Join Dillon's Mailing List!



Of the planets that were observable to the naked eye in antiquity, Saturn moves the slowest, changing signs about once every two and a half years. The last time we saw Saturn in Sag was between November of 1985 and November of 1988. The beginning of this period was marked by Microsoft's release of the first version of Windows on 20 November 1985, which was reflected in a Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius, in the middle of a bisextile formation between Mars in Libra and Jupiter in Aquarius – quite fitting of something bearing such a light and airy name, which at the same time would end up becoming truly ubiquitous.





The end of this Saturn transit saw the release of the first “worm” into the internet, the Morris Worm, on 2 November 1988, which was designed to passively gauge the size of the internet (note the theme of expansion or size, which is Jupiterian, and the theme of monitoring, which is Saturnian) but ended up crashing huge numbers of computers and beginning a whole new family of computer viruses. Note the Sun conjunct Pluto, Jupiter in Gemini (the sign opposing Sagittarius), Saturn conjoined with Uranus, and Mars on the Aries Point (0 degrees of any Cardinal sign).



Saturn in Scorpio was heavy, visceral, phantasmagoric. It is my feeling that this influence brought many of us to a comprehension of where our most parturient emotional blocks lie. Here Saturn begged the question that is echoed in the Serenity Prayer. What can I change, and what can I not change, and how do I know? What do I flow with, and what do I flow against, and what do I flow around? Forced to grope around in the dark to wrestle with our deepest fears and our most frightening nightmares, some of us may have gotten a little insight as to the answers to these questions.

The Gemini-Sagittarius opposition of signs is referred to by Carol Rushman in The Art of Predictive Astrology as “the axis of the mind.” In Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Liz Greene suggests that while Gemini is concerned with the gathering and transmission of information, Sagittarius gives meaning to information and puts it into perspective. This is where we encounter the world through new eyes, infused with and animated by the essence of the divine. No longer is a stone simply a stone, or a bird simply a bird. The stones write messages in the sand, and birds sing melodies that elevate the consciousness to the level of divine madness, where the Gods can talk to us.

Where Saturn in Scorpio was personal, Saturn in Sagittarius is transpersonal. It is about the relationship of humanity to divinity, and what it is about that relationship that needs correction. It calls us back to very old ways of thinking about the divine – philosophies from antiquity that still to this day shape the way we think about the world around us, and the traditional customs and rituals of religion – and asks us what is still relevant, what should be kept or reused, what cannot or should not be of any use anymore, and what we can do to improve the situation without doing more harm than good. Some of us may be brought to the dark night of the soul, where everything is stripped away from us but the ability to augur a better day in the future, and to begin to rebuild from there. Others will have monumental and extreme spiritual breakthroughs and make gains in life that had previously only been dreamed of, and perhaps the test here is to manage our victories wisely and make the most of them. Saturn in Jupiter's sign is a test of the mind, and through the mind, it is a test of the spirit. It asks us what we will do if our luck runs out, and to make sure we are mentally prepared for that day, as we must be prepared for any set of circumstances that are handed to us.

Saturn in Sagittarius questions the idea of endless expansion and will surely continue to cast doubt upon the fallacy of limitless economic growth without consequence, without crisis. Don't get me wrong – positive thinking is a wonderful and useful capacity. If it wasn't for the ability to think big, humans would still be huddling in caves, unsure of what to do with the sacred flame that Prometheus is said to have delivered to us from the realm of the Gods. But while the power of the divine is limitless, the power of the mortal person that channels immaterial power is not. We are indeed not humans having a spiritual experience, but spirits having a human experience. Limitation and vulnerability are a part of our experience – they allow us to understand what limitation and vulnerability are not. This should be understood, accepted, and worked with – not irrationally feared or unrealistically denied, which are pathologies. Just as the Morris Worm meant well but ended up having disastrous consequences, the perceiving and understanding functions of the mind can run amok – a fascinating expression which has its origin in the Malay language and means "an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malay culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior occurring worldwide in numerous countries and cultures (per Wikipedia).” Divine madness can get mixed up with actual, uninspired madness. Giving divine significance to anything and everything, including growth fed by catastrophic and unfixable destruction, or senseless killing and violence, is the dark side of Sagittarius – murder in the name of faith and belief. The worst extremes of religious fanaticism can flourish under this influence. Positively, however, old and outmoded religious traditions which are in fact holding people back from believing in the immaterial instead of encouraging such belief can be seen in the cold hard light of rationality and reason, and changed to suit the times or be discarded altogether. Religious rights issues may come to the fore while Saturn is in this sign. There may also be a swing in a more conservative direction for some religious movements, which of course will lead to objections from those who are more liberal and progressive. Sagittarius has rulership in the realm of law as well – human law as well as spiritual. Sagittarius rules truth, and Saturn exposes those who have gotten to high places by sacrificing their integrity, so this is yet another theme we may see unfold in major world religions, politics, and/or big business.

As we look ahead and gauge both the blessings and the catechisms that the traditionally “greater malefic” has in store for us when Saturn changes signs on 12/24/2014, may we all remember to take everything we see, hear, and experience with a healthy grain of salt. Sometimes a stone is, in fact, just a plain old stone. If that weren't true, how would we ever recognize the sacred stone that appears on our path when the time is exactly right?