boot camp for the soul...
In the light of Saturn's current and (for many of us) difficult transit of Virgo, we have decided to feature this remarkable article by Sue Hopper, first published here some years back. Sue is a talented astrologer and a popular contributor to Astrology on the Web. This article is still very relevant and gives considerable insight into the nature of Saturn and the way this planet of purification affects our relationships. It is also a beautiful personal testimony, for Sue has had more than her share of tragedy in her own life.
As the daughter of a Capricorn man, I've spent most of my life trying to understand the ways of Saturn. With natal Saturn and Mars conjunct in my seventh house, I suppose there isn't any way around it, unless I want to become a hermit! Ever since the challenging days of my first Saturn return, I've come to appreciate the sobering energy of Saturn.
Perhaps the harsh lessons The Old Man imparts are the most valuable of all, giving individuals the opportunity to shine with their brightest light. Some of the most successful and responsible people I have known were born under the influence of Saturn and Capricorn, and their stories reflect the spirit's indomitable will to rise above obstacles that would destroy the rest of us.
I have no better example of this than my father, the only son of an impulsive, passionate young Lioness who eloped with a brilliant but emotionally unstable Aquarian in the 1920's. Unfortunately, my grandmother's hopes for a happy marriage were shattered when my grandfather's demons drove him to attempt a murder suicide on March 2, 1939. My father was just eight years old at the time, experiencing his first square of transiting Saturn to his natal Saturn. Angels must have been watching over my grandmother because she survived with a bullet embedded in her skull and went on to live another forty years.
All miracles aside, my father grew up under a dark and angry cloud. His mother remained partially paralyzed for the rest of her life and was forced to rely on her family's support for herself and her child. Although my father was surrounded by the love of his mother, aunt, and grandmother, he suffered the stigma of being the son of a monster. The men in the family still held old world notions and felt that my father was a shameful reminder of a family disgrace. Needless to say, my father grew up knowing just how harsh the world can be.
Long Term Benefits
Not long after the tragedy, my father met a little girl in the neighborhood who came to be his best friend and constant companion. The girl grew up to become his wife and my mother, and her birthday just so happens to be March 2nd. The irony of this coincidence hasn't been lost on me... she was celebrating her 6th birthday on the same day my father's father committed his crimes of passion.
Is it any wonder that the best and the worst things that ever happened to my Capricorn father share the same anniversary? Saturn gives and takes away, only to give again in ways you least expect. Although my father's life never got much easier, he made a decision early on to be the best husband and father he could be. As much as any human being can succeed at such an endeavour, he has. His reward has been the unconditional love of his wife, his children and his grandchildren... what greater gift could there be?
Boot Camp for the Soul
Those who are born with strong Saturnian influences in their lives may even be luckier than those born under more obviously fortunate stars. Saturn may be a harsh master, but those who learn his lessons well may very well get to leapfrog over the rest of us on the way to karmic resolution.
Like boot camp for the soul, a prominent Saturn strips you down and challenges you to reach your greatest potential. When dealing with Saturn in your life, in the lives of your loved ones, or when working with clients, embrace him! No matter what challenges and obstacles Saturn presents, the true rewards lie in the growth and refinement of the soul.