The Jupiter-Saturn Square: Crushed Black

If you’ve ever watched a dimly lit scene in a movie on a DVD or Blu-ray or on your computer, and a scene that is supposed to be set in the dark is just a murky featureless black expanse, you’ve experienced what video geeks call “crushed black.” It’s usually caused when the people transferring the film to video format decided to do some color correction to make the colors pop more. The problem is that the same technique, misapplied, can make the details in the dark diminish or vanish entirely.

That’s a little like what the current Jupiter-Saturn Square is doing to a lot of us.


Before the discovery of the “modern planets” and their inclusion into astrology, Jupiter and Saturn represented the outer limits of our knowledge, both astronomically and astrologically. Whenever those two planets come to contact by aspect, it is often a time of moral decision. The trine and sextile are easier aspects, but the square is a difficult one. The Jupiter-Saturn square can represent a crisis of confidence, a lack of direction, or lack of moral fortitude. A lot of us are facing that of late, and some of us will be facing this more than others. For those of you who have your Sun, Moon, or other important placements between 16-22° of the Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), you’re likely feeling it especially strongly.

There are also certain specific age groups that are getting the Jupiter-Saturn pinch of late:

October 1947-March 1948 or July-September 1948 or December 1954-May 1955 or October-December 1955 or March-September 1963 or December 1963-January 1964 or June 1970-April 1971 or November-December 1976 or July-September 1977 or October 1984-January 1985 or May-October 1985 or January-March 1993: Your natal Saturn is being affected. The structures you’ve built around yourself are getting a shaking, and that can be pretty unsettling. Stay the course, but make sure you know which things you need to keep in your life and which should be thrown overboard.

May 1938-May 1940 or July 1959-June 1961 or January-April 1978 or October 1978-December 1979 or May-October 1980 or March 1999-February 2001: Your natal Uranus is undergoing a challenge. Who you are as a distinct individual and how you contribute your uniqueness to the world is getting pushed around. The big challenge here is to learn where, when and how to push back.

December 1962-November 1967: This transit is affecting your natal Neptune. No matter how well everything else is going, it can feel like your dreams are being neglected or stomped, or you just might feel like escaping. Escape can be good… but to where, and how? Don’t give up — think your way through it.

August 1948-October 1954 or January 1989-October 1993: Your natal Pluto is under pressure. In some ways you might feel like caving in or blowing up. The trick here is to learn how to make your mark on life without making that mark a bomb crater.

In some ways this will all come to a peak in the first part of December, when Jupiter stations at 22° Leo and goes retrograde, but for the most part the worst of it will be over by late November. If your placements are later in the Fixed Signs, the difficulties will reach their peak later in November or December.

So: if you are experiencing the more negative effects of this transit, it will pass — but be careful not to focus too much on the brightly-lit parts as a distraction. At any given time, you are likely to be having some good and some bad transits, and you might be tempted to ignore some of the things moving quietly in the shadows of your life . You might miss a lot of the beauty that can come from contemplating those moments of surprisingly-detailed darkness.

Written by: Matthew Currie
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