The Coming of Saturn in Pisces 2023 – By Alexandra Karacostas – Part 1

Alexandra Karacostas is a professional astrologer based in northern California. With decades of experience as a consultant, she offers practical wisdom, insight and compassion to help people successfully navigate their lives. An avid student of astrology since 1975, she has been practicing professionally since 1984. Alexandra teaches and lectures nationally and abroad and serves an international clientele. In 1989 she co-founded Syn-Sig, a Special Interest Group for Relationships.   

Alexandra has served on the board of directors of the Organization for Professional Astrology (OPA) since 2007, as President between 2010-2014, and continues to serve on their educational board. Alexandra is involved in various astrological organizations and is an editor for International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) and Astrology News Service (ANS). She has been published in various astrological magazines, and has written chapters for two books, The Professional Astrologer and the new Essential Astrology coming out soon.

Saturn will enter Pisces March 7, 2023, where it will remain through February 13, 2026. Saturn’s relationship to Pisces is important. Saturn brings its structure and order to the otherwise boundaryless oneness of Pisces. The interests of the whole need be organized, guardrails established against extremes. Saturn’s power is being able to walk into a room and respectfully command its attention, requiring its issues be addressed.  It will be very interesting to see how the organizing principles of Saturn play out in Pisces’ house of infinite possibility.

In this article, we will discuss Saturn’s archetype in Greek mythology, its astrological and psychological applications, and how its characteristics can be expressed in the sign of Pisces. We’ll conclude with a discussion of the implications of this transit.

In the heavens, Saturn is the sixth, second largest, and last planet visible to the naked eye in our solar system. It has three major rings with several dustier rings surrounding them. Viewed through a telescope, Saturn is beautiful. The rings serve metaphorically as the boundaries, restrictions, and structures this giant planet is known for in astrology. Its visibility in the sky and ringed equator portrays life within the bounds of nature, and reflects the pragmatic limits of unaided vision. Saturn hosts a diverse community of more than 80 moons, some larger than Mercury or Pluto, the most famous one being Titan. Our star, the Sun, and the planets extending from it out to Saturn, articulate the subjective journey. From Chiron outward, we incorporate the collective ethos. Saturn’s glyph is comprised of the cross over the semi-circle or scythe/sickle, representing matter over soul/spirit.

Saturn’s concerns cannot be avoided.

In mythology, Saturn was the youngest of the seven Titans. He was a child of Ouranos** (Father Sky) and Gaia (Mother Earth). Gaia was born out of chaos and, as the story goes, Ouranos was unhappy with Gaia’s unruly offspring. Being the tyrant he was, he shoved them back into her, not allowing them to emerge into their own light. Not appreciating the gesture, Gaia asked her son Saturn to castrate and kill his father, offering him a sickle. Saturn obliged, becoming king and replacing his father. It is the authority figure taking action that is important; Saturn’s concerns cannot be avoided.

Saturn married his sister, Rhea. Conscious of the pattern in his family system, Saturn was aware that one of his children would overthrow him. So, as soon as Rhea gave birth to one by one of his offspring, first Hestia, (Vesta), then Demeter (Ceres), Hades (Pluto), and lastly Poseidon (Neptune), Saturn ate them. When Jupiter, was born, Rhea tricked Saturn by wrapping a stone in a blanket instead, keeping Jupiter safe. When he was older, he became a cupbearer for Saturn. One day Jupiter gave Saturn a potion to drink that made him vomit out his children. With the help of his siblings, Jupiter fought against the Titans and Saturn, and after ten years of war they won.

Saturn and his siblings were exiled and sent to prison at the far corners of the earth, to Tartarus, a dark inverted dome beneath the earth. This dismal, depressing hole became the last home of the defeated Titans. With Jupiter now promoted as king, the triumphant gods and goddesses, assumed their places on Mt Olympus, embodying all the qualities of the human spirit. As the story continues, it reveals that consistent with the inherited family complex, Jupiter was (rightfully) suspicious that he, too, would be overthrown by one of his children.

Saturn is often referred to as the lord of “karma”, the consequences of our past actions.

Psychologically, the isolation and exile that Saturn is subject to is significant; and it plays out inside Saturn’s sphere of influence. Recollections and chains to the past can shroud the present with feelings of guilt, shame, and inferiority, imprisoning us within, compelling us to struggle against the constraints in finding a way to rise up and into the sun’s spirit. Saturn is often referred to as the lord of “karma”, the consequences of our past actions. Saturn’s contacts natally, by transit or progression, can summon painful feelings and remorse from long ago, affording opportunities to review, revise and craft practical and prudent approaches to old patterns and predicaments.

On the path to growing into the wise mentor from the insecure tormenter, both reflections of Saturn, we grapple with our shortcomings. Perceived weaknesses percolate to the surface, generating causes which force one to grow-up, take responsibility and heal. We discover that the only way to overcome our internal and external fears and failures, to climb out from our own Tartarus, is through humility, vigilance and accountability. This is part of the precious Saturnian curriculum.

Ouranus and Saturn were both swallowed up by an external authority “father figure”, and eventually they became kings/authorities themselves. But their success was ultimately hollow, subject to the repeat of the family system. Ideally, we discover and cultivate the inner authority that we all possess somewhere within, emerging empowered, no longer subject to the domination of another person(s) or social dictate.

There are many key words for Saturn, including maturity, diligence, discipline, contraction, limitations, boundaries, conservation, the cycle of time, and our responsibilities.

In astrology Saturn’s archetype is that of the Wise Old Man. It rules Capricorn, but remains associated with the signs of both Capricorn and Aquarius. Prior to the discovery of Uranus, Saturn also ruled Aquarius. Both sides of Saturn’s nature are represented by the attributes of these signs. The conservative, practical and traditional disposition of Capricorn, alongside the intuitive and intellectual nature of Aquarius; together they can be woven to improve social structure and organization. There are many key words for Saturn, including maturity, diligence, discipline, contraction, limitations, boundaries, conservation, the cycle of time, and our responsibilities. Saturn can be also described as the teacher, and “father figure”, one’s inner, and ultimately, one’s authority in one’s life. The process of developing into that sober, judicious adult often bring us to our knees, the part of the skeletal body ruled by Saturn. Saturn’s rulership includes the skin, bones and teeth, and the entire skeleton of the body.

As the overlord of limits and boundaries, the skin, encases and defines the bones and structure of the physical body. Whenever we overextend ourselves emotionally, psychologically, physically or psychically, the body informs us through the sensation of pain, anxiety and discomfort that something is amiss. An effective teacher, pain brings attention to the injured area, the attention necessary to facilitate repair and healing. Saturn instructs us to create things that are solid and lasting, like the bones which remain long after we are buried.

Saturn in Greek is Kronos, chronos, which literally means time.

The most fundamental limitation we confront in life is “time”, a phenomenon of perception that associates with the universal cycle of birth and death.  In accord with the concept of time, Saturn signifies endings. Saturn in Greek is Kronos, chronos, which literally means time. Mark Twain once quipped, “time is the way that we keep everything from happening at once”. Against the backdrop of time, Saturn achieves through sensible organization. Through the process of reevaluation and reorganization, Saturn invites resolution and closure, creating a sense of self-assurance, completion and freedom.

Saturn in a specific house in the natal horoscope indicates where we may lack confidence, have doubts about our competency, and/or suffer from anxiety. This is where we may experience disappointments, obstacles and difficulties. It all bids us to dive deeper, looking within, to explore the challenges/issues associated with that specific area of life. By nature, fear and feelings of incapacitation slow down progress. It is as if Saturn has explicit lessons to teach us, and wants to make sure we get them. The Saturnian experience frequently elicits anxiety, because Saturn asks us to improve the foundations upon which we stand. Ultimately, lesson learned, the energy transforms into contentment and serenity.

The “no pain, no gain” principle applies here.

Like the mountain goat, one of the symbols of Saturn, we slowly climb to the top of our mountain with perseverance, ownership, diligence and concentration. Along the way we acquire wisdom and expertise. Reaching the mountain top feels well-deserved and deeply rewarding, both materially and spiritually. The “no pain, no gain” principle applies here. It is about the harvest we reap from the seeds we have sown. As the saying goes, liberty is the luxury of discipline.

As Saturn’s orbit around the Sun takes approximately 29 1/2 years, we also experience a return of Saturn to its natal position at the time of our birth. This is called a “Saturn Return”. The year before the exact conjunction, or return, life begins to significantly change. Frequently, we become aware that the time has come to let something(s) go, an ending. Or it may be a period of expansion and increased responsibility, often professionally. Usually, it is a bit of both. Either way, we mature and gain greater confidence, self-knowledge and respect during the culmination of these milestone cycles.


By Alexandra Karacostas


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Σπουδές Αστρολογίας εξ αποστάσεως ή διά ζώσης στην Εναλλακτική Παιδεία!

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