Different transits can herald the end of a relationship, each with their own planet-specific lessons. A 12th House Saturn ending doesn’t deliver the gut-punch of Pluto, or the abrupt, ripping away of Uranus. If it’s time for your partnership to wind down, Saturn’s transit through the last house in your chart can trigger a long goodbye. It can take two to three years, and often involves a drawn-out process of sacrifice and dissolution. This transit does not automatically mean that your relationship will end. But it will trigger an ending in some area of your life. The 12th House is all about endings, and Saturn transits are about maturity. Combine the two, and you get an influence that compels you to leave behind what you’ve outgrown, or what’s outgrown you. And that may be your relationship. The process begins when Saturn moves from the 11th to the 12th House, and ends once Saturn passes over your Ascendant, crystallizing your brand new identity.
How do you know if you’ve outgrown your partnership (or vice versa)? There are always signs, long before Saturn hits your 12th House. Saturn delivers the results of what has come before. It builds on past situations, and if the building is shoddy, it will collapse. Saturn marks specific cycles of crystallization, with turning points as it moves over your angles. Its passage over your 7th House cusp (which happens roughly eleven years before it enters your 12th House) can solidify the commitment in an existing relationship. Or, a new relationship with significant limits can enter your life. For example, an older partner, a partner who has children, or a partner that you become responsible for. As Saturn moves through your houses and approaches your 12th, that relationship will develop, and so will you. If your development takes you in a different direction than the commitments/limits that Saturn introduced, you’ll know something’s about to give by the time Saturn reaches your 12th House.
Saturn’s passage through the 12th combines incompatible energies. The 12th House is where you sacrifice your ego, and this is a chaotic process. This doesn’t mean that you throw yourself on a self-destructive pyre, but there is a need to leave behind what no longer has value. The 12th is not about recognition, gain, or self-actualization. Those things come later, after the purging that leaves you whittled down to the bare minimum (which prepares you for your new beginning). And then there’s Saturn, who wants to impose order on a process that has no order. In the 12th House, you need to release control, but the first reaction to a Saturn transit is the struggle to maintain control. This can manifest as attempting to preserve a relationship that’s slipping away.
Clinging to what’s no longer valid can delay the ending, but even if you totally embrace the process of release, nothing can be hurried in the 12th. This is simply the nature of the process. There may be a long, complicated divorce. One or both partners may waffle back and forth before ending things (nothing is clear-cut in the 12th). Your dependent partner may guilt-trip you into staying. Strong feelings of guilt are side-effects of this transit; they are distorted versions of the 12th’s higher vibration of sacrifice. “Sacrifice” is not a word that most people like, or even understand. Many get it confused with punishment, especially when Saturn is delivering the results of a relationship whose expiry date has arrived. 12th House Saturn is not about punishment, and there’s nothing for you to atone for. It’s merely directing your focus to what needs to be released. The sacrifice that’s involved is the release of who you used to be. Perhaps this was the status of being a husband or wife. Maybe it was the distorted ego-boost you received from looking after your alcoholic partner. Whatever defined your sense of self will be sacrificed during this transit.
Any aspects that transiting Saturn makes to your natal planets will add to the experience. If you have natal Venus in your 12th House, transiting Saturn will be a reality check about your romantic illusions. It may confront you with the results of an affair, or how you’ve been sacrificing your self-esteem with certain types of behavior. Saturn always focuses you on the most pertinent issue of the planet it’s aspecting, and with a 12th House Venus, that issue will be your relationship blind spot. If Saturn opposes your 6th house Jupiter, you may reach the limits of how much (Jupiter) you can give to your partner (the 6th House is about service to others).
Saturn through the 12th is generally not the time to begin a new relationship. Even if you think you’ve met the love of your life, and they act as a catalyst for the demolition of your existing relationship, know that it’s very difficult to build something new when the old structures are still dissolving. Often, when Saturn passes over your Ascendant, the catalyst relationship ends along with the old relationship. You’re a different person once Saturn crosses your Ascendant, and you’ll feel more settled as it becomes obvious what the new rules are. You’ll know by this point who’s going to stay in your life, and who isn’t.
Saturn over your Ascendant will bring new responsibilities. Maybe you’re on your own for the first time in many years. The great thing about this point in your life is that you have a firm base to move forward from. Unlike the confusion of the 12th House years, there’s an absolute starting line. You may not be sure what lies ahead, because 1st house transits are absolute beginnings. You may not want to contemplate a new relationship, or you may be ready to get out there and start dating. Whatever state you’re in, know that 12th House Saturn’s long goodbye has cleaned out the old baggage, and you’re ready to start fresh.