The Alchemy of Saturn: Transmuting Base Metal Into Gold

Surrendering to the Saturnian principle in our lives brings unforeseen blessings over time.

June is a month of dramatic change; but the biggest news by far, is the second exact square of Saturn-Uranus. I first wrote about this back in January, naming it the signature transit of 2021, a veritable clash of the titans. Saturn represents authority, structure, and discipline. He is slow moving and conservative; while Uranus represents disruption, rebellion and novelty, preferring swift changes that strive toward liberation. Saturn dogs us with road blocks and delays while Uranus urges us to storm the barricades. Saturnian thought is sober and cautious, given to bouts of melancholia; whereas, Uranus is associated with genius and inspiration. Saturn is represented by lead, Uranus is likened to electricity. Judging from these descriptions, it's easy to conclude that Saturn is a real drag. But like all astrological symbols, Saturn is multi-demensional and he has many gifts to bestow.

In Hellenistic astrology, Saturn is known as the greater malefic (evil doer). He is said to rejoice in the 12 house of confinement, secret enemies and self-undoing. In myth, Saturn (Chronos) was connected to agriculture and the harvest. He was a pre-Hellenistic deity, from the "the golden era," of the distant past. His weapon was the sickle, an implement for reaping and a metaphor for Saturnian proclivities: cutting, severing, harvest, karma and death. Many of his significations are derived from astronomy as well as mythology. For the ancients, Saturn was the most remote planet, furthest from the warmth and nourishment of the Sun. Thus, his nature was said to be cold, dark and aloof. His orbit was much longer than the others and so he became connected with the notions of slowness, heaviness and delay. But Saturn's placement conveyed other meanings too. Being the most distant planet visible to the naked eye, Saturn was intimately connected to what lay beyond human vision and human understanding. He served as a gate-keeper between the known and the unknown, the seen and the unseen. Thus, he was linked to mysticism, spiritual retreat, meditation and contemplation - some of the more positive meanings of the 12th house where Saturn finds his joy.

Surrendering to the Saturnian principle in our lives brings unforeseen blessings over time. Contemplation and meditation lead to equanimity and understanding. Solitude and isolation offer self-knowledge and self-reliance. Boundaries, and constraints teach us self-discipline. Heaviness and responsibility school us in grit and perseverance. And good old-fashioned hard work can result in achievement, authority, and prosperity. Even melancholy and self-doubt have their benefits, re-forming us into kinder, more compassionate people who can recognize the struggles and hardship that all human beings encounter.

So, why am I telling you all this? Because I think the past year and a half has given us all a taste of Saturn. The pandemic has highlighted many of the Saturnian qualities and principles discussed above. It has also provoked a strong Uranian response: the urge to break rules, escape confinement, rebel against the status quo. This conflict will continue in the coming months as Saturn and Uranus continue to engage in their cosmic tug of war. Squares represent conflict, and we have certainly seen a lot of that this year. But they can also be extremely productive, forcing change that is necessary and long overdue. We need to wrestle we these forces, contemplate the pros and cons of each approach, question everything and trust that solutions can be found. Winning is really not the point here. Neither side has all the answers and there is no one “right” position. The resolution to a square is never either/or; it always involves compromise or a brand new approach that somehow manages to draw on the best of both worlds. It's easy to side with rebellious, disruptive Uranus after months or years of Saturnian restrictions. That is why I am writing this: to remind you (and me) about the gifts of Saturn. If we do the heavy lifting that he requires of us, we will reap his weighty rewards. Saturn's blessings are always hard won and therefore sweeter, richer and more meaningful than the gifts that simply fall in our laps. This is the alchemy of Saturn, turning lead into gold.

Wishing you all the best this season has to offer and a very happy solar return to my Gemini and Cancer readers!

Peace my friends,


Categories: Aquarius, Astrology, BirthChart, Divination, Greek Mythology, Horoscope, Mysticism, Saturn, Spirituality, Uranus, Wisdom, Zodiac, Alchemy