How astrology works is a mystery, to be sure. For some, it’s such a mystery that they dismiss it out of hand. For those of us who use astrology we are more likely to contemplate the mystery. It’s one way in which we contemplate the mystery of ourselves.
I suspect that astrology works along the lines of projection. Humans have been looking up to the heavens since we stood up and could, therefore look up. We see that Saturn is the dimmest and slowest moving planet to be visible to our naked eye. Dim is the opposite of the Sun which is bright as well as warm, so Saturn must also be about things that are cold. Slow and cold is how it gets as we age. The connection is pure and simple.
Over time Saturn has become a representative of things that crystalize, things like salt and quartz. It is also associated with our quantifiable resources as well as how we use them. Saturn is actually the planet of sustainability. It wants us to survive the winter, be it metaphoric or literal: Winter being the time during which there is lack; a time that is cold and less light filled; a time of greater introspection, when we are meant to withdraw more into ourselves and take stock; a time that requires a responsible use of resource. Of course this is a very northern hemisphere concept. Our winters are noticeably colder and darker then say, at the equator. For whatever the reason, the roots of astrology seem to fit with northern hemisphere consciousness. There is no argument with this, as the symbolism works so well. But it is good to recognize it.
Do not confuse introspection with self-absorption. The great poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes of stepping into the future:
And this is why it is so important to be lonely and attentive when one is sad: because the apparently uneventful and stark moment at which our future sets foot in us is so much closer to life than that other noisy and fortuitous point of time at which it happens to us as if from outside.
As Saturn enters Capricorn it comes home to the sign it rules. One might think it’s time for the planet to get more responsible; to pay greater attention to the right use of resources for the good of all inhabitants of our small planet. It might be a time to listen to the wisdom of elders, to consider the seventh generation and to bring back the original meaning of the word ‘conservative’ which derives from words pertaining to keep (con) and watch (servare). This suggests the fine art of seeing things as they are; not as commodities or potentials but as circumstances in this moment.
Once Uranus enters Taurus, another earth sign, in May, 2017 the notion of our common sense rather than virtual reality will be more and more important. Not that it isn’t already of course, but there is a suggestion of an even greater sense of urgency to engage in actual, on-the-ground, conservation of what is left after so many centuries of unchecked consumption, powered by greed. I don’t think we can expect it to be easy but it will be real.
If you would like to know more about how Saturn (and eventually Uranus) will affect your chart individually you can sign onto Written in the Stars which will take us through September of 2018.