December 14th, 2013

Saturn: The Work and the Love

Love and work … work and love, that’s all there is.
— Sigmund Freud

The outcome of my life is no more than these three lines:
I was a raw material;
I was cooked and became mature;
I was burned in love.
— Rumi

Rarely is the astrological Saturn associated with love. Traditional astrology certainly doesn’t make that distinction. Though esoteric astrology does. Alice Bailey once noted that to view Saturn as the bringer of opportunity, and not simply disaster, was a sign that one had touched upon the path towards wholeness. Both Freud and Rumi understood the truth related to this alchemical process. Work, as a kind of friction, and love as the driving force that is also the culmination of the process. A willing mixture of work and love, a conscious acknowledgment and co-mingling that denotes spiritual maturity and wisdom.

That is how Rumi summarized his life work — in the above poem. And for each of us, the journey from ‘raw material’ to alchemical cooking and maturing, to the eventual transmutation through love, is an unavoidable engagement. We each have our appointed time with this process. Freud, who devoted his life work to rummaging through and classifying the structure of the unconscious, emerged for light in the end with his simple truism. It’s all about love and work, work and love.

One does the work and discovers the love, but more specifically one sees that love facilitated the work all along. And in this sense Saturn can be associated with love. We think of Saturn’s exaltation in Libra as being related to equanimity and the uncompromising law of what is fair. Which in one sense is true — within the Saturnine cosmology there is never cheating. You pay a dollar and you get a dollar’s worth.

As Ouspensky once said, it’s true people do occasionally find money in the street, but such an event is rare, you can’t count on a philosophy of happenstance to sustain a life. Saturn in Libra evokes a force that is the exact opposite of magical thinking. There is simply reality, seen in all its ‘is-ness’ and from there one begins their work. Libra, being a sign that is not human or animal, facilitates this sharp sort of clarity.

I would add, too, that Saturn’s exaltation in Venus’ sign conveys a deeper mystery. When we meet reality head on — that is to say, without filters, buffers or illusions we actually begin to sense the ground of love, and its unifying, form-making presence. A power that maintains the manifestation, keeps it visible — with distinct and particular colors and shapes, but all united in love. Evolving and deepening, the movement of love.

It’s a shocking insight, really, this equating of love with Saturn. But I’d like to suggest you contemplate Saturn’s placement by house and sign in your horoscope and see if you can’t connect to that unifying, form-making principle of love related to the particular ‘stage set’ of your life — represented by Saturn’s house placement. And then tease out, as you reflect over your history, the various trials and limitations that — as a kind of friction-making conundrum — generate the warmth, light and, yes, love, that create meaning and purpose. These are Saturn’s gifts to each of us.

Try this inquiry, and please feel free to share your observations below.

Opening painting by Odilon Redon Silence. 1911. Museum of Modern Art

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Filed Under: Astrology