As part of the slow process of emerging snail-like from the tinsel shell of the Festive Season, and preparing to greet the new world of 2018, I returned, as I sometimes do, to Persian poet Rumi’s wonderfully wise poem “This being human”. Do read it, if you have not done so already. It contains great wisdom regarding the turbulent duality of light and dark forces which constitute not only human nature, but also Life itself. It also feels a very appropriate message from Saturn in Capricorn…
Light and dark are inseparably interdependent: maybe, Rumi is suggesting, it would be wise to honour them both, since those dark destructive energies which periodically sweep through, causing havoc personally and collectively, contain messages, guidance from Beyond, which are telling us something we usually do not wish to hear.
A year’s turn, no matter what our beliefs, brings with it a deeply-ingrained, archetypal need to take stock, reflect on the year gone by, and perhaps resolve to make some positive changes in the New Year emerging. As 2018 dawns, Saturn from his natural domain in Capricorn, will gather momentum in his work of reminding us both personally and collectively that we need to behave with as much integrity as possible and take full responsibility for our own actions as the next few years unfold.
I am not alone in having had Life hurl me against the same wall a few times before I eventually ‘get the message’, and with painful slowness begin the process of change which is being demanded of me by a deeper, wiser Self – that chip of divine light which is present in every one of us.
Writers offering comforting platitudes skimmed from a glide across the surface of life, or perhaps digging down a little, do not move me. My help comes from those who look unflinchingly into the world’s dark heart without underestimating in any way the destruction and cruelty to be found there, but who can balance what they see with inspiring affirmation.
Despite all the awfulness of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ which is an ever-present reality through the ages both personally and collectively, Life is full of opportunities to be ‘surprised by joy’, to seek and find meaning in even the most scouring of experiences. That is certainly what I have come to believe.
Some writers have a way, also, of reminding us of how we need to change by poking us where it hurts, just as Saturn does… Reflecting on the current dismal-looking state of planet Earth and its denizens as 2018 begins, I have been chewing upon one of my favourite anger-generating topics: how our need to be RIGHT – and its world-wide manifestations via religious, political and scientific fundamentalism – has probably caused more bloodshed, mayhem and havoc throughout history than anything else, when I recalled this short but pungent poem by the poet Yahuda Amichai.
With thanks to Monica Gemini who published it last year on symbolreader, I offer you this as a New Year meditation:
“The Place Where We Are Right”
“From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
where the ruined
house once stood.”
600 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Yehuda Amichai 2018
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House
A thoughtful reminder for us all in this post, Anne. Thank you. The lovely poem, by Yahuda Amichai, also reminded me of a quote attributed to the late Wayne Dyer. “If you have the choice to be right or kind, be kind.” I imagine what is possible when more and more people choose kindness over right-ness. When the Spring arrives and the temperatures allow, I shall plant flowers. For now, the Winter and the New Year offer ample time for inward work and reflection…to prepare for the plowing and planting.
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As with life lighten up
Your heavy gloom is tiresome.
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Thanks so much for dropping by, Camille. I do love that phrase ‘heavy gloom’ – So Saturnian, don’t you think? And thanks so much for inspiring me – tomorrow, I am going to reread Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ – He really knows how to dish out ‘heavy gloom’ – I am way out of his league on that front… Happy New Year to you !
Thank you for this reflective comment, Carrie, and for the Wayne Dyer quote. We can all learn from it, and more to the point, try to practice it when it is testing to do so…enjoy your inward time…
Thanks for your words of inspiration. When I was young, Life often presented me with unexpected yet explicit symbols which, by ‘meaningful coincidence’ (according to Jung), manifested at the most beneficial time as spotlights on obstacles which were blocking my path. I remember questioning my apparent ‘run of luck’ over troubled years where difficult experiences assumed the lack of agency of my youth, but it wasn’t until much later that I learned about the power of synchronicity.
Charles Carter once described the human intellect as capable of ultimately solving all problems that lie within the scope of finitude. Accepting the theory that astrology is based on the Law of Correspondences, your post – ‘Saturn in Capricorn speaks’- by proxy delivers a personal message to my door, a familiar place in the natural world where strangers knock bearing unexpected gifts. However, this particular gift has the potential to disturb the deep sleep of a dormant volcano which last erupted spectacularly in 1997 during the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. Not only did this planetary pair explosively crush and stomp on my Water Bearer’s vessel at 5AQ36 – my inner self – but continued to activate a dominating and crisis-packed natal cardinal Grand Cross (Saturn-Uranus-Jupiter-Mercury). Perhaps this message is to do with ‘guidance from Beyond’ or perhaps it’s more to do with restoring my position in the universe or my order of the soul (which makes me think of Dawn Bodrogi’s description of religion being about realignment with something greater than ourselves). Or maybe it’s to do with my transiting Mercury expressing the mythological temperament of Hermes where darkness is his domain – my companion as my guide to transition – my old companion who leaves me alone at the gates of the underworld to cross the boundary between what is known and what is not.
My worldview is ignited by the element of fire in a passionate search for Truth and I, like others, can find myself roaming paths of darkness which is said to be commonly inherent to the human experience. But the bottom line is that my Saturn teaches me to take a long look at myself, particularly when I become lost in fantasies of an idealised world. I will admit that there are times when I need to confront ‘the turbulent duality of light and dark forces’ (to use your words) which is where I must begin the process of individuation, the process of self-realisation. I can superficially describe my experience of the art of working with Saturn in keywords which represent growth and development but it is from within my Truth that I am compelled to avoid whitewashing the entire canvas; many lessons have been learned within the constraints of strict boundaries of harsh and dogmatic authority in freezing-cold domains. Many times I chose to turn a blind eye to the lessons – that is until I began to ask myself if I was on the right path. Despite all the gifts which can be bestowed by the Lord of Karma if we are to be rewarded for our best efforts (which help us to journey forward), this devouring croupier has the potential to deal us a hand of fear which can last a lifetime. Although life experiences have given me an edge to managing challenges in a more mature way, I still continue to strive towards learning how to deal with the outside world with integrity when the chips are down. Darkness leads to light – our rite of passage which allows us to recognise our own authority and authenticity. Yet, there are times when I need to remind myself not to avert my eyes.
After navigating my way through two Saturn returns to now having to contend with the discomfort of the next approaching square, I stand at a place of reckoning where your post represents an invitation to the recasting of an old screenplay for private viewing. It is here that I believe my transiting Saturn in Capricorn is compassionately urging me to once again confront the darkness of 1997 from my 2nd house of self-worth. If I am successful in standing my ground and not retreating from the anger, the pain and the disempowering sense of abandonment, I just may learn how to take responsibility for my own actions rather than continue to carry the weight of the actions of another. Demetra George’s recent Solstice message, ‘Super Saturn Renewal’, suggests that I have been granted with another opportunity to cast off a burden that binds me, according to the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. Demetra writes that at the opening ritual, the woollen bands tied around the statue of Saturn’s feet for most of the year were loosened and untied, giving permission for people to likewise cast off restrictions that bound them.
Indeed I believe my natal retrograde Saturn is speaking his finest in tenacious Capricorn, asking me to retrace my steps to a place of closure where meaningful rewards will be found in the greater understanding of my duty towards the world.
Under the rubric of mysticism, James Hillman in The Soul’s Code argues that ‘the copresence of visible and invisible sustains life’. When I think about this notion it has a tendency to hold me in awe of the sympathetic magic of astrology.
Sending you my best wishes for the year ahead.
Page, I feel truly humbled in the presence of your integrity, self-honesty and very hard-won wisdom. Your response affirms my drive to draw from what I’ve distilled from my own Dark Night experiences in the hope that I can offer a little light to others as they navigate what at times is awesomely dark, pathless and threatening terrain. Thank you so very much for your articulate sharing.
James Hillman’s ‘The Soul’s Code’ is a book to which I return when needing to revisit that Daimon which has guided my own path. Also, you may not know that I wrote a research study of the 1997 Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, set in its historical context, and added further research on the 2010/11 one. You can download it for free at https://jupitermeetsuranus.wordpress.com/your-copy-of-jupiter-meets-uranus/
All the very best for the year ahead to you, too, and thanks again for your inspiring account.
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Thanks for this succinct observation, Jan!
Ha! I guess I assumed you could read my mind.
Saturn has been working on me psychologically for awhile now. Health issues have made me very aware of limitations — and grateful for ways I’ve learned to cope (and people who have helped me).
But I’m Cap rising, and Saturn is my chart ruler, so despite my circumstances I’ve been looking forward to his coming home. (His sojourn in Sagittarius just felt annoying and wasteful.)
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Anne Whitaker Thanks Jan, this is great feedback – I feel sure Saturn himself would admire your attitude and approach to life’s difficulties…
Just read your article to my partner and then played a heart rendering song “Further along” as in we’ll know all about it. As we all know there are times to look into the darkness and other times when we would be well advised to “keep on the sunny side”. The trick is to know each season. I love your articles and I have no doubt we need the unflinching honesty. I have four planets in Scorpio, so wink, wink, nod, nod say no more. Ah, but the the hard work of the fine line between denial and indulgence. Blessings
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Many thanks for your encouraging words, Ruth – and for your apposite comments. As you say, ‘…the trick is to know each season…’ I have a SaturnPluto conjunction linked with Mercury and other planets, square Jupiter and sextile Neptune. So I appreciate the depth exacted by your Scorpio planets!…thanks for dropping by.
I am into my second Saturn return. Saturn 1 Capricorn conjunct my oob Mercury in the tenth house. Anxiety for days now, hardly sleeping. Having transiting Neptune right on my ascendent and transiting Uranus squaring my natal sun probably adds to the aspect.
Yes, it probably does, Caroline! Hang on in there and take a day at a time is probably the best thing to do at the present…
As a Saturnian Capricorn I’ve got one leg in plaster and the other protesting at being asked to do all the work! Hip out with all the limping and hopping so all my bones are sore. But I’ve still got my sense of humour thank goodness!!
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Just as well, Sheilagh! How would we have survived without it… just you allow yourself to be looked after a bit, for a change Xx
Anita Tartaro Petriello:
I had Saturn on my Sun and MC for 2 1/2 years. I can only say that I felt a heaviness for that entire time, but it brought me so much luck and life. As soon as Saturn went into Capricorn, I felt the heaviness lift and a wanting to purge my house of things holding me down.
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This is great stuff, Anita! People tend to be rather fearful of Saturn, but can forget that taking responsibility for oneself, facing what needs to be faced, doing what CAN be done, and being patient brings great rewards in time. I have five planets conjunct Saturn, so I speak from Life not from theory…
Thank you for introducing me to the poems of Rumi
You are most welcome, Yiannis, and a very happy New Year to you! 🌈
Elaine Seefeldt :
Good blog Anne and poem, 2017 certainly ended my year as it had been throughout it, negative, painful and tough. Seeing the bells in on my own I felt numb though tears ran down my cheeks wondering if 2018 will be more of the same. One trait I got from my German Dad was chickenheartedness, I wear my heart on sleeve and thus, everyone’s pain, world is full of pain and I feel helpless I can’t do really anything to help those affected and it is hard to get round how so many evil wealthy people in power can get away with so much corruption and inflicting suffering on their own and other countries people. I won’t ever change my chickenheartedness at 62 and I don’t ever not want to feel empathy, to feel heartbroken for those suffering but it is draining me, keeping me in perpetual sadness wishing for better things for those at receiving end.
I can only hope that 2018 sees the riddance of corrupt Governments worldwide and people coming together against evil as good human beings are supposed to do, those who’s lives are not affected need to stop turning a blind eye just because it doesn’t affect them, that is half the problem why Governments get away with austerity cuts by turning people against the people they wish to impose cuts on, UK Gov have turned people against disabled, mentally ill, unemployed and immigrants. I wish for 2018 for people of all class to stand against what is corrupt and what is unfair and cruel.
Yes, well,, I’m sure most of us would join you in sharing those wishes for a better world, Elaine. Thanks for contributing.
Hurling us against the wall and poking us where it hurts, yes, sometimes the best lessons are the ones that inflict a bit of pain, though they are often what propels us in new directions…. I sometimes say that Life kept kicking and trying to get me to that next chapter…
This chapter seems to be a great one, and those nips and bruises were quite worth the rewards!
It will be interesting to see where this year takes us – individually and as a ‘collective planet’ of evolving and awakening souls….
Great to hear from you, Lisa, and Happy New Year! Glad to hear you are reaping rewards for what has certainly been a really challenging recent chapter for you. Looking forward to having a bit of time to drop by yours. I need an injection of vibrancy in these wet, dark, cold, slushy West of Scotland Northern days, and your site is just the place to find it!!!
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