Most of us get a mixture of the two. He is adept at using obstacles, blockages, resistance and frustrations to show up our wobbly bits, where we get undermined by internal insecurities, feelings of inadequacy, doubt and fear. This is of tremendous educational value, however unpleasant, as it alerts us to old tendencies, conditioning and patterns that knock us off our centres and deprive us of being able to do this thing called life well. Sometimes he gives us a hard time simply because we haven't thought things through properly, haven't planned well or done our homework, or because our ideas are too impractical or ungrounded to be real or possible. While he rules all structures, including our psychological scaffolding, he is also about dealing clearly with what's in front of us in any moment.
When we are on track, he is magnificent, a wise mentor who guides with great skill, mastery and, humour. It's worthwhile thinking of him as someone who has travelled with us through lifetimes, has seen and done it all and so can steer us with the resulting experience and wisdom. The whole Saturnian archetype is such a complex, multi-layered and often contradictory archetype, though, that we never know quite what our experience is going to be, especially because it is also the carrier of patriarchal conditioning. What we do know is that his lessons have great importance and meaning, that he is very much part of the getting of wisdom.
There is a very interesting twist to this Saturnine process as he and the Sun are also conjunct the healing goddess Hygeia, bringing the sacred feminine into an essentially masculine mix. The Serpent Power applies her healing and transformative potency to the stuck, staid legacies of the old patriarch, of the wounded and restrictive father.
Simultaneously, the Wise One assists in the incorporation of this image of the feminine healer into the creation of new structures, so that whatever masculine reconstruction comes from this Saturnian process it is more inclusive of the rightful place of this "goddess of miraculous healing". This means that this is an important time for owning the healers inside us, whatever our gender, and that our development is not just from self effort, but of being open to the mysteries of grace in all its forms.
While on the topic of the masculine, there is simultaneously a unique and equally tight conjunction of Mars with the Shiva and Eros archetypes, in Scorpio and with the lovely Venus watching on. As the doer, the warrior, the achieving, action arm of the Sun, Mars is the most obvious assertor of masculinity in his more worldly forms.
Adding Shiva and Eros to this warrior both elevates and deepens his energy, makes him more randy (as both the others are phallic deities), elevates his spirit into subtler realms and adds tremendous spiritual power. It's a combination that very much speaks of the sacred masculine and the spiritual warrior, of linking sexuality with spirituality, in ways that will light up our relating and add some very juicy energy to Venus, who is already very succulent in the sign of Scorpio.
This will also be a strong, deep, chaotic and transformative month emotionally for many. The Moon begins it in Cancer, conjunct the South Node (more past life issues), opposing Pluto (deep psychic dredging), squaring the Sun/Hygeia/Saturn (boundaries, blockages, big healing) squaring Uranus and Jupiter (thank God, some relief) while forming a positively potent grand trine with Chiron and Neptune (great healing and psychospiritual openings) and Lilith and Vesta in Libra (the warrior priestess arises).
This awesome complex makes for much releasing of the past and will have us looking at old emotional patterns that are no longer valid or useful, too regressive or based on childhood needs and experiences. At the same time, it will help us dig out more powerful expressions of the Mother archetype that can and must be a part of our future if we are to move forward, on many levels. That Pluto is together with Ceres, an image of the Great Mother, any emotional healing that comes from this is a part of birthing new and transformative expressions of the feminine, one potentially in sync with a more inclusive version of the masculine.
All in all then, this is likely to be a tough month but an enormously significant one, for our personal processes and for the state of our world. Make sure you're looking after yourselves and when big stuff comes up, as it must, do the deep work.
Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist
and groupleader in his 27th year of private practice. www.sacredlawfirm.com.au