by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, February 15, 2013

Saturn Station-Retrograde (Part 2)

Planet Saturn photographed having a major storm in its northern
hemisphere by NASA's spacecraft Cassini
(photo credit: NASA, JPL)

At the risk of sounding like an old-time TV or radio serial, our last episode here around the old blog corral was on the subject of Saturn taking its station and going retrograde at 11 Scorpio on February 18th at 5:04 in the afternoon (UT/+0).

If you missed the whole ‘where’s the Sun’ and Scorpio discussion, you’ll want to read Part 1. But for those who have already read Part 1 (or who frankly, Scarlett, don’t give a cinematic southerner’s hoot about such things), this blog is about the configurations which come as part of this ‘Saturn stationing’ affair.

The first configuration is a grand trine.

Though the occasional grand trine will (by the grace of astrological orbs) join signs of different elemental earth, fire, air or water nature, the classic trine involves only one element – in this case, water.

In some senses, this makes things more intense. Grand trines, being composed of three trines linked together with any single trine indicating ‘ongoing energy’ is something akin to a closed circuit. They used to be thought of as blessed and benefic, but as astrologers have emerged from something of a lollypop way of thinking about astrology as all good or all bad, ideas have moved more in the direction of trines – and thus grand trines – representing habits or mindsets or situations which are difficult to break out of and sometimes impossible to change. An example of such an ‘impossibility’ would be someone who is born with a chronic illness. They learn to cope with something they can’t change.

Talents are often associated with trines. So are lives marked by people being born into a time of mass poverty. Though their nation’s situation may change, and thus some of the potential connected to that trine may shift, if as an astrologer I was to see someone born into such a situation with their chart elements positioned so that a trine (or grand trine) ‘spells out’ that early-life situation, I would know that such a person would be ‘marked’ for life with the poverty they had experienced as a child.

Since I know as soon as I type those words that someone is going to want to know, trines or grand trines in water (emotion) or air (mentality) are more prone to being “markers” of the psychological sort. Earth trines are more apt to indicate physical or situational elements.

Fire trines, having to do with the ability to envision are often on the ‘up’ side markers of talents and on the ‘down’ side challenges with realism or the ability to be realistic.

All trines tend to change when the points involved are transited by any planet, comet, centaur, dwarf planet, SDO or TNO at-or-beyond the solar systemic “latitude” of Saturn. That’s a pretty big list which includes things like Chiron, Ixion, Eris, Sedna and countless others.

So trines are not ‘forever’ in one sense, even though they are in another.

In this case we have a classical trine in water, so we know the subject is emotional. If you’re someone with a water sign trine in your natal chart, the fact that Saturn is connecting to Mars may well be a sign of ‘stabilization’ or stability. Then again, it may manifest as resistance or limitations. With the much-beloved Dog Star Sirius in this mix, insight is the subject and the cure. So this is obviously a great time to get insight on our own ‘stuff’ whether we have a drop of water in our chart or not. The period around this station is also likely to be a time when we see others acting out emotionally…or coming to recognize what emotionality is – as opposed to facts. Or maybe what it can do (or not do) in our lives, whether we’re thinking of that as individuals or social/societal groups, or families or nations.

As individuals or as nations, we may be examining the ‘Saturn cost’ of emotions denied (Scorpio) or emotions coddled or used to control, manipulate or delude (that’s a Scorpio/Pisces list). Saturn in Scorpio does have a pronounced fiscal bent of the “collective” ‘joint finances’ kind, which is why we are hearing so much about nation debt and credit at the moment.

And since Saturn is going to be in Scorpio for a while…expect to hear more on that subject. Expect for there to be more trials, more trial-and-error attempts, more denials and more attempts (or discussions) about the need to control – many of which will be formulated as what ‘you’ need to do, since though Scorpio is supposed to be the ‘whole of the interacting unit,’ wherever we see Scorpio there’s an annoying tendency to say ‘I’m blameless, it’s all your fault.’

(Heavy sigh. That never works in the Scorpio arena, but goodness knows people try, try, try it yet again!)

The positive of Mars in Pisces connecting to Sirius is the promoting insights and inspirations along with a sensitivity which – providing we don’t run away from it – allows for growth of understanding both of ourselves and others.

Saturn in Scorpio/Sirius in Cancer is more directly useful (almost utilitarian) in orientation as it’s a connection which which promotes solutions. Though often hard-to-swallow emotionally, what is learned now, what comes out now is an opportunity, and those who can get past ego or past mistakes will benefit thereby.

With all three of these symbols positioned in second decanate (between 10 and 19) emotional degrees of their respective watery and emotional signs, this isn’t a signature of smooth sailing. For some, this grand trine will be a sign of ‘ongoing turmoil’ with Saturn’s turn to retrograde representing the realization that our solution must come from ‘within.’

Then we get to the Yods.

Known in mystical circles as ‘the finger of God,’ a Yod is an astrological figure which looks a lot like the letter “Y” with one point at the ‘base’ of the Yod aspecting two other points which while being in a 60 degree aspect to each other are also each 150 degrees from the ‘base’ point.

One important technical item here: Yods should be within 1.5 degrees of aspect in order to be considered ‘in effect.’

The energy of a Yod tends to manifest as indecision or on occasion, confusion. We often feel ‘cornered,’ hence the reference to God as a substitute for ‘fate.’

Are Yods fated or fateful? From the metaphysical perspective, probably not any more than the rest of life is. If a grand trine in the natal chart could indicate a life-ruling talent or a devastating disease, that may be an ‘open ended’ fate, but it’s hard to argue that it’s any more or less fateful than the moment when you get caught for embezzling.

It’s all about perspective. 

So anyway…with this Saturn station we get not one, but two Yods. Here’s the first:

In this Yod, the connection is between Saturn realities, structures, needs to interact and/or cooperate and/or give and take and/or negotiate with self and/or others…and Pallas, the symbol of dispassionate wisdom. Positioned at 12 Aries, Pallas in an inconjunct to Saturn asks that we know our positions, ‘own’ our acts, actions and choices, and in doing so, stand up for ourselves while recognizing and dealing with arranging terms with others.

On the other side we have Saturn being connected to Vesta in Gemini, a plain enough reference to what it takes to make a commitment and carry through on our promises.

The thing which is to be noted here, and very much different than your classic trine or grand trine, is that each of the objects in a Yod is most often in a sign of a different element. Even a different modality (mode of action). So here we have Saturn in fixed water, Pallas in cardinal fire and Vesta in mutable air.

That combining of elements (the thought with the emotion, the drive and motivation getting tempered by needs for caution and pragmatism) is what symbolizes the internal confusion, conflict, indecision so typical of a Yod.

There is one great thing about Yods, however. And that is how they come with a nice clear “solution” point – that being the midpoint between the two ‘horns’ of the “Y” in direct opposition to the ‘base’ point.

And that, in this case, is 11 Taurus, a degree which is known for embodying that idea of ‘reaching beyond our grasp.’ The keyword here being ambition, since this degree is in opposition to Saturn we see the chance to succeed beyond expectations…or a dose of falling on our face. Since the element is earth, whatever is on the table (or in our mind or heart) is something real – or which at least has real costs or rewards connected to it.

The other Yod turns the first one on it’s head. Or at least on its side.

The 150-degree inconjunct between Vesta and Saturn (understanding the costs real and emotional which it will take to get where you want to go) remains static. But in this Yod, Saturn isn’t the focal point – Vesta is. So that grand trine we talked about which represents the bestirring of emotions (ours and those of others) will focus on two things…the Saturn in Scorpio responsibility and realistic agreements which work for everyone…and the Vesta in Gemini knowing/understanding what it takes (or will take) to keep our promises.

In this Yod, the ‘solution’ point is 11 Sagittarius, a degree which stresses the interactive side of Sagittarius and the courage it needs to put yourself and your ideas out there. Depending on your situation, this may be about solving existent problems or it might be about plunging ahead into the unknown.

It could even be both.

Pluto/Vesta from worldly, public, status conscious earthy Capricorn to Vesta speaks to some pressure which may be about ‘keeping up appearances.’ Then again, it may be our striving to get ourselves or our life into a place where we are comfortable with how we ‘appear’ in our own eyes. Being that this is an inconjunct from Vesta to Pluto (Vesta is the faster-moving object here, so it ‘applies’ the energy) the difference between ‘promise’ and ‘promises’ suggests some degree of ‘unveiling’ or even unraveling for those who have lived behind some mask or a life/lifestyle which amounts to a form of personal or public lie.

In both Yod images, you’ve probably noticed a box with a question mark in it. That question mark asks you if there’s something in your natal chart within 1.5 degrees of that point. If so, that Yod has special meaning to you which it isn’t going to have to someone else whose chart doesn’t connect with that point. Yes, we will all feel this station. But sometimes we just see the tornado. Maybe it’ll blow down the clothes line or uproot our tomatoes. But it may also rip our house off its foundations.

It’s sort of a matter of degree of exposure and experience.

As we think through all this, it is to bear in mind three things:

1.) Saturn moved into 11 Scorpio – the degree at which it goes station/retrograde – back at the end of January. And Saturn will be at 11 Scorpio until March 15th. That’s a long time for things to be ‘brewing’ in one mode. And considering this is Saturn – reality and realism in a sign, Scorpio, all about the real stakes of life which require that we think beyond our own security in order to secure that security (and self respect), there’s likely to be a lot going on now in our lives and in the world at large.

Don’t expect it all to be pleasant. Contentious, trying, unnerving…that’s likely to be the least of it.

2.) Saturn will return to 11 Scorpio during the period of October 10–18, 2013. How we deal or don’t deal with things now will echo back to us then.

Mark your calendars.

3.) 11 Scorpio is the degree of the solar eclipse which will occur on November 3, 2013. In astrological terms, this is about as obvious a notice as we can get. We can pay the ‘emotional’ cost now or later. But don’t think it isn’t going to get paid.

None of this has to be negative. The problem is tricky however: Scorpio asks that the ‘me’ and the ‘them’ in all things be balanced. Your success or security or self worth or abilities are no more important than anyone else’s…or anything else. Scorpio teaches how things are interdependent and how in the end, we focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else at our own cost. Even peril.

Saturn’s station is just a station. Though the effects are broadly sketched and also narrowly focused in this particular period of time is part of a greater expanse. I like Saturn. To me, responsibility is security. Standards are reassuring.

When everybody does their best, we all benefit. And therefore, as someone with a natal Scorpio Saturn, I wish us all success when it comes to facing our Saturn challenges.

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