On this last day of the year, many of us will reflect on what has transpired in these months prior. We leave behind many things as we joyously embrace a “clean slate”.  Every year on this date I review and analyze the failures and successes of the year and make plans to bring new light and a fresh perspective into the upcoming year. 

For me personally, the year began as a year of challenge and unavoidable growth from what loomed large in expectation. So it is fitting that the end of this year marks another phase of challenge and growth, my second Saturn return.  A Saturn return occurs when the planet transits or moves in direct alignment with the astrological sign and degree it was in when you were born. The importance of this event lies in the opportunity to steer course in an entirely different direction as you restructure your life. I began the 1st Cycle of my Second Saturn Return this month. I have diligently done the work to prepare for this and the result has been productive at many levels and the Dark Mother has been watchful and vigilant in her demands. 

The “dreaded” Saturn return occurs every 29-32 years and is marked by dramatic change, upheaval and the shedding of what is outworn and the attempt to find the suitable mantle that will be flexible enough to support these changes.  For most of us we will experience at least two Saturn returns during a lifetime. The smaller increments of time that set the stage for the main event occur approximately every seven years.  These would be age 7 (no longer a toddler), 14 (puberty and middle school), 21 (young adulthood), etc.  The planet, Saturn is typified as Time itself and supreme master of the order and structure that impose the limits of time. The greater mystery of a Saturn return is held in the limitless nature of Time itself and the disruption is usually one of resistance and straining in trying to keep things rolling along the time line you have grown accustomed to. 

Anything that is out of order is pulled and stretched into what and where it should be; thus the discomfort of a Saturn return. I am purposely omitting the semantics of negative and positive, because there lies excess in each that quickly becomes unstructured chaos. 

From a Qabalisic perspective Saturn is the energy of the Supernal sphere of Binah- the Dark Mother from whose womb creation emanates into manifestation- if, and only if it is found to be viable.  This is the Dark Mother I have sought and it is She who has been witness to the rendering of what I have clung so desperately to.  With each step taken,  She has offered just the precise amount of challenge to push me towards growth and just enough flexibility to allow me to make mistakes. 

I sought her in the fits of rage and anger that I have carefully kept hidden because they would have left me too vulnerable. And, just as with any mother, the curtains were pulled open and that anger was displayed for all to see. This taught me the lesson of control.

I sought her solace in the deep pools of tears that have been shed this year. The discomfort of this state almost unbearable at times for one whose heart and emotions have been carefully shielded from the sight of others. A sign of weakness and lack of resolve , the rules to bide  so that none will know how deeply I feel.

I have sought her strength when fatigue and the overwhelming sense of simply not having anything more left to offer. Her reply was one of increased demand of service and time and seeing how well I could build the necessary boundaries and limits that would keep me whole and able to serve. 

Time passes, each birthday another marking of another year of life and experience.  The decades pass and Saturn notes the passing rising on waves of that agitate the waters every seven years or so. The Dark Mother stays her hand; waiting until the time is just right. She has observed and only interceded when called.  And, now as the wizened Mother of Time stares back at the reflection of herself,  I stand  in the middle of that reflection; raw, vulnerable and ready for re-birthing. 

And, so it begins as the new year is just hours away and I enter it riding the waves of Saturn’s ordered  time and the Dark Mother’s wisdom. This journey will leave me cracked and battered as a ship thrust upon the shores. But in that moment of splitting open and allowing the truth of my being to spill out freely, new flesh, new bone, new heart and new mind will be birthed from a womb that quickens, reshapes and reforms what lays within Her dark waters.