Traditionally, the ruler of Aquarius has been Saturn. Modern astrology has, however, also assigned Uranus as co-ruler of Aquarius. Personally, I do not wholeheartedly agree with Uranus as ruler of Aquarius, and sometimes wonder whether this rulership was brought about as a result of a few Aquarians not being completely happy having sombre, serious and somewhat melancholic Saturn as their ruler (I mean, who would want to have some dude called the Grim Reaper for their ruler?!)
Just kidding – one of the main reasons for sticking with the traditional ruler is that to me, the disrupting, shocking and erratic energy of Uranus does not completely align with the Aquarian drive and support for collective group work. Sure, it’s a progressive sign who wants to change systems to make them better, but it doesn’t want this at the cost of disrupting and rupturing social connections, or loss of human life. Uranus doesn’t really care about any of that: it is the planet of revolutions, in all their bloody, tragic manifestation. Uranus is the urge to break free, regardless of the cost. Aquarius prefers to work with the group towards a solution or a change for the better, and often within conforming structures.
The Grim Reaper by Otto Seitz (1898)
I have previously written on Saturn, noting that “Saturn stands for: hard work, boundaries, limitations, old age, duty, responsibility, maturity. Saturn does not do “get rich quick schemes” or superficiality. Saturn is known as the lord of karma – and this includes karma from past lives. He often gets a really bad press, and is traditionally known in astrology as the “greater malefic” – though I think this is because in general, a lot of people have accumulated bad karma given our materialistic view of life, and also have swallowed the kool-aid of easy, instant gratification without the sweat that goes into attaining something truly worthwhile. Yet Saturn also stands for industriousness and productivity, self-discipline, self-restraint, and that beautiful (and painful) awareness of our limited time on earth, our mortality, making us appreciate and make the most of what time we do have left.”
So to me, it is important to understand that while the Age of Aquarius does herald changes towards a new paradigm shift, these are fundamentally under the rulership of those Saturnian keywords: work (often hard work), responsibility, duty, obligations, structures, karmic lessons, and the limits of time. It does not necessarily mean oppression, however, unless your idea of life is one big party devoid of responsibility, including our collective responsibility towards our one and only Earth.
For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, Saturn will enter Aquarius shortly, on 17 December 2020, where it will stay until March 2023. It will be joined by Jupiter on December 22 (Southern Hemisphere), in what has been described as a “once in a lifetime show“. This conjunction will take place at 0 degrees Aquarius (and 29 minutes, to be exact). While this conjunction takes place every 20 years, this year it is the closest these planets will align in almost 400 years. So this should give us a nice injection of Aquarian energy to motivate our aspirations for the next year or so (Jupiter will leave Aquarius on 14 May 2021, however it retrogrades back into it at the end of July 2021 until the end of December 2021). It’s bound to be challenging, for Saturn constricts, and Jupiter expands, so when these two meet, tensions are bound to arise and require releasing. Saturn is in a strong position though, given as noted earlier that it is in the sign of rulership, Aquarius.
Aquarius: pouring the waters of our consciousness (Source: Stellarium)
The other notable transit, and one I consider very potent in its ability to manifest Aquarian ideals and vision, is the ingress of Pluto in Aquarius in March 2023. This will last until March 2043 (and again due to retrograde in September 2043 to January 2044), so we have a good couple of decades of deep transformations ahead on all Aquarian-related interests, such as science, technology, and humanitarian/social pursuits. Just as Pluto’s journey through Capricorn, which started in 2008, heralded big changes in all manner of Capricorn-related structures (banking comes first to mind – remember the GFC? – and it’s certainly not done yet!), so too its journey through Aquarius will bring changes that propel our collective human aspirations towards that Aquarian vision of a progressive society.
Of course, one might care to ask, just what does “progressive” mean? Is it just a blind faith in the “religion of progress”, as some have come to see our slavish devotion to technology at any cost (human and environmental), and the self-assured belief that “progress (technology) will find a solution” to whatever problems (usually created by us) befall us? My personal take is that ANY ideology removed from the roots of our connection to our Earth, and removed from the essence and the needs of our physical and spiritual existence here on Earth, is bound to fail, sooner or later. I think the Age of Aquarius will well and truly test our beliefs and limitations when it comes to progress, but also awaken within us our deeper potential as co-creators of a life that honours our source, the Earth, rather than destroy it.