Saturn Enters Libra and Encounters Pluto!

Posted on October 29, 2009
Posted by Jim Sher

With Saturn entering Libra today, it’s a good time to begin the discussion of what this means along with the square it will make to Pluto. Saturn entered Libra at 10:09am PDST on October 29th. Although this will not end Saturn’s influence in Virgo (Saturn does return to Virgo for one more little visit from April 8, 2010 – July 22, 2010), it does begin a very new cycle that will have many sub-cycles within it. Saturn in Libra operates well as it is considered to be in “exaltation” while in that sign. The reason for this is that Libra and Saturn represent principles of justice, true fairness and an as objective as possible examination of any issues of importance. It also seeks to understand both sides of any area of concern. In addition, it also brings forward issues of reaping what has been sown. This becomes especially true when it squares Pluto.

You will be hearing a lot from me about the Saturn square Pluto transit in the coming year. It will happen three times and begin fully on November 15, 2009. In a few words this transit rules the principles of cutting to the bone, being forced to see things as they are in a sometimes ruthless way and to rid oneself from all ‘unnecessary’ or inauthentic aspects of one’s life. This can be one of the more harsh transits for in its worst form, the rigidity of Saturn meets the forceful nature of Pluto, so that all the forces that resist change become willing to fight ruthlessly or block all efforts to reform what is outworn and useless. It is just another transit that tends to polarize and make things more extreme. If you watch the news in the next few days you may see this in action.

It isn’t all negative by any means. Forces that call for real reform or even radical change will have to be heard during the next year. They will be forced on us as there will not be any choice. Having no choice but to face necessity is often a basic characteristic of this transit. Let me give you an example. While the financial pages of newspapers, magazines and internet sites are replete with articles on the unreasonable optimism about our economic state, the stock market itself went up today (Oct. 29) almost 200 points. How can this be? To many, it makes no sense. What appears to be happening is that there are two very contradictory astrological forces at work right now. On one hand, Saturn moves closer to its square to Pluto creating a sense that things are not as good as they seem and are about to become very negative as we are forced to face the truth of things are they are instead of how we want them to be. At the same time, Jupiter is returning to make its last conjunction to Neptune which will occur on December 21st. It is this transit that has created great hope and perhaps excessive optimism in our financial world. This is why this transit is often described as creating the bubble that bursts. It suggests then that over the next few months we may see the markets drop considerably as the optimism is replaced with the need to be real and face facts.

Of course, in human behavior, we often see that the mass consciousness reacts in extremes. We can go from crazy optimism to feelings of dread and fear so fast it can make our head spin. Both of these conditions are out of whack, of course, but often this is how things work, especially in economics and politics. Irrational exuberance giving way to extreme pessimism does seem crazy, eh? But watch and see if this is what develops this fall and winter. We are beginning to see evidence of it already.

What I love about Saturn on Libra when I see it in a person’s chart is how concerned it is about the subtleties of relating. It has an understanding of the need for a ‘social contract’ between us which must exist for all of us as a society to get along and recognize how interdependent we are. This is where politics frustrates me. The debate between conservative – liberal is in some ways a false debate. Actually seldom is it a debate at all. But here is the point as I see it.

Every civilization must work out how it handles the relationship between oneself and others. It cannot be one side overcoming the other side, because both are necessary. There is a legitimate and important discussion to be had over the issues here for it is easy for one side to dominate the other. If a society significantly emphasizes individualism over the needs of the people as a group, we will get major problems and become unable to solve the issues of the day. And if the concerns of the society outweigh the needs of individuals, we get a growing sense of anger, frustration and resentment as individuals react to the excesses of the needs of the many and the inhibitions on personal freedom. There is a natural tension then between these two sides of a set. It is a good thing to be aware of this inevitable tension. And we would do well not to try to destroy one side of this set. First of all, it is impossible to do and secondly, it only makes things worse when we attempt it. We become stuck, completely stuck and totally unable to move. And this is where Saturn in Libra can give us hope, for it is in this sign where Saturn struggles to consciously work on this important dualistic set and to reconcile its opposites so we may experience its underlying unity.

However, my sense is that the Saturn square to Pluto will cause our politicians to be completely stuck as the two asides of this important set dig in their heels and cannot find a way to work with the set directly. And this is exactly how Pluto often works. It makes things worse so something can be seen and we are then forced to deal with it. So, what could happen is we become more and more stuck and unable to act on anything together, which will ultimately forces us to consciously grapple with the set itself. Then we can see how necessary it is for us as a society to find ways to act together when while  simultaneously still supporting and encouraging the individual to flourish.

Just as an aside, I think this is one of those things that I consider to be this nation’s biggest failure. Perhaps it is part of the growth of an immature nation. But what I despise about American politics is its rigid, dualistic nature that turns the other side into an enemy instead of just the other side of a broader set. Why can’t politicians see that there must be two sides just as there are two sides in every coin? Great debate and great discussion is what we need, where each perspective is seen as important and necessary. This is where true creativity lies. Perhaps the transits of Saturn in Libra will help us discover this and help us turn towards a more mature and constructive national discussion instead of the extremely polarizing debate(?) we see today. Let’s hope that we can begin a process of reconciliation and find ways to discover the underlying unity that exists in potentia as we need to accomplish this desperately.

Astrology Pluto Saturn
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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6 responses to “Saturn Enters Libra and Encounters Pluto!”

  1.' Lilith says:


    Both recent articles are beyond excellent – thank you. I have been up against needing to move domiciles, needing to get my roommate out (he is dragging his heels and I have accommodated much). I’m clearer about what I need to do and yet don’t always have the energy or voice to do it. These posts have helped immensely, first to understand that my confusion isn’t necessarily indicative of a weak will, and second to see that I actually am in touch with the Mars shadow element. Roommate is supposed to move out on Nov. 15 and has asked for yet another extension … now I understand it’s HIS resistance, that he is affected by this square as much as I am! Hah!! Duh. thank you!

  2.' Maureen says:

    Excellent article! I completely agree with you on the whole duality of American Politics and how we’ve actually worked against ourselves. I am curious to know how this will look; however, since we are human beings, and human beings have survived for thousands and thousands of years, I am convinced that there is nothing to fear. Just a reality check for us all and a lesson in what it means to be a spiritual being in a human experience. The Saturn Libra square Pluto in Capricorn is just a lesson, and one we need to fully embrace in a positive way.


    Maureen Cox

  3.' jen amo says:


    I am getting the double whammy, as I am having my 2nd Saturn return at 0 degrees of Libra…squaring Pluto ….lucky me. I can only guess how this will work out, but I find myself projecting negativity into the future. I will keep you updated as the dance will last for a long time. Love your articles, Thank you

    Jen Amo

  4.' Susan Hale says:

    Hello Jim,

    Thanks for your insights. Can you say a little about how this is going to affect the baby boomers who have Uranus in early Cancer who have had Pluto opposite Uranus and now will have Saturn squaring both sides of the opposition?

  5. Jim Sher says:

    To Cheryl:
    Great example of how one can use the energies of a difficult transit in a positive and benefical manner. Thanks!

  6.' Cheryl says:

    Hi Jim,
    I personally have been looking forward to Saturn going into Libra as it rules my midheaven with my south node there (reward for past effort) since I have a Taurus Moon I get what Pluto can do for me as it is the great disruptor and waits underneath where I have become stuck and rigid and Pluto is the organization out of chaos with the saturn hitting it. I know it will be an interesting time of growth for me having Uranus conjunct my natal Pluto as well and it has been hitting for the past year making major changes. But, change moves us to where we need to have growth and to have the experiences necessary for growth.

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