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Saturn square Neptune: sweet illusion meets cold hard reality

Saturn square Neptune Dissolve by Noctulius.

Saturn square Neptune is upon us. If you’re affected strongly by this transit it’s likely something you’ve put a lot of time and energy into building is now dissolving right before your eyes, something you’ve come to rely heavily upon now seems to have no substance at all, or perhaps a belief or philosophy you based your life upon now seems flimsy and insubstantial.

The question that Saturn square Neptune asks us to ponder is: what exactly is real? The answer may be difficult for some people to swallow as many of the things we base our careers, relationships and identity upon simply will not stand up to close scrutiny.

The shattering of illusion is like waking up from a beautiful dream. It’s hard. When the dream is something we wanted very much, something we’ve become very attached to, grief and depression may set in. After all Saturn is not known for his gentleness! Fears and self doubt are also likely, as you begin to wonder what in your life you can actually rely on.

The exact dates for Saturn square Neptune

Due to retrograde motion, the Saturn square Neptune transit will make three exact aspects over the coming year:

  • 26 November 2015 at 7 degrees (active from 24 October to 26 December)
  • 17 June 2016 at 12 degrees (both Saturn and Neptune will be retrograde)
  • 10 September 2016 at 10 degrees (Neptune will be retrograde)

As both planets are in mutable signs the Saturn square Neptune transit may have a shifting, unreliable quality to it and at times we may feel we have very little left to anchor us. Decisions may be difficult during this time as we strive to find a grounded position from which to act. Indecisiveness and feelings of stuckness are both likely reactions.

Those who’ve been indulging heavily in Neptune’s lower aspect, turning their backs on reality and escaping into television, alcohol, drugs or other forms of denial, are likely to be hit especially hard by Saturn square Neptune. This is because we use these things as a means of putting off the inevitable painful realisation and the longer we avoid facing up to reality the harder we will be hit in the end.

On the plus side, Saturn can provide the focus and stamina that is necessary to turn dreams into reality and can guide you towards those goals that have real potential. In the end, although Saturn can seem harsh at times, he’s there to show you the best way to move forward and succeed in your life. Saturn square Neptune will also bring discernment and the ability to differentiate truth from lies.

Although it may seem trite to say so, faith is the key to the Saturn square Neptune transit. When things seem to be disintegrating around us we need to hold tight to the things we know to be true, and one of the things that I know for sure is that nothing is permanent. Everything passes. And Saturn square Neptune will pass as well.

When the dust settles on the Saturn square Neptune transit we may find that Saturn has put us on a new path, towards a new dream. A dream that is realistic and achievable. A dream that is based firmly in the here and now. In the aftermath we may thank Saturn square Neptune for opening our eyes to see things as they really are.

Meanwhile in another part of the cosmos…

A number of transits are occurring during this first Saturn square Neptune transit that work together to help us process this challenging energy.

On 25 November, the day before Saturn square Neptune is direct, the Full Moon will rise in Gemini, exactly opposite Saturn in Sagittarius. This will create a t-square with Saturn square Neptune, accentuating the emotional impact of this transit. The disappointment may be excruciating but hold tight, everything passes and Moon transits most quickly of all!

On the same day Mercury will conjunct Saturn, squaring Neptune, and it’s likely you won’t be able to stop thinking about your troubles! All manner of negative thoughts will be floating through your mind, clouding your ability to see things clearly. If you’re strongly affected, taking time out for meditation or to write down some of your thoughts may help clarify things.

On 28 November Chiron will station direct and this is when the grief is likely to hit you hardest. Be brave and take it on the chin instead of trying to avoid the pain with food, drugs or other distractions. Sit quietly with the feelings and let them flow through you. This is the quickest and most straightforward way to process negative emotions and ensures they won’t get locked up inside to poison you down the track.

On the 30 November the Sun comes into conjunction with Saturn, squaring Neptune. The Sun brings light whereever it goes so some people may find they can see a little more clearly now, perhaps opening up to new possibilities and potential directions. Be careful though as Sun square Neptune is notorious for creating delusions and unrealistic idealism, so if you’re thinking of giving it one last try perhaps you should wait a few days and think it over.

How will Saturn square Neptune affect you?

Those with planets or points between 4 and 10 degrees of the Mutable signs (Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) will be most strongly affected by Saturn square Neptune. Check also to see through which house Saturn and Neptune are transiting as this can tell you a great deal about how this transit will affect you. If you’d like to learn how to apply current transits to your natal chart, check out my free astrology mini lessons.

Right now Saturn is conjunct my Descendant so I’m feeling this transit big time. Not surprisingly my primary relationship is at the centre of things. Neptune is in the 9th house so much of my disillusionment revolves around the idealistic expectations I’d built up around ‘living abroad’ – all my romantic notions have dissolved in the face of the financial and emotional realities of our situation.

Working positively with Saturn square Neptune

Are you feeling Saturn square Neptune strongly right now? What aspects of your life are coming under Saturn’s scrutiny? What strategies are you using to work with this energy in a positive way? Share your thoughts below so that we can all learn from each other.

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23 Comments on Saturn square Neptune: sweet illusion meets cold hard reality

  1. Thanks for this article, it was/is very helpful! Saturn is about to enter my 10th house in Sag which lies at 8 degrees into the sign. Neptune travels the 1st. At 4 degree Sag. my Uranus is placed, which links it to this square I guess (however loose).

    At my (new) job, my boss is not one to give directions, set the path, set boundaries. Everything I thought about my position, what it contains, job description… Is not as I thought. It’s dissolving into something else (and better?) My boss cannot set any boundaries for my work, my manager might only be there for four months (we don’t know yet) and my body (1st house Neptune) is freaked out at the moment with all these stress factors going crazy at the same time. Today I even got diagnosed with cystitis (pain when you’re peeing) – also typical Neptune since he rules Pisces…

    Typical 1st/10th house issues all in all I think – so I comfort myself thinking like Gandalf in LOTR: This too shall pass. At least I hope Uranus will bring sudden changes – for the better!

  2. Ps: it’s bluidy hard moving abroad. I moved many miles away myself a year and a half ago and all illusions I had is not there anymore. You rely on yourself so much!! For me, I don’t even have any friendships yet! People here are so closed up, you need aeons of time to get them to know you. The only thing I DO know is that everything I thought I knew – isn’t true. Some things are better – some are worse. But we only regret what we DIDN’T do, right??

  3. Dear Faith, it seems you have 6 Sag on your descendant, my moon is at 6 Sag in the 1st, so I can see you are feeling the difficulties. I hope things turn out well for you and perhaps you should be feeling some sunshine in the Australian summer for a while. Saturn at 6 Sag has brought me a diagnosis of high blood pressure, and I am stuck in a boring and sedentary job, so I yearn for holidays (and a change at work!). Blessings for you, Pauline

    • Thanks Pauline… Yes I am very much looking forward to the Australian sunshine. It’s been three years since I’ve been home… But things shift and I hope the same for you… xx

  4. I have Ascendant Sagittarius/Capricorn and IC Pisces in my chart. My ideas about the image I project are coming into focus maybe I thought that everyone could see my problems with trust for example or that others saw me as much more saturnian than I think I am – but the knowledge I can share with others does make me dependable, and the insights I can maybe share with them are not as threatening to my friends that count as perhaps I have thought, owing to some negative experiences which I had internalised.

    • Hey Liv… I suppose we all tend to view ourselves differently to how others see us. It’s a good thing to realise – that not everything we think is true :)

  5. Saturn in my 10th square my Sun (which is also getting the conjunction from Neptune). It’s been like wading through quick sand this past year. I’ve been putting hours and hours into keeping a small, special interest flower society afloat, and it’s been a truly sobering, although bittersweet experience. It’s felt like the rats have been bailing over the side of the ship, as well — people I believed I could count on. I think betrayal and confusion have colored some of this transit, although I’ve tried to derive whatever self-fulfillment I could from my learning curve. Saturn just transited into the 11th so I may not feel quite as much pressure next year. At least it’s moving off my Sun.

    • Thanks for sharing Maryanne… Neptune certainly is a confusing fellow. I’m glad to hear things are finally shifting for you… x

  6. Not enjoying this transit one bit… If Saturn square Neptune is about the reality of having to choose one option from the ocean of many, it now seems I always go for the one that leads away from reality and into fantasy in a somewhat addictive pattern. I’m trying to understand my Jupiter in 12th (Sag and Pisces combined). 12th house stuff informs my life philosophy (Pisces in 9th) and the one place it gets converted into something solid is in creative expression (Sag in 5th). But even that is now called to question. I truly feel as if I’m at sea with nothing to hold onto. The perspectives shift indefinitely. For all my Neptunian tendencies, my triple Capricorn is not liking this much mutability.

    • Hey Eva… Interested in why creative expression has been called into question for you as this seems like a very powerful anchor and worth making use of… ? Isn’t it fascinating how our charts differ due to house placement given that they are otherwise so similar… x

  7. Yes, it’s the only place where I feel my Jupiter/Neptune thing is welcome. But I’m trying to make a living from my art and Saturn has been asking whether it’s solid enough to survive on, is it just a dream, should I get a ‘real’ job etc. The answers have been very up and down. Ocean wave style :) And yes, interesting how the houses influence things. I’ve just been talking to someone about (metaphorically) turning water into rock and rock into water and finding the right proportions :) Quite alchemical, really…

    • Ah I see where you’re coming from… But then that doesn’t mean that art cannot be a nourishing, grounding joy. Also I think there is a useful distinction to be made between the 6th and 10th Houses… Art may actually be your true vocation and calling (10th House) even if you contribute to society and make your living from something else (6th House)… Your alchemical project intrigues me… but then my 8th house stellium loves that kind of stuff :)

      • Good point, Faith, thank you. In fact, ‘joy’ is something I don’t do much (Scorpio in 5th?) That’s another theme of my Pluto Venus transit.

        Scorpio seems to be the ultimate psychological alchemist but I’ve come to see Virgo as the more old-fashioned adept who takes the common, despised lead of the everyday reality and methodically works it, purifying it as she goes, in a less dramatic, more mundane fashion. And Mercurius is the essential ingredient, the mediator and medium in which the operations take place. As I understand it, the alchemists of old combined working on actual materials (6th) with imagination and dream-like symbolism (12th). A change in the matter in their vessel couldn’t but correspond to a change in themselves. As above (12th) so below (6th). Anyway, just a theory… :)

        • How beautifully put Eva… you have a real way with words. Saturn in Leo isn’t much of a help with joy either… so I think we should get ours anywhere we can ;)

  8. Gosh…Saturn is ruining me!! So much this year I’ve been realising Saturn’s influence in my chart – it’s conjunct my AC natally in Leo – and I live on my Saturn/AC line astrocartography… I moved here on my first Saturn return! (unintentionally obviously!!!) I’m being bombarded with this energy…and TBH, it’s too much. This year has been very intense… and I’ve realised that all my dreams are just that, dreams, not reality. Under Saturn’s energy I’ve worked non-stop for 7 yrs, now I have Saturn on my IC it’s internalising all I’ve learned here. I’ve become cynical, less optimistic, work work work, with minimal return. What is real? Yes, that question I have pondered here so much too; all that is real is what we are living in the moment, not what we imagine, dream or want. The moment is all we have as ‘proof’ of reality. As you can tell, I’m the epitome of a party-pooper!! What can I say?… Reality is harsh :-). I’m working on moving very far away LOL!!!

    • Hey Pixie… Thanks for sharing… Sounds like you are stuck in your 6th house… Have you tried working a little more with your 12th house energy? Sometimes tapping into the other end of the polarity can be very helpful…

  9. Magawisca // May 1, 2016 at 2:29 am //

    Thank you for your words. I tried to “force” my illusions – they were not quite illusions because I knew I was deluding myself – but yet I couldn’t stop trying. It was sad, really. My 1st house Venus in Pisces sitting directly on his Descendant squared by Saturn. His Sag Sun and my 12th house Cap sun was all too much. The March 8th eclipse was the final push. First distraught, now FREE and grateful.

  10. I also think that positive thinking works in this situation. Thanks for this insight.

  11. Neptune is viewed as illusion by Saturn, but Neptune claims the Saturnian realm is really the illusion. Ive been struggling with this issue, my sun 10 degrees of Virgo. Neptune has brought me the gift of lucid dreaming, but then i wake up and wonder, which reality is, well, actually real? Neptunes is a lot more fun.

  12. My Birth Date : 14 March, 1976
    Place : Botad, Gujarat, India.
    I am experiencing extremely bad time in my business since October, 2015 still continue.
    Can you guide me whether this is due to Saturn square neptune?

    I just remembered that I also felt extremely bad time from 1998 to 2000 also.

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