Wednesday 29 February 2012

Jupiter - Heaven-sent Gift and Assets

From Astrotheme

In an astrological chart, there is a point which is usually very pleasant to examine because it holds an element of good luck, unless it forms many tense aspects with the other planets and the angles of the chart.

It is to the position of Jupiter that we are referring. Indeed, whereas the analysis of fast-moving planets enables to figure out the personality, Jupiter and Saturn are the planets of social insertion and the collective and fatalistic "ingredients". Aspects to Jupiter and Saturn, as well as to the trans-Saturnian planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, reveal the influences on the character and the destiny which are not submitted to the person's willpower, contrarily to the aspects which personal planets form among them.

Jupiter's position in sign indicates that the sign's general features are endowed with some degree of warmth and/or growth. Furthermore, Jupiter's position in house points to the area of life which is most likely to be favoured.

We explain the characteristics of this real gift from nature, and we describe how the position of Jupiter in house and in sign impacts on the person. They are the "pure" expressions of the planet without any particular affliction. It is only through a detailed analysis of the natal chart taken as a whole that it becomes possible to discover the actual positive role of Jupiter in the person's life.

Jupiter in the 1st House
Jupiter, twelve times bigger than the Earth, is known as The Greater Fortune in astrology.
Jupiter, twelve times bigger than the Earth, is known as The Greater Fortune in astrology.

Nature gives you a nudge in the right direction and endows you with enthusiasm and generosity, contributing to your charm and dynamism. You are attractive, and you hold sway over groups. Your physical appearance is that of a jovial and charismatic person.

Jupiter in the 2nd House

Jupiter's position is a heaven-sent present. It increases your earning power and may turn you into a persistent, obstinate and greedy person. You may also be at the same time sentimental and loyal. So, sometimes, material luck and love do work in unison!

Jupiter in the 3rd House

The position of the planet of Greater Fortune in this astrological house brings about easy interpersonal relations, your siblings' love, great communication abilities within your neighbourhood, and pleasant short trips throughout your life.

Jupiter in the 4th House

Oh! The family! It is of utmost importance to you, and you are happy there. Besides, the planet of Greater Fortune here gives you all the assets you need to successfully build a harmonious, secure, and comfortable home. Your private life is favoured. You feel naturally attracted to matters dealing with soil, stones, and real estate.

Jupiter in the 5th House

Nature's present includes a lot of great satisfaction in the area of leisure, entertainment, creation and love. Anything with a hint of pleasure is favoured. A marvellous world exempt from constraint and obligation illuminates your life. According to the Tradition, your luck also applies to your communication with children, and your descendants are harmonious and successful.

Jupiter in the 6th House

Nature's present is the luck of the devil that protects you against illnesses and brings about joie de vivre in your daily work. Therefore, your health and your work environment are constant sources of satisfaction. Your value is duly appreciated, and you are popular and helpful.

Jupiter in the 7th House

Your natural benevolence is greatly favoured in your dealings with others. Jupiter in the 7th House is usually considered… to be one of the best possible indications for a successful marriage and a springboard for your social life! Your feelings are generously expressed, and your company is pleasant.

Jupiter in the 8th House

The planet of Greater Fortune in this house is a heaven-sent present. It indicates inheritances, intense and fulfilling sexuality as well as a strong and secret intuition. You may be content! Your feelings also are magnified and deep. Undeniably, you are very lucky with this position of Jupiter in your chart.

Jupiter in the 9th House

Jupiter brings you a heaven-sent present which is particularly nice because there is here an analogy between the planet and the house. Jupiter's broad, benevolent and warm vision of life is in line with the fields of higher education, philosophy, politics, and human sciences symbolized by the 9th House. As you mature, you radiate with wisdom. On the concrete plane, long-distance travels are very favoured, throughout your life.

Jupiter in the 10th House

This present from the stars is by no means insignificant. The house of career, hosting the planet of Greater Fortune, can but favour your professional life. As time unfolds, it develops into a most pleasant scope. Sooner or later, it brings about success and your peers' recognition. You do not fear responsibilities, and you face them properly.

Jupiter in the 11th House

You inherit a heaven-sent present in the guise of your guardian angel! You are protected by powerful higher-ups or by your family. Your position within groups of friends is favoured! Friendships, protections, and collective projects are three key words you should keep in mind as they constitute your... real assets, throughout your life.

Jupiter in the 12th House

Although Nature's nudge in the right direction is not spectacular here, it is very real nonetheless. Your sense of dedication, your generosity, and your compassion are developed to such an extent that they often enable you to happily find fulfilment in non-mediatised areas such as humanitarian work and charities. Your human qualities are strongly favoured when you strive in obscurity, discretion and silence. Your reward is a life that is rich and not limited to material contingencies.


Jupiter in Aries
The planet of Greater Fortune in this sign favours self-confidence as well as the capacity to be enthused and to show your warmth. Your most valuable asset is your ability to easily express your fieriness and your ardour for the implementation of your projects. However, the danger is that your self-assurance may become an agent for rebellion or for indiscipline, in which case it would play out against your interests.

Jupiter in Taurus
Your practical abilities to organize and to increase your material security are enhanced with the planet of Greater Fortune in this peaceful and warm sign. Your affectivity is strengthened, and so are your taste for comfort and your needs… Undeniably, the possibilities for affective and material fulfilment are favoured. The other side of the coin may be an exaggerated form of materialism.

Jupiter in Gemini

With the planet of Greater Fortune in this sign, your abilities to communicate and your curiosity are considerably strengthened. You are articulate, you have an eloquent pen, and you multiply your centres of interest. Better than anyone, you can handle numerous different intellectual pursuits simultaneously, and you increase the number of your friendly and professional contacts. Short and frequent trips are favoured. Just be cautious not to spread yourself too thin.

Jupiter in Cancer

This planetary configuration in your chart is very positive because Jupiter, the planet of Greater Fortune, is in his exaltation, which means, in a privileged position. Jupiter protects your family area and later, your own home. Your sense of responsibilities is increased, your inclinations for comfort and customs are strengthened; usually, you are well integrated in society. You mature affectively early, and this fact enables you to avoid many setbacks. The only danger with this pleasant configuration may be your attraction to good things, in all areas, and their consequences.

Jupiter in Leo

Your charisma, your natural authority, and your generosity are favoured with this position. You ignore pettiness, and your nature to think big and generously. You have a natural propensity to look at things pleasantly, although it often means that you put yourself at the forefront. Children appreciate you, and people in general are sensitive to your charm. Even if the rest of your chart indicates introversion, this position highlights the warmth of your personality. So much to your credit! If you are extroverted, you must beware of the danger of vanity.

Jupiter in Virgo

The major asset of the planet of Greater Fortune in your chart is the increase of your practical sense and of your capacity to create order in your surroundings. You progress easily in your activities, and in most cases you are efficient, useful, and cautious. The danger may be that you do not put yourself at the forefront to reap the rewards of your efforts, especially if the rest of your chart indicates a tendency for introversion or a lack of self-confidence.

Jupiter in Libra

Seeking consensus and compromise, as well as moderation at any cost: these components are part of the natural qualities endowed by the position of the planet of Greater Fortune in your chart. It may also give you a very good taste and a charm that enhances the quality of your contacts, particularly regarding all your associations, professional ones as well as the most intimate ones, such as marriage.

Jupiter in Scorpio

The present of the planet of Greater Fortune to you is the gift for investigation, the taste for mysteries and… the capacity to solve them. Your emotions are amplified and prompt you to take your actions to the end, without fear or restraint. You also have the talent to cleverly manage your financial investments. According to the Tradition, sexuality and sensuality are equally balanced with this lucky configuration. So, enjoy and be happy!

Jupiter in Sagittarius

This is the best possible position for the planet of Greater Fortune in your chart! It offers a lot of human warmth (or it counterbalances introversion, if such propensity is indicated elsewhere in your chart), the taste for travels, optimism, vitality, and an enterprising mind. You are mobile and you have a large vision. Wisdom starts with the ability to consider life from a different angle and to put all things into perspective!

Jupiter in Capricorn

The present of the planet of Greater Fortune to you is a positive predisposition for organization, and the ability to reason thoroughly and on a long-term basis. It also endows you with authority and seriousness in all things. As a result, your ambitions are clearly favoured, even though it is detrimental to your warmth, your flexibility or your conviviality. However, you can develop all these sides if you want to.

Jupiter in Aquarius

Your mental activity and your enthusiasm when you handle your projects, especially the collective ones, are very favoured by this planetary configuration. One of your best qualities is your capacity to be integrated in a group and, at the same time, to keep your originality intact. As a natural consequence, your friendships are favoured and your protections last throughout your life.

Jupiter in Pisces

Your sensitivity, your emotions, and your artistic capacities, particularly regarding music and rhythm, are strongly increased with this position of the planet of Greater Fortune in this borderless sign. It endows you with an artistic and endearing side as well as with flexible and mobile ways to consider your relationships and your environment. Your dreamy state of mind and your sensitivity to other people's sufferings may prompt you to get involved with compassion in great humanitarian causes.

The Saturn - Neptune conjunction in karmic relationship

 "The conjunction is the most powerful aspect, of course, and only recently (in the past two years or so) have I been working with more of the Saturn/Neptune conjunctions. From what I have learned, they are quite similar to the opposition in nature but sometimes even more intense as the two energies fuse and create a feeling that there are no boundaries between where one person begins and the other ends...this can be terrifying for a Soul in body, and particularly for one who is still early in the process of his or her own becoming. Because of this, the Saturn/Neptune conjunction may be the most difficult relationship of this type to solidify or let go of."

So you are sure you've met before and not only that, you feel as though you may have been lovers at least once in a past life, maybe many times over. When your eyes met for the first time this life, you knew he or she was 'the one'. But wait, the lightning can strike even without seeing each other. In the Age of Aquarius, karmic lovers are meeting on the web without even the benefit of a photograph first. Yet the lightning strike is so powerful, so consuming, so intense, you fall and you fall hard. At first you are floating on air, sky high in your romantic bliss, everything is simply perfect. New vistas of the divine open before you. 

Then reality strikes. One or both of you are married. You live thousands of kilometres apart. There are children, or perhaps an illness, involved. No matter what the complications, and there are bound to be plenty, you know that somehow you and your lover must be together. You feel it in your soul. It is a deep and painful longing, a longing no one else in the world can understand unless they, too, have met a karmic lover with a Saturn-Neptune connection. 

Does it read like a tragedy? Romeo and Juliet? Tristan and Isolde? Guinevere and Lancelot? Chances are all of these couples,  if we could erect a synastry chart for them, would have a Saturn and Neptune connection. These relationships are the blissful, yet complicated and painful type of relationship.  If there is a distinct Saturn-Neptune connection within the Synastry chart, it is quite likely that the Saturn-Neptune connection also touches the Sun, Moon, Venus, or Mars in both of the partner's individual charts.  These relationships appear to offer both heaven and hell to the people involved in them. I consider these types of relationships ‘dangerous loves’, not necessarily violent or abusive relationships, but rather relationships that cause great internal fear. The safe loves are easy to manage and allow a person to work freely and go about their business. The dangerous loves are consuming and passionate, yet frightening. The dangerous loves are often relationships with heavy karma, and the very essence of the Saturn-Neptune connection is one that suggests that the two people have come together to heal and evolve as individuals. 

If you are working on a synastry chart and you find this connection look for the deeper ties to the personal planets. By noting and examining the ties to the personal planets, you can obtain some idea of how the current relationship is manifesting for each individual and how they can approach the healing that needs to take place in the current life. The lovers meet again to clear negative karma and to rekindle their love, however briefly the actual relationship may last. If a person finds this passionate love in the current life but runs from it, he or she is running from their own personal evolution. We can learn a great deal from dangerous relationships. When that special love comes upon us and we indulge in it for a brief time and then choose to escape because the fear is too strong, then we are choosing to turn our back on love. Avoiding these heavy karmic Saturn-Neptune relationships is akin to avoiding life itself. If we avoid love and strangle it within our hearts and souls, not allowing it to blossom and grow, then we will face the same person again in the future under a similar, or perhaps even more complicated, situation. 

Working Together

The Saturn-Neptune connection will not resolve itself on its own, both souls must be willing to work hard to heal together.  To confront the 'danger' takes a very evolved soul and often I see one soul who is ready to deal with the karma and rekindle the relationship yet the other soul is not ready. This can be unbearably painful for the person who is ready to tackle the work. I should mention here that even if the relationship ends quickly, the two lovers will often continue to long for each other no matter who they are with or how far apart they are.  That is how strong and binding this aspect is within a relationship.

As you continue to work with a Synastry chart containing this configuration, look at the house placements of Saturn and Neptune. This will give some clue as to which area of life brought tragedy in the past. Ask yourself, why were these two souls ripped apart so abruptly? In many cases, one of the partners died a dramatic, sudden death, especially if the 8th house is directly involved. Often their very love for each other was their undoing, and the step towards their own destruction in the past. No wonder that these loves feel so dangerous and frightening! 

So how does the energy of the Saturn-Neptune connection manifest for the two people currently entangled in such a relationship? So much depends on other factors in their charts and their current circumstances. If they are married to someone else, should they divorce? If they live far apart, should they relocate? These are tough decisions and it could take years of dedication to one another to make happen. Often, one partner is terrified of the other after the initial blissful honeymoon (Neptune) phase. When the reality (Saturn) of the situation strikes this partner, his or her emotions may become unbearable and he/she must close down emotionally out of self-protection. The partner cannot see immediate results emerging out of the connection because it seems so complicated and he/she isn’t sure that they are willing to walk through the fires in order to reach the heavenly love this aspect promises. 

The frightened, less evolved partner may even sever the ties. The person willing to break the connection is often the partner who was left behind, who lost his or her only love  because this person may have been drastically punished, forced to marry another, or he/she may have taken an oath to never love again. A deep entrenched wound is hindering the growth of this soul. While this soul is hiding and running away from his or her karmic lover, there can be no healing. The scorned lover (the lover who died or was ruined in the past) is once again hurt, grows desolate, and may even give up on living if he or she is not very spiritual. How can something so wonderful, so beautiful and divine come to such an abrupt halt? Why doesn't he or she call? Why the disappearing act?  This wounded soul longs to experience the blissful aspects of the relationship and despite the challenging reality of the situation, this soul feels that the end result is well worth the torturous journey that must be taken to get there.  A stalemate (Saturn) is reached between the partners, and if Neptune is the weaker planet in the Synastry and in the individual charts, it is likely that there will be no resolution in the current incarnation.  However, if Neptune is stronger than Saturn in the Synastry, it is possible that the Neptunian energy can diffuse and permeate Saturn to the point where healing can begin to take place.  In this situation, the couple can work together to form a more solid relationship built on spiritual growth, music, healing the self as well as others, inspiring the human race, compassion, and any other activity that grounds (Saturn) the sublime (Neptune) on the earthly plane.

Karmic astrology can help lovers understand the push-pull effect of their karmic relationships. It may not end the pain, it may not sweep away the hollow emptiness left when one karmic lover suddenly deserts the other, but it can help transform the bitterness left bobbing in the wake of abandonment into something much more bittersweet, that of spiritual understanding and acceptance. 

Important Aspects

The opposition is the most prominent Saturn-Neptune connection. Of course a person could have this contact with many people of about the same age, so it is necessary to note the houses and the inner planet contacts that Saturn and Neptune make as well. Saturn or Neptune is usually in a 'karmic' house: 1st, 4th, 8th, 10th, 12th. Occasionally it may be found that the Sun, Moon, Venus, or Mars is in a karmic house and in a close configuration with the Saturn/Neptune connection. Use an orb under 3 degrees for the peripheral karmic house contact if neither Saturn or Neptune is in one of the above houses. If either Saturn or Neptune is in a karmic house, I would consider aspects with an orb as wide as 10 or even up to 12 degrees, depending on the other planets involved. The contact to the inner planets can be major or 'minor' challenging contacts, including the conjunction, square, semisquare, and sesiquadrate. The sextile and semisextile should be considered as well. The more fluent trine can be significant, especially if in a karmic house but it will usually indicate an easier relationship rather than a desperate loss.  Follow your intuition and trust your own judgment when working with the Saturn-Neptune connection. 

The square between Saturn-Neptune in the Synastry chart can indicate a karmic lover relationship, but the lovers have not usually lost one another through their love, that is, their relationship didn't cause or contribute to the death of one or both partners as can be the case with the Saturn-Neptune opposition in a karmic house touching a planet or light in both individual nativities. The square more often indicates that there were difficult circumstances in the past that the two individuals failed to handle appropriately and they will once again face a similar situation together. Their incompetence may have cost lives, particularly if they were involved in the medical profession or were military leaders. This configuration can appear when both partners need to work toward a goal that will benefit mankind. It can become a driving force behind a team dedicated to helping others.  The square will often be strong enough to hold the two people together if they are able to focus the energy outside the relationship rather than within it.  The fear that lingers so deeply with the opposition could manifest within the relationship with the Saturn-Neptune square, but it isn’t likely to be as strong nor focused within the relationship.  For instance, meeting the other person could bring up unknown fears and insecurities within each individual, but they will not be fearful of the other person.  Instead, they may come to lean on the other to offer support and help them overcome the new fears as they develop.  Fear of professional success or health maladies may be brought to the forefront through the connection.  For instance, one partner may be scared to take a risk in order to make more money or gain prestige in his or her profession while the other partner develops allergies or begins to worry excessively about cancer or another terrible disease.

The trine is typically easier and while it may still indicate a loss of one another through a love relationship, it usually shows a loss that was natural, either through disease or simply old age.  This Saturn-Neptune connection will not be as complicated, draining, or as important as one with an opposition or square.  They will likely feel that sense of knowing one another on a deep level quite immediately, but the fear will not be there to undermine the potential of a long-term relationship. I wouldn’t consider a Saturn-Neptune trine in the Synastry chart as an indicator of a dangerous love.  Keep in mind that the dangerous loves will bring greater challenges and offer a more significant opportunity for soul growth and healing at the same time.  A Saturn-Neptune trine in the Synastry may not be powerful enough to bring a couple together, so if it is there, be sure to look at the other contacts between the charts to determine how the trine could help or hinder the relationship.

Working with Synastry can offer amazing insights into Saturn-Neptune relationships and while explaining the difficulties inherent in these relationships can bring pain, especially if you must tell a person that Saturn is stronger and that the relationship may not manifest in the current incarnation, it can also bring about understanding and help the person who is hoping for a reconciliation to learn to let go and move forward.  The bliss that seems to be promised by the Saturn-Neptune connection in a relationship is not guaranteed, indeed, the lessons learned by engaging with a person who connects to you in this manner may be more important in the long run than experiencing the heaven of being in his or her arms.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

The cycle of Saturn - Forging the “Diamond Soul”

by Anne Whitaker

“Just as water flows downhill, the tendency in all of nature is to take the easiest path. That direction, however, is not the path of personal growth.” (Alexander Ruperti )

“…Saturn’s heat and pressure are needed in order that we can develop what Buddhists call the ‘diamond soul’.” (Stephen Arroyo)

I like both of these quotes very much. The first conveys a basic realization about life that needs to dawn by the first Saturn return, so that in terms of personal growth, we can gain real benefit from the unfolding of Saturn’s second cycle. The second quote contains a marvellous image of what the rewards can be during the second Saturn cycle as we grapple with the stern demands of the Saturn archetype.

During Saturn’s first cycle, the major task is to find a place to stand in our lives and perceive a few reliable landmarks from which to take bearings, so that we can face life more than retreat from it. Then from 29-30 onward, we can begin to extend and deepen the various possibilities that our lives contain–a process culminating in the second Saturn return at the age of 58-59. After this point of stock-taking, the third and final cycle begins.

However, before being able to define clearly what the psychological changes and challenges of the three cycles are, it is necessary to define the essence of what the Saturn archetype brings into our personal lives.

I find it beautifully symbolic that the cycle of the progressed Moon runs closely with the Saturn cycle. The progressed Moon talks about our inextricable connection with the rhythms of life — its cycles and its limits. It describes the necessity of separating out and moving on from one period of experience to another if we are to develop texture and complexity. But it also explains our drive to be safe and secure and to keep ourselves on familiar territory. The progressed Sun challenges the latter need, pushing us to differentiate, to take risks, to “follow our bliss”.

The Saturn archetype, however, contains BOTH dimensions of this inner sol-lunar dynamic described by the progressed Sun and Moon, and it can be seen as their external worldly agent. Saturn as life’s challenging, defining, and shaping principle clearly says to each newly born individual “Anything you can achieve in your life is confined by the inevitability of your mortality, and by the given described in your birth chart. In terms of complete Saturn cycles, you have three to work with at the most. Now get on with it — see how far you can go!”

At the start of life, all is potential. As the Saturn cycles unfold, they describe how that potential gradually crystallizes, concretizes, until by the end there is nothing left to develop in this lifetime. The challenges presented by Saturn have at their core the demand that we become who we are, and who we can be, as fully as possible, by separating from that which we are not and could never be.

There are important differences in the developmental demands of the stages symbolized by the three major cycles of Saturn. The first, from birth to ages 29-30, is the thesis stage. It is the most intensely physical, energetic, and least conscious cycle. It is about building the platform on which to stand in life. The second cycle, from 29-30 to 58-59 is the antithesis stage.

The initial structure is tested, challenged to grow; awareness and consciousness are more fully developed; life’s goals are pursued and hopefully achieved to a sufficient degree in order to bring at least a tolerable level of satisfaction. In the synthesis stage, culminating at ages 87-88, ideally there is a bringing together and summing up of what one’s life has meant, and a shifting of emphasis from worldly achievement to reflection and spiritual maturing. There is an acceptance of, and preparation for, the inevitable physical decline that ends in the death of the physical body.

I find the Saturn archetype profoundly paradoxical. On the one hand, Saturn represents that which nails us to the cross of matter, holding us in the world of form. On the other hand, when Saturn’s challenges have been patiently and honestly worked with, and a mature realism arrived at, the sense of freedom of spirit that can then be released is immense – full of the potential for satisfaction and joy. This sense of freedom is unconfined because it does not relate to matter at all. I am sure this is what the Buddhists mean when they talk about the “diamond soul”.

We all arrive at the first Saturn return at the ages of 29-30.

Whether we know we’re having one or not, the broad determinants are the same. My metaphor for this return is the recollection I have of a school science class, where I was fascinated to observe the growth of a copper sulphate crystal, which, over a period of weeks, emerged from clear blue water into a highly-defined, beautiful, crystalline shape.

At the first Saturn return, the crystalline shape that must emerge is that of realism. In a developmentally healthy person, the purity of that crystal of realism isn’t overly tainted by bitterness, cynicism, and disillusion, all of which corrode the soul and limit the potential for further growth. As the crystal of realism emerges, it may well carry with it some pain, grief, and depression. This is healthy and normal enough as part of the process of getting through the 27-to-30-year period. We know from observation of the lives of others, and our own, that this period is critical.

To an astrologer’s perception, its critical nature is emphasized by the knowledge that ages 27-30 brings with it four major symbolic patterns that are all about differentiation, individuation, and the facing and purging of illusions that hold us back from realization of our full potential.

These patterns are: the second transit of the North Node to the natal South Node’s position at age 27; the progressed Moon’s return around age 27; transiting Pluto to natal Neptune between 27-29; and, of course, the Saturn return between ages 29-30, which seems to focus the other three patterns.

Letting go: illusions and defences

Letting go of the illusions and defences that buffer us from the poundings of life, but which also limit our becoming what we may most fully be, can be desperately painful. During this period, I was forced to give up my long cherished illusion of being a writer. It gave me a secret sense of superiority over the rest of the world and met my profound need to be special and different.

When put to the test between ages 27-30, it crumbled. I realized that I had writing talent, for which I received some public recognition, but I also discovered that I lacked the single-minded drive that keeps one at it full-time. With out shedding my illusion and moving on, I would never have been able to develop my other gifts and talents, which began to take shape from my Saturn return onward.

The development of an internal locus of evaluation — a sound sense of one’s own worth that isn’t overly dependent on the approval of parents, colleagues, partners, or peers — is another psychological change that should be happening to a reasonably substantial degree by the Saturn return.

Saturn: taking responsibility

This marks the point in life where we are no longer seen as children or even very young adults by the larger world. We are expected to take responsibility for our own actions, and to be effective in the world as workers, partners, parents, and friends, with no excuses or allowances having to be made for our youth and immaturity.

Ideally, we should also have developed a sense of what the boundary is between our parents and ourselves — between their demands of us and ours of them — and how to respond to them in a mature fashion without falling prey to old, child-like patterns of behaviour. If our parents haven’t been mature enough to let go of us, we should be well on our way towards having the maturity to draw our own boundaries.

Rites of Passage: fire, air, earth and water

Although there is a common core to the rites of passage we all face, birth charts show that there are as many different Saturn returns as there are individuals. With Saturn in a fire sign, one’s core challenge is to find faith in life. This, in turn, fuels the struggle to establish an unshakable sense of self-worth and of the special nature of one’s contributions to the world. The Saturn-in-water person’s major task is to come to terms with the inevitability that we are all separate and alone, no matter how much we may love other people or be loved by them.

For Saturn in air, developing mental discipline, establishing intellectual credibility, and contributing worthwhile ideas to collective life are key formative tasks. The Saturn-in-earth person must form a sound relationship with the world of everyday reality, and pay the physical and material dimensions of life their due, in order to feel at peace within.

Each will have a different journey through the first formative Saturn cycle. The sign and house positions of Saturn, as well as whether it is angular or not, the Lunar Nodes, Chiron, and other planetary connections, provide the fine-tuning that shows the relationship between the archetypal forces present in all of life and the many differing ways they may manifest individually.

Everyone has their distortions, their failures, their blindness. The gift of the first Saturn return is that the pressures it inevitably applies, bring a great opportunity for us to look at those very aspects we have hitherto been unable to face.

Saturn turns up the heat and pressure so much that the price of continued avoidance becomes higher than we are prepared to pay. Thus, realizing at a heart and soul level that “…the easiest path….is not the path of personal growth“ has been the major turning point of many a life.

Whether a person is functioning in a healthy way by the first Saturn return is dependent psychologically on how well he or she has negotiated the first three stages of the cycle: 7-8 years , 14-15 years, and 29-30 years.

For example, those who have been unable to effectively separate from their mothers at the waxing square at ages 7-8 may still be locked into a dependent relationship at 29-30, thereby distorting their development as the second cycle begins. Those without long-term partners, unable as yet to mature from the challenges of the first opposition at ages 14-15, may not see that being alone is better than being in an unfulfilling partnership, and are likely to carry some self-destructive relationship patterns into the next cycle.

Finally, those who have failed to negotiate effective entry into the adult working world at the waning square of ages 21-22 are likely to have even more difficulty as their 30s advance, unless they can begin to see what self-defeating patterns are blocking their path.

I find it very satisfying to work with clients who are either in the 27-to-30-year phase, or have been through the return and are taking stock at the beginning of the second cycle. It is here that the gifts of astrology are at their most potent, but only if people are willing to face who they are and be open to exploring some possible avenues of development that a good astrology reading can provide.

Clients who are strongly plugged into the energies symbolized by Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto can take a very long time to bring these connections into consciousness. The usual pattern is to be battered and buffeted by these powerful energies right up until the age of 30 and beyond. It usually takes at least this long for such individuals to begin to comprehend their relationship with those great impersonal forces. Then they can consciously begin to align the personal with the impersonal in a more aware, less fearful, and, therefore, more creative way.

Until age 30, life’s energy is waxing. The first Saturn return could be seen as the Full Moon point of life. Thereafter, the body starts to die, energy to wane, and our ability to recover from self-inflicted punishment and the battering of life begins to diminish. Consequently, the margin for serious errors to be made, from which one can recover and even benefit, grows inexorably narrower. The development of self-awareness becomes ever more important, as well as a realistic appreciation of both one’s gifts and limitations.

Second Saturn Return: Ages 58-59

By the second Saturn return, we can see what our lives have become — and we can see what it is too late to change. This is one of the most fundamental differences in perspective between the second and the first return. At age 30 we have probably still to sow the most productive seeds of our lives — what we have already sown is still only germinating. But by the approach of 60, we are reaping the harvest and are confronted with the stark Biblical words, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

Saturn is the planet of strict justice. Blind, stubborn, arrogant, or fearful refusal to face certain basic realities in life, as the second cycle unfolds, skews the life path further and further away from who we could become – were we able to acknowledge and accept who we actually are – rather than try to be who we are not. This can bring increasing pain, dissatisfaction, emptiness, and depression as the second Saturn return approaches.

Facing the Final Cycle of Saturn: 60 +

At one end of the spectrum are those who arrive at this stage feeling that their time on this Earth has not been wasted. They have very few regrets and are prepared to face the final cycle of life with equanimity, perhaps rooted in great spiritual depth. These people usually retain a zest for life and its remaining possibilities.

At the other end are those who have sown meanly, poorly, or fearfully, and are reaping a harvest of regret, bitterness, loneliness, physical ill health, and fear of the waning of physical power and attractiveness in the inevitable decline toward death.

Most of us will arrive somewhere in the middle range: satisfied with some aspects of our achievement and disappointed by our areas of failure — or those things that fate appears to have denied us without our having had much option for negotiation.

I see the main challenges of this stage as follows:

* first, to value what we HAVE been able to do

*second, to come to terms with and accept those failures or disappointments that it is now too late to change

* third, to find, within the limitations and constraints imposed by our state of mind, body, spirit, and bank balance, some further goals that are realistically achievable, which bring a sense of meaning and enjoyment to whatever time we have left.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Inner Planets to Angles: Electric Bolts from the Blue

Synastry Studies by Dawn Bodrogi

About Dawn Bodrogi
Dawn Bodrogi has studied astrology since the age of twelve, and has been a practicing astrologer for over twenty years with a special emphasis on synastry. Her studies in Jungian psychology, alchemy, and Buddhist philosophy inform her work. Her upcoming book, The Inner Wheel, takes a new look at interpreting secondary progressions. You can see more of Dawn’s work at her blog, The Inner Wheel: Living with Astrology.
We’ve all felt it at one time or another, that feeling of instant ‘ooo la la.’ Our eyes meet another’s, we feel a frisson of electricity, and then we know. We’re at home, at peace, and it feels good to be known. We’re complete. This is the ‘other’ we’ve been waiting for.
There are a lot of aspects that are responsible for this kind of sudden attraction, usually from the outer planets:UranusNeptune and Pluto. The “three bullies,” as I call them, all act as magnets when they attach themselves to one of our more personal or sensitive areas.
But the most potent, and dependable, source of attraction is something a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to in synastry, and that is planetary contact with the angles and angle rulers. (The “angles” are the Ascendant, IC or Imum Coeli, the Descendant, and the MC or Medium Coeli.) It doesn’t matter what planet it is; if it falls on your angles from someone else’s chart you will feel it immediately, and often profoundly. And because the angles are what they are, they provide a kind of intimacy that often eludes the outer planet attractions.

Angle Ruler Contacts

Comparison of angles and angle ruler contacts used to be considered crucial in synastry.In fact, it used to be an astrological ‘rule’ that you couldn’t have a long-term relationship unless the angles of one person hit the relationship planets (Venus-Mars, Moon-Saturn and the Sun) of another, or the angle rulers were in contact, in some way.
The Sun and the Moon are a natural archetypal pairing, much like Yin and Yang. But the other planets here are considered relationship planets because they have to do with our relations with the external world. We have the polarity of Aries-Libra, and their natural association with the Ascendant/Descendant and ‘Self’ versus ‘Other.’ But we also have the polarity of Cancer-Capricorn and Moon-Saturn. This is the polarity of ‘inside’ (Moon) versus ‘outside’ (Saturn): What I have within versus what I must make of myself. And these are the natural rulers of the fourth and tenth houses, representative of yet another angle, the MC/IC (Imum Coeli/Medium Coeli). Who can deny that both conditioning (IC) and status/growth (MC) play their part in our attractions?

Angles and the Cardinal Cross

In essence, our relationships are determined by the archetype of the cardinal cross. Cardinal signs are known by the keyword ‘initiation.’ In other words, our cardinal houses, and our angles, get things going. This is how love makes the world go round. It’s no accident that our relationships are often the greatest spur to our spiritual growth.
But, for some reason, angles are not treated with the respect that they deserve. While we’re all busy figuring out the meaning of the midpoint between Ceres and the Black Moon, the angles languish in confusion and anonymity. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of the rising sign itself, and mostly we relegate each angle half to one or two keywords: the Ascendant is ‘the mask,’ the IC represents ‘family,’ the Descendant is ‘partner,’ and the MC is ‘career.’ What a sad and simplistic description for so dynamic and active a cross.

Angle Calculations

Our angles are gateways to our own becoming, which is why they are so potent in relationship ties. Angles aren’t static, but are descriptive of who we are as a work in progress. (In fact, you can see this clearly if you work with secondary progressions, in which the role of the angles becomes crystal clear.) When something touches our angles, it touches the deepest part of our experience as human beings. Angles open up the floodgate of meaningful experience. This is why transits to angles are often more potent than transits to planets.
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Angles are as sensitive as antennae, as raw as nerves, and as responsive as fuel to a flame. Angles are calculated by a measurement of time and space. Time and space create our material reality. In a natal chart, this cross of matter intersects the eternal spirit (the circle). Ultimately, they represent how we negotiate our time on this earth. The natal chart is a diagram of the way our eternal spirit connects and evolves through our earthly experience. Without angles, we have no compass. We have no North to guide us.
One of the reasons astrology places so much emphasis on the angles in synastry, is that when angle meets planet there is constant stimulation. If a person’s planet is on our angles, and they excite or attract us in some way, they are likely to always do so. It isn’t the same with planetary pairings, who often learn their lessons and move on. The immediate attraction with angles often remains stimulating long after that Venus-Mars trine between the charts has become ho hum.Couples who are still holding hands after long decades together often have lots of angle contact, or angles emphasized in the composite chart. They still feel the initial ‘buzz.’ (Of course, this can go both ways. If there is someone irritating you with a difficult planet, or if your angle is hitting something uncomfortable in the other chart, you’ll feel that, too.)
›› Get your customized astrological compatibility report for insight into how the planets play out in your relationships.

Inner Planets to Angles

On the whole, inner planets to angles are a positive thing, unless the planet is very troubled in the other chart. We get to know that planet intimately through another being. The planet person feels that planet enhanced and made stronger and louder through the contact. All aspects matter, but mainly we should be paying attention to the conjunction (and, by natural course, the opposition) and the square. These connections get even juicier if the planet involved is also an angle ruler, particularly of the Ascendant or Descendant.
Here’s a quick overview of the inner planets to angles:
  • The Sun on any angle brings feelings of acceptance, warmth and a kind of creative liberation (I celebrate myself).
  • The Moon falling on an angle brings a powerful intimacy, and a sense of feeling known and understood.
  • Mercury on an angle stimulates the desire and ability to connect and share, and will mitigate any communication issues there may be between the charts.
  • Venus stimulates pleasure, appreciation and often a sense of beauty in the other and in ourselves.
  • Mars brings fire and desire to any angle it touches. It makes us feel alive. Aside from the sexual component, it provides a great stimulus to get things going.

Aspects to the IC/MC

We’re used to using the Ascendant/Descendant as the compass for relationship, but aspects to the IC/MC can be just as profound. When the IC is contacted, the other person feels like home to us. I’ve known him/her forever; words are not necessary (unless you have Gemini on the IC). Like the Descendant, the IC carries a bit of shadow to it. It isn’t the most open of houses. We take refuge in our IC; we keep our secrets there. It’s where we feel safe. We may welcome someone’s Sun or Moon or Jupiter there, but feel less sure whether we want to let Mars in, when he comes knocking. The IC symbolizes our seat of power, the place we are most deeply ourselves, and we can feel vulnerable, if that is exposed. Contacts to our IC from another person’s planet can either inspire a deep sense of belonging, or cause us to feel endangered and at risk.
Back in the days when social status was destiny (particularly for women), it is easy to see how the MC played a part in marriage and relationships. The MC represented your status in the community. A good marriage gave you status, and a partner whose Sun fell on your MC would fit the bill nicely. We like to think that that kind of thing doesn’t occur anymore, but we all know it does. Status can play a huge part in our choice of mate. When the MC is stimulated by another person’s planet we can feel newly awakened, ambitious and alive. This person’s perception of me is just what I wished my idea of myself could be. The MC plays a huge part in whether or not we achieve our potential. Synastry contacts there assure that our partner is our support and/or stimulus to our dreams. The MC is also emphasized when material security is an issue. This is particularly true if a woman is not in touch with her own masculine energy (Sun, Mars, Saturn). If she has problems ‘owning’ these planets, the quick fix is to marry them, and often there are contacts from the masculine planets to the MC when this occurs.

Angles in Action

Now, imagine that we’re walking around the earth with our angles sticking out, hungry for experience and life’s encounters. We meet someone whose Venus conjuncts our Descendant. This person seems to be perfection personified, the embodiment of everything we’ve ever valued or desired—everything lovely, in fact, that isn’t us. Now, if Mars is there instead of Venus, it’s more directly sexual. The shiver of attraction could be palpable. We may love the way this person does things—how he or she moves, walks, breathes. We feel the steam, no matter what sign, no matter what other aspects it may make. The person feels to us, deep down, as if s/he is our natural mate, and we can’t wait to get to him or her.
Of course, angles tend to exaggerate whatever touches them, so if our supposed ‘ideal’ of Venus/Descendant above also has Pluto opposite that Venus, and falling on our Ascendant, the power struggles inherent in the person’s Venus-Pluto tussle will profoundly affect my sense of myself, and my relationships. We will still feel the Venus, but it will be deeper and darker and slightly threatening, though we will feel no less attracted. We may be put through the wringer, but later will realize that the relationship taught us a great deal about our own inner strength, and the values that we attach to partnership.
I know of one couple where her Descendant ruler, Mars, is conjunct his Descendant, and his Descendant ruler, Uranus, is conjunct her Ascendant. These two have one of the most incompatible synastries I’ve ever seen, in terms of inter-aspects between charts, but the relationship has been running for some time on the fire of this attraction, backed with a couple of positive progressions. It’s also a powerful magnet if the Ascendant or Descendant rulers conjunct in any way. It makes us feel as if the other person plays a major part in our becoming whole.
Our angles can convey the very essence of what we need for fulfillment, and can reach out to connect to the essence of another. If you want to be a true student of synastry, closer analysis of your angles will give you greater insight into your attractions and teach you valuable lessons about sustaining relationships.