More from the 6th chapter of my freely downloadable book, Astrological Repair Manual:
"So, now that Father Time is all spaced-out, I’ll reveal another major truth about astrology: no single symbol or function or planet or sign or house (we’ll meet signs and houses when we get closer to Earth) — none of these factors has any meaning all by itself. I can say Saturn means Structure, Limitation, Clarification, Organization, etc. but it gains its meaning from its cycle as it relates to other cycles. How could structure even be defined if there weren’t things that needed to be structured?
"One of the backbone sources for the meaning of any function in astrology is the length of its trip around the Sun. For Saturn, it turns out to be real close to 30 years with the half-cycle at 15 and quarter cycles around 7 years. When I was young it was common to hear: 'Ya can’t trust anybody over 30'. Oh, my! I wonder if those saying it were under thirty and probably not averse to a rather disorganized and freewheeling lifestyle?
"Right around thirty is when most of us have finally 'found ourselves'. We usually find it necessary to stake a claim for the pattern of self we’ve decided to be—lay out the pattern for others, organize our time in society to accommodate the clarity of self we now feel.
"And now I hear some people saying, 'Oh yeah? Thirty was hell!'. But do they realize that whatever difficult or negative period they were experiencing might have been there to clear the decks so they could claim a stronger place for themselves—make a clearer pattern of living?
"The half-cycle of Saturn is just as important for Identity Formation (Key Saturn phrase there). But, at fifteen, we’re putting out (for all to see) 'who we are' in terms of who we were born to and how they raised us. We’re also finding out what others think about that identity pattern and, possibly, trying to either hide it or flaunt it even more. The transition at thirty is qualitatively different. We’ve been through one whole cycle of identity formation and we’re trying to squeeze out whatever doesn’t really belong to the real self—condensing, confirming, clarifying, defining.
"Now, while we're circling this symbol of patterns and organization, would be a good time to lay out one of the most important structural concepts in astrology: the Squaring of the Circle. Every cycle, whether with one planet or two, has a beginning. It has a middle and an ending, too. Simple, eh? Yet many astrologers forget this view of life. They look at the position of a planet in a birth chart and freeze it there, trying to milk it for more meaning than it can give.
"We’re born with the planets at certain positions determined by our time and place of birth. The important thing to remember though is that the planets keep moving and so do we. Life and people evolve. These motions in astrology are called Transits and Progressions and are two topics that must be left for you to discover in the references recommended at the end of this book (and, in the revised and expanded edition of this book to which this blog dedicated). Way before you attempt learning about all the meaning possible with moving planets, you need a firm grounding in the field they move within—the circle or cycle. Each cycle has its moment of beginning when things are new and fresh—either exciting or scary. Each cycle also has its ending, which is the same moment as the beginning of a new cycle. But rather than thinking of this evolution of meaning as an old phonograph record, spinning endlessly, we should concentrate our positive minds and see each ending and rebirth happening on a new and higher level—a spiral of ever-ascending and fulfilling meanings.
"The first half of any cycle is all about taking the new materials we have to deal with and shaping them according to the vision we (hopefully) had at that magic moment of rebirth. If we aren’t facing our astrological cycles and our very lives in this way, we’re shortchanging ourselves!
"The exact middle of any cycle is the time when the vision of the beginning can flower and fruit—come to its highest personal consummation of expression.
"From the middle to the next rebirth is the time to share the fruits we’ve garnered with others—to make the function(s) valuable in others' lives.
"The two quarter phases—halfway from beginning to middle and halfway from middle to rebirth—are times we can use to firm up our directions, shift gears, if necessary, to get back on course, make sure our roots are firmly planted (personal or social), and gain strength for the push to the color and magic of the middle or the raking of leaves and the seed-tending of the time near rebirth. You're going to find that The Instructions and its system of interpretation [at the end of the free-to-download book] don't deal with these moving functions. Like I've said before, this book is all about giving you the right Perceptions so that any further studies you might engage in can be positive and profitable. If I'd never mentioned this important concept of the General Cycle, I would have been shirking my duty..."
We've finished the first consideration of concepts in the 6th chapter of the book. Once I've covered all 14 chapters, we'll go back and consider things in more detail. Hopefully, you'll be leaving your comments as we go along so I can consider where and how to reconsider these basics of astrology...