Living Crone

Earlier this year I did a series of posts exploring the symbolism of Saturn as feminine and as an old Crone figure. This was based on a reference in Dorotheus classing Saturn as one of the feminine planets, and Dorotheus is one of the earliest sources we have for our Western astrology.

Saturn as feminine seems to strike a chord with a lot of people, and I received some strong responses from both readers and friends.

After one of the posts, a comment suggested that I consider looking at how Saturn as feminine could be used in chart interpretation. That is what I will look at here.

As I thought about it, I was surprised to realize that I already had a very good example of Saturn being feminine, in the chart of a client of mine.

Here is the chart I want to look at.

Day chart, Saturn as CroneI want to start by focusing on the planet Mars, which is the rising planet, conjunct both the Sun and the Ascendant.  This is a day chart, so in traditional astrology the planet Mars, which is a night planet, will likely be the major source of problems and challenges.

Mars is in his detriment in Libra, so this is a planet that will likely be off balance and irritable, difficult to control.  Mars rules the second house of finances and the seventh house of primary relationships, and those are the two areas of this person’s life where she would get herself in trouble by unaware, impulsive, Mars off balance sorts of behavior.

Mars is hidden under the Sun, so this aspect of her behavior is outside of her personal awareness and control, though her friends and family can see it – as her mother put it, “Honey, you just don’t know how you come across to other people.”

When you have a problem planet like that, the first place to look for help in traditional astrology is to the planet’s rulers, those planets that have a measure of control and authority in this sign.

In this chart, the ruler of Libra, Venus, is in pretty bad shape – she is in her own fall in Virgo, and is in the twelfth house, where it is hard for her to act, and where Venus cannot see the ascendant.

Now we look at the exalted ruler of Libra, which is Saturn.

Saturn in this chart is quite strong, being in her rulership in Capricorn. Better yet, Mars and Saturn have mutual reception by exaltation – Mars is in Libra where Saturn is exalted, and Saturn is in Capricorn where Mars is exalted.  This means that the two planets have high regard and respect for each other, and can influence each other in a mutually helpful way.  Even though these two planets are square each other by sign, the mutual reception makes their effect work out in a positive way.

Saturn is in the fourth house of family and ancestors, so I asked if there was an older relative in her life who could help her be more self-aware and controlled.

Sure enough, there was – her grandmother.

For this woman, her grandmother was her spiritual teacher, the wise old woman who was kind to her, who she looked up to as a child, and who she could still turn to as an adult for consolation, advice, and inspiration.

Her grandmother played the role of old Crone in her life, wise woman.

Thinking of Saturn qualities as feminine here, balancing the brash and unaware actions of that Mars, we can see emphasizing qualities of control, of patience, of perspective, stepping back and thinking before you act – all of these are quite Saturnine qualities. This would also likely be a part of her life that would improve as she gets older, since Saturn also rules time and age.

And, very important, considering Saturn here as feminine adds qualities of sympathy and compassionate acceptance and understanding to her virtues.

Saturn as Crone has a heart.

So in this chart, Saturn in the fourth house literally was an old woman who was her spiritual guide and role model.


Living Crone — 3 Comments

  1. The first time I came across the notion of Saturn as feminine was in Alan Moore’s graphic novel series, Promethea. Prometheus descends from Binah and has the wisdom magick of Saturn which proves infinitely more powerful than those trying to oppose her.

    I’m brought to your page by Chris Brennan’s podcast on this same topic and I’m so delighted to explore the balance that this concept brings: 1 masculine malefic, 1 feminine malefic; 1 social masculine planet; 1 social feminine planet. It makes sense to me!

    As a Saturn ruled woman, I thank you for this insightful work and I look forward to the uncovering of more historical research on the topic. The Crone is perfect for Saturn and it would make sense that that archetype was stifled during the emergence of patriarchal social organization and capitalism.

    • Thanks for your comments – I agree with you right down the line.

      I think that the balance you mentioned is one of the strongest arguments for Saturn as feminine.

      The association of Saturn with Binah is really important, and I have a post that is coming out later this year talking about the link of Saturn with Binah and with Qabalah in general. Qabalah is a tradition where there is a strong history of associating Saturn with feminine symbolism.

      Part of what motivates me with the Saturn Crone work is recovering some of the sacred aspects of existence that were demonized and marginalized during the long period of domination by patriarchy.

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