The Saturn Files: Reckoning

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Dear Friend and Reader:

The Sun, Venus and Pallas Athene have all entered Scorpio, joining up with slow-moving Saturn. Mercury is currently in Libra and will be joining the Scorpio grouping on Nov. 8.

No Earth-based telescope could get this view of Saturn — we just don’t have this angle from the ground. This photo, from 2013, is a composite of images taken by the Cassini Space Probe that’s now orbiting Saturn, providing a view of both the night and day sides.

That is an unusual influence coming from Scorpio, which represents a new phase of 2014 astrology — what I would call a time of reckoning.

Scorpio is about shared resources, beginning with the most important of them all, the DNA that does its spiral dance down the millennia and creates new generations of creatures.

By extension, this includes sexual reproduction, and by further extension, any other resources that are shared within partnerships, marriages and families.

All these planets gathered in Scorpio are saying there is plenty to go around. That each of them will soon make conjunctions to Saturn is saying there needs to be some structure to this process, and a concept of balance. Usually balance is maintained by structure, and by a process of accountability. These are the dominant themes of the Saturn Files.

Saturn has been in Scorpio since this time in 2012. Beginning in December, it will be transitioning into Sagittarius, a process that will take approximately nine months in all. Sagittarius is where we get to go after we’ve addressed all the subject matter of Scorpio. If you listen you may hear yourself or others wanting to skip over all the emotional, hormonal, sexual Scorpio stuff and jump right into the light, spiritual, aspirational subject matters of Sagittarius.

Yet as we will see, Saturn will be guiding us through a transition process where we can make peace with our inner worlds as a prerequisite of emerging into the outer world in a new way.

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Artist’s conception of Mars billions of years ago, during the era of disappearing lakes. Photo is from Space4Case, featuring spectacular planetary views, some based on NASA mission images.

Most people familiar with astrology are not on friendly terms with Saturn. Indeed most people who are not familiar with astrology are not on friendly terms with what Saturn represents. The Saturn principle is basically this. The more you take responsibility for your own structures, necessities, factors of timing and maturity, the less structure will be imposed on you from the outside.

Because we live in a society where people are encouraged not to grow up, most people experience Saturn as an external force imposed on them. True, we all do at some point, but the process of maturity is about taking the Saturn factors on board as one’s personal responsibility, hopefully in advance. Saturn favors the honoring of time and timing.

The thing about Scorpio is that there’s always someone else involved. Scorpio is one of the most relationship-oriented signs, though it is often associated with relationships of necessity — joint financial partnerships, the arrangements of marriage, and what happens in people’s private lives, in the bedroom, or behind the closed doors of the corporate boardroom.

Scorpio is one of astrology’s most compelling synonyms for ‘secret’. However, anyone who has lived for a while knows that nothing is really secret. Secrecy is a kind of game, often played with oneself. Even if information comes out after a person has left their body, it’s not secret — there’s just no longer an ego around to worry about it.

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Artist’s conception of Pluto, based on known data. We will not need to be depending on such illustrations for long — the New Horizons probe is scheduled to reach the Pluto-Charon system, an astonishing four billion miles from Earth, in July 2015. Image: JPL/NASA.

We’re a long way from there, however. We are at a point of reckoning where information and accountability will be shared among the living. Taboo subjects are coming out into the open, and we all know that they need to. The question that Mercury will be asking is, who is the voice of accountability? Who will initiate the discussion that needs to be had? Who will have the guts to speak the unspeakable?

To me this alignment in Scorpio, fully supported by the integrity of Saturn, is saying that it’s time to open up to the truth about sex, and one’s own personal truth about sex. The first thing to acknowledge is that sex exists; the second is what you want, to the extent that you do; and the last is your sexual history. That history is part of the story of any and every relationship you have, and the contact with Saturn is saying that this is the time to get things out in the open.

There’s another angle on the Saturn Files, which is happening in one of Saturn’s signs of rulership, Capricorn. (Note to astrology students: Saturn is also the traditional ruler of Aquarius, and is exalted in Libra, so really it’s associated with three signs.)

Scorpio has two planets associated with it — in traditional astrology there is Mars. In modern astrology there is Pluto. Both Mars and Pluto are currently in Capricorn. So there is an energy cycle that is happening between Saturn in Scorpio, and Mars and Pluto in Capricorn; they are in what is called mutual reception. There are many ways to consider that, though the first thing you can say is that Scorpio, Capricorn and their various rulers are intimately linked right now.

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One last artist’s conception — this time of a smaller object in the Kuiper Belt, near Pluto. Recently the Hubble Space Telescope, which orbits the Earth, has been identifying possible locations for New Horizons to visit and photograph on this first-ever mission to the Kuiper Belt. To learn more about the discovery of the Kuiper Belt, check this article on its discovery.

Capricorn, like its ruler Saturn, carries the theme of structure. But with Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) we are seeing a lot of restructuring going on. Some of this has been cataclysmic; some is planned and intentional; lots has yet to begin.

In about a week, Mars will make a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn, and we will see some kind of interesting effect from that.

True, the news has been its usual shocking self lately, full of all kinds of secrets boiling out all over the hob, but this conjunction carries some extra oomph. One message is to take control of the process of structuring yourself. Mars conjunct Pluto in Capricorn reminds me of a welding torch. Such is not a tool to be handled casually. One needs special protection, and most of all, respect for the power that is being emitted. That would be a good way to approach Mars conjunct Pluto in Capricorn.

Then soon after, Mars will make a square to Uranus, which has an incendiary quality. It’s like a source of ignition. When we add this all up, we have Mars passing through our era-defining Uranus-Pluto square — which is sure to stir things up a bit, and describes a truly provocative agent for change.

The message here is to take up this power of heat and fire, and use it to structure your life the way you want it to be. Most people would make big changes, if not for three factors — the need for courage, the profound need for truth, and the resources to make the change happen.

If you start with courage, the second two factors are much likelier to emerge when you need them.


Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $99/year. Core community membership: $199/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Brendan Merritt, Amy Elliott, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Casey Smith, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.


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In this week’s issue of Planet Waves’ environmental newsletter, titled “Food for Thought,” we cover: the surge of web-based services and mobile-phone apps designed to divert unwanted food to those in need; recent testing of fish in Oregon for levels of toxin above ‘safe consumption’ limits; discovery of GMO soy in two brands of baby formula; two lawsuits launched against the EPA’s approval of Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide; and the day U.K. wind power outpaced nuclear.

You can read this week’s full edition here, and sign up here to receive Monsanto Eco every Tuesday.


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Planet Waves

In addition to a black hole, the special effects team also simulated a wormhole for Interstellar — a project that required them to completely write new rendering software based on Kip Thorne’s mathematical calculations. Note that as you read the story on the Wired website, the scrolling is funky; don’t stop at the full-screen image of an astronaut — there’s still more to read further down.

The Unbelievable Light of a Black Hole

By Amanda Painter

We associate Scorpio season with all kinds of things that are deep, dark and mysterious. And what’s deeper, darker and more mysterious than a black hole, right?

Actually, the funky gravitational pull of a black hole apparently bends light in such a way as to create a brilliant ring of starlight around it. At least, that’s what retired Cal Tech astrophysicist Kip Thorne discovered with a team of special effects wizards who used his mathematical calculations to create a black hole (and more) for the upcoming movie Interstellar. The simulation took a year of 30 people working on thousands of computers, according to a Wired story this month.

Most ways of describing complex deep-space phenomena only give someone a sense of what the thing is like. The amazing thing about the black hole in Interstellar is that viewers get an understanding of what the math says the thing is.

“Science fiction always wants to dress things up, like it’s never happy with the ordinary universe,” says Paul Franklin, a senior supervisor of Academy Award-winning effects house Double Negative. “What we were getting out of the software was compelling straight off.”

“This is our observational data,” Thorne says of the visual representations in the movie. “That’s the way nature behaves. Period.”


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Björk Guðmundsdóttir, known mononymously as Björk, is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress. She is also a supreme Scorpio.

The Scorpio Alignment, What’s Happening in Canada and a Tribute to Presidential Astrologer Miss Joan Quigley

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I recap what has been happening in Canada, and consider the situation with Jian Ghomeshi, the CBC reporter who was fired for alleged sexual misconduct and who has sued his former employer. I consider what seems to be the newly emerging “BD/SM defense,” akin to the “rough sex defense,” and the problems associated with the discussion of sexual boundaries in the context of alleged crimes.

In the second half of the program I offer a tribute to the life of Joan Quigley, the astrologer to the Reagans, including reading her chart. My musical guest is Björk, who also gets a chart reading and a shout-out from one of her most avid fans.


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Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for November published Friday, Oct. 24. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for October Thursday, Sept. 25. Your Inner Space horoscopes for November are published below in this issue. Moonshine horoscopes for the Aries Full Moon published Tuesday, Oct. 7. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Inner Space Monthly Horoscope for November, 2014, #1022 By Eric Francis

If you’re reading this, you just came through a rather unusual month, including Mercury retrograde, two eclipses and a wild ride of Mars in Sagittarius. The sky in November is less hectic, more focused and has a more serious tone. Serious is good — the aspects look productive, if you’re willing to bear down and maybe stay late at work whenever you need to. We will have a series of conjunctions to Saturn (the Sun, Venus and Mercury) and then something more potent than that: Mars conjunct Pluto and square Uranus. This is the month to get results. It will help immensely if you know in advance the results you want to get.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Events this month seem destined to reveal the futility of jealousy and the thing it’s made of, which is the illusion of control. If you consciously give yourself the opportunity to be submissive to existence, you will find that you have more influence than if you try to run the whole show. I understand that you may be feeling the need, on one level, to exert your power. If you do something gentler, which is to stay in contact with your desires, and responsive to the desires of others, you will be able to get the energy moving in a way that allows a real exchange and also that brings you closer to people. This is subtle territory, and the land of mixed emotions. Stay close to your desire, informed by love.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Why are relationships so powerful in your life? That’s an honest question you seem to be asking yourself. I think you know that you need to get underneath this, rather than looking at it from the surface level, or from the viewpoint of the usual cultural myths we have about involvements with others. A particular situation or condition that has at times seemed stuck or resistant to change has indeed been a source of progress for you. And you may note the many ways the situation has evolved since it began. The astrology I’m seeing presents you with the following equation: the deeper you go, the more movement you will notice, and the more movement will be possible. You are about to enter a whole new emotional landscape, one where you will see how much freedom you really have.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You have collected plenty of information the past couple of months, and now you need to review it all. If this information has involved a health issue, you will probably need to discard most of it and keep the one or two gems that will point you in the direction of actual improvement. I suggest you focus on matters of sexual health: maintaining and nourishing your Scorpio parts, your hormones, your desire. Yes, desire is a vital part of sexual health, because where the sex organs are concerned, life really is a matter of use it or lose it. Some people love to hear this and others cannot stand to. It is, however, a matter of elementary biology to which we are all subject. And when the biological aspect of living critters is happy, there’s a good chance the rest of them will be too. It also works the other way.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Sexuality is at the creative core of who a person is. What is politely called socialization is often a process of conditioning natural sexuality and creativity out of a person, usually when they are young. What is left is someone who finds change and motion difficult to experience; someone who is calcified. Your ability to feel, to create, to be sexual and to change are all related. They are related to both inner and outer movement, and you have the choice to encourage or discourage these qualities in yourself. I suggest you keep your life moving any way you can, in any way that feels appealing and even one or two ways that feel daunting.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — What is it that creates confidence? Some people are born with it; but for most people, it’s cultivated through experience. If you were to say to a young person, all the things you would prefer to avoid are the ones that will give you the most confidence, that might not sound so appealing. I am here to tell you that you’ve already built up that particular strength, and any challenges you might experience over the next month or so are things you’ve already been through in some form. As such you can draw on your wisdom and strength and come out feeling like you are indeed strong and wise. Note that when authentic, mixed with that will often be a touch of insecurity, which is designed to keep you on your toes.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Your chart strongly suggests that this is the time to practice speaking from your feelings. You have a lot of feelings to speak about, and you could just as easily, indeed more easily, retreat into silence. But that would only reinforce the illusion that you are in this all alone. And silence is a form of attempted control, and provides the conditions necessary for self-deception. The way to stay honest and in truth to remind yourself that you’re free is to share with others what you think and how you feel. You may have many reasons not to. I assure you there are several very good reasons to be bold and live as if your life depends on being true to your word about how you feel, especially when it counts the most.

Scorpio Birthday Reading Now Available for Pre-Order

Dear Friend and Reader:

If you’re born under the sign Scorpio or have Scorpio rising (or have Scorpio loved ones), this is going to be an intriguing year, one of the most meaningful in a long time. Three planets enter your sign the same day, followed by a solar eclipse.

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That is an exciting solar return — a homecoming. In addition, Saturn finally makes its first moves out of your sign later in the year, and transitions into Sagittarius. This is a total change of energy and shift of emphasis.

Your birthday reading is now available for pre-order for a reduced price.

I intend to make the reading available soon; it consists of two half-hour (plus) segments of astrology, plus astrology afterthoughts and what seems to be everyone’s favorite — a tarot reading using the Voyager deck by James Wanless.

Your reading includes two excellent extra features — access to last year’s reading, so you can check my work and check the progress of your life; and also a live call-in program so you can ask questions about what I cover and (to some extent) your own astrology.

If you’re friends with a Scorpio, this reading makes a beautiful gift they’ll use and truly love. All of my readings are recorded in studio-quality audio, and can be listened to on any computer or mobile device.

You can pre-order the reading now for $29.95, and I plan to have it ready for you by next week.


P.S. If you have not yet visited the new Planet Waves website, you can sign up for a complementary Introductory Membership here. This will give you access to many of our regular columnists and other features, and offers a glimpse of what a full subscribing membership offers.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — I have written many times that self-esteem is the most significant problem in Western society. There are bigger problems where people don’t have toilets, but on our side of the tracks, self-esteem is what you might call the plague. You’ve been onto this one for a while. I think you know what I’m getting at. Self-esteem regulates all other possibilities. There are some people who just naturally feel good about themselves and can live that way, though they are few and far between. You are going through a series of what you might think of as tests or experiments that will help you cultivate respect for, and confidence in, yourself. You have what it takes; you are strong and you have some energy. And you will be happy you passed through this phase of psychological growth — once you stand up and walk right into the territory.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You are bigger than any situation in your life. I would also remind you that no situation is intractable — everything is subject to movement. Everything is subject to change. That fact of existence is your best friend right now, since you have a tendency to live so much of your life as if certain things will never change. Use your discernment and apply this principle to what you know you want to move on from, but doubted that you could. Remember all the time that growth and change are inseparable; that they are necessary partners. In the midst of this, I would remind you that your capacity to feel is something to embrace as your best navigational tool. Yes, the modern way of life is to eschew feelings and tap on an icon. I would say pause, feel, and be well-guided.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Don’t let the pressure get to you — or rather, you don’t have to. You can if you want to, though your situation feels more urgent than it is. The sense that you are approaching some limitation or obstacle is more of an inner reality than an outer one. And there is a corresponding inner development — that of resolve and determination in a way that you have rarely ever felt in such a focused way. Yes, you are born under one of the most ambitious signs, capable of marshaling your energy like few others can. Yet as I am sure you’ve been aware, you must gather your strength in a new way, to meet objectives that you have yet to fully encounter. If you cooperate, the outcome is certain.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Often has it been said that only you have the power to change yourself. Yet this is either too much responsibility for most people to handle, or it defies some other logic that external factors are what really make the difference. This month Mars and Pluto form a conjunction in your birth sign, an indication that you have the ability to rewrite just about any facet of your existence. Yet this cannot be haphazard, left to chance or done with blurry vision. You must focus, you must choose, and most of all you must hold yourself accountable for what you want and what you create. If you think of this as the cost of success, you will see that it’s not so high after all, though more than most think they can afford.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You seem more determined than ever to crack through the limitations of the past. The most direct way to do that is to question your own priorities. You have been doing this, though at a glacial pace. You have made changes, though it looks like there are many more that you have, for some reason, held off on. No doubt that is because you have not felt ready, though I suggest you question the role of your attachment to the past. People seem to think it natural that they get ‘set in their ways’, as if this were some kind of entitlement. That may be true, but you don’t want everything to which you are entitled — which would be a fine way to sum up the astrology of the next four weeks.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Clearly you are preparing for something. Yes it’s true, life is one long exercise in preparation, though this is unusual and you are in a particularly sensitive phase of that preparation. One element of your life to focus on is ethics. That does not only mean doing right by others; it means making sure you do right by yourself, and that you have taken care of all your necessary plans and details. Make sure that you hold others to the same standard: that we all keep our promises. Be sure you’ve read the books that you know you’re supposed to read, in order to be fully prepared for whatever it is you’re about to do. Proceed meticulously, take each step carefully, and gather your strength for the big move.


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5 thoughts on “The Saturn Files: Reckoning

  1. Amy Elliott

    I have to confess to really loving Saturn. He’s very powerful in my chart, and I believe we are on good terms.

    The most famous myth Saturn features in is quite a scary one – that of trying to prevent his replacement as ruler of the Gods by eating all his children. This is an illustration of what happens when restriction, rules and structures spiral out of control. You get the endless machinations of government, where nothing ever seems to get done and where all changes meet with frustrating delays; you get the Stalin figures wreaking destruction just to hang on to their little kingdoms, and the ruthless repression of ordinary folk. But life cannot exist without structure and form of some kind; and it’s useful to remember that Saturn in his prime presided over the Golden Age, and his job after being deposed was to rule the Elysian Fields, the afterlife of the blessed.

    The malefics help us, I think, to understand the concept that any archetypal force in moderation is usually a positive thing, and evil comes from extremes.

  2. Len Wallick

    Eric: Hands down the best synopsis of Saturn i’ve ever read. Just we when need it. In an applicable form. You really are the best, and have continuously been more than equal to the astrology all year.

    Amy: A brilliantly expressed and highly pertinent application of the Saturn mythology as well. Your insights are truly appreciated.

  3. Shelley Stearns

    I’m actually feeling apprehension that Saturn is changing signs as I haven’t dealt with the Scorpio issues sufficiently. This is absolutely about courage. Most of the time I feel that is the only thing anything is ever about. I wonder about the idea of internal and external events in astrology. When I have felt like Saturn was oppressive, I still experienced this as myself doing it to myself, like there was an authoritarian me that wouldn’t let the other me be free.

  4. Mary

    I love Saturn too, in this chaotic world it is confronting to have some structure in which to find peace, routines involving meals, socializing, self care, work. Too much structure though, can feel like a prison. Perhaps the wisdom of Saturn is in finding that balance, hence the Libra exaltation.

    1. Shelley Stearns

      That makes a lot of sense, Mary. I was contemplating that Libra connection. Interesting that Venus and Saturn are both strong there.

      I just began The Function of the Orgasm by Wilhelm Reich yesterday, which was not planned but fits all of this Scorpio, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto discussion, and he made a comment about tradition, using the development of a better microscope as an example. He says, “Tradition is important,” that “the improvement of the microscope was not brought about by destroying the first model: the improvement was achieved by preserving and developing the first model in keeping with a more advanced stage of human knowledge.”

      That would be a useful way to look at Saturn. Although sometimes you just have to destroy the microscope, right? 😉

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