Chronicles of a Saturn Return, Part One

Still under the Aquarius New Moon, now waxing.

The last month has been intense for me. Incredibly so. And you wouldn’t know it.

I’m still going about my life, spending time, smiling, drinking tea, running into folks. On the outside, nothing has changed. But on the inside, my mind and emotions churn like swirling seas hankering up against the sides of a worn yet hardy skiff. I’m getting wind-blown. I’m getting thrashed with salted waters. My skin lacks protection.

Some astrologers say your Saturn return begins the moment Saturn enters the sign Saturn occupies in your Natal Chart. My Saturn is at 29 Sagittarius - the very last degree of the sign. Prior to this past month, I viewed this notion with skepticism. Internally, I scoffed, thinking “I will just have to see how things go.” No way is my Saturn Return going to last for 3.5-4 years. [The Saturn Return is a major life passage all humans experience between ages 27 and 31, typically culminating around age 29.]

Sure enough, come December 23rd, Saturn inched into Sagittarius and I experienced an interaction that triggered big questions within me. Life-wobbling questions. Am I on the right path? Are my conditions still serving me? Am I being launched into new territory? Why am I not being seen? Why have I limited myself? Why can’t I keep my mouth shut.

I am not content to be a pawn in someone else’s plan. I refuse to be a victim of past attachments. I desire to forge ever-deeper into my Love, my passion, my purpose as a creative individual. It’s not about my ego or maybe it is. My path to discovery is divergent and uniquely my own - equally as much as it fits the general human template.

My anger is clarifying. My loneliness the bittersweet sensation of treading the outskirts of a foreign land. Without knowing the language. Of being torn between existing in many realms at once. Poised between departure and emptiness.

After 9 months of nonstop laboring to expand my business with great success, I launched my first newsletter, then energetically withdrew.

I was exhausted. Tapped out. In desperate need of rest and self-care. And now, all of these influences creating a tempest of mysterious change within, I wanted to run far, far away.

The pressure caving in. The pressure imploding deep within the recesses along a road that is the core of my everything.

My soul needs giant breath.

This past month, everything that isn’t working in my life and in my being has reared up and jangled its catastrophe around my inner vision.

As an astrologer and writer with an interest in real-lived experience, my desire is to chronicle my journey with the Saturn Return. That others have something to refer to, something to grasp when churnings emerge.

End of December, I wrote a long article on Saturn in Sagittarius. The feelings at that time were largely of relief encased in an optimistic fire-trine hovering above, and the sensation of coming up for air after traversing dark Scorpio waters since October 2012. Though the article is thematically predictive, the challenges that come with this transit of Saturn in Sagittarius (ending December 2017) continue to clarify themselves as we live through them.

Sagittarius is the sign of Growth, Expansion, Polar Extremes, Travel, Higher Education, Pilgrimage, Exploration, Adventure, Gathering Knowledge through Experience. Sagittarius seeks to expand beyond the realms of what it knows.

Saturn brings Challenge through Difficulty, Limitation, Seriousness, Discipline, Restraint, and Work. When it comes to Saturn, Shit gets Real. Like, furreal forReal. Saturn is Blockage and Fear.

Sagittarius is a Mutable Fire sign. Mutable signs are spiraling and ever-changing as they adapt to different elements in multi-layered existence. Mutable signs (Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces) become problematic when life calls for a direct, decisive approach. The result of Saturn’s difficulty in Sag?

Chaos. Indecision. Overextending yourself in a way that undermines the integrity of your life. The integrity of your life challenging your desire for freedom and adventure. Extremely polarized behavior. Hard travels. Foreign experiences that test your limits. Dogmatism. The absolute need to be authentic and speak your truth. Dealing with the cold hard fact that you disagree with someone else’s philosophy, even as they try to force it on you. Dis-covering. Existential crisis. Challenged faith, challenged trust, challenged beliefs. Difficult growth. Restricting nature.

Let’s be honest, Saturn never brings us a walk in the park.

Some people like to say Fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Sometimes that seems to be the case. But the thing about Saturn, which rules fear, is he’s inherently linked to the material realm. Denying the experience of fear is like denying the fact that your flesh hangs on a skeleton. Sure, we are more than our skeletons and more than our flesh, but by no means does that relegate our bodies to the category of “false evidence.” On the contrary - our bodies are vessels that allow us to operate effectively on this earth!

A friend of mine has a favorite saying: “Fuck Fear.” I much prefer this to the acronym above, because it aptly illustrates the lessons of Saturn. Saturn’s gonna bitch slap you with fear, doubt, criticism, and constriction whether you like it or not. You can pretend it’s not happening, or you can put on your big person panties and take it on. Look it square in the face. Overcome. Take authoritative action. Rise to the occasion.

And for, me, it’s a mix. It’s a dance. I am not one of these people who just drives onward and upward without a backward glance. My natal Sun is conjunct Chiron and opposite Saturn/Uranus at the anaretic 29th degree Gemini-Sagittarius. What does that mean in a nutshell? I am driven to own myself as an authority, a teacher, a messenger and truthteller - and my life is a continuous process facing fears and overcoming obstacles to being in my full creative expression.

I do a LOT of freaking amazing things. I am absolutely compelled to make and own my life. And I’m gonna be straight up about this; sometimes it’s really damn hard. Sometimes I wanna back down. Sometimes the responsibility feels too much to bear. I feel the weight of my own self-criticism and the criticism of others, especially the teachers and authority figures in my life who tend to doubt or overlook who I am. Sometimes I DO falter. Sometimes the pressure is too great, and I take it out on myself or my loved ones.

I am not here to pretend that life is full of love and light at all times. I am not here to pretend that as a teacher, guide, messenger that I have all the answers or that I am an enlightened being. In truth, enlightenment as it’s generally understood doesn’t interest me at all! I simply want to feel as engaged with Life as I possibly can.

So here we are, quite possibly at the beginning of my Saturn Return. Seems like part of this whole Saturn in Sag journey is Honesty to a Fault. But we are also crystallizing our Beliefs

and I believe in a world where we can be awesome, we can be teachers or artists or whoever we really are, AND we can authentically express our lived experience with sorrow, death, illness, and all the hairy stuff without judgement or condemnation.

Over time, as we expand our perceptions and our ability to awaken, we can hold all the complexity of existence in the bejewel’d velvet box of understanding

within compartments of heart and pearl,

oats and crushing asphalt. All the rough edges softened by iron feathers clucking at the reigns.

Consider this an intro article to 2015 and the nature of the Saturn Return. Some astrologers purport this year to be “the best one yet!” While you are welcome to choose your beliefs and form an appropriate outlook, what I see smacks not of “better” or “worse.” Rather, it tells a tale of shifting dynamic challenge and growth. Especially by this fall, I see madness, confusion, mass spiritual/psychological/physical purging, and the ever-tingly description of humans becoming more sensitive and aware of all the swirling, myriad interactions within the amniotic fluid the encapsulates us all invisibly.

Healing is not a straightforward process. Often, healing comes with a host of side-effects/experiences we don’t recognize as healing,

and no single person heals the same.

At least there is comfort in the notion that everything is bringing us closer to healing (which is wholeness). And this, I very much believe.

Ever-journeying the mystery therein