The Challenge of Saturn
by Erica Bridgeman
(Pandora Astrology Intern)
I’ve always known that the sun sign was a significant marker within the birth chart, the representative of the personality, the ego, the personal sun which gives life and sustenance to the individual self. But learning about the characteristics of each of the planets within our solar system, I discovered a major player lingering in the shadows of my chart, affecting me in subtle and not so subtle ways since the moment of my birth. That major player is none other than Saturn—astrologically, a planet most people willingly avoid at best and severely repress at worst (although Pluto often gives Saturn a run for his money where repression is concerned).
My interest in investigating Saturn’s influence on me began after I received a Life-Long Love reading with Jamie where I discovered that Saturn was transiting my natal Venus in the 10th house from September 2012 to about August 2013, during which time relationships of all kinds, but especially romantic ones, would become a challenge. But as Jamie and Liz Greene (author of the book Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil) emphasized, if I remained open to the process and engaged consciously the work that it would take to both look at both my own patterns in relationships as well as what may be going on with potential mates, I would emerge from the transit with a greater capacity for self-knowledge and loving self-compassion. So I accepted the challenge.
In my reading of Greene’s book as well as meditating on the birth chart that I received after my astrology reading, I had a major realization, one that had remained hidden in its significance but whose impact on me underscored a lifetime of feeling creatively stunted and insignificant while also feeling that I was the casualty of intense romantic disappointment and heartbreak. Saturn was in the fifth house of my natal chart, which is traditionally thought of as the house of the Sun’s rulership. It is also known as the house of children, creative self-expression, and love, or as Greene refers to it, “the house of romance” because “this also is an area where the individual may express – or project – his [or her] own identity without interference, and through the experience of love of this kind he [or she] may get a glimpse of his [or her] own inner centre.” Ultimately, in the cosmic point of view, the goal of intimate relationships is not so much happiness and security but “to complete something that is incomplete within the psyche of the self. It is to become healed and whole unto the self while realizing unity within the universal One.
So to have Saturn in this house, can mean that the expression of all that the Sun represents—self, identity and will within the world and within the individual, self love and love for the other, innate creativity, and the reproduction of life either literally or figuratively—is eclipsed. Thus, chronic feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt plague the psyche of the individual, leading to either a depressive and even fatalistic outlook or, more hopefully, the making of the decision to break the limiting restrictions that Saturn embodies and move forward with consciousness, guidance and patience; slowly peeling back the facade that shrouds one’s inner light.
For me, what this realization has meant is to be willing to engage in the continual process, all the days and nights of my life on this planet called Earth, not to reject or repress but instead to fully accept and integrate my shadowy and rather base aspects as well as my own shining brightness, so that I am not living a life of duality but of wholeness. To realize my inner yin and yang merging in the infinite cosmic circle/spiral. For this, I am utterly grateful to the planet that has been called “the devil.” For, having accepted his ultimate challenge, I find Saturn offers me the key out of my own personal hell.