The Astrology of Breakdowns and Breakthroughs: Step Away From That Saturn

White Rabbit(Astrology Explored) That powerful sucking you are feeling right now is a Moon-Saturn occultation in Scorpio. Fear not, it will pass.—Matthew Currie, FB Post

You felt it too. There was a little twisting in your gut. Something didn’t feel quite right. Is Pisces or Cancer a significant influence in your chart? You turned on the water works. If a white rabbit drove up in a car and told you to get in, you just might do it.

You entered the Saturn in Scorpio zone.

To be fair, it was a little more potent than usual. The Sun entered Pisces and perturbed Neptune and Chiron who are taking up residence there. Additionally, Jupiter, the planet of expansion, is trine Sun, Neptune, and Chiron! The Moon in Scorpio kicked it off, but we’ll feel the residual effects until the Sun moves off Neptune and Chiron. Continue reading

The Astrology of Saturn: Get Thee Back Satan!

(Astrology Explored) In my mailbox today a reader sent this:

I am a Libra, and have been undergoing a lot of difficulty over the past three years as you know. I was hoping you could explain something to me.

As I understand it, Saturn only visits signs for two years, but we Libras had to have it for three. That doesn’t seem fair.Mostly what I want to say is the fact that what Saturn did to me was make me lose my job. I noticed things going south back in October 2009 though at the time I didn’t know why. I was later laid off due to budgetary reasons in a mass company layoff in December 2010. I still don’t have a new job even though Saturn supposedly left in October 2012 and it’s January 2013. But now it’s in my financial house. So the one area of my life, which is my income, that Saturn has completely destroyed while it was in Libra, will now continue to suffer for yet another three years because even though it has “left”, it managed to stay in the one and only area where I actually need relief. So I would really like to know if you can offer any explanation or hope, to those Libras that will now have to suffer this miserable planet devastating their lives for a total of 6 years. Not 2, not even 3, but 6. Because I am my only source of income and am currently on unemployment. I am about to lose everything. In October things were supposed to get better but they are not, due to the fact that Saturn is staying with me in the one area where I needed it to get the hell out.

I’m sure there are other Libras that have suffered Saturn’s influence in terms of finances and employment, and for those of us that have, we now have to continue to endure this nightmare for another three years. So our suffering didn’t end in October 2012, but will continue for a total of six years. I suffered great financial loss already for three years and now I find out that this will continue for another three years until 2015. Where’s MY relief from this damned planet?

The short answer is this. When you learn Saturn’s lesson.

Saturn is not something you wait out until the ride is over. None of the planets are like that, except maybe the moon, where you can schedule your monthly mental health days.

Now wait. Saturn doesn’t want to punish you. Really. Saturn is like your mom and dad who push you to do things because it’s good for you, not necessarily because you want to do it.

According to Monique Pommier about Saturn in Libra:

it is a key participant in the dawn of dynamic selfhood. On the other hand, the self-expression or the creative will of the exalted Sun (Sun in AR) calls for the balancing and adjusting function of Saturn (LI).

Now most of us adore Libras. You’re fun and social and the life of the party. But being one of the two Venus ruled signs you are a little spoiled. You expect things and people to fall into your lap just as you wish it.

Saturn is your wake-up call.

And once you realize that Saturn is here to help you, you’ll like it. Or rather you’ll like the sense of balance and grounding you’ll get from learning its lessons. You’re a Libra. You live for balance.

Where Saturn is in the chart is where you need to do some work. If Saturn is going through your second house, then its an excellent time to look at your finances and do some serious planning (Saturn is planning). What are your resources, what kind of help can you get?

Saturn is not interested in stripping you of everything you have. Pluto does that. Saturn wants you to build on foundations. If your financial house is on shaky foundations, then you need to build a new house.

Saturn in the second can actually bring you a job. It may not be a job you like, or you have to work harder than you like, but you can have a job. You might have turned down an offer or two because they don’t quite come up to your standards. Maybe you should rethink that.

So all in all it sounds like you have some work to do. Things won’t get better until you do. Even if you managed to hunker down and wait for the worst to pass, you find you’ll be dealing the with results of not doing the work on your problems for years to come. So please stop treating Saturn as the devil to beat back. He is only here to help.

And by the way it wasn’t Saturn that lost you your job. It was Uranus.

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Neolithic Mythology, Saturn, & the Winter Solstice

Saturn with the baby New Year

The Saturn Myth

The day that Sun slides into the sign of Capricorn is the day that is celebrated as the Yule, the symbolic rebirth of the sun god. Many myths and legends surround this day, this solstice a rallying point for pagan and Christian beliefs. Digging deep into the lore of Neolithic peoples, our direct ancestors, is the story of Saturn, the planetary ruler of the sign of Capricorn. The primordial god, Uranus, ruled the earth, with the Earth Mother as his consort. Uranus was a god of instinct, his actions ruled by his passions rather than reason and in fear. Though Uranus came every night and covered the earth, mating with her, he hated the children she bore him. He imprisoned his children in the earth where they caused Gaia pain. Gaia fashioned a sickle from flint and begged her sons to attack their father. Only one, Saturn, would agree to help his mother in her plot. This flint sickle was a powerful symbol of the harvest tool utilized by our agrarian ancestors.Saturn attacked his father with the sickle and castrated him, stealing his procreative power thus transferring it to himself.

This coup of Saturn with his sickle represents a shift from living instinctually with the earth, as nomadic hunter-gatherers to working the earth in settled agricultural communities. It also signaled a shift from bicameral awareness, where our early human ancestors perceived their own thoughts as promptings from the gods, to the type of individualized self-awareness that we have now. This complex process necessitated the development of a framework in which society could work. Where before as hunter-gatherers individuals worked for survival as part of groups, as farmers, humans evolved the need to retain the cohesiveness of community while assuring the autonomy of individual action. Thus traditions, how things were always done, became important, as well responsibility and duty to family and community. All of these are Saturn themes.

Celtic Mythology of the Solstice

The entrance of the Sun into the sign rule by Saturn had a special significance to the ancient Celts.

In the Celtic lunar calendar this event happens at the end of the Month of Elder, called Ruis (sounds like “r’ uhish”).

Solar events, signifying the masculine and lunar events corresponding to the feminine principle had equal importance in the complex mythology of the Celts. The day before the ingress signified the death of the old Sun, which then became the prisoner of the King of the Underworld. The New Sun was born on December 22 as the child of the goddess Ceridwen, the goddess of wisdom. The Sun was regarded as the son of Ceridwen, and the God Celi, an incomprehensible spirit from whom all life came.

Another story of Ceridwen runs concurrent with the story of the birth of the Sun, which reveals more of the underlying meaning of the birth of the sacred child at the winter solstice.

Cerwiden by Christopher Williams

Cerwiden by Christopher Williams

Part of Ceridwen’s story goes like this:

“Ceridwen had a magical cauldron that could make a potion granting wisdom. The mixture had to be cooked for a year and a day. Morda, a blind man, tended the fire beneath the cauldron, while Gwion, a young boy, stirred the concoction. The first three drops of liquid from this cauldron gave wisdom; the rest was a fatal poison. Three hot drops spilled onto Gwion’s hand as he stirred, burning him. He instinctively put his hand in his mouth, and instantly gained great wisdom and knowledge.

Ceridwen chased Gwion. He turned himself into a rabbit. She became a dog. He became a fish and jumped into a river. She turned into an otter. He turned into a bird; she became a hawk. Finally, he turned into a single grain of corn. She then became a hen and ate him. When Ceridwen became pregnant, she knew it was Gwion and resolved to kill the child when he was born. However, when he was born, he was so beautiful that she couldn’t do it. She threw him in the ocean instead, sewing him inside a bag of sealskin. The child did not die, but was rescued on a British shore by a Celtic prince named Elffin; the reborn infant grew to became the legendary bard Taliesin.”

Gwion represents the non-initiated soul, one, who in the service of the Goddess of Wisdom, is reborn as a “divine child replete with knowledge”. It suggests that wisdom is ultimately received from an acceptance of feminine knowledge of the divine essence of the cycle of life.

The divine child remains hidden from us, however, until December 24, the first day of the new lunar calendar of the year. The time during the divine child’s birth and this day is known to the Celts as the nameless day. This day that falls outside the thirteen sign, twenty-eight day dichotomy of the lunar calendar. It is sacred to the Queen of the Underworld, Arianhod. It represents the part of feminine wisdom that always remains concealed.

Helena Paterson, author of “The Celtic Lunar Zodiac” says of people born on this day:

People born on this ‘nameless day’ have a cosmic spiritual awareness-time travelers, akin to Australian Aborigines whose dreamtime reflects an evolving creation and creator.

The dark was considered the time of seeding, while the light was time when new growth emerged and matured. For the solar cycle the solstice points and the midpoints of the solstice points were considered important. While each of the midpoints of the solstice was considered part of the cycle of female fertility, the solstice points were celebrations of the cycle of death and rebirth of the male Sun god. The male Sun god carried great responsibility, for it was his light and his vitality that ensured the continuance of the community. At the autumn equinox the sun god symbolically passed into the underworld where he waited until the Celtic New Year, that which we know as Halloween, to couple with goddess of the underworld to seed the New Year. Yule is the triumph of the light over the dark when the male Sun god is reborn as a child of the great goddess to grow, mature and carry on his work of insuring the fertility of human activity upon the earth.

More than the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice marks the time of the revelation of the timeless nature of the cycles of life. It tells the story of rebirth of the human spirit, the archetypal spiritual acolyte in all of us, to seek the lessons and the wisdom of the year to come.

Saturn image published under a Creative Commons license from Flickr.

Image of Cerwiden published under a Creative Commons license from Wikipedia.

Astrology and Mythology: Saturn’s Story and Saturnalia

The Roman God Saturn

The Roman God Saturn

Saturn is one of those planets that people have a hard time wrapping their head around. After all, what good is hardship and limitations? Why would we embrace difficulty and want? What good does this planet do in our lives? What better time then to explore the meaning of Saturn during this time of the winter solstice, when the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, the feast of the god Saturn?

The Feast of Saturn, which in Latin was called the Saturnalia, was celebrated as a state holiday for one to three days around the winter solstice, between the end of one planting season and the beginning of the next. A series of religious observances for various gods stretched this period by custom by for a least a full week, from what we would call December 17th to December 23. During this week many of the traditions that we associate with our Christmas, decorating trees outside the home with baked goods and treats, homes with garlands and wreaths, the giving and receiving of gifts, visiting friends and grand dinner parties were part of the festivities.

At the beginning of the holiday Saturn was sacrificed to according to Greek ritual, with the head uncovered and the linen wrappings that bound his feet during the year removed. After the ritual, a public feast was held which was to honor the golden era over which Saturn ruled.

During the holiday>, restrictions were relaxed and the social order inverted. Gambling was allowed in public. Slaves were permitted to use dice and did not have to work. Instead of the toga, less formal dinner clothes (synthesis) were permitted, as was the pileus, a felt cap normally worn by the manumitted slave that symbolized the freedom of the season. Within the family, a Lord of Misrule was chosen. Slaves were treated as equals, allowed to wear their masters’ clothing, and be waited on at meal time in remembrance of an earlier golden age thought to have been ushered in by the god. In the Saturnalia, Lucian relates that “During My week the serious is barred; no business allowed. Drinking, noise and games and dice, appointing of kings and feasting of slaves, singing naked, clapping of frenzied hands, an occasional ducking of corked faces in icy water—such are the functions over which I preside.”

So how did a festival of license and the reversal of the social order come to be associated with stern Saturn?

Saturn’s Backstory

Saturn in the Roman world was the god of agriculture. Saturn was the father of Jupiter (Zeus) and the son of Uranus. Uranus in mating with the earth mother Gaia produced by her children that he hated. He cruelly imprisoned them in the depths of Gaia, causing her pain. Gaia implored her children to rise up against their father and end her suffering, and Kronos (Saturn) agreed to help her. She fashioned for him a flint sickle to use against his father.

Saturn used the sickle to castrate Uranus, thereby destroying his procreative power.

But Saturn started his rein with violence against his father, and grew to fear the same outcome for himself especially when the Furies made a prophecy that one of his own children would depose him. To avoid this fate, he swallowed each of his own children as soon as each was born.

His wife Rhea fashioned a plan to keep Saturn from snatching another of her babes from her arms. When Zeus, (Jupiter) was born she gave Saturn a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to swallow. After Zeus came of age his mother pleaded with him to free his brothers and sisters. Saturn was deposed as prophesied as Zeus marshaled ancient gods to stand with him against Saturn. Saturn was imprisoned in the bowels of the earth (or in Hades according to other versions) never allowed to see the light of the day again.
Thus we can see where Saturn is associated with fears and imprisonment. But where do we make the connections with boundaries and social order?

The overthrow of Uranus established Saturn as the king of the gods, but also signals for us a point of evolution in the human race, where during the Neolithic period we gave up our nomadic ways and settled on and farmed the earth.

How can we trace the story of Saturn to this period of time?

Wikipedia tells us:

The detail of the sickle’s being flint rather than bronze or even iron was retained by Greek mythographers . . . Knapped flints as cutting edges were set in wooden or bone sickles in the late Neolithic, before the onset of the Bronze Age. Such sickles may have survived latest in ritual contexts where metal was taboo, but the detail, which was retained by classical Greeks, suggests the antiquity of the mytheme.

With humans bound to the land and forming communities, borders, fences and trading agreements became necessities to help humans maintain order. So it was Saturn became associated with boundaries, restrictions and limitations as well as establishing and keeping the social order.

The spirit of license lasted for only a short time, and at the end of the festival another Roman activity we are well acquainted with started, that of the settling of accounts. Yes the Roman practice of the payment of debts and taxes after the holidays has followed Western Civilization since. When you go to pay those credit card bills and first of the year property taxes you can blame Rome.
The Romans honored Saturn in the Saturnalia because they believed he ruled over a golden age of peace and plenty, the gifts that a well-ordered Universe could provide to humanity. Saturn in our own lives can function in our lives the same way when we accept our own responsibilities to ourselves and our community.


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The Astrology of Evolution: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto At It Again

castration-of-uranus2
The Sun in Virgo marches on the join Saturn in his long-term position, shining its light on Old Man Time who is and has been in opposition to Uranus. At the apex of T-Square is the original change agent, Pluto, commanding a position as middleman. This is a story as old as time, the struggle of new power systems against the old.

Once the supreme ruler of the Gods, Uranus, was the son of the primordial goddess, Night. Called the god of the Sky, Uranus presided over a human race that was morally pure, that did the right thing naturally. Uranus made the Earth, Gaia, his wife and mated with her each night. However, he hated the children of Gaia, most of who were monstrously formed. He imprisoned them and Gaia hated him for it. She devised a plan to free her children by persuading, one child, Saturn to dethrone his father. The Earth Mother gave him a flint sickle with which Saturn attacked his father, castrating him and destroying his procreative power.

Flint sickles were used before the development of metal implements. During the late Stone Age Neolithic humans domesticated wild cereals and grains, became farmers and left their hunter-gatherer ways behind. It is theorized that during the hunter-gatherer phase and through the entire Neolithic phase humans operated cooperatively but did not have the capacity for self-awareness, what is call the bi-cameral mind. Instead, mental processes of early humans operated in a state where independent thought was perceived as the voice of god. Thus humans perceived an ongoing and intimate relationship with god where god directly controlled their actions.

The difference between this ancient father/son pair is that while Uranus assumed his role as the primordial “father sky” instinctually, commanding the collective naturally, Saturn used conscious intent to command control. As hunter-gatherers, humans reacted to the environment, “naturally,” while as farmers assumed more control and organization over their environment. As the survival strategies of humans changed, their gods changed too signaling an evolving, though not a fully evolved, consciousness.

As “the son” Saturn faces “the father” Uranus in the sky, the push pull of imposed order over primordial collective instinct plays out once again. Interestingly enough, Saturn is one point of a Yod, called the finger of God, pointing directly at Saturn’s usurper, Jupiter, who was called Zeus by the Greeks. Uranus is in Aquarius, indicating a destined change in the collective consciousness. Pluto in Capricorn is the signal a change from the old economic and political systems to the new. Having evolved past the bicameral mind to conscious thought, from collective group action to the rise of the individual, what evolution awaits us now?

sept-15-2009

If you would like a question answered on these pages send your birth date, birth place and birth time along with your question to starrynightastro@aol.com. Sorry, time constraints prevent me from doing readings on anything other than a single question.

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The Astrology of Saturn: If You Care, Don’t Touch Me There

saturn1Your Saturn points are deepest fears and your best keep secrets, stuff that runs deep to the core of our emotions. We don’t want to discuss these things; the anxieties that make us melt into a puddle of tears. Anyone who cares for us learns it is best not to hit that hot button, not to touch us “there.” Saturn in a sign, Saturn in a house, or Capricorn on the cusp of a house, all of these are Saturn points.

How do know your Saturn points? For this you’ll need a copy of your chart or you’ll have to consult your local astrologer. (Go to www.astrodienst.com to get a free copy of your chart.)

Saturn in Aries, Saturn in the first house or Capricorn Rising : You crave being “the Big Boss” and you secretly feel you aren’t cut out for the job. You feel guilty about your ego and are anxious about your body image. Remarks about your leadership skills or your appearance drive you through the roof.

Saturn in Taurus, Saturn in the second house, or Capricorn on the cusp of the second house: You are afraid of not having enough money, even when you have it. Worrying about your bank balance leaves you open to neglect more important things. Learn to recognize them. Hint: it isn’t money.

Saturn in Gemini, Saturn in the third house, or Capricorn on the cusp of the third house: Despite your intellectual brilliance, you are afraid you aren’t as smart as you think you are. You fear deep discussions because you think your perceived lack of knowledge will trip you up.

Saturn in Cancer. Saturn in the fourth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the fourth house: You fear losing your home and you fear you don’t deserve one in the first place. Daddy may have undermined your feeling of security or your self worth. You do best when you strive to create your own feelings of security.

Saturn in Leo, Saturn in the fifth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the fifth house: Secretly you crave the adoration of others and you fear you don’t deserve it. Driven to be creative, you fear nothing you do is good enough. The stuff you create is awesome, but how would you know?

Saturn in Virgo, Saturn in the sixth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the sixth house: You are afraid you aren’t working hard enough or are organized enough. If you miss a detail you go nuts. You are especially touchy about your health, with at least one issue that freaks you out regularly. There is nothing wrong with preventative medicine. The number of vitamins you take is another matter.

Saturn in Libra, Saturn in the seventh house, Capricorn on the cusp of the seventh house: You secretly evaluate your associates as “better than” or “worse than” yourself. A relationship of equals terrifies you. Ironically, you fear “unfairness” as well. As a child you drove your parents nuts with your “little lawyer” routine. If your parents didn’t teach you well, you still do it as an adult. Marry. It’s good for you.

Saturn in Scorpio, Saturn in the eighth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the eighth house: You are terrified of your passions, and are terrified to live without them. Trusting others is a huge issue for you. As a child you learned that other people do not have the same level as commitment you have, because for you it is all or nothing. Ironically, you fear that other people will control you.

Saturn in Sagittarius, Saturn in the ninth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the ninth house: No other position craves freedom and is so bone chillingly terrified of it. You avoid marriage like it is poison ivy. If someone does net you, you’ll do stupid things to wreck the marriage, then wonder why your partner didn’t love you enough to put up with it. Be as smart as you really are and appreciate what you have.

Saturn in Capricorn, Saturn in the tenth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the tenth house: Its odd that you are so afraid of authority when you crave so much to have it. You’ll substitute career ambition for love relationships, then wonder why you are so alone. Your own success makes you nervous, and suspicious that the guy running behind you is trying to take what is yours. Learn to make allies instead of enemies. You’ll be more successful, faster, with them.

Saturn in Aquarius, Saturn in the eleventh house, Capricorn on the cusp of the eleventh house. You desperately fear you are not normal and are terrified of your own uniqueness. You yearn for group companionship and avoid it at the same time. W. C. Fields explained your ilk best when he said; “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me for a member.” Join something.

Saturn in Pisces, Saturn in the twelfth house, Capricorn on the cusp of the twelfth house: You were told as a child “Don’t be afraid.” so naturally you are. The irrational sends you up the wall. You are not likely to pay attention to any of that New Age fluffola, like astrology. You fear other people’s illnesses, yet ironically many of you end up as health care professionals. Since you are not likely to seek out therapy, seek God for solace.

If you would like a question answered on these pages send your birth date, birth place and birth time along with your question to starrynightastro@aol.com. Sorry, time constraints prevent me from doing readings on anything other than a single question.

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