The Archetype of Saturn (and Its Shift Into Pisces)

Mar 08, 2023

As of March 7th, Saturn has officially moved into Pisces, marking one of the most important transits of 2023. Saturn is the planet of karma, hard work, maturity, character-building, discipline, responsibility, rules, government, and the father. Saturn is personally my favorite planet (next to the moon of course), though he is often frowned upon in the world of astrology. In my opinion, this is all the more reason to work with Saturn, as I believe that he mirrors collective and personal shadow, representing qualities we resist. 

Carl Jung believed that the world of mythology is more than just storytelling. Gods, mythical creatures, and the like are really just projections of our own psyches and reflect archetypes that exist within humankind. Let’s take a look at the archetype of Saturn and its expression in Pisces…

The Archetype of Saturn

Saturn was the Roman god of time, agriculture, wealth, and periodic renewal. His symbol (glyph) in astrology portrays the cross of matter and the crescent moon of soul, representing materialization of the intangible. This archetype is connected to the physical experience of human life. It creates structure, tangibility, and form where there is none, serving as a bridge between the ethereal and human realms. Saturn is also connected to the process of materialization, governing the work, discipline, and commitment it takes to ground a vision into reality.

Since Saturn is associated with the physical dimension, he is also connected to time. In fact, he is the Roman version of Kronos, Greek god of time. Saturn is a reminder that organic matter comes with an expiration date, measuring the quality of our time with our own demise. Many associate Pluto to death and rebirth without realizing that Saturn is also connected to death (it is believed that Saturn’s glyph represents the grim reaper’s scythe). In ancient alchemy, Saturn was the symbol for lead and linked to nigredo - an important phase of the ‘Great Work’ in which blackening, decay, and rotting was necessary for transmutation. In our spiritual evolution, it is Saturn that governs the timing of our individuation and personal transformations around shadow.

The ticking of time brings elements of responsibility, accountability, and consequence. Saturn teaches us that we must take responsibility for the creation of our realities, which requires character building. For this reason, this archetype is also connected to personal authority and the maturity to harness it wisely. Saturn reminds us that the inability to claim responsibility over our lives has consequences. It’s no wonder why Saturn is also associated with karma in astrology. As the god of agriculture, he reminds us that we reap what we sow - the harvest being symbolic of our karma. 

Saturn in Pisces 

This transit is fascinating, as these two archetypes are quite different in nature. 

Saturn in Pisces calls us to ground our dreams into reality. Pisces, a sign that lives in the ethereal realm, is rooted in pure imagination and fantasy where anything is possible. However, Saturn brings us down to earth from cloud 9, grounding us in the human experience. Saturn will slap us upside the head with reality, showing us what is truly needed to to alchemize the intangible (our fantasies) into the tangible (physical reality). Wherever Saturn in Pisces falls within the chart is where we need to cultivate responsibility, discipline, and commitment. 

Pisces is connected to the ethereal and spiritual dimensions, seeing through the lens of ‘oneness’. It exists beyond ego, and thus, it’s an archetype that doesn’t recognize boundaries. While Saturn is in Pisces, it’ll bring our awareness to where we need to create structure and form. This can look like creating boundaries in our relationships or cultivating discipline and structure in areas where we’d normally just go with the flow. It can manifest as building character through a spiritual practice, or finally materializing works of art that have only existed in our imaginations.

Saturn will also highlight karmic work in our personal charts and where we need to transcend. This placement can manifest in many other ways, such as character building around trust, compassion,  and letting go. This placement will also ask us to confront addictions, ranging from alcohol to social media. It will require us to take responsibility for where we are escaping reality instead of doing the work to transcend, and choose differently in order to change the course of our karmic unfolding. 

Saturn in Shadow Work

Archetypes hold mirrors up to our personas and shadows. It appears that Saturn is an archetype that tends to unveil people’s shadow sides, revealing our relationship to consequence, responsibility, time, limitation, commitment, and work. If moving from shadow, we can easily misinterpret limitation as personal inadequacy, and project this onto the Saturn archetype. So while Saturn is in Pisces, it’s important to understand that this doesn’t have to be about inadequacy, but rather where our potential has been limited. Saturn can also illuminate our beliefs and fears around taking responsibility, inviting us to transcend any shame, blame, or guilt that we project onto claiming our role in the creation of our realities. Saturn can show us where we resist commitment, highlighting where we may hold ourselves back in fear. It can illuminate our beliefs around death and racing against the clock, manifesting in our disdain of aging bodies. Saturn can create consciousness around how we relate to the father archetype, as well as the patriarchy, and so much more…

There are so many ways that Saturn can highlight shadow within us. While it’s moving through Pisces, this is an opportunity for spiritual transcendence. To see the shadow as an opportunity for getting closer to spirit, unconditional love, and oneness. To take responsibility for RISING ABOVE ego and where we limit ourselves out of surivival mentality. In tarot, Saturn rules the devil card, symbolizing the ways in which ego keeps us in the prison cells of our own making. This card also reminds us liberation is on the other side once we take ownership that we are the ones with the key. We are the ones that take responsibility for and commit to our freedom.

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