Will the yin and yang be permanently out of balance with the rise of misogyny? In the perpetual pendulum swing of effect and counter-effect it’s difficult to remember Martin Luther King’s sage words – “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Fifty years ago, Kabul was cosmopolitan and modern with women wearing stylish western dress: pre the Islamic stranglehold, Iran was also liberated. Intriguingly the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan in 1996 on a late Neptune in Capricorn which was exactly where Neptune was for the UK 1832 Reform Act which specifically restricted voting to men.
What surprised me researching my Astrological History of the World was the connection between Saturn Neptune and women’s as well as worker’s rights. Which is significant since there is another Saturn Neptune conjunction approaching in 2025 in Aries once Pluto has cleared its feet of the overly masculine sign of Capricorn.
Pluto through Aquarius (2023 to 2043) also has a drive for freedom with last time round, in the late 18th Century, Thomas Paine writing the Rights of Man and Mary Wollstonecraft writing to promote the rights of women.
All countries have their own specific arc of history but looking at the UK, the first key change towards the emancipation of women came with the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, with Saturn Neptune together in Taurus, which gave wives for the first time the right of separate ownership. Then on the next Saturn Neptune conjunction in 1917–18 in Leo, the campaign for women’s suffrage succeeded in getting the vote for women over the age of 30.
Both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne to exert feminine influence over matters of state on Saturn Neptune conjunctions — in 1558 in Taurus, and 1953 in Libra. Both of them were enduring monarchs in typical Saturnine fashion, Elizabeth I ruling for 45 years, the present Queen still in place after 70 years. Benazir Bhutto became the first woman prime minister of Pakistan on the conjunction in Capricorn in 1988, though it proved a short-lived triumph.
Literature also rose to the challenge and produced memorable novels by or about women – Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Molière’s The Misanthrope and The Dumb Lady. More recently Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish film-maker, produced his cult movie Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Not that anything happens without a backlash and Saturn Neptune also has associations with the persecution of witches – arising from the masculine Saturnine fear of the mysterious, less rational feminine in Neptune. But there is a glimmering of light at the end of the tunnel.
Add On: The two previous Saturn Neptune in Aries were in 1702/1703 and 1379.
Felicitously, in line with Saturn Neptune’s proclivity towards the feminine, Queen Anne took over in 1702 as monarch from her brother-in-law William of Orange to reign for five years. The 2018 Olivia Coleman movie ‘The Favourite’ related court intrigues as she sank into depressed middle age after 17 pregnancies with no issue. She was born on 6 February 1665 when Saturn and Neptune were both in Capricorn, so she followed the pattern. When she took over the throne Saturn was in the final degree of Pisces about to join Neptune in Aries.
For 1379 I can find nothing of significance but historians might pitch in with other thoughts.