Tag Archives: The Mountain Astrologer magazine

As Saturn returns to Pluto in Capricorn: some notes on Saturn Returns…

I’ve had quite a few messages of late, asking me why I haven’t posted here for a few weeks. Well, like almost everyone else to whom I speak, I’ve been feeling the pressure and heaviness of a very challenging year since Saturn began to catch up with Pluto in Capricorn last Spring 2019, coming within three degrees of exact conjunction in April as they met the South Node in Capricorn. Recent weeks have thus been a time for some rest and reflection. 

Saturn...

Saturn…

As I wrote in one of my recent articles exploring various dimensions of this fearsome conjunction:

‘… In essence, Saturn/Pluto lets us off with nothing, either personally or collectively. We are forced into increasingly tight corners, whilst the pressure is ramped up on us to face and deal with the present consequences of past decisions, some of which might not be of our direct making. The environmental crisis which has become so vivid this year with the Nodal Axis joining the dance of Saturn/Pluto throughout 2019, is a case in point…’(i)

I am currently writing a reflective piece on what we should try to learn from a not very much discussed topic, ie the end or balsamic phase of planetary cycles, which I hope to post here soon. So – watch this space!

Prompting me to write today have been several conversations I’ve had, not all of them directly in person, with people coming up to experiencing their Saturn Returns at this time: both the first at age 29/30,  and the 59/60 second Saturn Return.

Since the 1981/2 Saturn/Pluto conjunction cycle ends, with the new one beginning, on 12 January 2020 with the two meeting at 23 degrees of Capricorn along with the Sun, Mercury – and Jupiter not far behind – those folks at the end of their twenties and fifties are facing a profoundly defining transition during their Saturn Returns since theirs involve Saturn/Pluto as well as the other planets.

Every completing of a Saturn 29/30 year cycle is  a time of being invited, in essence, to separate out as best we can from who we are not, in order to become more fully who it is we actually are meant to be.

The Second Saturn Return carries additional gravitas, because it represents a challenge to sum up what the whole Saturn cycle since age 29/30 has been about. From the Third Return on, if we live that long, coming to terms with life’s approaching ending is the biggest challenge any of us will face.

So – I decided I’d share the reflective work I have done on the Saturn Returns, to give those of my readers, younger and older, some food for thought and hopefully support in facing a challenging life stage coming up as this year ends and 2020 begins. Here is the most recent version, published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine.

For the record, and to cheer up anyone who is feeling dismal about all this Saturn/Pluto stuff and impending Saturn Returns, I was born with several personal planets conjunct an exact Saturn/Pluto conjunction, and have been through two Saturn Returns which triggered my natal Saturn/Pluto combination.

I’m still here, still standing, still productive, not too displeased with how my life has turned out. So my writing is born not out of theory but out of surviving some very tough challenges – both of my own making and through things over which the only control I had was over the attitudes I decided to adopt…

Buddhist wisdom considers dealing with adversity as the process of “Forging the Diamond Soul”. I found meditating on this a great support in some very hard times, both past and recently.

I do hope you enjoy this article and find it helpful in getting the best out of your upcoming Saturn Returns:

The Saturn Cycles by Anne Whitaker

Endnote:

(i) Posted on Astrodienst 17.9.19… Some Notes on Cycles in a Time of Crisis

650 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

 

 

On reaching thirty – ‘forging the diamond soul’

As followers of this site will know, I went through a profoundly testing – though ultimately enriching – descent into the Underworld and slow return during the period 2001-8. During this time of retreat I had to give up a busy and successful freelance career, and simply rest, grateful to be nurtured by my loved ones, until my life force returned. Reading and writing were major sustaining gifts – as was a deepening spirituality. I had the time to draft a memoir of my emerging spiritual life up until the age of thirty; not as a continuous narrative, but as a series of key episodes.

It is my intention from time to time to publish some extracts from the memoir, provisionally titled “Swimmer in a secret sea” on this site.

In the meantime, here are some of my musings from the Introduction to that memoir, as I reflect on the great significance of those first thirty formative years in all our lives.

(Although this post is intended for the general reader, those of you who are astrologers will recognise this archetypal thirty-year point as the first Saturn Return.)

If you are approaching turning thirty and finding it hard going, take heart! I have come across many people amongst my counselling clients, students and astrology clients for whom the period of 28-30 was very, very tough. They were certainly hard years for me. But most of us can look back and say “well, that was when I really began to grow up – life is much better now!”

The Diamond Soul

We truly are unique, each one of us. Only one person can live out your or my particular story. But there are certain archetypal experiences which most of us go through in the vital thirty years where we lay the building blocks for our future development as useful adults.

Inspiring people – if we are lucky, members of our own family as well as those met along the road – appear. Experiences which wake us up to new realities come our way. There are challenges or tests which we cope with as best we can. There are questions which are seemingly unanswerable, but will not go away. The longing to feel part of something greater than ourselves tugs at many of us. Deaths of loved ones in early life mark us deeply.

Intense love affairs can turn out well or badly. Friendships are forged which can deeply sustain and comfort us, in which we can show the best as well as the worst facets of who we are. Relationships with parents are revealed in varying contexts, leading us to a more realistic perspective on both sides.

We begin to realise that our most valuable educational experiences probably take place outwith academic institutions. We develop ambitions and set about trying to fulfil them. We deal with the raw joy of being alive, as well as the depths of its pain. We encounter the love that nurtures us, and the wounds that may make us wise in time.

From this long, testing and often painful process of submerging our dreams, questions and ideals in the acid bath of life as it actually is, hopefully we emerge with a good enough balance of optimism, resilience and mature realism to enable us slowly to begin to separate out from what we are never going to become. In this way, we begin to grow more fully into who it is we actually are, having taken a step further towards what the Buddhists call ‘forging the diamond soul‘ …

NOTE!

USA’s  bi-monthly The Mountain Astrologer magazine is recognised as being one of the world’s best quality astrology publications. They will shortly be producing and selling a CD featuring the Editor’s Choice of the best articles which The Mountain Astrologer published during the 1990s. I am pleased to say that the article I wrote in 1998, which features an astrological perspective on life’s thirty-year cycles: “The Cycles of Saturn: forging the Diamond Soul”, will be appearing in that collection. Those of you readers who are astrologers or astrology students, keep checking the site for details! As far as I know, the CD should be available from March 2010.

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UPDATE: the CD came out on 13 October 2010. For details, click on link below!

An autumnal treat from ‘The Mountain Astrologer’ magazine

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……and the memoir, “Swimming in a secret sea” is now published. Click HERE to read it.

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700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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