Saturn in Pisces
As we inch closer and closer to Saturn’s ingress into Pisces (7 March, 2023), Katsushika Hokusai’s image Kanagawa oki nama ura, The Wave off Kanagawa, also known as The Great Wave haunts my waking and sleeping hours.
This was the image I stapled to a cubicle panel during my corporate days because the turbulent ocean reflected something of the inner turmoil I felt at that time…
Certainly I never saw Saturn in this image…that cold and dry planet that we associated with decay, delays and restrictions and yet…
There She is. Saturn in the blues. Saturn as Mount Fuji. Snow-capped. Serene. Steadfast.
Katsushika Hokusai was born on October 31, 1760, in Edo (present day Tokyo), Japan. He completed this iconic woodblock print in 1831 as part of a series called Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji. Hokusai created these Ukiyo-e prints as an act of devotion to his spiritual obsession, Mount Fuji and in doing so captured those elusive moments in nature - birds singing, water moving - and the daily lives of working people.
This genre of art usually centered around the indulgences and enjoyments of urban culture. The subject matter consisted of beautiful women, courtesans and celebrities. Hokusai helped changed the focus.
After Japan opened its ports to the western world in 1859, Hokusai's artwork immediately got famous and The Great Wave was sent out to Europe and America, where it was admired by famous artists like Van Gogh and Monet.
Hokusai began his most famous project at the age of 70 when progressed Saturn was conjunct his natal Saturn in Pisces.
“Everything I have done before the age of 70 is not worth bothering with.” - Katsushika Hokusai
Consider the image for a moment:
The Great Wave’s immense and menacing wave is stabilized by the perfect poise of Mount Fuji. Its snowy flanks are symbolically connected to the water via tiny white dots so that, thanks to Hokusai’s skill, the viewer is drawn to its far-away calm in the centre of the storm.
The waves representing Pisces threaten to engulf the fishermen in their pontoons with their claw-like crests. Pisces, as the most complex of the water signs, wants to simultaneously merge with everything (Neptune) and free itself of everything (Jupiter).
Water both gives and takes away. Water blesses and cleanses and nourishes but it also destroys. Water washes away the evidence, overwhelms the incautious and inexperienced and wipes plenty-a-slate clean.
So what is possible during Saturn’s cruise through Pisces?
All the things you see in The Great Wave. Generally speaking, water and earth signs will be supported by Saturn during this period (2023-2026), while fire and air signs may find holes in their pontoons. Saturn teaches valuable lessons while extracting her quota of pain and in Pisces, this pain is going to be emphatically emotional.
The major players will be SORROW and GRIEF. Sorrow at being disconnected from inner truth which will find many of us seeking spiritual answers outside of ourselves and either joining cults or deepening our faith to the point of fanaticism. And, grief.
*please refer to my recommended reading list below for help coping with grief
Saturn challenges us to TRANSCEND our present limitations and circumstances.
That said, you have a *very real* chance of manifesting a cherished dream and/or discovering/rediscovering a talent and honing that talent during this 3 year transit.
If you are addicted to any substance (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs) this is a dangerous transit. Saturn will demand sobriety but is not as powerful as Neptune who will be co-present and Neptune rules Pisces. The impulse to “disappear” or to “give up” is going to be strong. I urge you to seek the support you need to manage your addictions. Impose restrictions on yourself and your daily habit and you will start on the right foot with Saturn (see what I did there? :) no? Pisces rules feet).
Take up meditation and walk in Nature if you don’t do so already.
Rather than drowning in your emotions, you can learn to observe what is happening. Be the mountain. Because you are bigger than your emotions.
Read Tara Brach’s Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN and follow her on YouTube.
This leads me to the quality of equanimity.
The word equanimity comes from the Latin roots meaning “even” and “mind”. Our brain is designed to react one way or another so equanimity, according to neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson, is the circuit breaker. Equanimity separates feelings from cravings and demands. It’s a sense of impartiality to whatever arises. It is what it is.
When you are equanimous you don’t grasp after agreeable experiences and you don’t push against disagreeable experiences. I was reminded of this last week when the day after I announced I would be taking a social media break, I came down with a bad cold and wasn’t able to work on a project as planned. Equanimity is not apathy or indifference. You are present and aware of what is but not upset about it.
Astrologers study previous transits for clues on how the planet will impact the collective. Personally I enjoy looking at the physical incarnations of the planet in the sign because those lives are the teaching and the promise.
Hokusai was born with Saturn in Pisces. He fulfilled Saturn in Pisces’ potential of birthing the iconic and building the sacred. Everyone with Saturn in Pisces has the potential to create something worthy of veneration or of becoming “iconic” (like Keanu Reeves, Jane Fonda).
Icon - something worthy of veneration.
So what we have here is a powerfully creative transit. Pisces is after all, waves of inspiration and Saturn is the force that manifests and builds in the material world. I expect artists and writers who pay homage to Nature will thrive. This includes photography and music. You will do well to collect ideas from many sources and you should pay close attention to your dreams.
Saturn in the last sign of the zodiac will favour “older” people and those who embody learned wisdom (remember you do not have to be of a certain age to be wise).
Saturn will be in Pisces from March 7, 2023 through May 24, 2025, then from August 31, 2025 until Feb 13, 2026.
Now over to you, what is your Sun and Rising sign and are you looking forward to Saturn’s ingress into Pisces? What lesson/s were learned during Saturn’s journey through Aquarius?
For navigating grief…
Tiny, Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Dr J, Cacciotore
Hanson, Rick Ph.D. with Mendius, Richard, MD Buddha’s Brain
Cancer Rising and Leo Sun, Yolanda! Thank you for writing this post!