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The Saturn Signs: Capricorn and Aquarius

This is the final installment of a series of articles I’ve been doing on the traditional rulers of the signs of the zodiac. These are the planets that were thought to rule the signs before the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. For this last article, I’ve saved the combination that might seem most improbably to modern observers, the joint of rulership of Capricorn and Aquarius by Saturn.


The link between Aquarius and Uranus has gained a particularly strong hold on modern astrology. Uranus is associated with revolution, science and all things new and radical. Astrologers of the past century have freely inserted these Uranian qualities into their descriptions of Aquarius, so that it is hard to think of this sign in any other terms.


Saturn, on the other hand, is the planet of all things old. It rules structure, authority figures, social convention and the “establishment,” hardly the stuff we associate with the “Age of Aquarius.” So the idea that Saturn could be considered the ruler of radical and liberated Aquarius seems ludicrous.


But if you look at Aquarius without this association with Uranus, it is possible to see the influence of Saturn. As pointed by Robert Hand, Aquarius is just a much concerned with structure as is Capricorn. For Capricorn, an Earth sign, structure is seen in terms of reputation, the trappings of success and material wealth. For Aquarius, an Air sign, structure is a matter of ideas and systems. It is a way of thinking that follows clear, rational steps to arrive at a solution that functions well on an intellectual level.


There is certainly a difference between the structures created by Capricorn and those created by Aquarius. Aquarian structures are rational, impersonal and have no profit motive. Quite often, they are geared toward helping humanity in the broadest way. And, since these are intellectual constructs, they can be bold and explorative in ways that Capricorn’s earthly structures cannot. But, in the end, these Aquarian ideas represent Saturn’s need for structure just as much as a Capricorn’s business model.


Another quality of Saturn that we see both in Capricorn and Aquarius is authority. Capricorn people gain positions of authority by being ambitious and by fighting their way up to the top. Once they’ve reached this position, the Capricorns will make judgments, but those judgments are always based on function and efficiency. If a person or a method that a Capricorn has previously judged to be ineffective is improved, then there’s always the chance that the Capricorn will change his or her judgment.


The judgments made by Aquarians, on the other hand, are based on ideas, principles and whatever intellectual structure dominates their thinking. These judgments are usually fair and impersonal, but they are rarely subject to change. If it cannot fit within the Aquarian mental system then it must be dismissed, and that goes for people as well as ideas.


The Saturn signs often seem harsh. This only natural, since Saturn represents the Universe’s version of tough love. And yet, Capricorn people are capable of extraordinary loyalty and they will work hard and accept incredible burdens to help the people they care about. Likewise, Aquarians are capable of amazing acts of courage and resolve. When their principles demand it, they will put their lives on the line for the sake of a total stranger.


What do you Aquarians out there think about having Saturn rule your sign? Do you think the ancients were on target, or do you prefer revolutionary Uranus?

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