for you. Drink your booze and escape reality through entertainment (Neptune in Pisces).

It may be that one is raised in this type of environment in which do-what-I-say-and-don’t-question-me-because-I’m-the-boss is the rule of the home. Using your reasoning and critical thinking may have been punishable or seen as unwanted. Having an intellectual curiosity is a sure way to get yourself punished and ostracized. One may never get a chance to learn to effectively argue or debate when it is not allowed. One learns to follow orders. One learns to hide.

But what if you have a dream?

If you take that opportunity, you have a lot of work to do. You don’t have the luxury of having someone else pay your way through school. You may not be able to go study abroad or do fancy things that can help you get a better job. You have to earn your keep. You can’t afford to indulge in the culturally-enriching things richer students can. You can’t afford to spend money on tutors or supplemental materials. All you have is what is free, and that is time.

There is a loneliness there (Saturn) and a sense of being in the midst of something you can’t control (Neptune). You can’t go to the bars and spend your entire paycheck. You don’t have time for it, because you know that it is through your efforts in school that you will get a good job, not your connections, of which you have none. But herein lies the problem. You don’t have time to network. You don’t have time for mingling and schmoozing, and you can’t afford to go to the places that allow you do that. You have neither the time or the money. So, you work. It becomes that much harder to figure out an in to the world that you don’t have time to navigate.

You always have the option of running away (Neptune) and licking your wounds and saying that the world is unfair. Alternatively, you can stick with the dream and be the first person in your family to rise up and be a professional, even if you never rise to the level of success that you hope because you don’t have the same opportunities as kids who are already in a world of privilege. You may have to work a whole lot harder for less. You may, on the other hand, be able to provide your children with the social in’s that your current classmates take for granted.

And there is a silver lining. Since you have never had someone who can really help you in the face of hardship, when hardship arises, you weather the storm and do your best. You know that you won’t simply die if you get a bad grade. You also know how to work, and how to take care of yourself while working. You have learned to make your own way, and you have learned to walk the path alone. You have learned that being alone has it’s benefits and it’s drawbacks, but all along, you have stuck with the dream.

And eventually, that dream becomes a reality, because you have made your own way. You have cultivated your own talents. You are empathetic to people in need; and you have known hunger and hardship. You aren’t drawing on one or two experiences that others may write about in their college admissions applications. You’re relying on a lifetime of pushing a boulder uphill.

And what did that get you? A very, very strong back. You had to make your own way. You dreamed it (Neptune), you patiently worked through it (Saturn) and now the vision you wanted to produce (Saturn in Sagittarius) is aligned with the dream you had (Neptune in Pisces) in which you really convinced yourself that achieving the dream was possible.

Ah, but what if you crapped out? At least you don’t have loans to pay back, or long hours to work. But you can always imagine what might have been (Neptune) in regret (Saturn) if you had just chosen to stick with it. Hardship overcome is a memory.

For those with the current transit aligning with personal planets or points in the astrological chart, hardship has come, and it may or may not be of one’s own doing. Often, there is a glint of desperation, either as in feeling one has no choice but to make a certain decision, or that it is now or never. This also depends on which planets or personal points are being touched. If it is the Sun or Moon, then there is something happening right now that will transform the being. If it is a personal planet, something related to that planet. If it is the North/South nodes, something regarding the fate and soul purpose of this lifetime.

When I was 29, I went through my Saturn return, and decided that, even though I was dealing with a mess of issues, now was the time to develop more sophisticated tastes. I began trying to learn about wine and classical music. I got further with classical music, and I have all but stopped listening to popular music. Then, I come to find out that being upper-class doesn’t mean you know anything about fine things, but rather, that you simply have access to them, and young upper-class people are more interested in whatever stupid thing the Kardashians are doing now, and that trying to seem upper-class is posing; you either are or aren’t.

But, in the end, I still win, because I like wine and my palate became a little more sophisticated. I also went through the brain-change that happens when you listen to good music and I actually found that it helped me with math and logical reasoning.

One way to handle this transit to seek out older people (Saturn) who will be a role model, those who have Sagittarius-type professions or outlooks, lawyers, professors, clergy, philosophers, travelers. They can help focus the Neptunian dream and find steps to make it a reality.

Another way is to be creative, as in, taking the imagination (Neptune) and producing actual works (Saturn) that can be shared with the world. For, even classical music is beautiful, but has structure and build, and even fiction has a format. Don’t worry that other people won’t like it. You should like it, and you should focus your energy on making it as much like your vision. And, if your vision changes, go with it.

The signs of Pisces and Sagittarius are focused on the possibilities, and the changes of possibilities that can arise as life goes on. There is no real work of art that begins and ends in it’s final format that is worth anything: if a story doesn’t haunt the reader, it is not art, and likewise, a film or painting or sculpture that fails to leave an impression is not worth anything.

One of the things that can come up in this transit is a desire to focus on what really seems to matter despite the rat race. In the end, the most successful people make the most money, I suppose, but do their souls herald the dawn of a new day and embrace the glory of life? If this transit sparks an existential crisis, so be it; even if people laugh at you, the laughter stems from insecurity. If the world was entirely so concerned with only the basics and making money, what about religion, art, philosophy? There is a life outside of our monetary value to other people.

And this transit informs us, through the isolation of Saturn and the diffusion of Neptune, that we are more than our paychecks and our grades, but we have to stick with it, and stay the course.


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