Saturn in Capricorn: December 19, 2017 - December 17, 2020


We have just one week before Saturn moves into Capricorn, the sign he rules. Saturn has been transiting Sagittarius since the end of 2014, putting structure and limitations in the part of our chart where we tend to prefer expansion. This Mercury retrograde, which began conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius, is reminding you of the themes that have come up during this three year transit. What have you restructured? What responsibilities have you taken on? What do you still need to whip into shape?

Most of our Sag friends haven’t been having much fun. The restrictions of Saturn are anathema to the jovial, Jupiter-ruled sign of Sagittarius. Saturn is much more effective in Capricorn. I say “effective” and not “comfortable” because this pairing is not about comfort. It’s the opposite. Saturn rules authority, discipline, responsibility, hard work, perseverance through difficulty, practicality, frugality, restriction, consequences, and loss. In Capricorn, this focus is undiluted. The Lord of Karma will be at full strength for the next three years.

There are ways to work with this energy for positive gain. Saturn teaches lasting lessons. Endure the adversity he throws at you, and you will grow wiser, stronger, and more resilient. The best way to do Saturn in Capricorn is to get practical and dedicate yourself to your goals. Read on to learn what we can expect from this shift.

Saturn in Capricorn in the 20th Century

1929 - 1932

March 15 - May 4, 1929

November 29, 1929 - February 23, 1932

August 13 - November 19, 1932


Outer planet transits during this period:

Saturn square Uranus in Aries

Saturn opposing Pluto in Cancer

Saturn trine Neptune in Virgo


1959 - 1962

January 5, 1959 - January 3, 1962


Outer planet transits during this period:

Saturn trine Pluto in Virgo

Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Capricorn

Uranus in Leo and Virgo


1988 - 1991

February 13 - June 9, 1988

November 11, 1988 - February 6, 1991


Outer planet transits during this period:

Saturn conjunct Neptune and Uranus in Capricorn

Saturn sextile Pluto in Scorpio

I’m choosing a few details that resonate through the last three times Saturn was in Capricorn, but these are historical themes painted in very broad strokes. Any one of these events could be a subject for a much longer article about the implications. Nevertheless, the last three times Saturn has been in Capricorn, we’ve seen restriction and restructuring in the areas of economics and government, and worldwide movements for civil rights.

The stock market crash of October 1929 happened when Saturn was at 26.49 degrees of Sagittarius, just before moving into Capricorn, and the Great Depression followed. The severe drought of the Dust Bowl began in 1930, with colossal dust storms beginning in 1931. In the USSR, under Stalin, millions starved in the Soviet Famine of 1932-1933.

Themes of capitalism vs. communism played out during some of the most tense years of the Cold War, from 1959 - 1962, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the United States’ entrance into the proxy war of Vietnam. 1988-1991 saw the end of the Cold War, and the rise of transnational corporations. In 1989, Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications to become the world’s largest media conglomerate. Moscow got its first McDonald's in 1990.

Incidentally, in a disheartening echo of both the 1929 crash and 80s trickle-down economics, Saturn was at 27-28 degrees of Sagittarius in the early morning of December 2nd, when the senate passed a tax plan that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy. The Galactic Center, a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, is at 27 Sagittarius. Pluto was within a degree of the galactic center at the beginning of the Great Recession started in December 2007. Astrologers speculate on this point as a nexus of tremendous energy, but we don’t know much about it yet. Just...note it. And save your money.

The last three transits of Saturn through Capricorn have coincided with enormous civil rights movements. When Saturn was here in 1930, Gandhi led the movement for Indian independence from British rule. 1959 - 1962 included some pivotal moments for the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.: four black college students staged a sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law, and the first Freedom Ride took place, to name a few. The Berlin Wall, which began construction when Saturn was in Capricorn in 1961, fell after his return to this sign in 1989.

Saturn’s 2017 - 2020 Transit

December 19, 2017 - March 21, 2020

July 1 - December 17, 2020


Outer planet transits during this period:

Saturn trine Uranus in Taurus

Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn

Jupiter conjunct Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn


Looking at historical themes from Saturn in Capricorn, I would expect shifts in economic policy, government structures, and civil rights. In fact, with Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn in 2019 - 2020, and Jupiter joining both of them in December 2019, it looks like a recipe for major transformation. Pluto has been restructuring Capricorn themes of business and government since 2008, and will continue to do so through 2024. Is a big transformation good or bad? It depends on where you sit, and it remains to be seen.

With Saturn trine Uranus in Taurus, the sign of money, starting in May 2018, we should see some economic developments. I think just in case it would be wise to prepare for Saturnine economic restrictions, or at least eventual restrictions as a consequence of irresponsibility. If the pattern follows history, the 1% do the spending, and the rest of us bear the consequences. With the exception of JFK, all of our 20th Century Saturn in Capricorn presidents have been Republican (Hoover, Eisenhower, Reagan, and George Bush Sr.) See my comments on Saturn’s position when the tax plan passed, above. It’s looking like a belt-tightening season for those who aren’t wealthy.

In the best case scenario, we can redistribute wealth and reform the class system. Millennials have been joining the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in droves. Restructuring works both ways. The resistance is currently happening. Movements for civil rights—including Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, trans rights, and immigrant rights—will hopefully gain support from Saturn in Capricorn. Topics that resonate with previous Saturn in Capricorn periods include the War on Drugs, gun control laws, birth control, workers' rights, and taking responsibility for the environment.

This Saturn-Uranus trine could also bring some innovation around things like bitcoin, automation, and basic income. The last time Saturn was in Capricorn, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (1989). Themes of net neutrality, citizen privacy, and the social responsibilities of Facebook and Twitter are likely to be at the center of the discussion. Uranus in Taurus is also probably going to coincide with some innovations around food, which I’ll get into in a later post. With Saturn, this involves doing food the old-fashioned way: farming real food responsibly and eating for health.

Saturn in Capricorn can be the period when we build the Berlin Wall, or the period when it falls. How it plays out depends on who’s in power. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does echo. Which parts of history do you want to echo for the next three years?

What to Expect for Your Personal Saturn Transit

Saturn will bring themes of adversity, responsibility, discipline, and consequences to the sector of your chart where you have Capricorn. If you have Capricorn in your second house, for example, you will need to manage your money with a great deal of responsibility, as you may be working hard for it and even experiencing some restriction around income. The idea of “consequences” may make you squirm, but if you work hard, the consequence of your action is a reward. A penny saved is a penny earned, in other words. Saturn transiting your tenth house can bring adversity in your career, and you will need to put a lot of hours in to reap the rewards you seek. You may face issues with authority figures, and/or take on responsibility as a boss yourself.

How intense your Saturn transit is depends on your natal chart. If you have moon in Capricorn, you’re in the middle of what Vedic astrologers call Sade-Sati, a challenging period where you may experience suffering that ultimately brings you more compassion for others. If you have Saturn in Capricorn natally (i.e. you were born during one of the last periods, 1988-91 or 1959-62), you’re facing your Saturn Return. This is a rite of passage for everyone around the age of 30, one where you are challenged to become a true adult. It's a great time to have a personal consultation about Saturn's role in your natal chart.

How We Can All Work with Saturn in Capricorn

Saturn is tough, but fair. Here are some strategies for managing Saturn in Capricorn:

  • Set ambitious goals and work towards them slowly. Saturn is a fan of the slow, hard climb to the top.

  • Refuse to give up. Just keep moving forward.

  • Lose the rose-colored glasses. It’s more easily said than done with Neptune in Pisces, but your best bet from now through 2020 is to stay realistic.

  • Set boundaries and rules. Structure your days to serve your max potential. No distractions from your personal mission. Be the Boss of your own life.