Saturn opposite Uranus:

Break-up, Breakdown and Breakthrough


From November 2008 until July 2010, Saturn and Uranus

are opposite each other five times. Let's consider these energies.


Many readers will be aware of numerous predictions concerning the years ahead, made by scientists, economists, visionaries and politicians of all persuasions. This and forthcoming articles will provide a celestial ‘road-map’ to help you navigate your own personal journey through this period. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen, a quote from Dane Rudhyar serves to remind us that ‘Events do not happen to people – people happen to events’.  Rudhyar is sometimes considered the ‘Father’ of modern Western astrology, which emphasizes the participation of our own consciousness in what occurs in our lives, as grist to the mill of our awakening.


Uneasy Neighbours


Saturn is the last of the visible planets, and its rings symbolise Saturn’s association with form, shape, boundary, and manifestation; he ‘rules’ structure on all levels, like the skeleton of the body, or the laws which enables a society to function. Saturn is the Preserver. Uranus, the next furthest away, was the first planet discovered through mathematical and technological means, and indeed is associated with the technological revolution, which has flowered in this current Saturn/Uranus cycle. Uranus is ‘The Awakener’, bringing revolution.


Saturn rules ‘what is already there’, tradition, lineage, the past, while Uranus is associated with radical change, often through apparent discontinuity, disruption and breakdown. Like the lightning bolt striking the Tower in the Tarot cards, Uranus turns upside-down our expectations, aspirations and established patterns. The poles of Uranus are tilted almost at right-angles to the plane of the ecliptic, so if you can imagine standing on the Sun and looking out towards Uranus, what you would see looks like a giant eye looking at you! This illustrates beautifully Uranus offering new perspectives and possibilities, and challenging our assumptions and habits. We look afresh, and everything changes ….




The energies of Saturn and Uranus are naturally ‘at odds’, so what does it mean for them to be also ‘in opposition’? In astrological terms, this aspect occurs as two planets line up exactly opposite each other, often bringing conflict and opposition. However, the tension of this aspect seeks resolution through awareness rather than action.

First, let’s lay out the time-line. (1)


PLANET and ASPECT                     DATE                       POSITION


Sat         D                                                     2 May 2008                     01°Vi40' D        

Ura        R                                                      26 Jun 2008                     22°Pi39' R        

Sat         Opp       Ura                                    4 Nov 2008                     18°Vi57' D      18°Pi57' R

Ura        D                                                     27 Nov 2008                   18°Pi44' D        

Sat         R                                                      31 Dec 2008                    21°Vi45' R        

Sat         Opp       Ura                                    5 Feb 2009                      20°Vi39' R         20°Pi39' D

Sat         D                                                     16 May 2009                   14°Vi55' D        

Ura        R                                                      1 Jul 2009                        26°Pi37' R        

Sat         Opp       Ura                                    15 Sep 2009                    24°Vi42' D         24°Pi42' R

Ura        D                                                     1 Dec 2009                      22°Pi42' D        

Sat         R                                                      13 Jan 2010                     04°Li38' R        

Sat         Opp       Ura                                    26 Apr 2010                    28°Vi46' R         28°Pi46' D

Sat         D                                                     30 May 2010                   27°Vi50' D        

Ura        R                                                      5 Jul 2010                        00°Ar35' R       

Sat         Opp       Ura                                    26 Jul 2010                      00°Li24' D         00°Ar24' R

Ura        D                                                     5 Dec 2010                      26°Pi40' D        

The dates mentioned need not be considered as ‘The Day When Something Will Happen’, but rather as markers within a process which can be discerned thoughout the period detailed above. Attunement to the planetary energies will readily reveal a gradual intensification from at least a week beforehand, and then tailing off quite quickly after the date listed. Note what the Universe brings in the run-up to the dates mentioned, as this can indicate the currents at work in a situation, and thus show the way forward.

The ‘opposition’ is the half-way point in the cycle of two planets, and the current Saturn/Uranus cycle began in 1988. You may notice themes returning from this time, asking for closure, further development, or review. Light is shed on our life-path thus far: we pause, re-consider, re-orient and continue. Typically, we are asked to share, spread, release and disseminate the energy gathered over this period. Appreciating what we have built or gained is important during this pause in the momentum. The period from July 1999 until May 2000 may also come to mind, when Saturn and Uranus were also in challenging aspect. Perhaps a crisis revealed the consequences of initiatives begun in 1988, and forced a shift in perspective or change of direction. In 1988, the beginning of the current cycle, Saturn and Uranus were conjunct in late Sagittarius. This zone of the zodiac is where the Galactic Centre is located, and where Pluto has been travelling in recent years - see my article in the Pluto section on this website for further information.

The opposition is an aspect that can also be revealed interpersonally, where one person becomes ‘The Preserver’ and the other takes the megaphone in support of ‘The Revolution’! From a Saturnian point of view we feel ‘If it works, why fix it?’ but from a Uranian point of view change is exciting and unleashes new energy. If you find yourself in a stand-off, it might help to remember that the process has archetypal roots, reflected in this planetary line-up. Don’t be too intent on agreement or consensus, as it might not be possible at this time. Agreeing to differ in a heartful way and to wait and see what happens is a good aspiration. The reconciling ‘3rd position’ may take time to appear, but is often worth waiting for.

The prelude


Returning to the current period, although the exact dates listed start in November 2008, in fact Saturn and Uranus were already within range of each other during December 2007 and January 2008. This was a period of heightened energies and stresses, burgeoning creativity and new ideas, new inspiration and endeavours. By mid-February 2008, however, their contact dispersed, possibly leaving problems to be sorted out, frustrations to be overcome and the re-ordering of the chaos that had been generated by the heightened activity levels! All being well, we have recently had time to reflect and re-organise, in preparation for when the energies of Saturn and Uranus begin to re-engage around the end of September 2008, prior to the opposition in November.

And forthcoming …


From October 2008 until March 2009, Saturn and Uranus will engage intensely. However, be aware that the sequence still has a way to go, and try not to ‘push the river’! This period favours awareness over action, and unless circumstances open easily, over-effort can result in see-sawing energies which bring chaos! When confronted with ‘impossible choices’ or deadlocks, perhaps back off, let go and wait rather than forging ahead in full battle-gear. During May/June 2009 there is another period of re-grouping and re-thinking, and from September 2009, Pluto gradually joins in, bringing in more focus on action. By then, certain parameters may be clearer, and what needs to happen more obvious.

Do remember ....

that with this combination of Saturn and Uranus, a revolution in your perceptions and your thinking may be looking to happen. Try and give space for this, rather than filling your time and your field of awareness with things that don't directly concern you, or concern the unknown future. For it is in the moment that our Awakening occurs, and we can be responsive to the currents of the new which reach us from our own future. This is not a time to be swamped by what is going on 'out there', in the world. Although we are in no way separate from 'the world', our own 'position' in it is important. It is our receptivity to the inner promptings of the new which settle the soul. Ask for this and know that you are part of a great wave of Awakening.



(1) In the table above, the dates marked either ‘R’ or ‘D’ are turning points in the planet’s movement:

  • R means the planet is appearing to turn to reverse motion
  • D means it is resuming forward motion.

The period of R (Retrograde) motion favours the inner dimensions of soul work, when it is wise to prepare, watch and wait. The consequences of past actions come to either help or hinder one’s progress, internally and externally. By contrast, periods of Direct motion (D) are usually auspicious for forging ahead, making decision and initiating action. The Way opens for us and action contemplated during the Retrograde period becomes possible.