The Workxahead


 Vol. 444
This column is meant for people with a basic knowledge of astrological principles,

April 11, 2007

Dane Rudhyar's Mandala and 
the three Saturn/Neptune oppositions of 2006 & 2007

The combination of Saturn and Neptune is the most mystical combination there is. But it is also subtle and difficult.

On the physical level it can seem as if Neptune desintegrates the wholeness and togetherness of the ego, which is the reason that illness is a phenomenon that belongs as one of its expressions to this combination.  COSI (Combination of Stellar Influences) by Reinhold Ebertin only has negative things to say about Neptune. He translates it almost solely as deceit and illness. But that book was written in between two worldwars and that is almost a century ago. Collectively there has been evolution with regard to the content of Saturn and Neptune, because on the physical level the reverse side was that Saturn makes an end to disease, so it promotes health. If we talk about evolution in this sense, health in reality can also mean psychological health, where the body may still suffer, but not the Soul. This suffering is an expression of Neptune as ruler of the Piscean Age. Neptune is now in Aquarius however and tries to bring a new sound into the world. In the future it will no longer be by suffering and by being crucified to go forward on the spiritual path, it will be by way of cooperation between the individual and the group to which one belongs; in that sense, that we will start to realize ourselves that fortunately we are not all at the same time in a downperiod. In that way one can help the other if and when the need arises, as long as the group to whom one belongs spiritually is known. But now we are already talking about a spiritual viewpoint on this "first physical" level. That is because it ultimately is the intention for Spirit to receive form in matter, for which matter has to ascend.

On the psychological second level the Saturn/Neptune combination means: giving away one's responsibility (in a negative sense) or taking responsibility for one's dreams and maybe spiritual goals (positively speaking). Saturn of old has two faces, the one face turned to matter (the Descent into Matter), and the other is pointing the path to Eternity . . . If from a psychological viewpoint we look "upward" from the viewpoint of ourselves, we confront the rings of Saturn, which esoterically are the guardians on the threshold of consciousness (Neptune ruling consciousness). It is then a test for your personality whether you can take responsibility yourself for your life and dreams for otherwise the rings do not open for Neptune to work in unison with Saturn instead of as an opposition.

On the transpersonal level we are on the purely spiritual level and quite often in this process of opposition between the two planets of time and timelessness, of the here and now and eternity, there is a process of desintegration of the entire structure of the personality (Neptune working in on the Saturn-structured matter: the rules, the structures of our eternal lives) to make a next step to precisely the integration of the personality with the Higher Self (Neptune inspired) Pure Consciousness (Neptune), or the transpersonal life (also Neptune).

Because very few people are"whole" within, One with all  that is, most people (even those on the transpersonal path), will have and still live the Saturn/Neptune opposition as an opposition. It means that in this present Saturn and Neptune timeframe we always see one of the two planets opposite and outside of ourselves if we choose the other pole. Some will react more subtly than others on this opposition. Some will have a sleeping consciousness and others will have externalized and awakened some of Neptune's world already. (Neptune awakened is the Higher  Self being lived consciously). 

So even if you were to identify yourself with the Higher Self or Pure Consciousness, you will meet with an opposition of Saturn in the outside world, where Time is the ruler, being divided into past, present and future.

If you are by nature someone who is very Saturnal and who has little confidence in the Great Spirit, than you will meet with that quality in various known and lesser known forms outside of you. Saturn placed outside is meeting up with karma in the outside world (which can be good or less so). Neptune placed outside is meeting God in the outside world (that you will or will not recognize).

In Dane Rudhyar's Astrological Mandala (Vintage Books, NY May '74, ISBN 0-394-71992-2) you will find a more mystical interpretation of the Sabian Symbols which originally were written down in San Diego as clairvoyant astrological symbols of the 360 zodiacal degrees. With the aid of Rudhyar's  insights we can read the necessary meanings of the Saturn/Neptune opposition, what they meant, what they still mean, and what it is going to be potentially, both individually and collectively, as expression of this quality "in the skies" in many different forms on Earth. There is also a form of chronology, because we are talking about three oppositions, which of course follow one another, this time in a period of 11 months.

The first opposition took place after a period of enormous draught over here in Western Europe (the Sun and Saturn with Neptune not in material form) on August 31, 2006. August itself became the wettest month of all, breaking all weather records (Neptune pours down and took over). I predicted this successfully on the Dutch pages of my website early 2006, which was not so difficult. I merely thought of what happened over here in 1953 when Saturn and Neptune together brought about a true deluge in one of our provinces (called "Sea-land"/ Neptune-Saturn). In a timeframe where our inner and outer dykes (the Delta-works) where not in order.  During the next Saturn/Neptune conjunction in 1988 the Delta Works were completed and its technology exported to Pakistan, because it was over there in 1988 that a true 'deluge' was happening then. Evolutionary speaking during those past Saturn/Neptune meetings we were still weak within and without, as healing from the previous worldwars was still necessary. Neptune was not functioning properly on the spiritual level yet. 

August 31 2006 Saturn was on the 18th degree of Leo. The Sabian symbol speaks of a chemist conducting a laboratory experiment. An enquiry is going on. Neptune was in opposition and the 18th degree of Aquarius says: secret motives are being published, behaviour from the past becomes public knowledge. These two meanings were of course closely connected: due to experiments and enquiry certain hidden factors from the past came out into the open. Maybe you performed your own experimental enquiries with astrology and came to face the present-day results? 

Reversing it and taking Neptune as the starting point linked up to Higher Universal Truths: it was the past which led to new experiments of enquiry. This can have taken place on the physical level (healing), on the psychological level (inner work), or on the transpersonal level, and then it directly zoomed in on your spiritual path.  It is also possible, (and even likely) that you have lived both sides of the opposition, depending on changing circumstances. Maybe this abstraction gives you an idea as to what happened in 2006?

The 2nd opposition was part of the process, it took place very recently in February, but in fact it is possible to move step by step in reading up the Mandala degrees between the 18th and 21st degrees. The 2nd opposition took place on the 21st degree of Leo for Saturn on February 28,2007, and on the 21st degree of Aquarius for Neptune.

Neptune really played out its role as planet of disillusionment looking at the Sabian symbol: "A disappointed and desillusioned woman courageously faces a seemingly empty life". The disillusionment can have occurred vis-a-vis people represented by the house Neptune is transitting in in your own chart. Saturn was opposite it and busied itself with negative spiritual experiences (according to the Mandala). Now, all things which happened to us in this respect, if any, are karmic visitations and need to be faced courageously, as a test on one's strength of character.

What will the last Saturn/Neptune opposition mean on June 25th (15.55 GMT) at 21.47 Aquarius (Neptune) and Leo (Saturn)?

"Man is never left without assistance when eagerly seeking to grow emotionally and spiritually. Even if he does not consciously realize the intent and value of what sustains his self development and cushions the shocks which life provides, still the assistance is there. He may think: No one understands me. But the understanding is there if he does not egotistically take for granted that life and society owe him everything."

Saturn opposes it and may this time be the carrier of the understanding, its symbol being: "a carrier pigeon fulfilling its mission". Spirituality, in terms of training for service to mankind, i.e. the goal is to be a world-server.

Now, it is entirely possible that we need to serve the world and get training via the circumstances of the house where Saturn is transitting in our own charts. And it is highly likely that the desillusionment which will turn into an inner confirmation of being understood after all (on whatever intuitive Neptunian level) takes place in the house where Neptune is currently transitting.

Neptune is such a subtle planet and often takes so long sojourning a house, that we can hardly become aware of its function if it were not for an opposition of Saturn taking place! 


Joyce Hoen DF Astrol S, 2007, e-mail chta @

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