The Mars/Saturn conjunction 2012: how afraid should we be?

Mars Saturn conjunction

clip from the film “Mars Attacks”

Astrologers love to forecast doom and gloom for some reason, and in today’s world of intense energy shifts and change many readers of things astrological tend to filter astrological information through their lens of fear.  I have a mission to dispel this astrological anxiety, and what better time to do this than now.

Mars and Saturn are nearing a conjunction (alignment) in the sky – they will be at the same degree of Libra on August 15th.  Traditional and Vedic astrology consider both Mars and Saturn to be “malefic” – they are seen as promoting danger (Mars) and generally bad things (Saturn).  So when the two come together, this can be perceived as a dangerous time where generally bad things can happen.

Even Richard Nolle, an astrologer I greatly respect, reports in his August forecast “it’s a time to be on the alert for danger due to the haste, recklessness or outright malice of others – including mass shootings and other especially heinous crimes. Be safety-conscious. Steer clear or conflict and danger as best you can.”

There’s no denying that we have seen more than our share of mass shootings over the past few months, but that has had more to do with the alignment of Mars with Uranus and Pluto which began when Mars entered Libra in early July.  Mars represents energy and desire, and when it began to trigger the square between Uranus (rebellion and revolution) and Pluto (destruction and regeneration) in mid-July a great deal of wildness was released into the general consciousness.

Mars and Saturn last united on July 31, 2010, also in Libra.  At the time Mars and Saturn were exactly opposite Uranus, and very close to an exact square to Pluto.  You would have thought that would have stimulated some extreme news, but the news at the time was much calmer than it had been in previous months when the Uranus/Pluto square made its first alignment in June.

This idea that Mars and Saturn are malefic in their nature is something that I am always arguing against.  If it weren’t for Mars we wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.  Mars is the energy that motivates and excites us – it provides inspiration as well as desire.  When that inspiration and desire is thwarted, Mars can become angry and that can easily escalate into the rage that Mars is known for.  Saturn provides a container and structure for our lives.  It inspires us to make commitments and to set goals for the future.  Saturn’s lessons become difficult when we attempt to ignore the need for rules and structure – then we may get the proverbial bonk on the head from the Celestial Taskmaster.

So when these two planets come together it can be a wonderful thing.  Saturn rules Capricorn, and Mars is said to be exalted in Capricorn, the sign which shares Saturn’s love of rules and order and achievement.  So when Mars and Saturn come together there is the potential to create a container (Saturn) within which our desires (Mars) can take root and grow.  Still, Mars is in Libra which is the sign of its detriment.  In Libra Mars is more concerned with the needs of others which hinders its full expression, and the conjunction with Saturn can add additional repressive force that makes it difficult to put our plans and ideas into motion.

If we resist the structure that Saturn places around our desires, then frustration will occur. We may feel this within ourselves, but we may also feel that others are trying to frustrate and restrict us.  If we understand the nature of the planetary energies we will be better able to utilize this time for careful planning and focused action, instead of wild and unrestrained expressions of desire.

If we feel restricted, we often feel angry and resentful.  The Saturn effect here will limit our ability to express that anger and when anger is not given expression it can turn into rage or worse, become internalized as a health issue in the body.  Physical exercise is the best way to manage a strong Mars event such as this one as it helps to channel the Mars energy more constructively.

Relationships may be stressed during this time because Venus (planet of connecting and love) will be opposite Pluto (intensity and drama).  Watch for power struggles that bring out the Mars side of you, and try to ensure that Mars is expressed in a way that is useful.  Assert yourself appropriately where needed, and be sure that interpersonal combat is as constructive as possible so that it doesn’t degenerate into the emotional violence that we often see with Venus/Pluto.

Mars transits are strongest when they are approaching, so we are in the peak of its effect as I write this.  By the 20th of August or so Mars will have moved far enough away from Saturn that its expression will be unfettered once again.

As an aside, I think it’s an interesting coincidence that the just as this conjunction takes place.

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By | 2012-08-11T09:48:43+00:00 August 11th, 2012|Astrology|22 Comments


  1. Charlotte Cicale August 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Saturn rules Capricorn, and Mars is said to be exalted in Capricorn, the sign which shares Saturn’s love of rules and order and achievement. So when Mars and Saturn come together there is the potential to create a container (Saturn) within which our desires (Mars) can take root and grow. But Mars is in LIBRA which is in it’s detriment. Saturn in Libra is exalted. Am I wrong? Mars energy in Libra is directed toward OTHERS unlike the ME oriented Mars in Aries.

    • August 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Charlotte, this is a good point and obviously I didn’t think this through completely. I’m going to update the post to take this into consideration. Thanks.

      • Lisa August 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

        I tend to interpret Mars in Libra as playing the victim card to the tilt. Charlotte has a good point.

        • Rob Brezsny August 14, 2012 at 2:32 am

          My own natal Mars in Libra mobilizes me to fight for justice beyond my own narrow interests; it gives me a passion to make sure that fair play rules in any situation I have influence over. It is the archetype of the warrior who serves relationships, who values balance, who loves the Tao.

          • Lisa August 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

            Way to use your Mars wisely!

          • August 17, 2012 at 7:22 am

            Thanks Rob, nice to see you here.

  2. Melanie Diana August 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

    …just going with the flow…staying grounded one day at a time…knowing everything is for my upliftment. Thank you.

  3. judith scott August 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    born with saturn in capricorn squaring mars in libra,in the 7th house of all blessed places!! i have lived with this kind of seething frustration all my life. what i have learned is to work,incrementally,with patience and attention to as much detail as i can tolerate. alone and without thought of outcome. it’s a big challenge!

  4. Pan August 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I just found out that this Mars/Saturn event is happening exactly on top of the MOON in the natal chart of Romney’s VP pick, Paul Ryan. Comments?

    • August 12, 2012 at 8:14 am

      I’m getting ready to do a comparison of Romney and Ryan, so we’ll see what comes up there. Thanks Pan.

  5. Holly Anderson August 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks for the positive spin. Very helpful and much appreciated!

    • Sarah Wolf August 16, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Agreed. Thanks for the positive spin!

  6. Lana August 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I totally agree with you Lynn. Having been born with Mars conjunct Saturn, I am also campaigning for a new perspective on this conjunction.

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  8. Gilmore August 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Given that the moon will be square the conjuction and the moon can be read as the Public, I think I would err on the side of ‘duck and cover’ with this one.

  9. Saaji Bhaskaran August 14, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Good article. In order to add successful predictions the astrologers tend with this habit and the error is in distinguishing the positive and negative periods where they, in general considers everything to Mars negative..The real ability is in segregating this!

  10. Jenni August 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    My chart is lighting up like a christmas tree! I’ve had so much negative that positive must be around the corner… Jenni-omg

  11. Mkw August 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Thank-you for this Lynn- its all very interesting to me. You really do help us all! The Saturn & Mars conjunction is exactly sitting on my 24 degree Ascendant.

    To be honest I feel physically, mentally and spiritually “constipated” right now; with a fair amount of anxiety at this frustrating stultification thrown-in. Bleeeuuuurgh!

    I do think that at some point soon something must “give” – do you think this is all exacerbated by the fact that my natal sun is square my ascendant?

    Thank-you for the really fascinating social commentary Lynn; it really is appreciated in my household!

    All the best


    • August 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

      Hi Lisa, yes – Saturn and Mars sitting on your ascendant will make you feel like you are trying to drive with the brakes on.

  12. seeking_guidance August 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Hopefully I didn’t show to the party too late to receive comment on this – just found this today while searching for any available info regarding it .. transiting Saturn/Mars conjunction on top of my natal Pluto!

    Natally I have Mars at 1Lib25Rx, partile conjunct MC at 1Lib48…Saturn and Pluto in 10th at 17Lib25Rx and 25Lib10Rx respectively

    Obviously, I’ve battled glass ceilings all my (admittedly still young) life in anything and everything career related. I do know there’s A TON of energy there, in my 10th, that can/should be channeled correctly, but I still have not found the answer as to how. I currently work for myself doing freelance web development and earn generally less than $11k/year, live in an RV in a campground where my mother is also living with me (there’s that 10th again) and yes, refuse to apply for government assistance. I have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and an average of $40 or so in my bank account.

    Well, not only have I been in the midst of my first Saturn return since late 2009, I experienced an absolutely mind blowing transiting Saturn/Mars conjunction on top of my natal Mars/MC back in the end of July 2010 that left me truly scared of what this combination can bring. Interestingly, the transiting Saturn/Mars conjunction itself was exact 3 days before the events unfolded (granted, transiting Mars was exactly conjunct natal Mars on the 2nd, then transiting Saturn went exact on the 7th). I can only describe the whole experience as a true hell on earth scenario (wrote about it on my blog here: ).

    Now, the current conjunction of transiting Mars and Saturn went exact early Wednesday morning for me, at 24Lib49…that’s a partile conjunction with my natal Pluto at 25Lib10.

    Needless to say, I feel like hiding under a rock for the next week or two!

    So far, nothing has happened that seems directly related to this transit other than the continued struggles and a recent need to call out one of my clients for dragging his feet with money he owes.

    Any ideas on all of this? Any suggestions on how to direct and channel this energy toward something constructive? Any notions of what I may be watching unfold in my life over the next week as this transit plays out?

    Sorry to write a novel here in your comments section – just really seeking some guidance on all of this from those more in the know and more impartial. Thanks for any help you can give 🙂

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  14. Terry August 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Similarities, and agreeing with Rob. By the way, a friend pulled a tarot card out of a spread i shared, which was the King of Wands. The King is focused upon the fire that tops his wand! This card suits him to a T. Especially since he’s an Aquarius and I’m a Cancer. The King of Wands is usually strong, optimistic, energetic, confident, and friendly by nature, good with words or motivating others, and quite physical. He enjoys challenges~~so he is frequently found in leadership roles. This card is for you Bob! These men are often found as entrepreneurs because they are always full of creative ideas and enthusiasm for their projects. However they are somewhat rash or impulsive in their decision-making, because they’re not afraid to take risks.
    In whatever role you find them, they stand out for their dynamic ways, and they like to feel a sense of freedom in being able to go about their work without restraint. Due to their high level of energy, they can be found in sport environments. They can also be found in sales positions or field sales, where they are left to their own devices, so long as they perform—but anywhere they can channel their apparently endless energy without restraint. They like variety and get bored easily; as such they dislike detail, which they feel bogs them down. In the negative, they may be rash, quick-tempered or hot tempered, selfish, impatient, controlling, over-confident to the point of arrogance, and they may have an inflated ego. This has been quite a ride! Thanks Lynn

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