Friday, October 05, 2012

Why I Hate Saturn

A few years back I came to a decision; I would only pay attention to the major transits in Astrology. These seem to be the only things astrologers will agree on, and even then it's a crapshoot. I'll read columns by a small handful of astrologers I find interesting, and often times I do so at the end of the day to see how well they did describing what happened already. But I always keep several grains of salt in a handy travel pouch in my journeys among the stars.

Since I look as astrology as a kind of synchronistic timekeeping system, charting the cyclical and rhythmic nature of time and being, I usually have a bias for the meat and potatoes writers who look at the various movements and their "effects" (which I interpret as the movements and their correspondences). Give me at least the veneer of science- something I can wrap my head around.

You see, back in the 90s Rob Breszny kicked off a kind of New Age, touchy-feely Astrology in which the columnist would serve up a blend of Stewart Smalley-type self-affirmation sermon and neuvo-hippie tone poem (with generous dollops of PC bromide thrown in), necessitating the reader to parse the hidden meaning allegedly embedded within. Sometimes it worked, usually you cringed. And it all got reduced to the point of self-parody; you need look no further than the current atrocity in TV Guide (which once ran horoscopes by heavyweights like Patric Walker and Sally Brompton) to see how low that particular blend can go.

Whatever the skeptics may say, I've found the astrologers I pay attention to to be as least as credible as the weather services, at least when it comes to these major transits and these effects. This recent Saturn transit is a perfect example. I've written about this before, but my mind is still boggling over it. After Saturn's transit through Cancer I was assured that it would be 29 years before I had to deal with that kind of misery again, and lo and behold it was less than five.

Saturn is transiting through Libra and apparently was doing so through my 4th house? Something like that. My eyes tend to glaze over with all the charts and graphs and the rest of it. As I said, I just tend to look at the big picture. Apparently Cancerians are more vulnerable to Saturn's malign influence since the planet rules Capricorn (my mother's sign, which explains everything), which is on the opposite end of the Zodiac. Whatever the exact mechanics of all this are, I'll leave to the experts. All I know is that the effects were brutal.

And believe me; I realize that to some this all sounds like madness. And I realize that a lot of people like to chalk all of this up to the power of suggestion and all the rest of it. The problem is that the power of suggestion can't influence outside events beyond your control (at least according to the skeptical POV), nor does it influence events that occurred during previous transits when you were totally oblivious to all of this. It just doesn't work that way.

Either way, when Saturn was transiting through Cancer it was kind of like living with a physically-abusive alcoholic; you never knew what kind of nightmare was going to pop up next. I ended up in the hospital quite a few times and things just generally went to hell. This recent Saturn in Libra thing was more like walking around with fifty pound sacks of wet sand on my back. Everything just ground down, like driving a car with four flat tires. Of course, the daily burden of managing a severe chronic pain condition doesn't make any of this any easier.

I wish I could say it was all a blessing in disguise but I just don't see it at the moment. Certainly the Saturn in Cancer transit presaged a major reinvention, leading to the books and this blog and all the rest of it. But then Saturn shows up again and basically shits all over it. So what's the point? I'm trying to make sense of it all but the jury is still good and out.

Maybe this is the point where I peddle a bunch of rehashed Nietzschean twaddle about the glory of struggle and overcoming the odds, but on one hand Nietzsche was a genius and the other he was just another shut-in and momma's boy with a brain was rotted out by syphilis. So maybe that doesn't do much in the way of applications.

Because we've been sold this bill of goods about the glory of hardship and redemptive qualities of struggle, predominantly by an over-privileged class of parasites, who've never experienced a single day of hardship in their lives. But the fact is that these narratives are all deeply subjective and highly mythologized (being charitable), and the sooner we dispense with the new ubermenschen archetype the better. It's all fine and good to overcome the odds and all the rest, but it's no way to write policy.

So maybe if there is a lesson in all of this is that suffering isn't some political issue that can be resolved or some question of ideology that can all be wished away by some magical force like the gold standard or the hidden hand of the markets. Sometimes shit just happens. Sometimes it's written in the stars.

I realize this all wades into thorny territory, and I realize how much of this mythos is primarily- if not exclusively- informed by long-standing racial resentments in my own country. But the fact remains that the people who seem to buy into this bootstrap delusion the most these days- meaning the white working class- also have the most to lose if in fact it were to be enacted. I can't help but wonder if that's been the idea all along.

In the meantime, everyone keep an eye on Saturn. It doesn't matter how you think you have, he'll take it all away from you if you don't watch out...


  1. It's ironic that I just listened to Episode 20 of "Always Record"
    "That's no Moonchild";

    where Alan Abbadessa-Green says how much he likes the planet Saturn,and even says he has a tattoo on his back to represent the planet,and I come here and hear how much you despise the planet.

    I might be wrong,but I think your name was even mentioned in the recording somewhere.

    I guess I'm somewhere in the middle of both your opinions of the planet.I neither think of it as good or bad.
    But it is interesting hearing from both camps about Saturn as an influence in peoples lives.
    I'll just sit on my fence over this one.

  2. Hi Chris,

    What you're saying doesn't sound like madness* - it sounds completely legitimate and lots of people have similar experiences.

    I've been reading your blog off and on since spring 2011. Actually, it made me smirk to see you write, "Give me at least the veneer of science- something I can wrap my head around." Your work is so far outside how I thought it took over a year to delve into the topics you cover and not feel like I was losing my mind. I didn't think anything tripped you up, but maybe that's what astrology is like for you. Anyway, I've learned a whole new way of thinking and really enjoy your work. And I'm sorry Saturn's been roughing you up, but you're not crazy on that.


    * It sounds like Sparta. Kidding! Who could resist that one? :-)

  3. Saturn is the wheel we are the fulcrum. To master our selves is to embrace the wheel. Saturn is the Keel. The importance of the blog Starworlds is key. No hyperextended bliss ninnies. Chris your adventures in Gnostic and astrological realms is a continuance of the sun of an occulted nature. What an adventure you have navigated. Please shine your light from the tallest lighthouse. Dennis

  4. i have come to a point where i simply see astrology as incredibly irresponsible and dangerous. like identifying w/ characters or archetypes that you dont fully understand, except on a scale that one really should be more careful of. maybe the consistency brings power and ensures the life of whatever rhythms you attach, but at what cost? potential extinction? worse? wtf i sound like a doomsday cultist but really, forces beyond human comprehension. be careful

  5. If you think it eas tough in Libra, it just moved into Scorpio. Hold on to your butt!

  6. Astrology is a roadmap only; you choose which way to go. It's not "dangerous" because it is a guideline and not a hard and fast set of rules. The Saturn in Libra transit has been difficult for many of us with plants in the Cardinal signs (Libra, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn). If it was going thru your 4th house, it likely had to do with some type of limitation as to the home, emotional resources or real estate. (Repairs?) You are correct about the Capricorn/mother issue. In that Cancer rules the 4th house, this also has a sort of double whammy effect for you. Saturn is not necessarily bad but sometimes it can really test people (I will tell you about my recent adventures with it someday). Something else you may want to ponder is that Uranus is in Aries and Pluto is in Capricorn. These might give you some other interesting experiences in the near future too. I would say expect the unexpected and to watch out for opposition of some kind from others during the time Pluto aspects your Sun. It might be prudent to avoid any situations at that time in which you might come in contact with people that are violent or controlling.

  7. see my problem with "roadmaps" and prediction in general is self fulfilling prophecy. in my experience telling the difference between predicting and causing events is a 50/50 guess, and then even the signs one uses end up falling into the most predictable pattern to fit ones beliefs. as in, by using stars and planetary bodies you as the observer potentially effect the outcome, and more people equals more belief. observer collapses the infinite to the finite as they say, just seems reckless in my reckoning. cant help but think how offended id be if there were a supernova nearby just because some self-interested primate was looking for a sign to guide their lovelife, see greg egan's "quarantine".

  8. That's not what it's really about. So why don't get out and enjoy the weekend?

  9. "Saturn seems to have impressed the seal of melancholy on me from the beginning."
    ~ Marsilio Ficino, October 19, 1433 –October 1, 1499.
    First translator of Plato's complete works into Latin; his Florentine Academy was
    an attempt to revive Plato's school; Ficino kickstarted the Italian Renaissance.

  10. I rationalize astrology by explaining to myself, the moon creates the tides so the planets surely have some influence.

    Also maybe the living through struggle idea is the best possible way to perceive the circumstances. Not that it's a complete truth, but the best possible parts of a truth. I also think it's a language issue because struggle is entirely too broad. you can't really overcome a life and death struggle and be bettered, relatively, by that struggle.

    I hope you're healing well Chris

  11. "Because we've been sold this bill of goods. . .".


  12. I have a conjunction of Pluto, Jupiter and Mercury in 28-29 degrees Libra in my natal chart. This stellium conjunction is also right at my midheaven which is also 29 degrees Libra, though technically still in the 9th house (the midheaven being the delineating line between the 9th and 10th houses). My natal Saturn itself is in 17 degrees Libra, 9th house as well. Needless to say my Saturn Return last year was interesting, but this year when it transited my Pluto, Jupiter and Mercury stellium, Saturn felt like I was in an existential dentist chair getting teeth pulled (interestingly a few teeth did actually crack and fall out of my head when it crossed my stellium). Now that Saturn is out of Libra, across my stellium and midheaven and into Scorpio, being my 10th house (also where my Sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio) I feel wayyyy more harmonious about everything, even uplifted and invigorated like getting cold water splashed in the face. You could say I've been "channeling" Saturn in a sense and decided to write a lot about it starting at the Fall Equinox when Saturn was literally right on top of my midheaven. Quite a synchronicity that. Saturn helped me to look UP, so to speak, and find the silver lining. Now that it's into my 10th house of Capricorn, I think I've found that silver lining in all the symbolism and stories surrounding the planet (the black cube, the crone, nephthys, cronus, time, physicality, age, death, etc. etc). I've been writing about it a lot here:

    It's not so much about personal experience, but at the same time it kind of is since this Saturn transit for me has been incredibly visceral. I personally love the planet, but that may be because I'm a "child of saturn" in a sense if you look at my Natal chart. Being a Capricorn Rising must be helping the influence of it as well :P Hard Saturn transits aren't easy, that's for sure, but Understanding the nature of cycles pays dividends.

  13. Yes, there's maybe a few speculative boo boos I made in my posts at the synch forum like about the rectangle and the fibonacci spiral right in the beginning, but you can't edit posts there. I got caught up in "dot connecting" land and spat that one out. I explain why a subsequent post.

  14. I see Saturn as place for 2D beings, prisoners of queen and king of sword. Kind of harlekin or harlot figure. Makeup in face hiding the truth behind mask. And all the small ice stones in Saturn ring are diamonds for each soul gathered under the queen. Egyptian pharaohs.

  15. Hey Mirzolot can you elaborate on your comment. It really interested me.Cheers man

  16. just want to say thanks for writing this. I've been wondering about my recent obsession with Saturn, especially as i had no particular interest in astrology beforehand. Then all of a sudden I am doing charts and whatever and it all somehow ended pointing to Saturn.

    I really disliked this Saturn in Libra-era and i do feel that things are getting more natural now that it has moved into Scorpio(though general zeitgeist seems to be getting more intensive, but i think that its a good thing, things were getting little bit stale...)

    Anyway its a relief to hear somebody else is suffering too because of Saturn ;)

  17. A complete aside from the contents of the post, but to comment on...

    "...on one hand Nietzsche was a genius and the other he was just another shut-in and momma's boy with a brain was rotted out by syphilis..."

    ... it is my understanding that current scholars believe it was unlikely that Nietzsche's condition was the result of syphilis, and more likely contemporary diagnoses include chronic schizophrenia, frontotemporal dementia, or right-sided retro-orbital meningioma.