Saturn transits the 28th and 29th degrees of Via Combusta Libra just minutes shy of an exact trine to Neptune in Aquarius from now until early February, 2012.
Due to the upcoming Saturn retrograde, the trine between Saturn and Neptune won't become exact until October 10, 2012, at which point both planets will have moved from air to water - Saturn into Scorpio and Neptune into Pisces.
Saturn stations retrograde on the anaretic (29th) degree of Libra February 7 and will station direct again at 22 Libra June 25 - the morning after the first of the seven squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, just to make that a little more over the top.
The last leg of Saturn's transit through Libra has been coloured strongly by a Venus trine to Uranus in Aries that occurred just as Saturn entered its final retrograde shadow in the sign of the scales. Here's the raw and radical, weird and wild, friendly and freaky Uranian shift into Aquarian era-flavoured relationships, giving us the impetus to bust out of old forms, old ideals, and old ways of relating that no longer get the job done. Venus in Aquarius until January 13 keeps the tone set to "new relationship rulebook," and we grind it out Saturn-style.
But now Saturn's retrograde period (February 7 - June 25, 2012) is set strongly to "Neptunian rose-coloured" as Saturn carries the energy and themes of its not-quite-exact trine to Neptune into the retrograde process. Things are, indeed, being stirred to a frothy fin de Piscean era pitch as we push into 2012.
This is compounded by Venus, Saturn's dispositor, transiting Pisces from January 13 to February 8. Venus will be on the anaretic degree of Pisces - the last degree of the zodiac - at the time of Saturn's retrograde station on the anaretic degree of Libra, and you see the relational completion themes quite clearly.
This is Piscean-to-Aquarian relationship dynamics out the yin yang, and they're those final, anaretic degree issues, which can be tricky.
One of the major cautions with anaretic degrees is to stay where you are, working with the present, rather than projecting ahead into the new sign and new territory. Projecting ahead is not what we're asked to do on the anaretic degrees, and doing so is a recipe for failure - something Saturn doesn't like, especially in the sign of its exaltation, Libra. Venus is also in the sign of its exaltation (Pisces) at the time of Saturn's retrograde station, and this indicates that if we put forth our best effort over the 4.5-month retrograde, not jumping any guns, we can release the whole Piscean era relationship-related kit and caboodle.
There's isolation (Neptune) here that, this far into the proceedings, reaches intolerable points as we responsibly, sometimes grudgingly wait out (Saturn) the closing of the era. It's playing with us, testing all points, testing the power of its influence to make us jump into something not in our best interests. Many of us are completing a Saturn in Libra endurance test involving loneliness, disappointment, and dull, dry depression in order to finally move beyond the sticky Piscean era tendrils attempting to draw us back.
We need to be smarter now, and an exact Sun-Mercury conjunction in Aquarius at the time of the Saturn retrograde station February 7 keeps our eyes on the Aquarian prize. If we're serious, if we're responsible, this is a major and potentially final cross-over in relationship.
Piscean era and Aquarian era are two ships passing in the night, and with this Saturn retrograde, we can make sure, once and for all, that we're on the S.S. Water-bearer.
Again, though, we're not there yet, and this retrograde through Saturn is really going to rub our noses in that fact if we neglect or avoid the issues it's bringing up. Expect vaguely familiar situations and people to pop up like ghosts during this retrograde. Lingering impressions find form. A song from the soundtrack of an old relationship plays on the radio, triggering the wisp of a memory. A dream reminds you of someone not yet quite gone. An old, free-floating dynamic plays out, yet again, with someone new. Can we never escape them? The old hauntings and longings, carried for so long.
These are our squirm-inducing Saturnine placement tests. We're officially under the thumb. All are meant to be passed through. They can't be held to. They can't sustain us in the land of the living. These ghostly Saturnine tests will be hitting the most open and loving places in our Piscean hearts. They'll be testing our weakest points, our most hopeful points, the sweetest, most longed-for Piscean dreams we held for so long, the points that can bring us to our knees. And we're tired. We're tired of these hauntings and these half-awake, half-dreaming relational situations. The only slightly new cast of characters playing out only slightly rewritten scenes. The loves lost, the loves regretted, the loves pined for, the loves that never quite were. With lives so full of ghosts and disappointments, there's scarcely room for another living, breathing, human being.
But it's weakening. As long as we're able to separate it from the reality before us, it loses its grip. We have to bear it, and we have to show it the door, firmly. We need the radical break.
This isn't about losing the love. That pure, full, ringing-through-every-cell Pisces love that tells us we're human. The love that makes it worth living. It's about love changing. How we give and receive love and what that means changing. Creating truer channels and purer, less distorted connections.
Pass the tests of the final Saturn retrograde in Libra for 30 years, and we move on. Fall for it - fall for the same old tricks and diversions, fall into the same old relational comforts instead of reaching further - and it's broken record time all over again.
Neptune re-entering its domicile of Pisces February 3 gives us a major upsurge in Pisces energy and themes, in effect all year. There will be many glowing articles about this ingress coming from astrologers, but I would advise caution with this energy. Due to the strength of this potentially diversionary upsurge, it's imperative that we carefully filter the sign of Pisces, removing the last habitual pull into hoped-for illusion over fortifying reality, particularly in relationships. With the influence of Mars in Virgo, we're carving out a "Pisces for the Aquarian era," and any Piscean era relational stuff carried forward from here creates an increasing amount of distortion, longing, delusion, dissatisfaction, pain.
We have to work (Saturn) for this. We have to put everything we have into leaving the wounding Piscean era romantic ideals and the associated "should have known betters" behind us. We have to nip them in the bud before they take hold, and these days, they can take hold quickly and with great force. It doesn't always make sense, but that's OK. All we need to do is: keep going.
And yet, in some ways, we're helpless. Pinned under the weight of collective love dynamics 2,000+ years deep, playing out cycles that do not have origin in us. We battle our way out of the cloying, heart-hollowing Piscean era relationship forms not only for ourselves but also for every lover who ever fell prey to their seductive, glowing archetypal dynamics. For every person who fell for potential over reality, who was scammed, used, burned, treated badly. The rage and grief of our mistreatment burns in our souls.
And ladies, it's we who have borne the brunt of it. The cads of the male gender have been traipsing through time and space, century and nation, getting away with the most obscene things. These fools have been doing damage with subtly and not-so-subtly misogynistic dynamics on cyclical repeat. They've skated away, from woman to woman, etheric criminals. Each new woman disconnected from what's come before, sure that he's different with her. Each woman proud to hold up her prize.
And here it stops. With us. Uranus in Aries blazes our trail.
We can only do so much as we twist and turn under this tail-end of the tail-end of the Piscean era, but Saturn tells us, both men and women, if we commit to it, if we keep noses to grindstones, if we do all we can, we progress. We move on. We gain new relational position. We set up relationship frameworks that have a much better chance of meeting the love and companionship needs of all involved as we move into a new astrological era.
With this Saturn retrograde through the last of Libra, we're doing the last of the work to shift the structural set-ups of our relationships out from under Piscean era phoniness, deceit, illusion, immaturity, and foolishness.
For the ladies (especially) who refuse to stand up and step out from the relationship structures and ideals that cause so much misery: Good luck to ya.
Saturn is digging in from the anaretic degree, and we're not going to be allowed to let anything slide here. We're also addressing the very last of the Neptunian shitbag stuff. It's very tricky and very subtle, woven into the fabric of our relations, especially between men and women. Even a breath of an impression of it has to be addressed.
We have to get very serious, very grounded, and very responsible about illusions, delusions, mirages, escapism, and outdated Piscean ideals in relationships of all kinds. Trying to form ourselves around someone else's ideal instead of being who we are. The coquettish damsel batting her eyelashes demurely, arranging long, flowing locks around her while waiting for her Valiant Knight Saviour. (These days, of course, it also goes the other way around.) All the fairy tales fall short once the fair maiden gets hitched to her Big Catch and sinks into the reality of patriarchal rule.
Over the next six months, we have to watch the tendency very carefully in ourselves and in others to throw our arms open to embrace what we wish were true (the fairy tale), rather than what is true.
If people aren't there by now, they aren't going to get there.
Neptune is very good at convincing us otherwise.
Tell Neptune to shut it.
Neptune finishes its 14-year transit of Aquarius February 3 when it re-enters Pisces for 14 years.
Neptune re-entering its domicile Pisces is the last in the series of outer planet shifts (following Pluto's ingress of Capricorn and Uranus' ingress of Aries) and officially wraps up the strongest Pisces-to-Aquarius transition period, indicated by the mutual reception between Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius.
As noted, Saturn in Libra will turn retrograde just shy of the exact trine to Neptune in Aquarius, and this aspect does not become exact until October 10, 2012 when Saturn on zero Scorpio trines Neptune on zero Pisces. The trine in those water signs, as you would imagine, has a whole different feel as we enter Saturn's transit of Scorpio in mutual reception to Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune enters the "Pisces for the astrological Aquarian era" sign of the fishies.