How do you feel about Saturn?
Is this a planet whose transits you dread?
Do you find yourself inclined to whine and complain when it comes around?
Or are you ready for the boring and challenging tasks that come your way, ready to sacrifice happiness in the service of law and order and shoulds?
Each of us has to deal with the invitations and pressures of this planet. I’ve noticed that many people have become trained to think of Saturn and its influence as a negative, and this got me thinking. I wrote Saturn Returns: Thinking Astrologically with the intention to shift our negative thinking about this planet. It is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to change how they think about Saturn and learn to see its invitations in a more positive light, not just those around the return ages of 29.5 and 58 years. Changing our idea of Saturn changes our experience of the energy.
This is first in a series of three posts about Saturn. It introduces how I think of the planet and work with its transits in general, and then the next two will focus on navigating the first and second Saturn returns well – consciously and with intention.
The influence of this planet is to ask us to become more grounded and realistic, more practical and focused. That’s it. It nudges us to get real and then realer, with the ultimate goal that we are more realistic, more productive, and actually happier.
Yes, I wrote happier. We don’t tend to think of Saturn having anything to do with happiness, but it represents a mode, and a set of attitudes and tools we can use, that we can use to create a better and happier life. It’s just that the road to get there requires practical thinking and some good old fashioned doing.
During any Saturn transit we have the opportunity to evaluate how we have lived with the energy over time, and we have the chance to give back any negativity to those who have modeled Saturn for us. Saturn returns for us are however unique opportunities to feel from the inside out what we have been and are doing with this planet’s energy so we can make decisions about how we will proceed with its influence inside us. Saturn Returns: Thinking Astrologically offers routes to understanding how we have experienced Saturn in our lives lived in a very Saturnian society. It explains how to shift our typical dread of this planet and learn to work with its energy in a positive way.
We have to weed out from our conception of Saturn the harsh and critical role models we have been exposed to in our lives and replace them with an inner Saturn more aligned with loving compassion.
Does that seem counter-intuitive? Consider that the Cancer-Capricorn axis is about nurturing and caring. Cancer invites you into its home, makes you some hot soup, and asks you about your troubles. It offers a kind ear and feels along with you whatever is bothering you. Capricorn on the other hand designs, funds, and builds roads and schools to make sure children can be educated so they can learn to take care of themselves as adults. Capricorn focuses on creating people who can care for themselves in time. It is a very different style but it is in fact about caring and nurturing – the practical side of care versus the emotional side of care fitting with Cancer.
When Saturn comes around by transit in general, we are asked to rise to some occasion that has to do with better care and better nurturing. (What is your mind doing right now? Are you having a hard time seeing Saturn as about care and nurturing? Most of us do. This is your conditioning. But you can get inside what Saturn is really about and change how you experience it!) Its questions by transit center on realism and responsibility, maturity and ethics, and productivity and purpose. Addressing these through the lens of critical Saturnian people you grew up with (older people are Saturnian, so when we are kids we are surrounded by Saturnian figures) will lead you to be critical of yourself now. There is no greater handicap to growth of any kind than self-criticism, for the record. We all owe it to ourselves to get inside what Saturn is really about and take the energy back from our internal self-critics.
We experience Saturn transits in terms of our expectations about how hard life is or should be, and how mature and responsible we are or are not or should be. That’s the secret to all Saturn transits. The returns about every 29.5 years ask us to solidify a position regarding our choice about how to live the energy, but all of its transits in fact give us the opportunity to see our assumptions about the energy and those who inhabit it.
I remember a handful of, um, disciplinary actions I experienced during my elementary and high school days. The details are unimportant but I will tell you that Mars-Uranus in Libra in the 1st and Pluto-Venus in Libra in the 12th pretty much want everyone to just get along already, but if pressed by thugs, there is definitely some self-defense energy at the ready. Anyway, I remember sitting in the offices of various sorts of administrators being informed how good boys are to behave while looking at these people as the kinds of role models I knew I was supposed to value and respect. Ultimately, I knew, I should want to be like them. I remember the struggle inherent in knowing that while also knowing in my bones that even if good people with positive intentions, their modeling was not really for me, not actually something I should take on.
We all have that conflict at points in our lives. We confront what kind of adult we will be, what kind of worker, what kind of partner and friend and citizen. Looking at the models we have absorbed that we might now be using to define our choices and behaviors is important if we want to deal with Saturn energy in healthy ways. Otherwise, we will feel burdened by what we experience in Saturn transits and Saturnian others! Let’s all just release ourselves from the principal’s office already.
Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3, a post each on the first and second Saturn returns.
Tom Jacobs is an evolutionary astrologer, channel, and coach offering insight into why your soul is here and guidance about how to make it happen. Contact him to set up a private session. See his site for information on his original natal reports, and numerous MP3s on astrology and channeled material.
Each of his seven books is available as paperback and e-book between his site, Amazon, and Kindle.