What do Saturn and Pluto signify anyway?
First published 2o Jul 19
In moving forward from my last newsletter and my proposition to explore these two planets, I'd like to make this exploration as simple and clear as possible. This is deep and dense symbolism so clear lists of what each planet signifies may help.
As Saturn - the faster moving of the two planets - inches his way closer and closer to Pluto, the significations of each planet have started to merge, so it's helpful to know just what those are. You can combine any word from each list to see how the symbolism might be expressed. Saturn control discipline denial fear authority father restriction limitation separation responsibility duty the elder caution strength time guilt struggle difficulty heaviness oppression commitment boundaries structure consolidation reality ...all the stuff we struggle with, in our human experience. And yet those things which bring us to mastery in this life.
power death control drama and crisis rebirth karmic law regeneration intensity passion deep rage obsession compulsion manipulation secrets extremes catalytic forces destruction envy and jealousy paranoia taboos charisma and sexual charm betrayal vengence deep emotional pain gut-knawing emotion transformation Pluto is a transpersonal planet and so we don't 'own' it in our charts. However, the lord of the Underworld's presence is no less felt when he rises up! In combining any words from each planet's symbolism, you will begin to not only understand the energies activated but also how they are being expressed, within us and in the world around us. This will increasingly intensify as we move toward January. However, what is 'up' for all of us first, is some pressing work. Since April, Saturn and the South Node have been travelling together as a supporting act to the main event of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in January 2020. We are all experiencing this because even if you don't have any planets or angles at the degrees that they are travelling in (the Cancer-Capricorn axis), or in aspect to those degrees; planetary returns and particularly Lunar Returns each month will capture this symbolism for almost all of us. The Nodes are not celestial bodies but mathematical points. They are described as the Moon's Nodes because they point to certain points of the Moon's orbit around the Earth and are therefore closely related to the symbolism of the Moon. And their symbolism also relates to the Sun because that Lunar orbit occurs within the ecliptic, the path set by the Sun. Fundamentally, they are the points at which the Sun's and Moon's paths cross from our Earth perspective. From a psychological astrology viewpoint, the Nodes are where Solar principles - the quest for self-expression and self-realisation in this lifetime, and Lunar Principles - the containment of our experiences, conditioning, habits, learned and unconscious responses both meet. From a traditional Hellenistic viewpoint, it is where the intention of the soul, as the Divine part of the human mind which sets the life purpose (the Sun) combines with that which gives the soul a body and a human life, that which gives senses with which to perceive the world, and the vehicle through which to actualise the soul's purpose in the affairs of worldly existence (the Moon). In essence, the Nodes represent where our path of soul development intersects with the path of physical experiences. Therefore to work with them we need to be consciously aware of our spiritual nature, our connection to each other, to the universe, and to the Divine. In effect, the South Node represents our memories - our own and ancestral, and also our soul memories. The South Node sheds light on our past. Now add those Saturnian words listed above to the South Node's 'shedding light on our past'. This is a time where we are being asked, through each of our individual experiences, to look at the cumulative effect of all of our past fears and experiences of separation. Our celestial guidance is now telling us that this is our responsibility. This is the work we do as a collective. For as we do it individually, we do it for All.
It is easy for the ego to get caught up in the stories of our experiences, however, we need to use discipline in seeing where we deny, resist and separate. Saturn represents these plus fear. Fear is separation. Fear is the opposite of Love. It is time. Saturn tells us this because, for the Greeks, he was Chronos, from where we get chronology and chronological time. Saturn as the lord of time is telling us it's time. Furthermore, it's time because Pluto is waiting to see what we will do. What we do will determine whether we breakdown or breakthrough when Saturn reaches Pluto in January. The remedy, of course, is also within the poison. Ponder Saturn's list and consider what is being activated for you personally. All of us are being asked to take full personal responsibility for everything in our lives that hurts us or takes us away from being and extending Love. When our peace is disturbed, we need to ask our self, What am I afraid of? Is it true? Dane Rudhyar, a humanistic and transpersonal astrologer of last century, held the view that we must release the energy at the South Node
as if the Nodes were gateways for bringing in and releasing energy. So the work is using higher Saturn qualities to release the lower Saturn qualities. Thankfully the South Node and Saturn (and Pluto) are travelling through Saturn's own sign of Capricorn; a filter or lens of patience (we must be patient and loving with ourselves), hard-work, conscientiousness and responsibility. The Universe has even given us the benefit of Saturn having all of his resources to act in the best possible way! So I do believe we can do this work with diligence when we know it is for the greater good of All; using Saturnian principles of commitment and discipline to choose again every time we have chosen fear and separation. Remember we default through lack of awareness and habit (South Node), yet we can become aware. There are many ways to use Saturn's strength in this time, and I'll leave you with this to also ponder. I listened to Brene Brown talk with Russel Brand recently (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM1ckkGwqZI) about some research she was doing about compassion. And so, as she stated, who better to start interviewing than Buddhist monks. What she said was amazing; that the common factor was "boundaries of steel". Boundaries are not about separation. They are about respect; for yourself, and for another. Boundaries enable us to have compassion without buying into another's story and making it real. They allow us to choose again. Perhaps a big part of the work is in reassessing what reality actually is. Because fear is simply the mind's story. It is not real.