The 29 year Saturn cycle of transits round a chart can be split in a simplistic way into four sections which are seven years roughly each, sometimes less or more depending on the axis. The peak in terms of career and outer ambition is Saturn through the 4th Quadrant (10th to 12th houses) which is a time of hard work and consolidation of the preparations of the 21 years before. Where the groundwork has been laid, then respect and recognition as well as heavier responsibilities come through this phase.
When Saturn moves below the Ascendant and even slightly before, old ambitions become less important and there is need for a re-evaluation. People find they don’t want to work 80 hour weeks anymore which is the psyche’s hint to wind down and step back slightly for a rethink.
Hyper-ambitious ego-maniacs find Saturn into the first quadrant (1st, 2nd and 3rd houses) difficult to handle since they live totally for outer achievement and approbation. So they keep pushing on as before, start making mistakes as their psyche short circuits their actions and they find success doesn’t come as easily as it had done in the previous 7 years, no matter how hard they push. Eg. Maggie Thatcher started to slide with Saturn here, as Emmanuel Macron has now as well.
What Saturn really wants is for you to re-balance your life – to come off the ego and into the centre – to find time for play and emotional matters as well as work. Often people get married and have kids when Saturn is moving through the first quadrant since it fulfils more personal needs.
It needn’t mean that life grinds to a halt. Shirley MacLaine stopped movies for a while when her Saturn was in her first quadrant and wrote her books. Saturn here is a time to find what is really important for you, not for other people.
The last time I had Saturn into my 1st and onwards, I stopped a pole-axing schedule of producing live TV shows and then documentaries, took time out, wrote a novel and started doing astrology.
You do usually have to get your finances in order to make do with slightly less when Saturn moves through the 2nd which is a time of getting priorities straight and realising that money isn’t the be all and end all it may have seemed before. But clearly you do need enough to get by so getting organised in advance is usually a good idea.
Sometimes Saturn through the middle of the First Quadrant, usually at the start of the 2nd house brings up old unresolved psychologically issues. This isn’t a negative. More the psyche trying to plumb the depths to find parts which have been left lying on dusty shelves of the unconscious. So when you start gradually emerging usually with Saturn into the 3rd, you move ahead as a slightly different person, hopefully more rounded, with different ambitions. Then you’re into the planning phase of the next great Saturn sweep out and upwards in your chart.
When Saturn reaches the nadir/IC at the base of the chart to move into the Second Quadrant (4th to 6th houses) you’re ready to go out and engage more fully with the outside world again. First requirement with Saturn through the 4th is to reorganise at home to create a solid base of operations for the future which may involve moving house, renovating as well as sorting out family tensions. The 2nd Quadrant Saturn isn’t necessarily a spectacular success but it is a vital and unglamorous stage of laying foundations for the future. Saturn through the 6th usually means extra hard work with less appreciation than seems fair but rewards come in later years. Also a time to get real about health and physical needs, learning where your limits are.
Saturn through the Third Quadrant (7th to 9th house) is rising upwards in terms of outer activities, which requires sorting out and strengthening close relationships or abandoning those that don’t work. Then a hard lesson through the 8th of developing resilience and resourcefulness where money and emotional support are concerned. The universe can feel less than generous since this is a time of standing on your own two feet and often being responsible for others. Saturn through the 9th – rethinking beliefs and attitudes, testing out ideas, being intellectually challenged.
Then Saturn moves across the peak upper Fourth Quadrant (10th to 12th houses).
To be remembered, the transits will only bring out what is already in potential or implicit in the chart. And Saturn does have tough lessons to teach about shirking the effort and discipline required to lay foundations. Like a house built on swampy ground with substandard materials and workmanship, it won’t turn out to be a success.
There are always other outer planet influences in play which may distract Saturn from producing the results it might otherwise have done. Fate is not always kind – and there are missed opportunities in timing which are the result of random mischance.