Transiting Saturn Conjunctions ~ Scenes from Melancholia

Planets of the Solar System

If you watched the movie Melancholia by Lars von Trier and made it through the excruciating wedding scene that makes up the first half of the film, you saw a masterful representation of what transiting Saturn’s approaching conjunction to a natal planet feels like.

The premise of the movie is that a planet is on a steady course for Earth. Will it crash into Earth and destroy it or not?

The title ~ Melancholia ~ is one of Saturn’s most descriptive words. Without a doubt, the lead (played by Kirsten Dunst) is a top-notch melancholic. There’s so much gloom and doom lusciously strewn about for delicious wallowing regardless of the beautiful setting. The richness and beauty of the setting makes it all the more somber. Most of us have known the deep despair and heartbreak that exists within, no matter how beautiful life appears on the outside.

The movie is a grand example of Saturn transiting Libra or the 7th house…in its darkest form. A good question for contemplation as Saturn exits Libra or the 7th house is, “Do I still exist?”

The first half of the film is centered on a wedding. The premise of the film ~ the end of the world ~ is the most potent backstory that could be devised. This isn’t the fairytale they lived happily ever after ending. Worlds do metaphorically end when we exchange the single life for a yoked one, and planetary aspects are a type of marriage or yoking.

If you didn’t see the film, I want to show you two clips that will put conjunctions in perspective. Here’s the first ~ a scene that shows us what…oh let’s pick Saturn…conjoining any natal planet might feel like. It’s not what actually happens out there in space, thank heavens. The planets are billions of miles apart. But it’s a darn good example of what a transiting conjunction looks like in your chart.

There’s a merging of energy with the conjunction. The energy of the conjoining planet fuses, easily or not so easily, with the energy of the other so that they become one. There’s a notable impact.

In a future post, I’ll use the final scene from Melancholia to illustrate what a dreaded transiting conjunction feels like when it hits. Since the focus is on gloom and doom, and Saturn is so good at that, he’ll be our poster boy in the example.

Did Saturn conjunct any natal planets in Libra or your 7th house? What effects have you noticed?

Tell me about any transiting conjunctions that changed your world.


Notes on the director and star of Melancholia:

In an interview with von Trier on the movie’s website, Nils Thorsen reports “The title was inspired by his own depression. Later, presumably in a TV documentary, he saw that Saturn is the planet for melancholia, and, searching the internet, he suddenly came across a web page about cosmic collisions.”

There’s an abundance of juicy Saturn stuff in the interview and I encourage you to read it and watch the movie. They’re full of longing, misery, hollowness, and death wishes. There’s lots of juicy Pluto stuff, too.

Von Trier was born April 30, 1956, time unknown. See his chart at Astrotheme.

Dunst was born April 30, 1982, time unknown. (Chart) Both have spoken openly about their depression.

Both have Sun in Taurus. He has Saturn square Pluto. She has Saturn conjunct Pluto.

11 thoughts on “Transiting Saturn Conjunctions ~ Scenes from Melancholia

  1. Good article! I saw the movie–twice. My Moon is 17 Libra, so I can relate well to the ominous feeling during his transit, and somewhat approaching. Saturn stationed at 17 on its first pass and that is when I reconnected with a man I had dated 30 years ago (Saturn’s cycle!). Back then I dumped him (he was 10 years younger than me) and married someone else more suitable (I was divorced and had two children). It broke his heart and he remained unmarried. I had lost track of him those 30 years and had no particular interest in trying to find him, but did via Facebook. This time we were magnetically drawn together and the same loving feelings were there. I am a grandmother and unattached now so was quite surprised to find myself in a romantic relationship. The chemistry was off the charts (both of us have Venus in Scorpio and conjunct each other). Well, to make the story shorter, he began to distance himself when I said I would never marry anyone again, but would love him and be with him. Eventually he dumped me, though he seemed to want me to beg him to stay. Ironically, we both still love each other! For me it was extremely painful, melancholic, and like death (my Moon rules my 8th), and I think for him too (he had Saturn conjunct a 5-planet T-square right after he ended it). It has taken a lot of inner work to get so I can talk about this. I have gotten over it but am glad to see Saturn leave Libra!

    1. I’m glad to see it go, too, Gail! Good riddance. It seems like the longer transit I’ve ever endured. I went through the Second Saturn Return and a conjunction to my natal Neptune, both in the 8th. Good practice for Saturn in Scorpio, I guess.

  2. Melancholia, oh yea! Plus, a major reality check.:) Saturn’s transit through my natal 2nd first conjoined my Ceres, then later, my Venus, North Node and Sun – also my progressed Ascendant. As it did so, it formed a square to my progressed Moon (in Capricorn), as well as my progressed IC/MC axis (in Capricorn/Cancer – about to change signs). And Saturn’s not done with me yet.

    The best way to sum it up would be to say that for quite a while now, certain aspects of my life have remained in a holding pattern, with lots of effort yielding few tangible results -at least in the material world. We’ve been trying to find a descent, affordable place to live but finances have remained an obstacle; the irony being it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be able to earn more money doing what I love where we currently live (Saturn rules my 5th), yet we’re bound to the area because of my husband’s job and health benefits. I’ve gained a certain amount of recognition and respect in my unpaid work, but I need to contribute more financially, which is something I don’t see happening here.

    Up until recently, I’d pretty much given up on the idea of ever being able to live anywhere other than my home town (natal Saturn in the 4th), but now I’m more than ready to face my fears and take realistic steps to make it happen; the growing disparity between the “Haves” and “Have-Nots” makes it an unfriendly environment in which to grow old, as in, “Do we continue to matter when we stop being financially viable, or is quality of life something reserved only for those of us with good earning futures?” We live in an expensive city and I’m not getting any younger – better to choose wisely now, while I still have a choice. I’m trying to make the best of this downtime by planning, organizing and getting rid of what we don’t need, while waiting patiently for the right opportunity to present itself. I also made the difficult decision to let go of a significant relationship during Saturn’s transit – hard as it was, I know it was for the best.

    1. “Holding pattern” is such an evocative phrase, Saturn setting boundaries around what you’d like to see grow. I feel that, too. Frankly, I’ve lost hope of things getting any better at all since I’m not getting any younger, either, and I’m in a small town environment with extremely limited opportunities. Honestly, expenses are higher than when we were in New York City, with a dramatic decrease in opportunity. We’ve been here quite a while now with failure after failure. I’ve been “aged out” of the recent opportunities that have presented themselves and, since there are no arts at all in this town, my skills and talents in that area don’t mean squat.

      I find myself on the opposite side of the fence from you, wondering if a larger and more expensive city, wouldn’t hold more opportunities. As you say, there’s pressure to choose wisely now, while we still have a choice.

      1. Oh CJ, I can tell from your comment you relate to what I’m saying and I’m sorry you find yourself in a similar position. Although aging definitely has its rewards, to some extent our world, as well as our opportunities/options, do seem to get smaller for a time as we acclimate to certain practical realities; I saw my mother go through the same thing when -at the ripe old age of 58 (her Saturn Return)- she finally made the move to a smaller town to be near her aging mother and couldn’t find work because of her age. I still remember how belittled and demeaned she felt. Eventually she ended up moving back to the city where she stayed until she retired. Then she moved back to another smaller town, this time one with some of the same conveniences found in the city, only more affordable and with a better quality of life. For a variety of reasons, it’s much worse than it was 30 yeas ago. Not everyone feels it in the same way or to the same extent, but it’s real. I know you know what I mean when I say our salaries and earning potentials have shrunk, while our costs -including rent, transportation and most *especially* our health insurance costs (!!!)- have gone way up.

        And to be honest, we don’t yet know where we’ll end up – there are more volunteer opportunities for me here in the city (and work for my husband), but also higher rents, more crime, noise and garbage, and it seems unlikely we’ll be able to afford it here for much longer. Most of the places we can still afford here are illegal in-law units, which are generally much smaller and less livable (some don’t even have dead-bolt locks on the doors, or heat), and adding insult to injury, most landlords of these units don’t rent to couples or families, who tend to be longer-term renters. We’re in a rent-controlled city where long-term renters make it tough for landlords to reap the potential profits to be gained from raising rents to keep up with current rents – which are exorbitant, btw!

        I guess that’s Saturn for you. The trick is to make wise choices which make the most of the gifts and blessings we do have, while respecting the limitations imposed by circumstances and things beyond our control (Pluto???). I still have hope, it just asks more of me these days in order for it to slowly grow. In the process, some things have had to be surrendered or put on hold. Wherever you end up, I wish you all the best, CJ!:) I appreciate your gifts and the way you share them on your blog.

        1. Health insurance? What’s that?!! Lost that with Saturn going through the 8th. A positive result of that is that I learned that we don’t need the doctor for everything. I’ve become better at finding homey, natural cures for things I would have taken a pill for before. It’s the big ticket items that are scarey ~ like a hospital stay.

          I wish you all the best, too, LB. There’s a good world out there. Redefined perhaps, but a good world.

        2. Ouch! Sorry, CJ. I know what you mean – we don’t rely on doctors or pills either. I haven’t been to one in years – I quit going after my Chiron Return (in the 6th). Luckily, at this point we don’t need to and for that I’m grateful. We only have insurance so we don’t risk losing everything in the event of a major event, but I know not everyone is able to make that choice. As you’ve said, it’s a good reason to become more proactive, informed (and creative) when it comes to our health. It’s also one of the reasons I volunteer as an alternative healer.

          Don’t know if I’ll live to see it or not, but I’d love to see a world where this is no longer an issue. Our world does hold the potential for good and there’s much to be grateful for.

  3. Hi CJ,
    I have had Saturn conjunct my Neptune in the 4th house….and my husband has Saturn conjunct his Sun in the 5th house. Just now leaving as his sun is at 28 degrees. He has been doing chemo for over a year, and I have just been all around confused. He will also have Saturn conjunct Venus, Mercury and Mars all in Scorpio. Needless to say things are downright gloomy at times. I hope that Saturn getting off my husbands Sun will lift his spirits.

    1. I hope so, too, Susie. Things have been rough for a while for you and hubby. I’m sending good thoughts for happier spirits.

  4. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of Saturn entering my seventh house will be. I also have Mars that will be making a conjunction soon to Natal Saturn in the 7th house in Sagittarius. What comes to mind is one of those people who are driving with the brakes on wondering why things are going as smoothly or quickly as they think they should.

    1. Great analogy, William. Go carefully. Whenever I’ve driven like that, it’s been a bumpy ride.

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