The planet of work, morality, responsibility and maturity came to the sign of the scales at the end of October for its more than 3-year trek.

Saturn is often called the task master, and in some circles the Greater Malefic. In my world, Saturn asks us to get realistic about what we’re up to and be willing to put in some dedication, time, and effort to accomplish something of value. In Virgo, there’s been an invitation to concretize our desire to serve something, to improve something. Maybe it was your actual duties in some arena of life, maybe it was your health. Whatever it was, you’ve been asked to do something to strengthen the Virgo part of you.

Moving to Libra, the focus shifts to fairness, harmony, equality, balance and justice. It’s not just that you’ll be asked a bunch of questions about what’s fair, etc., but that you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and, perhaps, get your hands dirty in the spirit of improving the Libra part of you.

Libra’s thought to be about fairness, etc., but it’s really about learning to create fairness and those other things. We have to consider sometimes contradictory sides of things and then make decisions that will be the best for all. When we Libra, we need to explore different kinds and levels of expression in order to find the right middle ground. So yes, Libra is all about our relationships! (You were waiting for that part, right?) They’re the laboratory part of our human course work where we learn about equality, harmony and all the rest. Libra knows itself in terms of another, and relationships are necessary for all of us to learn about ourselves.

Saturn here asks us to commit to a few or nine hundred course corrections regarding any excesses of our relating styles that leave us underserved. Successful Libra-ing means giving and taking, sharing and listening – notice that it’s not just about what we give, but also what we receive, and vice versa. Do you have relationships that are lopsided? If you’re not aware of it yet, you will be soon! And it’s not automatic that if you over-give at all, you always do. Where you find that you vary in your lopsidedness, understand that relationship reflects important things to you: What is it you perceive about the other person that makes you over- or under-give? If this is part of your experience, look to where you give away your power or, for any reason and wittingly or unwittingly, accept others’ power. Each are equally problematic.

Saturn sees things pretty black-and-white, and Libra does not. Saturn wants firm decisions and wants you to stick to them. Libra wants to check in with all interested parties and weigh things carefully – others are impacted by our decisions, after all. One pitfall during this transit as we explore more Saturnian ways of Libra-ing will be what looks, sounds, smells, walks and talks like some kind of tyranny. It’s one of the shadow sides of Libra (check the progression from kindness to manipulation to making demands to controlling others), and also one of the shadows of Saturn (totalitarianism – authority gone overboard). Just be aware of yourself and keep a feeling ear open for another who might bring something like this to you. With Saturn in this sign, you’ve got the planet of putting the brakes on things at your disposal. If it’s you bringing it, look at it. Recognize that it’s part of you, and walk your way through it with consciousness and a clear intention to learn something new about what it takes to create and maintain relationships. Know that you’re simply seeing what a part of may think is a good tool to use with others. And forgive yourself for it! Understand that we all have things like this in our shadow places. If it’s the other person, check to see if you’re being threatened. It’s more likely than not that you’re simply seeing a relationship-shadow side of someone, and you can lead him or her back to regular interaction. Also, if this tendency exists in someone, you’ll have been getting hints to it for a long time – keep your ears and heart open. And of course if you’re in danger, high tail it outta there ASAP.

Wherever Saturn goes it’s thought/felt that there’s a black cloud hanging over that spot. Saturn in transit asks hard questions, sometimes really hard ones. If we’re not seeing the questions put to us or refusing to entertain them, our experience of the transit can be hard. Actually, it can stink. A lot of us are headed for some challenges, so know going into this time that the experiences you have in relationship that are not fair, do not allow that you’re an equal, and do not create harmony are to show you what about how you create and maintain relationships is needing some attention. The benefit to Saturn work in Libra is deeper relationships with others and self (if you get that others are reflecting what’s up inside you), and more grounded and realistic approaches to relationship. And a bigger tool box, the contents of which will support you in all of your relationships going forward.

Saturn also brings the energy of limitation wherever it goes – what a downer, right? It might seem easier to NOT Libra during this transit, but trust me when I tell you that wherever you refuse to Libra when Saturn’s here, you’re not only not learning the lesson but unwittingly brewing some kind of Libran weather event that will pop later and yes, I mix metaphors. The second note on this is that this limitation business is about suppressing all that not’s necessary to the task at hand. The moment gets stripped of pleasantries because we have to talk about how one of us doesn’t listen to the other, for example. The Libran thing between us can get kind of serious with all the non-essentials stripped away, so it can benefit those willing to roll up those sleeves and get to work.

Maybe you’ll hear some hard truths from a loved one, a friend or lover. Maybe you’ll find yourself unable to avoid speaking a hard truth to someone in your life you care about. Be willing to deal with and in these hard truths, and you’re on your way to getting what Saturn is trying to open you to during this time.

Doing healthy Libra also means allowing that people disagree with each other. Libra can tend to be sheepish when conflict arises, as it’s the energy of trying to get everyone to just get along already. With Saturn transiting this sign, lots of us will be called to (but it will often look like being dragged into) address conflicts with friends and loved ones, and even people we do business with or don’t know (Libra as the sign of the other, we don’t know all the others around us, after all), learning that there are healthy ways to allow, admit, observe and resolve conflict. Compromise will be necessary, like always, but it will take on a feeling of greater importance with Saturn here.

A useful strategy during this transit will be to take some time when such conflicts arise. Take your time in considering your responses when handed something rough, and allow the other to take his or her time in the same way. Not everyone considers doing this, but it’s a great tool to add to your repertory while Saturn’s here. Saturn values what’s forged over time, what’s tended and nurtured over time, so you’re more likely to learn what it wants to teach you if you allow time to factor in all facets of relationship, especially the disagreements. This will be especially true for those of us who tend to avoid conflict, by the way – we all have to add the missing parts to our vocabularies at some point, and transits offer us chances to fill them in. Balance and harmony are created by releasing and resolving tension, not by avoiding it. Trying not to admit tension makes it inestimably worse, and this is a source of co-dependent behaviors, which we’ll also be challenged to look at and change, as they are excesses of Libra-inspired energy.

I was recently reminded of the difference between human versions of justice and what I think of as a spiritual version of it. In human societies, generally speaking, you do something wrong to me and you have to pay for it somehow. There’s a material- or bodily-oriented give and take (I hurt your property and I pay to have it repaired, I hurt you and I’m incarcerated to pay for it, etc.). It’s clear that something wrong has been done and there’s a system to identify and enforce appropriate payment in return.

The spiritual perspective begins with the fact that everything that happens to you is a product of an agreement between you and someone else, or you and a group of people. Not that “you’re asking for it,” but that you’ve asked for the opportunity to learn about that facet of life and someone else (this is all at the soul-contract level) agrees to be your teacher. Actually, you’re teachers for each other. The person who did the thing to you is learning about the realities and ramifications of making that choice (and needs someone soul-willing to experience the hurtful thing), as you’re learning about the thing happening to you and need someone to participate with you.

This gets into difficult territory, as it’s rough to accept that the worst things that happen to us are things we’ve signed up for. Check my earlier article here from September 2009, “Reflection and Responsibility,” for an exploration of this. But this, my friends, is the new paradigm we’re all headed straight for: In order to fully grasp that we create our reality, we must accept that we’ve been creating it all along, painful crap and all.

So, you do the hurtful thing to me and I have a choice. I can hold you to the Earth-bound level of justice and in some way demand to be recompensed, whether through money or the locking up of your person (depending on what the system says or both), or I can look into why I would have co-created that painful scenario and accept half the responsibility, see the invitation I’ve sent myself by co-creating it, and accept the truth of what I learned about myself from the experience. And, and this gets like whole entire cacti under people’s piles of mattresses, thank the other person for co-creating the experience with you. Oh, we hate to hear stuff like that! But that’s the next step in the evolution of consciousness. Maybe some of your Saturn-in-Libra lessons will hinge on making a choice about which paradigm serves you more, or more deeply.

For Those With Pluto in Libra (1970-1984)
If you’re born with Pluto in Libra, the Saturn transit will highlight all that your natal Pluto is doing. If you were born between 1969 and 1973 Saturn’s already hitting it as of this writing. Saturn wants you to do some work. Your Pluto wound is about a lack of fairness, harmony, justice, balance, etc., and this Saturn transit will present to you some of your most difficult, painful stuff on gigantic rock slabs that you can’t ignore. Unless of course you do ignore it – you always have the choice. If you want to see it, know that some of your deepest emotional/karmic garbage is about relationships and fairness and justice, and don’t be surprised if what comes up feels much more important than the triggering scenario seems to warrant. I mean if your reaction is out of proportion to the situation. An over-reaction can show us what’s going on inside on deeper levels, so let yourself feel all you feel when this happens. Work to put words to what’s going on inside. Saturn will want you to look at your wound realistically, and then to introduce some sort of structure to deal with it with discipline, maturity and responsibility.

But your soul’s deepest intentions and desires are also having to do with Libra. For example, the desire would fit in with wanting to create justice and the wound would be about living with and through injustice. And so on with all the Libra themes. Dell Horoscope Magazine published my article “The Pluto Square For The Pluto In Libra Generation” in September of this year, check it out for a more in-depth treatment of what this generation can expect from the Pluto square. But for all these people over the next couple of years, there’s the opportunity to introduce more maturity and structure to your Plutonian desires and intentions. Which will for a lot of us involve actually doing something about these deep, soul-level desires and intentions, and going into the world and working to create justice and peace, or doing it on more or new levels. Creating something Libran in the world through hard work and that will last. One of the things about Pluto in Libra is that we might wait for another to do the thing that’s most important to us, and Saturn here for a while might be a recurring voice inside that urges us to get on with it already.

Or, at least I hope it is.

Tom Jacobs

Tom Jacobs is an astrologer, medium and channel in Tucson, Arizona. A member of Steven Forrest’s Apprenticeship Program since 2004, he has an active private practice as an astrologer, medium, tutor and coach. His writings on astrology & spirituality have appeared in Dell Horoscope, Aspects and InnerChange Magazines, and appear monthly on The Cosmic Path. Tom can be reached at (213) 925-6019 and via>