a grounded approach to the heavenly ecosystem

I write during the third and final perfection of Saturn’s 2019 conjunction with the South Node, an alignment that I wrote about in May and have been closely observing throughout its duration.

A term for the alignment that has coalesced in my head is Karmic Transfer. It’s unfortunately tied to banking terminology, but I’m imagining a bank of karma, and the goblins of karma are transferring it from one life to another. Here karma is something like destiny or life purpose-things that carry great weight, meaning, and potential, like a piece of land. A human life. Like a business or place of business, a home, a domesticated animal. Like the responsibility of nurturing our planet. 

The three conjunctions of Saturn and the South Node have occurred with the Sun in Taurus, Cancer, and Libra, signs that have significant orientations toward nature and beauty. Calls to action around climate change are in great saturation at the moment, while at the same time we are staring down an economic recession. Capricorn Saturn’s business powers (which by modern terms are inextricably tied to competition and capitalism) are weakened by its conjunction with the South Node; meanwhile Earth and her ways of unconditional lifegiving love are emerging through the opening.

I’m not going to leap into hopefulness or any results-based thinking. I am only noting what I observe. And when I take into account my belief that Saturn acts as a guardian for the outer planets (which are energetically geared toward our unity with each other and all beings), I’ve noticed both the beneficial and detrimental indications of those planets manifesting quite strongly since April’s initiating conjunction. A sampling:


Beneficial: Innovations for the collective good; abandonment of old dysfunctional ways; new perspectives; experimentation with revolutionary/revolutionized ways of life

Detrimental: Resistance in the name of resistance (unfounded resistance?); unpredictable, spastic, dispersing behavior; rejecting functional tradition just because it’s old; rejecting elders; innovation without scrutiny; inability to focus


Beneficial: Recognition of oneness/unity of all beings; psychic abilities; transcendence of the shackles of “reality”; compassion for all beings

Detrimental: Escapism; overuse of transformative substances; unproductive sacrifice of personal well-being; confusion of identity and purpose; inability to declare or respect healthy boundaries;


Beneficial: Creative approaches to healing; truly effective, soul-level healing and nourishment; teaching from a place of wisdom to help a culture in great need of it

Detrimental: Overwhelm of chronic pain; feelings of unworthiness; debilitation; easily and unpredictably triggered trauma; using one’s trauma as a tool to control others; shame


Beneficial: Acceptance of difficulty as a part of evolution; power indicated through reverence, gentleness and compassion; positive transformation guided by the divine or through initiation; functioning initiation practices

Detrimental: Addiction to transformative substances/experiences; assertion of will through manipulation; self-destructive obsessions; misuse of power; controlling through fear or being controlled by fear

When Does a Planet Go Bad?

One thing I can’t help but ask myself when categorizing the outer planet’s healthy and toxic indications is when/why does our relationship with a planet become toxic? And if we can answer that, perhaps we can receive ideas about how to make those relationships healthy again.

The outer planets are particularly dangerous because of their power, which is more subtle and harder to see without a cultivated awareness. They carry gifts of healing, change, and evolution. They carry the gifts that are direly needed to rekindle healthy relationships among humankind and between humankind and nature. But when toxified, the gifts of these planets quickly transform into driving factors behind the Anthropocene.

Excess seems to lead to toxicity, as does scarcity, insecurity, lack of patience, lack of experience, knowledge, wisdom, and guidance. All of these issues can be healed by a healthy relationship with Saturn, which is exactly what this extended South Node conjunction has given us the opportunity to cultivate. That healthy relationship includes such qualities as temperance; wisdom; focus and employment of ritual; and acknowledgement and embrace of limit. We see a lot more of the unhealthy Saturn through the media: lack of focus and stability; excess borders, boundaries, walls; separation of people from each other and from their source and life force; disrespect for the sick, dying and elderly; and general immaturity.

To my people who have read this far, I’m curious what observations you’ve accumulated regarding this extremely special cosmic window of Saturn conjunct the South Node. I have to disable my comments on this site, as I get flooded with hundreds of spam comments every day, so please e-mail me about anything you feel attuned to regarding the conjunction’s influences on your life or greater trends. I’m interested in gathering as much as I can around this topic!

Celestrial and terrestrial blessings,

Astro Phil

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