“I’m chained upon the face of time, feeling full of foolish rhyme. There ain’t no dark until something shines and I’m bound to leave this dark behind.” Townes Van Zandt
I do think about other planets sometimes, like the Sun! And Jupiter! But I am often preoccupied with Saturn’s matters when I travel between patient visits as a home health and hospice social worker. As the Saturnian experiences of debilitating illness, aging, dying and death become our more constant companions, we bring our unique, complex sets of strengths and weaknesses to the coping process. If Saturn has passed you by in your earlier years, stick around: he’s looking for you to share some serious, quality time. It is inevitable.
It can be heart-wrenching to watch some people express Saturn’s darker side by becoming depressed and fearful. Toward the ends of our lives, many of us clasp too tightly to either the good old days or to old angers and resentments. We often dwell on the negatives, or try to deny the changes happening to us. We can keep our thoughts and feelings bottled up inside.
Many of us who experience extreme Saturnian trials (relationships? money? health?) come out the other side with time to live in the wisdom and peace that can only be gained by going through what Keats called, “a vale of soul-making.” In “The Planets Within,” Thomas Moore, writes, “When the power of ordinary living to provide a sense of meaning and vitality fails, feelings of sadness and temptations toward withdrawal invade consciousness. This is a natural move of the psyche, a turn in the round of planets; for that sadness may be a call for deeper roots. . . .Saturn is not simply a troublesome planet to be avoided; with perseverance and endurance we may find in his dark, heavy, ambivalent moods a way through and beyond the shallowness of the present.” We can then gracefully incorporate Saturn’s more welcome aspects as we mature: depth, strength, authority, restraint, patience, endurance, and wisdom. These qualities contribute substance not only to our individual characters, but also to the character of society/civilization in which we live.
But getting older isn’t, for better or worse, only about Saturn. Archetypal psychologist James Hillman’s book, “The Force of Character and the Lasting Life” is necessarily imbued with the themes of Saturn’s nobility and ignominity. In this work on aging, Hillman illuminates how intensely and richly other planetary archetypes are, and have the potential to be, operative during times of illness, debility or old age--- times we often dismiss as being meaningless or wasted. Although he doesn’t name the planets specifically, Mercury the Trickster necessarily comes to mind in his chapter “Memory: Short-Term Loss, Long-Term Gain;” Venus is evoked in his poignant discussion of mature beauty in the chapter, “Anesthesia;” and Pluto courses through the chapter, “Erotics.” Through these and other examples Hillman expands and transforms the selective, limited and habitual assumptions we make about the physical, cognitive, emotional and spirit/soul aspects of aging.
Knowing the planetary transits that are significant for our present and future, I cannot help but think that our individual and collective fulfillment during the Pluto in Capricorn era, the Age of Aquarius and Eckhart Tolle’s New Earth will simultaneously create and depend greatly upon a transformation (Pluto) in the perceptions and roles of older people (Saturn). We require vital, seasoned and creative people to interpret and build upon the past, make sense of and stabilize the present, and envision and navigate toward the future.
My fifty-some year-old Aquarian heart is particularly invigorated by this challenge. I would be honored to accept the role of a wise, Saturnian elder if such a mantle is ever offered, but I must admit that I thrill to T.S. Eliot’s statement that, “Old men ought to be explorers”. In “The Force of Character:” Hillman responds to Eliot’s declaration in thusly: “I take this to mean: follow curiosity, inquire into important ideas, risk transgression.” How deliciously Uranian! We don’t always remember that Aquarius is ruled by Saturn (the stabilizer) and Uranus (the innovator). Therefore, the qualities of both of these planets figure simultaneously in the character, challenges and fruits of the emerging Age. We are all cohorts in the crucible of our time. Each of us, even and especially those of us who are older, are important ingredients in an alchemical process meant to synthesize the seemingly opposite energies of Saturn and Uranus into more conscious, evolved, Aquarian beings. As Eckhart Tolle summarizes in his momentous work, “A New Earth,” “A new species is arising on the planet. It is arising now, and you are it!”
Ever been Plutoed?
--- Other June Hapnins ---
Beginner’s Astrological Overview – CCAC – Allegheny Campus, two-session, two-hour workshops with basic reading included. Learn how the 12 signs fit together, how the planets work and how a chart is read. Bring your birth time. Tuesdays, June 10 & 17, 6:30pm-8:30pm, $35, www.ccac.edu, To register: (412) 237-2700
KDKA Radio – Saturday, June 28, 9:30-11:00pm - Join me and Cheryl Crise on Carol Lee Espy’s KDKA Radio show, “The Life Lounge,” it can be heard on 1020AM or streaming live over the internet at: www.kdkaradio.com
Þ KDKA TV! - Join me monthly on KDKA (Channel 2) TV on Jon Burnett’s and Brenda Water’s morning talk show, “Pittsburgh Today Live”. The next show is Monday, June 23, 9:00-10:00am.
Last year’s major planetary themes were dominated by Saturn’s continual opposition to Neptune and certainly by Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn. This year, the major new theme is the transit of Saturn through Virgo coming into direct opposition to Uranus in Pisces. And they will be exactly opposite the morning of the coming election, November 4th!
What does this mean, you ask? (My client’s favorite question.) Saturn represents our conservative part, or in the political body, the right wing. Uranus, on the other hand represents our liberal, freedom-seeking side. Contrary to what many TV pundits would have you believe, each side of us is necessary and the latter is certainly not a disease. What is necessary is that the two forces be balanced and integrated. We all need to know when to loosen up, let go, and try something new (Uranus.) In the opposite vein, we are all too good at tightening up, being conservative and NOT taking chances (Saturn.) The two need to be blended. Those two forces are going to “have it out” (transiting opposition) over the next 6 months and even well into 2009.
The problem is this: it has become all too easy to point the finger at the “other guy” as the blame. “He’s too right wing, too far right!” “She’s too left, too dang radical!” Both forces are necessary and I fear that the growing tension is causing a tremendous schism (started by Reagan and sustained by Limbaugh) and it has our national psyche teetering on a serious schizoid break.
It is clearly time for cooler heads to prevail. We all want the same things: happiness, fulfillment and security for our families, friends and communities. We need to hear each other’s points of view and work together to meld these powerful Saturnian and Uranian forces. Pluto’s new presence in Capricorn insists on it.
Because the daily newspaper has to print a calendar date that the Sun changes from one Sun-sign to the next, people are often confused as to what sign they are. Understandably, they say to me, “I’m born on the cusp.” This is not the case since some years the Sun actually changes signs on a different day. This is where the birth time becomes critical. Computers and ephemerides tell us exactly what time the Sun changes from one sign to another. You are either one sign, or the other.
***Houses do have flexible debatable cusps, not signs
In actuality, few things in astrology are really predictable as far as events in your life. Saturn’s passage through the 12 houses or 4 major sectors is, in fact, fairly predictable. It is important to understand just what Saturn is and what it isn’t. The ice-ringed planet’s main focus is to “make sure.” It is commonly not only unappreciated, but is demonized as the bummer planet, the party pooper, the restrictor, etc. Deeper understanding of its nature reveals that it is very careful and wants to make things manifest. It is the part of us that is responsible and duty bound. It wants to make sure that ideas get implemented. Most suffer from Saturnine energies due to over-concern, being over-controlling, or simply worrying too much. That’s why it is indirectly restrictive. And that’s why Saturn is so problematic: if you have been thinking negative thoughts - negative outcomes manifest – t’aint No SECRET! However, on the other hand, if you have been thinking great thoughts, the reverse happens and you get rewarded. You don’t hear about that part of Saturn.
Either way, let’s track its critical path through the major sectors of a chart, each taking about 7 years.
Note: An accurate birth time IS necessary in order to determine a person’s true rising degree, thus the start of house 1.
The passage of Saturn through the first quadrant (houses 1-3) is known as the “period of obscurity.” During this period, which generally last from 6 to 8 years, the person unconsciously rebuilds their personality. A common example of this is when you go to the movies and see an actor you haven’t seen in years. They have been in their period of obscurity. As this period comes to an end, the actor suddenly re-emerges, usually somewhat renewed. This period is usually divided into 3 two-year periods. The first is generally devoted to physical renewal; many people join gyms and put renewed focus on their diets. The middle two years are devoted to repairing or enhancing one’s self-worth - even financial worth. They want to anchor themselves materially. The final, or third stage has to do with mental development. The unconscious can sense that a new goal is forming and is preparing the mind for it.
The Self has been rebuilt now as Saturn enters the 2nd quadrant, or houses 4 through 6. A critical time happens just as Saturn enters the 4th house. Usually the person identifies what their new goal is, and this is huge. They have a new goal in mind that is usually symbolized by the sign on the cusp of the 10th house, or midheaven. They aspire towards that new goal. Their goal generally will culminate 14 years later. One can be successful during this time, of course, but not like the harvesting of the fruits of your labors that will be come about 14 years later. This period represents one of hard work, even struggle.
Next is phase III where Saturn transits houses 7-9 and your travails usually gets easier. Certainly, as Saturn enters the 7th house, relationship issues become paramount. Many folks marry then - others get divorced. As Saturn enters the 9th, almost always a person goes back to school – and I don’t care what age they are. The sign on the cusp of the 9th house usually indicates what subject they will study. Sometimes the schooling is done over the Internet, especially if Aquarius or Uranus is involved.
Even it it’s not the “Year of the Pig,” Saturn is now ready to bring home the bacon.
It is now entering the final quadrant: House 10. The Goat is alone at the top of the mountain now. The goal dreamt of 14 years earlier is usually attained at this time. Social and career recognition comes at this point and often, a promotion. It is very common at this time that people move more into an administrative or management role at work. The native usually enjoys happy rewards at the office place during the next two years. Passages through house 11 are also very propitious. The person usually focuses an octave above their career. For example, transits through the 10th can symbolize a doctor developing a successful practice. Then, when Saturn attains the 11th house, he or she gets more involved in a medical association, perhaps as a board member. It’s time to give back – The Water Bearer pouring its water.
A critical time occurs as Saturn makes its final pass of house 12. Usually, the person no longer feels the great obligation to their career. The work of the old Self is finished. It is time to let go of the old and learn from it. This stage is often overlooked in a society that doesn’t put much focus on learning from the past – it’s always “what have you done for me lately?” and full steam ahead. Many, many clients come to see me during this stage. They can sense that something is “wrong” and they don’t know what to do about it. They are usually relieved to find that nothing is wrong, per se - it’s just that an old cycle is coming to an end.
Then, we start all over again. An unenviable position comes as Saturn is crossing out of house 12 and into house 1. Now, the soul usually finds itself at the “Start/Finish” line of 28-year cycle. The Old is gone; the New hasn’t even started, and they can feel somewhat as if they are in never-never-land. Now, we reenter the period of obscurity once again, and round and round we go.
It never fails to impress me how consistently accurate this cycle is. In order to scope out your particular passages, you will need to know the degree of your rising sign, or Ascendant, and your midheaven (preferably all 12 of your houses.) Then, by going to www.astro.com, you’ll be able to gauge when Saturn transited those points. Remember, it takes Saturn 28 years to complete one cycle. Or, you can hire a competent professional astrologer and have it outlined.
Danica Patrick – Indy Car Driver
I saw recently where the first woman, Danica Patrick, won an Indy Car race. Not easy to do. I said to myself, “She must have a bunch of Aries in her!” Eh? Dang straight, Sun and Moon in Aries – both opposite MARS – trine to Uranus in Sagittarius on the cusp of the ninth house of travel. Nuf said. Astrology doesn’t work.
Now Ain’t That Funny?
TV’s “Family Ties” stars Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross
were born on the same day and year. June 21, 1947
Geminis of Interest and Astrological Musings…
Angular houses are houses of identity. 1st is the house of the Self, a very personal place. We are a lot alike any planets posited here. The 4th has much to do with our upbringing and our emotional nature. The critical 7th has to do with all of our relationships, especially marriage. The 10th is the key to our calling; our career or life direction.
Succedent houses are ones of value. They also have much to do with security. The 2nd is about our money and assets, moreover our self-worth. The 5th is about our children or creations. The 8th is about our intimate life, sexual nature, etc. The oft-overlooked 11th describes our hopes and wishes; also our friendships.
Cadent houses are flexible and have to do with learning and service. The 3rd describes our mental machine. The 6th our work habits and health. Our 9th house shows much about our higher education and philosophy. Finally, the much-misunderstood 12th house is a karmic house. It is known as the house of our “undoing.” Planets placed here belong to the Collective, or God – not to us.
Free birth chart calculations are available at: http://www.alabe.com/freechart/
The PA Dept. of Vital Records form for ordering your birth time/birth certificate is at: www.starself.com/birthtime
Make sure to stay in touch with my web site at www.starself.com and as always, “May the planets be with you as you find your Starself!” - Rick