Studies in Astrology

Volume II


Elman Bacher

Chapter III

Saturn's Command: "Thou Must Fulfill"

   This material is offered to all astrological students in the hope that it will serve to clarify the purposes and mundane significance of the vibrations of Saturn. It is of vital importance that all astrologers be able to present to those they assist a constructive picture of why and for what this planet is as it is in any given horoscope.

   Obstruction, crystallization, disappointment, poverty, frustration, and the like are the only terms by which some students identify the vibration of Saturn. We beg to inquire: "How, in the name of everything that is enlightened, can such terms be used to calm the quivering nerves of the apprehensive client?" If the horoscopical pattern is to be studied for solutions to problems, each planetary vibration must be approached from the standpoint of its significance in the Solar Spectrum and its importance in the evolution of the Ego. To the degree that we can philosophically understand why a planet is as it is in the chart under consideration, we are, mentally and psychologically, so much better able to deal with the problems and conditions represented.

   Saturn is the symbol of the physical plane, through which all agencies of mind, emotion, and Spirit manifest for evolutionary purposes. It is the vibration of objectification and manifestation. Its position in the horoscope shows where the expression of Spirit is most heavily condensed; the point of greatest responsibility; the area of unfulfillment in the past, therefore the area of greatest spiritual effort in this incarnation. (The last phrase explains the exaltation of Mars-energy-in Capricorn, the sign of Saturn's rulership; Venus, as beauty, is the principle of Perfected Manifestation, and Saturn is exalted in Libra, sign of Venus' rulership.) Saturn, the outpost of mundane vibrations, sets the boundaries for every experience and every cycle of experience. Therefore, the great command of Saturn is "Thou must fulfill."

   Fear is one of the words that is most frequently used to indicate one of Saturn's principal qualities in negative expression. Fear is our reaction to any threat to our sense of security or well-being. That which is spiritually unfulfilled represents insecurity on the inner planes. So Saturn, afflicting, is the indicator of that which the Ego, or Higher Self, recognizes as being the most incomplete or the most lacking in fulfilled expression.

   Assisting a client to approach his aspects without fear is one of the principal purposes and duties of the astro-analyst. When Saturn aspects are interpreted to represent needs for fulfillment, an appeal can be made to the person's sense of integrity, self-respect, strength, courage, and competence. Assist him to feel capable of handling his situations so that his attitude is constructive. Study his chart carefully so that you can find soul-agencies by which the needed fulfillments can be most successfully realized. A good Mars indicates courage, and the ability to work hard; a good Moon gives the protective impulse; Jupiter denotes benevolence and abundance; Neptune represents faith and inspiration, etc. Also, the long- range-viewpoint is particularly applicable to presenting the solution for Saturn problems. Patience is one of the keywords for a "good Saturn," and patience, as a quality, is required to fulfill Saturn aspects--whatever their nature. When a person uses the virtues of Saturn he tackles the problem at its roots. To the degree that Saturn comes to represent, in the person 's mind, certain constructive qualities within does Saturn cease to be misunderstood as a burden or a frustration.

   Saturn never indicates a complete denial of every- phase of its position, as some students are inclined to think. Its position in any house shows conclusively that fulfillment, therefore experience in some form, is of utmost importance. There are as many avenues of experience in each house as there are meanings of the house. If Saturn implies a denial in some form, it automatically indicates that fulfillment of that house must be made in some other form.

   To think that Saturn frustrates expression of the house of its occupancy or rulership is a miscomprehension of the purpose of its vibration. It indicates that unfulfillment must be overcome by experience. The frustrating effect of Saturn is shown by the conjunctions, squares, and oppositions that it makes to other planets. It is the other planet that must contribute to Saturn's work. The person, in this incarnation, is compelled by his spiritual necessities--to direct the energies of the other planet from expression in its own house to the house occupied by Saturn. Hence, Saturn has been termed the "whiplash of fate," the "heavy hand of karma," etc. Since there are many types of Saturn's patterns, the "whiplash" effect is shown in varying degrees by different types of aspects. It is important to study the chart carefully from this standpoint in order to understand to what degree the person is, spiritually and psychologically, "earth-bound."

   First, the most earth-bound of all, the conjunction of Saturn with one of the dynamic planets (Mars, Sun, Jupiter, and Uranus), with no alleviating sextiles or trines: In this instance, a planet which is outgoing in expression is compelled to forsake the house of its rulership and express itself in terms of Saturn's requirements, for fulfillment of the conditions of its house position and house rulership. Thus, the dynamic planet is enslaved, "in bondage to earth."

   Second, a dynamic planet squared or opposed by Saturn, with no alleviating aspects: This type of frustration allows much more leeway for the afflicted planet to express itself than the first instance because it does have, by influence of house rulership and house occupancy, "room to breathe." Because no other planetary contacts are "enjoyed" by the dynamic planet, in this case, its expression has to be made in terms of constructive Saturn qualities in order that its own negative expressions may be avoided. This vibration blending does, then, give the planet scope for expression in its own house, and its house of rulership, if otherwise unoccupied, is also activated. The requirements of Saturn 's house of occupancy are fulfilled much more satisfactorily and constructively to the degree that the constructive qualities of the dynamic planet are "poured" into Saturn's house. This process on the inner planes corresponds to the redirecting of water from its original or natural flow into the field by irrigating channels. The dynamic energies of the planet are as life-giving, water to Saturn-Earth. Until this process is done consciously by positive transmutation, the person will be compelled by his spiritual necessities to do so--unconsciously--and the result will be the suffering we call frustration. On the inner planes, Saturn has the first--and last--word. Progress in the larger sense cannot be made until Saturn's needs are fulfilled and its expressions perfected.

   Third, a dynamic planet, with one sextile, squared by Saturn which has no other aspects: In this instance, the dynamic planet has alchemical assistance from the planet that it sextiles; but Saturn, having no other expressions, acts as a vampire, sustaining itself on the "life blood" of the dynamic planet. Because the alleviating aspect is a sextile, not a trine, this aspect seems to indicate a chronic or lifelong condition. If it is not worked on and worked with, it is easy to perceive the possibility that in the next incarnation Saturn will also afflict the sextiling planet as well as the one it now afflicts--a heavy burden!

   Fourth, a dynamic planet squared by Saturn, but having one trine: This repeats, to a degree, example three with the qualification that the trine promises much more in favor of the Saturn-squared planet. This example may indicate also a lifelong condition, but the dynamic planet will have much more capacity for self-expression and compensating factors for the Saturn square can be utilized for greater happiness and well- being. The person or persons represented by Saturn will be the agencies of restraint and responsibility, but the persons who "tie in" with the trine aspect will be those who compensate for the deficiencies induced by the Saturn fulfillments. In every one of these Saturn-patterns, the development of the constructive qualities of Saturn is the purpose of the aspects.

   Fifth, Saturn conjunct or afflicting one of the negative planets (Moon, Venus, Neptune, or neutral mercury): Saturn, as Earth, is itself negative or feminine. However, its function, being gravitational, does imply action or process. ( Capricorn, its sign of rulership, is cardinal, and so is Libra, its sign of exaltation). In this type of Saturn affliction, the other planet--particularly Mercury, Venus, or Neptune--needs the dynamic stimulus of another planet to energize its expression, or serious crystallization can result. Even a semi-sextile to the afflicted planet must be considered of value in this case, as it does indicate a start, a reaching- out for the afflicted planet.

   Saturn gives us the clearest picture of our identity with experience on the physical plane, and thus, serves as a measuring rod of our progress on the particular cycle of manifestation we are now on. Let us consider examples of Saturn as cycle-development-indicator.

   Saturn unaspected: The start of a neat cycle of earth experience; there is little "ballast" in the nature, except if Capricorn is rising, or Saturn is in the first house; scope of expression is indicated by planets in Capricorn or planets in the house ruled by Saturn. If the latter conditions are shown in the chart, the promise of a well-aspected Saturn is indicated for future incarnations if the house of Saturn's occupancy and dispositing influence are expressed in terms of saturnian virtues and constructive qualities.

   Saturn with one semi-sextile: A start on the path; contact has been made with the chart through direct expression with one planet; the birth of an alchemical agency through the planet aspected.

   Saturn with one sextile: A member, in good standing, of the family of planets; an effective channel for transmutation; agency of restraint if the aspected planet is dynamic and otherwise unafflicted; promise of future trine.

   Saturn with one square: treated, in part, in the earlier part of this article; a vampire, drawing energy from the planet aspected; need to express two-fold constructive qualities through house of occupancy; this condition of Saturn can indicate a blessing in disguise, though felt as a frustration, if the chart contains many cardinal and/or mutable afflictions--in which case the fulfillment requirements of Saturn serve to give focus and point to energies that would otherwise be disordered and incoherent. The person who possesses this kind of set-up will redeem the aspect, and himself, if he lovingly, willingly, and courageously accepts the opportunities to work and live with his Saturn, not against it in conflict.

   Saturn with one trine: the planet aspected has been productively and harmoniously integrated with Earth; through Saturn 's house, wisdom has been developed and knowledge can be beneficially expressed to others; older and more mature people benefit the person through the house of Saturn 's occupancy--they serve to stimulate that which he has already built into his pattern; a reliable counter-active to escape tendencies; a trine from Saturn to any planet is a point of maturity for the planet itself, Saturn, in this case, is a most effective antagonist for the squares and opposition of the planet so aspected; a trine aspect of Saturn is a flowering of the saturnian virtues.

   Saturn with one opposition: a frictional aspect that draws the energies of the planet aspected into the opposite side of the chart; a polarizing through responsibility and fulfillment needs; an "exchange of currents" is indicated by this pattern--each planet needs the virtues of the other for mutual fulfillments and the establishment of balance on the inner planes.

   Saturn afflicted with various aspects: a varied development of saturnian qualities, representing different stages of growth that has gone on for a longtime. The person with this pattern is well along on the cycle, much has been learned, much is yet to be learned; integration with Earth has been made in many different degrees and many types of "Saturn experience" are indicated for this incarnation; the qualities of the planets which receive the trines and sextiles from Saturn can be utilized, alchemically, to harmonize the afflicted planets The person so represented is, in relation to this cycle, an "old-soul"--give careful analysis and consideration to his trines in order to gauge his ability to transmute the squares.

   Saturn unafflicted: Saturn identified with other planets through sextiles and trines is indicative of great development and soul power. It serves as a counteractive to evil second only in scope to Sun trine Moon; it is a panacea for any frictional aspecting the horoscope and the saturnian virtues can be used as aides to any psychological problem indicated by other planets; if cadent in a chart containing many frictional aspects in cardinal signs and houses, its power may remain dormant during the early years of life, but since it promises much of value in the life of the person, it will, sooner or later, be activated into full expression; progressed Sun or Mars square or opposition natal unafflicted Saturn may indicate the period of activation--the energies of the dynamic planetary thrust can awaken Saturn to its objectification. A person with such a Saturn should not ignore any responsibility that comes to him--he has the power to fulfill it and he must utilize it to direct and give scope to his other planetary conditions. The person with unafflicted Saturn is blessed with the assistance of those in authority, and those who are advanced on his particular paths of life expression. They are truly his "brothers in Spirit," since both he and they have distilled Wisdom from their response to Saturn's command: "Thou must fulfill!''


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