Saturn's Challenges

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Our old friend Saturn enters Libra this month, allowing Virgos to take a sigh of relief - well, some Virgos! Saturn retrogrades back into Virgo from April to July next year to do a bit of mopping up, while Uranus will keep throwing bolts from Pisces up until 2011 to keep you on your toes. At least the Saturnian brakes are coming off - while Librans are put on notice that their worlds are about to get a little more serious and challenging over the next two and a half years.

And it's a hell of an entry, slamming straight into a hard square to Pluto in Capricorn which will make it a trying month for just about everybody, one whose challenges will colour the next four months and which will repeat itself in August next year. On the simplest level, it means "resistance meeting transformation", a tug-o-war between two great powers, one intent on preserving existing structures and the status quo, the other pushing for deep structural change and the wielding of influence. This applies to the big economic/political picture all the way to our personal internal structures and its quality is highly stressful as both are relentless and ruthless. Many would say we've had enough stress already, thank you very much, but this increases the stakes in all the big processes in our lives and is not without meaning.

If we treat Saturn energy superficially, this experience can feel like a pointless exercise from a nasty, grumpy old god. Certainly on this level, we will see all kinds of classic resistance to any real change, where we are unwilling to let go of our investments in things staying the same, a recipe for stagnation and ever-increasing stress. Go deeper, though, and we get to processes of huge significance to do with realism, responsibility and integrity towards what needs preserving and what needs to go.

On this deeper level, Saturn demands that those in power exercise it with the deepest notions of responsibility beyond short term personal and political gain. Pluto in Capricorn says that huge structural change on the planet is inevitable, while Saturn questions how are we going to get confluent with it. By throwing up major resistance it forces the players to go deeper in their awareness, planning and implementation. Saturn has a way of showing us the consequences of inaction, inadequate preparation and deliberate misuse of power. If we are on track he's our greatest supporter, but if not, we can expect to wear the consequences and with a Saturn/Pluto square, those can be catastrophic.

On an inner level, this translates into understanding our psychological and spiritual processes with greater depth, so that we can make better use of our own inner transformational and healing powers. If something's not working in your life, take responsibility for it and do the work! The symbolism of the Saturn/Pluto talks of the overthrow of the "old father", of the more negative influence of our personal fathers, the patriarchal conditioning and collective beliefs of the "old fathers" in society.

At the same time, this is good for identifying how we disempower ourselves in various ways - whether by handing over our power to others, by using fear and control to keep our real potency at bay, or when we've carried so much toxicity from our family systems that we are afraid to go deep enough to reclaim our potency because we have to bore through the dark stuff first.

Whatever the case, the sheer pressure of the Saturn/Pluto will show us the real truth of things, encourage the taking of real responsibility and to act, with the knowledge that the deeper processes take longer. The dark alchemy of this will then allow Pluto to turn the blowtorch on our resistances. Doing so will make things a little easier and much more meaningful than getting stuck in a stagnated and stressful quagmire.

Fortunately, it's not all dark dramas, though, as the goddesses of relationship, Juno, Venus and Psyche, are also up to some interesting stuff this month. Juno has been travelling with Uranus in Pisces, which, while not the best for stability in our primary relationships, even breaking some couples up, is mainly focused on bringing more individual freedom and creative change into our longer term bonds. Simultaneously, the lovely Venus, very much at home in the urbane atmosphere of Libra, will send out a series of trines to Jupiter, Chiron, Neptune and Eros in Aquarius, all in the space of the first half of the month.

This represents a series of quite beautiful openings on a heart level, where our capacity for giving and receiving love is gifted with very expansive grace, healing, and sensitivity. Psyche, who can be seen as a higher octave of Venus, adding a delicious and exquisite quality to our loving, is conjunct the benevolent Jupiter at the same time.

This is a recipe for some good loving on all levels and at a time when some dark shadows are being highlighted, the movements of these goddesses will counterbalance some of the harshness of the Saturn/Pluto and bring a more fluid healing to our hearts and our relationships. This includes being more sensitive, compassionate, empathetic and forgiving to ourselves and enhancing our ability to take care of the little ones inside us.

Daniel Sowelu (B.Sc.Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 22nd year of private practice. www.sacredlawfirm.com.au