I’ve had comments that this information about Saturn is a lot to take in, so the Synastry Q & A normally scheduled for Fridays will be suspended for this week. I’ll resume answering questions on synastry next Friday.
Please read Part One of this article (Saturn as a Relationship Plant (part One) before moving on to this one.
Saturn’s bad rap these days has a lot to do with his loss of stature as partner to the Moon. As a culture, we have rejected the mature and creative Saturn, the husband to material existence. (This applies to both sexes.) The consequence is that we have denigrated and demonized Saturn. Saturn now is about everything we have to do (but don’t want to). Saturn is about lessons we need to learn. Saturn points out where we’re lacking. But when Saturn is partnered to the Moon, Saturn teaches us how to get what we want and need. Saturn fulfills our hungers. Saturn points out what we’re missing so that we can use our other planets and talents to fill the gaps. Saturn allows us to move the world in the direction we want it to move. (We will get into this more when I talk about the earth signs and magic.) Most of the time, if you look closely at a chart, Saturn isn’t the cause of the problem, it’s the thing that’s pointing out where the problem is. It’s a subtle but important difference. The real difficulties often come from other parts of the chart.
These days, Saturn tends to represent a mindless, cruel and repressive authority. (Mindless repression has more to do with the fixed air of the Aquarian archetype. See the article, “The Dank Underbelly of the Aquarian Age.”) Saturn is something we rebel against. Saturn is something we are reluctant to embrace. Granted, history has a lot to answer for. Female oppression has a lot to do with being under Saturn’s thumb, but this is what happens when Saturn loses touch with the Moon. Saturn, as a planet, is not inherently cruel, or mindless. Saturn as creator is all but forgotten. But given that the MC/IC axis has to do with material reality, and our own self-actualization, imbalances there have to do with practical, real-life issues, and usually manifest in some direct way. This can be painful, because our faults are pointed out so clearly and so personally, unlike the issues that arise when Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are in play. Our Saturn imbalances can result in real solutions, if only we allow for new directions and alter whatever patterns we have allowed to entrap us. Where Saturn is concerned, we have to find where we are blocked and then make decisions that allow us to express our real needs and desires. And then we have to act on them.
There is a flow involved in Saturn’s process that is not recognized these days. The ancient symbol for Capricorn is not the mountain goat, but the melusine, a mermaid-like, freshwater nymph who could move over the earth as well as in water. The melusine herself can be seen as a symbol for the movement between the IC and the MC, the deep water of the fourth and the earthy grounding of the tenth houses allowing life to emerge. You can see her, sitting on her rock, in both the glyph for Capricorn and the glyph for Saturn.
Can we project Saturn? Absolutely. Well, we can try. Saturn has a way of not letting go, and it will wait a lifetime to point out the things it wants to point out. Young women can be particularly prone to giving Saturn over to someone else, but it can happen both ways, of course. In our culture, it has been socially acceptable for women to project Saturn. (For a while, it looked like this was changing, but it seems to be swinging back.) Just look at age differences in relationships. Fifteen years between a couple when the man is older doesn’t cause a blink any more, if it ever did. There is still a shock when the woman is the more mature partner. (This will change, too, when there is more flow between Saturn and the Moon. A woman’s life experience will not be valued less than a man’s. ) Women regularly hand over their Saturns to men who are older, more sophisticated, more famous, more knowledgeable—someone who can be seen to have accomplished something in the world, who has been out there and knows how the world works. The underlying implication is, “So now I don’t have to, my Venus is enough.” She may still have her ambition, and may in fact learn Saturn lessons from the relationship which will help her learn how to fulfill her own needs, but temporarily the Saturn gap is filled. Men aren’t allowed to hand Saturn over in quite this way. They’re stuck with getting on with it on their own.
Rejection or projection of Saturn reflects in the Peter Pan syndrome, “I don’t want to grow up.” Saturn/father issues are often projected onto authority figures (including Mom, which is where it can get complicated.) Again, due to the cultural split between Saturn and the Moon, we can be highly successful in our external world/career and completely adolescent when it comes to relationships and life skills. (I’ve seen this happen even with prominent and well-aspected Saturns, but usually in those cases the IC and the planets ruling the angle have problems.) Men who reject Saturn usually remain stuck at the Mars level (Asc/I/doing). Women who reject Saturn tend to throw themselves into Venus (Desc/other/relating). In extremes, both sexes can regress back down to the lunar level when Saturn isn’t working. (I don’t think anyone can throw themselves into the Sun.) For either sex, Saturn can be about getting others to give us the things we should get for ourselves.
Young woman letting Daddy or the boyfriend pay the bills? Saturn. (If you think this doesn’t happen much, try living in Los Angeles for a while.) Woman marrying for status, money or security? Saturn. Man still living at home in his middle years, letting Mom take care of the cooking and cleaning? Married man who expects his wife to do everything his mother did for him? Either sex locked in a time warp? It’s a good relationship with Saturn, not Mars, that gives us all our independence. Saturn in good relation to the Moon allows us to accept the passage of time and still retain our childhood enthusiasm and delight in the world. Successful partnerships require this. Otherwise, we will not accept our own or our partners’ growing maturity.
In the same way that successful relationships require both sexes to embrace Venus and Mars (try being with a man who hasn’t got his self-worth or values in tact, or a woman who denies her aggression), our other “I” axis, our axis of psychological integration, requires that we strive for balance. In order to be happy, in order to consider ourselves successful, we need to relate to others in real terms. The journey of the MC/IC is the process of seeing our innermost being relate honestly to the world at large. We can only do this through partnership with others, whether romantically or in the purest sense of relating. Our relationships provide the mirror by which we understand ourselves, and therefore, understand how to make our lives authentic.
The attraction principle belongs to the Asc/Desc, but the actual working day to day relationship belongs to the MC/IC, and Saturn/Moon. The process of building a life with someone is related to the MC/IC. The axis rules home and work and everything related to those two things. What else do most of us have? In this culture, it’s pretty much how we divide the world. Whether or not I’m attracted to you is an Asc/Desc thing. Will you give me what I need, make a home with me, and stand with me as my partner in the world is an IC/MC thing. There are more break ups over the latter than the former. Problems with one feed the other.
There are many sides to Saturn, but one of the most neglected is its role as a grown-up Mars. If we can’t see our partners as individuals in their own right, if we don’t take responsibility for what we have initiated, if we don’t acknowledge and respect one another’s independence, if we don’t realize that we must nurture what we build, if we can’t help our partners realize what they have within them, then we will never be a decent companion for the long term. All these things relate to Saturn as creator, as partner to the Moon, and to the 10th house in relation to the fourth. If you just want a good time on a weekend evening, then none of this matters. If you’re thinking about building a life with someone, it’s everything.
Successful partnerships equal successful lives. No matter how inclined I am to go it alone, I must embrace my responsibility to my own development, and that cannot occur in a vacuum. If I feel safe with you, if I trust you to respect my inner world and help me to realize what I need to become, you are the midwife to my ongoing development. There is no greater intimacy and no greater bonding than this. No matter our quirks, kinks, eccentricities or radical attitudes, we will not be proper partners to one another or proper partners to the world itself unless we accept Saturn. Saturn is exalted in Libra. With Saturn, we take responsibility for who and what we love. People don’t talk much about Saturn’s role in receiving rewards, but it is, in fact, that planet that bestows gifts. If Saturn is embraced, the rewards are immeasurable, both internally in the emotional realm, and externally in the workaday world
Next time we will look at the MC/IC directly and see how it plays out between charts.
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- 10.06.09 / 10pm