Monday, November 28, 2011

New Book: Saturn Returns; The Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer~available on

Check out: "Saturn Returns: The Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer" on for this new book being released in December, 2011.
One of my favorite of the new music videos can be seen here:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saturn in Pisces, Saturn in the 12th House

The gentle river that flows along past Magdelan College at Oxford University...the place where Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell (Alice in Wonderland) spent many idle hours...she and her sister would insist that Charles tell them stories, and then it was her idea that they be made into books.....

     There is a “great longing” for union and transcendence of the mundane with Saturn in Pisces or the 12th house. It is a place where the invisible activity of the deep psyche is stirred. This is the area of the personal and collective unconscious; the “house that Carl Jung built.” It is also the place where subtle unfelt feelings, unfinished business and illusions live, and with this placement there can be a fear of emotional “drowning or dissolving” if too much time and energy is spent with the burdens of everyday life. Time needs to be given to the deeper supports and structures that uphold you, and where you can discern the difference between illusions and imaginative possibilities. How do you reconcile dreams and the demands of reality?  Here is where the needs of your psyche need to be tended to with a loving and accepting attitude.
As the first paragraph implies, this is not an easy thing to do, although one would think it would be as easy as sitting outside on a summer’s day contemplating clouds. Often one cannot do this for longer than five minutes. There is a longing for imagination here and a yearning for meaningfulness that can be expressed positively through contemplative arts such as music, painting, or writing, or through compassionate activities that don’t rely solely on left brain rational thinking.

With Saturn in Pisces or in the 12th house you are called to give yourself a break—you may find yourself moving away from structures that no longer serve you. This letting go can generate that fear of dissolving or drowning, but what is really happening is that the old ways are being washed away so that a rebirth of something better can take place.

There’s a need with this placement to express one’s sensitivity and emotions and yet to make one’s higher vision and yearnings practical and real. Discipline and routine can be helpful when it keeps distractions away and gives one the space to creatively and personally get to know oneself. Often there’s a desire to escape from reality in some way—addictions can spring from anxiety and attempts to control too much by rigid habits or ways of thinking can thwart the higher expression of Saturn in Pisces in the 12th house.
Saturn Return Questions: Are you feeling psychically porous and uncomfortable in groups? Are you feeling a need to withdraw from time to time? Why not allow yourself to turn “alone time” to creative solitude, and allow yourself to feel comfortable with the more subtle impressions that you may be feeling? Can you talk about this with a friend and find ways to express the hidden gold that you are mining?  You are flowing into new territory and you’d be wise not to defend yourself behind tight boundaries. The water wants to flow within you, and simply be contained by gentle boundaries. ~elizabeth spring  

Saturn in Aquarius, Saturn in the Eleventh House

"Chained books at Oxford Library"

With Saturn in Aquarius or in the Eleventh house your “work” is around groups and the world of ideas. Books and rich conversations feed your Soul. You are karmically connected to the ideas and ideals of your “tribe”—your friends and any group focused around some common purpose. For good or bad, this “non-blood” family is important for you.
And yet it is common to find a strong feeling of social isolation with those who have Saturn in Aquarius because there is such a keen sensitivity to  the “shoulds and oughts” of the culture, and the social and political groups you find yourself in. Just as you might feel yourself to be an outsider in your family of origin in some way, you might also feel an outsider in groups even if you have a strong presence in them. The past, particularly within your family, is reworked in the present among these new people, and you are called to find out if you can “fit in” or not.
With Saturn in the 11th house of Aquarius you are challenged to know about what your unique personal ideals are, what you believe in, and how you can find kindred spirits in the world. Of course, nothing is a perfect fit, but still you try, as you know you need to interact with others so as to stabilize your purpose in life and to overcome fear of disapproval.
Do you know what you think, what you believe in, what you consider worthy or fun, and what matters most to you? Have you thought about how you have been conditioned by your family and the culture to conform? This re-assessing can be a continual and changing “problem.” Saturn here is called to be flexible (not natural to ‘him’!) and to change as your ideas and ideals change, and as your friends and alliances change. If this isn’t done, there can be a revolt in your psyche, and a tendency to be eccentric, extreme, or socially insecure if you haven’t given yourself the inner time to know what you stand for, and who you stand with. It doesn’t matter what others think of you, but it does matter what you think of yourself and the attitude you project to others.
Aquarius and the 11th house is future oriented, and so goals, intentions and strategies carry a lot of importance for you. You are being challenged to become the person you truly are—not any imitation of yourself. Carl Jung called this the call to individuate. People with Saturn or many planets in Aquarius or the 11th house often come into “their unique sense of themselves” later in life as they’ve worked out issues around duty, rights and freedom. They can stand alone or with others, and they can just as easily be the loners among groups as they can be the leaders of groups. And in time, these positions can change.
Saturn Return Questions: What really makes me happy? What really makes me sad? What do I hear about on the news that I “can’t stand?” Is there any way I could find a way to be in the world where what I love to do or what I care about most, could be my “work”? Where can my gladness meet the world’s needs? How can I turn my anger at injustice and stupidity into something helpful? Aquarius relates to revolution and evolution, but first you truly need to know just where you stand. Think about it!  ~ Elizabeth Spring

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Saturn in Capricorn, Saturn in Tenth House

With Saturn in its own natural sign and house, there can be a strong desire to be recognized for who you really are, and the good work that you do—for you are one who can handle burdens, take on responsibility, be in charge, and do the job well. Are you getting credit for it? This theme of responsibility and shouldering burdens can echo back to a desire to be recognized and respected by a parent—when you were young, did you have your ‘injustice’ heard and were you seen for who you really were? Nothing is perfect, but for you there may still be the desire to get back from the world what you didn’t get from a significant parent.
Although you are quite willing to work hard and cautiously, sometimes you can be hindered by too much cautious behavior or fear of disapproval…so sometimes you may try to control situations and obey the rules too tightly, and then find yourself revolting against your own behavior! This self-sabotage isn’t all that common, but it’s important for people with Saturn in Capricorn or the 10th house to give themselves credit and self-approval, and not to dismiss their own efforts. You are often better than you realize.
“Who am I in the eyes of the world?” is an important question for you, yet the danger is about becoming too identified with what you do and stuck in your own ways. Who are you trying to please? What limits and boundaries are truly right for you—it’s important for you to judge what is fair and right for you and your beliefs, and not just for other’s expectations or approval.
Saturn in this position shouldn’t be difficult, but it often is. You may be holding standards of excellence that make it almost impossible for you to live up to your own standards. You can be hard on yourself. In fact, you may have taken on burdens of caregiving or doing what “is right” and then find yourself at one of your Saturn Returns saying: “Now what am I going to do when I grow up?” If this is you, don’t despair, as Saturn ripens as it ages, and often fulfillment comes later in life. You know how to depend on your own resources, you are a good organizer, and now you can allow yourself the chance to dream into new and different possibilities.
Saturn Return Questions: Am I still inwardly trying to gain approval from someone other than myself? If the love or approval wasn’t given to you early in life, you can still gain that love and respect through attainment of some ambition or becoming the true author of your own life. Give a “good think” about boundaries and priorities, and make sure that you are playing by your rules and allowing room for Self-love and self-care. You deserve it. ~elizabeth spring
* This is the cafe in Edinburgh where JK Rowling wrote her first 2 Harry Potter books. At the time, she was an unemployed single mother with no employment prospects. Today she is the 2nd wealthiest woman in the world.

Saturn in Sagittarius, Saturn in the Ninth House

Here we have the call of the spiritual journey—here the “work” of Saturn in Sagittarius or the 9th house is about learning what brings meaning to life. Sound easy? It's not….this is not the typical old model of the religious journey, with its call to hand over spiritual authority to someone else, but the call to seek personal meaningfulness in this life. This is a quest for knowledge—it’s not about accepting the image of a god who is all knowing and all judging—in fact, with this placement, you’re likely to find the idea of an Old Testament god or any patriarchal super-ego to be quite distasteful! (Yes, this could include your boss at work too…)
But…you’d like to be right. You have a hunger for wisdom. You may be persistent, humorous and have a tolerant view of life, yet at your core there’s a hunger for something more. You want to get your relationship with God and Life right—even if you’re an atheist. You want daily work that has meaning, and a life you can be proud of. Who doesn’t? But your ability to set priorities and “focus in” can make the rest of us look spiritually lazy...for you’re willing to travel, study and struggle to come into right relationship with your Self.
Some astrologers might see this Saturn placement as being one of the “reluctant philosopher.” It sounds easy, but the search for wisdom often leads us on paths that travel right through hell before we get it right. You don’t get this hunger for Truth, fairness, and spiritual equality by being in a state of bliss—it’s more likely you’ve seen and lived through the worst, and passed through the shadows of prejudice, constriction, and narrow minded injustice. Most of us are reluctant travelers through the realms of hell.
Saturn Return Questions: With Saturn, the planet of “concentrated focus” in expansive Sagittarius, you will be challenged to see both sides of any issue and to hold the “tension of the opposites” in your life till the gleam of understanding and wisdom breaks through. Don’t give up! As you willingly hold two opposing viewpoints or have to choose between “a rock and a hard place” make a decision to wait and ponder before acting. The right answer will arise in time. Can you set your own self-generated priorities and find what brings inner freedom for you? You are being called to be a wise person who will teach the rest of us the true meaning of freedom, tolerance and love. But no short cuts are allowed—you can’t do a spiritual bypass on emotional problems. One step at a time…and you’re there. Not so bad! ~ Elizabeth Spring

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saturn in Scorpio, Saturn in the Eighth House

Saturn in Scorpio or in the Eighth house, by birth or transit, brings up issues around money, sex, inheritance, and attempting to control others. Wherever Saturn is in the chart, is where there are subtle and deep psychological patterns that reflect challenges to be overcome. As we meet these challenges, the fear that motivates Saturn to fight, flee, or try to control all begin to lose their grip on us.
A Pluto ruled Saturn is associated with that which is occult or hidden, even within yourself. Take time to look at your own inner judgments that may be oppressing you, and draw them out to explore them. Find ways to release them. It is here that the “unknown” can arise in your life and you find that through sex, or sharing resources with others—especially money—you are fearful of being controlled, or fearing loss. You may find yourself in a burden of debt, or fearing that others won’t be there to support you emotionally or financially. Buying a house together or investing money with another person or even having to deal with banks, can bring up fears you may not have been aware of before.
What’s happening here? In many ways you’re hoping to find correct ‘boundaries’ between yourself and others, but the fear of abandonment, entrapment, debt, and losing emotional control can be frightful. With Pluto ruling Scorpio and the Eighth house, one could say that the best attitude here is one of surrender and a ‘discerning acceptance’ but this is never easy.
 Saturn feels the expectations of others, wants to be responsible, and yet is quite uncomfortable not feeling secure in knowing how much to give and how much to hold back. Fairness and equality are sought after, but emotional power struggles can still arise from the depths. Messy divorces with financial complications can be an expression of this, and yet the real issue is not money but self-respect, personal power and independence. We may need to learn how to be independent from others without sacrificing our Souls. We need to understand that our bank accounts, our shared resources, and even our fears of emotional intimacy are being acted out here, and that love of Self and Other are more closely entwined than we ever guessed.
Saturn Return Questions: So what to do in the face of this fear? “Love God, and tie your camel” isn’t a bad response. Pluto has also been known as the “God of Wealth” but true wealth is not winning a messy court battle, but being savvy, playing fair, and going deeper…looking at the roots of whatever poverty you may be feeling. It can be good to remember that you have within yourself and within your relationships a wealth that can be truly humble and fair. That generosity of spirit gives a person true wealth.
 With Saturn here, either in the birth chart or by transit, or in the Saturn Returns, we might be wise to learn the difference between being loneliness and solitude. In being alone in solitude we gain self-confidence in ourselves, nurture our Souls and creativity, and learn that we don’t need to conform to the other people’s expectations. We can create proper boundaries, and know when to give and take. We pay our taxes, balance our checkbooks, and remember the depths of our resources. We are greater than the sum of our parts and generosity feeds our hearts more than any money or power could ever do.  ~ Elizabeth Spring

Sunday, September 4, 2011


"The journey to the castle; the journey to the Self."

I've just returned from a pilgrimage to Lindisfarne, and will be returning to writing again soon! It was all that I hoped it would be, and it was good to go "unplugged" but now I'm excited and ready to begin again....soon. ~ elizabeth
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Saturn in Libra, Saturn in the Seventh House

Here we have the alchemy of relationships on the front burner. With Saturn in Libra or in the seventh house we are “cooking” with the temperature on high! In order not to burn away the goodness we are required to balance the ingredients and hold the opposites in a delicate way. Compromise, negotiation, respect, and fairness must enter the mix. Of course you think you know that—but are you ready to have the love and relationships now you feel you deserve? Will you dare? What happens when you get it—or almost get it? Can you receive the love? Are you ready to do the dance of giving and receiving?
It’s not as simple as it sounded years ago. It takes both humility and personal strength to engage in this dance, and Saturn tends to cast a dark eye on impractical or overly-romanticized relationships. Power struggles and emotional grid-lock arise before we know how to do this dance well. There will be limitations or blockages in relationships until we have learned to go beyond the urge to control for “personal” reasons. Some call this sweet manipulation.
 Who me, you might say? Don’t we know all about co-dependence and inter-dependence? Buzz-words. Yet with this aspect we are more keenly aware than ever that we can only go so far by one-self. We thought we had this figured out a long time ago when co-dependence was the nasty word of choice—when we thought we could see clearly who needed to take on more personal responsibility, and when we shifted from victim to hero on our soul’s journey. Or did we?
Now, Saturn is passing through Libra for all of us in 2011 and 2012 and so we are being required to understand this on a new level. Saturn always creates tests and challenges in whatever sign it is passing through, and if you have this aspect in your birth chart you’ll be “cooking” even more in the relationship arena.
Saturn is said to be exalted in the mental sign of Libra because Libra is willing to do the work involved in finding new ways of thinking that create “win-win” situations. Again, familiar words, but can you stop seeking approval from everyone and maintain a strong sense of self as you merge with others? When disagreements arise in relationships, what are you going to do about the inequalities of feeling that become evident? Can you tolerate listening to someone speak their “Truth” when it’s so radically different from the Truth you hold dear?
 It’s a challenge to know when to turn the temperature down to a comfortable acceptance of differences, and when to stand in your Truth on high heat and say this is not acceptable? Not easy when you’re feeling pushed towards a reality that is more than you’ve been comfortable with so far. That’s Saturn in Libra.
Saturn Return Questions: Take a look at the social contracts, expectations and assumptions you hold with significant others, now and in the past. Was it clear to them what you expected and hoped for? Was it realistic to ask them for this, or did you expect them to “mind read”? If you feel as if you’ve been giving (or gave) too much or you’re feeling abandoned, you might be able to prevent it from happening in the future by being a better communicator. Or you might realistically understand that you were asking too much of someone—you might have been asking someone to do something they were not able to do at the time. Most of us do the best we can with what we know at the time. It’s not always enough.
Now, as you are being called to be the best you can be, you are being called on to be incredibly honest as well as tactful. This is not “the Libra” that is always pretty and poised and fair, it’s about radical understanding of yourself and others. Are you willing to engage in this dance? ~  ~ 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Saturn in Virgo and Saturn in the Sixth House

Priorities and details—these are the key words for Saturn in Virgo and the 6th house. Oh my goodness, that doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? But with this placement you will actually have more fun and a richer life if you keep circling back to prioritizing things and cultivating an attitude of “awareness” to details. You can think of those details as mundane “shoulds” and rebel against them, or you can frame it as the philosopher Krishnamurti did, when he repeatedly asked us to “wake up” and bring our full awareness into what we are doing.
 With this placement you have been blessed with the “big picture of things” and are wise in so many ways that the rest of us aren’t so wise—you hold a unique wisdom of Love and the Ideal that is unique to this position. But it will be important to your personal success to bring awareness to the “little things in life” by bringing extra attention to prioritizing the flow of events in your daily life. Learning how to discriminate between what is important to do at the moment, and what is superfluous will be critical. Your heart is in the right place; it’s getting your head down to this reality that’s sometimes the challenge.
Another challenge—and opportunity—for you is to learn skillful means of doing things. Taking the time to master techniques and tools, whether it is life skills such as cooking and caring for your car or child, or mastering a trade or profession—these are important. If you can be humble enough to allow yourself to be mentored and to learn from others, the process will be easier and more efficient. You don’t always have to re-invent the wheel by yourself! Until Saturn in Virgo or the 6th is mastered, you may suffer from misplacing your talents, from dis-ease, and the continual sense that things are breaking down or getting lost—i.e. “mercury is retrograde” could feel like a life-long disease.
Saturn Return Questions: How can I prioritize what is really important to me? How can I make definite moves and a strategy to bring this about? How can I pay better attention to the details of my life and my time management so that I succeed in what I truly care about? ~



Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturn in Leo and Saturn in the Fifth House

Saturn in Leo or in the fifth house, hungers for love. But no one else’s love will ever fulfill that hunger except our own love and self-respect. Oscar Wilde once wrote: “Falling in love with oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” And if you think of that quote as speaking not of narcissitic self-love but the desire to fulfill the intentions of the Inner Self, then there is a deep level of truth spoken here.
It’s important for people with Saturn in Leo or the fifth house to find the courage within them self to dare to express themselves openly with heart and passion! Leo rules the physical and emotional heart, and generosity of spirit is crucial to this sign. Saturn however, tends to put a damper of frustration, delay, or inhibition on whatever sign it’s in until we’ve committed ourselves to our “work.”
Saturn here calls us to become a disciple to our Self—that is, when we realize that “disciple and discipline” are related, we become a disciple/committed to the highest expression of ourselves. And it can be fun—not self-centered. Leo is called upon to “shine” and express what we all have in our hearts and minds.
If you have Saturn in Leo or in the fifth house, it might be wise to create an intention around your creativity. You have a charismatic emotional impact when you choose to use it, and because you are aware of how risky and dramatic our lives really are, you have the potential gift of expressing this powerfully in your life. Don’t feel guilty about being fun-loving or playful. It is by “following your bliss” as Joseph Campbell once said, that you find the best way for your talents to come forth. If you find that you don’t have enough time or opportunity for “fun,” then schedule it in! Don’t hold yourself back in an effort to be too modest, or to engage in solitary discipline that never finds expression in the world. Working hard is great, but remember to allow yourself to joyfully express who you really are.
Saturn Return Questions: How can I give myself permission to dare to do things my own way? Could I make an effort to spend more time with my paints, my music, my writing, or my loved ones? Am I working too hard and becoming “up-tight”?  Where and when can I dare my Spirit find release? “Now” might be a good answer to that question. (c)

Saturn in Cancer and Saturn in the Fourth House

Saturn helps us come into our own authority by demanding that we create structures in our lives and by teaching us lessons that define and respect our own limitations and boundaries as well as those of others. Saturn is associated with the father, the paternal, and all that is authoritarian. So when placed in the more maternal feminine sign of Cancer it is said to be in its “detriment” because the paternal and maternal often challenge each other, until consciousness is brought to the family karmic inheritance.  Also, old adjectives such as ‘detriment’ are not so useful because the gifts of Saturn in Cancer are great, and these old terms need to be seen with fresh eyes.

You may be carrying some restriction, melancholy, or guilt about the past or your family of origin with Saturn in Cancer. And you feel safest and emotionally grounded when your home situation now is peaceful—you tend to act protectively in relation to your home and family. Yet you can get enmeshed in control issues around family problems, so the challenge for you is to truly understand what you feel and not to act reactively.

 Often folks with this placement feel an emotional allegiance to the place where they grew up, and yet have an awareness that in many ways they had a strict or difficult upbringing—or there may have been a mood of emotional coolness underlying something in the family dynamic. Secrets may have been kept, or there may have been rules as to what children could and could not do—rules or assumptions that may have caused you some suffering.

 Because you are now willing to work hard at making your own family a success you will often go out of your way to try and not repeat the problems of your own childhood by working extra hard to guide and care for your own children. You may become gifted in solving family problems because you know the territory. With this placement of your Saturn, you have the opportunity to come into a balanced inner sense of authority—I think of this as becoming the “author” of your own life script—and to create and restore a bit of sanity between the archetypal influences of the feminine/maternal with the masculine/paternal.

Saturn Return Questions: Have you been able to understand and share with someone else the deep resonance and sometimes confusing feelings you grew up with? Do you know how your family of origin has influenced you? Have you answered the inner call to settle old hurts with your parents or siblings and change past patterns of relating?  (c) ~

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturn in Gemini, Saturn in Third House

With Saturn in Gemini you are challenged to explore everything that excites your curiosity and to express it! Talk, write, sing, teach, share what you’ve experienced—be a bridge builder for those of us who don’t “know” what you know. You are meant to be a communicator, but ironically you may be underestimating yourself because learning and speaking as a child may not have come easily for you. You may have stuttered or not felt up to the challenges you saw around you in school—perhaps because you were bored and wanted to go quickly beyond the details and uncover the facts and emotional truth.
  Saturn in Gemini is about the mind, and using it—so take what you know and go deeper—put your spin on it. Whether you sing it out, paint it, or write it out, you have the flexibility and willingness to explore all sides to a story. You can handle chaos and you’re wise when you bring all the details together to make thoughtful decisions—joining your intellect with the values of your wisest self.  You are meant to become a “magician” with your mind. You can teach us or fool us, you could be a teller of white lies or a con artist, or you can gather up all the “news” and astound us with the connections and insights you can bring to something the rest of us thought was so simple.
When Saturn transits a sign that’s where you must “get it together” in the qualities of that sign. So here you are called to be expansive and to communicate skillfully. Learn how to raise communication to a new art. At your Saturn Returns, you may have unfinished business with your siblings, the law, your car, short journeys and health wise, it rules the lungs. What still needs to be dealt with? These times of the Saturn Returns call you to take action, deliberately and consciously to heal and finish whatever “business” still is untended to in those areas.
Saturn Return Questions: When Saturn has come around again to its birth place in your chart, at 29 and 59, it’s a good time to take stock of your life. Have you let too many distractions and diversions pulled you away from what you really love? Don’t let Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, sabotage your long range goals…it’s never too late to be who you might have been…and if you’re feeling overworked, consider what Mark Twain once said: “I’d rather wear out than rust out.” Go for it! ~

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Saturn in Taurus, Saturn in Second House

With Saturn in Taurus there can often be a “fear of loss” both subtly and not so subtly. Saturn’s lesson in Taurus is to teach the individual how to develop his self-worth by discovering and upholding his true sense of values and priorities, independent of society’s judgment.
  On the downside, there are several challenging manifestations with this placement.
 Saturn in Taurus appreciates the fine things in life, but still may be dealing with a sense of scarcity and fear of loss on some level. There’s a desire for stability—emotional, financial, even spiritual. Taurus would like clear uncomplicated answers. Life is paradoxical and often messy, so this in itself upsets those who have Saturn placed in Taurus.
   Taurus has an affinity (or ‘issues’ as we often say!) with food, beauty and money—so Saturn here tests our relationship with each of these things. Physically, it effects how we feel about our body; the manner we perceive ourselves physically, and how susceptible we are to social pressures about our looks. If other planetary parts of our charts are rebellious and are non-conforming there can be even more challenges, as Saturn in Taurus can manifest as a love-hate struggle with food, money, diets, exercise, and struggle with the process of aging.
Similar to other earth signs, Saturn in Taurus can be a workaholic who can experience guilt and shame for indulging in the rewards of hard work. In a sense you could see yourself as “being tested” for knowing and living by your true sense of values. Don't make material things too important. You may want to possess even loved ones; so jealousy can be a problem.
 Saturn in Taurus is persistent to the point of stubbornness, and has great stamina and loyalty. You can be very pragmatic, restricting yourself in the present, and with careful planning you may put off immediate gratification for the promise of future reward.
 If Saturn is afflicted by difficult aspects, money isn't denied, but there may be problems attached to it, as well as in the use of your sexual energy. The 2nd and 5th chakras are involved here, so sexual as well as throat and speech issues can be important. But because something is “challenging” doesn’t mean it’s bad or lacking, in fact, when you meet the challenge, you may very well find you have gifts in precisely those areas in which you are challenged!
 Saturn in Taurus motivates one to discipline, structure, and ‘grounding’. Saturn here will teach lessons of trust, patience and self-worth. Many people with this placement achieve what they want in life because they are willing to bring their loyalty and persistence to long-term plans and goals.
Saturn Return Questions: When do I sabotage myself by being too slow to respond or too fearful to take a risk? Could I give myself more time to ponder what my true beliefs are, and act from them, rather than “reacting” to outside pressure or expectations? Do I cultivate-- and let myself appreciate--the joys of loyal friendships? What would happen if I changed my mind about some old assumptions?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saturn in Aries

The sign of Aries is about finding your courage, acting on it, and accepting your limitations. You need to make the effort to take risks, and to actively engage with life through speaking up and physically testing yourself, despite fears of rejection or failure. You may have developed a persona or mask in which you may even fool yourself into thinking you are very brave…but it is more as if you are cultivating the qualities of bravery and courage.
So go for it! AND choose your battles wisely. At times you may feel the “loneliness of the long distance runner” because you have such a provocative blend of being intensely confrontational one moment and reluctant of “showing yourself” the next moment. You have an innate charisma, that others can feel and love, and yet you are probably the only one who knows how much you’ve had to “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
When you choose to blaze a new trail and risk daring to be all you can be, you are do well as long as you are willing to honor your limitations and even those of others…not always easy for you! Sometimes it’s easier to “butt heads Aries style” with whoever appears to be the boss or authority in any given situation—but this is a defensive reaction. You don’t need to do that.
 Instead at your Saturn Returns you can explore which boundaries you will choose to honor, and which you choose to challenge. You can still be impulsive at times, but you’re learning how to be savvy and smart enough not to sabotage yourself while testing your limitations. You know there are great heights you can explore and you’ve fallen in a few valleys. When you were young, you probably learned the hard way about what kinds of behavior was acceptable or not, and now at each Saturn Return you get a chance to courageously step into your next adventure. Go for it!
Saturn Return Question: When do I sabotage myself by being too confrontational or too reserved? Is there a better balance I can achieve? How can I speak and act on my truth more skillfully?

The Rainmaker Story: A Story to Ponder as we Begin looking at Saturn through Each Sign

                                         The Story of the Rainmaker

The function and role of the rainmaker is best described in a story. The concept of the rainmaker comes from a story from Jung and for those not familiar with the rainmaker, the following story is taken from The Tao of Psychology by Jean Shinoda Bolen and was told to Jung by Richard Wilhelm. It is the story of the rainmaker of Kiaochau.

"There was great drought. For months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss-sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result. Finally the Chinese said, "We will fetch the rainmaker." And from another province a dried-up old man appeared. The only thing he had asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumors about the wonderful rainmaker that Richard Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it. In true European fashion he said, "They call you the Rainmaker, will you tell me how you made the snow?" And the little Chinese man said, "I did not make the snow, I am not responsible." "But what have you done these three days?" "Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came."
              —C. G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis,

Monday, July 4, 2011

How to Survive, thrive and re-invent yourself during your Saturn Return~Part Three

Part Three: If we are going to survive, thrive, and reinvent ourselves in the times of the Saturn Returns, we would be wise to admit that we have fears about our ability to be all we can be. We know our limitations and weakness, even when we pretend at times that we have outgrown these parts of ourselves.
 Saturn can show up in our psyche as a crippling critic. We think: “Nothing I can do or will ever do will be good enough for this inner negative critic.” Okay, so we do have some habits, tendencies and addictions that could be tweaked or edited out,  and we do need to keep giving ourselves “reality checks” about how we are doing.
This is what Saturn does—he’s the archetype of the “reality police” and if you think you have it all together, he will show you where you don’t! That’s his job. Instead of getting mad or giving up, you can decide to admit that maybe you were going just beyond “the speed limit”, the pride limit, and now you’re ready to surrender just a bit of your hubris, your pride.
So at the Saturn Return we admit where we need to do a bit more work or atonement with our Self and we move onto the Saturn Project. And if we’re going to be ambitious with reinventing ourselves at this time, we may want to remember to do it in a way in which in which we can bring “the good fruits” of our life to bear on the project—such as returning to something we already do well but doing it even better, or sharing what you know, through teaching, counseling, healing. With an attitude of reverence for the process, we develop deep Saturnian wisdom. We create a foundation that will withstand in time.
Years ago, astrologers often believed that under strong Saturn transits one can choose between exhaustion and depression---some choice! It implied that because Saturn is often about doing hard work in the real world that exhaustion is what follows---indicating as Mark Twain once said: "It is better to wear out than to rust out."  It doesn’t need to be so tiring. So what are the tools needed to successfully navigate Saturnian waters?
 Here are a few ideas:
      1—Be Discerning. You are at a time now when you understand things you didn’t understand even last year. Use your new wisdom to make wise choices based on clarity of intention. Dream into your future and discern the path through the woods. Here is where the quotes: “Know thyself” and “Nothing in Excess” become relevant. At these times there is a necessity to pull back from the excesses of your younger years and to know what you can and cannot do.

      2—Take Heart. Find ways to reach out to others and be humble enough to ask for advice. If your marriage is in trouble, ask yourself the questions: Is the relationship the true source of dissatisfaction, or is it the repository of my own misery? How much am I projecting my insecurities onto my partner, and not taking responsibility or even listening ‘with heart’?

3—Go Deeper. Superficial “all or nothing” solutions can be a quick fix and Saturn doesn’t like quick fixes. No quick decisions: instead, hold the tension of the opposites and conflicts within yourself till you see the emergence of a new idea. Then, and only then, is it time to stretch beyond your comfort zones to new places of thought and action. As was said so many years ago:
      “Dig deep; the water—goodness—is down there. And as long as you keep digging it will keep bubbling up.”                                        Marcus Antoninis
4—Take Actions: one step at a time. Saturn rewards those that act diligently and depresses those who procrastinate. Saturn prefers slow thoughtful actions rather than impulsive action. Still the impulse to act or to make a plan is exciting. It doesn’t have to be all work and no fun! Interesting too, is that in ancient texts, Saturn was ofte seen as a devil who made a hand signal that said: “All that you see, is all there is.” That’s the devil’s lie. There’s more to your life than you’ve lived up till now…keep going.

Sometimes Saturn is seen as the spirit of Father Time, passing through our lives at these transits and “Returns” in the way Scrooge experienced his encounter with the Spirits of the past, present, and future.  The purpose of these visits wasn’t to give Scrooge a bad case of nerves, but to give him a second chance at life.  He saw himself differently; he grieved, he tried denying and avoiding, but ultimately he acted, and propelled himself—just in time—into his new life.
Blessings on your Saturn journey! Now you have a chance again to finish what you’ve come into this life to do to the best of your ability. It won’t be perfect, but you will have tried. Thoreau summed it up well when he said: “We are constantly invited to be who we really are.” ~ And I would agree with the words of George Eliot: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”  © Elizabeth Spring  Please write for permission to reprint:   Homepage:

How to Survive, thrive and re-invent yourself during your Saturn Return~Part Two

Part Two: How do you survive, thrive, and reinvent yourself during the Saturn Returns at age 29 and 59? Most people struggle with these times at least to a certain extent. Almost all real change is accompanied by some pain and resistance, and these times of the Saturn Returns are no exceptions.

Saturn is the instinct to commit. Ask yourself this: “If I do nothing else in my entire life, what would be most important for me to make an effort at doing or being?” What would that look like? Would it be creating a better family than the one you were raised in? Inspiring others in a way you wish you had been inspired? Financially, emotionally, or spiritually finding peace or success?

 Imagine that you could make a phone call to the “oldest wisest part of yourself” and ask this question. What would you want to build? What do you need to do to get there? Are you doing it yet? The good news is that despite Saturn’s connection with plain hard work and self-questioning, it’s also a time when opportunities present themselves to be thoughtfully examined Procrastination now seems like a bad idea, but quick change isn’t in the air either. Things must be taken slowly and old ways and habits may be having their “death and rebirth” and we need to be patient with ourselves as we move through the process of rebirthing and reinventing ourselves.

Maybe the old lover has finally committed “the last straw” and you know you must end the relationship. You make the difficult break, and then accept an invitation to go out on a date. New possibilities are in the making but the grieving process may take longer than you wish, and your heart slows you down. Or you’ve landed the new job, but "the learning curve" on it sends you into a tailspin and home in tears for the first two weeks. But still you hang in there. Or you’re finally pregnant, but you’re so sick you can’t enjoy it. Patience and endurance are the hallmarks of successful Saturn Returns.

That’s the feeling of the Saturn Return, but look what’s coming! If you follow through with your new vision, you’ve taken the first steps towards a true new beginning. Saturn likes to create forms and structures and new beginnings, but not without strong foundations. Old unfinished business—your psychological baggage--will stand in the way before your new birth takes place. Real change and self-reinvention calls for you to trust the process as it unfolds.

The Saturn Returns are marked by these kinds of personal milestones. We move, marry, divorce, go back to school, have a baby, leave a job or pick up on an old dream we’ve forgotten about. We do something different. The navigational tools are twofold: we must take a chance now, and we must give it all we can. When we are willing to do that, we are be rewarded.
Saturn asks us “Whose movie am I in?”” and then challenges us to be the director and author. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could just read some “manual to life” and have the ghost of “Christmas Future” come to us to show the way? Instead, we are called to become our own best “author-ity,” to truly become the author of our life.
  We’re being asked now to re-write our personal life script with our own spiritual muscle. Not always so easy, especially when our life drama is full of people who no longer reflect who we really are and what we are becoming. “Letting go” is another key concept for this time
The human unconscious has ways of conjuring up people, events, and situations that challenge us to the bone. Psychologists sometimes call it projection, and we feel it as the remarkable synchronicity between what’s happening in our inner lives with what’s happening to us in the outer landscape—I don’t think it’s just an uncanny coincidence. At times it’s as if we’ve conjured up whoever or whatever we most wanted to avoid—or attract—in our lives. It’s as if the unconscious “hires” other people to play out parts of our life stories—this one is the boss, this one the victim, this one the unfaithful lover.

At the Saturn Returns you’ve probably “had it” with some of these people and situations and it’s time to write them out of the script of your life drama. At each Saturn Return we are challenged to take back our projections and to look at the drama of our life as our responsibility. It’s too late to blame anyone anymore.

The Second Saturn Return, in the late fifties, is also a time that calls for concrete actions in the real world, but it can be more subtle and occasionally more insidious. If we don’t do what needs to be done now, we might not be given a second chance. If we put off our yearly physical exam or don’t stop the spread of some nasty growth, it may be too late later. If we take a stiff upper lip attitude and deny the fact that “the job is killing me” it may indeed kill you. We need to find ways to “fall upwards” rather than “falling downwards.” We don’t measure our life by the same standards as we did the first half of life: Carl Jung said that when he warned us not to measure the afternoon of our life by the same expectations and attitudes as we did in the “morning of our life.”

As the body ages, depression and physical difficulties inevitably arise, yet as the body becomes less an object of vanity it’s a chance for the Spirit to rise. This is also the time when we may feel an uprising of irritability as a few old habits or attitudes have the chance to rear their nasty heads again. This is because now is the time to cut them off—to be done once and for all with them. You may ask yourself: why am I dealing with these same issues again? The answer is: because you’ve almost resolved them. And the last straw can be the hardest. The hallmark of the second Saturn Return is that as you deal with the old pockets of unfinished business, you gain a new life as well as the sense that you are truly coming into yourself with more integrity than ever before. But it’s a process that involves choices—and when you make good choices, you can be “born again” spiritually—not necessarily in religious sense—but in the wider meaning of that metaphor.
And how do you do that? Priorities need to be clearer, and metaphorical closets and basements cleaned. There is a need to look at what we feel disillusioned about and let the illusions go, lest these old ghosts feed on us and make us bitter. It’s time to slow down and allow more sweetness and companionship into our lives, and to let the wild dogs of ambitious willfulness fight elsewhere. © Elizabeth Spring Please ask permission before reprinting to:  Homepage:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Survive, Thrive, and Reinvent Yourself at your Saturn Return, Part One

When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.”   C.G. Jung
                   The Saturn Returns at ages twenty-nine and fifty-nine are times of great change and opportunity. And so, they can also be times of crisis.  What do you think of when you hear the words: “Know Thyself” and “Nothing in Excess?  These were the words inscribed above the sacred oracular temple at Delphi, Greece. One might think that by understanding and trying to live by those wise words one might avoid the great troubles in life. Perhaps they help. Our understanding of these words changes as we age, but life often plays some nasty tricks on us in the meantime. Perhaps this is why folks who understand “just a little” astrology view the coming of the Saturn Returns, at 29 years old and 59 years old with deep sighs. But then, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Saturn is a “symbolic planet” that asks us to reinvent ourselves and our ways of living. Not so bad! However in ancient times, when people have fewer choices, Saturn was seen as the “old malefic” and its passage was viewed with some suspicion. “Saturnian” times can feel serious, with occasional bouts of melancholy or delay, but Saturn’s purpose is to re-structure our lives—not to make us miserable. If we don’t resist its call to change, restructure and reinvent ourselves, we will reap its rewards. Saturn transits have a way of slowing us down long enough so that we take a cold hard look at the realities we’ve built up in our lives and find new ways to become the true author—the authority—in our life. We are finally having another chance to become who we really are.

 Saturn, in mythology, relates to the harvest, rewarding those who have “worked” for the effort it takes. It brings a good harvest if we’re willing to wait, work and endure. Saturn, acting as the “stern taskmaster” likes nothing better than asking us to take out the garbage (psychological as well as physical) and to dig into the soil (of our psyche) before we plant the new seeds (of new intentions/new life).  Its passage in our life—especially at these times of the Saturn Returns, is when we have a chance for real change and life-renewing rewards. How fascinating it is that astrologers today are beginning to see that it is Saturn, not Jupiter, that is truly the planet of luck and opportunity!

There are two Saturn Returns that happen to everybody: the first is between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty, and the second, between the ages of fifty-eight and sixty. Basically the Saturn Return permeates the whole time period. So if you’re around 29 years old, or 59 years old, you’re in it! And as Saturn makes its rounds in our charts (and lives) roughly every seven years, it will be particularly strong if it aspects a major planet in your chart as it returns to its natal position. (Here’s where you do need to see your chart.)  So, all Saturn transits give us times of renewal, but these two times are often the strongest.
Astrologically speaking, the first Saturn return is when we truly come into our Self, as before age 29 we’ve been more reacting to what we were born into, than acting out of our true Self. And the second Saturn return is when we get a chance again to reinvent our lives as we move into our wisest Self. Ideally at 29 we would stop doing the same things as we were doing during our twenties, and do something different. Reinvent yourself! And the same is true of the Second Saturn Return at 59--the ways we’ve been living up till now, don’t feel as good—it’s time to take a different route to re-invent yourself.  Wouldn’t it be ideal if people could “retire” from their work at this point? But even without retiring, we can start being “pregnant” with our new Self at this time. The Self that will blossom in our sixties.

So even though our culture sees the age of twenty-one as the time of becoming an adult—it is not so for the astrologically minded--for us it’s twenty-nine. And you may get your Social Security at sixty-five, but it’s at fifty-nine, at the second Saturn Return, that your true personal and social security comes up for review. Saturn Returns can be times of rough passage, or harvest, and they’re usually a bit of both. © Elizabeth Spring:  Or for readings:

   This is Part One, and there are two more posts specifically on the Saturn Returns--so check them out, and readers will love to hear your comments/experiences as well, as we all help each other in these transitional times. Feel free to add your thoughts and questions on this blog~elizabeth