“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Feeling good about ourselves despite our age, the girth of our waist, the wrinkles on our skin and owning the right to be joy-filled, whether we’re single or coupled, is something the self-help movement has focused upon for several decades now. But for most of us in work-addicted societies where our social interaction is through a screen and where we sit for eight or nine hours a day, play and pleasure are something we do by proxy. We fall into a trance of forgetfulness, our butterfly joy caught in the heavy net of seriousness and grown-up responsibility. In the busyness of living out the days and the months and the years we somehow become reactive rather than reflective to the myriad pleasures that life offers.
Play and pleasure trigger nitric oxide, a colourless gas that silently balances all our neurotransmitters and relaxes the blood vessels so that more life giving blood can flow through our bodies. The ageing Dr Christiane Northrup’s latest offering, despite its trite and erroneous title, Goddesses Never Age ( oh yes they do! ) is based partly on her own experience with milestone birthdays and her own experiences of ageism. She warns against pigeonholing ourselves and evaluating people on their chronological age. “There’s a vital life force within each one of us that is ageless. ”
Her new book borrows from the work of Dr Mario Martinez, author of The Mind Body Code who writes,“Getting older is inevitable, ageing is optional.We don’t have to die with oxygen cannulas stuck up our noses. We should all be aiming for a happy healthy death.”
Martinez studied 400 healthy centenarians and found that they usually died in one of three ways: falling off a horse, having sex, or in their sleep. He discovered that healthy centenarians seem to like to live independently, indulge in many rituals of pleasure, they are future orientated and did not want to be around old people. In astrology, Saturn rules the bones and the skin and is associated with ageing. We Botox away the frowns and smiles that we’ve earned in living our life with all its light and shadows while saying glibly, without any deeper reflection, “age is just a number”. Our lives become reactive rather than reflective. So it comes as no surprise now that the Baby Boomers are fixated on healthy ageing and in a Puritan Western culture, learning how to give themselves permission to receive pleasure and to play.
In September last year, Saturn, Lord of Time, moved into the zone of the zodiac we call Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter (the sky god Zeus in the Greek pantheon) building thematically from the past when Saturn moved through Scorpio …. and anticipating the future when Saturn ingresses into Capricorn in December 2017. Author and astrologer, Melanie Reinhart suggests that this is a time personally and globally for us to unfreeze the fixed watery emotions (Saturn in Scorpio) and thaw our thoughts and feelings in the warm fire of Sagittarian prophecy.
Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius and is associated with expansion, largesse, optimism and joy. Jupiter bears the title of The Great Benefic. He bestows blessings, “luck” and abundance, if we stay within the bounds of earthly necessity and humility which is Saturn’s realm. Saturn is referred to as the Lord of Karma. So our challenge is now to move between the soulfulness of withdrawal or melancholy (Saturn in Scorpio) into the light of the Sagittarian vision and expansiveness yet still stay grounded and earthed. Our challenge is to stay connected to our own joy and appreciation of life. To embrace the shadows and clouds that obscure our joy. To honour the solemn soulful moods of darkness or sorrow amidst the superficiality and incessant clamour of a quick-fix “have a nice day” culture. Melancholia was once honoured and even cultivated; it was considered a quality of mind that was very powerful for deep and powerful thought. So Saturn in Sagittarius suggests that over the next two years we must learn to Be with all our feelings and experiences without trivialising, pathologising or medicating or discarding them in the basement of our psyche.
Saturn’s journey through this mutable fire sign is epitomised by the image of flame and heat. The feeling of being burnt out or burning or being branded by the labels that our culture pins to our beating hearts: Hollywood Icon, Titan, Superwoman, Shona Rhimes is a sitcom Creator responsible for some 70 hours of television per season. She’s a single mother of three and Work is what defines her. Shona’s best known for her progeny — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. By her own admission, she loves to work. Or used to. Until she lost the Hum. In her brilliant TED talk, based on her memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun and Be Your Own Person Shona describes the burning of those who fly too close to the Sun and are consumed like moths in the brilliance of the flame of their own relentlessly driven creative genius.
Saturn’s sojourn in Sagittarius reminds us that we are mortals who must replenish ourselves, like the other intelligent creatures that share this earth, with frequent delight and pleasure. “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair,” wrote Khalil Gibran.
Saturn is about boundaries. About Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway, as psychologist Susan Jeffers admonishes us to do. Saturn is the Guardian of the Threshold. We meet Saturn when we acknowledge our limitations. When we accept the necessity of ageing and death. In his poignant memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, 36 year old neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi traverses the road to death and describes the terrain. He writes, “The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present.”
Saturn in fire is not an intellectual type of energy. It is about passion, intuitive understanding. Saturn in Sagittarius may require us to dedicate ourselves to something private and personal and joy-filled, with single-pointed vision. Saturn is a celestial mirror to our high hopes, our expectations, our visions and our faith. Saturn’s symbolism requires that we take stock of our beliefs about the meaning of our life. That we pay attention to our sponsoring thoughts. That we make space to dedicate (Latin to consecrate or to make sacred, to proclaim, to set apart, ) time to our joy and delightful Blessing of our human capacity to play.
Alice Phoebe Lou – Fiery Heart, Fiery Mind
Like the genes in our body the astrological signs are indicators of the direction in which we may choose to travel this life time. We are a microcosm of a magnificent universal macrocosm. Our horoscope shows the exact position of the sun at the time of our birth and points the way, much like a celestial GPS to find out more about your own birth chart to experience my next workshop on April 2nd, please write to me: firstname.lastname@example.org