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Spirits in the Material World: How Saturn in Pisces Will Affect Your Sign

Originally published on Vocal in March 2023

Saturn in Pisces: an Introduction

Since March 20th, 2020, Saturn has been transiting through the sign of Aquarius. Although Aquarius is thought of as a social sign, Saturn's entrance into the fixed air sign coincided with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the first lockdowns. Like Capricorn, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn. Considering that Saturn is at home Aquarius, we can safely say that Saturn performed quite strongly here and that this time gave way to the challenges and limitations that Saturn is known for. While Saturn in Capricorn coincided with the spread of right-wing populism, Saturn in Aquarius simultaneously brought isolation, strengthening the boundaries between ourselves and others, and a sense of connection with the whole world, as this was a virus in which no country was immune. What will Saturn in Pisces, a Jupiter-ruled sign almost diametrically opposed to Saturn, bring us?

Saturn is traditionally known as the "great malefic". In modern times, it is respected as the planet of boundaries and structure, ruling over the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius, respectively. But Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, the traditional "great benefic" (and additionally ruled by Neptune in modern astrology). While Saturn is associated with boundaries, Pisces is associated with the boundless. A mutable water sign depicted by the symbol of two fishes swimming in opposite directions, Pisces represents the ocean of life, drowning and dissolving in the endless waters of mystery and love, merging with the infinite, becoming one with God. Perhaps, one way we can make sense of Saturn in Pisces is to see it as providing a tangible container for experiences of a spiritual or otherwise undefined nature. We can see it as a symbol of organized religion, of returning to traditional belief systems, or alternatively, it can be seen as a symbol of putting subjective truths to the test and studying mysticism from a more scientific point of view. It's possible that with Saturn in Pisces, our dreams themselves may feel like a burden, since the reality is dull in comparison, or conversely, we may be inspired to give our dreams structure, pulling them more closely into our reach.

Individuals with Saturn in Pisces in their birth charts tend to be imaginative, compassionate and sensitive. While this makes them good artists, healers and maybe even psychics, they may feel burdened by this sensitivity, as if they are carrying the weight of the world's feelings on their shoulders. They're often religious or spiritual. Saturn in Pisces individuals may often feel like what happens in life is outside of their control and as a result, they may become resigned to their fate or resentful of it. If you have Saturn in Pisces, you will soon be experiencing your Saturn Return. How the Saturn Return will affect you on an individual level will vary based on your natal charts and house placements (and if you have Saturn in Pisces, please feel free to schedule a reading with me) but one lesson that Saturn in Pisces individuals could learn is how to take charge of their own reality and take responsibility for their actions without feeling guilty.

Individuals with Saturn in Pisces in their birth charts tend to be imaginative, compassionate and sensitive. While this makes them good artists, healers and maybe even psychics, they may feel burdened by this sensitivity, as if they are carrying the weight of the world's feelings on their shoulders. They're often religious or spiritual. Saturn in Pisces individuals may often feel like what happens in life is outside of their control and as a result, they may become resigned to their fate or resentful of it. If you have Saturn in Pisces, you will soon be experiencing your Saturn Return. How the Saturn Return will affect you on an individual level will vary based on your natal charts and house placements (and if you have Saturn in Pisces, please feel free to schedule a reading with me) but one lesson that Saturn in Pisces individuals could learn is how to take charge of their own reality and take responsibility for their actions without feeling guilty.

Saturn in Pisces: a Return to the Mid-90's (and 60's)

To get a sense of how Saturn in Pisces might affect us, it helps to look back on the past. Saturn last transited Pisces, first for a short time in May-June 1993, and then again, from 1994 to 1996.

In many ways, this was a time of dissolving boundaries. In South Africa, the apartheid had ended and the first multi-racial elections began, resulting in the victory of Nelson Mandela, the country's first black president. The Church of England ordained its first female priests, and the U.S. Navy called its first women into combat, putting an end to the strict gender divisions that dominate such institutions. After seven years, the channel tunnel was built, an underwater (and you can't get any more Pisces than that!) railway connecting the U.K. and France (and by extension, the rest of Europe). Meanwhile, the televised trial of O.J Simpson blurred the boundaries between law and entertainment. Perhaps, most notably, however, this was beginning of the information age, and the dot-com bubble, bringing about the widespread expansion of the World Wide Web (initially released to the public by CERN scientists in 1991, when Saturn was still in the technology-loving sign of Aquarius). Microsoft's Internet Explorer became the browser of choice, and AOL (America Online) was all the rage, allowing us to send "mail" to each other within seconds, without ever having to go to a post-office!

Culturally, the sad slacker was in style. From My So-Called Life to Reality Bites, the grunge vibe was totally in fashion. The two most iconic rock-stars of the era, Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan, were both Pisces themselves and explicitly sung about Piscean themes. One killed himself when Saturn was conjunct his Sun (shortly before his own Saturn Return) becoming the generation's punk-rock messiah, while the other released Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a magical double-album epic whose success he would never again be able to live up to in the eyes of many critics and fans despite continuing to evolve as an artist and make some amazing music. Despite being a known heroin addict and almost naming his album "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die" the former's suicide prompted many conspiracy theories. Conspiracy culture was yet another trend of the era, giving way to shows like the X-Files and an interest in aliens/or paranormal activity.

This brings me to my point about the darker side of the mid-1990's: cults. In 1993, 1994, and 1994, the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan carried out a series of terrorist attacks using chemical weapons, killing dozens of civilians and injuring many more. Aum Shinrikyo was a doomsday cult drawing on sources such as Buddhism and Hinduism as well as Nostradamus and Christian Millenialist ideas about the End Times. Similarly, the Swiss cult believed to be based off the ideas of the Knights Templar, Order of the Solar Temple, carried out a series of murders and mass suicides in 1994 & 1994 resulting in the loss of dozens of lives. The Branch Davidians and Heaven's Gate were two other major cults that were active during this time, although the most newsworthy events involving these cults occurred when Saturn was in Aquarius or Aries, respectively. This was also when Timothy McVeigh committed the Oklahoma City Bombings responsible for the deaths of 168+ people; while not explicitly associated with any religions cults, his associations with the NRA, KKK and in general, his extreme right-wing views, arguably provide evidence for the existence of political cults.

It is worth noting that the last time Saturn was in Pisces prior to the 1990's was between 1964 and 1967. This was the psychedelic era, when LSD and similar drugs dominated pop culture and were even used in government mind-control experiments! This was the period of Beatlemania (when John Lennon declared himself more popular than Jesus!) and the beginnings of the Hippie movement with all its various "cults" and communes. This was also one of the biggest eras in film, and politically, it was a time where Civil Rights, Peace, Non-Violent Resistance, Environmentalist, Feminist and other social justice movements really gained traction, another way of breaking down the boundaries that separate us. In any case, many of these themes were repeated during the 90's and will likely repeat themselves again in the 2020's.

Saturn in Pisces: 2023 to 2026

So, what then, can we expect to happen now?

My mind immediately jumps to images of the metaverse, Lensa portraits and ChatGPT. Pisces is the sign of imagination, magic and illusion; with Saturn here, we might find ourselves restricted to these realms, trapped in a virtual reality that we cannot get ourselves out of, confined to a dream (or nightmare) that we cannot wake ourselves up from. This transit might just be the time when Elon Musk finally unearths those brain chips he's been bragging about for years, the time when Mark Zuckerberg's vision for Meta actually becomes a thing, possibly even the point where A.I. will gain consciousness. When the skills of workers and even writers and artists are effectively replaced by robots, will people be lining up to become cyborgs themselves? The boundaries between fantasy and reality, natural and artificial life, are getting blurrier by the day, and with Saturn in Pisces, we could lose touch with those boundaries altogether. Of course, some people (including myself) argue that A.I. is soulless so it is impossible for it to truly gain consciousness and by "becoming one" with A.I., we'll just be losing consciousness (and free will!) ourselves, but on the flip side, this transit could spark a religious revival, a move away from technology towards medicine for the soul.

Modern western society has enthusiastically embraced the secularist belief that life has no fundamental meaning, and the answers to any question that matters are to be found within a materialistic scientific worldview. But the younger, more socially conscious and sensitive generations, have grown bored with that, finding meaning in witchcraft, manifestation, astrology, tarot and other "alternative" spiritual practices. However, there are a lot of problems with the "New Age" theology popular today. It is essentially no more than a chaotic mixture of often contradictory ideas, stolen from their original sources, watered-down and thrown in a blender for us to consume at our convenience. Requiring no real commitment or organization, it is easily co-opted by modern materialist society and used to sell products. While Pisces energy itself may be comfortable in this airy-fairy realm of find-your-own-truth spirituality, Saturn is all about commitment and organization as well as tradition. So, during this transit, we may see people growing tired of this trend and returning towards the original source, whether it be traditional astrology, the ancient pagan practices of our ancestors, or real eastern Buddhism (as opposed to the appropriative western version). Christianity and other Abrahamic religions may also see a sharp rise in popularity, but it is worth noting that younger generations may "re-invent" the religions they were brought up with with a return to their core values of empathy and compassion, as opposed to all the political, sexist and homophobic nonsense associated with them today.

On Twitter, astrologer, Patrick Watson voiced the concerning prediction that Saturn in Pisces (and particularly, it's conjunction with Neptune) might bring upon greater scrutiny on the astrological community by skeptics. It is certainly possible that the current popularity astrology has today might receive more of a pushback, along with other "spiritual" trends such as tarot and the law of attraction. If this is indeed the case, it might be triggered by the apparent overlap between New Age ideas and right-wing conspiracy theories. It is true that since astrology (and spirituality, in general) is an unregulated field, you have charlatans running amok with nonsense and it makes sense that this would receive pushback. On the other hand, of course, it is only unregulated because it is not taken seriously by the scientific community, but perhaps it would help our image if astrologers act first, voicing our own criticism, before our critics do.

However, I am more inclined to take an optimistic view on this topic. A certain amount of regulation towards the astrology community would help to legitimatize it as a respectable field of study. Having Saturn in Pisces natally, in the 10th house, myself, I feel something of a mission to take a more scientific/academic (Saturn, also ruling my 9th house Midheaven) approach to spiritual (Pisces) knowledge. It would make sense if, with Saturn transiting Pisces, we see this happening on a broader scale, with the introduction of astrology into academic institutions. We may see academic institutions taking a more serious approach to other metaphysical topics, as well, such as the nature of consciousness or life after death. It is very possible that instead of dismissing astrology and metaphysics, the scientific community (or at least certain sections of it) might just wind up proving its legitimacy, undergoing a sort of revolution of its own. This is what I imagine/hope to see. On that note, it's also possible that we'll see research on the healing power of mind-altering substances, the legalization of certain recreational drugs, and more compassion-focused addiction and rehabilitation programs.

Interestingly, Saturn's ingress into the sign of Pisces on March 7th will coincide with a Full Moon in it's opposite sign of Virgo, highlighting a balance or integration between the needed harshness of reality and the fantasies that keep us going and help us make meaning - much like the transit itself. With the Full Moon squaring Mars in Gemini, there might, unfortunately, be a crisis at this time - perhaps another health crisis, like we saw when Saturn entered Aquarius, but possibly something war-related - and either way, twinged with mystery and confusion.

However, the most interesting aspect Saturn in Pisces will make is a conjunction to Neptune, Pisces' modern ruler. While the conjunction will not be exact until February 20th, 2026, when the two planets meet at 0 degrees Aries, the two will be co-present in the sign of Pisces for the next three years and the energy of the conjunction will make itself louder as the planets edge closer. Expect another article about this conjunction some time later on, but essentially, this transit, which occurs every 36.4 years, is very similar to the energy of Saturn in Pisces itself. On one hand, Saturn can damper Neptune's dreams, leading to disillusionment and negativity, but on the other hand, Saturn can materialize Neptune's dreams into a reality, giving form to the formless. However, we can also flip that around! Neptune could cause the structures held up by Saturn to disintegrate, weakening age old institutions and dissolve our very understanding of reality itself! With Saturn and Neptune in the sign of Pisces, these themes make their presence even stronger, causing an energy of confusion, spiritual crisis, mystery, illusion and disillusion, to dominate the next few years.


Now it's time to see how it will affect your sign. I suggest reading the horoscope for your ascendant or rising sign first instead of the sun. I find the rising sign horoscope to be more accurate than the sun, as these horoscopes are based on the houses. If you don't know your rising sign, click here to generate a birth chart. Yes, you will need your birth time for this. If you don't have your birth time, Sun sign (or Moon sign) horoscopes are the next best thing. If you want to know more about how this transit will affect you in depth, on a more personal here, click here to schedule a reading with me.


While the last few years may have been about fostering meaningful friendships, now is the time to make friends with yourself (as well as the demons inside your head). In comparison to your normally carefree and energetic lifestyle, Saturn's transit through your 12th house of self-undoing may have you feeling isolated and confined. It seems as if karma is catching up to you. It could be, Aries, that you are simply a victim to your own mind, shame and fear getting the best of you, but for some, this can also be a time where scandals and secrets are exposed, and in that case, you have no choice but to surrender. In any case, as difficult as this dark night of the soul you are experiencing may be, you have to remind yourself that it can only get better from here. You may find, that in the midst of all this struggle, you have gotten closer to God than ever before. It is a good time for therapy or spiritual activity, especially since Saturn gives you the discipline needed to actually benefit from these things. This is the end of an old cycle and a new birth awaits. Now is the time for cleansing your life of all the things you don't want to take with you.


You're a loyal person, Taurus, but you may not always find that people extend that same energy back to you. With Pisces Saturn transiting your 11th house of friends, you might be in the process of restricting your social circle to the ones that really matter. Whether old or new, you want to foster friendships that mean something, you want to keep around the people you vibe with and gravitate away from the ones you don't, and you might find yourself drawn to deep spiritual bonds. On the flip side, this transit could have you wanting to engage more with everyone, as your empathy and compassion are increased, and you're realizing the importance of community and social responsibility. You could get involved with politics during this transit, especially work involving those less fortunate than you, charity work, or you might join a church or some sort of religious organization or spirituality community. How you treat others is paramount now, and you're realizing that if you want people to show up for you, then you have to give back.


Let's be honest, Gemini: despite your strong communication and networking skills, your reputation for flightiness and indecision can be an issue in a environment that values hard work and professional responsibility above everything else. Sure, you're fun and chatty, but your daydreamy and scatterbrained tendencies could possibly have you committing more errors in the workplace than you'd like to admit. Pisces Saturn in your 10th house is forcing you to get it together and put your ALL into the job. It's not the time to be reckless or impulsive, but to really focus and prove you are indispensable to your field. It's time to seek recognition and accept the rewards you're due. If your work just isn't as meaningful to you as weekend parties or lazing around, if it doesn't inspire the same passion in you that your other hobbies and interests do, perhaps it's time you find something else that does. Because a career isn't just a way to make money; as someone with so many various interests, it may be hard for you to understand, but for many people, their job is their life, their career is their identity, and while this may not be the healthiest thing, considering realistically the amount of hours we spend at it, it's important we make sure its something we excel at and enjoy giving our full attention to. This transit especially favors careers in religion/spirituality, the arts and/or the healing professions.


You're quite the sensitive soul, Cancer, and you might currently find yourself going through a period of disillusionment, as if the blinds are being pulled from your eyes and you're seeing the world devoid of all it's color. This "darkness" is likely to just be in your head, but in any case, with Saturn in the 9th house, you're likely finding that your beliefs are being put to the test. Whether you're a religious person with a negative experience that calls your faith into question, or a diehard atheist experiencing glimpses of God for the first time, this transit is all about assessing what it is that you really and truly believe. However, it is important to note that while some of you may be undergoing a crisis of faith, others of you may be finding faith for the first time, at least in a more organized form.. Adverse experiences have a tendency to send people in either direction; we may find ourselves seeking community or a framework to make sense and meaning out of our experiences and this may be the case for many of you. You might find yourself seeking a religion or spiritual path to actually commit to instead of floating around in a hodgepodge of contradictory new age ideas that may not be helping you anymore. On the other hand, this transit is also beneficial for long distance travel and/or higher education. It gives you the focus and fortitude needed to complete your studies. The same is true if you work in academia or a similar field; it gives you the strength necessary for finishing that research paper or the long-term study you've been working on, or it could have you questioning if your field of study is really right for you.


Saturn's transit through the 8th house of death is not for the faint of heart - just ask Cancer, who experienced it for the last three years. This transit may involve grief, sadness, depression, etc. etc. However, it is also a time of intense healing. The 8th house is not just about death but about debt as well and while some of you may indeed find yourself in some monetary trouble, others of you may experience debt of the more 'karmic' sort. In any case, this transit could bring you a greater awareness of your own mortality, and with that, a deeper focus on spirituality. When you start thinking more about the afterlife, you gain a deeper focus on how you live this one. Are you living in alignment with your truest values? Are living in a way that would make your ancestors and guardian angels proud? It's time you shed your ego, Leo; throw away whatever priorities you have that are only of temporary importance, and turn your attention to the things that are true and eternal.


Yes, Virgo, you are already known for your discrimination & discernment and you're very capable of discerning between right and wrong partners. However, sometimes, your focus is placed on things that are superficial and mundane. With Pisces Saturn in your 7th house, you're limiting your social circle - and especially your dating circle - to those you vibe with on a spiritual level. Who shares your values, your hopes, your fears and your dreams? Who do you connect with, emotionally? Who helps you to grow and who stunts you? Relationships that are out of sync with your inner development - and that includes friendships - may come to a halt or fall apart, but those that are in sync with who you are deep down will thrive, and may even be taken to a deeper level. Those of you whose romantic relationships are still sort of 'up in the air' may be able to expect commitment, marriage, a family or moving in together, if the two of you are really right for each other's spiritual health. Alternatively, you could be attracting people with Saturnian characteristics into your life (i.e. organized and disciplined personalities, serious and ambitious people, older people, etc.).


I know they always stereotype you as a beauty queen, Libra, someone whose always down with the latest fashion and beauty trends, but sometimes, you can also be lazy or honestly? Not even "lazy", like they stereotype you as, just too much in your head, and this can be detrimental to your health! It can be detrimental both to how you feel and how you look. Saturn in your 6th house of health and wellness forces you to acknowledge these truths. Saturn in Pisces is pushing you to develop a new routine, one that jives with your innermost being, or else risk getting sick. This isn't just about dieting and exercise, but also about spiritual wellness. Meditation, yoga, even therapy, all of these things involve the same discipline that dieting and exercise do. In any case, it's time for you to focus on healing your innermost soul because how you feel inside will only reflect on the out.


Now is the time to immerse yourself in your passions, Scorpio. You may have many hobbies but do you ever think to make anything out of it? With Saturn in your 5th house of fun and creativity, this is the time to realize your dreams. Sometimes, as adults, we no longer have time for these things, as we're so busy working jobs we do not necessarily enjoy or even care about just to put food on the table and afford a place to sleep. With the little free time we have, we're usually catching up on rest or housework or socializing with people who we do not otherwise get to see, so the other things we like to do, like making art or music or I don't know, playing sports, fall to the wayside. Instead of actually doing the things we like, many of us simply dream about doing it; a minority of us may make careers or at least side hustles out of it, but I can't count the number of people I know who call themselves "artists" without ever actually doing art, despite the fact that they once did. So, during this transit, you can benefit from structuring your time wisely and disciplining yourself into actually doing things. On another note, the 5th house rules over children, and for those who have kids, you may be in for some extra responsibility over the next few years. Parenting takes work, a lot of work, and many people dream about having kids without considering this very important fact. Even if you do not have kids, it's possible you might become pregnant during this transit, changing your life forever, adding an extra layer of responsibility but hopefully an extra level of joy, as well.


They say you're a wanderer, Sagittarius, a free spirit who is impossible to pin down, but as much as you love (or simply dream about) roaming around the world, like all (or at least most) of us, you appreciate (or long for) the comfort of a stable home, a place where you can relax and be yourself. Creating that stable home can feel like a heavy responsibility, however, perhaps even a dream that is almost impossible to achieve. For some of you, Saturn's transit through the 4th house of home and family, may rip apart the illusion you even ever had one, forcing you to build a new foundation from scratch. Others of you may be "settling down" for the first time after a life of no strings, and while it may be a happy experience, it could also be more pressure than you imagined. Some of you may be obligated to the family at this time, reconnecting with your roots after some time away, and while this might be stressful, it can also be rewarding. Overall, however, I'd say this transit is about realizing the dream of a safe haven, whether close to home or far away, even if what you build is not what you initially imagined.


You're ruled by Saturn, Capricorn. It's the planet that shapes your ambitious attitude, as well as your responsibility and maturity. However, sometimes, being ambitious means forcing yourself to be a socialite, knowing the right people, following the right trends and rehearsing the right scripts, even when they contradict your own moral values. With Saturn transiting your 3rd house of communication and information, you're being forced to face these facts and to question them. You're learning to be more discerning about who your sources of information are. Is getting yourself involved with petty gossip and drama worth it? You may feel like it will propel your dreams forward, and maybe it will... temporarily, but in the long run, it will come back to a haunt you, possibly even sending your career backwards. You might be limiting where you get your news as well, only choosing to listen to sources that have proven themselves to be trustworthy and useful. You might also be quieter than usual, not wanting to trust people with your information, until they have proven themselves. In other words, this transit will help to make you even more mature and responsible. The 3rd house also rules siblings, neighbors, extended family, elementary education and short travels so these areas of life might also be affected by this transit.


They say you are an idealist, dear Aquarius, a little bit of a dreamer yourself, despite being Saturn-ruled. You are an air sign, after all, and although intelligent, being too much in your head and /or focused on social matters could have you coming off as a little bit scatter-brained.... and scatter-brained people are not usually the best at balancing their budgets! With Saturn in your 2nd house of money and finances, you might be about to receive the consequences of over-spending, or not spending wisely. Even if you are normally well-off, you might find yourself having to limit what you spend in ways you are not used to. It is a better time for saving up and investing money (and time, as well!) in the things you truly care and dream about.


You already feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, Pisces, but with Saturn in your 1st house, that feeling is about to get a lot heavier. You're known for your empathy, compassion and ability to tune into what other people are feeling, as well as the secrets of the other side, but all of that plagues you with a heavy sense of responsibility that you don't know how to deal with. So instead, you just escape. You retreat into the sea. Now, however, there is no time for that. Now, you are being forced to face yourself and your abilities head on and actually do something about it. It's time to get yourself together, get your life together, and be honest, or else, your failure to face the truth will come and haunt you. More likely, however, this transit will help to make you stronger, more responsible, more resilient, shaping you into the person who you dream of being, a person who will make their mark on the world.


I hope my predictions regarding the erasure of boundaries between virtual and physical reality or human consciousness and artificial intelligence prove to be false. Likewise, I hope that cults don't become "cool" or gain power over people. But I do hope to see an end to the boundaries that separate us in other ways. Likewise, I hope to see the study of mystical and spiritual phenomena become legitimized in a way that isn't cult-like, and that we become more conscious of the importance of being spirits in a material world.


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