By Sharon Mundwiler (Manitoba Co-ordinator of the Canadian Independent Astrologers Order.)
At birth, I am one with the universe. My horoscope is a representation of the heavens (the Whole) for that moment when I become an independent being. But the planets don’t stand still at my birth (though it is tempting to live as though this were possible). The transiting planets can indicate the pressure which circumstances bring to bear upon my emerging ego.
Saturn represents my shaping, defining, focusing energies. On the physical level, it brings about formation of the skeleton. Mentally I may choose to use logic in my thinking. On a psychological level it governs the rise of the “island” of the conscious ego from the unconscious “ocean”.
I can view the transit cycle of Saturn as a sort of inborn developmental scheme for the human animal. Saturn charts the maturation of the ego as it seeks stabilization and security in the face of environmental demands. When negatively used, Saturn energies can lead to a rigid, dogmatic and fearful approach to life. If it operates positively, Saturn can lead to the continuing development of all facets of the conscious individuality.
Dane Rudhyar showed the way towards viewing transit cycles not as a means for predicting events but for understanding the potential in each moment to realize who I uniquely am. The horoscope is only a blueprint with time a necessary dimension for the actualization of the potential.
Saturn completes a cycle (movement through the whole zodiac) in 29.5 years. Thus at age 29-30, Saturn in the heavens has returned for the 1st time to the position it held in my natal chart. The cycle can occur approximately 3 times in an average life or roughly the equivalent of one Uranus cycle (you interpret the symbolism here’). I can think of these 3 Saturn Cycles as creating a spiral over the birth chart, each cycle covering old territory on a higher level.
1st Cycle (birth to 29) – Begins Physical Birth
The goal of this cycle is the establishment of a physical body and a psychological structure for the individual. The materials are provided by the PAST as whatever society and specifically family offers by way of nourishment. At Waning and Waxing squares and oppositions of transiting Saturn to its natal position there will be crises or challenges to meet. All people will have these occurring at about the same time (i.e. permanent teeth and school at 7, puberty at 14-15, family break at 21).
2nd Cycle (30 to 59) – Individual Birth
Now an individual names himself/herself by the creative acts he/she undertakes in the PRESENT. This time calls for a search for special destiny through work which makes a contribution to society. The easy way out is to be satisfied with the “role” I have been assigned by parents and culture and begin a gradual crystallization of the ego. The result is a stagnant charicature of a human being rather than a truly individual, truly new being.
3rd Cycle (60 to physical death) – Spiritual Birth
Now the person must look to the FUTURE and make contact again with the Whole from which he/she came and to which he/she will return. All of life’s experiences must be given meaning and distilled as a philosophy which can guide others.
The crisis times can be predicted as before by watching the squares, oppositions, and conjunctions. For example, at around 43, transiting Saturn opposes natal Saturn for the second time while Uranus also is making its first opposition to natal Uranus. No wonder psychologists focus upon this age as full of crises.
These 3 cycles are common to all people. It is only by looking at Saturn through the house structure that the cycles can have individual significance. Saturn transiting over a house calls for the development of a certain area of self based upon the handling of experiences which that house represents. If a person tries to use old ways of handling these areas, the trouble starts. Growth is called for and since few people want the effort involved, it is no wonder that traditional astrology bemoans Saturn transits.
lst quadrant – Saturn transits Asc. to Nadir – approximately 7 years. Growth in Essential Being.
lst house – move from outward success to inward growth. Redefine your image of self.
2nd house – review your use of your resources.
3rd house – put depth into your thinking and communicating.
2nd quadrant – Saturn transits Nadir to Descendant – approximately 7 years. Growth in
4th house – rebuild all your foundations if necessary. Examine your home for current adequacy.
5th house – take your creativity seriously, learn creative techniques.
6th house – analyze your new techniques. Correct flaws in all areas of health (physical and other). Prepare for movement into world outside of self where emphasis will shift from personal growth to outward activity.
3rd quadrant – Saturn transits Descendant to M.C. – approximately 7 years. Growth in Opportunity.
7th house – define the quality of your relationships.
8th house – look at your use of group resources and be conscious of the transformations meeting “the other” brings about.
9th house – deepen the ideas which link you to the world. Prepare yourself for added responsibility you’ll be given when Saturn reaches M.C.
All the attempts at now self-expression begun since Saturn crossed the Nadir, and given opportunity since Saturn transited the Descendant, now roach a peak when Saturn conjuncts the M.C.: a project reaches a conclusion; a professional career peaks with a new position.
4th quadrant – Saturn transits M.C. to Asc.– approximately 7 years. Growth in Influence.
10th house – redefine yourself as a public person. Assume added responsibilities.
11th house – assess results you’ve attained. Are they in line with objectives
12th house – prepare for a new cycle which begins with new inner growth. Change polarity from outer to inner.
So goes the cycle, moving along spiral.
Some books to look to for more information:
1. Dane Rudhyar – Lunation Cycle – for an explanation of cycle theory.
Astrology of Personality – for a look at the overall thrust of his astrological views.
2. Marc Robertson – The Transit of Saturn – has virtually everything you would want to know about this topic.
3. Grant Lewi – Astrology for the Millions – an early book with information on the Saturn Cycle. Event oriented.
*4. Noel Tyl – The Horoscope as Identity – a practical book on Saturn with 36 example charts.