Saturn in Capricorn: 2020-2023

It’s that time again, that every 2.5 years moment where the time changes. Saturn, delimiter and determiner of time, leaves Sagittarius for Capricorn January 23, 2020. 

Saturn in Capricorn

January 23, 2020 – April 28, 2022
July 22, 2022 – January 17, 2023

The last section of this article outlines the birth dates for people who are beginning their first or second Saturn Return. Use code THISISMASTERY to book the Saturn Return reading for 20% off now through January 31, 2020.

Saturn in Capricorn. Wood working tools.

From Zealotry to Sobriety…

We are endeavoring upon the final phase of an unprecedented collective conversion experience, after which each of us finds ourselves definitively on one side or the other. This conversion experience has stoked kindling into a full grown raging Fire, consuming individual volition with it’s irresistible agenda for global change. (This phase continues through November 2020 and overlaps with Saturn entering Capricorn.)

Change ensues when one’s stored up life force catapults the Self into the throes of unmitigated action. This change is infectious, and the only immunity is nihilistic apathy. But the human drive for storytelling and god-making is hard to resist. Consequently, you’ve found yourself swept up in a movement, rallying against a common enemy, laying your individuality at the altar of meaning and significance. Relevance is a survival need, too.

Since January 2017, we’ve been caught up in a squall of rapturous zeal. Who has arrived at this moment consumed by ambivalence, and how did you get that way? Have you been disarmed of your agency? Has the Dogma of Identity gotten the best of you? Has it hijacked your will to make this world some iteration of a reflection of who you are?

You come into an awareness that burns away the dross of ignorance and innocence after numinous experiences like those brought about by exponentially self-imposed climate disaster; being stripped of all manner of emotional and physical autonomy; becoming the convenient scapegoat for all of society’s fears; and being subjected to the worst of what a man and his unclaimed shadow inflicts upon all in his sphere of influence.

Zeal rises up in you like a consuming Fire, transforming the context for how you know and understand everything you thought you knew and understood. Who turned the lights on? And can you unsee it? Nope. It’s too late.

Eventually the Fire dies down into something useable. It becomes a source of warmth and heat, unless, of course, it destroyed its fuel source before it had a chance to get put to use. Righteous anger is unsustainable. It self destructs after awhile. In this moment, a new factor comes into focus. It has been in the background, hovering over us as an unspoken fact of living. That factor is time, and it is time that forces us to sober up. It is time that cools the zeal by separating the fired up from the ready to work and already working.

Saturn as time is a compass that articulates place in space. It’s a reference point for here to there. It’s a consensus, an agreed upon method for organizing the limited amount of daylight and physical energy into viable segments. Time is our fundamental shared reality.

Saturn is Death

Death comes in many forms, most viscerally as the absence of conscious awareness—no presence to bear witness to is-ness. Time is how we negotiate with the inevitable death that mortality brings. This inevitability conceives, gestates, and births urgency. Without death, time is unnecessary math, counting for naught,and measuring in vain. Death conjures the ceilings, walls, limits, and conceptions of an incalculable but sure end. It is the ultimate reference point for deciphering meaning and calculating the value of now.

Death is the irrevocable nature of certain change. There is no return to the womb once you are born. There is no return to the innocence of childhood once you reach puberty in adolescence. There is no unknowing what you’ve come into full awareness of. Even if you can’t recall with your mind, your body remembers.

Saturn in Capricorn brings a reckoning with this inability to forget. It brings the imposition of order through systems and processes as a way to make use of your viable segment of time. It demands competent execution for there is no time for failure. Every minute counts, every now is closer to then—then is death.

What Will You Do With What You’ve Been Given?

The Parable of the Talents is a harsh tale of Saturn and the expectations of its transit through Capricorn.

Three workers were given money by their boss who was leaving for a trip. They were given $5, $2, and $1. The one with $5 increased theirs to $10. The one with $2 to $4. The one with $1 hid theirs under the mattress. They were afraid to lose it and to have nothing to show for what they’d been given. At the end they were punished. Good things were withheld from them. That doesn’t in any way seem fair. They had the most to lose even though they were given the least.

The gravity of Saturn’s sobriety shines through in this teaching. We are each allotted a limited number of minutes, hours, days, and years. And we don’t know when our counting of them will be complete. Do we set ourselves in darkness, watching each moment pass, tick-tock-ticking away until we can know exactly how long we’ve been here? What peace comes with knowing for sure?

Or, do we live each successive now with the urgency of an unknown end, taking risks equal to the opportunity each moment brings? The two who used what they were given are akin to the latter. They matched their gift with effort. But the one with so little, so fearful to miscount a moment, came back with just the $1. At least they knew exactly what they had, right?

Knowing is a trap. But it is one we must negotiate with. Surety is not a panacea for fear. Sometimes fear is fuel propelling us towards our ambitions, other times it’s a blazing red flag admonishing us to stop and go no further. Saturn is both, sometimes simultaneously.

Encountering the Constraints of Reality

What comes as a consequence of rightly discerning the limits of your world, your body, and your mind? What consequences befall those who willfully or unintentionally miscalculate where and what the limits are? Saturn has no care whether you hit or miss, just like a concrete barricade doesn’t move just because you tried not to hit it. Maybe you live a bit longer, maybe not.

Prisons are punishment and Saturn transits can mean we find ourselves enclosed in the walls and ceilings of literal and figurative prisons. We can also willfully impose prisons of torture on ourselves when we’re fixed on tangible cues as the final determiner of the limits of what is and what can be. Still, self-discipline is the empowered way to deal with Saturn. It won’t remove the walls, but control feels like putting the walls there yourself rather than having them imposed on you. This is tricky business!

Mastery is a right relationship with control. It is finding the fulcrum point between imposing one’s will and surrendering to what is. Mastery is manipulating tools or a medium to reach a desired end. A master carpenter has accepted that a hammer is for driving nails and a saw is for cutting wood. It is only in this state of surrender that she comes to know how to use those tools to build.

The child laments over why the hammer won’t cut wood. They sing songs of protest against the hammer’s agenda. Yet, a shift in understanding reveals that the hammer is not at fault. The hammer functions how its creator intended. Surrendering to the limits of the hammer means that you can focus on the real problem. Do you have a saw to cut wood? If so, why aren’t you using it? If not, why don’t you have one?

This is the real work before us. Sober assessments of what is puts problems into perspective and solutions within reach. Capricorn has no tolerance for entitlement. Leave that up to Sagittarius, Aries, and Leo. Entitlement is that same zeal that gets you fired up, but can it sustain the work?

Saturn Return in Capricorn

Your Saturn Return begins the very first time Saturn enters the sign of your natal Saturn, Capricorn in this case—January 23, 2020. Your Saturn Return ends the very last time Saturn leaves the sign of your natal Saturn—January 17, 2023.

You may be unsure of the sign Saturn occupies in your birth chart because you are used to your tropical zodiac birth chart, or because your birthday is on one of the dates mentioned in the Saturn Return in Capricorn section below. Use this guide to cast your sidereal birth chart and identify where Saturn is. (You can email me if you need further assistance—Oracle at Dayna Lynn dot com.)

The Saturn opposition correlates to the rite of puberty transitioning the child into adolescence at 13/14 years old. Then, the prefrontal cortex reaches a critical turning point in the journey of cognitive maturation. This part of the brain culminates its maturation with the Saturn return which is the rite of passage into adulthood proper at 29/30 years old.

This physiological process occurs as a consequence of experience, not as a detached process programmed without necessitating human “interference.” This is to say that cognitive maturity is not a monolith and it is not promised just because you reach 30 years old. There could be physiological and developmental barriers. Ultimately, your birth chart articulates the circumstances that shape what maturation looks like for you.

1st Saturn Return

March 20, 1990 – June 20, 1990
December 14, 1990 – March 5, 1993
October 15, 1993- November 9, 1993

The first Saturn return situates you on the edge of proper adulthood. This period is marked by constant thoughts of “I wish someone would just tell me what to do!” We often seek out or find ourselves in the company of Saturn figures who act as guide rails as we encounter complex problems. These problems seem to have heavy and far reaching consequences and we question our capability to meet them.

For the Saturn in Capricorn generation endeavoring upon their first Saturn return, it’s imperative that you look at the world around you and recognize the way this present collective dispensation shapes your personal reality. It’s critical that you widen your focus to include the larger containers that form your experiences of time in general and time specific to this moment.

The 18 months leading up to the beginning of your Saturn return have proven that there is a step that comes before reality is solidified. That step is the cultivating of an intentional why. This demands that you not take at face value the limits you’ve perceived, and understand that the limits of the world are the consequence of another’s conviction, another’s identity. It doesn’t have to be yours.

Read the stories of humans during the time of your birth. The early 90s. You were born at a moment where fear of irrelevance and the inevitable death of an old order caused power structures to secure their future, just like the person who was given $1 in the Parable of the Talents. Then, consolidating political and economic power looked like an expanding globalism that sought to completely erase the identities and cultures of old. Seeing death can mean maximizing the present or encapsulating the present. The former is full of life. The latter quickens death.

So, what will you do, on the cusp of full adulthood? Will you take on this world unquestioned? Or, have you seen something you can’t unsee? Have you seen the forces of will that inflict the dogma of a so called reality? What limits, walls, and ceilings have you taken for granted? Will you become propagator of the status quo? Or, will you seek to master a path towards an adulthood of your own shaping and making?

2nd Saturn Return

February 1, 1961 – September 1961
October 7, 1961 – January 27, 1964

This Saturn in Capricorn generation was born during a major global shift in power dynamics. Reality set in after the late 1950s, and the optimism of having survived a second world war wore off. With no common enemy to defeat, we turned towards our communities to find the next demon to slay. Those were the demons of colonialism, anti-blackness, and misogyny.

Your 1st Saturn return in the early 90s was the first major backlash to defeat old power structures experienced at the hand of powerful social movements. From the 1960s to the 1990s societies went from opting out of old power structures to becoming a part of them. For survival, of course.

Welcome to your 2nd Saturn return. You are transitioning into the Crone, the Wise One. Yet, there is fear of falling into irrelevance and an ineffectual life of forgetting and being forgotten. Remember, relevance is a survival need to. Acknowledging that is a step towards making peace with your present stage of life.

20% off Saturn Return Reading with code THISISMASTERY through January 31, 2020

All of the astrology referenced in this article is exclusively applicable to the sidereal zodiac. Use this guide with instructions on plotting your sidereal chart. Here is a post on how I’ve come to use the sidereal zodiac.

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