Let’s take a look today at the role of Saturn…
* When Saturn entered the sign of Sagittarius, in December 2014, just weeks later the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred in France and twelve people were murdered. This event in many ways announced the entrance of Saturn into the sign of Sagittarius.
* Remember that Sagittarius is the domicile of Jupiter, which is the traditional planetary contrary to Mercury. Whereas Jupiter claims victory through belief statements, Mercury was once called “the master of arguments.” In the sign of Sagittarius Mercury is thus said to be in its “detriment.” Forget for a moment the aversion we might feel around the word “detriment.” The simplest way to understand the classical dignities is in terms of different kinds of archetypal tensions and agreements, or various interpenetrating dynamics between the planets. A Jupiter ruled sign (Pisces/Sagittarius) is by its very nature a place where Mercury ruled things do not find themselves as comfortable as they would in their own home signs, and this is specifically because Jupiter works so much better through its convictions, beliefs, doctrines, and dogmas, than Mercury, who works best through analysis, deconstruction, critical thinking, investigation, and constant questioning.
* Now, put Saturn into Jupiter’s sign and we get the zealous and severe version of Jupiter’s qualities. We get the rigid, hard, intensely committed, and most conservative of Jupiter’s belief statements. We get the old (Saturn) acting as the new (Jupiter’s domicile). Think for a moment of the two fountainheads of populism in the US over the last few years, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. They couldn’t be more different from one another, and yet they are both fiery, old men with intensely committed, and focused beliefs or behaviors. Beliefs or behaviors they stubbornly refuse to compromise.
* It is thus no surprise to see a variety of attacks being directed toward the media. First we have an Orwellian style announcement claiming the validity of “alternative facts,” which is often nothing more than beliefs and the strength of ideology overriding actual, basic facts. Along with this we have seen a massive surge of “fake news” stories circulating around the web each day, alongside of the “real news” constantly being attacked and called “fake news.” Additionally, we have seen the rise of populist criticism toward the media for choosing to support or not support its own biases, candidates, and spin, but at the same time we’ve seen networks like CNN, a network that always predictably contains debate style formats between the right and left, being constantly criticized for “faux objectivity.” Add to this that many people are calling on the media to be the spearhead of the resistance and to aim their journalistic inquiries toward discovering the truth that might defend or save our constitution, democracy, or human rights.
* So on the one hand, the media has to fight off the influence of zealous ideology, both from within and without, but on the other hand the media has to become the weapon of truth, fighting against corruption, again both from within and without.
* Here’s just a few obvious examples of the dynamics above…Kelly Anne Conway advertising Ivanka Trump’s clothing line on air, trying to legitimize alternative facts, the constant attacks against the media from Trump and Spicer, the Fox news sexual harassment scandal, Meghan Kelly and Trump, the media giving Trump more air time than ever, the media crowning Clinton, the objective polls being totally off, the influence of disinformation and propaganda in the election, any media outlets whose information we don’t like being called ‘fake,’ the FBI’s involvement in the election, leaks, leaks, and more leaks of information, news channels being more partisan than objective, news channels becoming a force of resistance or opposition, comedy and satire being a weapon against disinformation…and…let’s not forget the constant use of Twitter….
To conclude, it’s important as students of astrology that we recognize that when Saturn is in the fiery sign of Jupiter there is a rigidifying of Jupiter ruled things along with a tightening of the natural tension that a Jupiter ruled sign already has with Mercury’s significations. This tension is a creative tension and may actually produce incredible syntheses related to the Jupiter/Mercury dynamic, but it can also provoke tremendous polarization between the two archetypal fields in general.
For each of us personally it’s an important time to really work toward objectivity, critical thinking, and rational distance, while also holding the equal and opposite tension of our most passionate commitments and beliefs. This is a time where we can each learn the value of holding these tensions with dignity and integrity.
Astro nerd note anticipating the dozen emails I will get later: It’s also worth mentioning that we could easily add Saturn’s square to Neptune into all of the above, helping us reach many of the same archetypal conclusions or combinations. As usual, it’s my belief that the sky finds many ways to say the same things, and today’s post is just one way of turning the jewel of the heavens in order to reflect upon what’s happening!
Prayer: Help us hold the tension between rational distance and our most passionate convictions.