by Robert Wilkinson
In the first two parts of this series, we explored what Saturn conjunctions bring and which signs and age groups have been most affected by Saturn's "destiny shaping" quality over the past 12 years. Today we'll explore how the squares and oppositions fit into a larger pattern set into motion at the conjunction to the Ascendant.
Any Saturn conjunction ends a long term cycle, and initiates a new one. It takes Saturn about 29 years to move from a conjunction with a point or planet through the various aspects (angular relationships) from the conjunction to the opposition, then back through the aspects to another conjunction with that same point or planet.
The first half of the cycle builds whatever the cycle set into motion at the conjunction was about, while the second half of the cycle fulfills and releases whatever the seed of the conjunction held. Regard the entire cycle of aspects as a sequence of "pulses," with different requirements at different times of the cycle.
After Saturn crosses our Ascendant, or Rising Sign Cusp, it begins to crystalize elements of the coming long term cycle. As Saturn moves into and occupies our different houses, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on, those parts of our life are restructured into our larger organic wholeness, and we are able to mature in our approach to a longer, more important life evolution.
The Waxing square, or emergent (lower) square happens about 7 years after the conjunction, offering us new grounding and an opportunity to correct what we need to of our self-image, new instincts, rigor, or discipline that began at the conjunction. It challenges us to take responsibility for what our foundations are, or need to become.
It often accompanies the need to revise our memories of the past and cut loose of those that keep us chained to obsolete rules, fears, and sense of duty or restriction. This is a very important time, since "as the roots, so the flowers."
Saturn's lower square to the planets represent a shift in how those energies are to be used responsibly. It marks a reality check on how you are or are not authentically living your new form of experience that started when Saturn conjuncted that planet.
Saturn waxing square any planet is a chance for you to change that planetary response to something more appropriate to your evolved self. It also marks a point of "critical emergence" of that planetary function, either with expertise or a sense of blockage.
Saturn's opposition to our Ascendant happens about 14-15 years after the conjunction, and indicates a time when the world responds to that self-definition in some clear ways. At that point, things are surfacing that will affect our lives for years to come, requiring that we leave other things behind and become a true equal in our relationship to our world and the other people in our life.
Saturn opposing our Ascendant shows a need to get beyond controlling or being controlled in relationship, or blaming others for limitations. It begins a period of getting clear about boundaries and finding a sense of maturity along with a sense of needing others who are more mature. By the opposition we've been prepared for a greater effectiveness, and this point ushers in approximately 14 years of fulfilling the promise of what began at the conjunction.
When Saturn opposes a planet, it also indicates a surfacing of something that planet symbolizes. However, it also frequently is accompanied by oppositions in your life teaching you how to make progress despite feeling like there's a huge drag on the line of whatever that planet represents.
When confronted by oppositions from Saturn, examine if what you're dealing with, or struggling with, is really your duty, limitation, fear or responsibility, or if these are coming from another. Either way you'll define your purpose more clearly and get ready to bring thing to culmination over the next 7 years.
The Waning square, or culminative (upper) square happens about 21-22 years after the conjunction, and brings the fulfillment of our labor at redefining our purpose on our own terms relative to the world we're in. Sometimes it brings widespread recognition and power, or greater influence, if these were our intention and purpose and we did what we had to do to embrace that responsibility. It is a time to be a wise administrator, preparing to turn inward after the harvest time that follows this culmination.
Saturn upper square a planet shows that the process of growth started about 22 years before has now reached an apex, and the challenge here is to know how to turn with the changing emphasis. It is a time to move away from exhibiting those old planetary traits and embrace new ones more appropriate to your advanced evolution after over 2 decades of growth and taking responsibility for that planetary function within you.
To sum up, Saturn transits help us deepen, mature, and reshape what we need to in order to become a better citizen of our world. Saturn transits help us redefine ourselves, our purpose, our duties, and our fears.
After Saturn touches a part of our being, we are to some degree more serious or clear-minded, whether pessimistically or optimistically. We are definitely more sober about whatever it is that is symbolized by what Saturn conjuncts. As I said earlier in this series, Saturn teaches us what we can live with or cannot, in terms of what the planets symbolize in our lives, whether people, purpose, or process.
In esoteric philosophy, Saturn symbolizes chains and bondage, but also liberation from everything we no longer want nor need. "Dominion and Slavery" are the duality of Saturn's function. Either we choose to live with the traps of perceptual half-truths based in desire, fear, and duality, or we choose to accept our ability to exercise dominion over our lower self, living on the basis of our Higher Self, which is the seat of our authority over the world of form limited only by our dharma, or "true function," also symbolized by Saturn.
To quote the great Arhat Paul Foster Case,
Right interpretation of the necessity for limitation in any form of manifested existence is the secret of dominion. Wrong interpretation of the same thing is the cause of our slavery to conditions. The clue to the right understanding is the aphorism, 'He who would rule Nature must first obey her laws.'
Saturn shows us how and when we must take responsibility for being an Eternal Spirit occupying a body with feelings and ideas. Saturn teaches humanity how to be patient, persevering, mature, and achieve a well-rounded perspective that is fair, balanced, and reasoned out.
Saturn is our mentor helping us to demonstrate skill and authority despite the boundaries and limitations of any given thing or situation. Saturn is the "Ring-Pass-Not" whose lessons we must learn in order to grow beyond fear.
Here are links to the first two articles in this series:
© Copyright 2008, 2013 Robert Wilkinson