In an attempt to describe my growing understanding of the archetype of Saturn it seems the best way to go about this would be to start with Saturn’s return in my natal chart and continue to track its movements to present time. To express this, I will give an overview of the last nine years during which Saturn made a conjunction with almost every planet in my natal chart. This was an extremely valuable exercise which helped me gain a much clearer view on what it means for Saturn to make contact with a planet at the beginning of a cycle, or, what would be called the New Moon phase. Interpreted through holistic astrology, the archetype of the New Moon – which is the point in the cycle of the Sun and Moon when they are at the exact same degree in the zodiac, or conjunct – can be applied to any planetary pair. At this stage in the cycle we come to realize that certain thought processes, actions taken, and events with a consistent theme are coming to completion or an end, while at the same time sensing that something new may be beginning, even if we are unsure of what it might be exactly. It is a time to imagine what possible opportunities we can create in the future as this cycle continues to progress. So, it is at this time that we may create an intention to carry through to the completion of this cycle, or consider setting achievable goals for ourselves.
While we do say, and I can understand why we do so, that at the beginning of a cycle we can only be open to new ideas and perhaps carry an intention into the future, looking at these planetary movements in hindsight makes it very easy to see what was starting to take shape. Now, it all appears obvious that what did happen would have to happen as the events that transpired and the discoveries that were made as a result of living out these transits were all in perfect alignment with the archetypes of the astrological system, and, more specifically, to my unique natal chart.
As I reviewed the chart and Saturn’s movements, along with recalling my personal history, what became glaringly obvious was that Saturn raised the charge or woke up the energy of the planet it was passing over. With each Saturn/Planet conjunction, Saturn was shining a concentrated laser light on the planet it was contacting, along with the house and sign it was moving through. ‘’It’’ was trying to get my undivided attention to point out the lessons inherent in the transit. It was only taking things away, so to speak, that were not a part of the themes of the transit while simultaneously urging me to pay attention to those factors in my life that needed to be confronted in order to gain a higher level of understanding about them so that I could live more closely in alignment with my true inner nature.
This feels like a refreshed perspective of this planet for me, as the words we tend to associate with Saturn – consolidation, constriction, restriction and so on – don’t lead one to thinking that Saturn might actually be an agent for expansion. These words and the many others associated with this planet are correct or useable but only from the perspective of what one might feel like they are losing, not what they might be gaining. If one of the words we use for Saturn is focus, well, learning what to focus on, in order to expand one’s knowledge is also an important part of this process. The only issue is whether or not we have the ability to see what we are being asked to focus on. It’s here that I can understand why Saturn is also associated with “crisis”.
The inability to see what was actually happening at the time of these transits, or realize the nature of the cycles starting, was due to my focus being divided into two parts (crisis). The nature of the division I experienced could be described as being caught in a state where I knew change had to occur in order to deal with the circumstance of the time, while feeling that I had no idea how to bring change about to deal with the circumstances I was in. Now while I can recall these times and say that what I wrote is true, there was a response to these circumstances and actions taken. It’s just that I did not view these responses and actions in the same way I do now. I am putting it this way because the impulse to move into new territory was fulfilled, but only out of necessity to attempt to deal with the confusion created by this division. In other words, I was dealing with a crisis and desperate times called for desperate measures. I had to do something different! And that particular thing I decided to do was in fact the reflection of the transit that was occurring.
Often in astrology we become focused on peak events that we might say are created by a transit. This is only partially true. Yes, the timing of any event may seem uncanny when put into the framework of the astrological model, but there is always an underlying story that brings us from one peak event to the next. The story of my Saturn Return is that for some time I had the sense of being trapped by a certain lifestyle that I was starting to realize was detrimental to my overall health. Part of what I felt was the problem at the time was my immersion in the local culture of the town I was living in and a lack of will or personal power to separate myself from this particular way of living. The social circles I was a part of and the activities I was engaging in no longer felt healthy for me and I started to sink into an extremely low state of being. I thought of moving to a new area, imagining that relocating might bring some sense of renewal into my life, but this was not an option as I was out of work and this was something I could not afford to do. In terms of a Saturn transit, I was feeling the pressure to grow and move on, but into what or to where I did not know. The peak event that helped to catapult me out of this state of stagnation was being forced to relocate to another town three hours away from the one I had been living in due to losing my home in the wake of the destruction of Super Storm Sandy, a tremendous hurricane that tore its way up the East coast affecting many lives as it did so. In a way, you could say I did get my wish. I left the town and community I felt I needed to leave but under these circumstances I was under a high amount of stress, confused, scared, broke and wondering ‘’why is this all happening?’’.
I have only been seriously studying astrology since 2018. My Saturn return was in 2012. Which means for the next few years, unbeknownst to me, Saturn was in Scorpio moving through my 9th House. And without the amount of understanding that I have of astrology now I still managed to act out this transit. The zodiacal house 1-12 are considered fields of experience in which we learn the specific lessons within that house by being challenged by real life events interpreted by the recurring motifs indicated by our natal planetary placements, or by the transiting planets moving through them. The 9th house is representative of our need to expand our minds through higher education, and if need be, traveling to do so. This can mean continuing one’s education by going to college to get a degree in a specialized field but it can also represent how one goes about answering questions of a more existential nature. As such one may find themselves using and synthesizing a variety of models of education and thought such as philosophy, religion and science – including also symbolic systems such as astrology – to find meaning and purpose in one’s life.
It was at this point in my life, now relocated and living in town where I was meeting astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics, herbalists and so on, that I started to take a much deeper dive into matters of the occult and metaphysics. Subjects that were always a peripheral interest of mine but were now becoming very real and important to me as they were helping me find a higher quality outlook of the potential meaning and purpose of this series of tumultuous events. These new connections I was making eventually led me to become a part of a small group that discussed subjects such as astrology, numerology, tarot, Kabbalah and so on, and used meditation and rituals during our meetings to get a deeper understanding of the nature of reality. The promises of the 9th House were coming alive! and I could feel the activation of the slumbering parts of my psyche that had been in waiting begin to awaken (Scorpio).
This all happened as an answer/response to the crisis I was dealing with at the time that would forever change my life. If I take an even closer look at why I was unable to recognize that this shift was occurring at that time, I might say that is because the things I was led to actually seemed rather natural to me, almost obvious that I would gravitate towards them. So even if at the time it seemed to me that I was engaging in something radically new, all that was actually happening was that my natal chart was revealing its very own intrinsic qualities. The natal chart was unfolding, or another way to look at it; the chart was fulfilling its own intention. I feel I hardly had anything to do with this as I could say I was not fully aware of what was taking place.
This is why I propose the ability to see, or not to see, clearly what needs to be focused on is an important part of the Saturnian process. I guess the key here would be if we can make this a conscious act. While it seems like things may be falling apart, can we also notice what is emerging? And if so can we keep a focused eye on what is being created in the midst of what we feel is fading away? Again, over the course of the last nine years, I could say I mostly had no idea that I was actually working towards something. I had no idea what experience I was picking up as I went about dealing with my life or how many hours I was putting into understanding certain material, or even how long I was committed to studying a particular interest. It was all just happening. But the subjects I was introduced to at the time of my Saturn Return continue to be of a high interest to me; more than that, they have become a way of living, a new lens to view the world through. I only recognize this all the way I do now as I can look back and review these experiences in the context of the system of astrology. And I am only able to interpret my life through astrology, and write to you all about it, because I am continuing to live out the archetypes of this transit and the natal chart by being a part of this very school!
Lastly, this review has helped alter my idea of Saturn’s function in the zodiac. For me it feels extremely unique in that it seems to be a device of amplification or magnification. Again, I say this because looking back at the transits of the planet, house and sign it was contacting, it did not restrict the energy of these areas of the chart it contacted, it increased it! Perhaps if there is one personality or archetype I could assign to Saturn, it would be ‘’The Guardian of The Threshold” as it does seem to be a guide to higher realms of knowledge and understanding, if you are ready and willing to accept what ‘’It’’ is trying to teach you.
By Vincent Accardi