Saturn represents the process of establishing structures that last, through diligence, practice, and maintenance. When we work with Saturn, we are working with what IS, not what we wish it was or what it used to be or what it could be 'if only.' We look at what we realistically have in front of us and what we can do about it.
Sometimes Saturn works through the mechanism of limitation to help us make choices and make something real. Limitations can be very useful (says the Virgo with Capricorn Rising). What's easier? Making a choice out of 18 different options or two? When we know what something is and is not, we know what we're working with and can begin to make plans and progress.
Saturn is about rules and structure but the lamenting about limitation generally comes when we've been putting off the work of maintenance or change when we outgrow a structure. Saturn work is the process of building structure that can support us, not just limit us for it's own twisted amusement. Saturnian structures can either be a cage that holds us or the skeleton that holds us up. Traditions can warm our hearts with their timelessness or prevent our growth out of a desperate fear to cling to what we know, even if we are being invited to know something new now. When structures stop supporting us, they sometimes need to be torn down and rebuilt, re-evaluated.
The Saturn/Pluto square around mid-November (exact on the 15th) is about exactly that. Saturn builds and maintains, and Pluto tears down to REbuild. Where this occurs in your own chart, depending on how dramatically it contacts your chart, will be the area of your life where this dynamic is playing out, and where courage to change the right things might be in order. With Pluto in Libra, the collective will be facing fears about what equality might really mean, and if we share and compromise, what will we lose? Saturn will show us the consequences we've created for ourselves because of that fear, so Saturn's journey through Libra will start off with a bang.
Libra is known as the sign of relationships, but this isn't just relationships between people. It's about the fact that everything is connected, that what's done on one hand affects the other, and this is the heart of the idea of relationship: understanding one thing in relation to another thing. Not only in how they connect, support, and validate each other, but how they balance each other, sometimes through opposition and conflict (need I say that Libra is the sign of the scales?). Saturn will bring into focus the work that must be done to practice and create balance (for it is not a static state), as well as the reality that must be faced to do that work.
The work begins with the sometimes difficult acknowledgment that the other side just might have a valid point. Even if we don't agree with it, Saturn will remind us that we can no longer afford the luxury of simply demonizing the other point of view to justify our own. An opinion that only has the self-righteous conviction of the wrongness of another is simply a luxury that Saturn in Libra will not stand for. "Right side" and "wrong side" are just not going to get the job done. It cannot be the freaks and the normal ones, the conservatives or the democrats, the women and the men, the picked on people and the big bad corporations.
The scales want to balance in several senses: in the sense of both sides being represented 2 half truths=whole truth, so it'll be about recognizing that each extreme, each side, balances the other. In the sense of balance between people where we are invited to see anothers' perspective and honor it. We're invited to build bridges by trying to find common ground even if we agree to disagree. Respect, grace, and fairness without name calling or dirty behavior are the tools for our work. The scales also want to balance in the sense of justice and fairness, so 'traditional' laws must be evaluated during this time. Equality in all senses between people, of race, gender, sexual preferences, and the like must be evaluated, and the laws, written or just socially assumed must reflect what we learn about that equality so that we can create the structure to support it. The scales don't automatically balance; it is the process of weighing that enlightens.
The classic trouble with Libra is that if it does achieve it's goal in understanding both perspectives, making a choice to walk through one door and close another can be difficult. Saturn requires commitment and follow through, otherwise the natural consequences of not doing so build up down the road as the brick wall we'll eventually smack into. At the same time, Saturn work involves facing the brick wall we've made from our past actions that will now be invited to use Libran tools to correct.
Let's practice playing nice, but fair.
(Saturn and Pluto will square three times due to retrograde motion: November 15 2009, Jan 31 2010 and Aug 21 2010).
Here are a few other great blogs about Saturn's entry into Libra:
Note: This article is featured in Saturn in Libra and Relationships, published on Sasstrology as part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto