All of the planets will make helpful or harsh aspects to their own natal positions in a chart, and of particular note are both the 28/29 year transit cycle of Saturn, and the 27 year progressed cycle of the Moon. Over a lifetime, they often abut or overlap each other’s positions, and reflect significant life challenges, and a need to change direction. They show when we have to reshuffle our deck of cards and adjust to new conditions. This overview of the cycles applies in general to the life journey of man, but will ALWAYS be moderated by each person’s individual chart activity.
Looking at Saturn – it represents structure in our lives, and challenges us to get organized, work hard, be mindful of our duties, and live up to our responsibilities. Saturn is the ‘task-master’ of the zodiac and shows where we have to put in more effort, roll up our sleeves and commit to the task at hand. It is very much a planet of having self-discipline and ‘doing the right thing’, and if we don’t, then there is always some authority figure, or strict disciplinarian, looking over our shoulder, making sure that we keep on track!
The Saturnian figures we usually have to deal with or appease, are father, husband, teacher, boss, government authority, or some other communal patriarch. Rules, regulations, business protocols, dealing with ‘the establishment’ or the ‘powers that be’, and having to wade through tiresome red tape are typical Saturn issues that we have to face.
Saturn is the indicator of long established things and traditions, and the slow passing of time. Nothing happens in a hurry. In our rush to want immediacy, our patience gets tested as obstacles, frustrations, limitations and delays hinder our progress. If you’re in a hurry, Saturn makes you get in line and wait in the queue! As a cake baking in the oven needs a whole 35 minutes to cook, it doesn’t matter how often we look at it or wish it cooked, it still takes the time it takes, to develop and mature to completion. That is one of the lessons of Saturn – to cultivate patience.
Old age and elderly folk also come under Saturn’s domain, and this brings us into contact with seniors, grandparents, advisers, teachers and mentors, who can bring wisdom, guidance, advice, and show us how to go about things.
Saturn is about the rules of how to run our life, and it’s catch cry is to ‘get organized’ and ‘do the right thing’ and recommends we all adhere to the rule of the six Ps – P.P.P.P.P.P. – ‘planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance’. Saturn brings rewards for patience, persistence and perseverance, and efforts bring well earned success.
Saturn shows where we have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, and often we bend, under the load. When Saturn is afflicted in our charts, this is where we no longer feel part of the bigger picture of structure and organization that is in place in our lives. The expectations and demands and pressures of our outer world become too difficult. We no longer want to persevere, or be patient, or wait and see what happens. We don’t want to play by the rules, or do what is expected of us. We feel challenged to do or give more than we can. We tend to withdraw, isolate or alienate ourselves from such demands or commitments. One can feel stifled by restrictive conditions, circumstances or people, and need to break free. We don’t feel that we want to be part of the status quo any more, and likely feel imprisoned in our current situations or relationships. Time to pull away, or cut the ties that bind us.
The Moon – is all about our emotional responses. It shows where we get in touch with our feelings, where we have a sense of emotional ease and wellbeing, and feel comfortable in our own skin at an inner level. Also our ability to express those feelings and make close connections with others. Alternatively it shows where we feel ill-at-ease, or emotionally ‘at odds’ within ourselves, and in our dealings with others. So the Moon gives an insight into our own inner peace, as well as reflecting both our emotional engagement with, or withdrawal from, people and situations.
The Moon represents our dealings with women in general, our home and family, all domestic matters, living conditions and those people with whom we share that space. In particular, the Moon reflects how we get on with, and the impact upon us, of significant family females, i.e. mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, and niece. The Moon also shows something of our public image, reputation and popularity.
When the progressed Moon favours our natal Moon, the ability to bond and make connections with others is easier. But when the aspects are challenging , then it is harder to reach out and express our feelings, which may be in turmoil, bringing inner discontent, restlessness, and a sense of emotional alienation.
The sextile and trine aspects that the Moon makes to it’s own position can hold great promise for bringing positive activities involving our image, dealings with important females, and family matters – eg reunions, births, marriages, important celebrations, and house moves or renovations. Moon sextile Moon ages 4 or 5, 22 or 23, and 31 or 32, also 49 or 50, and 58 or 59. Also 77, and 86, and 104 or 105. Moon trine Moon ages 9, 18 or 19, 36 or 37, and 45 or 46. Also 63 or 64, 72 or 73, 90 or 91, and 100 or 101.
Of particular interest, is that the 28 year transit cycle of Saturn, and the 27 year progression cycle of the Moon, both coincide in the early years, with the approximate ages of 7, 14, 21 and 28 being most notable. These ages have a leeway of a year either side, due to the changes in the Moon’s and Saturn’s motion from slow, to average, to fast, which will vary from one person to another. These ages reflect very testing times, and even critical turning points in our lives.
Ages 6 or 7– there can be an overlap of transit Saturn square natal Saturn, and progressed Moon square natal Moon, and we may experience some sense of loss or alienation, most likely within the family. Other people’s comings and goings can upset our equilibrium and put us out of our comfort zone. Perhaps there is an illness or accident to deal with. A grandparent may depart, parents may split up or temporarily leave, an older sibling may move out of the house, a new brother or sister may be born, or a parent may remarry. There may be a house move, with a loss of friends, or a change of school. At this early age, the effect of Saturn square Saturn will come from outside circumstances and other people’s actions, over which a young child has no control, and likely brings an accompanying sense of helplessness. If Moon and Saturn both become exact in the same year, then it is isolation at both an inner emotional, and outer worldly level, and changes will be felt more intensely, or be harder to deal with, than if the two aspects happen a year apart.
Age 14 – progressed Moon is opposing Moon, and transit Saturn is opposing Saturn. The opposition of different but compatible elements (i.e. fire/air or earth/water) allows a little more lee-way than the previous square. More expectations come at this age – behave like an adult, work hard at school, don’t do sex, drugs or alcohol, don’t mix with bad types, don’t forget your manners, and play nice. Puberty, religious ceremonies and manhood rituals all add to the mix. The pressured teenager accuses all that ‘no-one understands him’ and they will try to break free. Maybe they run away from home, report you to the authorities, or at very least, challenge your opinion. Other ways they may experience both inner emotional turmoil, and outer-world alienation, may be through births, deaths, remarriages, house moves, separations within the family, troubles with siblings, changes around friendships, or pressures in their school life. An unsettling time. It was common in the past to see teenagers leave school and start work at this age.
Age 20 – progressed Moon square Moon, transit Uranus square Uranus, and transit Jupiter square Jupiter can all overlap now, showing restless if not irritable emotional reactions, and more changes on the home and family front, or upsets with females.
Age 21 – with the next harsh squares of Moon and Saturn to their own places, joined by the transit of Uranus squaring natal Uranus, it’s time to fly the nest. This time the young adults won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Time to spread their own wings, be their own person and do their own thing. People used to marry to escape the parental authority at this age. The impact of the change that comes now is more extensive and far reaching. A big leap rather than a little step – to some place or activity much further afield from the comforts of home base – marriage, moving away, travelling the world, working further afield – and the concept is filled with new found freedoms, independence, adventure and excitement. On the first Saturn and Moon square around ages 6 and 7, the child felt helpless at what was happening around him, but on this second square at around 21, the individual takes control.
Age 22 – can continue to be a challenge as the transits of both Saturn square Saturn, and Uranus square natal Uranus, can still overlap. New possibilities continue to present themselves, resulting in movement away from established or untenable situations or commitments. An inner tug of war about who and what fits in your life now.
Age 27 – the progressed lunar return. This only happens three times in an average life span and is a powerful indicator of us needing to make strong emotional connections, focus on family and domestic matters, reconnect with our roots, go home and reunite with past or distant family, feather our nest and make babies, or make changes in our own living conditions.
Ages 28 and 29 – this is the time of Saturn return. It also only occurs three times in an average life span. It’s time to read the writing on the wall, and to acknowledge and address the reality of our current situation. If the foundations are strong, we can build upon them and consolidate our position, but if the foundations are weak, current structures will fall, and it’s clear that it’s time to move on, and away from outlived situations. So marital issues, family activities and career direction are all high on the agenda for reassessment now. Sweeping changes occur, and likely with some sense of relief, or loss.
The accompanying aspect that can also be felt as early as age 29, is the 30 degree semi-sextile aspect, where all planets and points in a birth chart progress by solar arc direction to the adjoining sign from their own natal position. This brings in a different energy and attitude to the way we now look at and handle things. An example would be Sun at 5 Leo will now direct forward to 5 Virgo. So instead of a fixed/fire way of expressing itself, the Sun moves to a mutable/earth way of functioning. It is like changing gears up from 2nd to 3rd when driving the car.
So the ages of 28/29/30 are quite important years for changing our perspective, goals, surroundings and actions.
Age 41 – progressed Moon opposes Moon and brings domestic change; restless Uranus also opposes natal Uranus and brings a strong desire to get out of the rut, be free and do something different; transit Neptune squares Neptune and shows a dissatisfaction or disappointment creeping in because things are no longer fulfilling; North Node squares natal North Node suggesting certain relationships, friendships and acquaintances may have passed their use-by date, and Jupiter opposes Jupiter – where the grass looks very much greener on the other side. Time for that horse to jump the corral fence and discover what else life has on offer! A pivotal year where we again find ourselves at an important crossroads in life. (With Moon and Node activities overlapping in the same year, watch out for family separations, e.g. a child may leave home now, a parent may move away, a new baby is born, a marriage may come or go).
Age 43 – can be a bit heavy going as the transits of both Saturn oppose natal Saturn, and Uranus oppose natal Uranus, can overlap. One has to assess who and what fits into their life now. New possibilities present themselves, and there will likely be some parting of the ways, or letting go of outlived or untenable situations, relationships or commitments.
Ages 44 – 47 – the 45 degree semi-square by solar arc direction of all planets and angles aspecting their own positions, now moves into place anywhere within this age group. The semi-square is said to be a mild harsh aspect, and it’s position is now a sign and a half away from the birth chart position, e.g. Sun at 5 Leo will have moved to 20 Virgo. But Sun at 22 Aquarius will have moved to 7 Aries a compatible sign to Aquarius, thus making the transition less stressful by being in a the helpful fire element which nurtures air. Time to change gears yet again, and reshuffle the deck and see where things lie. Life can be very different now.
Within this time frame of the semi-square aspect coming into play, transit Saturn will oppose natal Saturn around ages 44 – 45, which will see some structures, or the stability of situations, fall apart. And come age 47 the progressed Moon squares natal Moon, and can bring emotional unease, or family and domestic change. Perhaps the children want to move out, or the family elders need to move in!
Ages 48 – 51 – sees the 50 year Chiron return. Chiron is known for the wound that doesn’t heal and represents where we have empathy for the suffering of others, or where we likely deal with some kind of sadness. This can involve the loss of a relationship, sorrow around a pet, some farewell, or maybe even the death of a family elder.
Within this time frame, progressed Moon square Moon can overlap Chiron’s return, at age 48, and the transit of Saturn square Saturn comes into play at age 51. So both of these years may bring either more emotional upset, or, a higher level of caring responsibilities.
Age 54 – is the second lunar return, as progressed Moon again conjuncts natal Moon. This brings all family matters and domestic changes to the fore. A time of increased need to contact distant family, explore your roots, go home, enjoy family reunions, attend important family gatherings, visit grandchildren, or even move house. An easy ability to connect with others emotionally now favours all relationships, especially those you have with significant females.
Ages 58 and 59 – transit Saturn conjuncts Saturn. This isn’t as difficult as the first Saturn return at ages 28 and 29, because now it is accompanied by progressed Moon sextile Moon, bringing ease of inner emotional feelings, and ability to connect easily with others. And especially at age 59, is the helpful arrival of the Jupiter return, bringing with it new opportunities for growth and expansion. Also starting from as early as 59 years (through to 62 years), the 60 degree solar arc direction of all planets and angles to their natal positions starts – where they will all have moved two signs (compatible elements). So this overlap of happy energies will certainly take the pressure off the second Saturn return. Saturn still makes us look at our current structures and foundations, to see whether we add on and consolidate, or whether we need to cut back and prune our tree of life. Will we keep our commitments and live up to our responsibilities, or will we say ‘enough is enough’? We can also look at how we will approach our latter years, and make new resolutions about our health, diet and fitness levels. Saturn being Saturn, there is still likely some sad farewell or sense of loss at this time.
Ages 61 – 62 – between these ages comes progressed Moon square Moon again, overlapping with transit Uranus square Uranus. This shows as emotional or domestic ripples, and the gale force winds of change are blowing. Transit Jupiter square natal Jupiter occurs now also, with promise of greener pastures to be had, so restlessness and thoughts of what the future holds, set in. As the 60 degree solar arc sextile is also likely to be active, it takes some of the pressure off.
Age 74 – both Saturn oppose Saturn, and progressed Moon square Moon can overlap now, bringing a sense that all is not well in our world – either with emotional contacts, difficulties with females, family, domestic status, or other commitments. Some withdrawal away from people, situations or issues that bring unhappiness is likely.
At the same time, there is also a nodal return where North Node conjuncts its natal position. This operates at two levels – one is about fate and destiny, and the changes that happen now, are perhaps timely, destined or meant to be.
The other way North Node functions is all about relating with others, sociable as well as close and more meaningful encounters. So this will bring people around who are able to be helpful. (One way this can function is that a new social or romantic relationship comes in, perhaps that family and friends don’t approve of with progressed Moon square Moon. Or one may find they are struggling emotionally regarding some relationship).
Age 81 – brings progressed Moon conjunct Moon, the third lunar return – showing helpful female contacts, happy family news and reunions, positive changes on the home front, and inner emotional contentment. Saturn square Saturn, along with transit Neptune oppose natal Neptune, show a need to rid oneself of unnecessary commitments and structures, and perhaps a stronger focus on spiritual matters. A time when some people, worries or unnecessary clutter fall away.
Age 82 – progressed Moon conjunct Moon may still be occurring, along with both the Uranus return (84 year cycle) and the 12 yearly Jupiter return cycle. Apart from the Neptune oppose Neptune transit still toning down things, a great year to kick up your heels …’not dead yet’. Lots of potential to move house, or watch other family changes (birth of great grandchildren maybe), and have fun. A very freeing combination of Uranus and Jupiter, and a happy Moon, means the sky is the limit.
Age 86 – progressed Moon sextile Moon, and the transit of North Node trine North Node both come into play at this age. It is very nice for inner emotional harmony and happy contacts with females, family and domestic activities. North Node favours relationships of all sorts, so it is a favourable time to feel at one within, and at one, with others.
Ages 87, and particularly 88 – these years bring the third and last Saturn return in an average life time. Outlived structures, responsibilities, commitments and routine are likely to become redundant. As one is approaching ‘frail age’ now, this Saturn could bring more focus on health, especially involving knees, teeth, skin, joints and bones. The issues of slowing down, and the need to use walking aids can also feature.
As the progressed Moon square Moon may also occur at age 88, the inner emotional tranquillity is likely to be replaced with irritability or anxiety, making it harder to make close connections with others. Or it may occur as watching extended family members (including the younger generations), go through their own significant life changes and ordeals, eg births, divorces, marriages, illness, or house moves etc.
Ages 89 to 93 – the 90 degree square occurs sometime in this time frame. Natal planets and angles have moved by solar arc direction three signs away from their natal position. E.g. Sun at 5 Leo has now moved to 5 Scorpio and is in a fixed square to it’s original place in the chart. Fire and water have nothing in common, so the square is a challenge. Or Mars at 22 Pisces has now moved to 22 Gemini and is in a mutable square. Water and air have nothing in common, so again a challenge. This time in life will test us at every level, and outside circumstances or other peoples’ actions may affect us, or push us into some direction that we aren’t necessarily happy with. So we can be forced to made adjustments and adapt to the changing conditions around us.
Fortunately, in this time frame between ages of 90 and 91, progressed Moon trine Moon will assist our emotional outlook, and our ability to connect, and helpful Jupiter will trine, or square natal Jupiter – which brings new and expansive opportunities our way. Thus positive for family assistance, and domestic change now, which will moderate some of the difficulty of all planets squaring their own positions.
Age 95/96 – transit Saturn square Saturn, along with progressed Moon oppose Moon, again can bring some emotional unrest, irritations with females – or bossy people, and their rules and regulations. Domestic change or within the extended family is likely now, along with a focus on age related health issues, or those which affect knees, joints, bones, skin or teeth. Fortunately Jupiter sextile Jupiter may bring helpful people around, and assist in calming troubled waters.