Winter 2002-03 (published 1/17/03)

Astrological Highlights of 2003:
Shifting With Sign Changes

by Karen Steen, Astrologer

     During 2003, Jupiter moves beyond the Zodiac sign of Leo and into Virgo (Tropical).  It also completes a series of oppositions begun in 2000 to our three outermost planets - Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. While Jupiter’s orbit carries it into a new sign every twelve months, it moves into position opposite each outer planet only every 12 – 14 years. Developments associated with the current series of Jupiter oppositions are challenging the character of societies worldwide, and that of individuals with planets or angles in Leo/Aquarius and Taurus/Scorpio. The qualities and dates of these Jupiter oppositions are summarized below and detailed in my linked articles.

     Also, during 2003, Uranus and Saturn move into new Zodiacal signs in their orbital journeys around our Sun. The entry of these planets into successive signs (ingress) is associated with qualitative shifts in social, political and economic trends. Individuals with planets or angles in Virgo/Pisces and Cancer/Capricorn are likely to experience life events and developments directly associated with these shifts. The trend correlating to the Uranus ingress in March will last seven years; that for Saturn’s ingress in June will last two years. Dates and themes for these planetary ingresses in 2003 are detailed below.

Jupiter Challenges Us to Broaden Perspectives Through 2003
This year opens with Jupiter making its second of three oppositions since 2000 to our most distant planets – Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. Jupiter in Gemini first opposed Pluto in Sagittarius from September 2000 until May 2001. My Spring 2001 article - “Perspective as Power: Jupiter Opposes Pluto” – briefly discusses this transit that corresponded to the beginning of the current Palestinian uprising in the Mideast.

     Currently through June 2003, Jupiter is in position opposite Neptune. This transit challenges us to recognize and integrate the fact of our shared humanity into our individual and societal identities. Individual and sociopolitical responses to this challenge, now and through 2003, are orienting our lives in many ways for years to come. In mid-February when Jupiter moves retrograde to oppose Neptune, we can expect clarification of issues, and substantial progress or reversals in decisions and policies pursued since last summer. My Fall 2002 article offers in-depth discussion and historic correspondences for this Jupiter opposition: “Jupiter Opposes Neptune 9/02–6/03: Will Wisdom Emerge From Experience?”

     On August 28, 2003, Jupiter and Uranus will move to oppose each other while simultaneously entering their new signs of Virgo and Pisces, respectively. Here, Jupiter will oppose Uranus in a single contact within a powerful planetary pattern lasting only a couple weeks. Sudden significant developments may occur around this time, such as:

  • Large-scale public protests or labor, police, or military activities
  • Events affecting agriculture, livestock, public health, or oil and energy supplies
  • Major development in physics, medicine, or health sciences/services
  • Individuals taking decisive personal action in response to social, economic, political, and ecological developments.

     These three Jupiter oppositions to our outer planets frame the momentous Saturn/Pluto opposition of 2001-02, for which the 9 -11 terrorists attack on America was the defining event.  My Summer 2001 and
Fall 2001 articles offer in-depth analyses of the Saturn/Pluto opposition, the effects of which continue through 2003.

     As Jupiter travels deeper into Virgo later this year and into 2004, I expect policies will emerge regarding public health services, the environment, and workers, as well as increased public dialogue and activism about these issues. In a conservative atmosphere as I expect with Saturn in Cancer (see below), we may see abortion rights and sex education policies challenged, moves to privatize environmental protection, and delimitation of affirmative action programs in the US.

Uranus Begins Seven Year Journey Through Pisces in March 2003
Uranus will tentatively enter Pisces this March through September, and then begin its continuous seven-year journey through this sign from late December 2003 until 2011. In individual and sociopolitical processes, Uranus is associated with the sudden and unusual, freedom from the known, events and experiences that are non-continuous with the past and that can enlighten or devastate. Positive associations for Uranus include: progressive ideas, social groups, and institutions; intuitive or serendipitous findings; technological innovations; and personal individuation. Negatively, Uranus is associated with accidents and catastrophes, and impersonal, even ruthless change for its own sake or for that with which one becomes personally identified (e.g. riots, suicide bombers).

     Pisces is the sign of universality, source and undifferentiated reality, the human masses and collective unconscious, and faith. Positive associations for Pisces include the oceans and deep-sea industries, mystical and psychic phenomenon, spiritualistic and occult religions, artistic inspiration, very large organizations, and charitable institutions.  Negatively, Pisces is associated with deception/delusion and secrets of every kind, drugs and poisons, sacrifice, suffering, mental illness, and places of confinement. As it has in past transits through this watery sign, Uranus’ journey through Pisces is certain to correspond to worldwide developments in social relations and interrelationships, and psychology and spirituality.

     Uranus last traveled through Pisces from 1919 – 1927.  During these years:

  • the radio was marketed for mass communication and entertainment;
  • ‘talking pictures’ (movies) were developed and introduced to the public;
  • the television was demonstrated;  
  • Prohibition began in the US;
  • the League of Nations was founded, and the US Senate voted against joining it;
  • Mohandas Gandhi led the masses of India in nonviolent demonstrations for social reform;
  • Adolph Hitler wrote Mein Kampf;
  • Carl Jung published Psychological Types and began developing his theories of archetypes and the collective unconscious.

     Especially as Uranus and Neptune will travel in mutual reception(1) from 2003 – 2011, I expect this period will be characterized by horizontal distribution through societies of progressive ideas and innovative technologies developed in recent years. Especially in Eastern Europe and Asia, computer and communication technology will be integrated into rebuilding the infrastructures of nations decimated by wars of the past 10 – 50 years. I expect China and India, together comprising more than a third of humanity, will substantially develop computer, communication, and alternative energy technologies, and incorporate these into their cultural fabrics. New socioeconomic structures based on concepts of global interrelationships will begin to emerge in war-ravaged regions of Central and South America and in Africa, where wars, famine, and HIV/AIDS have shattered basic social and economic order.

     In developed nations, I expect the pace of technological advances and material prosperity will slow through this decade. Instead, I expect an emphasis on a) development and wider application of recent advances in science and technology, b) social dissemination of new paradigm concepts and services, and c) domestic and international political, social, and ecological issues. We are certain to see continued applications of computer technology in our personal lives, communities, and industries. I expect advances in all matters of the mind, brain, and nervous system – psychology, neuroscience, consciousness studies, psychic and mind-body phenomenon – as well as in the fields of physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Also, expect developments in criminology and a proliferation of stealth weaponry - especially chemical and biological - and secret weapons and intelligence programs.

     International agencies for inspecting and monitoring weapons programs, as well as for human rights issues, should increase in numbers, jurisdiction, and authority while Uranus moves through Pisces. Developments will continue to define the European Union, social and political issues related to globalization of capitalism, and the ethics of medical technology. Globally, I expect to see people forming new groups and organizations based on shared ideas and for local issues/endeavors with a global vision. Uranus in Pisces also suggests unexpected changes in the petroleum industry and correctional institutions (prisons), and it favors developments in ocean farming and desalinating ocean waters.

     Specifically in 2003 and early 2004, as Uranus makes its initial entry into Pisces, I anticipate the developments noted in my Fall 2002 article, as well as these:

  • worldwide proliferation of covert or occult extremist groups;
  • growth in alternative social and spiritual groups and communities;
  • growing public interest in paranormal phenomenon, metaphysics, alternative healing;
  • acts of chemical and biological terrorism against ‘soft targets’;
  • significant technical advances in criminology and ID authentication.

As Uranus moves deeper into Pisces during the coming years, initial developments as these will evolve into the longer-lasting trends noted above.

Sobering Saturn Enters Cancer in June 2003
Saturn will travel through the sign Cancer from early June 2003 until July 2005. In astrology, the ringed planet rules the formation of that which endures through time – fundamental structures in nature and societies - and the limitations and conservatism necessary for enduring structures. Positively, Saturn corresponds to building and maintaining structures that sustain society, from the anatomic and psychological structures of individuals to governments.  Negatively, it corresponds to building and maintaining structure for its own sake or limited self-interest, for example kidney stones or personal greed. Saturn transits challenge the adequacy of personal and social structures through limitations, responsibility, and consequences; they are always opportunities for greater integrity and maturity. 

     Cancer is the sign of the archetypal mother, that which essentially nurtures and sustains. It is associated with ones home and family, personal environment, real estate, water, food, women and women’s professions. Cancer corresponds to that which provides for our most primary needs, and to activities and relationships that ground us in a sense of basic safety and belonging. In mundane or worldly astrology, Cancer is associated with the public and public opinion, agriculture, the housing, hotel, and restaurant industries, women, families, and communities. 

     Saturn in Cancer correlates to developments that challenge the appropriateness of what we rely upon for safety and security. That which we act to secure or defend out of neurotic fear during this transit, we will likely lose. Saturn last traveled through Cancer from August 1973 through mid-1976. During this time:

  • US/CIA backed military coup overthrew the democratically elected government of Chile and installed the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet;
  • Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on the holiest of Jewish holidays in the Yom Kippur War;
  • Saudi Arabia led the Arab Worlds oil embargo against the US and Western Nations;
  • US military executed the covert bombing campaign against Laos;
  • Watergate unraveled and President Nixon resigned from office when faced with impeachment;
  • South Viet Nam fell to the Communist Viet Cong.

     As Saturn approaches Cancer again, a feeling is growing worldwide that there is no safe or secure place on Earth.  This atmosphere characterizes the challenge of Saturn in Cancer, which requires us to look deeply into personal and social infrastructures for answers. Global developments during the past two years are certainly ominous, but does our safety and security finally rest on controlling external factors? Rather, Saturn in Cancer poses this question: Are our individual and social underpinnings – our personal needs and coping behaviors, home and family dynamics, social, economic, and government policies – adequate for our current worldly roles and responsibilities? For what we really want to be and do with our lives?

     It behooves us to use Saturn transits like a rigorous Quality Improvement program. Be assured that needed improvement is indicated by a Saturn hallmark – the point where we begin to undermine the very things we are striving to secure or defend. The opportunity of Saturn in Cancer is to assure that ones integrity – whether a person, business, or nation – is adequate to sustain them through their worldly risks and responsibilities. 

     During these next 2 - 3 years, I expect people worldwide will experience progressive limitation in domestic matters, characterized by the following:

  • underlying conservative domestic tones and agendas, including nationalistic sentiments and traditional family values;
  • fear about terrorism against ‘soft targets’ (civilian/public) that cannot be secured, and persisting social and political instability in the Mideast;
  • separations from family members necessitated by employment, military service, or other social responsibilities;
  • sacrificing personal privacy for domestic security policies;
  • sluggish domestic economies, especially in Western Nations, and fear about uncertain world financial markets (2);
  • sustained drought or blight conditions causing regional food and water shortages;
  • increased work burden on women and women’s professions (homemaking, farming, teaching, nursing).

As well as real limitations, such developments indicate a paradigm of external control that we are well served to grow beyond as individuals and nations. What of the discouragement or losses we feel now result from fear of acting according to our deeply felt truths, as much as from external developments themselves? Social dissemination of concepts and services from new broader paradigms, as I expect with Uranus entering Pisces, can support such empowering shifts in perspectives.

     From October 2003 through June 2004, Saturn will move into mid-Cancer and over the Sun’s position in the charts of both President Bush and the US. Whether or not the Bush Administration orders the invasion of Iraq, domestic matters associated with Saturn in Cancer for the coming 2 – 3 years will bear heavily on President Bush and the American government and people. We are facing record federal and state budget deficits, a projected massive shortfall in private pension funds, an ever-worsening crisis in health care coverage, an inflated real estate market, and unprecedented centralized control over our legislative process.  Such matters can only be remedied with the deep resolve of Americans and mature accountability by our government - both would be constructive responses with Saturn in Cancer.

     Finally, from November 2003 through May 2004, Saturn and Jupiter are in sextile positions. This bodes well for humanitarian relief efforts, and health, labor, and environmental policies, albeit most likely with a conservative bend.  Whatever your political affiliation, this is a good time to make new steps toward achieving long term personal goals that you may have first intuited or set in motion three years ago during the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of 2000.

     Early in 2003, Uranus begins its journey through Pisces (Tropical). This Uranus ingress indicates the beginning of a seven-year worldwide trend when the focus for accelerated developments and innovative endeavors shifts from technology and science per se, to matters of social relations/interrelatedness and the spread of innovative ideas and technologies through societies.
     Saturn begins its two-year travel through Cancer in June 2003. Issues of domestic security in the broadest sense correlate to this transit, from providing for our basic needs and those of our families, to government policies and programs worldwide regarding the welfare of citizens. Developments associated with Uranus entering Pisces (detailed above) can provide resources for meeting the formidable challenges of Saturn in Cancer.
     Also during 2003, Jupiter completes a series of oppositions to our outermost planets and moves into Virgo. In their themes and timing, Jupiter’s oppositions frame the major astrological and historical events of recent years. Jupiter’s final opposition to Uranus in August could correlate to sudden large-scale developments. Jupiter in Virgo corresponds to health care, labor, and environmental legislation.

Copyright 2003, Karen Steen. All rights reserved.

1) Mutual reception occurs when two planets occupy the signs of each others astrological rulership.
For those interested in financial astrology and the stock markets, consider analyses posted under ‘Business & Finance’ at, particularly Robert Gover’s December 2002 article, “Stock Market Alert”  -

About the Astrologer…
Karen Steen is a full-time consulting and teaching astrologer at Water Bearer Astrology & Consulting, Bellingham, WA.  She has practiced astrology since 1984, professionally since 1999. 
Karen is NCGR Level II Certified (Astrology), and holds a Master of Nursing in Primary Care from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University. Information about Karen's astrology practice and services is available at her web site

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