Meanwhile the Jupiter/Saturn square is exact, Venus is squaring Saturn in Scorpio via her retrograde in Leo, and now Mercury in Leo is also entering into the square of Saturn as well. On a somewhat subtler level, Mars in Cancer is moving into a trine of Saturn in Scorpio. Maybe the best news in these otherwise difficult summer patterns is that Saturn has finally turned direct.
Why is it that spirituality and suffering go hand in hand? Why is it that people only turn to higher powers, prayers, meditation, or spiritual practices, when their life depends on it, when there is no other alternative, or when nothing else works? One reason for this is that we tend to suffer the illusion that we live in a mechanistic universe. A universe without any inherent transcendent design, meaning, intelligence, or built in guidance or co-creative capacity. Another reason is that we believe we have indeterminate free will and that our reality is primarily of our own making, self-willed and basically under our own control (perhaps within the confines of various physical laws). Yet another reason is that we believe that success or achievement materially will deliver us from the bonds of spiritual necessity, as though spirituality is a “poor person’s” game. Added to this is the idea that spirituality is inherently unintelligent, irrational, or unable to come to grips with reality “as it is.”
Of course, the history of religion is as stained as the history of consumerism, politics, and human violence. Religion is no victim (often an aggressor), and since many people have been wounded by religion, or religious fanaticism, there are many valid personal reasons that keep us from religious or spiritual practice.
It’s important to consider all of this right now as Jupiter, the planet of faith is square to Saturn, the planet of cold, hard reality.
During the Renaissance it was said that Saturn afflicted natives suffered from an excess of Pneuma (soul/spirit). It was thought that the Pneuma had nowhere to go because of the naturally repressive or inhibiting qualities of Saturn. From this perspective, the cold/hard rationalism of Saturn is actually an ultra imaginative expression of repression. As though Saturn’s “just the fact’s ma’am” is so powerful and ‘real’ specifically because it is an imaginative projection of pent up imagination…an imagination that doesn’t even know it’s overly imaginative.
For example, from this perspective Ebeneezer Scrooge’s bad attitude isn’t just a lack of heart or imagination…but rather the projection of an intensely pent up imagination. Scrooge is therefore the mythic “heart” of darkest winter…he is an archetypal necessity made of itself…just as Saturn himself is the lord of necessity.
Naturally the only way that Scrooge is transformed is by the physical hand of death. The objective personification of Scrooge’s own wintry imagination confronts him as a dark robed spirit threatening to take his literal life. And thus Srooge is at last transformed (we might also recall that when the first spirit came to Ebeneezer he thought it was merely the result of undigested food).
Thus we face a conundrum when it comes to the Jupiter/Saturn square. We cannot begrudge the Saturnine path to faith or wisdom. Its path is the necessary road of winter..where “just the physical facts” eventually become enduring spiritual facts (something Jupiter could sometimes use a dose of!). Yet, the Jupiterian must live through the constant distrust that Saturn shows toward Jupiter while Saturn is in the grip of his own miserly process. The grudges held, the pointed remarks thrown, the curmudgeonly spirit and refusal to share…these are the natural sufferings Jupiter endures while Saturn is doing his thing.
Right now because of the Jupiter/Saturn square we might be experiencing the natural debate or friction between the idealist and the realist, the faithful and the doubtful. So what can we do but recognize that both sides of the debate are “real,” and both are “necessary,” both require a version of trust, and both may embody or lead to “faith.”
A few pieces of advice:
* If you find yourself on the Saturnine end, skeptical of someone or something around you…try to stay observant and let go of judgments…see where observation rather than reactionary conclusions leads you..see what the process yields…keep to the spirit of the unknown that is at the heart of observation
* If you find yourself on the Jupiterian end…recall that true trust needs no converts and wins nothing by evangelizing a point…true faith endures because it has no final or single reason for its hope
Prayer: May we recognize winter in the heart of summer, and summer in the heart of winter…so that our faith might become factual and our facts again spiritual.