Saturn entered Scorpio about a year ago and will take another year and a half or so to travel through that sign. Scorpio is traditionally ruled by Mars and its modern ruler is Pluto, and these are the two planets that govern sexuality. Mars deals with the physical drives including the sexual drive and energy, and Pluto addresses matters of intimacy and the “petit mort” of sexual surrender. Pluto is also fearless when it comes to the dark side of the human experience, and we often find rape and abusive behaviors under its banner, and Scorpio tends to be an investigator in areas of life where the more carefree signs might fear to venture.
In its role as Celestial Teacher, Saturn brings consequences and lessons in areas of life governed by the sign it travels through, and we have seen many instances in the news over the past year in which governmental bodies (Saturn) are getting tough on sexual violence (Scorpio) in their communities.
In North Carolina where I live UNC students filed a grievance with the federal government accusing the university of failing to adequately protect students from sexual assault or prosecuting these assaults. The same thing occurred previously in Montana, resulting in a rewrite of rules that are becoming the standard for colleges across the country, and similar investigations are occurring everywhere, including Colorado, California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee.
In the US military support is growing for revised policies for prosecuting sexual assault in the military. “The Pentagon estimates that there were 26,000 sexual assaults in the military last year, but only 302 prosecutions resulted from complaints.” Those are appalling numbers.
In Delhi India, all four defendants in a trial for a gang rape that resulted in the victim’s death were convicted of the crimes, a relative rarity in a region where 50% of all men have admitted committing some kind of rape or violence against women according to a recent study by the United Nations. “The study also calls for ending impunity for men who use violence against women, particularly marital rape, through criminalization of all forms of violence against women, and promote legal sector reform to ensure effective access to justice.”
Saturn’s last journey through Scorpio occurred between 1983 and 1985. Pluto had also just entered Scorpio and the AIDS crisis (death/Pluto through sexuality/Scorpio) began. At the same time there was an eruption of child sexual abuse cases and the concept of repressed (Pluto) memories of sexual abuse (Scorpio) brought women out of the closet into the therapist’s office. Those years between 1983 and 1985 while Saturn was in Scorpio brought the phenomenon of childhood sexual abuse into the public eye. In 1983, April was designated National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Pluto’s influence can be seen in the hysteria surrounding the day care abuse scandals that rocked the United States during this period. The Saturnian fervor to punish offenders led to coercive prosecutorial tactics and to this day it’s not clear how much of this hysteria was based in actual crimes against children.
We look at the figures coming out of Asia in shock, but in the United States one in five women report having been victims of rape or attempted rape at one point in their lives. As one of these women I am very glad to see these issues gaining respect and attention.