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Observations: Mars in Cancer, Mercury Retch & Saturn Thoughts

© Diane Lang

Whew! Mercury stationed retrograde yesterday, Mars entered Cancer in the wee hours and the Moon shifted into Libra. The last I like because Libra Moons usually treat me well but the other two, not so much.

This was one of the tougher lead ups to a Mercury Station I’ve seen in quite awhile and largely due to the opposition to Neptune exact on 28 July. Lots of mental whiteouts made writing difficult so I ended up choosing to do simple, routine tasks like picking berries, mowing the lawn, cleaning house and so on. I have Mars conjunct Mercury so when Mercury is acting up, I can turn to physical activity (Mars) and it usually helps me regain mental focus. Part of the transit package over the past few days was a Mars in Gemini trine to my Libra Sun giving it a lift, so choosing physical activity was an easy call.

Now Mars is in Cancer . . . not its happy place. While Cancer is an energetic cardinal sign, it is too sensitive for blunt, direct Mars to operate well. Cancer is a subtle sign and will move sideways rather than confront someone directly when attacked. Mars in Cancer gets a mixed review from me because it irritates my Libra planets no end while being very supportive to my Scorpio planets and Ascendant. There is a day or so in late August when Mars in Cancer will be squaring my Moon at the same time Saturn in Libra is conjoining it . . . there will probably be some less than pretty moments around here. I’m just thankful we get Mars in Cancer squaring Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn out of the way before he squares Saturn in Libra. I’ll take my silver linings where I can get them, thank you very much!

Now I’ve been contemplating Saturn and his effect a lot lately. It would seem the old cold one really does put a damper on the sector of chart he is transiting or lives in natally. For example, if you have Saturn in Aries, normally a very independent sign, chances are you will act more like a Libra who prefers to consult with others before making a decision. Saturn in Libra, or in the seventh house, often chooses (or forces) the individual to learn how to go it alone. In the long run (Saturn) we usually benefit from Saturn’s lessons, unpleasant as they are at the time.

Saturn is currently transiting my eleventh house and conjoining my Moon. The eleventh house is our peer groups and associates and the Moon often represents women in our lives. The eleventh house is ruled by Aquarius and I can make a case for putting cyber-friends and other internet groups like FaceBook there. This past year I have lost touch with some close women friends, both on the internet and in the physical world. I am hoping those people will reemerge once Saturn moves past my Moon but we’ll see.

How was your Mercury Station? What do you think Mars in Cancer will bring you? And I would love to hear what others have to add on Saturn both natally and transiting too. Thanks!! :D


Observations: On Befriending Saturn

© Kari Lang

Of all the outer planets Saturn is by far the most accessible and easiest to come to terms with. Sure, he’s not exactly a really fun guy like Jupiter but at least you can understand him which is more than I can say for Uranus or Neptune, and he often takes the blame for the trouble those others instigate.

One of the reasons Saturn is not so popular is because we have to work hard to gain his approval and rewards. This is something those with a strong Saturn signature natally – Saturn conjoining the luminaries or Ascendant; Sun, Moon or Capricorn rising – have opportunities to learn from an early age. Often they have duties and responsibilities they have little choice in fulfilling and develop good work habits as a result.

Just as the human brain develops slowly over many years with the prefrontal cortex (and the ability to make good judgment calls under pressure) not complete until one’s twenties, it isn’t until the first Saturn Return around age 29-30 we start to understand what it means to behave with maturity all the time. Until then many people still seem to believe in “do overs”.

Uranus is considered the main influence in our teens and twenties and those with strong Uranus aspects often have a much harder time coming to terms with Saturn’s demands to stay the course. If you decide not to show up for work because it looks like a good day to play, that’s Uranus the rebel at work. He can also get you fired unlike Saturn who helps us get to work on time, day in and day out.

Saturn is the one who gives us an honest evaluation of the progress we’re making, no matter how painful. If we don’t have good feedback to work with, we are setting ourselves up to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Check for Neptune aspects if you see someone repeating the same behaviors and expecting different results. Neptune is very good at helping avoid Saturn’s clear sighted view of reality. Which would you rather deal with? The unadorned truth or the polite lie? Guess which one will help you keep your job.

As a person with only a whiff of earth natally (Virgo Midheaven) but Saturn sextile my Moon-Neptune and square my Sun, it’s been Saturn who has kept me on the straight and narrow. I have lived through two Saturn Returns and currently have Saturn in Libra making its second pass over my Moon. The bad press Saturn transits to the Moon have received is contrary to my overall positive experience. I like feeling grounded and sane! :D

If you have a major Saturn transit on the horizon, please don’t worry. If you have been taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, behaving dependably as a friend and on the job and generally accepting the need to take each day as it comes, you will be fine.


Looking Ahead to Saturn in Scorpio

Even though Saturn will not enter Scorpio until October 2012, it won’t hurt to speculate on what that will mean, especially for those of us with a strong showing of Scorpio in our natal charts.

The subject came up because Jeffrey Kishner of Sasstrology asked if he could re-post a piece I wrote on Saturn’s Version of True Love, inspired by Saturn in Libra. One of his readers asked for thoughts on what will happen when Saturn moves into Scorpio, and of course, my astrologer’s brain immediately kicked into gear. Occupational hazard . . .

It doesn’t hurt to reflect on the last time Saturn was in Scorpio in 1983 to 1985~. As I recall, AIDS and other nasty STDs were emerging as something everyone who was sexually active had to learn to deal with in a constructive way. Learning how to have an uncomfortable conversation with a potential lover about safe sex was becoming critical. Are we going to get a refresher course in this area?

Scorpio is not an unfriendly place for Saturn, unlike Leo where Saturn is in his detriment, but Scorpio does fearlessly walk into some sensitive areas for many, especially if a person was brought up in a very conventional religious household. Sex and death are not usually topics discussed at the dinner table in those places unless you have a loved one who is HIV positive.

One of Scorpio’s greatest virtues is the willingness to confront the reality we are ALL going to die at some point and it is important to have our financial affairs in order before we do so – all related to the eighth house, Scorpio’s home base. By the time Saturn enters Scorpio in 2012, there will be a significant number of Boomers with Pluto in Leo facing their own mortality and as Saturn in Scorpio begins to square their natal Pluto’s, this fact will be driven home in no uncertain terms. I predict it will not be pretty . . . for anyone.

My all time favorite book on Saturn is Liz Greene’s “Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil”. I keep going back to this one time and again as she does an excellent job of covering Saturn in the natal chart in aspect to other planets as well as in synastry. Liz Greene is simply a damn good astrologer and writer.

I’m sure there will be many more posts on Saturn in Scorpio forthcoming both here and on many other astrology blogs. First we need to tend to our one on one relationships while Saturn is in equitable Libra . . . no free passes there either. *grin*

Image: © Liz Greene. I love her version of Saturn for Saturn in Scorpio.


Observations: The Final Saturn-Uranus Opposition is here

After living with Saturn opposing Uranus since late 2008, the end is in sight with the final exact opposition between Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries on July 26, 2010 . . . just five days away.

This opposition has been heralded by many astrologers, including myself, as the clash between the status quo (Saturn) and progressive change (Uranus). Like most of life, the results are faaaaar less clearly delineated. Let me illustrate this with a brief story about some changes in my immediate neighborhood.

About five years ago, the push began to install wind towers in the valley I live in as a source of sustainable energy. There were three or four different prime locations under consideration. The one first approved was in an area with no home sites, just lots of sagebrush. The other locations were much closer to existing homes and land under development for more. These projects were hotly opposed by both the homeowners and developers. One of these is on a ridge directly above my home.

I supported the approval of the wind farms from the very beginning because I love the idea of our pesky wind being put to good use and because I would FAR rather live next door to wind towers than a bunch of houses. My home is on property that has been in my family for well over 100 years and even in my life time, the changes wrought by growth and development is profound. So I had little to no sympathy for those people from the greater Seattle area who had purchased property near the possible wind farm locations and were screaming about their view being ruined and therefore decreasing the property value.

With the developers financing the opposition, forcing the wind farm people to jump through every possible legal hoop, the projects were delayed for several years. And if the bottom had not dropped out the housing market with the advent of the first Saturn-Uranus opposition, the developers would likely have been successful. However, once the income from development dried up, the county officials quickly moved to OK three additional wind farms to tap into that revenue source.

Now we have wind towers gracing our horizon and generating clean, renewable energy with the side benefit of placing no more stress on our minimal water resources. Going by those criteria, I’d say progressive Uranus won the day but without the local officials being driven by the bottom line (Saturn) the wind farms would not be there either.

Anyone willing to bet when we look back over the Saturn-Uranus opposition years, we won’t find many more examples like this? Real life is almost always much messier than the prognosticators would have it, just as human beings are much more complex and full of contradictions.


Happy T-Day and Other Miscellany

This year we get Uranus turning direct, a dashing New Moon in Sagittarius and here in the States, Thanksgiving, all on the same day. Now why do I get the feeling I’m going to be most grateful on Friday! I have been the chief cook for this event for many years and this time around is no exception.

Uranus is stationing in my fourth house and this is the year my younger sister says she can’t eat dairy products anymore so please plan accordingly. I made a pumpkin pie with soy creamer for starters and plan on setting aside potatoes, both regular and sweet, for her to add her non-dairy margarine to for seasoning. Yup, Uranus at work.

In addition we have a new dog! I picked her up last week and we are now in the process of doing some retraining. She had her previous people trained to play fetch with her almost non-stop and I want her to pay attention to my husband and me, not some toy. She is a Blue Heeler and is a very, very smart, determined personality as well as being sweet natured for that breed. However all this takes time and energy and adds to the overall chaos around here but with Mars, Mercury and the Sun in Sagittarius transiting my first house what is more appropriate than a dog showing up in my life.

Here’s to everyone having a wonderful Thanksgiving with keen appreciation of what we are thankful for in our lives!


I promised Eme Kah a response to her query from the previous post:

I don’t know how to use that Neptunian energy productively at all, I mean in a life-changing way not when it comes to creativity (that’s another story). One of the things that I used to do was to go the Piscean, “ignore it and it’ll go away” route. DOING something about a problem was such a drag. It still kind of is. I would just wish it away–definitely not the best way to use a Neptunian energy. On the other hand, I still haven’t learned how to transcend bad feelings. That would be a useful Neptunian skill. I would love to hear from people who have managed to use Neptunian energy in a productive way (other than in the arts, I mean).

It seems to me the key to learning to handle Neptune in aspect to Venus and the Moon in particular is through Saturn. If we can establish guidelines and boundaries for the way we express love and compassion as well as receive it, we will be less inclined to slip into Neptune’s illusions and false expectations.

Various religious belief systems use this very effectively. Think of the vows of chastity and poverty used to shift the focus to compassionate love instead of physical, romantic love. If we need to establish our own guidelines because we don’t ascribe to a particular belief system, like I did with Saturn-Pluto in the ninth house, then it’s up to using Saturn’s energy in our charts to enforce our chosen morale code.

Perhaps this dynamic is clear to me because my Venus is both sextile Neptune and trine Saturn while my Moon is conjunct Neptune and sextile Saturn. Sure I floundered around and made some rather poor choices [understatement], especially before my first Saturn return but in the end I learned to adhere to my personal code of ethics and boundaries. Misplaced nurturance and “rescue mission” relationships were gradually weeded out and replaced with equitable relationships with more mature personalities.

Channeling the compassion and caring of Neptune in a sane way also is aided by learning a hefty degree of detachment to outcomes. Because when we set out to “rescue” someone we have already passed judgment saying in essence they can’t take care of themselves and we know what’s best for them. I firmly believe 99.9% of the time there is not enough information to make that call about another human being.

This also goes back to treating one’s self with love, compassion and forgiveness first. When we can do that, then we can spread it around to all the other people in our lives. By the way one way of handling bad feelings is through forgiveness, how Neptune is that?!

So that’s my two cents. Anyone else?

Hydrangas are wonderful in the Fall. These are last year’s beauties.