In the heart section of Saturn I mention cowardice and I want to explain this first of all. I dithered over this as it sounds a bit judgemental. Cowardice to me is when we ourselves know ourselves to be cowardly. It doesn’t matter what other people say, it is our own integrity which lets us know deep within whether our actions are right or not right. So in talking of cowardice, I am referring to how we ourselves view our actions. Saturn, after all, does not demand that we be stupid in our bigness, this energy also reminds us to be circumspect when the situation demands. But when we play small because of fear when we know we should stand tall, then our heart tells us if this is cowardly or not. Only we can know this and react accordingly.
It’s ironic that Saturn, the sixth planet in the system, should loom into our cosmic view just as we are ready to expand and sing our song courtesy of the majestic Jupiter. Here we are, all geared up not to play little but to play big to the cosmic fiddler waiting to start up the music of our own, individual, precious dance with life.
And then, dear people, Saturn hoves into view on our horizon – an absolutely splendid planet, taking thirty years to orbit the sun, and surrounded by beautiful rings. And there, in the rings, lies the heart of the Saturnian challenge – a vision of the greatness of our being, the explosion into our spiral to break out of our outmoded circle, but how do we ring ourselves in with our beliefs, our inner codes, our limitations, our bowing to outer authority and how do we break free by listening to our own intuitive, ethical inner voice and siren song of our hearts and souls?
Saturn, in Roman mythology, was the god of harvest. And certainly we can harvest through loving our uniqueness and listening to the Pied Piper leading us on the Magical Mystery Tour of our dance on earth. But harvesting can be a tough job, a hard taskmaster, so Saturn asks us: are we up to our own individual task on earth? What we sow, we reap, so be prepared for harvest
which comes through our own actions and for which we ourselves are responsible. No whining allowed by Saturn!
In the Tarot pack, Saturn/Satan is most often depicted as standing behind two people – a man and a woman – holding the chains around their neck. They are enchained – by Satan? Or by themselves? Saturn presents us with the challenge to release what is enchaining us, as the chains are loose and we can let go of them ourselves. When we listen to our inner authority however we may well find ourselves facing up to outer authority where sanctions may come into force or we may find ourselves in turbulent waters as we listen to our own dictates rather
than society’s dictates. We may well crash if we do crazy things in our efforts to break free but in landing on our butts, we can learn hard lessons from Saturn the taskmaster, and prepare better for our next bout of freedom-box-building.
It is common for challenges to our accepted way of thinking to occur when Saturn returns into our lives after the thirty years from when we were born, and thence another thirty years, the so-called “Saturn return”. Saturn can be seen as restrictions and limitations, but its challenge really is to recognise our own limits and boundaries, to realise what is achieveable and what isn’t, to be practical but to crash through not with the chaos of crashing willy-nilly, but with the discipline which comes with the wisdom of freedom from fear, ignorance and smashing our own personally built little box with which we constrain ourselves. As we age too Saturn reminds us of the wisdom that comes with the aging process, to honour our age and our bodies. At the same time we need to not allow ourselves to be put in the box of “old age” and constricting expectations of “golden oldies” but to realise this is indeed our golden age and we can be limitless in the dance of our Elder years.
The song which started playing in my mind when I was tuning into the energies of Saturn was: “Little Boxes” written in 1962 by Malvina Reynolds, I’ll just quote the opening lines:
“Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of tickytacky
Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same”.
As children we are shaped by society’s rules and regulations into lookalike boxes and we need these to some degree to be able to survive and make our way in the world. But when these same rules and regulations – inherited not only from society generally but from our parents and the tribes we grow up with – limit us to living in smallness instead of our greatness, Saturn holds a mirror up to us to reflect who we are. “Do we want to remain in your box?” he asks. “Are you
happy in this box? Or is it grey and drags you down? Can you build a multi-hued, rich, rewarding box which nurtures your heart and soul?”
In Western society today we see, despite superficial prosperity and abundance, a deep sadness of the soul which is reflected in anger, violence, depression, high use of drugs – whether legal or illegal – which to me reflects the self-imposed boxes which drag us down and cause us so much spiritual conflict. To build our own structure is Saturn’s challenge. To build it with discipline and
responsibility to ourselves as spirit in a human body is Saturn’s breakthrough.
Structure; constriction; breakthrough; depression; maturity; ridigity; flexibility; persistence; inner authority; outer authority; rules and regulations; freedom; humbling experience; mistakes; learning; learning from mistakes; imprisonment.
Stiffness; flexibility; substance abuse; conscious diet, stretching; hunched over.
Crystals: Magnesite; White Howlite; Munjina Stone; Ruby; Obsidian; Rainbow Hematite; Mexican Fire Agate; Polish Red Zincite
Fixed ideas; thinking outside the frame; black moods; constructive thinking; optimism; genius; inspiration.
Crystals: Rattling Moon Geode; Super Seven crystal; Mugglestone; Amblygonite; Citrine; Green Fluorite; Crocoite.
Depression; sadness, negativity; positivity; glumness; self-possession; cheeriness; optimism.
Crystals: Clear Fluorite; Carollite; Bronzite; Garnet; Bloodstone; Orange Calcite; Pecos Diamonds; Smoky Quartz; Ferroaxinite
Lionhearted; courage; cowardice; shrinking violet; vulnerability; stoutheartedness; freedom to be oneself.
Crystals: Chrysanthemum stone; Emerald; Black Melanite Garnet; Nuumit; Ajoite-included Messina Quartz Crystal; Carnelian; Earth Angel;
Soul: Trust; Spiral of Learning; Universal Authority; Vision Clarity;
Crystals: Covellite; Singing Shaman Calcite; Purple Fluorite Cluster; Dreamweaver; Seraphinite; Moldavite
Spirit: Freedom; Grace; Universal Awareness.
Crystals: Celestial Diamentina Quartz; Selenite; Pink Morganite; Papagoite; Pietersite; White Pollucite; Nebula Stone
As you contemplate Saturn, you can listen to the Saturnine, constricting aspect which reflects those inner parts of ourselves which listen to our fears and call to us to shrink and play small. Or we can remember that the upside of Saturn is Saturnalia, the Roman festival which celebrated the re-birth of the sun. When we release our inner sun and honour it by being true to our own integrity, rules and authority, we still dance with Saturn but the trance dance of inspiration, of our own steps free of constraint and celebrating exuberance and the next steps of expansion.
So far, we have been looking at what are called the Inner Planets. Now we’re turning to the Outer Planets, which resonate with our unconscious energies.
In the past couple of sections we’ve faced up to Jupiter demanding we shine our light and Saturn asking us to let go of self-imposed restrictions and to cast aside our boxes so that we can indeed step forward as the unique, individual beings we are, utterly worthy of ourselves and being here on this wonderful Mother Earth which supports us to beautifully.
So as the sides of our boxes fall apart and we step forward, Uranus soars majestically into view with an orbit which is quite different to every other planet. I’m quoting this description as it boggles my mind a bit (but that’s what Uranus is supposed to do anyway): “Other planets spin around an axis that is perpendicular to their direction of travel, but Uranus is tipped on its side and spins in the same direction as he travels, so he rolls around his orbit.”
So here is Uranus, the odd-person out in our planetary wanderings, and the conduit to the web of light which links us to all that is. Uranus calls to us to break out of old patternings, to question everything around us, to truly walk our own walk, however eccentric and different it may be, and sing our own song. When we tread that wholly individual path, we are deeply enmeshed with the unseen energy connections of the Universe – we know we are limitless beings and part of a limitless Universe.
It’s interesting to look at the mythology surrounding Uranus. Earth, represented by Gaea, produced Uranus, and then mated with him, giving birth to a race of monsters, the Titans and the Cyclopes. Uranus pushed these back down to the earth and incurred the wrath of Gaea. She made a sickle for her last-born son, Cronus, who then castrated his father. From the blood arose the Furies, and from the severed genitals flung into the sea, arose a white foam from which Aphrodite was born.
When I was tuning into Uranus and considering this myth, it struck me that this so much relates to ourselves. We castrate ourselves and bleed inside metaphorically-speaking when we internalise our furies and don’t live according to who we are but according to the box society would like us to live in so we don’t upset conventional ways of living, thinking and doing. The Titans and Cyclopes, the so-called “monsters” and the “Furies”, are really our internalized “shoulds”, “ought tos”, “musts”, “what-will-people-thinks” and all the other hedging around we do when we give our power to others and avoid placing ourselves in our rightful position with Gaia as our own God/Goddess here on earth because we embody the Great Spirit ourselves.
Uranus calls on us to recall our god-ness and goddess-ness – our goodness in other words, which is breaking the bonds of our conventions, tuning in to Aphrodite as she sings of our essence, Love, and causes us to dance joyously with our intuition and own sense of what is right in the dance of life.
We let loose with ourselves in a wild trance dance as we allow our intuition full rein to fuel our own integrity and sense of rightness and open ourselves to the miracle of Love.
Uranus reminds me of The Hanged Man in the Tarot pack, the person who is hanging upside down from a tree – rooted in the present world – but who is able to look at the world from a different, personal, unique perspective which provokes independence, freedom and rebellion. He also reminds me of The Court Jester, the courageous person in mediaeval courts, who presented the truth in new forms disguised by humour to the king or queen in order to open their minds to new ways of thinking and unpalatable truths.
I also had a vision of Uranus with winged feet and thought I was getting muddled up with Mercury. However, I’ve discovered that Uranus is considered the higher octave of Mercury, which makes a lot of sense to me. Uranus can’t be pinned down, is elusive and reflects our move to mature, independent creativity which flows from our own innate intuition rather than the strictures of society.
Now these qualities present a challenge for us because we come up against the strictures and structures of our society. It is hard to swim against the tide, to stand for your own personal god, when the current is flowing strongly in the other direction. But that is the spirit of Uranus and it resonates with the energies that were around when Uranus was first discovered. This happened in 1781 and is associated with a time of revolutions and uprisings in France and North America.
So this planetary spirit resonates with breaking the bonds of the past, embracing the new and questioning all the old rules and regulations of our inner and outer community. It represents discovery, experiments, breaking down barriers to new ways of thinking, doing and being; enlightenment. If Uranus is resonating with you, then you may feel the urge to upset your normal routine, turn your life topsy-turvy, have a good old clean-out and then, when the upheaval settles down a bit, you stick your head up for air and breathe the freshness of new air rather than the stultifying murk of old atmospheres.
At the same time as we seek to step into our personal goodness, Uranus also reminds us that being in our own power isn’t about exercising that power over others. It is about calling others into their power by shining our power responsibly by co-creation with spirit/god/goddess/Great Spirit, or whatever has a higher meaning for us. It calls us to community, to expand love into our walk and talk, to work for new structures which better serve humanity as a whole, to work for social justice, fairness and compassion.
I also want to wind up by raising a note of warning about working with Uranus or Uranian influences – respect other people and don’t pursue change for change’s sake. If you can work with Uranian energies and meld them with the framework of Saturn, you stand far more of a chance of bringing about change which respects the good of others. In other words, don’t follow the path “to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs”, because ultimately breaking eggs means damaging other human beings. It is far more effective to work towards change which carries people with you rather than invoking change which overthrows the existing order and may damage many people in the process.
Social justice; humanitarian issues; freedom; flower power; conservatism; hippy-ism; rules & regulations; blind obedience; innovation; discovery; anarchy; rebellion; anti-authoritarianism for its own sake; structurelessness; lack of direction; flailing around for the sake of it; imagination; intuition; radical change; wake-up calls; independence; dictatorship; slavery; unconventionality; inspiration; reform; prison, challenge to old ideas; imprisonment.
Flexibility; rigidity; looseness; athleticism; attunement to bodily needs; out of touch with bodily needs; travel; adventurousness; lack of adventure; overweight; underweight; anorexia; bulimia; obesity; balance.
Crystals: Jet; Kambaba Jasper; Earth Angel; Wonderstone; King Cobra Jasper; Arkansas Shaman Stone.
Free thinking; originality; ideologically rigid; mindlessness; blind obedience; questioning; scientific discovery; truth; esoteric exploration; intuition; inspiration; doctrinaire; rigid thinking.
Crystals: Pipestone; Wonderstone; Witches’ Finger Quartz; Garden Quartz; Growth Interference Quartz; Metamorphosis Quartz.
Confidence; excitement; envy; hatred; recklessness; lack of confidence; warmth; loyalty; rigidity; happiness, unhappiness.
Crystals: Larimar; Chalcopyrite; Blue Vivianite; Mother’s Heart; Fairy Stone Concretion; Golden Apatite; Imperial Topaz.
Jealousy; unconditional love; expansion; balanced chakra; unbalanced chakra; greed; generosity.
Crystals: Lavender Rose Quartz; Purple Jasper; Aurora Borealis Marble; Green Polish Zincite, Hematite.
Freedom; expansion; intuition; psychic expansion.
Crystals: Staurolite; Pyrite; Silver Sheen Obsidian; Emerald; Elestial Quartz; Tanzanite; Gwindel Quartz; Fairy Stone Concretion
Limitlessness; joyousness; lightness; ability to soar; boundlessness.
Crystals: Libyan Desert Glass; Phenacite; Singing Shaman Calcite; Herderite; Iolite; Faden Quartz; white Tribe of Light; Fairy Stone Concretion.
So remember, folks, stick those flowers in your hair, wear a red hat, get yourselves togged up in purple and turn somersaults and cartwheels in the street. Rattle the railings. Live adventurously and alive in each and every moment.
Just to wind up, as I said previously I went through my life thinking that my parents were a couple in themselves, with me on the outside. So imagine my surprise when I had a reading with a medium which turned my ideas topsy-turvy.
Doubtless there will be people who will scoff at the idea of a medium and conversations with people in spirit but, trust me, this incident came out of the blue, with no wishes for any kind of link with my parents.
I had been selling crystals at a new age fair in Victoria and it had been very quiet. A guy approached my stall and started making very accurate comments about my life so, as I was bored witless doing nothing, I trotted over to his stall and said I’d have a reading. I had no preconceived ideas, but just left the whole thing open.
The first thing the medium said was that he wanted no facts or responses from other than “yes” or “no” so that he couldn’t be accused of “reading me cold” which happens with a lot of so-called mediums and Tarot readers (and don’t forget I’m a Tarot reader!). His first comment was that my mum and dad had turned up, which surprised me no end as I hadn’t thought of them at all. His next comment was that they weren’t together, they’d gone separate ways, each to their own spiritual lineage.
Then he said my mum had told me she never loved my father. At first I misunderstood and thought she’d said she’d never loved my grandfather. But no, she said she’d never loved my father, she’d only married him under pressure from her family to get some sort of financial stability. But what she had wanted was to have her own business and be independent.
Now funnily enough, when I had an astrology reading in Boonah, the astrologer had asked me about my mother and whether she was unusual in any way. To be very honest, my relationship with my mother was very much overshadowed by my antagonistic relationship with my father. So I felt rather bewildered, although I knew that she’d been very efficient and happy running the guesthouse when we lived in Ramsgate, and always enjoyed going to work – whether it was in the grocer’s shop or bakery in Sandwich, or in Debenham’s when my parents moved to Canterbury (I was in university by that stage).
Later I obtained a psychological profile of myself from Liz Greene, a renowned astrologer, and was taken aback to read the following about my mother:
“Although your mother might have appeared conventional in her behaviour, and devoted to her family’s needs, she is pictured in your horoscope as a strong and independent spirit, who was perhaps not as able to accept the limitations and compromises of family life as she pretended to be. Thus she suppressed a natural restlessness and a rather explosive temper which sprang from a strong desire to break free and pursue her own goals and dreams without the restrictions of marriage and motherhood.”
The medium continued that my mother told him she had felt hemmed in by marriage and even more trapped when she became pregnant. And this rather validated my feeling that I wasn’t a very welcome addition to the family unit.
Then came another bombshell. The medium said that my parents had considered divorce when I was in my ‘teens. Now this was something which really wasn’t something I thought about at all. But in my ‘teens my parents had suddenly asked me what I’d do if they got a divorce. I thought they were joking, laughed and said I’d bang their heads together. Nothing more was said and it just seemed a rather puzzling anomaly over the years. Then, through the medium, my mother said she’d stayed for me. I remember thinking rather forcefully that she wasn’t going to lumber me with that sort of guilt. And then the medium added that she’d been a bit more truthful and admitted it was for security too.
To say I was a bit shaken was an understatement. All my ideas of a loving couple went right out the window. And then my father came through, saying that he was lonely in the world of spirit, as lonely as he had been in life when all the people he had loved had never loved him. It sounds sad, but I remember thinking that a great deal of Dad’s problems had been entirely self-generated and self-inflicted, so I didn’t feel a whole lot of sympathy. The medium said Dad told him my mum had great bouts of explosive anger which she kept separate from me but directed at Dad. Dad told the medium that he was glad when Mum finally died (of lung cancer) as he thought his life would improve. But nothing had changed except for the worse. Finally the medium said he thought Dad was doing a life review.
I’m quite aware that cynics out there will be rolling their eyes and snorting about mediums and life after death, but the astounding thing for me was that the medium sought no information, provided me with details which confirmed a lot of what he transmitted to me and, in the final analysis, cleared up a lot of things which had puzzled me over the years but which hadn’t really bothered me enough to explore in greater detail. The unexpected information about my parents’ marriage came right out of left field and left me quite shaken and very surprised.
There’s another factor in my feeling on the outside in my mother’s and father’s relationship. Again in astrology, and without going into great boring detail, I have Pluto and Saturn very close together in Leo in the ninth house, which is to do with groups, societies, friends, and so on. These two planets cuddled up actually bring up a lot of hidden fears, suspicions and neuroses for me to do with gatherings of people, relationships, groups and so on. So I would bring these hidden fears into my relationship with my mother and father, particularly after my mother failed to offer me any consolation after the hiding I got from my father when I was young, which I mentioned in an earlier post.
I remember my mother saying once that she didn’t think I was emotional, but in fact I used to hide my emotions because of the dysfunctional relationship with my father. I didn’t allow one chink in my armour as I knew he would sense it and fire a few verbal bullets and arrows at me. In fact, I’m very emotional – I cry at the drop of a hat at sad movies; weep at war memorial ceremonies; mourn over animals affected by cruelty; get weepy at children in refugee camps and other images of cruelty. But I generally keep this to myself.
Actually, to be very honest, I sometimes think I must have seemed like the cuckoo in the nest to my parents. I can’t have been an easy child as I was quite secretive, withdrawn and quiet. I did have a few childhood friends but lost them when I was transferred to a Catholic convent when I was six while my friends stayed in a state school. And at the Convent I never made any good friends, having arrived much later than others in my year. The one girl I thought had been a good friend turned out to be otherwise when her sister told me she used to laugh at me – perhaps confirming again my fears about groups and friends.
What I do cherish, however, was what the medium passed on to me from my mother: “You are my delight and my reason for living.”
And that is finally “it”, the end, of this review of family relationships. I am thankful for the kidney infection which helped release all the stuff bottled up inside me and extend my grateful thanks to the terrific physician author of the blog post which, unknowingly, sparked all this off, Behind the White Coat.