Metaphor is the champion of intersecting realities. What a nifty tool, to be able to capture the essence of something by peripheral association. It speaks to the paradox of seeing things more clearly by not focusing on them too intently. I have faith in metaphor because it is a great synthesizer of the world, the connective tissue between feeling and appearance, this and that, color and memory. Metaphor is a simple tool that allows everything to relate to everything.
As a therapist, I spend a great deal of time thinking about relationships and reality, and as an astrologer, I have a beautiful model for archetypal balance and equilibrium with fate. In many ways, both psychology and astrology are metaphorical models for the same thing: the sometimes ordered, sometimes chaotic, inner workings of humans and the reflection of these inner structures on the reality around them. The reflection of the cosmic in the interpersonal and intrapersonal can be expressed through metaphor.
I have been contemplating the shift of Saturn from the sign of Aquarius (March 21, 2020 – March 7, 2023) into Pisces last week (March 7), where he’ll remain for the next several years. Saturn is wrapping up a five-year stint of being empowered in his significations: limitation, loss, scarcity and hard consequences. Saturn is the harshness of existentialism, giving the feeling of insignificance in the face of hard truths of life. He also signifies old age, isolation and the relentless march forward of time. Cheery indeed.
The past five years have certainly seen collective hardship and social isolation. So what does Saturn’s time in Pisces portend? In Pisces, Saturn is traveling through a water sign ruled by Jupiter. This sign is decidedly softer and, like all water signs, emotive. It is the sign of letting go, and the holy longing for the divine.
Here we need a little metaphorical assistance. Saturn in Pisces is the thaw of spring after winter, and the pain and the relief of trauma recovery. It is the reckoning of things in a frozen state regaining feeling. This transformation is painful because to return to vitality requires that all the pain that was avoided through psychological and emotional immobility be felt and re-integrated.
Aquarius, where Saturn has been since the beginning of the pandemic, is the sign of the super-rational, retreating to the more analytic parts of the mind to avoid the chaotic awkwardness of emotions, the weight of grief, and the limbo of ambiguous loss.
All this to say, the return to a water sign, especially Pisces, will involve grief as part of the process. This grief is the bridge between worlds, just as Pisces season is the bridge between winter and spring. The presence of the grief is heavy, but this heaviness is full of vitality as floodwaters destroy structures but themselves are rich with fertile ingredients. We are feeling at an emotional level what has been transformed or lost over the past several years.
Saturn is a builder as well, and the materials that Pisces provides for construction are dubious in their materiality. Pisces is the sign of fantasy and the connection to altered states, both holy and chemical. Sometimes we need a little of the numinous to inspire our worldly work.
Saturn looks to restore our faith through the careful use of doubt. Saturn provides discernment about what can become real, and what is mere delusion. Part of trauma recovery involves sorting out the narrative from a foggy place of overwhelm into a simple story. This process restores our faith in our own powers of discernment, and our ability to tell what is real from what is being fed to us.
The purpose of therapy is to expand our capacity to tolerate ambivalence and ambiguity and maintain existential equilibrium. The purpose of natal astrology is to bring a little light and order to our experience of qualitative time and our little selves within it, and the purpose of metaphor is to help us feel how everything is connected. Pisces is the wisest of connections, and Saturn builds things to last. I wish you the forging of lasting connections while Saturn swims in those waters.
If you would like a more personal look at Saturn in Pisces in your life, I am available for birth chart and year-ahead readings at starhearthastrology.com