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In Deference to Saturn

As Saturn creeps through its final days in Libra, it seems there are moments when we can’t wait for it to move along.

The sense of being at the very end of some theme or chapter or area of difficulty can accompany a planet as it gathers itself before moving into a whole other land, in this case, the land of Scorpio on October 5.

In each of our personal charts, Saturn has brought its diligence and grinding stone to the affairs and situations of the house with Libra on the cusp for the last two and a half years. We are in the last days of encapsulating what we can learn about this area of work, both inner and outer. Saturn in Libra may accentuate our awareness of beauty, and, for me, this is one of astrology’s most beautiful treasures — the gift of perspective.

I wrote about (what I think is) a modern concept about the end of the sign in a previous blog: “The first reference I’ve seen to the 29th degree (of any sign) as “the degree of expiation” is in Isabel Hickey’s Astrology: A Cosmic Science (1970). The degree of expiation suggests that all conditions and situations related to the sign have this one last degree, this one last moment to resolve themselves. It has the suggestion of atonement, propitiating a god, or the means through which atonement is made.” (1)

Heaven knows what’s next for any of us, but I’m finding myself wanting to acknowledge Saturn in Libra. (I thought of calling this blog An Ode to Saturn, but then Wikipedia informed me that the definition of ode means a lyrical verse, which I can’t quite conjure up just yet. (2))

So, I am thinking about Saturn’s diligence, faithfulness, and its being the honored guest in Libra, its sign of exaltation. (3)

We can think of one-to-one relationships as the most obvious sphere of Libra; the sign that stands across from Aries pure individualism. In Libra we can listen, cooperate, be diplomatic, and see what the others see.

I actually have had three distinct conversations in the past few days involving a clear intent to sort out areas of confusion and face what was incomplete. I was anxious about one situation in particular, which I had been avoiding for quite a while — nearly a year (!), in fact.

The appointed hour for our meeting came. (4) We both were anxious. A few deep breaths set a slow, steady tone and we were able to be open and vulnerable and forgiving and forgiven. It was a deeply rewarding conversation and I defer to Saturn for helping me stay on track and offering a gentle and dignified passageway into a new time.

These days I’m also collecting my thoughts and examining my priorities. Where is my inner commitment? What am I holding fast to for equipoise, balance, and stability, as we move ahead into the great and wildly unknown future?

I can strive for diligence and honesty — inside myself and with others — in just the right measure, without being rigid or dry or fearful.

Isabel Hickey offers a lovely thought in A Cosmic Science  (1970): “Saturn is exalted in Libra for it is through the sign of relationships that we grow in grace.”

The insights offered by Saturn, about to leave his place of being the honored guest, may be strong for many of us now.

Saturn, thank you for your time in Libra; it will not be until 2039 that you pass this way again.


(1)TMA blog: Total Solar Eclipse

(Although I remember references to early writers who thought a planet lost strength when it was at the very end, i.e., the 29th or 30th degree of any sign, I didn’t have time to research that for this article.)

(2) I did, however, get what we might consider an ode to Saturn in Libra in my email today:


O Lord, it is time
The summer was so vast
Put your shadows on the sundials
And in the fields let the wind loose.

Order the last fruits to become ripe
Give them two more sunny days
Push them to fulfillment
And force the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

He who has no house now will not build one
He who is alone will be so for a long time to come
Will stay awake, read, write long letters
And restlessly walk in the park among the blown leaves.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(Translated by Charlotte Schmid)

(3) For more on planetary dignities, see Skyscript.

(4) Although I didn’t elect the time, the stars, as ever, were eloquent. My friend, who is usually extremely punctual, arrived three minutes early, which placed Antares at 9° Sagittarius directly on the Ascendant. In The Horary Textbook John Frawley writes: “Being directly opposite Aldebaran, star of the spring equinox, Antares is associated with the autumn equinox. So as Aldebaran is about inception and new cycles starting, Antares is about closing down and cycles ending. This is by no means always negative.”


  1. Fantastic piece Mary, and wonderful writing. Buh bye Saturn in Libra!

    • hey there Demetrius, many thanks, so good to catch a glimpse of you at UAC..

  2. Mary, I loved this post –

    ‘These days I’m also collecting my thoughts and examining my priorities. Where is my inner commitment?…’ your statement and question fit where I currently am, precisely….and I have copied that beautiful, spare Rilke poem for my reflections book.

    I also wanted to let you know that I have included TMA’s blog in my nominations for a Sunshine award:

    Thank you


    • Thank you, Anne…I’m eager to check your link about the Sunshine Award..

      And, yes, I thought the poem was a lovely and timely addition that spoke of Saturn leaving Libra..



  3. Your words are just beautiful! Thank you for sharing this eloquent open hearted perspective of the ending of Saturn in Libra. Being a person who has Sun, Moon and Ascendant along with Mercury and Neptune in Libra, I can say that many blessings have come through this time of deep soul refining as Saturn worked its magic in the forms and structure of my life. And let me now count the ways I have grown in grace.

    • Dear Judie,

      How nice of you to comment…you are Libra grace in motion..



  4. Great post. We spend so much of our time looking into the future that sometimes we forget to be here now. Thanks for reminding me too really feel the sweetness of the final days of Saturn in Libra.

    • Christina, hello, I’m so glad you got what I was trying to say….just stopping now and recollecting what we’ve accomplished..

      Thank you..


  5. mary, you could call this post ‘Owed to Saturn’ and get the same phonetic effect. ;^)

    when saturn entered libra, which rules my 12th house, i lost my mother, and have spent the past two years helping my grieving father try to put his life back together. it’s been a very solitary, introspective time, but i have learned a lot about myself. i’m ready for that shift in energy, and saturn rolling over my ascendant!

    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for sharing your experience…my condolences on your loss..And yes, solitary, introspective and learning about yourself and helping your father..

      You are a true wordsmith “Owed to Saturn”..perfect!!



  6. Mary I loved reading this wonderful piece to the music of Jose Feliciano Light My Fire maybe an ode but it suited to me what you wrote. I for one am looking forward to Saturn’s movement into Scorpio next week even if I have three planets there. I am willing. Warm wishes from Australia xx

    • Hi Lise,

      Thanks for writing..yes, being willing is a good strategy!

      Enjoy the music..



  7. “We can think of one-to-one relationships as the most obvious sphere of Libra; the sign that stands across from Aries pure individualism. In Libra we can listen, cooperate, be diplomatic, and see what the others see. ”
    The irony of this amuses as my Libra Sun younger Sister has chosen a stance (2009 -2012) acting opposite, holding all siblings, and my late mother’s meager Estate hostage to her unwillingness to ” listen, cooperate, be diplomatic, …see what others see.” Libra is my N 7th House. DejaVu in her present self absorption: T UR now SQU my 1H N UR was in hard aspect to my 4H Cancer when I previously found myself in detrimental circumstance through self centered actions on her part revolving around home, family. Cycles bring renewed opportunities to Do Over, or Repeat. Here’s wishing Saturn expeditious forward motion out of Libra empowering positive resolution!! (Her husband of 40 yrs born same hospital, same day, 4 min apart! )

    • Hi Mara,

      What a tale! I’m with you, here’s to opening up new perspectives.

      Was your sister’s husband born in the same year too?

      I was being a bit poetic, I do know that the qualities I mentioned about Libra are not always the ones on display..

      Take good care,


  8. Thanks Mary ,In my natal card I have a stellium in Libra with Saturn on the cups 2/3/(Koch) Saturn in transit,and return natal card, has give many changes in the last years,special with money and fallures,but also a inner confidence,special in my writings ,artikels and fairytalls. When my progr. moon in 7 house triangle transit Saturn and the progresed Venus in Libra ,after 18 years of no relation with a partner,I have been meeting last winter a new love and friend. Saturn transit on my natal IC after 5 okt.Saturn,and Uranus is the lord of 7 house, by both off us . The transits Uranus en Pluto are still moving and will keeping for some time, square and opp.Cancer and Libra.Changes will still go on in the headsingns!

    I have notice when my progr.Sun came in conjuction with Antares opp.Aldebaran,( in 4 and 10 house) my youngest son left the house for study.There came an end for my after 25 years taking care of my childeren . I also have seen that in a friends horoscoop when his progresed lord, (MC natal) was conjuction Antares his father died.Here natal lord MC is placed in IC/4 .In that time also a 10 years relationship came to a end and she had to change for a new adress. Its seems to be importend to take care about the positions off the stars in the horoscoop.

    Well anyway it takes a big deal for my to write in Englisch,I do hope you can read it!
    Namaste Diviana

    • Hello Diviana,

      Thank you for writing..I understood you perfectly well..yes, I am careful to notice the fixed stars…they tell a whole story..

      Best to you and happiness with your progressed Moon in the 7th and Venus in Libra!



  9. Thanks, Mary, for your words of wisdom, as always. You have such a gentle way of expressing yourself that goes straight to my heart. Though now I’m really curious about Saturn going into Scorpio. It sounds kinda scary. I know it’s affecting my personal moon, and since I struggle with depression anyway, I’ll need to find ways to shore myself up for the onslaught. Any suggestions?

    Susan Stedman

  10. Not quite on topic, except in the sense of astrologers’—heck, everyone’s—relationship to information sources. My point is that Wikipedia is not so definitive. Or does not deserve to be. I refer, for example, to the page wherein the attitude toward our beloved field is quite explicit: “Astrology is a pseudoscience . . .”
    Such a statement ought to offend all of us, yet apparently current Wiki policy prevents real, experienced astrologers from rectifying this slur. For more on this situation, see this week’s newsletter from AstroAmerica ( Maybe it’s time for our community to command respect in the web pages of “The Free Encyclopedia.”

  11. Thanks for this from me, too….but it may be bye bye Libra for the Librans, but it is hello Saturn for me, 0 deg Scorpio. And I was born with it conjunct my Sun in Gemini. Here’s to all the Scorpios….

    I hope if there is hard work involved it will also involve payment for said hard work! it has been a real drought of epic proportions in my 6th house with Mars at 8 Aries. LOL.

    • Hi Judi, yes, good luck with more money coming your way asap..

      Sounds like you’re heading into Saturn return territory?

  12. Very happy to see Saturn leave Libra. My n. Sun/Sat at 26/28 Cancer have been sorely tested. Many outstanding benefits and as many challenges, especially now at the end of the transit. On its way out, Saturn will transit a prog. conjunct Mars/Ju at 29 Libra, and then trine my n.MH at 0* Pisces.
    My novel is undergoing final editing for its galleys and a legal fine-tooth read right now. It’s been rigorous–this 2-1/2 year transit. Novel accepted by Viking Press. Mom dies at 92. Major ankle surgery in May. I hope to move with grace through these last few days and keep on trucking.

    • Hi Judy,

      wonderful news about your book, congratulations..and yes, it has been a long haul for planets in late Cancer…

      My condolences about your mother…



  13. Mary, Your gift for expressing the essence of the moment is fabulous. Thank you, so much for sharing it. Also appreciated is your attention to detail in the form of your footnotes. Looking forward to your next contemplation.

    • Hello Sandra,

      Thank you!

      I liked being able to add the details in the footnotes, whilst keeping the flow in the main text…thanks for noticing!

      Best to you,


  14. Saturn is leaving my stellium of 5 planets in Libra, 9th house, currently conjunct my MH and Neptune. I have learned much, mostly about standing my ground in the face of difficult odds with my family. I have learned to be true to my self. Saturn has been squaring my Capricorn ascendant off and on, with Pluto stomping all over and cleaning my first house. Saturn will soon give me a 2nd return in Scorpio, hmmm… can’t wait for that one. I think there will be some more education coming my way. Yes, lots of due diligence and attending to inner and outer conversations with myself and others. Librans are after all a very conversational people.

    • Christy, I could have written your paragraph myself. My stellium of 5 planets in Libra are in my 11th house and my Asc is in Capricorn so a lot of Pluto action too. For me the past 3 years have been all about being authentic and standing my ground, especially with family members. All the best to you.

  15. Great blog, Mary! And what interesting times we are living in. Front row seats, we all have. This upcoming Full Moon will put on quite a show, too, I’m sure.

  16. In the mundane news, the presence of Saturn in Libra brought about the RoboSigning scandal where banks where foreclosing without the proper legal actions on home owners. The attny generals in most states joined to stop the mass foreclosures. That was the law doing fairness to the people!

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