This week, I had the opportunity to go back to my old apartment and get what I wanted. I carried my largest suitcase on a bus and two trains armed with the sole comfort of a doughnut stuffed into my purse. I began to review where I was when it had been time to leave off.
In the months leading up to losing my home, I was grappling with the movement of Saturn into a place of opposition with my natal midheaven (ambition, the image of ourselves we project into the world, career). Saturn, whose glyph is the Scythe, is the ancient Sower and Reaper. He is our teacher and taskmaster, father of Jupiter, dethroned by his own son.
Saturn rules the final day of the week, the Sabbath, and governs mid-life crises and the ultimate rest of the silent grave in which we must all one day repose.
Saturn removes the unnecessary. He forces you to look at yourself and what you’ve done, and rewards you with the harvest of the seeds you planted and tended…. or didn’t.
Those months of the approaching opposition, every attempt I made to rescue myself, had failed. When I opened that apartment’s door for the last time this week, I was struck by two details: The place smelled entirely of me, but the person who had been living there was deeply depressed.
Before, I couldn’t admit that weakness. I’d tell friends I was “getting over a tough time emotionally,” but I was never still going through it. This moment, however, stepping over the artifacts of my former life, I saw it: I could barely take care of myself.
For a couple hours, I continued reviewing my condition, gathering pieces of my life that I knew were important to my present foundation: a rosary, holy cards, prayer book, the pen tossed forgetfully on a coffee table when a man had been courting me, a piece of lace, a few books, my cardigan, a knotted string, watercolors.
This week I also learned another important fact. The lawyer I consulted just before I lost my home had spoken falsely. She had said without money I had no rights in practice. She was looking at my body with a sideways glance. She was saying something cruel: that I wasn’t woman enough.
That day I broke.
A few weeks later, I was gone.
Saturn is the great Teacher. They say you will never forget his lessons. I was packing my suitcase this week and I knew I had exactly what I needed. I knew I had nothing to fear. I knew I had a history, and a people, and a path.
When I reached the sidewalk, I thought how heavy the suitcase had become. How taking these belongings meant accepting the responsibility, owning their value, history, and potential. Saturn is Responsibility.
The Greeks called their ancient god Kronos, Time. Saturn is Time, the limiter and restrictor, the reviewer, the Sower and the Reaper. Today we say that time heals all wounds. Saturn takes the unnecessary away, and slowly we heal. Saturn heals all wounds; and ultimately, we dissolve in Death, the greatest Transformation.
Saturn’s opposition to my midheaven recently became exact. The stripping-away stopped, and I am rebuilding on my strongest foundation. In a few years, I’ll face my Saturn return, when he reaches the same place in the sky he was when I was born, and he will ask me to account for my work and give me my first harvest.
I will meet him with thanks.