The conjunction of transiting Saturn to the natal sun happens every 29 years. However, unlike the Saturn return, it can happen at any point in a person‘s life, but generally speaking the first conjunction happens before the 29th year, during our youth, and the next one happens sometime between the ages of 29 (if natal Saturn is conjunct the natal Sun), and about 56 years old. However, Saturn can conjunct the sun any time before the 30th birthday, from birth (if there is a natal conjunction) until early adulthood.
First, we must consider what Saturn represents. Saturn energy represents limitations, patience, setbacks, delayed gratification, responsibility, and being alone. It is not necessarily alienation, but it can be that, too. It is deprivation, and it is gains through losses. It also represents the family as a social unit, as it represents them in reputation or in name. Saturn can also represent the things we lack as people and the things we do to make up for it. It is our insecurities. However, it is not the devil. We must reap what we sow and therefore must be mindful what we sow. We must delay gratification, cultivate patience, and become responsible. We must not take things for granted, and we must become productive, useful people in some manner or else we will perish. There is a lot of magick in Saturn‘s grounding energies, and to run from him is to only meet him again in the future.
The first Saturn transit over the natal Sun signals the end of innocence. Actually, it signals the end of native ignorance too, if one is willing and able. The first Saturn transit over the natal sun signifies the first time in the life of a person that he or she becomes aware that he or she occupies a space or role within the larger world, and whatever that role may be. Children who experience this may often come out wise beyond their years, or just appearing that way, if Saturn manifests as a person to whom the child unduly becomes responsible for. Teenagers may have some something manifest in their lives that suddenly robs them of their innocence, and adults who experience this transit for the first time tend to be, I think, worse off: while they may have had more childhood than others, the shock of sudden responsibility, of having to realize their limits, can be worse when they are conditioned to think otherwise.
When the first Saturn transit to the sun happens in youth, the child must deal with limiting factors outside of his or her control. For the child, what manifests is pretty much entirely out of his or her control, and depending on the nature of natal Saturn, may use that energy to work with the limitations. For example, if the father dies, the native with Saturn in Leo may decide to take over as the man of the house, or become the entertainer, or dream of making it big one day to support his mother. If the child grows up in poverty and realizes it during the Saturn transit to the natal sun, she may use her natal Saturn in Libra to try to elicit help from other people; she may seek solace in close relationships and may have an early interest in romantic relationships (Saturn in Libra sometimes, but quite often in the 7th house in any sign, tend toward Cinderella fantasies early on). The key word here is deprivation. The child becomes deprived of something that everyone else seems to have, something normative, or becomes acutely aware of deprivation. Often, children who grow up a certain way don‘t realize that anything is strange or different about themselves or their lives until they socialize with other children in school and become acquainted with the idea of what is normative.
My first Saturn transit over the natal Sun happened when I was in 1st grade. This was when I realized that my family was poor, and perhaps there was something unusual about my family. Other kids had all their school supplies, and they didn‘t carry cards to get free lunches. They didn‘t wear hand-me-downs from strangers or come to school unwashed and smelling like smoke. More over, I had the experience of going to the home of a friend of mine who was middle class. There was harmony in her home, and it was clean, and nobody screamed, drank, smoked, or hit anyone. Her mother didn‘t talk about wanting to die or run away, and my friend and her sisters ran to the door to greet her father when he came home, not hid, like we did in my home. This memory stuck with me for the rest of my life. Even more, I had invited this girl to my house once, and she was never allowed to go back. Then, slowly, no one in class would be my friend anymore. However, I excelled at reading and writing, and even wrote my own books. I won a citizenship award that year, even though I would be alienated from just about everyone until my Saturn opposition in the middle of my sophomore year of high school.
If the Saturn transit over the natal sun happens in adolescence, the native begins to wonder about adulthood, and when he or she will become an adult in the world, and how does this happen? This person may become serious about his or her future, or terrified of growing up and slack off. This teen may veer off into rebellion if Uranus is involved too, but mostly, this is a time in which the teenager will call bullshit and really stick to it. This can be especially so if this is also a time in which something changes about the family structure or fortune, forcing the teen to grow up faster or to flee from responsibility. The key word here is oppression. The native feels that he or she is not able to express whomever they are as an individual, often due to familial expectations or peer pressure, or may be kept from opportunities afforded to other people. This is a time in which bitterness can develop. While there is a still definitely a sense of deprivation, the individual has somewhat more agency than a child to do something about it, and can choose what path to begin to follow. This individual has to choose whether to take the reigns and wait out high school and become the master of his or her own life, or succumb to a life of feeling like a victim. Unlike the child with Saturn transiting the natal sun, he or she hasn‘t had to accept early on that life will not be handed to him or her, and now has to figure out what sort of life he or she wants.
Once such person has Saturn opposing the sun. Natally, this is a person likely to shoot herself in the foot. She has one idea about who she is and has a tendency to want to be hyper responsible and to be seen as a mature, capable adult, but has trouble reigning in her sun in order to do that. She goes from one extreme to another, and since the Sun in Cancer and Saturn in Sagittarius, you have a person who feels deprived of freedom and access to philosophy and thought, and at the same time, wouldn‘t know what to do with it if she had access to it. She tends toward dramatic meltdowns and snapping at people who use big words she doesn‘t understand. She grew up in an increasingly religious home, with her mother as the figurehead of righteousness. Then, at her Saturn transit to the natal sun at 13, her mother left the home after revealing that she had been having an affair with a neighbor for years. Everything fell apart, as did her image of herself. She was the second girl and the middle child, and not being pretty, smart, or talented, relied on the image of being kind and understanding, attempting to cut off the part of her that was bitter, jealous, and angry, even though it would come out. She made it through college after taking out a lot of loans but works as a waitress by choice, too intimidated by other workplaces to move up financially, and any help is rebuffed as disrespectful of her choices, no matter how dire her financial situation. This is her rebellion and her autonomy; and it is ironic, because she finds everything offensive and expects other people to be like her. She wants to be different and yet, be the same, but instead of wanting to conform, she wants others to conform to her. On the other hand, she could decide to conform, or to at least use the tools of conformity to create a space in which she can be herself, but she prefers to live an adolescent life. While she is more of an extreme example, and may very well have a personality disorder, she does serve as an example of someone who doesn‘t get over the transit.
When the Saturn transit to the natal sun happens in young adulthood, the native suddenly has to become an adult. This is usually due to the conventional things we associate with Saturn: moving out, careers, responsibility. It can be something like finding one‘s self laid off with tons of credit card debt, racked up because YOLO!, or leaving college bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, only to realize one is not the snowflake one thought she was. Or, one could simply realize that one‘s peer‘s are outdoing them in the world of adults and that they are falling behind. The key word here is insecurity.
A note about this transit: this is not like the Saturn return. In a Saturn return, there is much more of a chance of things crumbling apart, like marriages, careers, and reputations. What was built up in the first 29 years of life is challenged, and if it is invalid, if it is not good for the soul, it will erode. However, things do also build, and what is good for the soul becomes solid.
This is insecurity on all levels: who am I, what am I doing, what do I have, what will I have? Will I ever marry, will I ever have money, will I always be doing this thing for the rest of my life? Why am I not pretty enough/smart enough/charming enough? This is a time in which someone may veer off and try to hold onto youth, or do something in order to increase one‘s chances of being a successful adult. One such woman had her Saturn transit to the natal sun at 23. Before that, she lived a somewhat charmed life: her parents were wealthy, though divorced, and she had a job at a clothing store and little ambition. She was a hard worker, but with little ambition. While she had wanted to get into acting and modeling, never really pursued it, and gave up on it. In reality, she always wanted to be the center of attention, but has little risk tolerance and wasn‘t very charismatic. She lived in the same suburb she grew up in. She had little post-secondary education and had only gone to a non-competitive school. She then enrolled in another for-profit, non-competitive school, around the time that one of her parents was losing his wealth. She graduated, and has since worked in roughly the same types of jobs that she had before. Her choice was to step down the socio-economic ladder, but perhaps with good reason: when her family was wealthy, it was also full of lies and deceit. On the other hand is another woman who had her transit in her early twenties, when she decided to also step away from the limelight her family name gave her and make it on her own, even using a different last name than the famous one she shares with the rest of her family. She has still yet to make a big name for herself, but she has continued to try. She has a similar story to the woman in the above scenario (though her family lost their money earlier in her life, and her family name was much bigger than the previous woman‘s, and the scandal brought about by the father‘s downfall much more widely known), but had innate traits that made her want to pursue greatness on her own. Though she has not found the fame and success she would like, she is still pursuing it and has, through her own effort, put herself in circles in which she can find mentors and people to help her. Both individuals have been concerned greatly with their own life, as adult life fell onto them all of a sudden, but they went about it in two different ways.
All Saturn transits to natal planets have some element of the rug being pulled out from underneath someone, at least superficially. In hindsight, however, the writing was on the wall. That is the difference between an Uranus transit, in which it is very difficult to have seen the change happening. Saturn doesn‘t do freak accidents; it makes the other shoe drop. What can be seen in all of these vignettes about Saturn transits to the sun is opportunity, but not of a Jupiterian type. It is an opportunity to learn, to walk away from the rubble, brush the dust from your shoulders. Jupiter opportunities, like Venus opportunities, are pleasant, and seductive. Saturn gifts a clear path. When Saturn transits the sun, it allows the person a clear path to the future. This, however, is not without sacrifice. One must work hard and focus, and one must weather many storms. Jupiter expands, but Saturn contracts. A Saturn transit may gift you an opportunity to reap major benefits years down the road; Jupiter brings the party now. Jupiter brings parties, Saturn brings lonely nights, working alone. However, Saturn transits don‘t have to be lonely, especially if one sees clearing the path as potential to focus on the relationships that really matter and forgo the ones that don‘t support your soul.
Saturn transiting the natal sun can indicate the end of associations, but often, these are good things, as they are distractions from the real work one must be doing. They do often indicate a separateness from peers or from the family name, and can either be a desire to individuate or a desire to salvage it from the rubble heap. Saturn transits to the natal sun indicate a desire not to repeat the mistakes of the people who came before us and the work to be done in order to not do that again.
When Saturn transits the natal sun again in adulthood, 28-30 years after the first one, it is a solidifying of adult life and the decisions made during the first transit, even those made my children. Now is the time to get off the fence and choose a side, to make decisions, to see what one has and what one doesn‘t have and go for it. Now is the time to realize that no matter what, you will never be a superlative, so you ought to become a better human in the world of humans or depart all together. It is the time to say enough, and make practical decisions. You may want to keep that person in your life who hurts you, because relationships are complicated, even if you care for them, but not to your own detriment, because you have to take care of you. This is what Saturn tries to teach us when it transits the natal sun: you are responsible for you. No one else. No one else will make a life for you, and no one is entitled to expect a life to be handed to them. No bullshit, no excuses. Sure, complain, talk it out, but then get back on the horse. Do you believe what you believe because it is the truth as revealed to you, or is it simply what you have been taught to believe? Do you worship or vote the way you do because you truly think or believe that way? Do you associate with whom you do because you actually like these people, or are they just people you have known forever, and are you two really capable of being friends? Do you believe that the devil you know is better than the one you don‘t? Or, are you the kind of person who tends to run off when the going gets rough, and can you tell the difference between what is worth sticking out and what is not? Can you really dig into the bedrock and reinvent yourself? For those not naturally inclined to reinvention, becoming the phoenix is a daunting task.
Can you be alone?
Saturn transits to the natal sun bring aloneness. Not loneliness so much as aloneness. To be alone is not to be lonely; and those who embrace aloneness or relish it understand well that they are different. A pensive walk in the woods is not sitting at the lunch table all alone watching others woefully socialize. Saturn teaches us that one doesn‘t need to approval of others to be valid; we are valid because we exist. Saturn teaches us to depart from those who no longer serve us, and to let go of people who need to travel elsewhere. It teaches us that we can weather emotional storms, as they too, pass.
For those who have a lot of Saturn emphasis in their charts, major Saturn transits can be easier or harder, as they especially reinforce Saturnian traits. A person who has a lot of Saturnian aloneness may not mind being along for a year, but they may also forgo opportunities to forge the types of Saturnian relationships they need – mentor, teacher/student, parent/child, etc. They may also not be so good at explaining their absence.
Saturnian types may also be very good at hiding in work to avoid social interaction, which can lead to social rejection. In reality, they are rejecting social relationships before they are rejected. On the other hand, they may realize that it is perfectly fine if they‘re not everyone‘s friend, and that being popularity is really just an illusion. The Saturn to natal sun transit can make a person strangely attractive in places where responsibility and being cool and collected are a bonus.
Saturn is wisdom, but it is not platitudes. Platitudes are for teenagers and people who don‘t know how to argue effectively. It is innate wisdom that doesn‘t debate at all but manifests. Time will tell, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Likewise, A Saturn transit to the sun shows that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You may think one thing, and you may design a life in such a way, but the proof will be what you make of it. Suppose one spends all of her adult life chasing beauty, trying to make herself look good, trying to use her looks to get more material goods, never stopping to develop inner beauty, a personality? She ends up alone. A man who spends his life trying to impress everyone with the money he makes and the things he buys is bitten in the ass when the taxman comes for his share. Hm…could these people be husband and trophy wife? Yes: people with Saturn issues tend to seek out other people with Saturn issues. Both folks here have a deep insecurity about who they are as people and try to pile pretty things on to hide from themselves and others. This, however, can‘t last forever: Saturn reminds us that we get old, and we have obligations. All pretty things fade with time, and all riches eventually turn to dust. If there is nothing other than the glittery things, then all that is left is dust and ashes. However, what we don‘t learn – and what our culture fails to teach us – is that it is work, much harder work, to cultivate the soul that remains. Saturn, thus, is also representative (along with the moon) of our fears.
Unlike the Moon, which is our primal fears, Saturn is our acquired fears. These are the fears we have when faced with the rest of the world. A person with a 1st house Saturn may feel inadequate as a person and need to thrust themselves into positions of seriousness, or run away from obligation. They may either feel that there is no room for them in the world to shine, or there is no room to be weak and vulnerable. A person with a 7th house Saturn may fear abandonment or alienation, as they have grown to distrust other people and to find close relationships to be disappointing. Saturn is where you have tried and failed, or at least thought so. It is where you feel that no matter what you do, you cannot succeed. It is also the place where you must learn to approach that aspect of life differently. If you have a 1st house Saturn, it is a good idea to move away and reinvent yourself, to take Saturn‘s strength of aloneness and renew yourself. If you have a 7th house Saturn, learn to approach relationships differently, and look for different partners than the ones you were conditioned to look for. For example, if you grew up with the idea that you should seek out a certain type of romantic partner because it is more moral or ideal insteadof seeking out the ones you are attracted to and the ones you want to be with, take the plunge and date someone who scares you (but not hurts or terrifies you) because they are different and see what happens. Keep your head and your heart.
Saturn transiting the sun will exacerbate your current Saturn issues. If you have the strength and maturity to allow the cards to allow all to happen to you, both beauty and dread, then you will find that Saturn strengthens and fortifies you.