Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
”I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the White Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Saturn/Uranus square is exact three times in 2021,
giving us a long interval in which to make magic:
from February 17, June 14/15, to December 23/24
Not only should you believe in impossible dreams this year, with the help of the Saturn/Uranus square, you can achieve them! Saturn and Uranus are exciting the world into new directions, which could be wondrously good or horrifically bad. It all depends on what people choose to do. Now is when old worlds are colliding with what’s rising and new.
Already this year, a few things I thought I’d never see were the Democrats taking the Senate by way of Georgia—on the same day a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol—or what happened in Russia last week. Risking the threat of arrest and jail, thousands of protesters gathered in 100 cities across the country to demand that Putin release his chief critic Navalny (the largest demonstrations in his 20 years of rule). Also amazing, how Reddit investors–the little guys–took down the big Wall Street fat cats who make billions shorting stocks.
Saturn is a planet of “the collective.” This archetype defines the norms and expectations of society. Uranus is an “outer” planet, which means it brings intimations of worlds beyond our view. Saturn is controlling and authoritative. He likes to keep things the way they are. Uranus favors spontaneity, freedom, originality, and rebellion.
They couldn’t be more opposite. Think of them as waves driving through the collective unconscious. With the square these waves are now crashing into each other. This produces tremendous energy—which can erupt as tensions, quarrels, and violence—or breakthroughs.
What goes through the collective unconscious moves through each psyche. That means Saturn and Uranus are already rippling through you. Left unconscious, they’ll instigate moods of irritation, anger, and resistance. But with awareness, you can put these strong forces to work. Is there something impossible you’d like to achieve? Are there any stuck patterns you’d like to break through?
If so, I have a ritual for you. It begins with three offerings–that follow the plan left for us in the collective unconscious. There myths reveal the paths to magical success.
First Offering: Conjure Six Impossible Dreams
Few squaring planets have an ancient myth describing their nature, but luckily the Greeks left us one specifically about the fight between Cronos (Saturn) and Ouranos (Uranus). It’s a classic story of change–how old worlds perpetually resist the future. It’s the perfect myth to guide us through our Saturn/Uranus journey this year.
Ouranos was the original sky god, married to Gaia, the original goddess of earth. He hated their children. Ouranos buried them in caves and crevices and stuffed them back into Gaia’s womb—until fed up, she inspires their youngest son Cronos to topple him.
But then Cronos starts eating his children, becoming just like the Old One he deposed. The fight between these two never dies. Many centuries later, when a new planet is discovered just beyond Saturn, it’s actually named for his deposed father, Uranus, who’s undergone major rebranding. He’s now seen as a god of freedom and invention, a Promethean rebel for change.
You can never get out of a square while working inside of a square. Its archetypal battle is never-ending. And so the myth directs us elsewhere for release. Cronos’ wife Rhea uses trickery to hide her latest child Zeus (Jupiter), whom she then secretly raises until he can take the old dictator down.
And that’s where the power game ends. Zeus doesn’t eat his children. He forces Cronus to un-swallow his heavenly brothers and sisters. Zeus/Jupiter is creative—and he loves women. He fathers many new worlds.
So it’s to Jupiter that we make our first offering. He’s the One who can take us into an entirely new paradigm. Jupiter’s no frivolous god of delusions. To honor him, we must turn our mind toward higher, ennobling visions. We commit to conceiving of 6 incredible–yet meaningful–dreams.
“Vote for the future with your imagination,” visionary astrologer Caroline Casey has famously said. This is the first offering. You’re going to stretch your imagination to conjure a world that’s better in 6 different ways. Imagine 3 impossible things you’d love to realize for yourself. Then imagine 3 for the larger world.
Remember, these are dreams—which aren’t the same as goals. The time for goals comes later. To properly invoke Jupiter now, you need to be in an expansive, optimistic space. Like you’re standing on a mountaintop, with your heart open to the full embrace of the surrounding horizon. Remember the White Queen who advised thinking of six impossible things before breakfast.
In Tim Burton’s movie version of Alice in Wonderland, the White Queen is such an artful character, she gives the illusion of perpetually dancing. It is she who completes the recipe for Alice’s Shrinking Potion by adding in her own Wishful Thinking. Later, while fighting the Jabberwocky, Alice conjures her list of impossible things:
- There’s a potion that can make you shrink.
- And a cake that can make you grow.
- Animals can talk.
- Cats can disappear.
- There is a place called Wonderland.
- I can slay the Jabberwocky.
Of course each of these were quite relevant to Alice’s situation! And so should your dreams be relevant to yours. Allow the play of your thoughts to juggle possibilities—until it settles on the ones right for you. Then empower the language. Edit your dreams into concise present-tense sentences, speaking as though they were already true. Write these down on a square piece of paper—your 3 personal aspirations on one side, your 3 visions for the collective on the other.
To make a paper square, take the top right corner of an 8½ x 11 piece of paper and fold it diagonally until it meets the left side; cut off what’s left at the bottom piece and you have a square.
One caution. You should be wary of inadvertently jumping into the square—which means taking one side or the other in the Saturn/Uranus fight. For example, as one of my collective aspirations, I might wish that all the “Stop the Steal” folks would wake up and realize they’ve been duped. But that just keeps the battle going. Better to wish for a world where truth becomes valuable again.
You might immediately know what to put on your lists of three. But if you don’t, then exciting contemplations await. Collectively, there are so many world-ending crises—climate change, the pandemic and its economic catastrophes, the inequalities of money, class and race—measure yourself. Which issues most grab you? Or—you can focus on nested collectives—conjure one dream each, for your town, your country, the world.
As for your personal dreams, they won’t count if they don’t move you. Start with the places where you feel stuck. Where are you most excited to grow? What impossible dreams do you secretly hope can come true?
Second Offering: Work through a Small Challenge
The gift of squares is that they make you fierce. They develop conviction, creativity, and strength. The constant battle between squaring planets keeps you growing. They stretch you beyond your comfort zones.
Of the Saturn/Uranus square, Reinhold Ebertin writes (in his classic work on stellar influences) that at its very best this combination bestows: the ability to cope with every situation, the power to pull through and endure, perseverance, indefatigability, willpower, determination. These are the qualities we want to summon with our second offering, which we make to the lords Saturn and Uranus.
We perform an appropriately symbolic gesture. Since we’re following the myth, we want to disguise and hide our dreams, just as Rhea did with her infant son. We’re going to fold the square piece of paper into the shape of a crane. That’s right, we’re going to do some origami. And the less you know about origami, the better. This offering is meant to be a challenge. In the spirit of the square, you want to do something awkward and a little hard.
Easy Origami Crane Instructions
Google around–there are plenty of teaching videos. If you’re like me, this challenge may take you days to complete–which is perfect. If you already know how to make a paper crane, choose a more complicated shape. Or choose something else entirely. It just needs to serve these two aims—to shape-shift your list—and to summon your effort. The best way to please Saturn and Uranus is to be willing to persevere. If your first attempt doesn’t work, do it again. Surrender into the heart of the square for however long it takes (I recommend anytime before the square is first exact, which is February 17).
As best as your concentration allows, while you’re folding, keep the sense of your dreams in the room, maybe make a rhyme of them to sing inside a little tune. Once you’ve completed your crane, you’ll need to choose a special place for it. I like the idea of my bird sitting in a (Jupiterian) high place, so I’ll be carefully resting it on top of a bookshelf. Maybe your list is disguised as an egg that you’ll want to hide in a symbolic nest. Let your intuition advise what’s right for you.
Third Offering: Respect & Awaken the Divine Feminine
Nothing good would have happened without the goddesses. With clear eyes they watch what occurs and devise plans for improving the situation. As the sexual partners of Ouranos and Cronos, they’re receptive to the forces of reality. Yet they’re also creative. They bring real children through their wombs into an actual world. And they’re wise. They wait patiently, shrewdly, until intuition sends the perfect plan.
Gaia makes the scythe that Saturn uses to sever his father’s genitals. After giving birth to Zeus, Rhea presents Saturn with a well-disguised stone to devour. “Gaia” and “Rhea” are an ancient culture’s names for what today we might call the “Divine Feminine,” or even the “Goddess of the Moon.” The Divine Feminine is always on the side of life. She lives inside us as the unconscious intelligence of our bodies. She’s the divine healer, nurturer, comforter, and Creatrix.
I suggest two offerings for the Divine Feminine—to reflect the two expressions of the goddess in this tale. The first offering is to sincerely vow to come into right and loving relationship with your own body. Given the unholy messages abounding in the world, it’s “normal” to consider our bodies as flawed objects separate from ourselves—as somehow wrong, weak or broken and needing to be fixed like a bad painting or some machine.
But the reverse is a more enlightened view. Your body is intelligence in action. It’s Gaia in the flesh. Respect her. When she presents symptoms of dis-ease, she’s alerting you to something in your lifestyle that’s out of balance. Gaia wants your ears! She’s dedicated to your wellbeing.
The second offering is to catch yourself, as much as possible, in your own moments of resisting change. Whenever you’re inflamed with irritation, anger, or impatience—big or small—you’re right inside the Saturn/Uranus square. With clear, receptive eyes, just observe, as Gaia and Rhea did. Get wiser about your masculine patterns, the lords inside your own head. Then wait–for intuition to send the perfect plan. That will be the Goddess’ gift.
There are 9 special cards in the Tarot, known as “gate” cards. When contemplated, they have the ability to awaken us into higher understandings. That’s the way to think of your negative moods this year: they’re the gates to your transcendence!
Ritual for the Saturn/Uranus Square
The Saturn/Uranus square is exact three times in 2021:
February 17, June 14/15, December 23/24.
You can start the ritual at anytime. We’ll review our progress in mid-June and again at the end of this year. Always, more important than the calendar is the sincerity of your presence—all the way through the ritual. If performed like just another chore, you won’t gain much. Make it sacred.
Here’s a review of the steps:
- Conceive of 6 improbable dreams—3 for yourself, 3 for the collective.
- Write these down on each side of a square piece of paper.
- Learn how to fold this square into a paper crane. Your aim is to disguise your list as a different shape. If this work is difficult, all the better. It presents your first opportunities for your inner Goddess to observe you in the acts of being frustrated and resistant. Stay with the goal and turn these states around. Then congratulate yourself for being strong, determined and persevering.
- Select a place for your dream-holding crane that feels appropriate. You can keep it on your altar or hide it in a some metaphorical cave. You can do this anytime. Always auspicious are dates within the two weeks of the waxing moon (from new moon to full moon). Taurus or Aquarius moon days might be especially nice as these are the signs Uranus and Saturn currently occupy. Saturday is also auspicious–as this is traditionally Saturn’s day (as an outer planet, Uranus doesn’t have one).
- When you place your crane, recite your six dreams and the following prayer:
Oh Great Powers who turn the world
Whirling through me and all around,
Magnificent, wish-fulfilling Jupiter
Hard-working, goal-driven Saturn
Bright rebel Uranus, full of surprise
Let the Great Goddess
who cares for this world
unbind and unwind the promise
of a better future
and my not so impossible dreams!
I’ll do my part. You do yours.
Ho! So be it! It is done!
You’ve called on the gods–you’ve made offerings and asked for their assistance. Now it’s time to do your part, as promised–just as you leave the gods do theirs.
Selecting goals, organizing a plan
All my life I’ve been climbing this ladder only to realize it was leaning against the wrong wall.
This is the lament of people who start all ventures with Saturn. Which is easy to do. Society preaches—and the brain is wired—to think in Saturn directions, which are practical but fear-based, and therefore conventional. Which is why, to fulfill an impossible dream, we start with Jupiter. Like an eagle he carries us beyond our limited ground, opening up new vistas, expanding our realms of possibility.
Our 6 impossible dreams are our ideals—the flags flying over our castle this year. But to bring them into the real world, we need to convert them into goals. This brings us back into the heart of the square.
To conjure inspiring yet achievable goals, we need both the ingenuity of Uranus and the hammering efforts of Saturn. We need bright strategies and effective tactics. Not all 6 dreams will be worth converting into goals. Some are happy to remain aspirations. They may be uplifting, but they don’t generate enough passion to stir you into activity. That’s fine. Think strategically. Select the dreams that will create the most meaningful changes for you this year.
I might boil my 6 dreams down to 3 goals—the right number is part of the strategy. Choose things you’ve longed for but have felt were beyond your reach—areas where this year’s celestial magic can make a real difference.
I might dream of awakening my body, of inhabiting it in a more present, fully embodied way—but how will I get there? To make this real, I need to identify my best routes. Should I take up yoga or dance? Dress more sensuously? Read more Rumi? Memorize The Radiance Sutras? Identify foods my body loves and learn to savor every meal?
The genius of Uranus is helpful here. The most direct and efficient path or paths will likely be those that feel most exciting. Once the route is identified, you can make a plan to hold you to it. That’s where the focus, discipline, and organization of Saturn are key.
Maybe I decide the juiciest path to becoming more fully embodied this year is to increase my skill at tantric dance. Saturn immediately starts making suggestions: I could commit to signing up for a weekly tantric dance circle, I could take a workshop from an embodied master, I could finally read the book my last teacher recommended, and/or commit to practicing the dance at least one to two hours every week.
This is how Saturn constructs the ladder to take me to my dreams. I already know where I’ll likely feel resistance. I can hear myself saying, “I don’t have time for this, besides, the progress is just so slow. ” But that’s where the gift of this year’s square enters: the magic lies in coming face to face with exactly that! My own limits and resistance. There’s energy there!
Remember, this is a year-long commitment. We’ll check back into our dreams in June when the Saturn/Uranus square is next exact. Before then, choose your 6 dreams and fold your crane–then identify your goals and make your plan.
Always, have fun. Be mindful. Keep the four mythic powerhouses gently in awareness as you move forward this year–Jupiter, Gaia/Rhea, Saturn and Uranus. Respect the goddess as your body. Be opportunistic when anger, impatience, or frustrations erupt. Use these moments as a gate to your transcendence and success. Good luck!
This is the second of two posts on this powerful aspect—you can read the first one here.
“Do your transits, my teacher used to say, “or they’ll do you!” What are your transits in the coming year? Fine-tune your personal forecast for 2021 with Steven Forrest’s fabulous Skylog report, available here. If your birthday is in the past or next three months, Mary Shea’s solar return report can complete the picture.
POST UPDATED: February 5, February 17
Dana, this is sooooo good! Thank you ☀️.
I’m looking forward to following the steps and aligning with the power of the Saturn/Uranus square.
And honoring Jupiter Vision.
Renata Albuquerque says
Done my crane, Dana. Looking forward to the next chapter. x
So deeply rich! I’m thrilled with your perspective and find myself in alignment, divine timing and issues displaying wondrous synchronicity! Tha k you!!!
Jennifer Barlow says
This is wonderful!! I’ve been reading Mooncircles for years and years and this is the most excited I’ve been about an article. Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying this.
the stars guide
tide slides in
beneath a shovel shaped moon
her spherical muscular arms
embrace the brine raking
an angle of winter repose
in darkness debris floats
amid the foam torn kelp broken crabs
rainbow field of muted gems
crisp breath of dawn
nutrients fall like rain
feather dusters become fireworks
bursting with life
star fish glow
a human figure floats
buoyant and breathing
rising and falling
an etheric shade
a rising and falling
a shadow across the night blue scroll
the orbital papyrus
a rotating paper script for a player piano
like pattern cards in the Jacquard loom of fate
with a weavers skill
the orb grows
right to left
D shape at first
disc in the middle
C shape to close
can we know her
and the mystery
of the distant company she keeps
falling across the sky
the gentle orange glow
of fairness and congress
fidelity, patience, equity much
older and more kind
than most star gazers know
but I have
thru the window
been as close as moth wings
to the soft eye of the bull
as branches shade the moon
in Ogham letters and runes
but that was August and this is January
from the sea goat’s unending journey
the planetary travellers braid horse hair
a strong bridal of wisdom
sure footed mountains
join heart to voice
and the nature
of our task here
from the throat of the true eagle
shines swift Altair
voice and heart of Aquila
feathers of the true arrow Sagitta too
Giedi Oculus Bos
horns eyes voice
teaching learning looking speaking
climb the waterfall of light
as Coma Berenice
fall thru darkness
caught and carried
in the migrating feathers of Grus the Crane
from the humane sky
knowledge pours like ionised rain
reflecting the blindness
we would not see
in the light of Ankaa
the voice and mind of Phoenix
long shadows begin to shorten
the sundial of time
both eyes of Horus open
the light of self in all
chains of lies loosed
the king of Ethiopia
hands the keys to earth
along the river Eridanus
speak a roseary of prayer
at the end of the river
star of the southern river delta
star of a new civilization
in long conference with Neptune
star of the delta
star of civilization
tuned with the learned knowledge of pattern
deposited as us
from the mountain of night
through the sifting river of stars
the celestial guides
ordering the synaptic gap
the above and the below
Should we conceive of six dreams? Why not less? It’s easier to focus on less dreams.
If we pick up only one or a couple of them?
Dana Gerhardt says
Well the whole point is to get outside of the box … so please don’t mistake me as a rule giver. Take my ritual as a suggestion. Modify as seems appropriate to you!
Jennifer Barlow says
It seems to me that four could be a good number. Two dreams for ourselves on one side and two dreams for the world on the other. After all, a square has four sides……….
Just a suggestion. 🙂
Dana Gerhardt says
Always–in any ritual I offer, feel free to improvise. I receive the inspiration from the archetypes–and I even questioned as you and another did–whether six was too much. But Jupiter is a grandiose, expansive planet, a lord of excess & spacious gestures .. so I sense his hand in this instruction. But check in, you’ll likely notice there’s a different effect on the psyche when you widen the circle of aspiration. Maybe it hurts the head even to have to think of so many. But there is value in stretching your Jupiter muscles. You want to break out of the square! So the four sides don’t seem as appropriate to me. Saturn is the focuser–and it didn’t make sense to start an “impossible dreams” ritual with him. Preview of coming attractions: We’ll have a chance to edit & focus in June. I think it’s right to begin with a broad gesture. But again, most important is to listen to your own creativity.
Jacqueline Donahue says
Dana, Dana, Dana! Phew, this article is such a breath of fresh air!!!!
It’s given me a broad enough perspective to see that what I’ve been observing and engaging with are the many component energies of the Saturn / Uranus square, the presence of Jupiter and the beloved Goddess. It made me soooo very happy to know all are present and at “work” here, in me and in the world, deconstructing “skyscrapers” and creating something intimate and new, here near to the earth, in the fertile soil of my heart. What’s not to love about that?
Dana Gerhardt says
Yay! And true to the archetypes … the post was a struggle and not coming together for many days … but I persevered and then came the flow.
Geri Schrab says
Enticing ritual! Love this. Impossible dreaming commence! Thanks, Dana.
Laura Fellows says
Thank you for all you do, All of you writers. I hope you benefit from all this work. This site is invaluable to me.
I’m lovin’ it!
Linda Vanzant says
Dana, this post brought tears to my eyes… Thank you.
I will use your suggested rituals throughout the three Saturn/Uranus squares because I already know that they will be powerful and effective.
Jessica L. says
Fantastic Dana! Thank you for the much needed inspiration in these challenging times!