How I learned to love Saturn and know about Satan.
Even a light brush with an astrologer can inspire fear of the planet Saturn and its movement through the sky. “So when is this Saturn pass going to happen?” a person asks the astrologer after hearing horror stories about other people’s lives falling apart during a powerful Saturn transit. “Is Saturn strong in MY chart right now?”
Saturn moves through the celestial sky and contacts certain places that are pre-marked by our individual birth charts as our trigger points. When Saturn reaches those trigger points, difficulties are known to occur. Much of an astrologer’s job is figuring out the nature and timing of those difficulties. Naturally, Saturn has amassed a “rap” sheet many miles long of the difficulties that he has supposedly caused or been connected with.
When I first became an astrologer I had Saturn in mind. If I could help people to understand the issues that Saturn represented in their life I could provide a very helpful service. I read as many books about Saturn that I could find. The most famous book about Saturn is Liz Greene’s and with it she almost singlehandedly popularized the use of Saturn to unlock deep seated psychological issues in a client’s life. I found her book very helpful in that it accurately listed many types of Saturn psychological conflicts. She did a great job identifying many of the tell-tale symptoms of Saturn conflicts which I have verified in a many hundreds of readings. But she left a lot of work to be done in “figuring out” Saturn. Her book didn’t do enough, I thought, to change Saturn’s negative PR. Certainly Saturn transits bring limitations in many areas of life for many people but if we can get to Saturn’s underlying issues we can minimize the suffering, I thought.
Recently I have had some major breakthroughs in my understanding of the character of Saturn. But first, you might wonder why I am talking about Saturn as if this planet is a personality that can be analyzed. I speak in that way because astrology posits the idea that the physical planet itself represents certain issues that we have to come to grips with. Astrology also poses the idea that each planet teaches those, let’s say, “lessons” in its own unique way. That way of teaching is homogenous, so to speak, with the lessons themselves. It’s a package deal with each planet.
If the solar system is a classroom where we are being taught, each planet has its own type of classroom. Jupiter teaches us on the top of a mountain, for example, and Venus teaches us in a love affair. Saturn also has his own type of classroom in which he teaches his types of lessons. And going even further, Saturn uses certain types of words in his lectures and he says those words with a certain kind of accent and he says his words at a certain pace and he speaks at a very certain level of volume, and so on and so forth. In other words, Saturn does have a personality, so to speak, that describes the entire package of what he is trying to do to us.
Liz Greene and many other fabulous astrologers have done a lot of work zeroing in on what Saturn is trying to teach us and how he does it but I feel there hasn’t been enough work on the “why.” And if you allow me to continue to talk about Saturn as a personality I will look at “why” Saturn teaches what he does. I will ask what Saturn’s psychological motivations are which support the effects that he has on us. Can we determine his character, so to speak, in order to determine how much of what he says we should go along with? Can we assess his power and if it is a lot, can we develop a strategy to deal with his ability to push us in whatever directions he wants to?
An age old question frames this discussion: is Saturn and his designs good or bad? Is Saturn the wise-old man that some astrologers paint him to be or is he the mean-spirited oppressive strong-armed boss? Or to introduce a new possibility, is he the timeless tempter, the original “Satan?” Is he all bad? Or is he bad in order to force us to be good?
Even if we determine right now that Saturn is actually Satan, have we really figured him out then? I don’t think so. We are left with the huge task of figuring out Satan. I refuse to accept the fire and brimstone portrait of him left to us by radical Christians. I think Satan is way more complex than that. I think there is a parallel between the traditional Satan figure and Saturn but I don’t want that to imply anything negative about Saturn. Am I kidding myself connecting Satan and Saturn without implying anything negative about Saturn? Possibly. The reason I don’t feel I am attacking Saturn by connecting him to the traditional figure of Satan is because we all need the temptations of Satan in order to realize our strength. So I am comparing Saturn to the very necessary (for our growth) figure of Satan. Still sounds negative, though, huh? It’s hard to get rid of the many generations of fear-mongering around the figure of Satan in the Christian tradition.
I am not asking you to accept that Saturn is Satan, yet, although I will try to show later on that he is. For right now I am making the point that understanding Saturn within astrology is about as important as understanding Satan is within Christian religious life. We need to have these figures worked out in both categories. As an astrologer, can I advise a client about an upcoming transit of Saturn if I am not clear as to whether Saturn is entirely good, entirely bad or a mix of the two? Similarly, how can a Christian preacher guide his or her parishioners if he or she doesn’t understand the nature of evil, temptation and the loss that can occur do to its influence? Not very well, I believe.
Superficially, the stories of Satan and Saturn don’t have too much in common which is why, I believe, they haven’t been seriously connected by astrologers in the past. Satan is depicted as a tempter in the Bible. Outside of the Bible Satan has been taught as the greatest of the dark angels who is an enemy of God’s (I thinking of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”) and so, tries to convince others to live for themselves right now and disregard God’s laws.
Saturn is described as the law-giver within astrology however. Saturn is pictured as a dictator type who is fond of imposing restrictions and limitations on all those beneath him. Saturn sits at the outer reaches of the solar system with his rings effectively barring us from leaving. Saturn has been labeled as Father Time, with time being the ultimate restriction on our lives, energy and activities. Saturn is often connected with conservatism, the old guard, the old regime and is said to be a macho-chauvanist. What do the this Saturn and Satan have in common? On the surface, very little; only an investigation into their underlying motives connects them as one and the same.
In the Gospels, Jesus makes three major statements about Satan, directly and indirectly. The first is when He is tempted by Satan during His 40 days in the desert. The second is when He states that there will always be tempters in the world but warns His followers not to be tempters themselves. The third important reference to Satan occurs when He is being persecuted by the high priests. He says to them that He knows that they own this world but that they have no power in the world to come.
The first reference clearly is about Satan but how do I connect the other two to Satan as well? The second statement is about limitations that we experience in life. Jesus says that we must experience limitations (in this case in the form of people who try to lead you astray) but we should avoid acting in this way. In other words, we can’t avoid difficulties but we shouldn’t be the cause of them for others.
The second reference is more of the same but subtler. When He says that the high priests own this world He is referring not specifically to those particular priests or priests in general but to all tempters (all trouble-makers). Here He is making another statement about the fundamental nature of life on Earth; that is, on earth the tempters appear to have power. He is not saying that bad people rule the world but rather that bad people (and bad events for that matter) appear to rule the world; that is, they seem to be the powerful ones. But the important truth to remember, Jesus says, is that those bad people (and bad events) really have no true power at all. It is all an appearance.
So, Satan is the tempter, the one who tells lies to lead others astray, the instigator of limitations and difficulties. And Satan and his representatives are a part of life here on Earth but we should not join them in their activities. Finally, Jesus says, Satan and his minions have no real power but they appear to have all the power.
What does this have to do with the planet Saturn? After studying Saturn for many years and observing the effects that his transits have on my clients I have concluded that Jesus’s description of Satan fits Saturn perfectly. Once I peeled away the many rings of Saturn, pun entirely intended, I found his core to be that of the very necessary tempter, limiter, oppressor and persecutor.
As the solar system’s outer-most planet (in the traditional line-up of planets) Saturn represents that constant appearance of the supremacy of limitations in our world. Saturn, as our outermost planet, tells us that we can’t go beyond difficulties in life but we can realize that, despite the appearance of their power, such problems are always only surface deep. Saturn teaches us that someone, something, will always appear to limit us like the temple priests did to Jesus, to tempt us to cheat/steal/lie, etc. like Satan did in the desert, but we win when we realize that the limitation is insubstantial. And Saturn’s rings are truly insubstantial.
To astronomers Saturn’s rings appeared to be a very massive and foreboding feature for many years. As it turns out however, we now know that Saturn’s rings are actually super thin and quite insubstantial. They are mostly ice. But they appear quite imposing because they reflect so much light. This is directly analogous to the difficulties that come into our life during a Saturn transit: they often appear heavy and powerful at first but, if we look closer, we may see that they are quite insubstantial. This world requires its tempters and its limitations but we don’t need to respond in ego-maniacal ways and ruin others’ days as well. We can act like Jesus, denying the power of the people about to condemn him to torture and death.
Just as Jesus knew that there was much more to life than the superficial domain of material appearances, we also know that there is much more beyond Saturn in our solar system.
So we know that during a transit by Saturn to our natal chart we can expect to run into Satan and his minions, looking to limit and oppress us. This is a necessary part of life on Earth and so, we shouldn’t try to run away. Instead we should look closely at our past history of limiting others and of being led astray by the appearance of limitations in the past. When did we buy into the appearance of limited circumstances in our life? And when did we decide therefore that evil deeds were justified? Can we withstand Satan, I mean Saturn’s, testing this time and sit back passively as he destroys whatever in life we have gained through lies, false testimony, slander, theft, violence?
Even if you are willing to play along with me and consider Saturn as the character of Satan, Lucifer, the Tempter (or one of his many other names) you may want more practical information about this connection in terms of astrology; in other words, what is the practical effect of this in terms of performing readings? How do we read Saturn in a chart differently now that we know it is connected with the character of Satan as the Tester, the Tempter?
The key to understanding Saturn within a chart, which is what I was after in the first place, is to change the way we picture his influence. Instead of interpreting Saturn’s position as a position of limitation, difficulty, tendency or even a psychological bind, we should see the position of Saturn as indicating where Satan speaks to us. I don’t mean this in an extremist Christian way; that is, I am not saying this as a preacher would, warning his flock against the voice of the devil on our shoulder. No, instead I am saying that the position of Saturn indicates where we are under a demonic influence. What is the nature of this demonic influence? It is nothing complicated or nefarious. It doesn’t indicate a possession or even the actual presence of a demon in one’s life. It simply indicates where we have a point of view or have an opinion that comes directly from the character of the mythological Satan.
When we try to interpret what Satan might be saying in our particular chart we should keep it simple because Satan is actually quite simple in his opinions. Satan believes first and foremost that he is too good, too great, for anything, anyone, anywhere. The character of Satan is grounded in a supreme Self-importance; that is, Satan says that he is the most important thing in the universe and where Saturn is in our chart indicates where we feel the same way. Wherever Saturn is in our charts indicates where we have integrated this belief in our own superiority as our own (despite the fact that it is actually whispered to our minds on a very deep level). It is the voice of an extremely arrogant, independent, self-appointed authority of the world.
Saturn, therefore, doesn’t care about what the rest of your chart says but stubbornly insists (from the area he is located) that you are too good, too important, for the non-sense of the world. Your chart may say that you desperately want a stable home but Saturn may give you a deep-seated sense that you are too important to need a stable home and so, you are unlikely to actually get one in life. Your chart may say that you really want a caring partner but Saturn may give you a deep-seated sense that you are too good for the need for a caring partner and so, you are unlikely to actually get one in life. Make no mistake, it is your opinion that counts even though that opinion has been suggested to you by the planet Saturn (aka Satan). It’s as if, when you were very young, you wanted something and then were frustrated in not getting it and then you heard a voice in your heard that said angrily that you are too important to want such stupid things. From that point on that voice was internalized as your own and you subconsciously made sure you never got that thing again, just to prove to yourself that you don’t really need it.
To give some more examples, let’s say you have Saturn conjunct Venus in your chart. I am going to generalize here in order to give you a sense for how it works, allowing for the fact that it can get much more complicated than this in an actual chart. So with Saturn conjunct Venus you have a deep-seated opinion that you are too good to receive love in a relationship or to experience monetary abundance. Of course, you have to look at the specific sign, house and aspects to that Venus to zero in on what Saturn is feeling superior to.
With Saturn conjunct Mercury you may feel too important to actually communicate well with others or to notice the details of daily life. Even after years of frustration having to pay late fees on bills you couldn’t keep track of, you may not realize that it is a voice deep within you that says you are too good to notice such lowly things as due dates on bills. With Saturn conjunct Mars you may feel too good to actually follow through on a project. You may even claim that you have low self-esteem; in other words, on the surface you may feel that you’re not capable of succeeding with anything–but it is all due to a deep-seated voice that says you are too good to effort-fully create success with anything. The Mars wants to succeed but Saturn has told you that you are too good to go after such petty things in this world. Remember that Saturn as Satan is incredibly condescending to things in the practical, earthy, world. Saturn believes that the whole world should bow down to him (or her if you’re female) without him doing anything but being his natural superior self in order to earn that respect. Saturn in your chart is where you have adopted this attitude because it was whispered to you at any early age and your ego took it (hook, line and sinker) as its own.
Saturn conjunct Jupiter represents where you may feel too good to set and pursue long term goals, study profound topics or even stand in the public spotlight. You may claim that you would love these things and express frustration over your lack of recognition, long distance travel or clear life goals but deep down there is a strong opinion that you are too good for any of this.
What makes the process of unraveling the voice of Satan in our lives so difficult is that he is partially right. We are too good to be concerned about the trivial details of our lives but not in the way that we have led to feel. As individuals we are not actually superior to anything or anyone and it is as an individual that Saturn tempts us to feel superior. But this is a lie. As spirits, as souls, as sparks of pure consciousness, however, we are superior to all the details of our lives and all the details of all the lives on planet earth. Who we really are, not our individual egos, but our true collective inner Divinity is eternal whereas all the details of earthly life are fleeting, temporary at best. So if we didn’t identify with our bodies we would be correct in thinking that we are superior to the details of life. But we do identify with our bodies and so the voice of Saturn is really the voice of a divisive, destructive ego-maniac.
Where Saturn is in our charts is where we have to learn to try our very best without any expectation of rewards. We cannot think that just because we recognize that we are blocking ourselves (in the area of life represented by Saturn) we can simply lift this block by recognizing it. That is more ego mania. Instead we have to accept that we have blocked ourselves from receiving positive results in this area and that we must act as well as we can in this area anyway. Saturn doesn’t indicate that we should give up anything except our expectations of benefits to ourselves in this Saturn area. Whether we are willing to accept effort in our Saturn area without a return on our money is a question of our character. When we are truly acting selflessly in the area indicated by Saturn then we know that we have overcome Satan and gained true freedom from his insidious temptations and his fueling of our ego.
But how did I “learn to love Saturn and know about Satan?” Many people instinctually refuse to love anything that is connected with Satan. To love Saturn however, does not mean loving the darstardly deeds done under Satan’s temptations. Jesus taught us that the world needs tempters but we should know not to imitate them. Satan tempts us to go ego-ballistic over the limitations we experience in life. Saturn tells us that we’re too good for it all and then takes away any rewards, causing us to either rage on the world or bow down in humility. If wen choose the second option then we get free of the clutches of the ego and that’s what Saturn is to be loved for. The potential that Saturn brings to renounce the ego and its holier-than-the-world attitude is worth its weight in gold.
Posted on April 10, 2015, in Astrology and tagged Astrology readings of Saturn in the houses, ego-mania, Jesus's Gospels, Liz Greene, Satan, Saturn, saturn conjunct jupiter, saturn conjunct mars, saturn conjunct mercury, saturn conjunct moon, saturn conjunct venus, Self-importance of Saturn. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.