Saturn’s Ring Plane Crossing
© Michele Finey 2009
Every so often the ringed planet turns its rings edge-on to the Earth. This happens twice in its 29-year cycle.
On 4 September, 2009 Saturn’s rings virtually disappeared as the Earth crossed Saturn’s ring plane. This took place around the time of the Full Moon. (See Chart Above)
Because of Saturn’s proximity to the Sun, it wasn’t possible to see this stellar event, nevertheless, the alignment of the Earth with Saturn’s rings has symbolic significance, which is also magnified by the timing of its occurrence, as it coincides with Saturn’s opposition to Uranus.
The 15 September opposition of Saturn and Uranus is the third in the current series of five. As the centrepiece of these Saturn Uranus aspects we appear to be crossing a threshold of change.
These oppositions occur only once every 45 years. With these two cosmic events occurring at virtually the same time, it would seem that Saturn’s authority over structures, traditions and boundaries is capable of being transcended now.
At the very least, this seems like a unique window of opportunity for the introduction of new technology, systems and ideas.
Creative options are likely to gain favour, with the emphasis on human rights and freedom.
Under these conditions fresh approaches are more easily able to penetrate established frameworks and become incorporated with current systems. Equally, long held benchmarks and regulations, especially those which are no longer viable, can be given a new coat of paint, or completely overhauled.
Saturn is generally reluctant to try new things, but as the Earth, Uranus and Saturn align there is an opportunity to see things from a new perspective. New standards can be introduced while Saturn and Uranus see each other in a new light, and with some objectivity.
New government regulations and standards for industry are indeed coming into play. Deals on issues such as climate change, renewable energy and greenhouse emission targets are being hammered out, while international regulations and safety standards in a number of key industries are also undergoing a process of major review. While this is not an easy process, these changes are necessary.
Saturn’s continued transit of Virgo will help hammer out these new regulations in detail; indeed much of the ground work has already been done behind the scenes over the past two years. Virgo is skilled in managing details and helps us sort out the essentials from the non-essentials.
The Virgo New Moon on 19 September intensifies the focus on the opposition of Saturn and Uranus and Saturn’s ring plane crossing. At this New Moon the Sun and Moon will conjunct Saturn exactly.
These zodiacal degree points of crossing are moving very slowly forward in the zodiac. Back in 1214, around the time when King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta, Saturn’s ring plane crossing was at 13-14 degrees of Virgo, and this was indeed the location of Saturn at the time.
Throughout history a number of pivotal events have occurred when Saturn’s rings have been edge on to the Earth. At these times the authorities in charge have had to take into account the wishes of the people and the ramifications have been far reaching.
Edward VI, son of Henry VIII was born just a few days before a ring plane crossing. He died aged 15 in 1553 with Saturn’s rings again aligned closely to the Earth.
Upon his death the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey (who was the same age as her cousin Edward) became Queen for nine days. A pawn in a political manoeuvre, Jane was installed as Queen by Edward’s scheming relatives, partly so they could keep their own powerbase and partly to prevent Catholic Mary I from coming to power.
The plan soon backfired and Mary was proclaimed Queen because despite their preference for a protestant monarch, the people were outraged by the attempt to illegally seize power, against the law of succession.
About 100 years on the English Civil War erupted in 1642 during another ring plane crossing. The intransigence of King Charles I and his belief in the divine right of kings to absolute power, led not only to his defeat and execution seven years later, but it marked the end of monarchy as a system of government in England.
Sir Isaac Newton was born in January 1643 under the sign of Capricorn and in the midst of this ring plane crossing in Pisces. When Saturn’s rings are close to edge on to the Earth, perhaps the energy of the moment allows for a balanced and more open attitude? As lord of time itself, these ring plane crossings may convey to individuals born at these times an attitude of being able to see both sides of a situation with a holistic perspective that is not so much saturnine as it is open to adopting new approaches that have far-reaching consequences. Perhaps those individuals born with Saturn’s rings aligned to the Earth are more able to transcend boundaries.
Note: Re time of birth. Several sources have 1.38am with Libra rising while 2.05 am gives Scorpio Rising, which seems more in keeping with a man interested in delving into the nature of life and who was passionate about research.
SOURCE: Michael White, Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Perseus Books, 1999 ), p. 11: "Sometime soon after 2 a.m. on Christmas morning a son - Isaac - was born"
Note: OS Calendar 25 December 1642 equates to 6 January 1643
The Storming of the Bastille, the event which sparked the French Revolution in 1789 happened with Saturn at 22-23 Pisces, again in the midst of a ring plane crossing.
Shortly before the uprising, on 17 June, representatives of the middle classes established a National Assembly to develop a French constitution. The king was forced to acknowledge their authority.
While Bastille Prison held only a handful of prisoners, the fall of the fortress was of major symbolic importance and led to the overthrow of the French Monarchy.
The revolutionary events in France and in America came about a few years after the discovery of Uranus. The nature of Uranus has of course become synonymous with sudden changes and rebellion, and yet at the time Uranus was not involved in a major aspect with another outer planet, which is often the case during times of revolution.
The fact that Saturn had its rings edge-on to Earth then may help to explain why the people were successful in overthrowing the French Monarchy. Perhaps Saturn in Pisces and its connection with the 12th house (ruler of prisons) also has some significance here?
In 1848, the year when Karl Marx published his Communist Manifesto, (Marx was born in 1818 shortly before the ring plane crossing of 1819) there were major revolutions underway in many corners of Europe. Another event which challenged the establishment was also held that year; the first ever Women’s Rights Convention was convened in Seneca Falls, US.
1848 was a few years before the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1851, so while there were revolutionary energies at work in any case, Saturn’s ring plane crossing may have helped speed up the process.
Interestingly, the transiting Nodal axis was aligning with Saturn in 1848 too, in this case at exactly 22 degrees of the Virgo-Pisces polarity.
Another ring crossing occurred in 1891/2 and this one coincided with the Neptune-Pluto conjunction which ushered in the 20th Century bringing with it a powerful force for change and invention in transport and communications.
In 1966 Saturn was again at 22 Pisces and in the middle of a ring plane crossing amid the tremendous social revolution that was part the 1960s Uranus-Pluto alignment.
At times like these, not only is the status quo being challenged by the revolutionary outer planets, Uranus and Pluto, known to bring about generational and collective shifts, but with Saturn’s rings edge on the Earth, systemic and lasting changes can be implemented.
At this current ring plane crossing coming as it does with Saturn and Uranus in opposition, once again revolutionary energies have an opportunity to penetrate traditional Saturnian structures.
This is happening while Saturn reaches its greatest distance from Earth and while Uranus is making its closest approach, suggesting a portal for change is opening. New methods, systems and ideas are likely to gain acceptance by the powers that be. The cosmic message is crystal clear. The future is here and it’s here now!
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