Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturn is a Four-Letter Word!

(I used to tease students, "There's a 4-letter word that all of us learn to do. Some of us don't like it--and others enjoy it tremendously." And they'd all laugh. And THEN I'd say, "It ends in a 'k'. More laughter. And THEN I'd say, "WORK!" (Smiles would drop.) But let me explain:  Saturn in most people’s astrological vocabulary is an unpleasant issue—because it does involve incorporating a four-letter word that some folks find disdainful.  And that’s not just what one does for his or her job.  In psychological astrology, Saturn represents a Master Teacher who firmly and sternly reinforces learning a task—and along with it, the virtues of responsibility.  (What’s that? Responsibility has a virtuous quality)

Get serious about your life: that’s what Saturn is really about for us.  But many people choose to avoid, deny, push aside, reject, or otherwise approach with reluctance the demands of “growing up” because we feel it means having to work at something that has an unpleasant set of requirements and obligations.  Honestly, who among us absolutely thrilled when we were assigned homework as kids?  Or how much enjoyment can be found in doing tasks that demand we face up to “it’s a dirty job, but it’s got to be done”?  For example, how many new parents find delight in changing their baby’s diaper?  Oh, everyone wants to play with the child, but who gets the responsibility of 24-hour maintenance?  That price to be paid is part of what Saturn teaches us:  things that are worth doing well take time and effort—and the soul’s growth that accompanies these experiences (and lessons) are necessary in order to learn how and why we undergo the challenges we do throughout our lives.

In typical astrology, Saturn has books all about “hard obstacles to face; delays, limitations, restrictions, and doing without…” No smiley faces here; no cheery parties, and certainly, no obvious enjoyment.  But think about those achievements that we face that demand perseverance, determination, and endurance—and the satisfaction that follows when they are accompanied by recognition, respect, and accomplishment—and you’ll find Saturn toasting you with the best of champagne.  (Note that champagne takes time to age, just like Saturn’s goals and objectives are meant to Teach us to stay with the lesson over Time until the soul has mastered it—or at least really put ourselves toward learning it.)

A great personal example: in moving to the Alabama countryside, I found an immediate opportunity to return to teaching college English; in fact, four classes worth.  But it came with a price: I had to return to graduate school for another degree--or at least try two classes. During my 2nd return, I had to leave the U.S. and go to China to work at an international university as an English instructor--and NO, I don't speak Chinese. I ended up mentoring many students who REALLY needed help understanding finance and economics terms-which I ALSO don't know--but I could comprehend and explain. I ended up as the Director of Teaching Affairs, helping new arrivals who didn't know the routines. Looks great on my C.V.! And then it turned into a chance to come home to the U.S. and start all over elementary education! What Saturn was saying to me at this time of my life was, “You need to undertake the process of advancing yourself as a professional; the personal gains and lessons undertaken will also serve you well. Never mind about the costs, time, or delays—nothing comes without a sense of worthiness and the willingness to secure it by effort.” 

We experience Saturn’s lessons and demands for our soul’s evolution at various cycles, one of which is the 7-year time frame.  At seven years old, we are learning to establish and create our first building block of individuality: learning to say to the world, “Here I am, and learning about life through school is how I am finding out about myself.”  Those lessons and assignments also mean learning to interact with others: our classmates and social contacts that require we gain a sense of responsibility for our actions; a cause-and-effect dynamic is more strongly emphasized at this time.  We hit this again at 14 years: the need to stretch our measure of self-identity by challenging and resisting authority (Saturn also represents parental issues, especially one’s father, as well as disciplinarians).  It is a time of effort to “build” (Saturn emphasizes structures in our lives that stand the test of Time) ourselves so that the “cement” of experience holds us together for the next phase: our 21st year. 

At this time, we’ve reached the first “tripod” of our existence: we’ve undergone three 7-year phases of growth opportunities, complete with achievements, setbacks, and results for both.  Saturn is ready to welcome us into a new level of wisdom that can only be gained through Time as a way of gaining maturity.  It’s a beautiful event: we are bursting with “Just let me show the World!” enthusiasm, rightfully gained by our studies and efforts.  And we then have the power and dynamics of our 20s…right up to the next “click” of the hands on Saturn’s Lifetime Clock as we hit 29—and our Saturn Return.

Now comes the first Life Final Exam (within a year—and what’s more, it’s about Lessons that We Didn’t Know We Needed to Learn.  Oh, the pain, the frustration, the demands made upon us to grow in a way or factor of Experience that comes across as uncomfortable, unpleasant, or in general, just isn’t any fun! (Where’s all that “Hey, I’m 25 and loving it!” party time?)  Uh-uh, Mr. Saturn is here to say that you’ve enjoyed things for a while and it’s time to get serious about your life. Now is when we face up to something that we didn’t know we needed to learn—and as our Master Teacher, Saturn takes us and says, “With love I give you this new lesson of Life to learn—for in staying with the delays and limitations set upon you, strength and knowledge are yours in return.”  Responsibility becomes a practical reality (many of us become parents or marry at this time—and those events are the beginning of our real worthiness as individuals.)

By the way, Saturn’s Lessons travel on a 2.5 year phase through the 12 regions of Life Activity (the houses) in our charts—so Saturn makes sure we clean, organize, activate, or in general, apply ourselves.  There’s no compromise: Saturn will not hand you a diploma, certificate, passing grade, or “three cheers!” without ensuring the presentation of the Life Experience assignment was undertaken.  And that’s “work” in any language: “work for the soul’s growth.”  And that Saturn Return comes back with a bigger Final Exam Review and Test at the next 29-year phase of our life at age 58.  Whatever it was that we learned (or didn’t want to face, depending on the individual) will present itself again in even bigger terms.  (Hey, since when was life not about overcoming challenges by applying some positive attitude? Or did you think that Life Learning was only done for a few years and then it doesn’t have to be faced again? Oh, yeah? Lemme see that Life Contract! See? Says it right there in the small print! How now, Mr. and Mrs. Lessons-to-be-Learned Procrastinator?!)
There are two types of Saturn-like people whom you might know: a Capricorn who just thrives on meeting goals and deadlines (success is measured by what one produces and the gains made, said the Puritans), and a not-abiding-by-the-rules-type of Aquarius.  (They realize that the only way to establish a new and unique world of brother-sisterhood is by doing the groundwork.  For an example of the latter’s type of perseverance to achieve and yet be Aquarian-like different, think of Mr. Michael Jordan.  And that’s “Mister” because he worked so hard to be successful, yet maintain his own uniqueness.)

So the next time that something challenging comes your way, stop and ask Saturn about the lesson to be learned.  More than likely, you’ll find that he’s got the textbook, rulebook, and playbook all together and ready to present to you.  No, the homework isn’t always fun, and yes, the requirements to complete it will take away from all the good things (and distractions) that you’ll surely throw in the way—but when it’s done and finished, you’ll be a stronger, wiser, and more complete person.  And isn’t that what you want for yourself?  Just thank Saturn for the course objectives; you’ll surely hear “job well done!” in your heart and soul.

(c) MDLOP8 2010/2018

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