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Summary of Plametary Symbolism:


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Nodes, Travel, and the "Triple-zero" Transcendental:




Additional biographies and events:







The Least-Aspected Planet as the Spiritual Raison d'Etre:


Transcendental Nations:


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Joan Baez

Ethel Barrymore

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Otto von Bismarck

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Elizabeth B. Browning

Sir Richard Burton

Robert Burton

Richard E. Byrd

Lord Byron

Catherine the Great

Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Charlie Chaplin

Claudette Colbert

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Dalai-Lama

James Dean

Simone de Beauvoir

Claude Debussy

Emily Dickinson

Amelia Earhart

Adolf Eichmann

T.S. Eliot

Queen Elizabeth I

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Indira Gandhi

Paul Gauguin

George Harrison

Ernest Hemingway

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Helen Keller

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Robert F. Kennedy

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Jack London

Marcello Mastroianni

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Maria Montessori

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Rainer Maria Rilke

Arthur Rimbaud

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Erwin Rommel

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Transcendental Saturn

Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
To create a little flower is the labor of ages.
Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of religion.
–William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell.

Nature does not manifest her laws bit by bit, an inch of gravitation today and another inch tomorrow. No, every law is complete. There is no evolution in law at all. It is given once and forever … There may be a hundred thousand laws and man may know only a few today. We discover them–that is all.
–Swami Vivekananda, from a lecture given in San Francisco in 1900.

Core meaning:

Saturn rules the systole or contraction of elemental energy, cor­responding to the notion of a shrinking, imploding universe. It symbolizes the crystallization of energy into specific, material forms. Saturn stands in direct polarity to Jupiter’s dias­tolic energy: the phenomenon of an expanding universe and the spread and repli­cation of life forms. While Jupiter rules the domination of the life force over matter, Saturn rules the opposite principle: the dominance of physical matter over an animate but ephemeral consciousness. Yet, these two opposing principles work in unison and depend on each other to achieve mutual expres­sion. While Saturn organizes Jupiter’s energy, Jupiter animates the soul of mere matter. Saturn permits Jupiter’s “higher consciousness” a means of incar­nating into durable, visible, material forms. It “fixes” the ever-expanding tendency of Jupiter into a specific shape, permitting its physical expression and structure, while Jupiter infuses mere matter with an immaterial consciousness and meaning. Saturn provides a structure through which Jupiter expresses a visionary consciousness.
        Saturn portrays the cosmic “law of limitation,”1 e.g., the limits imposed on the individual in the form of collectively agreed upon rules and socially accepted norms of behavior. It symbolizes the “just so” nature of reality: that water freezes at precisely thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit; that light travels at 299,792.5 kilome­ters per second; that argon has an atomic weight of 39.948. (It’s “just so.”)2 These immutable natural laws govern our universe. Saturn rules the myste­rious process through which reality is “fixed” at such predetermined levels.
        As experienced in everyday life, the Saturn principle is often felt to be unfairly restrictive or even depressing in its tendency to organize, regulate, and structure. This is so especially during adolescence: a period marked by fluid states of con­sciousness and by emotional upheaval and growth. During this time, when we prefer to express ourselves in manners that challenge socially condoned constraints, Sat­urn’s positive function may be misunderstood. (This is especially the case when a younger generation is confronting older people who have unconsciously identified with Saturn and who act out its rigid forms of authoritarianism.) As we age, however, Saturn consciousness may become more clearly focused and its larger purposes may be better understood. Unless it is properly integrated, however, it will pose an obstacle to the expansion of personality, now favoring a fixed social role (persona) or a form of self-identity that is no longer open to development. As discussed in the previous chapter (see “Transcendental Jupiter”), the archetypal figure of the senex (Old Man)3 personifies this rigid, authoritarian aspect of Saturn.

Improper manifestation of the energy:

•When Saturn is hyperactive, it is experienced as a fearsome, claustrophobic sense of “harsh reality”: a fear of being “orphaned” in a “soulless” space and time (e.g., “separation anxiety”).
• When Saturn is hypoactive, it produces a sense of not “fitting in” to concrete reality: a lack of discipline; an inability to structure (especially the structured use of time and space); or a lack of “apprenticeship” in learning the “skills of daily living” (e.g., archetypally sym­bolized as an “absentee father”).

        The evolution of yang consciousness begins with the Sun’s development of the self as an “ego-identity”; continues with the Martian interactive self as a dynamic (or aggressive) interplay with others; and culminates with Saturn’s realignment of the personality to suit the needs of the social-collective organization, which is composed of many other “selves.” If one appropriately expresses Saturn’s energy, one is properly related to the collective through the ability to effectively produce work and to accomplish tasks that fulfill broader social needs or that maintain institutions or organizations.
        When inappropriately expressed, the demands of the larger society (which may condone only narrow, limited expressions of the identity) will eclipse the personal needs of the self (Sun). Therefore, the self is not allowed a proper, healthy expression.
        Because Saturn represents a channeling of energy into socially productive tasks, we must examine the abstract notion of the society itself (especially as it functions as a censor and control mechanism) in order to understand the dangers represented by a mismanaged Saturn energy. The “eclipsing” of all that is idiosyncratic about the self is one of the primary dangers of an overactive Saturn principle (in a personal horoscope or in the horoscope of a nation). An unquestioning belief in authority or in behavior based on rigid notions of “acceptable,” sta­tus quo lifestyles will result. For example, in late twentieth-century North Korea or in Chairman Mao’s China, we have examples of societies that were dominated by overbearing authority figures who continually emphasized collective needs over those of the individual (the latter was even character­ized as the “cult of the individual”). Self-identity (Sun) was usurped by a collective self (Saturn) to the extent that the notion of collectivity as something composed of individuals almost becomes heretical. Certain aspects of American culture in the 1950s also reflected this phenomenon. This period exemplified challenges for individuals throughout the world. It was symbolized by the square between Saturn and Pluto in the mid-1950s (an angle of separation of 90 degrees), leading to the Saturn / Pluto keynote: “social institutions / dominated by ‘invisible’ control-figures who willfully exert mass-manipulation through fear tactics” and through “institutionally maintained social / surveillance techniques” (Saturn / Pluto).
        When someone is overidentified with the persona or social mask, we may assume that Saturn has run amuck and has usurped the proper functioning of the individual self. The persona is related to the Ascendant4 or “rising sign” in the horoscope, which represents a personally tailored and meaningful expression of persona. For example, our “profes­sional mask” or “work persona” is forged through a personal decision to pursue a particular profession: ideally, one aligned with our aspirations, talents, abilities, and goals. This is different from a distorted self-expression that results from an inappropriate or socially imposed (Saturn) persona. When the state usurps an individual’s decision-making process and imposes a role that runs against the grain of the personal self or that severely inhibits self-expression, then the mask or persona is pressing into the face of the personality and distorting it. As the scholar Joseph Campbell pointed out, this results in the unhappy faces that we see all around us, exemplifying Saturn’s usurpation of the personal soul.5
        Many societies continue to maintain excessive institutional control-mechanisms. These are personified by so-called “beneficent” authority-figures who, nonetheless, ruin the lives of innovative culture bearers who are no longer permitted to make unique contributions to society. Whether in the role of rigidly programmed authorities or in the form of authoritarian governmental institutions, when such control forces are empowered by planetary transits (e.g., the above-men­tioned Pluto-Saturn square) then the analysis of personal astrological patterns no longer suffices to answer questions pertaining to such widespread social problems. The social collective is then exerting a force over the personal life that distorts the individual’s “true face,” i.e., the appropriate expression of the horoscope or “planetary portrait.”
        This reflects an aggregate result of generations of those who have remained unconsciously identified with Saturn and who have maintained a dispropor­tionate belief in authoritarian control over personal life. Then an awareness of Saturn’s appropriate role in individual life is lacking, and it needs to be cultivated in the society-at-large.
(For example, the knowledge that fixed cosmic laws provide a practical means of individual growth and challenge one to greater accomplishment, ultimately providing stepping-stones that lead to concrete means of self-liberation.)
        Symbolically speaking, it is for this reason that Saturn precedes neighboring Uranus, the ruler of individual freedom and liberation. By working through Saturn’s laws and by channeling Saturn’s consciousness into everyday life, we learn to gradually transcend the limits of a “fixed” reality. Through the effective structuring of our time, through the informed manipulation of matter, we actualize a real accom­plishment: one that strengthens character and that effects positive, tangible results in the lives of others (i.e., the society-at-large).
         Conversely, an unconscious identification with Saturn leads to a myopic focus on the “work, discipline, and hardship” quality of this energy, to the extent that these become goals in and of themselves and result in the exclusion of other planetary principles. When this occurs, such restrictive, life-limiting patterns are elevated to a sacrosanct level. A crypto-religious approach to duty, sacrifice, and organization will result in a distorted view of material reality.
         For example, Saturn may usurp the spiritual impulse of Neptune, resulting in a “spiritualizing of matter”: a belief in work as the highest function of mankind. Or some other planetary principle, which no longer functions properly because of Saturn’s general usurpation, will cryptically manifest (e.g., “philosophizing about” (Jupiter) discipline or “romanticizing” (Venus) hardship). This cryptic, subliminal functioning represents the distorted expression of one planetary energy through the dominating lens of another. It occurs when a single function usurps the general psychic energy available for the other functions. When this occurs, eventually there will be a revolution or reversal (Uranus) of libido that leads to extreme shifts of behavior, as the psyche furtively attempts to energetically realign itself. (See my essay, “Transcendental Uranus.”)

Transcendental potential:

While the restrictive quality of Saturn (with its emphasis on fixity, law, duty, and responsibility) will generate fear in those who have not properly inte­grated it, working consciously with Saturn results in dramatically shifting one’s perspective so that a more positive view of the energy comes into focus. For example, if one has already experienced the imprisoning effect that results from a lack of Saturn’s discipline, organization, and planning, then a reassessment of one’s relationship to the energy will provide one with an ability to restructure life and to actualize one’s potential. Effectively manag­ing a social role and achieving goals in a realistic manner are keynotes that are catalyzed through a conscious integration of the Saturn principle. Saturn rules the impulse to “sit down and get things done,” especially something that has an impact on the broader society.
        Relocation to a foreign land may force the issue of “fitting in” (a fundamental keynote) or may render the notion of ‘responsibility” as being something desirable, as the perceived “dreariness” of Saturn’s “realistic, day-to-day, routine” quality is now balanced by the exotic experience of encountering an unknown set of social conditions and mores. In this sense, we are given the ability to start afresh with Saturn, to experience a new approach to structuring our day, enduring hardship, and reaping a reward.
        Under the Transcendental Saturn locale, we may make contact with those who assist us in developing self-discipline or in realistically planning and structuring daily life. A properly integrated Saturn will enhance professional advancement and lead to a collective recognition of achievement. We may also develop positive relationships with authority figures (particularly through pro­fessional contacts), and such encounters will “humanize” the Saturnian energy, in the sense that developing a relationship with authority will transform the foreboding image of Saturn into something more humanly approachable and real. In turn, this will enhance one’s ability to realize inner authority and control over one’s life.

Personalities with Primary Transcendental Saturn:

Ethel Barrymore (the “first lady” of American theater, whose “disciplined approach” to acting was exemplified by her statement: “We became actors not because we wanted to, but because it was the thing we did best”); Otto von Bismarck (German ambassador to France who provoked the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and who later dictated the “constricting terms” of peace to France, whose Primary Saturn runs directly over France); Sean Connery (actor whose Primary Saturn is located over his birthplace in Edinburgh, Scotland; known for portraying “stoic” characters bearing “serious social responsibility” and for enunciating with a distinctive “voice of authority”); Simone de Beauvoir (with Sartre, promoted Existentialist philosophy, which was charac­terized by a “somber, severe appraisal of reality” and which evolved out of a postwar sense of “alienation, hopelessness, meaninglessness, and despair,” which envisioned humanity as existing in a “soulless universe” bereft of absolute values, and which posed personal “responsibility” as an alternative to such despair); Emily Dickinson (poet born directly under her Primary Saturn in Amherst, Massachusetts; remembered for the unusually “restricted lifestyle of self-imposed exile and deprivation” that characterized her biography and that engendered the major themes in her writing); Jeane Dixon (born near the line of her Primary Saturn in Medford, Wisconsin; “professional” psychic whose most memorable prediction foretold of John F. Kennedy’s imminent assassination; whose Transcendentals describe the “concrete manifestation / of occult forces” [Primary Saturn / Secondary Neptune]; who worked with the FBI in a “propaganda / and control” [Neptune / Saturn] program to influence public opinion; F. Scott Fitzgerald ([with Pluto] whose novel, The Great Gatsby, portrayed a man who “achieved great material success / but who destroyed himself and others in the process” [Saturn / Pluto]; Jim Morrison (“depressed and tormented” singer-songwriter obsessed with “authority figures,” who relocated to his Primary Saturn in California, where he “accomplished” his greatest work; often remembered for his aphorism: “When you make your peace with authority, you become an authority”); Van­essa Redgrave (actress who assumed a “grave sense of personal responsibility toward the “fate of the social collective”; remembered for aligning herself with causes often consid­ered radical or innovative [with Secondary Uranus] and for the “severe, authoritarian manner” she used to communicate the “seriousness” (Saturn) of such causes; best remembered for her role in promoting the rights of the Palestinians, whose homeland is located under her Primary Saturn); Eleanor Roosevelt (one of the most “hard­working” of the presidential First Ladies, who held many “positions of responsibility” and who regularly took “refuge in labor,” saying, “If I feel depressed, I go to work”); Harry S. Truman (American president whose Primary Saturn runs from southern Japan to northern Korea, the location of his two main interventions: dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Korean War; remembered for his “caustic, tell it like-it-is,” “just so” style of communication); Woodrow Wilson (whose second presidential term was focused on directing the Allied victory in Europe, where Primary Saturn forms a Transcendental Midpoint-Field with Secondary Neptune; like other American presi­dents born with a Primary Saturn, through the office of the presidency he experienced a powerful form of “responsibility” to the “social collective”).6

* * *

Keynote phrases for Saturn:

•Understanding and working with the “laws of limitations.” Using such laws to actualize goals and adapt to reality.
•The ability to crystallize or “make real” a potential form.
• In its most sophisticated form, Saturn is the magician who incarnates beauty (Venus), inspiration (Jupiter), intuition (Uranus), vision (Neptune) etc., into the three-dimensional construct that we collectively refer to as reality.
•The image of God as a cornerstone. The notion of creation as a blueprint. The concept of relationship as fulfilling responsibility. The goal of action as accomplishment. The chan­neling of energy into discipline and socially productive work.
•The accumulation and accretion of yang energy into physical matter.
•The progressive evolution of yang, unfolding from an interactive self-identity (Mars) to a collective spirit expressed in the social organism (Sat­urn).
•In Indian astrology, Saturn corresponds to “prudence, frugality, self-control, loyalty and steadfastness.”7
•Yang expressed as collective identity and collective self.

1. “The Saturn glyph reveals one of the most important aspects of terrestrial life: the law of limitation ...” Oken, As Above, So Below, p. 297.
2. An expression coined by Rudyard Kipling, frequently used in a more psychological context by Carl Jung. These “just so” statements are a paraphrase of Jung’s work.
3. “Saturn ... is the mysterious and sinister Senex (Old Man).” Jung, Mysterium Coniunc­tionis, p. 224.
4. The degree of the zodiac that is rising at the moment of birth and that designates the cusp of the First House.
5. See the widely acclaimed Power of Myth interview with Bill Moyers.
6. Saturn and Pluto appear as the least aspected planets in the horoscopes of many American presidents. Including George W. Bush, the 42nd person to hold that office, there were 9 presidents with least aspected Saturn [21.4%]; 4 with second least aspected Saturn [9.5%]; and a total of 13 [30.9%] with Saturn as either least- or second least aspected. For more presidential statistics, see Part II, chapter III, “Transcendental Biogra­phies.” (Although George W. Bush is referred to as the “43rd” president, one president, Grover Cleveland, served two nonconsecutive terms (as the “22nd” and “24th” U.S. president.) See my essay on Saturn and Transcendental Nations, below.
7. Dreyer, Indian Astrology, p. 94.

Additional Saturn quotes:

Laws made clear uphold the city [...] / One’s bearing / shapes one’s fate.

There is a limit to everything.

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I. Introduction

II. Transcendental Biographies    |    III. Transcendental Events

IV. Psychic inflation    -    Summary of Planetary Symbolism    -    Transcendental Planets        

V. Nodes / the Triple-zero Transcendental    |    Appendices: Orbs / References / Data

Additional Maps    |    Notes    |    Bibliography    |    FAQ


I. Interview in Astrolore    |    II. Transcendental Nations    |    III. American Presidents & LAP Saturn

IV. World Events    |    V. Numinous Consciousness    

VI. The LAP as a metaphor of the soul    |    VII. Zones of Intensity    |    

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