Dear Madame Zolonga: Will Saturn Save a Saggo Slump?

Dear Madame,

I have a Sagittarius problem, I think. I am a Sagittarius rising person and the mother of a high school-aged daughter (a sophomore this year) with a Sagittarius Sun. She’s one of those sparky kids who is bright enough to have whizzed through a lot of early years in school with minimal effort. So school has never been a real problem, but it also has not seen as relevant.

I think we took this success for granted in the past, but this year it caught up to us. Last winter was a real challenge. Everything that seemed easy before wasn’t anymore, even though she’s always been in advanced classes. Her grades dropped because she didn’t hand in assignments, or handed them in late. We had to take her out of a sport because she couldn’t keep up with everything.


I feel this was the right choice, but it was so hard on all of us. The new school year starting, and now I hear Saturn is returning to Sagittarius. I wonder if there’s anything hopeful in store for us Sagittarius types? Saturn doesn’t sound good.

— The Centaur’s Mother

Dear Momma Centaur,

You sound as if you’re mothering along well enough. These tough decisions are undoubtedly part of the parenting game, and whether it’s a sport or a friend, or a habit gone awry, we occasionally have to step in and reshape the scene. You must use that word no teenager likes – ‘boundaries’.

That’s the Saturn bit. Right? So, well done. Saturning is part of parenting, as uncomfortable as it may be.

Saggos (as you probably know already) have no particular use for boundaries, though. “Fly and be free!” they say. And bright little Saggo types who easily clear all the low-level hurdles of grammar school and sail through the higher hoops of middle years have not a clue what their apparently less fortunate peers are feeling. While the other kids struggle daily to remember their math facts and presidents, dearest Saggo is frequently the autodidact out blazing her own trail toward truth, charming the teachers, and throwing together amazing presentations on the Constitution two days before the project’s due.

The problem here is as much in natural social development as it’s in the stars. It’s ‘a stage’. As a former high school teacher, I can assure you the changes that happen to students over the course of their sophomore year are typically more obvious than those in the later years. It’s as if freshman year is just a dress rehearsal for high school, and somewhere around the second semester of the sophomore year many students figure out they’re in the building for more than gaping at one another in blatant exchanges of hormonal hysteria. Finally, the academic educational show begins.

Contrary to your concerns, I see the astrological moment of Saturn’s arrival in Sagittarius as actually very positive for both of you. Saturn’s limitations mean that Saggo Jr. can’t cruise through her class work like she used to. Why? Because the material may actually have caught up with her abilities. Like many bright kids, she may never have had to work at learning. You, as a parent, have never been forced to make strict homework time boundaries, or limit activities or friends coming over. Why? Because she has ‘succeeded’ at everything with few challenges.

Saturn might also be a teacher who won’t let her get by with easy answers or old habits. She’ll probably hate this teacher at first, but time will tell another story. In short, with Saturn’s arrival and the sophomore year ‘hump’ she’ll face more than a few opportunities this year to mature, get organized, and figure out her own limitations.

It’s time to get Saturn-friendly. Saturn always feels like a drag at first, but it wouldn’t hurt your little Saggo to slow things down, and for you to accept the added responsibility as well. Saturn will be around through the rest of her high school days. Yes. That’s right.

Saturn represents more than limitations; it is fundamentals and foundations, too — like good bones, or a strong framework. We build bodies and buildings on Saturninian principles. So take this time to get to the fundamentals of what’s wrong right now.

For instance, develop and stick to a homework routine after school. Show up at school and talk with her teachers. What’s really in the syllabus? What’s really expected? What behaviors or habits have already appeared this year? Accountability is a big-time Saturnian thing. If you’ve set appropriate expectations at home and at school and hold her accountable, she’ll mature and become more self-regulating. Never having to do this before, you might get some pointers or support from the teachers, your friends or a counselor who knows the score.

However, in your investigations you may find that your daughter’s actually missing some key skill, or masking a learning disability that’s finally caught up with her. There’s no shame or blame here. Bright kids with learning deficits or differences often slip through the usual screens that flag potential problems. They can ‘fake it’ better — until they can’t. If you’re even remotely concerned this is true, please consider getting your daughter tested through the school or with a neurodevelopmental psychologist. There’s no sense holding your kid to a standard she can’t yet reach or will need help in attaining.

And that’s how you start. No more last-minute projects. No more sliding by and charming the teacher into extra credit at the last minute. No more easy-peasy worksheets that take little time and even fewer of her brain cells. She’s playing in a different league now and has to know the rules. You are, too, Mama. Stick with Saturn and you’ll both be a better team two years from now.

Pedagogically yours,

Madame Z

5 thoughts on “Dear Madame Zolonga: Will Saturn Save a Saggo Slump?

  1. Amanda Painter

    Indeed — I think this is useful reading for *anyone* with any significant Sagg placements. I have a Sagg Moon in the 6th, and I’ll be tuning my antennae to any and all “childlike freedom vs adult responsibility” situations and choices — along with how the things that truly call to my soul’s evolution might take on a slightly different shape for a couple years.

    Then again…sometimes ya just gotta be free. And sometimes that means free to redefine your sense of authority in your life, or to redirect it; to notice intuitively what new things bring a sense of joy and fulfillment. Or maybe I’ll get better at creating a “safe container” for all those emotions that can be hard to express maturely…or a better structure through which to let them out and be heard for what they are.

  2. Madame Zolonga

    Yes. Freedom to fail sometimes is as useful a teacher in some contexts as embracing responsibility. That dance, particularly for parents, is one that periodically requires new choreography.

    I look forward to your Saturn in Sag observations, Amanda!

    1. Amanda Painter

      Ah yes… the freedom to fail. 🙂 Well, so far, it seems like the childlike Sadge stuff has been winning a few decisions in the last week. Not necessarily a bad thing; I think the key is choosing those moments carefully — and then remembering to get back down to business.

      It can be called an “adult decision” to decide that a little “play” is what is most needed to bring things into balance, right? Hhmmm… interesting concept, that: the idea that sometimes the truly responsible thing our inner adult can do is to recognize that it’s healthy to let the inner child out to play for a while? Maybe it’s just about setting slightly wider (and temporary) boundaries — as long as potential repercussions are understood, and any consequences or trade-offs accepted.


      Right — back to work I go!

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