|Saturn dominates Neptune|
Of course, we don't really want a contest between the two, we want them to work together to create a heavenly symphony. And to do that you need to be able to both listen to the angelic voices (Neptune) while putting in the years it takes to learn your craft (Saturn).
When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, it not only did so with the Sun
|Neptune dominates Saturn|
The above concerns the mundane Saturn-Neptune, the 2 planets operating in the world. The world, acting in the collective way it does, tends not to very conscious, the choices are very limited: that was why Germany pulverised Greece last week, forcing it into an impossible situation.
Mundane astrology and the events associated with it can be therefore quite illustrative of what happens to us on a personal level if we don't think we have choices under these transits: we become a mess with a Plutonian, Neptunian or Uranian flavour. (Greece is a Uranus-Pluto mess).
This Saturn-Neptune square particularly concerns you if you have Sun, Moon or an Angle between about 5 and 15 degrees of a mutable sign - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
If you are at the earlier end of that range, then Neptune will have been hard-aspecting you for maybe a few years by now.
Neptune and Pluto are the 2 big transformers: I'm not sure how much difference there is between them. They each tend to drag you through an underworld - one earthy, the other watery - and pull you apart then put you back together again, renewed: if that is what you want, of course.
You could say that with Pluto the emphasis is on becoming more real, more authentic. While with Neptune the emphasis is on ensoulment and redemption from suffering. There is a different feel to them, but maybe they still amount to the same thing. All astrology is doing, in a way, is providing appropriate myths at different points in our lives. And myths need not to be taken literally: they are stories that we intertwine with our lives to make sense of them.
So if you have been under Neptune's influence for the last few years, then the theme of your own suffering, and the need for redemption from it, may be writ large. Neptune dissolves. He dissolves the thick skin we often create just to survive: this is an unconscious process that occurs early in life. Unless you are lucky enough to have a functional upbringing!
And that thick skin turns into a habit, long after it has served its purpose. It is like a dog that guards us, he means well, but we no longer need to him to chase away visitors.
So Neptune slowly dissolves the skin that has, to a greater or lesser extent, become who we are, leaving us adrift, not knowing who we are any more, but open and porous to other influences - open, if you like, to the soul, in both a personal and transpersonal way. A Neptune transit is a time of messiness and hopelessness but also emotion and ecstasy.
Into this crucible steps Saturn. It is still a time to dream and wallow, but it is also a time to give form to those wallowings. If it was Saturn on his own, it would probably be time to find those forms, to sit down and work it all out and take action. But because Neptune is involved, there is also a strong element of opportunities presenting themselves, of the work you have always been 'meant' to do appearing.
Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul.
So this is the wider meaning, the wider context of Saturn-Neptune. Your problems have become problems - which they need not do, you see many people carrying on happily in the same old misery for their whole lives. And those problems can heal under Neptune, but also be the gateway to the transpersonal dimension that Jung describes.
Which makes me wonder, is there such a thing as healing without the 'transpersonal' dimension being involved? Neptune and the other outer planets would say no, you don't get healed without us, and that's because you are us, humans are transpersonal beings. And that dimension beyond the personal is the matrix that we become from, which is Neptune again. I meant to say 'come from', but the accidental 'become from' hits the nail on the head.
Problems, symptoms are more than just bits to be fixed so we can normalise. They are also calls from the depths of the psyche. A course of 6 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy on the NHS may well produce some temporary results (though the evidence is that it is becoming less effective), but the deeper turning about that is the real meaning of misery is a much longer process.
And this is reflected in the length of time that outer planet transits take. Yes, they may be most obvious when they are within a few degrees. But they begin a long time before that, maybe 15 degrees before the exact aspect. Deep transformations are slow and take many years, and you may not know you have been in one until you look back afterwards.
As human beings we have this capacity for deep change, if we are interested in it - or if it calls us, and leaves us with no choice. And it often begins with the wonky bits that may have tormented us all our lives. And for them to sort, we need to leave the duckpond in which we have grown comfortable and let ourselves be carried downstream to the sea. This is the soul journey of Neptune.
And as Saturn approaches a square to Neptune, that journey starts to take shape in the world, it unites inner and outer in a synchronistic manner. The separation into subject and object, self and world, is basic to everyday, coping consciousness. But under Saturn-Neptune we get glimpses of an underlying unity, "the vison of a living, intelligent, conscious Cosmos in which all aspects of life are related to each other." (The Dream of the Cosmos by Anne Baring).