As well as the effect of the Mutable Eclipses (see last week) this year we also have the theme of Saturn in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus. The first contact was the 18th of Feb at 7’16 of both signs, the next one is the 14th of June at 13’08 and the final one is the 24th of December (happy holidays) at 11’06.
Fixed squares are hard to negotiate. As the term suggests, fixed signs are rigid, stubborn and resistant to change, they also have good boundaries and are strong and resilient, but a planet like Uranus is naturally unhappy there, as constant change is inimical to this fixed, earth sign. Uranus in Taurus is demanding that we look at our relationship to nature and the natural world (Taurus) and radically change it (Uranus). Uranus will be in Taurus until April 2026, giving us a great deal of time to work the change, or alternatively, to really understand these lessons. Uranus suggests the changes will be sudden and dramatic and I think it is fair to say, the weather has been just that this year.
Saturn in Aquarius is the feminine expression of Saturn, which contemporary astrology has bumped out in favour of Uranus, who is now given as the ruler or co-ruler of Aquarius. It is interesting to note that the female expression of Mars (Scorpio) has also been demoted/removed, as has the female expression of Jupiter (Pisces) by Pluto and Neptune, respectively. Although the transpersonal planets may work well in these signs, it is important to remember the feminine expression of the planets, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.
Saturn in Aquarius is a softer, more collegiate expression of Saturn. She represents less of the ambition and empire building of Capricorn, and more of the connection, collective action and universal family expression. She is less concerned with personal power and more with empowerment of all peoples. Sharing and equality are arguably more feminine qualities. Saturn in Aquarius reminds us that we are all one and no one succeeds without the support of friends and colleagues. And that collectively we are many times more powerful than as individuals, as Trades Unions and collective movements have proved over time.
People are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers. Just yesterday there was a demonstration in London which brought thousands of anti-lockdown protesters (Saturn, Uranus) and the week before similar huge numbers marched in Support of Palestine (Saturn rules the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions). Whatever the rights and wrongs of these causes, the people are demanding change (Uranus) in huge numbers worldwide (Aquarius) and networking through the internet (Saturn in Aquarius).
Saturn in Aquarius is an ideologue, as air signs tend to be. However, with the force of Saturn behind her, it is important for this placement to be aware that other people have a right to their opinions and feelings. She must learn to listen and allow others the space to breathe she demands for herself. Saturn in Aquarius has a fine mind and often found in scientists and deep thinkers. Aquarius lives in the future and often her ‘crazy’ ideas turn out to be right eventually (Steve Jobs had Mercury in Aquarius). Aquarian impatience and intolerance of conservative, dullards is well known, they do not suffer fools gladly. As I always say, Aquarius loves humanity, but is not so sure about people.
The square of these two powerful planets suggests old, outworn ideas will be despatched this year, but not without a struggle, Taurus hates to let anything go! Technology (Aquarius) can be our friend, or an enemy of nature (Taurus). The people, (Aquarius) can see that change is needed urgently, but money (Taurus) wants things to remain the same. We can be radical (Uranus/Aquarius) and care for the earth at the same time (Taurus) it just needs some of our human ingenuity (Aquarius).
The last time this square happened in Taurus/Aquarius was in 1522-3. In 1522 Martin Luther began preaching against the Catholic Church in Wittenberg (he had been excommunicated in 1521) urging dialogue not violence. His translation of the Bible into German was published on 21st September 1522 a radical departure as the Catholic Church insisted the Bible was read in Latin, to a congregation who could not understand the language. Eventually this was to cause a schism and revolution in Europe and endless wars between the Catholic and Protestant branches of the Church. In July 1523, the first Lutheran martyrs were burned at the stake by the Catholic Church. The Spanish navigator Juan de Elcano returned to Spain, completing 1st circumnavigation of the globe, on the 6th September 1522, proving the Earth was not, in fact flat. The head inquisitor Adrian Florisz Boeyens was elected Pope in Rome opening the way for horrific torture and murder of ‘witches and non-believers’ both in Europe and later transported to the ‘New World.’ In short, it was a time of turmoil. Uranus in Taurus brought massive earthquakes in Spain, Almeria (22.9.1522) and Portugal (22.10.1522), killing thousands. All this suggests radical change is on the way.
George Eliot had Uranus square Saturn in her horoscope.
George Eliot (real name Mary Anne Evans) was a radical author, essayist and translator. She lived an unusual life on her own terms, rejecting the straight-jacket that was the woman’s lot at the time. She supported feminist causes and was an agnostic humanist, rejecting Christianity, although she allowed its social function had its uses. Eliot had Uranus conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius in the second house, in a tight square to Saturn and Pluto in Pisces in the fifth house. Her way of earning money (2nd house) was radical (Uranus) and creative (Neptune) and concerned philosophy (Sagittarius) and religion (Saturn in Pisces, Christianity) which she rejected (Pluto in Pisces).
Eliot came from a comfortable middle class family. Unusually, she was well educated as her father thought her ‘unfortunate’ looks meant she would not find a husband. Her mother died when she was 16 and she had to leave school to keep house her father. Transiting Saturn was conjunct her Ascendant, ending her education and insisting on duty above all else, restricting her world to her father, and probable loneliness (Saturn).
‘Selfish, a judgement readily passed by those who have never tested their own power of sacrifice.’
Eliot began working as a German translator, (Saturn is great with detail) and she came to public notice when she translated a critique of Christianity. Straus’ The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined (1846) argued Jesus’ miracles (Neptune) were myths which had no basis in fact. That year, Jupiter was opposing her Moon in Capricorn, showing a break from the past (Capricorn) through publishing (Jupiter). The book caused a sensation in England and Germany. The Earl of Shaftesbury called her translation,
‘the most pestilential book ever vomited out of the jaws of hell.’
Which she took as a complement. Eliot was clear,
‘I do not make myself disagreeable; it is you who find me so. Disagreeable is a word that describes your feeling, not my actions.’ Middlemarch.
Her father was a religious man (as most people were then). He threatened to throw her out of the house because of her anti-religious beliefs. Eliot inwardly resisted but continued to do her duty (Saturn) and perhaps took a pragmatic view that she was unable to support herself financially (Moon in Capricorn). Clearly there was some resentment, as she was expected to sacrifice her life for his convenience.
When her father died in 1849, the year after her first Saturn return, when Uranus was trine her natal Uranus and Saturn conjunct her North Node, she rebelled (Uranus). Eliot travelled to Switzerland with friends only five days after his death. Free at last to live her own life, (Uranus) she stayed on alone, reading and walking in the mountains (Saturn loves the mountains and solitude). Returning to London in 1850 she changed her name to Marion Evans determined to become a writer.
In 1851 Eliot met the philosopher George Lewis, when Pluto, Saturn and Uranus and possibly Mars, were conjunct in Taurus on her descendant. They fell in love and she lived with him from 1854 until his death. Lewis was in an open marriage and their relationship was considered scandalous. Eliot was shunned by ‘polite society’ not that I imagine Eliot was concerned. Her Mercury was part of a stellium in Sagittarius (Venus, Uranus, Neptune) in her second house of values, she would have been impelled to make grand gestures for love (Venus, Neptune), break convention (Uranus) and not care what anyone thought (free thinking Mercury in Sagittarius).
‘Keep true. Never be ashamed of doing right. Decide what you think is right and stick with it.’
Her first novel, Adam Bede was published in 1859 to critical acclaim, it became a bestseller. Saturn was conjunct her natal MC and Neptune conjunct her Pluto. She wrote under the name of George Eliot so she wouldn’t be associated with ‘Silly Novels by Lady Novelists’ (Uranus, Neptune). Having translated from the German, Eliot was aware of the scope and complexity of European literature which she aimed to emulate. Radical politics are woven through her books. Middlemarch concerns the Great Reform Bill of 1832, and Felix Holt the Radical (1866)my favourite book, looks at the harassment of social outsiders.
‘The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one’s life is to help in one small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation and misery on the face of this beautiful earth.’ Adam Bede.
Her novels describe people’s lives with great psychological insight and sympathy (Pisces) for the outsider (Uranus), the marginalised and persecuted, all written with both humour and generosity (Sagittarius). Her second book, Mill on the Floss was dedicated to Lewis (21st March 1860) Mars was traniting her natal Neptune and Moon, Neptune her natal Saturn, Pluto. This was followed by five other novels, including her most famous, Middlemarch (1871-2) which was described by Virginia Woolfe as
‘one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.’
Middlemarch was published when Neptune was trine her Uranus Neptune conjunction (25′ Aries) and Uranus was opposite her Moon and Saturn was conjunct. Jupiter and Mars were conjunct her midheaven. The book is considered one of the finest English novels.
Eliot was refused burial in poet’s corner in Westminster Abbey becuase she was agnostic and her adultery. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery in the section for radicals such as Karl Marx and Herbert Spencer, the company I’m sure she would have approved of.