July 21, 2010
The change really makes me glad. I don't go on much about the personal in this blog but Saturn in my life lately brings to mind those apartment building size tractors they use in open pit coal mines; a huge, inevitable, unrelenting machine.
Saturn moved into Virgo September 2 of 2007*. On October 29, 2009, it made an initial duck from Virgo into Libra. January 13, 2010, Saturn began a retrograde that took it back into Virgo from Libra on April 7. May 7 it resumed forward motion and on July 21 was back in Libra where it will travel until October 5, 2012, when it goes into Scorpio.
I wish I could draw a picture; dates, retrograde, direct, blah, blah, blah. It's summertime, how about a metaphor? Saturn jumps in the Libra pool and swims a bit then gets out in order to take care of a chore, then goes back in the pool for the duration. The swimming pool metaphor's a little weak because Virgo is Earth and Libra is Air.
Traditional, conventional, long time astrology has Saturn EXALTED in the Sign Libra. Planets are said to have affinity for certain Signs and to not work so well in other Signs. The astrobabble for this is "dignity" and "debility." DIGNITY refers to conditions of placement where a planet is strengthened and DEBILITY to conditions that are said to weaken a planet. A planet is said to have dignity here and debility there ("here and there" can be Signs, degrees, Houses, etc.).
Saturn's stuff includes RULERSHIP of the Signs Capricorn and Aquarius (until the 19th Century astrologer(s) Raphael came along with a wish to fit the then freshly discovered Uranus and Neptune into the scheme of things and suggested Uranus for Aquarius and Neptune for Pisces - traditionally under the lordship of Jupiter). Personally, I like Uranus for Aquarius but also give Saturn equal time for that Sign. That's just me.
Traditional sign rulership has more to do with how the signs reinforce, positively or negatively, the essence of a planet - hence, the term "essential dignity."
-- Rob Hand
Rulership is one sort of dignity. Saturn is DIGNIFIED in Capricorn and Aquarius because it RULES those Signs. Saturn is thought to be weakened in the opposite Signs, Cancer and Leo. The astro-babble is that Saturn is at DETRIMENT in Cancer and Leo.
Saturn gets his greatest dignity in the Sign Libra, the Sign of his EXALTATION. Conversely he reaches his FALL in the Sign opposite, Aries. What's with Saturn in Libra being so good, said to be the best Sign placement for the planet? That's such a big question that I am going to skip it. Too involved, too technical, and too boring to all but a few astrologers. I'm not trying to shirk an explanation, only saying that to do an explanation justice is more fitting to a long book chapter or a pamphlet, not a blog entry. Suffice to say, Saturn works well in the Sign Libra.
Here's some of what the 17th Century astrologer William Lilly wrote about Saturn:
[Houses] In the Zodiack he hath two of the twelve Signes for his Houses, viz. Capricorn his Night-house, Aquarius his Day-house; he has his Exaltation in Libra, he receives his Fall in Aries; he rejoyceth in the sign Aquarius.
[Triplicity] He governeth the Aiery Triplicity by day, which is composed of these Signs; Gemini, Libra, Aquarius;
Lilly also gives more detail on Saturn in what are called "terms" but we'll skip that in favor of some basic Saturn information. Saturn takes about 29.46 years to circle the Sun, spends about 2.5 years in a Sign and about 4.5 months of each orbital period appearing to move backward through the zodiac from our perspective on earth (called retrograde motion).
Let's be happy now with a lighter touch from the old man, a more considered, humanitarian application of structure and authority. Maybe there will be a better crop of political candidates this November, more amenable to care for people rather than the current batch, which are mostly in the pockets of corporate interests.
The Sign Saturn leaves, Virgo, is an Earthy work Sign. Saturn's now in Libra; more concerned with harmony and humanity than with the world as a work farm. Cheers for Saturn in Libra!
* UT/GMT dates