2. The Spiritual Function of Saturn
Saturn as level of consciousness
Translated from Dutch, 1st part of
2nd chapter of "Transits as a spiritual
process of growth".
I am convinced that by merely grasping the meaning of Saturn to the full, you are able to help probably up to 90% of the people visiting you for a consultation and in a very quick and adequate manner. Because you would then focus immediately on the current questions which people have. By means of the Saturn timeline (to be discussed still), you can offer them a perspective, which gives meaning to the current problem as part of a larger meaningful whole. Normally speaking we are used to look at a chart in a certain "flat" way - the chart depicts planets, which aspect one another, and then you try to distill the meaning from these pictures. At this stage of the discussion on Saturn I would however like to make a suggestion to look at Saturn in an entirely different way, whereby you realize that regardless of the aspects or placement of Saturn in a chart, it symbolizes a certain level of consciousness within us, through which the world is perceived. I mean to say with this that it is even possible to have "Neptune-Saturn" experiences, without even having an aspect between Neptune and Saturn. If you are so to speak in the layer of consciousness of Saturn, you perceive the world through Saturn, and Saturn in itself consists of various layers or levels of consciousness. It is also possible (and quite common) to be identified with the consciousness of the Moon, and thus to experience all the planets through that lunar consciousness. You could be identified with the Neptune-layer, (and not on this planet anymore). All those planets offer a different layer through which reality and truth is being filtered. And that means that certain planets can interact without necessarily being in aspect with one another.
The Moon is the first layer of consciousness as our closest celestial object. Next come Mercury and Venus on one side of the Earth, and Mars and Jupiter on the other. Saturn follows and further on are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. So planets have a certain "reach", they are further and further removed and revolve around the Sun slower and slower. At the same time their energies are more and more collective and difficult to grasp. The Moon symbolizes our day-to-day functioning. It depicts our emotional body, and our usual reactions to life, in a routine like manner. It is what we were conditioned into, it depicts the layer of consciousness where we don't have to think for ourselves and by means of which we are able to react entirely instinctively and automatically.
Saturn is a kind of time/space barrier between "this world" and "the world of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto." Sometimes, when I teach explaining the solar system I draw the orbit of Saturn in a square... because Saturn frames things (in time and space), it is about structure, and it says (as viewed from the lunar/earthly consciousness) 'till here and no further, this is your daily reality!" Because what is it that Saturn does? It rules time and space. Time and space are keywords for Saturn. Even the "pain of rejection" often is felt by not connecting to the flow of Time, or the other who has "no time" for us (and thus does not think we are important enough, we assume immediately from that layer of the Moon which refers everything back to itself)
Our soul is not in time and space, when not incarnated. Upon birth we tend to be quite cute in an intimate (but unconscious) connection with the cosmos. The heart of almost everyone opens upon seeing such a "connected human being" however wrinkled, pink and ugly the little baby could be in all Aquarian objectivity. The baby radiates innocence, pure love, it radiated that connection and although we hardly know why, we all tend to open up in its neighborhood. The baby has no consciousness whatsoever of time and space (yet), in fact, it has hardly any self-consciousness..... Very few people remember anything of the time before their second of third year. For most it is an entirely diffuse phase.
In this connection it is fascinating to know that were you to go back to your first clear memory, it will be one of those memories where someone confronts you with yourself. (I.e. turning the consciousness around back in towards you). That is to say being one with your mother and with the world, all of a sudden someone places you in separation of all of that and says (for instance) " what a beautiful dress you are wearing"! Or, "why are YOU always so wild?" Try it and see if you can find your first memory, and see for yourself whether that is a memory of something where you got confronted with yourself as a separate being. I remember for instance a non-suspecting moment during diner where my mother all of a sudden exclaimed (looking in my direction) "Hey, you squint!" And I remember my reaction, "uh, what? Me? Who/what is she talking about? Something like "me" exists? Thrown back in on myself in that manner apparently I started to have my first vague ideas about a "me". And at the same time it is the earliest memory I can conjure up. As a baby we do not know the difference between our surroundings and ourselves (and interestingly enough, the horoscope portrays both the external environment as well as the inner!) During our early years we learn things like "My nose and your nose" and so on and this process creates a development of the notion of self (thus implanted on us from the outside and functioning only in relationship to the external world, where our consciousness is being directed from the moment of birth onwards). At approx. 3,5 years of age, when Saturn makes its first semisquare to its natal position, the concept of "I'' is starting to take on a definite life of itself. Before that time, there was just one-ness with everything. And precisely one of the things which is important to realize, is that Saturn may take things away from you as far as this oneness with the cosmos is concerned, but it also makes you conscious of things, because that was precisely which was lacking before. Saturn is time and space and... time and space serve consciousness. The only thing, which matters really, as far as our earthly existence is concerned, is our search for what or who it is we really are. And after many sidetracking in that external world, to turn back in to the inner, to retrieve that state of oneness with spirit, but with a huge difference this time consciously so. Eventually with the goal to exist within the external consciousness of Saturn in this time and space but to have it molded and made transparent so that the eternal and the cosmic universe can work its way through that confinement of that idea of a unique self, with as little dilution as possible.
(c) Joyce Hoen 2005-2008