I use a very graphic, grounded, simple image to help my students get to grips with the inter-relationship between the longer-lasting planetary transits of Saturn, planetoid Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and the faster-moving Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars. I ask them to imagine cooking a pot of soup.
The Moon, Sun and inner planets meeting the slower-moving outers is like turning the heat up under the slow, steady bubble of the soup for a short spell. The effects of this bubbling-up are usually powerful, symbolically pushing us towards the potential for greater awareness, and hopefully positive change. But the circumstances are usually pretty uncomfortable, at times highly disruptive. Painful too.
The last week of November 2016 saw Mercury in Sagittarius briefly charging-up Saturn, in long-term square to Neptune in Pisces for most of the next year. The first week of December saw the Sun shine a fierce light on the same territory. Those of us with planets/Nodes/Angles in the first ten or so degrees of the mutable signs are likely to have had an uncomfortable fortnight.
Here’s a taste of what my particular soup is like at present, so to speak…
I’ve recently had nearly a year of Saturn transiting my South Node/IC, widely squared by Neptune. Currently, Saturn is transiting my Fourth House, T-Squaring the Ascendant/Descendant axis which has Neptune currently crossing that axis, squaring Saturn. A potent and uncomfortable planetary brew!
Yesterday, with the New Moon just taking shape in optimistic, philosophical Sagittarius, was a really good, nourishing day. Perspective has been emerging on what has been a very difficult fortnight, including a whole week of a very unpleasant cold which has pushed me into rest and seclusion. I have often found – perhaps not unconnected to having several Twelfth House planets – that big psychological shifts are accompanied by the necessary retreat period that a short bout of illness brings…
In essence, I have been wrestling with what matters to me at the very core, and those encumbrances I really need now to leave behind. All very connected to Saturn over the IC, moving into the Fourth House, and the square to Neptune’s prompting to allow certain ties to dissolve, and certain old disappointments and hurts to slip into the stream of Time..I now have at last gained some very much needed detachment from pathological aspects of familial bonds and feel freer just to let people go, for good or ill.
Life, of course, in its usual fashion presented me with a tough test of this hard-won perspective. The day that the Sun was conjunct Saturn, turning up the heat on the Saturn/Neptune soup so to speak, a much loved young relative set off on a three-month solo trip to India…to date, he has sent me six pictures of splendid colonial churches, sinking into decay…so I know he is ok thus far!
One of the great gifts of Neptune, which is a hard gift to appreciate, is that it dissolves those Saturnian structures which not only keep our lives on track, but also can keep us stuck in patterns which are undermining and/or blocking our development. I was reflecting on this when I dipped into an interesting-looking new online astrology magazine, Real Imaginal, created by Erica Jones.
She mentioned Healing Fiction, a book by archetypal psychologist James Hillman, in which he claims that “… a fluidity of identity, a multiplicity of perspectives—in short, the presence of an uncertainty which offers the possibility for a creative response—is what will foster psychological wholeness and good health…”
This quote sums up beautifully what I currently think and feel about what the current Saturn/Neptune square is offering us, if we choose to work with it as honestly and creatively as possible. None of it, of course, is easy. Throughout the difficult two–week period just described, one of Jung’s observations kept coming to mind: “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”
I would be really interested to have some feedback from any of my readers who feel able to share their experiences of those two weeks…or any thoughts on how to work constructively with Saturn/Neptune…
700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015
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