Saturn: The Work and the Love
As we enter Saturn's season, it's time for a reboot...
“Love and work … work and love, that’s all there is.”—Sigmund Freud
“The outcome of my life is no more than these three lines:
I was a raw material;
I was cooked and became mature;
I was burned in love.— Rumi
RARELY IS THE ASTROLOGICAL SATURN associated with love. Traditional astrology certainly doesn’t make that distinction. Though esoteric astrology does.
Alice Bailey once noted that to view Saturn as the bringer of opportunity, and not simply disaster, was a sign that one had touched upon the path towards wholeness.
Both Freud and Rumi understood the truth related to this alchemical process. Work, as a kind of effort and friction, and love as the driving force that is also the culmination of the process. A willing mixture of work and love, a conscious acknowledgment and co-mingling that denotes maturity and wisdom.
That is how Rumi summarized his life work—in the above poem. And for each of us, the path from ‘raw material’ to alchemical cooking and to the eventual transmutation through love, is an unavoidable engagement. It seems as though we each have our appointed time with this process.
Freud, who devoted his life work to rummaging through and classifying the structure of the unconscious, emerged for light in the end with his simple truism. It’s all about love and work, work and love.
One does the work and discovers the love, but more specifically one sees that love facilitated the work all along. And in this sense, Saturn can be associated with love.
We think of Saturn’s exaltation in Libra as being related to equanimity and the uncompromising law of what is fair. Which from one view is true—within the Saturnine cosmology there is never cheating. You pay a dollar and you get a dollar’s worth.
As P.D. Ouspensky wrote, it’s true people do occasionally find money in the street, but such an event is rare, you can’t count on a philosophy of happenstance to sustain life.
Saturn in Libra evokes a force that is the exact opposite of magical thinking. There is simply reality, seen in all its ‘is-ness’ and from there one begins their work. Libra, being a sign that is not human or animal, facilitates this sharp clarity.
I would add, too, that Saturn’s exaltation in Venus’ sign conveys a deeper mystery.
When we meet reality head-on—that is to say, without filters or illusions we actually begin to sense the ground of love, and its unifying, form-making presence. A power that maintains life, keeps it visible—with distinct and particular colors and shapes. Evolving and deepening, the movement of love.
It’s a shocking insight, really, this equating of love with Saturn.
But I’d like to suggest you contemplate Saturn’s placement by the house and sign in your horoscope and see if you can’t connect to that unifying, form-making principle of love related to the particular ‘stage set’ of your life—represented by Saturn’s house placement.
And then tease out, as you reflect over your history, the various trials and limitations that—as a kind of friction-making conundrum—generate the warmth, light, and, yes, love. These are Saturn’s gifts to each of us.
🎄Speaking of gifts! 🎅🏿
This Wednesday, December 22, for the Winter Solstice, all paid subscribers to WOODRUFF will receive their one-pull Tarot reading. This quarter I’m working with astrologer Heather Roan Robbins’ gorgeous new Starcodes Astro Oracle Deck. And rumor has it that Heather might join me during the draw and read process.
If you’re not a paid subscriber, this is the perfect moment to join thousands of other readers, especially with this 20% discount for a yearly subscription!
See you on the other side of the paywall!