Phil Brown has a on the shift in how we perceive Saturn based on the change in parental roles:
Capricorn has a broad range of meanings, one of which has to do with the parent or persons of authority. Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, plus the 10th house are often associated with the individual father. However, the whole issue of assigning a parental gender to planets and luminaries is problematic in modern culture, where shifting gender roles have made such designations outmoded. The Sun may be our Jungian animus, and the Moon our anima, but do they really represent the parental father and mother?
Many older astrology texts refer to Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, as representing the father. Saturn rules boundaries, authority, and rules—all qualities which are traditionally associated with the old-fashioned father. But don’t mothers also set boundaries, lay down rules, and become authority figures in their children’s lives?
Saturn is the natural ruler of the tenth house which is associated with Capricorn, with the Moon as the natural ruler of the fourth house which belongs to Cancer. The Cancer/Moon archetype has traditionally been associated with the mother, who stays at home and cares for the children, with Capricorn/Saturn being seen as the father who works out in the world and creates the structures that support the family. Obviously, with the gender roles shifting as they have in the past fifty years, the whole question of parental identification in the birthchart shifts as well. We have single parent households, in which the mother could play Saturn and the Moon could be more independent and not affiiated with either parent. Or we may have a grandmother playing the Moon role in the chart, with Saturn gone missing and acted out through a celebrity role model instead.
Phil makes a good point that some of the hard and fast rules of the older astrology texts no longer apply in today’s changing world. We can no longer rely on rules to help us interpret a chart or to predict the future. It’s important now that we fully understand the archetype that underlies each astrological symbol so that this understanding can carry us into the new wave of awareness and provide a useful tool for growth. Afflicted planets, malefic planets, planets in detriment – these old rules hold us back.
With Pluto getting ready to travel through Capricorn, perhaps these old rules and structures on which astrologers have depended will undergo the kind of transformation that we’ll see in other Capricornian structures as well!