Mars-Saturn in Pisces, 2024

Published by chris on

Mars and Saturn are generally considered the bad boys of astrology. They are traditionally knows as “malefics,” which is Latin for “evil doers.” Modern astrology sometimes shies away from such boldly “negative” labels, but traditional astrology recognizes that there are parts of life that are just hard, and there’s no way to get around it.

Mars is hot and dry, which means that he’s high energy, and goes it alone. He represents rashness, aggression, violence, anger, and all things of that ilk. Saturn is cold and dry, meaning he’s low energy and goes it alone. He represents boundaries and restrictions, obstacles, failure, fear, anxiety, death and endings, and anything that stands in the way.

You may notice that both planets are categorized as “dry,” meaning that they don’t usually play nicely with others. They can both be pedantic, and insist on getting their own way.

And while these things make life difficult for living things, they also make it possible. There can be no new growth without death, no creation without destruction. It’s just that it really sucks to be on the “receiving” end of their actions.

Mars-Saturn conjunctions

Approximately every 2 years, these two planets come together and conjoin in a sign of the zodiac. It takes Saturn about 29 years to loop all 12 signs, and Mars about 2 and a half years, on average. So Mars keeps catching up to Saturn every couple of years, and usually, their conjunction moves ahead one sign each time, though sometimes if it happens early enough in a sign, it will repeat in the same sign next time. So they will conjoin in Leo, then in two years in Virgo, then again in Libra, etc.

Medieval astrologer Al-Qabisi wrote that there is a larger cycle of about 30 years that begins when Mars and Saturn conjoin in Cancer. Each time that happens, it sets the foundation for the following Mars-Saturn conjunctions. Currently, we are in the cycle that began with Mars and Saturn conjoining in Cancer in May, 2004. It’s fascinating to see how that chart interacts with each new Mars-Saturn conjunction until 2038 when we begin a new cycle.

Who has the upper hand?

Lee Lehman has said in her classes that the quick version of how to interpret these is to see which of the two planets has more dignity and to take that planet as the more influential malefic for the two-year cycle. A more dignified Mars shows a predominance of war, fires, and drought, while a more dignified Saturn shows pestilence and famine. However, given that these planets are malefics, and we are looking to see who is going to do the most damage, we might look to see who has the least dignity, rather than the most. In fact, I might argue that either high dignity or serious lack of dignity will probably make that malefic planet stand out. Middling condition is likely to be less conspicuous in its effects.

Mars-Saturn conjunction, April 2024, Washington, D.C.

We see here the Mars-Saturn conjunction in Pisces, at the Descendant, in our chart set for Washington, D.C. Mars clearly has more dignity than Saturn this time, since he does fairly well in Water signs, while Saturn has no dignity at all in Pisces. That would indicate that the challenges in the coming two years are likely to come from fires, fevers, drought, and heat overall. Of course, Saturn’s influence is not to be neglected, either, though he is neither highly dignified nor highly debilitated.

This combination in Pisces points out issues having to do with water and the sea. We have already seen one example that occurred just before this conjunction of the ship destroying the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland.

Other chart factors

There are a couple of other worrying factors in this chart that we need to look at. The most obvious is that the Saturn-Mars conjunction falls a half a degree from the Descendent. This is opposite the Ascendent, which is the point of life. This means that we have the two malefics sitting on the point of death. This western horizon is where the Sun “dies” every day. The conjunction also squares the Midheaven/IC axis, meaning that their dirty deeds will be on display for everyone to see.

Saturn rules the 5th and 6th houses of this chart. The 6th house in particular shows us illnesses and labor issues. Pluto is present there (think Hades, Underworld, death), adding to the stress. We are likely to see more labor and union stories in the news, and our collective health and the health care system are likely to continue to struggle, especially with the lingering effects of Covid. Mars rules the 3rd and 8th houses. The 8th house represents death and joint financing (among other things). Funding our allies (8th house), especially in war (Mars) (think Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, etc.) is going to be an ongoing issue.

This conjunction being in Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, which is conjunct the Moon and Uranus in Taurus in the 9th house (legal affairs, courts and judiciary, foreign countries, higher education, religion). Uranus shakes things up suddenly, and the Moon indicates change, while Taurus is stubborn and unyielding. This creates a problem, since change will come.

One helpful point is that Pisces is a mutable sign, which helps a bit with flowing through change when it does come.

The recent eclipse

The April 8 total Solar Eclipse was in Aries, and therefore ruled by Mars. Mars and Saturn were two days from their conjunction at that point. But they are 12 signs away from Aries, which is a very inauspicious place for the ruler of something to be.

Final words

As with most charts, there is so much more to say that just won’t fit here. I recommend following the work of other astrologers, too, who may have a different perspective, or simply prefer to focus on different connections to the same event. My friend Andrew Watt is a good place to start.

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