Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Saturn and Life Stages (or Pluto square Pluto)


July 29, 2005


Hi Eric,


Your latest column states that "Jackie Robinson suffered from diabetes, which is often about a lot." Love your column -- very educational. You mentioned in your article on Saturn and Leo that at 35 you experience Saturn square. What exactly is this and what can it mean for the likes of me who has just entered their 35th year?


Hope to hear from you.


Kind regards





Hi Back Lorraine,


At about 35 years old, transiting Saturn makes a square to its natal position. That's to say, it takes Saturn 29 years to go around the zodiac, so at 29-30 (as copiously detailed in many replies) there is the Saturn return. Then after about seven more years, it's a quarter of the way around the second time; you get a kind of "first quarter" aspect called the Saturn square (properly, "Saturn square Saturn").


You had this when you were seven years old, and it was, at that time, one of the most important aspects of your life. That's when little kids seem more like big kids, when adult teeth start coming in, and when certain mental patterns of adulthood begin to become apparent. You might want to check in with that earlier time in your life.


When it happens again at 35, it's not usually the most profound transit in the world, but of course, if your chart has many planets around that range of degrees, then you will have more transits. But the Saturn aspects, which occur in approximately seven year intervals, are at least meaningful and useful and sometimes quite challenging. None, however, rivals the first Saturn return at 29 for impact or productivity.


However, around the age of 35, something else happens, called the Pluto square Pluto aspect. Called the "Pluto square" by most astrologers, it's a transit that astrology takes for granted now without understanding quite as fully as it might, and this one comes with a major evolutionary shift -- it's often a time of getting a lot of personal work done, or a time of intense personal crisis. To say the least, it's a time of awakening, and of cleaning up what's left from the growth work of the Saturn return.


The simultaneous occurrence of the Saturn square and the Pluto square is a really good example of multiple transits, which I addressed a few weeks ago. Important transits almost always seem to come in groups, providing resources and opportunities to work things out on multiple levels.


In a sense, the Pluto square one of the first major life passages after full adulthood is reached at the Saturn return, and it has a fairly deep sense of ending and beginning. Remember that it's the first and usually only stressful aspect that Pluto makes to its own position, since we would not have our Pluto opposite Pluto aspect till we were well past 100 years old. (Typically, we feel the aspects on the 90-degree harmonic a lot more than the others; but that's why we have astrology -- to show us when times are good, so we can do something with them, and to point out the benefits of the stressful times as well.)


Here is an interesting fact about the Pluto square that I have not read anywhere else. If you were born (for example) on Jan. 1, 1930, you would not have your Pluto square until the fall of 1978, at the age of 48, and it would continue until the age of 50. As the decades after the 1930s progressed, the Pluto square happened earlier and earlier, because Pluto's speed through the zodiac increased. Now it happens about as young as is possible, in relatively young adulthood.


From a spiritual standpoint, this means that we are dealing with the effects of Pluto, a planet that puts us in contact with our deepest motives, growth needs and evolutionary process, much earlier. Of course, Pluto was discovered in 1930 and the energy did not have a name, astrologically, and it took a long time for it to sink into the astrological community how meaningful Pluto was.


Fair to say that people born in the 30s and 40s don't necessarily have an idea of what it means to be young now, at least from the standpoint of Pluto, because they had their Pluto square so much later.


This is a very similar effect as Chiron, where for some generations a particular transit (such as the Chiron square) can occur at seven years old, and for others, at 22 years old. It's a little less dramatic with Pluto, but there is most definitely a generational effect and it is certainly era-defining in terms of what people of a similar age group go through at a given time.