Sunday, July 15, 2007


As ruler of my own chart, I am quite partial to the planet Saturn. It's distinctive rings have captured the attention of astronomers and stargazers for thousands of years. The Cassini spacecraft has been sending back amazing pictures. In February of 2005 NASA revealed a surprising find that although Saturn appears yellow from our viewpoint on Earth, this beautiful gas giant has blue skies in its northern hemisphere. It amazes me that the great Vedic seers described Saturn as blue thousands of years ago -- and makes me wonder if they were extremely sensitive visionaries or if were they in contact with off world intelligences?

Saturn spends 2.5 years in a sign and it takes approximately 29 years to make a complete circuit of the zodiac. Astrologically it is the planetary ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius. Saturn is the last outer planet visible to the naked eye and was well known and described by Vedic astrologers as the Lord of Karma. Traditionally Saturn is king of the malefics, significator of difficulties, death, disease, obstruction, delay, and misfortune. It challenges the ego and makes us face our deepest fears.

While Saturn's lessons are painful, it's gifts may be rewarding in the end. My teacher, Dennis Flaherty, describes the pressure of Saturn to be like the pressure needed to turn black carbon into brilliant diamonds -- the strongest and most beautiful of gemstones. One of the best books on Saturn is Robert Svoboda's The Greatness of Saturn, A Therapeutic Myth. What Saturn can do for us is to help us set boundaries and limits. Saturn reveals the limitations of the material world and through suffering the opportunity for transcendence is formed. David Frawley writes, Saturn is death that takes us beyond the limitations of mortal life, which is the gateway to the eternal. A well placed Saturn is necessary for spiritual practice and is an indicator for yogis and mystics.

Saturn in Leo Mid-July 2007 - Mid-September 2009
This week Saturn changes signs. It enters the constellation of Leo and will stay there for the next two years. As ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius, Saturn is not as comfortable in the opposite sign of Leo ruled by the Sun. In Vedic astrology planets belong to different camps, and Saturn and the Sun are not friends. When the planet of obstruction and shadow enters the sign of light, it has an effect not only on the realm ruled by Saturn but also on the realms signified by the Sun. Although mundane astrology and political interpretation are not my interests, it is quite clear that this energy will effect our leaders and giant corporations. See Dennis Flaherty's online Star Trends for an informative forecast of what's ahead economically and politically.

We had a taste of what's coming last winter. Between the beginning of November 2007 to early January 2007 Saturn made a brief sojourn into the constellation of Leo. So on a personal level, whatever pattern was going on at that time may resurface and be worked out during the next two years. What I remember most about that time were intense winter storms. I had to abandon my car twice due to impassible road conditions and face my fears about what having too many snow days off of work would do to my resources and reputation -- not to mention the self realization that I have become Seattle weather wimp.

However at the same time that I was intermittently confined to my icy home, I became involved with a meditation group that opened my horizons beyond words -- literally. (Thank you -- you know who you are.) This spiritual awakening may have also be due in part to Saturn traveling with Ketu, the south node, indicator of spiritual liberation. Ketu will be traveling with Saturn for the first year of its visit to Leo and its influence is always unpredictable, abstract and karmic. Ketu has a hot nature and which when placed in a fire sign like Leo its potential to burn away karma will certainly increase. Saturn is a significator for land and the earth and combined with Ketu may indicate further heating up of the planet (dah) as well as more local events like wildfires. It also means that Saturn is tied up with the eclipse cycle for the next year, especially the solar eclipse in Leo on September 11, 2007.

Another key date to watch is when Saturn is in exact alignment with the Sun, called combust, on August 21, 2007. In this case Saturn's influence is diminished, which may sound good to those of us who like to push beyond our limits, but it can also mean that important boundaries get pushed and broken. Beware of burn out at this time.

Saturn will also begin its journey in the unfriendly sign of Leo with its best friend Venus. She joined him two weeks ago in a lovely alignment visible to the naked in the constellation of Cancer. Since then she has passed him and entered Leo paving the way for him. Venus goes retrograde on July 27th and will reconnect with Saturn around August 12th and later after she goes forward as the morning star around October 14th. Venus' benefic energy may soften some of Saturn's heaviness. As I mentioned in a previous post, Venus in Leo loves drama, and with Saturn, the Lord of Karma, and Ketu, indicator of past life karma, she may present some interesting opportunities to work through some old dramas, or at least inspire some new ones to be written or acted out.


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