Saturn's Lessons - The Alchemy of the Soul
by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #29, December 21, 2000
If you see yourself as the cause, you can also be the creator!
It seems like there always has to be a bad guy. In astrology it is Saturn. Traditionally Saturn symbolizes pain, struggle, restrictions, discipline, hard knocks and karma. Not our first choices on the smorgasbord of life. Saturn may equal hard lessons, but these lessons are also necessary lessons. Saturn is really synonymous with the human path toward wholeness, and liberation "from the chains that bind us", for it is through learning life's lessons that we attain true freedom, experience personal power and connect with universal Truth. Below we will explore how we can re-orient our perceptions and attitudes about Saturn and its role in the human experience, and connect with Saturn as the alchemist of the soul.
Our attitude toward Saturn as the malefic Planet is in keeping with our cultural attitude toward life's challenges. First, we tend to define everything as a problem. Second, every problem needs a solution. Third, the sooner the problem can be "fixed" the better. We search for superficial quick fixes and try to find an easy way out of our predicaments. There are several pitfalls to this approach to life. The superficial is devoid of meaning. Quick fixes are at best temporary solutions. And the "easy way out" may be a dead end. Any effective approach to life must be based on certain realities. The reality of human life on Planet Earth includes the following:
- There is no life without Saturn. There is no life without struggle. Life is a Saturn teacher. Every life experience is teaching us a lesson. We can't escape Saturn or our lessons and we wouldn't want to. There is no diamond without chiseling. There is no alchemy without pressure.
- This is not a dismal prognosis of life. These are simply some of the givens in the human experience.
- Another given according to Yogi Bhajan - a true Saturn teacher - is that "It is our destiny to be happy".
How do we integrate these two apparent contradictory principles? What principle resolves this paradox? Paradoxes do not present us with either/or choices. We have to choose both. Paradoxes can be resolved only through integration. Integration requires rising above the level of the problem, so we can gain a more comprehensive and "higher" perspective. Resolution also requires loving acceptance of both the Beast and the Handsome Prince. Both metaphors are needed to achieve the meaning and freedom that we seek.
Saturn is the Beast
In the fairy tale of astrology, Saturn is the Beast. In our own lives, as well as in the stories that teach us how to navigate our human journey, the Beast must be loved for his own sake. It is only when we can see the beauty IN the Beast that we can free ourselves from the spell of ignorance and struggle. When the Beast is loved, its qualities and strengths are integrated into the Prince, and they become one. Integration is achieved, and the stronger and wiser Prince attracts yet another Beast to tame. The "fairy" part of the tale is due to the fact that the story usually ends before the Prince discovers the next Beast within himself. Life is a series of Beasts, but if we learn how to tame and love them, life is also a series of Handsome Princes (and Beautiful Princesses!) - Depending on our gender and spiritual orientation, of course.
If we want to achieve happiness during our human journey, we have to figure out how to enjoy the process and love our Beasts. To do so, we have to understand the real nature of Saturn and our life's lessons.
Saturn Seeks Truth and Wholeness
Saturn doggedly seeks the Truth, for it is ignorance (not karma or bad luck) that brings suffering. Saturn symbolizes the human struggle toward consciousness. The more awake we are, the more we recognize and embrace the Truth. Saturn is a symbol for the learning process, by which human beings use discipline to transcend pain and restriction, to attain greater understanding and consciousness.
Within the human psyche is the desire for wholeness. Saturn symbolizes the inner and outer growth process, whereby we attain the experience of harmonious completeness. Our natural impulse is toward the experience of the completeness of Self. Completeness implies that every human quality, not just the "good" aspects of human nature, is acknowledged within the whole. The harmonious result that we achieve implies that every part of human nature has a useful function. It is in transcending the "good-bad" categorization that we are able to uncover the value in all our attributes.
It is in the transcendence that we resolve the paradox of struggle and freedom. It is the experience of harmonious wholeness that brings us peace and fulfillment. It is the exhilaration of emotional and mental freedom that brings us true satisfaction. It is the alchemical experience of Self that motivates us to pursue our journey.
Keeper of the Keys to the Heart
The placement of Saturn, the house and the sign, in your natal chart, is where and how you have specifically chosen to befriend Saturn this lifetime. How Saturn presents itself in your chart describes the lessons that are the most pressing and urgent for you, i.e. what you have to do. You will know, because they will confront you at all times, or at predictable intervals. YOUR Saturn lessons are what are most in your face. Many other life lessons won't seem like such a problem. They may even be easy and fun to learn. You can identify your Saturn lessons because they are accompanied by a sense of urgency and relentlessness. Be assured they will take you toward the Light. You get to choose HOW you make the journey.
Saturn is the keeper of the keys to the gate of the heart. Saturn is the bearer of freedom through self-understanding. When and where Saturn appears in our lives we often confront difficulties, and feel frustrated and thwarted in our creativity and self-expression.(1) The purpose of these challenges is not to make our lives miserable. Their purpose is to educate us in a practical "street wise", worldly way. It is through the growth they produce that we evolve. It is through our own evolution that we feel empowered. It is through our personal empowerment that we attain true happiness.
Growth on Planet Earth and the right use of free will happen through experience and discovery. Our psychological transformation is earned through self-discovery. There is nothing that motivates us faster than the pain, that offers us no other choice but to get to the heart of the matter, and do the work necessary to liberate ourselves from our misery. Many of us would like to think that things don't have to get that bad to be motivated to learn our lessons, but wherever we are on the spectrum of self-motivation, we must recognize the need for and effectiveness of Saturnian prodding.
So what about all these painful circumstances that just seem to happen to us? (Victim question number one.) Our normal interpretations and rationalizations include the following:
- It is someone else's fault
- It is the political, economic or social system, or all three
- It is bad luck
- It is the fault of a poor environment
- It is due to bad diet and/or a poor standard of living.
But what if any or even all of the above are true? WE are still the one's who have to do something about it! No one can extricate us from our predicaments but ourselves. Two of the greatest sources of codependence and misery are (1) we hope or expect others to save us and (2) we try to rescue others. Saturn's job is to teach is to save our own wounded psyche and rescue our thoughts from victimization trips.
It is true that we do not consciously create all our circumstances. "It is the larger self, the total psyche, which is the dynamic energy behind the individual's unfoldment".(2) When we are not aware of how and why our higher self creates situations for us to grow, it appears that we are pawns of fate, victims of circumstances, and have little or no control over our lives. We free ourselves from our own prison, as we begin to understand the value and purpose of the experiences we attract. As we learn from them, we learn about ourselves and develop into more complete beings. Nothing stimulates us more to explore the nature of our Self, and the lessons we have chosen to learn this lifetime, than the pain and frustration that we associate with Saturn.(3)
It is through our inner exploration that we identify the mental and emotional patterns that generate our outer reality. It can be scary and unpleasant, when we get in touch with the precise and synchronous fashion in which our inner and outer realities reflect each other. Recognizing how we attract our life situations to ourselves, by the creative power of our own thoughts and emotions, is a prerequisite for creating change in our lives. We can liberate ourselves only by accepting responsibility for what we have created. Once we see ourselves as the cause, we can also be the conscious creators of our lives.
Merely desiring our life to be different, and understanding the superficial reasons for our predicament, does not make change happen. For what we often interpret as problems are really attempts to force us to grow, to expand, to become more aware, and to achieve a higher degree of integration and balance in our lives. Our Soul is always striving for wholeness, and will attract situations that oblige us to attain higher degrees of Selfhood. What we consciously make available is what our Soul has to work with to lead us to self-empowerment.
We have all been brainwashed with useless and even destructive methods for dealing with our problems. Traditional Saturn advise includes:
- have patience
- wait out the storm
- have self-control
- maintain a positive attitude
- have faith
- apply discipline
Superficially interpreted, these dictums may be ineffective and even counterproductive. Properly understood, they are valuable touchstones and tools to meet life's challenges.
- Patience is a virtue. Patience is extremely useful and even essential for our emotional and mental health. But patience is NOT an explanation or a solution. Unless with are born with the gift of patience, we have to learn it and earn it like every other human lesson.
- Waiting things out is often a good strategy because it gives us time to cool our emotions and become more rational. Everything changes and things can change in our favor or at least calm down. Waiting can be a good tactic, but it is only a tactic. As my Chi Gong teacher once told the class that was waiting for his arrival, "Waiting is wasting".
- Self-control is often poorly defined. For starters, the following definitions could make it a very useful concept. 1. Personal participation in your own life. 2. The conscious ability to make Soul directed decisions. 3. The right use of will and of your positive, negative and neutral minds.
- A positive attitude is effective if it is a true reflection of how we feel. As a smoke screen to cover up fear, anger and denial, it slows down our search for the Truth. Superficially superimposed on raging emotions and a conflicted mind, it prevents us from honestly acknowledging what is really going on and keeps us from expressing what we really want and need. Being out of touch with our inner guidance makes it more difficult to achieve positive results.
- Have faith needs the depth of experience to be real in our psyches. The best way to have faith is to have proof from the past that our attitudes, actions and/or prayers create results. Sometimes, "have faith" translates into "grit your teeth and do nothing" because we have bad karma to pay off. Even if the problem goes away temporarily, it will resurface at a later date.
- Discipline is a tool, not punishment. Discipline helps us shift energy because to shift energy and to establish a new energetic pattern consistency is required.
The point is that the traditional virtues ascribed to Saturn - self-control, caution, prudence and discipline - often bring us more frustration, force us to repress our emotions, support avoidance, encourage us not to take action for ourselves, and dig us deeper into self-denial. When properly understood and applied they are our dearest friends, that pull us through hard times, and create a character foundation to deal with all aspects of life.
Faced with life's challenges, Saturn teaches us that it is useful, and ultimately necessary, to ask the question WHY? Nothing happens by chance. There is always some explanation that is more empowering than "It is someone else's fault". If we do not want to remain pitted against ourselves, and continually destroying our dreams before they even have a chance to manifest, asking WHY is the best approach. Delving into WHY certainly is not the most comfortable tact, but it can, and eventually does, produce results. Uncovering WHY provides us with insights that lead to inner peace and sanity. (That alone is worth the effort!)
Asking WHY helps us gain "greater insight into the mysterious mechanisms of the psyche". Why are we experiencing this fear? What does this disappointment mean? What is the intent of this delay? How can the above be used as opportunities? By asking WHY, we can:
- find out what we are doing to sabotage ourselves
- understand the inner mechanisms of our minds and emotions
- identify self-defeating patterns, and
- perceive meaning and purpose in our lives.
Properly understood, Saturn is not an agent of deprivation. Saturn is the taskmaster, who provides the tests that help us acquire maturity, and take responsibility for our actions. Saturn is known as the Lord of Karma. He is the guardian who stands at the Gates of Initiation. Not only must our debts be paid before we can pass through the gate of higher consciousness; we must earn this grace by cultivating the ability to make wise choices in the face of crises and challenges. We must comprehend and live by universal laws. In the face of every test, we must be able to live consciously and make appropriate choices. Saturn requires self-discipline, not to make our life miserable, but to awaken us to the consciousness where our dharma is revealed to us. When the door of dharma swings open, we must be able to dutifully follow the path, and make our contribution to the world.
Saturn moves through the Zodiac in 29 years and 166 days. He methodically pressurizes each sign of the Zodiac for two and a half years, slowing grinding us to our perfection.
Saturn represents the principle of crystallization. He obliges us to consolidate our energies, and to use them wisely and responsibly, for a meaningful duty or higher purpose. When we use our energy and resources wisely, Saturn cooperates with us, to help bring our goals into reality. Problems arise, however, when we squander our resources, and do not wisely use our mental, emotional and physical energies. When we try to cheat the dictates of time and space, Saturn deals us hard blows, which include burdens, setbacks, delays and other forms of obstacles. Of course, these troubles make us unhappy and depressed. Saturn's goal is not to feed our sense of fate, but to teach us that we have to learn to live by natural laws, and respect the boundaries of time and space.
Saturn requires that we use right judgment in the economic use of our mental, emotional and physical energies. The tests that Saturn subjects us to are geared to the crystallization of our mental energy, so that we can manifest in the outer world. Through our thwarted aspirations and desires, we gain an understanding of the laws of manifestation.(4) When we properly discipline our mind, the ideas we generate can be realized, and material abundance can result. Saturn is a harsh teacher only until we learn to live by the law of cause and effect. Once we learn to live by this law, the rewards are many, and Saturn appears to be a wise teacher and a benevolent Father.
The Saturn Process
What may appear to be a barrier or a restriction to us humans, is a reminder from Saturn that we must cultivate patience and act prudently. Saturn teaches us that "reliability, regulation, management and respect for some superior force (rules, standards, tradition and authority) is required".(5) Saturn is the experienced professional who demonstrates "the value of composure, organization, apportionment, loyalty, perseverance and thoroughness in achieving success and acclaim". Saturn obliges us to appreciate the necessity for dignity, patience and responsibility.
When we do not pay attention to Saturn, and rush forward with lack of caution and thoroughness, disaster and disappointment are our reminders to live within physical limits. Saturn represents practical universal values, established authority, and the rules of life that make life, and indeed civilization, possible.(6)
Saturn is the master of inner alchemy. There is no room for avoidance, escape or distractions from the work that must be done. Saturn insists upon confinement and containment of energies. During our Saturn periods we may lose interest in external activities. Isolation, lack of hope and withdrawal, are normal reactions during the Saturn alchemical process. While we are in our sealed container, transformation, integration and regeneration occur. The price tag is high, but the reward is priceless - wisdom, self-mastery and the ability to manifest our dreams.(7)
Depression and Self-Mastery
Saturn is often associated with depression. Depression is one way Saturn gets our attention. Depression can be defined as a "response to psychic problems whose purpose is to help us resolve these inner difficulties and restore us to a healthy, higher level of psychological functioning".(8) Depression forces us to turn inward, to identify and resolve the inner sources of our malaise. Depression thus acts as "a process initiated by the psyche to facilitate the resolution of inner problems".(9)
Saturn is the initiator of the alchemical process that forces us to face our issues. The depression, induced by experiences of loss, adversity, separation and grief, is one mechanism that Saturn uses to force us to come to terms with our life experiences. Saturn takes off our rose-colored glasses, and forces us to examine our situation and how we created it. He obliges us to let go of immature behavior and thought patterns. We must release our defensiveness, let go of our ego's need for self-gratification, and humble ourselves no matter how much it hurts. Sounds like a hard pill to swallow and it is. But it does lead to a cure and greater levels of awareness and self-empowerment. We are obliged to extract the lessons and then move on, hopefully with greater wisdom, acceptance and maturity.
Saturn is the planet associated with grief, frustration, sadness, pessimism, loneliness and sorrow. We experience the above when we are separated from our Souls and from the Source. Depression is a modern-day label given to spiritual anguish resulting from separation from Source. Saturn also holds the remedy in his pocket, but the medicine is not easy to take. We must confront our inner conflicts and deal with them. We must befriend our pain and suffering. We must undergo a psychic cleansing. We must align our personality with our soul.
Saturn is a thorough and relentless taskmaster, who forces us to grow spiritually. Saturn's goal is to free our soul from the prison of the intellectual mind, and the paralysis of the negative ego, and to deliver us to our own soul. When we are in touch with our authentic selves, we receive guidance from our soul, align with our true identity and reconstruct our life in harmony with our life's purpose.
Overcoming Deprivation and Hardship
Wherever Saturn appears in our birth chart, is the area of our life where we will experience some sort of deprivation or hardship, that we must overcome during this lifetime. Our need for love and nurturing may be suppressed and rationalized away by obligations and duties. We may forgo pleasure and prevent ourselves from enjoying life, instead choosing to devote our time and energy to the achievement of worldly goals. Our sense of inadequacy and shame may suppress our self-confidence and natural passion and zest for life.(10)
However Saturn presents himself and gets our attention, his purpose is not to condemn us to a lifetime of emotional or physical deprivation. This is an area of our lives that we must reclaim. We are supposed to learn how to fulfill our suppressed needs. This requires the examination of the reality we have created that denies our fulfillment. This also requires the creation of another reality where we can fully express ourselves and get our needs met.
Structure of Reality
Saturn represents the structure of our reality. Our ability to function in physical reality depends upon understanding and living according to the rules of society, and the basic laws of cause and effect. Our Saturn lessons teach us how to master these laws, so we can successfully negotiate our way though life. Saturn represents internal as well as external laws. Saturn teaches us to focus our energy and organize our time, so that we can accomplish goals, realize our ambitions and master the skills required to do so. Saturn teaches us self-control, self-discipline and the art of commitment. Saturn teaches us the skills that allow us to make wise choices, to create structure in our lives and to succeed.
Saturn obliges us to create an inner reality that can withstand the tests of life. We must contact and connect with the indestructible source of power that resides deep within our soul. In the process, we must align our will with a purpose for living that is far more compelling than mere survival. It is the alignment with deeper meaning that aids in healing the nervous system from our conditioned and chronic activation of the stress response, and stimulates the production of hormones that activate the "optimism" center of the brain. We can then repattern our emotional responses based on a feeling of confidence and safety. With a strong inner reality, feelings of inadequacy, anticipation of adversity and the fear of failure(11) are replaced with a feeling resiliency and an ability to call and rely upon our personal resources when faced with life's challenges.
The Father Archetype and Relationships
Capricorn and his mentor Saturn embody the father archetype. While the Sun is in Capricorn is an auspicious time to pursue our understanding of and relationship with the father archetype, and how we relate to and restrict male energy. What limitations do we impose upon ourselves in the expression of masculine energy, and how can we release these restrictions?
Let's start this discussion with the basic question and the honest answer, and then work back from there. Who is our father? God is our Father. All problems with the father archetype start and end with this basic fact.
When we are a child we see our human father as God. Obviously we do not know what we are doing, but psychologically we view our father as the Almighty One. From a child's point of view, this is in many ways true. We see our father as a source of support, protection, discipline and knowing. Of course, this is also our fantasy father. Our fathers, being regular people who never got the appropriate training how to be fathers from their fathers, are rarely the perfect father role models. Herein lies the first basic problem. We see our fathers as God, and we incorporate their shortcomings into our image of God.
For starters many people never even grow up with fathers. So automatically we perceive God as absent. When our fathers are actually physically present, they are generally emotionally absent so we grow up with the emotional imprint that God is emotionally unavailable and unsupportive. If our father was mean, we believe God is mean. Whatever human imperfections our father had, we impute to God. Whatever way we felt abused, neglected or unsupported, we attribute that relationship to our relationship with God.
Of course, the basic problem is that we don't have a relationship with God. We substitute our relationship with our father for our relationship with God. We will get to that a little later. The second basic problem is that we look to our fathers to give us what only God can give us. We want Daddy's love, which we never got (because he couldn't even love himself). This basic scenario is a root cause of our relationship problems. Women are programmed to try to get from their mates the approval and love they didn't get from their dads. Most women are endlessly searching for Daddy's love. Of course, no man can measure up to these unrealistic expectations.
Women get angry because they don't get what they want and need. Men get frustrated because they can't fill the bottomless emotional pit and endless demands of women. Our anger issues get transferred and projected on to our mates. This is perpetuated, because we attract mates who recreate the same patterns. The basic issue is that we are angry because we feel separated from and abandoned by God. This unfulfilling scenario re-creates itself until we establish our basic relationship with God. It's no one's fault. It is the way the system works. It pushes us to reconnect with the Divine.
There are an infinite number of ways that this basic pattern plays out. Some are more satisfying and workable than others, but in the end the fundamental problem remains - no human being or relationship can replace our relationship with the Divine. And to try to get our needs met by relying on another, is only to invite trouble at worst and shallowness at best. The third basic problem is that women hold Daddy in their hearts instead of God. When they do so, they have no room in their hearts for a relationship with another person. Women who do this are always searching for a Daddy replacement, but there is no space to allow it in even when they attract it. In this scenario, no man can measure up to a woman's fantasies or meet the demands of her neediness. The situation is made worse by the fact that we recreate the negative attributes in the partners that we attract. Finally, we attach ourselves (partner with or marry) someone who is not available to us, and who we have an innate anger toward. In sum, we create fantasy and destructive relationships.
Re-Parenting: a Relationship with the Divine
Of course, the basic problem, I repeat, is that we don't have a relationship with God. If we did we would not need to try to get our needs met though another, be it a man or a woman. One of the most fundamental parenting skills should be to teach a child how to have a relationship with God and Goddess. For a child to grow up secure and connected, he or she must learn how to cultivate a relationship with the Divine from a young age. Actually children should be encouraged to maintain their relationship to the Divine, instead of substituting the false God's of the mother and father. Obviously this rarely happens, so we must learn to re-parent ourselves. What is really means is that we must, in our own meditation and inner work, cultivate our personal connection with God and Goddess. As we fill ourselves up with God's love, our neediness subsides and the relationships that we attract change dramatically.
The good news is that we are not condemned to perpetuate the dysfunctions, based on the fact that the woman has not separated from her father, and the man has not separated from his mother. The most fundamental and permanent solution is to develop our relationship with God as our primary relationship. As we do so, the basic patterns outlined above shift. The key, of course, is that our relationship with the Divine must be real, and we must cultivate it every day and, optimally, at every moment. When our relationship is real, we experience the reality of the love, the abundance and the support of the Universe. Any programming to the contrary will disappear. When God is our primary partner, the pressure is released from our worldly partners. The void that can only be filled by our relationship to the Divine is filled, and is no longer expressed as emotional neediness.
The further good news is that we can attract partners who also have the Divine as their basic relationship, thus taking the pressure off of us to take care of, mother or father them. In the process we make ourselves available for truly transcendent relationships. A lot of men and women talk about tantric relationships and tantric sex, but fail to do the deep inner work that makes these relationships possible.
Tantric sex is not possible between a woman who is trying to have a relationship with her father and a man who wants to marry his mother. It just doesn't work that way. In tantric sex, the man and the woman must be free give him and her self. This is not possible if either one is still tied to their mother or father. Tantric sex is possible only between a man and woman whose primary relationship is with the Divine. It is a tall order, but the most fulfilling, non-codependent and intimate relationships require that we attain and maintain emotional and spiritual self-sufficiency.
No Easy Solution
So if Saturn is here to stay, and our destiny is to be happy, what is the trick? There is no trick. There is no easy solution. Attainment of the Truth that sets us free does require discipline, hard work, introspection, feeling our emotions, feeling uncomfortable, even getting in touch with our shame, wounds, deceptions and rage. The bad news is that there are no easy answers. The good news is that there ARE answers. The best news is that if we do the work that Saturn requires, we will find them. When it comes to solutions, it is useful to remember Yogi Bhajan's words, "The Universe was set up for you to win".
So what about the Happy part of the story? Our satisfaction is not in eliminating our problems; it is in being able to deal with them. Our contentment is not in carefree life; it is in being able to take care of ourselves during our challenging moments. Our happiness does not come from material acquisitions. Happiness builds as we experience a sense of wholeness from the gradual integration of all our attributes. Our peace does not come from eliminating our emotions. Peace comes from the acknowledgment of the divine purpose and power in each emotion. Our power does not come from external status. Power comes from the realization, in our own psyche, that Saturn energy gives us an anchored rope to hold on it, a purpose to pursue, and the determination and grit to continue our journey. Our love does not come from another, but from our direct relationship with the Divine.
We can achieve a very profound sense of satisfaction and happiness, when we open ourselves up to the process and the lessons of Saturn. I have found that I experience a deep emotional contentment from learning my Saturn lessons. The impact on the psyche from the sense of accomplishment is almost overwhelming. There is also a cozy satisfaction in step by step accomplishment, building a solid inner and outer foundation, and methodically doing what must be done to reach our goals.
One of the keys to experiencing this satisfaction is to stay emotionally balanced and to be in one's body instead of one's head, to feel the Earth energy of Saturn and our own physical presence. For the satisfaction is not only in the thought, but also in the sensations that physical-chemical integration produces. We generally do not get deep or present enough in our own bodies to feel at this level. We have to slow down to penetrate to this level of existence. We can't be running around in the fast lane of ideas and thoughts. As we develop our instinctual selves, we are able to better tune into, and enjoy a more complex and complete level of peace and contentment in the human body.
One night as I was going to sleep I experienced Saturn stubbornness and relentlessness as unchallenged support. I felt solid and present to a foundation deep inside me that would never fail me. I knew there was a part of me that I could always trust to be there for the other parts of me. This experience is not what we normally think of as happy, but the peace that I achieved through that experience made me feel cozy and warm. It is on the hearth of one's own inner fireplace that we make friends with those parts of ourselves we thought were our enemies. In the process we kindle the flame of our Soul. This is true happiness.
The Alchemy of Saturn
Saturn is our enemy only when we do not know how to make friends with him, or relate to God as our Father. Saturn is not pitted against us. We are pitted against ourselves. Saturn is not out to get us. We have to stop fighting ourselves. Saturn does not declare war on us. We fabricate our own wars in our own minds, with our own hurt and unloved emotions. It is our ignorance that keeps us from opening the doors to Saturn's gifts. The keys to the door are never handed to us on a silver platter. They are delivered on the humble plate of our honest and sincere efforts.
Saturn is the substance from which the alchemy of the Soul takes place. "In many ways the ancient art of alchemy was dedicated" to making friends with Saturn. "for the base material of alchemy, in which lay the possibility of gold, was called Saturn, and this base material, as well as having a concrete existence, was also considered to be the alchemist himself".(12) Whatever we call the principle and the energy of Saturn, in the human life it represents the alchemical process by which we earn enlightenment.
Like all alchemical processes, making friends with Saturn is neither fast nor easy. The magic potions are discipline, perseverance and grit, for they are the tools that craft the coal into the diamond. We would never have the chance to polish our diamond, or produce the gold in which to set our radiance, without Saturn. And the Truth is - It is worth it. We know it. We wouldn't have it any other way.
No Life without Saturn
Life would be fluffy and flimsy without the stability and predictability of Saturn. We couldn't manifest our dreams without Saturn. There would be no permanency, no deliverance, no results without Saturn. Without Saturn and Capricorn there would be no mountains to climb, no windy mysterious paths, no summits to reach, no attainment of our goals. There would be no heat to bake the cake, no tools to polish the diamond. Life would actually be frustrating and devoid of juice without Saturn.
Saturn is about as permanent as things get in this universe of continual evolution and change. When things need to change, Saturn stands in the way, not to prevent change, but to ensure that we know what we are doing, and why, to create a secure foundation for the next era. Saturn makes sure that our lives and institutions are built on solid, ethical principles and worthy values.
A New Life with Saturn
In the astrological symbology of the unfoldment of human life, Jupiter is the energetic impetus to reach for something higher. Jupiter expands our vision of reality and the future. Saturn defines how we manifest our dreams and methodically and practically build our visions. Saturn and Capricorn precede Uranus and Aquarius. Aquarius is the inventor and innovator, but before we can invent a new reality, we have to figure out how to do it. We have to stop doing what does not work. We have to learn how to do things another way. We have to be willing to approach ourselves and life differently. Befriending Saturn ensures that we are well equipped to continue our journey in Aquarian territory. Saturn is where and how we work things out. Saturn is the edge to a new life. Saturn is the gate to a new world.
Exercise to Release Father Attachments
Below I offer an exercise and a meditation. The exercise facilitates the release of the attachments and programming that keep our earthly fathers in our hearts and psyches. The meditation imprints the true nature of God in our psyche, and cultivates the experience of the Divine within our minds. By the way, both men and women have to work with, and cultivate, a relationship with both the feminine and masculine aspects of the Divine. This means that we have to heal our relationship with both our mother and our father. I will cover the relationship with the mother in a later issue, when the energy is more relevant, probably when the Sun is in Cancer. Although the basic principles are the same, the same releasing exercise can be done. I would recommend the Adi Shakti meditation and mantra for healing issues with the mother energy.
Every day for 30 to 40 days write a letter to your father to say Good by. Make a list of all the positive and negative memories. Let go of everything and return it to God. Let go of all inappropriate attachments. The only appropriate attachment is the love between our souls. Generally limit yourself to the front and back of a lined piece of paper. You can write as much as you feel you need, but the idea of one piece of paper is not to indulge, but to get straight to the point.
It is also a good idea to write part of each letter, or some of the letters, with your non-dominant hand. (Left if you are right-handed and right if you are left-handed.) You will access a different part of your psyche this way, usually the deeper programming and the inner child. You probably won't be able to read what you write with your non-dominant hand, but that doesn't really matter. You may prefer unlined paper and colored pens for this part of the exercise. Keep these letters in an envelope or box. At the end of the 30 to 40 days or when you feel that you are complete, burn them. At the end chant Akaaaaaaaaaal 3 times and release the past. You may feel days of leveling off, but keep going for at least 30 days. The psyche must be cleansed and retrained and it takes at least this long to do so.
You may want to keep a journal of what transpires in your life. This is a very powerful exercise and almost immediately shifts occur in your inner and outer lives. After only the first day, I notice a profound shift in my psyche concerning prosperity and taking care of myself.
The goals of this exercise are:
- To release unhealthy attachments and memories that are imprinted in your mind
- To move to the level of forgiveness that comes from empathy for another and truly understanding the dynamics of what was transpiring
- To move into an attitude of gratitude and detachment.
There are many probable outcomes to any form of spiritual growth. Any deep emotional work will change your relationship with yourself and others. This can manifest as a deepening of a current relationship, or the end of it. New found emotional availability can open up the space for relationships that were previously not possible, or it could be just what an existing relationship needs to make it more intimate and meaningful. However, if one partner cultivates a relationship with God as their primary relationship, and the other does not, the relationship may no longer meet the needs of either one.
Our anger at our father and at God will become conscious. The more we give this anger back to Source the less we will project this anger on our partners. The other good news is that the more we cultivate a real energetic relationship with God, the more our false concepts of God will be exposed. In turn the anger will be transmuted to energy and vitality.
Attachment to our human father often creates economic hardship. Not only because our energy is tied up with trying to get something from someone that cannot give it to us, but because we are not recognizing what we can generate in our alliance with the Universe. The process of freeing ourselves from our fathers can open us up to prosperity.
Meditation to make God Your Father
We can cultivate our relationship with God using any meditation. I recommend the Mul Mantra (also given last month in Issue 28) because it incorporates the basic characteristics of God. By chanting this mantra, you will imprint these characteristics into your own psyche. What you become, you will attract.
Accepting God as our Father is not an empty dogmatic directive. It must be experienced as reality to make it real. You will know when it is real for you. Feelings of lack and restriction will disappear. Feelings of love will replace feelings of sadness. Neurotic behavior will give into a deep longing for the Divine.
It is especially beneficial for men to train themselves to embody the qualities of the Mul Mantra as the qualities of true essence. In the process, you will begin to find our identity in God and the Father. Your self-image will change and you will acquire the ability to love yourselves. We will become very attractive, and only you will know why!
Mul Mantra Meditation
One of the most basic mantras in the Kundalini Yoga tradition is the Mul or root Mantra. It contains the 108 elemental sounds of the Universe. Yogi Bhajan has given this mantra as one of the 7 mantras to be chanted daily for 21 years - starting June 21,1992. These mantras align us with the energy of the Aquarian Age.
This root mantra sets out one version of the basic attributes of God, the principles of the Universe and the energy of our soul. When we chant this mantra, we align with our true essence. When we align with our true essence, we align with the Universe, God and the Father, which are all ways to get us to connect with universal love. When we align with universal love, we experience true joy and the abundance of the Universe flows to us.
Transitions to a Heart-Centered World by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., is a rich and unique compilation of the core teachings and Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations of Yogi Bhajan.
The new Second Edition, revised and updated,is ready to welcome a whole new generation of students to this life-changing technology. It offers powerful and effective techniques to both teacher and student, to empower your lower chakras and open your heart to unconditional love.
Contains literally dozens of meditations to access heart and soul consciousness.
There are many ways to chant this mantra. It can be chanted out loud or silently. For beginners it is best to start out loud so that the action of the tongue on the upper pallet imprints the vibrations into to the brain cells. Silent versions of this meditation can be found in Transitions to a Heart-Centered World and Introduction to Kundalini Yoga Vol 2.
It can be chanted in a monotone or to one of the various musical versions. For a guide to pronunciation of this and many other Kundalini Yoga mantras, check out Mantras of the Master, by Santokh Singh Khalsa, D.C.
Simply sit in a comfortable position with the hands on the knees, thumbs and forefingers touching and command your consciousness with these divine sounds.
This is such a beautiful basic mantra. I encourage everyone to learn it. It soothes the soul because it vibrates with who we really are and aligns us with the fundamental frequency of the Universe. In the process we merge as one and awaken the true essence of the Divine in our hearts. The Mul Mantra resonates with the basic consciousness that we wish to acquire - the consciousness that exists in our very souls. Although we chant in the divine sound current, it is powerful to reflect on the meaning of the sounds, so we can integrate them into our active consciousness.
Ek Ong Kar - One creator, the creator of all is One
Sat Nam - Truth is His Name, Truth is identified
Kartaa Purkh - Doer of Everything
Nirbhao - Fearless
Nirvair - Revengeless
Akaal Moorat - Undying
Ajoonee - Unborn
Saibung - Self-Illumined
Gur Prasad - Guru's Grace or Gift
JAP - Chant, meditate, repeat
Aad Such - True in the beginning
Jugaad such - True through all ages
Haibhee Such - True even now
Nanak Hosee Bhee Such - Nanak says Truth shall ever be true.
Season's Greetings and the Christmas Eclipse
Saturn is the Lord of Time. This holiday season, my prayer for you is that you give yourself the gift of time to connect with the Divine. Saturn and Capricorn are offering us an opening to do so, with a new moon and solar eclipse on Christmas day in 4° Capricorn. This is an optimal time to evaluate old patterns in both our work and personal lives, and to set goals for new beginnings in the New Year that significantly alter the status quo. Although your initial response may be the proverbial Capricorn, "NO" and resistance to change, allow yourself the space to let the opportunity for far-reaching change sink in. It is time for new directions and to forge new paths up your mountain of life. Any changes will require realistic planning and concrete steps to reach your goals. A deep alignment, and relationship with the Divine, are your most solid foundation for your trek in the New Millennium.
References and Footnotes
The Astrologer's Manual, Landis Knight Green, CRCS Publications, Sebastopol, CA, 1975.
"The Astrology of Depression," Barbara Banfield, Mountain Astrologer, #92, Sept./Oct.2000, pp. 45-50+.
Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Liz Greene, 1976, Samuel Weiser, York Beach, Maine.
Soul-Centered Astrology, Alan Oken, The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA, 1990, pp.192-199.
An in-depth study of Saturn and its role in awakening our consciousness, can be found in Issue 143.
1. Liz Green, p.11
2. Liz Green, p.12
3. Liz Green, p. 12
4. Oken, p. 303
5. Landis Green, p. 145
6. Landis Green, p. 147
7. Landis Green, p. 147-48
8. Banfield, p. 45
9. Banfield. p. 47
10. Banfield, p. 49
11. Banfield, p. 79
12. Liz Green, p. 14
For news of all the latest astrological events, check out Guru Rattana Blog