Saturn in the 12th House
by Steven Forrest
On Saturday, February 1, I am going to do something I had pretty much decided that I would never do—a Webinar. I will be talking intimately to my laptop computer. I will cling to the belief that somewhere out there in the vague world of electrons, ones, and zeros there are some actual human beings who are listening, watching, and hopefully getting something out of the whole enterprise.
I will also moan to myself about the absence of what I have always found to be critical elements in my teaching: eye contact, body language, and that whole critical, vague, rich territory we call “vibes.”
While I am doing all that, transiting Saturn will be standing just one-quarter of a degree from my Ascendant.
To the kinds of gloomy astrologers who still think of Saturn as a Malefic, this would seem like a dumb time for me to take a risk. They would assume that Saturn would bring some kind of misfortune down on my head. I am realistic enough to be prepared for some screw-ups and glitches, but all in all, I think that this is a fine time to launch something new. After all, the Ascendant is the cusp of the First House—the “beginning of the beginning,” so to speak. When anything major hits your Ascendant, there is an excellent chance that you are warp-driving headlong into the kind of choice-point whose consequences will echo in your ears for a long time. Good news or bad? That depends on the wisdom of your choice.
Or, in this case, my choice.
As usual with these things, this Saturn alignment “just happened to coincide” with the timing of our first live Webinar. Astrology works pretty well, even when we are not looking! When choosing the date, a bunch of practical factors aimed us at February 1. Only later did I realize that this would be my initiation into a new 29 year Saturn cycle.
In writing this edition of our newsletter, I have a few aims all at once. As you might have detected, I am not adverse to touting our first Webinar! Please “attend” (if that is the best word). The class will be about natal planets square to the nodal axis, and attendance will be limited due to constraints of the technology.
Beyond touting the Webinar, I also want to take this opportunity to talk about how to live peaceably with Saturn transits, despite their doleful reputation among the fortune-tellers. I also want to say a few things about the deeper meaning of the Twelfth House and how it blossoms into the First—and how the First House depends on the Twelfth as surely as a flower depends on the soil in which it is planted.
Saturn is, among other things, about the basic processes that keep our feet on the ground—paying the electric bill, showing up for work, doing the wash, making sure your undies are fresh and your socks don’t have any holes beyond the ones you put your feet in. It is the planetary function that gives us the ability to do what we don’t feel like doing. Saturn covers the base of most of what we find boring and necessary in life. Things that are dull—but Lord help us if we ignore them. Ask anyone who has ever run out of gas on a dark night ten miles from a gas station.
The Twelfth House is the end of the cycle. In it, deaths, resolutions, and endings naturally arise. Wisdom lies in timely recognition of these finalities and in acceptance of them. When bad things come to an end, we are happy. But what about when good things end? In some ways, I wish I had a seen that magnificent beast Tyrannosaurus Rex with my own eyes. But, really, I am just as happy he exited Stage Left before I poked my nose around the corner, Stage Right. Some things need to die. That’s the only way to make room for the next Act.
When Saturn transits into your Twelfth House, what needs to die? Saturn stuff: your routines, your definitions of your responsibilities, your methods and your tactics. You can reflect on that reality and draw encouragement and faith from it. Or you can let the Universe club you upside the head with the evidence for that necessity until it finally gets through to you.
It is also helpful to remember that the Twelfth House is a visionary one. Angels talk to you there—or, if you prefer purely psychological language, ideas are constellating in your unconscious mind, not having quite broken through into consciousness yet. You don’t know what you are doing, in other words. But an answer is forming anyway. Trust the process! Your primary job in the Twelfth House is to let go of things. And to make some time for inward listening.
As Saturn crosses into the First House, you begin a period in which the new definitions of your methods and your duties will actually come into manifestation, based on the good foundation you have laid in the previous House. And that good foundation is, above all, a willingness to let go of the old patterns—a recognition that they have played out and that you are not that person anymore.
With Saturn in my Twelfth, I was hit over the head with collapsing systems. I lived out of a suitcase and my laptop for most of that time. I went from Beijing to Florence, Italy, teaching. In one two-day period, I woke up in Maine, flew to Los Angeles, bought a house three hours away here in Borrego Springs, was driven back to Los Angeles International Airport, waited eight hours, caught a night-flight from there to Fiji, spent four hours in Fiji, then flew to Sydney, Australia. Even writing that sentence was exhausting! What about living it?
Meanwhile, I had fallen way behind on my over-extended schedule of recorded consultations, partly because I was so run down I got sick and was coughing too much to record anything for a while. And Tony and I were struggling to keep the business afloat in the face of the ever-shifting realities of the publishing industry. It was beyond nuts. Who could keep that up? My old definitions of my duties and my methods were unraveling.
Maybe now you see where I got this sentence from a few paragraphs ago—Or you can let the Universe club you upside the head with the evidence for that necessity until it finally gets through to you.
I don’t have all the answers yet. I shouldn’t! I am still living in the past, and that is OK. What I mean is that Saturn is still in my Twelfth House. It is not yet time for me to crystallize the new answers. If I tried I would be faking it out of desperation—which is a classic way to turn the Twelfth House into the fabled “House of Troubles.” But I am home now for four months, working of course, but also hiking and meditating in my beautiful desert—finally taking the time to listen to my inner voice a bit more attentively.
Astrology comforts me in that it holds the mirror not only before my folly, but also before my wisdom—and in this case, some of my wisdom lies in knowing I am not yet the person who will have the answers. If I play my cards right, they will come in 2014.
I am not sure what this upcoming Webinar will mean. If it goes well, we will do more of them. If not, we won’t. But I see Saturn sitting there exactly on my Ascendant on that very day, marking “the beginning of the new beginning.” That gives me faith. And it also makes me feel thankful for astrology and how it offers that extra dose of spiritual encouragement. We all speak glibly about being on “the right path.” But how do you know when you are on it or not? Astrology, if we read the symbols honestly, can give you that reality check—and 95% of the time, that information will pass the heart-check as well.
Above all, I feel grateful to have such concrete evidence that the universe is meaningful, not random, a school for evolving consciousness—and always right on time.
We're now in the midst of a long cycle of important retrogrades that will last through the middle of next year! Here are the dates:
Jupiter Retrograde Nov. 7, 2013-Mar 6, 2014
Venus Retrograde Dec. 22, 2013-Feb. 1, 2014
Mercury Retrograde Feb. 7-Mar. 1, 2014
Mars Retrograde Mar. 2-May 20, 2014
Mercury Retrograde Jun. 7-Jul. 2, 2014
Phew! That's a lot of revising, revisioning, revaluing, rebranding, and redirecting. Are you ready?
Upcoming Live Webinar with Steven
Planets Square the Moon's Nodes
In this live webinar, Steven will focus on the meaning of planets that square the moon's nodes. If you have a planet squaring the nodes, or want to learn more about interpreting this challenging signature in others' charts, this webinar is for you.
Space is limited and this webinar will sell out, so register early to guarantee your spot.
Date: February 1, 2014
Time: 9:00-10:30am PT
Finally, we'd like to send out a big warm hug to Manu Jobst of Kunstfabrik for providing us with beautiful artwork for our newsletters and book covers. If you're looking for original gift ideas, consider supporting Manu's Etsy store, where you can get her gorgeous art printed on iPhone cases, iPad covers, pillows and more. Support independent artistry and also get a special unique gift for your loved one.