Saturn's rings

Three Cheers For Saturn
I love it, I love it, I love it. Out with all these wimps who bemoan their awful fate at its hands; who tremble in trepidation at the thought of another Saturn transit. Time has taught me that if you want autonomy, respect, authority, mastery, wisdom, a good figure, dignity, style, judgment, a long life, cheekbones to die for, security, a pension and to leave a mark on the world, then you’ve got to worship at the temple of Saturn, grovel at its feet and learn to play by his rules. If you can manage to acquire all this without, in the process, also turning into an uptight and fearful control freak then you are indeed a true adept! 

Marsillio Ficcino said Saturn is the highest…..  And the lowest. The alchemists took Saturn/Lead as their base material.  The lowest manifestation of spirit in matter.  Hold a lump of lead in your little hand and you can feel its inner fire – it’s never cold like most other metals. Working with Saturn/lead’s inner fire over time, they raised its level of vibration to that of pure and incorruptible gold whilst concurrently transforming the grit of their own personal Saturn into the pure gold of adepthood and mastery.  We all know that it takes a piece of grit to make a pearl – well we all need Saturn’s grinding power to reach the gold of which we are all individually capable. 

We Live In Saturn’s World
Space/Time and gravity are Saturn at its most fundamental manifestation. If you’re alive, in a body, on the earth, then you’ve got Saturn. There’s no escape – except through Death – not for nothing is it also known as the grim reaper. But that’s why we’re here – spirit incarnated, embodied soul. We’ve chosen to come here into the valley of the shadow of death, to become embodied in form, so that we can manifest, make real, those wonderful visions that emerge within our creative imaginations. Picture us all queuing up in heaven, absolutely gagging for the chance to experience a bit of Saturn. Anyone one can have brilliant Neptunian visions in their mind’s eye, but that’s just where they’ll stay unless we have the discipline, the patience, and the practical application to actualize them, manifest them. 

And it takes time to learn Saturn skills, ages, ages and ages of time. Until it gets boring even. Remember learning to play a musical instrument or type or knit? Remember the apprentices who were contracted to a master for seven years [a quarter of a Saturn cycle] and then if they’d been good boys and passed the tests, they achieved the rank of journeyman. At this stage, they took to the road with their box of tools, developing their skills through hands on experience and practice and then and only then, after another seven years [the opposition point] were they deemed fit to be called a master craftsman. It took a long time and a hard struggle and an expensive cobbler’s bill but if they stuck to it, then Saturn’s reward was theirs. A life time of respect and security was guaranteed – barring a Uranian transit of course! 

Saturn is heavy
Of course it is, but what doesn’t kill you makes you strong, eh? What’s the use of trying to develop stunning biceps by lifting a few balls of fluff? Strength and definition of muscle are developed by pushing against resistance are they not? And by continually increasing the weight too. Saturn isn’t usually so hard –the pressure tends to ease off in later life. So if you can find the inner resources to keep on trucking through those early agonizing and aching stages, the rewards will come. Bit like being in a cosmic gym. The heavier the weight you’re trying to lift, the stronger your muscles are going to grow – even if you do occasionally get a hernia!

Saturn is limiting
Even the physical nature of the planet Saturn gives us the clear message that encirclement is what it’s about. Aren’t those rings one of the most beautiful sights in the whole solar system? Saturn’s job is to separate, make one thing distinct from another, to create definition. Boundaries, rims, and edges are all Saturn’s domain. They may keep you in, but they’re also keeping a lot of nasties out and saving a lot of unnecessary mess. Saturn’s rules the skeleton, which provides the internal structure of our body and also the skin, which separates it from the outer world. Imagine how slippery the pavements would be if none of us had skins to keep all our messy bits in place. Imagine how many microorganisms would invade us if we didn’t have such a brilliant protective shield as the skin. I was once very taken with a story about a man obsessed by the disturbing fact that he had a skeleton inside him. Every time he looked in the mirror he saw this skull grinning back at him. And so he paid a witchdoctor for a potion to dissolve the skeleton – and ended up a very happy dollop of glub on the pavement. Yet more messy bits to trip over! 

Saturn is necessity
You have no choices with Saturn. If you’re lucky enough to have Saturn aspecting any of your natal personal planets by square, then fate will ensure that one way or another, the person, structure or, system that’ll carry out Saturn’s task of limiting that innate potential will manifest and do its best to crush the living daylights out of you, the victim. Squirm and struggle as much as you like, in your first 14 years at least, there’ll be absolutely no escape. 

But the weird thing is that all this struggling and squirming is developing certain psychological or even physical muscles that, a later stage in Saturn’s cycle to that natal planet, will be strong enough to fit you perfectly for some task or occupation. To be under pressure is no bad thing. Certain chemical reactions can only happen under pressure. Certain changes can take place only under pressure. And changes do take place under Saturn’s pressure.

Necessity calls
Anyone who’s had to look after a baby, who must be fed or changed or comforted whenever they demand it, no matter that you are exhausted and out on your feet and would rather be watching East Enders – there’s no choice at all, at all. Not a whisper of a choice. You just have to do it. Necessity calls. But in time, this develops a certain kind of inner muscle, one that gives women an inner strength and resilience when it comes to getting on with life and coping and keeping going that most blokes know nothing about. And that, believe it or not, is where wisdom lies.

Because life is not all about choices and the freedom to do as we please, when we please. Whatever our western culture’s conception of freedom may imply to the contrary, life itself keeps calling on us to do our duty, to fulfill our responsibility, to protect, and to defend  - in order to ensure the safety and continuity of life itself. Life demands it. If we don’t do it, we die. Simple. If we do make a habit of watching East Enders instead of feeding the baby, the baby will suffer and it’s all too likely that another Saturnine figure in the form of the friendly social worker will have to intervene.

The Romans Were Devotees Of Saturn
And look how well they did! They managed to rule the world! They kept his statue up in the Capitol, guarding the state treasury. They bound the statue with linen strips, not to symbolize Saturn’s restrictive nature, but to stop him getting away! Slaves made offerings to him of little handcuffs when they achieved freedom, not to symbolize his chains but to thank him for escaping bondage. Seems like the Romans knew something we’ve forgotten. The Romans loved and honoured Saturn because he had taught them how to gain mastery through the arts of agriculture, engineering, and architecture. He had given them the knowledge which enabled them to feed their people; make life more comfortable and efficient and to build great and lasting monuments. He had given them the arts of civilization. Their fantastic life style comforts, as well as their political and military domination, they owed to Saturn.

Agriculture is fundamentally an art of timing, knowing when to sow and when to reap. Engineering uses the knowledge of natural laws and powers to make things work efficiently. And an understanding of gravity helps hugely in getting your coliseums to stand up for any length of time! Anyone who has ever done any building knows the value of the plumb [lead] line. It gives you a true vertical to build to. If your wall is off true, then Saturn’s force of gravity will have it in the end – and over it will topple. Only by following the lead weight of Saturn, by building to a true vertical line, can the influence of Saturn be overcome. Think about it. There’s an important lesson in there. Anyway, the roman understanding of these laws enabled them to build structures that are still hugely impressive today, after 2000 years. I wonder if canary wharf will still be there in another 200?

But we’re all aware that too much Saturn can be repressive to the point of the complete death of any creative vision. The Romans were canny – or they tried to be – in that every saturnalia, the linen bonds were untied from Saturn’s statue and everyone went stir crazy! The social order was turned upside down, the fool ruled in place of the king and everyone got totally plastered – very Neptune! But history bears witness to the fact that this annual rite was not in itself sufficient to stop them turning into out and out control freaks. And like every planetary influence, when it becomes overly dominant, their greatest strength became their greatest weakness and their empire collapsed.

Obey Saturn’s Rules
So Saturn is not simply the symbol of that which binds you, much more magically and importantly, it actually holds the secret key to escaping those self same chains. Behold! Obey Saturn’s rules, learn the tricks of his trade and ye shall be free from the domination of the other. Ye shall be your own master or mistress. Ye will be an authority. Ye will be distinguished. It’s not going to be easy. And it’s a lifetime’s work – two Saturn cycles at least. But the rewards will surely come. Just you wait and see …… 

Tchenka Sunderland




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