Saturn in Pisces – Dry January and Beyond

Upon being invited to a “wine tasting” at the beginning of Uranus in Pisces in the early 2000s, I expected the California Sonoma County experience – small portions of wine – white then red – spittoons, and sommelier small talk.

While waiting in line at the event for one of my three reds (having finished the two half-full glasses of white), I fully understood that wine “tasting” in this town meant wine “drinking.”

People drinking isn’t new. In a town with love of college sports, people gathering at sports bars to watch a game and have a few isn’t new. College kids drinking isn’t new.

What was new was the added cultural gloss on a very common activity. We weren’t drinkers, we were discerning “tasters.” The cultural uplift of wine “tasting” was followed by the cultural uplift of “craft” alcohol. If I wake in the morning and drink whisky, you might think I have a problem. If I wake in the morning to go on a whisky “tour,” then it’s cultural and cool.

Uranus was in Pisces from 2003 – 2010. Then as Uranus left Pisces, Neptune entered Pisces and is there still but will change in a couple years (to Aries).

And now Saturn will move into Pisces in March 2023. Since 2003 we’ve had learned much about Pisces – awareness (Uranus), glamorization (Neptune) and now contraction (Saturn).

What does Pisces represent?


Isabel Hickey was a uniquely insightful astrologer. To understand three social/outer planets travelling back-to-back in this sign, her unique view is needed. Pisces is the mutable water sign and last sign of the zodiac.

Snippets from Astrology: A Cosmic Science, Pisces:

  • is the last sign of the zodiac and the inner self is preparing to retreat from the world
  • is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac and emotions are strong and deep
  • is represented by the glyph of the two fish tied together: one fish swims downstream representing the personality; the other fish swims upstream representing the soul – either the soul captures the personality and it becomes the servant or the soul is bound and made captive by the personality
  • is moody and introspective and hard to understand
  • needs to be alone and retreat from the world to retain equilibrium
  • is the prey of obsessing entities from the lower psychic levels due to psychic sensitivity
  • can be self-indulgent and wallow in the senses
  • has great musical ability

Most importantly:

  • the world is not their habitat and the need to escape from it is very great
  • when Pisceans are connected to the inner source of their Being, they are capable of great achievements
  • when not connected to the inner source of their Being, the way of escape is often through alcohol and drugs
  • the only true freedom comes from spiritual orientation

March of the Planets

Much of Pisces energy isn’t seen from the outside. Uranus in Pisces brought spiritual awareness and “mindfulness” is now a colloquial term. Inner growth isn’t always visible although the tools of spiritual growth may produce revenue – learning materials, meditation mats, health products, and books.

The negative side of Pisces is much more evident. As Hickey notes, drugs and alcohol are the most common forms of escapism. As a water sign, Pisces prefers alcohol. The Digital Life didn’t exist in Hickey’s day; had it she might have added excessive media to the list.

Uranus didn’t make us aware of wine and beer; it made us aware of the wide range of varieties that exist. It made us aware that we could change the branding of how we drink to make excess more acceptable, as certain segments had done for quite a while. For the producers, it gave awareness of ways to expand the market. According to this A Gallup poll from 2013 shows the shift from beer to wine and liquor.

Bring on Neptune which idealizes and glamorizes. This was the rise of the opioid epidemic, a repeat of the previous Neptune in Pisces transit when we had Opium Wars. At the end of this Neptune-in-Pisces transit we’re exploring the use of psychedelics! Tell the children of the 1960s! (The moral of the story here is our Pluto in Capricorn transit – if it comes from a corporation, it’s good! If it comes from your neighbor down the street, it’s bad).

Not surprisingly, transits of Uranus and Neptune caused much indulgence of alcohol. It’s now sold in delightful little bottles right by the grocery checkout (“Baby bottles of booze” Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). Those little bottles are difficult to resist.

Now comes Saturn in Pisces – the brakes.

Dry January and Beyond

Hearing about Dry January, I was reminded that Saturn in Pisces was around the corner. January is the sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. Good preparation for the upcoming transit. Saturn will move into Pisces a bit before St. Patrick’s Day which in the United States is a drinking holiday.

Hickey calls Saturn the “tester”:

Saturn’s goal is perfection. Through the chastening process of testing, sorrow, delay, disappointment, limitation and privation, man learns the purpose of life is not pleasure but to gain experience, patience, humility, wisdom and compassion.

Hickey adds a chart of qualities basic, positive, and negative. Dry January is represented by:

Basic: restraint

Positive: self-discipline

Negative: suppression

Limiting alcohol can provide health benefits. When we “suppress” as with Prohibition, it doesn’t solve the root problem and creates more problems (crime, dangerous manufacture). Restraint and self-discipline are the positive qualities where we may drink but understand where we cross a line and are fooling ourselves with cultural gloss.

But how does spiritual restraint work?

Spiritual bypassing is a term used to describe spirituality as a means of avoidance or escape from the pressing problems one doesn’t want to or know how to solve. In a way, the entire earth seems to be doing this by refusing to acknowledge we aren’t treating our home well.

For those on spiritual paths, there is a bunch of Saturn to encounter before true growth begins. “Be here, now” is something heard in the Buddhist tradition. Here and now means addressing what is occurring here and now, not rationalizing it away.

Remembering I had Liz Greene’s Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, I checked out her take on Saturn in Pisces. One sentence I had underlined I’ll share here as it’s to me the ultimate of Saturn responsibility:

There is nothing we hate so much as accepting responsibility for our actions and our fate, although man wants so desperately to believe that he is free.

We hear today that Exxon Mobil knew about the effects of oil use climate change back in the 1980s. We’d like to blame Exxon but I believe we all knew, we just accepted the lie. This same pattern repeats endlessly – argue away the issue today and later when it’s understood to be true, it’s too late to do anything and it’s unclear who is responsible.

A corporate executive I knew once said, “when everyone is responsible, no one is responsible” which is where we find ourselves today.

Drier Times

By the end of Saturn in Pisces (2.5 years), I’ll expect some drier climate conditions. As Saturn leaves Pisces for Aries a couple years from now, Neptune will also be moving to Aries. Water changes to fire. The next 2.5 years are the bridge.

Water issues are another area of everyone responsible-no one responsible. We are running out of fresh water on earth for many reasons and so many of the earth’s inhabitants do not have fresh drinking water. Blue Gold is the book you’ll want to read to catch up on that.

In early 2020 as Saturn entered Aquarius, the world went on physical lockdown. Our digital growth allowed non-physical interactions to replace physical interaction. I believe there’s an emotional cost to humans not being allowed to interact were this to be a new social model. At my age, I don’t believe that digital and physical are equivalent as humans are energy-generating beings and seeing them on screen only will create dangerous emotional separations.

Pisces rules the feet so we may see – in our plethora of new diseases – focus on foot ailments.

I’ll end with some Liz Greene and what may be the core of future challenges which Saturn in Pisces will reveal as the bridge to fire and air energies arising.

Greene covers Saturn in Pisces and the 12th house of the horoscope, the house ruled by Pisces:

The twelfth house, as the last in the circle and lying hidden behind the Ascendant or outward behaviour, symbolizes both endings and beginnings. It is the end because it represents the sacrifice which must ultimately be made of the conscious personality as a separation unit. From a more abstruse point of view it represents the beginning because it refers to those causes from the past, which, operating from birth and below the level of consciousness, draw us to those situations which require that we lose ourselves and die to be reborn into group consciousness.

While I would challenge “group consciousness” as the place of rebirth, I do wonder if this is apropos here because we are moving into air and fire consciousness in the next couple decades. Pluto in Aquarius (also coming soon) is evolution of group consciousness.

Our lockdown of 2020 may have been a social test on how to control great numbers of people in the most effective way. Emotional separation combined with distractions seems to be the model at this time.

Saturn in Pisces will demonstrate the effects of this model and whether emotional connection can ever be truly replaced with digital stimulation.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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