“When will I meet someone?”
“Is now a good time to date?”
“I feel cursed–should I just give up on [men/women/homos/sex]?”
Not that I’m keeping a tally, but some version of the above is the most frequent question asked by my astrology clients.
Lucky for me, the answer is easy. And always the same:
- You’re not cursed. Curses are for judgmental deities and moral systems (so 20th century!), not astrology.
- I don’t know.
Sure, astrological transits are super informative about when things will happen. But while the why of astrology may be mystical (at least to me), the how is straightforward. Transits have predictable-ish effects because they create predictable feelings.
The reason Saturn transits, for example, can be a “bad” time to date is because they make us feel serious and sober.
Seriousness and sobriety are great for paying off debts and getting to the gym, but they don’t tend to inspire fits of giggles and cuddling or increase our patience for the swiping left or right on a series of near-identical faces. So, it’s not like a Saturn transit is a dating curse; you just may not be in the mood.
Saturn, the ruler of time and life cycles, is the best predictor of when you “should” or “shouldn’t” do a thing. I put the shoulds in quotes because they make it sound like Saturn has an opinion. But opinions are for humans! Saturn doesn’t care. It’s a planet. It’s got moons to worry about, and orbits, and, hell, surface temperature. These things are a big deal to a planet. You are not.
What Saturn does do is affect you. Transiting Saturn (i.e. Saturn in the sky right now) is always moving around the outer rim of our natal charts, activating your various houses and planets. Meaning that Saturn’s nose-to-the-grindstone energy is always influencing your behavior and moods in some part of life.
Certain phases of the Saturn cycle can complicate your dating life. Saturn moving through the 5th house of love, art, fun and children can make you so anxious about having kids, or about your already-alive-and-difficult offspring, that you aren’t really open to the uncertainty of a new relationship. For non-kid-people, the issue may be Saturnian ambivalence as you’re nagged by the question of why you like who you like.
Hard Saturn transits to the sun, moon, ascendant and Venus can have similar effects, making us too serious to enjoy the process of dating. (Everyone with their sun, moon, rising or Venus in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn will experience a dating-related Saturn transit during 2018-2020.)
Often, relationships that start under personal Saturn transits fall apart quickly. That’s because Saturn makes us hyper-aware of flaws.
With Saturn transiting your Venus, you won’t be able to overlook your crush’s habit of showing up hours late for a hang out. You could say that makes a Saturn transit a “bad” time to date, or you could call it a good one, because your weeding-out instincts are sharp, saving you from a painful awakening months or years down the line.
Which is why when a client asks, “Is this a good time to date?” I often shoot back, “Do you feel like dating?”
If you feel like dating, date. But if you don’t—especially under a Saturn transit—don’t force it.
Pushing yourself to date because your friends (and every other voice in the culture) say you should is a form of disrespect and unkindness to yourself. Saturn reminds you that you have a personal timeline. Your cycle of unfolding is yours alone.
The sun represents the pure and joyful self, Mars is the urge to act without asking permission and Uranus is the excitement of personal freedom.
Saturn is the other side of individuality. The hard side. Under Saturn, our personal responsibilities, limitations and our own, idiosyncratic timeline set us apart.
It feels lonely to do what your friends aren’t doing, to sit and think on a park bench while pairs scamper by eating ice cream and batting their luxuriously long lashes. How is everyone else so conventionally attractive? So young? So ready to eat whatever flavor of ice cream life thrusts into their waiting hands? Do they pay for professional eyelash-styling? Also, lactose intolerance! What is this world even?
These are the doubts a good, solid, Saturn transit will inspire. Which is why, under Saturn’s dim light, it is so important to remember that the long-lashed ice cream-eaters, too, have their cycles and that no phase is good or bad.
It is okay to be on your own timeline. It is okay to be lonely. It is a form of self-love and self-acceptance to be where you are, even when that place is slow or uncomfortable, even when there is, for the time being, no ice cream. Not even rum raisin.*
The best part about a Saturn transit is that you really are acquiring wisdom, even if you can’t see it yet.
The better best part about a Saturn transit? It only lasts nine months.
If you think nine months sounds long, wait until next week when I tell you how dating fares under Uranus, Neptune and Pluto transits.
*If Saturn were a person and not a giant rock turning in space it would totally order rum raisin. But, like, half a scoop. Then it would record the calories in an app and scold you for getting chocolate fingerprints on the passenger seat.
Find out which Saturn transits you’re in right now—and when they’ll be over—in a Depth reading, where you and I explore just how the planets in the sky are setting off the sorta-unique constellations of your natal chart.