Astrology

Climb a Mountain with Saturn

‘Medicines for 2020’ explores the massive Capricorn energy in our world this year. And how important it is to provide balance with strong Cancer energies of self-care and compassion. We go further now, and look at how to climb a mountain with Saturn, in the sign he loves most, Capricorn.

In ‘Medicines for 2020’ the ‘wise elder’ was introduced as a powerful Capricorn archetype, and qualities of resilience and taking responsibility were found to be its essential nature.

Yet, the path to elder wisdom is often a testing journey.

As my wizened Capricorn grandmother once said, “I’ve been up too many dry gullies in my time.” On the rocky, lonely, mountain tracks of her life’s trials, however, she slowly grew the feet of a goat.

These qualities are especially needed today. In fact, you might think of them as the right stuff for 2020.

Saturn’s tests

Tough circumstances generally come along with the tests of Saturn. We are tasked to develop resilience and inner strength in the face of adversity. Such trials are often times of feeling stuck, of things grinding to a halt.

In Saturn/Pluto times in particular, such as now, we can also be winded by the frightening realisation that we are not in total control of events. That life is bigger than us.

The test is your teacher

The truth is, growing up doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s inspired by a challenge, as ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. The test is your teacher.

Sometimes a guide or a mentor can help you face your challenge. This can be a real person, perhaps a counsellor or a wise elder, as well as a felt connection with something like an inner father, who can stiffen your spine and help you stand upright through challenges.

You can also be inspired by something bigger. When someone has Saturn/Pluto in their birth chart I invite them to imagine the Britons living through the Blitz during the Second World War, another Saturn/Pluto time. Refusing to surrender, leading everyday lives while contributing to the war effort how they could, throughout the bombs, and rockets, and fear of invasion, despite fear, death, deprivation, and uncertain outcomes. This grit, this determination, unflagging resilience, and willingness to shoulder responsibility, is the very best of Saturn/Pluto and is the gift of Saturn/Pluto people to the world.

Practices for building Saturn/Pluto muscles

How might you benefit from the medicine of 2020 and develop these sterling Saturn/Pluto qualities? You might consider how these 3 practices could build your Saturn/Pluto muscles:

  1. Self-discipline:

Saturn loves to follow rules and set limits. To bring self-discipline to a challenge. Breathe into that part of you, and reflect on how you might use it to climb a mountain, step by gritty step. Set a long-term goal. Share with our communal goals of personal restraint for a larger cause. This is a sign of our times, and we grow stronger from it.

  1. Take responsibility:

How are you being asked to take more responsibility or would benefit from doing so? Imagine broad shoulders, feel your core strength. How might things be different if you take up the mantle, if you accept a situation where the buck stops with you?

  1. Grow Personal agency:

if you believe you can affect a positive change to your circumstances you have personal agency. Think on your past and the times you have made effective choices and taken more control over your life. Psychologist Rick Hansen calls this finding your inner hammer and moving beyond feeling like the nail. Listen to this talk by Rick on how reconnecting with personal agency can help with feelings of helplessness. Recall times you have flexed those muscles. Think of a small way you might use them again, to exercise personal agency, to feel your steel.

 

Resources for Resilience and Responsibility

Meditations

Practices for growing an unshakeable core by Rick Hansen PhD

Reading

Resilient by Rick Hanson PhD

Grit; The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth PhD

Seven Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life, an article by psychologists Anthony Rao PhD and Paul Napper PsyD written for the Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley

 

The inner marriage of Cancer and Capricorn

Being mindful, caring, and compassionate toward ourselves may seem at first glance to be a skill set opposite to the tough guy skills of resilience and responsibility, but they are integral to each other, as are Cancer and Capricorn, yin and yang. They are kindred spirits in facing the challenge of adversity.

Author and dreamworker Toko-pa Turner, describes the meaningful relationship between resilience and painful feelings in her book ‘Belonging’.

“Resilience is our ability to meet with difficult feelings and setbacks, and not only trust in our capacity to adapt and recover from them, but to find something redemptive hidden within adversity.” – Toko-pa Turner, ‘Belonging’

I also love her take on being responsible, as ‘response-able’. Meaning we become better able to respond to another’s experience as if it were our own. Compassion is another word for doing the same thing.

Your Journey of transformation

There are hidden medicines, or constructive qualities, inbuilt to the challenges of 2020. Two of great importance are:

  • bringing attention, care, and calm to difficult emotions
  • and facing responsibilities with resilience

These qualities are the songs of our time. Cultivate them this year, and you are aligned with the universe.

Together, they can help you persevere and grow, even through a life changing experience.

In whatever ways this challenging year may be trying you, even testing you, maybe forcing you to confront some old patterns that have hit a use-by date, don’t give up. For we are each on a path of meaningful transformation in 2020 (see Reality Bites).

And transformation is not new to you!

Think back on an earlier time in your life that proved to be a big turning point, perhaps life became fundamentally different, and so did you.

So, here it is again. We all know this place. And it is so much better when we are awake to the challenges and the opportunities, and work with them consciously.

Listen to your inner life, day by day

That might mean looking at things that make us feel uncomfortable. Like how unhappy or scared or exhausted we are. Clues that there is life unlived inside us, that struggles to be heard. This is how transformation begins.

The good news is that we don’t have to have all the answers. In fact, if you knew how things should turn out, you wouldn’t be open to something new outside the limits of your present-day imagination.

Finding the good

What we can do though is ride the wave of change more consciously and get on board, as best we can, with the life enhancing qualities supported by this year’s powerful archetypes. Understood this way, it becomes possible to work with the fierce energies of 2020 and find the good.

 

“Resilience is the ability to get back up after adversity. Due to the unpredictability of life, there will always be joys and sorrows. Resilient people are able to greet change and difficulty as an opportunity for self-reflection, learning, and growing.” – Carley Hauck, ‘How People Learn to Increase their Resilience’, Mindful.org, 3.3.16

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