Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn – breaking down and building up


On 12 January 2020 we arrive at a new era with the epochal conjunction of transiting Saturn and Pluto both at 22°46′ of the sign of Capricorn. This conjunction only occurs once approximately every 33-38 years, with the last one being in the sign of Libra at 27° and 28° in 1982-1983 which was the final stage of the Cold War in the Reagan era.

The last time this aspect occurred in the sign of Capricorn was in 1518 which marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg Church, Germany, having the moral fortitude to challenge the authoritarian ideology of the Catholic Church.

While we are again experiencing a new beginning with the start of a new synodic cycle between these two planets, it is also marks the ending of a cycle; and both planets represent endings – the elimination (Pluto) of the structures (Saturn) that have been outworn.

Saturn is in his home sign, strengthening his energy, while we have been working with Pluto’s evolutionary energy in Capricorn since 25 January 2008. Have a look at your House (area of life) position to see where this aspect falls for you (listed below). If you don’t have your birth chart, you can go to the free site and insert your birth details – date / place / time of birth to find out.

People most challenged by this transit will have personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and/or Mars) or important angles (Ascendant (1st house)/Descendant (7th house), or, IC (4th house)/MC (10th house) axes or cusps at around 19°-25° of the Cardinal signs of Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn. To assist in dealing with this deep, heavy energy, we may look to Capricorn’s polar sign of Cancer to nurture, emotionally care for, support, bond with and protect each other.

The symbolism of Saturn:

Saturn rules constraint, constriction, restriction and contraction. It is associated with structure, hierarchy, boundaries, limits, discipline and time. He is known as ‘Father Time.’ For the ancients, Saturn was literally ‘the end of the line;’ the last of the visible planets. He rules closure, maturity, responsibility, authority, commitment, order, duty and our material reality.

The symbolism of Pluto:

Pluto is Lord of, and rules the Underworld; the ‘hell realms.’ He also rules intensity, obsession, willpower, power struggles, transformation, and the death-rebirth and regeneration cycle. It is where we go into the depths to uncover the ‘shadow,’ and any secrets, to be brought to the surface for catharsis, purging or release. This ending will be final, dead. ‘Clear the decks, make way for new beginnings’ could be the motto here. With Pluto, it’s time to ‘let go and let God,’ as Pluto’s influence will not let up until we do.

The symbolism of Capricorn:

Capricorn is one of the signs associated with the Earth element of groundedness and practicality. It is connected with being serious, conservative, traditional, mature and organised. Ruling the natural 10th house (if we use the flat chart starting at 0° Aries for the Vernal Equinox), it rules material ambition and can be cautious, steady, productive and professional, having a focus on status, social standing and respect in reaching career and other worldly aspirations. At a broader level it rules governments and large corporations and institutions.

Saturn and Pluto together:

Pluto breaks down existing conditions so that new ones can emerge. Saturn wants to hold on to what is traditional, the past. However, from the ashes of Pluto’s breakdown, destruction and collapse, we will need to rebuild and restructure, just as the Phoenix rises. The new may not be known for a while, and we may be feeling a lot of fear, anxiety and uncertainty while the dust settles and a new order evolves, and that’s okay. Be in the dark and trust the process. We will be in the rebuilding phase from the seeds of a new beginning and dawn.

This aspect can bring a great degree of pressure and tension to bear and asks us the following:

  • where have we reached our limits? This means both in a personal and collective way. Is this the peak and end of material growth and the types of governments and corporations as we know them?
  • what boundaries do we need to enforce? What behaviour are we willing to accept in our lives, or not? Where do the potential redrawing of boundaries and power alliances need to occur?
  • where will the harvest lie; bearing the fruits of our actions from the last cycle? (The glyph or symbol for Saturn is shaped like a sickle – the tool that reaps).
  • where do we need to reclaim our power and control as a result of doing the psychological depth or inner work, creating a more evolved version of ourselves, pushing through blocks and creating stronger structures?

We therefore may need to descend and delve into our pasts, digging up or excavating our repressed childhood experiences to bravely face them, and reclaim parts of the self that have been split off. We emerge with self-empowerment, ready to climb the mountain(s) which are suitable for each one of us, and each one of us alone. Be resolute and determined in forging your path to the pinnacle as author of your own life.

At a global level we could be witnessing the end of neoliberal ideology, having reached the peak and limits of materialism, free trade, deregulation of financial markets and the emphasis on privatisation. Structures thought to be secure (along with our personal identities) will be shaken to the core and rebuilt from the foundations up if the current structures (or our identities) are no longer serving. For example, large-scale institutions such as banks have already been undergoing a slow process of breaking down (remember the GFC in 2008, and here in Australia we have recently had a Royal Commission into the banking industry).

Jupiter in Capricorn

We may need to do more with less during 2020, especially as Jupiter in conservative Capricorn (in his Fall position) is bringing up the rear of this conjunction (currently at 9° Capricorn), assisting in ‘trimming the fat,’ simplifying our lives and being more minimalist, after the energy of excess during his recent transit of his home sign of Sagittarius (please see more here:

However he will also bring opportunity, bounty and abundance if we do the hards yards or ‘growing pains’ required in facing our demons with courage.

What house (area of life) does this Saturn Pluto conjunction fall in in your chart:

1st house: Self-image when reaching out into the world.

2nd house: Managing physical resources and money. Our innate skills and talents, and what is of value to us.

3rd house: Expressing ideas, more depth in the way we think, and in our communication patterns. Taking a short course, changes in neighbourhood and more short trips.

4th house: Home – endings and beginnings regarding the home environment, renovations, family interactions.

5th house: A new hobby, or you could be involved with children. A new romance could eventuate.

6th house: Transformations in day-to-day work and routines, diet and exercise.

7th house: One-to-one relationships. Changes in partnerships, either personal or business.

8th house: Connecting in relation to emotional intimacy. Issues may also arise around the areas of death, inheritances, wills, taxes, and legal issues with joint monies, property or other shared resources.

9th house: Travel or a move overseas for higher learning purposes (university, religion, philosophies).

10th house: Restructure in career and social position; career move, change in public standing, and/or your vocation.

11th house: Networks and connections as part of a group or community. Deepening friendships and social connections.

12th house: Commune and deeply connect with your inner self. Start a meditation routine, study tarot or the metaphysical realm.

  • Reply

    What I find amazing about this conjunction is how the Sun, Mercury and Ceres are involved. Of all the places to be, the Sun transits Pluto and Saturn in the same degree! Shining a Light on the Darkness! And Mercury moves out in front, intelligence leading the way. And Pluto’s Mother-In-Law right there too, the Goddess of Nurture. This sounds like a very positive beginning to the New Age of Aquarius.

    Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Iranian regime were to fall on the 12th/13th?

    • Reply

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for your comment. Lots of heavy Capricorn energy, and things coming to light! Looking forward to the more humanitarian era kicking off with the Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Aquarius on 21 December 2020. Best regards, Michelle at Astrology Works

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