Breaking the 12 Letter Alphabet: BLM, Censorship and Saturn in Aquarius

Breaking the 12 Letter Alphabet: BLM, Censorship and Saturn in Aquarius

One of the worst things that happened in modern astrology was the conflation of houses with signs in the 12 Letter Alphabet System. This system was popularized by modern astrologers in the 1970s. Sometimes it’s called The Astrological Alphabet, or the ABC system.

In developing this system, astrologers sought to make learning astrology easier by conflating the signs with the houses with the planets, starting with Aries, the first house and Mars. The idea was that many of the significations of Aries are essentially the same as those of the first house, which also overlaps with those of Mars. Ditto for Taurus, the second house and Venus; Gemini, the third house and Mercury – and around the zodiac you go. It’s easy to remember and simple.

Too simple. Also wrong. There are enough connections on first glance that it seems like it kind of works. Upon closer examination, however, the threads start to unravel and the whole thing collapses quickly.

In traditional astrology, the planets are their own beings with their own agency and significations. They are the foundation upon which astrology is built. So, too, do the houses have their own interlocking set of meanings – very specific meanings, many of which have been lost, glossed over, or replaced in modern times. The signs are the backdrop upon which the planets dance together through the houses. Ancient astrologers regarded the signs as fields, and paid close attention to their element, modality and polarity. Much of this is disregarded or absent from modern meanings of the signs.

If you’ve learned any modern astrology, you’ve definitely come across the 12 Letter Alphabet in action. You might not have noticed it, but it’s there. It’s important to be able to spot it, especially if you seek to practice traditional astrology, because the 12 Letter Alphabet will lead you astray.

You need only look at the modern outer planet sign rulerships for evidence of why the 12 Letter Alphabet doesn’t work. Modern astrologers decided that the outer planets should have a sign to rule too, so they took Scorpio away from Mars and gave it to Pluto; they took Aquarius away from Saturn and gave it to Uranus, and they took Pisces away from Jupiter and gave it to Neptune. In so doing, they splintered some of the meanings of the traditional planets and assigned them to these new outer planets, and also further conflated those signs with these meanings.

Let’s look at the modern invention of Aquarius being ruled by Uranus instead of Saturn. This has been particularly applicable in the last couple years as Saturn has traveled through Aquarius. Traditional astrologers see Saturn as ruling Aquarius. Therefore, Saturn has been in domicile – ruling in his own sign – since Saturn ingressed Aquarius in March 2020. Actually, because Saturn also rules Capricorn, Saturn has been in domicile since he ingressed Capricorn in December 2017 – the unfair thing about Saturn is that because his signs are back-to-back, you get big stretches of Saturn-heavy periods. (Which is just so appropriate, isn’t it?)

If you subscribe to modern rulerships, however, Uranus rules Aquarius and so these have been a Uranian couple of years. Uranus is usually described as an agent of chaos and disruption. Modern astrologers tend to view Aquarius as the quirky, unique individualist sign and see those with Aquarius placements as offbeat or eccentric.

The thing about Aquarius, though, is that as a Saturn-ruled sign, it can indeed describe people who are individualist or unusual, but they express this in a very Saturnian way. Saturn is heavy and ordered, the enforcer of boundaries and rules. When expressed through a fixed air, you get heavy air: the oppressive thoughts, ideas, social rules and societal structures that can seem intolerable for how rigid and concrete they are, despite not being material.

So, Saturn in Aquarius is all about these immovable ideas. Saturn knows the “correct” social rules that everyone should be following. If Aquarians come off as individualists, it’s because they think they know the correct way to be, and everyone else is actually wrong and should start following their example. Do you see how Saturnian that is? The Aquarians that I’ve met are actually very rule-bound people, even if those rules are of their own making. They can even be so staunch in their views, radical or otherwise, that they are intolerant of any other ideas – Saturn, indeed.

Johann Bayer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

You can see Saturn’s dominion of Aquarius manifest very strongly in the current social justice movements, especially the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization. According to the BLM website, they are a global organization “whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”

Note that their first stated purpose is to eradicate white supremacy – a social construct – and build local power. They are focused on radically reshaping the current social rules and organization through the use of power, which is extremely Saturnian. The language they use, which is resolute and heavy-handed, is also very Saturnian. You’re either with them or against them; you’re anti-racist or racist. Note again the intolerance to other perspectives and lack of middle-ground. (And no, I’m not saying that white supremacy is a justified point of view– and I hate that I even have to point that out, but these are Saturnian times and I’d rather not have a Saturn-in-Aquarius thought-crime mob after me because someone wilfully misinterpreted my words here.)

It’s no surprise that BLM has risen to prominence over the last two years, with Saturn travelling through Aquarius. Indeed, the George Floyd protests/riots, which served as a catalyst for BLM’s recent activities, occurred just a few weeks after Saturn ingressed Aquarius in 2020.

Now, I could see people using the same example of BLM/George Floyd as evidence of why Uranus actually does rule Aquarius, because BLM is quite a Uranian organization and also the riots/protests were very Uranian in nature. I counter this by stating that BLM’s recent activities and the George Floyd riots are actually a perfect blend of the Saturn-Uranus square that we’ve had for two years.

When Saturn ingressed Aquarius, it moved into a sign-based square with Uranus in Taurus. That provided the tension for Saturn in Aquarius to explode on the scene and enforce his idea of what the correct social order should be; this occurred and continues to occur through radical, disruptive Uranian activities. So it isn’t that Aquarius is Uranus’ sign, and that’s why we get BLM’s calls for liberation; it’s that Aquarius is Saturn’s sign and Saturn is currently square Uranus, so we get BLM’s calls for Uranian liberation which must occur via the creation of a new set of Saturnian social rules.

I will do another post deconstructing Pluto as the modern ruler of Scorpio, and another on why Neptune is definitely not the ruler of Pisces.

For now, I’d like to list a few examples of Saturn in Aquarius focused around censorship and the control of information online. I’ve been collecting these ever since Saturn went into Aquarius.

Saturn’s limiting, restrictive nature and Aquarius’s fixed air significations combine into an obsession with maintaining order and correct thoughts in the social spheres and wider communities. This lends itself naturally to censorship. In the broader world, this has manifested particularly through the actions of big tech companies (which matches Aquarius as an air sign) and government (which matches Saturn as ruler of Aquarius).

I’ve been collecting examples of Saturn in Aquarius, vis-à-vis censorship and information control, ever since Saturn ingressed Aquarius in early 2020. All of these were ostensibly done “for the greater good” – another excellent Saturn in Aquarius archetype. Here’s an abbreviated list:

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