Saturn Pluto conjuction imploding planet

Every occurrence of Saturn – Pluto conjunction is a relatively rare event that happens approximately every 33–38 years and lasts slightly over two years. Saturn – Pluto conjunction can be seen as a “global Saturn return” or karmic nature that applies to the whole world.

Every occurrence of Saturn – Pluto conjunction is a relatively rare event that happens approximately every 33–38 years and lasts slightly over two years. Saturn – Pluto conjunction can be seen as a “global Saturn return” of karmic nature that applies to the whole world.

The two year period of the current Saturn – Pluto conjunction culminating in January 2020 marks the completion of a nearly four decades long planetary cycle between Saturn and Pluto and thus carries certain undertones of the time of judgement.

In the previous article “Will 2019 be the year of Saturn-Pluto conjunction?” we have touched the topic of the Saturn – Pluto archetype and the force that it carries. It this post we will be looking at the time aspect of this conjunction in the light of major historical developments of the 20th and early 21st centuries that coincided with the last three conjunctions.

Saturn — the god of time and structure

The god Saturn is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Kronos (Κρόνος). Saturn represents limits and time. Being both the celestial “engineer” and chronographer, Saturn has the function of measurement of time.

Greek God Kronos/Saturnus with sickle
In the Greek mythology Kronos is the leader of the second generation of the gods that uprooted the rule of Ouranos (Uranus), the god of sky.

The sickle of Kronos represents both the weapon with which he stopped the generative power of Ouranos by castrating him, as well as the symbol of time and judgement. The sharp edge of the sickle draws the line between past and present severing what is outdated and needs to be discarded. The sickle acts as the principle of discerning limits.

The rule of Kronos was eventually ended by the third generation of the gods lead by Zeus (Jupiter), for more on this read our earlier story.

The force of Saturn relates to earthy and structural elements, for example, the bones that constitute the skeleton around which an animal or human body is constructed. Saturn also has the element of air that surrounds the structure, think of the intricate structures that support vaulted roofs.

Vaulted roof from the Victorian era
The vaulted roofs of the Victorian era in England (1837–1901) express the energy of the structured side of Saturn really well.

The opposite side of the Saturnian force also produced a new type of the English society, overly rigidified by the weight of its own morality and preconceptions:

“Between 1780 and 1850 the English ceased to be one of the most aggressive, brutal, rowdy, outspoken, riotous, cruel and bloodthirsty nations in the world and became one of the most inhibited, polite, orderly, tender-minded, prudish and hypocritical.”

Harold Perkin, The Origins of Modern English Society (1969).

Saturn is in favour of a balance between rigidity and volume of air it upholds. From astronomy we know that Saturn is a giant gaseous planet that also upholds an extremely sophisticated and arguably the most beautiful system of rings and moons in the Solar system.

The astrological influence of Saturn expresses this duality. Saturn has both structuring and limiting functions that can make one’s Saturn manifest itself in a number of ways:

  • a well structured personality that can “connect the dots” and knows how to achieve their goals
  • an overly structured personality restricted by rigidity of beliefs, fears and self-imposed limits

Structure and time fit together well. It is worth reminding ourselves that the word chronometry — the science of accurate time measurement — comes directly from Saturn/Kronos. Time is the principle that allows to crystallise all kinds of structures including the structures responsible for the power of knowledge that grows with time as well as ignorance that gets increasingly rigidified with time.

Saturn is also closely linked to the notion of karma, the spiritual principle of cause and effect. In the context of karma Saturn acts as a celestial time keeper and a taxman that defines the timing of when the effects of past deeds come into power.

Pluto — the enactor of karma

The god Pluto (its Greek equivalent being Hades) rules over the Underworld, the mythological place deep inside the Earth where no light can penetrate, it’s so dense that no mortal human can reach its depths.

Orpheus in the Underworld by Jan Brueghel (I) Artwork: Orpheus in the Underworld by Jan Brueghel (I)

The astrological force of Pluto presides over the underground world full of immense riches composed from both mineral and geological wealth and the wealth of human possessions that fall into Hades after individual souls depart the Earth.

The action of Pluto is the one of implosion and transformation. Pluto rules over death and resurrection and the principle of karma fits its image really well.

While Saturn can be seen as the celestial clockwork, Pluto is the force that comes to power when the time is due.

Time for implosion — Saturn meets Pluto

Both Saturn and Pluto are very slow planets, while Saturn takes 29 years to complete its orbit around the Sun, Pluto requires 248 years thus perfectly fitting the image of extremely dense, deep and slow “tectonic” movement.

The two planets meet together approximately every 33–38 years, and those conjunctions have a deep impact on the world in large. The active phase of Saturn – Pluto conjunction usually lasts about just under two years with a very slow developing curve that also includes two retrograde periods for each planet.

Planetary Collision by Don Davis
Some rare conjunctions are actually triple conjunctions due to the retrograde movement effect.

The most violent conjunction in the modern history one was the Saturn – Pluto conjunction of 1914–1915 (see below) thus bringing up questions about what the next future triple conjunction of 2053-2054 may bring.

Artwork: Planetary Collision by Don Davis

There is something rather grinding about how this aspect is unfolding. Its effects aren’t really visible at first and only certain intuitions may tell us that we are due for a “correction” of some kind. The Saturn – Pluto archetype is the one of constrained and slow explosion, or rather an implosion when structures built by Saturn need to undergo the test of time. During the period of testing the pressure will increase to match the deep volcanic nature of Pluto. The structures may pass the test if they are strong and truthful. But anything false and superficial is more than likely to collapse as it won’t hold the absolute fire that Pluto brings.

As much as those events could be painful, it is important to realise that they are the action of cosmic necessity that ensures the health and survival of the bigger system. They are akin to the principle of Darwinian selection — taken to the global and societal scale.

The years 1914–1915 — a triple conjunction

The history of the turbulent 20th century began with a triple conjunction due to Saturn and Pluto changing between direct and retrograde movement. The dates of exact conjunctions were:

  • October 4, 1914
  • November 1, 1914
  • May 19, 1915

On June 28, 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

The world was never the same — the humanity witnessed the emergence of the global warfare turned into a meat grinder by the ever efficient industrial forces. The period from 1914 up to the next conjunction of 1947 experienced two world wars and a complete break up of the 19th century geopolitical order that ended the dominance of the British Empire and enthroned the United States as the world’s dominant empire.

The year 1947 — the new world order emerges

  • Exact conjunction: August 11, 1947

The recent ending of the Second World War and the emergence of the modern world as we know it. The United States drop nuclear bombs on Japan and the nuclear race begins. The year of 1947 witnessed the establishment of International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as India and Pakistan gaining their independence.

The year 1982 — the age of booms and recessions

  • Exact conjunction: November 8, 1982

A short but severe recession hit the US between July 1981 and ended in November 1982. The recession has happened about one year into Ronald Reagan’s presidency and thus has been traditionally referred to as the “Reagan recession”. More details in “Will 2019 be the year of Saturn-Pluto conjunction?”.

On January 1, 1983 the agreement has been reached on the global network protocol being TCP/IP, and from there researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet.

The emergence of the Internet forced the world economies into a new phase of wealth generation based on everything remote: remote production, remote exploitation, remote purchases and remote souls of the social media.

The current conjunction of years 2019–2020–2021

  • Exact conjunction: January 12, 2020

In the current time we witness some rather serious challenges to the current societal and political systems build upon post-WWII principles and mentality:

  • the post-WWII productivity boom is over, the consumption boom is on its last leg
  • globalisation redistributed the wealth towards the elites and a small number of newly minted super-rich while effectively wiping out economic opportunities for the middle class and the stability that has been achieved in the post-WWII years
  • the economical model that was built on addiction to eternal economical growth and borrowing from the future faces an unsurmountable amount of debt

As a separate topic, foundational tensions between India and Pakistan are currently running at peak levels, already resulting in loss of lives and limited military actions. The two nuclear-armed nations are extremely bitter towards each other and one can only imagine that any kind of “Archduke Franz Ferdinand” incident can tip the situation out of the balance.

The precise dates of Saturn – Pluto conjunction period culminating year 2020:

Conjunction Dates Tropical Declinations Parallel
Start Dec 22, 2018 Capricorn    
Exact Jan 12, 2020 Capricorn 23° Sat 21S 28’, Plu 22S 10’ 0.70° orb
End Jan 31, 2021 Aquarius & Capricorn    

The future triple conjunction of 2053-2054

Exact conjunction dates:

  • June 15, 2053
  • July 10, 2053
  • February 2, 2054

The next triple conjunction due to Saturn and Pluto changing between direct and retrograde movement. The years 2053-54 may well be the period that will mark the beginning of significant changes of the world order. It may not necessarily be a war period akin to 1914–1945 but could be an equally groundbreaking technological revolution — the moment of singularity when significant advances in nanotech, biotech and artificial intelligence will change the world in ways that are beyond our current knowledge.

Back to the current year of 2019

Before reaching the moment of exact conjunction, both Saturn and Pluto will change their direction between retrograde and direct, twice. This will create the infamous Saturn – Pluto squeeze and grind effect when the conjunction will be loosening up between April, 24 and October, 3 only to get an extra force for the final squeeze of the months October, November, December and January.

Planet Changes to Date Orb
Pluto Retrograde Apr 24, 2019 2.66º
Saturn Retrograde Apr 30, 2019 2.63º
Saturn Direct Sep 18, 2019 6.78º
Pluto Direct Oct 3, 2019 6.54º

The exact conjunction will take place on Jan 12, 2020. Note the similar second squeeze will take place between the months of May and October of 2020 during the process of separation between the two planets.

Planet Changes to Date Orb
Pluto Retrograde Apr 24, 2020 6.77º
Saturn Retrograde Apr 30, 2020 7.02º
Saturn Direct Sep 18, 2020 2.84º
Pluto Direct Oct 3, 2020 2.87º

The current Saturn – Pluto conjunction will finally complete on Jan 31, 2021 with the 10º orb between the two planets. How will the world will look then, it makes us wonder?

Astrological chart explorer

How to discover long-term aspects using Time Nomad

Learn how to discover the timing of Saturn – Pluto conjunction using the Chart Event Explorer tool that is an integral part of Time Nomad astrological app.

Chart Event Explorer allows to instantly reveal and explore nearly any astrological event:

  • Planetary aspects and transits
  • Retrogrades
  • Personal Lunar or Solar returns
  • Personal transits
  • Equinoxes and solstices
  • Moon phases and Void of Course
  • Aspects to fixed stars