November 22nd, 2013

Five Things You Need to Know About Saturn

“The scientific theory I like best is that the
rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” –Mark Russell

Saturn has been on my mind this week. Or rather Saturn has been pinging me, tapping my shoulder and nudging my conscience in the same way most of us experience Saturn — which is to say obliquely. From the corner of your eye, in the tractor beam of a projection or a dark figure in a dream.

Most of us have our eye, ear and heart tuned to the frequencies of the other planets: Mercury (planning and multitasking), Venus (feeling what we want), Mars (getting what we want), Jupiter (how we’ll get more of what we want). The Moon is more the medium of how consciousness morphs within the soul and doesn’t do much other than support our comfort zone and old habits. With no light of her own, the Moon reflects the activity and lazy lags of the soul, but adds nothing to the symphony of self.

But with Saturn we’ve what psychologists call depression. If you tune out your conventional notions about depression and consider the condition in a different light, you will see something like this:

The writer Thomas Moore wrote that depression is an answer — a remedy — to our manic hyperactivity, a frantic state reinforced by the constant buzz and hum of our info-glutted age. Feeling low and heavy we are forced to move inward and that movement inward is necessary for the soul. It creates psychic space, a container for deeper reflection where soul increases and the surface of events becomes less important.

So when you’ve a moment this weekend, take some time and consider the following facts, pointers or articles related to Saturn. It benefits each of us to know, consciously, the only planet in the solar system that rules not only lead but also diamonds.

Think about that while you research these five finds:

1. I’m heading towards my second Saturn return, which means I’m older than you. It also means I doubly appreciate astrologer Leisa Shaim‘s stellar new post over on her Saturn Return Stories website. The term ‘Saturn return’ has become as enmeshed within popular culture as the term ‘Mercury retrograde’. Unfortunately people associate the phrase with something ominous and greuling. It is accurate to consider that the Saturn return coincides with events that dismantle the underpinning or glue of one’s personal history — the ‘old world’ and all that’s been accrued heretofore. But, good god, what a relief. Imagine living forever in that arrangement? So what about the specifics of a Saturn return, how do you best prepare and support the process? Read Leisa’s article, Tips for Successfully Navigating Your Saturn Return. It’s as good as gold.

2. Want to find a really thorough list of Saturn’s traditional attributes, rulerships and tempermental characteristics? Oh come on, I know you do! Make your way over to Deborah Houlding‘s Skyscript and explore her comprehensive entry on Saturn and all things Saturnine. It’s succinct, severe and thorough. Just like Saturn! And while you’re at it, don’t miss David McCann‘s fascinating article Saturn in Myth & Occult Philosophy.

3. Ever wonder what Saturn must actually look like — if you could look at Saturn with your own two eyes? Those rings! Who isn’t charmed and mystified by their eerie splendor? Well, this Scientific American article, Seeing Saturn for the First Time Really Opens One’s Eyes, is a fun, engaging read. And I’ll guarantee that you’re going to want to go out and purchase a telescope when you’re through.

4. How does one draw down the spirit of Saturn? Well, Marsilio Ficino, the presiding genius (and astrologer and physcian) of the Florentine Academy during the early Italian Renaissance wrote:

“The ancients made an image of Saturn for long life in Feyrizech, that is, in Sapphire, at the hour of Saturn, with Saturn ascending and well disposed. Its form was this: an old man sitting in a high chair or on a dragon, his head covered with a dark linen cloth, his hands extending above his head, holding in his hand a sickle or fish, clothed in dark garment.”

There’s much to say about this arrangement of images, but I’d like to hear your ideas and interpretations first and I’ll respond below in the comments section. Have at it.

5. Who knew that one of Saturn’s moons sports a pool, hot tub and pair of chaise lounges! Artist Snake Jagger does, as depicted in the fabulous painting that opens this post. Snake calls his style of art “Whimsical Surrealism.” You can see and read more about him on his website and order prints and paintings from this site too.

Bonus pointer! In closing, I’ll add the following, which is a comment I posted over on Facebook when this post re-ran:

It’s good to grasp the anthropomorphized version of the planets and then it’s even better to feel the planet’s presence directly, void of keywords and concepts. This later approach will reveal facets of the planet’s life force that have nothing to do with hackneyed traditional interpretations, nor the particulars of your life.

Planets are living beings unto themselves, and have no ‘interest’ in humankind’s coming and goings (any more than you fret about what is happening with the ant colony that is busily burgeoning in your backyard).

There are many benefits and opportunities for expansion of consciousness when this other view of astrology is incorporated into day-to-day life.

To do so affords the opportunity for a narrative shift of self. In other words: The stories we tell ourselves, especially those of astrological origin, are potent scaffolding that we begin to organize our life around. The less story I have, the more freedom I experience. The narrative sense of self is incredibly limited, a very puny bandwidth to exist from — especially in the way it is tethered to the concept of having had ‘past.’

Play with the planetary hours, design a sigil, work with the day of the week attributed to Saturn (Saturday) to align your contemplation or meditation practice to the Saturnine; observe the various transits to Saturn to broaden your understanding of the planet and then eventually free yourself from erstwhile concepts related to the planets — unfortunately traditional astrology is rife with very limited versions of them. Psychological astrology does better with the concepts as it works from a lexicon that is much more fluid (and forgiving).

The Saturn of 1,000 years ago is not the Saturn of 2015. Evolution continues for all beings (and I don’t mean to evoke Evolutionary Astrology in using that term — in fact PLEASE let’s not evoke Evolutionary Astrology).

Good luck.

Share your findings. Expand the astrological lexicon that is alive and humming.

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