“Fear is a symptom of loss of authority; when we give away our authority, we should be afraid.” Caroline. W. Casey, Making the Gods Work for You
I celebrated yesterday’s Super Full Moon in Capricorn with a full-on, no holds barred Saturnalia. If you’re visualizing party favors, drinking games, sumptuous feasting and orgiastic pleasures, uh hum, get a grip on yourself. Saturn gives us what we need, not what we prefer. Mine was a more serious celebration.
I started the day by reading Holly Alexander‘s fine Examiner.com article on the subject, praising myself for really tuning in to the vibe of the day. After all, I have been feeling a renewed interest in setting career goals and working hard to tick things off my TO DO list, a very Saturnian mind-set. Of course I should have known better than to get smug, for that is exactly the thing Saturn least tolerates. After working all morning I swaggered to the mailbox around midday to find a large envelope from the IRS and a jury summons. My solo Saturnalia was officially under way.
The other thing Saturn despises is a cry-baby. What to do?
Risking everything, I ranted to my cat Loki, named, ironically, for the Norse God of mischief, no doubt another Capricorn trickster at my side! I raved about the injustice and insensitivity of large government agencies while Loki napped, secure in his zero-income tax bracket. I left a voice mail for my accountant, emailed my astrologer and had myself a little pity party. That’s when I looked up to see the pile of books a friend had recently returned to me. At the top was the fine book, Making the Gods Work for You, by renowned astrologer Caroline. W. Casey.
Mid-sniffle I opened to the chapter on Saturn.
One thing I love about Casey’s work is her understanding of how difficult it is for the modern urbanite to swallow astrology whole. She insists that astrology is not a belief system, but rather a language that “provides the vocabulary with which we can begin a detailed investigative exploration of the psyche.”
Casey goes on to say that all acts of belief, even in science (gasp!), are superstition. This idea conforms nicely with Buddhist thought. And Saturn would agree. As Casey puts it, “even if, owing to some fluke, we happened to believe in the ‘truth’–it would still be a booby prize, because the act of belief is an abdication of autonomy.” Didn’t the Buddha say the very same thing we he stated, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own common sense”?
Here’s the point about Saturn as the ultimate mascot for achieving mastery and authority over one’s life: sooner or later we all have to deal with the boundaries of form, structure, time, laws, discipline, and responsibility, and this is a solitary endeavor. We can choose to tackle Saturnian realities head-on or we can let their shadows loom over us in the form of depression, inertia and fear. Via one method or the other, whether conscious self-inquiry or shadow-boxing with demons perceived to be outside ourselves, Saturn will have his way with us.
I know this first hand. With Saturn in Capricorn, in the first house, directly on my Ascendant, my most pressing life project has been to face my fears. On my path to complete authority over my own life, I have repeatedly encountered bullies. I am finally beginning to understand that it is only in facing my own fears that the bullies will retreat.
There is certainly no bully feared more than the IRS. If I understand the teachings of many spiritual traditions, the closer we get to resolving an issue, the harder it seems to bash us on the head. Perhaps this means I am finally ready to let go of the big fears about setting my own rules, being worthy of earning a right livelihood and becoming the true author of my own life.
Yes, I celebrated in true Chronos (another traditional name for Saturn) style yesterday. I quit crying and got to work. I filled out the Jury Summons Deferment form, citing my need as a sole proprietor to focus on my small business. I then called the IRS and spoke to the supervisor of the auditor “handling” my case. He apologized profusely for bungling the paperwork during my recent audit and assured me that it was unlikely that I would hear from them again. Hmm.
Scratching my head, I got back to work, one more fear checked off my list.