On this coming March 19 I am going to be participating in an on-the-web conversation as part of Kepler College’s celebration of International Astrology Day. The theme for the day will be, astrology and spirituality.
That got me thinking.
I am just off doing a couple of blog posts on rethinking Saturn as feminine and Saturn as Crone, and what that entails. A commenter on one of the posts asked if I had considered looking at how viewing Saturn as feminine works out in chart interpretation.
That also got me thinking, and the two topics dovetailed.
To really get a sense of how Saturn as feminine changes how we do chart interpretatation, I think we need to have a very good grasp of the deep knowing compassion of age – in my last post I labeled that quality, Understanding.
That is the subject of this meditation.
More and more, in my meditation, I link understanding – a wise and open heart, a knowing of the heart – with complete acceptance of mortality, of suffering, of failure and frailty – and, of course, of finitude. Death.
I think our culture suffers from a kind of spiritual arrogance in that we consider our individual selves to be so dreadfully important. There is an exaltation of the individual existence, our individual wants and needs, our individual success or failure.
I think this is spiritual immaturity.
I have spent more than a bit of time meditating on what my thoughts are on life after death and reincarnation. I am convinced there is something to that, but I am also convinced that is far more subtle, and less flattering, than we think.
Whether “I” survive my physical death is getting less and less important to me as I get older (I’m right on the border of Senior Discount Land). Something persists after my death. I am pretty sure it is not something I would recognize as Charlie Obert, but I suspect there is some kind of continuity of consciousness that gets passed on.
Similarly, my thinking about my wife has changed a lot in the nearly seven years since her death. For a couple of years there I was completely convinced that Cindy survived death, that she communicated with me, and that I could sense her presence sometimes. That was a great comfort to me, and sometimes it still is.
Now I seriously doubt whether what I called Cindy is still in existence in any form I would recognize. A great deal of what was Cindy’s existence is gone, dead, and for the most part forgotten. I confess that when I hear people talk about how “we will always remember the departed, and keep them in our hearts”, part of me just kind of grins and thinks, yeah, right. At that moment of death it is so fresh as to be eternal – but it fades from people’s minds and hearts so very, very quickly.
Yes, we will forget, just as we will be forgotten. And frankly, I am now grateful that is the case.
There is a real spiritual consolation that comes from getting to a place I can say – hey folks, chill out, we’re all going to die anyway. We’re all wounded, we’re all imperfect, and things would be so much more relaxed if we all just accepted that and cut each other as much slack as we possibly can.
I used to feel like something was wrong with me, that I wasn’t living up to who I was supposed to be. The harder I tried to be something other than I was, the more I managed to stubbornly stay who I was inside. Now I consider who I am and just sort of think, hey dude, that is who you are – just accept it and deal with it, warts and all. You are far better off accepting and celebrating who you actually are, than striving to be someone you are not.
And, accept the people around you, as is, with no warranty provided, no returns accepted and no refunds given.
It is so strange, but I think this plain acceptance of who people are as ordinary mortals is connected with me to an acceptance of how very glorious and weird and wonderful we all are as fallible humans. A glorification of some kind of ideal we are supposed to all strive for – such and such body weight, body mass index in these ranges, such and such income and level of success – is actually not a glorification of the individual at all, but a bland, faceless white bread of an ideal – the spiritual equivalent of Wonder Bread.
Accepting our mortality and frailty with a loving heart – this is Saturn as Crone. This is a kind of maternal understanding. That old woman in the black cape who showed up out of the night probably very thoroughly understood how very fallible, frail and mortal we all are – and yet, how we keep going, we keep caring, we keep trying, we keep pulling ourselves up out of bed morning after morning and doing the best we can. How many times did she pull herself up out of bed at 3 am one more time, dead tired, joints screaming, pulled on her shawl and went out into the night to do what she could – knowing that sometimes she would succeed, and sometimes she would fail.
I would not be surprised if the price of admittance to the wisdom of the Crone came all too often through the death of a child.
That is why we have human hearts, to learn this lesson. That is the lesson of Saturn.
I think it fitting that we honor this sort of understanding and accepting heart as feminine, because I think it is precisely this lesson you deeply learn when you are a mother.
That sort of compassion, that sort of wise heart, comes with acceptance of death, pain, failure, finitude, and in no other way. Let us be grateful that is so.
Stay tuned for future posts later this year, in which I bring this understanding of Saturn into chart interpretation.