Saturn in Pisces
On March 7, Saturn moves into Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac, and here it will stay until May 25, 2025. After swinging into Aries, he turns retrograde before even reaching 2°. Turning retrograde on July 13, 2025, it slips back into Pisces on September 1, 2025. Here it remains for the rest of 2025. Saturn leaves Pisces for good on Valentine’s Day 2026.
But all that is far off. For now, we should acquaint ourselves with this very different Saturn energy than what we have been used to during the past few decades. The last time Saturn was in Pisces was between 1993 and 1996!
What does Saturn represent?
Saturn is perhaps the most dreaded planet in Astrology. Granted, the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto can also wreak havoc, but their influence is often experienced as generational themes or world events. Saturn is still a personal planet. He governs the concept of time and the ageing process and forces us to acknowledge the limitations of our earthly existence, including the amount of time available to do the things we want to do.
Saturn as the lord of time
Youngsters perceive time as endless. But as we grow up, we become aware of its passing. By the time we reach the first Saturn return at the age of 28/29, time takes on a different quality. Deciding how we want to spend it becomes more pressing. ‘When are you going to settle down? Get a proper job? Start a family?’ Suddenly everybody wants to know. We feel the pressure, too – there is only so much time to climb the ladder and build up reserves for retirement, and the biological clock is also ticking away, especially for women.
Saturn reminds us of these facts of life and helps us become more realistic. Perhaps by encountering death, we are forced to face our own mortality. We grapple with existential questions and the search for meaning.
These principles apply to Saturn no matter which sign he occupies in the natal horoscope. But each provides a different focus, a different lens.
The world as seen through the Pisces lens
Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac. It is a dual sign that signifies the dualistic nature of the human experience -the immortal soul living in a mortal body. The awareness of suffering is part and parcel of life in this physical, biological reality. To live, we must eat, and to eat, we must kill – even if we eat only plants. Every incarnated soul must eventually give up its body and die. Along the way, there is sickness and suffering. If we are fortunate, we also experience joy and fulfilment, but nothing lasts forever. Saturn is very aware of this kind of world pain. But also of redemption that comes from understanding our spiritual nature beyond our material existence.
Pisces is a ‘mutable’ sign, a quality it shares with Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius. These signs are transient and changeable. They are known for their ability to shift their angle of perspective. But this fluidity also brings uncertainty. What can give us any sense of certainty when the viewpoint is forever changing?
Pisces is particularly sensitive to this shifting ground. Its instinct is to transcend the boundaries of the ego and conceptual reality. It wants to dissolve the boundaries and merge with the source. From that perspective, all is one, and our polarized world is an illusion.
Saturn in Pisces
It becomes clear that Saturn and Pisces are two very different kettles of fish. When Saturn is in Pisces, it seeks to define and confine the Piscean stream of consciousness, to pin it down, in search of the ‘really real’. But astrology teaches us that our life experience is not a one-way street. It is always a matter of interaction. Saturn expresses itself through the Piscean lens, but likewise, Pisces modifies Saturn’s expression. Saturn might build a wall to stave off the floods, but instead of using up its energy to shore up its defences, it would be better off learning to swim or build a raft.
We can picture Saturn in Pisces as a rock in the middle of the ocean. Each wave that crashes over it polishes its sharp edges and corners until, eventually, they are smooth. Saturn tries to establish boundaries, rules, and definitions, but water always finds a way to get around any obstacle in its course.
But what does all this mean specifically in everyday experience?
Saturn in Pisces on the social level
On the social level, we may find ourselves at a loss. Things that before seemed unquestionable certainties suddenly change shape. Attempting to shore up our defences only results in more insecurity. How long will our defences withstand the onslaught? Whenever we think we have found the answer, the parameters change. We must learn to live with ambivalence and accept the nuances of grey.
A Saturn/Pisces messiah may arise, asserting their concept of reality or version of the truth. Will they stand the test of time, or are they mere attempts to impose dogmas that create the illusion of certainty? With Pisces, there is often an element of mass psychology, and many people may fall under its spell.
The motivation of Saturn in Pisces is to offer redemption, but it might demand complete devotion, no questions asked. Only those who believe hard enough in the promise and follow the rules are worthy. That creates a handy division for the creation of scapegoats and justifying injustice.
We will see a renewed interest in age-old traditions, values and religious doctrines. But beware of the false prophet! Countless examples in history show that even spiritual teachers are not always benign.
Saturn in Pisces in history
A helpful way to illuminate our understanding of current planetary cycles is to look at what happened in the past during previous transits.
Saturn transited Pisces between 1993 and 1996. So how did things pan out?
In 1993, right before Saturn entered Pisces, we witnessed the horrors of the Waco siege, a striking clash of beliefs and world views.
In 1994, 48 members of the Solar Temple Cult committed suicide or were murdered in what appeared to be ritual killings.
The Balkan exploded along ethnic and religious lines during the Balkan War.
A clash of world views and beliefs also motivated many terrorist attacks (Islamist bombing of the World Trade Center, Bombay bombing, Oklahoma bombing, IRA bombings in London)
But there were also efforts to dismantle old divisions. Peace treaties were signed between ethnic and religious groups, and efforts were made to overcome racial divisions. Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize for ending Apartheid, leading to the first multiracial elections in South Africa in 1994. Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat sign a peace agreement (1993), and Yasser Arafat returns to Palestine after 27 years in exile (1994). The IRA announced a complete cessation of its military operations (1994), and 170 countries decided to extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty indefinitely in 1995. The Balkan war ended in 1995.
We also saw large-scale trade agreements like NAFTA and the Maastricht treaty, designed to erode national boundaries and protectionist rules to forge a globalized economy.
On the most concrete level of reality, the geological sphere, there were several devastating earthquakes in Japan, India and Indonesia (1993), in LA (1994), and in Russia (1995). The ground beneath our feet is less solid than we might think.
We can look for parallels in current affairs, some of which may be directly related to events that took place then. Watch the headlines.
Saturn in Pisces on a personal level
This transit also affects us personally, but some more so than others.
How it will pan out depends on which houses are covered by Pisces in the natal horoscope and the current phase of the personal Saturn cycle of the individual.
People born between 1993 and 1996 will be heading into their first Saturn return, often experienced as a life-changing period.
Individuals born between 1964 and 1966 will go through their second Saturn return. This can be just as significant but differently. While the younger generation is about to transition from youth to adulthood, the older generation faces the fact that they are getting older and nearing retirement. They may find themselves caring for their parents or searching for new meaning when the children have left home. They may also deal with physical issues that suddenly limit them in ways they never knew. Everybody handles these kinds of processes in their own way. But in either case, we find ourselves looking for spiritual guidance or find it helpful to withdraw from the hubbub of everyday life to do some soul-searching.
We may benefit from a spiritual practice, but should be careful who we trust for guidance. We can examine our beliefs and assess how they have served us – and whether it is time to change our perspective.
Isolation and loneliness can be an issue during Saturn transits. Or we may need to establish firmer personal boundaries to make the most of our time.
Too rigorous a regime (rigid time management) can be detrimental. We may beat ourselves up or feel guilty and ashamed if we do not fulfil our personal expectations. As a result, we feel even less motivated to do what we set out to do. Keeping your vision vivid in the imagination may prove a better motivating force.
This Saturn transit can be beneficial for artists. It can bring structure, discipline and devotion to their creative expression. Again, it is best not to force yourself but let Saturn guide you to fulfilling your creative dreams. Your job is to turn up and practice!
Those with significant personal planets and angles in mutable signs (Virgo, Pisces, Gemini, Sagittarius) will experience this transit most strongly.