Balancing with Saturn

In an earlier post, I had described the balancing act between Jupiter and Saturn, how too much of one and too little of the other can result in an insubstantial or joyless life. This balance of Jupiter and Saturn is a metaphor that rises above astrology, throwing light on the kind of excess versus caution dilemmas we all face at various points in life.

An opportunity comes knocking at the door-do you take it and run with it (Jupiter), or do you rationalize and let caution paralyze you into maintaining status quo (Saturn)? If you dive right in, you will be relying on faith and optimism (Jupiter), throwing caution (Saturn) to the wind. On the other hand, not paying enough attention to Saturnian caution and prudence, not reading the fine print, might land you in a hot mess. Take the leap, or live to fight another day? It comes down to how you roll the dice, do you side with Jupiter, or with Saturn?

Just as we need to balance Saturn against Jupiter, there are particular qualities of Saturn that also need to be balanced against Neptune, Uranus, and Mars.

Saturn and Neptune

Achieving a good balance between Saturn and Neptune is more challenging than Saturn-Jupiter. The main reason is that Neptune is an outer planet, and can act through the unconscious in ways that can be quite insidious and detrimental without the person even being aware of its influence. In particular, when the Sun or Moon joins an aspect between Saturn and Neptune, the individual must strive to be consciously aware of all times as to how the see-saw act between these planetary energies is playing out. I’ll explain with a scenario involving the Moon.

Say the Moon is conjunct Saturn and square Neptune. The Saturn-Neptune square by itself is not that relevant since it is a generational aspect and will be found in the chart of every person born in a one or two year period. However, the involvement of the Moon here makes this square highly personal. Saturn and Neptune are antithetical forces. Saturn establishes boundaries, while Neptune erases them. Saturn is about structure, Neptune is about lack of it. Saturn is about reality, Neptune is about imagination, fantasy and illusion.

If the Moon were conjunct Saturn, without that square to Neptune, it would make for a rigid, disciplined, tough, cold person. The sensitivity and expressiveness of the Moon is heavily dampened, even oppressed, by Saturn’s restrictiveness. This doesn’t mean the person is not sensitive, it simply means the sensitivity is very deeply hidden, and because of this, there is over-reaction or under-reaction when emotions need to be expressed. Such a person would be highly practical, a “realist” that sees things for exactly what they are, but they lack the imagination that would enrich their life.

If the Moon were conjunct Neptune, without the square to Saturn, this would make for an extremely sensitive, soft, dreamy, empathetic person, who doesn’t see the reality of circumstances, and is cocooned in their private world of imagination. Such people can be hurt very easily, and have trouble dealing with practical matters. Their naivete about how things work in the “real” world with its rules and protocols can easily led them astray, with the result that they can be seduced and cheated by people who may take advantage of their impressionability.

But if the Moon is conjunct Saturn and square Neptune, the Moon-Saturn combination would be squared off against the Moon-Neptune combination. Then there is a counteraction of the reality with the imagination, a balance of the rigidity with the softness, of the practicality with the vision. These energies don’t cancel each out, rather they can be made to work together, and it is all up to the person with this pattern to make the best of these antithetical energies. It’s all about timing—when to be tough and when to be soft, when to imagine and when to execute, how to establish a vision for the life, and how to manifest and live out the vision.

Saturn and Uranus

Saturn can get too stifling, it can be too much of a stick in the mud, conventional to the extreme, making for a wooden personality. Let sleeping dogs lie, is Saturn’s motto. That won’t do, says Uranus. Saturn is orthodox, Uranus is iconoclastic. Saturn plays by the rules; Uranus says, what rules? Saturn builds structure, Uranus tears it down.

A person with an active Saturn and a dormant Uranus in the chart (or a person who sides with the Saturn more than the Uranus) will find the Uranian energy to be random, and disruptive and the Saturnian energy stable and safe. On the other hand a person who sides more with the Uranian energy that with the Saturnian will find the latter dull, boring, and stifling, while finding the former refreshing, energizing, lively.

The Uranian energy is hard to handle and hard to own because the world is Saturnian in that it depends on structure and stability for its very existence; if the Uranian energies of chaos are let loose without restraint, what would the world come to? So the Uranian energy is marginalized. Having a strong Uranus in the chart and a weak Saturn is generally an indicator of a troubled life—the person wants to belong, but doesn’t know quite how, and is certainly not about to respect “authority” and “rules” just because they are there. A good does of Saturn is necessary for Uranus to turn its disruption into inventiveness, its iconoclasm into progress, its weirdness into cool. It all takes time, Saturnian time.

Uranians, that is people with very strong Uranus, even with the help of a strong Saturn typically only come into their own in their forties and fifties, when their contributions to society are appreciated—these are the people who can raise the awareness of everyone around them, exhorting them to lead more fulfilling lives, on their own terms.

Saturn and Mars

The contrast between Mars and Saturn is like that between Jupiter and Saturn in that Mars says “go” while Saturn stays “stop”. Having both Mars and Saturn work simultaneously in the chart is like having one foot on the gas pedal, while braking with the other. When to stop and when to go may become an issue, the timing of actions may be off.  The Martian energy contrasting with the Saturnian in this way typically leads to frustration. But Mars can work with Saturn to temper aggression with caution for the best of both worlds. And Saturn can work with Saturn to get up and go when the time is ripe, to seize opportunities instead of letting them pass.

The Dalai Lama’s Balancing Act

Here is the horoscope of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Saturn, at the top of the chart, is opposite Neptune, and this opposition is highly personalized due to the presence of the Moon with Neptune. So there is a constant balancing act between the energies of Saturn and Neptune that is deeply felt through the Moon.

Saturn is also balancing against Jupiter, via the trine aspect. Again, this is personalized through the Sun because the Sun is also trine Jupiter and Saturn. So every act of coordination and balance between Saturn and Jupiter informs the Dalai Lama’s direction and purpose in life through the Sun.