I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to join the dots. We’re in a Saturn square Neptune year and now have a woman as UK PM, with a female First Minister in Scotland plus two female Scottish opposition leaders; with a possibility of a female UK Labour leader if Angela Eagle prospers (maybe) and a real possibility of the first female US president. Squares aren’t as strong as conjunctions but they carry the same energy. Margaret Thatcher became the UK’s first PM in 1979 on an approaching Saturn in Virgo square the Neptune in Sagittarius.
The below is taken from my Astrological History of the World on Saturn Neptune which also tends to oversee fights for workers’ rights and health as a major issue.
‘Saturn–Neptune has not been traditionally thought of as a feminist influence, but significant times where women came to the fore are clearly marked by its transits. Both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne to exert tremendous 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 even longer. Both Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years in the 19th century, have Saturn–Neptune squares in their birth charts, a key indicator of self-sacrifice for the sake of duty.
Benazir Bhutto became the first woman prime minister of Pakistan on the conjunction in Capricorn in 1988, though it proved a short-lived triumph. Around the same time, Margaret Thatcher, the first British woman prime minister, handed in her staff of power and resigned.
In Britain the power and emancipation of women was marked in two stages: the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, under the conjunction in Taurus, gave wives for the first time ever the right of separate ownership. Then on the next conjunction in 1917–18 in Leo, Maude Royden became assistant preacher at City Temple in London, thereby becoming the first Englishwoman to have a permanent pulpit in London; factory workers shortened their hair to bobs to allow them to work more efficiently; and women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote. In 1988, on the Saturn–Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, the first woman bishop was appointed in the United States by the Anglican Church.
In art and literature, there are key points of interest in works about or by women. Jane Austen’s first novel Sense and Sensibility emerged in 1811 under the conjunction in Sagittarius. Next conjunction around, in Aquarius and Pisces in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights met with public acclaim.
In the previous century, on the conjunction in Virgo in 1773, Oliver Goldsmith’s play She Stoops to Conquer and Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses looked archly at women’s behaviour. In 1665 under Saturn–Neptune in Aquarius, Molière produced The Misanthrope and The Dumb Lady. In similar vein during the last conjunction in 1989 in Capricorn the sculptor Anish Kapoor picked up the mood of the moment with his Mother as Void work; and Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish film-maker, produced his cult movie Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown.
The repression of women, especially the persecution of witches, also has its place in the Saturn–Neptune panoply. This emerges from the masculine Saturnine fear of the mysterious, less rational feminine in Neptune. It is also the rational mind’s paranoid fear of superstition and the supernatural. In 1486 the infamous Malleus Maleficarum (the ‘Hammer of the Witches’), which encouraged the zeal of witch-hunters, was published under the conjunction in Sagittarius. In 1736, under Saturn–Neptune in Gemini, the English statutes against witchcraft were repealed, and in 1952 during Saturn–Neptune in Libra the Witchcraft Act was finally repealed. During the same period (1953) Arthur Miller’s renowned play, The Crucible, about the persecution of the Salem witches, reached the stage.