16 02 2010
When I was eight years old my parents decided to move to Spain, we travelled by car, with a caravan in tow. I was told that this was an “adventure” and so my young impressionable mind was forever impressed with the idea that when life gets dull, for whatever reason, or when you feel like it, you can go on an adventure.
I don´t remember that much about the trip, except that my crayons melted in the ash-tray during the day. In the evening though I do remember something that has stuck with me and is part of what it means to have strong Sagittarius. I remember staring out of the window and seeing mountains filled with pine trees and above the mountains there were the stars. I remember I saw three shooting stars that night, but I don´t remember if I made any wishes. My parents would have probably told us children to make wishes, so no-doubt we would have made some.
Throughout life I´ve been a bit more on the optimistic, hopeful side even though outwardly I cultivate modesty, (Virgo Rising). Currently, some of that optimism has become a little crushed. I´ve realised that in order to maintain a job and money and for life generally, one has to stay in the same place on a continual basis, one must work, and you can´t just continually be going somewhere else, or even reading about somewhere else. Eventually you run out of places anyway.
But even though I am becoming more or less mature, with the work, with the staying in one place I will not change my essential nature. One has to channel all that Romanticism, that magic of the idea of travel in an unknown land, that expansive mystery that probably comes from Sagittarius Neptune.
At times it feels like the success that I have at work, has come at a price. This price is that my freedom is the sacrifice, that those dreams of freedom and travel even if I wanted to fulfill them are so far from reality that they barely exist.
Whatever Romanticism which was borne in me in my infancy has continued and developed and grown in my life. The long voyage literature that I read and studied, the constant travelling (with the books) both fulfilled, and fed this inner idealism. That idealism, the expansive needs within are still there, and growing and expanding. And to deny this part of life is denial of self.
This dreaming may one day take me to some tragic impasse. But if I one day died on an open boat beneath the stars in unknown waters, without a map, I would be pleased with such a death. So long as my eternal soul found freedom out there.
The Romantic Poets of the 19th Century were not as free as the wind. They needed money from which they could base their lives on. That money may have come from aristocratic inheritance or from the new wealth of the industrial revolution. But their freedoms had basis either in their own work, or the work of other people within their society.
The freedom of conquistadors, of countless soldiers that went off on “adventures” likewise had its basis in some dreary Capricorn heart, some Emperor adding up resources and weighing up information about possible conquests. The price that Native Americans paid for their freedom before the advent of “the white man” would have been that the natural forces of the Earth were a lot closer to them and could take their lives with more alacrity: death by poisonous mushroom perhaps, or death by an infected cut.
I´ve made my pact with Saturn. I wish not to die in a gutter on the principle of freedom. Knowledge of the world gives me control, and understanding. The idea that the universe is infinite, provides infinite possibilities of freedom must go into the subconscious or into some forms of fantasy.
The pact with Saturn is that we must all support ourselves materially. This is not to say that the dreams must die, but it does mean that such dreams are to be kept for other times. Either the psyche is allowed to expand along the roads which are natural to it, or it begins to split into two differing sides. It´s the split personality of a writer.
Saturn transiting my natal 1st house has made me realise that life does consist of work, and that work is a kind of form of benign slavery which binds you to one city in one country with slim chance of going anywhere else, or even the possibility of going anywhere else. The fact of having late Virgo rising has resulted in Saturn in Exaltation making this kind of bind a little more pleasant, or nicer than it might otherwise have been. The place of work is an amiable sort of place, with little touches here and there. It´s something I am grateful for.
The childhood sense of wonder doesn´t have to die though. A year of work, and I will have money saved and I will have time off. Time will never be infinite with Saturn in the first, however, there will be opportunities further along in life to be reckless with a yacht or to go off to some mountains with a tent. Dreams which were impossible because I didn´t have the money or the will to do some of them will be possible some time. The possibilities of expansion for a disciplined and tempered mind may be even greater, for one is unlikely to make as many mistakes with knowledge.
Make it Concrete
The second realisation is that although it is fine and well to be an optimist, to have an expansive Sagittarian nature that appreciates sci-fi or long books, travel, religion etc. There is a point in life in which we must actualise things. Expansion and optimism have to be put to a purpose. The Saturnine purpose is a purpose that is repeated, buildings that stand in stone. Work must not just be work. When I am teaching, that inner optimism is still there I hope, the expansion takes the form of speaking, but it is still there.
The question I want to finish this little contemplation of Saturn´s serious transit in contrast to the inner optimist is on the lines of “what do I want to achieve?” or even “what do I want to be?”
No achievement will be satisfactory unless it is a personal inner achievement, something that I myself am pleased with. And it´s interesting that I pose the question of what I want to be with Saturn in the 1st house also. I propose that the measure for any achievement is also in a sense what I become at the same time. To achieve great things and yet to be weak, either morally or physically, would sully the whole thing. Yet to not achieve anything particularly special, but to be respected and liked, and to be strong, (morally or otherwise) would be worth it.