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Saturn, Venus and The Dragon’s Head

A warm hello to TMA readers, and grateful thanks to Mary Plumb for offering me the opportunity to write a piece for this blog …

Currently, there is a triple conjunction of Saturn, Venus, and the North Node in Scorpio, and as you may already be aware, relationship themes are in the astrological view-finder! (Saturn-Node is exact on September 25, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. GMT, in 9°25′ Scorpio.) This is my cue to mention that Mary and I have been friends and “fellow travellers” for more than 20 years — a lovely metalogue of Saturn-Node-Venus, which amply signifies deep, long-term soul-connections between people. Thank you, Mary.

“Metalogue” is one of my favourite words. It means “that which we are speaking about is also arising.” (1) In astrology, we also do the reverse – we speak about that which is arising. Although astrology may reveal striking answers to our questions about life, I like to think that the Universe is also asking questions of us! Not requiring “correct answers,”  but open-ended and exploratory questions which invite personal enquiry into the nature of experience. So, taking this approach, I begin to muse on some of this week’s “presenting questions”.

Firstly, an equinoctial pause in honour of the Libra Equinox yesterday (September 22, 2013; 20:44 GMT). Equinoxes occur twice annually when the tilt of the Earth towards the Sun levels up to vertical and begins to shift the other way. These are good times to let go of the pressure to “make decisions” and attune to the feeling of pause, hiatus, and space, while we ourselves are perhaps being re-balanced. Click here for a truly extraordinary video — BALANCE as you’ve never seen it! The link was sent yesterday by a friend with Jupiter in Libra. Another metalogue!

Venus: Of Love and Loss

The Venus-Saturn combination sometimes gets bad press, so let’s “unpack it” a little. Venus is the “goddess of Love,” a general significator of “relationships” in the horoscope, and shows what or who we value or attract, or attracts us. Aphrodite’s son by Ares (a Mars figure!) was Eros, whose name has become synonymous with desire, the active aspect of astrological Venus. Perhaps this Saturn-Venus conjunction (exact last week, on September 19 at 20:53 GMT) has already reminded us how, where, and when the pathway of certain desires may have been “limited” (Saturn), putting fulfilment out of reach to help us find Love and Value inside ourselves (Venus). Saturn-Venus transits may also help us unhook from addictive or co-dependent patterns in relationships, or enable us to see that the arc of a relationship is indeed over. Saturn invites us to mature in the area of life it touches, so this combination lends us the “substance” (Saturn) to deepen existing relationships (Venus) or to invite further commitment (Saturn). Indeed, Saturn-Venus aspects are often seen in the astrology around significant meetings and marriages.

Venus describes the process of learning about loving … what happens when the honeymoon is over and we need to process irritation, disappointment, and a range of other feelings which bring romance down to earth, sometimes with a resounding c-r-a-s-h!! Unfortunately, our education does not equip us very well for these rites of passage. So it becomes Saturn’s job, congruent with his exaltation in Libra, ruled by Venus. We must find our own way — another time-honoured Saturn theme!

As the goddess of ”love, harmony, and beauty,” Venus also presides over how we react when we lose the things and people which reflect these precious, valuable qualities. What are our own “default defences” against the painful feelings around this kind of loss? Do we immediately move on, defiantly deciding to “go elsewhere” (Venus in Sagittarius)? Do we lose confidence (Venus in Capricorn)? Become vulnerable and clingy (Venus in Cancer)? Buy something we can’t really afford (Venus in Leo)? And what might Venus-Saturn in Scorpio be asking, or drawing our attention to? Unprocessed hurts? Incomplete mourning? Rage, resentment? Appreciation of those who’ve stood by us in hard times?

Most importantly, Venus is about how we relate to ourselves, and concerns the inner, personal quality of VALUE, and the “values” and priorities that flow from this essential feeling. Externally, Venus refers to our “valuables,” what (or who) we have “invested” in, and what “returns” we hope for.

Can you “locate” and feel the quality of Value inside yourself? Just as it is? Or does it depend on someone or something? Like getting approval? Like being wealthy, or being considered beautiful? To me, the symbol of Venus is a hand-mirror inviting us to truly see the “face” of our own soul, as a reflection of the preciousness of existence. Is it really possible to love what we do not value? Perhaps the lack of this feeling leads us to try and import Value through getting, having, and owning “stuff,” including other people?

Scorpio: Warrior of the Depths

In case you hadn’t noticed, the paragraphs above are somewhat Scorpionic in approach! This sign invites us to journey into the depths of our own experience, thus rendering it more transparent to consciousness. Although we may meet our “dragons” along the way, we faithfully pursue the truth of our personal existence, and beyond. The goal is transcendence, but the path may take us through realms of great density, emotionally and mentally. Scorpio is a fixed water sign, and “holds” areas of feeling yet to be processed and released, and which therefore call us back to attend to them. The Scorpio way is not to “skip over” these things, but to go down with them into the dark places of soul and to later emerge transformed.

Saturn: Time, Heritage, and Substance

As “Lord of Boundaries and Limits,” Saturn may bring the challenge of passing through the portal presided over by “The Guardian of the Threshold.” This figure traditionally represents an accumulation of unconscious fears, forebodings, toxic emotions, and negative judgements of ourselves and others, arising with such intensity that the only way through is a radical shift of consciousness. Saturn’s process reveals the root cause of suffering: the thoughts we are “possessed” by, and the flack that results from believing and acting upon them. When we truly see this “dragon,” the “Guardian of the Threshold,” we are allowed to pass.

Indeed, the “Guardian” may be revealed as the “Wise Old Man or Woman” in disguise. Here, I think of Jupiter, Saturn, and Chiron communing in their ongoing watery trine, a prominent theme of the year — read Mary’s July 28 blog. Faith and feeling rule the day, as we see that deep inner work proceeds on a “need to know” basis. We can rest assured that we do not have to “understand everything” in order to allow healing or awakening.

The Nodal Axis: Interweaving the Opposites

The transiting Nodal Axis, or “Axis of Destiny,” locates where eclipses occur. Each “eclipse season” contains at least two eclipses, one Solar and one Lunar, at the New and Full Moons, respectively. The “season” starts about a week before the first eclipse, ending about a week after the last one, offering twice each year an auspicious time for quiet reflection, a time to withdraw like the light of the Sun or Moon “withdraws.” Karmic issues are magnified, as are the benefits of meditation and inner work. In psychological terms, our contact with the unconscious is heightened, and we benefit from being willing to meet whatever arises with compassion and in a spirit of enquiry. Startling insights may come, freeing us from entanglements that have finally run their karmic course.

Eclipses do indeed bring endings, which range from subtle to really obvious. If we approach their seasons with a willingness to do whatever it takes to help us accept and let go, the strength of renewal that follows can be profound. Contracting our sphere of activity and emotional involvement with others can be useful at these times. The next eclipse season is coming up soon, lasting from about October 11th until November 10th, and the current Saturn-Venus-Node interactions lead into it.

The current Saturn-Node conjunction may reveal “forces of destiny” strongly at work. Pay attention to synchronicity, watch your dreams, let yourself be guided, and commit to take action where it is indicated. Things take shape and form where Saturn is involved, and we are invited to “make real” that which “matters” to us, moving from the realm of theory into the world of practicalities, shape, and form. In other words, to “walk our talk”! Check out the date list below and see what Saturn-Node brought into your life during its previous conjunctions.  What entered to shape your destiny? And now? What is ‘showing the way’ or asking to be given form?

Venus-Saturn-Node: Receiving the Energy

With this triple conjunction as a curtain-raiser for the forthcoming eclipse season, contemplate, expect, or perhaps even cultivate some of the following:

Insight about relationships, past and present (and perhaps future?)
Rich, deep feelings, passion and desire. Develop the capacity to “hold” and savour these experiences, rather than suppressing them or being at their mercy.
Deep letting go — “something” is ending
Tender melancholy, joyful solemnity
Quiet, internal rejuvenation
Recognition and release of negative judgements about self and others
Meetings with people significant to your destiny, “fellow-travellers”
Moving beyond mourning into appreciation of those who are no longer part of your physical life, due to death or separation
Appreciation of long-term connections with people who are in your life now
Connection with the soul’s deepest sense of Value and values
Awareness of where and how discipline is needed
Being given the “task list” for the next phase of your life

And finally …

Let’s not be afraid of melancholy. In Medieval times, this experience was respected and understood to generate deep philosophic insights. Now, however, the merest hint of it risks being pathologised and medicated out of existence. Current propaganda encourages us to be “up, bright, and shiny” all the time, but perhaps the soul-movement of the current Saturn-Venus will allow us to revalue, appreciate, and perhaps even enjoy (Venus) our own melancholy moods (Saturn). Try letting yourself feel like a melancholy but happy Hermit, while in the midst of “it all.” Saturn-Node-Venus will love this sadhana!(3)

Footnotes and references:

(1) From Gregory Bateson: Mind and Nature – A Necessary Unity, Bantam Books, NY, 1982.

(2) Click here for an article on Melanie’s website, with more detailed suggestions about honouring Saturn.

(3) Sadhana is an activity consecrated to worship, for devotion or spiritual development.

(4) See also Saturn: Time, Heritage and Substance, Starwalker Press, UK, 2013. The Kindle edition should shortly be on special offer from your usual Amazon site, once their “MatchBook” promotions have been rolled out. Ebook edition: for a 50% discount (until November 17th, 2013); enter the code BH64S when you check it out here.

Bio:  Melanie Reinhart has been a professional astrologer since 1975, and is a prize-winning Diploma-holder of the Faculty of Astrological Studies, of whom she is also a patron. She received the Charles Harvey award in 2004, for “exceptional service to astrology,” and has taught for leading astrology schools in the UK and abroad. She runs a thriving practice offering individual readings to an international clientele. Books include: Chiron and the Healing Journey, Chiron, Saturn and the Centaurs, Incarnation, and a contribution to the anthology The Mars Quartet. Visit her website for articles, useful resources, and a calendar of her workshops and lectures.