Saturn, Time, and Karma are all linked. The catch is that nobody knows how exactly. Saturn has traditionally been the so-called Lord of Karma and the Time God. He is also known as Chronos, lending his name to concepts like “chronological” and “crone.”
Having him parked on the South Node since late April has really bought out the “karmic” elements of this ancient deity. I say it in quote marks because I don’t want to join the crowds of people pretending to be experts on fate. It’s a mystery behind the veils, concealed in another dimension. Whether you’re an astrologer, pomp-ridden patriarchal church or aspirant indigo-adult, it’s ultra-dodgy to proclaim knowledge of someone else’s karma/kismet. I call Saturn the Karma Cop but no person has the authority or expertise to divine the fate of another.
Popular views of Saturn, Time and Karma are mediated by the era. Ancient Romans revered him as a Harvest God and the bringer of order to chaos. Like the Ancient Chinese, they measured everything in the every-20-years Jupiter-Saturn cycle. They did not know about the broader Saturn-Pluto cycle because Pluto was not discovered at that point.
Saturn, Time and Karma Are Allied
But by Medieval times, “banishing Saturn” was a thing. He was associated with gloom and lymphatic disorders. Raising your Sun or Jupiter energy was the antidote. People wore amulets and decorated their house to ward off this baleful influence. The Golden Harvest God was more Grim Reaper.
By the 20th Century, writers like Henry Miller – a multiple conjunct Capricorn – were railing against him. And philosopher Walter Benjamin called him “the star of the slowest revolution, the planets of detours and delays.” Saturn morphed again in the Seventies astrological ‘revival’ that occurred courtesy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs book. People portrayed him as more akin to Gandalf in Lord of the Rings or The Hermit of the Tarot.
Reflecting the 1970s new era management and corporation consciousness exemplified in Peter Drucker’s best-selling The Effective Executive, Saturn’s brand became more business-like. He was more “task-master” or effectiveness coach. People talked about “karma” as if it was meted out by a bunch of organized characters in an office-like environment. Perhaps that was a reaction against the sometimes fatalist seeming philosophies of certain religions. Accepting one’s lot in life is the antithesis of self-determination.
2019 and 2020 Are Saturn Centric
I have a super-positive approach to Saturn and his cycles, partly because of my influences and reading. But I’ve noticed the benefits of Saturn. A Saturn transit met with unflinching willingness to see what is, not what you wish it to be, reaps rad results.
But the Saturn South Node Conjunction in effect since late April has raised the more ancient specter of Saturn as the miserable old coot waving the scythe around. Why? The current energy is the most intense “dose” of Saturn that it is possible to have. We have Saturn on the South Node – technically, reaping karma. Saturn is conjunct Pluto until February, and late 2020 will also feature a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. And, Saturn is in his home constellation of Capricorn.
So, if you think these are mighty and strange times, yes they are. And as befits the Time God, the current Zeitgeist feels ancient and modern. Many of the villains and corruption being unmasked (the karmic aspect) feel like they could have existed at any time in the last few millennia. Corrupt cardinals, mysteriously wealthy depraved bankers being bumped off by assassins, trade wars, Caligula-like “Emperors” and artificial manipulation of money markets.
Time Echoes And Reverberates
Other aspects of it feel almost too futuristic; 5G, cryptocurrencies, facial recognition technology, and climate change. Our personal, more intimate dramas, hopes, and challenges are playing out with this gaudy, surreal backdrop. It’s an inflection point in time itself. As I say in my Saturn-Pluto 2020 Mp3, there is a timeline for this. It’s not a new normal. It is a transition. And, while the drama is compelling, the times demand that we focus on our saga.
Everyone has tendencies that become a pattern. That pattern can be in or out of tune with time. Time is the specialty of astrology but we don’t think in days or months. To think astrologically is to see time through a prism of the Sun, Moon and planetary movements. Is it Thursday? Or is it a Dark Moon with a cluster in Virgo strengthening Saturn and Pluto. AKA an Earth element overload. Do you have an appointment with an osteopath on the 14th or a Moon-Mars conjunction re-triggering old rage and making you more snappy at dismissing energy vampires?
In Or Out Of Tune With Time
Saturn on the South Node forces a new appreciation of time. For many people, it’s manifesting as irritants and challenges that feel consequential. If you think about it, they spring from situations not adequately dealt with or acknowledged in the past. Short cuts end up taking longer. Speeding up could cause a stall. Time echoes. Because we measure it so effectively, we forget that it is a force of physics. Or magic.
As the Time God moves off the South Node from mid-September, the feeling of being barraged by s**t you don’t have time for will die down. But the energy will continue to be crazily Saturnine until Feb. If you’re already over this, read my Nine Vital Truths For Saturn Transits, whether you’re having a Saturn transit or not.
“One Is Always In Arrears To Oneself”
Unavoidable side effects of this astral trip include heightened awareness of family and ancestral patterns/heritage, remorse over past not-crash-hot decisions and keenly feeling the consequences from past over-spending or under-nourishment. But whatever you’re battling at the moment will inspire you to up your game considerably. And when this phase is past, you will be remarkably better off for it.
In the meantime, know your natal Saturn house and see that as a super-power you may not have fully manifested yet. No matter what level you are at, this current energy means that you can unearth hidden genius and treasure there. If you don’t know your Saturn house, get an Astral DNA. And, see the house where the Saturn, Pluto and South Node is currently transiting – 16 to 28 Capricorn – as where you’re under pressure to evolve. Whatever the stress factor, the area where Capricorn 16 to 28 is in your chart is what it is all about. If you don’t know that, it will be evident from my year ahead transit report.
Karma Is Spiritual Gravity
Saturn is not a gloom-monger, and you could argue that society has gotten out of balance via not enough Saturn. At its best, Saturn is good governance, conserving the environment and reward for work, not gambling.
I’m also going to be covering this in the September Horoscopes up in a few days. In the meantime, revere time and all of the things you only learned through pain or failure. In a collection of essays called Born Under Saturn, the intellectual Susan Sontag (a multiple conjunct Capricorn) wrote about the Saturnine temperament. She said it meant that the self was a text, to be deciphered and also a project, to be built. “The process of building a self and its works is always too slow. One is always in arrears to oneself. Things appear at a distance and come forward slowly.”
Less elegantly, I think karma is spiritual gravity.
Image: Enrique Badulescu