Wrestling with Saturn
Consensus Reality for the Reality-Challenged
© 2001 Antero Alli

Reality. What a concept. Yet, how this concept is defined determines much of what passes for a life, not to mention a world view. Change the concept of reality and you can change the course and vision of an entire life. This thing called "reality" can be very slippery this way. If your concept of it strays too far from mainstream socially-accepted ideations, you risk losing collective support for your "separate reality." Compared with consensus reality, your view might seem esoteric or "occult" and more often subject to misunderstanding. If your concepts conform too much to the hub of public opinion, you risk losing your autonomous capacity for original thought and with it, a life you can call your own..


Reality Is Whatever You Can Get Away With

Real life situations overflow with colorful examples of how astrological archetypes act themselves out. If you thrill at the freedom of driving fast cars (Uranus) beyond your local speed limit, it's just a matter of time before Saturn shows up dressed like a cop to write you a ticket. Then, you either pay Saturn (the city) or make an appointment with Jupiter (the judicial system) to contest the charges. Or, throw away the ticket and pretend it never happened (Neptune). The force that astrology calls "Saturn" can be detected wherever limitations, boundaries and "reality structures" serve to contain, control and direct life forces (be that through a person or a society).

When this Saturn force becomes over-emphasized, the life force it attempts to organize grows restricted, repressed and eventually imprisoned. Did you know that the United States of America has more people imprisoned per capita than any other country in the world? Yep. When the value of the Saturn force is under-rated, the same life force disperses into increasing levels of chaos and destruction. The dramatic increase of inner-city gangs is now known to be directly related to the absence of jobless fathers (futile Saturns) during the formative years of a gangsta's life. Having been raised without a father myself, I know what it's like to laugh at the world and not take saturnine consensus reality as seriously as it insists on taking itself. As you can image, this has its upsides and downsides.

A symbolic marriage between these two extremes seems ideal, given that their differences are permitted and, eventually, embraced. How can consensus reality and a reality-challenged bias work together and unite? The soul of a reality- challenged life is born from an improvisatory talent for making up the rules and the structures as you go. This essentially creative process seems almost saturnine in essence, insofar as it takes total responsibility for containing and expressing the life force. Yet it remains highly idiosyncratic as a dynamic changing process. When the socio-economic structures that you create somehow manage to engage society and the world at large in mutually beneficial ways, congratulations. You are working, living and playing by your own rules within the larger framework of consensus reality. When you find freedom within this form, "reality" becomes whatever you can get away with.


Behold, The Crushing Blows of Cultural Boredom

One of the more demoralizing forms of modern socialization comes as the crushing cultural boredom of these times. With the current economic marketing trend known as "cocooning," many consumer products are being packaged and sold with an eye for keeping folks "safe and secure" inside their homes; families gather 'round home entertainment campfires and computer work stations. When 24-Hour News stations constantly confirm what a "dangerous world it isout there," they maintain the "only bad news sells" axiom of media cynicism. Television news anchors achieve near celebrity personality status; every hair in place while announcing two thousand more deaths in Ethiopia; cut to a Toyota commercial. It's really quite surreal when you pause to think about it.

Cultural ennui is something that millions of young people-- teenagers, especially--are keenly aware of, if only because the young haven't numbed down to the dismal, dreary truth yet. The attempt to cope with this awareness might explain in part the rampant use of mind-altering drugs for escaping the godawful boredom of too much Saturn; too many external imposed rules, moralities, pressures, etc. Until genuinely reality-challenged teenagers can create and maintain their own "separate realities," getting high is going to continue being a legitimate option for slowing down their inevitable collision with terminal adulthood. The most intelligent, autonomous teenagers enter their twenties with minimal psychic and emotional damage by prolonging their adolescence. They somehow manage to not buy into the system as rapidly as their gung-ho peers. By persisting in their own self-created worlds, they can forget the internal references for producing their own pressures, values and views.

As a rule, there's not much sanction granted for getting high and staying high in a Saturn-rich environment; in fact, it's against the law. When a human being is deprived of the rapturous and ecstatic experiences natural life has to offer, something sad happens. Spiritually, we shrink, eventually shrivel up and die. With consensus sanctions behind tobacco, booze and sex, one must still possess a strong imagination and vital force of will to stay high-- that is to say, spiritually alive--in any Saturn-based culture.


An Embodied Freedom Amounts to Freedom Within a Form

Freedom within a form may be as free as freedom gets for daily human life on Earth. How you define your freedom doesn't necessarily guarantee its realization either. Your terms must in some way respect and conform to the existing state of things in the material, earth plane before you can effectively express more autonomy there. Natal Saturn is a good place to start figuring out where and how to achieve more freedom within the form of your reality structures. What I mean by "reality structures" is wherever you need to draw boundaries or set down rules before you can experience the full extent of your freedom in that area.

Natal Saturn in the Seventh House (& to some extent, Libra) symbolizes the need for building bridges with the partner-- mutually sanctioned and enforced rules, borders & plans-- before a real relationship can fully materialize. Saturn in the Eleventh House (& to some extent, Aquarius) represents the necessity for community-building forms--gatherings, rituals & humanitarian causes--already sanctioned by the collective; one attempts to fit into them before a solid sense of tribal belonging and lasting friendship can develop. Natal Saturn in the Second House (& to some extent, Taurus) needs to build economic structures that somehow align with how the status quo defines security, before real financial independence can be acquired.

I must admit these three examples might be good advice for anybody, with or without astrology. However, using astrology may increase your chances at fine tuning an awareness for the hard work and the specific areas in which actual freedom--freedom within a form--can be realized. Wrestling with Saturn is almost always a formidable task, as it should be. Without an outgoing assertion of pressure in your life (see natal Saturn), you are more likely to passively conform to external consensus pressures. Create your own pressures; with the force of your commitment, anything is possible.


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