Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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Taking Careful Aim: Saturn in Sagittarius

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_two_archers.jpgI thought briefly about writing a post on “what’s ahead in 2015” or some such, but the planets pay no mind to human calendars, and my personal calendar follows the sabbats and the seasons, so I decided that for the secular new year, I'd take a look at an aspect of Saturn’s recent entry into the sign of Sagittarius -- the need to review the rules by which we live our lives, then to set goals, to have a plan.

This placement of Saturn will be in effect for about 2/3rds of 2015 — it will take a brief dip back into Scorpio between mid-June and mid-September, before settling in for an extended stay in the Centaur’s sign, and it won’t move into its home sign of Capricorn until the day before the Winter Solstice of 2017. (Saturn was also teetering on the cusp between two signs in the recent Winter Solstice chart, which you can read about here. That chart is in effect for about three months.)

Playing by the Rules

Saturn is the last planet we can see easily with the unaided eye. It is known as the planet that rules time and manifestation, called variously “The Teacher”, “The Taskmaster” and the “Lord of Karma”. I think of it as representing the frame of Time and Space within which Consciousness manifests physical reality. It sets challenges, lays down rules and brings form and structure to visions and ideas. All told, Saturn’s not unhappy in the sign of the Archer, because Sagittarius loves games, and thinks a challenge + rules = a game. Sagittarius will also happily churn out plenty of visions and ideas to keep Saturn busy.

We would all be well-advised to spend some time looking closely at the rules that govern the game of our lives this month. Some of those rules are immutable and shared, like gravity, some of them are entirely of our own making, and when we look closely, we often find that, subconsciously, we are trying to play by rules that are actually in conflict with each other.

For instance, the rule that a “good dad” spends plenty of time with his children exists cheek-by-jowl in many fathers’ psyches with a belief that a good dad “brings home the bacon” and if keeping your job involves working overtime regularly, or night shifts…hmmmm. What’s the right thing to do in this situation, or any situation where we are trying to play by rules and beliefs that conflict? Well, numbing out and avoidance is not the answer. Determining right action takes time, thought, and the willingness to dig through areas of the psyche we might prefer to ignore. (By the way, note the phrases in quotes. They are platitudes, cliche’, and when you find yourself thinking in platitudes, you are often looking at a rule or belief you absorbed growing up — which means it needs to be brought to the forefront of consciousness, and questioned carefully for its truth and usefulness.)

Saturn in Scorpio’s Gift

Most of us have been coming face-to-face with buried material in our psyches over the past many moons as Saturn moved through Scorpio — whether we wanted to or not. Some of us have used these frequently painful excavations (so often reflected back to us from the outside world) as opportunities for growth, while some project blame onto others or “fate”. Taking an opportunity opens doors — blaming and projecting limit one’s choices tremendously.

I wrote this in a previous post:

“We can look on the progress of Saturn through Scorpio over the next 2 ½ years as an initiatory undertaking — a deep, transformative time when, if we will discipline ourselves to fulfill the requirements of the body and the Earth, we can create with power, insight and spiritual awareness.”

I’ve seen numerous people make tremendous strides towards their goals of healing and growth in their lives over the last couple of years. This has usually involved a lot of difficult shadow work, but Saturn always brings rewards — both material and psychological — to those who make the effort. Of course, we’ve also seen the problematic side of Saturn in Scorpio, often flaunting itself in the news along with its buddy Pluto (with whom it was in mutual reception). Lack of transparency in government, violent outbreaks of buried and denied racism and misogyny, concerted attempts to control and spy on entire groups of people, numerous attempts at overthrowing governments, etc. And many of us have seen similar issues, though on a smaller, personal scale, in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Saturn in Sagittarius promises to hold the changes we have — or haven’t — made during its transit through Scorpio up to scrutiny in the light of perceived truth. The energy released for creative work by exploring and integrating parts of the psyche’s Shadow can now be aimed towards a goal.

Goals and Targets

Sagittarius is the sign that reflects our human search for meaning and greater understanding. It rules faith (in all meanings of the word) and truth. With Saturn here, faith and and the vision of a greater truth have a tendency to either be pulled out from under us like the proverbial rug, or to solidify into dogma. That’s when we see people either moving into some kind of existential depression or clinging to the support of orthodox religious principles and rituals and rigidly defending them against any questions. Both of these reactions stem from fear of a vast and seemingly unpredictable Universe. Neither reaction is particularly desirable, so the question becomes: how do we use this energy productively?

One way out of our conundrum is to set our sights on a goal — and if you can make that goal both practical AND lofty, you get a gold star. Most of us have goals -- many of them are vague and poorly defined. Spend some time this month looking at where you are, where you want to be, and what you think needs to happen for you to get there. What specific changes do you need to make in your life, in your self, to live a life that is both fun and fulfilling?

You’ll be able to pull plenty of short- and long-term goals from that exercise, but it will also help to have a single target, a laser focus for the year that embodies for you the change you want to see in yourself and in your life come January, 2016. My favorite way of honing down to one overarching focus is to use Christine Kane’s Word of the Year tool.  She invites you to think deeply about not just where you want to go, but who you want to be. Very Sagittarian! And the discipline it takes to fill out the worksheet carefully, looking honestly at your internal landscape, is pure Saturn.

Having a single focus word and a series of goals we can aim for in the year ahead helps us stay grounded in the here-and-now. It brings us back to center. It also reminds us of the higher values we hold, and the focus of our soul’s purpose. So go on, get to work now. Saturn’s watching!

If you’d like to know how this two and a half year transit of Saturn will affect you personally, contact me for a consultation.

Happy New Year!

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com


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