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?  elizabethspring@aol.com   www.elizabethspring.com

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: elizabethspring@aol.com   Homepage: www.elizabethspring.com

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: elizabethspring@aol.com  Homepage: www.elizabethspring.com

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: elizabethspring@aol.com  Or for readings: www.elizabethspring.com

   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