By Mary Plumb | October 5, 2008
Almost everyone I talk to these past days – friends, family, colleagues, clients – is getting familiar with some version of anxiety.
Even here, in relatively quiet southern Oregon, the tension symbolized by the ever-closer (exact on November 4) opposition of Saturn and Uranus is keeping many awake at night.
Saturn, the lord of time and constraint is being confronted directly by his mythological enemy, Uranus, lord of chaos and excitement. They represent starkly contrasting archetypes – the old and the new; stability and upheaval; status quo and an urgent or shocking call for change.
It’s enough to make me long for the good old days (i.e., 2005 and 2006) when Saturn was opposite Neptune in the sky. Then, the keeper of time and tester of limits was facing a nebulous opponent; things were harder to define and impossible to see clearly. At best, Neptune invites working with art, music, meditation and essentially relaxing into a boundary-less state of surrender. That may have been easier to do then; now Uranus’s impulse to dare and awaken is engaging with Saturn and the feeling in the air is quite different.
The god of the heavens and night sky, Uranus is seen as the function that opens the mind to a vaster, bigger picture of what is possible. Saturn’s inclination is to resist change and, at worst, to cling to what has always worked in the past.
It’s not too hard to see Saturn and Uranus in a big conflict out there in our world now. Considering the acute drama and increasing bitterness in the US election; the incomprehensible “shock and awe” moves on the financial stage; the anxiousness around loss of freedom (and money!); the tendency to experience society as divided between rapid reformers and amoral libertines; the “endless” wars and so on, it’s no wonder we’re having some sleepless nights.
If we consider things psychologically, however, the planets provide guidance to our personal lives. An opposition offers – or, more rightly in this case, demands – the chance to become aware within ourselves of inherent tensions. Tension between our own past and future; between what we most deeply fear and where our greatest and boldest ideas lie; between what know about ourselves and what we can only imagine. The opposition invites acceptance of factors and forces that seem diametrically opposed – the chance to come to terms with internal paradoxes that are easier to see outside of ourselves – all those other guys out there are the ones acting badly, aren’t they?
We can consider this in our own habits. Saturn’s favorite stance is one of defense. It may be easier to hold a tight rein on ourselves, or on a behavior or attitude that we are accustomed to, rather than inviting that invigorating moment when a highly uncertain future seems more creative and exciting than terrifying.
Depending on the natal horoscope, of course, some of us are more impacted than others by this particular planetary theme. As a first thought, those in their Saturn returns now, those of us close to our 29 or 58 birthdays, have the acute awareness that we are on the verge of a future quite different than where we thought we might be at this point in life.
I plan to add further ideas on this point within the next few days. I’m especially keen on looking at the natal chart to see Saturn’s sign and house position as a big clue to where we can individually access the stability, the inner ground and security that is authentic for us and is an inner template to keep returning to when the ride feels rocky.