As planetary alignments continuously shift, the evolutionary configuration of the sacred geometry of our solar system impacts the electromagnetic field of the Earth and its inhabitants. Every alignment encodes its messages in our psyche. Each energetic pattern both challenges us and offers us expanded possibilities and perspectives. As we receive energetic downloads, we are assisted in developing our relationship with ourselves, each other, Mother Earth, and the cosmos.
This blog discusses 4 defining configurations for 2016 and their implications. Witness how these energies play out in your life and on the world scene.
(1) Saturn in Sagittarius influences our attitude for the next 2 years — through December 2017.
(2) The Saturn-Neptune Square offers us a chance to be more real and spiritually mature (loving) from November 2015 through September 2016.
(3) Jupiter in Virgo emphasizes pragmatism from August 11, 2015 through September 9, 2016.
(4) Uranus in Aries fires up our anger and awakens our identity from March 2011 through May 18, 2018.
November 22-December 21-22 – The Sun Smiles in Sagittarius
8:49 PM PST (4:49 GMT the 22)
Sagittarius is the zodiac sign most associated with our spiritual quest. The Archer’s arrow aims toward universal truth and represents our evolutionary journey to peel away limiting biases, conditioning, and filters so that we can improve our perceptual capacity and interpret our life experiences with more and more clarity, honesty, accuracy, and heart.
 Saturn in Sagittarius
Saturn entered Sagittarius December 24, 2014. While retrograde it moved back into Scorpio June 15 through September 17, 2015. Saturn will stay in Sagittarius from September 18, 2015 to December 19, 2017.
Sagittarius delights in the areas of philosophy, cosmology, and human and universal laws. Sagittarius tries to make sense of our human experiences and searches for meaning and purpose. Sagittarius is positive, willing to take risks, gullible, and always eager for new adventures. Serious Saturn can cool down the fiery Archer, when it gets over enthusiastic.
Saturn has a very different temperament than Sagittarius. Saturn is careful, disciplined, and practical. Fear-based Saturn is brittle, scared, insecure, and constantly feels threatened. Sagittarius can help Saturn lighten up a bit.
Conscious Saturn is the wise pilgrim, not the ignorant fool. Conscious Saturn thoughtfully engages in life. Patiently working through the labyrinth of mixed messages and endless tests and trials, it becomes strong, grounded, contained, and mature. Saturn can help ground Sagittarius in practical reality.
Unconscious Saturn in Sagittarius adheres to rigid belief structures and predetermined truths. Dogmatic Saturn in Sagittarius is not an explorer, but a firm believer, a fundamentalist crusader, a narcissist who feels threatened by the possibility of not being right. Defensive Saturn in Sagittarius allows no room for interpretation. Incapable of independent thought, he feels insecure if challenged. Images are icons. Symbols are rigid fixtures with static meanings. Belief structures restrict the need to think and leave no room to be challenged by the implications of evolution, growth, responsibility, and integrity.
 Saturn in Sagittarius Squares Neptune in Pisces
The Saturn-Neptune square is active for 11 months from November 2015 through September 2016. The energy is the most intense at the 3 exact squares on the following dates:
(1) November 26, 2015 Saturn made its first of 3 exact squares with Neptune at 7 degrees Sagittarius-Pisces.
(2) June 17, 2016 the Saturn-Neptune square occurs at 12 degrees for the second time.
(3) September 10, 2016 is the third square at 11 degrees.
Briefly, Saturn governs the physical world and relentlessly reminds us of its limits and the laws of time and space. Neptune rules the metaphysical dimension of reality and helps us merge with and navigate the non-physical waters with subtle sensitivity.
Saturn-Neptune squares challenge us to tune into what is real and to not short change ourselves by believing what ‘seems’ to be our personal identity and reality. This pair helps us identify the negative self-affirmations and sabotaging stories that control our lives. It encourages us to listen to and follow our intuition and heart, instead childhood programming and external authorities. The more we do so, the more we achieve spiritual maturity and happiness, and the more we connect with our essence and our creativity.
Together Saturn and Neptune are fantasy busters. If we take advantage of their collaboration, we can use this confrontational energy to identify and let go of victim and martyrdom programs, guilt and blame patterns, and addictive habits. In a very practical way, this pair illuminates illusions and denial. (1) We see where we have short-circuited ourselves and given away our power. (2) We can see through our fear and anger-based beliefs about ourselves, each other, and the world. (3) We are able to see how we have constructed walls to try to feel safe and ended up feeling more and more insecure. (4) We witness how we block ourselves from being authentic, pragmatic, and successful in life.
The Saturn-Neptune Cycle
Saturn and Neptune interact in a 36 year cycle. A new cycle began in 1989 at their conjunction at 10-12 degrees Capricorn. Their waxing (expansive) square occurred in 1998-99 at 29 degrees Aries-Capricorn to 4 degrees Taurus-Aquarius. In 2006 they were in opposition at 18-22 degrees Leo-Aquarius. Their next conjunction is in 2026 at 1 degrees Aries. Look back on your life and examine what was happening around the above dates. Can you identify a progression? What progress have you made? What patterns, activities, and relationships no longer serve you? How can you integrate what you have learned so that you can excel in the last 10 years of the cycle?
Last Quarter Square
Saturn and Neptune are in the last phase of completing the cycle initiated at their conjunction in 1989. Squares signal turning points. Waning squares announce the beginning phase of the completion of a cycle. We must prepare ourselves for a reorientation in consciousness by releasing ourselves from beliefs, habits, activities, and relationships that no longer serve us.
A waning last quarter square is one of the most challenging astrological aspects. A crisis in consciousness arises from the need for a complete reorientation involving giving up what was considered the norm and good in the first 3 quarters. We must let go and watch as things fall apart. Worn out idols and what was familiar dissolve so that something new can emerge. We can feel adrift and shipwrecked. However, an opening awaits us when we realize we are lost and can now find ourselves.
In the last years of the cycle we can also profit from all our efforts and take advantage of what we have learned in the first 3 quarters of the cycle.
The Saturn Process
Saturn is heavy. Saturn experiences can be depressing and disillusioning because they often involve depression, grief, loss, pain, and suffering. Saturn forces us to accept and deal with reality as it is, not how we want it to be or think it ‘should’ be. Of course, there are situations and challenges that we must confront that we don’t like, but welcome to Earth School. Saturn shows us how we disillusion ourselves with what we consider betrayals and disappointments that are based on unfounded beliefs and idealized fantasies.
The Saturn process embodies the five stages of facing the reality of death as defined by Elizabeth Kuber Ross — denial, anger, bargaining, sadness/despair, and acceptance. Denial is rigid. Acceptance opens up space to move on and so that we can experience maturity and love.
Conscious Saturn and Neptune
Conscious Saturn is an ally who offers us discipline and patience and the ability to stick with the process of growth without resorting to taking the easy way out. Saturn encourages us to slow down, to be prudent, and not to succumb to Sagittarius impulsiveness or Piscean fantasies. Saturn goes for quality and depth and not just more information, a quick fix, or a temporary high.
Saturn’s ability to use gravity and the solidness of physical reality to be present, to contain, and to ground helps define and navigate the Neptune sea. With Saturn’s help, we can develop a strong container of in-the-body consciousness so we can dive into the cosmic sea and not get swallowed up, disoriented, lost, and misidentified with the ephemeral, impermanent waves of the infinite ocean.
We need Saturn to clarify our vision, to minimize distortion, and to prevent misunderstanding.
With Saturn’s influence, it is easier to avoid the subconscious pull to rush toward new experiences, without first carefully examining the consequences. With a stable consciousness, it is less risky to enter new territory and possible to avoid getting lost and absorbed in tempting, but undependable energies. We are not so transfixed by illusory promises and superficial glitter. We don’t misunderstand and take too seriously or literally what is symbolic. We are better able to avoid extremes and unhealthy relationships, and don’t identify with that which is not real.
With Saturn’s counsel, we are able to recognize our human and physical limits and take thoughtful precautions. With prudent guidance, we are actually freer to make wise choices. Saturn is our life-line that makes it possible not only to survive, but to learn and profit from our adventures. Saturn crystallizes us into a wise sage with wisdom rightfully earned from many life experiences.
When Saturn forces us to accept limits, we may temporarily feel confined, misunderstood, and even punished. But being able to operate within realistic limitations is a most useful and essential life skill that makes us functional in physical reality. It is actually comforting to have boundaries and workable parameters that help us define where we are going and how we are going to get there. We can be less scattered, more focused, and as a result more productive. Saturn is about manifestation. We get results and make things happen under the Saturn influence.
 Jupiter in Virgo
For 13 months, from August 11, 2015 through September 9, 2016, Jupiter is in Virgo, which tones down Jupiter’s expansive tendencies with pragmatism and the facts. What will increase is our ability to evaluate what we need in relationship to our health, general well-being, self-improvement, and our work. We will be searching for ways to integrate work and health in order to find wholeness and peace in our lives. We just might find ourselves cleaning out our closets and finding satisfaction in simplifying and organizing our lives. With Virgo’s sensitivity and careful discernment, we can find the sacred in the ordinary.
anus in Aries
Uranus in Aries for seven years from March 2011 through May 2018, is a radicalizing influence. The wild card Uranus is full of surprises and shocks us into waking up. In fiery Aries, our anger comes to the surface in strange and unexpected ways. Ideally Uranus in Aries can help us awaken to our unique identity and be self-empowered. In its lower expressions it fuels our inner anger until it explodes. The Arab spring was initiated when Uranus moved into Aries. Sadly the initial call for freedom has complicated a complex situation and contributed to the Syrian war.
Your Personal Path
To identify where these energies are most active in your life, in your birth chart locate
(1) the houses where Neptune and any planets in Pisces reside,
(2) the house(s) ruled by Sagittarius and any planets in that house or sign,
(3) the house(s) ruled by Virgo and any planets in that house or sign.
(4) the house(s) ruled by Aries and any planets in that house or sign.
With Saturn in Sagittarius for the next 2 years, we are encouraged to let go, relax, and consolidate. We will find that our life works better when we are not in such a hurry, impulsive, and righteous. The Neptune in Pisces influence invites us (1) to let things play out without being so attached to the outcome, (2) to accept and observe the way things are, and (3) to give time and space a chance to align and work things out with the help of Spirit. When we remember to remember that Spirit animates all dimensions of reality, we can find inner peace and be content with our Divine Connection. We find ourselves giving priority to what really matters and grateful for what we have.
In sum, the major planetary alignments in 2016 will force us to (1) question fundamental beliefs, (2) get real, (3) be honest and authentic, (4) step out of our fantasy comfort zone, and (5) take responsibility for our own lives. The good news is that when we follow these cosmic instructions, our lives can work in magical ways.
Austin, Stephanie, Gemini Full Moon- November 25, The Mountain Astrologer, October/November,2015, p. 103
Austin, Stephanie, Sagittarius New Moon — December 11, The Mountain Astrologer, December/January 2016, p. 97.
Holley, Jason, Saturn Square Neptune — Navigating on Ocean of Images, The Mountain Astrologer, October/November 2015, pp. 24-30
See my book, The Power of Neutral — Soul Alchemy in Meditation.
See also Fantasy Busters 2016 – part 2