Saturn in Capricorn: Major Themes From 2017–2020

Saturn in Capricorn: Major Themes From 2017–2020

In episode 140 of the podcast astrologers Austin Coppock and Patrick Watson join the show to talk about the transit of Saturn through Capricorn, which will occur from December 2017 through December 2020.

We begin the episode by talking about the natures of the planet Saturn and the zodiacal sign Capricorn, and how their significations have been conceptualized in both ancient and modern times.

Eventually we move on to a discussion of some themes that have come up in the world during past transits of Saturn in Capricorn, and how we expect some of those themes to manifest during the current transit.

Past natal and mundane examples are reviewed, followed by an overview of the next few years.

For more information on this topic see Austin’s article on Saturn in Capricorn.

See also Patrick’s video workshop titled Sunshine, Rainbows & Daisies: Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn 2018-2020.

This episode is available in both a video and an audio version.

Below you will find the show notes, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast.

News and Announcements

Our 2018 astrology calendar posters are still available for sale, although there have been some shipping delays due to the poster tubes rolling off of conveyor belts and getting delayed in USPS’s system.

If you are experiencing a delay in receiving yours then please email Chris for tracking and more info on possible solutions:

I’m switching to Amazon for shipping in order to resolve those issues, and you can already order the posters from them on this page.

Show Notes

  • Review of Saturn’s significations.
    • Reading passages from Vettius Valens and Richard Tarnas.
  • Saturn ruling Capricorn.
  • Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions triplicity cycle context.
  • Saturn moving into conjunction with Pluto.
  • Themes:
    • Imprisonment and fortification
    • Planning and panic
    • Fear. Heightened fear.
    • History, the past, the dead
    • Credit where credit is due
  • Strategies/Advice:?
  • Natal examples:
    • Michael J. Fox – November 13th 1990 – first sign of Parkinson’s during Saturn return
    • James Earl Jones – “on a spring day in 1960” – “breakthrough opportunity as an actor” acting in Henry V in the first “Shakespeare in Central Park”, in same year played first leading role on the New York stage.
    • Charles Dickens – role of Saturn in Capricorn in his life – focus of writings on poverty, hard times, misery based on experience of father in debtor’s prison, controversial Saturn return to America (Jan 3rd 1842), visited American prisons.
  • The Saturn returns of the Uranus-Neptune-Saturn in Capricorn generation born in late 80s/early 90s.
  • Historical Examples (Mundane):
    • US 29-32 – Federal Bureau of Prisons, Riker’s Island established
    • 59-62 – Berlin Wall constructed,
    • 89-92 – Berlin Wall falls, construction of Colorado Supermax Prison
  • Timeline for the next few years:
    • 2018: Mars copresent in Cap for 3 months due to retrograde.
    • 2019: SN in Cap (Solar Jan 5, Lunar July 16, Solar Dec 25!), Sat-Plut v. close, Sextile Neptune
    • 2020: Lunar Eclipse in Cap, July 4th (!!!) Sat-Pluto complete in Jan. Jupiter copresent.  Back-and-forth Cap <->Aqua, Square Mars RX Aries.

Watch the Video Version of this Episode

Here is the video version of this month’s forecast episode:


Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:


  1. Bob Miller says:

    The exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto is on Jan 12, 2020 (I know b/c that is my birthday, lol and the conj is right on my natal Sun). The most recent prior Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was in 1518 in early January (usually Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Cap occurs roughly every 250 years but the 1760s Cap conjunction did not occur). The late 1510s and 1520s were a time of trmendous change-further exploration of the New World and conquering of natives; in Europe, the Protestant Reformation (Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door on Oct 31, 1517); the African slave trade began; an odd occurrence was the “DancingPlague” in which a few hundred people danced without stopping for days and even weeks at a time and some died from heart attacks or exhaustion. No cause was ever given for the outbreak of manic dancing

  2. Hey guys!
    Thank you so much for generously sharing your knowledge, insight, wisdom, time, and energy. I listen to this podcast often and have an immense appreciation for the work. And although I have listened often, this is the first time I have felt overwhelmingly compelled to share.
    As I was listening to the historical details of what has been collectively highlighted during Saturn’s transit through Cap and Saturn/Pluto conjunctions, I was thinking “but all of this is happening RIGHT NOW” … not one thing was named that is not already taking place:

    slavery/ prisons — CHECK/ CHECK
    maybe we will now see the reality of the FEMA camps? that is the only way I can imagine that the reality of this situation could get worse.

    world war – CHECK

    I do hope that Austin’s perspective on this transit is accurate.. “coming to the end of”.. but in order to end anything, it must be acknowledged as happening. And certainly, the prison industrial complex/ modern slavery is not a part of the national conversation, as illustrated by it not given any lip service during this conversation. Hope Saturn/Pluto deliver that into the collective consciousness. And with the help of Jupiter’stransit through Scorpio maybe more will come to realize that so many of the conspiracy “theories”, are conspiracy FACT. Which circles us back around to the endless wars/ military industrial complex, modern slavery/prison industrial complex.

    Wouldn’t it be FABULOUS to see Saturn work for the 99% rather than the 1%? One can always hope…


    • Hi Christa, thanks for your thoughts. I think the hard aspects of Saturn and Pluto bring us the establishments, developments, and climaxes of these terrible topics. They don’t go away in between, they’re more like you said, less prominent, not at the forefront of a national conversation. They are ongoing and lead up to the more definitive events of the major hard aspects between Saturn and Pluto, at which point they likely will be part of the national conversation. We couldn’t name something that will happen that isn’t already taking place to some degree today, because today’s context is the prelude to the more visible developments that will materialize at the conjunction. I too hope that the Saturn-Pluto conjunction will be the “end” of private prisons and modern slave labor. However, what has happened in the past is that while Saturn-Pluto conjunctions provide endings of terrible chapters, it always seems to lay the seeds down for something else awful. Sigh.

  3. Cat Javor says:

    Terrific. A wonderfully organised and delivered podcast. Fascinating points and examples giving a solid and cohesive breakdown of Saturn’s transit through Capricorn. Thanks guys.

  4. Thanks I learn so much from these podcasts. I have Saturn rx 23 Cap, Jup rx 27 Cap. So my Saturn return is happening when Pluto conjuncts. I am so apprehensive because it seem so unpredictable!

  5. Philipp William says:

    Thanks for this great Podcast.. very informative
    What i do find very interesting is that about two weeks before the exact Saturn/Pluto conjunction we have an eclipse at the fifth degree of Capricorn on the 26th(or 25th for people not living in central Europe like me) of Dec.2019… This Eclipse series belongs to the Saros cycle 3 South according to Bernadette Brady which started at the 13 th of August in 1208 julian calendar.

  6. AmazonJinx says:

    A possible prediction…. You guys mentioned Warren Buffet in the list of Saturn return people. I immediately thought about his “current” opinion on cryptocurrency. Crypto in general this year, but the fact that you mentioned him made me think of what is coming in the blockchain space. That’s very exciting for us blockchain crypto supporters, not to mention crypto supporting Saturnians like me. Great episode!!!! Taylor Swift seems so irrelevant now. LoL That part was really funny for Patrick.

  7. The location for Cook County Jail in Chicago where it stands today on California Ave was established in 1871 when Saturn was in Capricorn.

  8. Fantastic podcast. I have a natal Saturn in Capricorn (10 degrees) conjunct a Capricorn Sun (17 degrees) in the 4th house and will be experiencing a second Saturn return in December 2018. Pluto transited my Saturn in 2013 and my Sun in 2016-17. Oh the stories I have about the transit of Pluto to my natal Saturn and Sun! Circumstances have been profoundly difficult and at times unbearable. In the end pain is inevitable but suffering is optional and I’ve come out of this Pluto transit, starting my second Saturn return with a kind of serenity and fortitude. I have hope but without optimism. If you ever want Saturn stories for your research feel free to contact me. Thank again for a great Podcast.

    • Wendy – I can relate (not to be presumptuous) For me – Moon/Sat natal in Sag – just exiting the heart of a Sade Sati (Saturn crossed Moon) and 2nd Sat return in H4. H5 transit will the results phase of that. H5 square H8 Sun reinforcing Death and Endings. So much heart ache. So I like your take that suffering is optional because after a point we can direct the sorrow only if we take back control – another Saturnian duality- suffering/control. Personal empowerment is the only way out. Death is followed by resurrection. Pluto went through my 4th house my entire marriage which was also governed by Saturn in a Level 1 Time period (Zodiacal Release calculation in Aquarius for both of us). Nothing but hard work. The theme of imprisonment really resonates, and I think it is important within that context to ask also – who is the jailer? There will be one. In retrospect, 29 1/2 years ago I do see the restriction – the isolation, the sense of being held prisoner that ties in very clearly with house placement. One foot in front of the other – one day at a time, doing the duty within that context. With Pluto there – just so intense and devastating – resurrection is the hope. We can build other things too – not just prisons, it may just feel that we are in prison while doing so.

      • Well said Jen. I do see a theme of resurrection after being crucified. Saturn is sacrifice of Spirit into matter. Pluto in Capricorn going over Capricorn planets certainly put me face to face with terror. Some of my (worst) fears became reality. So many things are beyond our control and freedom from this prison (life certainly feels like a prison at times) is accepting life on life’s terms and with the reality. Am grateful for the ride.

  9. Sébastien says:

    I haven’t listened the whole podcast yet (you guys are great by the way), and I agree, there is the “end of something” coming in. I wonder if it could be related to the end of (cheap) oil or some kind of energy crisis. Have a look at this documentary:

  10. I kind of doubt that any of you aren’t using the word stellium when you are giving 89/90 babies readings.

  11. I write that just because the nature of Saturn/Uranus and Neptune being in conjunction is so complex.

  12. brilliant, fascinating, THANKS!

  13. My comment was meant as a friendly razz. I’m a gen Xer and at times forget to include the appropriate emojis. Loved this episode.

  14. Thank you for the link! I too have a four planet stellium.

  15. Great podcasts. Thank you. I know I’ll listen to this one many times.

  16. I would like to second Christa’s comment about the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 2020 and its link to the U.S. prison system. It’s a direct link back to the conjunction in 1518, as the prisons are considered to be modern plantations. Check out the documentary “13th” on Netflix.

    We would do well to not underestimate or oversimplify the 1518 conjunction, even though it was a one-and-done conjunction (i.e., no retrogrades invovlved). Considering its timing with the beginning of the slave trade as we mostly recognize it today, the conjunction carries with it 500 years of the absolutely brutal colonial, imperial, and genocidal dynamics of Empire upon which a great deal of western culture (and most definitely the United States) is founded. It’s the air we breathe.

    The fact that the term “white supremacy” is showing up in the news daily is linked to the approaching Saturn-Pluto conjunction. The fact that racism is called out more frequently and openly in our culture (though we have a LOT of work yet to do) is linked to the approaching conjunction. The dramatic increase of alt-right politics is a sure sign that the western psyche is calling forth these 1518 dynamics for review, and not everyone is eager to embrace a shift of power toward more equitable policies. The more we can invite and genuinely welcome the voices of people of color into the astrological community, the more we can have in-depth conversations about these vital topics, rather than simply skipping over them unchecked.

  17. Patricia Jackson says:

    Hello! I love the podcast too. This was was another winner! I’m a sun in Virgo and have Pluto conjoining Mercury in Virgo so I am intrested in the behind the curtain reasons about health and nutrition.
    Just thought i’d mention that Michael J. Fox was a AVID consumer of diet soda. Some feel that the side effects of the large consumption of artificial sweeteners lead to his Parkinsons. So perhaps his Saturn came home to roost on his dietary karma.

  18. Hi, Chris. Where is Kelly? I thought you were going to do this one together, I don’t know why I got this impression, listening to your previous podcast. You, Austin and Kelly form a beautiful group and blend so well together.

    • Chris Brennan says:

      Kelly was away on a trip all month and not available to record this episode with us, although she was back by the end of the month to record the forecast for February with us. Previously I had done the Saturn in Sagittarius episode with 6 people, but decided to cut it down to three this time in order to make things a bit more manageable.

      • Thank you, I’ll check on the February forecast. Maybe my question was translating the present Juno in Aquarius transit (why isn’t the group « committed », always the same?). I listen with great pleasure to all your podcasts, but the ones you do with this group add something more, because of the way you communicate with each other: civil without being stiff, respectful without pretense, rarely interrupting one another, friendly but not affable… plus you all have radio voices. You do the most interesting podcasts on astrology subjects, but I bet people would listen even if you spoke of spring to summer agricultural techniques in New Caledonia.
        My best to you

  19. Really fun humor among this triad. Triad? Was just hearing that Robert WAgner is being called on the carpet regarding the death of Natalie Wood on November 29 1981. Thought I would check out the “credit where credit is due” theory and sure enough WAgner, borner Feb 10 1930 just had his 3rd saturn return. I have saturn exact my ascendant 0 Libra (not whole-house) and hoping the current saturn square is about putting down roots. When saturn is transitting a house, I like to think of it as “locked in” to that house. There is no avoiding it, so might as well build something.

  20. I am just finishing up this episode and really feel like I know Saturn a lot better now. I am a capricorn rising with Neptune and Uranus right on top of my ascendant at 18° and have been experiencing Pluto on my ascendant for the last year or so. My natal Saturn is in 16° Aquarius. This gave me a lot to think about for my Saturn return in the upcoming years, particularly how the Pluto-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune-asc activity will affect things as Saturn traverses my twelfth and first houses.

    Additionally, one of my friends has Saturn in 24° Capricorn and will be experiencing their Saturn return just a couple weeks after the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Jupiter will be on their Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn as well. Interesting stuff!

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