Deep in Saturn

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Saturn really kicked me hard by showing me that I could not do ALL the work by myself in the relationship (remember, Saturn also kind of slows things down, so it was like anytime problems would come up and I would go to fix things, it seemed like nothing worked – I really feel this was Saturn’s way of validating how counterproductive it would be to go against the square, which was ENFORCING a lack of action in some ways).

I’m not about to get into anything without my eyes wide open and my mind clear. That’s what Saturn does, so try and use the old codger Saturn to your advantage, and make him do the work, because he does know what he’s doing. I think Saturn promotes self-trust, he makes you get your hands dirty by pulling your self-esteem out from the gutter and MAKING you clean it up and polish it and make it shine. So you don’t ‘act’ more confident, you just actually become it…slowly, and diligently  Quoted from lindagoodman.com

When we consider Chiron from the perspective of defences, we are once again looking at an area of life, or of the personality, in which we feel wounded or damaged. But there is a different quality to Chiron. With Saturn we feel something has been denied us, something withheld that we badly need. This lack or sense of deprivation makes us feel inadequate, and eventually forces us to develop self-sufficiency. With Chiron, there is a sense of something unfair hurting or humiliating us, something that we didn’t merit. We have been irrevocably spoiled or damaged…Something has crippled us and because of that injury we must take a different path in life, one which we feel we not have chosen if we had been left “intact”.  Liz Greene Barriers and Boundaries. 

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I’m fairly familiar with Saturn, after all, he has been with me from the moment of my birth since Saturn conjuncts my Moon and both planets are aspected by Chiron in the seventh house.  Issues of emotional expression, emotional nurturing, relationships, mothering, self-care and core wounds, challenges and difficulties around these are not just a personal theme in my life, but one that seems to have dogged the multi-generational line, especially on the maternal side of the genetic stream.

A long time ago when I was in a deep solitary retreat (a fairly persistent and unavoidable life theme with natal Saturn moon) I did a long piece of writing, which I called Sea.  It came from the idea that everything that has grown and evolved on planet earth, including us humans started from a small cell which then grew and multiplied and divided and metamorphosed and had its origin in the sea.  At the time I was living in the house by the ocean on the South Coast of Australia that my father and brother designed and built in the years just before my father’s death.

The death of my father was a strong Chironian theme in my own life and it is interesting to note, when considering cycles that it occurred during Saturn’s last transit of Scorpio in the early 1980’s.  I could not say that our relationship had been close  A deep bond connected us, but it was one that did not manifest in the realm of external communication and physical contact but more so on a deeply inward level characterised by a profound silence and stillness within which was hidden so much experience unspoken, hidden and unexpressed.

Children can and do sense their parents.  In the absence of words, of loving touch, affection and connection a deep hole or wound can manifest which is hard to reach on the level of words or even of intellectual knowing, rather it remains hidden deeply within the soul as a subtext or felt energy that is difficult to verbalise and yet, at the same time, plays itself out quite dramatically.   Within this hole can be an ache and a hunger for something that is essential to the growing life of a child but which, in being denied, cannot be understood but instead falls down deep to be acted upon unconsciously repeating and repeating as a pattern until enough pain and soul searching can and does bring it to consciousness.

Saturn is not an easy teacher.  Some of the key words for its presence on any planet may read like a doomsday tome:  restriction, limitation, denial, withdrawal, responsibility, inhibition, weakness, flaws, adversity.  And with the Moon: sombre, self-restraint, conservative, fear of vulnerability, disappointment and melancholia.

Both my parents had a very strong Saturn signature.  Dad had Virgo Sun conjunct with Saturn Mercury and Mum had the Scorpio Sun conjunct with Saturn Mercury too.  What this might say is that even though the love was there, there was a deep blockage around its expression and with Saturn Moon.  As the astrologer Liz Greene has noted, Saturn Moon aspects in childhood indicate that “there has been rather a lot of emphasis on duty and on … appropriate forms of behaviour”, and “little warmth or spontaneity in emotional expression”.

Even writing this after years of knowing about it is causing me some angst, after all with Saturn Moon you are more than conscious, even from a young age, of a burden your bear.  There is an invisible ache when you recognise you are never going to know feelings of being the popular, loose, carefree individual who is the life of the party that others immediately gravitate towards. Rather, hard as it is to face, you are going to go through many deeply painful experiences of rejection, of seeing others walk away with the happiness denied to you, tormented on some level by a knowing of the very real restrictions that burden your soul and limit the freedom of your emotional expression, restrictions that you wrestle with, inwardly and struggle to make sense of.  Like it or not you are going to know that questioning gaze or the uncomfortable withdrawal, or the down right exclusion, at times that burns so deeply and leaves you alone in the bathroom dissolving in a pool of tears.

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It’s not easy for deep inside your soul you long to give and receive love and to know the tender touch of a comforting hand when you are in pain, rather than the wagging finger telling you once again how you messed up.  Yet, curiously, that is what you end up attracting, at least until you become conscious of the pattern,  it is the salt of misunderstanding, poured once again into the gaping wound of sadness and loneliness all of which you must face and feel if you are ever to walk towards a deeper sense of understanding, healthy self protection, nurturing and peace.

Allowing the negative side of Saturn to completely get the upper hand today would ensure that this blog will never see the light of day, might require that I tone it down so that it is not judged as too “negative” for after all look at all the blessings and what about concentrating on what you are grateful for and do people really want to hear the diatribe of a victim stuck in pain?    Maybe, if you have a relationship with negative Saturn on the Moon, you too know those voices and maybe there is some guilt associated with telling darker truths we experience.

So often I have felt troubled and guilty bearing witness to my pain, and yet not to makes things worse…somehow, telling the truth as I know it makes me feel like a bad person – as if I am making my pain up…. But the unshakeable bottom of all this is that I’m not making things up.  If I have unkind things to say, it’s because I’ve experienced unkind things…While I am not a victim, I didn’t ask for certain shaping experiences to happen to me.  I didn’t ask to be slapped or ridiculed as a boy or to be mistreated by lifelong friends later in life.  In truth, if I had experience different things I would have different things to say.  What is most healing about bearing witness to things exactly as they are, including my own part in my pain, is that when the voice of the pain fits the pain, there is no room for distortion or illusion.   In this way, truth  becomes a clean bandage that heals, keeping dirt out of the wound.          Mark Nepo

Might Saturn represent the core truth, when all pretence and illusion is stripped way?  Might it as a principle represent  the ability to look deeply into harsh emotional realities which may be painful to face, but yet in which being faced and spoken about can be liberated, acknowledged and aired in a place where healing can come.  For what festers in the cold dark silence becomes a cankerous sore, were as that which is exposed to the light of consciousness and daylight can and does heal into a scar with time, or maybe using Mark Nepo’s analogy, truth is the bandage that heals, after administering the pain of reality.

I am smack bang in the retrograde transit of Saturn to a host of personal planets at present and the feelings of loneliness and isolation that characterise my Saturn Moon have been very strong over the following week, due to events which have been building since the end of last year when Uranus in Aries at 8 degrees began to station direct in sextile to my Saturn Moon.

Par for the course with Saturn squaring my natal Sun Mercurcy and Venus I am feeling a sense of separation and distance from even my closest personal relationships.  Tears have been shed over recent exclusions from events to which I was invited prior to my difficulties of late 2013.  Fob offs have been occurring because people are very involved with their own loved ones. In my own family sickness and accidents have been marring my loved ones lives.  Phone calls have been rare.  The deepest place of solace I am finding is in nature at the park and at home on a rainy day, cuddling my beloved spaniel, Jasper.  When I let go and let the loneliness be, when I feel it through and let it pass there comes pleasure of a calmer and kinder type and of course I am free to blog to my heart’s content although,  at this stage not a lot of people will be reading it.   Still if I allow myself to be informed by the more positive side of Saturn I guess that doesn’t really matter, the point is in expressing it and letting it out.

I am sure that the transiting Sun is currently now very close to conjunction with transiting Uranus and square with transiting Pluto which speaks to me of an unearthing of authentic self-expression in the service of transformation and enlightenment.  Certainly there have been some extremely powerful emotional days over the past two weeks.

Presently we are moving towards the dark of the Moon time in preparation for the true astrological new year, that is the Aries New Moon of 2014. And a powerful new moon it will be forming a conjunction with Uranus while all three, Sun, Moon and Uranus square transiting Pluto. Its no wonder much is being unearthed and things are pushing for expression since Mars is very strongly signified in this lunation. However there is an introverted quality to the current astrological climate since Aries ruler, transiting Mars in still retrograding in the sign of its detriment Libra forcing realisations about the delicate balance between self expression and assertion and our relationships to others.

There is a lot more to explore than what I began to touch on here and in the writing this blog has morphed into a different form from my original intention.  Well that is good, I was following that flow of the ocean and allowing it to dance across the page as the cursor moved with the flow of thought and intuition being stirred so deeply from within.

Saturn does bear its gifts.  It is hard to see then at times for what is denied can seem to be so painful at times, removing us as it does from illusions of that which it is not our destiny to experience. Saturnian contacts and transits can and do force us inwards, to a dialogue with the soul.   The Saturnian journey is bloody lonely and harsh and, at times, I am not even sure if it truly does have a gift, other than to show us the nature of our very real defences and limitations. Is there a life beyond Saturn in a place of contentment happiness and peace?  How much is within our power to change?  These are some questions I ask. I am sure there are positive lessons and the nature of a Saturn transit may actually be to point out the difficult or challenging nature of our lives and relationship in order that we can develop a more realistic sense of what is humanly possible within the limits of our earthly natures. Saturn asks us to recognise our boundaries and the current influence in Aries is asking us to put the focus on ourselves, while doing all that is possible to be there for others at their time of need.

Saturn is associated with the shadow, that darker area of our souls that contains some truths difficult to face, which are not easily embraced in our culture, so maybe it is a life task for us Saturnians that we come to make some kind of relationship with our dark side and in accepting it allow it a place so that we no longer need to hide from it and feel more freedom to express who we really are, rather than who society may rather we be.  And even if that means at times we are covered over with a cloak of darkness, so we must wear it for great processes happen within the dark.  Within the dark ground seeds germinate and give rise in time to tender shoots of fresh new life.  And maybe that is the Saturnian lesson.  There is always more happening during these transits than we may know.  For now we might just need to be patient until the process we are undergoing completes itself and, with time and distance, the cycle turns again to carry us forward on the powerful new surge of life that carries our soul on to the next chapter.

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