Saturn in Pisces Comprehensive Analysis
Below you will find a comprehensive analysis of the Saturn in Capricorn natal placement. Read this and re-read it if you have to. Upon a firm understanding of the study, you will have completed the final step of our Four Part Study to Mastering your Saturn Return! If this is the first page you have landed on my site, then please visit the homepage if you would like a brush-up on the Saturn Return. This will take you to the 1st step of the 4 step plan to mastering the Saturn Return. Step 2 provides you with an understanding of your 1st Saturn Return and 2nd Saturn Return.
Issues facing Saturn in Pisces
If you were born with Saturn in Pisces, the issues during your Saturn Return will be about mental illness, depression, suicide (not necessarily yours), sacrifice, surrender, isolation, judgment, psychicism, dreams, art, and music.
Your life will force you to be more compassionate
Life circumstances force people born with this placement to gain expertise in emotional understanding, compassion, and caring for those less fortunate. This is a lifelong dynamic and may be especially acute during the Saturn Return. Spiritual understanding is promised at birth, but comes only after you have silenced irrational fears and learned to discipline your imagination.
Natives with this placement often find themselves working towards the care or education of others, typically in institutional settings such as health care systems, universities, or established religions. Sometimes they find their way to the arts, creating elaborate worlds of fantasy, like JJ Abrams, J.K. Rowling, Jim Henson, Dan Brown, Nicholas Sparks, and Daphne DuMaurier, who all share this placement.
Be sensitive up to a point
Critical to someone with Saturn in Pisces, and something likely to be key in the Saturn Return, is setting boundaries and limits on your sensitivity. Without this, mental health issues drag you down.
You must work out how much “oneness” you should feel, particularly with people who are suffering. If you do this too much, they will pull you right down with them. If you do it inappropriately, they will take you for everything you’re worth (gullible). And if you stop doing it entirely, you will lose your soul. Generally speaking, your purpose in life is to get less psychic and “loving” and become more detached, critical, and factual without losing your compassion.
Many Saturn in Pisces are prone to vulnerable situations
Many with Saturn in Pisces get into a type of situation where they are duped, swindled, or bamboozled out of money, possessions, etc. Or they wake up one day to find out their boyfriend is married and has three kids. Another astrologer told me of a client with this placement who used to have her neighbor over regularly to visit. She complained to him about stuff that was getting stolen from her apartment while she was away and asked him to keep an eye on her place when she was out. Of course, it was revealed later that it was him doing the stealing. This is not unusual for Saturn in Pisces people.
Serve or Suffer
Saturn in Pisces bodes a “serve or suffer” lifetime. The problem is that somehow you may actually feel that you caused suffering or that you are responsible for bearing the burdens of others. Wisdom and maturity help you understand what is yours and what is not. Ultimately, each must bear his own. Your sympathy is almost saint-like and does give others relief and strength. Just make sure you don’t “take it on.” By the same token, do not abdicate your own moral authority.
You may be prone to romanticizing things, and it is hard to crash down into reality, which one must from time to time. Although you are a very, very strong person, you can be led down the garden path and will often fall for sob stories, hopeless cases, and the like. Your whole life begins to change when you sober up and develop a healthy skepticism about most people’s motives. The first step is cultivating objectivity.
A soft touch and gentle heart
You are the soft touch, the gentle heart, the soul connection, but you must learn to see the connection between the hardship in people’s lives and their responsibility in creating it. You may have to learn that you can’t save someone from themselves. We go alone before God, and it is wrong to take hostages. All the great teachings tell us this. No wonder so many mystics and religious figures, including Jesus (using the historical birth date), were born under this transit. This includes Pope Francis, Edgar Cayce, the current Dalai Lama, Werner Erhard, and P.D. Oespensky.
You will deal with a great deal of Sadness
Someone with Saturn in Pisces has chosen a lifetime of dealing with a great deal of sadness. Even those Saturn in Pisces people who are very successful usually have a taint of tragedy about them. Whether it’s an early death, a la Buddy Holly, Jeff Buckley, Kurt Cobain, Bobby Darin, Carolyn Bissette Kennedy, Adam Yauch, Dag Hammerskjold, or Claus von Stauffenberg. Or, whether it’s an association with emotional suffering and mental instability. Examples are Mary Todd Lincoln, Andrea Yates, and Sinead O’Connor.
Then, there is a public excoriation, such as Rodney King’s beating and Woody Allen’s child abuse allegations; leading a people doomed to generations of injustice no matter what you do (Mahmoud Abbas); overseeing the Holocaust (Adolf Eichmann); or watching a bomb explode at your concert, killing young fans who paid to hear you sing and see you dance (Ariana Grande). Saturn in Pisces folks are associated with catastrophe of one kind or another. Yet despite the great sadness which engulfs you, you must not fall into despair. The suffering that surrounds you may be debilitating and make you not want to care or try anymore, but you must not lose faith.
A chance for self-destruction
If you do fall into darkness, you may just self-destruct. Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey, Jr., Barry Bonds, and Anthony Weiner are all with Saturn in Pisces. And they are stunning examples of how to derail a successful career with poor judgment (note also the role that drugs and alcohol can play in this process). Pisces rules the 12th house of hidden enemies, a reminder that one’s most dangerous enemy lies very close to home.
At their best, people born with Saturn in Pisces come to deep insights about the human condition. And they come to deep insights with what it means to be a human being distinct from other human beings. It’s not unusual for these folks to ride the see-saw of isolation and transcendentalism. Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman being two famous examples of this dynamic.
You might even put Karl Marx in this category. Marx spent so many years of his life alone in the British library thinking deeply about the human community. John McCain, Hannah Arendt, and Jean-Paul Sartre were all born under this transit. And, they spent time as prisoners of war (so did many of their cohorts, obviously). Whether the confinement and isolation is chosen or enforced, the experience clarifies and distinguishes for the native both what it means to be connected to humanity and what it means to be separate from other human beings — and how this results in human suffering.
A Desire for Security
With Saturn in Pisces, earth and water combine, creating the desire for security. There is often an exchange made between material and emotional well-being. In the most perverted cases, the individual goes to incredible extremes in a misguided attempt to create security by destroying enemies, both real and imagined, living in a state of constant paranoia. It’s not a conincidence that so many people associated with the great purges of the modern era were born under this influence: Robespierre, Josef Stalin, Adolf Eichmann, Francois Duvalier, and Bachar Al-Assad. These are names literally synonymous with terror.
The search for this kind of “security” is a misunderstanding of the soul’s yearning. It may seem that material success or a type of law and order will bring peace, where, in reality, the security one longs for is achieved through the reliable emotional attention of a sensitive and devoted partner. The Saturn in Pisces person feeds on emotional communication and starves if not involved in an active love relationship. There may even develop a connection between emotional well-being and eating or not eating. Emotional deprivation may feel like malnourishment or, worse, starvation, which will trigger survival instincts such as compulsions and addictions (sex, food, exercise, work).
A great capacity to make order out of chaos
If used well, the energy of Saturn to make everything orderly, neat, concrete, and predictable combines easily and beautifully with the fantasy-prone and idealistic nature of Pisces. Sir Isaac Newton‘s work exemplifies this kind of harmony. Using his intuition and imagination (Pisces), he uncovered the laws of physics which govern the universe (Saturn). In your own life, daily rituals, routines, or religious rites may become an example of this harmonizing. They can reduce the apparent chaos in the universe to natural laws which you feel you can master and manipulate, giving you a feeling of control and safety.
Finding a balance between the rigidity of Saturn and the vagueness, flexibility, and idealism of Pisces may cause some difficulties in developing beliefs by which to govern your behavior. Jean-Paul Sartre, born under the transit of Saturn through Pisces, spent a lifetime pondering deeply this very notion. What does it mean to live in a world knowing we are not made in the image of God? We are condemned to be free (following the logic that there is no template for good behavior if there is no God), and at the same time left alone without excuse, Sartre came to realize. There’s really no more profound statement of the Pisces experience. We are alone and yet we are connected in our suffering.
A penchant for individuality
In that way, Pisces energy revolves around this idea of individuality (very different from the Aries-Libra struggle with individuality). What does it mean to be part of the universe and yet at the same time a part from it? And what does it mean to be free and yet have no exit from one’s self? What does it mean to isolate oneself from others? Anyone with a strong Pisces signature in their chart will have at the very least toyed with the idea of removing herself from society for a short period of time (Henry David Thoreau) or permanently (suicide). Surely hell is other people, but it is only other people that make us human. Therein lies the rub.
Philosophical dilemmas can challenge the Saturn in Pisces
The lofty philosophical dilemmas might crystallize most obviously in an individual’s life in the form of issues of personal responsibility. Adolf Eichmann and Hannah Arendt were both born with Saturn in Pisces. And they were the key figures in a dramatic historic trial of the 20th century which revolved around this very issue. The trial resulted in Arendt’s articulating, in the form on commentary on Eichmann’s culpability in the Holocaust, what moral responsibility an individual serving in a large organization bears for actions carried out by the group one serves.
Adolf Eichmann was an up and coming SS officer given the duty of studying “Zionist and Palestinian questions” in 1937 as his first Saturn Return came to a close. As persecution of the Jews escalated from segregation to deportation to annihilation, something happened. Eichmann, who had a genius for logistics, organized each step, culiminating in responsibility for transporting Jews to the death camps.
Eichmann escaped Germany after the war and went in hiding in Argentina. He went only to tip his hand in a series of interviews in 1956. This is how he came to the attention of a reknown Nazi hunter (note the self undoing). In 1960, the Israelis sponsored an operation to capture him. And Eichmann was caught as he walked home from a bus stop returning from work. He was drugged and smuggled to Jerusalem to answer for war crimes.
An example in Nuremberg
The trial began in 1961. Whereas the Nuremberg trials, for expediency’s sake, had allowed for prosecuters to try the defendants en masse, Eichmann stood alone in answering for his crimes. Not only the defendent, but his crimes, too, were distinguished from Nuremberg as Eichmann’s trial treated the Holocaust as a discrete event. And ignored for the most part other war crimes which were central at Nuremberg.
The defendant and his counsel argued that Eichmann could not be held responsible for the catastrophe that befell European Jewry. That was the fault of Germany’s political leadership, they said. And they attempted to convince the judges that the defendant was not part of that group. The defense maintained Eichmann was present at important meetings only to take notes. They added that he was unable to disobey orders.
Eichmann was the only witness to testify in person for the defense. His sanity was questioned, not uncommon for someone with this Saturn placement. Though most laypeople were astounded at how normal the architect of mass murderer came across. Eichmann explained himself as “a man of average character with good qualities and many faults.” He testified over and over that throughout the Holocaust he was “just following orders.” He added that he was a “kleiner Mann” (little man), never a “first violin.” Rather, he argued he was a “small cog” in a big machine. Eichmann’s final plea was to respect his obedience. “It was not I who persecuted Jews with avidity and fervor; this was done by the Government. The whole persecution was carried out by the government, not by me.”
The coping by living with a split conscious
At his trial, Eichmann testified that he coped with implementing the Final Solution by living with a “split conscious.” Hannah Arendt, a German Jew, had already established her reputation as a philosopher when she went to observe the trial. She wrote a book about what she saw, Eichmann in Jerusalem, in which she explained Eichmann’s behavior. Arendt explained in terms that complemented her already developed political theory. She saw him as someone whose terrifying character flaw was not a hatred of Jews. But rather an inability to judge. Eichmann’s biggest moral crime, according to her, was that he did not think. The Third Reich, Arendt argued, used language rules and concentration camps to relieve people of that burden.
Arendt devoted many pages of her book on the trial to the importance of language. She also devoted many to Eichmann’s great struggles with the German. She dissected this as a reflection of his thought process. “The longer one listened to him,” she wrote of Eichmann, “the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely to think from the standpoint of someone else.” This prevented real communication and reflection, she said, “because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.”
A habit of taking things personally
It is, astrologically speaking, the privilege of a water person, a Pisces, for example, to take things personally. It’s their privilege to lack objectivity, to fail to think from the standpoint of someone else. But with Saturn in Pisces we see this as the wound, the weakness, the karmic point that must be healed.
Arendt and Eichmann were born only months apart. And like many others of that generation who both suffered through and perpetrated the crimes of the war, came into the world during a Saturn in Pisces transit. His first Saturn Return saw Eichmann rise in the Nazi bureacracy. This was while Arendt fled the wave of terror sweeping across Europe. By the second return, Eichmann was dead (he was executed just before his second return began). And Arendt had made a name for herself as a philosopher in America. Perhaps it was their shared natal placement which made Arendt feel she understood Eichmann better than the judges at the trial. The judges saw not the banality of evil, as Arendt called it, but an anti-Semitic monster.
While the terms Arendt used to analyze the Holocaust and individual responsibility are not the ones traditionally associated with astrological analysis, they in fact reflect the same mystical concepts. For instance, in discussing Anton Schmidt, who helped the Jewish underground in Poland for five months before he was found out, arrested, and executed, she wrote.
The simple lessons to take away from this Saturn in Pisces story
The lessons of such stories are simple and within everybody’s grasp. The lessons are that under conditions of terror most people will comply but some people will not. This was just as the lesson of the countries to which the Final Solution was proposed is that ‘it could happen’ in most places, but it did not happen everywhere. Humanly speaking, no more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a fit place for human habitation.
Arendt argued that different viewpoints and plurality contributed to good judgment. She argued the great danger of the 20th century was a totalitarian regime which silenced dissent. She warned of a new kind of criminal, preoccupied with personal and domestic affairs. One willing to sacrifice a great deal to protect his private life. And capable of evil by building a bulwark against outside opinion and compartmentalizing his actions until the correlative between reality and thought was so obscured as to call sanity into question. Arendt praised the individuals who retained their moral autonomy — their sanity if you will — and did not conform.
The trial of a Nazi for war crimes probably seems as far from your life as you could possibly imagine. Yet your Saturn Return is likely to raise issues that echo these themes. Take heed of Arendt’s warning. Do not run away and shut out the world (for long, anyway). Think. See things from someone else’s perspective (and distinguish this from feeling their pain). Stay intimately and lovingly connected to another person. These are the basis for sound judgments.
You are here to inspire others to decency
You are here to remind everyone else what it means to be a decent human being. And you can do that by quitting life, shunning society, self-destructing — or developing the objectivity that allows you to be yourself while staying connected to other people. What’s it going to be?
The Saturn Return will challenge you to prove your sound judgment (see things from other people’s perspectives and set good boundaries), to find or keep a love relationship (with a real live less-than-perfect human being), and may test your faith in yourself and your fellow man. Do not fail those tests, my friend. The consequences are disastrous, not just for you — for the rest of us, too.
There’s a lot riding on your shoulders. I know it’s a bum deal, but woe be unto those who slouch because we are all counting on you to hold up your end. Stay involved with another person who loves you, think objectively, and exercise your own good judgment. If you are ever not sure what to do, or want to give up and drop out, or think you might crack up and go crazy, reread that previous sentence. It’s all that’s required of you — no more and no less — and all that’s required for the world to remain a fit place for human habitation.