The big astrological news of the year is Saturn’s return into sidereal Aquarius on January 17th, where the planet of fear, fate, responsibility, boundaries, time and success stays until March 30th 2025. Saturn is the key transit at any given moment, and its intensely karmic nature brings challenges and opportunities you may not exactly be ready for, but have just enough resources to front up. ‘The Lord of Karma’ raises the bar and makes you work harder, and be more disciplined and professional, and its rewards are also bigger and longer-lasting than you can appreciate now.
Saturn dipped into Aquarius from last April to mid-July (2022), where it gave you a taste of things to come, and any offers or ideas from that time play out more fully now. In its mooltrikona sign, Saturn has arguably even greater promise than its transit through Capricorn, 2020-22 - if still in a harsh and demanding way. Your efforts now pay off to the extent they are progressive and future-oriented, as you get to grips with technology and ideologies: Aquarius represents the Uranian/ Promethean spirit of innovation and pure invention, which to some degree is represented by the Vedic deity, Prajapati. Saturn also brings grounding and consolidation, perhaps a new job, relationship, home or business, family drama, spiritual path or educational journey, but in any case, a major project that demands your attention for the next two-plus-years. For the world as a whole, this is the next phase of the Great Reset, the World Economic Forum’s political, economic and environmental revolution, scheduled to culminate in 2030. As well as the Aquarius house of your horoscope, Saturn also aspects sidereal Aries, Leo and Scorpio – remember, we all have those four sign/houses represented in our chart somewhere. Gemini rising people may feel relieved to be out of Ashtama Shani, Saturn’s gruelling transit through the 8H, where Cancer rising now takes up this challenge. Libra rising individuals are facing Panchama Shani, the 5H Saturn transit which impacts finances, creativity and zest for life, but feel relieved to be out of the seclusion of Saturn transiting their 4H: Scorpio rising now lives through that episode. Saturn generally does well in the improving Upachaya houses: 3H, 6H, 10H, and 11H, which is good news for Sagittarius, Virgo, Taurus and Aries ascendants. What you lose on the swings you pick up on the roundabouts. Don’t forget to check out Saturn’s transit in your Moon chart/ Chandra lagna, and also by Bhava Chalit, especially if your rising degree is late or early in a sign. Saturn makes it nearly halfway through Aquarius in 2023 before turning retrograde, from June 17th to November 4th, where it reaffirms earlier lessons and reminds you of your long-term purpose. By mid-October, Saturn reverses back into Dhanishta nakshatra, and you address matters from earlier in the year, where a personal or business issue you thought had been dealt with makes you realise it will be around for the longer-term. A passing issue becomes a major episode. Saturn stations (ie, slows down then goes retrograde) from May 14th to July 23rd at 12°-13° of Aquarius, and then, as it goes direct again, stations from October 7th to December 2nd at 6° Aquarius. If you have personal planets at those degrees, take it easy, and though the road seems endless, appreciate things won’t always be so intense.
Any aspect from Saturn to your personal planets, is more usually for about ten days at a time, with three separate hits occurring over a nine-month period: first direct, then retrograde, then direct again. Por ejemplo, Saturn has already passed twice over zero degrees of Aquarius in 2022; once on April 29th and once on July 12th, and for the third and final time on January 17th. The cumulative effect of these passes is pretty un-ignorable, but you can compartmentalize them to an extent. Saturn rules Time itself, and anything you can do to make your day-to-day experience more meaningful in the moment is a help. The quality of successive Saturn transits is affected, for good and ill, by its natal condition, your current Dasha pattern, and simultaneous transits from other planets. Always look at the whole chart. Saturn in Dhanishta initially until March 14th favours money-making and creating security. The Shakti, or special gift of this nakshatra, ‘To Bestow Wealth and Fame’, sees the rewards on offer being worth the added responsibility and all your extra hours. The first part of this transit from January 17th to February 14th finds Saturn in Libra navamsha, which gives you an underlying patience, leadership and diplomatic quality, where you can negotiate and play to your political strengths. Saturn exalts in Libra, the sign of the scales, which is a clue to strike a balance between obsession and avoidance: do your duty, but don’t always take your work home with you. Saturn in Shatabishta from March 14th to October 15th sees you with an interest in the area of health and wellness. This nakshatra is symbolised by A Thousand Physicians, and a program of helping others to right themselves may be inspired by your own healing or recuperative journey. Saturn has deep-lying strength this asterism, especially from April 16th to August 22nd, where you show practical skills and the ability to plan ahead constructively. You still have to put long hours in and pick your battles carefully, but should get better return on your energy investment.
Saturn in mutual aspect with combative Mars from November 16th to December 27th, sees both planets in their own signs, though resisting each other and creating tension. The temptation may be to push ahead and aim for a quick result, though this makes it hard to plan ahead, when it is vital to take it easy. You may have to compromise and ride out an uneasy situation, then come back later when the pressure has passed. For Moon-sign Aquarians, this year is the peak of your sadesati, or Saturn’s transit over your Moon and two adjacent houses. The two-and-a-half-year period of Saturn actually in your Moon sign is most important, where you get added emotional responsibility, learning experience around relationship and possibly parenthood, and generally concerns about others over and above yourself. This character-building experience leaves you feeling quite different over the course of a year, and if possible, it pays to have supportive people around who you can rely on. Saturn being strong by sign has great potential in a humanitarian or political endeavour, but maintain your emotional balance and don't give it all to The Collective. From January 17th to April 21st Saturn combines with Rahu to squeeze Jupiter in Pisces (paapkatari yoga) and demand all of its powers of faith. After April 21st, Saturn aspects Rahu in Aries until October 30th, and Jupiter in Aries until the end of the year. This may intensify your experience of the shadowy and intense side of the North Node and Jupiter’s expansive attitude. 2023 is about striking a balance between experimentation and staying in your lane, and though you make a sudden break for freedom and knowledge, you are restrained by Saturn’s practical limitations.