Daniel Sowelu looks at the stars for october 2007

AS MENTIONED last month, the great Saturn has just enteredVirgo for its first stint through that sign in 28 yearsand it occurred to me what an interesting dance thiswill be, between two very paradoxical energy systems.Each has an initial surface appearance of superficialworldliness, potentially very effective and yet somewhatlimited. Each has an extraordinary depth of wisdom,potency and even magic underneath the initial manifestation,the gaining of which demands a progressive and sometimespainful journey through both the power and the limitationsof the mind and conditioned ego.

Saturn represents the formative influences of earlystructures and conditioning on us as children, and thecreation of inner psychological structures in responseto those influences and pressures that inform our developingsense of identity as we are growing up. As they comeprimarily from masculine sources – our fathers,teachers, early authority figures etc – the qualityof these mediators and their messages to us deeply influenceour view of the world and our beliefs about our ownnatures. While we absorb our parents' consciousand subconscious beliefs about who we are and how todeal with the world, we also absorb the reality systemsof the time we were born in – what is called culturallyagreed reality. If those beliefs are out of sync withwho we really are, then we're in trouble, becausethe structures we create for ourselves in the worldare based on someone else's reality and beliefs.And then we wonder why our lives lack meaning and truepurpose!

Saturn is a mediator of this process, this descentof conditioning, and yet, paradoxically, is also partof the antidote. As the old Lord of Karma, he rulesthe law of cause and effect, which says in this case"if this is what you're going to believe,these are the results". If you believe in yourconditioning, then he just sits back and watches theinevitable pummeling that life gives us – until,that is, we start to wake up and say "hey, what'sreally going on here?" Then he gets interestedand turns off the default button to see what we cando, because his real work is to actually help us divemore deeply inside to connect with our true self andits power to create appropriate structures in the world.So there's a hidden but powerful benevolence drivingthis crafty old taskmaster and while hard Saturn transitscan be a bugger, by showing us the consequences of ouractions and beliefs, they push us towards greater consciousnessas we sift through our conditioning to find more ofwhat is ultimately true for each of us as individuals.

Virgo knows much of this process, as the sign is veryprone to suffer under the kind of conditioning thatreinforces the limiting aspects of its work ethic, itspreference for order and control, and its tendency tomisinterpret the nature of service as a form of subservience.For an energy that is so intelligent and powerful atits deepest, Virgo paradoxically suffers from a profoundsense of inadequacy that makes it, at least initially,compliant, conformist and very receptive to negativemessages about its own worth. Virgo knows how to work,how to apply itself with great focus and has a keeneye of what must be done in any situation, but whilethe conditioning rules, the way that things are donecomes at great cost as its personal needs are denied,its true potency is buried and its (work) life can becomea routine of almost self-abusive proportion. The sameconditioning also tends to disconnect it from the body,a major trauma for any earth sign, while exaggeratingan already very active mind and bringing about greatimbalances that can manifest as various illnesses. Itcan look more like an air sign that an earth one.

The above nightmare is obviously an extreme versionbut anyone with strong Virgo in their charts, particularlythe whole generation of people born with Uranus andPluto in Virgo, will recognise many of these elementsin themselves to various degrees. Saturn then will confrontus with these imbalances, as a way of forcing us toreview how we work, how we treat our bodies as an extensionof our deeper needs, what routines and rituals in ourlives either imprison us or bring us life, where wehand over too much of our power and our individual needsto ensure acceptance and, in what situations we acceptless than our true worth requires. This applies to all,whether we have strong Virgo energies or not.

For the sign itself, Saturn's demand to go deeper,to bore through the layers of conditioning and belittlement,supports the reclamation of the earth goddess at thecore of Virgo. Still, yet as powerful as cousin Scorpio,there is nothing inconsequential about her and it isalways a joy to see her rising within an individual,as the intelligence of the sign is empowered with earthywisdom and instinctual awareness, and a deep intuitionto the natural flow of things – all of which allowsthe person to be more at home within themselves, theirbody, sexuality and primal potency. A wonderful transformation.

Daniel Sowelu (BSc DipEd) is a therapeutic astrologer,primal therapist and group leader in his 21st year ofprivate practice.