For those looking for previously-noticed but rarely-mentioned astro-phenomena (older terms like “besieged” and “Cazimi” come to mind), here’s one. Alternately called Moon chasing Saturn or Saturn chasing Moon (properly the former, as the faster applies to the slower), it happens when the progressed Moon (with a 27 ½ year cycle) locks into aspect with transiting Saturn (with 29 ½ year cycle). It’s most noticeable in nativities with Moon conjunct Saturn, as the poor child has transiting Saturn right on top of its progressed Moon for its formative years. Depending upon the speed of the Moon and the closeness of the original aspect, it can be as brief as three or four years or last into the teens, as the Moon plods along and Saturn backs and fills around it in alternating direct and retrograde motion.
The same relentlessly-long effect occurs with nativities with Moon square or opposite Saturn, emphasizing and prolonging the Saturn effect well after birth and into childhood. You’ll usually find it referenced in relation to the natal chart, but it happens to everybody as a progression-transit tangle, at least twice in an average lifespan, with two succeeding Moon-Saturn involvements, though not always hard aspects. That’s because the synodic period of the two is about 420 years, and so roughly every 35 years they engage one aspect further along (if you’re only using Ptolemaic aspects plus semisextile and quincunx, more if you use others). If you’re born with Moon near the waxing trine (120 degrees) with Saturn, come age 35, they will have worked themselves into a quincunx, and by your late 60s they’ll be in opposition. Or, if they were near a waning square (270 degrees) at birth, around 35 you’ll be experiencing a supportive waning sextile (300 degrees) and finish off with a waning semisextile (330 degrees). And if you live to 105, you get three versions.
Of course, if your natal Moon and Saturn aren’t in aspect to begin with, you’ll get your first lock-in at a different age, but they’ll usually be about 35 years apart. As a rule of thumb, if your natal Moon is, say, 20 degrees from its next aspect to Saturn, then your first Moon-chasing-Saturn aspect will be that aspect and start around age 23 or so, the next one at the following aspect 35 years later at around 58. But, because the speed of the Moon varies so much, it’s best to do it on a computer, as that general rule can be as much as a decade off for periods when the progressed Moon is very slow or very fast.
Some sources, notably Celeste Teal, have rather dire things to say about the hard aspects, and others paint it as a rarity, which it’s not. Here are some opinions on the subject ranging from Devore, Teal, and others, which themselves have further references:
* From Kingsley’s blog about Ben Cousin’s chart
* From Café Astrology, comparing it to Lemony Snicket
* From Celeste Teal’s site
* From Devore’s Encyclopedia of Astrology
* From Identifying Planetary Triggers (Teal)
Although you usually see it brought up in reference to individuals, you can also see a mention of it in America’s national chart in our own Dark Days piece a while back. For the Sibly chart, anyway, the Moon will be chasing Saturn by conjunction right around the period of America’s first Pluto return. The opposition happened in the early 1800s, starting some time after the War of 1812.
It’s a little piece of astrological cycle arcana unto itself, but in the end, it is just another example demonstrating what most astrologers already know as a general rule: easy aspects at birth mean good fortune early in life but often progress into a more difficult older age, especially if native talents are taken for granted. Conversely, hard aspects at birth mean you make all your mistakes early and have to work it out, with progressions bringing you a flowering maturity born of experience. These kind of alternating experiences are part of the whole picture, the rolling overlaps of natal, progressions, and transits that are fundamentally integrated because most of the planetary periods are all simple mathematical functions of each other. Another even tighter one is transiting Saturn and progressed lunations, both with almost precisely the same period of 29 ½ years, locked into the same relationship in succeeding signs for life. So, by comparison, when you find that Saturn and progressed Moon are chasing each other’s tails for a few years, remember that this too will pass, with another interesting variation lined up for the next chapter in your life.
Hello John, good to see you writing on wordpress. I think it was Campion who commented that Saturn Chasing Moon doesnt manifest unless aspecting in the natal.
I haven’t seen this with charts that I have been following over the years. I think its a great astrological term. It certainly sounds like “stalking” to me.
I like what you say about Trines and Squares in life John. In my mind it doesnt really matter which aspect one has in the cycles of the Saturn chasing Moon. Any aspect is still a contact between them.
Therefore I am not sure one can readily apply the concepts which describe the difference between Squares and Trines found with transits and natal charts. Any contact (Ptolemaic) between prog moon and transiting Saturn is a contact and thus maintaining the Saturn chasing the moon effect. I think one must keep things simple in this regard.
In ’65 my S.C.M started to move into the “square” by 1995 I moved to the Trine of which continues on untill 2020. As you say there is a period where the aspects move and in my case usually in a period of 5 – 10 years.
People with an unrelenting Saturn Chasing Moon in their lives do learn to live with things. I am not sure one can differentiate the ptolemaic aspects though. It just seems to be the “new boss” “the same as the old boss” kind of entity.
Thanks for the interesting article re. saturn chasing the moon. I notice that a number of individuals seem to think that the moon must be in aspect at birth for this to occur. However I have a relative who was born with the moon at 11 degrees Taurus and Saturn at 6 degrees Gemini who is experiencing this type of configuration. I didn’t come to pass until she was about 22/23 years of age in 1993 and will end in the summer of 2017. Each year they separate for up to 9/10 degrees and then seem to conjunct exactly (approx) from October to March each year. I wonder if this could account for the ‘SAD’ syndrome that some people seem to suffer from in the winter months. Just a thought …..
As noted, it can and does occur in some aspect two or three times to everybody. And, when they are neck and neck, they will back and fill during the same season that Saturn is making its retro and then catching up again. If that’s in the fall or winter for a particular individual, it could be associated with or add to SAD symptoms, but it can and does happen equally as likely in spring or summer months…
From a novice, how timely. Good post, per a novice of course.
Might I add, aaaaaargh! But how resourceful I am because of it. And because of that, how much head scratching from the other I have experienced.
I was delighted to run across this topic on your list because transiting Saturn and my progressed Moon have been together for almost a full progressed Moon cycle, starting when Saturn was last in Scorpio and had a bitch-slapping encounter with proressed Moon in Scorpio.
Throughout all the years since, I never have to wonder where my progressed Moon is, because it’s always near transiting Saturn. I see no real letup of this pairing, and I’ve looked ahead at my progressions for a good long while.
Natally there was no connection between Moon and Saturn. In the intervening years, I’ve become accustomed to a Saturn-Moon reality. Donna Cunningham
Now that sounds like a record, Donna — an entire progressed lunar cycle! Well, that would be expected if you’re talking about prog Moon and trans Saturn being within the same sign, just not for a tight running conjunction. Live long enough (Sto Lat!, as the Poles say on your name day), and the prog Moon will move on to the next aspect with trans Saturn, as Saturn’s cycle is a full two years slower…
My transiting Saturn and progressed Moon first started chasing each other in 1987 when I was 19, and much like Donna, they won’t ease away from each more than 9-10 degrees from each other until summer of 2015 when I am 47.
At first I thought the 3-6 degree conjunction must have been in a pocket of a few years hear and there since 1987, but no, I have run through each year to double check on the tri-chart and the conjunction has been relentless.
My persistent ability to stay cheerful and focused has take a real beating.
Glad to hear I’m not imagining it! Donna
These endless chases are not only determined by when your progressed Moon is moving slowly, but when transiting Saturn is moving fast, near its perihelion, last in 2003 and 29 1/2 years before and after that. So during those years (and five or so before and after) folks with prog. Moon engaged with Saturn will remain that way for much longer. And if your prog Moon is also slow at that point, it can actually back up in relation to Saturn, then have to catch up again, making the whole process go on for decades instead of just a few years. If the opposite is true, it can virtually zip by in a year or so…
Thanks for the interesting post.It took me some time to find your blog but it was well worth the effort. Maybe I should learn to use Yahoo a little better. Anyway I stray from the subject of astrology and horoscopes. Thanks again and happy blogging.
My natal charts show Moon 22 Taurus conjunct Saturn 25 Taurus 7th House. There are four of us in my immediate family of ten whose natal charts also reflect the same. Life has been almost a greek soap opera these past few years. Is this “Moon chasing
Saturn” that common to hit one family 4 times over??
My thanks Pate
Hola naci el 25 de julio de 1973. a las 4 y 16 de la tarde miercoles, en caracas venezuela, en mi carta veo que tengo la luna en geminis en la casa sexta, pero saturno ocupa el final de la casa septima y dice que tambien esta en geminis…o sea luna sturno en geminis entre casa 6 y 7, alguien me pudiera dar alguna interpretacion mas clara, y logica de lo que esto significa para mi vida,y sus consecuencias negativas, y si es que trae algo positivo, lo cual dudo mucho, aguardo respuesta y muchisimas gracias de antemano por la ayuda.
I don’t have your time of birth, but you could have had Moon chasing Saturn for a very long time, depending…more than that I can’t say without further information…
I have had Progressed Moon and Saturn in Opposition of each other within no more than about 15 degrees before for a time before they meet up again and dance around my chart this has been going on since 1987 (23 years so far) Life has always been hard and very emotional, nothing comes easy and you get an attitude of “Bad things always happens to me” which of course isn’t true but you feel like nothing good comes without a corresponding disappointment. Either along with the joy or depending on whether Saturn is behind or in front. Looking at my chart now it finally separates this year and the Moon starts to move away from Saturn. Would this indicate that the hard lessons are over and better times are ahead????? Prog Moon is at 13 Aries in the 11th house. Natal Sun, Moon Cancer 2nd House,(3 degrees apart, Moon Balsamic Pluto moving into opposition with both now) Natal Saturn is inconjunct the Sun and Moon in the natal Chart so no connection there…Or could that be traced to the difficult issues I have had to face during my life???? This year I fee a shift or a change coming on. Hopefully things will be different by the end of this year. Wild but different…lol
You may have a world record for longevity on that one, Sanura! Your progressed Moon slowed down and let Saturn overtake it, then picked up speed again. That’s how the really long contacts happen. But, you seem to be finally pulling out of it now and over the next couple of years. Get past the coming transit of Pluto opposite your natal Sun and Moon (which may change/eliminate some important relationships, for better or worse, or both), and you’ll be home free…!
Sorry details are 2 July 1962 4.55am Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
I have a waning moon chasing saturn that has been active from the fall of 1991 and will continue till spring of 2014. There was a span of about 10 years from 1996 to 2006 where it was never exact and always less than 90 degrees. I made a lot of progress in my life at that time but since 2006 my life has be hell. I feel this aspect really needs further study by astrologers. There seems to be a real lack of study and information available.
Do you have any insight as to the differences between the difficult aspects (ie opp., conj., waning square, waxing square)?
Reports vary, but I find the conjunction is the most oppressive, whereas the others may be more or less selectively debilitating with their own styles. And, you’re right, not a lot has been said about it, especially as it often explains a dark cloud hanging about that doesn’t seem to be associated with anything specific, and which seems almost chronic in its effects. Fortunately, this, too, shall pass, usually with a supportive or reinforcing aspect next in line for about the same length of time…
Thanks, John, for more information on this phenomenon. When transiting Saturn gets to Scorpio, I will have had transiting Saturn conjunct progessed Moon for an entire Saturn cycle. They are not in major aspect natally (maybe septile), and I am wondering if it will be this way for the rest of my life.
As for what it has meant, it’s true that life has had its share of hardships, but with natal Moon conjunct my Midheaven but in the ninth house, I have continued to publish books and articles throughout this cycle, and at age 70, am engaged in one of the most important book projects in my life.
Perhaps the chasing Moon phenomenon is less onerous for me because I have a pretty decent natal Saturn–part of a Gemini stellium conjunct Uranus and Venus, and including Mercury. All four of these planets are also parallel by declination.
It was a treat to find these comments in my email box this morning. I enjoy your work so much. Donna Cunningham
My Progressed Moon conjunct Transiting Saturn chase first began around my birthday in 2002, when my Progressed Moon was conjunct my Progressed Sun at 10 Gemini, forming a quincunx with Progressed Mars at 8 Capricorn. It appears the chase will continue until 2022, Muddled through second Saturn return, now enduring Pluto nearly conjunct my natal Ascendant and Progressed North Node, and Neptune transiting my natal 2nd house toward opposition with my natal Moon at 10 Virgo in 8th. Would love some tips on how you’ve survived the “Moon chasing Saturn” decades so well! Thanks so much for this very helpful blog! Abby (b. 4-14-54, 12:53am, Providence, RI)
Well, Abby, you just shoulder it and get along until it’s over, so there is no real secret. And then you learn you’ve got more muscles (so to speak) from carrying the extra weight…the article on it is at http://www.astrococktail.com/raceison.html with a nice tune, too…! Best bet on Pluto transiting your Ascendant is to not fight it, allow your current image to go and remake a new one. Basically, roll with it, don’t try to stay where/who you are, allow the new to spring up with vigor as the old passes…John
Thanks, John — great article, great song! Yes, the weight of the world… I’ve bounced from East coast to West to Europe and back, digging deep, at home in all three but firmly rooted in none. Time for a new me, a more Capricorn me? My conjunct progressed Moon and transiting Saturn switch places for the lead frequently, now running neck and neck towards Sagittarius in the 8th — perhaps I’ll win the trifecta, or inherit a horse!