Live wisely in expanded awareness of the cosmos and number vibrations influencing your life. Hermetic wisdom, as above, so below, is where you will find your truth. ~ Sarrah West

UP the Mountain Saturn Return in Capricorn – Part One Lena


Some of us are born with a propensity for relationships and live with others as if they were binary stars working together in the flow of life.  Lena was born to operate with a partner and can only understand herself in the mirror of the other. However, her soul seeks to know herself and grow as an individual beyond the influence of her intimate relationships.  Lena was born with the ruling planet of her Ascendant located in the 7th house.  She has Sagittarius rising at 25 degrees 10 minutes and with Jupiter (ruler of Sagittarius) in Cancer retrograde at zero degrees 57 minutes and Chiron nearby at 11 degrees 8 minutes retrograde.  Immediately I know that relationships will be a center focus of her understanding her identity, but she must be very careful who she invites into a close relationship as they will have great influence on her understanding herself and how she may project herself in the world.  Lena will have a strong tendency to project her identity onto her partner.  Her growth comes in life by being able to be in relationship, but also by having her own identity and her own thoughts and beliefs.  It may be challenging for her to discern the other person’s identity relative to her own.  She began her life on February 15, 1990 in Edmonton, Canada at 4:55 am MST.

Relationships took a hard turn for Lena in her early adolescence.  Around the age of 12 she connected with a boy and then experienced a loss that was akin to abandonment. One year later she experienced the loss of one of her dearest friends to a death from unknown causes, which also felt like abandonment due to the lack of answers and closure. During this time, she also experienced Saturn (her natal Saturn in Capricorn in her 1st house at 20 degrees 47 minutes) by transit moving toward its first opposition. The actual opposition of transiting Saturn to her natal Saturn happened on August 8, 2004.  Saturn opposing itself is the second hardest aspect from birth; the first hard aspect is the square of Saturn by transit to natal Saturn occurs around age 7.  When Saturn opposes itself there is often great tension, a feeling of being limited and bound by the rules, or even karmic challenging life events, and it is amplified even more for those that have Saturn placed in an angular house, which for Lena is the first house.

The tension then in the opposition for Lena is from a partner or a significant person in her life at the time when it will impact the shaping of her sense of identity.  Often this connection is unconscious. Only when Lena comes into the awareness of this Saturn cycle does she begin to understand what is being reflected to her so that she can discern which relationships are positive and empowering and which ones are not. The Saturn cycle also is the master teacher on her own authority.  We can see that with Mars in Capricorn the connection with the boy at the age of 12 (Saturn by transit through Cancer opposing Mars) and then a year later Saturn’s opposition to her Neptune would have been a deep and even troubling experience about life and its impermanence which brought her considerable disillusionment.  By the time the transiting Saturn in Cancer opposed her natal Saturn life would have delivered a few experiences that were cementing a pronounced truth in her mind about the challenges of being in relationships. Being connected and caring for someone includes the grief that one day it may fade away or be forever changed when the other is no longer on earth.  Around the age of 15, just a year after her Saturn opposition, Lena decided to move out of her family’s home.  She notes both she and her father came head-to-head with each other on some issues and adding distance allowed both of them the space they needed at the time.  She says they both are hard-headed but that they care about each other and that the distance has been better for their relationship as father and daughter.

Saturn teaches us the hardest parts of what it means to live our lives and about the fragility of our life in the ever-changing tides of time.  Saturn has other lessons as well about how we develop, how we focus, and how we work.  Saturn can teach us about mastery as well and that, in time, it does bear the fruit of our labor.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

With a stellium in Capricorn in her first house, Lena identifies herself with traditional values, and she has a connection to her identity with family.  Her Sun in Aquarius along with her north node of the moon in her second house describes in symbolism that Lena places value in technology (her means of earning income) and ideas that are eccentric and in concepts that push the boundaries of traditional thinking.  Astrology is one path that Lena is aligned with in her Aquarian energy.  She has Mercury at 4 degrees 46 minutes of Aquarius so her thoughts and perceptions are fixed air Aquarius.  Through her life she will find how she’s energized in truly eccentric thinking, technology, and humanitarian interests.  Evolutionary growth for her comes through movement into greater Aquarian consciousness and finding balance with her Leo South Node in the 8th house.  The north node in Aquarius is the medicine for the wounds or losses that have come from her south node in Leo.

Lena’s life will have some focus on resources (money, income, material possessions) of her own and others and what she values as well as the values of others in her life.  The sign of Aquarius ruled by Saturn is on the cusp of her 2nd house of values and income. Interestingly, the Capricorn stellium for Lena sits in the midst of her 1st house, but Capricorn is not situated on either 1st or 2nd house cusps, making Capricorn and Cancer on the other side both intercepted signs.  Both signs will be more challenging for Lena to integrate and understand in her experience of life.  She may only understand them from an inherited point of view well into her adult life.  Intercepted signs tend to be out of reach or rather in the dark from our conscious awareness.  When signs are intercepted there are two other signs ruling more two houses each.  Astrologer Joanne Wickenburg called two signs that must work double duty as “duplicated signs.”  The two signs working double duty in Lena’s chart are Taurus on the cusp of her 4th and 5th houses and Scorpio on her 10th and 11th house cusps.  Venus, Mars and Pluto take on elevated roles as the rulers of her overall chart within these four houses.  Interestingly, both Mars and Venus are inside the intercepted first house in Capricorn.  Pluto in its own sign in Scorpio carries a power like none other, which is also emphasized being in her angular 10th house, the apex of her chart.  Pluto also dominates the landscape of her chart by being square her nodal axis, near exact.  One should wonder about the absolute power and nightmares that Lena must overcome to become her own person and discern her own values– this is what her Pluto square the lunar nodes symbolizes.  Pluto is at 17 degrees Scorpio 46 minutes and the lunar north and south nodes are at 16 degrees 24 minutes retrograde, and her north node is in Aquarius and her south node is in Leo, to give you the chart sign placements and degrees

Lena grew up in a traditional, hard-working family.  She’s learned much from her family and how she understands herself, from the Capricorn, as having a duty driven, get-to-work, no-excuses mentality.  She notes it has served her well in taking care of herself. Her moon in Scorpio right on the cusp of the midheaven of her natal chart will bring an intensification of emotions and raw energy with a desire for depth and entanglement that will be pronounced, in sharp contrast to her Aquarian solar energy.  Her Moon in Scorpio will be quite visible to those who know her and will even have visibility to those she meets in passing.  Her intensity is part of her reputation.  Pluto in Scorpio in her 10th house speaks to the nightmare of some experience of her past that dwells in her unconscious mind (8th house south node and 2nd house north node) that is beyond our understanding, for the difficulty and utter emotional intensity is beyond anything any of us might ever come to know. Pluto in Scorpio is death, and regeneration or rebirth, but also may speak to the darker side of human nature and psychology too, the taboo subjects of life. Pluto in its own sign of Scorpio symbolic of death and shadow nature. Lena will face power and the deepest of feelings that come with fear and rage.

Pluto in Scorpio is symbolic of the shadow of humanity.  In the context of modern life, I would frame it also as the depth of psychological matters.  But for Lena, as an individual, it also represents her emotional experience that she’s seeking to unravel for the sake of her evolution.  It is part of who she is and the great depth that lies within her unconscious.  The soul is here for her evolution and she will have experiences that will take her on many underworld journeys to get closer to the nightmare or fear so that she deals with it directly. Her public persona will have a visible battle with this fear (or rage) and will teach her about her relationship with power and the parts of life that she has kept hidden.  Jupiter in transit within the sign of Scorpio today (2017-2018) is one planet that may bring up from the depths these fears to be healed.  Uranus in transit in Taurus opposite also has the potential to bring about dramatic change through unexpected events as it moves into opposition with her natal moon or Pluto.  It may even seem quite scandalous and taboo for those in a traditional values-focused family.

Chiron in Cancer 11 degrees 8 minutes retrograde (opposite her Uranus in Capricorn at 8 degrees 13 minutes) and Mars in Capricorn at 12 degrees 14 minutes and Neptune at 13 degrees 37 minutes will show up in the connection between Lena and significant partners in her life that will be somewhat unpredictable.  These relationships will also be long enduring in their nature (where she must stand up and use her courage repeatedly) but also where she can become disillusioned.  Saturn in Capricorn at 20 degrees 47 minutes and Venus at 21 degrees 54 minutes are not far from the other planets in Capricorn also known symbolically as having a tendency of karmic relationship commitments (hard repeating habit patterns to break).

The lunar nodes provide us, from an astrology perspective, an understanding of the arc of life for an individual, and Pluto provides us an understanding of where a person is evolving by the sign that it is in the natal chart.  Lena’s south node in Leo and north node in Aquarius symbolize the progress her soul is seeking in the midst of her evolutionary journey this life.  In her past, when her lunar south node was in Leo, Lena was seeking ego expansion and self-expression and a place for creativity and playfulness.  Seeing her Sun opposite in the sign of Aquarius tells us that something or someone hindered her or she became lost within the world of another person.  Her task now is to find herself again and to go through her south node in Leo to recapture this awareness and her own ego, so she can move forward and evolve as an individual in the context of her north node in Aquarius.  The south node is the first step.  It may be that Lena repeats “getting lost in another” again or must swim hard in the shadows of another person’s psychological framework so that she can take this journey, which may include an underworld journey (Pluto/Scorpio), to regain her sense of self through some type of battle that forcers her to stand up for herself.  The north node in Aquarius becomes the “medicine” for her karmic pattern.

Lena must learn to build her own ego.  The danger in some spiritual disciplines she may encounter is that one is taught to move toward an ego-less mindset, which would be a disaster for Lena in this life.  Her evolutionary journey requires getting grounded into her own ego, even being selfish to do so as a way to evolve her consciousness. Only when she has achieved a sense of herself through developing her ego and understanding herself deeply in relationship to another can she then grow and embody her north node in Aquarius as one who chooses to go against the status quo and one who seeks to be a unique individual in expression, thought, and action.  One evolving an Aquarian north node in the 2nd house is someone who is seeking to be an individual on their own perceptions and thoughts about what they deem as valuable, not on what others deem as valuable.  It can take time in adult life to come into one’s own and be able to articulate one’s self clearly so as to evolve one’s own values and beliefs through the life lived.

This “coming to know oneself” and developing one’s own values via relationships is shown in Lena’s chart in multiple aspects: 1) through the Sun opposite the south node in Leo, 2) through the ruler of the Ascendant in the 7th house, 3) through the moon in Scorpio on the midheaven, and 4) through Mercury in Aquarius square her natal Moon in Scorpio. The evolutionary muscles she is building with repeated experience are helping her to navigate the intensity of her emotions relating to others while still standing her ground to become who she is without severe interference in her evolution.  We can easily see now why her choice of partners in her life can be one of the most challenging and important decisions she will make for her conscious evolution.  Each individual — professional, friend, or family– will have an impact, but every personality is different and will interact with her differently depending on their own character, personality, and how they operate in life with others.  Each time the other in her life tries to dominate the relationship she will have to make hard choices about what role that relationship will take in her life.  Another insight on her relationships with others comes from her Venus in Capricorn placement and in a new phase with Saturn in Capricorn.  Her love nature is more controlled and more responsible with this placement and can be difficult for a young person that may take a long time to make a relationship commitment. Venus in Capricorn may show its beauty over time.  Lena herself said, “Saturn has been good for me in keeping my emotions in check.”  She is aware of the intensity within her and also aware of the part of herself that keeps it contained too.  The tricky part is when unexpected energy from Uranus comes along into this combination and that containment is broken.  Neptune also can dissolve this container and create chaos and confusing engagements with others, but they also may bring gifts of release that were hard to feel otherwise.

Lena’s young adult relationships reveal the truth of her soul’s evolution relating to her own ego and her potential to get lost in a relationship with another.  In her relationship with her daughter’s father (they never married) she came to learn about a personality disorder called “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” (NPD). PsychCentral, a website for psychiatric counseling notes, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet.”  This relationship with her daughter’s father became a life altering experience as Lena had to fight for her daughter and navigate releasing this person from her life as much as possible.  This fight has not yet escalated into a legal battle, but she has struggled with him to arrange time for her daughter with her father, which is now for a few hours every other week. This fight has been perhaps the most challenging experience she’s had so far.  While attending a group meeting for support to better understand NPD disorder she was introduced to astrology.  Amid her underworld journey she found that astrology can help her navigate these challenges and relationships.  Even though her ex-boyfriend pushed to stay she made it clear that it was time to go and finally he moved out. She then re-connected with someone she’d met in five years earlier and started a new relationship.  They are together still and continue to grow together.

The relationship Lena had prior to that with her daughter’s father and the relationship with her daughter’s father were both very unhealthy, but she has continued to learn in each relationship about herself and what she must do on her own to be self sufficient.  She has learned that she must be independent, and acknowledging this truth gave back her power.  She continues to learn about her Aquarian energy, about her Scorpio intensity with emotional entanglement of her moon, and about how to deal with her intimate relationships.  Courage is the key for Lena’s relationships, especially as she discovers what each individual brings to the relationship and discerning whether they are a healthy choice for her life and offer her the space to be an individual.  It takes time for us to release the projections we have on others before we truly see the person in our relationship.  It is then that we really learn about relating love relationships, including how we find real harmony with them, understanding that each individual brings something to the relationship, and that each person views love unique to themselves. Only when we really uncover who the other is in truth can we discover ourselves in love and become a loving partner.

The relationships that Lena has during this Saturn return in Capricorn may highlight where she has grown and what is beginning for her as an adult that was not visible to her before this Saturn cycle.  She finds that she has new urges for something to make real in her life –one desire is to own her home.  She started the process to buy a house in the last few months, but it has not yet made it into her reality.   Saturn in Capricorn requires keeping at it, keeping the focus on the long term goal to make it real.  Continued effort in the pursuit of being a home owner will be made real for her as she continues to work hard for it.  This goal may come with some obstacles to navigate but it will be possible with determination.

Lena also desires a lifestyle where she has more time for her daughter, since she sees other moms with their children after school where as she works late and has to leave her daughter in the care of others.  She feels a new appreciation of the value of time as a mother.  When Lena drops her daughter off for daycare, she feels that her time with her daughter is so short.  Time is another Saturn theme, so it’s not surprising that Lena sometimes feels the hardship of the limits related to her role as a mother.   Lena continues to grow and understand herself in relationship to others in her life and how she shapes her identity as she acknowledges what is unique about her.  In Part Two of Lena’s Saturn in Capricorn return story, we will explore meaningful moments of change during this Saturn return cycle and how her relationships have been central for her in these experiences.