Learning … from the early 50s and 80s 

Libra 2009

On October 29th, 2009 Saturn enters Libra for the first time since September 1980. He stays there until April 7th, 2010 when he puts a foot back into Virgo until July 21st, 2010 and then he takes the plunge and stays in Libra until October 5th, 2012 when he moves off into the sign of Scorpio for his next teaching assignment.

Astrology is the study of cycles. So what we astrologers do to try to gain meaning and advice for a future period, is to look back and see what was happening the last time (in this case) that Saturn was in Libra. He has about a 29-year cycle so we don’t notice these cycles passing as we would the seasons. Libra in the northern hemisphere represents Autumn, in the south Spring, but when planets other than the Sun go through each sign we are not in the habit of taking any meaning from it. A pity, as much insight can be gained by doing so.

Saturn eats his children

Rubens: Saturn eats one of his sons – photo from Wikipedia

Of course there are many things happening in the sky that are relevant, particularly at the moment with Saturn opposing Uranus, which I have written about in my Virgo 2009 post. However I think it is still instructive to take one element and see what that can tell us.

I will look at just two of the last Saturn in Libra periods. If you had a mind to and had an historical bent, you could go back a long way but I hope to give the general flavour.

So the dates for the last two cycles are:

21/9/80 until 24/8/83 with a test run into Scorpio from 29/11/82 to 6/5/83.

20/11/1950 until 22/10/53 with a step back into Virgo from 7/3/51- 13/8/51.

Saturn Returns

Incidentally anyone who was born within these dates, i.e. with Saturn in Libra in their birth chart, will have what is called a ‘Saturn Return’ in the next few years, when Saturn returns to the same place as he was at the time of your birth. This is usually a very decisive period, with sometimes new goals being set. But it can be a very heavy and difficult period, particularly if you don’t take responsibility for what is happening in your life. It is, however, a good time to sow a seed for the coming 29 years. Interestingly, the United States chart has this happening between December 2010 and August 2011. This is a good time for the US to decide their missions and goals and to take back some authority on the global stage. I believe that the US has a peace-making mission as one of her goals. However it could be a testing period.

Libra Rules

The sign of Libra encompasses the following areas, which are the ones that will be affected. Relationships, art and music, balance, peace, and in particular fairness and justice. The scales is a symbol that suggests things are equal and that each side has the same ‘weight’. Libra is about twos – partners, pairs, husbands, wives, the ‘other’ in negotiation – another Libra word.


Photo of Justitia in Antwerp, showing her with the scales and the sword to fight injustice. She is often blindfolded to show impartiality. Wikipedia.

Saturn, on the other hand, is about authority, goals, missions, meeting targets and deadlines, structures, frameworks, forms and especially about responsibility. Borders and boundaries form part of his domain too. He is serious about what he does. The old wise man.

On a good day

Putting these two principles together to get the positive things we should strive for in this period gives us:

Framework for peace, peace missions, fair authority, just negotiations, responsibility in all relationships, serious art, fair deadlines, balance in the earth … I could go on. And you can make up your own. These are just some of the opportunities in this period.

On a bad day

However both Libra and Saturn have their negative qualities and if we are not conscious of these we can end up with:

Indecisive goals, attempting to please authority figures, blaming the ‘other’, unfair negotiations using hard tactics, abusing authority in relationships (remember Saturn ate his children!), too fixated on fairness, fear in partnership, fear of being out of balance or alone.

So what happened before?

It is interesting that as I write this, Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, a choice with which not everyone agrees. One of the earlier recipients of this award in a Saturn in Libra period (1983), was Lech Walesa. He set up the Solidarity Movement in Poland because (being a Libra himself) he believed in the power of negotiation. To quote the Committee:

LechWalesa“Lech Walesa’s activities have been characterised by a determination to solve his country’s problems through negotiation and cooperation without resorting to violence. He has attempted to establish a dialogue between the organisation he represents – Solidarity – and the authorities. The Committee regards Walesa as an exponent of the active longing for peace and freedom which exists, in spite of unequal conditions, unconquered in all the peoples of the world.

The Committee has on several occasions when awarding the Peace Prize emphasised that a campaign for human rights is a campaign for peace. Furthermore the Committee believes that Walesa’s attempt to find a peaceful solution to his country’s problems will contribute to a relaxation of international tension.

In an age when detente and the peaceful resolution of conflicts are more necessary than ever before, Lech Walesa’s contribution is both an inspiration and an example.”

Walesa is a great example of Saturn in Libra – of gaining authority at the right time for appropriate reasons. So Obama seems to be heading for a period where his approach might work even though he does not have the benefit of being a Libra! He is however representing the US Saturn in Libra.


thatcher reagan

Thatcher and Reagan – photo Dailymail.co.uk

The Saturn in Libra period in the early 80’s saw Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan take charge. Maggie too is a Libra with a heavy Saturn accent, so perfect for the times. Love her or hate her, Maggie did come from a sense of balance. She also fought when she saw what she thought of as unfairness. The Falkland War was during this period. It is not that everything is peaceful under Libra (when is it ever?) It was about justice for her. David Cameron is also a Libran so this time could be good for him too. The ‘troubles’ in Ireland were also during this period. Any form of injustice will be taken seriously under this sky signature. The balance must be redressed.


It is perhaps encouraging that peace frameworks and formal peace agreements have also been formed at these times. It was, in fact, not until Saturn entered Libra in 1951 that the formal peace agreement with Japan was signed by 49 countries after the end of the Second World War.

Deja Vu?

It was a time of Iranian revolution when Iran rejected Anglo-US intervention in politics and business. Haven’t I heard that somewhere before?


charles and di

Prince Charles and Diana Spencer wedding – 29 July 1981

Although Saturn in Libra can be a significator of long relationships and formal commitments, perhaps one should take care when marrying under these skies. Prince Charles and Diana were married in the early 80s! Perhaps this says more about being told what to do than about being authentic.

On another note

Good ol’ long-lasting Rock ‘n Roll started in the early 50’s. Saturn has staying power and in Libra any art that starts in that period should last. Who knows what happened to this in the 80’s then? But we did get the Walkman and the CD. It makes you wonder what will happen this time. It will probably be more about making us pay for music and art on internet. More Saturn rules and regulations concerning art and music. But it could bring great technology. The first computers and the first PC’s saw the light here too. This could be about our serious relationships with machines. Perhaps there will be even more marriages where partners met on the internet. Maybe you won’t even need to be on the same continent to get married!


Because Libra is an air sign we do seem to have had progress in aviation with the first jet airliners and the first flight of Columbia in these times. However I’m not sure why the TGV and the first nuclear submarine are in this period. It may be due to the fact that serious cooperation of experts was necessary, so I would expect progress in any big projects where cooperation is tantamount such as the CERN project in Geneva.

So there you have it

The opportunities for many good things. But also a need for hard work if the last two periods are anything to go by. Both were not easy times. The trick in business is to take fair decisions and have balanced leadership. Take responsibility if you have the authority in any matter. Cooperate and work together for progress both with staff and other companies. Give your clients fair deals and be careful about where you get your music. Or perhaps start up a new type of band!

Faye Blake-Cossar

Interesting Website of the Month

The original article I linked to here is no longer available so I have added one from fellow astrologer Austin Coppick.

Quote of the Month

“We must be courageous but also reasonable. The world admires us for walking a tightrope without falling off. It asks us to keep our balance.” Lech Walesa born September 29, 1943.

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