The Saturn - Uranus square - Where does real change lie?

The death of the Queen marks the end of an era. The role of a monarch or head of state may not seem that important as it holds no overt decision making power but the character and integrity of the one who holds that title can permeate subtly, but significantly, into the world. The Queen had Capricorn rising with its ruler Saturn on her mid-heaven in Scorpio reflecting the fact that she endured a long time, took her position very seriously and sought to be the rock which would give Britain a solid anchor through all the changes of the last 70 years. Charles, while himself a Scorpio, has both his ascendant and mid-heaven in fire signs and so is likely to be more expressive of his opinions.  

The passing of the Crown from Elizabeth to Charles is somewhat indicative of the times of change we are going through. The world that emerged after the two world wars was, despite all its flaws, a reasonably stable one, at least for the West. Now with the West engaged in a war with Russia and the possibility of conflict starting between America and China over Taiwan as well as soaring oil prices and cost of living the situation is looking much more precarious.   

The major astrological configuration at the moment is the Saturn – Uranus square which began in 2020, became exact in 2021 and 2022 and will move apart by early next year. Due to retrograde motion the closeness and intensity of the square increases and diminishes over this two or three year period before fully dissipating. The next and final peak of this Saturn – Uranus transit starts now in mid-September when the two planets are less than a degree away from an exact square and will continue to late October. However, as they start to move further apart there is a total Lunar Eclipse on 8 November which is exactly conjunct Uranus, with the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus all square to Saturn, so around this time we could see major events happening in the world. Saturn and Uranus then drift further apart but the square will still be in effect until March of next year when Saturn finally leaves Aquarius for Pisces. Saturn and Uranus do not make another major aspect to each other until 2032 when they make a conjunction at the end of Gemini which initiates a new cycle.  

If we look back to previous cycles of Saturn – Uranus aspects they have all coincided with upheaval especially during the squares and oppositions which are aspects of tension and crises. If we look at the last two times that Saturn made its closing square to Uranus we see times of serious social, political and economic turbulence. The last occasion was the mid 1970s which was a period of high unemployment, high oil prices and even rationing of oil in some countries, long term economic depression and a lot of social unrest. The time before that was 1930-1931 which saw the beginning of the Great Depression around the world following the Wall Street crash of 1929. This was an absolutely terrible time for millions of people who suffered a great deal of poverty and hardship. It is therefore not a great surprise that during this Saturn – Uranus square we find ourselves where we do, with a significant ongoing war, high oil and gas prices, potential food shortages and a lot of social turmoil and distrust in the politicians and business leaders.  

In the face of all this, various individuals and organisations are proposing potential solutions to these problems. They say that if we follow their ideas then we will restore order out of the current chaos. They portray themselves as the voice of authoritative expertise which can be trusted, as a dependable Saturnian force that can hold back the Uranian forces of disorder, confusion and turmoil. The solution that is being proposed and will continue to be proposed to ever greater degrees is that the way to deal with all this Uranian chaos is for these authority figures to be given ever increasing power with which to control all aspects of society. The language being used can seem positive and innocuous but the bottom line is that they say control is needed to deal with chaos and the worse the chaos is, then the more control and power is needed to be given to those in authority. One can say that political, economic and scientific authorities seek to stress the benign aspects of Saturn and the destructive side of Uranus. While, of course, there is always some truth to this, it is extremely one sided. It is important that we see the other side as well. From another perspective it could be argued that it is the very political, economic and scientific authorities that are responsible for the chaos in the first place and that by handing more power over to them the problems that face mankind will only worsen rather than improve and that ordinary people will just find themselves more disempowered and controlled by the state. However, while one can make many legitimate criticisms of the Saturnian authorities there is always the danger that one becomes a one sided Uranian figure angrily fighting the established order and metaphorically, or for some, maybe literally, attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament like Guy Fawkes or storm the Bastille and instigate a reign of terror. 

Looking at this from a deeper level, whether we call on the government, scientists and big business to save us from the myriad crises we are facing or we blame the government, scientists, and big business for all the mess and try and bring them down, the outcome is not likely to be much different. History has shown that following a revolution where those at the top fall, they are generally replaced with people who, if not corrupt from the start, soon succumb to the temptations and pitfalls of wielding power and we are back to where we started from. So if we see that the solution to our problems lies neither in the Saturnian realm of authority, control and power nor in the Uranian realm of rebellion, revolution and the latest technology then at least we are making some progress and not just following well worn ideas that have consistently failed to fundamentally change society for the better.  

The fact is that the world’s problems are very complex and no simplistic political or social ideology can hope to provide any meaningful solutions. One of the main reasons why humanity has failed to make progress for so long is that it directs all its power of thoughts and intentions to the material world only, seeking to find practical, worldly solutions to practical, worldly problems. However, most of the problems the world faces do not have their origin in the world of matter but in the world of the human soul, such as greed, lust, anger, jealousy, desire for power, etc. Without dealing with these fundamental human challenges the world will continually go through cycles of turmoil and destruction and the solution to these problems cannot be found through material science or remedied by government policy. It is time we all direct our focus not just on meeting our material needs but on transforming ourselves inwardly. If enough people deeply saw the necessity of inner transformation, that would lead to major changes in society, for thoughts and feelings are powerful forces in the world. The darker elements in society are constantly trying, through fear, to direct the thoughts and free will of people towards ensuring their physical needs can be met and for those who have plenty then the focus turns to meeting their physical desires as when we are preoccupied with the physical then there is no time or inclination to turn to higher matters of the soul and spirit. With a very difficult winter coming for many people it is obviously necessary that we do what we can to manage our physical needs as best we can but “Man does not live by bread alone” and so some effort should also be made to direct our minds higher to spiritual matters of love, beauty, truth and to questions of God, the fate of the soul after death and so on. It is not necessary to find all the answers but the power of collective human thinking that is earnestly seeking spiritual truth is the most powerful agent of change right down to the physical plane.  

If we then look at the Saturn – Uranus square from a more inward and spiritual perspective a different feeling can emerge. In the Saturnian realm, the soul must grapple with nature of personal responsibility. Many of us are quick to blame others for our misfortune or consider that the authorities are responsible for our welfare more than we are. If we get sick it is the responsibility of the doctor to make us better or if we get into debt it is the bank’s fault for pushing credit cards and it is the fault of multinationals for making us overconsume. It should be obvious that we need to take responsibility for own actions but more than that we also need to ensure that events in the world do not pass us by because of our passivity. It is our responsibility to discern what is true and false, what is moral and immoral, what is important and what is trivial and not leave it to the media, to the so-called experts and governments to make these judgements on our behalf. This quality of discernment, which is highly important, seems to develop in people in direct proportion to the taking of personal responsibility for oneself and the world.   

Uranus lies outside of Saturn’s orbit of order and control and in many ways is a law unto itself. While it has often been seen as a harbinger of destruction, the god Ouranos, after which the planet was named, was always seen as representing the heavens, with many of the old depictions of him in Greek and Roman art being surrounded by stars or the twelve signs of the Zodiac. All religions talk of higher worlds and spiritual realms where the causes of events that take place in this world are to be found and where new impulses and inspirations that bring humanity forward have always been felt to come from. However, while these new inspiring impulses may find their way to Earth they require a receptive human mind and a courageous heart for this cosmic seed to bear fruit. To be receptive we need to free our minds from the enslavement to the philosophical, social and scientific paradigms of our age. 

So rather than see the Saturn – Uranus square as just a conflict between forces of destructive chaos and a corrupt order we should look on it as a call to raise our level of personal responsibility to encompass the world and to open ourselves to the inspirations of a higher realm of cosmic intelligence that mostly rains down to Earth unheeded.  

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