Saturn, god of the "saturnine" disposition, is popularly associated with doom and gloom. But' Saturn in Transit reveals the planet's useful and developmental influence in our lives. Saturn assists the modern hero and heroine, during its transit around the zodiac, by destroying the old and out-moded within, and throwing us periodically into chaos, which invariably generates a creative transformation of our purpose in life. Acting as a catalyst of awareness and growth, Saturn becomes the planet of change.
Erin Sullivan gives a thorough account of the astrology, mythology, and psychology of Saturn's role as the source of divine discontent, out of which is born our greatest art and literature and which energizes our universal passion for understanding. Drawing on classical myth, works related to C.G. Jung and Joseph Campbell's monomyth, as well as on her own extensive astrological knowledge and counseling experience, Sullivan demonstrates how the astrological symbols manifest in the individual and the collective unconscious. Incorporating archetypal sources and practical use of astrological symbolism, Saturn in Transit will be read and enjoyed by both analysts and astrologers for its insight into the life journey that is the common lot of humanity. This revised edition includes a new chapter, "The Transit of Saturn to the Planets," showing how we continually give birth to ourselves, repeatedly, all our lives.
About the Author
ERIN SULLIVAN is an internationally renowned astrologer and author. Canadian born, she has traveled widely and in 1988 moved to London where she spent ten years. While in London she was the Series Editor for the Contemporary Astrology series, published by Arkana-Penguin, and taught for the Centre for Psychologial Astrology in London, where she remains a faculty member. She has written Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape (Weiser : October 2000) and Dynasty: The Astrology of Family Dynamics (Weiser : Spring 2001), both originally published by Arkana. She has authored two other books. Erin Sullivan lives and practices in Tucson, Arizona. You can contact her directly at her website
To be ridden by an archetype is never easy, pleasant or relaxing. It is not what one would call a good time. It is what one might call an interesting time, a time filled with stark realizations and ultimatums; of coming up against the wall and challenging waver-ing beliefs; of testing and pushing and, in the end, living at the limit. I think it was Adler who said that one should never spend more than an hour a day with an archetype - now I know why. In the course of writing this book, I was compelled to 'venture forth from the world of the commonday into a region of super-natural wonder' and in doing so I voluntarily proceeded to the `threshold of adventure'. Having done so, I returned to what seems in all appearances to be the same world, but essentially is not. To say that I made radical changes in my life would be an understatement of the highest Saturnian order.
To say that I was offered choices is somewhat true - circumstances have a way of presenting themselves at the right moment, usually when you are not in the mood to make a decision or choose, but somehow must. To work with Saturn is to live simultaneously in two worlds: reality and illusion. Oddly enough, they are both the same - the reality of illusion is as valid a perception as is the illusion of reality. The difficulty arises when one tries to separate the two and declare one the prevailing condition. This is where one meets Saturn head-on. The superfine line between that which is and that which only seems to be is Saturn's domain; he stands guard between those realms as jealously as he guards the horizon he created. In the act of creating limitation and finiteness Saturn made himself redundant, over and over. His attempts at being a sky god failed dismally and he wound up where he started, in the womb of the earth, bound by his own definition.
But rather than being a depressing situation, his return to the earth restored the natural balance of things and all was well in the universe; for Saturn became the lord of returned heroes in a special place in the underworld, the Elysian Fields on the Isles of the Blessed, where immutable laws prevail. It is that immutability that is most frustrating. That unchanging law which is implicit in incarnation. I have never been more aware of my own immutable laws and my own boundaries and limits than I have been in the course of writing this book. I have stood on the threshold of the possible, of potential in all of its pregnant glory, of the dream of what could be said, what wanted to be said, what in my head was the perfect phrase or word. In the end it is the word itself that is the limiting device, for it cannot bring forth the numinous conception of the idea before the word. This is not a book about transcendence or transformation.
It is about recognizing that perfect moment in time when a terminus has been reached and a change in direction must be taken or Death will claim its due. In the instant of recognition that the end has wipe, change is born, whether that be the end of an idea, a perception, a relationship, a lifestyle or an era. To think of Saturn as a planet of change might seem heretical, but today's heresy is tomorrow's status quo. The more I looked the more I became convinced that a Saturn transit in any form marks a time for change. It demarcates our natural cycles of biological and psychological progress; in the personal Heroic Journey, the long cycles of Saturn define inevitable periods of endings and beginnings. Those two points are simultaneously arrival and departure - a continuum of development.
Arriving at the end means letting go, and in that moment discovery is present - that you cannot fill an already full vessel, and that though things might not be perfect, they are complete in themselves. I started this book in Victoria, British Columbia, and finished it in London, England. The move was bracketed by a Jupiter-Saturn transit to the Moon; the book was only part of it. The realization that one must embody one’s beliefs and live according to the inner dictates of the soul takes heroic courage.